Ask yourself this question at your next meal. It is a very simple way to take a pause and check-in. You can do this in a number of ways:
- How hungry am I?
- What thoughts and emotions am I feeling?
- Am I tense or relaxed?
- What am I about to eat?
- How do I feel about this food?
- Is this the right amount for me?
This is an example of the approach that Andrea Lieberstein takes in her new book Well Nourished. Based on principles of mindfulness, this book guides you through a complete evaluation of the health of your life; using straight-forward exercises to increase awareness of patterns of thinking around food and consumption and so much more. Andrea takes a holistic view of nourishment, recognizing that we need to address the health of not just our physical body but also our social, intellectual, spiritual, psychological and emotional selves as well. Creating wellness in all these aspects of our lives helps us heal underlying issues that may be holding us back from accomplishing our goals. As she states:
“Practicing mindful awareness opens the door to experiencing the piece and spaciousness that are available to you as you identify with awareness the unchanging part of you, rather than over-identifying with the changing nature of your thoughts, feelings, struggles, and experiences. This helps free you from the part of yourself that struggles with food and eating and opens up the space to make true change.”
Just like the wellness program at the San Francisco Free Clinic, this is not a diet book. Instead you will be exploring, experimenting, and finding the right way for you to eat, move, think, and be in the world that supports your life of health and happiness. Using concepts like “beginner’s mind” to see your present moment experiences with a fresh perspective and an ever present intention of kindness towards your self to break free from the struggles we tend to spend much of our energy on.
This kind of deep change doesn’t happen quickly, nor does it fade quickly like most diets. Mindful awareness is a way to be in your body and relate to your mind that takes practice. Andrea provides worksheets and techniques for journaling, meditation, and nurturing social support to make it easier for you to succeed.
“This awareness helps to bring a sense of perspective in the challenging moments…and help connect us to our essential self.”
Do you struggle with:
- food cravings?
- a pervasive sense of loneliness?
- difficulty expressing emotions?
- pursing creative outlets?
- overeating or emotional eating?
If so, this book has a path to help you uncover the root of what is holding you back and a way to make daily changes in your habits, behaviors, and patterns of thinking to improve your relationship to food and your health.