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Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life [Hardcover]

Thich Nhat Hanh , Lilian Cheung
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 9, 2010

“Among Buddhist leaders influential in the West, Thich Nhat Hanh ranks second only to the Dalai Lama.” — New York Times

In Savor, New York Times bestselling author and renowned spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step, The Art of Power) and Harvard nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung combine the timeless wisdom of Buddhism with nutrition science to deliver a revolutionary guide to end our struggles with weight for good. Readers of Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma), Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle), and the Dalai Lama (The Art of Happiness) will enjoy this accessible and healthful guide to mindful eating and mindful living—and to the philosophy at the heart of the slow food movement.


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master Nhat Hanh says the same thing over and over, it could be because not enough people have heard him, and those who have need a reminder. He speaks to both groups in this work, coauthored by Harvard nutritionist Cheung, urging mindfulness about what people put in their mouths. It's a diet book and a meditation book, an unusual hybrid that makes sense for Nhat Hanh because it applies his essential wisdom: pay attention; breathe. If you consistently do that, you'll eat less, and at least two-thirds of Americans surely need to follow that advice. This book adds a lot of eat-this-and-not-that rules, as well as exercise guidelines, delivering so much information the effect is a little overwhelming. But the core meditation instructions are quintessential Nhat Hanh, steely and loving. This could be the diet-and-exercise book for those who have failed using other methods and need a fresh approach. For Nhat Hanh's many fans, it is the sole wellness book they'll need to remind themselves to only pay attention.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

So essential to healthy eating is a healthy perspective that Zen Buddhist master and prolific author Nhat Hanh joins forces with nutritionist Cheung for a truly holistic approach. The duo pairs the latest nutritional information with the age-old Buddhist practice of mindfulness—that is, of being fully aware of all that is going on within ourselves and all that is happening around us—to draw attention to what and how we eat. Guidance is offered for recognizing what barriers—physical, psychological, cultural, and environmental—prevent us from controlling our weight, and readers are encouraged to savor food in order to fully nourish both the body and the mind. To that end, Nhat Hanh provides guided meditations on everything from eating an apple to coping with stressful situations, along with advice on selecting and preparing food, staying active, and avoiding self-criticism. Complete with a discussion of why healthy eating is also good for the environment, this is a uniquely insightful and positive program for wellness: a book of tested wisdom; practical action; and intellectual, emotional, and spiritual nutriments. --Donna Seaman

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1St Edition edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061697699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061697692
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
142 of 146 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This book is remarkable not just in its ability to bring together the complimentary insights of the Buddhism and modern science, but also for it's ability to do so in a way that is accessible to those who are neither scientists nor Buddhists. Though the book specifically speaks to the issue of healthy weight loss, it is much more than that: it is a broad-minded and open-hearted encouragement to all of us (whether we struggle with weight or not) to become aware of not just what we eat, but how we eat. Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Cheung look at our habits as a society and gently encourage us to see how eating is not just a habit we use to dampen our suffering, but also how eating can become an extension of our suffering. By offering us insights and practices -- both spiritual and practical -- these co-authors gently guide us toward a healthier and more sustainable way of engaging with our food. The practices and life changes they propose will not just benefit us as individuals, but also benefit us as a society, and as co-inhabitants of this planet. Wise, comforting, understandable, and DO-ABLE: this book is definitely worth owning whether you are trying to lose weight or simply trying to live a healthier lifestyle. The book contains many meditations offered by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh which are each like precious jewels. The "Apple Meditation" (Chapter 2) alone is worth the cost of the book. Treat yourself.
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen Epidemiology March 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I am an epidemiologist so enjoy studies of nutritional science based on large populations and have enjoyed Walt Willet's books also out of data in Nurse's Health Study. But the real problem in combating obesity and inactivity is that we do not need just to be educated on the healthiest approach but also that most of us need help in choosing it. I find the Buddhist philosophy to life and death actually really works here. A sort of "life is what it is let's not lose sight of our finite time here and savor it healthfully" philosophy is very comforting. I have not had the book long but since doing so find that I am eating when my body signals me, away from my desk and foods that are nutritional and tasty. Life's too short for otherwise and this book helps remind you of that. Highly recommended read.
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117 of 126 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Have you ever been guilty of eating while talking on the phone, driving, walking, reading, working, e-mailing or watching TV? If so, you have probably noticed that the sandwich, protein bar--or whatever you were eating--vanished before you even realized you had begun eating it. And this makes you want to eat more so you can relish the taste (since you didn't enjoy the first one). This mindless eating is no doubt part of the cause of our obesity epidemic. Eating should be a sacred act, not part of our multi-tasking.

World famous Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh teams up with Harvard's Dr. Lilian Cheung in this book which is sure to make you stop and think about your eating habits. The title says it all: Savor, Mindful Eating, Mindful Life.

Part One is "A Buddhist Perspective on Weight Control." In the first chapter we are presented with "The Four Noble Truths of Healthy Weight:" that being overweight or obese is suffering; that you can identify the roots of your weight problem (and here we are given numerous questions to contemplate); that reaching a healthy weight is possible; and that you can follow a mindful path to a healthy weight. "Mindfulness is a way of living that has been practiced over twenty-six hundred years by millions of people to help them transform their suffering into peace and joy," say the authors. "Applying mindfulness to your suffering with weight gives you a catalyst that you can draw on at will to change your behavior." We are asked to write a "mission statement for healthy weight and well-being."

In the second chapter we are challenged with the question of "When I eat an apple, am I really enjoying eating it? Or am I so preoccupied with other thought that I miss the delights that the apple offers me?" Uh, oh.
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123 of 143 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed April 19, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a good book, however, it's a disappointment to me. Very little of this book was written by Thich Nhat Hanh - it's mostly paraphrased by Dr. Cheung. The most disappointing part for me was the emphasis on how unhappy one must be if they are over-weight. There are no guidelines or encouragement for determining one's ideal weight or dealing with the warped body image that so many people in the Western world develop. As a Buddhist, it was insulting to me for her to re-frame the Four Noble Truths as the four noble truths of weight loss. The tone of the book, while on the surface is very soothing, at it's heart is very aggressive. If you weigh a few pounds more than you should, you'll go away from this book thinking there's something wrong with you. Yes, being morbidly obese isn't a good thing, but while our society is growing in girth, it's at the same time spewing contempt at anyone who weighs more than a celebrity. Lots of good material here, but I had held great hope that this book would be more about giving us the tools we need for better health and mindfulness, and loving ourselves where we are, more than making sure we know we should be unhappy whether we started that way or not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Im very pleased with this book
I am finding the information in this book to be a mind and body transformation. Im very pleased
Published 5 days ago by JERRY
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, Mind-Changing Approach to Food
Once in awhile, you come across a book you want to buy for everyone you care about. For me, that is this book. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Claire M. Bischoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
This book totally changed my perspective about eating. Its lessons activated an awareness and new perspective toward food and the act of eating. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Megan
2.0 out of 5 stars It is very concentrated on weight and calories. The ...
It is very concentrated on weight and calories. The nutrition part is outdated and sometimes lacking the scientific background. Read more
Published 1 month ago by blinok
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very helpful and insightful!
Published 1 month ago by Vanessa Mellet
3.0 out of 5 stars It was mostly common sense and did not seem like anything new if you...
Didn't live up to what was advertised as. It was mostly common sense and did not seem like anything new if you are mindful.
Published 1 month ago by Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! It not only focuses on being mindful ...
Great book! It not only focuses on being mindful when eating but being mindful in all other areas of our lives: family, work, etc. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andrea Couto
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. This is our second copy. Great insight on mindfulness.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those who struggle and those who don't!
This book is a wonderful way of looking at health and specifically diet.

Mindful eating is so incredibly important. It reminds me much of the Buddha diet. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Roxysoxy
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend, not just for diet but a lifestyle
This book is wonderful. It explains mindfulness in relation to food. However it is really more about adopting a health way of life that can lead to better health, a more... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Charrlie
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