Debut author Epstein applies mindfulness to eating in this motivational manual.
So many people who overeat—or munch on unhealthy food—don’t even enjoy it. They eat so hurriedly, absent-mindedly, or distractedly that there isn’t time to process what they are consuming, let alone seriously consider the food’s adverse effects on their bodies, energy, or self-esteem. With this book, Epstein encourages readers to approach eating in a new way via a system she terms diving dining: “In the simplest terms, divine dining is a conscious eating program designed to bring your full awareness to the act of eating. It is a program that will help you be aware of what you eat, how you eat, and why you eat.” The author isn’t worried about what readers eat—though organic and whole foods are encouraged. She cares that readers do so with purpose and presence. With a regimen that includes meditation, affirmations, readings, and energy crystals, she details a 21-day plan that she claims will get readers eating the right way. According to the author, the benefits of divine dining include weight management, improved digestive health, greater control over the food consumed, and higher self-esteem. Epstein wishes to remind everyone that eating isn’t a coping mechanism or a way to kill time, but a supreme act of self-love. The author’s prose skillfully combines cheerful promotion with crunchy New Age spiritualism, as when she describes the positive effects of the crystal carnelian: “This stone helps balance the emotional center, or the second chakra, where we process so much of the world around us. This is the center where addictive patterns lie.” But the book is short and rather light on content. In the first half, particularly, it reads as though Epstein is trying to come up with new ways to phrase the same few points over and over again. For those not convinced of the efficacy of crystals, there isn’t much left for them in the program other than the readings, which are standard self-help fare. Mindfulness is certainly a wonderful concept from which to approach eating, but beyond that idea, the author does not have much of substance to add.
A slim, crystal-centric take on food consumption.