She had some time to share with us her passions, how she finds moments of peace every day, and where she discovers the best bites around NYC.
Model, Health coach, natural foods chef, and yoga teacher, Vanessa Fitzgerald is an absolute wellness wizard. After facing her own health challenges, Vanessa emerged with a unique lifestyle that balanced a modeling career, a real estate career, and an evolving passion for personal health.
Vanessa had some time to share with me her following passions, how she finds moments of peace every day, and where she discovers the best bites around NYC.
The pressure of constantly being judged by my looks, body, and overall appearance caused me to bounce around between different fad diets, none of which were sustainable for the long term.
BWB: What inspired you to move from your work as a successful model to real estate agent and wellness expert?
I’m inspired by authenticity, and people who are themselves, living by doing what they love. My mother would always tell me growing up that you sort of “bump into” your life, and I feel that is exactly what has happened to me. I discovered my passion for health and wellness at age 14. I dabbled in modeling for a little while then, and my health actually declined at the time. The pressure of constantly being judged by my looks, body, and overall appearance caused me to bounce around between different fad diets, none of which were sustainable for the long term. Although modeling was fun at times, it didn’t fulfill me.
I decided to enroll in school to become a holistic nutritionist, as well as a Bikram Yoga instructor. Real estate followed as a way to support my passion financially. New York is one of the most amazing cities in the world, and it is also one of the most expensive, so sometimes you have to hustle by working multiple jobs in order to realize your dreams.
Once I gained confidence in myself, I left a comfortable high-paying job to pursue my dreams. My advice would be to never give up on your dreams, but to be smart about them.
BWB: What challenges have you faced making this transition in your career? Do you have any advice for others starting out as a health coach or opening their own practice?
My greatest challenge has been overcoming self-doubt. We can either be our own worst enemies or our greatest allies. Once I gained confidence in myself, I left a comfortable high-paying job to pursue my dreams. My advice would be to never give up on your dreams, but to be smart about them. I think it’s important to pursue your passion, but also to set achievable goals that allow you to support yourself financially.
BWB: Working in modeling and real estate while living in NYC must have been taxing at times. How did you find balance and bring more ‘light and energy’ to your life?
Meditation has helped me to quiet the chatter in my mind. I help organize a mass meditation called The Big Quiet where thousands of New Yorkers gather together to share 20 minutes of silence. If you’re ever in New York, you should definitely come. You can check out The Big Quiet Facebook page for event dates and details.
Download the Think Dirty app! I love it. You can scan the barcode of most products and the app will tell you how toxic/non-toxic a particular product is for your body.
BWB: What advice can you give to our readers who would like to switch from conventional to organic cosmetics?
Download the Think Dirty app! I love it. You can scan the barcode of most products and the app will tell you how toxic/non-toxic a particular product is for your body. I personally like Tarte makeup or BareMinerals. Grab some samples from the store and play around to see, which brand works best for you. Your skin is your largest organ, so whatever you are put on your skin eventually enters your bloodstream. It’s really something to think about.
I use the infrared sauna in my apartment once a week to clear my head and make my skin glow.
BWB: What are your daily beauty and wellbeing routines?
I lymph brush before every shower and make sure to end my shower with an ice-cold 1-2 minute rinse. I also try to break a sweat at least once a day for cleansing and use the infrared sauna in my apartment once a week to clear my head and make my skin glow. I drink bone broth every day to strengthen my joints, hair, and nails – it’s one of the best anti-aging secrets. Also, I really love using Andalou Naturals products daily on my face and body!
BWB: You travel a lot for work, which can be very draining, so can you share any “travel self-care” rituals that help you stay healthy and happy?
I make sure to take along an electrolyte powder for hydration when flying, and I drink a magnesium powder called Calm at night to help relax my body. I have digestive enzyme supplements on me at all times, as well, because you never know what kind of funky food you may encounter. I also enjoy a glass of red wine or tequila soda every now and then. I believe in everything in moderation, including moderation itself. Perfection is an illusion. We are all imperfect, so we need to do our best to be kind and patient with ourselves.
Wild has a really great gluten free pizza and salads. ABC Kitchen, on the other hand, has a very clean and glamorous feel, so I like to go there for a night out with friends.
BWB: What are your favorite go-to places in Los Angeles and New York City for healthy eating and dining?
There are tons of places I love to grab a bite to eat while running around NYC:
Wild has a really great gluten free pizza and salads. I personally love the Skinny Bitch pizza with vegan cheese. ABC Kitchen, on the other hand, has a very clean and glamorous feel, so I like to go there for a night out with friends. If I’m in the mood for an organic burger I’ll stop by Bare Burger, but, if your diet’s more plant-based, I highly recommend the all-vegan raw restaurant Quintessence. And some other favorites are Pure Food and Wine, Indie Fresh, Gemma, Victory Gardens, Rockin’ Raw, and Hu Kitchen if I want to pick something up to enjoy at home.
My list for L.A. is much smaller but just as good. A Votre Santé serves amazing quality dishes, and Earthbar has refreshing juices to beat the L.A heat. I also really like Café Gratitude for a casual lunch, and go to Erewhon Market for fresh produce and healthy snacks.
Sarah Anne brings her ‘wellness’ wisdom straight from the Midwest where she witnessed the power alternative of medicine firsthand during her father’s successful fight against cancer. Twelve years and thousands of hours of training since her father’s clean bill of health, Sarah is now a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner (AADP) and weight-loss expert who focuses on building a unique mindset and fun and rewarding wellness lifestyle in each of her clients.
Based in NYC, Sarah is the founder of the ground-breaking Holistically Slim movement. Her contagious smile, graceful demeanor, and unparalleled zest for life are central to both Sarah’s work and play, leading her to create of one-of-a-kind events and to embark on enlightening adventures across the globe.