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  • 11 Nov 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

  • 03 Oct 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

  • 12 Sep 2019 12:23 PM | Maggie Sewall (Administrator)

    Food, Sustainability and the Role of Mindfulness

    By Caroline Baerten, MA, RD

    The skill of ecological perception

    “The ecological crisis may be the result of a collective perceptual disorder in our species, a unique form of myopia which it now forces us to correct.” – David Abram

    I take Abram’s statement quite literally. Our “collective myopia” is one manifestation of psychic numbing – a psychological defense against witnessing the pain of the Earth.

    Full awareness can hurt. In response we build defenses, or we choose among a variety of convenient distractions. We become numb to our feelings, to what we might hear and see, and our myopic defense blinds us to the severity of current Earth conditions.

    In his book “The Voice of the Earth,” Theodore Roszak presents a theory in which he explains that the roots of our collective behavior toward the Earth can be found in the split between “in-here” and “out-there.” This thinking creates a large gap we feel between ourselves and the nonhuman nature (animals, plants, minerals). If we would experience ourselves as interconnected and with fluidity of boundaries, this would manifest in more empathy with family, friend, community, humanity and similarly with the whole of the nonhuman world.

    It is a shift of perspective from attention of my suffering (I, mine) toward more environmental, contextual awareness.

    Our sensory capacities – taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch – are the fundamental avenues of connection between self and the world. The deadening of our senses is at the heart of the environmental crisis and reawakening them through mindfulness is an integral step toward renewing our bond with the Earth and all living beings.

    Slowing down and learning to attend

    Attending is the flip side of psychic numbing. Focused attention produces a richness of color, a depth of sensory experience. The ability to fully use our attentional capacity is a learned skill, requiring the practice of mindfulness and awareness. When we slow down and eat quietly, we can really enjoy our food on a sensual level.

    We make behavioral (and subjective) choices based on what we see, smell, hear...

    In the context of our ecological situation and the need for sustainable choices, it would be wise to become more mindful of where we place our attention.

    According to Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, the first step is learning to attend, the cultivation of a “wakeful presence.” When the mind isn’t present in the body, we look, but we don’t see; we listen, but we don’t hear; we eat, but we don’t know the flavor of the food; we breathe, but we don’t feel alive.

    Cherish all life on Earth – cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect our people and the planet.

    In love with the Earth

    When fueled by beauty and sensuality, our relationship with the visual world may move our hearts. As what we see and perceive becomes meaningful and vital, we feel it in every cell of our bodies. Participation is felt by sensations in our bodies and shifts in our hearts. Participation in this way is essential if we are to care enough for the Earth; we need to take time to look and to view her through “love eyes.”

    The bread in my hand contains the universe

    While we eat we can be mindful of the food and mindful of the community. It is a chance to receive the many gifts of the Earth from which we would not otherwise benefit if the mind is elsewhere. Nothing comes from nothing. Bread comes from the wheat fields, which need rain and sunshine. So every slice of bread also contains sunshine, the clouds, the Earth, time, space, and the hard work of the farmer, supplier and the baker. The whole universe has come together in the piece of bread. Eating mindfully is a way of showing appreciation for all the hard and loving work that has gone into creating this meal.

    Interconnectivity and compassion

    Having the opportunity to sit with our family and enjoy wonderful food is something precious, something not everybody has because many people in the world are hungry

    Realizing this makes us aware of the unique eating moment, and care and gratitude naturally arise.

    This awakening through the energy of mindfulness and compassion is what we need to live in a sustainable way.

    It is only through clear understanding of the impact of our actions that we can see how unwholesome food patterns create suffering for the body and mind. Insight into what the short- and long-term impact will be for the body will bring a shift in awareness: Becoming aware of the negative tendencies, especially greed and the feeling of “not enough,” and learning to eat the right amount of food. In our Western society, a lot of food waste is often based on ignorance about what the effect may be on our food production system.

    Thanks to the correct view of our consumption, we will see more clearly the effect of eating behavior on:


          Our human body and emotional and mental states.

          Our production methods (industrial scale, methods, food supplies, forests, grain prices, global emission).

    Eating in a sustainable way is about the quality of our food and the determination to ingest only food that keeps the body healthy and compassion alive. It is eating in a way that doesn’t cover up the stressful feelings but acknowledges them and helps to transform them.

    Mindful consumption and eating involve recognizing exactly what we need to consume (in all senses of the word) and what not to consume to keep our bodies, minds and the Earth healthy.

    This article originally appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Food for Thought

    Food for Thought store

    Members Food for Thought library

    Caroline Baerten (Belgium) is a mindfulness-based dietitian/RD, qualified chef and integrative psychotherapist (i.t) specializing in work with disturbed eating behavior, weight issues and sustainability. Her passion is urban gardening in the heart of Brussels and organizing farm-to-table dinners in collaboration with local farmers. Comments on this article are welcome and can be reached at

  • 25 Aug 2019 11:07 AM | Maggie Sewall (Administrator)

    The Center for Mindful Eating is thrilled to host a webinar with author and trauma specialist David Treleaven, PhD, “Becoming Trauma-Sensitive: Making Mindfulness and Meditation Safe for Trauma Survivors”

    This webinar will be held September 11 at 1:00 pm EST

    Learn more and Register (link to event on website:

    Designed for wellness professionals, this webinar will introduce you to the topic and begin to equip you with the tools you need to offer mindfulness in a safe, effective, trauma-sensitive way. 

    You will leave the workshop: 

    • Understanding why meditation can create dysregulation for people who’ve experienced trauma and specific ways you can prevent this; 

    • Prepared to recognize symptoms of traumatic stress while offering mindfulness interventions; 

    • Informed about current empirical research regarding mindfulness and trauma, including evidence-based interventions you can apply immediately to your work; 

    • Equipped with tools and modifications to help you work skillfully with dysregulated arousal, traumatic flashbacks, and trauma-related dissociation. 

    • Understanding the relationship between individual and systemic forms of trauma, including responsibilities to educate oneself about power, oppression, and social context. 

    Whether you’re a beginning or veteran practitioner, anyone engaged in offering contemplative practices will benefit from this webinar, including therapists, coaches, and meditation, classroom, yoga, or religious teachers. 

    Learn more and Register (link to event on website:


    David Treleaven, PhD, is an acclaimed author, educator, and trauma professional whose work focuses on the intersection of mindfulness and trauma.

    Utilizing contemporary research to inform best practices, David has offered workshops on trauma-sensitive mindfulness at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as well as keynote speeches at the Omega Institute in New York and the Institute for Mindfulness in South Africa in Johannesburg.

    Trained in counseling psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, he received his doctorate in psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is currently a visiting scholar at Brown University. 

    You can find him at

  • 19 Aug 2019 12:11 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Join the #MindfulEatingRevolution

    by Lynn Rossy, PhD

    Mindful eating and the associated compassionate approach to our bodies is revolutionary and against the cultural norm. We are revolutionaries when we stake out control of our minds and bodies from the dominant culture and corporate conditioning that says we are anything less than wonderful and perfect just as we are. We are revolutionaries when we engage in the process of looking deeply at our lives and the way we eat.

    Before I taught mindful eating, I had been teaching mindfulness in both the tradition of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Theravadan Buddhism since 1999. I clearly understood the importance of mindfulness in relieving the suffering that all human beings experience just because they are alive in this world. However, teaching mindful eating since 2007 and being on the board of The Center for Mindful Eating since 2015 have taught me how important the work of mindful eating is to our sanity and freedom with food and our bodies. And since we eat and live in our bodies every day, it might seem obvious that the relationships with have to both are crucial to our wellbeing and happiness.

     In July, we just finished an annual retreat of The Center for Mindful Eating in New York with board members from all over the world. We sat around the campfire and shared our visions, hopes, and dreams. (Full disclosure: there was a campfire but we were rained out and had a “virtual” campfire inside the meditation hall.). The words that kept coming in my head were “we need a #MindfulEatingRevolution.

     It is clear to me that mindful eating and the associated compassionate approach to our bodies is revolutionary and against the cultural norm. We are revolutionaries when we stake out control of our minds and bodies from the dominant culture and corporate conditioning that says we are anything less than wonderful and perfect just as we are. We are revolutionaries when we engage in the process of looking deeply at our lives and the way we eat which can “involve or cause a complete or dramatic change”—the definition of revolutionary.

     As a famous meditation teacher, Shunryu Suzuki, said, “Each of you is perfect the way you are … and you could use some improvement.” Buddhism is full of paradox and this is one of them. Of course, you are perfect the way you are, and yet I’m sure that there are a few of you who would like to improve upon the way that you approach food and eating. Along with the resources available on The Center for Mindful Eating website, I offer a ten program called Eat for Life, with classes staring in the fall.

     The Eat for Life Program has benefited thousands of people and I would love to have you join me on the path to mindful eating and living.  Whether you are a person interested in a better relationship with food and your body or a professional wanting to add mindful eating to your services, this could be the program for you!

     The skill of mindfulness is at the core of Eat for Life, and research on the class shows mindfulness is the key to changing how you eat and how you feel about your body. Learning to practice on a regular basis, mindfulness will be used to examine every aspect of the eating experience, as well as your emotions and thoughts related to eating, to your body, and to the other challenges you might face. Above all else, mindfulness gives you the skills of clarity, resilience, and kindness which provide the basis for choosing the food and the life you want.

     The class is taught LIVE, online over a platform called Zoom. If you have a computer, you will be able to take this class from anywhere around the world. I have both professionals and the general public in the class to create a unique and rich tapestry of learning for everyone. We all have something to learn by examining ourselves more deeply and compassionately. We are all students and teachers.

     Drop deeply into a relationship with yourself for ten weeks and see what a #mindfuleating revolution can do for you.  For more information, click here or you can enroll by going to my website and click on the class that you want. Classes are on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Central Time or Thursdays from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central Time starting in September.

     If you are interested in taking the class and receiving CE credits (for mental health professionals, nutritionists, dietitians) please register here. The fee of $63 covers up to 21 CE/CPE Credits.

      Please let me know if you have any questions about the class before you enroll by emailing me at

    Contributed by TCME Sponsor Tasting Mindfulness

  • 04 Jul 2019 7:34 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Food for Thought Summer 2019: Mindfulness and Trauma​

    In this issue:

    • Mistaken View: How You See Survivors, by Char Wilkins, MSW, LSCW​
    • Mindful Intervention with Trauma Survivors Seeking to Repair Their Relationship with Food and Body, by Alice Rosen, MSEd, LMHC
    • Recovering from Traumatic Experiences through
    • Mindfulness, by Cecilia Clemente Ph.D, Psych.D
    • Walking Meditation, by Cuca Azinovic, Certified Mindfulness Teacher​​​​​​​

    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


    This issue of Food for Thought investigates the intersection of trauma, disordered eating, and the role of mindfulness in supporting recovery. Trauma can take many forms: experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse, and neglect, sudden loss, and even chronic oppression has been shown to have a traumatic impact. While most people have experienced trauma at some point in their lives, many factors influence their long-term impacts, which can be significant and life altering. Among the lasting effects of trauma are disordered eating patterns.

    In recent years, mindfulness-based therapeutic approaches have been shown to be an effective approach to trauma therapy, when used appropriately and in combination with other therapeutic modalities. While not a substitute for professional training in mindfulness-based and trauma informed therapies, this issue of Food for Thought explores the various ways mindfulness can benefit trauma survivors with disordered eating patterns and the clinicians who work with them.

    In “Mistaken View: How You See Survivors,” Char Wilkins, MSW, LSCW, discusses how mindfulness can help both clinicians and clients recognize the strength and wisdom of survivors of abuse. Many survivors of abuse view their eating behaviors negatively, as evidence of weakness and problems to be fixed. Clinicians who work with survivors sometimes also carry these same misconceptions. As Char Wilkins describes, mindful, non-judging acceptance can help survivors and clinicians recognize these behaviors as evidence of the desire to survive in the most challenging of circumstances, thus honoring survivors’ strength and wisdom.

    Alice Rosen, MSEd, LMHC, discusses the role of mindfulness in trauma informed therapy. As Alice describes in “Mindful Intervention with Trauma Survivors Seeking to Repair Their Relationship with Food and Body,” trauma informed therapy continuously prioritizes the need for physical and emotional safety during the therapeutic process. A clinician’s own mindfulness practice can assist them in navigating this approach with clients.

    The educational Handout, “Recovering from Traumatic Experiences through Mindfulness,” by Cecilia Clemente Ph.D, Psych.D explains for clients how trauma affects the brain and how mindfulness can mitigate these effects. She also provides specific, practical mindfulness interventions clients can use when trauma-related symptoms are triggered.

    Traditional, eyes-closed, sitting meditation can be challenging for trauma survivors, as they can trigger traumatic memories and feelings of unsafety. The scripted meditation, “Walking Meditation,” by Cuca Azinovic, Certified Mindfulness Teacher, is a grounding meditation practice, designed to calm the mind by anchoring it in awareness of bodily sensations.

    On behalf of the TCME Board of Directors, we hope you find this issue of Food for Thought informative and helpful. Comments can be sent to

  • 28 Jun 2019 7:11 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    TCME co-founder Megrette Fletcher discusses her work as a diabetes and mindful eating educator at Hélène T. Stelian Coaching.

    "Prior to meditating on a consistent basis, I worked as a diabetes educator. I think most people imagine having diabetes means that they can’t eat certain foods or that they must radically change everything about their life. These thoughts are fueled by society and companies selling products targeting people with diabetes, but it’s not true. Having diabetes is a condition that requires you to listen to your body and to learn how to balance what you want to eat and need to eat. Mindfulness can help a person hear the story of “can and can’t” and let it go, providing a healing experience that you deeply crave."

    Read more at Megrette Fletcher, Advocate for Mindful Eating for Diabetes, at Hélène T. Stelian Coaching

  • 21 May 2019 5:30 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Embracing the Joy of Eating for Happiness and Health

    Whether you’re eating in or eating out, put joy on your menu

    by Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

    Busy lifestyles often make for eating experiences that do not measure up. Remember the last time you ate in front of your desk while replying to emails. Or ran from table to stove, taking care of family during a meal.  Not only do these situations often lead to choices that do not deliver nutritionally, but we also shortchange the role of food in our happiness.

    The truth is that happiness is a big part of health. The pleasure we get from food goes a long way toward helping us celebrate, remember, and even soothe ourselves. Emotional eating is so often maligned, but it is actually an evolution-based process that serves up a bounty of neurochemicals designed to help us feel good.

    In a world where many of us have access to an abundance of food, mindful eating can help us maintain a balance between momentary pleasure and genuine nourishment of body and mind.

    Consider these four steps to finding true joy in eating, by savoring both the flavor and how food makes you feel, whether at your or your friends’ table, a drive-through, or a fancy restaurant.
    • Wait for hunger most of the time. Food tastes better when we’re hungry. Hunger is also the signal that it is time to eat. Just be sure not to wait too long. Getting too hungry is a set-up for unsupportive choices and overeating, none of which feel good in the long run.
    • Focus. Eating is such a natural part of our lives, we can do it on autopilot. But the easiest things usually get the least attention. We often resort to choices that do not meet our overall needs. Consider all five senses—smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste—to get the most from your eating experiences.
    • Think before you choose. Toss out nutrition rules and think instead about what will taste
       Toss out nutrition rules and think instead about what will taste good and what will make you feel good, too.
      good and make you feel good, too. We have built-in guidance systems that, if we trust them, work well to ensure that we get the foods we need. This is another part of that evolutionary system designed to keep us alive. Check in before, during, and after a meal to get the full benefit of your body’s wisdom.
    • Eat intentionally. What is your intention? To enjoy, of course! Just remember to include feeling good now and later in your definition of enjoyment.
    Start by appreciating the food’s aroma and appearance while also recognizing what it took to get your food to your plate or hand. This pause before eating fires up anticipation, which, when you finally take a bite, can offer big payback in terms of pleasure.  Then eat slowly to fully experience the food and more easily notice when you are satisfied. Instead of forcing yourself to slow down, or even count bites (heavens, no!), savoring your food automatically slows you down. It is not something we have to do but something we want to do. And that makes all the difference.

    Here’s to joyful eating! 

    This article was originally published in Food for Thought, available in our Food for Thought store.

    Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD served as president & co-owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run, a women’s retreat for healthy living without dieting, and the past president of The Center for Mindful Eating.

  • 20 May 2019 2:02 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    The TCME Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome its newest member, Héctor Morillo Sarto, Ph.D. Héctor is a Clinical Psychologist, having degrees from University of Basque Country and the University of Seville. He is a teacher within the Psychology and Sociology Department at the University of Zaragoza. He is also a member of the “Mental Health in Primary Care (B-76) and of the Aragon Health Research Institute (IIS).

    Hector completed internships related to his field at the University of Valencia and at CHA (Compassion and Mindfulness Center) in Cambridge, MA, USA

    In addition to completing Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness (MB-EAT), Mindful Eating - Conscious Living (ME-CL) programs, Héctor has a Ph.D in Mindful Eating, adapting the program to a primary care population. Hector is the author of “Mindful Eating, el sabor de la atención” (Mindful Eating, the taste of attention).

    He has led several Mindfulness and Mindful Eating groups for physicians, nurses, teachers, unemployed, students and clinical patients.

    Welcome to The Center for Mindful Eating, Héctor. We all look forward to working with you.

  • 14 May 2019 11:23 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    McCallum Place - The Center for Mindful Eating's Sponsor - announces their Eating Disorders in Sport 2019 Conference:

    The only conference dedicated to the treatment of athletes with eating disorders

    Athletes with eating disorders, and those who treat them, face unique challenges in developing a more wholesome relationship with food, body, and sport.

    The Eating Disorders in Sport Conference is a unique place to explore these challenges.

    The 2019 conference features:

    • Keynote presentations from experts in the field
    • Topics relevant to all learning levels
    • A return to Berkeley, California

    The 2019 Eating Disorders in Sport Conference will provide continuing education credits for psychologists, counselors, social workers, registered dietitians, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches and will be held at the David Brower Center in beautiful downtown Berkeley, California.

    Click here to learn more and register.

    McCallum Place is a nationally acclaimed, comprehensive eating disorder treatment center for preadolescents, adolescents, adults, males and females. With locations in St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas we are unique in that we offer on-site medical and psychiatric management and care combined with intensive individualized psychotherapy, making our center a center of excellence and great alternative to traditional hospital settings.

    We integrate personalized nutritional support and best practices throughout our treatment. Our state-of-the-art eating disorder programs and setting are designed to create an environment of structure and support for restoration and healing. Learn More

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The Center for Mindful Eating

P.O. Box 4286

Portsmouth, NH 03802

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