Food makes up a huge part of our lives. Our relationship with eating affects not only our physical well-being, but also our mental and emotional well-being.  

Mindful Eating: Mindfulness-Based Behaviour Change, is a six-week program designed to take a closer look at this relationship. Note–this is not a weight loss program. Rather, the intention is to learn to understand how our brain and mind work together to influence our behaviour, and using this understanding to unwind highly conditioned habits and automatic behaviours towards food.  

Jennifer is the founder of Ottawa Meditation & Wellness, an organization that offers introductory mindfulness and meditation programs. She is also a skilled teacher trained at the University of Massachusetts and UC San Diego medical schools and certified by Brown University and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. Her work is grounded in a long-standing and dedicated personal mindfulness practice combined with experience and extensive training. 

We chatted with Jennifer to learn more about her and what will be offered at the workshop on June 13th. Read on and sign up! 

1) Can you tell us more about your background?  

I have experience working in many organizations and with adults with a range of challenges – such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, cancer, trauma – as well as many who are simply looking for new tools to build resilience and meet the stressors inherent in daily life.  Mindful eating is a major part of that – building healthy habits for a healthy life.   

2) How did you get into mindfulness?  

The short answer is that it felt like a calling. When I began to experience the benefits of mindfulness, I couldn’t just keep it to myself – I felt a strong call to share and teach. So, I underwent extensive mindfulness and compassion training at the University of Massachusetts and the University of California San Diego Medical Schools. I am also now a mindfulness teacher certified by Brown University and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association, and a certified yoga teacher. 

3) What will be covered in the workshop?  

Food and eating make up a huge part of our lives. Food, eating and our relationship with food affect not only our physical selves, but also our mental and emotional selves. ⠀

The “why, what and how” of eating is an area where we can apply mindfulness to gain greater understanding of a key aspect of our lives. With more awareness comes the ability to make wiser choices that can bring us into closer alignment with how we want to live and be in relationship to eating and food.  

This workshop is not about weight loss but about learning to understand how our mind works and impacts behavior, so that we can use begin to understand highly conditioned (and often unhelpful) habits and automatic behaviors, as well as develop new adaptive ones. In this process, we will explore the science of eating, food and mood, hunger and taste satiety, emotional and stress eating, cravings, the habit loop and much more.  

4) How is the workshop structured and what are some of the themes that will be covered? 

The structure will weave together experiential exercises and practices, conceptual learning, inquiry and dialogue for deepening understanding and practice application.  Topics include: 

  • What, why and how of mindfulness 
  • What, why and how mindful eating 
  • The science of eating 
  • What the habit loop is and the science behind how your brain forms habits 
  • Understanding challenging behaviors around food, i.e., stress and emotional eating, bingeing, mindless eating, and cravings 
  • Practices, tools and skills to work with these challenges, including among others, mindfulness practices (body awareness) learning how to ride out cravings, hunger and satiety practices, mindful eating and healthy restraint and loving-kindness 

5) Who should attend the workshop? 

 We welcome adults with or without mindfulness experience, especially those who want to better understand and learn ways to work with maladaptive eating habits, such as stress or emotional eating, managing cravings, mindless eating, and to develop new adaptive habits.  

Join Jennifer on June 13 by signing up for the workshop here.