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  • 08 Mar 2019 10:21 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    In honor of International Women's Day we offer this Self-Compassionate Body Scan by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN

    Adapted from the forthcoming book, Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life

    Printed in Winter 2019 issue of Food for Thought: Weight Inclusivity

    To rebalance your perspective on your body, try a self-compassionate body scan. Wear comfortable clothing and lie down on a supportive surface such as a bed or yoga mat. Take a few embodied breaths, focusing on the feeling of the breath entering and leaving the body. Bring the following statements to mind as you do your body scan:

    My body is doing its best.

    My body does not want me to suffer.

    Feet. Skin, tiny bones, muscles, nails. Support, adaptation. Working together. Finding balance. Bunions, hammertoes, blisters, warts. Often unappreciated. Ankles. Bones, ligaments, skin. Bending, adapting. Accommodating.

    Shins, calves. Skin texture and hair. Bones, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels. Muscles that carry me.

    Knees. Bones, skin, tiny muscles, ligaments, tendons. Flexible. Absorbing shock. Communicating pain. Always adapting.

    Thighs. Front and back. Body’s longest bones and biggest muscles. Workers. Storing fat for my safety. Skin, hair, stubble, cellulite. Stretch marks. Change, adaptation.

    Hips, pelvis. Skin, hair, bones, muscles, fat. Protection. Center of gravity. Source of power. Vulnerability. Home of my sexuality. Creation, birth, pleasure.

    Buttocks. Skin, fat, muscle. Cushioning, supporting, protecting.

    Abdomen. Skin, hair, muscle, fat. Stretch marks, scars, freckles. Internal organs I never think about. Stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, bladder. Adaptation, accommodation, change. Nourishment and growth.

    Torso, chest. Skin, bones, ligaments, fat. Tiny muscles stretch and support. Ribs that protect. Heart, lungs. Breasts that grow and change over time.

    Back. Bones, skin, muscle, fat. Freckles, skin tags, acne. Spine, vertebrae, nerves, sensory receiver, accommodator, shock absorber, workhorse, pain meter.

    Arms. Upper arms, forearms, hands, fingers, nails. Skin, hair, fat, bones, ligaments, tendons. Biceps and triceps. Shoulders, underarms, nerves, and muscles. Connection.

    Neck. Throat, voice, breath. Skin, bones, fat. Eating, swallowing. Constantly changing skin. Spine, turning, adapting.

    Face. Skin, oily, ashy, dry. Acne, scars. Bones, hair, fat, muscles. Eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, eyelashes, ears. Cheeks, chin, forehead. Connection, expression, communication.

    Head. Hair, color, texture, thick/thin, skull. Protection, perception, learning, change, connection. Home to the senses.

    Close your self-compassionate body scan with a few more embodied breaths.

  • 25 Feb 2019 6:35 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    by Konstaninos Zervos

    This article was originally posted at ME-CL. It is reprinted with permission.

    Values are central to a person sense of self. They work as standards that guide thoughts and actions. We might define values as verbal descriptions of what people are personally invested in, regard highly and seek to uphold and defend.

    Where do we get our values from?

    Our values develop out of our attitudes. They are expressed in behavior, through preferences based on beliefs about objects, persons or situations and are accompanied by feelings of approval or disapproval.

    For example, we each have beliefs about how we should take care of our health. Health is a value in its own right, affecting both personal and social aspects of life and is important to make human nature flourish. As Plato states “Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree which requires to grow and develop on all sides according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing”.

    What are the values that are components of a flourishing human life?
    • Self-determination, the ability to be able to choose and formulate one’s own plans. That means a person to be able to know what he wants, to have aims in one’s life and to be able to make decisions for himself.

    • Self-governing, the ability to be detached, to stand back and to take into account one’s own needs and the needs of the others.

    • Self-responsibility, which make people responsible for their own actions.

    • Self-realization or self-development acquiring life skills. The ability to make decisions and to take control of one’s own life rather than be at the mercy of circumstances.

    Values like creativity, friendship, health, love, peace, simplicity, success, autonomy, understanding and much more are parts of the above bigger pillars.

    What can help you lead yourself and live a life according to your values?

    You can develop a relationship with your intuition or inner wisdom and have the courage to follow that guidance. The mindful self, is feeling, sensing and experiencing, as opposed to the place where we are being driven by our narratives, our conditioning, and our critical voices. When we are judging we separate from ourselves and from the others. Through understanding we grow.

    So how do values relate to food and eating?

    In one of my mindful eating coaching sessions I asked the coachee to share her personal life values and how those those values are connected to her eating behavior. She mentioned:

    Vitality: eating foods that give me energy and make me feel good

    Positivity: eating for pleasure and satisfaction

    Balance: less guilty, eating according to my stomach hunger

    Honesty: willing to recognize and respect my true needs

    Freedom: eating without following certain rules but in a frame, I will create

    Kindness: eating better as a form of self-care

    And she summed up saying: “I would like to eat whatever I want without feeling guilty or worries. To be able to regulate my motivation to eat and regulate the food portions. My body weight is not a primary goal anymore!”

    Is eating a chore or can it be enjoyable?

    Many people think of food in terms of ticking off boxes: milk for calcium, orange juice for vitamin C, steak for iron or protein, fish for omega 3, tomatoes for lycopene, broccoli for antioxidants, capsicum for . . . etc. Eating become a chore.

    As Gyorgy Scrinis’ critique: “Not that nutrients are unimportant, but that focusing on them undermines other equally valid, commonsense ways of understanding food, such as flavour, culture, tradition, levels of processing, seasonality, locality and freshness.”

    The emphasis in calories take people away from the ingredients, processing methods, and the overall quality of their foods. It’s a barrier for creating an authentic relationship with the food because, knowledge usually creates criticism.

    Finally, what really satisfy people is not getting slim or rich, but feeling good about their lives. Attention shapes the self and it is in turn shaped by it. If a person can be aware of his instinctual desires not because he has to, but because he wants to, he can enjoy himself, his life and his food.

    Health, is the outcome of living well and finding a balance in your life.

    So, take a moment to think:

    What are your personal values? Why do they matter?

    Does your way of eating reflect your personal beliefs?

    ~ Konstantinos Zervos

    References

    Downie, R. S., Fyfe, C., & Tannahill, A. (1991). Health promotion models and values. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Pr.

    Kashdan, T. B., & Ciarrochi, J. (2013). Mindfulness, acceptance, and positive psychology: The seven foundations of well-being. Oakland, CA: Context Press.

    Scrinis, Gyorgy. “Big Food and the Calorie Trap | Gyorgy Scrinis.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 30 July 2013, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/30/junk-food-calories.

    About Konstantinos Zervos

    Konstantinos holds an ΜSc in Ηealth Promotion and Health Education, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens/Greece, is a registered Nutritionist-Dietician, Master Practitioner on Eating Disorder and Obesity, Certified Wellcoach, and International bodyART instructor Level 1&2.

    His work focuses to inspire and motivate people to make sustainable changes in their eating behaviors by improving their holistic wellbeing. He has twenty years of working experience with specialization in obesity and disordered eating behaviors. The last five years he specializes in the field of mindfulness and its application in eating behavior. He is the founder of the program “EATT*”, a scientific and evidenced based mindful eating intervention who has helped more than a hundred of people to change their relationship with food and their body.

    You can find Konstantinos at

    be_well:  www.konstantinoszervos.gr

    be_mindful: www.eatt.gr


  • 19 Feb 2019 6:25 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    My journey to make mindful feeding a joyful experience.

    by Greg Christian, Chef, Author, Sustainable Foodservice Consultant and Entrepreneur

    A ham sandwich prepared mindfully encourages oneness, compassion and love. Through the practice of mindful feeding, we can influence not only the health of humanity, but we can inspire eaters to become their best selves, erase the invisible lines of separation placed in our minds, and contribute to a world that works for everyone.

    I cooked for my family as a young adult, worked in many renowned restaurants in New York City developing my culinary skills, and owned an upscale catering business in Chicago for seventeen years before I decided to truly care about the way I fed others.

    After many years of doctor’s visits and emergency room stays, my youngest daughter ultimately found relief from her illnesses through a diet centered on clean, unprocessed foods.

    What began as a journey to heal my daughter emerged as a passion to serve not only the bodies of the world, but their minds and spirits as well. Seeing the world anew through the eyes of a dad with a child healed by food, I spent years transitioning my catering business to a mindful feeding program.

    A mindful feeding approach requires deep listening from both cooks and eaters. It necessitates a vision and continual reminders of what matters. It accounts only to the present moment. Mindful feeding guides eaters into the process of dining while bestowing the cook with purpose and vitality. It takes care of the land and the people, and supports the community.

    I work in schools where I conduct countless taste tests and surveys to refine menus that meet nutritional standards and kid palate standards. I remind kids they are the customers and their opinions are valued. And I ask the cooks what dishes ignite their passions. Through listening and engagement, kids hearts and minds open to trying new foods and eating healthy while the people who prepare the food transform from workers and mothers to warriors.

    A child heard sees the power of using her voice, feels the joy of contributing to a better world, and learns how to blend their wants and desires with others. In a room full of heard children, school administrators see hope that all schools can change to mindful feeding programs, and influential politicians witness joy never seen in a school cafeteria.

    I frequently hear from confused parents who are unable to process their child eating tofu or green beans or ratatouille when they won’t touch the same foods at home. When we engage in any part of the food process - growing, cooking, planning, shopping, knowing the farmer, sharing in community, distributing - we are more likely to make healthy choices that benefit ourselves and the planet.

    I asked a group of students what they liked about lunch at school. A brave fifth grader raised her hand and explained, “I like to talk to people and tell them about my day.” I asked if she liked to hear about others’ day. “Oh yes,!” she said “That’s the other part - listening to my friends talk about their day.” Whether in the school lunch room, the family dinner table, or hospital cafeteria, a meal provides an opportunity to connect with the people around us as we share in the intimate exchange of ingesting food and the possibility of much more.

    About Greg Christian: Greg Christian is a highly successful consultant, chef, author, and entrepreneur offering solutions to help transform food service into a more sustainable entity. Greg’s efforts as founder and developer of the Organic School Project have been recognized on a national as well as local level. His involvement with the Organic School Project and strong background in the food service sector led him to launch Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners, a sustainability consulting firm, which provides organizations in the food service industry with in-house dining services, sustainable solutions, implementation strategies, and the expertise to adopt sustainable operations. You can find Greg at https://beyondgreenpartners.com/


  • 18 Feb 2019 2:18 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Many Moore, the actress who plays Rebecca Pearson on This is Us, spoke to Huffington Post about her favorite food and approach to eating, which is very much in line with mindful eating. Check out the article and look for a quote by TCME past President, Marsha Hudnall.

    Read the full article here.


  • 29 Jan 2019 3:47 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Health Canada released its new food guide last week, and it included mindful eating in its recommendations. Great! Or is it? Dietician, mindful eating author, and TCME member Vincci Tsui weighs in on the new guidelines, including the mindful eating section of the recommendations. Read more at Eat North.

  • 21 Jan 2019 12:30 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    by Jan Chozen Bays

    This article originally appeared in Mindful Eating Conscious Living. It is reprinted with permission of the author.

    What tells me the difference between pleasantly full or over-full?

    FULLNESS is related to what we call “Stomach Hunger.” It is a physical sensation in the body, related to volume and sensations of stretch or pressure.  People may perceive this in different ways, as an expansion of their belly or a tightness of their waistband.

    When learning about Stomach Hunger, at first people may say that they cannot tell when they are full. This comes from chronically suppressing body sensations, especially those related to overeating. If they keep “tuning in” to their stomach, before, during and after meals, soon they will re-discover this important source of information. One woman who was working on “hearing” the signals from her stomach, realized that when her stomach approached full, she was no longer able to take a deep breath.

    Mindful eating promotes re-learning sensations of fullness, and pausing before complete fullness is reached.

    Is it possible to feel satisfied when I am not full?

    SATISFACTION is related to what we call “Heart Hunger.” It is primarily an emotional feeling, of being connected or intimate with eating and food. When we are happy, in the company of good friends or a lover, we may feel satisfied with very little food. Often when we are unhappy, no amount or kind of food will satisfy us.

     A sense of being satisfied can also involve experiences in the mouth, such as flavorful tastes and interesting textures. Of course, when we are not paying any attention to what is happening in our mouth, it is hard to feel nourished or satisfied no matter how delicious the food.

    Mindful eating promotes feelings of intimacy and connection, to your body, to your thoughts and emotions, to the other people you are eating with, to the community of microorganisms within your body that keep you healthy, and to all the people and other beings who brought the food to you.  This experience of intimacy can bring a sense of ease and simple happiness.

    Is satiety another word for satisfaction?

     SATIETY is a term used by researchers who are interested in when people will stop eating or how long they will wait before eating another meal. Fiber, protein, mouth sensations and what you are told about the food all contribute to satiety.

    Food manufacturers work hard to discover what makes people stop eating. Recently some people in the food industry are trying to help with the obesity epidemic by finding ways to reduce calories while increasing satiety (helping people to stop eating earlier).

    In learning and teaching mindful eating, we don’t use the term satiety, because it’s a complex and technical term. We are helping people turn back to the wisdom that is already contained in their bodies and the compassion that already dwells in their hearts.

    Can you detect different levels of fullness as you eat?

    What contributes to a feeling of satisfaction as you eat?

    Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi, MD, is a pediatrician specializing in work with abused children. She is the author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food and How to Train a Wild Elephant and other Adventures in Mindfulness, both published by Shambhala. She has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1973, serving as the teacher for the Zen Community of Oregon since 1985. In 2002 she helped to found Great Vow Zen Monastery near Portland, Oregon, where she serves as co-abbot. She has published articles about Zen in Tricycle and Buddhadharma magazines. Jan is a wife, mother, contented cook and avid gardener.  She is the co-founder of Mindful Eating Conscious Living, an 8-session program that focuses on helping people re-establish a healthy and joyful relationship with food and eating.

  • 14 Jan 2019 1:52 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    I love to teach mindful eating because I get to witness how the act of mindful eating can become the doorway to enlightenment! While that might sound a bit lofty, it is truer than you might think.

    So, let’s think about it a moment. When you eat, you are bringing your whole body, heart, and mind to the table. I use “table” as a metaphor for wherever you eat because I realize people eat in many other places these days. However, wherever and whenever you eat, there are a multitude of things happening besides the act of putting food in your mouth.

    If you are eating because you are physically hungry, you may be satisfying the body’s need for nourishment. However, if you are eating because you bored, it’s probably because you haven’t learned to take care of your mind’s need for creativity and meaning. If you are eating because you’re overwhelmed, it’s probably because you haven’t learned skills of resilience around stress OR learned to give yourself a deserved break in the middle of a busy work day. If you’re eating because you’re sad or lonely, it’s probably because you haven’t yet learned how to manage and attend to your emotions in a better way.

    So, just this brief contemplation reveals there are many other things going on when we sit down to eat than just the act of eating and paying attention to the tastes and our satisfaction with food. Too often we find ourselves reaching for food when we are really needing something else. Because food is fast, cheap and easy it has become our go-to friend for comfort, rest, or even entertainment. 

    Every one of us can benefit from learning more about what motivates or unconsciously leads us to the behaviors that become our lives. In the classes I teach called Eat for Life, we pay attention to all of the things that influence us to reach for food and meet each one with the appropriate practices and skills. When we learn how to mindfully manage our thoughts and emotions, we are much more capable of eating when we are physically hungry and not eating when we aren’t. When we learn how to mindfully manage our thoughts and emotions, we also feel more balanced, informed, wise, peaceful, and even a little enlightened.

    The next time you reach for food, pause for a moment and consider the following:

    1. Are you hungry? What are you hungry for? Is it food or something else?

    2. Notice how you feel when you pause and check-in with yourself. Turn toward your feelings and see if you can name them (e.g. sad, overwhelmed, happy). Visiting yourself is a radical act of self-love.

    3. What do you need to do to best take care of yourself right now? Eat? Move? Rest?

    These simple practices of presence, kindness, and self-care will transform your life. You will not only learn more about your body and how to eat for greater well-being, but you will quite possibly cultivate the most important friendship you’ll ever have—the one with yourself.

    If you want to hear more thoughts from me about mindful eating and transformation, you can listen to my recent podcast with Dr. Marcia Sirota. And you can also take the leap and join my ten week mindful eating and living class starting at the end of January. For more information click here.

    Start your path to mindful eating and enlightenment now!

    By:
    Lynn Rossy, Ph.D., President, The Center for Mindful Eating
    Author,
    The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution: Proven Strategies to End Overeating, Satisfy Your Hunger, and Savor Your Life
    Teacher and Developer of
    Eat for Life, a ten week mindful eating program for professionals and the general public

  • 07 Jan 2019 12:41 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)
    The benefits of mindful eating are getting more and more attention in mainstream media. The Evening Standard, a widely read British newspaper, describes mindful eating as 2019's no-diet "diet" movement. At TCME we wouldn't use the word 'diet' anywhere in the description of mindful eating, but it's great to see mindful eating practices getting widespread promotion. Read the article here.
  • 01 Jan 2019 10:00 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Weight Inclusivity

    Winter 2019

    From Weight-Centric to Weight Inclusive, by Linn Thorstennson, NT, mNTOI

    Breaking Down the Barriers of Bias, by Nicole Eikenberry, MS, RDN

    A Weight Inclusive Approach to the Care and Feeding of Ourselves, by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RN, CDN

    Self Compassion Body Scan, by Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RN, CDN

    Read or download it here.

  • 23 Dec 2018 7:18 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

     Starting January 1st, we will share daily social media inspirational posts along with practical exercises that explore 2019’s theme of “Stepping into Mindful Eating.”

    These inspirations and practices were created by TCME members in the Stepping into Mindful Eating training led by TCME Founder Megrette Fletcher, and current TCME Board members Cuca Azinovic and Linn Thorstennson.

    International Mindful Eating Day itself is Thursday January 24 and will feature two sessions of interviews with leaders in the Mindful Eating community. The exact schedule is yet to be confirmed, so be sure to check back here closer to the time.

    There are many ways to participate:

    For daily updates and discussion, Join the Facebook group World Mindful Eating Month 2019.


    Follow TCME on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the month of January.

    Follow #MindfulEatingMonth, #MindfulEatingDay, #TCME, and #MindfulEating throughout the month of January

TCME is a member and donation supported 501(C)3 non-profit organization. We depend your generosity to make our mindful eating programs available. Make a tax deductible contribution on our donation page

The Center for Mindful Eating

P.O. Box 4286

Portsmouth, NH 03802

info@tcme.org

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