Mindful eating was all the rage a week or so ago after the NBC Evening News did a segment on it and then the Wall Street Journal followed up with its own version. The NBC segment was woefully inadequate — didn’t really cover much, but I guess that’s the evening news for you. All about soundbites. The Wall Street Journal did a more in-depth piece, but I was disappointed they just used the same sources as NBC did for their piece. A lot more people have been promoting mindful eating — and for a lot longer time — than either of these media outlets gave credit for. Of course, I rank Green Mountain at Fox Run among those other people.
Another person who has been at the forefront of trying to change America’s attitude about eating and food — change it back to normal! — has been Ellyn Satter. I’ve posted about her work on healthy eating before, and continue to respect her efforts to help in planning healthy meals and then eating them. Here’s an example of her thinking from a piece she posted this week on her website about healthy eating.
Eating is a complex brew of preference, habit, attitude, intuition, knowledge, and physical necessity. All must be considered in addressing eating, and critical to them all is enjoyment. Enjoyment of food and reward from eating are essential to having eating and feeding turn out well. When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers. The common themes in all four parts of ecSatter are permission and discipline: the permission to choose food you enjoy and eat it in amounts you find satisfying, and the discipline to provide yourself with regular and reliable meals and snacks and to pay attention when you eat them.
With summer coming on, many of us start to worry even more about eating, given we’ll be baring our bodies more while we’re enjoying the wonderful times — and food — of summer. But if we approach it all mindfully — understanding that mindful eating helps us eat in a way that truly supports us in feeling well — we’ll help ourselves sail through a fun summer free of distorted attitudes about eating and health…and our bodies will respond positively.
Happy Memorial Day! Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.
- photo by Patricia Dekker