27 Ways modelFIT Founder and Nutritionist Vanessa Packer Stays Healthy, Happy and Beautiful In the City
Former stylist turned holistic nutritionist and fitness entrepreneur Vanessa Packer works with clients that range from fashion editors to supermodel Karlie Kloss. She first launched her food and lifestyle site Bonberi (with writer Nicole Berrie) to showcase how "living mindfully and healthfully can be beautiful and stylish" and just last year opened the boutique fitness studio modelFIT with her personal trainer Justin Gelband. Here, Packer lets us into her NYC lifestyle.
What’s a typical food day?
My day progresses from light to heavy, meaning my heartiest meal is dinner. I start my day with (1) warm water and lemon, and really for the first two hours of the day I'm just drinking water, which keeps me hydrated all day long. I have a (2) black coffee about two hours after I wake up. Coffee is a dehydrator so I always say to have two glasses of water for every one cup of coffee.
I'm really not hungry until around noon. I'll have a (3) juice, smoothie, or acai bowl. Or I'll do a (4) leafy green salad with roasted or grilled veggies. If I'm hungry for a snack in the afternoon, I'll eat raw vegetables, or snack on some organic granola. Dinner usually happens around 8:30 or 9 p.m. It always begins with a leafy green salad with lots of vegetables. My entree is either (5) fish with vegetables, or a quinoa bowl with vegetables and legumes, something that is properly combined with a lot of flavor. I'll have some (6) dark chocolate for dessert if I'm in the mood, and I always have herbal tea before I go to bed.
What is always in your fridge?
Always a ton of fruit like (7) bananas (they must be over-ripe). There's always a variety of (8) squash and sweet potatoes because they have a long shelf life. I have (9) different types of greens for juicing like lacinato kale, baby kale, spinach and arugula. And a ton of veggies like Persian cucumbers and bell peppers.
What are some of your favorite New York restaurants?
For lunch, I head to (10) The Butcher's Daughter, (11) Smile to Go, (12) Maman for their lentil arugula salad or (13) Jack's Wife Fredafor their Greek Salad or Mediterranean Breakfast. For dinner, I love to go to (14) Locande Verde, (15) ABC Kitchen and Cocina and (16) Blue Ribbon Sushi.
Do you have a favorite hangover cure?
(17) A juice of spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon. My mom came up with the combination, and I swear it's the only thing that works. It's a lifesaver.
What's a beauty splurge?
I splurge on (18) monthly facials at Aida Bicaj, that's one thing I won't go budget on. I'm crazy when it comes to maintaining my skin. My go-to's are (19) Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50, and (20) Joelle Ciocco's exfoliator.
Are there any beauty must-haves that are budget-friendly?
(21) Cheap shiatsu massages like Keisy in the East Village, which offers an hour long massage for $50. Can't really beat that.
For beauty I tend to go pretty basic with shampoo and conditioner since I am just washing it out of my hair. But then I invest in a good hair dyer. I feel the same way about face cleansers. Since I am just rinsing them off I buy whatever is mild and fragrance-free from the drug store. I also experiment with the different clay masks they sell at drug stores. Before I travel I buy a a few varieties since, as single application masks, they are easy to travel with.
Also, every girl needs a good mascara. I have found that (22) Clinique's voluminous mascara is just that. I try to be as natural as possible when it comes to wearing makeup and love (23) Dr. Perricone No Blush Blush, since easy to blend.
My newest obsession is (24) Moringa Oil from Moringa Connect. This super potent beauty oil evens out skin tone. The women who started the company went to Ghana, were introduced to the Moringa Tree and devised an extraction system that would benefit the farmers and add jobs to the community. They established their base in Ghana, and constantly gives back to the community, which is so important.
Shoutout to any other creative entrepreneurs?
(25) Outdoor Voices, my friend Tyler's activewear brand, creates a beautiful aesthetic with great materials.
We have these great ice pops made from juice at modelFIT during the summer called (26) Innocence Ice Pops made by Sophie Milrom.They are the greatest thing ever.
The women at (27) Sakara Lifesent me their Beautiful Water, which is alkaline water laced with rose oil and other beautifying ingredients. I'm totally obsessed with it.