With chapters like “Are you really savoring your apple? An apple meditation,” “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life” (HarperOne, 2010, $25.99 hardcover, 304 pp.) is not your average healthy-eating guide. A hybrid of Buddhism and nutrition, “Savor” blends the Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings with research done by Dr. Lilian Cheung, the director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Divided into three sections, “A Buddhist Perspective on Weight Control,” “Mindful Action Plans,” and “Individual and Collective Effort,” the book introduces Buddhist ideology before delving into specific healthy living tools, including exercises for untying external (and internal) knots, a ten-week sample mindful-eating plan- even a breakdown of fats. ‘Savor’ may have us rethinking every bite, but maybe that’s just what we need.”
Authored by an eminent spiritual leader and a renowned nutritionist, this work infuses science into wisdom and wisdom into science. It is a practical guide to eating mindfully and points the way to attain a healthier weight and a more satisfying life.”
The past 40 years of nutritional science has provided us with solid evidence on healthy foods to eat. It is now time we moved beyond the “what” to eat. We need to learn and embrace “how” to eat. Savor offers insight, comfort and tools to address the suffering many people experience when trying to achieve a healthy weight and a healthy life. Hanh and Cheung are masterful in communicating the concepts of nourishing our bodies and our hearts. They offer practical steps of how to adopt the practice of mindfulness and integrate it into our daily lives.
Part 1 offers a new way of examining issues around weight and lifestyle. It moves from the traditional recommendations and guidelines for food and exercise and replaces them with concepts of improving weight and health through the journey of a mindfulness living plan. The guided tour of Savor focuses on enhancing the awareness of body, feelings, and mind and how they are intimately related to changing eating and physical activity habits.
Part II describes how to eat mindfully each day along with providing practical strategies of incorporating movement into our lives. This section offers readers the guidance to create personalized goals and concrete ways to achieve success.
Part III explores the interconnectedness of the world we live in. It describes how for us to eat healthfully and stay physically active we need support from the people and places around us. It reminds us that we can be a change agent for a healthier world today and for future generations.
Savor is a book that teaches us to cherish each moment. It illustrates how living a mindful life can bring joy, meaning and peace to us all.”
So essential to healthy eating is a healthy perspective that Zen Buddhist master and prolific author Nhat Hanh joins forces with nutritionist Cheung for a truly holistic approach. The duo pairs the latest nutritional information with the age-old Buddhist practice of mindfulness—that is, of being “fully aware of all that is going on within ourselves and all that is happening around us”—to draw attention to what and how we eat. Guidance is offered for recognizing what “barriers—physical, psychological, cultural, and environmental”—prevent us from controlling our weight, and readers are encouraged to savor food in order to fully nourish both the body and the mind. To that end, Nhat Hanh provides guided meditations on everything from eating an apple to coping with stressful situations, along with advice on food selection and preparation, staying active, and avoiding self-criticism. Complete with a discussion of why healthy eating is also good for the environment, this is a uniquely insightful and positive program for wellness; a book of tested wisdom; practical action; and intellectual, emotional, and spiritual nutriments.”
Savoring our life and our food is the key to happiness and weight loss. Mindless living and eating drives our epidemics of depression and obesity. Savor, Hanh and Cheung's delighful blend of Buddhist wisdom and nutrition science, is the roadmap for deepening our connection to our bodies and souls with the effortless side effect of happiness and health.”
Scientists no longer believe that weight gain and obesity are primarily the result of percentages of fat or carbohydrates in our diets. Instead we are learning that weight gain is heavily influenced by both mindfulness and social context. Hanh and Cheung explore the convergence of nutritional science with Buddhist teaching and find complementary insights. Together, they provide approaches that can help to heal both individual and societal illness that is being manifested as an epidemic of obesity. Everyone can learn from this book.”
I have grown weary of the latest diet craze, of quick-fix diet books and self-help books that promise unrealistic yet tempting results. Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life is a refreshing take on weight loss. This beautifully written book not only provides practical recommendations for healthful weight loss and physical activity; it also provides guidance for living a more peaceful, mindful life. I am now recommending this book to colleagues, friends, and family members, and to anyone who wants to shop, cook, eat, move, and live more mindfully. Savor the book and savor the journey it will take you on as you pursue better health one breath, one mouthful, and one step at a time.”
If Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master Nhat Hanh says the same thing over and over, it could be because not enough people have heard him, and those who have need a reminder. He speaks to both groups in this work, coauthored by Harvard nutritionist Cheung, urging mindfulness about what people put in their mouths. It's a diet book and a meditation book, an unusual hybrid that makes sense for Nhat Hanh because it applies his essential wisdom: pay attention; breathe. If you consistently do that, you'll eat less, and at least two-thirds of Americans surely need to follow that advice. This book adds a lot of eat-this-and-not-that rules, as well as exercise guidelines, delivering so much information the effect is a little overwhelming. But the core meditation instructions are quintessential Nhat Hanh, steely and loving. This could be the diet-and-exercise book for those who have failed using other methods and need a fresh approach. For Nhat Hanh's many fans, it is the sole wellness book they'll need to remind themselves to only pay attention.”
In this edifying and accessible book, the authors offer a Buddhist perspective on weight control and well-being. Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Cheung present the Four Noble Truths as a new frame of reference for dealing with obesity: being overweight is suffering; you can identify the roots of your weight problem; reaching a healthy weight is possible; you can follow a mindful path to a healthy weight. To seal the deal of weight loss the authors share "A Mission Statement for Healthy Weight and Well-Being."
Next comes a mindfulness exercise from Thich Nhat Hanh on eating an apple so that we are truly present with it and aware of its connection with the natural world and our own life. They go on to examine the impact of the senses on our weight, our habits of eating and physical activity. This is followed by an emphasis on mindfulness as a tool that can be very helpful in assessing the challenges and obstacles that face us when we try to change our habit energies...”
SAVOR rises above the cacophony of nutrition and weight loss books by shedding light on the how of eating and living, and not just focusing on the what. It presents a fusion of Buddhist principles of mindfulness with up-to-date nutrition science, brought to you by authors who are world leaders in their respective fields. This welcome approach can open one's heart, mind, and taste buds to truly appreciate the central roles that food, nutrition and physical activity play in our individual lives and in our paradoxically fast-paced yet sedentary society. While the focus is on achieving and maintaining a healthful weight, these principles can be applied to other areas, to cultivate a more thoughtful and joyful appreciation for the foods we eat and the activities we do. This is truly a book to savor.”