Tuesday, June 4, 2013

May Book Club Recap - Savor

On Sunday, we had our first picnic potluck for the Fitness & Frozen Grapes and Jen's Best Life Book Club! In May, we read Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lillian Cheung.

The book combined Buddhist philosophy with scientific research on nutrition and eating. Going in, I thought I'd learn a bit about being more mindful about eating, yet I found myself really struggling with some of the most basic ideas.

For example, I rarely just eat. I'm always eating while checking email, eating while watching TV, or eating while checking Twitter and watching TV. Eep! The book talked a lot about how when we are not aware of what we're doing, being fully "present" for eating, for example, we don't fully process how much we've eaten and fail to register both the joy of the food and how full we are.

As we discussed at the picnic, multitasking while eating is part of a greater multitasking epidemic. We all agreed that the simple act of walking a few blocks always required a smart phone to keep ourselves entertained.

I found myself having an incredibly hard time doing nothing but eating. I wanted to check my email! Read an article on the Internet! Do SOMETHING. So in order to keep my focus on my food, I've started saying what I'm eating in my head, forcing my mind to focus on the food. For example, if I'm eating a banana as a snack, I repeat "banana" in my mind to focus on the banana. It's kind of crazy how much more flavor I taste when I do this!

We also discussed how we're all fast eaters -- I certainly tend to gulp down my food -- and how the book recommended chewing many times before swallowing and taking time to really process your food. This is another trick to avoid overeating, and it's something I could work on as well. I find that while I generally eat quite healthy, I also tend to eat too much of those healthy things because it tastes so good!

I really enjoyed getting a different perspective on eating and learning more about nutrition. While some of the information was a recap, such as the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, it was still good to get a refresher.

Alex, at Brain Body Because, also wrote a recap of the book -- check it out here!

Inaugural Book Club Picnic Potluckers!
Carrie, me, Emily, and Lynette
For June and July, we're reading RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel. From Amazon:
Drawing on new research on endurance sports, best-selling author Matt Fitzgerald explores the practices of elite runners to explain why their techniques can be effective for all runners. RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel will help runners reach their full potential by teaching them how to train in the most personalized and adaptable way.Fitzgerald's mind-body method will revolutionize how runners think about training, their personal limits, and their potential. RUN explains how to interpret emotional and physical messages like confidence, enjoyment, fatigue, suffering, and aches and pains. RUN guides readers toward the optimal balance of intensity and enjoyment, volume and recovery, repetition and variation. As the miles add up, runners will become increasingly confident that they are doing the right training on the right day, from one season to the next.
Since fall race training season is starting soon, we figured this would be a fantastic sports psychology book to read! We'll be meeting Sunday, July 21 to discuss the book over another potluck picnic. If you haven't already, sign up here to get more information! 

Did you read Savor? What were your thoughts?


  1. Such an awesome discussion!! I am very excited to see you all again next month! :) Ordering my book this week

  2. I love this! I'm adding both to my reading list! And I'm really hoping to join your next meeting, but I'm going to have to get back to you on that...

  3. Your tip about saying the food in your head is such a good idea! The book was all about mantras, so I'm surprised they didn't think of it.

    I also really struggle with JUST eating. I'm gonna try that banana trick :)