Me, Myself, and Mindfulness


Since this is my very first blog post for ZEN Integrative Nutrition & Health, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about how I got into mindfulness in the first place.

Immigrating from Japan when I was 11 years old was very stressful. Not knowing a word in English, having no friends, and being the eldest sibling put a lot of burdens on me.

-oh also, growing up in an Asian household, no complaining was allowed.


being silly on Facebook -me as a teenager

I remember first few nights, crying to my mom how I don't understand what people are saying in the class. -of course! it was only the 3rd day in the school after moving to US.

As years passed, I became more accustomed to the American culture and more able to communicate in English. But this experience has traumatized me throughout high school.

I never felt I was adequate, never confident in having a conversation with people, and alas public speaking scared me to death!

I didn't feel comfortable being me -scared to be judged by people and embarrassed to make mistakes.

Though I wasn't aware at that time, I was eating away my emotions and stresses. Especially at night while my family are asleep, I would sneak in the kitchen and grab bags of chocolates, cookies, ice creams and anything I can find in the kitchen. Then watch YouTube videos on the computer while eating. 😓

As you can imagine, I gained a lot of weight and I wasn't happy with my weight. So I would eat more to make myself feel better. It was a nightmare, a vicious cycle.

But one day, I was talking with my dentist -where I used to work part time, after school. She suggested me to read a book by Eckhart Tolle "The New Earth". Although the content of the book was a little hard to grasp (about spiritual awakening, consciousness vs ego, and enlightenment???) for a teenage girl, I got the message,

"to live a happy life, you must be present in me moment. Right here, right now".

It was my very first encounter with the mindfulness.

Fast forwarding to college, I attended Syracuse University where I discovered many different mindfulness based practices.

I joined a daily meditation group led by Student Buddhist Association, enrolled in the famous 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction course, and completed my honors thesis on mindful eating and vegetarianism.

As a nutrition major aspiring to be a Registered Dietitian, I combined my interests in nutrition and mindfulness.

nutrition + mindfulness = mindful eating!

After graduating from Syracuse University with honors, I enrolled in the Dietetic Internship program at Montclair State University.


I completed a year long clinical nutrition internship at local hospitals, nursing homes, and community nutrition programs. After graduation, all my friends got jobs at hospitals and nursing homes -where most of the Registered Dietitians work.

I tried to get a job at hospitals, got some interviews at reputable hospitals around New York City area....

But I was the black sheep amongst my classmates. I didn't really want a clinical job, my interest was in holistic nutrition. I did not want to provide diabetes education just to keep the patient alive for another day.

I wanted to heal people and cure diseases with wholesome nutrition and lifestyle interventions. I believe food has the power to heal and cure our bodies.

Thus, I've been working at local Whole Foods Market (or now, Amazon). Gaining great knowledge in organic and sustainable eating/living. Surrounded by beautiful vegetables and discovering the new healthy snack is so much fun than seeing a patient in the hospital bed.

However, I have a bigger plan than just to work at Whole Foods Market. I want to share my knowledge in integrative nutrition and mindful eating to help those who are experiencing weight issues and emotional eating.

I will be posting more about mindful eating and integrative nutrition for weight loss on this blog. So follow my blog, instagram @mindful_miho, or Facebook page!

Also, I help people who are suffering with chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, and digestive disorders using integrative nutrition.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to leave a comment or questions. Or if you just want to chat with me, my door is always open!

Cheers!

#mindfulness #mindful #ZENintegrativenutrition

Questions? Shoot me an e-mail. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

mihohatanakaRDN@gmail.com 

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Miho Hatanaka, RDN

mihohatanakaRDN@gmail.com        (503) 765-7129      6018 SE Stark St. Portland, OR 97216 & online

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