We have a workshop coming up on Saturday March the 7th 2015 at Bamford Haybarn Spa in Gloucestershire, a full day of exploring different mindful eating practices in a welcoming and supportive environment.
The theme of day is around Mindful Eating, Mindful Living, and the workshop will be an opportunity to step out of the busyness of everyday life and to gently focus ourselves on bringing back enjoyment and ease to our day-to-day experiences around food. We will be spending the day in the lovely, light-filled studio at the Haybarn Spa, the perfect environment to explore our eating experiences and habits in a spacious and unhurried way.
Lunchtime will be the opportunity to put it all into practice and experience a mindful meal, away from distractions and hurry. These meals are a favourite part of our workshops and normally we ask everybody attending to bring a dish to share. This time we are doing things differently and lunch will be provided by the award-winning Daylesford Farm Shop next door - it should be a real treat, and means that all you’ll need to bring on the day is yourself. I'd love to see some of you there!
The workshop finishes at 4pm, so plenty of time to pick up some goodies to take home from the Farm Shop next door.
Read more about the Mindful Eating, Mindful Living workshop
There's a full description of the Mindful Eating Mindful Living Workshop on the Haybarn website. The workshop will run from 10.15am to 4pm and the cost is £120.
To book a place
Many, many of our daily activities influence our eating and one that has a huge impact is our obsession with technology and the endless urge to consume more and more. Information, bad news, status updates - you name it, we’re hooked. Lifehacker has some excellent tips on Creating an Information Diet that works. Particularly useful are the tips in being more intentional about what we want from our time online, and noticing how the information we consume makes us feel
"Vegetables may make you feel light, whereas a heavy beef roast may put you into a food coma. A cup of coffee may wake you up. A glass of wine may relax you. Much like food and drink, the information and media we consume affects the way that we feel after we consume it."
Jean Kristeller, creator of the wonderful MB-EAT programme has a mindful eating technique to use when you want to have a snack. Snacking can be a helpful strategy for managing our eating across the day, and Jean’s way acknowledges this by combining our inner wisdom (what is really calling to us right now?), with outer wisdom (how much is the right amount for us at this point in our day?). It is an article that first appeared in the worlds first mindfulness magazine, Mindful.
I am really delighted to be one of the invited speakers for this years Mindful Eating Summit. My friend and colleague, Dr. Susan Albers, author of Eating Mindfully and Cleveland Clinic psychologist, has put together a fantastic FREE event with 20 of the world’s top leading eating experts to share information that you won’t hear anywhere else.
I have been using and recommending Susan's wonderful books on mindful eating for some time now and it was wonderful to talk to her in person. As you can see below the summit features a stellar line-up in the world of mindful eating and I am very honoured to have been included in such knowledgeable company. The talks will be available for the week of the summit only so do sign up straight away at www.mindfuleatingsummit.com if you would like to hear them.
Here are just a few of the presenters in my conference, all of whom offer their own rich, in-depth perspective on health, wellness and mindfulness:
- Dr. Brian Wansink Director of Cornell Food & Brand Lab and best-selling author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
- Evelyn Tribole Award-winning registered dietitian an author of Intuitive Eating (co-author)
- Dr. Katz, author of Disease Proof and contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine
- Dr. Daniel Siegel, Professor of at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.
- Professor Jean Kristeller, founder of MB_EAT, the Mindfulness- Based Eating Awareness Training program
- Marsha Hudnall, President & Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run
You can sign up here: www.mindfuleatingsummit.com
The peak of a season is a great time to take notice of the thoughts that pass through our minds relating to the time of year and how we should eat. We're having a mini heatwave here in England (OK, a few days of unbroken sunshine anyway), and it reminded me of all of the seasonal food rules, beliefs and barriers that people carry with them. They tend to go something like his - "I won't be able to keep losing weight come the Winter because I won't be able to keep having all of these salads", or "how will I be able to keep eating those cholesterol-busting oats regularly when it's just not porridge weather?"
No need to be critical of yourself for having these thoughts - most of us have them. All the same it's good to notice them, and pause lightly with the possibility that they might not be entirely true. Warm salads, gazpacho and bircher muesli all say it ain't so.
A few suggestions for getting out of seasonal autopilot:
- Eat outside whenever you get the chance. Yes, it is lovely, but also it gets us away from all of the distractions inside our house (gadgets, TVs, the untidy mess). And sitting in a different seat with a different perspective is a great way to get out of autopilot and bring us into the present.
- Notice what your personal seasonal food "dos and don'ts" are. Can you be curious about what alternative theories there might be? Maybe cold soup really is an awesome idea
- Spend some time noticing how your body feels at this time of year. Perhaps this has an influence on how or what you want to eat? My long-standing back problem is definitely more niggly in the Winter, which can make me cranky, which can make me more likely to eat food "as a treat", because I deserve cheering up.
- How do you spend your leisure time in this season? Is your routine different? Summer can see long days out and about or in the garden which might be enjoyable and helpfully non-food focused, but might leave little time for food preparation and shopping, or unusually long gaps between eating.
- If you can afford to and have the time, get out there and buy your food where it has just been pulled from the ground / plucked from the tree / cut from the plant
It seems like such a long time ago that the evenings were dark and stormy and we were running our February and March Mindful Eating course. The course was wonderful with a lovely group (all women this time) who worked really hard for the six weeks and brought a sense of humour to some quite difficult topics. We were delighted that the course sold out, but the downside to this was that we had to turn a few people away who I hope will be able to join us next time (more of that later).
After the course I got stuck into a little project for Wiley Publishers to act as Technical Reviewing for an upcoming book on Mindful Eating, checking for factual errors, jargon and to check that the book is pitched appropriately. This was a great opportunity to go back to the evidence about what we actually know about the effectiveness for using mindfulness for eating. The book is in a famous book series with a yellow cover, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a team working together to combine the "no nonsense" approach of the series with the kindness and self-compassion that is part of mindfulness.
In early June mindfulness teacher Alicia Gardner and myself ran a day of mindfulness practice for current and past course participants in the grounds of St Hugh's College. We were blessed with the most gorgeous summers day and Alicia and I made sure that we built in ample time for walking in the grounds, basking (mindfully) in the warmth of the sun and admiring the beautiful floral borders. Our apologies to any students that we scared with our mindful walking practice - at first glance it can look a teeny bit like a zombie invasion.
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