Meet Bianca Valle
, a certified holistic nutritionist and painter whose voice in the wellness space is a breath of fresh air (especially when the world of wellness can be so overwhelming, expensive and complicated). Her work isn’t limited to just nutrition and painting though - she has produced her own wellness zine, she models sometimes, and she has a small community on Instagram that she has been cultivating since she moved to New York seven years ago. So we were excited to chat with Bianca about how she found her calling as a nutritionist, why she started a nutrition hotline, what she’s working on right now, and when was the last time she cut her hair.
Where is home for you?
I grew up in San Diego, CA which is truly home for me, and moved to NY to attend NYU for school. For the past three years, I’ve lived in Chinatown, NY, which I love living in - it’s very convenient and so close to everything! I can walk three blocks and be in SOHO or pop over the bridge and be in Williamsburg. But I’m also living in a very “New York” apartment, so I’m living on top of my clothes and also trying to manage painting in this space as well!
How would you describe your personal style, and how has it evolved in the last five years?
My style has always been guided by my intuition, by my heart, and by my stomach. And it’s very much influenced honestly by my experiences, like when I studied abroad in Paris and I saw girls wearing their uniforms. I actually get inspired a lot by the men in New York, and that has really contributed to my absolute devotion to straight leg pants.
Here’s the million dollar question - how long have you been growing out your hair for? Because it’s length is amazing!
Thank you! Well, I don’t want to say forever, but my hair has always been long
— even when I was a little girl. The last, last time I truly cut it, I was a junior in high school and I donated 12 inches to Locks of Love. Ever since then, my hair has never been short. My last hair cut was two years ago, and it was just a trim!
What about having long hair do you love?
It’s a big part of my culture. I’m hispanic and my parents are from Mexico, so I think a lot of my long and fast-growing hair can be attributed to genetics. It’s just always been a part of me. With that being said, I have nothing against short hair - in fact, I would love to cut my hair since its less maintenance. But it is special being able to grow my hair like this, so I’m trying to take advantage of my genetics.
Can you tell us a bit about how you found your calling as a nutritionist?
Sure! So, first things first, I’m very into astrology. I’m not saying that astrology is 100% true or factual, but I’ve noticed over time that like many other Taurus’, I’ve always had a very strong relationship with food. A lot of chefs are Taurus’, a lot of people who are into catering are Taurus’, and a lot of foodies are Taurus’, and I've always been a big foodie.
Growing up, my family was relatively healthy and fruits was a big part of my nutrition at home. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to Mexico City, but there are always so many types of fruits out on the streets! I remember my dad was always very adamant about showing my brother and I how to find a good avocado, check the best bananas and pick the ripest fruits. There are a lot of other life skills that are probably more important to teach, but that was what my dad wanted to pass on to us and I’m grateful for that. So ever since my childhood, I’ve always had a very big spot for food in my heart.
When I graduated from NYU, I started working as a part of the community management team at MILK studios and started writing on beauty and wellness. Then I moved to Nylon to write on fashion and wellness. When the print issue was no longer being supported at NYLON and my team and I were laid off without warning, I took some time to dig deep and figure out what I really wanted to do. I had felt backstabbed by the editorial and corporate world and hated how I was treated like a number. I didn’t want to put myself back into an environment where I would once again feel so disposable. So I told a friend that I was really attracted to food and she suggested that I go back to school. And that’s what I did. I went back to school, did a year long course and became a certified holistic nutritionist.
Also, we love the fact that you run a nutrition hotline! Can you tell us a bit about why and when you started it?
I started my hotline maybe less than a year ago. The funny thing about running your own business is that every day is a Monday. So my sense for timing is so thrown off because everything is constant and weekends don’t exist for me. So honestly, I don’t know exactly how long ago I started the hotline, but the reason why I did it was because I started posting about my journey at school when I was studying to be a holistic nutritionist. Many members of my community started asking me, “Bianca, what do you think about this” or “Bianca, what do you think about that?”. And it was important to me that I didn’t leave anyone hanging in my DMs as they had put forth their energy to reach out to me, so I felt like it was my duty to reciprocate that energy. I thought back to myself, dang, I really want to answer all these people and respond to them personally because everyone’s body and health issues are just that
— personal. So I opened a new line on my old iPhone and had people set up appointments and call me on a donation basis.
As a certified holistic nutritionist, can you tell us your favourite go-to meals or recipes?
Yeah! Anything from the earth - fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds - you name it. To be honest though, if I was about to leave my physical body and had only one meal left to eat, I would have a big bowl of rice with kimchi.
We love how you chose kimchi and rice and not a giant feast!
I love rice! I have to hold back from eating white rice everyday because my personal bioindividual nutritional system does not handle it well.
There are many parallels between fast food and fast fashion, and likewise, slow food and slow fashion. How does your knowledge about nutrition inform your choices about your clothes, if at all?
It does and it doesn’t. I try to walk through life with as much integrity and mindfulness as possible, but I still love the newest sweater by Acne and following and supporting the newest NYC brands like Sandy Liang. I think mindfulness is also about buying what you want but making sure you wear it a lot and reminding yourself, “do I truly need more?”. For example, I have this little denim set by UNIQLO that I’ve been consistently wearing for the past three days. I’ve been thinking to myself, why do we need more clothes? It’s about slowing down, being mindful and consuming less but still enjoying things.
How do you practice sustainability in your day to day life?
I always make sure to carry around with me a reusable coffee mug and water bottle, a bag and tote inside of my tote (in case I buy something), and reusable tupperware to take food home with me so I leave no food waste. I wear my clothes as much as possible, and being on the internet, I receive a lot of emails from brands that want to work with me and often ask myself, “Bianca is this truly something that you want to try?”. Unless it’s a “Hell yes!”, then it’s a “No, thank you”. In regards to mindfulness, there are also so many brands in general that I choose not to work with because of their principals. I really try to align with companies who are doing things that I believe in. For example, I’ve turned down countless pitches from supplement brands because in my nutrition practice, I don’t believe in supplements. It’s all baloney.
If you had to recommend one place that readers should travel to, which would it be and why?
Honestly, Spain. People need to go to Barcelona and Madrid. We’ve been seeing so much of Paris and Tokyo, but people need to get out to Spain and experience that slow living. It’s so beautiful.
Are there any nutritional myths you’d like to debunk for our readers?
Yeah, just don’t listen to what anyone else says but your body. And if you don’t know what your body is saying, then come to me.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
Oof, I’m trying to have a typical day but I’ve learned that running your own multiple-pronged business does not set you up for a routine. So un-learning my daily routine was a big struggle in the beginning and it made me very uncomfortable initially. But now my days have become very fluid and malleable and I’m more open-minded to taking things as they come. My days consist of a lot of emailing brands, responding to my clients and setting up appointments on the hotline. It could be painting one day, taking meetings the next, exercising every now and then, sleeping, cooking, and making sure I drink lots of water.
What piece of clothing makes you feel most like yourself?
Straight leg jeans, a hoodie and vans.
Where are some of your favourite places to eat and hang out in New York?
For food, this is so boring and basic, but I love Sweetgreen. I live at Sweetgreen. Beyond Sushi is also amazing. I love Cafe integral for coffee and I can’t forget Matchaful.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on honestly myself. A lot of people put so much effort into things outside of themselves, and I think for me, I want to live this life where it ebbs and it flows. Sometimes I’m putting 100% into my career or 100% into myself, and sometimes I’m putting 50% into both. But always putting everything into your career leaves you high and dry and can lead to unhappiness as you’re cultivating so much outside of your heart. At the end of the day, as much as I love my practice and painting, I still need my sleep and need to be mindful about what I eat and how much I hydrate. Also, it’s important that I surround myself with uplifting people. So I really think I need to hone into the simple things right now and keep working on myself.
What is the legacy you hope to leave on this world? What are you out to accomplish?
To live with integrity, have kindness be your religion, and put your health at the forefront.