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Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food
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Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  569 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
The art of mindfulness can transform our struggles with food—and renew our sense of pleasure, appreciation, and satisfaction with eating. Drawing on recent research and integrating her experiences as a physician and meditation teacher, Dr. Jan Bays offers a wonderfully clear presentation of what mindfulness is and how it can help with food issues.

Mindful eating is an appr
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Shambhala (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Heidi
Dec 31, 2009 Heidi rated it liked it
I feel like I should like this book more because the author is a local and loved Zen teacher. I think the method of mindful eating is well-presented and a useful tool, but enlightened though she may be, Chozen Bays reveals her lack of need to confront fat karma.

In his foreword to the book, Jon Kabat-Zinn refers to "our disordered relationship to food and eating." I thought, wow, that's just what I've been saying. I think we have a societal eating disorder, and it just seems to be getting worse.
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Reid
Aug 16, 2011 Reid rated it liked it
This book has a very good heart. I have no doubt that Bays' intention was to give us a guide to eating mindfully that would be very useful. In some ways she succeeded, but in others she was not nearly so successful.

I suppose it is useful to note that I consider myself overweight. I also think of myself as a devoted practitioner of mindfulness. I know that mindfulness can be helpful in finding my way to a healthier relationship to food. None of this is in doubt for me. Since I require no convinci
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Cat
May 11, 2015 Cat rated it liked it
Shelves: food, yoga
Jan Chozen Bays provides a solid primer for mindful eating. The seven types of hunger she outlines are a new way (or I guess forgotten way, she would argue) to approach eating, but for the most part not too radical. We're all familiar with the concepts of comfort food and emotional eating, and sayings like, "your eyes are bigger than your stomach." So while she reframed these different relationships to food, nothing (except maybe cellular hunger) seemed too far out there. I also appreciated the ...more
Krissy
Mar 31, 2013 Krissy rated it liked it
I read this because Teresa suggested I pick it up. If nothing else, it has made me more aware of my eating habits.

"Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, being fully aware of what is happening both inside yourself - in your body, heart, and mind - and outside yourself, in your environment. Mindfulness is awareness without judgment or criticism." - page 2.

Concepts I enjoyed:

The 7 types of hunger: eyes, nose, mouth, stomach, mind, heart, and cell hunger.

Inner voices: perfectionist, pusher,
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April Gustafson
Feb 28, 2010 April Gustafson rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that I checked out from the library and then liked so much I bought it (well, it's waiting for me at Barnes & Noble). In my life-long battle of the bulge, I've come to recognize myself as a mindless eater--one of my self-mocking mantras is "Why did I eat it? Because it was THERE." This book offered a Buddhism-centric viewpoint on all the different hungers we are feeding with our eating from time to time--eye hunger, nose hunger, mouth hunger, stomach hunger, cellul ...more
Louise Silk
Nov 14, 2011 Louise Silk rated it really liked it
Coming from a belief system that values mindfulness as the key to acceptance and change, I found the concept of mindful eating attractive. Instead of focusing on the qualities of healthy or non-healthy foods, the author encourages becoming in tune with what the body needs and wants. The problem is not the food per say but our relationship to it. The goal is become mindful so as to approach food with a thinking mind and a feeling heart

he book engages mindfulness by appreciating and valuing the se
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Vishvapani
Jun 14, 2016 Vishvapani rated it really liked it
When you start a weight-loss diet you focus on a goal. That's motivating, but the problem with goals is that you either (a) meet them, and then think the task is finished or (b) don't meet them, and think that you've failed. So what would it be like to focus on the process rather than the outcome? That's the underlying ethos of this excellent book on Mindful Eating, which clearly draws on Jan Choden Bays' extensive experience as a both a teacher and a practitioner of both mindfulness and mindful ...more
Annie
Sep 19, 2015 Annie rated it liked it
This was an interesting book, and I find myself reflecting back on a lot of what I've read even after returning it to the library. Jan Chozen Bays is a doctor and a buddhist monk who works with people who have food issues. The mindfulness aspect will not be particularly new to you if you've been practicing mindfulness for a while, but there's more than enough additional content to make this an interesting read. I really appreciate that Jan is a woman who has struggled with her own eating compuls ...more
Maxine
Mar 27, 2015 Maxine rated it really liked it
Dr. Jan Chozen Bays brought to light many important points and opinions in regards to how people treat food and eating and how people should treat food and eating. One point that I found interesting was the ability to taste the first few bites of a meal and then, seemingly on auto pilot, find that your meal has been eaten and you have not even tasted the rest. Dr. Chozen Bays says this leaves us feeling unsatisfied. Another point that I found fascinating that I have already been doing is focusin ...more
Hedy Ditchfield
Mar 03, 2014 Hedy Ditchfield rated it really liked it
I read this book a couple of years ago when beginning a mindfulness practice and found it incredibly helpful. It is not a long book and will not suit everyone but is worth looking at especially if interested in mindfulness . Jan Chozen Bays is both a medical doctor and along time teacher of zen meditation and her views are in complete harmony wiTH bc For eg she states early on
" will you lose weight if you bring mindfulness to cooking and eating? I don't know. What you could lose is the weight of
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Debra Brunk
Dec 19, 2015 Debra Brunk rated it really liked it
As far as mindful eating books go, I think this is one of the better ones. Bays brings a sense of humor to her book, and the guided meditations are helpful. I used this book in a mindful eating class and tested many of the approaches on myself. I found most of Bays' suggestions to be very helpful. While the guided meditations were helpful, several, particularly the 'Basic Body Scan" and "Mindfulness Meditation on the Body with Gratitude" ;could have been longer and more thorough. It's difficult ...more
Mona-lynne Ayotte
Nov 17, 2009 Mona-lynne Ayotte rated it it was amazing
An absolutely wonderful book that changed my conscious relationship with food. Easy to understand and follow even without having had any prior mindfulness training.
Denise Tarasuk
Oct 12, 2015 Denise Tarasuk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Mindful Eating brings peace and joy for me. This book woke me up from some place a far and gently guided me to calm thoughts with each meal. There are lots of lessons to learn and learning them with Jan Cozen Bay is wonderful. Don’t let fear keep you from reading this wonderful treasure. The words within are so kind. I love this book, her delightful lessons, and plan to spend more time reading these precious words.I must say, that one of the lessons on meditation has made the difference for me. ...more
Brittany Rouse
Nov 11, 2014 Brittany Rouse rated it it was ok
To start out, I'm not a spiritual person, so all this Zen/Buddhist did not resonate with me. I was amazed at all the positive reviews (I ordered this book on amazon, and was excited to see the great reviews), but I thought this book was painful to read at times.

She talked about the 7 kinds of hunger, and (while interesting to learn the 7 types) it would be obnoxious to think so heavily into what part of my body is hungry? Is it my nose? my eye? my stomach? my brain? my cells? my heart? my mouth
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Michela Arno
Aug 14, 2012 Michela Arno rated it really liked it
In my opinion the book gives interesting insights about how and why the eating habits have changed in the past century; it definetely makes one aware of unhealthy eating behaviours brought about by stress, emotional needs, unfocused actions to react on the outside, rather than acting from the inside out. Surely everyone knows already of how healthier our grandparents ate,how much more physical work they did. But the book brings everything into a more logic perspective and helps one to become awa ...more
Kendall
Sep 24, 2014 Kendall rated it liked it
I like some of the teachings in the book, and I especially like the versions that includes a CD of exercises. However, I feel that if I did not have a therapist specializing in mindful eating at my side, I would be lost. This book reiterated many of my therapist's teachings. However, I prefer Geneen Roth's style more.
Julie
Apr 10, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
I've read other authors on this subject, and they make many of the same points and recommendations, but somehow Dr. Bays' style and choice of emphases work best for me. She is less "woo-woo" than some others who approach the topic; she is an MD and nicely blends the scientific with the psychological and spiritual. I read the book straight through before implementing any of the recommendations; I haven't yet listened to the accompanying CD. After a couple of days of making my best effort at mindf ...more
Tiffany
May 24, 2014 Tiffany rated it liked it
Sorry, I just gave up. I made the collossal mistake of checking out Zen teacher Bayes on line and was immediately put off by that tiny smirk and knowing head bob when she mentioned people she encountered who called themselves "Buddhists." Whew, she's judgmental. Yikes.

This book is perfectly designed for a mindful eating class. I learned many things from those dull, dull, dull pages. It is chock full of juicy tidbits (such as facts like most 5th graders are allotted less than 10 minutes for lunch
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Steph Quigley
Nov 24, 2015 Steph Quigley rated it it was amazing
I ended up going to this author's mindful eating retreat and it was so powerful. She gives a lot of great tips and tricks for bringing back a healthy relationship with food.
Rachel
Oct 27, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
The concept of mindful eating seems quite straight forward, however this book has definitely impacted my thinking about food and hunger. I am already noticing changes in my approach to eating, and I suspect that the wisdom of this book will continue to unfold in me over time. I recommend it to anyone wanting a deeper understanding of hunger in all its guises.
Charlotte
Jul 08, 2011 Charlotte rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Coming from a belief system that values the human body, I found the concept of mindful eating attractive. Instead of focusing on "good" and "bad" foods, the author encourages becoming in tune with the body and what it needs and wants. Bays advocates eating slowly and purposefully, stopping when you're satisfied instead of bursting at the seams. While some of the theories proposed in this book are a little too new age for me, I like the idea of evaluating the different types of hunger we feel and ...more
Quiltyknitwit
Oct 18, 2014 Quiltyknitwit rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
What a wonderful approach to eating! The mindful approach to food is to use all the senses, and identify what type of "hunger" one has. Included is a CD of guided exercises.
Ani
Sep 21, 2012 Ani rated it it was amazing
I had so many aha-moments reading this book. Plus the exercises throughout and on the CD were very useful. Of the various books out there on mindful eating, I think this is the best one. It is helpful that the author has a medical background (pediatrician). I think this book would be useful to anyone, whether they are a parent concerned for their children, an individual who just wants to reconnect with healthy eating, or someone with an eating disorder. I recommend reading it in smaller chunks i ...more
Elisa Ferrari
Jul 08, 2016 Elisa Ferrari rated it it was amazing
First book on mindful eating I ever read. Still have it. Still re-read it.
Mary Follis
Mar 21, 2016 Mary Follis rated it it was amazing
An excellent guide to refer to again and again. Includes a cd of meditations.
Kate Irwin-smiler
Jan 19, 2014 Kate Irwin-smiler rated it it was amazing
Ive been working on mindfulness for a couple years, but am only staring to apply it to eating. I read this straight through & am going back for the exercises. It's already crystallized & confirmed some thoughts I've had regarding mindfulness and eating.
Rudi Metaj
Nov 03, 2015 Rudi Metaj rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
Aug 01, 2011 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in conjunction with a Healthy living class I took this spring. There are some interesting insights into the dynamics of individual relationships with food and eating. There are some exercises and activities that accompany the book as well as a CD that the author reads to help with the exercises. I can't say that I totally agree with every aspect of what's presented - but there are definitely some things worth considering and I found parts of it helpful in altering my association ...more
Ana
May 20, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it
Really good, really helpful book. She brings to awareness, or mindfulness how we eat--too fast and too mindlessly, often eating out of habit not because we want or need to. It's made me reevaluate each time I decid to go get something out of the fridge--"Do I really want this?" I'm surprised at how many times I answer, "No, not really." And b/c I have thought about it I can then do something else. (If the answer is "YES!" then I go ahead and get it.)
Alison Chorney-Dubien
Aug 26, 2014 Alison Chorney-Dubien rated it really liked it
This book offered a lot of great perspective on our beliefs, values, history and attitudes towards food and our hunger. I found it quite helpful in learning how to recognize cues that we, as adults, have otherwise lost. There were some great historical co-relations as to where and why we went astray with our eating habits. Some of the exercises were not of interest to me, but others were quite pertinent to my life.
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“A few years ago a corrective report announced that people had misinterpreted the first report. Humans needed a total of sixty-four ounces of liquid a day, but they did not have to drink that amount from a glass. It actually all could come from food. And coffee and tea counted. Studies showed that these caffeinated beverages didn’t deplete the body’s liquids after all. Why, in the midst of this epidemic of grown-ups toting and constantly nursing from water bottles decorated with various company logos, has no one asked how our mothers and fathers and our grandparents, and the entire human race for tens of thousands of years before, escaped mass annihilation by dehydration because high-impact polycarbonate plastic bottles filled with “spring water” hadn’t been invented yet? Our modern minds believed what putative “science” and old wives’ tales in magazines told us and overrode the wisdom of our bodies. WHEN” 0 likes
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