The lovely Annalise Braakensiek, model, actress and passionate animal rights advocate, very kindly took some time out to chat with us about her cruelty free lifestyle. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What does being an ethical consumer mean to you?
A: Taking time to read ingredients thoroughly as there can be hidden nasties in supposed “health foods”. Supporting local, organic and sustainable farmers and products. Take shopping bags with you, and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, to name a few.
Q: When did you first become aware of the impacts that consumer habits have on animals and the environment?
A: I was fortunate enough to have been brought up on a biodynamic farm by a vegan, cruelty-free animal trainer… so I definitely had a head start, for which I’m very grateful!
Q: Do you use Cruelty Free Beauty Products?
Q: Please share your favourites with us and why you love them?
A: I love DMK facials and use all their face products; I especially love their Vitamin C serum. For my body, I adore Weleda, Dr. Hauschka, Janesce and Perfect Potion products. I also love Aesop’s hand wash and deodorant. As for makeup, Ere Perez do a fantastic nude rosehip lippie, and ModelCo is cruelty-free and PETA certified which is fab! For my hair I love O&M hair products, all cruelty free and not tested on animals. I especially love their 7 day miracle moisture mask which will detangle even the nastiest post salt water or post shoot tortured locks!
Q: Do you subscribe to the mantra ‘You are what you eat/buy’?
A: Yes! I have always eaten a meat-free, balanced, organic (wherever possible) diet. And I definitely believe “you are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake”! Ha ha.
Q: How do you inspire others to become ethically minded?
A: Living and leading by example, and by using my fanbase on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/annalisebraakensiek) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/annalisewithlove) to help inform and promote ethical brands and movements.
Q: What is your favourite animal and why?
A: I love all animals! Dogs, horses, and I’m very fond of my little man Frankie who is a rescued Burmese cat. I also really love camels… I had one growing up called Rocky – he was hilarious! They are very human-esque and those eyes… I’d have to say the only animal I don’t love is the mosquito. Especially after contracting dengue fever, a disease I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy!
Q: If you could bring about one major change in consumer habits, what would it be?
A: Don’t support or buy plastic products! It’s such a shame that almost everywhere you go, fruit and vegetables are wrapped in plastic, packaged on polystyrene trays, and plastic bags are being given out left, right and centre… The side-effects of excess plastic ends up in landfill and our oceans – this is not only detrimental to our environment, it also kills our sealife.
Q: You have certain food allergies and avoid some food groups, how has a change in diet affected your health and wellbeing?
A: Yes, I’m allergic to wheat and dairy and I choose not to eat meat, and it’s certainly made me a very creative cook indeed!
Q: You are a fabulous cook; please share with us one of your favourite recipes.
A: Since spinach is in season right now, I thought I’d share my Organic Chickpea, Tomato and Spinach Rogan Josh curry which was a Love Lunch customer favourite: This is the super-easy version.
Organic Chickpea, Tomato and Spinach Rogan Josh Curry
Serves 4 – 6
This is a fabulously easy, low fat, healthy and delicious warm winter meal!
I picked this up on my travels through India and Nepal, it’s one of my all time favorites.
I use all organic ingredients, and would recommend you do too.
1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or extra finely chopped
4 ripe, firm tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight, cooked ‘til al dente and rinsed well
300g fresh baby spinach, washed well
1 Massel vegetarian stock cube
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp Rogan Josh curry paste (I make my own, but the easy version is to buy a good quality, preservative-free paste from an Indian supermarket)
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 limes, one juiced, one sliced in wedges to serve
1 sprig coriander (cilantro)
Himalayan sea salt, to taste
1 tsp coconut oil or non-GMO canola oil
Place oil in deep frying pan (best to use frying pan with lid). Add onion, sautée until translucent; add garlic, sautée for 1 minute, taking care not to burn. Add tomato and chickpeas, stirring constantly for a minute or so.
Add stock cube, curry paste, tomato paste and stir well.
Add kaffir lime leaves, a generous pinch of salt, juice of 1 lime (no seeds!) and spinach and stir well. Turn gas to low, place lid on frying pan and simmer gently for 15 mins.
Place on a bed of steamed brown or basmati rice, quinoa, or your carb of choice. Sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander, and serve each plate with a wedge of lime. Goes brilliantly with my low fat dahl.
Serve with papadums, lime pickle and sweet mango chutney.
For an extra easy option, you can swap fresh spinach for a packet of frozen spinach, dried chickpeas for canned chickpeas, and fresh tomatoes for two cans of organic chopped tomatoes.
Love Lunch is currently on hold as I’m extraordinarily busy designing my Annalise for Big W lingerie and sleepwear collections, and my signature jewellery line, however, as conscientious consumerism, healthy eating, and cooking organic vegetarian food are some of my biggest passions, I hope to get Love Lunch and my cookbook up and running in the not too distant future.
Photographer: Uzo Oleh
Hair: Toni&Guy Bondi Beach
Makeup: Sonia Yun