I’ve always been curious about…well just about everything and everyone.
Some days I spend my time reading people’s Wikipedia pages. Whether it be a figure of the past or present. I find people, and what makes them who they are, fascinating.
This desire to know about people, especially those I admire, has led to this revelation. To ask them.
My first interview is with someone I have followed on social media for quite a while. Not only is she gorgeous, but she is dedicated to leading a life of health and wellness in a fast paced world.
Valentina Zelyaeva is a successful print and runway model, as well as the face of Ralph Lauren When not on the job she’s sharing all she knows and continues to learn about health and wellness on her blog. (It’s amazing, check it out)
Originally from Russia, she currently lives in New York City. If you check out her Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you will see that she enjoys juices, smoothies and nature. But because she is a role model of mine, I wanted to know more.
Valentina was so kind to answer any questions I had and obviously I had to share them with all of you!
Were you always so conscious of healthy and green living? If not, what were some influential factors?
Growing up in Russia Every summer my parents took me and my sister to visit our grandparents who lived in a village in Siberia. everything was grown in their backyard. So i grew up with a strong connection to earth. at the beginning of my modeling years I lost this connection, but luckily I re-discovered my love for organic, mostly plant-based lifestyle. I live in New York where everything is available and accessible all year round. For me its all about a choice: i can choose to buy a skin care that is fancy and trendy or I choose an organic , eco-friendly, cruelty-free brand. Same goes with food, clothing, bedding, pet food etc. I think everyone should be educated, everyone deserves a right to know how your T-shirt is made, where your food comes from etc. I encourage people to be curious, get info and stay aware.
You’re a such a successful model, so your schedule must be crazy! What are some things that you do to keep yourself balanced, even when your schedule may not be?
I wake up early so I have my time in the morning to do some yoga stretch, meditation and prepare a healthy breakfast. I may take snacks with me to work (dark chocolate, fresh fruits, tea yerba mate) so i have a healthy food to snack on. But nothing works better then 1h and half of a good yoga class after long day of shooting.
On a day-to-day basis, what does your menu look like? (go-to meals? favorite snacks?)
Pre-breakfast: probiotics with full glass of water mixed with 1 Table Spoon spirulina.
nutritious smoothie (kale, cucumber, parsley, blueberries, flax seeds, goji berries, strawberries, hemp seeds)
Lunch: zaru-soba ( its a Japanese cold noodles made with buckwheat);
fish with steamed vegetables.
Snack: apricots, berries, figs (all those fruits in Summer)
Dinner: mixed veggie miso soup;
blended raw soup (cucumber, broccoli, kale, spinach, bell pepper, garlic, sea salt, olive oil.. combinations are endless)
Do you have any tips for our readers on how to stay healthy when traveling?
Eat whats fresh and local. I also don’t stress about food when I travel, because not everywhere you can order a kale salad with green juice. I drink lots of water, and take superfoods and healthy snacks with me (chlorella, walnuts, spirulina, chia seeds)
On your blog you’ve posted about natural beauty remedies, what is one that you absolutely could not live without?
Rose Water (Me too!) and Jojoba Oil
Although your healthy lifestyle must keep you in top form, is there anything special you do to get ready for shoots and runway shows?
I do yoga and train with a personal trainer. Before a shoot I try to eat light and have an early dinner so I wake up rested and fresh.
Speaking of runway shows, it’s probably a stressful (but fun!) time of year. How do you keep calm during all the chaos?
I just have fun with it! I connect with many people and I love this kind environment. Once the shows are over I book 1 week off just to relax, I book a massage, mani-pedi time, I sleep a lot and eat my favorite healthy foods.
Last but not least, what’s something you can share with us that’s not wellness related? (Examples: favorite books, music, favorite indulgence, go-to outfit?)
Just finished reading Shantaram. Amazing book! very well written, engaging story and complex characters – love this kind of books.
Favorite music is Deva Premal & Miten. I can listen to them all my life and never get tired. Their Music is made with love and radiates love.
Until next time…
The Wellness Maven