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Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,282 ratings  ·  132 reviews
End Your Struggle with Weight.
Your Path Begins Here.

With the scientific expertise of Dr. Lilian Cheung in nutrition and Thich Nhat Hanh's experience in teaching mindfulness the world over, Savor not only helps us achieve the healthy weight and well-being we seek, but also brings to the surface the rich abundance of life available to us in every moment.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by HarperOne (first published 2010)
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This book offered me a personal revelation. It will always be highly revered for that fact, but honestly...I will never recommend this book.

I prefer to read Daoist writings on mindfulness because I just can't believe the pretentiousness that many Buddhists lace into their writing. I don't blame Thich Nhat Hanh, as I don't think he wrote any of this, was just around for the process and encouragement. I don't like being told by anyone that my way of life is a sin or is wrong. I do not like being t
As a Buddhist, I really appreciate this book about eating, health, and exercise that is written from a perspective of mindfulness. It is helping me overcome some of my own barriers to regular exercise and helping me examine my eating habits.

My only critique is that the first chapter consistently equated fat with unhealthy rather than exploring the complex reality that there are both skinny unhealthy people and healthy fat people. That and the repeated use of the phrase "your weight problem" alm
Kate Irwin-smiler
Surprisingly preachy. My prior experiences with mindfulness have been very gentle & accepting but this preached against various food, alcohol, casual sex, and on and on.

The mindfulness explanations were no better than I've gotten elsewhere, and there was a lot of pretty standard weight loss advice. (just move more! Cut out soda! Keep a journal!) I found that very surprising since it seems most people with weight issues come to mindful eating after trying all the standard (western) approaches
Auto-pilot is the concept of the century when it comes to just about everything. We work hard just so we can slack off, looking for the next quick fix to make life easier. But at what price? It seems like we’re doing more damage to ourselves than we are helping ourselves.

This is the concept that Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh and Harvard’s Dr. Lilian Cheung breakdown in their new book Savor. The book is not a diet book and it’s not a solution. It’s a meditation on what our lives have become in
Personally, I struggle with over stressing about eating to the point where food is on my mind 24/7. If I'm not eating then I am thinking about food or if I am eating I am feeling guilty about taking in too many calories. I picked up this book because it looked like I could use it as a tool to help me not see food as an enemy. "Savor" is definitely geared towards overweight individuals but it gave me some really insightful tips. It encompasses a lot of meditation practices and wisdom on how to sl ...more
For a book presented as improving your eating habits through mindfulness, it read as mindless and scattered. A quick intro to Buddhist thought followed by dietary and exercise guidelines followed by tips and a plea for a more mindful global food community. I feel like the true author, Lilian Cheung, was looking for a new angle for a diet book and applied mindfulness as a trendy hook. I’m not sure how helpful this book would be to anyone who is unfamiliar with Buddhist thought or the current diet ...more
A good book for those looking to learn how the Buddhist practice of living in this moment can be used to improve and possibly reduce bad eating habits. Some principals of Buddhism are introduced when they can be applied towards living a more healthy physical life, and very simple meditations are given to use to help one get through the smooth and the rough parts of the day. On the nutritional side, there's nothing new or ground breaking, but what is there is very well explained, especially when ...more
Part mindfulness guide, part nutrition book... I didn't finish it because I just finished "Mindful eating" by Jan Chozen Bays which was much more focused on the mindful eating part and less on telling you what to eat. The lesson of both books is that if you eat mindfully, with joy and gratitude, your body and senses tell you what to eat, so the nutrition advice in "Savor" didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Both books cite writings by Michael Pollan and Mireille Guiliano, which also encourag ...more
Gwendoline Van
If you've dabbled into mindfulness prior to reading this book, most of it feels like old news applied to a new topic. Which, the authors explain, is the essence of mindfulness--being mindful of __________.

In this case, it's consumption, specifically food and health.

A few favorite gems:

- Name your urge or cravings. Here, they call it the "habit energy." So, when you reach for the oreos automatically after a day's work, say, "hello habit energy. I know you are there." Then, act differently.

- P
You may want to buy a big bag of apples before starting this book! (You'll see why when you read it.) My book club picked this book which seems to be aimed toward overweight people. The first few chapters are common sense - basically eat less, work out more - and get preachy about topics like vegetarianism. I enjoyed the introduction to Buddhism meditations that can be done anywhere, such as while you're driving and brushing your teeth.
Jul 29, 2010 Laurie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to slow down, stop being so hard on themselves and enjoy life.
Most of the information presented is stuff everyone should know by now (eat healthfully, move around), but I like the Buddhist approach. Lots of tips on eating & living mindfully to better yourself and your entire environment. Packed with so many useful meditations I may have to buy a copy.
Someone must have read The China Study and then didn't get the memo that it was completely wrong. This book contains horribly backwards conventional nutrition advice ( saturated fat & meat bad/ grains and soy are good), please do not eat this way unless you want serious health problems. Go read The Vegetarian Myth and then for real nutrition advice read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson and The Perfect Health Diet by Paul Jaminet. All the mindfullness in the world will not help you elimina ...more
oh yes. i like this book. a companion volume, methinks. i'm so ready for this wisdom.
A decent enough book on mindful eating--it approaches the subject from a Buddhist perspective without being too over-the-top on the Buddhism, although some of the concepts start to get a bit abstract, especially for someone dealing with the emotional complexities behind emotion-driven eating. I disliked its emphasis on vegetarianism as the right eating path for everyone without taking into account possible chronic health conditions (particularly autoimmune ones, which are often exacerbated by fo ...more
From my blog...[return][return]Ever pondered why one eats when stressed? Tried dieting only to fall back into the same old routine weeks or months later? If so, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung may be the book to read. The authors, while using an astonishing amount of documented research, point out some rather key functions of why so many fail on their diets, over-eat, or eat while stressed out. The authors suggest that rather than being obsessed with ...more
Wendy Kobylarz-Chouvarda
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life I did not like this as well as I thought I would when I began reading it.

I've gotten to the section on Mindful Eating and am very disappointed. Although there is little in the book that's judgmental, in terms of what kind of food to eat and what to stay away from, the authors have no problem saying things like "you should not drink soda or sugary drinks," but when it comes to meat and dairy, they are simply encouraging you to eat less, or they say things like
This is a good book for exactly what you think it would be good for: teaching one how to savor one's food and feel satiated with life without feeling the need to go to excess. Here's my problem with it: the authors don't have toddlers running around their feet and not allowing them to sit down and eat, much less sit down and examine the food quietly. I think it's great and instructive advice but not practical for people like me.

It's always good to read Thich Nhat Hanh, at the very least for reaf
This book is about healthy nutrition and exercise through a Buddhist lens, with a particular focus on weight loss. The tips on nutrition and exercise are not that dissimilar from what you might find in a Biggest Loser guide, however, it is the chapters on mindful eating, meditation, and strategies for living deeply make this book truly unique. Tips like "look to the sky" and "meditate while in traffic" as well as the many prayer mantras and breathing exercises makes this book a practical guide t ...more
I had high hopes for this book. I consider myself a Buddhist of sorts, so this seemed like it would be right up my alley.

Going by the first third of this book, there were some really great points about eating mindfully and tips on how to do so. Unfortunately, I had to stop there. The constant lecturing about the evils of meat eating, the reference only to "weight" as opposed to distinguishing between fat and muscle, and going so far as to say that two alcoholic drinks a week is too much because

"Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else.
The well is within us,
And if we dig deeply in the present moment,
The water will spring forth."
--Thich Nhat Hanh

_Savor_ shows the way for digging deeply into the present moment. Gracefully integrating Buddhist perspectives, nutritional science, and personal insights, Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung present a practical, do-able, and effective guide for eating and living mindfully.

But, don't worry, you don't have to be a Bud
Tamara Copple
I love Thay. I have read several of his books and consider him a root teacher. That said, I am thus far disappointed. As a Buddhist newer to the practice, I have been looking for ways to incorporate the dharma into my life more fully. Eating is one of our most fundamental practices and I hoped to gain some nuggets. However, the entire first half of the book seems largely geared towards emotional eaters - those who eat when bored, scared, insecure or are otherwise eating as an antidote to sufferi ...more
I've greatly anticipated this book because at my age healthy and more mindful eating habits have become a lot more important. As a Buddhist the appeal to applying mindfulness to our relationship with food is a strong one. The book is co-authored by one of the greatest Zen masters of our modern age - Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn and nutritionist Dr. Lilian Chung. This books offers a very good complimentary blend of the science of nutrition and the 'science' of Buddhist mindfulness pra ...more
There is some valuable stuff here, but I found the overall feel of the book rather prescriptive and preachy. It is essentially a book about weight loss, from a perspective of mindfulness and inter-connectedness - so in addition to eating less and moving more, we are encouraged to think more about where our food comes from, and how to eat in ways which support the planet rather than destroy. I did quite like this approach, and as I say, there is a lot that I think would be valuable.

But I don't t
Dwan Tape
I seriously debated that fourth star. It's mostly a three star book; chapter 7 is what saves it for me. It was the language, the mental reframe I needed, that I was looking for in this book. That alone makes it worth the 4 stars. You, potential reader, may want to browse that chapter yourselves. The previous chapters, while peppered with interesting ideas and good info, are mostly assuming a lack of knowledge of food and exercise related issues, as well as a lack of knowledge of environmentally- ...more
I think the 300 pages could have been contracted into 40 interested ones. I read the French translation though I'm sure the English version is identical. I'm always curious about eating healthy and I know bad habits are hard to break. I was hoping that the combination of a Zen Master and a nutritionist would be interesting. Too superficial to my liking.
I very much liked the first 25% or so of this book. After that it was repetitive and I lost interest. I skimmed through some of it and saw advice about handling specific problems with eating and moving which looked good, but my interest was in what mindful eating is and the aspects of it. I got that in the first part of the book and did not want to wade through the rehash.
Petra Kasza
It is a Buddhist book on how to transform one's life for a healthier one, with lots of helpful tips and exercises. Although I think that the Buddhist approach may be threatening to some who are simply looking for a mindful lifestyle. I think it is a perfect pair to Brian Wansink's book Mindless Eating if someone wants to hack his or her eating habits.
I loved the emphasis on mindfulness in all aspects of life -- eating, drinking, moving, breathing...checking email, etc. I'm not on board with the nutrition recs, but I would still recommend this to patients seeking to shift their eating patterns or generally slow down and stay present. My favorite passage was on the last page, the Buddha's Five Remembrances:

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape havi
Rochelle Km.
It's an excellent introduction to mindfulness. It does a very good job of analyzing socio-economic factors, among other environmental factors to health and provides a tonne of stats based in nutrition etc. It also conveys more esoteric topics like the yamas and niyamas in such an easily comprehensible way that you don't even realize you're buying into spiritual babble. However, the tone is absolutely unbearable at times and lacks the very compassion it preaches. Regardless, I will never look at ...more
You know that moment after your Thanksgiving plate is empty when you realize how did I eat that much in 20 minutes? Take some tips from Hanh as he reminds us to slow down, calm down, and think before you dive into dinner. It might save you some of those extra holiday pounds (and what you save at Thanksgiving you can eat in Christmas cookies next month).

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Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.

His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.

Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 ti
More about Thich Nhat Hanh...
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation Living Buddha, Living Christ The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation Being Peace

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“Life is a miracle, and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.” 22 likes
“I will practice coming back to the present moment...not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past or letting anxieties, fears, or cravings pull me out...” 20 likes
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