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Mindful Corner: The Raisin Experience

Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn developed and began leading the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. He defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” [Kabat-Zinn J, 1991 as cited in reference i].

Kabat-Zinn uses a technique to enhance mindfulness as outlined below. Try it out:

  1. “Sit comfortably in a chair.
  2. Place a raisin in your hand.
  3. Examine the raisin as if you had never seen it before.
  4. Imagine it as its “plump self” growing on the vine surrounded by nature.
  5. As you look at the raisin, become conscious of what you see: the shape, texture, color, size. Is it hard or soft?
  6. Bring the raisin to your nose and smell it.
  7. Are you anticipating eating the raisin? Is it difficult not to just pop it in your mouth?
  8. How does the raisin feel? How small it is in your hand?
  9. Place the raisin in your mouth. Become aware of what your tongue is doing.
  10. Bite ever so lightly into the raisin. Feel its squishiness.
  11. Chew three times and then stop.
  12. Describe the flavor of the raisin. What is the texture?
  13. As you complete chewing, swallow the raisin.
  14. Sit quietly, breathing, aware of what you are sensing.” [ii]


References:

[i] Nelson JB. (2017). Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association30(3), 171–174. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0015

[ii] How to Eat Mindfully. Taking charge of your health & wellbeing. Retrieved from https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/activities/how-eat-mindfully

Jenna Koroly, MS, RD, CDN

Jenna is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been a part of the Savor Health team since October 2016, and gained further clinical knowledge in oncology while performing nutrition assessments at Northern Westchester Hospital and Amsterdam Nursing Home as a dietetic intern. Jenna provides nutrition counseling for patients in Medical Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery settings at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. She is passionate about nutrition therapy and exercise for oncology patients.

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