Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Mindful Eating

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

I have been teaching a new course at the University of Vermont in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. It is called Conscious Eating: Mindfulness for Wellbeing.

We have been exploring mindful eating by reading Jan Chozen Bays wonderful book by the same name, Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Joyful and Healthy Relationship with Food. We are also exploring the wider context of eating through Brian Wansink’s, fun and fascinating, Mindless Eating. We are now reading Michael Pollans beautifully written and compelling, In Defense of Food. We will then move on to the Mindful Carnivorewritten by fellow Vermont author, Tovar Ceruli. We started with an exploration of the senses and read from Diane Ackerman’s classic and sumptuous book, A Natural History of the Senses.

Mindful eating is gaining in popularity as a lifestyle change and also as a clinical intervention for disordered eating. It asks us to pay attention to what we eat and how we eat it and it also invites us to look more deeply into why we eat what we eat and when we eat. We’ve explored our senses, emotional factors, history, and deep conditioning around food, including conditioning that comes from the food industry.

Since we spend so much time eating in the course of the day, paying attention to the process of eating can be a powerful way to wake up. Since eating is so important to our lives, it is a huge opportunity to practice mindfulness. Since what we put into our bodies is so important for wellbeing, we can become more conscious and healthy by attending to the specifics of eating with as much attentiveness as we can muster.

To be awake while eating, we will have to cut through layers and layers of conditioning that keep us on automatic pilot. The payoff is worth it when we can come to have a more friendly relationship with food, one that reflects respect, care, and affection for ourselves and the beings that have been sacrificed to make our meals.

Mindful eating is making inroads into public consciousness. Here is an informative article from Today’s Dietician.



Previous Posts

Giving Thanks 2014: Still a Lot to be Grateful For
There is not now, nor ever, a shortage of tragic, unjust, and violent events occurring around the world. The news media exploits these events and brings them into our brains 24/7 with an unrelenting insistence. Our nervous systems are vulnerable to these kinds of information. They signal danger and

posted 8:56:43am Nov. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Buddhist Icon--Thich Nhat Hanh Recovering in Hospital
Beloved Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (TNH) has experienced a severe cerebral hemorrhage and remains in critical condition. He recently had his 88th Birthday. I surmise that he is, along with the Dalai, Lama, one of the two most readily recognized Buddhist figures in the world today. Af

posted 6:27:39am Nov. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Mindfulness with a Capital "M"
A recent Telegraph column asked if mindfulness lives up to its hype. The author, Polly Vernon, predicts that "mindfulness" will be the OED's (Oxford English Dictionary) word of the year. That would not surprise me. She goes on to give a favorable if at first skeptical review of the practice. Having

posted 12:19:27pm Nov. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Time to Wake Up: Reading Your Way to Awakening
We have been asleep, collectively and individually and there is a growing call to wake up. The Buddha was the first to suggest this change in consciousness 2500 years ago (and as you know the term buddha means one who has awakened). And now there are three books that have come to my attention with w

posted 11:05:45am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Citizen of the Cosmos
I recently heard Ann Druyan interviewed on Radio Lab. She spoke of falling in love with Carl Sagan when they were working together on the Voyager mission in the late 70s, where she was in charge of developing the content that would be sent out into space for alien cultures to discover. It was a touc

posted 9:59:05am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.