Breaking down barriers with Nudity with Charlie Ann Max
EP 34

Breaking down barriers with Nudity with Charlie Ann Max

Show Notes:

Join me on my first nude podcast! Today, I’m joined by Charlie Ann Max, the founder of Füde, a liberating space devoted to nudity, food, and healing. Charlie is a multidisciplinary artist dedicated to connecting humanity back to their purist selves through her creative work. Our conversation is focused on nudity as a lifestyle choice, the barriers that it breaks down, and the ways this simple act gets us into vulnerable states.  

Being naked is an invitation to drop the layers, metaphorically and physically, and experience yourself with others in a raw and vulnerable way. Charlie and I talk about the many benefits of being nude with others like we are in this episode! Her path to nudity as a way of living helped her overcome body issues and express herself in ways she never imagined.

Charlie’s company, Füde, creates liberating experiences and spaces for people to experience their most pure selves through plant-based cooking, art, nudity, mindfulness, discussion, and self-love. She shares how cooking and eating naked brings a deeper intimacy around ourselves and our nourishment. Her experiences are truly transformative!

Even though censorship and social stigmas have not made Charlie’s path an easy one, she’s realized each hardship she’s overcome has actually pushed her creativity in unexpected directions. In this way, she has found in-person experiences to be where the real magic happens in transgressing boundaries. We wrap up the episode by sharing what we’re into eating at the moment, food energetics, and cooking with mushrooms. Get ready, you may want to take your clothes off for this one. 


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • Nudity as a way of living
  • Why practicing nudity feels life-changing 
  • The Füde dining experience brings new levels of pleasure and self awareness
  • The energy of food
  • Healing body image issues through nudity 
  • Charlie’s mushroom cooking tips

Resources Mentioned:

  • Use ‘THERAINBOPODCAST’ for 15% off at checkout on Rainbo products
  • Images from Carolyn Lorée Teston: @__carolyne__

Guest Info: 

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Show Transcript:

Tonya Papanikolov  00:04

Hi, welcome to the Rainbo podcast. I'm your host, Tonya Papanikolov. Love, Rainbo and I are on a mission to upgrade humanity with fungi and expand the collective conscious. This podcast builds a virtual mycelial network of bold, open minded thinkers and seekers. I chat with experts thought leaders, healers, scientists, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers, activists, and dreamers. These are stories of healing, human potential and expansion. Tune in root in expand and journey with us. 


Tonya Papanikolov  00:45

Greetings, my friends. Thanks for coming back for another episode. Today I'm sitting down with Charlie Ann Max who is a friend of mine and a multidisciplinary artist, the founder of food and a graduate of both the Jeffrey belay and the health supportive culinary programme at the Institute of Culinary Education. She is dedicated to connecting humanity back to our purest selves through all of her creative endeavours. Charlie's work strives to create a transformative experience of purity and human connection, whether it be through activism, directing, plant based cooking or hosting events. 


Tonya Papanikolov  01:28

As an advocate for body positivity, wellness and anti censorship, Charlie pushes the boundaries towards liberation and all aspects of her work. So my conversation with Charlie is largely focused around nudity and nudity as a lifestyle choice of hers and all the barriers that it breaks down and the ways that it gets us into vulnerable states. And really just the experience at her food events that are largely nude, if not entirely nude, and what that experience is like for guests. And we just chat a lot about some of the barriers that she's broken through on social media and having gotten banned. And just the interesting kind of her experience with this lifestyle choice of hers. And we talk a lot about food and her food choices, how that's evolved over time and the joys of just creating home cooked meals, and nourishment of all kinds. 


Tonya Papanikolov  02:32

And it's a really beautiful conversation that I know you'll enjoy. And let's dive into it. Also, just in case, you're wondering, those were peacocks in the background, if you can hear the Chi. I'm currently living with various peacocks in the backyard. So that's a true story. Hello, Charlie. Hello. It's great to be with you today and catch up and chat. And obviously, we're both in the nude, which is as we're both just saying it's our first nude podcast, which is really cool. It is


Charlie Ann Max  03:08

very cool. And thank you for having me on. And I'm so glad that you're, you're down to be naked, but you're naked girly. So


Tonya Papanikolov  03:15

yeah, it's not our first time being naked together. That's true, which is beautiful. We've cooked some meals in the nude. And yeah, I love that. It's a wonderful invitation that you are putting out to drop the layers metaphorically and physically. And like I'm already showing up. Let me tune in how am I feeling I'm feeling myself, which I think is pretty powerful. 


Tonya Papanikolov  03:41

People want to feel like that. And sometimes it's hard to feel like that. But I just want to thank you for like all that you do in this in this way of like very profoundly inviting people to experience themselves with others in a way that's really raw and vulnerable. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  03:58

thank you. I feel really honoured and grateful that I've found creating in this way and also meeting amazing people like you it's I feel like it's given me access to one feel really aligned to myself and practice what alignment looks or what authenticity actually is and feels like. And that just automatically connects me to other people like you and I love it. So thank you.


Tonya Papanikolov  04:23

How did it come to be like, how did nudity as a life what would you call it? Is it a philosophy? Is it a way of living?


Charlie Ann Max  04:31

I think it's a way of living. Yeah. Sofia life. I mean, it's so much. I came into it randomly. I had a lot of body issues, and I was a dancer growing up since I was three and I didn't feel very connected to myself and nudity was something that really helped me find connection. And I didn't understand it at the time. But as I've been practising nudity for for a longer period of time now, it makes sense because it does represent nudity is not just being naked, it represents peeling back our layers to our most vulnerable state. And we're practising vulnerability, which ultimately strengthens us and who we are so that way, we could just be more confident and secure in who we are. Yes.


Tonya Papanikolov  05:21

So beautiful. And what was the journey like with like, I imagine some form of a progressive experience of like, the body image issues that so many humans face. And then what was it about the process of like, okay, I'm new now. And like, maybe at first, did it feel different than how it feels now? Like, it's been this practice of, how has that evolved into, like, really respecting and looking at your body differently? Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  05:50

I'm really grateful for it, because it continues to support me. I feel like as women are just humans, we are constantly in flux. Our bodies are constantly changing. I know mine is. And nudity is such a nice place to come back to I'm certainly a lot more comfortable with nudity than when I first started, I think I liked the at first, it almost seemed a lot scarier than what it was. And now it's a whole new level. Like I've just, I'm almost more comfortable naked than wearing clothes. That's


Tonya Papanikolov  06:25

so cool. Wow. Yeah. And I mean, at what point were you like, did it move from private to public and wanting to create in that way?


Charlie Ann Max  06:37

I don't know. So much happened. I was like, going through so many changes. I'd been dancing my whole life, I fractured my spine. So I stopped dancing. And through that, I went through a big explorative phase. And I was trying everything because I was like, Who am I without dance. And so it was like an identity crisis. And nudity was one of the things that I explored. And from there, I think I started practising nudity around people, and it became more of a part of what is that called like more normalised, and myself and my community and the people around me. And then I started cooking naked, often. And from there, I feel like that stems like a whole new branch of life with what I was experiencing. And also like inhabiting to.


Tonya Papanikolov  07:27

It's interesting. I've I've had the pleasure and joy of cooking in the nude with you. And it was my, I think, like, Yeah, I think it was probably I mean, I've definitely been naked, like in the kitchen a lot. But in an intentional way, cooking a meal. It was it was a really intimate experience. And it also defines a new way of experiencing intimacy with ourselves, and the foods that we're eating, and this driving desire to create beautiful things. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  07:57

I feel like being like, natural are things naked at its like, essence, to me is so beautiful. And so when you have experiences of like experiencing the Ross form of something, yeah, it's such a nice experience.


Tonya Papanikolov  08:15

Yeah, I love that. Do you find there's a lot of curiosity around this, like, what are some of the most common questions that somebody will ask? I feel like,


Charlie Ann Max  08:26

it's always like a big initial shock, which shocks me and now it's gotten to a point where I don't even like to talk about what I do sometimes. And I've been kind of practising what to say about it. But people are always just like, can't put wrap their minds around people being naked with strangers. And also, I think sometimes the food aspect is funny with people. 


Charlie Ann Max  08:48

But I always tell people or I started telling people, it's a lot more interesting. Or it sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is. It's like actually the most natural most like, way you're feeling and then like everyone blows it up as this crazy like thing when it's not I don't think it is that crazy,


Tonya Papanikolov  09:07

right? Yeah, that's so interesting. I didn't even consider that like food aspect, but it's also like, it's like, it's hilarious. Like, obviously, there's like your parts are contained. Yeah, anyways, but I get that I think it's the beauty to have like so much stigma that is kind of like coming down with the way that we exist and perceive what is normal. So it's a it's a radical way to explore that boundary. I feel and


Charlie Ann Max  09:36

also Yeah, what you're saying. I think also we've been so sexualized nudity is so sexualized when right it is so natural, and it was yeah, there's so much around it so charged.


Tonya Papanikolov  09:49

Yeah, it's a really good point. 100% There is like a lot of intimacy in being nude, like especially when you're first maybe trying it out or are the instances that we find ourselves are like these privates places where we close the door or like, I didn't really, I grew up in a pretty open door household. 


Tonya Papanikolov  10:08

So like, I was very comfortable with it, except when I started going through puberty, and then it was like, oh, like, you know, I felt shame. And that's, I think this like, really root level, like guilt and shame is at the, like, the Root Chakra, kind of like, there's a lot that we all process there around body shame, or just like, it's lopsided, or it looks like this, or whatever that is. So there's so many, so many ways to to work with that. And this is such a profound one.


Charlie Ann Max  10:37

Yeah, I also think that's why it's so like, when people are practising nudity or experiencing nudity in a group for the first time. It's always so a lot of people say life changing and these big words, but I think it is because you realise it's not actually, like we learned that it's not actually such a thing. And you're like, Oh, why was I wrapped up? Around here, too? Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  11:02

it's really interesting. I'm so incredibly impressed. And yeah, just like, in awe, I think of just like putting, doing doing this in this way. And a experiences of the new dinners which I want to chat with you about doing when the for Rainbo. Yeah. So like, how will you tell us a little bit about those experiences, what the feedback is, what is it like? I haven't been to one yet. Oh, yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  11:28

you have to come and like, Yeah, well, and yes, we have to do a rainbo one. So it is a really special intentional curated space. The entire menu is plant based. And most things are from local farmers markets. I'm starting to grow herbs. Now that I can, like try to learn how to grow everything I can, but each event is themed. For example, around Valentine's Day, we did one with one of my favourite herbalist and friend Sasha.


Charlie Ann Max  12:00

And we did self love and healing utilising the properties of Rose. So the entire menu was infused with Rose, she talked about why it's such a powerful heart opener. And we all got a really good sense of that, which is amazing. But all the dinners are themes. It's always a four course plant based meal for the dinners or the dining events. And we have a mindfulness practice either breathwork movement meditation, and I'm looking into other fun activities to also open up ourselves to. And then we have the group discussion around the theme around the table. 


Charlie Ann Max  12:40

So it's a really nice way to connect within community. And we always start with I'm like jumping around with this experience. But we always start with a mindfulness practice. And I have like a very short window of when people come in and enter. So that way, everyone I know a lot of people who are attending the experiences are attending for the first time, like naked in a group. So a lot of people are scared, don't know what to expect. So we have like, 10 to 15 minutes where like, we open the doors, and we lock the doors. And so you can't like get in after if you're late. And then we go straight into the movement and mindfulness practice. So people feel a little more grounded by the time we're actually having the meal itself.


Tonya Papanikolov  13:23

Beautiful. Beautiful. Yes. I'm like fully envisioning a rainbo-like mushroom experience centred around connection.


Charlie Ann Max  13:35

That would be so good. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Wow.


Tonya Papanikolov  13:39

And so what's the frequency? Like? Do you are you having these experiences lot and also just like, tell me about your life? What are you What is what is kind of the main focus right now? And what's capturing your attention and heart and creation?


Charlie Ann Max  13:54

Yeah, well, food is the main focus right now. And it's kind of been so weird how that's happened before. It was like half food, half my personnel and influencing and modelling and doing that, and then my Instagram got deleted permanently. So all I have is that food account? Yeah.


Tonya Papanikolov  14:15

Okay, we'll talk about it later.


Charlie Ann Max  14:17

Yeah. And so lately, I just been putting all my focus into food, and so much you can do with this project. So it's like the dinners itself. I want to get back into making recipe videos. I stopped that for a while because I was so discouraged by my accounts getting deleted all the time that I was like, Ah, who cares? I don't. So that's why I started creating intentional in person spaces. 


Charlie Ann Max  14:42

And it was interesting when I was so grateful that my accounts have been deleted so many times because each time it's always pushed me in a direction that I needed to go in. And yeah, doing food, the dinners would not exist if the accounts were not getting deleted. Wow, really grateful for that.


Tonya Papanikolov  14:59

Wow, that is so cool. Also, just like the fact that I just love thinking that like your existence, it like breaks the mould of the platform like, that's fucking badass. It is. And I mean, it's all it's also lame. And, you know, because also like a lot of your stuff would be, it'd be blurred out, right? Yeah, everything was censored, but that still wasn't okay. No, I


Charlie Ann Max  15:29

was like, the guidelines would change every so often. And so then I noticed that and be like, Oh, I have to be more conscious of using these words. And honestly, I don't know. And then words to and I didn't think about that. I always thought it was the visuals. And even when I think I did a mushroom rainbo mushroom post. And that post kept getting deleted, and it was so censored and I would censor it over and over. And it was this video with three other women. Yeah, that was so cute. And I kept getting delete it. And it was just because of talking about mushrooms. So I'm sure you face some of that with your account too, just from what you do. Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  16:08

yeah, we have our like, do not speak these words, which include like, I don't know, normal stuff, like psychedelics, or dare we say psilocybin or talk about, like, what people are talking about, or what's in the zeitgeist or like, what really matters. And it's a really interesting time around all of this. And just like, considering censorship of the body of the mind of like, where we can also push the boundaries of our own consciousness. Like, it really is bringing up so much, so many rules. And I think that's like, that's a really potent place to explore.


Charlie Ann Max  16:49

That's why I think in person experiences are so important. And after the pandemic thing started opening up, I feel like I've been seeing so many other communities grow. And that's a space where we can ask questions and learn without limitation of this social media, like Instagram platforms, or social media platforms, or the internet in general, where I think we are constantly censored for things.


Tonya Papanikolov  17:16

Totally. And so how has he just moved to a new area? And what is food look like for you right now? We chatted a bit about kind of starting to make a lot of your own meals. And tell me about that. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  17:32

I've been practising or I've like been making a promise with myself that I want to cook at least two of my meals a day, myself, I'm trying to cook all of them. But I feel like so you know, there's certain things you meet people, like, you know, breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner we're working with. And yeah, it's such an important thing, because I'm very passionate about food and the alchemy with food and the things that you are consuming. 


Charlie Ann Max  18:04

And I think it's really important to be intentional with that. And I think the more you have practice with cooking for yourself and cooking for others, you get a little more fine tune with your energy going into it. And you can kind of play with like, how conscious you are being and I feel like you're able to digest the food a lot better. It feels better. It feels like more nutrients goes into your body when you are being intentional and conscious with the things that you're cooking and how you're cooking them. Yeah, I think that there's so many places, I mean, restaurants, even the best restaurants in the world, I feel like sometimes fail to deliver that personal connection and too much of it, I think doesn't nourish us.


Tonya Papanikolov  18:50

Yeah, I would always like when I was cooking for people actually don't even know if I've told you this, but I used to host a lot of dinners. Before I started even though I was doing like curated dinner experiences with clothes on like, but very similar to what you would do but plant these plant forward meals and really inviting intentional conversation. 


Tonya Papanikolov  19:07

And I would cook pretty basic things but I would put so much heart and love and soul into it. And like in the kitchen I'd be singing and you know, like fused with mantras and, and little things and like this constant piece of feedback would be like, Oh my god, your food is so delicious. It's so incredible. How did you make this and I'm like, literally, it was a coconut oil and cauliflower guys, like if I didn't invent like, you know, it'd be really simple. And I was like, No, I mean, there's something to the energy of food. Totally.


Charlie Ann Max  19:36

That's so amazing. And it's so true. The simplest things people were like, and I'm like it was salt, pepper, coconut oil and water literally that's it. Yeah. So crazy. Wow. I love that. I think also like me and my brother will go to restaurants sometimes and it's we have very different tastes but we'll sit there and he like makes fun of me. Because if it's a place where you could just sometimes taste that, oh, there was no love. Oh, yeah, hair, and I'll say that and he's like, how do you know? Like ask about the owners and things and I'm like, see there's no love or care.


Tonya Papanikolov  20:14

It tastes I'm so so the same. Yeah, it's funny. I mean, like, I remember working with like, this doctor shaman guy for a little while. I mean, I didn't even really work with him. I just had a meal with him, but he was just kind of joking. Just being like, he doesn't matter anyway. Like, I can eat a bag of chips. And if I change my state, and this is like, it's pretty out there. It's pretty esoteric, but he's like, I can change the essence of this meal just based on on my personal state. 


Tonya Papanikolov  20:44

And like, I think that's maybe also a good lesson too. for just anybody going into it is like, okay, maybe you're eating food that wasn't cooked with the most love and you can feel it but like, can you just sit with your plate for a moment and like, put your love into that meal? And like, charge that especially when you know, like, okay, oh, I need to eat this food, but I'm not feeling a connection to it or whatever it might be. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  21:06

I love that. That's a great practice to sit with your food before you consume it no matter if you could do for yourself or if someone else or you're at a restaurant and things Yeah, it's a you can so that's


Tonya Papanikolov  21:19

I love that you said that about about the cooking with with love. What are you currently making for breakfast? lunch dinner? What are your some of your go twos? So I definitely need some inspo for breakfast.


Charlie Ann Max  21:29

Yeah, I know breakfast is never my thing. But I do a lot of chia seed pudding, because they're really like easy and I can store that in the fridge overnight and then it gets yummy. And then you add like almond butter berries or just be really simple. I do and Alexa in the morning to that has a few different things. And sometimes I'll add my rainbo mushrooms in that if I remember. Yeah, and it really like every time I if I'm like going through periods where I'm doing that every day and I stop you really feel like the difference of what it's doing. I love my shooting shirts.


Tonya Papanikolov  22:08

I'm so grateful to hear that just a note on that is like the aspect of love was like that's going to be my secret ingredient. Nobody will trademark it but because for products to like there's all like there's like super highly sensitive energetic people that have picked up the bottle that like don't know anything about me or the anything the company and they're just like a resounding like yes, this product is has a high vibration and I'm like okay, so then it works so then like literally what I set out to do on day one people feel pretty incredible.


Charlie Ann Max  22:40

Oh yeah, you feel the intention and things you create, especially when things are highly made out of love and very intentional. It's so deeply felt from like, whatever skill if you realise it or not, it attracts the people that need it and want it and feel it and all the good things. I love that but


Tonya Papanikolov  22:58

back to your breakfast.


Charlie Ann Max  23:01

Breakfast Yes, I love an avocado in the morning as well. And then for lunch I like to do I love a good soup. And they're always so simple and easy. I love salads lunches, probably my favourite things to cook and make but I love different greens salads. Those are my favourite and I love just simple lemon olive oil and like salt and pepper as the dressing and it's like everything I love being salads. Garbanzo beans are my favourite. I recently just started like I've had these black garbanzo beans from Ken Darian farms, and I don't think they're still going anymore. But I've been like I haven't used them yet. And I've been soaking them every day and boiling them every day because I love them so much. Which


Tonya Papanikolov  23:48

is cool. It gives me good inspo I think especially with the soups, I I love soups, so so much. When I was doing a lot of gut healing, there was like a one year period where I my friend and I that lived together. We were both nutritionists and like just would try the most outrageous things. So we basically we lived I swear to you, we ate soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we would add a little bit of protein in with kit with sauerkraut. And just like pure like, like a Yeah, cauliflower, celery, rutabaga, like lots of different veggies that we'd get in there. And it was very, very powerful. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  24:33

that's interesting. I'm working on healing my gut now. And I feel like I was travelling so much which didn't help my gut and also travelling also promotes a lot of eating out and I'm starting to find a disconnect. I was starting to find a disconnection with myself and the things I was consuming again and I was getting in that cycle. And so this move has really like promoted me really nourishing myself and cooking for myself and I already, like, my gut is already healing so much. But I want to I'm inspired by the sauerkraut to I feel Yeah, it would really help.


Tonya Papanikolov  25:07

Yeah, it's I started to make it at some point, but then I think I don't know, didn't didn't always work. But yeah, the sauerkraut was a really nice addition. And also just like the vinegar you like, we would put pour some of the juice in. Oh, so we would actually know also, extra virgin olive oil, like a big drizzle of that, along with the kimchi and like sometimes some pumpkin seeds that we would toast. And it was just like, so nourishing. 


Tonya Papanikolov  25:31

So I know we're going into like, spring and summer, but I guess there's still ways to do like cooler soups. Yeah. We when we do our dinner, we should do a farmers market together. Yeah. sanim What have you been beef obviously been to many farmers markets. Yeah, the Santa Monica. And it's just so epic. But I would love love to do that with you. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  25:54

let's do it. Oh, when you come to Topanga. They also just started to pick a farmers market. I think like three weeks ago, on Friday.


Tonya Papanikolov  26:04

It went literally three weeks ago. But maybe that was the first one I don't know. But it was it was awesome.


Charlie Ann Max  26:08

I'm excited. I haven't been able to go yet. But I'm excited to go next Friday.


Tonya Papanikolov  26:12

Okay, so I'll come I'll be there with you next Friday. I'm pretty sure they have like bulk coconut milk, which really, really excited me.


Charlie Ann Max  26:19

Oh, that's amazing. Because also coconut milk always has like all the added extra things that we just don't need in it. And it's hard to find like, good pure coconut milk. And I'm sure they got it. Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  26:32

I didn't go to that section we had to run. But we'll get together. I want to circle back a bit to like, around body image issues. Because then like I've had my fair share as well. How has because food is such a big part of that. Did you go through, like disordered eating habits? Are there moments where you have to be careful with like relationships that you have with food.


Charlie Ann Max  26:56

Yeah, I think even I mean being a dancer, that was always really intense. And I did I was going to ballet schools. And so we're like in leotard and tights and constantly comparing ourselves to others and the teachers would even like I feel like promote sometimes that eating habits and tell us to look at our eating habits. I remember when I was like in fifth grade, I was just having a lot of body dysmorphia. I mean constantly up until I was like 20. Ish. 


Charlie Ann Max  27:24

And the teacher was like, Well, let's look at your eating habits. And like, it's probably the things you're eating, maybe you're eating too much. And so that was like, so maybe they were probably coming from a good place. But that was I took it the wrong way. And so I was really conscious about what I was eating. And I feel like maybe I'm doing that now, but more in a way that I'm actually looking at being conscious with nourishment rather than with the goal of like being skinny. Yeah. Which is a huge problem. Yeah, little bit


Tonya Papanikolov  27:55

caloric caloric intake. Yeah, it's been a journey for me too, with like, I think for me, it's most of it's been like around restrictions, as well. I think just like played with for a while, like, especially when I was seven, I was I think I was 18 I became a vegetarian. And I think what I was masking that as, like, at least it was part of it was like, Oh, this is gonna be a way for me to control the foods that I eat. And for people asking me questions, and like, it was just my way of, I think control was, like, the essence of what it like, often really roots down into is like you feel out of control in whatever way or aspect in your life. And yeah, and it's just interesting, because, like, you know, my experience with gut issues to, which is like, of course, yeah, it's like, that's the beauty of, I think alkalizing your internal processes. 


Tonya Papanikolov  28:52

And all of this is like, oh, some of that anxiety and stuff got taken up in my like in this very, like sacred brain like gut brain of mine, where like, this is where I this is, you know, part of my work in this life. So it's interesting, and I honour myself and the journey that it's taken to, like heal my gut and really be honest, like, because that's so much of what's required when you're like, getting real with yourself about like, Well, why do I feel like I need to cut this food out? Or like what's the motivating force? And like, can I shed more light and self awareness to this aspect of me? Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  29:29

totally. What's your diet like? No,


Tonya Papanikolov  29:31

I'm pretty much eating everything. Cool. Yeah. Which is new as of two years ish. Yeah, around 2022 January 2022. I started to introduce some animal proteins. So the things that like just really don't work with my body are dairy. Yeah, don't do milk or cream, but I can have a little bit of butter thankfully, because it's so delicious. Yeah. And yes, like animal proteins in moderation. I love plants. 


Tonya Papanikolov  29:55

It's still very plant forward, but I'm like largely just trying to like Find my centering in the fact that like a little bit of everything feels really good. There's like, so many trends towards like, carnivore only or vegan only or whatever. Like it's kind of soup du jour like what's what's it going to be this year that people are really interested in? And I think just coming back to the basics of like, what feels really good like macrobiotic foods, and diets feel really good. and Mediterranean foods feel really good. And I love fish and just like making sure that yeah, there's like Whole Foods and nourishment.


Charlie Ann Max  30:30

Yeah, I can relate to that. I feel like when you are very controlled with your eating habits, it's not always good. Obviously, there's like, and I went for, I think, I don't know how long I was like, full strict plant base. And I was like, I will not have like, even if I took a sip or a bite of something. And I didn't even know I'd be so upset that like, I just had like milk accidentally or something like that. Because I'm like, Oh, my body's so pure. And now I have this empirical totally, totally now for like, I think the last two years as well, I've been a lot more balanced and open with the things that I want and the things that my body also is telling me at once to


Tonya Papanikolov  31:14

Yeah, and that's a really good point is like the Yeah, just like menstruating actually changed when I started to introduce some red meat to my diet. Like, I started to just have way better blood flow. And I felt I also like I gained a bit of weight and like it just I was like, Oh, I feel like this is like natural me. Like it feels sustaining about Yeah, no, I guess you're eating lots of foods now. So it's not just like strictly plant based.


Charlie Ann Max  31:44

Yeah, I'm vegetarian. I grew up vegetarian. So I've never eaten meat in my life. Oh, cool. Yeah. So I always hear especially people always talking about red meat. It's not something that I don't I don't think I could eat it. But I'm always curious about what it feels like. Yeah, yeah. Or maybe in my past life, maybe I eat like so my life. I'm like, I came in and was birth through parents that were vegetarian already.


Tonya Papanikolov  32:10

Totally. Do you eat chicken?


Charlie Ann Max  32:12

No, me.


Tonya Papanikolov  32:14

I'll add, and eggs.


Charlie Ann Max  32:16

Yeah, eggs. Eggs is the first thing when I was like, strict vegan, I was like, Well, I went to culinary school. And I remember my teachers being like, it is a health supportive plant based culinary programme. But we'll we will have days where we are not doing that. So that way we can learn how to replicate it and cook with the real things first, and then replicate. And they're like, we really promote trying the food, even if you want to spit it out if you're plant based. And I was doing that at first. 


Charlie Ann Max  32:44

And I was like, That's so good. Let me just actually, like have a vibe instead of like going and spitting it out in the trash. That's cool. Totally. All of a sudden, my like, started I woke up one day, and I was craving eggs. And like, yeah, it was interesting. And I have phases where I like eggs, or I hate eggs. And they freak me out or they don't.


Tonya Papanikolov  33:06

But six months of no eggs. But


Charlie Ann Max  33:10

wow. Yeah. Why did


Tonya Papanikolov  33:12

you do that? I actually did that because of I was going through a stressful time. And so whenever I go through a stressful time, my like, if I have IBS, I don't know what like whatever, I don't even like to use the labels, but like my, any gut symptoms will just start to flare up. So I did a food allergy test. And it showed that I was allergic to eggs. And so I was like, Okay, I don't really believe this, I think this is just like pocket of time. So I want to eat eggs again in my life. 


Tonya Papanikolov  33:40

So I'm gonna just avoid them for the next six months and retest and just give my immune system a bit of a break to like, repair the gut. I think in lots of instances, it's like usually just a sign that there's some leaky gut and gut impermeability or sorry, permeability, and that that just needs a bit of healing and TLC. So I removed like a few of my triggering foods so that my immune system could just rest and now I'm starting to integrate them. I'm gonna test again and just like, I'm also not like I let myself inquire and kind of do some of these tests, but also try and like let myself intuitively feel when, you know, I want to start eating them again. And that started to happen. So it feels good right now.


Charlie Ann Max  34:22

That's cool. Well, I'm inspired. I have that with gluten. If I like gluten just does not work well with me. I can eat it, but it gives me a lot of pain, like inflammation and like rashes sometimes so and I've now noticed okay, it's definitely gluten so I'm like trying to pull back. Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  34:41

I'm making a cake this weekend. I'm really excited about with cassava flour, and lots of cacao and chocolate and chips and eggs, and a bit of coconut sugar and I'm really, really excited to see how it turns out


Charlie Ann Max  34:59

Yeah, I'm excited to you got to share that with everyone.


Tonya Papanikolov  35:03

I will so beautiful so I guess how has like your relation ship when in with respect to others or partnership if you feel like sharing also no pressure but how has like has that been? What's that experience been? Whether that's been like food and jiving with somebody on like the foods you eat? And as well as like from the nudity perspective?


Charlie Ann Max  35:27

That's an interesting question. I like that. I feel like when you are naked with people, it's automatically a lot more intimate. And I also feel like, it makes it like, breaks down all the small talk and things and you can get really deep really quick when you're naked. I also think sharing meals with people. Is this your question? Am I right? I


Tonya Papanikolov  35:50

mean, it's like up for interpretation. I love I love it.


Charlie Ann Max  35:56

Yeah, and cooking and or eating with people make it is like some of my favourite things to do. I mean, it's Yeah, I love it. And I think everyone always feels so comfy when we're eating naked together.


Tonya Papanikolov  36:09

Yeah, I'm looking forward to having a naked to pink dinner with you. And I was laughing because also I just remembered that I often eat I already eat spaghetti in the nude. So Simon will often cook this like this meal this like spaghetti meal. And I eat it naked. Because I'm just a mess. I'm like, mood animal. And like not that I'm like eating messy. It just somehow for me. Like it always goes everywhere. And I ruin things. So I was laughing because I was like, my friends. We were in Costa Rica together in the winter. And he made us a meal. And I was just like sitting at the table like nude, I totally forgot. And he was I think he was clothed or something or like half clothed because it's Costa Rica. And she was just like, um, and I was like, Oh, this is this is how I eat. I love that. That's so


Charlie Ann Max  37:02

cute. It's like, I feel like nudity is so it's like your inner child comes out to you, like, naturally spent a lot of time naked member kids, and especially doing something like that. It seems like such a like a little kid thing.


Tonya Papanikolov  37:20

I love that you said that. That's such a wonderful way to like ignite the inner child. And also for us to remember that, like, so many of us loved to be naked when we were little and run around and like it's obviously not sexual, then. You know, like it's yeah, it's very natural. Yeah, also, I


Charlie Ann Max  37:38

think like, for whatever reason, I am always though, like token naked one out of my friends. It depends what friends on with. Yeah, but these days, like, which I like, I think when I was first starting the food dinners a lot like a lot of my friends wouldn't come. And sometimes they would be open with nudity, but they were like scared to come to the experience. And I'm now lately I've been really grateful for the separation that I get. I'm just me and like, not everyone around me is exactly the same. Like some people can be their own levels of comfort with nudity, and some not at the dinners. It's full all required nudity. So that way, I think that's the most comfortable way to do it. And something like an event style. But if you're with friends and around it's yeah, it's nice to have the different layers of it.


Tonya Papanikolov  38:29

Yeah, totally. That's, yeah, that's wonderful. And also like, it's going to ultimately make people more comfortable. It's right, and even just thinking about, like, if I'm hanging out with whoever, friends. And we are somewhere in nature, like, oftentimes, yeah, like, if we're going to be new like to whoever like takes her top off, or we're in the sun or we're swimming or like we're at the dock or wherever. It's just like the first person that gets just an invitation. And it's like, okay, yeah, like, I can let my guard down, I can be seen. And it's also but it's also like beautiful to respect of course, where people are at on that day or like however they feel wanting to be expressed, like Express or are not torn. Well,


Charlie Ann Max  39:14

it's also like I was having a really interesting conversation around vulnerability and words and what you are comfortable with sharing to others and not and I feel like it always comes down to a nudity and like conversations and all of it is what you're comfortable with yesterday, one of my best friends we were talking about, like I have a tendency to share a lot of things. One of my best friends was like sometimes you share a little too much about like my business or whatever. And I was like, oh, but it was interesting because sometimes some things that I think would it need to be shared or wouldn't need to be like protected. It's so vulnerable for other people. So are learning how to like, be more sensitive with information and also where people are at with their bodies and things to totally,


Tonya Papanikolov  40:08

totally Yeah, cuz you're kind of, it's like, double impact. Like, let's take our clothes off. And then let's also Yeah, like, share something that feels scary to say. Something I've been, I was just chatting about with a friend was like, also just trying on like having a safe space to say the thing that you just need to try on like that need to be real, but you're just like, well, this is so crazy. And the opposite of of now that I need to just like someone to hear this. And have it just be like resonated. And then maybe I'm gonna be like, No, I don't want that. You know?


Charlie Ann Max  40:51

Yeah, it's so nice to be in spaces where you feel safe to share things. And it always is up and down to on how you feel and where you're at. And it's always changing. Yes, it is.


Tonya Papanikolov  41:02

Indeed. That's really beautiful. I'm now dreaming about a rainbo dinner. That yeah, I'm gonna wait that. Yeah, I want to chat with you about for our birthday next month, maybe? Ah, I'm


Charlie Ann Max  41:15

in such a nice way to celebrate that.


Tonya Papanikolov  41:20

Yeah. Oh, true. Special. Oh my gosh. Yeah. So I mean, it's kind of coming up soon. So we'll discuss more like after, after we stopped recording. But thank you so much for what you do in the world and how you existence this like beautiful, beautiful, intimate invitation that you've at least invited me to experience and that I've had the honour to get to know you through this wonderful intimate expression and coming together. So I just want to thank you for that. And just like, let you know how much I honour and see what you're doing is like, a lot bigger than maybe it feels. But it's a lot of like breaking down of barriers and pushing limits. And I think that that's like, that is what art is and it's an expression of true like comfort in yourself and the expression of your beauty. And so thank you.


Charlie Ann Max  42:15

I appreciate that and warms my heart. Thank you. And thank you for everything you do and for chatting with me about all of this and I hope I wasn't rambling.


Tonya Papanikolov  42:26

I did want to ask you one more question, which is your relationship with mushrooms and and funky? Lee, tell us about that.


Charlie Ann Max  42:33

Yes, I honestly I cook with a lot of mushrooms. I love making different like stuffed mushrooms are my go twos. And I've learned so much about how to cook mushrooms because there's some are so moist. And so you want to cook the water out. And like learning how they work and how they cook and all of that. It's like it's so fascinating, cool. And like working with the different textures and changing the textures based off of how you cook them and work with them. Yeah, I love eating them and consuming them. And I love my tinctures of yours that I always get and yeah, I think like I was saying earlier when I add them to my elixirs or smoothies in the morning and if I stop you can really feel and tastes like a difference and it always like charges me and makes me feel a lot more energetic depending on what I'm having. So yeah, do


Tonya Papanikolov  43:31

you have a go to like lion's mane or Rishi?


Charlie Ann Max  43:34

I like Chaga. Taka Yes. Yes. And I keep doing like stuffed like portobellos and like Portobello steaks things Yeah,


Tonya Papanikolov  43:45

I'm inspired with that. I want to haven't done too many stuffed mushrooms but i That sounds so so good. I think especially like adding different textures in is so key because sometimes mushrooms can be a little like slippery or texture wise it can they can be different so I'm inspired to hear like the addition of new textures. Yeah,


Charlie Ann Max  44:05

you add that also I think when you cook the water out you get that slimy taste away so you don't add any oil or anything before you're cooking and then it takes to like slime Enos away and it makes it more like crunchy.


Tonya Papanikolov  44:17

How do you do that? With so you're not cooking the mushrooms in oil? Not


Charlie Ann Max  44:22

yet. Yes, eventually but at first you're you're not supposed to wash mushrooms you're supposed to wipe them away with a paper towel or whatever like a any kind of towel and then brush off and then you put them in the pan when they're when the pan is hot. And you let all the water so gotten like tonnes of water starts extracting from the mushrooms and you wait until that's done and you can move the mushrooms around and hear like a little squeak and they're like talking and then you can once it's all like cooked out all that you can then add the oil and then at the very end you add salt because the salt gonna like bring more moisture and make it even more slimy.


Tonya Papanikolov  45:02

Oh my gosh. Okay, so I don't know how I've never cooked them that way. I'm going to try that this weekend. Yeah. Oh yeah, but I'm also pickling my mushrooms this weekend so like pickling and it makes like these beautiful colours like makes it gives you the right Barbie pink Inoki mushrooms, so maybe we will integrate that into the dinner too. Yeah, how


Charlie Ann Max  45:31

do you do that I'm gonna do that I'm


Tonya Papanikolov  45:32

gonna do that with you, we shouldn't do that. I'm also just getting like so many ideas of things we could shoot together, which would be really fun. Yeah, I'm going to just cut up a beat just into like not cook it or anything but just kind of cubed, add ACB and water and then just take a bunch of in Okies and put them in there and let them sit like a kind of a quick pickle. So I'll let them sit for maybe 24 to 48 hours. And then like all of the pink from the beat will get soaked up and kind of the whole the whole thing will turn into water that the that the mushrooms will then take up. I'm hoping like I'm a little bit unsure still about the I like do like to cook my mushrooms. So I'm hoping that the acidity will give the mushrooms a little bit of like that pickle where they're slightly cooked, you know through the acid.


Charlie Ann Max  46:22

Yeah. Oh, that's interesting. Probably. That that's so cool. I've never had a pickled mushroom. I


Tonya Papanikolov  46:27

would love that to be my first time trying them as well. So stay tuned.


Charlie Ann Max  46:31

Cool. Where did you find out about that? I'm sure everyone's


Tonya Papanikolov  46:36

never heard of this. It's actually a team member. So my, his name is Mohit and he's absolutely epic. And I, I have the pleasure of working with him. And he's just like this gourmet chef, and he was like, showed me this picture. And I was like, Oh my gosh, that's incredible. I need to pick all my mushrooms.


Charlie Ann Max  46:54

Cool. Oh my god. That's awesome. Yeah.


Tonya Papanikolov  46:58

So I'm excited. Such a pleasure to speak with you. I always ask every guest when we end to share just a intention prayer message. What would you like to leave with our audience?


Charlie Ann Max  47:14

An intention to be kind to yourself


Tonya Papanikolov  47:16

beautiful. So very. Yeah. I love it. It's self compassion. Thank you so much for this conversation and taking time just being being the you that you are.


Charlie Ann Max  47:33

Likewise, thank you so much.


Tonya Papanikolov  47:37

With deep gratitude, thanks for tuning into this episode. If you liked it, hit subscribe and leave us a review that is always very appreciated. Mushrooms transformed my mind and body. And if you're interested in bringing medicinal mushrooms into your life and health journey, check out for our meticulously sourced Canadian fruiting body mushroom tinctures. Until next time, peace in and peace out friends



Charlie Ann Max, nudity, nudist, dinner party ideas, plant-based meals, Füde, The Füde Experience, body shame, vulnerability, authenticity, curated experiences, lifestyle choice, cooking with mushrooms, healing