Get Well with ModelFit’s Vanessa Packer
Fashion’s favorite nutritionist practices what she preaches.
What's that? Another new series? We know, we know. Let's put it this way: we're a nosy bunch (reminder: we go through people's homes for our 9-to-5) and that extends to health and wellness, too. From the boutique fitness classes people are blowing their entire paychecks on to how they top off their avocado toast, we want—nay, need—to know. Get Well is where we'll quiz our favorite people on their evolving ideas of wellness and health of all kinds—including what you don't necessarily see on Instagram.
Guys! It’s fashion week! Otherwise known as the biannual event marked by resounding grumbles from the industry that they must take Ubers all over the city to sit in chairs and watch pretty clothes parade past them...forgetting that all they have to do for their job is take Ubers all over the city to sit in chairs and watch pretty clothes parade past them. (Okay, and occasionally meet absurdly tight deadlines covering the spectacle. We'll admit that for many, ourselves included, fashion week can be a bit of a shit show.) But it’s also the time of year when everyone working in fashion feels the proverbial heat to look their best—it’s kind of our equivalent of bikini season—and that, friends, is Vanessa Packer’s bread and butter. As co-founder of our favorite health and wellness site, bonberi, and the co-founder, creative mind and nutritionist (phew!) at modelFIT, the industry’s go-to studio class, she’s used to working with the likes of Martha Hunt, Karlie Kloss and Vogue editor Kelly Connor. But what about her own routine? Let’s just say she practices what she preaches. Here, we got her talking about balance, IV drips and her encyclopedic healthy restaurant knowledge. No wonder fashion people love her.
“I believe that true wellness is found in balance, and I think that for each person that balance is different. The key is creating a foundation of wellness for you, whether it’s a green juice everyday, a morning workout, daily meditation, healthy eating, or a combination of them all. Having a base or a foundation of wellness that is unique to you, and a routine that you can stick to is the key.
[My goal is] to feel my best each and every day. My daily green juice, my daily workout, a strong foundation of healthy eating, daily meditation and a good night’s sleep are how I define my own wellness. When I do all those things, I feel my best.
[Over the years my idea of wellness has] simplified. I don’t do juice cleanses anymore or vary too much when it comes to switching up my diet. I have a stronger foundation of being healthy and my base is more established so I never veer to far off it. When I do indulge, I enjoy it and return to my foundation the next day.”
“Daily meditation is a big one, and I find walking to be very meditative. I relish my morning walk from my apartment in Soho to the modelFIT studio on Bowery. Also, my commitment to doing something active everyday, that daily sweat, is just as much for my mental wellbeing as it is for keeping my body strong and fit.”
“I always pack sneakers so I can run outside wherever I am. I love jumping into a yoga class on vacation or checking out the local studio scene. If I’m somewhere by the water, I love going on long swims. Whatever I can do to be outside is key, because I spend so much time in the studio when I’m in New York.”
“[I stay hydrated with] lots of water and warm water with lemon in the morning. I also love raw coconut water throughout the day. I order black coffee always. Whether it’s iced or hot, I like to taste the coffee.
I’m always down to experiment on myself and try new healthy supplements or treatments. Wellness IV drips can be pretty powerful, even though they are filled with natural ingredients.
If I’m cooking for myself it’s always on the more extreme spectrum of healthy and really clean. Raw salads always, and usually simply prepared fish or a grain bowl with a bunch of veggies; sometimes raw vegetable noodles. There are always a lot of fresh herbs involved and minimal salt.
[My favorite snacks are] raw vegetables and homemade guacamole or homemade white bean dip with garlic and parsley. [My guilty pleasure is] dark chocolate. And I’m a sucker for any dessert with caramel.
I don’t like to eat before I workout. If I really feel I need something, I’ll have a banana to hold me over. If I workout in the morning, I have a green juice, maybe a smoothie, or even a big bowl of fresh fruit after working out. If it’s evening, I’ll have dinner afterwards, which is always a big leafy green salad followed by a protein and veggies or a grain bowl with veggies.
[For breakfast everyday I have] green juice, smoothies, acai bowls, or fresh fruit. It depends what I’m in the mood for, but it’s usually one of those. I like to start my day on the lighter side.
[My favorite healthy restaurants are] Souen, Siggy's, Butcher's Daughter, Candle Cafe, Angelica Kitchen, Hu Kitchen.”
“modelFIT. All day, erryday.”
Advice for anyone looking to be healthier
“Don’t try to change your life overnight. Take small steps toward a healthier life each day and make the little changes that lead to sustained change. Each day you improve is you being healthy. Also, forgiveness. If you want to indulge, go for it, but don’t stress over it. Forgive yourself and move on, enjoy your life and find a balance that works for you.”