talkhealth meets...Josie Buck, The Mindful Cook

We're delighted to be working with Josie - AKA The Mindful Cook - on a series of events and offerings to help TH+ members improve their diets and relationship with food. Let's meet her, shall we?

What exactly is The Mindful Cook?

I’m a food and eating psychology coach and I developed The Mindful Cook to share my knowledge of emotional health and nourishing nutrition with women through online programmes and residential retreats.

The Mindful Cook is designed to support and encourage women to improve their relationship with food and to feel good in their skin.

What is 'food and eating psychology', and how is it different from other diet treatments or therapies?

Many things affect our eating habits, and our relationship with food and our bodies.

As an eating psychology coach, I teach women mindset strategies and nutrition principles that are nourishing, doable, sustainable, and that yield results. Eating psychology encourages us to explore what informs our behaviours and to get real with our feelings so that we can address our challenges from the inside out.

Part of my remit is to help women to escape diet culture, so they can feel more relaxed around food and much better in themselves.

We hear a lot about ‘mindful eating’. How exactly does it work and how does one start?

Mindful eating is an approach that involves bringing awareness to the process of eating and your eating patterns. It can help us to appreciate food more and support us in developing a healthy relationship with food. I

f you are interested in this area, then a good place to start is with a book by Jan Chozen-Bays called Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food.

Do you believe in cutting out food groups?

Unless there is a medical reason for doing so, absolutely not.

Our body requires the nutrients presented by a variety of foods across the spectrum of food groups to keep our cells healthy. Unfortunately, diet culture has demonised certain food groups - causing a great deal of confusion.

A good example of this is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important to our health and our ability to maintain a healthy weight. The challenge is the 'type' of carbs we are eating in the modern western diet. Our consumption of refined sugars (simple carbs) and white starchy carbohydrates has increased massively in the last 40-50 years due to the increase of processed and convenience foods. It's these types of carbs that release sugars into the bloodstream quickly. Part of my work is to support women in making informed decisions about their food choices by understanding a little basic nutrition so they are less likely to be blindsided by diet culture and advertising.

What role do our emotions play in our dietary habits/cravings?

There is a huge interaction between food and our emotions. Food is a joyful thing and is used in society to show love, reward ourselves and provide comfort when something goes wrong. Very often when we are struggling to cope with difficult emotions, or seeking a reward we look to food.

Your work revolves mostly around women. Is that because we’re so targeted by diet culture or is there another reason?

In short, yes. I had first-hand experience of spinning around the doors of weight loss clubs and trying to conform to a body shape dictated by the media and the fashion industry for many years. Speaking to many women who had shared experiences was what inspired me to create The Mindful Cook so that I could support and inform women in that place.

I am acutely aware that diet culture affects everyone and issues with body image and disordered eating affect many men too.

What are the main issues clients come to you with?

A desire to escape diet culture and feel better in themselves, emotional eating, challenges with body image, and a desire to connect with themselves and to food.

What are your top tips for leading a healthy lifestyle?

Create self-care rituals in your life that work for you and to stick to them. To feel better and achieve our desired outcomes in life whether that be feeling fitter, calmer, or improving our body image, we need to routinely care for ourselves. To me, this means to attend to your emotional and physical health by being intentional and consistent in the actions you take to look after yourself. I think of it as re-charging your body and mind in the same way as you do your smartphone.

Try different things out and see what fits. Use the resources available to you to learn and get support where you need to. Don’t feel bad about prioritising your well-being, it’s the thing that will sustain you throughout your life.

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 12 January 2024
Next review: 12 January 2027