February 10, 2012

Linkage: Mindful Eating as Food for Thought

I was excited to learn the New York Times recently published an article on mindful eating.   As I've mentioned in various posts here, eating slowly is consistently one of the keys to keeping my GERD in check.

The Times piece is a good introduction to the idea, loaded with links and references to some of the leaders of this "new" trend.  (It isn't a trend, nor new, but -- hopefully -- it's getting new buzz.)   One thing I was not pleased by is the writer's emphasis on using mindful eating to achieve weight loss by avoiding binging -- an "anti-diet," something the Huffington Post picked up on in their response, as well.   Isn't this notion of our food intake as something we need to tame, dominate, control, put into "good" or "bad" boxes is contrary to the concept of food as nourishing, healthy, and pleasing?  Food is not the enemy!  Mindful eating is, to my mind, more about connecting your body and your food, allowing your body to go at its own pace, savoring the sensory experience -- improving the quality of your life and by extension, your health.

RELATED POINT:  I always roll my eyes when I read about strategies for weight control and how we need to stop eating with our emotions, replacing "real" needs with food, and so on -- has it ever occurred to these diet pundits that I just LIKE food?  It is not a substitute for anything missing in my life -- it is a sensory pleasure in itself.  My pecan-maple artisanal chocolate bars or slices of good bread dipped in superb olive oil or greenmarket roasted potatoes stand alone.   I've eaten food when stressed, sure -- but, mostly, I eat food because I enjoy it and to nourish myself -- not because it is a security blanket.  I really wish writers would recognize this.

In any case, I think bringing mindful eating into the consciousness of the "average household" is a positive thing!  After you read the Times article, don't miss the follow up piece, Mindful Eating: A Teacher Responds to Readers and the follow up to the follow up: Mindful Eating: More Questions for an Expert.


Zenhabits' introduction and how-to regarding mindful eating.

A registered dietician at Brigham and Women's Hospital offers mindful eating tips.

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