Tag Archives: CasiClean

Immunity Boosting Soup

Serves 3 healthy guts

Well New York, the cold has frigidly made its way here. We’ve all become heavily aware that we are always at the brink of contracting someone’s cold or flu symptoms. No matter how much the MTA asks us to cover our mouths.

I’ve recently picked up some light reading on a comprehensive guide on understanding/harmonizing energy centers. Otherwise known as chakras. There is a rule that believes that there are four energy bodies that live together to create the human organism: the ethereal body, the emotional or astral body, the mental body and the spiritual body.   The ethereal body is the closest body that resembles our physical body in shape and dimension. I’ll save in depth chakra talk for another post but essentially, I’ve gathered that our physical body (ethereal body) gives off a protective layer of rays through a porous structure that serve as a shield against germs and harmful materials entering the body and simultaneously, it serves as vital energy for the environment as well.  Chakra teachings essentially believe that “this natural protection means that a person cannot fall ill from external causes. The causes of sickness always lie within”.  Even down to your negative thoughts and emotions & lifestyle will not harmonize with the natural needs of your body to be healthy!

One of our CasiClean sisters has fallen to the clutches of the cold/flu season. Jennifer recently came back from Colombia and came back with the uglies. Although she went to the sun and fun – FUN means extra work for your body. Between the decadent foods, copious amounts of alcohol and introduction of new foods, your body works overtime. Which as you can guess, has less energy/time to keep your immune system strong.

Below is a recipe for a detox soup we recently posted on our Instagram. You can look at it as a detox soup or as a major immunity booster. It may look funky but it really made our ethereal bodies sing and shine like love at first slurp!

1 tablespoon of Ghee (clarified butter) or Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped small
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped small
4 cups vegetable stock (2 cups of stock and 2 cups of water to reduce the sodium)
2″ piece of ginger, minced
1 cup of cabbage, chopped
2 cups chopped curly kale
a large handful of spinach, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
fresh chopped parsley, flax oil and fresh black pepper for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste

We used an Ayurvedic seasoning (Ginger, Pepper, Coriander and Turmeric) dedicated to Kapha dosha types.

Heat the ghee or olive oil in a medium sized pot over high to medium heat. Throw in the onion and garlic and begin to sauté until onions are slightly translucent. Add the sweet potato and sauté until they just begin to soften. Stir in the stock and ginger and simmer for 10 minutes. We added the salt, pepper and Kapha seasoning here.

Add the cabbage and kale and cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes, covered. Once the half hour is up, stir in the spinach and lemon juice. The lemon juice is key! Trust us, it made all the difference. Ensure that the spinach wilts.

Next, puree half the soup in a blender and serve with fresh parsley and more pepper if you’d like. Enjoy it!

This recipe came from Fran’s House of Ayurveda (http://franlife.blogspot.com/2008/01/recipe-detox-soup.html). As with most recipes we try, we tend to drastically alter it to increase the flavors we’ve grown to love. Blame it on our background, but we are some mamas that love our sabor! However, if you’re looking to truly detox, we recommend Fran’s recipe for the real deal.

My Break-Up with Coffee

Let’s just come out with it now. I haven’t had any coffee for more than 30 days.  The cleanse indeed initiated this surprisingly astonishing news that breaks people’s hearts when I tell them. The faces I get are equivalent to notifying a recent breakup of your favorite couple. I can’t say I was an obsessive coffee drinker to begin with – you know the type that gets migraines if the coffee bean ceases to exist. That said, I enjoyed the coffee culture and what it had become. Living in Brooklyn didn’t made it easier – Brooklyn has perfected the art of coffee shops. Visit South Brooklyn and you will gladly agree. On average, I had 2 cups daily. But the real question was – what did my dependency stem from? I realized that I leveraged it simply to enhance my mood.

It has been an average of 2 months since my last cup of coffee.  The question you might have for me is – what has improved or changed?  Well, I don’t have a dependency on a stimulant to keep me awake.  If I feel the need for a “pick me-up”, there could be a number of things my body is trying to tell me: I need more sleep, eat a snack, drink more water or brew some tea.  One of these always settles my issue. What I’ve learned is that feeling tired is typically a state of mind, similar to being hungry all the time.  As I mentioned above, coffee drinking is also a cultural movement.  I have found that it takes other creative proposals, on my behalf, to meet up with others outside of the coffee shop scene.  It’s funny how many invitations begin with “let’s catch up over coffee soon!”

If you are thinking about letting go of coffee because you’d like to break free from the enslaving chains or want to experience natural energy – highly recommended. I did devise a list of ways you can slowly develop this shift.  Especially if you do experience the heavy side effects:

1 ) Do Not Cut Coffee Cold Turkey

As with any addictive drug, you want to lower your dependency gradually.  Here you can find one blogger who  set out a week by week plan on how to decrease your intake.

2 ) Find Your Ideal Substitute

Find the substitute to coffee that works for you.  For me, I started to drink Yerba Mate tea every morning because it scratched the itch for something warm on a cold morning.  Other alternatives are matcha lattes, green teas, chai teas and any kind of herbal tea.

3 ) Develop a Sleep Schedule

Begin to understand how much sleep your body needs.  Do you operate better on 5 or 7 hours of sleep?  What habits are keeping you up late at night for no good reason?  When you establish a sleep pattern and give your body enough sleep to restore a day’s work, it pays you back handsomely with good energy all day.

4 ) Water Please

Nobody believes me but drinking water actually can keep you from being tired as well.  Our cells love to be hydrated.   Think of yourself like a plant, we stand taller and prettier with fresh water.

Half the battle of reducing your coffee dependency is the fear of letting it go.  After that, the results speak for themselves.  It definitely feels powerful to be the individual at work that does not need coffee to enhance their productivity.  I dare you to be different!


Day 6 – A dose for your own good

If you saw my last post, you might have noticed I was slowly turning into a frog with my voice.  Friday morning proved that I was officially a fallen soldier and had to call out of work.  I had lost my voice completely, felt feverish and had a mean sore throat. I wasted no time and took a visit to my local City MD. If you live in New York, you would have to agree that these new City MD establishments are kind of fantastic.  However, I have a new tale to tell because I left there a little bit surprised. This has a lot to do with what I am learning about our body’s natural ability to heal itself, the systemic issues that exist in our healthcare system and some common sense. I was diagnosed with Laryngitis which most likely was contracted from my contact with children.  He prescribed me lots of rest, fluids and four prescriptions: Ibuprofen (800 mg tablet)Magic Mouthwash Liquid, Azelastine Nasal Spray Aerosol  and Hydrocodone-Homatropine (Cough) syrup.

Out of curiosity, I asked the medical assistant, “Why do I need the 800mg Ibuprofen? Wouldn’t an Over the Counter ibuprofen be sufficient?” He simply answered, “Well this is stronger.”  In my opinion, this is a perfect example of when to self-reflect.  For the most part – a golden rule if you will – always be skeptical of the advice and information you receive.  What I am trying to get at is, sometimes your body will have to combat a sickness.  In that time, you will feel discomfort, unease and possibly some pain.  All of the above that was prescribed to me were not cures for my laryngitis.  They are simply intended to numb me through the uncomfortable process.  Not surprising since our modern American culture conditions us to believe we need to comfortably heal ourselves.  According to Eastern medicine, healing is not always an easy going process.  Not to mention that filling prescriptions is a detriment to the pocket!  If I decided to fill each prescription, I would have walked out of Walgreens with a sweet $85-105 expense.  Adding hard-earned dollars to the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. Just think about it.

Ok, so let’s talk about alternatives.  The Ibuprofen was intended to ease my discomfort.  If you don’t know, 800 mg is a large dosage, enough to ease a stallion.  My throat is in a state of inflammation and it needs the assistance of an anti-inflammatory.  If needed, I saw no harm in taking one if I felt uncomfortable but I could use the one in my medicine cabinet.  Oh and Hi! I am in the process of cleanse that is based off anti-inflammatory foods and practices that could only enhance my cause.  For the Magic Mouthwash Liquid, you could gargle fresh lime juice and salt.  This is an old school fix that my parents always told us to do whenever we felt soreness in our throats.  For the Azelastine Nasal Spray, you could use some kind of nasal irrigation device like a neti pot. This will flush out all the guck from your nasal trap.  I also learned that nasal sprays are an unexpected but common source of heavy-metal exposure. The most commonly found metal in nasal sprays is aluminum.  Ick!  As for the Cough Syrup, I went to my local health food store and asked the vitamin counter lady what alternatives she suggested. She recommended some lozenges instead by a brand called Olba’s.  So far, they’re great.

It has now been 2 days since my visit to the doctor’s and I feel tons better already.  I still have a slightly sore throat but I’m easing it with lots of Lemon Ginger tea that I make from scratch.  Let go of the teabags mi gente!  Oh, and according to my sister, I sound a little less painful to listen to 🙂

– Stephanie

Day 5 – Virtual introductions are in order

The world of Whole Foods, Fairway, Costco, Local Natural food stores such as our esteemed Perelandra in Brooklyn Heights does not come at a cheap price. Grant it with any new undertaking there is a general expected increase in spend due to new recipes and condiments however, the premium is a little higher with the Clean Program in my POV. By the way, Stephanie and I are bonafied Virgos and if you haven’t been formally introduced I am the quintessential Virgo in the family. Therefore, when the deciding question – local vs organic or farm raised vs wild caught are asked – without a doubt I am going to commit to the higher quality even if it hurts the budget and the Whole Foods Fish guy is trying to save me a few dollars by choosing farm raised. We see it as a long-term investment on our health and a commitment to the Cleanse. The fact is this has always been the goal but throughout the past 2 years, concessions have been made to meet the bills. For example, I will say one area that I will not be able to address for us during this Cleanse – and trust that I am still in the middle of my research – is the decision on a water filtration system. You see, Junger believes in pure water but Brita doesn’t fit the min requirement. In the interest of timing and the fact that a water filtration system involves “heavy duty” installation and monetary spend – I have decided this is out of scope. Our water intake for this period will consist of sparkling, seltzer; Brita filtered water, coconut and bottled water. I have taken personal note that in my future apt/home – this will be addressed.

When we began I didn’t think we were far off from the world of healthy nutrition. We were knowledgeable but made poor selections by choice, knowing the consequences. And now on Day 5 I feel as though we didn’t even scratch the surface on true nutrition. We are all well informed that we are nutritionally deficient Americans and could truly learn practices from many of our third world countries. The amount of education that I have gained from the last 2 weeks has been astounding, so much that the vegan culture seems so appealing and ultimately a goal. Evidently, our former way of eating was “healthier” then the average American diet makeup. But again who wants to be compared to that? That is not the proper benchmark. Unfortunately, this dream is harder to achieve due to the deception that we all have been victims of in the food industry, true to the American culture.


I started a conversation with Stephanie (which we still have to finish) about the costs related to eating better and really began the discussion stating how are low cost families expected to reap the benefits or for that matter begin a Cleanse like the Clean Program? Call it positive thinking or side effects of the Cleanse but I woke up today hopeful that change is possible for all Americans. Yesterday, I spent the better half of the day with 90 local gardeners from Brooklyn and Queens where the representative majority includes West Indians, African Americans and Latin-Americans that live in low-income sectors of the boroughs and my conversations really empowered the fact that this change is truly possible. I spoke to a lovely lady Sabriya from the Garden of Eden in Queens and she schooled me on some naturopathic options and how she has been eating locally for decades. I also met a strong activist, Yolanda from a Brooklyn Garden near Bushwick, Jon the Baptist, that shared with me a program she is working on to teach the community nutritional recipes via an outdoor cooking space she is installing at the garden. These ladies were quickly added to my iPhone address book.

In short, there have been real gains in a matter of one week. I am grateful for this journey and experiencing it with my lil sis and looking forward to the whole month of April.


Day 4 – Hey! I’m on video talking about the Cleanse.

I decided to change it up and post a video!

Excuse-me for the raspy voice. I’m feeling a bit sick but I couldn’t wait to talk about Day 1 of the actual Clean Cleanse. I talk a little about the Pre-cleanse experience and what the Cleanse actually means now moving forward.

Continuing on our path to being CasiClean!

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Day 1 – Let the Pre-Cleanse Begin!

Since it is Day 1, I thought it would be sweet to record how the day went hour by hour.   It gives you an idea of what I ate and for me, the emotions I experienced.  Also a tool for me to self-reflect on myself and what my bad habits really were before starting this.

5:45 a.m. — Had my Yerba Mate tea.  It tastes a lot like green tea just a little bit smoother on the bitterness. I’m using this as my coffee substitute right now and so far it works.

6:45 a.m. — Starting to feel hungry but not starving.  I’m in a decent mood.

7:45 a.m. — I was ready to have my raw cacao pudding that I made the night before.  I had a few bites before the 3 year old demanded my attention.  The pudding has avocados, raw cacao powder, almond butter, dates and water and let’s just say my taste buds really had to adjust.  Raw Cacao powder has a very strong after taste.  I think the only thing that makes it right to me is maybe going overboard on the dates. I added about 8 dates when the recipe only called for 3, oops?  Dates are a natural sweetener and smoothed out the harsh after taste.

9:30 a.m. — I didn’t have a chance to eat again and I was so hungry I couldn’t wait until I arrived home.  So, I may or may not have pulled out the pudding at the B61 bus stop and chowed down with a plastic spoon …

11:30 a.m. — I got home and took a long nap and when I woke up, I finished the rest of the cacao pudding.  This time I enjoyed it!  As with all new things, it just takes getting used to.

12:30 p.m. — I was feeling hunger pangs again and brewed some Rooibos tea and did work to keep my mind occupied.

1:25 p.m. — Lunch time!  We made a basic quinoa salad which was super delicious especially with some extra lemon.  I had almost 2 cups worth which I knew would last me awhile.  However, I have an extended afternoon so I packed up some extra quinoa in a half cup bowl and an apple.

3:30 p.m. — I was already feeling hungry and thought I should have a snack … but I didn’t.  I drank water instead and waited it out for awhile.

4:15 p.m. — Decided to have my apple. I’m not entirely certain that apples are allowed during the cleanse.  I need to look at the list of allowed foods to find out.  I figured since I’m still in the pre-cleanse phase, I can make it work.  It. tasted. fantastic.

5:15 p.m. — I was already itching for another snack.  I realized quickly that I had a bad habit of picking off the kid’s snacks when we got home from school.  I almost reached for a mini hot dog with ketchup until I remembered I’m on a cleanse!  The habit might be stress related or just pure habit.  Maybe stress related cause I try to keep the girls in a routine before their parents get home.  Again, I just went for water.  Water seems boring but it helps.

5:30 – 7:15 p.m. — I was busy focusing on the girls and getting things done which made it easy for me to forget about what my belly thinks it wants!

7:20 p.m. — I finished off the quinoa salad I packed in the small bowl before my commute.  My commute is about an hour give or take which is why I was saving the quinoa for the end.

8:03 p.m. — I felt pretty relaxed.  A part of me wanted to nibble on something but overall, I felt ok.  What I did feel was exhausted.  I would have loved to go straight to bed but I had dinner to look forward to!

8:16 p.m. — While walking out of the train station, I caught a whiff of someone’s french fries.  French fries are my guiltiest of guiltiest pleasures.  It’s a fried potato, and it’s so easy to eat, and waiting to be dipped in a sauce!  What’s not to love?  You totally crave the saltiest things when you start eliminating toxins from your diet.

9:30 p.m. — Dinner was served.  We had kelp noodles for the first time with Organic chicken, yellow and red bell peppers, broccoli florets with some Ponzu sauce.  All stir-fryed to perfection.  Like potatoes, I love anything that comes in noodle format.  It’s the carb gods that speak through me!   Even though these were made of kelp, they were still delicious!  Not to mention that my sister is a fantastic cook so I’m lucky my dinners won’t ever be bland.

After dinner, we went straight to work on preparing dinner for the next night and a new breakfast item.  Almond Butter Pancakes with a Yukon syrup to substitute maple syrup.  I probably didn’t get to bed until 11 p.m. which means I’m only getting roughly 5-6 hours of sleep.  This part, I need to work on because Dr. Junger does stress the importance of getting at least 7 GOOD hours of sleep.

Overall, I was able to realize that I am a walking snack machine.  I’m sure I tend to look like Brad Pitt in the movie Ocean’s Eleven who is constantly chewing on something! I realize this now, and I grab a glass of water instead.

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Day 0 – Midnight Prep Party



While the rest of New York is out galavanting, visiting opening parties, and encountering nightlife, you can find us prepping our first week of the Junger Cleanse on a Saturday night.  I broke out my Bristol pads, Jenn the iPad mini and our new bible.  All while downing several Gin Seltzer cocktails …

Hey!  Cleansing will not allow us to drink alcohol or caffeine for 21 days (sighs dramatically.)

PSA: We are not available for the month of April for any social gatherings. Catch us in May!

Just a quick breakdown of this cleanse:

– There’s a pre-cleanse (3 meals a day from the allowed meals off the Clean book)

– 21 day Cleanse (Shakes/Smoothies for Breakfast and Dinner and 1 “normal” meal for lunch)

We planned out our first week that includes 3 days of the pre-cleanse and the first 2 days of the cleanse! So far we feel pretty excited about the schedule.  There is a lot of nervous energy around prepping the meals but we chose recipes that were relatively easy or available in our kitchen to ease the anxiety.

Once we’re more acclimated on Week 2, we can get weird.  This detox program is (modestly-put) hefty on our bank accounts.  However, we have chosen to follow Shelly in Real Life’s DIY guide to cut costs. She provides lower-cost alternatives to some of the protein and supplements you need to take with every meal.  Shelly also has a comprehensive breakdown of what the Cleanse is all about.  Take a look at this shopping list of what we’re allowed to eat.  What I really feel excited about is that most of the food is really delicious and there are options!

We start this Monday and tomorrow we visit Fairway to tackle the longest shopping list I’ve ever put together.  ( See Below )  This process was mind-blowing because we had lengthy discussions on where to shop, how to shop and additional research to see why certain ingredients are important.  We kept having to pause Game of Thrones in the background because someone wanted to share what they learned about purified water vs. filtered water.  Which learning about how toxic modern day water can be is fantastically depressing shit.  Sorry, I really couldn’t express it in any other way.

It feels good to prep this kind of regimented cleanse in advance.  Know what you have in your kitchen already and get inspired with all the clean food your body is begging for!

– S

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