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This beauty queen is faithful to a vegetarian lifestyle

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Aug 08, 2023 5:00 am

Anna Valencia Lakrini was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany, just like her beauty queen inspiration, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. 

The towering beauty, one inch shy of six feet, made her advocacy clear when she confidently answered the final question at the most recent Binibining Pilipinas from Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna regarding similarities between a beauty pageant contestant aiming for a crown and a politician running for office.

“As someone who is joining for the second time, I know that a beauty pageant has a platform on which we can talk about causes that are dear to our hearts,” Anna said. “My cause that is dear to my heart is nutrition. And as a nutritional scientist, and an advocate for proper nutrition, I know that in advocating with this platform from Binibining Pilipinas, we can inspire so many people. And a politician can inspire a whole community, and so can we.”

Anna will represent the Philippines at the Miss Globe 2023 in Albania. She is our reigning Binibining Pilipinas Globe, as well as Best in Swimsuit and Jag Denim Queen.

Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2023 Anna Valencia Lakrini is a nutrition scientist.

We caught up with the 25-year-old University of Vienna nutrition science graduate at a fitness event, “Road to BodyCon 8.0,” held at Ayala Malls Feliz by Gold’s Gym, JCI Marikina Sapatos, and JCI Marikina Marikit. She indulged us with her insights to a few quick questions.

THE PHILIPPINE STAR: We heard that you are a vegetarian. What made you decide to be one?

ANNA VALENCIA LAKRINI: I studied nutritional science and so many of my friends were vegetarian—vegan, even. I started to be vegan around five years ago because of the health benefits. It’s really good for your heart and your blood flow. Now I eat fish and seafood because of Omega-3. In the Philippines, it’s hard to maintain that. But it helps me because I feel very alive. I eat a lot of vegetables, which are full of nutrition. It gives me the energy to push for the pageant and everyday activities.

What tips can you offer women in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

It is just committing to it and daily consciousness. Even if I am just in my condo, there are so many YouTube tutorials out there, so many gym branches. As the coach said, it’s what you put in your body. There are so many vegetables from the local farms in the palengke (wet market). So we just have to take care of our bodies. Just move your body. When you are in the mall, move around. Walk around. Whatever you do, just be active and move.

How do you physically prepare for the pageant?

For this year’s pageant, I trained with my coach Angelo Mendez here. I’ll train with him, too, for my road to Miss. Globe. I can’t wait to start. I also train with Aces and Queens. There are lots of pasarela movements, and a lot of (mock) interviews to do. It’s a constant, high level of training. There are only a couple of months left because my competition is on Nov. 17. Please support me. I can’t wait.

Anna Lakrini with her coach, Angelo Mendez, who consistently reminds her to go to the gym, especially when she felt down after she did not place in the 2023 edition of Binibining Pilipinas.

How do you remain motivated for such hectic training?

Basically, it is hard to always stay motivated since last year. I joined Binibining Pilipinas twice and I felt down since last year. Coach Angelo kept on messaging me: “Anna, are you going to the gym? Let’s go to the gym.” So after a while, I went to the gym. So instead of sitting alone in my condo and letting the negative thoughts control my mind, I just went to the gym to do something for my body. Soon, I got to control my health and my diet again. So going to the gym helped move (out) my (negative) thoughts, too.

Her coach Angelo chimed in: “If you are serious about winning a title, you have to go to the gym and follow a certain diet to get into winning shape. It’s really how bad you want to win. If you want to win, then you will do it.”

Someone asked how she prioritizes workouts, nutrition, and social work. She said, “I’m involved in all three. Even before I joined Binibining Pilipinas, my advocacy was nutrition. So I try to stick to a healthy diet since my busy schedule prevents me from exercising some days, as well as promoting eating vegetables from all the farms all over the Philippines. Eating healthy is my constant, but when I get back to the gym, then I get back to the flow. So you just have to balance eating out, preparing your food, exercising, and doing your advocacies. That’s why I’m here.”

On stage before their exit, her coach, Angelo, shared that Anna is very much single. The host asked how a gorgeous girl like her could be such. She quickly replied, “It just so happens, it’s hard to find someone who is taller than me and lives a healthy lifestyle. So, well?”