Health Beat 4-1-2004

Chew, Don't Chat

For many Americans, food is the root of illness, such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. “But we maintain that food is a source of healing,” says Daniel Chong-Jiminez, chef at The Spa at Norwich Inn in Norwich, Conn.
    That’s why the property recently launched Healthy Pleasures, an intensive four-day wellness program.
    To help foster positive perspectives on food, chef Chong-Jiminez leads one “silent meal” per program, where participants taste, smell and reflect on the dishes in complete silence. “The concept of silent dining has been around for centuries; it stems from the Buddhist practice of mindfulness,” says Chong-Jiminez. He adds the process helps guests focus on nourishment and avoid overeating.
    In addition to silent meals, meditation and spa treatments, Healthy Pleasures includes a consultation with Chong-Jiminez on therapeutic foods and lifestyle-improving diets.