One of the basic tenets of a Mediterranean Lifestyle is to eat slowly and savor your food. In this spirit, we bring you a review of Thich Nhat Hahn and Dr. Lillian Cheung’s book, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. Aligned with our Mission at Mediterranean Living, the book teaches us a way to be mindful in our eating habits to ensure both a healthy weight and positive well being. It was created with the understanding that some of our current ways of addressing weight gain are not fruitful and that there is another way to create a good balance in our relationship with food.
Savor is a teaching manual on how to live mindfully, sustain a state of mindfulness and become more aware of what impedes us from maintaining that state of mindfulness. Savor addresses an audience who has issues with weight gain. However, I think it is a meaningful book for anyone who wants to improve their relationship and companionship with food. I say “companionship” as just like our jobs and our relationships, we spend a lot of our time preparing, eating and hopefully savoring our food. Food is a constant companion.
Savor is an active and practical read. It includes recommended experiences to try eating mindfully, scientific understandings about eating healthfully and specific methods to improve your mindfulness in your eating habits.
I love that Savor uses a new term to describe our environment and how it affects our experiences with food and weight gain. That term is “obesigenic” and it describes a level of toxicity in our food environment- from our food system design, to how our food is manufactured, to what foods are mostly available. Our lives and environment have also become increasingly designed in such a way that we move less. There are prescription drugs that take care of the problems that arise from these issues, but there is a better way. That way, of course, involves a strong commitment from individuals to be mindful of daily activities and to work around these challenging influences.
The book explores the four noble truths of buddhism and how these can be used as a path to success in being more mindful in our lives and shedding the weight that burdens us.
I suggest you pick up Savor and slowly relish this book in a mindful way. You will find many thought-provoking insights in these pages- from learning about the seeds of mindfulness, how to be in the present, how to practice mindful movement, moment to moment meditations, and what to eat. This is also a book that you might read more than once, or just pick up on occasion when you are seeking a little insight or have a need to be more grounded.