On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, I observed a piece of walnut, holding it against my living room window. Its edges lit up while the centre remained opaque. It was the first time I had realised that walnuts were translucent, owing to an exercise that's part of Mindful Eating: a course designed by Sheena Maria Piedade, Founder and Mindfulness Facilitator at Mindful and Body, to help people establish a more conscious relationship with their food.
A platform for mindfulness, systems and self-care, Piedade's Mindful and Body (which offers 1:1 workshops, listening spaces, and skills building sessions), will complete two years in April. Mindful Eating was launched to help people "notice the various roles food plays in their lives and offer a starting point for them to reestablish a more intuitive, independent and gentle relationship with eating," Piedade told me over email.
"This course won’t call you names. It won’t fatshame you, or call you lazy, it won’t tell you you lack motivation, it does not exist for you to feel bad or blame yourself," assures the introduction to the course.
Besides being thoughtful, Mindful Eating is informative and allows you to observe rather than judge. It is neither a diet plan, nor does it tell you how to eat. It only asks that you notice how you eat (and, in one module, even how you excrete). There are no pretenses: all sections are dealt with an honest, fuss-free manner. It's also self-paced; Piedade encourages spreading it out over a few days.
The course has four modules, and each module has different parts to it. It gently persuades you to be grateful for your meals, and also talks about lesser discussed subjects like emotional hunger and intuitive eating. Journaling is a heavy component of the course, so make sure you've got a notebook that you could dedicate to it. We recommend it for anyone looking to build a healthier, more intimate relationship with what they eat.
About her own relationship with food, Piedade says: "I have had a mixed relationship with food—I love it, in my professional career I enjoyed writing about it and photographing it and helping build food brands, but my personal relationship with it has also been fraught." She has spent the past year working on turning technology, productivity and food each into workshops and online courses. "They are part of a series called A Mindful Approach to Everything."
Piedade confirms that her current relationship with food is one of peace and pleasure, and she has tried to distill what helped her get to that point into the course.
*Mindful Eating is available on demand and costs ₹1,000 or $18. To subscribe, message Mindful and Body on Instagram.