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Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,610 Ratings  ·  161 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ani
Jul 23, 2013 Ani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Quinn
Jul 11, 2010 Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
...more
Amy
Jun 26, 2015 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I’m about 60 pages into this book and have to call it right here: I’m not going to finish reading it.

I bought this book maybe 4 or 5 years ago (yes, I’m one of those book hoarders whose shelves are filled with books that are 30-40% unread. Okay, maybe 50%. On a good day.) At heart, this book is a guide on leveraging mindfulness to help you lose weight and become more active. If I had read when I bought it—back when I was 60 pounds heavier and not exercising at all—I might have gotten more out of
...more
Raquel
May 05, 2014 Raquel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Pam
Nov 01, 2010 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Happyreader
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
Gwendoline Van
Jun 22, 2014 Gwendoline Van rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Djrmel
Jul 08, 2010 Djrmel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Kimberly
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
Beth Melillo
As a whole, I didn't find this book particularly mind shattering for two reasons - I've read a fair number of food books which have jaded me to each successive book I read regarding food. Secondly, mindfulness is not (always) my jam - though I read about this in order to get a fuller idea of what it might be in regards to eating.

That said, I there were lots of tiny bits of wisdom that I pulled from the book that I intent to try and incorporate - like the 7 steps to mindful eating.
Francois
Mar 25, 2014 Francois rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mona Majid
May 15, 2012 Mona Majid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean, it's not exactly thrilling, but it is well-written and it helped me change my attitude towards the act of eating in such a way that I have been able to establish healthier eating habits. Also a good introduction to mindfulness in general. I recommend for anyone who has even a mild problem with over-eating.
Laurie
Jul 29, 2010 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Christina
Jul 24, 2016 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rating this but not counting it towards my reading goal for the year, since, technically, i ended up just browsing through most of it .
I really wanted to like this more than i did. I was pretty disappointed with it. Nothing new in these pages - was hoping to glean some insight on mindful eating. even though the book touches on mindful eating, it is more of the basics of dieting book- eat less, exercise more, eat slowly and mindfully.
If you have never dieted in your life and no absolutely nothin
...more
Jess
Sep 10, 2015 Jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book! In 3 weeks this book has helped me change my view of food and how I eat it.
Jessie
Aug 09, 2016 Jessie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fail, non-fiction
I got this on the kindle which was probably a mistake, that makes skimming harder so I basically tried to read this cover to cover. I think this could be very useful for someone who is overweight due to emotional eating, but was harder to relate to as someone who is not trying to lose weight and only occasionally eats emotionally. I'm on board with the mindful stuff and maybe I'll give this another try in winter when I'm inevitable feeling less happy with my body, but I did get irritated at the ...more
Maggie
oh yes. i like this book. a companion volume, methinks. i'm so ready for this wisdom.
Shari
Aug 10, 2015 Shari rated it really liked it
A great book about mindfulness in general. Not just a diet book.
Rebecca
I was really disappointed in this book, it was not at all what I thought it would be. A very short ways in they climbed up on a soapbox and started preaching at me about how cattle and greenhouse gasses are ruining the earth and so forth. And other basic info about dieting that I already know.

I have already read about this sort of thing and have changed my eating practices accordingly. I did not pick up the book to be preached at about the environment. Nothing new here, moving on.

Quickly retu
...more
Angela
Aug 09, 2016 Angela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish book- not that great
Sian Powell
Aug 29, 2015 Sian Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some good advice in this book about mindfulness regarding eating and also being mindful in other areas of your life. There were some good reminders about healthy eating. Unlike other reviewers I did not find the eating advice too controversial. Although Buddhists are vegetarian the book recommended cutting down on meat if you can't cut it out completely and gave many good reasons for doing so. Also cutting down on sugar and fat and increasing fruit and vegetables. Hardly an extreme die ...more
Robbie Blair
Dec 09, 2015 Robbie Blair rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
2/7

Sadly awful. I've enjoyed other writing by Thich Nhat Hanh, but this one missed the mark entirely. Beyond using bad science and using advice that has been disproven (e.g., pure calorie restriction, advising against grazing, etc.), the book is primarily focused on getting skinny by using mindfulness as a way to bolster your willpower and force yourself to do the things you feel you should do to make you skinny.

Given my familiarity with Buddhism, I was expecting this would be something more in
...more
Heather Sinclair
Thicht Nhat Hanh (the bestselling author of Peace is Every Step) is a monk on a quest. He's showing how Buddhism can enhance a modern Western-style life. In Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, he partners up with nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung to describe how the practice of mindfulness leads to better health – specifically weight loss.
Can a meditation technique really help people lose weight?
It seems farfetched, but the concept of mindfulness meditation becomes clear as the authors and relat
...more
Jennifer
Mar 25, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
L
Mar 30, 2012 L rated it liked it
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
...more
Suphatra
Feb 22, 2012 Suphatra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Monique
Sep 29, 2013 Monique rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
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
...more
Deb
Mar 09, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**

"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
...more
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Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in southwest France where he was in exile for many years. Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary ...more
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“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...” 23 likes
“Life is a miracle, and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.” 22 likes
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