Food for Thought Autumn 2017: Nourishing Happiness

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Food for Thought Autumn 2017: How Mindful Eating Nourishes Happiness


  • Emotional Superfoods: The Sublime Attitudes of Mindful Eating, Ronna Kabatznick, Ph.D.
  • Acceptance of What Is, a Nourishing Ingredient of Mindful Eating, Claudia Vega, MD
  • Four Ways to Nourish Happiness, Megrette Fletcher, M.Ed., RD, CDE
  • Meditation of Gratitude to Nourish Our Souls, Claudia Vega, MD

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About this issue

This edition of Food for Thought offers a glimpse into the many ways that mindfulness and mindful eating can create a foundation for happiness, joy and contentment. The road map for happiness is an individual journey, but there are four stops you can anticipate along the way. These are: experiencing the happiness of sense contact, such as looking, tasting, smelling, feeling, touching and listening; the happiness of positive emotions such as joy, loving-kindness, compassion, and equanimity; the happiness of concentrating your mind; and finally, the happiness of insight into your behaviors and interconnections.

The lead article, “Emotional Superfoods: The Sublime Attitudes of Mindful Eating,” by the eloquent Ronna Kabatznick, Ph.D., is intended for professionals working with clients. Ronna is an Advisory Council member of The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) and author of The Zen of Eating: Ancient Answers to Modern Weight Problems. She explains, “For those of us committed to the practice of mindful eating, it is important to remember that there are superfoods of the heart that are limitless in their nourishing potential.” This article invites you to investigate how to practice nourishing “the divine abodes,” which in the Buddhist tradition are called the Brahmaviharas.

The educational handout, “Four Ways to Nourish Happiness,” by Megrette Fletcher, M.Ed., RD, CDE, is for you to use with clients. Megrette is the past president of TCME and author of Core Concepts of Mindful Eating: Professional Edition. This resource walks your client through four common ways to cultivate happiness, explaining that, “The conditions for you to experience happiness are surprisingly common” and concluding that ”Nourishing these four types of happiness on a consistent basis when life is good and enjoyable makes every moment more fun, and it builds emotional strength, and resilience when life is challenging.”

How do you cultivate joy and happiness in your practice? Claudia Vega, MD, a board member of TCME and a physician in Mexico, offers the article, “Acceptance of What Is, a Nourishing Ingredient of Mindful Eating,” to deepen your practice. She explains, “If we want to truly help our patients, we need to model unconditional acceptance and understand that each of us holds different personal growth processes. Our job is to accompany them and guide them, but also to let their processes unfold naturally.”

The final offering, “Meditation on Gratitude to Nourish Our Souls,” is a beautiful meditation, also written by Claudia, who understands that, “Many of us struggle with eating. Amid our fears, we forget to appreciate the wonderful things within and around us.” Her meditation to cultivate joy, love, and happiness offers clear guidance right before you eat a meal.

Thank you for your willingness to dig deeper into understanding the complex causes of happiness and learn how mindfulness and mindful eating can assist in nourishing happiness.