Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community
Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community, also known as MEBC (www.belovedmindfuleating.net) is a National platform to discover conversations about the past and present impact on food in our individual lives as well as our families with a sense of awareness. A healthy and whole body, mind and spirit equal increased productivity, better home-work environments and positively lifts people of all ages. Food is a powerful force to heal and bring people together from all spectrums for the common good of the Beloved Community.
If you would like to be involved in this program, please check our event calendar see the upcoming events.
About the Book
Almost two years in development, Mindful Eating for The Beloved Community (the book)offers strategies to rebuild the connections between diet, culture, faith, the environment, and community well-being, with a focus on the deep connection between mindful eating, social justice and sustainability. The Book was created by a diverse group of chefs, nutritionists as well as food-health activists from multiple cities and Regions in the United States.
Please check here if you would like to purchase a book.
There is a health crisis in communities across America and root cause is primarily by poor nutrition. Health impacts productivity in the workplace and adds to positive work environments. It also reduces additional stresses and creates better environments I the home space. Rampant diabetes hypertension, heart disease, and cancer occur at significantly higher rates among people of color. Consequently, life expectancy for communities of color is 4 to 5 years less. More distressingly, infant mortality is 8% higher. Native Americans are also dramatically impacted by lack of access to nutritious food. The occurrence of diabetes is 2.3 times higher among Native Americans.
MEBC Program Vision
Through a platform of mindfulness, powerful conversations incorporating food narratives from the community and interactive learning experiential workshops, breakout sessions and Mindful Eating initiatives that will explore the historical and food cultural shifts in community. The expected outcome and sustainable impact will be on affecting: the way eating can involve mindfulness, connect health and career success, produce more inclusive and positive work environments, and foster leadership and social accountability for role modeling and mentoring. With one seed empowered many trees take root. Throughout human experience, the preparation and sharing of food was not only a means of survival but a powerfully healing social activity as well, rooted in family, faith and community.
The MEBC initiative will create a national platform that engages conversation, thought leadership and mindfulness as a lens through which to improve not only diet and health but to make whole the bodies, mind and spirit in communities of color as a central pathway to Equity and Performance to competitive and resilient in the workplace. There will have several key themes:
- Understanding the current community food systems and how impacts food choices that many times prevents healthy approaches to diet and nutrition.
- Creating a new paradigm: Mindful Eating. Eating as an expression of dignity, self-respect, empowerment and self-actualization. Reconnecting food to family, community, culture, faith and wellbeing (individual, society and planet).
- Eating as an expression of identity and self worth and investment. Eat what you want to become. Understanding nutrition through the lens of self-care and self-regard. Food and flavor as creativity and art expressing who we are and how we want to be in the world. Bringing this sense of awareness to the workplace.
- Reconnecting food to family and community. As Chef Kubui, a contributor to the book, Mindful Eating, remarked, “In Africa it is the healthy village that is the most prosperous.”
- Reconnecting food to culture, and appreciation for how we feed and fuel ourselves, families and communities. Reconnect to a time where food was sacred, we were less wasteful, we cared how we handled, cared and cooked
- Reconnecting food to wellbeing (individual, society, and planet).
- The practice of mindful eating, a practicable plan for the individual and family.
- Understanding how we all play a role in lifting all spectrums of the Beloved Community.
Collaborating with nutritional professionals, mindful health advocates chefs and food systems experts has created a powerful framework for bringing community empowerment through wellness. Many narratives emerged from the realization that the act of preparing, sharing and consuming food has become detached from its traditional cultural contexts.
What happens when we lose the community memory of our sustentative origins? Our food becomes nothing more than a “quick fix,” resulting in lower positive energy. This also leads to problematic source of temporary psychological relief leading to addictive and unhealthy eating behaviors. When we don’t value food and meals as a social construct rooted in community life, it becomes easy to consume empty calories in isolation — in our cars, at our desk, and watching TV — this mindless consumption results in negative health outcomes including obesity, heart disease and a myriad of associated complications which usually result in loss opportunities. Our disconnection from food as physical and social nourishment has negative impacts on our communities, particularly in low-income communities of color.
Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community is a new approach to disrupting the current lack of awareness and to cultivate a healthy focus on food and the way we approach health equity as an expression of dignity, self-respect and self-actualization. The goal is to remind people that our own health investment is a way to care for ourselves, increase our productivity and show we care about everyone around us and the people we love and respect. We want to re-connect food to family, community, culture and faith.
“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
Interactive Workshops, Activities and Mindful Meals
- Participants gather to share a healthy meal, using traditional foods and recipes that can be replicated and incorporated at family and community gatherings.
- Six Critical questions presented to increase understanding-
- What is a Food System?
- How am I taking care of myself?
- Do I have a sense of being present with the food I am preparing?
- Do I have a sense of appreciation for the food I am serving?
- Am I mindful of others?
- Can this help me a better leader and role model?
Mindful Eating for the Beloved Community goals is to reimage potential and opportunity with the belief that it is urgent and timely to disrupt the current lack of awareness and to cultivate a healthy focus on a life plan for success. This is with the approach of health equity as an expression of dignity, self-respect and self-actualization. The goal is to remind people that their health investment is a way to care for ourselves, increase our productivity and show we care about everyone around us and the people we love and respect. We want to re-connect food to family, community, culture and faith.