Monday, April 22, 2013

Hug a Tree! It's Earth Day!!

Today, April 22, 2013, marks the 43rd Earth Day! People all across the world will come together to celebrate Mother Earth! This years theme for Earth Day is "The Face of Climate Change". We constantly hear our country leaders talking about climate changes and global warming. These are already taking place in our world and are affecting animals, people, and beautiful places across planet Earth. What can you do to help minimize your carbon footprint?

These 5 verbs will help make our world a cleaner and better place for the future:


Happy Earth Day!

-Candice Bennatt
Miss New Mexico 2012

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beach Bikini Body for Summer

It is that time of the year again; the whether is starting to warm up which means pool time! SUMMER!! It is my favorite time of the year. Contrary to popular belief my Miss America body did not come easily. Months of hard work in the gym and making healthy eating choices put me in tip top shape to compete in my Catalina Swimwear on the Miss America stage in January. 

Since then, ya... I have eaten more pizza and pasta than normal, but I have still managed to maintain a healthy life style and a body I will be proud to show off in a swimsuit. On top of my busy work schedule, I am extremely active in the gym and other physical activities so that my body will be ready for the beach this summer. I stay fit for my future: I want to be healthy, happy, and a good role model for my children when I am older. It starts today! It is never too late to get in shape. Check out some of my simple fitness tips to help you get ready to rock your beach bikini body this summer!

Get Ready for the Beach with these Ten Simple Fitness Tips: 

1. Drink a lot of H2O!! (Water)
2. When you are on the road, carry a protein bar or beef jerky with you to deter you from fast food temptations.
3. Alternate upper body workouts and lower body workouts in the gym throughout your week.

4. Eat Healthy Carbs- Sprouts, lettuce, spinach, celery...VEGGIES!!!
5. Cut out what's" WHITE"- cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch, and bread.
6. Want to be lean? Consume lean cuts of meat!
7. Instead of going to the gym find a fun physical activity you can do with your family, like a bike ride or bowling. 
8. Looking for a flat tummy in your bikini?? Make sure to do abdominal exercises at least 4 days per week. 
9. Make 20 minutes of cardio and 30-45 minutes of weight training part of your daily routine. Keep your gym bag in the car so you can be sure to get a good workout in sometime during your day
10. When your body is sore, don't forget to take a break. After all your hard training, your body will need some rest to build and restore the muscles you have been working. 

Get started today on looking great and feeling great for all the summer fun! See you at the beach! 

-Candice Bennatt
Miss New Mexico 2012

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Miss America 2013

Wow! Competing at Miss America 2013 was a dream come true. It has been about two months since Miss America 2013 was crowned but, I feel like it was yesterday. When people ask me about my Miss America experience, it is difficult to articulate the words to illustrate it.

It was exciting, busy, extremely fun, and emotional at times. I cannot brag enough about all 53 contestants from around the United States. Each contestant brought her own puzzle piece to the table. The work that we all did to get there, to serve our states, and to compete throughout our year were so different but yet paralleled in so many ways. 

The friendships that we made are a bond that I do not think most people will ever understand. Pageants are definitely not like what everyone thinks they are. Of course there is tension at times, but it is very meek. Our Miss America Class of 2013 formed a sisterhood that will last a life time. We remain in contact via our private Facebook group page, when we travel from state to state, and of course on the telephone. I talk to Miss Texas, Miss West Virginia, and Miss Illinois pretty regularly. Having a girl friend in every state in the country is pretty awesome!
So I was home for about a split second when someone asked me "So what are you plans next?". It was at this moment that I realized that I really did compete at Miss America; I wasn't dreaming, and that now is the time to figure out what I want to do with my future. 

I cannot brag enough about what the Miss America Program has done for me. I definitely pay tribute to the woman that I am today because of the Miss America Program. I began in the Miss America's Outstanding Teen program at age 14. Today I am 23 years old, I have a fantastic education, and have several accomplishments I never thought were within my reach. Next step, most likely law school! I am not sure what the exact future holds for me but I do know that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve with hard work and dedication. 

As I continue my reign as Miss New Mexico 2012, I hope to inspire and encourage the contestants who are competing for Miss New Mexico 2013 and all the young women in our program that you truly can achieve your dreams. It definitely will not just happen for you. You must go out there and get it. When we work to improve ourselves daily, true success can be ours! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs Tragedy: Another Devastating Domestic Violence Story

NFL fans, family and people all across the country are morning the loss of 25 year old linebacker Jovan Belcher from the Kansas City Chiefs. What an incredibly sad story for such a successful young man, his girlfriend and their families.

Jovan Blecher shot himself in the parking lot of the practice facility yesterday after murdering his girlfriend and mother of his new baby. This story is highlighted in the news because of Jovan's position in the NFL, but in reality this same story happens throughout the country more frequently than we would would ever imagine. It is unfortunate that two young people's lives were taken due to domestic violence. 

I thought this would be a good time to go over some very evident precursors to physical abuse. This story lies near and dear to my hear because this was almost me when I was just 16 years old. Luckily, I was able to escape before my life was taken from me forever. 

Dating violence/ Domestic Violence does not happen with the first hit or the first punch. We all know that if we went on a first date and we were physically injured by that person that we would not stay with them. Violence begins with mental and emotional abuse and control. If you are able to recognize the precursors to violence then the cycle of abuse will slowly but surely come to a stop. What are the warning signs of dating violence? Here are the Top Ten warning signs to look for when you begin to date someone. These behaviors are precursors to physical abuse. (I ** five that I felt were the most common)

  • **Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Constantly putting you down
  • **Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • **Making false accusations
  • Mood swings
  • Physically hurting you in any way
  • **Possessiveness
  • **Telling you what to do
Visit for more information about dating abuse. 

Please remember that it can happen to you. It happened to me and I never would have thought with my leadership roles in high school that I would ever be a victim, but I was. Now is the time to break the cycle to end abuse. 

My condolences go out to the families's, friends, and others close to Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend who lost their lives yesterday. If violence can be learned it can be unlearned. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

35 Days Till I leave for Miss America 2013

Can you believe it?? Its already November 30th and we have made it through Thanksgiving... and Black Friday (for those of you who were daring enough to go shopping like me). I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend Thanksgiving in Houston with my mom and my grandpa. It was great to be able to spend time with them because they have been such a huge part of my year as Miss New Mexico. Even though they live so far away from me in Albuquerque, my mom and grandpa never failed to show their love and support for me. My mom even signed up for Facebook and Twitter just so that she could see where I am and what I am doing throughout New Mexico as I travel the state making appearances.

In just 35 short days I will be taking off to Las Vegas, NV to compete for Miss America 2013. My days are full of Miss America preparation and down time when I get the chance. From workouts, to interview training and practice, to rehearsing my talent... my days prior to Miss America are going by FAST!

People often ask me what I do when I get a chance to relax. I love to read non-fiction books! I just finished ready "No Easy Day" by Mark Owens. It was fantastic! I also like to spend time with my friends when I get a chance. In-between all of my Miss America preparation sometimes I get a change to catch lunch or coffee with a girl friend.

I hope you all are getting as excited as I am about Miss America 2013! I have been working hard in to prepare for the job. Make sure you mark you calendars for January 12, 2013 live on ABC from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino! 44 days and counting .... :) till the LIVE show !!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Miss Las Cruces Pageant 2012

Miss Las Cruces 2012 Pageant took place November 3rd at the Youth Court Center. Congratulations to Aaliyah Edgar- Miss Las Cruces Outstanding Teen and Sarah Jane Richardson - Miss Las Cruces!

Some of my favorite events as Miss New Mexico is to attend the local pageants across the state. I meet so many people and also get to support my friends who are still competing. I see girls grow so much from one pageant to the next. That is what is so wonderful about the Miss America Organization. This organization allows you to compete across the state if the pageants is what they call "open". This allows more girls to earn scholarship money for college and the opportunity to compete for Miss New Mexico and then Miss America.

All of the ladies that competed at the Miss Las Cruces Pageant this year were so talented and beautiful. The show was wonderful and I was honored to have been invited. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Thank you Alexis Duprey- Miss Las Cruces 2011 for your year of service!

Local Competitions Coming soon:
-Miss Carlsbad/ Miss Eddy County -January 5th, 2013.

-Miss Ruidoso- January 25th-26th, 2013.
-Miss Albuquerque/ Miss Rio Rancho- February 9th, 2013

Find out more by LIKEing the Miss New Mexico Org. FB page !

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Community Heroes Awards- by the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

I was honored to speak at the 2nd anual Community Heroes Awards in Las Cruces on October 26th. The event is presented by the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Although domestic violence and dating violence can be an extremely sad issue to work within, this event was an uplifting and positive. It honored several people across the state of New Mexico that helped in a huge way to promote domestic violence awareness, help raise funds for shelters, or simply honored people who have made an impact on the community regarding domestic abuse.

It was my pleasure to be there for these heroes. I was able to share my story with the audience and commend these every day folks for being heroes in their communities.

Domestic violence can stop. The cycle can be broken, but it takes an army of people who believe that "One is Too Many"to help others see what a huge issue domestic abuse really is in our country. Because of my personal experience and the way that I have helped others who have been in abusive relationships, I am taking this issue to the national level at Miss America. I believe that domestic violence is one public health epidemic that can be prevented.

Thank you again to Daniel with the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence for inviting me to be apart of these Awards! It was truly an honor to be amongst these HEROES.