I’ll never forget the moment, many years ago, that I reached down to the ground, snapped a nicely sized asparagus stalk at its base and bit the tip off. I was wrestling with the preconceived notion that I didn’t even like asparagus. That notion was completely shattered as a burst of juice flooded my mouth unlike anything that I ever expected. This was real food, fresh food – and the first major blessing and breakthrough in my life, as I was mostly raised on packaged foods, like so many of us were (and still are). And the second breakthrough was that I was present to experience it. In a sense, it was the total awe of this unexpected sensory experience that launched me into the present moment, and with that came my total love affair with real food and with the practice of discovering how to eat it more mindfully.

Even after I shifted my dietary habits and fell in love with whole, real, fresh foods and went from reaching for chips to reaching for a smoothie – a major step in the right direction – I kept noticing that although I was reaching for healthier foods, I still had a strong tendency to reach for them in an automatic way, without fully tuning in to the inner awareness of my body. Even though I was full, I still felt unsatisfied and wanted more – one of the many examples of the way mindlessness affected my life.

When I started implementing mindfulness practices and more specifically mindful eating, a radical shift occurred in my life. I saw that my relationship ...

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