Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung
This book applies the teachings of Zen Buddhism and mindfulness specifically to the action of eating as a solution to the diabesity epidemic. As you may know, the information and technology to help people control their weight and live a healthy life are both available (well, eating less and exercising more may not qualify as technology per say), but many social, political, and cultural factors exist that prevent people from implementing healthy lifestyle changes. Savor is kind of a mindfulness workbook to help you overcome these issues while acknowledging that some people's living situations are more of a barrier than others'. Much of the book is dedicated to teaching the reasons for mindfulness and applying that mindfulness to daily activities. It reiterates the notion that life happens now and to fully enjoy life, we must spend more time concentrating on living in the now rather than in the past or the present. I found the breathing and meditation exercises to be calming, and they definitely helped me feel less stressed about the things I have to do regularly. The first half of the book doesn't even feel like it is about food; it really just concentrates on mindfulness. The book also walks readers through creating action plans, a technique used in chronic disease self management. I found the book to be thoroughly enjoyable and useful, and it presented scientific research as well to support its claims. The blend of spirituality and science was refreshing, and the book does not at all feel like it is pushing a religious agenda. It really is teaching introspection. There is also a companion website, which you can use to help you develop your mindfulness practice or get more information about the book before reading it. I haven't used it personally, so I can't vouch for it, but it's easy enough to click the link. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in practicing mindfulness, whether or not you are concerned about your eating habits as well. Anyways, mindful eating is so much more enjoyable than mindless eating.