By Natalia Zurowski
Since the day I met her, Azusa Hyde has had the most flawless complexion I have ever seen. But with her healthy diet, education on proper nutrition, motivation - and genetics of course - it's no wonder she absolutely glows. And now, with her recent partnership with Yor Health - an Australian-based company dedicated to nutrition and healthy living - the model turned health guru is set on promoting the importance of leading a well-balanced lifestyle. And how to achieve that amazing skin!
The Business Model: When did you become more conscious of what you were eating on a daily basis?
Azusa Hyde: Probably when I began working with my first manager. He was quite focused on body image and size. Before then, I never thought about it much especially since growing up I was very active and so were most of my friends. We ate when we were hungry and that was that!
TBM: Do you feel your upbringing in Australia - a country renowned for its people to be very health conscious - has had an influence on how you view personal health?
AH: Definitely. My parents always encouraged “fresh air and exercise” as keys to health. That still resonates with me today. My family also had a no junk-food rule – I hated it as a child but now I am so grateful I didn’t grow up on twix and chips.
TBM: You've modelled in Milan, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore. When you first started working abroad, did you ever find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Was it easier/harder in some markets to stay on top of your personal health?
AH: Yes. The biggest struggle for me was enjoying a country’s culture without letting that compromise my health. Some of my biggest passions are food and travel. Singapore was my first trip and I was so in love with the new cuisine – I wanted to try everything! The local food was also super cheap. In the end it came down to balance and not overindulging. I could have my cake and eat it too - just couldn’t go crazy.
TBM: Recently, you've decided to take your passion for personal health a step further by becoming a health ambassador for Yor Health. Tell us a bit about the company and what they do.
AH: The company strives to share health and happiness. The products they create are phenomenal but more importantly they educate and empower people to live lives full of vitality. They are a truly innovative group.
TBM: When did you decide to become a health ambassador for Yor? Why?
AH: I started working with the company in late 2012. There were many reasons – firstly I agreed with their health philosophies and I knew what they had was special and could help so many people. More importantly, the company offers a unique business opportunity. This is exactly what I was looking for as I had been thinking a lot about investing my money and learning about enterprise and system building. My university experience didn't give me that – I wanted something that could really take me places and this was it.
TBM: Yor Health is a company that's well established in Australia, Canada, and the United States - to name a few. But now, they're beginning to branch out into Hong Kong and you're helping the company plant its roots in the city. Have you found it difficult to balance both modelling and working for Yor?
AH: Honestly, it hasn’t been so difficult. Knowing my priorities makes it easier. I see modelling as a way to build a good income for living now and Yor Health and our BODYGREEN movement is a platform to build my future. Of course, my days are hectic, especially in Hong Kong and my schedule changes all the time, but my team is amazing and very driven so we make it work!
TBM: Modelling and personal health are so closely intertwined. Have you thought about holding educational seminars about Yor Health in the future that are specifically designed for models?
AH: I would love to do that! I think we could solve a lot of industry issues once models and clients understand the basics of health and wellness. We are doing a lot of events in the future and of course everyone is welcome to attend those!
TBM: Many models choose to partake in "juice fasting" in order to get trim quick e.g. in time for New York Fashion Week. What is your stance on juice fasts and where is the line drawn?
AH: Juice cleanses are so trendy now. Overall, I think they are amazing and if your body is toxic and you want to lose some weight then they are super effective. Your body will heal itself inside out when it doesn’t have to focus on digestion for a few days or weeks. Its important to question why people (especially models) are drawn to do them though – is it to cleanse and have a closer mind-body connection, or is it to lose weight fast. If doing a juice fast, cutting nicotine, drugs, alcohol and caffeine are musts too! Otherwise you’re basically starving yourself and disguising it as a detox.
TBM: Recently – largely thanks to social media – models like Adrianne Ho are being praised by clients and consumers alike for their healthy physiques. Do you feel there is a positive movement in the fashion industry towards health?
AH: Yes – and I’m really happy about it! I’m a huge fan of fit, healthy curvy bodies. To be fair, I don’t think all models can do high fashion and couture, that’s why there are 1.85m beauties who will always do those types of campaigns. But in general, I’m pleased that the industry is focusing more on pushing a realistic body image. Adrianne Ho is such a good example! I remember going to salad bars with her years ago in Singapore so she is the real deal, sending a positive healthy message to the public.
TBM: What do you think is the main thing many models neglect when it comes to their personal health?
AH: Education. Knowledge is power and once people understand the basics of nutrition and how it can affect physically, mentally and even spiritually, everything changes.
TBM: Models are always on the go - what do you suggest models snack on throughout the day to keep their energy levels up?
AH: If on an empty stomach, I suggest fresh fruit. Soaked nuts are also great and easy to digest so they won’t be taxing on energy. I love vegan protein smoothies too and I always carry around Yor Supergreens and a Berry Blast – I just need to shake-up with water - makes me feel like a 5 year old going to Disneyland, they’re that good.
TBM: With all your years of experience working in the fashion and modelling industry, how would you say your outlook on personal health has changed?
AH: I’m no expert and I’m still learning everyday. My outlook on personal health – I guess, “never restrict but try to stay balanced.” This is something I hold very close – I’m a Libra. Always be kind to your body, nurture yourself and then it will be kind back to you!