Known as one of the most beautiful women in the world former Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps is an icon of fashion and beauty across the world. Now a TV presenter, actress, spokes model, and mother, the former first runner up to Miss Universe 2010 is always on the go. On a recent trip to Toronto we sat down with her to chat about her new workout video, health and beauty tips and of course her dream wedding.
What was your inspiration for creating a workout dance video?
I am a dancer first and foremost, it’s my first love, it’s my first passion. I have been dancing since I was three years old and I have continued dancing right up to the collegiate level. I did a bachelor of fine arts in dance and I finished that off at C.U.N.Y. Brock College in New York. Dancing has always been my way of staying in shape.
I slipped off for a while and dance was my way of getting back into shape. In preparing for pageants, like Miss Universe, dance was my first option for fitness instead of the gym.
What I decided to do was merge my training in dance and fitness with Jamaica dance culture to create In the Dance. In my studies I also specialized in pedagogy and what I’ve done is fine-tune some things that I believe would be effective and great for a fitness regime.
Our dancehall culture is rich, Jamaica’s culture is rich, don’t be jealous (she laughs). It’s such a rich culture I find that a lot of people see it but feel like they cannot touch it. I feel that is it a great way to bring dancehall culture into your living room, into your bedroom or wherever you decide that you want to play that DVD.
When was the DVD launched?
It was launched since 2014 and it’s available in WalMart all over Canada.
How do you see your video helping brides looking to tone up for that special day?
It’s the day where she is the center of attention. I feel every woman wants to feel like they are at their optimum on their wedding day. A big part of this is not just physical fitness but feeling good about yourself. With the DVD and dance it is great for feeling good and feeling sexy. It helps a woman to almost learn her body, feel good about herself and at the same time get in shape for that big day. There are movements in it that she can even use on her honeymoon!
What is your workout routine and regular diet?
I am big on having a good core so concentrate on that a lot in my workouts. Besides dance I do light weights, I swim and do a lot of stretches.
I love food and eat burgers too! But I might choose the wheat bun over the white bun. I might choose a grilled versus a breaded piece of meat or protein.
I drink lots of water, eat clean and of course dance a lot. I believe strongly in a holistic approach to beauty and health.
You are mentioned on several lists as being one of the sexiest women alive. What is your secret to juggling so many things and still being you?
I actually have great support. My family is great and my extended family is also awesome. I am a big planner, I put pen to paper and organize my day, I organize my time. Of course sometimes with a child things you might plan just don’t go according to how you want them too…
I think as much as you plan you also have to be able to allow spontaneity to be a part of your life. What I try to do is plan it all out. When things go awry I take a moment to breath it through and re-plan it all out. I wake up 4 o’clock in the morning, go to the T.V. station do the morning show, I go home and do my workout, pick up my daughter from school, then have meetings, then put her down for bed, then host events, then go to bed, then wake up at 4 and do it all over again. So you have to have that plan in place and prepare that things can fall apart and when they do you just take a deep breath and refocus.
Where is your favourite place to visit in the Caribbean besides your native Jamaica?
I like Trinidad a lot and there is no denying that I love Trinidad because of carnival! I’ve gone to carnival a million times. It gives me life, I love the music, I love the experience, and I love doubles with a little bit of sweet sauce and light pepper (laughs).
If you were to get married where would be your ideal setting, would you be a Caribbean Bride?
I would be a Caribbean Bride for sure. I’ve seen that day so many times in my mind. It will be an outdoor wedding overlooking the water and there will be poi trees everywhere. I envision a blanket of the white poi petals all over the grounds as I walk up the aisle. It will be an intimate personal wedding with about 50 of my friends and close friends.