The beauty queen shares her healthy eating plan as she prepares for the pageant.
Bryoni Govender, Miss South Africa’s first runner-up, will be representing the country at the Miss Universe 2023 pageant in El Salvador. Ahead of the competition, which takes place this weekend, we wanted to know how Bryoni maintains her beauty from the inside out – and she shared her all her nutritional secrets!
What did your typical daily diet look like in the weeks leading up to the Miss Universe pageant, and how does it differ from your usual routine?
In the weeks leading up to the Miss Universe pageant, I make sure to incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and wholegrains into my meals. I’m also adjusting my portion sizes, limiting my intake of processed and high-sugar foods to ensure that I feel my absolute best, and prioritising staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
My daily diet for the Miss Universe 2023 pageant doesn’t differ drastically from my usual routine. I’ve always been very cautious of what enters my body and I pay extra attention to ensure I am fuelling my body with nutritious foods. Ultimately, the key is to continuously focus on maintaining a healthy and balanced diet before, during and after the Miss Universe 2023 pageant.
Are there specific foods or supplements you include in your diet for optimal skin, hair and overall radiance?
Collagen! It is my secret for optimal skin, hair and overall radiance from within. I use the MotherKind Collagen products for this. I also make sure to include plenty of nutrient-rich foods in my diet. Some of my favourites include leafy greens such as spinach and kale, which are high in vitamins A and C, as well as healthy fats such as avocado and nuts, which have been helping my skin to stay hydrated and supple.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Collagen cocktails
Can you share any tips for managing stress through nutrition during the intense competition period?
Absolutely! One way to manage stress through nutrition during intense competition periods is to focus on incorporating nutrient-rich foods into your diet. Foods like leafy greens and healthy fats and those high in antioxidants can help support your body during periods of stress. Personally, it is very important to stay hydrated and balanced. For me, that means fuelling my body with enough protein to keep my energy levels up, exercising, showing self-care, and having loads of rest!
How do you manage portion control and avoid overindulgence during the pageant preparations?
One way I manage portion control and avoid overindulgence during pageant preparation is to practise mindful eating. This means paying attention to my body’s hunger cues and stopping when I feel full, rather than eating until I’m stuffed.
I also try using smaller plates and bowls to help control my portions. Another thing that has been helpful for me is to avoid keeping trigger foods in the house or to keep them out of sight to reduce temptation.
Truthfully speaking, it’s hard but I’ve disciplined myself. Overall, the key is to remember to treat yourself in moderation. Enjoy your favourite foods in small portions and remember your goal.
ALSO READ: What is mindful eating?
Do you have any favourite pre-pageant recipes or meals you find particularly beneficial for your energy and confidence?
Yes, I do. Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables, a great salad with avocado, and a smoothie with fresh fruit and almond butter are some of my favourite pre-pageant recipes or meals that have been very beneficial to me and have boosted my energy and confidence.
You see, when it comes to preparing for a pageant, it’s important to know and understand your body so you can fuel it with what it loves and agrees with.
What is your go-to breakfast recipe or meal?
My go-to breakfast is scrambled eggs with a side of smashed avocado. I absolutely love it and can eat it all day. On days when I do not have time to prepare breakfast, I will make overnight oats with almonds, honey and almond butter. It’s the best!
With such a busy schedule, what are your meal-prepping tips?
My favourite meal-prepping tip is to plan and prepare meals in advance. So, on a Sunday, I will try my best to plan my meals for the week and even meal prep if I have the time to do so. This way, I always have healthy options available, even on the busiest of days.
I also like to batch cook and freeze meals, so I can easily grab and go when I’m short on time.
An amazing time-saving tool is an air-fryer, so if you haven’t yet invested in one, I recommend you do so soon, because it will change everything.
NOW READ: Should you buy an air-fryer?
If you’re cooking for family and friends, what do you enjoy making?
I prefer baking, so on the rare occasion that I cook for family and friends, I usually go for the hardest to ruin – and for me that is grilled chicken and mashed potato with mushroom sauce on the side.
What is your favourite type of cuisine?
I love Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines because of all the various spices and flavours.
As a South African Indian, what is the one South African Indian dish you love and why?
I absolutely love lamb curry. It’s a staple in our culture and my family has been making it for generations. The combination of tender lamb, fragrant spices and rich tomato sauce is unbeatable. Plus, it’s versatile and can be served with rice, roti or even bread. It’s a dish that always reminds me of home and brings back fond memories of family gatherings.
What cooking tip did your mom pass on to you that you would want to share?
My mom never tastes the food as she goes along and uses her instinct for measurements. The funny thing is that it always comes out perfectly. I am not quite there with that skill yet, but I can only hope to inherit that confidence when cooking.