Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God

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In this first book on the topic written from a Catholic perspective, award-winning journalist Mary DeTurris Poust offers personal, hard-won wisdom on the complex relationship between food and spirituality and invites readers to examine their own attitudes about eating and explore their deeper hunger for God.

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Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God

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In this first book on the topic written from a Catholic perspective, award-winning journalist Mary DeTurris Poust offers personal, hard-won wisdom on the complex relationship between food and spirituality and invites readers to examine their own attitudes about eating and explore their deeper hunger for God.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many people maintain a love/hate relationship with food: they enjoy eating the wide array of scrumptious options available to them, but dread the calories and the effect of their consumption on the waistline. Rather than turn to diet pills and self-help guides, however, award-winning Catholic journalist and author Poust (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism) suggests inviting God to the dinner table. The author investigates what people may be hungry for besides food, such as a spiritual connection or a sense of self-worth. Filling these voids requires considering a different menu—one that includes prayer, mindfulness, and, especially for Catholics, the Eucharist. These, Poust insists, will help counter the steady stream of unrealistic body images presented by the culture that chip away at self-esteem. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter are particularly helpful for developing a foundation of personal awareness that is vital for approaching food in a new way. Poust serves up a feast for the eyes, the heart, and the soul. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594713057
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press
  • Publication date: 12/17/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 327,474
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 A Deeper Hunger: Filling the spiritual void with food 5

Chapter 2 Dieting Delusion: Food is not the enemy 19

Chapter 3 Mirror, Mirror: Discovering our true selves 37

Chapter 4 Freedom by the Forkful: Breaking the chains of a high-fat, fast-food culture 57

Chapter 5 Feast or Famine: Changing attitudes toward how and why we eat 73

Chapter 6 Balancing Act: Cues from the monastics 89

Chapter 7 Soul Food: Turning meals into meditation 103

Chapter 8 Just Desserts: You can have your cake and spiritual life, too 123

Appendix: Practices for the Journey Forward 139

Notes 145

Bibliography 147

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I thought, as I picked up my copy of Cravings: A Catholic Wrestl

    I thought, as I picked up my copy of Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God, by Mary DeTurris Poust, that it would be a pleasant read (the author is an impeccable writer) that I would then pass along to a few people (which I will) and then move on.

    After all, I do not have an eating disorder. I've only recently been able to gain weight. (Don't throw things. I can't help it.)

    What I found, though, was not a book that was about recovering from an eating disorder. What I discovered within this book was a mindset that points to how disordered we are.

    This book gave me a "Theology of the Body applied to life" sort of jolt. Everything we do with the physical impacts us spiritually. Without balance in eating--something we have to do, something we often want to do, but something we so often treat as incidental--we lose balance in much of the rest of our life, from how we relate to people to how we focus on God.

    DeTurris Poust is a masterful journalist, and that's how she weaves interviews throughout this book in a way that's fascinating and inspiring. But she's also someone who's been there, who continues to struggle, and who has found a Catholic response.

    What makes this book great is how DeTurris Poust bares her heart and shares her struggles. She's not the poster child for weight loss or being the perfect eating family.

    She's a Catholic wife and mom who continues to struggle. She's a woman who has found peace...and it's not on the scale and, in fact, it doesn't even involve the scale.

    The peace comes from a healthy relationship with that thing we do during so much of our waking time--eating.

    This book isn't just wonderful for the theory it presents. Oh, no, you'll find practical solutions to...well, to the fact that you rush through breakfast and can't stop snacking all afternoon and wondering what exactly you ate for dinner. She doesn't give you a diet or a top secret "follow these seven steps to healthier living" list.

    Instead, you'll find within these covers a challenge to embrace your faith, which means including your eating habits as part of your faith life.

    Wait a minute. Whaaaa?

    Yes. Really.

    When's the last time you looked at your Cheerios and coffee as a chance to have a sacred moment? How often do you pause and NOT multi-task during your dinner? A snack is fine...but is it for your body or your mind?

    After reading this book and considering my own life, I have to say this: I have a disorder. We all do. It's called sin. It infiltrates everything, and yet...and yet, we need look no further than our own Catholic faith to find redemption.
    Mass is a meal.

    A meal!

    Yes, I knew it before. But the way it's drawn out in this book is truly wonderful and was, for me, a unique viewpoint It was not in a hammer-over-your-head experience, but more like the gentle melting of an Andes mint in your mouth.

    There's a lot of good in this book, so much that I suspect this will be one of the top gifts I give close friends and family in the coming months. My copy's sure to get beat up (and accidentally lent to someone who won't return it, thus necessitating another copy).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2012

    "Cravings will leave you satisfied." This book address

    "Cravings will leave you satisfied." This book addresses issues with food, low self-esteem,spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Shows you ways to improve your life with food and God. Prayer, mindfulness, and meditation are essential for all of us as we walk this path.

    At this point, most of us have tried everything but the one thing that can truly change us: God. When we shift our focus away from our false perceptions and onto the love poured out for us in the person of Jesus Christ, we begin to take those first steps away from the path of sel-hatred and self-destruction, out of the darkness and into the light of life.

    Each chapter follows with questions to ask yourself and meditation. This is an example:
    We are so willing to believe
    the negative voices that echo
    in our hearts abd head,
    the labels that make us think
    we can never be good enough,
    the words that cut like glass.
    But our God has called us by name.
    Our God holds us, treasures us,
    loves us without conditions.
    Is that enough for us?

    "Thank more and need less." This is a book for all to read and apply to your everyday life. I was given this book from Ave Maria Press.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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