This week marks the first week of Autumn for those living in the northern hemisphere. Known as a season of finding stability and grounding, Autumn can seem like the beginning of the end for many people, especially those who thrive off of the optimism & vitality that come along with Summer.
With less sunlight and colder weather, Autumn is our yearly reminder that personal wellness is not a luxury, it’s essential and we are all prone to needing some guidance at one point or another. Whether we choose to focus on our physical, mental, or spiritual wellness is up to us; but here at New York Gal Mag we understand that regardless of the sector(s) we feel most compelled to nurture, it is only possible when we feel a sense of community. With this thought, we have begun 3-part series called Entering Autumn, which will be a group of interviews featuring some of the most influential & insightful wellness advisors right now; who will talk about their own journeys into wellness as well as providing tips and tricks on how to combat the tribulations of entering a new season.
In this first interview, we got the opportunity to speak with Brooklyn-based physical wellness advisor, Arielle Simone. With her vibrant and outgoing personality, Ms. Simone has gradually created a community for those interested in understanding the link between the foods we eat and our mental health, which is essential, especially during this season. We were fortunate enough to discuss topics such as her introduction to physical wellness, personal recommendations for the season & much more.
Full interview below.
Before we begin, would you like the opportunity to introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Arielle Simone. I’m from Brooklyn, NY. and I am a Holistic Nutritionist teaching people how to eat for energy.
You have undoubtedly become one of the most recognizable voices in wellness over the last year; but I’d like to start at the beginning. Do you remember what kickstarted your interest in wellness, specifically physical wellness (ie. nutrition)? Was it something you were made aware of growing up?
I was a fashion/commercial model for 3 years and then I got really sick keeping up with the industry standards. I was very malnourished and dehydrated; and after I was hospitalized in 2013, I knew that I needed to take my health and wellness a lot more seriously. Being skinny was not enough. I had to start moving my body. I had to learn how to listen and honor her.
Health and wellness was not really a major thing in my household. My parents always kept me in some sort of physical activity but we never really exercised or ate healthy foods. It was actively learning how to listen to my body that started my wellness journey.
I was also a personal trainer for 4 years. This taught me a lot about physiology. I started noticing that my clients weren’t really seeing the best changes until they started incorporating a better diet. From then, I started studying nutrition.
For as long as I’ve known about you, I’ve associated your platform with both physical and psychological wellness. Was it an intentional choice to speak on the link between the foods we eat and our mental/emotional health?
Yes! This was extremely intentional. I was a personal trainer for about 4 years before I transitioned into getting certified in nutrition. The more I started working with clients I realized that before we can actively change our diet we need to discover our habits and who we are as emotional eaters. This led me into the psychology of eating.
From studying the psychology of eating, I was able to transition into holistic nutrition which was eating and nourishing the whole body.
I think one of the things that makes you stand out is that you give your audience the ability to choose. When it comes to lifestyle choices such as food, professional advice often feels more like a command than a recommendation; but you have always emphasized the importance of learning one’s own needs. Do you think this approach is what’s made people gravitate towards you?
I appreciate you so much for noticing that. Let me start there. So thank you! And yes! I think more than ever people are actively listening to their bodies. This pandemic has truly forced us to sit with ourselves and prioritize our feelings, our thoughts, our bodies, etc. In doing that, self-awareness and who we want to be has been heightened. I always want to come off encouraging the world to do what they feel is right with their body after intentionally listening. Our bodies are constantly telling us everything we need to know. It’s just my job to help people navigate through that space in a healthy way.
I’m sure most people know you through the content you produce on social media, but they might not know that you offer professional advice such as nutrition consultations, programs, and customized meal plans. Of the many services you provide, which service would you recommend to someone who is just starting out?
I would recommend the 1 Month Nutrition Program for beginners. This includes a holistic nutrition consultation where we spend 1 hour talking about your wellness goals. I design a customized plan to nourish the mind, body, and soul that’s in alignment with your goals. It is two sessions that give us time to follow up with one another. For more in-depth goals, I would recommend the 3-Month Nutrition Program. You will learn so much about creating a healthier lifestyle that specifically works for you.
I think both the 1-Month and 3-Month programs are perfect for any time of the year but the Autumn season is really good because we’re going to be eating more seasonal produce. More root vegetables. More foods that keep us warm and grounded. Along with lifestyle habits to help with anxiety, mood swings, and depression which all seem to sky-rocket once the weather starts getting colder and our days start getting shorter. Also, the program is perfect for building a healthy gut and immune system so to fight off any inflammation or infections.
For some people, the transition from Summer to Autumn is a bit difficult. When it comes to making this transition a bit smoother; are there any resources (specifically, books) that you would recommend?
Yeah, the transition from sunny, long, vibrant days to shorter, darker, colder days can be very difficult for people. My top 5 favorite books to help us elevate physically, mentally, and spiritually: African Holistic Health by Dr. Llaila Afrika, Big Magic Thinking – Elizabeth Gilbert, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle, and Atomic Habits by James Clear
You’ve done so much in such a short span of time, but I know that one of the highlights will be the wellness retreat you will be on shortly. Can you tell us a little more about that?
I am so, so excited about this Paradise + Vibe wellness retreat in Costa Rica. It will be from October 2-10, 2021 near San Jose, Costa Rica. It will be 8 days of yoga, adventure, and plant-based eating. I am hosting workshops on plant-based eating, home-cooking, and emotional eating. We will be discovering who we really are as emotional eaters and learning how to heal our life through food and lifestyle habits.
To learn more about wellness retreats, make sure to look at our article ‘5 Wellness Retreats in the U.S That Will Relax Any NY Gal.’
I don’t want to take up any more of your time, so this will be the last question. When you look back on the steps you’ve made in your journey so far, how does it feel? (Are you fulfilled?)
Another question that I love. I am extremely fulfilled. Some days I have to really look around, hug myself, and honor myself for all of my accomplishments. I really was a struggling model with no real concept of mind-body connection or awareness and I’ve done the necessary work to heal myself. I then educated myself on how to help others heal their bodies through food and lifestyle habits and the rest is history. This is truly fulfilling work and it makes my entire soul smile when people can learn something new or feel inspired to nourish themselves.
For a long time, I felt so scattered. Model? Personal trainer? Group Fitness Instructor? Nutritionist? But now I’m realizing more than ever that every job title has shaped me to be exactly who I’m supposed to be. Not only am I fulfilled but I’m super grateful as well.
Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your supporters?
I’d like to say that your wellness journey is extremely personal. What works for somebody else’s body may not work for you. And that is okay. Start listening to your body and paying attention to how certain foods and habits make you feel. Ask yourself, do I need a good stretch? Or more water? More sleep? More creativity? More intimacy? More greens? More movement? Wellness is truly holistic and includes the mind, body, soul. Starting off in small practical ways like creating a morning routine will get you so far in your wellness journey. Spend more intimate time alone with yourself to develop this better mind-body connection.
If you are interested in learning more about wellness, be sure to check out our article ‘4 Ways to Invest in Wellness‘
To those interested in learning about Ms. Simone; be sure to follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her official website where you can also check out all the services she offers!