Fernanda de la Puente + The Art of Eating
We first noticed Fernanda de la Puente on Into the Gloss when she spoke about her Peruvian background, what it was like growing up with a "fat eye", and how her path to holistic healing aided her curiosity in the psychology behind "how we eat".
Read on to find out what Fernanda believes it is about the act of eating that can help you navigate life, and how to finally experience food in the most conscious ways possible.
"I was interested in that primal brain and also the higher, elevated, spiritual one, and how we as humans get to have both."
HOW, WHAT + WHY YOU'RE EATING
People focus so much on what to eat - all different kinds of people saying all different kids of things, and there’s too much focus, too much stress, on the what that we’ve lost touch with the how. How you're really eating, if you're enjoying your meal, if you're eating slowly, if you're breathing, if you're putting your fork down. Most people don't even put their fork down in one whole meal.
I grew up on a farm in Lima Peru, where I started studying nutrition right out of high school. Then I went to school in California, to Cal Poly University, where I studied nutrition more formally. My mom has one of the first organic farms in Peru, so I grew up just really connected to food, and I always wanted to dive deeper. I was also a really big eater when I was little. People called me ‘fat eye’ because everything I would see I wanted to eat. I always had this loving thing with food. Then I went to study nutrition, and all of a sudden, I started to hate it. Three years into my career I was like, ‘What is this becoming?’ According to me, what I was learning wasn't really teaching me how to be healthy. It was a lot about counting grams of protein and carbs in a very constrictive kind of method. Food had lead me to the question of how to be happier, and how to live a more interesting, full life.
ON PRIMAL BRAINS + BEINGS
When I moved to New York, I noticed that everyone knew what they were suppose to eat and what they weren't. Like, ‘you need to have protein and calcium and not too much sodium…’ But I found the reason they weren’t really able to implement these 'rules' into their lives was because of a more psycho-emotional aspect of relating to food.
In New York, we’re so tired and anxious during the day, that when we come home, we just want to let go. Food is how people usually do that. This is why I started studying eating psychology. I was like, ‘I think I need to dive deeper into this area and start seeing the connection that we all have with food.’ We're such primal beings, like animals. I was interested in that primal brain and also the higher, elevated, spiritual one, and how we as humans get to have both. This is also why animals don't have overeating issues, but humans do. An animal knows when to eat and and when to stop eating, because they feel what they need. They know how much and when and all that. Humans have lost that connection.
"To burn calories, you need oxygen."
FERNANDA'S TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME A MORE CONSCIOUS EATER
I think that the first thing is definitely recognizing your eating rhythm, like if you're a slow, moderate, or fast eater. That's a big one for me. I recently did a post about eating alone and in silence, because if your brain doesn't have the full experience of eating, then it will ask for more. If you're not there while eating, if you're not present or if you're off, drifting away and just eating really fast, you don't really get the full experience of the act of eating. Then after that, you'll keep wanting more! It sounds super simple and obvious, but it's huge and we can easily forget the importance there. If you can become really aware of when you’re doing that, hopefully it will infuse the rest of your life and you’ll become more and more aware. That's the goal.
Breathing while you're eating also helps with calorie burning. If you think about it, to burn anything you need oxygen. So to burn calories, you need oxygen. Breathing deep also helps expand the belly, which is where everything is going. It helps with digestion and especially with metabolism and calorie burning capacity.
Don't try to be this sergeant of your life. Allow yourself to live like it’s the weekend. Go get brunch because it’s amazing and you look forward to it. Do things that help you relax during your lunch hour. Make meal times something that you can really enjoy.
"How you eat is how you live."
Enjoying your meals and becoming very curious about the details of how you're eating is really important. In order to change how you want to eat, you have to see how you're eating now, and what your eating patterns are. How do you approach food? Then become curious… What does that mean to you? What does it mean that I eat without really wanting to notice it? What am I not wanting to notice in my every day life? I think food is such a great doorway to that because we do it every day, all the time. It's so intimately connected to us. It's a perfect opportunity and a perfect excuse to ask, ‘What's going on with me today?’
It’s about reclaiming that power and not giving it off to some scientific reason why you should go against it.
Learning how to fully absorb and get all the nutrients from your life, in whatever shape or form that may be. We're all so different. If I can leave some sort of message behind with what I write, it’s to just fully embrace it; fully open yourself up and feel nourished. I think my message is a lot about keeping yourself open, because I think that vulnerability is a beautiful gift to have. I think we, as a culture, should work more towards opening up, and we need to get real with who we are. That way, when we're who we are, we can be real with our lives and how we bring that power in.