Compassionate Eating Classes

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Six week programme.
Monday 13th January – 17th February 2014
Cost: Euros 180 (Subsidised places available) Payable on Registration
Venue: Dowdstown House, Navan, Co Meath


We evolved to forage for food: to see food and eat it (Goss, 2010). Unfortunately, in the Western World in which we live, there is a constant display of calorie dense, high fat, high sugar, highly processed, yet nutritionally empty food that is unsuitable for our see food and eat it mentality.

Because our first relationship with food took place within the deeply emotional mother:child bond, or within some other carer:infant relationship, it is unsurprising that our eating is subject to the vagaries of our emotions. Many people do not eat in response to physical hunger. They eat in response to sadness, anger, loneliness, stress, or even tiredness, thirst or boredom.

In addition, many of us have inherited habits and beliefs about food that are without substance. For instance, many of us believe that we contribute to food waste if we leave food on our plates. We erroneously believe that some food groups such as meat and dairy are essential for good health, that we need to eat a sugary snack when our energy is low, or that other food groups (e.g. carbohydrates) are best avoided lest we gain weight.

Many people live their lives feeling deeply dissatisfied with food, eating food that does not fulfil physical or emotional needs, and feeling that food is something to be battled against and resisted, instead of something that nourishes and nurtures.

The diet industry makes a multi-billion Euro fortune from our vulnerability. If diets were the answer one would suffice. Yet, most people who have engaged in dieting behaviour are still on the merry-go-round of restricted eating followed by rebound overeating. Most weigh more now than when they first started.

The Science of Compassionate Eating can facilitate you to give up dieting by recovering the wisdom of intuitive eating. Intuitive eaters eat in response to the needs of their body, and are able to stop eating when they feel full. Intuitive eaters do not deprive themselves of the foods they enjoy, yet their body mass index is within the normal range and they do not gain weight.

Compassionate eating is not just about our physical health. It is important for our psychological health too. Our food choices have such far reaching implications that food can be thought of as one of the most important social justice issues facing the world today. Learn to make peace with food.


Class sizes are strictly limited to ensure active participation and individual attention.
Classes are a lively mixture of assessment, discussion, reading, film, and mindful eating exercises, some of which include food provided by your facilitator. Please advise if you have any allergies or health problems prior to participation.

Guest Lecturer

One night will be devoted to our guest lecturer, Dietician specialising in plant-based diets, Gosia Desmond, BSc, MA, MSc, PhD candidate. This will include a question and answer session.

Subsidised Places

Do not let cost come between you and the right to eat with compassion. A limited number of subsidised places are available. Please telephone if you would like to attend but require a cost reduction.

Bookings & Enquiries

Please email or
Telephone 0469054153 or 0872325832


Cambell, TC and Cambell TM (2006) The China Study, The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, Benbella Books:Dallas, Texas.

Chozen Bays, J (2009) Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, Shambala Publications:Boston, Massachusetts.

Fain, J (2011) The Self-Compassion Diet, A Step-by-Step Program to Lose Weight with Loving-Kindness, Sounds True:Boulder, Colorado.

Goss, K (2010) The Compassionate Mind Guide to Ending Overeating: Using compassion-focused therapy to overcome bingeing & disordered eating, New Harbinger:USA

Silverstone, A (2009) The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet, Rodale:New York.

Tribole, E and Resch, E (2012) (3rd ed) Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works, St Martin’s Press:New York.

Tuttle, W (2005) The World Peace Diet, Lantern Books:New York.