Meet Charlie de Haas – dreamer, believer, fitness fanatic and creator of clean treats (also know as #charliesballs). She’s a self-love guru who’s following her dream to be the healthy change in the world. So, what does that look like exactly? Well, you can check out Charlie’s dream come true at the Clean Treats Factory at Alexandria. The breathtaking space is home to a manufacturing facility, a café, an event space (which includes a meditation loft and a corporate area) and a secret garden to boot.

We chatted to Charlie about her philosophy on health and wellness, what you can achieve with some serious hard work and where she finds inspiration every single day.

What’s your philosophy on health and wellness? 

Busy is a swear word and balance is a myth. But you are your number one priority – learn about what makes you feel good on the inside, what makes your heart flutter and your cells alight. Do what makes you feel good! We are all biochemically individual therefore we are each unique and should appreciate that more. It begins with your thoughts and a healthy mind, I believe this creates a healthy life and then, in turn, fuels your cells and the circle of life.

What’s it like to have a full-time gig in the wellness space?

It’s beyond amazing. Clean Treats is a business built with passion and purpose – I’m so lucky when I get to connect with people following their passion… conversations flow, vibes radiate and magic happens. However the flip side of that is, as I mentioned above, letting go of the pressure of balance. My work is my passion, I want to do it which means sometimes I’m hustling more than I’m making space to breathe, but I have to be aware of my own SOS signals and be wary of when I need a timeout. It’s tricky to not feel guilty if I haven’t worked out in three days, or if I’ve had a glass of wine each night after one of ‘those’ weeks when a major project is on or change is happening. However, it really comes back to awareness – how do I feel, what do I need?  This has become a detrimental habit. And always understand that there are natural ebbs and flows; some days I run 10km in the morning and then go to f45 at night. Some days I’m lucky to do a 30-minute walk. But whatever you can manage, even if it’s just breathing and sitting, just do something that’s an investment in yourself.

What does a day on a plate look like for you? 

I start my day with coffee and 30 minutes of reading, then a run, and a bulletproof coffee at the office. I have smashed avo on gluten-free toast or (if I’ve put in extra energy running) one of our Vegan Banana Bread slices, these are my favourite!. Lunch is a rainbow bowl and some sort of menu item testing and blueberries because I’m trying to increase my antioxidant uptake. Afternoons are quinoa crackers with almond butter and banana, or a treat like our Peanut Butter and Jam slice. Dinner is some kind of roast vegetables/salad and something hearty, such as the amazing beetroot patties or mixed beans. Before bed I have a turmeric tea with almond milk, or sometimes one glass of wine.

What are your top tips for getting on the wellness train, and staying on it?!

Check your self. Are you being your own best friend or your own worst enemy? What is happening right now in your life that may be affecting your motivation and healthy habits?

Also, give yourself a break, stop the negative cycle and attacks in your mind. If you are at the ‘give it everything you’ve got’ stage of your business, give it everything and know that a walk is still fine, one yoga class instead of five is still fine. We are so mean to ourselves when we don’t tick all the boxes. Just appreciate what you did well today and do more of that tomorrow. I find creating an accountability list always helps; what are my top three goals (or investments) today?

Be in the moment – if I step back to think about this meal, this action, what will be the effect? For instance, if I eat this block of (not clean) chocolate, how will I feel? Trust your own body’s wisdom. All the answers you are looking for are within you, you just need to take the time to listen.

Tell us about Clean Treats – how was it born, what drove you to start the business?

I am a huge believer in the universe, but also hard work. I’m quite proud to say that most people who meet me would say my work ethic is second to none. I still say the past 10 years of my corporate life is what got me here today. From managing a multi-million-dollar day sap at 23, to becoming a business development manager (BDM) for one of the leading day spa ranges, then a BDM for Napoleon Perdis in his major growth phase. From there I became the national educator for a major cosmeceutical skincare range, while doing fitness modelling at the same time. It was said to me on numerous occasions that I should work for myself. So when I quit my job as a BDM, I took my $10,000 tax refund (a few years worth) and started #hustling.

In actual honesty, I had become quite sick from years of dieting and had major digestive disorders. I had to go to hospital, saw nutritionists, naturopaths, specialists, had surgery and nothing helped. So I started cleaning up my eating and took note of how things made me feel. I do pride myself on being tuned into the market and was able to understand this disconnection to our food was definitely not just happening to me. So I went to Coles, brought some dates and nuts and a $100 food processor and I blended #charliesballs. They worked. I can’t cook to save my life, so I call this a universe ‘nudge’. Then I had to go sell them. I’d go into chess with my 30 balls for $5 and say “My name is Charlie, would you like to #eatmyballs?”. This created giggles and laughter, which broke the award sales pitch and it grew from there.

I’m also a believer in setting goals so big that if you fail, you’ll land somewhere amazing along the way. I wrote a business plan two years ago and on that plan was an exact picture of the building that is now known as ‘The Clean Treats Factory’ – universe nudge.

How do you stay inspired? 

Look for the magic moments. Sometimes you don’t need to look very hard, and some days it can feel like drinking 2L of water is ‘magic’. What we focus on grows and it all comes down to our mind, so instead of ‘oh my goodness I’m going to have a 15-hour day’, or ‘look at all my problems’, change your perspective and think ‘oh my goodness I’m so excited to get this work and can’t wait to be productive – I’m thankful for these problems I have today that are opportunities for growth’. I’m also in a really beautiful, yet particularly challenging stage of the business where we have something real, that the market seems to love and we now need to act like a real business and scale up to achieve my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Along with the fast business growth, my personal growth in the past year has also been rapid. This inspires and excites me. What can I learn to become the very best version of myself, to be the person I know I was born to be?