What is your food philosophy?
I believe that food is our lifesource and should be honored as such. I use food as a tool to foster a connection between my body, mind and soul. Additionally, I encourage people to see food as a way to nurture a relationship with their most pure and divine self.
How did you get into cooking?
When I was younger (around 5 or 6), I used to ask the babysitter if I could cook my own food. I would convince her by lying and telling her that my parents let me cook when they were home lol I started with simple dishes like macaroni and mashed potatoes. I loved being in the kitchen from the start!
What led you to becoming plant based? And how is it going?
I was raised a vegetarian my whole life. Switching to being plant based was a natural consequence of educating myself on the food industry. The environmental effects as well as the physical impact animal products have on our bodies is just so toxic. While I started eating plant based for ethical reasons, I soon realized that the impact being plant based has is cyclical in the way that it preserves the environment which in turn protects one’s body and mind. When we are healthy, we become more in tune with mother nature and its need to be preserved, and that cycle continues to feed itself through our evolution.
How do you start the day?
How you start the day is essential! When my routine is on point, my day is always successful. I start with drinking hot water with lemon which stimulates your digestive system and helps the body to better digest and eliminate foods.
Then I will juice a cucumber & celery for its anti-inflammatory properties. Now it's time to do a form of movement like kundalini yoga or hop on the peloton. I always try to make sure I have time for some chanting or meditation. After movement, I will make an elixir with superfoods like maca, mesquite, spirulina, hemp seeds, chia seeds, moringa, cinnamon, turmeric, cacao, vegan protein powder, ashwagandha & rainbo mushroom tinctures! Throughout the day I drink a concoction of herbs like nettle, peppermint, oatstraw, lemon balm, etc that have spent the whole night steeping.
How were you introduced to the power of plants?
I was participating in cleanses that required me to consume only whole plants in their most pure forms. I noticed how amazing I felt. I had more energy, more clarity, more focus, and emotionally I felt more balanced during these cleanses.
Food can be used as a coping mechanism or as a distraction from the present moment in the same way that drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, etc. are used to falsely fulfill ourselves.
When I was doing these cleanses, because I was only able to focus on one food at a time, I noticed it increased my presence and awareness in everything I did. I didn't have the distraction of variety in my meals to look forward to so it forced me to turn inward to find fulfillment. Because I was so present during this time, I was really able to notice the medicinal impact of each plant I was consuming. It's always an incredible experience!
How do nudity and food intersect for you?
Both are organic and pure. When you combine the two, it allows you to nurture your most pure and bare self! The way I see it is— our bodies are our true homes. We should love them at their most basic state and we should show our appreciation by feeding it with wholesome nutrients.
What inspired you to start hosting nude dinner parties? What do you hope people take away from these dinners?
To extend the opportunity for people to experience their most natural selves in a safe environment is my intention.
Each person leaves the party feeling liberated. To connect beyond their bodies and be present within themselves in a group of people trying to achieve the same creates an atmosphere of self love, connection, and freedom.
Any advice on how to get more comfortable in your skin?
By getting more in touch with your vulnerability. I don't just do this through nudity— I am practicing vulnerability in every aspect of my existence by connecting to the depths of my innermost self. Meditation, yoga, breathwork and chanting have been crucial tools in helping me accomplish this!
What's always in your fridge?
My Rainbo mushroom tinctures! I add them to my morning elixir. It helps give me a kickstart in the morning. It’s a healthier alternative to coffee since I don’t like drinking caffeine regularly.
What’s always in your pantry?
Dried nuts and beans. My favorite source of protein. I love the ancient grains from Kandarian Farms. Kandarian Farms has ancient grains with some seeds dating back as far as 22,000 + years.
What music do you play while you cook?
I usually play a playlist by my friend Quinton. He has an array of playlists for every occasion. My favorite playlist of his is Feel Good Naked
What do you turn to, to make you feel your best: food and all the other practices?
When I feel off, I make an elixir specifically for what I feel I need. Usually, it is complete with superfoods. Whether it's breathwork, movement or meditation, any activity that helps me connect to myself is a go to.
Currently, I use the open app frequently to find a good breathwork / meditation session. The app offers a range of breathwork sessions that take varying amounts of time, so fitting it into my schedule is never an issue.
Favorite kitchen tool?
The blender makes it possible for me to make many of the plant based ingredients in my meals. Between plant based creams / cheeses, salad dressings, etc. I use it pretty much every time I cook!
Dream dinner party guests?
RuPaul, Deepak Chopra, Oprah, Jim Carrey, Paul Stamets, Jane Goodall & Lizzo of coure! Oh! and my besties Niko and Quinton:)
What ingredient are you most excited about right now and why?
Oftentimes I’ll learn about a plant and then find myself excited to start incorporating it into recipes. Recently I learned about pomegranates and their wonderful properties! They are full of vitamins c and k. Additionally, they regulate blood flow, have a ton of fiber, are good for your gut and are a powerful aphrodisiac! I find myself falling in love with pomegranates lately.
Go-to meal that you make for yourself more often than not?
I like to keep variety because it’s so exciting to learn new recipes and try them out! If I were to choose one thing I’d say I find myself making different curries a lot.
PURPLE SWEET POTATO CURRY
By Charlie Max
4 small purple sweet potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups organic spinach
Handful of cilantro
In a medium pot heat coconut oil on med high heat for 1 min. Sauté onion & potatoes for 20 minutes. Then add curry powder and coconut milk.
Mash the potatoes. Then add spinach and stir until just barely wilted. Scoop into bowls alongside your favorite grain and garnish with a touch of cilantro and a splash of lime.