A Zen’s-Eye View: Examining the seven kinds of hunger

Web Lead

Kuya Minogue is the resident teacher at Creston’s ZenWords Zen Centre. For more information

The first exercise of mindful eating teaches awareness of the seven types of hunger that stimulate the thought of consuming food.

Imagine you have just finished a nutritious and satisfying bowl of homemade soup, and are taking a 20-minute noon hour walk. You pass a billboard that has a photograph of a pizza with all your favourite toppings. The cheese glows. The pepperoni twinkles. The olives call up romantic images of a Tuscan hill town. You want some pizza. This is “eye hunger”.

You walk by the pizza shop on Canyon Street. The smell of baking crust wafts on to the street. Your stomach growls. This is “nose hunger”.

You imagine the taste of the pizza, mentally add up the calories in your soup and decide you can afford to eat just one slice. “Mouth hunger”. By now, your brain has completely forgotten that you’ve just eaten a satisfying nutritious lunch, and that you have no need for more food.

You check your watch. There’s time for one small slice of pizza. You’ll take the rest home for dinner. Inside the restaurant you place your order, and as you are waiting, you remember the good old days when you were a teen-ager and shared pizza and Pepsi with friends. “Heart hunger”.

You order a Pepsi to complement the pizza. Finally your order is ready. You chew and swallow your first bite and wash it down with Pepsi. Pleasure flows through your body and mind. Inspired by the perfect mix of sugar, fat and salt, you quickly polish off the first slice and reach for another, then another. “Fabricated hunger”.

You drink down the Pepsi to counteract the thirst caused by excess salt. “Cell hunger”.

All that sugar, salt and fat has left you feeling stuffed and slightly nauseated. You have satisfied your “stomach hunger”. Finally, you remember that you had just eaten a completely satisfying bowl of soup, and therefore had no real need for food. You leave five slices of pizza behind and walk to your next appointment. Your body transforms those unnecessary 500-700 calories into stored energy — belly fat.

If you had been applying the techniques of mindful eating, you would have recognized eye hunger the moment you saw the billboard image of the pizza, and chuckled when the thought of eating entered your mind. You would have labelled the urge to follow the aroma of baking crust into the shop as nose hunger and walked right past the restaurant. Within minutes, all thoughts of eating pizza would have dissolved into awareness of the promise of spring, your lightness of step and the sound of birdsong.

Mindful eating begins with consciously and intentionally assessing the roots of hunger before eating. If the hunger is based in an automatic conditioned response to sense stimulation, memory or emotion, mindfulness can help you notice and let go of the thought of eating. If the hunger is based in a true physiological need, then mindfulness can increase enjoyment of a nutritious meal or a healthy snack and let you know when you’ve had enough.

Kuya Minogue is resident teacher at Creston Zendo. This spring and summer, in cooperation with College of the Rockies, she is offering courses on Mindful Eating and on Mindfulness, Stress and Chronic Pain Management. For more information, call her at 250-428-6500.

 

Just Posted

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

CEC closure seems final

SD. 8 administrators and trustees offered no hope that the Creston Education Centre could remain open after June.

Radium man seeks Conservative Party federal nomination

Radium lawyer and businessman Dale Shudra has become the fourth candidate to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into second place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Evangelist Billy Graham has died at 99

Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

Canadians capture bronze in women’s bobsled event

Canadians Humphries, George take bronze in women’s bobsled event at Olympics

Most Read