Reading while eating.
As an author, it’s something I do a lot of. In fact, I basically never stop reading ever… but is eating while reading actually a good idea?
Probably not, according to mindfulness expert and registered dietician Andrea Lieberstein.
Lieberstein (who also runs the mindfulness course Mindful Eating Training) has just released her new book Well Nourished, a book all about eating mindfully.
Lieberstein has been practicing mindfulness for twenty years and is also a mindfulness coach, so when I heard she was releasing a new book about mindful eating, naturally, I was interested.
Well Nourished promises to provide tools that both educate and inspire mindful eating.
It’s an important subject.
I personally learnt the importance of mindful eating as a teenager (now too long ago).
At the time, I had a bad relationship with food. At school, I would regularly ditch the healthy lunchbox my mother gave me and instead I would grab chicken nuggets and fries from the cafeteria (this is before schools were forced to start giving out healthy meals—and thank God for that).
I used to eat those chicken nuggets a good few times a week. Except… I didn’t really eat them. I wolfed them down. I ate mindlessly. I was barely aware of the fodder I was stuffing in my gob. The result? I was heavily overweight. I was probably in the top ten fattest people in our school of over 500 students. No, I’m not proud.
Then university came. And I became obsessed with the idea of a) actually feeling good about my body, and b) getting a girlfriend. Both required me to lose weight.
To lose weight I needed to change my relationship with food, something Well Nourished teaches eloquently.
I started eating a lot more fruit. But not only was I eating fruit, I was mindfully eating that fruit (you can learn all about eating mindfully in my guide to weight loss meditation).
In a (nutritious) nutshell: I would slowly eat my food while being very conscious of all the senses involved with eating. This is actually one of the best mindful habits there is.
By eating slowly and consciously I became far more aware of what I was eating.
Being aware of what we’re eating is half the game. We can control the things we’re aware of. It’s what we’re not aware of that is the problem (like cancer, for instance: when we’re aware of it, we can do something about it. It’s when we don’t become aware earlier enough that the risk is greatest).
Mindful eating makes us more aware of our food, and it slows the mind down. And that is essentially what mindful eating is all about.
So, what does Lieberstein’s book Well Nourished add to the conversation?
Well Nourished is packed full of tools and practices that help us to learn to eat mindfully. It’s half education, half inspiration (which is precisely the kind of books I love).
The educational part comes in the form of step-by-step examples. There are meditations and mindfulness practices that are easy to follow and truly helpful.
The presentation is also excellent. I particularly love the illustrations, which add a warm and friendly feel to the book.
My favorite part of this book is the way in which Lieberstein covers mindful eating in depth while also bringing new ideas to the table. I’ve been practicing mindful eating for decades now, and I still learned a thing or two from Well Nourished.
Overall, Well Nourished definitely does a good job of introducing us to mindful eating and showing us how to bring about a healthy body, mind and soul via our relationship to food.
If you’ve been wanting to start eating mindfully but we’re sure how to go about it, Well Nourished is a good choice.
Well Nourished is available on Amazon now. Have a look and let me know your thoughts about this latest mindfulness book.
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