Dr. Lilian Cheung: Mindful Eating, Mindful Living

Posted by admin on 8/12/13 in Mindfulness, Nourish

“Looking at brain imaging, when we are presented with certain food pictures, parts of the brain light up, the same parts that light up in addicts of alcohol and drugs,” shares Dr. Lilian Cheung in this informative Speakeasy lecture from Wanderlust Whistler 2012.

Most of us know what it feels like to have overdone it with that extra slice of pizza, or having giving in to an intolerable sugar craving with sweets. If cravings have a grip on your eating habits, this Speakeasy is an insightful look at why and how those cravings work, and how best to start beating them without beating yourself up.

“Snacks and food that are high in fat, sugar and refined grains are all addictive.  When we eat food like pizza, ice cream and chips, we often cannot stop ourselves because there appears to be a neurological effect happening in our brain that goes beyond our stomach's satiety signals,” Cheung explains.

2011 Dr. Lilian Cheung is a lecturer and Director of Health Promotion & Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.  Her approach to healthy eating is something accessible to all of us – not cutting anything out forever, but instead learning to savor every bite, enabling us to slow down and eat consciously and mindfully, listening to our bodies’ needs versus wants.  She derives this approach from Buddhist theory and from the teachings of influential Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hahn.

“Our way of life has gotten very fast with internet and lifestyle speeds, so it’s good for us to s2010 top and do things a bit differently because [this fast pace] creates a great stress on our bodies and minds, reflected in how quickly we consume,” says Dr. Cheung. “Mindfulness is a practice that can be fully integrated throughout your entire day, in our eating and in all the activities you may have.”

Eating mindfully may sound easier said than done, but in this talk, Dr. Cheung gets us started with some simple tips – slowing down our eating, savoring every bite, focusing on flavors rather than the amount on our fork, feeling the fullness in our stomachs and paying attention to how satisfied we are.

For more information on Dr. Lilian Cheung and mindful eating, read about her work here and visit the Harvard Nutrition Source.  Her book, “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life” is available on Amazon.  


Wanderlust Festival is indebted to Hay House who helped us realize the entire 2012 Speakeasy Lecture Series across all four festivals (Stratton, VT in June 2012; Copper Mountain, CO in July; Squaw Valley, CA in late July; and Whistler, BC, Canada in August). With Hay House's amazing roster of speakers (which you can witness in person at their incredible "I Can Do It" events), it's no wonder that they helped elevate the conversation at Wanderlust's Speakeasy this past summer. We encourage you to stay tuned to the Hay House FB feed to make sure you know the next time one of their authors is speaking near you. 
Stay tuned to our Wanderlust networks (
Youtube | Facebook | Twitter) to catch our weekly Speakeasy Video releases from the likes of Dr. Wayne DyerMarianne Williamson Shiva ReaSeane Corn Irshad Manji, and Waylon Lewis (from Elephant Journal) and so many more.

Tags: Buddhism, cheung, Dr. Lilian Cheung, eating, food, mindfulness, nourish, Thich Nhat Hahn

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