I’ve know Karliin Brooks since she was a kid …a club kid, that is. Years later, Karliin has put all that behind her and is living the good life, dedicated to helping others live a healthy lifestyle by founding The Squeeze: a company devoted to “producing the best-tasting raw foods in the city, such as detox cleanses, superfoods, and fresh live produce prepared into raw gourmet meals.”
In this week’s series of “where are they now?” for fabulous types, Karliin is alive and very well. Her truck is a solution to getting your act together, and her partner is club royalty Jen Gatien, who has a successful film career. Gatien producedLimelight and a bunch of other flicks.
Karliin – who has worked for ABC as a freelance producer and owns a production location agency – graduated NYU with degrees in broadcast journalism and nutrition. It all makes sense now.
Karliin also has, at any given time, 15 to 20 pets under her care, which is why The Squeeze is cruelty-free. I caught up with my old friend and asked her all about it.
Tell me about raw food porn.
The Squeeze’s cold-pressed juice and raw comfort food have been known to induce states of euphoria. It tastes naughty, but it’s healthy! Our Mint Choco Chip Mousse is a babe – made with raw unpasteurized coconut meat, spirulina, Irish moss, and activated cashews. It’s so good, you’ll think you have to give it up for Lent. We convert high-energy raw food into something that people can recognize and would consume: like Mac ‘n Cheese, Funyuns, Almond Joys, Almond Buttercups – all your favorite American classics without the guilt. And lets face it, vegans taste better and have superlative stamina. I have done the research.
You certainly enjoyed your stint in clubland and saw its excesses and pitfalls. Did that experience shove you toward a healthier lifestyle?
I did bear witness to a tragic amount of ODs in my day. The ’90s were very excessive, very gluttonous very narcissistic. There was an utter disregard for personal responsibility regarding one’s health. Drug use and experimentation were rampant. Alkalization, raw juice, and cleansing were still foreign concepts. The green juice of the ’90s was a Midori punch laced w xtacy. All the club kids of yore are now juicing – the ones still alive and not incarcerated anyway. Pressed juice is the new drug of choice because it allows you to get high on your own supply and reclaim your beauty from the days of yore.
What makes your juice the craziest in the juice craze competition?
We use a lot of uncommon ingredients in our juices, like fennel, clementine, peppermint, dandelion, turmeric, and cayenne. We are also one of the few pressed- juice companies in NY that still use the Norwalk Juice Press. And we sing to our green juices. Music not only makes plants grow faster, but it increases the levels of enzymes and photonic energy in each juice.
Club people come home from a night of debauchery and unhealthy choices; what should be waiting for them in their fridge?
A blood transfusion and an enema kit. Food and beverage choices should be anything vegan and raw, and cleanses are a way to purify your blood the natural way, and a lot more fun. They’re a reboot button for our bodies. The best foods for restoring liver function after a night or 20 on the town are dandelion, chicory, endive, and rocket. For Christ’s sake, make a shake.
Here’s how to make a scrumptious and hearty detox smoothie:
4 – 5 x tomatoes
3 x stalks of celery
1/2 x spicy Pepper (optional)
1/2 x avocado
1/2 x bunch of fresh dandelion
1 medium sized endive
1/2 x the juice of a lemon
pinch sea salt
And 2 ounces of vodka (just kidding)
Or just order our liver detox juice from TheSqueezeJuice.com.
So how does juice cleansing actually work?
Cleansing gives your body a chance to clear out the accumulated toxins that have built up over your lifetime. Digestion takes up most of the body’s energy, and when there are more toxins coming in than the body can immediately eliminate, the body stores these toxins to "deal with later." The only problem is that unless you radically improve your lifestyle, "later" may never come. Supplementing your diet on the regular with Squeeze juices, smoothies, foods, and snacks help to maintain that balance.
What’s in your products and are animals everywhere smiling?
We are 100% cruelty-free at The Squeeze – except in the bedroom, of course. Products contain fresh, live food prepared into raw gourmet meals. Our mission at The Squeeze is to make animals smile. I have a small focus group of 18 animals that live with me, and they cannot attest to that.
How did you come to do this, and do you still work in production?
After years of being an armchair activist, I decided it was high time to vegucate the world about the health benefits of a plant-based diet for themselves, the planet, and the animals. Jen Gatien and I created a reality TV series called The Squeeze, a show about healing, human connection, and the dirty politics of food – all taking place in the three fattest cities of America.
What’s the advantage of the company being a truck instead of a store?
Visibility and presence at events and premieres, and allows us to keep our price lower. It also makes cruising vegan boys a lot more fun.
Where can I find you and will there be a fleet of trucks in other cities?You can find our truck in Union Square West and 15th St. and Chelsea at 26th St. between the West Side Highway and 11th Ave. We will have 2 trucks in The Hamptons this summer, and will be expanding to Bethesda MD and Miami soon
What did you eat yesterday?
I am not big into solids. I started the day with an aloe water and a shot of ginger. Once you go ginger you never go back. It gives you loads of sustained energy without the post-coffee slump. I had a couple of I Have a Heart-On’s (leafy green with pineapple and peppermint), a Jeans I Wore In High School (oj, grapefruit and lemongrass) and a Don’t Cry Over Spice Milk (spiced nut milk) which I consume warm, because it tastes like mother’s milk, which if mammary serves me, is also warm. Never heat food or beverages above 118 degrees lest you expose it to enzyme degradation. For dinner I had a strawberry cheesecake (coconut meat-based "cheesecake") and a gazpacho.