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MeNu - Centre for Mindful eating and Nutrition

Mindful Eating, Conscious Living Training

MECL : Foundational training for professionals

Faculty: Jan Chozen Bays, M.D. and Char Wilkins M.S.W, L.C.S.W (USA)

Dates: more information can be found on the website of


ME-CL Training
Target Audience
Participants Guidelines
Continuing Education Credits
Program Format
Group Size
Retreat Setting, Accomodation and Self-Care
Needs Assessment

ME-CL Training

The program will be led by experienced clinicians, mindfulness teachers and retreat leaders, Jan Chozen Bays, MD and Char Wilkins, LCSW.
It offers participants an opportunity to explore the implications, personally and professionally, of assimilating mindfulness practices and mindful eating skills into their professional work.

Since a personal practice is held to be the foundation from which to deliver mindfulness skills in the clinical setting, daily meditation practice, mindful movement and a half-day retreat are essential components of the program.
The teaching curriculum includes didactic instruction, experiential meditation and eating exercises, group inquiry and dialogue, current research, and time for personal reflection. 
This training offer a multi-faceted approach to mindful eating and is designed to encourage participants to use the 8-session Mindful Eating framework to create an approach that is appropriate to the needs of their population.

After completing the training attendees will be equipped to facilitate the Mindful Eating program in their setting.
Attendees will receive an eight-session Mindful Eating Manual with detailed class instructions and both Jan and Char's recorded meditations and practices which are downloadable on the site.

Registration will be limited in size of 30 participants for this intensive program/retreat in order to cultivate an intimate, personal and highly interactive training environment.


At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • demonstrate delivery of a range of eating awareness practices
  • facilitate the 8-session Mindful Eating program in their setting, adapting it to their clientele.
  • articulate the pivotal importance of mindful inquiry and investigation in teaching mindful eating practices
  • appreciate and understand their own unique qualifications, strengths and weaknesses in regards to facilitating mindfulness and mindful eating in their work
  • develop or deepen their own mindfulness meditation and mindful eating practices and understand the impact and importance of these personal practices in the successful delivery of the curriculum
  • articulate habituated patterns of mind, emotions and body sensations related to eating behaviors

Target Audience  

This 5-day intensive, experiential program is intended for professionals wishing to incorporate mindful eating and supportive mindfulness-related practices in their one-on-one clinical practice and/or into group work in which eating, food and body are aspects or the central focus. The program was designed for clinicians in mental health or healthcare fields and clinicians-in-training in these fields.

Participant Guidelines 

It is our experience that successful delivery of mindfulness-based facilitation requires facilitators to have a commitment to an ongoing, daily mindfulness meditation practice.
To this end we have created recommendations for acceptance to this training.

  • Advanced degree in mental health-related field (e.g., psychology, social work or counseling) or currently enrolled in graduate training toward licensure.
    It is not expected or necessary to be an eating disorders specialist.
  • Or advanced degree in health care field (e.g. dietician, RN, APRN, PA, physician, psychiatrist) or currently enrolled in graduate training toward licensure. Appropriate for those working with, but not limited to, bariatric surgeries, weight management, diabetes, eating disorders.
  • Or a professional degree in ecology, biology or food technology science
  • Attendance at an 8 weeks Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training (MBSR) or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Training (MBCT) as a participant
  • A personal commitment to an ongoing daily meditation practice
  • Added value : Attendance at formal meditation retreats or formal meditation trainings

Continuing Education Credits

The MECL Foundational training will receive continuing education credits.
UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is the Continuing Education Credit Provider. 

  • APA: The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content.This course offers 29.0 hours of credit.
  • BBS: Course meets the qualifications for 29.0 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. (UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness Provider Number PCE5606)
  • BRN: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 34.75 contact hours.
  • CDR: Course meets the qualifications for 29.0 hours of continuing education credit for Dietitians as required by the Commission of Dietetic Registration.

* Participants who wish to obtain Continuing Education Credits have to contact the UCSD San Diego Mindfulness Institute

Program Format

Based upon the foundational assumption that the only true teaching of mindfulness comes out of regular and systematic personal practice, this 5-day training is steeped in mindfulness practice.
Early morning and evening practice sessions are a crucial component of the training itself and will include a variety of mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, mindful movement, and mindful walking and body meditations.
Selected meals will be taken in silence, some being designated as mindful eating practice sessions. 
Several evenings will include silence from the conclusion of evening practice until breakfast the next morning, and a half-day guided retreat will be provided.

Group Size

In order to facilitate the individualized and intensive nature of both mindfulness and mindful eating, the training will be limited in size 30 participants with a minimum of 2 experienced teachers to keep the student-to-teacher ratio low and the learning environment intimate and direct. 
Smaller breakout groups of 10-12 participants will be able to meet with one teacher.

Retreat Setting, Accommodations and Self-Care

The choice of a quiet retreat setting is intentional to facilitate mindfulness practice, reduce outside distractions and create a safe and productive holding environment for the unfolding of the work and the group.

Meals are prepared and presented with deep intention to be healthful and nourishing by staff that is sensitive to the intention of the setting and the needs of the participants.
Breaks will be provided to allow for participants to walk, hike, run or explore the surrounding environment as a means of supporting the sometimes challenging work itself and to facilitate self-care.

Needs Assessment

The utilization of mindful eating in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health and healthcare fields.
The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially and the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year.
To help meet that need, this and other Mindful Eating trainings are being offered through the MeNu Centre for Mindful eating and Nutrition in Europe, as well as TCME The Center for Mindful Eating in United States.