Sustainable Wellness with BB Arrington
For BB, a richer life means embracing the physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental aspects. She helps people achieve a truly WELLTHY life—and we surely felt richer after our interview with her.
Her name is Breanna Bartley, people call her BB, and SHE DOES IT ALL. She’s a certified personal trainer, a holistic nutritionist, an actor, a singer, and a sustainability advocate. Most importantly, she’s dedicated to helping more of us achieve a WELLTHY life.
Because she promotes whole foods and nutrient-dense eating, she’s already encouraging the consumption of foods that are better for our planet. But her nutritional therapy services help to support people, too. With her guidance and inspiration, anyone can support their digestive health and energy levels or get help addressing PMS or auto-immune diseases.
In fact, her blog is a great source for tips and recipes to help anyone jumpstart a wellness or sustainability journey. If you’re in need of some guidance when doing leg lifts or a reminder that vegetables are GORGEOUS and totally worth eating, check out her Instagram page (bb.arrington), too.
Before doing that, keep your eyes peeled right here to read more about BB, her fitness journey, what the certified functional nutritionist eats, and why she’s the perfect #TerraChamp.
1. Your website talks about your commitment to “sustainable wellness for a richer life.” How does what we eat fit into that?
It means eating in season, eating locally, and supporting local food and farmers who produce in ways that are or have potential for regeneration. For example, eating locally raised meat and local in-season produce instead of commercially produced food from across the country or businesses that rely on a destructive agro-chemical business model. It means eating to meet your biological needs instead of what is most trendy or what others think you should be eating. Now I say this fully acknowledging the privilege and access one would need to have to eat in this manner. I always tell my clients to just buy the best they can afford and I educate them on what the different sustainability labels mean.
2. Speaking of food, we’ve seen a few tasty recipes on your Instagram and blog—do you have a favorite?
It’s funny you mention that because I am a freestyle cook-- I never mise en place because I never really know what I’m going to cook. I just look in the fridge and pantry to see what needs to be used before it needs to go in the compost. One of my good friends is a classically trained chef and she calls me the “anti chef, chef.” But here are a few tips to make your food taste great- ghee will add complexity, salt your meat before you put it away in the fridge, fresh herbs in your salad always, don't skimp on the fat!
3. We also LOVE that you’ve shared that it’s a privilege to move our bodies. Movement is so important, especially during times of uncertainty! We’d love to know a little about what brought you to movement, what jump-started your personal fitness journey?
I’m very lucky to have grown up with a healthy relationship with exercise. As a teen, I played tennis and took ballet. I would go on runs and play tennis with my dad as a way of bonding--it was just fun and I enjoyed the challenge. I was always envious of people who could run faster or longer than me or do more push-ups — I wanted to be THAT person. It really wasn’t until I graduated college that outside influences started to challenge that. Long story short, when auditioning to work at a boutique fitness company in New York, my build [muscular] was of concern despite my outstanding performance. It really stung. But I got over it with employment elsewhere and promised myself that I would never let someone else’s perception of my body change my relationship to exercise. Now I play tennis, lift at the gym, train Muay Thai, and do a bit of cardio to improve my aerobic baseline. I do a LOT of laundry.
4. Between nutrition, fitness, acting, and vouching for a better planet, we get that you’re super busy! How do you like to spend your downtime? I play tennis and chill with my husband, I lay on the sofa and daydream. I’m a bit of a homebody.
I play tennis and chill with my husband, I lay on the sofa and daydream. I’m a bit of a homebody.
5. Your idea of wellness revolves around six aspects (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and social). What brought you to this understanding and why do you think people generally have a narrow focus (i.e. on just emotional or physical)? How can we take a more holistic, well-rounded approach to our wellbeing?
I think many people don't take a holistic approach to their wellbeing because we’re taught to focus on what obviously isn't working. If you can’t climb the stairs to your friend’s 4th story walk up without getting out of breath, you label yourself “out of shape,” if you’re stressed out all the time you think about your mental health, etc. That element is the one that gets attention. The issue is that no trait exists independently. For example: being chronically stressed out will literally deplete your body of nutrients, dysregulate your hormones, distance you from loved ones, will have you question your purpose, and lower your cognitive capability. All aspects have an effect on each other. Just because the other parts of you haven’t pulled the emergency brake, doesn’t mean that you’re not about to run off the track.
The simplest way to take care of yourself is to eat well, eliminate/mitigate stress, love abundantly, focus on the positive, be a devout gratitude practitioner, and develop a loving relationship with the natural world.
6. In one of your blogs, you say that many people are overwhelmed by the science and social aspects of sustainability topics (so true!). Do you have any recommended books/influencers/podcasts/blogs that break down this stuff in an easy-to-understand way? Who are some of your #TerraChamps?!?
Oh boy, I must admit, my husband and his network are a huge source of information as we are connected with universities and he is a published researcher. I connect with farmers and other ecologists and soil scientists. The best way to understand and sort though the information is to ask yourself a few questions when reading about what is going on
1 | Look at the overarching objective. What does this information, at its core, want the audience to do?
2 | Who is funding the study or publication — what are their motives?
3 | What direct or peripheral information has been excluded from this conversation?
4 | How did they come to this conclusion?
5 | How privileged is this viewpoint?
6| What’s an alternative solution?
When you stop and ask yourself these questions, you’ll start to see the subtext more clearly, understand the motives, and get a more holistic understanding on the topic. From there you can decide what to do with the information.