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On The Couch With Annalise Braakensiek: Model, Actress, Entrepreneur, Sustainability Advocate

mum taught me about beauty
Annalise Braakensiek

She’s is an internationally renowned cover girl, Logie Award nominee, fashion and jewellery designer, entrepreneur, muse and passionate devotee to a ‘green’ lifestyle. But, in reality, that’s actually underselling this Bondi-based powerhouse. Annalise Braakensiek is one talented, creative and driven lady – and she’s full of surprises! 

We chatted to Annalise about all things ‘famous’, her philosophy around living mindfully and with respect for the environment, the wellness and fitness routine she follows to keep her mind and body in tip-top shape, and her passion to educate people on sustainable living.

You’re best known for your work as a model, actress and TV personality – but we love your dedication to a ‘green lifestyle’. Tell us a little of how you came to adopt this way of life? Has it always been intrinsic or has your philosophy changed over the years?

Thank you, it’s lovely to be appreciated for that. I was fortunate enough to have been brought up on a bio-dynamic farm by a vegan, cruelty-free animal trainer mother, and was super lucky to have attended a Rudolph Steiner school. So yes, I definitely had a head start with regards to living mindfully and sustainably, for which I’m extremely grateful for. I am continuously striving to learn and educate myself on ways in which to help save this beautiful planet of ours, and of course the people and animals on it too.

What’s your daily fitness and wellbeing routine?

I embrace each day with a cup of hot water and lemon, then I meditate, I usually write a list/check emails/see what my day entails whilst sipping my organic black coffee or green tea, then I exercise, make a huge brekkie, take my vitamins then get amongst it. I usually cook 2-3 meals at home a day. If I know I’ll be on set or at work, Ill pre cook and prepare….

I love to exercise… it seems to help me on every level, to reduce stress, give me more energy, a more positive outlook and it definitely helps me sleep. Obviously the physical benefits are a plus too ; )

I mix it up with my exercise…. I LOVE to practice yoga, I take my mat with me everywhere I travel and practice every day if I don’t have access to anything else. Melanie McLaughlin (one of my favourite yoga teachers in the world) gave me a wonderful practice to travel with, its changed my life! No excuse to ever feel lifeless or unhealthy whilst abroad anymore, even if roads are too busy to walk on, parks are to dangerous to run through, beaches to small to soft sand on, oceans too rough to swim in or yoga schools too far to get to… I always have my yoga practice now. It’s magic.

In Australia I generally do 2-4 power Vinyassa yoga classes and 3 Pilates classes a week at BodyMindLifeBondi Beach, I do 2x circuit classes at F45 Bondi Beach, and do coastal walks and soft sand with friends when I can. Recently, I have been introduced to a wonderful woman, Jana Haupt who has started training me with a combination of one on one training sessions, circuits, injury healing specific movements/exercises and Iyenga yoga… I’ll be sharing the results of her training me soon on my public FB page I’m SO grateful I have such fantastic schools/teachers/practices available…..

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What does a ‘day on a plate’ look like for Annalise Braakensiek?

Ha ha there is no such thing! It completely depends on which country I’m in, and which project I’m currently working on… I always meditate, practice yoga, train and eat well no matter where I am. That’s a certainty. However, I often have too much on my plate if I’m to be honest with you. I have my signature jewellery collection I design which is available at www.annalise.com.au and my signature lingerie and sleepwear collections currently available at selected Big W stores, that I also model for and produce the campaigns for and promote. I’m working on my swimwear collection (something Ive been wanting to do for almost 25 years!!) I update my website, FB and Instagram accounts for my amazing supporters and fans with all my happenings, I’m working on an exciting gym wear collection at the moment too (can’t wait to tell you all about it) I do a lot of charity work, some TV appearances, I write a monthly blog for consumewithcare.org, and the list goes on. Keeping up with my workload, and my social/family life is definitely a challenge. It’s interesting, diverse, wonderful and I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities I have, but sheesh sometimes I wish I had more time to chill!

You certainly have your entrepreneurial plate full – how do you disconnect from the hectic pace and strike a balance?

Meditation, Yoga (and exercise) studying Spanish, Dancing, Cooking and eating…oh and a glass of hippy red and a snort laugh with a darling one always helps ; )

Tell us about your ambassadorial role with the MSC and how you incorporate sustainable seafood into your diet?

I was absolutely honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador and to be involved with Sustainable Seafood Day. It’s something that urgently needs awareness, help and change. I have been committed to living a sustainable lifestyle for as long as I can remember, I’m a passionate environmentalist and it’s imperative we eat sustainably in all areas, including seafood. There is no excuse not to do our bit to save our precious planet, save our oceans and sea life.
I do not eat meat, chicken, dairy, wheat or most recently tofu either (devastating, as it was one of my staple proteins along with legumes). I obviously don’t eat battery eggs. Battery farming is soooo inhumane its unfathomable to me, in fact I have done several campaigns with the hope of banning battery hens. Anyway I do digress…but just as I wouldn’t eat a battery hens egg, I wouldn’t want to eat the equivalent in fish such as an inhumanely kept Salmon squished in pools too small for them to swim freely, being fed pellets filled with god knows what sort of horrendous chemicals. I want to know the fish I eat is healthy for me to consume, has had a good life, and is sustainable so I’m not raping and pillaging the oceans….

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What’s next for Annalise Braakensiek? Any fun projects on the boil?

I’m very excited about a charity project I’m working on, my new gym gear range, I’m hoping to open health and yoga retreats so LoveLunch can come back to life ( and a fabulous health/yoga program of course) and I have a few other projects I actually am not allowed to share with you just yet, I’m sorry…. I’ll be announcing it soon on my public FB page, so stay tuned!!

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ON THE COUCH with Annalie Braakensiek…

Your last purchase was?

A Vedic meditation course

Music you listen to?

Almost all types of music. I love deep dirty house music. Just about anything from Robot Heart. Lee Burridge, Bob Moses, Art Department, The Scumfrog, so many DJ’s are creating delicious tunes these days. Actually a lot of my DJ mates are ridiculously good, Brohn is amazing and just starting to really take off (I’m so proud of him) Mike Whitcombe, Murat, Julian and so many others. I could dance for hours to great house music! Most certainly one of my favourite things to do in life. But I also love folk music, especially Scandinavian folk, I’m an old skool hip hop lover, I love Johnny Cash and old country, jazz, classical, and I loooove classical Spanish guitar, it moves me to tears… I just LOVE music. Well, almost all music. Don’t make me listen to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey or a Maria Carey-esque screeching vocal, or any trashy pop or death metal!!

Your fave place in the world is?

Ohhh I love so many places! Very lucky to call Australia home, we have some of the most magical beaches in the world. I love Tulum, I adore Spain especially Ibiza, Hawaii (Kaui is one of the most magical places on earth) Aeolian islands in Sicily are just heaven, just to name a few!

On a Sunday you love to?

Practice yoga, cook up a storm and season/weather depending either beach it or schnuggle up and watch art house films or go to the art gallery.

Your career highlight was?

Is yet to come I hope!

Your personal style is?

Eclectic. As cliché as that sounds! I love my Camilla’s, my hippy and vintage pieces. Love me some vintage denim cut offs, a simple white cotton T and being adorned in my torquise jewellery collection and antique Native Indian pieces I’ve collected over the years. I LOVE Isabella Marant!!! Half my wardrobe is an adage to her. I also love Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Bianca Spender and my Dion Lee masculine simple pieces too…..my style depends on my mood, what country I’m in, the occasion I’m dressing for and the weather… but generally I’d say my personal style is boho hippy glam.

The beauty/skincare product you can’t live without?

I only use organic, cruelty-free natural products. I love O&M organic haircare, Aspect face products and sunscreen, I’m a tad obsessed with biodynamic delicious smelling body products, bath oils and aromatherapy sprays from Weleda, Dr Hauschka and Perfect Potion. I love my Oxygen facials, red light therapy, and Danne Montague King facials and infra red saunas are beyond…holistic nurturing heaven!

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What would we find in your carry-on bag?

iPhone 6 with my tunes, guided meditations and Spanish lessons, a pen and sketch book for jewellery,lingerie, sleepwear, activewear, and swimwear design ideas, (or just to doodle and draw) I always carry paper and a pen to write letters as well…I still write old ‘skool’ letters to my grandpa and people I love. Melatonin, pawpaw ointment, herbal teas, essential oils, face and hand creams, vitamins, my jewellery. Not only are many of my designs one offs, but my late father used to give me vintage Native pieces that are very sentimental to me as well) a cashmere scarf, my passport/wallet of course and a good book!

Your travel essentials are?

My Antler luggage, Camilla caftans, my yoga mat, chiropractic pillow, travel speaker, a sketch book, and my spices (yes, I travel with Mexican, Indian, North African, Asian etc spices as I cook wherever I am in the world) and my phone!

Your favourite snack is?

Hmmm, I do love my cumin chilli hummus with veggie crudités, and I make a delicious tamari and spiced activated/roast nut mix. I also make some uber healthy but delicious smoothies….

Your fitness philosophy is?

Don’t half ass anything. Whatever you do, always use your full ass : )

Biggest food weakness?

Anything fried, and I looooove organic preservative free red wine and goats/sheeps cheese and crackers…… I’m an absolute sucker for salt and pepper tofu, hot chips, corn chips and quacamole… fried and salty and savoury is most certainly my weakness. Dammit. Ha ha

Annalise Braakensiek is an ambassador for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) helping to protect our oceans and ensure a sustainable seafood supply on Sustainable Seafood Day, March 20th 2015. 

Sustainable Seafood recipes…

Grilled Hoki Fish Tacos 

fish-taco

Saikyo Miso Glacier 51 Toothfish

miso-fish

Panang Prawn Thai Curry 

prawns-rice

How are you introducing sustainable practices into your life? Tell us in the comments below…

Written by Yvette Le Grew

Yvette Le Grew is the former Online Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, former Head of Digital Content at Westfield & freelance fashion, travel, health & lifestyle writer for titles across the UK, Asia and Australia. Yvette now contributes 'at large' for thecarousel.com.

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