The Principles of Mindful Eating
Our relationship to food is a central one that reflects our attitudes toward our environment and ourselves. As a practice, mindful eating can bring us awareness of our own actions, thoughts, feelings and motivations, and insight into the roots of health and contentment. The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) is a forum for professionals across all disciplines interested in developing, deepening and understanding the value and importance of mindful eating. The Center for Mindful Eating has created principles intended to guide people who are interested in mindful eating. The Principles of Mindful Eating
may be reproduced and distributed for educational purposes under our Creative Commons Licensing
The Principles of Mindful Eating are also available in Spanish: Los Principios De la Alimentación Con Atención Plena
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Principles of Mindfulness:
- Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally, in the present moment.
- Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments.
- Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in the present moment.
- With practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of reactive, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.
- Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance of what is.
Mindful Eating is:
- Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
- Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
- Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment.
- Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.
Someone Who Eats Mindfully:
- Acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.
- Accepts that their eating experiences are unique.
- Is an individual who by choice, directs their attention to eating on a moment-by-moment basis.
- Gains awareness of how they can make choices that support health and well being.
- Becomes aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of their food choices on those systems.
These principles were revised at the Annual Meeting, August 2013.
The Principles of Mindful Eating that form the basis of our organization were created through the generous donations of time and wisdom by the following professionals:
- Donald Altman, MA, LPC, Mental Health Therapist and Author, Portland, OR
- Dh. Amala, Director, Aryaloka Buddhist Retreat Center, Newmarket, NH
- Caroline Baerten, RD, Founder MeNu, Belgium, Europe
- Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi, MD, Author, Teacher, Great Vow Zen Monastery, Portland, OR
- Mark Blackwood, MD, Primary Care Physician, Durham Family Health Center, Durham, NH
- Frederick Burggraf, MEd, Author, Publisher, DayOne Publishing, Charlotte Hall, MD
- Lisa Dinsmore, MS, RD, LD, Dietitian, Eliot, ME
- Marianne Evans-Ramsay, RD, LD, CDE, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, S. Berwick , ME
- Mary Farhi, MD, Co-Founder Yoga Bent, Arlington Heights, IL
- Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDE, LD, Author and Diabetes Educator, Dover, NH
- Barbara Haine, MEd, RD, LD, Manager of Nutrition Services, Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH
- Daniel Herring, MA, LMHC, Director of Cornerstone Day Treatment Center, Haverhill, MA
- Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, CD, President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run, Ludlow, VT
- Jean L. Kristeller, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Director of The Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality, Ind. State University, Terre Haute, IN
- Derreth C. Roberts, RN, MS, MSN, NP Integrative Therapies Manager, Dover, NH
- Paul Shagoury, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Manchester, NH
- Ronald Thebarge, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Brown University, Providence, RI
- Cheryl Wasserman, MA, LPC, NCC, Owner of Alliance Therapy Associates, St Louis, MO
- Char Wilkins, MSW, LCSW, Psychotherapist, W. Hartford, CT
Lilia Graue, MD, MFT, Directora, Mindful Eating Mexico, México, D.F.
Claudia Vega, MD, MSCN, Directora, Nutrintegra, Mazatlán, Sin.
Thank you all for your wisdom, your time, and your generosity.