Charlie Fyffe is the Founder and CEO of Charlie's Brownies, a vegan and gluten free baked goods business in Los Angeles, CA. He's passionate about veganism as a lifestyle and equally about food as a source of healing. Aside from working as an entrepreneur, Charlie has spent considerable time giving back to the community through youth motivational speaking on entrepreneurship and the importance of financial literacy. Here he shares the practices that keep him healthy, happy, and full of positive energy!
I usually wake up between 7 and 8 AM. I start off by drinking half a glass of alkaline water with a big squeeze of lemon. This is a Japanese tradition known to activate cells, boost immunity, and provide a kick of energy after the body has been in sleep mode for hours. Sometimes I’ll also take a shot of apple cider vinegar to balance pH as well. The next step in my day is to write down a to do list and goals for the day. After some light stretches, sometimes full on yoga, I’m ready to attack the day. My day is usually spent working on recipes, doing research, and running errands for my business. I usually hit the gym in the afternoon to play basketball and do some light weights. A few days out of the week I go to the commercial kitchen that I rent out and bake lots of desserts that I sell at markets and food festivals. At night, I check emails, clean the house, watch basketball, and end with more stretches. I have a history of back problems from car accidents so stretching is very important for me. Yoga literally saved my life!
I’m a full-fledged vegan and mostly gluten-free. Since I'm not allergic to gluten, I’ll let it slide if it’s something along the lines of an amazing pizza or panini. I try to ensure that the wheat is at least organic so that I’m not exposing my body to unnecessary GMOs and chemicals. I also only purchase organic food when shopping at the market or farmer’s market. When eating out, it’s sometimes harder to stay on track with that, but I do make an attempt. Bananas are staples in my life, mixed greens, quinoa, and AVOCADO! I try to avoid non-organic fruit, especially those with thin skin such as strawberries and apples. I also avoid processed food and fast food like a plague. Breakfast: My breakfast is more often than not a protein smoothie. My go to combinations are mint chocolate, mango almond butter, berry banana, and pina colada with spinach. I use almond milk as the liquid base and Sun Warrior organic plant protein powder. Other additions sometimes include moringa powder, lucuma, chlorella, dates, maca and coconut milk. Another option for me is my favorite pitaya (dragon fruit) smoothie bowl which is essentially a smoothie blended really thick and eaten with a spoon and toppings which include cashews, flax seeds, my favorite Purely Elizabeth granola, and shredded coconut. Sometimes I add cacao nibs and hemp seeds, too. If not a smoothie, I usually eat some fruit like a banana or apple along with a Vegan Perfect Bar, my favorite! Lunch: For lunch I try to get my greens in. My go to salad is mixed greens with garlic quinoa, avocado, cherry tomatoes, pickled cabbage, and lemon vinaigrette. Sometimes I add in corn or garbanzo beans as well. If not a salad, I usually eat leftovers of a dish I made the night before. Snacks: For snacks, I LOVE Majestic whipped garlic and hummus with Mary’s Gone Crackers Herb or Jalapeno flavor. I also enjoy fruit, mixed nuts, dates with Nuttzo nut butter, potato chips if I’m feeling like a piggy and once again, Vegan Perfect Bars! Dinner: For dinner I usually eat hearty. My go to dishes are gluten-free penne pasta with hempseed pesto and greens, shepherd’s pie with avocado mashed potatoes and Hilary’s Eat Well Black Rice burgers as the meat base. I absolutely LOVE making nachos and different variations, sometimes with shredded jackfruit, other times with a hempfu wild rice blend that I make with taco seasoning, topped with Daiya and / or Heidi Ho cheese and corn, avocado, tomato, and cilantro. If I’m not cooking, I love to eat out at one of the many amazing restaurants we have in LA such as Stuff I Eat, Sage, Powerplant Superfood Café, Mohawk Bend, Little Pine, Chavela, Café Gratitude, Sun Café, Au Lac, etc. Drink: I drink alkaline water all day everyday to stay hydrated. I also enjoy organic green tea, kombucha, cold pressed juices, and turmeric lattes. Splurge: Cheesecake and Pizza! Vegan of course! Supplements: B12, spirulina, DHA, and priobiotics.
My fitness routine consists of yoga, basketball, and light weightlifting. I try to incorporate at least one of these three activities everyday, and some days I include all three. If I do take a class, it’s usually a yoga class at Green Tree Yoga in my neighborhood. I really like yoga because I found it to improve and steady my mood, easy my body’s pains and aches, and it helps to keep me on track spiritually with my authentic self and the path I’ve chosen in life.
In any relationship, I value communication, thoughtfulness, respect, especially in regards to my time, genuineness, compassion, honesty, and support for my journey. I also value people that have a knowledge base completely foreign to mine. I like to learn from others and I usually steer clear of stagnant energy.
Most importantly, I like a really clean home environment. Vacuuming, swiftering, and doing dishes right away are staples. I like to keep lots of ingredients available so that I can get creative in the kitchen. My roommates always love me because I love to cook! Yummy food definitely keeps a happy house.
Stress-Release and Centering Tools
I’ve been through many ups and downs in life up to this point, so grounding myself has been something that has taken practice. Since I run my own business, setting goals and making very detailed plans keeps me away from that stressful zone of not knowing where my next dollar will come from. Yoga is huge in keeping me centered and feeling good. I also, like to refer to the ten scrolls laid out in the book "The Greatest Salesman in the World". I have them written down in my phone. They are some really great rules and codes to live by. I try not to let financial situations or material possessions dictate my wellbeing. Just being grateful for having a life and the simple things can really put things into perspective and help us to realize what is really important.
I’m very passionate about healing myself and others naturally and promoting sustainable living. Life is the most beautiful experience imaginable and I really believe that it is our job to enjoy it, love each other, and leave as small a carbon footprint as possible on this mother earth. In reality, humans are living in a way that is not conducive to feeding the world or preserving the planet. We’re pretty destructive in our nature so I try to be the opposite. My journey as a vegan chef and natural healer lights my soul. I love eating amazing food meanwhile showing others that you do not need to murder any harmless creatures to satisfy your taste palette. My happy place is on the beach, relaxing, or doing yoga. Spending time with my family replenishes me. I’m excited about building a successful brand in Charlie’s Brownies, something that I have been working on for over 10 years and now it’s finally starting to flourish.