Tell us a little about your background. Where are you from and how did you become a champion of healthy and vibrant living? I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. I grew up being really close to animals and plants because my Mom had (and still has) an organic farm in the outskirts of Lima where I would spend a lot of my time. I don’t know if the whole health stuff was imposed on me (my Mom has always been ultra healthy and environmentally conscious) or if it grew out of my own personal interest; I’m pretty sure it’s the former. I studied nutrition in college (which I didn’t finish), then went off into the more holistic world and studied Integrative Nutrition, Eating Psychology, Yoga and also went to Culinary School. So I come from a food and health and nutrition background.
Tell us about CómoComo and your approach to healthy living. As it translates from Spanish, it means How to Eat; but CómoComo goes beyond the act of just eating and dives into the act of living. It’s more concerned with what you put in your life, rather than just what you put in your mouth. I like to think that how we do things is way more interesting than what we do. CómoComo is about HOW to eat and HOW to live because I believe that any circumstance that life brings, affects us differently depending on HOW we take it in. So we have a choice on how we want to live, but we don’t have a choice on WHAT we live.
CómoComo also touches upon WHO we are as eaters. Furthermore, at the end of the day the kind of food you eat, the amount of food you eat, and the quality of food you eat depends on who you are as an eater. Once we become healthy inside (on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level), we choose healthier options on the outside (physical level).
You were a nutritionist and focused on the very literal aspect of eating before you shifted your focus and created the philosophy of eating “not only food, but life”. What events, discoveries or realizations led to this more holistic approach? There came a point in my life when I was really healthy physically (eating lots of kale and chlorella), but I didn’t feel really happy. So I decided to dive deeper and search for more. I’ve always been very hungry for food and for life, and I just wanted to explore what that hunger was really all about.
Your blog and your home are filled with vibrant color. Even your trademark glasses are tinted orange. How does color affect you? How does it represent your approach to healthy living? Do you have a favorite color? Hmmm, I like this question. Yes, I love color. I love my life to be colored, or I guess I like to color my life, every day. I think we are mistaken when we think that the color of vibrant smoothies or nail polish will make us feel good; they will for a little bit but not very long. I think we have our relationship with color upside down and inside out. We want to bring it from the outside in, when really what we truly want is to live in those colorful tones inside our minds and hearts. I think the color outside (in our homes and in what we wear) should be a reflection of how we feel inside, not the other way around. Having said that, surrounding myself with color (in my house and in what I wear) reminds me to find that inner color inside. I put on my yellow glasses especially when it’s a grey day to remind me that it’s a matter of choice to make my day more colorful and cheerful; it’s a change in perspective, and it requires work and action.
You apprentice with the great Jivamukti teacher Rima Rabbath. When did your yoga practice begin? What drew you to begin a teacher training? My lovely mentor Rima, yes. I co-teach with her at Jivamukti Yoga School and I’m having a blast being her apprentice. I’m learning so much, and the whole apprentice- mentor education system is very humbling. I can say that I’m at a point where I think I know less about life, and at the same time I’ve never felt so full and rich in my life.
What drew you to learn at Jivamukti? I walked into my first class at Jivamukti in 2012 and I’ve never left.
Can you share one or two of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from Rima? “Go deep into one thing, and you will know everything.” You don’t need to say that much (EDIT yourself FERNANDA!). Let them experience it. Silence is good. “lâcher prise”. Let go.
Where do you see life taking you next? I HAVE NO IDEA, and that’s the best part! I don’t know where life will take me from here, but I’m sure it will be towards something great. I’m so excited that everything is possible right now. Hopefully I can continue acting and teaching yoga as much as I can.
What advice do you have for our Thinking CAP readers on how to eat up life? Keep yourself open. Don’t replace food or drinks for the real food you’re looking for. Get in touch with what really feeds you in life, and give it to yourself on a daily basis. Don’t take yourself TOO seriously. Laugh at yourself more. And pat yourself on the back for the small things, like for not texting your ex at 3am on Friday night.
What does a typical day look like for you? Every day is different; but most times I wake up, have tea (lately been having Tulsi, Holy Basil). I drink water with apple cider vinegar or water with lime. I do 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) and sometimes I blast the music and dance for 5 minutes. Then I go downstairs to my cafe and order coffee and breakfast.
What books are you reading now? The Bhagavad Gita, Winthrop Sergeant
Connections, Gabrielle Roth
Meditaciones Toltecas para el Dia a Dia, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
What are the most impactful books you’ve read? Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth
Into the Heart of the Feminine by Massimilia and Bud Harris
What does beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty mean to you?
I think you look beautiful when you’re comfortable in your own skin, and when you’re having fun with what is happening in your life right now.
Top 5 picks from CAP? Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser