Feeding the Ghosts

This is always an interesting time of year, with so many traditions focused on connections to an afterworld: Samhain, Halloween, the Day of the Dead, All Souls’ Day. Also interesting is that many of them focus around food, whether it be giving out “treats” so roaming spirits will be appeased and not “trick” us, or making feasts to celebrate our loved ones who’ve passed on. But even outside of this time of year, I sometimes think I’m feeding ghosts, in a sense, when I eat and interact with food in certain ways. When I pick blueberries or plant tomatoes, it sometimes feels like my mom’s hands are the ones doing the work, not mine. When I get fresh corn at the Farmers’ Market, I remember how mu

Something For Yourself

For more information about the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program, visit www.AmIHungry.com or my website. Do you ever get to the end of a long day, a day when you’ve had to do many things for other people, and feel like you just need something for yourself? And if that happens, does food tend to become the “something else”? This is something that came up in a recent Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating workshop, and it sounded like a good explanation for why many of us reach for food in the evening, even when we’re not hungry. We’re looking for a different kind of nourishment, but it’s so easy to go for the cookies or chips or ice cream or whatever else is calling us. After all, food is always there

Weight-loss Promises

I recently saw an ad for a weight-loss program that promised I could lose 10 pounds in the first month. I’m sure they must have fine print indicating that this is not a guarantee, but the fact that they said it at all bothered me more than I expected. A lot of it comes from my younger years, when I was desperate for a weight-loss promise, except they never seemed to work. And unfortunately, like many people in diet mode, when it failed, it never occurred to me to question the diet, not myself. In reality, how can any program realistically claim that you’ll lose weight? Even if most participants have a certain amount of weight loss, that doesn’t mean it will happen for each individual. It’s t

Don't Let It Go To Waste

Have you ever eaten more than you needed because you didn’t want the food to go to waste? I know I’ve struggled with that in the past, and it can be all too easy to use this as a way of justifying overeating. I was thinking about this particularly last Friday, when I attended an event called Feeding the 5000 here in Portland. It was an event designed to educate people about how much food goes waste in our country. The numbers are staggering: 40% of food produced in the U.S. goes to waste, which represents $161 billion annually. And not only is this wasteful, but it can be harmful, since food going into landfills releases harmful greenhouse gases. This does not, however, mean that the best th

Blue Apron Experiment

I’ve been curious for a while about Blue Apron and other companies that send boxed and pre-measured ingredients as a way of making cooking more accessible. The idea is that it should be easier, providing recipes with fresh ingredients and giving instructions on how to make the recipe, for three meals a week. But what I wondered was, what would this be like from a mindful eating perspective? So I decided to give it a try to find out. One of the first things I noticed with Blue Apron is that you choose your plan, which is either for two people or a family. (No options for us singletons.) So the amount of food I got for two people was quite substantial for one person. Here’s the spread of ingre

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