Friday, December 24, 2010

So good or so not -SOY MILK debate.
The trend of soy milk as a dairy milk alternative at Sydney cafes appears to still be a popular choice, but with a bit of confusion about it's health properties. It's the only substitute widely available for those who enjoy a white-coffee, and are either against commercial dairy altogether, are lactose intolerant, or simply do not enjoy the taste of milk.

Reading most of the commercial soy milk containers in the supermarket made me realise how much junk is added into the non-organic options. So, unsure whether soy is a healthy alternative or not, I have been reading a few sources to make a decision.

The best source of information I found was in Chris Clark's eye-opening book titled The Health Freedom Cookbook, where he discusses topics from the problematic fluoride in our water, aspartame, GMO, Vaccines, Dairy, Soy, and many more topics. I couldn't agree more with his section on dairy, but will not get into that on this blog for the time being. However, I truly feel what Clark says about soy milk needs to be shared -especially to us Sydney-siders! 

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for the past two weeks trying to figure out how to pass on the wonderful information I've read into a paragraph ...but it could just not be done! So below is a brief introduction to soy from Mr. Clark and then briefly his categorization of the bad soy products. If you want any more information feel free to ask me or you can find his book for sale HERE.

The Good
The common thread uniting all "the good"soy is fermentation [(i.e. soy sauce -also known as shoyu or tamari, miso, tempeh and natto)]. With few exceptions, historically soy has almost always been fermented. Soy originally comes from China, the same region that developed Traditional Chinese Medicine. Early TCM pioneers tested, observed and catalogued thousands of herbs and plants, gaining intimate knowledge of these plants and their effects on human beings. And with this same experimental, observational approach, they also developed their culinary traditions. Food preparations had to appeal not only to the senses, but to the digestion as well. This practical approach explains the widespread fermentation of soy in China and also throughout ancient Asia. Anyone who has ever simply soaked, boiled, salted and eaten plain soybeans knows that bouts of digestion distress are sure to follow....[this] is because soybeans contain high levels of phytates and enzyme inhibitors....[e]nzyme inhibitors are molecules that bind to enzymes [and are found] in most seeds, nuts, grains and legumes, they act to protect and preserve the dormant seeds until they germinate. Soaking in water effectively removes enzyme inhibitors for most seeds, but not for soybeans. (There is also an interesting point about Phytic acid which is found in bran and hulls of all seeds, and interferes with the absorption of many minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc!)

The Bad
Many studies have linked soy to various cancers, birth defects, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, and impaired thyroid function [(I remember when I came home last month that my brother told me there were a few stories on the news about girls having thyroid problems from drinking too much soy milk)]. The culprits of these afflictions, however, are not the traditionally fermented soy products discussed above. Rather they are soy products spawned from the industrial ideology of absolute efficiency....modern industry seeks to isolate, process and refine all waste products and reinvent them as additives and ingredients for a multitude of processed foods. With soy the preliminary culprits include:

  • Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
  • Soy Flour
  • Soy Milk
  • Soy Oil (often referred to as vegetable oil)  [(AH! That seems to be in everything these days)]
  • Soy Lecithin (GMO especially)
  • Soy Protein Isolates (SPI)
  • Textured vegetable Protein (TVP)
These products are commonly added to soy burgers, soy ice cream, energy bars, and many other foods masquerading as health foods thanks to massive marketing and misinformation campaigns. But when the masks come off, their purported health benefits rapidly dissipate. The various soy protein extracts involve complex processing including solvent extraction methods, various chemical baths and various chemical spray-driving techniques....[s]oy lecithin, ubiquitous in processed foods, cosmetics, and even expensive organic chocolate, is a nasty sludge-like byproduct of soy oil production. After bleaching and deodorizing, this highly denatured product is added to processed foods.

Chris Clark also explains that soy milk is actually the left-over cooking liquid of tofu, which inhibits the most amount of enzymes, and was originally discarded in traditional tofu production. There's so much more to explain about the process, but I feel this post has almost turned into an essay. So honestly feel free to ask any questions, I'll try my best to help. He does recommend rice milk, oat milk and almonds milk as better choices/milk-alternatives -especially if they're home made. 

Personally I love oat milk, but with cafes not providing it, I may have to give in to a soy latte every now and then until I can rid it from my cafe routine.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

=my new skin saviour.
Pronouncing this brand as ah-sop but now guessing it is probably pronounced something like ay-sop -because any time I try to pronounce any non-conventional English word I always get it completely wrong.
With no one being at my usual face product stall in MYER before I left for Greece, I moved onto the next and explored A─ôsop. The Parsley Seed Cleansing Oil was recommended to me -and over the past three months it has honestly worked wonders (hope that won't jinx me now!!) thus I wanted to share its magic. Usually when traveling my skin gives itself a free ticket to go crazy ,but I took a small amount of this on the plane with me and stole back my skin's to-be-crazy ticket.
'We advocate the use of our products as part of a balanced life that includes a healthy diet, sensible exercise, and a regular intake of good books.' 
(I definitely agree with this kind of balanced life!)

The best part about this label is that they are locals -made in Australia. On top of that, they are '...committed to including the highest-quality plant-based ingredients, [they] also make judicious use of non-botanical elements such as anti-oxidants, once we are confident that research has proven them safe and effective'. Not exactly sure about the second part of that reference, as in, what constitutes safe and effective when it comes to non-botanical elements? But that remains to be my only question about the label.

At AUD $47 for 200ml I think the pricing is also very fair -my bottle is only a third empty after having it for more than four months now! Also discovered that my friend from uni works there -which is always an extra positive aspect!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

purplegrape.: VEGAN PROFILE: Bri Cheeseman – Designer of Secret Squirrel.

This is such a great interview, have a read of the above link by Yasmin at purplegrape!

1. Sustainable, 100% Australian made clothing label -Secret Squirrel

2. Non-dairy, vegetarian designer!

LOVE reading vegan blogs! ✶
...and Diana Sar! Tokyo is yours! Loving this new soft, romantic style pic.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This project by Stratis, Vassilis, Angelo, Panagiotis + editor Jessica Smyrou is simply special. It allows people to share their insecurities + explain how they finally overcame their differences + self-acclaimed flaws. I find when you tell someone a general concern, about health, body image, or anything actually, it releases stress and helps ease the situation or problem; I believe this project has this aspect in mind -to  make problems seem tiny by discussing them + letting the world know that no one is alone. Vassilis who shared turns at photographing, with Stratis, got me to pull my nose out, poke at it, do all kinds of weird things to make it look bigger, which at first I was so shy -thinking to myself  'no way! I don't want it to look any bigger or weirder than it already is!!!' Finally, not wanting to be a bore I gave it a shot + actually had fun not caring how it would turn out ...and to my surprise there was not one shot that I hated or felt insecure about. Not realising that shoot would be the thing to seal the deal on my insecurity, I'm so happy I was given the opportunity to be a part of their project + look forward to its progression. 

*Keep a look out for Lauren Garrison's pic. we shot together and seeing her end result was divine -true natural beauty from the inside, out.

‘I love your nose, it’s YOU’ -my best friend in high school.
This comment made me stop for the first time and view myself and my nose through my best friend’s eyes. My self-acclaimed flaw was actually a unique feature which she considered beautiful. From that comment I realized the truth of how we grow up dissecting every minute detail of ourselves. We compare elements to those that frequent the fashion media and thus learn to disregard our own judgment of beauty. Having been so insecure about my profile, which did not reflect many others’, it is a huge relief nowadays to be disappointed when told my profile resembles someone else’s; I prefer to be unique.

- On a same note -Australian model, Miranda Kerr, is launching her book Treasure Yourself. She told Elle that '[i]t’s about encouraging young women to embrace their individuality. You may think it’s easy for me to say, but we all have insecurities. It’s important, as women, to get past all of that and let our talents shine.' - (

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My friend Nastasia is driving me crazy with all of her new pics. from Athens! SO BEAUTIFUL!
This girl, with her heart so sweet and giving, is just amazing. Absolutely amazing. 

You can check out her full portfolio at the ACE Models website -just click on Nastasia Siniakova

If that's not enough, you can also see some backstage snaps of her from the Vrettakos show we did together in October, from an earlier post, HERE and HERE. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sign a rose petal Petition - Amnesty International - End Female Genital Mutilation European Campaign

Two of my favourite novels by Waris Dirie introduced me to the concept of FGM -which as a teenager I had never heard of before. Shame on high school for not ever mentioning such a serious crime!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mesmerising Katy Wren

Australian Katy Wren had me transfixed as I saw her singing backstage at our dress rehersal for the Toni & Guy show yesterday. She was sparkling in an Alex Perry dress (which I ended up wearing instead -being disappointed to switch from my original dress at first, I hadn't realised it was the same one that dazzled on her in rehersal), showing off her  heavenly, feminine figure. Her voice was to my ears as I'm sure the sound of the Pied Piper of Hamelin's song was to the children -although more like a way younger Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz than the Pied Piper. As her biography says '[h]er mesmerizing voice carries the listener away to a peaceful world of dusty mornings, rainy afternoons and starry nights.' (

Have a listen to some of her music HERE. My favourite song is Queens & Kings.

Back Home for ...Toni & Guy.

Being back home sunk in properly when I walked onto a dock in Pyrmont, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in front of me -for the Toni & Guy show rehearsal on Monday. The only thing missing was our typical late-November-almost-summer-sunshine! Seems as if Greece and Australia have mistaken who's turn it is for summer right now.

I only managed a couple of shots backstage today because I was frolicking about for most of the time. Dressing into our outfits involved a lot of models + fussing about, so my camera snoozed in my bag.

The beautiful and sweet Lindsay Stankovic from Priscillas

Californian tom-boy beauty Sarah D, in town with Priscillas


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