MEAL is a clinically proven, six-week mindful eating program*. You’ll learn an entirely new approach to healthy eating, weight loss, and stress reduction.
About the Living Well in Breast Cancer Survivorship Program
The Living Well in Breast Cancer Survivorship (LWBCS) provides breast cancer survivors an opportunity for support to address emotional, social, and functional symptoms of the disease and side effects of treatment. The Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL) class is just one class offered under the umbrella of the Absenger Cancer Education Foundation’s (ACEF) LWBCS program. The LWBCS program classes are a collaboration between ACEF and Johnson Family Cancer Center (JFCC) in Muskegon. All classes are FREE for breast cancer patients and survivors until March 31, 2017, thanks to a community grant from Susan G. Komen Michigan.
Weight Loss with Mindful Eating in Breast Cancer Survivors
Women who present with higher body mass index after breast cancer treatment may be at an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and premature death than women of healthy weight.
African American breast cancer survivors have the highest risk of breast cancer recurrence. African American women also gain more weight after diagnosis than white women.
What Does the Research Say About Mindful Eating in Cancer Survivorship?
There is a small, yet growing body of research that indicates that a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems in breast cancer survivorship.
For example, a single-group, 24-week longitudinal pilot study was conducted with 22 African American women diagnosed with Stage I to Stage III breast cancer. The women had just finished active cancer treatment. The African American women had a mean Body Mass Index of 35.13 kg/m(2).
The women received a 12-week mindful eating intervention with personal dietary counseling and group mindfulness sessions, much like ACEF’s Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL) Class.
Why Women, Especially African American Women Should Consider Participation in ACEF’s Mindful Eating Class?
Research by Dalen et al. (2010) and Kristeller et al. (2014) showed promising results in persons with obesity and binge eating disorder.
However, Chung, from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and colleagues (2014) showed in their study that in African American women who were able to increase their Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ) scores over time, weight decreased over time.
Weight loss over time was associated with higher MEQ scores. African American women diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer experienced a significantly greater weight loss of an average of 17.436 pounds.
A Mindful Eating Class Reduces Obesity in African American Breast Cancer Survivors
The study by Chung et al (2014) suggests that a mindful eating class, such as ACEF’s Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL) class, could be useful for weight reduction and maintenance in women who have completed treatment for breast cancer. In particularly, African American women diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer.
ACEF’s MEAL Class is FREE for Breast Cancer Survivors!
The $240 per person Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL) class is made possible FREE of charge with a grant from Susan G. Komen Michigan. Komen Michigan funds programs that support those in the fight to save lives.
The Bottom Line? Food is the Solution, Not the Problem
Your relationship to food is a central one that reflects your attitude toward your environment and yourself. As a practice, mindful eating can bring you awareness of your actions, thoughts, feelings and motivations, and insight into the roots of health and contentment.
Mindful eating offers two significant benefits over dieting:
- It helps you meet your physical needs
- Food satisfies your emotional needs
What Can You Expect from ACEF’s Mindful Eating & Living (MEAL) Class?
- You’ll learn how to choose your way to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
- You’ll develop a greater awareness of hunger and satiety clues from the body;
- You’ll be able to explore how stress impacts not only how you eat but how you live your life;
- We’ll pay particular attention toward developing stress management tools for a lifetime of health and greater well‐being;
- You’ll be able to learn to find personal triggers for mindless eating, such as emotions, social pressures, or certain foods;
- Each week we’ll practice with specially designed in‐class exercises for a direct experience of mindful eating.
About Dr. Werner
Werner Absenger, Ph.D., M.Sc., is a mind-body medicine research scientist who has taught scores of people the skill of health and well-being. Dr. Werner received his clinical training from Dr. James S. Gordon, MD, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist.
Dr. Gordon is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine. He is also a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School. Dr. Gordon served as the first Chairman of the Program Advisory Council of NIH’s Office of Alternative Medicine and as Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy under Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush.
Dr. Werner currently leads meditation and mindful eating workshops for ACEF’s Susan G. Komen of Michigan funded Living Well in Breast Cancer Survivorship program in collaboration with Johnson Family Cancer Center. He also offers weekly group meditation sessions open to the public at ACEF and private sessions from self- and physician referrals for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Dr. Werner’s energetic, yet up-front approach empowers you with skills that are beneficial and can be used right away in everyday life.
Register Early as Spaces Are Limited
For more class information, contact us at info [at] amacf.org, or by phone at (616) 607-7360, or in person at the Absenger Cancer Education Foundation at 17212 Van Wagoner Road, Spring Lake, MI 49456.
Transportation assistance is available to those who qualify!
2016 Schedule Mindful Eating & Living (MEAL) Class Schedule
Only limited spaces are available for each class session. Please call or email to pre-register!
- Aug 2 – Sep 6
- Nov 1 – Dec 6
All sessions meet Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m – 8 p.m. on the dates listed above. The classes are held at the:
Absenger Cancer Education Foundation
17212 Van Wagoner Road
Spring Lake, MI 49456
The schedule is subject to change without notice.
Chung, S., Zhu, S., Friedmann, E., Kelleher, C., Kozlovsky, A., Macfarlane, K. W., … Griffith, K. A. (2016). Weight loss with mindful eating in African American women following treatment for breast cancer: a longitudinal study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(4), 1875–1881. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-015-2984-2
ACEF’s six-week MEAL class is based on these two research projects:
Dalen, J., Smith, B. W., Shelley, B. M., Sloan, A. L., Leahigh, L., & Begay, D. (2010). Pilot study: Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL): Weight, eating behavior, and psychological outcomes associated with a mindfulness-based intervention for people with obesity. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 18(6), 260–264.
Kristeller, J., Wolever, R. Q., & Sheets, V. (2014). Mindfulness-based eating awareness training (MB-EAT) for binge eating: A randomized clinical trial. Mindfulness, 5(3), 282–297.
*Not everyone may get these results. Your results may be different. Research shows that the average person may improve her quality of life.