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Mindful eating is the most powerful habit you can develop to improve your relationship with food. Most of us have been conditioned to eat quickly and without ceremony, barely conscious of the food we shovel into our mouths. 

Learning to eat mindfully puts you back in control of your eating experience, letting you enjoy your food more and naturally eat less.

The free 5-day Mindful Meal Challenge is a simple commitment to practice mindful eating just once a day for five days.

With daily videos and a supportive community, you'll get the knowledge and experience you need to continue your mindful eating habit for years to come.

Dara Rose, PH.D - Mindful Meal Challenge


Darya is the author of Foodist and creator of Summer Tomato, one of TIME's 50 Best Websites. She received her Ph.D in neuroscience from UCSF and her bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Darya helps people get healthy and lose weight without dieting. Because life should be awesome.



Self-proclaimed wellness websites love to tout the benefits of slowing down and savoring your food, yet it almost never comes up in conversation with someone who is serious about losing weight or improving their health.

This is probably because mindful eating is a deceptively simple idea that is incredibly hard to implement.

But mindful eating really is an amazing thing if you can turn it into a habit.



Research shows that focusing on the experience of eating has a bigger impact on how satisfying a meal is than the number of calories it contains*.

Mindful Meal Challenge

Enjoy food more

Mindful Meal Challenge

Naturally Eat Less

Mindful Meal Challenge

Eat slower

Mindful Meal Challenge

Make better choices

Mindful Meal Challenge

Better digestion

Mindful Meal Challenge

Feel in control

*Determinants of meal satisfaction in a workplace environment, Appetite, Haugaard et al. 2016.



Mindful eating is hard to do, since our attention is constantly drawn to distractions from both our surroundings and from within in our own minds.

Most people aren’t even sure what mindful eating actually is, and so they say things like “I try to eat mindfully” then just keep eating the way they always do and hope that one day they’ll magically stop going back for seconds. 

After years of personally struggling to develop a mindful eating habit I realized I had been approaching it with the wrong mindset.

Mindfulness isn’t something you try to do or want to do, it’s a practice you commit to doing.

I had been waiting for the right circumstances to emerge for mindful eating to be easy or convenient (I learned the hard way that this never happens).

When it comes to mindfulness you must decide when you’re going to practice and make it happen.

“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda

Instead of vaguely hoping to remember to not eat mindlessly, set a specific meal aside to eat mindfully and don’t do anything else. This is my challenge to you.


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The most common excuse I told myself to avoid mindful eating was that I didn’t have time. “Today is too crazy! I’ll try it later.”

The truth is I just wanted to use that time for something else (reading, email, podcasts, socializing) and fooled myself into believing that multitasking is more efficient. It isn’t.

Eating a meal mindfully takes 10 minutes, 20 at most. This is not extra time you need to find, you are already using that time to eat. If you still want to use the rest of your break to squeeze in some extra work, mindful eating won’t stop you.

The real reason we avoid mindful eating (and mindful practices in general) isn’t lack of time. We avoid it because it is hard to focus our attention in the present moment and the rewards are not immediate.

The benefits of mindfulness sound like something you’d like to have, but because they are abstract and you’ve never experienced them directly it isn’t something you are willing to prioritize.

But here’s the thing: You have to commit to the practice in order to make it over the hump. You have to experience the rewards for the habit to form.



The challenge is simple: set aside one meal per day for 5 days to practice mindful eating. 

Starting Monday I’ll send you a short video each day to walk you through the practice and the most common obstacles. 

By the end of the challenge on Friday you’ll have a solid foundation to create a life-long mindful eating habit.

If you’ve been wanting to become a mindful eater, but haven’t been able to stick with it then the Mindful Meal Challenge is perfect for you.

And it's free.


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Here's what people are saying...

Mindful Meal Challenge

"Thank you so much Darya!! This challenge was exactly what I needed. I went to lunch with some co-workers today and normally I would have eaten my entire meal, today I only ate half and I was full until dinner time. Thank you for these mindful practices!!"

-Tess Flynn-Belles

Mindful Meal Challenge

"Could it be that five days was all it took to start a good habit? I began every meal today with awareness and intention -- effortlessly. Bit by bit, I feel my relationship with food becoming more sane."

-Kari Olson 

Mindful Meal Challenge

This has been so enlightening! I've been practicing mindfulness for nearly a year, but it never dawned on me to apply it to eating - brilliant!

-Anthony Ferraro

Mindful Meal Challenge

"I loved the Mindful Meal Challenge! Food has never tasted so good nor have I ever felt so deliberately focused on an activity that had always felt like “something you just do,” so you can move on to the next thing. It elevated every meal I ate mindfully to an experience. Just, wow."

— Amy Perry

Mindful Meal Challenge

"The biggest, and to me the most important thing I've gained from this challenge is control over my need to solve emotional or anxiety problems with food. I think this challenge has helped me to stop and see food for what it really is: nourishment for my body. And what it isn't: a solution or distraction from my problems. This is something I've always known, but this challenge really drove the point home and helped get to the root of my emotional eating.

-Jean Miller 

Mindful Meal Challenge

“I'm finding this Facebook group very, very helpful. I'm prone to emotional roller-coasters surrounding food and chatter in my mind, so seeing others in the same boat, not despairing but finding solutions, makes me feel confident.

-Bianca Ivanof

Dara Rose, PH.D - Mindful Meal Challenge

Personally, mindful eating has helped me feel back in control of my eating experience. When I was a dieter one of the terrible eating habits I developed was gobbling my food in a frantic rush whenever I sat down to eat. 

Mindful eating is what enabled me to snap out of my anxious mindless eating habit and actually appreciate the beautiful food I am so lucky to have access to.

I think everyone deserves to know what it feels like to be a mindful eater. Sign up to join the challenge today and you can too.


Mindful Meal Challenge

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When you join the Mindful Meal Challenge you'll also get access to the Summer Tomato newsletter, including my free starter kit to help you get healthy and lose weight without dieting.