Bianca Valle listens to her gut. When NYLON Magazine folded its print edition in 2017, where she was working as a Beauty Editor, Valle—driven by her fascination with food and its effect on the body—enrolled in nutrition school. Now a certified holistic nutritionist (and painter, zine-maker, and streetwear connoisseur) based in New York, Valle is disrupting today’s commercialized wellness space through her nutrition practice, serving up practical, attainable advice. Adolescent Content called Valle to chat about the simple tenets of her approach to nutrition and her belief that access to a nutrition education is a birthright.
Adolescent Content: What exactly is holistic nutrition, and what does the job of a holistic nutritionist entail?
Bianca Valle: Holistic nutrition is a practice of applying mind-body-soul connection techniques and ideologies toward the healing of other people. I had to go to school and get a certification. Once you have that certification, it’s kind of up to you how you want to deal with it and what you want to do with it, so I decided to open up my own practice, which is all over the phone. People all over the world can call me and we work together—whether it’s an hour once a week, an hour once a month—to try and really focus on connecting mind-body-soul.
Adolescent: How do the mind, body, and soul inform one another?
Bianca: It’s all connected, like everything in life. People are on the planet, the planet is a part of us, we’re a part of the planet. The seasons, cycles, emotions. Everything is cyclical and connected. It’s the same as our bodies. Everything is one, so it’s important to work together as a team with your mind, body, and soul to be the most well version of yourself.
Adolescent: You created a donation-based nutrition hotline. Can you tell us about recognizing the need for nutrition consultations in this format?
Bianca: When I started studying nutrition at school, I was sharing it with my community on Instagram. People were just so hungry for information and for me to answer their questions. People wanted answers. I thought to myself, there’s such a lack of information and this is so unfair because everyone should feel happy and deserves to feel good. So much of that comes from nutrition and food. By nutrition, I really just mean the intake of food and what foods go inside of you. There is some science behind nutrition, but my goal is to step away from this idea that nutrition should be science-based.
We don’t have time. Times are dire. The climate is changing. People are creating such superfluous things. We don’t have time to waste dilly-dallying trying to learn how the body breaks down certain proteins. The proteins you should be getting are very simple—they’re from the Earth. Everything else is made in a lab to get money. All these protein powders and protein bars and protein snacks. Humans weren’t intended to be eating protein out of a wrapper
That’s how the nutrition hotline was born. I feel a big responsibility on my shoulders to advance the collective. If that means getting on the phone with people for free and educating them, then that’s what I’m gonna do.
Adolescent: Before becoming a nutritionist, you were a beauty editor at NYLON, and you’ve also worked at Milk Studios and VFiles. What drew you to nutrition?
Bianca: Working in fashion and in media showed me a lack. I felt like there was a lack in meaning for me. That's not to say that in every job in media, beauty, or fashion there’s a lack, but when I was working there I felt like I wasn’t really serving others. Ultimately I feel like one of the most important things as a human on the planet is to do work that pushes us forward as a group. Might as well do something powerful while you’re here.
I’ve always had a big infatuation with food and how it affects my body. I recently found out, working with naturopaths and holistic practitioners, that I myself am not the strongest individual. I’m predisposed for autoimmune diseases. That means my body is actually quite weak. I definitely need more sleep, more exercise, and [a better diet] than the average person. I have to really take care of myself, so how can I make this something I can wake up and do every day? Since I’m so good at taking care of myself, maybe I should pass this knowledge on to others.
Adolescent: You’ve said before that “nutrition is a birthright.” Can you expand on what this statement means?
Bianca: I think there are a lot of birthrights as humans. We all deserve the best. We all are capable of being healthy. It’s just a matter of how you slice it: where you get your knowledge and how you allot your time, money, and energy. I think that in this day and age we’ve really misconstrued and tangled up the word “wellness.” It really doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to anymore. Today, wellness means yoga classes and hiring meditation teachers. But being well actually means being comfortable in your skin, your mind, your day-to-day. That’s being well.
Adolescent: Most people have probably never seen a nutritionist. How can we collectively work toward increasing access to information on nutrition?
Bianca: Education is key. It’s really quite simple. We need more resources. I offer a fifteen-minute donation-based call where I can answer any and all nutrition questions individuals may have. The reason that I do this donation-based service is because this is information that shouldn’t be kept. It should be spread. We just need more tangible literature, seminars, classes, and ultimately, more farms. We need less commercial, processed food, and more real food.