The best celebrity fitness profiles of 2011

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In 2011, we interviewed 26 South Florida celebrities regarding their fitness regimens. Just in time for New Year's resolutions, we've selected some of their best answers to our questions.

Read what they're doing to keep their bodies healthy and looking good. Maybe you'll get some new exercise or diet ideas from Anna Kournikova, who weight trains to maintain her curves and eats five meals a day. Or you'll get motivated by Jennifer Nicole Lee, who lost more than 70 pounds after the birth of her second child and now is one of the country's top fitness models. You might laugh with radio legend John "Footy" Kross, who says he's always in motion, "until I sit down and start having beer."

Among others, we profiled hall-of-fame golfer Beth Daniel, "All My Children" star Alicia Minshew, "Burn Notice" actor Coby Bell, Miss Florida Lissette Garcia and Mrs. United States Shannon Ford.

According to Ford, getting fit is "80 percent diet and 20 percent working out."

Most of these people exercise several days a week, eat lots of vegetables and lean meats, and snack often. They drink lots of water and virtually no soda, although many drink wine and other alcohol.

To see the full series, go to sunsent.nl/tjdXtk. Here are some highlights.

Anna Kournikova

City of residence: Miami Beach

Height/weight: 5 feet, 9 inches; 130 pounds

Occupation: Personal trainer; coach on TV's "The Biggest Loser;" retired tennis pro

Why do you keep fit?

I crave exercise, crave sweating, crave stretching. Like a little baby stretches and yawns after waking up, it feels good. All your joints are lubricated.

For me, exercise is definitely about health. But it's also a great stress-reliever. I get on the treadmill and read a magazine, or listen to music, and feel like I'm releasing that energy, that stress.

Exercise gives me great energy. It's about being healthy, having energy, [parents] spending quality time with children. Looking good is literally a bonus …

I'm a typical slender Russian. I'm not a big girl, not a strong girl, so for me to have curves or maintain muscle mass I have to do weight training. Cardio just burns the calories.

What exercises do you do?

I mix it up. I play tennis three or four times a week, go to the gym, do StairMaster, swimming, planks, yoga, which didn't go so well last year because I injured my knee.

Yesterday I did treadmill and weight training. Today I did elliptical and weight training. I change up the weight training. Low reps (repetitions) and high weight yesterday, today high reps and low weight. I mainly do lower body and core. Core is crucial because I have a back problem. At least three times a week, I do core.

I do lower body mainly, but upper body a little. My arms tend to bulk up pretty fast. I focus on the girl parts, like the butt and legs.

If I don't want to think at the gym, I'll go through every machine. I'll space out. When I have energy and want to be creative, I'll create a routine.

What's your typical daily diet?

I believe in eating five small meals. It's hard to sustain, but the key is planning and preparing. Most of the time we make bad food decisions when stressed or in a rush.

I love eating two, three days really clean — veggies, chicken, fish, lean meat — then splurge with pizza or cheeseburgers or ice cream …

First thing when I wake up is freshly squeezed grapefruit with lemon inside. Twenty minutes later, granola cereal, yogurt with berries, maybe eggs.

Five meals are really difficult. I walk around with … snacks in my purse: carrots, almonds. Ten almonds have 100 calories and are a great, healthy snack. Sometimes I eat a power bar or berries. Or banana.

What do you drink typically?

I know you're supposed to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't.

I drink soda, water, Champagne, whatever. I don't drink a lot, a glass of Champagne or a cocktail occasionally. I do realize soda is not that great for you supposedly, but I'll have a Diet Coke.

Helio Castroneves

City of residence: Fort Lauderdale

Height/weight: 5 feet, 8 inches; 149 pounds

Occupation: Race car driver

What's your workout routine?

I just moved to Fort Lauderdale … I come out of the elevator, go across the street to the beach and start working out on my own, on the equipment near the basketball course. You'll see me in the mornings…

I do CrossFit, which is incredible, twice a week; twice a week I lift weights; and once I do a long run. My trainer is always inventing something. When you get in a groove, it's awesome …

Do you feel pressure to look good due to the whole People magazine "Sexiest Race Car Driver" thing?

I'm not a vain person, but I certainly like to look good. I wish I was 6-foot-2 with broad shoulders and big biceps, but I know my limits. For a race car driver, my stature is good.

Beth Daniel

City of residence: Delray Beach

Height/weight: 5 feet, 11 inches; 150 pounds

Occupation: professional golfer

What exercises do you do?

I do Pilates two days a week for an hour. Anyone who has lower back problems, I highly recommend Pilates … With Pilates, you're stretching and strengthening at the same time. It's really good for your abdominal area, so it takes pressure off your lower back.

Three days a week, I'll do a three-mile walk around my neighborhood in 40 minutes. I walk usually with a friend or friends, and sometimes by myself.

I do stretches every night. I feel better if I stretch everything out before going to bed rather than in the morning when my muscles are already tight…

I play golf, but in Florida you're in a cart so it's not like you're getting a lot of exercise. I feel lazy.

What's your typical diet?

I try to eat a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, lean meat with vegetables and brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. I stay away from fatty foods and eat organic when I can. I try not to eat the same thing more than twice a week.

I eat three meals a day. Sometimes I have a snack in the afternoon — usually nuts or mixed nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts. When I go out to restaurants, I'll eat fish.

I haven't had soda in years. I drink water and hot tea. Usually in the mornings, I have hot tea, and at night green tea. I also like iced tea. I brew decaf iced tea at home. I don't drink juice because it has too much sugar.

Mireya Mayor

City of residence: Kendall

Height/weight: 5 feet, 8 inches; 116 pounds (before pregnancy)

Occupation: National Geographic scientist, TV host and author

Why do you keep fit?

I've always been athletic. Danced ballet for 12 years, was a cheerleader in junior high, and played basketball and ran track in high school — I didn't make the cheerleading squad in high school. And then I was a Dolphins cheerleader for four years. Now when I'm on expeditions, I need to hike up mountains and through impenetrable bushes, and be quick on my feet to run from elephants.

Do you work out when you're on expeditions?

If I'm in Madagascar's capital, I'll run. When I'm in the field, exercise takes the form of hiking with gear on my back.

Sometimes we have to capture animals for genetic tests. Once we dart the lemurs, for example, they bolt and the chase begins! After getting close, four of us will pull a net open, but if the lemur doesn't fall, we'll have to climb the tree. Lemurs cling to trees even if darted with tranquilizers.

Does your diet differ when you're on an expedition?

Yes. It might be rice and beans in Madagascar, or grubs and cow brains. With the Maasai [of East Africa] a lot of goat liver, which is high in iron and nutrient-rich … In the field, you don't always know where your next meal is, so I carry Clif Bars in my backpack. We'll pause to eat while hiking …

John "Footy" Kross

City of residence: Pembroke Pines

Height/weight: 6 feet; 168 pounds

Occupation: Host of the "South Florida Sportsman Show" on WINZ, AM 940; CEO of Here's Help Inc.

Why do you keep fit?

Fear of dying!

How would you summarize your fitness regimen?

I'm anything but a health nut! I am active — that's why I'm thin. I'm not eating bananas and nuts all day. Dietary success for staying skinny and healthy includes beer.

What's your workout routine?

I'm the kind of person who is always in motion, until I sit down and start having beer.

I don't think I would be any good in a gym. I play golf with [my former radio co-host] Froggy two or three afternoons a week, and I like to get on a bike and swim around. I start the summer doing 20 laps, and by the end of summer, I do 50 laps pretty much every day.

In the winter, I ride a bike three or four times a week. I have a route around my neighborhood. Not sure how far it is, but it takes 45 minutes.

Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy, like Nike's "Just Do It"?

I was always taught that if you're not sweating, you're not exercising. I like sweating. I'm a sweat fiend.

Nicole Henry

City of residence: Miami Beach

Height/weight: 5 feet, 11 inches; 150 pounds

Occupation: Entertainer

Why do you keep fit?

To look healthy and stay healthy, to have a better presence onstage. I feel my voice is stronger when my cardiovascular system is stronger. Also to enjoy life better. I love the outdoors, love physical activity, and when you're in shape you can enjoy life at the highest level.

Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy?

If I'm not drenched in sweat, it's not a workout.

What's your typical diet?

I try eating organic when I can, because what the FDA allows [in non-organic food] frightens me. I love vegetables, fish, but also a good burger, red meat from time to time. I can feel a craving for salad when I haven't had enough vegetables. If I need steak, my body tells me.

Cake and chocolate cookies are my weakness. I get my sugar fix in coffee with raw sugar. I drink water, coffee and alcohol, everything in moderation.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to lose weight?

Don't eat a lot of bread at night.

Coby Bell

City of residence: Coconut Grove and Long Beach, Calif.

Height/weight: 6 feet, 3 inches; 215 pounds

Occupation: Actor

Why do you keep fit?

When I was starting out in show business, I learned you gotta stay in shape. And then I started having kids and realized I need to stay in shape to keep up with them and have energy to do my job as a parent. Then you reach a point in life where you realize exercising and eating right make you feel good and keep your energy up, and make your life happier.

I'm not trying to win a posedown and get all oiled up and win a muscle contest. Even being on TV, when they give me the scenes with my shirt off, it's not my favorite. But you don't want to look like a fluffy mess.

What's your Miami workout routine?

In Miami, my apartment has a [private] gym on the top floor so I'll go there. And I'll go on long-a-- bike rides with Bruce Campbell, who plays Sam on "Burn Notice." Usually we ride from Coconut Grove to Black Point. Bruce rode from the Grove to Homestead one weekend when I wasn't there.

What's your typical daily diet?

When I'm "on it," I'm really into making green smoothies with kale and carrots and apples, bananas, blueberries, a little broccoli thrown in. I have a Vita-Mix blender that mixes it all up with water and ice.

A smoothie is breakfast sometimes. Sometimes I have quinoa for breakfast. It's really good for you … Or I'll do oatmeal for breakfast. Quinoa can be for any time of the day, but generally the rest of the day is some forms of salad, with maybe a little chicken in one.

Every once in a while, you got to have a burger or pizza or pancakes with the kids.

Miss Florida Lissette Garcia

City of residence: Coral Gables

Height/weight: 5 feet, 10 inches; 125 pounds

Occupation: Miss Florida USA; student at Miami Dade College

What's your workout routine?

It varies from month to month. A lot of walking on the treadmill — I don't do the StairMaster — plyometric exercises on the mat. Vinyasa yoga — it's yoga but keeping the heart rate up by constantly moving. I do Pilates. I do circuit training and swimming.

I work out five days per week for an hour and 20 minutes each time, and a week out of a month, I go twice a day. Sometimes up to six days a week if I want to do some extra yoga.

I do have a pageant trainer that's helping me. I used to do a lot of weight training with heavy weights and my body was muscular. But the trainer did a complete 180 on my routine, and now I do more plyometrics and Pilates to keep long, lean muscle.

Have you ever considered cosmetic surgery?

Yeah, later when gravity hits!

Do you have any advice for South Florida residents looking to get fit?

You got to look into the future, and what you put into your body will be there for the rest of your life. How you treat your life doesn't take willpower, just a lifestyle change. It's not about picking away food, getting rid of your foods, it's about moderation. I still eat chocolate every day.

Erika Huerta

City of residence: Miami

Height/weight: 5 feet, 7 inches; 130 pounds

Occupation: Broward Sheriff's Office deputy sheriff, featured on TLC's "Police Women of Broward County"

What's your workout routine?

It depends what race I'm training for. Now I'm training for the ING New York [City] Marathon in November, so I run five or six times a week. I do a combo of long and medium runs and track work, which involves 2 or 3 easy miles and a lot of sprints of 100 meters.

I'll do sprints on the Key Biscayne bridge. That's by far the most difficult bridge I've run. It's so steep, and a mile long. Not so dangerous for running because it has a concrete barrier for pedestrians.

Today, I did track work for an hour. Couple days ago, my long run was two hours. My medium run is an hour to hour and a half.

How long have you been a runner?

I was never an athlete until I started running in college. That's when I was my heaviest, 200 pounds. I started dieting with Weight Watchers and running every day. I lost 70 pounds. My pace at first was 14 minutes per mile, which is slow.

Fitness for me now is not so much about looking good but feeling good. For me, it's a lifestyle. No going back to what I used to be.

What's your typical daily diet?

I'm a vegetarian. No chicken, no dairy whatsoever. My diet consists of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

I work the night shift 12 hours, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., so it's challenging for my diet. My typical breakfast is at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, after my workout. I'll have a super shake of bananas, berries, any kind of berry I like, with spirulina and chlorella and maca. That'll hold me for about three hours.

I'll snack on apples with organic peanut butter, or carrots with organic hummus. I'm big into bananas because of the training and needing potassium.

For lunch — dinner really, around 8 or 9 p.m. — I'll eat salad with fish like tilapia or salmon. I love salmon. I don't do dressings.

All throughout the night, I'll snack — raw broccoli, I love a handful of raw sweet peppers.

Katina Taylor

City of residence: Weston

Height/weight: 5 feet, 9 inches; 133 pounds

Occupation: Vice president and co-founder of Jason Taylor Foundation, director of cheer and dance camps for ProCamps Worldwide

What's your workout routine?

Four to five times a week, but I'm active with our kids seven days a week!

I love to change it up and keep it fun and keep my body guessing. I go to Midtown Athletic Club, give myself one hour, put on headphones and work out hard.

I do weight training with light weights, added with plyometrics and 30- to 60-second cardio drills in between the light weights, like sprints or mountain climbers or hopping over a bench to get that calorie burn and build muscle. For the light weights, I'll do arm curls, shoulders. I try not to go heavy. I like that lean muscle.

I like to change up and go run hills with my brother at Vista View [park in Davie]. Zach and I will run four to five miles on these hills. And we run pretty quick. I work hard …

You mentioned that your brother, Zach (Thomas), runs with you. Do you ever exercise with your husband, Jason?

Yes, we like to ride bikes with the kids. He has to work so hard in camps and football, but in the off season he's golfing and he'll Rollerblade and play football in the yard. He's [our sons'] coach for flag football and basketball for the Y in Weston.

Every day is an off day in the off season so we're playing, going to the beach, Rollerblading, whatever as much as we can.

Do you have any physical problems that hinder exercise?

Blew out my knee in high school. Had ACL surgery, nine months of rehab. But it's OK now.

I hurt my lower back around Easter, which hindered me from running or jumping for a few weeks. I used to bend myself like Gumby. I could grab my legs, put my head between my legs and stretch, but now I need more time to warm up.

What foods do you prepare for your kids?

I encourage them to drink water and limit their sugar. They're kids and I let them have fun, but healthy food can be good food. We have desserts, but I limit the soda and juice. It's all about a happy balance.

We can't expect a child to say no to juice, juice, juice, soda, soda, soda, because they're yummy. But they have to be taught by a parent who is knowledgeable that, yes, you can have a Sprite at the birthday party, but tonight we're having water. The sugar can make you wild and crazy and isn't healthy. If you can teach this to your children young, they'll continue with it.

Do you have any advice for South Florida residents looking to get fit?

We live in sunny South Florida, so it's beautiful here. Get outside and get active.

If you haven't worked out for a while, start easy with walks. There are too many overweight Americans. If we think of average Americans, they're going to get intimidated starting with boot camp. It's going to hurt and be hard. So start easy with walks, get outside and enjoy that fresh air. Then, when that becomes easier, add some squats, pushups, dips on a park bench.

Shannon Ford

City of residence: Miami

Height/weight: 5 feet, 8 inches; 130 pounds

Occupation: Mrs. United States 2011; human resources manager with RBC Wealth Management

Why do you keep fit?

I feel better when I work out, and obviously looking good is part of it. When I was preparing for the pageant, my workouts increased.

Exercise has almost become an addiction and anchors my day. I start off the day working out, and if I miss a day, I feel something is missing. Even on our recent cruise, [my husband and I] worked out every day.

Do your exercises change before a pageant?

The four to six weeks before one, I'll focus more on cardio. I don't typically do a lot of cardio, except running to and from the gym and the occasional dance class. But before a competition, I'll increase.

You can tailor CrossFit to what your needs are. For the pageant, a lean model look was beneficial for me, so I wasn't focused on building muscle. It was more toning. I didn't necessarily increase my weights but stayed at what I hit. Now I've resumed trying to get stronger.

Any health vices?

No, but I love chocolate. That's it. And I'm a sucker for chips and salsa, which isn't paleo … [Paleo involves] eating organic foods as much as possible and doing exercises that mimic the caveman's lifestyle … I eat what our ancestors ate: lean meats, vegetables, some fruits, some nuts, and no dairy, grains or legumes …

Any advice for South Florida residents looking to get fit?

I learned that it's 80 percent diet and 20 percent working out to keep fit.

Alicia Minshew

City of residence: Los Angeles

Height/weight: 5 feet, 6 inches; 106 pounds

Occupation: Actress

Why do you keep fit?

No. 1, I was raised with it. My mom is a Pilates instructor today in her 60s in Stuart. Exercise makes me feel good and centered, makes me feel healthy. Exercise is a way to relieve stress and feel good. And being a woman, you want to keep your butt tight, arms lean. You want to look good.

As I got older, [I realized] the health reasons: to maintain a healthy heart. My grandmother in Stuart is 100 years old and she does her recumbent bike every day.

I've always been a skinny kid — I remember my mom giving me milkshakes [to gain weight]. I still struggle to keep weight on. I do weight training to give muscle on top of my small frame, so I don't look too skinny and unhealthy.

How soon did you start exercising after the birth?

I had a natural birth — no complications, a blessing—so recovery was quick. I put on jeans the next day and went home. But … breastfeeding was my workout for four to six weeks. Then slowly I began doing light weights and cardio, working myself up to what I had done.

Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy?

"Just breathe …"

Peggy Exume

City of residence: Miami

Height/weight: 5 feet, 4 inches; 125 pounds

Occupation: Florida Panthers Ice Dancer and office assistant for a law firm

Why do you keep fit?

In order to stay healthy and also to maintain my figure. Being a Panther Ice Dancer, sometimes you have a calendar photo shoot, and for games we wear a short top and a really short skirt…

What's your workout routine?

We audition in August and after auditions begin practices immediately …

Ice Dance practice is very rigorous. We start at 7 p.m. and end at 10, after working a full-time job or [being] a student for some girls.

We practice Tuesday through Thursday and sometimes Mondays. We start with sit-ups and stretching and some toning like push-ups and squats. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Then we start with dancing. We try to go through maybe 50 dances, each a minute. I would say it's 50 percent memorizing and 50 percent pushing yourself as hard as you can. When you perform the one-minute dance, it's like sprinting for one minute straight, kicking legs as high and with as much force as you can to get it up to your face. We have a lot of dances with kick lines.

What's your typical daily diet?

I know it's really bad, but I'm not a breakfast person, although sometimes I'll snack on almonds or have scrambled eggs or boiled eggs.

For lunch, I love chicken salad. I love anything with chicken in it. And sushi. I love veggie and broccoli soups and all that. I love steak. It's not that healthy, but I like it.

Dinner is the same as lunch: mainly veggies and chicken. I love Subway sandwiches. And once in a while, I'll indulge in their raspberry cheesecake cookie.

I love popcorn …

Steve Martorano

City of residence: Fort Lauderdale

Height/weight: 6 feet, 0 inches; 240 pounds

Occupation: Restaurateur, author

Is preventing another bypass operation a factor [for keeping fit]? What happened?

Yeah. If you look at my old pictures, now I'm a different person. Most of my life I was always heavy.

I went to the doctor for a stress test and the doctor said, "I'll go in, probably put a camera and stent in there." When I woke up, he said I had three major clogged arteries, including one called a widow-maker. He said, "You might go to sleep one night and not wake up, like your father and aunt."

So they gave me the triple bypass.

Can you keep up your intense workouts for the long term?

How long am I going to do this? Forever. Maybe not lift 450 f------ pounds, but I'll do something. Some people got it, some don't. It can be a curse. But when you see yourself on TV and people say you look good — "You're 54? You look 44!" — that makes all the difference in the world.

Does your family keep fit?

My son, Joey, trains with me. My other son, Steven, is into martial arts.

My aunts were obese, my dad, my whole family [in that generation] was obese.

Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy?

I have it tattooed on my hand: "It's not how hard you hit, it's how hard you get hit and keep moving forward."

You have a massive physique, particularly for a 54-year-old. Do you take any supplements?

Some people ask what steroids I'm on. But I'm at that [gym] seven days a week.

I really only got to take an aspirin for my heart. And a daily multivitamin. And a lot of glutamine for my muscles.

Yara Martinez

City of residence: Los Angeles/visits family in South Miami

Height: 5 feet, 5 inches

Occupation: Actor

What's your workout routine?

It varies. When I'm in the zone, I go five times a week: spinning, shadowboxing and doing The Bar Method, which is for strength based on ballet and yoga. Spinning is my most common [activity], and I do it for 45 minutes. Boxing is for an hour, and Bar Method is an hour. I don't do weightlifting. Bar Method is what I go to for my muscles.

Are you physically active on your TV shows?

I did a role on [NBC's] "Chase," where I played a fugitive on the run. I did a lot of running through the woods, a stunt jumping off a cliff, shooting people. It was definitely physically active.

Did you play any sports in school?

I did ballet for 10 years, was a cheerleader and was on the dance team. Cheerleading is definitely a sport. I joined cheerleading for fun in high school, and it was way more intense than I'd realized. I went to Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and was a cheerleader for [Christopher Columbus High School in Miami].

What do you drink typically?

A lot of water. I don't have a problem with water. I try for 3 liters a day, room temperature. I don't drink soda or juices. Every once in a while I'll have a fresh-squeezed juice. And red wine. I keep it very biblical.

Do you take any vitamins or sports nutrition products?

A women's multivitamin, and I take a tablespoon of flaxseed oil because it's good for your skin. And I recently discovered an acidophilus probiotics thing for your stomach.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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