Bianca talks about how she is able to commit to a healthy lifestyle while balancing the demands of professional and family life
While the average person can probably hold off eating red meat for a few weeks or months, Bianca Araneta-Elizalde has been doing just that for over twenty years now. “I still eat seafood and poultry, so I’m not a fullfledged vegetarian,” she quips. Bianca also hasn’t had a single drop of alcohol or soda in a long time; one can imagine how clean and healthy her diet is.
These choices go beyond making simple dietary decisions or following trends—in fact, one can say that Bianca has championed clean eating even before colorful açai bowls and chia puddings became in vogue. Instead, these decisions underscore her unwavering commitment toward sustainable living to nurture herself, her family, and the environment. Years of healthy living are commendable enough, but Bianca impresses further by creating a successful restaurant concept, The Wholesome Table, inspired by her advocacy. What does it take for someone to be as passionate about one’s causes as her?
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Making the decision to go green may be easy, but upholding it with conviction can be challenging. For Bianca, the road toward healthy living was also an uphill climb that she had to surmount. “At first, my mom was having a hard time feeding me,” she recalls. “At the time, there weren’t many stores and restaurants selling organic food items. It was quite expensive to buy them at markets, too. Eating out was also quite a challenge.”
Her dedication also compelled her to drop all the modeling jobs and endorsements that she felt were not aligned with her values. “It got to a point, especially when I started having kids when I said that anything that I touch or get involved in must align with my philosophies,” she stressed. “I specifically told my agent that I wouldn’t lend my name and image to companies I don’t believe in anymore.”
All in the Family
As with any parent, Bianca wants her children to grow up healthy, happy, and in a wholesome way, “I am not too strict on them, honestly. Sometimes, Juan can get stricter than me!” she quips. “However, our kids have gotten used to our healthy and organic ways, so we haven’t encountered many difficulties with their diet and lifestyle growing up,” she says, citing how, for instance, her 14-year old daughter doesn’t drink soda at all, and that their younger daughters appreciate fruits and vegetables for breakfast. “Of course, they see what other kids eat and ask us about it. They’ve tasted junk food before—we just never make it part of the daily diet, and we do our best to explain why healthier options are better.”
“I always think about what my kids will learn from my advocacies and passion projects,” Bianca emphasizes. “It’s not so much about how they see me or what they think about me. It’s more about how my kids will benefit from the values I inculcate in them. I’ll feel more confident that, as they grow up, they’re more equipped and informed. They’ll look at nutrition facts and sources of food, for example. We just want them to clearly understand why we make the choices that we practice in the family.”
Read the full story on Lifestyle Asia’s March 2020 Edition titled, “In the Eye of the Beholder.”