Taste & See is a programme for people who struggle with food in some way. Some people come to Taste & See because they eat more then they want; others because they avoid food as much as possible; others feel that food is dominating their life and they want to change that.
Taste & See welcomes anyone who wants to look at the issue of food in their life.
The programme runs over 10 weeks, each week there is a session to attend at a local participating church, each session lasts for about 1 hour. Sessions contain DVD clips explaining the psychology of eating, the science of nutrition, what the bible says in relation to this and how others doing the programme have got on. There is opportunity to discuss these things in small groups, a workbook with some homework to help you get the most out of what you are learning. There are also daily bible readings if you want further inspiration.
We would like to find out how good the Taste & See programme is for helping people develop a healthier relationship with food; feel better about themselves and about their lives. Therefore this course is running as part of a research programme and is being evaluated by Coventry University. The purpose is to evaluate how helpful a church-based intuitive eating programme, which incorporates principles of the Christian faith, is to the local community.
The programme is not about dieting but is about learning to eat in response to our body’s natural signals of hunger and fullness, rather than in response to our emotions and what we see or smell! The Christian principles of love, acceptance and freedom with responsibility fit well with this and are included in this programme to add a spiritual element.
Scientific evidence suggests that for many people, diets are unsustainable in the long-term; yo-yo dieting is associated with a sense of failure which impacts on quality of life. Evidence also suggests that programs, which help us to become spiritually healthy, as well as physically and emotionally healthy, may play an important role in helping with eating or weight problems. Lots of the evidence so far comes from America, we want to find out whether this type of programme could potentially be helpful to people in the UK.
As we are evaluating this programme we ask those who run the programme locally and those who participate in the programme to take part in our research trial. To test the programme fairly we also need to compare the data of those doing the programme with those who have not started the programme. Therefore churches who take part in the research trial will be randomly allocated to either start the programme straight after registering or to start the programme 10 weeks after registering. So please be prepared to wait a few weeks if you are allocated to starting the programme later. There are several questionnaires to complete as part of this trial too. A small amount of research funding means that we can offer the programme to you free of charge, if you take part in the research trial.
Additionally, at the request of some churches, we have made this programme available for purchase, so that you can run it at more flexible times if you wish. However, please bear in mind that this programme is still being tested and is in development; so is not yet a final polished product. We will use any surplus funds from selling the programme to develop it further.
The course is written by Dr Deborah Lycett RD PhD (Reader/Associate Professor in nutrition, dietetics and spiritual health, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University); with Biblical input from Rebekah Hodson and Elaine Davis and healthy eating tips from Nicky Walker RD.