Book Review: Savor

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
Thich Nhat Hahn and Dr. Lilian Cheung
304 pages
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: March 9, 2010
Source: Publisher

In everyday life, we often get lost in forgetfulness, operating on autopilot for most of our waking hours. Our mind chases after thousands of things, and we rarely take the time to come back to ourselves. We end up feeling overwhelemed and alienated. . .

It’s pretty easy to spend a day doing all the things you need to do and then  in what seems like minutes, find the day gone with not much to do the things you love to do. From experience it’s also easy to get a bite to eat here and there, so you can finish your to-do list without slowing down to enjoy.  Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life talks about becoming more present in our lives and slowing down to see the beauty around us while losing weight.

Savor is divided into three parts: dealing with weight control, mindful actions, and individual and collective effort. I found the first part to be the most helpful for me. What makes the book so different from other weight-loss books is that the focus isn’t on being overweight but on being more aware of your body and its needs. Instead of looking at weight as a problem the authors want readers to look at their body as a whole and with compassion. Doing so gives readers better long-term results than just looking at weight gain as a specific problem.

The authors also understand and stress  that you have to be ready and willing to change. If not, don’t bother. It’s better to wait until you are ready before starting any lifestyle changes.

I have to agree. When I first received this book to review, I tried reading it but wasn’t in the mood for it. It wasn’t until I started becoming more aware of my eating habits and love of snacking, that I was ready to read Savor. The point of Savor is to get people to sit and savor whatever it is they’re doing, whether it’s reading or just watching tv. The goal is to do one  thing at a time.

Thirty years ago, hardly anyone would have expected to receive a reply to a phone call or letter within the same day. Yet today, the pace of our lives is utterly harried and spinning out of control. We constantly have to respond to external stimuli and demands. We have less and less to stop, stay focused, and reflect on whatever is in front of us. We have much less time to be in touch. . . with our thoughts, feelings, consciousness. . . And our lives suffer because of it.

To me if you’re ever read one diet book, you’ve read them all so the second and third parts of the book don’t really stand out. We all know that it’s healthy to eat smaller portions, whole grains, and not skip meals. The third part of the book talks about meditation, becoming more aware of where our found comes from and that everything and everyone is connected.

Overall Savor is a solid read. I think the first and last parts are worth reading the book for. As Lu wrote in her review, it’s not a perfect book but one that many people can learn something from.


About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
This entry was posted in nonfiction, reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Book Review: Savor

  1. Gavin says:

    This looks good. I have enjoyed reading Thich Nhat Hahn in the past and could use a book on mindful eating right now. I’m trying to get over an evening snacking habit! Thanks, Vasilly.

  2. vivienne says:

    I can’t imagine actually doing one thing at a time! My life would come to a complete standstill. As I write this, I am making dinner and helping my kids with homework. I probably need this book.

  3. zibilee says:

    This book sounds like it might be helpful to me, as I am just about ready to make a change in the way I eat. I am glad to hear that it has some helpful sections, and I will be trying to get a chance to look at a copy in the book shop to see if it’s what I need. Thanks for the great and honest review!

  4. Kathleen says:

    This sounds like a book I need to read.

  5. trish says:

    I love the quote you used! When I’m not working two jobs, I definitely want to be able to slow down and just *enjoy* things more. Not just eating, but life in general. For me, that means doing things like knitting and hopefully quilting one day. Knitting makes me slow down and enjoy life. Thanks for being on this tour!

  6. heidenkind says:

    I always try to savor and appreciate what I’m doing, especially if it’s eating! It’s hard sometimes, though.

  7. Jodie says:

    The begining section sounds really good. I like the point that no one would have expecetd to recieve a reply right away, but our pace of life is so much faster now. Food for thought.

  8. We have started a Savor Sangha at, so that all of us reading Savor and practicing mindful living can combine our efforts, share stories, swap recipes and support each other.

    I invite you to come join us if your contemplating trying the Savor way. It has made such a beautiful difference in my life.

    Simply visit the Savor website above and click the community tab.

  9. Frances says:

    Appreciate what looks like an holistic approach to not just weight loss but wellness as well. Echoing Trish, love that quote you pulled too. Exactly how I feel so many days. The loss of self to common chores and responsibilities. Going to check out the website mentioned in last comment.

Comments are closed.