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The Center for Mindful Eating

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We are pleased to introduce our Advisory Council, previous board members who continue to advise, influence and guide the developments, resources and mission of The Center for Mindful Eating.

Alex Askew, Chef

At 14 he received his first job offer as a personal chef through a high school vocational work program and after 6 years of working in a variety of restaurants in and out of New York City decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in 1989.

With a focus on eating lifestyles and trends in new menu alternatives, he began food research, development, and consulting for companies; General Mills, Hilton Hotels, Aramark Corporation, Specialty Restaurants and a host of private clients. Alex has also created one of the most unique consortiums of chefs under one group (ALS Culinary Concepts) for consulting in areas of menu development, R&D, start up operations, systems and controls, training, food manufacturing, business planning and concept development.

While working in restaurants that broadened his experience in different cooking styles as well as cuisines which included Cajun and Creole, Holistic, Latin and American fusion. In 1993 Alex Co-founded the BCAGlobal which dedicates itself to Education, Awareness, and Exposure for young minority students seeking careers within the culinary and hospitality industry.

Alex has enjoyed guest appearances on Good Morning America, CBS Early Morning Show, and the Food Network. He was a 2001 Doctorate of Foodservice recipient from the North American Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers, a Distinguished Visited Chef (DVC) for Sullivan University, 2011 Business Leader of Year from the Marcella Brown Foundation, in May 2012 received the distinguished New York Institute of Technology Global Leadership Award and served on the American Culinary Federation as Board member Accreditation Commission. In 2014 Alex was selected as a 2014 National Kellogg Fellow in Leadership in the Racial, Equity and Healing (REH) cohort.

With over 35 years in the restaurant and hospitality field Alex continues his use of knowledge and experience as a foundation for further growth and development in the culinary industry and continues the important social change work using food as a nexus and mindful eating as a platform to improve lives in the community.



Dr. Alexis Conason

Alexis Conason, Psy.D., CEDS is a licensed psychologist and certified eating disorder specialist in private practice in New York City. Her group practice specializes in the treatment of overeating disorders, body image dissatisfaction, and sexual functioning using mindfulness-based interventions. She is the founder of The Anti-Diet Plan, an online mindfulness eating program to help people stop dieting, start eating with more attunement to their bodies, and live lives filled with joy, peace, and pleasure.  

She earned her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Long Island University, C.W. Post. Following completion of her doctorate, Dr. Conason completed post-doctoral training at The Karen Horney Clinic and the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, in affiliation with Columbia University.  She also earned a certificate in Eating Disorders, Compulsions, and Addictions from the William Alanson White Institute and a certificate in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the American Institute for Psychoanalysis. Dr. Conason’s research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals (including Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Surgery) and she has presented at numerous scientific conferences. She is a peer reviewer for numerous scientific journals, including Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases and Obesity Surgery. She serves on the leadership committee of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals-NY Chapter as their Research Chair and on the board of The Center for Mindful Eating. 

She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and writes the “Eating Mindfully” blog for their website. She has been widely featured in the popular press including Oprah Magazine, Elle, Teen Vogue, CBS News, The Washington Post, The New York Post, and many more. Dr. Conason is a fierce advocate for helping people recognize andquestion the societal norms that encourage feeling not good enough about themselves so that they can live their most fulfilling lives-- at any size! 


You can find Dr. Conason on the web at www.drconason.com as well as Twitter (@conasonpsyd), Facebook (Alexis Conason, PsyD), and Instagram (@theantidietplan).



CAROLINE BAERTEN, RD

Caroline Baerten, the founder of MeNu, Centre for Mindful Eating and Nutrition, in the heart of Europe (Brussels). She works as a Mindfulness-based nutritionist/RD, integrative psychotherapist and is also a qualified chef.

She is the first certified Mindful Eating, Conscious Living teacher (ME-CL) worldwide and offers additionally Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindful Self-Compassion courses to her clients.

Since 2012 she has created an international platform for mindful eating teachers in Europe. In her institute, mindful eating training programs (ME-CL) are facilitated for European healthcare professionals and mentoring in mindful eating is offered through e-coaching.

She is part of several research projects where the impact of mindful eating on health, wellbeing and ecology are studied.

Caroline’s personal meditation practice is under the guidance of Vietnamese zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism. Caroline’s interest for mindful eating is intimately connected with her passion for the earth and expressed by urban gardening and pottery. In her life and work Caroline encourages mindful food choices based on culinary pleasure, compassion and sustainability.

www.me-nu.org (English)


MEGRETTE FLETCHER, RD

Megrette Fletcher, M.Ed, RD, CDE is a co-founder of The Center for Mindful Eating. She is a co-author of two books, including Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes with Michelle MD, Discover Mindful Eating: A resource of handouts for health professionals, with Frederick Burggraf. Megrette is a professional speaker and spokes person in both the US and UK. She is a dietitian and certified diabetes educator and works in a diabetes clinic.

www.megrette.com


Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN

Jenna is a non-diet nutrition therapist, writer, and meditation instructor based in New York City. At her private practice, Eat to Love, she helps people struggling with chronic dieting, disordered eating, eating disorders, and poor body image to move toward greater peace, health, and wellness using a combination of Intuitive Eating, mindfulness techniques, and meditation.

She was trained to teach Shamatha meditation by Susan Piver, creator of the online meditation community, the Open Heart Project. Susan and Jenna co-lead an online Meditation Instructor Training course to teach dietitians, therapists, coaches, yoga teachers, and others to teach meditation skillfully and responsibly to those they work with. Through the Open Heart Project, Jenna also leads the Mommy Sangha, a weekly online gathering for moms who meditate.

A Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor since 2013, Jenna leads the monthly free Chat with an Intuitive Eating Pro series, amassing an archive of more than 30 practical discussions and never failing to interject how and why a meditation practice complements an Intuitive Eating practice.

Jenna is the author of Understanding Dietary Supplements, a handy guide to the evaluation and use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals for both consumers and clinicians, and more recently the memoir Drinking to Distraction. Her third book, Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transform your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life, will be released in January, 2019.



Ronna Kabatznick, Ph.D.

Ronna Kabatznick, Ph.D is a social psychologist specializing in eating, depression and relationships. Dr. Kabatnick helped develop the

behavioral weight management component of the Weight Watchers Program and is the author of two best-selling books: The Zen of Mindful Eating: Ancient Answers to Modern Weight Problems and Who by Water: Reflections of a Tsunami Psychologist.

She has served as a TCME Board member is currently an advisor to TCME.

Ronna Kabatznick, PhD


Dana notte, MS, RD, CD

Dana Notte is a non-diet dietitian and nutrition educator who aims to help people heal their relationship to food, body, and self through non-diet, weight-inclusive, and mindfulness-based approaches. She specializes in working with individuals seeking support to heal from chronic dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders. Additionally, she actively presents at conferences and professional trainings on topics related to mindful eating and non-diet approaches to care.

Much of her training has been self-guided and on-the-job. She has spent years reading, researching, and attending trainings and conferences related to mindfulness, mindful eating, and weight-inclusive care. She is a former facilitator of the Am I Hungry® Mindful Eating Program and spent several years working for a non-diet, mindfulness-based wellness retreat, where she honed her skills as a nutrition educator, counselor, and mindfulness practitioner.

Dana is now the owner of ThrivInspired Nutrition, a Burlington, VT based nutrition counseling practice offering individual in-person and virtual nutrition counseling services, group workshops and retreats, and community, corporate, and professional speaking services. Dana is also part-time faculty at the University of Vermont where she teaches in the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department.

Recognized as an expert in the field, Dana has been quoted in several major publications including TIME, Reader’s Digest, Health, and EatingWell.

Outside of her professional work, you can find Dana in her kitchen experimenting with new ingredients and creating new recipes, with her nose in a Lonely Planet book planning her next international adventure, practicing staying present on the mat at the yoga studio, or enjoying all that the outdoors of VT have to offer.



ALICE J. ROSEN

Alice J. Rosen, MSEd, LMHC, is the founder of "The No-Diet and Self-Led Eating Workshops" and "The Conscious Cafe'. She is a faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a Certified Internal Family Systems Therapist, and former Director of Education for "Feeding Ourselves (SM)".

Alice initially trained as an expressive therapist and presently works as a psychotherapist and educator specializing in eating and body image issues. She also addresses more general issues such as anxiety, mood disorders, life transitions, and chronic pain/stress.

Mindfulness is a key reference point in Alice's practice. She started meditating in 1974. In 1979, during a mindfulness meditation retreat, in the midst of 17 years of conflict with food and her body, she experienced being calmly in charge, and fully satisfied. In eating mindfully, she discovered that she had an inherent wisdom about when, what and how much to eat.

Alice leads mindfulness-based experiential workshops and groups designed to instill a healthy and satisfying relationship with food. (www.TheConsciousCafe.org). In addition, her work, using the Internal Family Systems Model helps people understand and heal the emotional underpinnings of un-attuned eating.

She has authored and produced the CD set, The Feeding Ourselves Method, A Guide to Achieving a Healthy Relationship with Food.

Her publication credits include her column, "BODY INTELLIGENCE REPORT" which appeared for three years in the journal-letter, FOOD ISSUES.

Alice loves good food and considers herself an intuitive cook. Besides her work, she has a passion for nature and the outdoors, in any weather, and is admittedly addicted to being near and in the water.

You can find out more about her work in her newly launched web page: TheConsciousCafe.com


Lynn Rossy, Ph.D. and Author

Lynn Rossy, Ph.D., is an author and health psychologist who specializes in offering mindfulness-based interventions for mindful eating and living. After spending much of her career at the University of Missouri, she became the Executive Director of Tasting Mindfulness, LLC.

In 2007, she developed an empirically-validated mindful eating program called Eat for Life which helps people have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies—decreasing binge eating while increasing body image, mindfulness, and intuitive eating. She teaches her class live online over Zoom to professionals and the general public. She also travels nationally and internationally to teach mindful eating. 

Dr. Rossy published the concepts from her program in a book entitled, The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution: Proven Strategies to End Overeating, Satisfy Your Hunger and Savor Your Life (New Harbinger, July 2016). Her book was named one of the top ten books of 2016 by Mindful.Org. Her newest book is Savor Every Bite: Mindful Ways to Eat, Love Your Body, and Live with Joy (New Harbinger, May 2021). 

Dr. Rossy is also a certified Kripalu and Energy Medicine yoga (EMYoga) teacher who teaches locally in Columbia, MO, and internationally at Pura Vida Spa in Costa Rica. She completed a three-year Community Dharma Leader Training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California in January 2008 and has been a student of Buddhist meditation since 1998. She completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training from the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society in Massachusetts in 2004.

Her greatest passion is helping people find delicious ways to eat and move their bodies, while discovering greater meaning and purpose in life. She loves to play the piano, do yoga, hike in nature, eat fabulous food, and celebrate life with friends. She can be found anywhere by listening for her infectious laugh.

Sign up for her monthly blog and listen to her mindfulness recordings at LynnRossy.com, be inspired by her posts on Facebook, or sign up for her daily tweets on mindful eating and living on Twitter @DrLynnRossy. You may email her at MindfulRossy@gmail.com.



Dr. Amy Sapola, Pharm.D., IFMCP

Dr. Amy Sapola is passionate about helping people achieve radiant health through reconnecting with their own intuition, nature, and deep nourishment as well as working on public health issues related to the social determinants of health, soil health, and planetary health.

Dr. Sapola is a Certified Wellness Coach, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP), and Doctor of Pharmacy with a B.S. in Nutrition. She has also completed a 2-year fellowship with honors in Integrative Medicine from the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM).

Dr. Sapola is the Director of Farmacy at The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio, and the owner of Sapola Integrative Wellness, LLC. Farmacy at the Chef’s Garden is about building a greater understanding of how health is impacted by the regenerative agriculture principles we practice here at The Chef's Garden. She works to help guide consumers towards a mindful relationship with food by connecting the benefits of healthy soil, to healthy plants, and ultimately, to healthy people.

As a mother of two young children, master gardener, passionate cook, and long-time yogi, Dr. Sapola has an integrative approach to health and wellness both personally and professionally.



Sharon A. Suh, Ph.D.

Sharon A. Suh is a Level II certified Mindful Eating-Conscious Living teacher (ME-CL, UC San Diego) and a Professor of Buddhism at Seattle University.

She received her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University and is author of: Being Buddhist in a Christian World: Gender and Community (University of Washington Press, 2004); Silver Screen Buddha: Buddhism in Asian and Western Film (Bloomsbury Press, 2015); and Occupy This Body: A Buddhist Memoir (Sumeru Press, 2019).

Her academic work explores racialized trauma experienced by people of color and emphasizes the importance of Trauma-Informed embodiment practices such as meditation and yoga that can increase the capacity for resilience.

She is interested in somatic awareness and the generative possibilities of mindfulness, neuroscience, and trauma-informed yoga for healing.

She served on the Board of Directors of Yoga Behind Bars and has completed the YBB Trauma-Informed Yoga training; Yoga 4 Trauma certification and extensive work in trauma-informed yoga for transcending sexual assault. She teaches barre for fun and lives in Seattle.

You can find her work in mindful eating at www.mindfuleatingmethod.com



Narmin Virani, RDN, CDCES

Narmin Virani is a Registered Dietitian who has been in clinical practice since 2003. She worked for 10 years in the cardiac wellness and rehab field at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital where she learned the research and clinical applications of mindfulness meditation. This work led her to start the life-changing practice of meditating herself, and she began integrating it with nutrition counseling to promote a healthy relationship with food.

After that, while working at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Bariatric Center, she continued teaching experiential mindful eating to help her patients heal the anxiety, fear, and guilt around eating that had developed from years of chronic dieting. She moved away from a weight-centric to a weight-inclusive approach after seeing clinical and scientific evidence that chronic dieting led to weight gain and eating disorders in the long term. She witnessed her patients thrive with this approach, and this motivated her to conduct a research study on Intuitive Eating that was published in Bariatric Times, before she decided to leave the bariatric field. 

Narmin currently works at Veritas Eating Disorders Hospital (Atlanta), and Nashville Nutrition Partners, a private nutrition counseling practice based on Health At Every Size principles. She is also collaborating with Dr Carolyn Becker of Trinity University on an ongoing research study on food insecurity and eating disorders in bariatric patients.


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The Center for Mindful Eating


PO Box 30033

Columbia, MO 65205


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