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  • Thursday, July 23, 2020 10:56 AM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    By Lynn Rossy, Ph.D.

    When I was asked in 2007 to develop a program for people who struggled with how to eat and with the relationship they had to their bodies, I had some research to do. At the time, I worked at the University of Missouri for the wellness program for faculty and staff. A survey we conducted indicated that people were stressed and physically inactive, both of which pointed to a possible increase in disordered eating. 

    We know that when people are stressed they often reach for food for relief. And, when people are not engaged in physical activity, they tend to be less connected to their bodies’ needs, including when to eat or stop eating based on hunger and satiety cues. These are also current conditions that people are living under because of the COVID. People say they feel stressed and are having more difficulty figuring out how to get in their physical activity. 

    Back in 2007, there were not a lot of programs being offered for eating and body image.  The one mindful eating program available focused on people with a clinical binge eating disorder diagnosis. However, I was seeking to serve a more heterogeneous population of people. While some people at the University would meet criteria for binge eating, more often than not the population was more along a continuum of disordered eating. So, that particular program did not appeal to me as the program I wanted to offer. I had become aware of the Intuitive Eating book by Tribole and Resch and immediately felt aligned to their principles. This was an approach I could include in my program.

    Most importantly, I knew that whatever type of program I offered would need to include mindfulness. Mindfulness is present moment attention infused with curiosity, kindness, and compassion. The skill of mindfulness seemed absolutely necessary for anyone wanting to make a change in their approach to food and body. Having taught the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for many years, I saw the significant changes that people make when given a tool that increases awareness of choices and kindness towards themselves. Mindful awareness is what precedes anything else in the steps toward changing a behavior or attitude. Non-judgmental awareness allows a person to see what is happening in their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and makes the space to consider their choices before acting.

    So, Eat for Life was born of the principles of Intuitive Eating and the four foundations of mindfulness—mindfulness of the body, feelings, mind and mental objects. Teaching with the skill of mindfulness and weaving in the principles of Intuitive Eating was my pilot program for the first three years. Then, I spent a summer rewriting the program based on what I had learned from the participants of my classes, as well as the research I conducted on the efficacy of the program (Bush, Rossy, Mintz, & Schopp, 2014).

    The results from my research indicate the following after taking my ten program:

    1. Decrease in binge eating behavior
    2. Increase in body appreciation (body image)
    3. Increase in intuitive eating (eating based primarily on physical hunger cues)
    4. Increase in mindfulness

    The one important thing in people had in common was as they increased in mindfulness the improvements in the other areas increase as well. In other words, the skill of mindfulness proved to be the underlying mechanism for the changes in the other areas. While I wasn’t surprised, I knew that a rewrite of the program would increase the emphasis on mindfulness and help people engage in the daily practices.

    Interestingly, people who re-take the program say “I’m taking it again because this time I really want to practice the mindfulness more consistently.” They know intuitively that the mindfulness exercises are critical to changing how they behave and, most importantly, how they view themselves and their bodies--moving from deprivation to sustenance and criticism to kindness.

    The revision of the Eat for Life program also included mindfulness practices that helped people with the intuitive eating principles which were the most difficult to understand and deploy successfully. Not surprisingly, the “no forbidden food” principle creates significant challenges. According to research by Barraclough, (2019), giving oneself unconditional permission was the most difficult aspect of intuitive eating. So, I developed the “three food wisdoms” which helps people mindfully navigate this approach to food in a way that creates mindful scaffolding around the practice and make it less likely that they set themselves up to fail.

     Currently, the Eat for Life program uses my book, The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution (Rossy, 2016), as the primary study material as it highlights mindfulness as the main skill to learn throughout. I still use the Intuitive Eating book (Tribole & Resch, 2020) as secondary reading material, because the principles are very helpful and give participants different viewpoints on similar topics. The more ways of looking at the same thing, the easier they are for people to digest. (Forgive the pun!)

    Lastly, I have come to believe and see over the years how important the mindful movement practice is for everyone, particularly for people who might have previously ignored their bodies and judged them as being deficient. Learning to mindfully be embodied is one of the most joyful and creative ways we have of kindly relating to ourselves. And, it helps us to get in touch with all of our body’s signals (e.g., food, rest, connection, activity). I weave a little in to every class.

    If you’d like to know more about the Eat for Life program, please contact me at Or, if you would like to enroll in my September classes, you can get all of the information here about the LIVE, online program and the method for registering. Both professionals wanting to teach mindful eating and the personal community wanting to practice mindful eating are invited to attend. Explore the benefits that come from starting or deepening your mindfulness practice and relate it to the practice of mindful eating, moving, and living.


    Barraclough, E. L., Hay-Smith, E. J. C., Boucher, S. E., Tylka, T. L., & Horwath, C. C. 2019. Learning to eat intuitively: A qualitative exploration of the experience of mid-age women. Health Psychology Open, January-June: 1–8.

    Bush, H. E., Rossy, L., Mintz, L. B., & Schopp, L. (2014). Eat for Life: A work site feasibility study of a novel mindfulness-based intuitive eating intervention. American Journal of Health Promotion. Vol. 28, No. 6.

    Rossy, L (2016).  The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution:  proven strategies to end overeating, satisfy your hunger and savor your life.  New Harbinger Publications. Oakland, CA.

    Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2020).  Intuitive Eating:  A revolutionary anti-diet approach.  4th Edition.  St. Martin’s Griffen, New York.

    Sponsored post by: 

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 8:43 AM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    As protests continue around the world in response to systemic racism and the string of murders of Black people, including the murder of George Floyd, we must join in the chorus of others calling for the transformation of the views that feed racism, injustice, and hatred that exist in our country and in the world. 

    We are called to come close to the suffering and not turn away as if this devastating event is a singular occurrence. Aware of the suffering caused by anti-black racism, we commit ourselves, individually and as a community, to examine our thoughts, words, and deeds so that we are engaged in the practices that lead to anti-racism and non-harming in order to heal ourselves and the world. 

    Our recently developed Diversity and Inclusion Statement  is just a start. We realize we have much work to do to be a positive force for good. It is not enough to practice mindfulness or meditation in the comfort and solitude of our homes. We must have our practice manifest in our actions and actively seek ways to dismantle systems of oppression, racial inequities, and injustice. 

    Mindfulness practice is the most important tool that we can use to deal with the many difficult emotions we are having. The trauma cannot be fixed, but must be met with great kindness and compassion. Instead of avoiding it, stuffing it, or numbing out, we can face it as part of our humanity and welcome it in so that we can explore and understand it. Not pushing away suffering, but feeling it with our whole bodies is the only way to be moved to the action that is called for at this time.  

    Small mindful steps can make a difference. Here is a great list that demonstrates the many things white people can do to be an ally. For our part, The Center for Mindful Eating is committed to the following: 

    (a) We would like to highlight businesses and work of black people and other people of color working in the field of mindful eating or related fields. Please reach out to us for a member spotlight. 

    (b) Donating to organizations like the NAACP or the ACLU through a portion of webinar income. 

    (c) By listening to our members of color. Understanding our role in racism is important to us. Let us know how we could be doing a better job. 

    d) By continuing to share resources we find helpful.

    All of us at The Center for Mindful Eating are committed to justice, equity, inclusion and freedom. May our Black brothers and sisters be safe and free from danger and harm. 

    The Board of The Center for Mindful Eating 

    Lynn Rossy

    Cinzia Pezzolisi

    Cuca Azinovic

    Linn Thorstensson

    Alex Askew

    Cecilia Clementi

    Jenna Hollenstein

    Alexis Conason

    Dana Notte

  • Thursday, April 16, 2020 10:00 AM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    Cultivating Kind Intention 
    Food for Thought Magazine | Spring 2020
    by Alice J. Rosen, MSEd, LMHC, TCME Advisory Council Member, Founder of the Conscious Cafe

    How many of us work with clients who still deeply believe that their happiness is conditional upon losing weight, and that until then they aren’t deserving of kindness? How do we support them in navigating a path towards kind and wholesome intentions for themselves?

    Intention affects the outcome, one’s experience, and the reality created. It is therefore essential to remain aware of one’s intentions and to identify whether they derive from kindness or aversion. Kind intention is the essential energy that steers us towards wellness. Susan” has made an intention to practice mindful eating but really, she is hoping to “get rid of her belly.” Because her intention is not based in kindness, it only promises more suffering. Given the power of the diet mentality, we must regularly remember, renew, and refine our clients’ intentions by helping them evaluate what they are truly longing for.

    The following is a loose guide for cultivating kind intentions in collaboration with clients:  Process is encouraged at every point. 

    1. Begin with a non-judgmental acknowledgment of the present reality of the client’s relationship with food.
    2. Wonder aloud what behavioral choices are attempting to do for the individual. In general, I hear that the intention is to get rid of unpleasant feelings and mind states that feel unbearable.
    3. Ask,  “What are you afraid might happen if you didn’t use food that way?”  Following that thread, we can continue to be curious about what they are truly hungering for in their lives. Often, themes of longing for safety, connection, kindness, and happiness emerge. These are universal yearnings that transcend time and place. They are the basis of the Loving Kindness meditation, a 2500-year old practice and a part of the Noble Eight Fold Path: the way to be free from suffering.
    4. Affirm their humanity by saying, “All beings long for and deserve to be safe. Why not you?”
    5. Entertain how the world would look if they and everyone else were safe. (Clients find this a positive contemplation.) 
    6. Ask clients to sit and “try on” how it would feel to be safe. For example inquire, “Where do you sense safety in your body… your face, your chest, your belly? What do you see, taste, smell, hear? Can you breathe into this state? Embody it? Envision it for yourself?“
    7. Ask, “What if you placed your longing and right for safety in the forefront?”
    8. Ask, “Might it make sense to regularly tune into this universal longing for yourself and all beings using the phrase, ‘May I/we be safe and protected?’”

    When “Susan” followed through with this process, she recognized that she was longing for belonging. The next week, she naturally reached out to people and also manifested a more attuned relationship with food. We continue to strengthen her understanding that kind validation of her longing makes better sense than self-aversion and trying to fix herself. Cultivating kind intention illuminates the path towards well-being.

    Want to keep reading? Find the full issue in the Food for Thought Store

    Members receive the full issue as a benefit of a membership, a $40 annual value. Learn more about all the benefits of membership and join us!

  • Saturday, March 28, 2020 10:00 AM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    Register NOW for Ten Week LIVE Online Eat for Life Program – Starts May 19, 2020

    There are many reasons to take a mindful eating program. You might want to understand why you keep eating even though you’re full. You might want to learn how to soothe your emotions without using food. You might want to learn how to make different food choices or understand the confusing messages you get about food. You might want to love your body more—or love it a lot. You might want to be a more conscious eater and learn to savor delicious food without guilt. All of these things, and more, are a part of the mindful eating program called Eat for Life.

    Mindful eating helps you learn to listen to your internal wisdom about what, when, where, and how to eat. It is NOT a diet plan and we do not focus on weight because that would be counter-intuitive and outwardly focused. A number on a scale does not define you or determine your health, but the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that you have will impact you, physically and psychologically, for better or worse. 

    In addition, if you are a professional wanting to offer mindful eating to your clients, this program will deepen your own experience of mindfulness which an essential skill for teaching mindful eating. You will also learn to use mindfulness to address the many challenges and obstacles to mindful eating that arise when you work with others.

    This program was developed by Dr. Rossy at the University of Missouri Wellness Program and is based on the four foundations of mindfulness, the principles of intuitive eating, research on the program and other current research, as well as 13 years of teaching experience to people around the world. 

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation, I am offering the following TCME discounts. Please use Coupon Code TCME50 at checkout for your 50% discount through April 30 and Coupon Code TCME25 for your 25% discount between May 1 - May 18.  

    Tuesdays -- 12 – 2:00 p.m. OR 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Central Time); May 19 – July 28, 2020 

    Regular price: $249.00 ($124.50 through April 30; $186.75 from May 1 - May 19)

    Class is appropriate for both Professionals (CEs available) and the General Public


    We meet LIVE for two hours a week over Zoom to practice mindfulness, and you learn how to develop a personal mindfulness practice at home. We have a theme for each week which helps you pay attention to your body and how you eat with kind, curious attention. We practice mindfulness of the thoughts and emotions that keep you in habit loops and automatic behaviors and guide you, instead, to conscious choices. We place mindful eating into a larger context as we learn to explore the world of pleasurable food and make conscious decisions, including learning easier ways to make your own food at home. Above all, we have fun and learn to joyously embrace our best lives. 

    Won't you join me for a ten-week mindful eating program starting in May and find out what mindful eating can do for your life? You can go here for complete information on the class and how to register. At the orientation you will learn about the program and, if you decide it's not for you, I will refund your money before the first class. I hope you join me in this life-changing practice. 

    Read what participants have to say about the class: 

    "I found Dr. Rossy's book and her class to be a transforming experience. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I have knowledge about food and nutrition but that's exactly what often gets in my own way and in the way of assisting others! Dr. Rossy has shown me it's much more than what you eat. I became aware of my own food rules that I have clung to for years. I began applying mindfulness practices to other areas of my life and found more peace and happiness in daily living. If you want something lasting, I encourage you to sign up for Eat for Life and/or by the book. It's worth every penny!" -Nancy S. 

    “Eat For Life has been a transformational experience…my relationship to food has changed dramatically.  I actually think about food much less than before — now it’s rarely on my mind until I begin to experience hunger.  And I am savoring my food infinitely more. Eat For Life embodies an intuitive, gracious approach to living, and I am captivated by the gentleness and kindness inherent in the process.” –Linda D.

    “It is amazing that 10 weeks have gone past. I will use the “make peace with food” for a long time to come. That has been the most successful tip. I don’t have forbidden food, or food that is “bad.” I can have it just in the quantity that will satisfy. I thank you for the insight and the motivation.  You have made this a successful experience that has changed my life.” –Amy H.

    Sponsored post by:

  • Sunday, March 08, 2020 11:38 AM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    The BASICS of Mindful Eating and more

    By Lynn Rossy Ph.D.

    • Would you like to learn a basic tool for practicing and/or teaching mindful eating?
    • Would you like to deepen your own mindfulness and mindful eating practice?
    • Would you like to learn about the most recent research describing the benefits of mindful eating?
    • Would you like to know how formal mindfulness practice supports you physically and psychologically?
    • Would you like to know which facets of mindfulness most support mindful eating?
    • Would you like to understand how mindfulness reduces eating disorder pathology?
    • Would you like to join in a community of like-minded individuals seeking to further their knowledge of mindful eating?

    If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you should join me for the next two-part Foundational webinar series offered by The Center For Mindful Eating on March 19 and 26 from 1 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Even though the webinar is developed for professionals, anyone can attend. Registration for members and non-members is available here. (By the way, if you become a professional member, your webinar fee is cut in half). Two CE credits are available to dietitians and 1.5 CEs for psychologists and 1.85 for nurses, included in the fee.

    The BASICS of Mindful Eating is a component of the Eat for Life Program, a ten-week mindful eating program I developed at the University of Missouri. This tool can be used as a guide every time you eat. The steps of the BASICS take you from the pause before you eat to the point where you are guided internally to stop eating. The BASICS is a touchstone for being present with your body and your food through every meal, sprinkled with curiosity, kindness, and compassion.

    Based on the research conducted on the Eat for Life program (Bush, et al., 2014) as well as subsequent research, the skill of mindfulness is foundational in creating the benefits of mindful and intuitive eating. Mindfulness, practiced formally, is the key to being present with kindness while we feed our bodies but also key in determining how we interact with our bodies in other ways and in the choices we make at the dinner table and beyond.

    This webinar series will include a mini-seminar on mindfulness meditation and creating a mindfulness practice at home. Your home practice in-between sessions will be discussed at the second session so that you can start or jumpstart a meditation practice that will continue to serve you after the series is over. Of course, you can also join me on Wednesday, March 18, for the monthly TCME meditation from 12 – 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time to get ready for the webinar the next day! Register here for that. Personal and professional members attend free and there is a small fee for non-members.

    In the second part of the series, we will have the opportunity to talk about your questions and experiences with the formal mindfulness practice—the BASICS of Mindful Eating and sitting meditation. We will also review the overarching principles of mindfulness and mindful eating and review the latest research that highlights the benefits of mindful eating, the association of mindfulness to eating disorders, and the facets of mindfulness that most benefit mindful eaters.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to refresh yourself with the basics of mindful eating and understand the latest research that can help guide your own life and the lives of those you touch. See you soon! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

    Learn more and register for The BASICS of Mindful Eating here!

    Bush, H. E., Rossy, L., Mintz, L. B., Schopp, L. (2014). Eat for Life: A work site feasibility study of a novel mindfulness-based intuitive eating intervention. American Journal of Health Promotion, Jul-Aug; 28(6): 380-8.

  • Saturday, February 15, 2020 4:00 PM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    By Caroline Baerten MS, RDN, CDN

    What does Food Justice mean to health professionals and mindful eating teachers?

    A just food system is one in which the production, distribution, and consumption of food is unaffected by systemic inequalities based on race, class, ability, or gender.Through the lens of mindfulness and compassion, we are able to see clearly the injustice taking place on the level of agricultural pollution and harmful food production methods. When we look even deeper, we also become aware of the structural causes for food injustice. 

    For health professionals and mindful eating teachers, it is critical to recognize that food injustice affects those at the bottom of the “power pyramid” the most. For centuries, the Western world has been dominated by White men who prioritized themselves above all else.Women, children, and people of color (Black and NBPOC), in both Europe and the US, have had the least privilege and the least access to a rich variety and supply of food. Reasons could range from limitations on property ownership, where they might have cultivated their own produce, to socially-engineered financial dependence on a male relative.      

    In his  “Food for Thought” article, Chef Alex Askew draws attention to the conditions in which groups of people used to live, and are living now, which may explain in part why certain individuals in our society are less physically and mentally healthy than others. The nature of our relationships at home or in the community can be either supportive or trauma-invoking, and all of these relationships shape our daily food choices, overall health, and psychological well-being. 

    Food justice is social justice, as food is our most intimate connection with ourselves, our communities, and the food traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Unfortunately, many of the bonding and nurturing qualities related to cooking and eating were disrupted over the centuries. In many ways, the (cooking) fire was extinguished and replaced by a troubled relationship with foods, while the rich diversity of female bodies became ruled solely by measures of thinness and fatness.

    Mindful eating helps us look deeply into the belly of the food system and explore how it creates a world where human beings, and especially women, feel disconnected from their food and alienated from the needs of their bodies. The most feared word today is “obesity,” and to be fat is considered a morally repugnant failure. Unfortunately, in a perverse interference with appetite, restraint is offered as the only righteous path to redemption, by both the food and diet industry as well as subsidized health professionals. 

    Eating awareness starts by questioning the origins of food:

    Where is this food coming from and was it produced in a sustainable way? Most kinds of foods, depending on one’s individual body and blueprint, are absolutely fine if they are made with nutritious ingredients (real butter, cream, or cheese, whole-grain flour, free-range meat), instead of foods chemically-modified for a long shelf-life.

    Did the people working in the field, the food production plants, and distribution companies receive equal living wages compared with their male and/or White colleagues higher up the ladder? Food justice addresses racial and socio-economic issues because there cannot be equal access to healthy food without equal access to jobs, income, and transportation.

    What kind of foods and recipes are rooted in your own cultural tradition? Unlike the one-size-fits-all dietary rules certain nutritionists and health professionals are telling us, our behaviors around food and eating not merely individual choices, but expressions of a particular social and economic context. Sharing meals and eating heartwarming comfort foods (often those high in calories!) have been part of our food history for centuries. These recipes and moments of social gathering around the table are especially important for families who migrated, as food is often the only remaining bond they have to their home country.

    Food justice is woven into the fabric of mindful eating. The spiritual practice of mindfulness meditation creates the link between eco-friendly, sustainable food choices and individual wellbeing. It is not just about changing the way we eat, it is about changing the way we live and how we treat each other. 

    Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of Food for Thought. 

    Get the full issue in the Food for Thought Store!

    TCME Members may access the full issue here.

    Consider signing up for the Food and Social Justice Webinar for more discussion on this topic!

  • Monday, December 30, 2019 5:57 PM | Jennifer Oetting (Administrator)

    By Lynn Rossy, Ph,D, TCME Board President

    Getting ready for your obligatory diet in January? Well, I have an alternative for you that I think you’ll like better. Even if you ate more than you usually do during the holidays (which is true for most of us and for good reason!), there is a much better way to approach January than a diet. The approach is called mindful eating and let me tell you why you should give it a try.

    This review article published in the Archives of Scientific Psychology makes it very clear that going on a diet might result in a few pounds lost, but those pounds will be regained, and often even more. Through a complicated process, the body has a way of finding a certain weight range that it’s comfortable in and it works to maintain that range.

    The good news is that, contrary to much of the press, being in a larger body does not automatically mean that you are less healthy. Aphramor (2010), who extensively reviews the literature, writes that the belief that weight loss, even if minimal, is related to improvements in health, is not valid and is not substantiated. In addition, weight loss efforts can result in a wide range of eating disorders. And, “yo-yo dieting” where you lose and gain weight over and over again, is related to heart disease, bone density loss, and all-cause mortality (coronary mortality, in particular), as well as a growing number of other health conditions.

    As a much kinder and joyous alternative, mindful eating provides a way of eating that allows you to relish in one of the greatest pleasures of life—eating without judgment. Instead of restricting, mindful eaters know they can have whatever they want to eat so they are less likely to find themselves overeating and then feeling guilty. You train to be aware of your body’s wisdom about what it wants, how much it wants, and when to start and stop eating. You train to be aware of the other needs the body has and you take care of them as well.

    Having taught mindful eating for thirteen years, I can say with conviction that mindful eating changes the way you eat and the way that you feel about your body so that you feel nourished and supported. The focus is not on weight, but wellbeing. Wellbeing is a state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual attunement, and mindful eating is one of the practices that creates harmony in your body and life.

    Start your 2020 in community with people around the world who will be coming together for World Mindful Eating Month, sponsored by The Center for Mindful Eating. This year’s theme is “Growing your Mindful Eating Practice by Planting the Seeds of Self-Compassion.” We are offering a FREE guided Mindful Eating Program for the whole month of January. You can sign up here.

    When you learn to develop loving-kindness toward yourself, your approach to eating will reflect your growing friendship with your body, mind, and heart. Eating is not just a personal act, but an act of love for yourself, your community and the world.

    Join us for Mindful Eating Month and give up diets forever!

    Aphramor, L. (2010). Validity of claims made in weight management research: A narrative review of dietetic articles. Nutrition Journal, 9, 1–9. http://dx

    Rothblum, E. (2018). Slim chance for permanent weight loss. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 6, 63–69. 10.1037/arc0000043

    Originally published at

  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019 7:29 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Raising Mindful Eaters (While Healing Your Own Relationship with Food and Body)

    By Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN

    In ancient cultures and for thousands of years, indigenous peoples have had a traditional relationship with local foods that includes a connection to the territory, a feeling of being responsible for the ecosystems and a spiritual kinship. 

    Children are born with the innate capacity for mindful eating. They naturally recognize and respond to hunger and fullness and, with skillful guidance from parents, can maintain this satisfying relationship with food throughout their lives.

    Unfortunately, many of us lose our connection with this natural ability as we grow up. The diet culture we live in tells us our bodies cannot be trusted to guide us to eat what, when, and how much we need. Intolerance for body diversity causes even the medical establishment to advise parents to control children’s and young adult’s food intake, ultimately altering their body trust as they mature into adults. Misunderstandings about the connection between eating, weight, and health distort our relationship with food, making it difficult to recognize and respond to what is arising in our present-moment body. Finally, disconnection from our emotions can make it difficult to discern whether the hunger we are feeling (and feeding) lies in our bellies, our hearts, or our minds.

    Such confusion presents an opportunity for mindfulness practitioners to be with what is. By connecting with our bodies, observing our thoughts without judgment, and staying present with our actual experience, we can eat mindfully, modifying our eating according to our body’s’ needs, and experience joy and satisfaction in our food choices. The following framework can help you address your own confusion about food and eating while nurturing and maintaining the mindful eating capacity of your children: 

    1. Model Mindful Eating and Body Appreciation

    No matter what we mean to communicate with our kids about food and our bodies, it’s what they hear us say and see us do that make lasting impressions. Refrain from speaking harshly about your body or anyone else’s body. Treat your body and all bodies with kindness and compassion. Feed yourself regularly and satisfyingly throughout the day. If you have work to do on your relationship with food and your body, now’s the time.

    2. Make a Variety of Satisfying Food Available

    Our bodies need carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to feel nourished and satisfied. All foods contain various combinations of these nutrients. By making a variety of foods available in the home - various fruits and vegetables, grains and cereals, snacks and play foods, proteins, nuts, seeds, and other energy-dense foods - kids are more likely to choose a variety to meet their ever-changing needs.

    3. Leave Morality Out of Eating

    Part of modeling mindful eating and body appreciation is not labeling foods as good or bad, not feeling “guilty” about “indulging” but in mindfully enjoying whatever we choose to eat. The carrot and the carrot cake have no inherent moral value; each is just a different combination of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and all foods can fit into a healthful and mindful way of eating. When we leave the morality out of eating, the focus can shift to what brings us pleasure and how we feel when we eat different foods. 

    4. Eat Mindfully Together When Possible

    Family meals are invaluable but they don’t need to be perfect or even happen every day to benefit your family. Do what you can, knowing that the connection formed through the cooperative planning, preparing, serving, eating, and cleaning up of a meal creates a lasting foundation for mindful eating.

    5. Demystify Heart Hunger

    Eating serves many purposes, including soothing a hungry heart. There is nothing wrong with comfort eating. Period. It can be empowering and illuminating to understand when and why we are eating to feed our bodies versus soothing painful emotions. Talking about emotions openly and non-judgmentally normalizes them and helps us all learn to tolerate the full range of our experience.


    Originally published in Food for Thought Autumn 2019: Pregnancy and Families

    In this issue:

    • Pregnancy: A Time to Listen Even More Closely to Your Body, by Dr. Cinzia Pezzolesi

    • Educating Parents (and Thereby Children) about Mindful Eating, by Dr. Claudia Vega
    • Raising Mindful Eaters (While Healing Your Own Relationship with Food and Body), by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN
    • Setting Your Mindful Eating Intention, by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN

    Available in our Food for Thought Store for non-members.

    Food for Thought is free for TCME members in the Member's Food for Thought Library!

    Not a member? Join Today! | Member Benefits

  • Monday, November 11, 2019 11:20 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Setting Your Mindful Eating Intention

    by Jenna Hollenstein,MS,  RDN, CD

    Setting intentions can help us maintain an essential connection with our mindful eating practice. This issue [of Food for Thought] covered a lot of ground, from mindful eating in pregnancy to introducing the principles of mindful eating to parents so they can guide their children to maintain their own mindful eating sovereignty. From pregnancy to parenthood, when it comes to raising mindful eaters who trust their own intelligent bodies, intentions can be one supportive tool.

    Use the following examples as suggestions or starting points in developing your own intentions for yourself and your family. They can be conversation starters with your children in terms of how they would like to nourish their own relationship with food and their bodies: Sample intention during pregnancy: “May I receive and respond to the sensations my body sends to me. May I nourish my own body as it instinctively nourishes my growing child. May I trust that my body is accommodating, flexible, and wise.”

    Your own mindful eating intention during pregnancy:


    Sample intention for new parents: “May I trust the intuitive wisdom of my child’s body to guide them to eat what, when, and how much they need in order to feel nourished and satisfied. May I support them in maintaining a connection with this wisdom, meal to meal, day to day, year to year.”

    Your own intention in introducing mindful eating to your children: ______________________________________________________________________

    Sample intention for family meals: “May we enjoy this food together, savoring its flavors, nourishing our bodies, and appreciating the simple pleasure of sharing a meal.”

    Your own mindful eating intention for family meals: ______________________________________________________________________

    Originally published in Food for Thought Autumn 2019: Pregnancy and Families

    In this issue:

    • Pregnancy: A Time to Listen Even More Closely to Your Body, by Dr. Cinzia Pezzolesi

    • Educating Parents (and Thereby Children) about Mindful Eating, by Dr. Claudia Vega

    • Raising Mindful Eaters (While Healing Your Own Relationship with Food and Body), by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN

    • Setting Your Mindful Eating Intention, by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN

    Available in our Food for Thought Store Food for Thought is free for TCME members in the Member's Food for Thought Library

    Not a member? Join Today! | Member Benefits

  • Thursday, October 03, 2019 8:13 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Food for Thought Autumn 2019: Pregnancy and Families

    In this issue:

    • Pregnancy: A Time to Listen Even More Closely to Your Body, by Dr. Cinzia Pezzolesi
    • Educating Parents (and Thereby Children) about Mindful Eating, by Dr. Claudia Vega
    • Raising Mindful Eaters (While Healing Your Own Relationship with Food and
    • Body), by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN
    • Setting Your Mindful Eating Intention, by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN

    Available in our Food for Thought Store

    Food for Thought is free for TCME members in the Member's Food for Thought Library

    Not a member? Join Today! | Member Benefits

    In this issue of Food for Thought, we discuss the essential role of clinicians and parents in fostering mindful eating in the lives of pregnant women and children, respectively. In truth, the capacity for mindful eating already exists in all of us. Our roles as dietitians, therapists, counselors, coaches, parents, and caregivers is to create the container in which that innate capacity can thrive. Communication is key and, in all four pieces, you will notice the emphasis on talking regularly about mindful eating as well as feelings, experiences, and discoveries. 

     In “Pregnancy: A Time to Listen Even More Closely to Your Body,” Dr. Cinzia Pezzolesi highlights the ways in which clinicians can partner with their pregnant patients to nourish and sustain body trust, quite possibly setting them -- and their children -- up for a lifetime of satisfying mindful eating. In “Educating Parents (and Thereby Children) about Mindful Eating,” Dr. Claudia Vega discusses the complexity and nuance of educating parents about how to bring this practice into the home. Both reassuring and practical, Dr. Vega’s guidance addresses the elusive issue of how to introduce these practices. 

     The next two pieces are written by nutrition therapist, Jenna Hollenstein. The educational handout “Raising Mindful Eaters (While Healing Your Own Relationship with Food and Body),” outlines five principles to bring mindful eating into the home, while “Setting Your Mindful Eating Intention” offers a contemplation for helping us all to maintain a connection with our mindful eating practice. Whether during pregnancy or parenthood, examples are given to help you create your own mindful eating intention. 

    Available in our Food for Thought Store

    Food for Thought is free for TCME members in the Member's Food for Thought Library

    Not a member? Join Today! | Member Benefits

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