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A Conversation with Jenna Hollenstein about “Eat to Love”
March 27 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
For many of us, eating is fraught with worry and fear. We eat what we should and not what we want. We think wanting is dangerous and wrong. Or we don’t know what we want anymore because, as Caroline Knapp writes in “Appetites,” our desires have become “submerged and rerouted.” The deeper meaning of “Eat to Love” is to eat as a form of self-love and care. To choose foods that give us pleasure and that feel good in our bodies. To treat ourselves as if we deserve happiness and pleasure just as we are. In fact it is our birthright. Eat to Love also means feeling comfortable inhabiting the bodies we have right now. Everything we experience between the moment we are born and the moment we die happens in our bodies.
From performing bodily functions to experiencing divine ecstasy, our bodies are there with us constantly as a vehicle and as a witness. Our bodies are intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. They move through a world that imposes ideals and values based on these intersections, and so no body is ever the same or ever has the same experience. In our bodies we experience pleasure and pain, strength and weakness, illness and recovery. In our bodies we experience existential questions, deepest meaning, and spiritual awakening. Our bodies define us as separate individuals and connect us with others. Yet bodily pursuits, such as those pertaining to wellness, usually leave out our spiritual side, while spiritual pursuits, such as understanding the meaning of our lives, fail to include the body. “Eat to Love” recognizes that body and spirit cannot exist without each other.
Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RDN, CDN, is a non-diet dietitian who helps people struggling with chronic dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders. She uses a combination of Intuitive Eating, mindfulness techniques, and meditation to help her clients move toward greater peace, health, and wellness. Jenna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (CDN) in New York State. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from Penn State, a Masters degree in Nutrition from Tufts University, is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and an Open Heart Project meditation guide. In 2018, Jenna joined the board of The Center for Mindful Eating. 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.”