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The Zen of Eating April 23, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.

Want to lose weight?  Without feeling deprived and frustrated?

Practice The Zen of Eating.

Be mindful of the tastes and textures of the food you prepare.

Focus on the nourishment it provides.

Be thankful for the abundance and variety of food in your life.

Say a blessing for your blessings.

Express loving kindness for all who contributed to growing and harvesting the food on your plate:

May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you be peaceful
May you be safe

Explore your pantry.

Note the origin of ingredients from differing cultures and traditions around the globe:  Curry from India.  Olive Oil from Greece.  Pasta from Italy.  Cheddar from Cheddar.  Maple Syrup from Vermont or Canada.

Savor the sensation of . . . enough.

Aah . . . that’s better!

From Amazon:

When it comes to weight loss, the emphasis today is shifting away from fad diets and compulsive workouts toward sane, sensible techniques that incorporate both the mind and the body. This is the first book to apply the 2,500-year-old principles of Zen Buddhism to the modern struggle with the vicious cycle of dieting, losing, and regaining weight.

From a Buddhist perspective, overeating is a disorder of desire. This book will teach readers how to find freedom from eating problems and the tyranny of desire that triggers them. Filled with concrete, practical exercises and the wisdom of the ages, The Zen of Eating provides, at last, an alternative to ineffective diet programs, products, and pills.

Quote to Ponder:  These words are simple.  Mastering them is hard. ~ Tao Te Ching

Related:  Zen Habits ~ A Survival Guide



1. Pix Under the Oaks - April 23, 2013

I don’t know Nancy, I don’t think this would help me lose weight.. 😀 Exploring my pantry would not be a good thing. I love the whole idea of this book and I love the cover.. 🙂

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

She believes that “mindless eating” often contributes to weight gain ~ instead of serving ourselves 2 cookies on a delicate plate, she envisions us cramming whole packages of Oreos into our mouths while thinking, “There is NOTHING in the house for dinner!” 😛

I’m not sure the book will solve everyone’s food addictions . . . but eating more mindfully can only be a good thing, right?

Pix Under the Oaks - April 23, 2013

Right! Doing all things mindfully is a good thing.. 🙂

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

I’m often mindful when preparing food . . . but less so when “inhaling it.” So I’m trying to slow down and really TASTE IT.

2. Lisa Wields Words - April 23, 2013

I’m going to have to get this book.

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

If you read the reviews on Amazon, you’ll see that people had mixed reactions. Some hated it and some loved it.

The book’s central focus on mindfulness is a GOOD practice to incorporate . . . no matter what habit is “holding us back.”

3. Grannymar - April 23, 2013

Want to lose weight? The only way is to eat everything in moderation and get up from the table feeling like you could actually eat some more.

Putting food on a smaller plate, can trick the eye into thinking you are eating more.

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

That’s ONE way, Grannymar . . . but I’m not convinced it’s “the only way.” For some people, that feeling of being able to eat more makes them feel deprived. Which makes them feel “sorry” for themselves. Which starts the cycle all over again.

Eating less than we want may work in the short term (when motivation to lose weight is high), especially if we only have a few pounds to lose. But, in the long term, feeling deprived often results in a food binge as soon as we are over stressed or someone pushes our buttons or the number on the scale isn’t moving fast enough or we run out of will power or . . ..

This book seeks to change how we look at food so we feel nourished and satisfied without feelings of deprivation.

4. kateshrewsday - April 23, 2013

Sounds a great book, Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

It’s an interesting introduction to the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path . . . and a great reminder to PAY ATTENTION to the choices we make.

I am sure that if I cut out ALL mindless eating, that I would soon weigh exactly what I want to weigh.

5. diannegray - April 23, 2013

I’m losing weight by doing a lot of hard labor during the day – but I guess this isn’t for everyone 😀 The book sounds great, I’m heading over to Amazon to read the reviews 😉

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

Increasing our daily exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight without feelings of deprivation . . . especially if we are TOO BUSY to eat. 😉

6. dearrosie - April 23, 2013

Sounds like an interesting book.
“Say a blessing for your blessings…”

Good advice to put two cookies on a pretty plate and walk away from the kitchen! I know there are certain foods I can’t just have one of eg chocolate. If its in a slab I’ll eat the whole darn thing. Gulp.

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

This book addresses “trigger foods” which are as tempting as a drink to an alcoholic . . . So. Hard. To. Say. No.

7. Three Well Beings - April 24, 2013

I love your book reviews! I am so interested in the “science” of diet, eating, and mindfulness in general…I will look forward to reading this. I’m so glad you shared. 🙂

nrhatch - April 24, 2013

Thanks, Debra. Being mindful and bringing our full attention to the task at hand, whatever it is, nourishes us in a way that Oreos never will. 😉

Three Well Beings - April 24, 2013

Good point! I might want to think about that just a little bit more. LOL!

8. jannatwrites - April 24, 2013

Interesting concept. It makes sense that taking time to give thanks (instead of shoveling) would help. For me, the biggest pitfall was the candy dishes and barrage of snacks tempting me in the break room at work. Since I started working at home more, I’ve lost four pounds.

nrhatch - April 24, 2013

Yay, you! Many people would gain weight working from home due to (1) the proximity of the refrigerator and (2) no one around to guard the Haagen Das. 😀

All the goodies in our kitchen are quiet during the day. But after dinner they wake up and start calling my name, especially if I’m watching TV or a movie.

9. sufilight - April 25, 2013

My s/o Phil lost 60 pounds two years ago and has kept it off, he is mindful of the difference between eating because he is hungry or because he is bored or tense. We buy healthier snacks these days, and I snack mostly on fruits. However, I need to lose about 12 pounds, and keep it off. I am tempted to get the book, but will wait as I just checked out another book today from the library. 😀 Thanks for sharing this.

nrhatch - April 25, 2013

Go Phil! That’s a great accomplishment! When we only have 10 or so pounds to lose, we’re close to keeping our “desires” in balance with our nutritional needs. This may be the last nudge needed.

10. Perfecting Motherhood - April 26, 2013

I don’t know about Zen eating but it sounds simple enough. Maybe not enough to motivate most people. I eat the French way, where I enjoy every bite I eat. And I don’t deprive myself, that’s the worst you can do since you always end up eating more!

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

The French way of eating is very Zen ~ pay attention and enjoy every mindful moment and mouthful. _/!\_

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