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  • 25 Nov 2016 9:00 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Bidding Opens at 8 AM EST on November 29th, #GivingTuesday

    The Center for Mindful Eating Auction 2016 opens for bidding on November 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM EST time and will run through Wednesday, December 7th at 11:59 PM EST.  We've teamed up with people around the global giving to worthy causes on #GivingTuesday and invite you to participate with us!

    Our goal this year is to raise $12,000 to fund The Center for Mindful Eating's mission of helping people achieve a balanced, respectful, healthy and joyful relationship with food and eating. By providing an easily accessible source of information and opportunities to interact via the web and in other ways, we seek to train and encourage professionals who can then foster this capacity in others. We need your support! This is an exciting and fun way to help us, and at the same time have a chance to win some amazing opportunities to further your own mindful eating practice!

    Our Auction Features:

    • A one-week stay at Green Mountain at Fox Run, donated by Marsha Hudnall

    Introductory Meditation Retreat at Karme Choling in Vermont, USA

    • Three nights Air B&B in London, UK

    Eat for Life program with Lynn Rossy, PhD

    • One-year subscription to Eat Right Now by Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

    Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Tool Kit by Michelle May, MD

    MB-EAT: Mindful Eating and Living Online Professional Training with Andrea Lieberstein, MPH, RDN, RYT

    Core Concepts in Mindful Eating: 10-week Live Training, with Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDE

    Mindful Eating Skills for Dietitians, online course, Fiona Sutherland

    Self-Compassion-Based Eating Awareness Weekend Workshop with Jean Fain, MSW, LICSW

    • A host of wonderful books on mindful eating, the non-diet approach, mindfulness and more, many signed by the authors

    CDs and Videos for mindfulness, mindful eating and meditation support

    • Individual consultations in mindful eating, MBSR training and more with several programs offered in Spanish 

    Preview all services and offerings in the The Center for Mindful Eating Fundraising Auction

    Bids open at 8 AM EST on #GivingTuesday, November 29, 2016

    We'll be adding new items to our auction for you to preview as the auction date approaches. Check back often to see what's new. Feel free to place a Watch on your favorites, so that you'll know as soon as bidding begins!

    Thank you for your support! 

    From all of us at The Center for Mindful Eating. 

    Make a donation to help support our mission, and we'll see you at the Auction!

  • 23 Nov 2016 2:10 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    By Nancy J.I. Geib 

    November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Chances are you know someone who has diabetes, or you, yourself, have diabetes. Over 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, and its frequency as a diagnosis is continuing to increase. By choosing a month to highlight awareness of diabetes, as we do with Breast Cancer in October, allows us a “benchmark” to look back at progress over the year and a time period to set goals for ourselves.

    We want to do our part by providing you with more tools on managing this condition to be your best possible self. Learning to manage diabetes is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. An essential part of self-management is to include mindful eating in your thought process. What is this mindful eating you may ask? A simple and practical way to think about mindful eating is to ask yourself; are you eating with Intention? Eating with the intention of caring for you is a good way to think about this. Intention involves planning and forethought. In today’s fast paced lifestyle of convenience and prepared foods, mindful eating is worth every minute in your effort to stay healthy with diabetes. For example, do this exercise the next time you are eating something. 

    Ask yourself “Am I Hungry”? It seems like an easy question but many times it is not easy to tell if we are really hungry. There are so many things that can seem like true hunger but, when really thinking about them, can appear very different. What prompts you to eat? Before you take a bite, rattle off some questions in your mind of possible reasons you might be taking a bite of something, something other than taking care of a rumbling stomach. 

    • Do you want to eat this just because you see it? 
    • Do you want to eat this because it looks yummy?
    • Do you want it because it smells good?
    • Are you replacing some behavior with eating? Anxiety, stress?
    • Do you want to eat something because your friend, or family member is having some?
    • Are you eating because you are putting off something you should be doing? Like paying bills?
    • Or are you eating this because this is when you always eat, regardless of you being hungry? 

    Listening to your body to identify the cues that tell you when you are hungry. Your stomach rumbling or having low energy are clear signs. Mindful eating is not the latest “fad diet”, it is about you making the commitment and dedication to improving your health and wellbeing. It is a lifestyle that says you want to feel better by using your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body. In fact, everyone – with or without diabetes – can find benefit from mindful eating. 

    With the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, our schedules become full with spending time with family and friends and life tends to go into overdrive. Food choices during the holiday season will be very important. Before you eat anything, think of how this food or choice will help you! Remember to be mindful. Remember to eat with intention. The intention is to be our best self in being healthy, and staying healthy. 

    Nancy J.I. Geib has been passionate about nutrition, healthy eating, and our environment for decades. This is not only a passion but her way of living every day. Taking this passion and making it a career as a Registered Dietitian, allows Nancy to help others through the benefits of healthy living. Helping others to find their own health and wellness goals, is what drives her to share her knowledge and passion. In her spare time, she volunteers with Seacoast Eat Local managing the winter farmers markets, and the New Hampshire SPCA.  She loves to read and getting out into the beautiful setting of coastal New Hampshire by going hiking and snowshoeing. 

  • 10 Nov 2016 9:59 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    The Center for Mindful Eating is delighted to welcome three new board members to our organization: Sandra Aamodt, Judson Brewer, and Alice Rosen. Let's introduce each of them in turn...


    Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and science writer, most recently the author of Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss. Her talk at TEDGlobal 2013 about why she stopped dieting and started eating mindfully has received over 3.5 million views, and she has published opinion pieces in The New York Times and elsewhere.

    In collaboration with Sam Wang from Princeton University, she wrote two other books. Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life was named Young Adult Science Book of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009. Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College was published in 2011.

    She received her undergraduate degree in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Rochester. After four years of postdoctoral research at Yale University, she joined Nature Neuroscience, a leading scientific journal in the field of brain research, in 1998 and was editor in chief from 2003 to 2008.


    Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, is a thought leader in the field of habit change and

    the“science of self-mastery”, having combined nearly 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, spoken at international conferences, trained US Olympic coaches, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, TEDMED, TEDx, Time magazine (top 100 new health discoveries of 2013), Forbes, BBC, NPR, Businessweek and others. 

    He is the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate

     professor in medicine and psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He is also adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments. His digital therapeutics include app-based training for stress and emotional eating from his "Eat Right Now" program, and for smoking cessation from his "Craving to Quit" program. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Fetzer Trust among others. Dr. Brewer founded Claritas MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for eating, smoking and other behavior change into the marketplace. He is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017). He also writes a blog for the Huffington Post.


    Alice initially trained as an expressive therapist and presently works as a psychotherapist and educator specializing in eating and body image issues.  She also addresses more general issues such as anxiety, mood disorders, life transitions, and chronic pain/stress. 

    Mindfulness is a key reference point in Alice's practice.  She started meditating in 1974. In 1979, during a mindfulness meditation retreat, in the midst of 17 years of conflict with food and her body, she experienced being calmly in charge, and fully satisfied.  In eating mindfully, she discovered that she had an inherent wisdom about when, what and how much to eat. 

    Alice leads mindfulness-based experiential workshops and groups designed to instill a healthy and satisfying relationship with food. (  In addition, her work, using the Internal Family Systems Model helps people understand and heal the emotional underpinnings of un-attuned eating.

    She has authored and produced the CD set, The Feeding Ourselves Method, A Guide to Achieving a Healthy Relationship with Food.

    Her publication credits include her column, "BODY INTELLIGENCE REPORT" which appeared for three years in the journal-letter, FOOD ISSUES. 

    Alice loves good food and considers herself an intuitive cook.  Besides her work, she has a passion for nature and the outdoors, in any weather, and is admittedly addicted to being near and in the water.


    Each will be bringing a unique perspective to our table, as it were, with strong skill sets and an abundance of experience to contribute to the mission of The Center for Mindful Eating.  We believe that their presence on the Board will benefit many beings. Welcome!

  • 29 Oct 2016 1:00 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    On January 26, 2017 we will come together once again to celebrate mindful eating around the world. Stay tuned for details on hosting your own local events! Our Mindful Eating Day team is hard at work behind the scenes collating an abundance of resources to help you improve your relationship with food and eating. 

    Nourish Mindful Eating, join us in January to celebrate mindful eating around the world.

    The Center for Mindful Eating is a 501(c)3 non-profit, based in the United States. We offer resources to professionals and individuals in the field of mindful eating. Learn more about becoming a member TCME Member Benefits | Start your mindful eating journey today with the Principles of Mindful Eating and our free Introductory Resources

  • 05 Oct 2016 12:42 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Our autumn issue of  Food for Thought addresses a fairly controversial issue in the world of eating behaviors: Can people be addicted to food or not?

    The question really focuses on three ingredients commonly found in foods – sugar, fat and salt. And it asks whether these ingredients cause some people to go out of control around food, seriously interfering with their well-being.In the first article, Dr. Cecilia Clementi reviews the question from a scientific perspective. What do the studies say? Since this article was written, additional studies have been published that would be of value for anyone wanting to fully understand the subject. They include a review by Westwater and colleagues that shows little support for the concept of sugar addiction. Kahathuduwa and colleagues also published a review which looks at the impact of restrained eating on the brain, and provides an alternative explanation for differences in the reward response seen in many people who chronically overeat. The remaining articles provide practical insight that can be helpful in working with clients who struggle with feelings of food addiction and how mindful eating can help.

    Access to this issue of Food for Thought

    Food Addiction: A Controversial Concept by Cecilia Clementi, PhD, Psych.D

    Helping Clients Explore Feelings of Food Addiction by Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

    Understanding Our Cravings to Eat by Caroline Baerten, RD, (Belgium)

    Educational Handout:

    Understanding Our Cravings to Eat by Caroline Baerten, RD, (Belgium)

    Read on ISSUU (e-reader for tablets & phones)

    Thank you to our members whose membership fees make this quarterly publication possible! Your support of The Center for Mindful Eating is a vital part in deepening the widespread practice and understanding of eating with mindfulness. 

    Member Benefits | Join Today  |  Make a Donation

    All donations are tax-deductible (US charity) - any amount is welcome! 

  • 29 Sep 2016 11:40 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    This fall we are having our second TCME Annual Auction. Would you be willing to help us with a donation or two? We are looking for items and services related to mindful eating. Things that sold well last year included individual consultations for individuals and professionals, mindful eating training programs, books and other resources including CDs and DVDs. We are also looking for experiences - if you have a connection with a retreat center, or B&B, or other vacation opportunity, we anticipate these sorts of items will do very well in our auction. 

    We have a Google Form set up to collect your donations through the month of October:

    One page flyer with suggestions and more information:


    The auction will be held the week of November 29 - December 6, 2016. Show your support by RSVPing to our event listing. More information coming soon!

    Have questions? Need encouragement or inspiration? Contact us:

    ateam (at)

  • 22 Sep 2016 1:59 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    We are delighted to shine our September Member Spotlight on Dr. Lilia Graue

    "In 2013, I opened Mindful Eating Mexico(R), a project devoted to mindful eating through which resources and programs in Spanish could be made available. At the time, and for quite a while, it was only me, with the intention and hope that it would soon become a collective of health professionals committed to the practice and to the principles of HAES and body positivity. This intention and wish have become a reality this year, and I couldn't be happier. We are now a collective of nine health professionals offering live and online services for individuals (mind body medicine and nutrition and psychological counseling), as well as mindful eating and compassion courses for the general public in Mexico City, Puebla, Monterrey, Merida and Cancun. As of this year, I am also teaching a brand new live training for Spanish speaking health professionals in HAES, Non-Diet Approach and Mindful Eating, which will go online in 2017."

    Q. Would you describe your mindful eating program? 

    "Mindful Eating Mexico(R) is the first Center in Mexico fully devoted to mindful eating with adherence to the HAES principles and body positivity. We offer a range of services for the general public (individual and family consultation throughout the full life cycle in mind body medicine and nutrition and psychological counseling with mindfulness and compassion based practices as well as mindful eating and compassion groups) and trainings for health professionals."

    Q: Please share with us your favorite resource for someone who is interested in learning about mindful eating? 

    "TCME is my number one, of course! I had the honor of serving on the Board, and I have been deeply inspired by the passion, dedication and generosity with which TCME continually creates interesting and accessible materials for anyone interested in mindful eating. Additional favorite resources of mine are Green Mountain at Fox Run, The Mindful Dietitian  and Health Not Diets."

    Q: Do you have a few favorite mindful eating tips to offer?

    "One of my favorites is by Jan Chozen Bays: "When there's a party in the mouth, the mind needs to be invited."

    Also, don't strive for perfection - actually, don't strive at all - simply allow yourself to connect with your intention to nourish yourself with kindness and honoring your needs and boundaries, as best you can, one bite at a time. 

    Patience and curiosity are key, and the beauty is we encounter at least three opportunities (i.e. three meals) in one day to begin anew!"

    Q: Tell us a little how you came to this path with a story or memorable moment.

    "I was a "closet" mindful eater and mindful eating facilitator for quite a while, at a time in which mindfulness in general was looked at with suspicion at best in my professional and personal contexts, before I "came out". Let me go back to the beginning (sort of, anyway). I began meditating and practicing yoga when I was a teenager, and a couple of years after I started my medical training I came to the Vipassana tradition. In a very Catholic, traditional Mexican social context I was always the odd one out. I was also the weird one as a medical student and afterwards physician - always interested in mind body practices and holistic approaches among a very Westernized and rigid medical field. 

    After I completed my training in eating disorders and psychotherapy, I joined the staff at an eating disorders & obesity clinic. Years of going against the flow without much success taught me that I could do things the mindful way without actually naming them. Throughout the same time, I found in my own relationship with food (I sadly did not escape the years of dieting that plague young women these days) that mindful eating was a wonderful antidote to the torture of eating in accordance with "sound nutritional principles" (i.e. the "perfect" proportion of nutrients, etc.) and the insanity of ever changing nutritional science. So I taught my patients mindful eating practices without ever saying 'mindful eating'. I taught them to meditate and to practice compassion, never saying it was 'meditation' or 'compassion'. A couple of times, when asked by colleagues or by the clinic director what I did with them, I simply described what we did - it was labeled "positive psychology", "cognitive technique", etc., which was fine by me. 

    Anyway, fast forward a few years, in 2011 I suffered a spinal injury which had me bedridden. A dear friend invited me to a workshop she said would help. The workshop was packed, and what was offered was a method that claimed to modify the DNA structure and cure through connecting with divinity via channeling done by a healer. Not my cup of tea, for sure, but it allowed me to see that there was a need for the helping professions to openly address the spiritual dimension of health. I already had a path, I just needed a different way to name it and some science to support it. 

    I knew mindfulness worked, and someone somewhere must have published something about it in the scientific health field. So I went online, found the MBSR program and trained in it. Then I thought - surely someone must have come up with a way to apply this to eating in general and to eating disorders in particular. So I went online again, found TCME and came out of the closet! I have benefitted from numerous professional trainings that have formally shaped what I practiced intuitively and from my spiritual tradition. I have connected with the most wonderful, inspiring women, have found a sense of belonging, an outlet for my passion that can be of service, and more joy and gratitude than I ever thought possible."

    Q: What question have you encountered about mindful eating or mindfulness that makes you cringe?

    "So, if I do mindful eating right, will I lose weight?" It makes me so sad that our culture (including that of the health professions) is still so weight-centric. It also makes me sad that the diet mentality is so pervasive that mindful eating is seen (or made to become) yet another diet, which one either "does right" or "breaks". Mindful eating is a practice, a path, a way of relating to food and eating, a way of nourishing ourselves in a way that honors our body, other beings and the environment, and it is about awakening to the experience in this moment and making wise and compassionate choices for ourselves. It is most definitely not a diet, or a technique to achieve a certain outcome."

    Q: What is your vision for mindful eating? What do you want mindful eating to help or cure?

    "My vision for mindful eating is that it engenders kindness, compassion, gratitude, wisdom and peace that can ease so much suffering around food, eating and our bodies. As a society, we seem to be continually at war - with ourselves, with our bodies, with our weight. Hate, disgust, shame and guilt are so pervasive in our relationship with food and our bodies, and they are continually spread through presence, language and actions. I wish for mindful eating to help us heal profoundly, enduringly."

    Q: Would you share with us why you chose to join The Center for Mindful Eating?

    "Like I said, it was the first place in which I could "come out of the closet" and find a sense of truly belonging, professionally speaking. It was a beacon of light and wisdom for me. I could find awesome resources to read, listen to and, above all, a true community of like minded individuals who share the same passion and mission. Through TCME, I have met my greatest heroes and teachers, and a world of possibilities has opened for me. TCME is what inspired me to open Mindful Eating Mexico. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

    Que estés bien, feliz y en paz. 

    Dra. Lilia Graue Olmos

    Medicina y Nutrición Mente Cuerpo

    Conducta Alimentaria e Imagen Corporal

    Programas Basados en Mindfulness y Compasión

    Calle del Hipo, Chimalistac, 01070 CDMX

    Tel. (+52)(55) 75871968

    Cel. (+52)(1) 5555089246

  • 10 Sep 2016 10:21 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    During our annual meeting this summer, there were significant changes within the board, including the election of new officers. We’d like to welcome Marsha Hudnall into her new role as president.  Marsha brings substantial leadership qualities to the board, which have been demonstrated in her career of over four decades.  With this, we rejoice in the many years of leadership offered by co-founder and former president, Megrette Fletcher. Megrette has beautifully envisioned The Center for Mindful Eating from a conversation around her own dinner table with friends to the dynamic, in-depth resource and vibrant online community that it is today. We’d also like to introduce and acknowledge our two new vice-presidents who have stepped up to support the president and executive team: Caroline Baerten and Cinzia Pezzolesi. Both are living and working in Europe and have dedicated their energy and efforts to the spread of mindful eating all over  the world. Our new treasurer, Sharon Theroux, is a gem. Her enthusiasm in keeping our finances sound is deeply appreciated and indispensable for our  future.

    Thank you to all our board members for their service!

  • 06 Sep 2016 11:49 AM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (US). We're happy to share this article from our Mindful Eating with Children Special Issue (May 2015) by Claudia Vega, MD, TCME Board Member


    Many of us know firsthand that children are naturally aware. We ourselves were curious children. Kids have an innate connection with life. They can spend minutes observing the walking of an ant, the flight of a fly, the transforming shapes of the clouds. They also have a great capacity to be surprised with the little and the big discoveries they make through their attentive eyes and their non-judgmental minds. Kids simply ARE. And, although they daydream, they get to be and live mindfully because of their amazing capacity to come back to the present moment.

    We are living in a constantly accelerated pace. We are busy beings: fathers and mothers working in and out of home; children who spend long hours at school and also have multiple extracurricular activities. The result is that grown ups and little ones have less and less time to simply be, to spend time together in Mindfulness.

    Many children whose parents work long hours away from home have had to find resources to feel accompanied and to spend their free time. (1) Social insecurity in the streets, long exposure to TV, and the use of videogames and electronic devices, contribute to a more sedentary life for a lot of these children. (2) Their eyes and minds are constantly stimulated, but their bodies move less and less. (3) This limited sensorial stimulation and the ever less exposure to an outdoors environment favor a disconnection of themselves and of the world around them. They too enter into the fast pace of our daily lives.

    Furthermore, we also have the influence of the Media, which continuously bombards our children with the idea that beauty is attained through slim bodies, (4) but at the same time, they are exposed to tons of advertisements that create the desire for poorly nutritious food. This could confuse anyone. All these factors have contributed to an unbalanced relationship to food. On one hand, children eat emotionally and excessively which has translated into an epidemic of obesity; on the other hand, the number of eating disorders among youth has also increased.

    If we focus on Obesity, several research studies have shown that diets do not offer a solution in the long run. The studies show that between one and two thirds of dieters regain more weight some years after they finish their diets. (5) With children, there is not enough clear evidence to recommend one particular diet regime. What has been shown is that family based interventions that promote a behavioral lifestyle change, through a balanced diet, an increase in physical activity and emotional management seem to offer the best results. (6)

    Taking advantage of the large capacity that children have to connect with themselves and with the world around them through their senses, promoting a curious attitude and the practice of Mindfulness can help them understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.

    In a climate of acceptance, children can thrive, heal and transform. Mindfulness favors a progressive discovery and acceptance of themselves, creating emotional security for children. By increasing body awareness, children can identify physical hunger and understand other triggers for food seeking, diminishing emotional and mindless eating. When children are allowed to, they can explore, experiment and discover through food different ways of nourishing their minds and bodies.

    In my private practice I work with children and their families. I combine nutritional education, mindful eating exercises and psychotherapy. Of these three tools, I am always amazed by the usefulness of Mindful Eating.  With easy exercises, children start to understand their relationship with food, as well as their emotions around eating. For example, they become aware when anxiety, anger, loneliness or boredom become triggers for emotional eating.  Through Mindfulness they are able to recover their self-control, to embrace their emotion through their breathing and observe how it transforms. Or as one of my teenage patients told me once:

    “The other day I found myself looking for food right after I had finished lunch and then I thought: am I really hungry? So, I stopped to breathe and check with my body and mind. Since I was not sure, I waited for a couple of minutes, went upstairs to my room to do other things and I am not even sure when it happened, but the desire for food went away. I discovered that I was anxious, not hungry; … And that felt good!” 

    –Mary, 11 years old.

    Mindful Eating exercises help bring awareness to the act of eating. Although they are based on a millenary philosophy and practice, its use in Western society and in the clinical field is relatively new. It will be necessary to implement these strategies and do research studies to observe the actual impact that mindful eating, together with a holistic approach can have on overweight children as well as on the prevention of disordered eating. Bringing the magic of the present moment to each bite, I think and believe that children will be able to eat with more awareness and will be able to make better decisions for their self-care.

    Claudia Vega, MD, M.S.– is a Pediatrician, Mindfulness Based-Nutritionist and Psychotherapist, specializing in the work with disordered eating and weight issues with children and adolescents and their families. She serves on the TCME board. She leads Mindful Eating workshops and retreats for children, teenagers and adults.

    1. Generation M2 Media in the Lives of 8-18 years old. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study, Jan 2010.

    2. Tolbert-Kimbro, R., Schachter, A. Neighborhood Poverty and Maternal Fears of Children’s Outdoor Play. Fam Relat. Oct 2011; 60(4): 461–475.

    3. Rey-Lopez, JP., Vicente-Rodríguez, G. et al. Sedentary behaviour and obesity development in children and adolescents. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. March 2008, 18 (3):169-252.

    4. Morris, A. & Katzman D. The impact of the media on eating disorders in children and adolescents. Paediatr Child Health. 2003 May-Jun; 8(5): 287–289.

    5. Mann, Tomiyama, et al. Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments. Diets Are Not the Answer. American Psychologist,, April 2007, 62(3): 220 –233.

    6. Berry, D., Sheehan R. et al. Family-Based Interventions for Childhood Obesity: A Review. Journal of Family Nursing November 2004 vol. 10 no. 4 429-449

  • 25 Jul 2016 9:58 PM | TCME Admin (Administrator)

    Welcome to our Member Spotlight! This month we are delighted to shine the spotlight on the work of Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN, Nutrition Therapist with Eat to Love (

    Q. Jenna, would you share with your mindful eating program with us?

    Beginning September 27th and running for 9 weeks, I will be co-teaching an online course for nutritionists, therapists, coaches, yoga teachers, and the like to learn how to provide meditation instruction to their patients, clients, or students one-on-one or in small groups. My co-teacher (and my own meditation instructor), Susan Piver, is a NY Times bestselling author of 8 books, a Buddhist teacher, and an authorized Meditation Instructor in the Shambhala lineage.

    Together we will be helping students to establish and maintain their own regular meditation practice and then to extend the practice outward in their work with others. Students will be instructed in the basic practice of Shamatha meditation and provided with the tools necessary to create a strong personal practice that is genuine and sustainable. Then they will learn how to instruct others in the technique and to answer the most frequently asked questions about a meditation practice. 


    Q: What is your favorite resource for someone who is interested in mindful eating?

    I see important guidance for creating and sustaining a mindful eating practice in practically every Buddhist text I read, regardless of whether food or body are mentioned expressly. Two of my favorites areThe Places that Scare You and Comfortable with Uncertainty, both by American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. These texts are incredibly accessible to those of us relatively new to Buddhist teachings and communicate so many of the themes and concepts that are relevant to the different ways we use or misuse food - grasping and attachment to pleasure, resistance of and avoiding discomfort, and ignorance or numbing out. 

    Q: Do you have a few favorite tips to offer?

    Know that mindful eating will not "fix" you. First, because you are not broken. And second, because it will not save you from suffering. It is, however, one of the most kind, gentle, and loving things you can do for yourself that will in fact change the way you relate to your struggles, discomfort, and uncertainty. 

    Meditate. It's essential to having any kind of authentic mindful eating or mindfulness practice. Mindfulness without meditation is like a fat-free cupcake: flat, dense, and lacking in tenderness. 

    Q: Tell us a little how you came to this path.  A story or memorable moment.

    I began meditating about a year after I stopped drinking. Much like I was a gray-area problem drinker, I was a gray-area disordered eater, despite my extensive training in nutrition. My meditation practice showed me how I was using various distractions to buffer me from what was actually happening in my life. And it provided me with the stability to gradually expand into my discomfort without trying to self-medicate by drinking, eating, or doing any of the other things I did to not deal with my reality. Eventually I put two and two together and saw how a meditation practice could influence others' relationship with food, body, and suffering and decided that was exactly where I wanted to concentrate my personal and professional efforts. 


    Q: What is the one question about mindful eating or mindfulness that makes you cringe?

    "Can I use mindful eating or mindfulness to lose weight?" 

    Much as we should not "use" our meditation practice for a specific goal, a mindful eating practice should not be used to manipulate our bodies in some way. Mindful eating and mindfulness, for me, is about paying attention, being gentle, and being very honest with ourselves about what arises. To do that in any real way, we have to let go of a desire for a certain outcome.  


    Q: What is your vision for Mindful Eating? What do you want mindful eating to help or cure?

    By practicing mindful eating and meditation, I believe that people can remove the barriers keeping them from engaging fully in their own lives and in the lives of others. When we obsess about food and our bodies, our field of vision gets very narrow, selfish, and small. By cultivating a sane relationship with food and ourselves, we can see our bodies as instruments for working with others rather than objects to be perfected.  

    Q: Why did you join The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME)?

    I believe that TCME is emphasizing the most important aspects of wellness and creating a sane relationship with food and body. Even though I can't participate in as many of the programs as I'd like to because I have a young child, I benefit by just being associated with the group. I invested in a lifetime membership because I know I'll gradually be able to participate more and more and would like to continue to support the organization as it grows in influence and popularity.

    Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN, is a writer, nutrition therapist, mindfulness teacher and Open Heart Project Meditation Guide. She will be co-teaching the NEW “How to Become a Meditation Instructor” certified E-Course program with Susan Piver, starting September 27, 2016. This course will certify therapists, counselors, nutritionists, and coaches to teach meditation to their clients (there's early bird pricing available until mid-summer).

    Learn more about this program here

    Read a blog post Jenna wrote entitled: Five Mindfulness Lessons for Coaches

    Thank you, Jenna, for sharing your passion for meditation, mindfulness and mindful eating with all of us. 


    This Member Spotlight is a space for us all to learn about and share our members' ideas, practices, clinical experience, projects, writings, and research regarding mindful eating. All Center for Mindful Eating members are welcome to submit their mindful eating 'Spotlight' which we will then share through our website, Nourish e-newsletter, Mindful Bytes, and our social media outlets. We are happy to help promote your mindful eating related projects provided they are primarily in harmony with our Principles of Mindful Eating and recently published Position Statements.

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

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