The fabric of our society is now woven six feet apart, and in a time where the media and news constantly remind us to take care of those around us, our loved ones, neighbors, and our community, Bianca Valle, is here to remind you of the importance of also checking in with yourself, placing health at the forefront on your intentions.
A certified Holistic Nutritionist, Bianca, @vbiancav, utilizes her powerful and honest voice to spread kindness and transparency on social media. Endearing and vibrant, she is just as friendly as her colorful and approachable media-presence alludes. Bianca believes that health is a lifelong practice, and aims to dismantle the common cultural misconception that health and privilege are linked. With a donation-based nutrition hotline, Bianca offers twenty-minute consultations for all who desire to place an emphasis on the importance of their own health journey. Along with her wide-reaching nutrition practice, Bianca has also produced and illustrated her own wellness zine. Outside of her practice, she can be seen in countless advertisements and partnerships with some of the largest household brands, such as Nike and North Face, highlighting her mission to spread accessible wellness on a global scale.
As we slow down during this uncertain time, many of us have refocused our energy previously spent on commuting, planning, or socializing, onto our health. While there is no right way to spend this time, I have personally begun to tenderly reshape my relationship with my mental, physical, and emotional being. Bianca’s message has acted as a light in these times, filling me with confidence and joy as I scroll through an endless stream of content. Health is a personal journey, and Bianca is here to remind you there is no one universally right way to achieve your full potential.
I had the chance to speak with Bianca briefly on the phone, asking her some of our outstanding questions on nutrition during these turbulent and unprecedented times. As she arrived back from her local market, she cheerfully answered my questions amidst washing her local produce, adding to her overall approachability and charm. While this period offers a chance to recenter and refocus energy, it also offers a chance to start and discover your own health journey, a journey that can blossom and live past this period of isolation.
As we continue to settle into this period of uncertainty, do you have any tips for more mindful grocery shopping practices?
Buy less. Only take what you need! Attempt to grocery shop as you previously would when it comes to selecting an assortment of fruitful and beneficial essentials. That’s not to say it is a time to hit the cookie aisle or processed foods. Hit the produce. Stock up on beans, oats, and rice, some of my pantry staples.
In my nutritional practice, I truly believe, regardless of panic or uncertainty, processed goods should always be kept slim to none. They lack delicious and healthy nutrients for us; they are low vibration. With lots of chemicals, binders, and colorants, these can be the source of feeling “sticky” or sluggish. It’s similar to that feeling we may become overwhelmed with when we eat a meal at a restaurant that is cooked with a cheaper oil or conventionally processed butter. These lower quality household processed goods can weigh us down.
Let’s talk “Vibrations.” Can you explain what you mean by this term to our readers who may not be as familiar with your nutrition language?
Everything on the planet has a vibration. For example, if you place an orange next to a granola bar, the living, breathing, vibrant orange will vibrate at a higher frequency than the packaged, dead, processed granola bar. Tapping into your intuition, ask yourself, ‘Between these two foods, which have a higher vibration?’. We were all given this gift, and sometimes we too often deny ourselves this notion.
During this time where many are grocery shopping less frequently, do you have any tips for prolonging the life of produce?
Rinse your produce. I would suggest integrating this into your daily practice regardless, but in this heightened period of alertness, from waxes to preservatives, we never know what is on our produce. Wash with a little hot water, vinegar, or a natural soap such as Meyers. With a slight amount of suds, rinse the produce and dry.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to preserving your produce. Right now I have apples in the freezer. Sometimes, at the market, you may buy more fruits and vegetables than you may end up eating. Let your produce send you signs! After a few days, if you realize ‘Oh man, I am not eating those apples as fast as I thought I would,’ you can cook or freeze them.
We tie so much emotion to our food, letting others dictate how we handle our own nourishment. At the end of the day, you as a human have been given all of the tools to navigate our own health. Media dictates our health, however, we have all the tools necessary in our minds, in our hearts, our stomachs, and our intuition. We must begin to become more logical about our food.
Do you have feelings about health-driven routines?
As New Yorkers, we try to control everything. This notion of letting go of what we “should do” can be beautiful, especially during this time.
The answer to most of our questions is to take a deep breath. Relax. Stay calm. Stay Centered. Have Faith. Lean into it with integrity. Only go out when you need to. Take only what you need. Be good. It is so unfortunate to let these primitive, animalistic instincts to shine through more than this need and desire to be good. Right now it is about being mindful, and cultivating this instinct to be good. We need that more now than ever.
What advice do you have to give to those of us out there who may be intimidated by this cultural conception of wellness?
The best way to approach starting your own health journey or fine-tuning your current journey would be to shut out the noise. I am teaching and practicing from my own experience.
I was in your position once too. I would spend hours at night, reading one article after another, after another, and another, and another, thinking ‘oh my gosh, I just don’t know!’. That is such a disservice. Most of the media out there is writing with language that pins us against ourselves, which is truly so sad. Thankfully, so many outlets are turning to the truth. Rather than spinning marketing and these buzzwords, people are coming clean with their health and themselves.
Listen to your own body. Remember everyone is different. Just because something works for one person, does not mean it will be the right thing for you. Especially during this period, be quiet with yourself. Be intimate with yourself. Take note of how you feel after you eat something. Ask yourself, “Do I want to repeat this feeling or not?”. This is such a rare opportunity to directly observe the results of the energy our food grants us, take advantage of this as a way to get to know yourself better. And Chill out! Wear less.
What lessons have you taken away personally thus far from this period that you would like to share if any?
What I’ve noticed is everyone saying the “fluff” has fallen away. Take note of what may be falling away for you–whether it be having a different outfit every day or what have you, there are so many things that have fallen to the wayside. Take note and pay attention to what is essential to your happiness and your existence. Be slow, be mindful, and be extra sensitive. So many people are suffering. However, so many people are not. Being able to stay home during this uncertainty is such a luxury, so it’s merely a matter of keeping yourself in check, and maintaining this notion of perspective.
Collectively, it feels as though we have begun to realize that it is truly okay to slow down. It’s actually not something to frown upon, but rather, this is something particularly noble. Especially living in New York City, we are often pushed to hustle, to have the next project planned, the next move schedule, the next this, that next to that. It feels as if people are not looking up to that life for inspiration or safety or guidance, but rather, we are looking to the more mindful, the slower living, the warm, grounded people that focus holistically.
We also do not have to eat every meal out in New York. Eating outside of your own kitchen should be an occasion, not an every night thing. Be quiet with yourself, and understand how you feel with your home-cooked meals. We are all chefs now. How exciting is that?
In these moments of trauma, it is all connected in mind, body, and spirit. If you are not balanced, you cannot thrive to your full potential.
For more information on how to order your own copy of Bianca Valle’s “A Note on Wellness” check out her website, biancavalle.com.
Featured Image via Golde, with original graphics