From kale to froyo, Erin Brady reveals her fave foods for staying healthy and happy
Foods Fit for a Beauty Queen
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Her special talent is cooking, she loves to bowl, and yes—she just so happens to look sizzling in a swimsuit. Meet Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady. Before being crowned America’s favorite beauty queen, the 25-year-old East Hampton native worked as a financial accountant and earned a finance degree at Central Connecticut State University, where she minored in criminal justice, giving her that perfect combo of beauty and brains.
Brady filled us in on her slimming swimsuit secrets and admits that she’s, to no one's surprise, big into cardio. "I’m a fan of the P90X Ab Ripper—it’s only a 15-minute workout but you can work as many muscles as possible in that time. Plus, you can do it in your hotel room," she says. "Before Miss USA, I did 30 minutes of cardio every morning." To stay calm leading up to the pageant, Brady turned to Bikram yoga.
As much as we admire Brady's workout dedication, we had to find out: What does the radiant role model eat? Read on to see her go-to foods for staying slim, healthy, and happy.
Eggs with Multi-Grain, Flourless Bread
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"I like my eggs poached, and I also make a lot of egg white omelets with the multi-grain, flourless bread," Brady says. "I just can’t function without breakfast. If I’ve been up longer than 30-minutes without something in my stomach, I feel like I’m going to fall over. I always try to set the alarm a little early to make time for something healthy and nutritious."
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Steel Cut Oats with Fresh Fruit
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“I love to have fresh berries with my steel cut oats,” she says. “Anything fresh depending on what’s in season – blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Those are the three I use the most.”
Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches
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"I admit I'm a peanut butter junkie. I used to make these sandwiches with just peanut butter, but now I use almond butter to make it more healthy," she says. "I put the multi-grain, flourless bread in the toaster, then spread the almond butter lightly on top along with ripe slices of banana. It's to die for and healthy at the same time."
Pita with Hummus and Roasted Red Peppers
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"I’m really into the thin pita pockets with either the roasted red pepper hummus or the chipotle flavor that has a nice spicy kick to it," Brady says. "Since I’m also really big into cooking, I’ll make a homemade batch of roasted red peppers and add that to the pita. I’ll also add avocado, olives, and a big piece of lettuce."
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Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
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"I usually stick with a nice big salad because before I was crowned Miss USA, I was a financial accountant. I sat at my desk a lot so I never wanted to eat anything too heavy or I would want to nap by 2:30!"
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"I have a lot of water, and I never used to do that before Miss USA," Brady says. "I bought one of those big 64 oz. jugs and it keeps me pretty full. It’s a fun daily goal to try to drink it all."
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"For dinner, I always have some kind of protein but nothing too large. I’m a big fish eater, especially grilled salmon."
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"I am big into greens. Swiss chard, kale, and Brussels sprouts are my favorites. My specialty is Brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. I also sauté beets the same way," she says. "It’s just a great time of year in Connecticut for all the local farmers markets. Veggies are great to throw into the juicer too, especially ones you wouldn’t normally eat. It flushes you out, you feel better, your skin feels better—all around you just feel better."
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“I’m going to be really busy with traveling so I’ve become a really big fan of nuts, especially the trail mixes. They really fill you up and give you the energy you need in the early morning or as a recharge later in the afternoon,” she says.
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"When it gets warm out I enjoy having a little frozen yogurt. I like the hazelnut, coffee, and salted caramel—you get that little sweet and salty comb," she says. "If I put any toppings on it, it's sprinkles."
Homemade Apple Pie
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“My guilty pleasure food that I will never give up would have to be my grandmother’s homemade apple pie. She makes if for the holidays and throughout the year for various occasions,” Brady says. “She puts raw sugar on top and uses all the butter and all the nasty things that I know are so bad but taste so good! I eat it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I can just never give that up.”
To keep up with the newly crowned Miss USA 2013, connect with her on Twitter