A few weeks ago Real Housewife of Miami Lisa Hochstein's people emailed the BuzzFeed Shift editors to see if we wanted to interview her. "This 29-year-old beauty made three appearances in Playboy magazine and can often be found shopping, lounging, and hanging out with her maid and friend, Daysy," read the email. With the season shaping up to be one of the most entertaining of the Real Housewives franchise, I couldn't resist accepting the offer. Here is my conversation with the fabulous Hochstein.
I'm praying because we have a Halloween party on Saturday and we have a lot of friends flying in on Saturday.
Oh right. Sandy — good luck with that, yikes. What were you planning to dress up as?
I am going to be She-Ra, Princess of Power. I have an obsession with superheros and also unicorns. She-Ra Princess of Power is a cartoon I used to watch when I was younger and she rides around on a Pegasus. Unfortunately my husband doesn't want to be He-Man [She-Ra's twin] because he doesn't feel like he's in He-Man shape. But I'm having one of my girlfriends dress up as a unicorn. She's my Pegasus — I'm going to ride her around.
Do you always have a huge party?
Oh my God Halloween is my favorite time of year, my favorite holiday — we love it so much. We do our annual Halloween party that people from all over the world hear about. I think it's better than the Playboy Mansion parties.
Why is it better than Playboy parties?
Because it's our party. And everyone has said our parties are some of the best, sexiest, most fun parties they've ever been to. Miami is a sexy fun city and we really take Halloween more seriously than any other city.
What's it like being in the battleground state of Florida this close to the election? Can you feel the pressure building?
Oh of course. We're watching the debates in our movie theater with my mother and father. I can't even vote because I'm Canadian so I have another year before I get my citizenship and I can contribute my vote.
And how do you feel about being on the show now that it's airing and you can see what all your castmates said about you when you weren't there?
I really feel that in the beginning people maybe misunderstood me, maybe misconstrued my opening line — "I'm my husbands best creation" — and maybe wanted to not love me. But I've had such amazing fans in Twitter and Facebook messages saying, "I wanted to dislike Lisa but I just love her now." So I'm loving that people are really seeing my true personality. And I try to stay above the fray unless someone's directly attacking me, but I'm loving all of it.
Part of your storyline on the show is your struggle to get pregnant. Is it hard to talk about that so publicly?
There's a lot of women my age  and even younger struggling with the same issues. It's not something that people open up about because they think it's embarrassing. I think it really helped me and other women because they know that they're not alone. If anything, you show these women that there are options, that there are doctors, specialists — you can do acupuncture. There are endless options to try to make it happen.
The show is very much about your lavish lifestyle. Do you feel awkward about that in a time when so many Americans are struggling and unemployed?
We're not trying to show off or anything like that. We're simply living our lives and sharing it with the world. I'm just being me and doing my part giving back doing my charities [including the Komen Foundation and Humane Society].
I wasn't always so blessed — I definitely had struggles of my own, trying to become an American, trying to get my papers, so I definitely know how it feels to struggle and make something of myself. I feel like good things happen to good people and I feel like my life has been very blessed, and I feel like it's a result of who I am as a person.
How do you plan to use the show as a platform for other business opportunities?
I actually have my website launching, and it's almost like an online magazine. I'm going to be blogging and answering questions — I've been getting so many questions about my skincare regimen and fitness regimen. I'm hoping this will create a buzz and help me launch my nutritional supplement line and my skincare line, but Rome wasn't built overnight so one step at a time.
What kinds of nutritional supplements?
I'm hoping to start with a cleanse, fitness/nutritional supplements, and take it from there — slowly build and build and build and hopefully I can build an empire. I'm hoping that with hard work and the platform of the show that all my dreams will come true.
And what are some of your diet/fitness tips?
I definitely eat healthy as much as I can. I have my cheat days every Sunday. Some things I eat in the morning are my protein powder pancake — I can send you the recipe [author's note: she never did]. It's just protein powder, cottage cheese, oatmeal and you mix it all together with cinnamon and Splenda and you just make it like a pancake. it's such a tasty treat you don't even know it's super healthy.
So I'll work out and then I'll have my protein shake with bananas and chocolate and peanut butter and then I'll have a chicken salad after that. And for dinner I'll have whole wheat pasta with turkey meatballs. I substitute water for oil, I try to order the fish and have them hold the oil and cook with water, which is annoying to waiters and they want to hate me but they can't because I do it in my Lisa way.
Do you work out a lot too?
I work out three or four times in a week. In a good week I'll have four or five times.
So that's not a huge amount necessarily.
You can work out and eat like shit and you'll still look like shit because you'll have muscle and a layer of fat covering that muscle, so there's no point really. I do pilates, I run around my island, I take the dogs for a walk.
I've always been thin my whole life and I'm not trying to toot my own horn or whatever but I'm trying to have less of a boyish figure, which is why I like to lift weights. Some people have to work out more days during the week and up their cardio but for me I don't want to get any skinnier, I just want to be super healthy and super tight and toned.
Wait — "your island"?
We live on Sunset Island and there are four islnands that are the Sunset Islands. There's like 30 or 20 houses on each island. It's almost like a gated community except you are on an island.
Back to eating, how do you go out and party and drink and still stay on such a strict regimen?
So my tips and tricks are I like to drink either tequila or vodka with a sugar-free cocktail so I'll tell the waitress — anything can be made with Splenda unless it's natural fruit juices. So if these cocktials have added sugar, added syrup, tell them to hold that and use Splenda instead. Or you can't go wrong with soda water or shots even because shots are so tiny and it gets the job done. If you're looking to have a good time or get a buzz have a couple shots of vodka or tequila and you're good to go.
And how about tanning? Do you spray tan or what?
I do not put any sun whatsoever on my face. I use spf 50 if I can or spf 15 on a bad day if that's all I have. Married to a plastic surgeon I know the sun is one of the number one things you should never put your face. So I like to spray tan and I usually have somebody come to me and spray me in my shower or have their little tent sent up [at my house]. That way you're not ruining your skin you're not getting wrinkles and you still look fabulous. Surgery won't fix sun damange — you can't do a lift on your body or on your hands.
Mitt Romney is apparently a big spray tanner, too.
He likes to take care of himself. Good for him — he likes to look presentable. Everyone's looking at his face and he has to look the part.
And what's your favorite internet cat video?
My girlfriend she did this cat rap video. I'll find it and send you the link [author's note: she never did, and although her publicist later followed up to make sure I would portray Lisa in a "positive light" she didn't sent the link because she "couldn't find it."] — it's called the cat rap on YouTube. I think it's freaking hilarious.