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Rachel Millns, Miss Universe NZ, talks diet, exercise, and living

Posted November 13, 2014

Rachel Millns is the newly crowned Miss Universe New Zealand, 2014. She will represent New Zealand at the next Miss Universe Pageant in Florida, USA on January 25, 2015Passionate about skincare, nutrition and overall wellbeing, Rachel kindly agreed to a chat about herself and healthy living.

 

 

MH

Hi Rachel, thanks for answering a few questions. Where is your hometown?

RM 

I have lived the majority of my life on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand, which is about an hours commute North from Wellington. I was raised on a lifestyle block and both sides of my family still farm in the North and South Islands. I have always been very fortunate to have had a lot of New Zealand on my doorstep. 

 

MH

It must be busy times with engagements, and preparations for January. Are you working at the moment, what do you do?

RM

I am a full time Beauty Therapist working in Wellington and I commute from Kapiti each day. I am very much a people person which is in part why I got into and love beauty therapy. It allows me to educate people on making better lifestyle choices both internally and externally. I am constantly learning as everyday is different. I regularly meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, which I find interesting and inspiring. I feel this is what makes New Zealand such a special place; we are all so different yet we are all so similar too.

 

MH

What interests do you have, what do you like to do when you have some spare time?

RM

Some of my interests include Pilates, spending time outdoors, the gym, modeling, skincare/makeup, watching a good movie, baking and spending time with family and friends. 

 

MH

As far as exercise goes, how does this fit into your usual week, and what do you prefer to do?

RM

I enjoy going to my local pilates studio where I do a variation of styles from classic to reformer. We mix it up a lot with free weights and a lot of resistance work. I aim to go to at least 2 sessions a week combined with the gym. At the gym I go 4 - 5 times a week just for half an hour to an hour doing weight work, and some interval circuit training. I will be amping up a little more cardio to my training over the next 8 weeks. I like variation otherwise I get bored. I also enjoy the odd swim and walk too.

 

MH

When aiming to get into top shape, people from all walks say that eating is the hardest part of the equation. How important is balanced and regular eating for you - and did you make any changes for your pre-pageant preparation?

RM

I think diet is hugely important and it is the hardest part for me too. I have never dieted and I never plan to. For me leading up to a comp I think it is all about balance and moderation. I keep it simple, cutting out white breads, pasta and rice, and switching to whole grain options and other good carbs like kumara, chick peas and quinoa. I also cut down my refined sugar intake and drink plenty of water. However if I am out to dinner and it's the weekend I don't deprive myself, it's all about the quantity and quality of the food. If I am good for the week then the weekend I allow a treat day. Fresh is always best too, the less added preservatives the better, which is my approach to skincare too.

 

MH

Girls of all ages tell me they are weary of resistance exercise, and protein foods and supplements - afraid of losing a 'feminine' look. What are your thoughts on these?

RM

I used to be one of them, I guess I always associated protein foods and the gym with people wanting to buff up. However once speaking with my gym trainer he explained how important it was for women to do resistance work. It helps strengthen our joints and bones for every day life as well as maintaining our muscle, women don't bulk because we don't have enough testosterone. For me the difference in adding the weights to my training has given me a much more healthier appearance, I feel more toned and body confident to when I was just thin. I have never been big on supplements but again if you are educated to what protein to take a little can be very beneficial to helping your muscles recover after training. I only use my protein powder after a gym session, in with my oats, or in a smoothie, and I still opt for natural sources. One with low sugar and carbs is always best.

 

MH

Do you have any food weaknesses, and sometimes have to fight off temptations?

RM

My biggest weakness is chocolate. My tip for fighting off temptations is don't deprive yourself completely from it. Again I opt for a darker chocolate, and if I have a couple of squares every other night it keeps it at bay. Also chocolate flavoured protein shakes are a good way to get around it, and making healthier treats like Bliss balls. No refined sugar but they still taste amazing.

 

MH

Are there specific types of foods etc that you think are no-no's, and choose to avoid?

RM

White carbs like bread pasta and rice. Always wholegrain unless a treat. Refined sugary foods like lollies again I avoid unless a treat.

 

MH

Self confidence seems such an important part of being successful in modelling. What role does this play for you, and how do you remain poised while under pressure?

RM

I think for me I have always been told to really love who you are because you cant change it. Everyone has insecurities or days when they are not feeling on top of the world. But the best advice is to just love who you are. With modelling you have to develop a tough skin, some people will love you and others wont and it's nothing personal, it's all about a look they want to portray. I have always been lucky enough to be able to dabble in both modelling and pageants and you just have to stay true to yourself and not let others or an industry mould who you are. Beauty comes in so many forms and we all have such different body types that it is impossible to all look amazing in the same thing. Learning how to dress your body type, have a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle comes first and foremost to me. To remain poised is a mindset, it's all about faking it even if you're not feeling 100% at ease. I try to have as much fun as I can and just think about letting yourself shine through, no matter the outfit or hair do. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, and really what's the worst that could happen.

 

MH

Finally, spring is here, and it's time to think about days in the sun. Have you any pointers for girls wanting to get into shape and look their best?

RM

Vary exercise up and get outside, doing this will keep you active. Invite a friend to go on a walk, or take the dog. Aim to do some weights whether it is with your body weight, weights or machines. Resistance bands are great too. Half an hour a day is all you need.  Fake tan over sunbeds and exfoliate. Smooth clean skin makes all the difference. Don't put food on a pedestal, but listen to your body and really enjoy your treats, if you want chocolate, have that chocolate but moderate it.

 

To find out more about Rachel and what she's up to just click here -> Rachel Millns

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