Day Twenty-four

DAY 24: Dr Elise Bialylew interviews Felice Jacka

Video Objectives

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • What the microbiome is and how it relates to mood. 
  • The scientific research supporting the connection between your diet and your mood.
  • The relationship between our diet and our immune system. 
  • The science-backed perspective on the optimal diet for your wellbeing.
  • The research which demonstrates the link between a mother’s diet in pregnancy and the child’s emotional behaviour.
About Felice Jacka

Prefer to listen, rather than watch? Click the play button below.

Want to read the transcript from this interview? Mind Life Project members receive access to interview transcripts and 6 months of mindfulness support, live meditations, and more👇

[accessally_missing_any_tag tag_id='707' comment='MLP 2021'][/accessally_missing_any_tag][accessally_has_any_tag tag_id='707' comment='MLP 2021']Mind Life Project Bonus Content:

Click here to download the transcript of Dr Elise Bialylew's interview with Felice Jacka.[/accessally_has_any_tag]

Your meditation for today

Nourishing Breath with Elisha Goldstein (Note: no bell + long silences)

Elisha Goldstein, PhD is one of the world's preeminent mindfulness teachers, a clinical psychologist, founder of the Mindful Living Collective and, creator of the internationally acclaimed online program - A Course in Mindful Living. For the last 20 years as a psychologist and mindfulness educator, he has been at the forefront of integrating curriculum and training for Therapists, Educators, Business Professionals, active Military, Parents, and others in the art and science of mindful living. His books include Uncovering Happiness, The Now Effect, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, and MBSR Everyday. In an increasingly fragmented society, he is working to bring people together so they may motivate and inspire one another in far-reaching ways.


Felice has undertaken important research in the area of nutrition and wellbeing and has found close links between changes in diet and improved mental health.  

She tells us: 

My Ph.D., as I'd hypothesised, showed that people who had healthy diets were much less likely to have a clinical depression and anxiety disorder. This was considered so novel and the methods we used were very robust. So, it ended up on the front cover of the American Journal of Psychiatry.” 


Many of us tend to eat in a rush, or while focused on other things. Often, we don’t even taste our food, and so we end up eating more than we need. Because of this, mindful eating has recently become a popular weight loss practice. Rather than the severe restraints of traditional dieting, mindful eating makes you more aware of what you are putting in your mouth and when you feel full.

This exercise will not only continue to build neural pathways that support focused attention and presence, but it will also make eating more enjoyable. As someone with a sweet tooth, I’ve found it helps me savour sweets more slowly and leaves me feeling more satisfied with one piece of chocolate, rather than wanting to eat an entire block!

You can do this with any piece of food (there is an eating meditation that is traditionally done with a raisin), but you may like to try it with a piece of chocolate - preferably dark chocolate, as it’s healthier than milk chocolate and has more depth of flavour.

Put the piece of chocolate in your palm and imagine you have never eaten this food before.

Move through each of your senses, tuning in completely to all the information you can take in through each sense.

Sight: Notice all the colours, shapes, shadows and light.

Touch: Holding the chocolate in your hand, notice its weight, firmness, edges, dryness or moisture.

Taste: Place the chocolate in your mouth and don’t chew. Instead, move it around your mouth and sense the flavour. Start eating the chocolate very slowly, while staying completely attentive to your sense of taste. Notice where you sense the flavours – is it at the back of the tongue or the front? Notice what side of your mouth you habitually chew on.

As you move through the practice, notice any thoughts that arise, and when you notice you’ve been caught in thinking, just let go of the thoughts and come back to whatever sense you are exploring.

Share what you notice when practising mindful eating in the Facebook group or on Instagram.

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