Heather Sears was literally choking on her eating habits – too many hastily-prepared and -eaten meals were leaving her unable to chew and digest properly. A bit of research convinced her that she wasn’t alone, given the busy lives many people lead, the ready availability of fast and processed food, and the constant electronic stimulation, including images of food and cooking, that we are provided through smartphones and social media. Therefore, she has brought her youthful training in mindfulness and meditation practice to the process of cooking and eating food.
MIND TO MOUTH is a book about how to properly enjoy and appreciate food, from the process of planning and shopping for a meal through cooking and preparation to the final enjoyment of a meal in its full glory. She offers an ABC method (Attention, Breath, Curiousity) of bringing mindful attention to what is being planned, purchased, prepared and consumed, and suggests that regular check-ins using this process can substantially increase the pleasure taken in a meal, can improve one’s health and help reduce excess weight, and can also save money and reduce waste. She not only covers the problems that ready Internet and smartphone access and the availability of convenience food provide, but also discusses some of the ways these can be used to benefit one’s mindfulness practice and eating habits as well.
Sears’ advice is clear, practical, and readily incorporated into daily life – this is a simple, easy-to-use tool that is accessible for most people regardless of income level, education level, cooking ability, or previous experience with meditation. Practical suggestions in bullet form offer ways of getting past mental blocks and taking small actions that add up to substantial results. It is somewhat problematic, however, to see her warn the reader about the possibility of slanted marketing and commercials masquerading as reviews, and then in the next chapter produce what is essentially a flattering review/advertisement for Whole Foods Market, and another for Nestle a little farther on in the book.
MIND TO MOUTH is a useful guide to anyone who wants to be more present and aware of what and how they are eating, to improve their health, take more pleasure in their food, and waste less time, energy and money.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader