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C. Picara Vassallo


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Day #1 - Easier than expected??

Picara Vassallo

Yay! I made it through Day 1 and it wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected.  I even went to the grocery store after working out (what a terrible, terrible idea) and despite being hungry, I didn’t give in at all to any of the luscious treats Whole Foods had placed everywhere around me.  (If it was day 15, this may have been a disaster). The only other time I felt tempted was at night.  I had to stomp around my apartment a little and act like a child having a hissy fit.   I made myself a cup of herbal tea and the craving passed.  Otherwise, I felt really great and not hungry at all.  

Want to know what I ate??

Breakfast: Vegan protein shake with almonds & blueberries for breakfast

Lunch: A giant bowl of veggie soup made with my bone broth, bits of buffalo meat, and an egg. 

Dinner: Heritage pork chop with a cajun seasoning, a cooked salad made with a giant mound of kale steamed and then cooked in the pan drippings from the pork, raw carrot and ginger sauerkraut, with chia seeds. 

Dessert: A handful of blackberries, sprouted walnuts, yogi tea's honey lavender stress release tea.

I think part of my reason for feeling so satiated has to do with one the foods I talk about all the time - bone broth!

Mmmm... I love a good soup in the winter and there’s nothing like homemade bone broth to warm your bones.  It’s full of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and very easy to digest.  Plus, it may provide immune system benefits because the healing gelatin in it can strengthen our gut, which is where a lot of our immune system lives.  The silica and chondroitin in broth can help with your joint pain and all of the amino acids in the broth can aid tissue repair. Chinese Medicine believes that bones are a source of vitality that keeps us grounded, not hyped up. There’s even a doctor who believes that bone broth can reduce cellulite because of the collagen content.  Crazy, right?

Regardless of all the health benefits, I find bone broth delicious, nourishing, and satisfying.   I’ve got it going constantly in my kitchen.  Here’s how to make your own:


5 quarts of water (filtered)

1-2 lbs of bones 

3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is my favorite)

1 c of shitake mushroom stems

5 pieces of astragalus

5 pieces of reishi mushroom



  • I like to use grass fed, meaty neck or marrow bones for my stock.  I prefer buffalo bones but beef and lamb are also delicious.  Chicken bones are also okay and you will likely need to use a whole chicken frame for this recipe.  For some reason, chicken broth doesn’t do it for me so I don’t use it as much.
  • You can brown the bones in advance if you like.  I do this in my crock pot sine it has a browning function although it’s not necessary
  • If you want to add other veggies you can add carrots, onions, celery, parsnips.  You will likely want to strain them out as they will be mushy after a long cooking period. I’m keeping my broth as plain as possible
  • Put all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low heat for 24 hours.
  • Strain out the broth from the bones and any other ingredients


At this point, your stock is done! You can use the broth right away.  You can also keep the stock in the crock pot on low or simmer and continue to refill the crock pot as you use the broth throughout the week.  If I get to the bottom and need to refill the crock pot with a lot of water, I add more apple cider vinegar since it’s the ingredient that helps to pull the minerals out of the bones and into the liquid.  (Don’t worry, you won’t taste the vinegar as it cooks out!)

Other tips: 

  • If the stock appears greasier than I like, I turn the crock pot off and let the stock cool. Then I put the whole insert of the crock pot into the fridge and remove it a few hours later to skim the hardened excess fat off. The fat is NOT bad for you, but sometimes it helps with mouth feel to reduce some of the oil.  You can save this oil and use it in cooking later.
  • You can put cooled stock into jars for storage in your refrigerator or you can even put stock into ice cube trays for easy access when you need just a small amount.
  • Stock can be made into soups and used in dishes but it can also be taken as a beverage.  A warm mug of stock on a cold winter morning is incredibly satisfying.