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Charlene Cassie

What do you currently make?
I bake! I just love to bake. My focus is on utilising local, nutrient dense and grain free ingredients for my products. Generally, this is what Primal Alternative is all about. Getting back to the roots of whole foods, the way nature intended. And rather than setting up a factory and pumping out mass produced products, I make them in my own commercial kitchen. This way customers know exactly where their food comes from, who makes it, and what’s in it. Shouldn’t that be the way of food? Knowing how, when and where it’s made?

How did you get into this?
Like many people in the wellness industry, it started with the demise of my health. I had my low-fat movement in my twenties. Didn’t we all? Then over the years I became increasingly aware of brain fog, soreness in my body, bloating, and low energy levels. I always had that feeling of being hung over. This got me questioning what goes into the food I was consuming. Preservatives. Additives. Fillers. Low nutrient foods. After some research and education, mainly in Sports Nutrition, I then started incorporating more fat into my diet, went keto, grain-free, cut out dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. And guess what, the fog started to lift. I could feel my body again. I had more energy. My mood changed. This is where it all began. Then I began the process of preparing whole foods from scratch, for my family and for others.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I get to be in the kitchen. It’s where I am most at home. I have this great spatula utensil that my great-grandmother gave me and it’s still going strong in my kitchen today. She’s here with me as I work, and when it comes down to it, crafting and sharing good clean honest food is what I am all about – from my family, to your family.

Why is organic/chemical-free food important to you?
Food is medicine, it’s as simple as that. As a mum to 6-year-old twin-boys, I can’t justify putting anything but wholefoods into my family, and the families that are my customers. We have a duty to grow these little bodies as best we can. We also have a responsibility to the environment, waterways, future generations - a healthy earth.

I also have a passion for exercise and sport. These days I run. Initially I had a self-limiting belief that I couldn’t run, I was way too slow. Then I hit the age of 40 and thought, ‘Why not doing a half-iron (wo)man’. So now I’m training intensely six days a week, and this requires conscious nutrition. Everything I put in my body contributes to the mental clarity and endurance I need to successfully complete this massive endeavour. It also demonstrates to my boys what is possible with a healthy lifestyle - anything.

What’s your favourite meal?
There’s a great recipe by Donna Hay that’s a staple in our home. It’s a simple poached Asian chicken dish – rich, brothy and beautiful. Filled with Asian greens and dynamic ginger. They’re simple ingredients, and so delicious and satisfying.

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