Bays' approach involves bringing one's full attention to the process of eating—to all tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings that arise during a meal. She shows how to tune into your body's wisdom about what when and how much to eat; identify your habits and patterns with food; develop a more compassionate attitude toward your struggle with eating; discover what you're really hungry for.—Publisher
Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship With Food, is the perfect title for this book. Who does not want to be more aware of what they are eating? The author, Jan Chozen Bays, MD, uses her experience as a medical doctor and a practicing Zen teacher to explain easily and thoughtfully the benefits of mindful eating. Her description of the practice of mindful eating makes it understandable as well as desirable.
This book describes the 9 types of hunger: eye, touch, ear, nose, mouth, stomach, cellular, mind, and heart. The examples are relatable to the reader. Dr Bays also explains ways to assess and satisfy these 9 different types of hunger, which do not always include eating. She describes eye hunger as the need for beauty, and makes the reader aware that this type of hunger is often exploited by food marketers. How often does just seeing food lead one to want to eat? These explanations and examples make the reader aware of what happens when people desire food and then proceed to eat.
An excellent accompaniment to the book is the collection of meditation tracks that are included online. Mindfulness exercises are included in the text, but being able to listen to the exercises and do them is more powerful than trying to read and do them at the same time. The exercises remind the reader of the types of hunger and how to truly appreciate the food or beverage that is being consumed. There is no promise of weight loss or lowered cholesterol, but as the back cover explains, “this book offers a simple tool that can transform your relationship with food into one of ease and delight.”
From the reminder of eating according to our body's cues and how we knew to do that as infants, to exercises and explanations, this book offers health and nutrition professionals as well as other interested parties an easy and practical way to get back in touch with how one eats. This book would also be beneficial for starting a mindful eating group or creating lessons regarding mindfulness and eating. The book is easy and enjoyable to read. One can start to put mindfulness into practice immediately.
Cite this article as Donovan M.M. Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship With Food [New Resources for Nutrition Educators]. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2018;50:752.
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