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Inspirational New Book Offers Practical Advice for Revolutionizing Your Eating Habits

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Susan Teton Campbell has had quite a ride seeking answers to the diet-related health issues plaguing millions of Americans, and now she offers those answers and loads of practical and inspirational advice in the pages of her new book, Eating as a Spiritual Practice: Discover your purpose while nourishing your body, mind and soul.
Think of eating as a spiritual practice as a two-for-one deal. First you get the incredible story of Susan’s life journey, and then you get a wealth of delicious and healthy recipes. But perhaps most importantly, mixed into these two sections are tons of good advice and eye-opening information about the value of eating right and the dangers of processed foods and junk food.
Susan’s journey of focusing on what we eat really began when she realized that her son’s body was intolerant to sugar and that despite her best efforts, when this got out of hand, he was also vulnerable to addiction by far worse substances. As Susan embarked on a lifelong mission to figure out how to fix her son’s health issues, she realized that many of us suffer from severe malnutrition because of the packaged, processed foods we eat.
Rather than just reading about nutrition and changing the diets of her and her son, Susan became deeply involved in revolutionizing how people relate to food. She participated in retreats and spiritual organizations that believed in cultivating the body and soul. One organization she was involved with was EarthSave International, founded by John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America. Part of her involvement with this group was leading a program to try to provide healthier food in schools. Soon Susan was visiting principals and preparing lunches for them, and she discovered that the cafe-style lunch menus in our school districts are the polar opposite of the good nutrition preached in school health classes.
Susan also bares her soul throughout these pages as she talks about her own struggles to eat right and resist temptation, and most importantly, how she learned to set boundaries and let go with her son Aaron when he refused to be to stick to the rules or do what was best for him, but instead fell into years of addiction. Ultimately, the journey made Susan stronger as her son taught her much needed lessons about herself and his situation fueled her motivation to help others. At one point, Susan describes how she started judging people by what they ate, and then she came to a deep realization:
“From that moment my work became about sharing instead of having an agenda that requires others to change. I had learned with Aaron that I couldn’t change him and that an agenda to do so didn’t empower him or myself to do so. So a new I evolved – one that would simply communicate what I knew to be true for me. The depth of that change and how much lighter I felt is beyond my ability to put into words, but it changed me, softened me.”
Susan later taught cooking classes and was constantly receiving requests to write a cookbook, but she didn’t just want to write a cookbook—she wanted to share her philosophy and deep understanding of our relationship to food and its sacredness. The result: Eating as a Spiritual Practice, a book that doesn’t try to force us into a particular diet or tell us to pray over our food. Instead, it’s a book full of common sense, a back-to-the-basics approach, and a reminder to think about what we put in our mouths and the effects it will have on our bodies. As Susan states in the book’s introduction:
“[Y]You will be inspired to look at food, your body, your life and the earth in a new light – a light full of purpose, gratitude and promise. Why? Because it is absolutely crucial that we all contribute to creating an equitable and sustainable food system for ourselves, our children and the state of our air, water and soil. The deeper motivation that lives within me and many others I know is spiritual at its core. Perhaps like me you are a spiritual seeker with a nutritional practice that reaches far beyond the table.”
Susan makes it clear that we can no longer eat healthy as part of a temporary diet or just to lose weight. It needs to become a part of our daily practice, just like exercise or brushing our teeth. It needs to be built into our lives as a daily discipline that is “driven by love and respect.”

Instead of counting calories or trying to reduce our portions, we need to focus on making nourishing choices that not only heal and nourish our bodies, but also nourish our minds. The ability of our bodies and souls to function to their fullest is closely linked to what we eat and it is time that we pay attention to this connection and do what we can to nourish all aspects of ourselves. Susan has learned how to do this and in these pages she will help you learn the same.

Thanks to Tyler Tichelaar

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