Cognitive Dissonance and Mindful Eating

I’ve been reading a fascinating book called Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. It looks at many areas where cognitive dissonance encourages us to justify our decisions and actions, including law enforcement, politics, marriage, and family rifts. But it also got me thinking about how cognitive dissonance plays a role in our eating patterns. What is cognitive dissonance? The authors describe cognitive dissonance as: “a state of tension that occurs when a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent with each other, such as ‘Smoking is a

3 Ideas for Self-Parenting

I recently finished a book called Following Atticus: How a little dog led one man on a journey of rediscovery to the top of the world, which tells the story of how author Tom Ryan started hiking with his miniature schnauzer, Atticus, and he discovered that they both loved hiking mountains. I enjoyed reading about their adventures, but one of the things that most struck me was how Ryan trained Atticus. Ryan didn’t officially train the dog. He simply tried to give Atticus the kind of love and attention (with appropriate boundaries) that Ryan wished he’d received as a child. Even more interesting, Ryan also started taking better care of himself. It was as if caring for Atticus in a loving, pare

5 Problems With “Clean Eating”

I’ve been concerned with the focus on “clean eating” for a while, but I started thinking about it again after seeing a segment from Samantha Bee about women’s health and pseudoscience. The video talked about ways women are targeted to buy products that will make them “clean,” often by removing toxins of some kind, even though none of these products or detox options need to have any science to back them up. (Men may try to detox as well, but not in some of the ways women do – there’s no Goop for men.) Bee also pointed out that this focus on “toxins” is linked with the fact that women’s bodies are often considered unclean. And she reminded me that there’s no true definition of what “clean” or

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