As part of my new year’s resolution of reading a book a week in 2011, I read a little book recently called, “Eating Mindfully” by Susan Albers. I enjoy the idea of eating food consciously without focusing on nutrition. If you think about it, the field of study is called “nutritional sciences” for a reason, it is meant for scientists to comprehend. Susan breaks down eating food into 4 categories: Mind, Body, Thoughts, and Feelings. Categories which she says were pulled from Buddhist teachings. I tried to think how these four elements apply to my relationship with food nowadays in my senior year of college.
Whole Foods – I want foods closer to their natural state in the environment. This isn’t an ad for raw cuisine, but more of a push to understand where food comes from. For example, I drink whole milk, because in my mind whole milk is closer to raw milk than say fat-free. Another example would be my preference for foods that have not been “fortified” (adding vitamins, minerals, etc that were not in the original food). Not a big fan of supplements either…
Ever growing energy – eating my whole foods diet has given me more energy than ever, increased physical condition and form that I have never felt before. Also, I am more aware of how food affects my body. i.e. my new obsession with black coffee, I use the caffeine as drug to alter my ability to focus.
More concerns – the more I learn about food, the more upsetting my thoughts become. I grow almost an anger towards “bad” foodways of society, with more confusion about the complications and inequalities of the world food systems. Although, these thoughts can bring you down, they motivate me to learn and to use my food studies for the good of the world.
Trauma – When I think about food now, I tend to reflect on the past. I feel full of regret for all the bad decisions I made with food, and how that has dampened the enjoyment of life. Even though I am much happier today, big thanks to friends that help me realize that I have come a long way and am on the path of constantly improvement.
UT students can check out the book from the SSB building Health Services library for free. But, I would recommend trying to find one of her newer books; they seem like more concise versions of the first book. Let me know how they are if you have read them.
- Mindful eating 101: a guide to healthy eating in college and beyond
- Eat, Drink and Be Mindful: How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy
Don’t worry about fats and carbs, instead become aware of why you are eating then act upon that.
Her website: http://www.eatingmindfully.com