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Dramatically Different: Fernanda de la Puente, Chef & Nutrition Counselor

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In 1968, when Clinique introduced Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, the product was the first of its kind to offer super-light, unscented hydration for all types of skin, whether dry, oily, or combination. Crafted by a dermatologist (another first!), Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion—or DDML, as it soon came to be called—shook up the industry and the then-standard of thick, heavily fragranced creams. It was, in a word, different. Disruptive. Distinctive.

This year marks 45 years since the iconic lotion hit shelves. In celebration of DDML (and now, the updated version, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+), we partnered with Clinique to spotlight three inspiring, energetic, and determined women who are doing exactly what the butter-yellow bottle did so many years ago: changing the game. This time, we’re looking at Peruvian-born, New York City-based foodie Fernanda de la Puente, a chef and nutrition counselor who wants to change the way many women relate to food.

Name : Fernanda de la Puente, chef and holistic nutrition counselor

Her background : Born and raised in Lima, Peru; lives in downtown Manhattan

Her path : Studied nutrition in California; continuing her chef training at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. Currently, sees private clients and counsels models through her website and Cleanse NYC.

Her passion : “Growing up in Peru, I was really so in love with food. When I was little, they called me ojo gordo, which is Spanish for ‘fat eye’ because everything I would see, I would want to eat. I always had a really good appetite, which is how I became interested in food. It started becoming a problem for me when I began to eat in excess, especially in college in the States. I was like, ‘Something’s off here. Something’s not right.’ I was studying nutrition and, at the same time, I was putting all this food in; it was weird… I think it was because of this mentality, especially in America, that we need to have all the vitamins and all the nutrients, and we become worried about eating. A part of me was loving food so much and getting so much satisfaction from it, and another part of me was so stressed out. Food is a stressful thing, and it shouldn’t be—it should be a pleasure. This realization made me want to really dive into this in my career, the relationship between food and psychology.”

Her practice : “I’m a nutrition counselor, which is about food, yes, but lifestyle, as well. That’s what I find so interesting. Women tend to have a very obsessive relationship with food. We’re either very passionate about food and we’re thinking about it a lot, or we’re kind of against it and have this ‘keep it away from me’ attitude. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin. I really work in the psychology of eating—meaning how we relate to food, what our eating patterns are, what we are doing while we’re eating. Are we spacing out on Facebook while we’re eating, half there? Are we present with our food? That’s the best first step to evaluate—people usually already know what to eat and what not to eat. Like, green juice is good for you, or you shouldn’t be eating fried or processed food; it’s common knowledge. But, at the end of the day, why isn’t your healthy eating working? Often, it’s because we have this obsessive relationship. Women have it more than men because we have a tendency to want to bring things in, even anatomically, to fill a void. With my clients, I go directly into that food-mind-body relationship first.”

Peace, love, and… : “I don’t consider myself a hippie. And I don’t like the word ‘spiritual.’ It just makes it seem like you’re putting yourself on some higher platform than everyone else. I like spiritual practices, like yoga, like dance. I think, at the end, that’s what holds me in the center and in balance.”

Morning shots : “I try to start my day with apple cider vinegar. I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and drink plain water. I do that and I feel amazing—apple cider vinegar is alkaline, which is good for your body, plus it whitens your teeth and is great for your hair, skin, and nails. I wait a little bit, and then I’ll do a chlorophyll shot or have a turmeric tonic. Chlorophyll is basically like the chlorophyll in plants—it acts as an internal deodorant and helps bring oxygen into your blood. This organizes my body to absorb more food during the day. So, I’ll wait a little while and then eat, either a smoothie or something else, while I collect my thoughts on my bed: I lay down, get my computer, start working, drink my juice or smoothie, read, figure out the notes that I’m going to need for the day depending on what client I’m seeing, and then I head out.”

The best time to sweat : “I go to yoga around noon everyday because that’s when your metabolism is at its peak. Also, your energy levels are highest at that time because the sun is up. If the sun is up, you’re up.”

Hungry vs. dehydrated: “I probably drink five big bottles of water in one day. But you need it—that’s the most important thing for keeping your skin super moisturized, glowing. Water is key for minimizing cravings, too—especially in the summer, when you can confuse hunger with thirst. Sometimes you really think you want to eat something, like ice cream, but really you’re just super thirsty and dehydrated.”

Staying grounded : “It all starts in the beginning of the day with how you wake up. Do you wake up and rush out of the house? Do you wake up and look at your phone? Lying down and maybe just taking six deep breaths and getting yourself ready for the day is so beneficial. I think breathing is actually the most healing thing there is.”

Great people, good diet : “At the end of the day, your health comes down to balance. It’s not only the nutrition of what you’re putting in your mouth, but also the types of personal relationships you’re having. That, too, is a kind of nutrition: who you’re talking to throughout the day and what types of experiences you’re having. We absorb all of that. If you want to be healthy, you have to really be honest with how you’re feeling about yourself and others. You can be eating the most perfect diet, eating only whole foods, you can have it all in the perfect equation, but if you’re not happy with your relationships, you won’t be healthy and you probably won’t have amazing skin or glowing eyes. You are really a reflection of what’s going on inside of you.”

Favorite beauty foods : “First, radishes: they’re high in silica, sulfur, and vitamin C, which are the three main ingredients for beautiful skin and eyes. Next up is watercress, because it oxygenates your blood, improves your circulation, and allows you to release toxins, making you just glow. And finally, cilantro, because it is a great detoxifier, it’s really good for evening your skin tone, and you can put it in everything.”

—as told to ITG

Fernanda de la Puente photographed on July 28, 2013. Part 2 of a Clinique-sponsored series celebrating the launch of Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+.