A child proposed, "Let's just put him in jail."
"Yeah!" his friend responded. "And just feed him candy and soda and then see what happens to him!”
Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner, judge and human rights lawyer says that Iran denied prominent political prisoners “access to the outdoors and adequate amounts of fruit and vegetables in their meals. Soon both fell ill,” she relates in her 2016 memoir, Until We Are Free.
It's amazing that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is shocking to human rights advocates, harmful to prisoners, and rings bells in the fantasies of progressive children wanting to block politicians.
A 2008 Australian study of 1000 women found that a traditional diet of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and whole grains was associated with lower risk of both anxiety and depression. The more processed foods one ate, the higher one's risk for depression and anxiety.
As compelling as this research is, self-criticism, worry about weight, and reluctance to change what we eat for a range of reasons -- from our values to taste, time and convenience -- can block an honest exploration of change.
My course Mindful Eating with the Brain in Mind provides two crucial ingredients that help the recipe of learning work. One of them is mindful self-compassion, and one of them is the principle of Health at Every Size. Knowing that you are your own best teacher and guide, and that your body size does not need to change, allows us to breathe, slow down, and learn together.