Friday, December 13, 2013

Eat with Your Hands - Where to Start

I think we should all eat more with our hands. Forget convention, forget tidiness and definitely forget the feel of metal sliding over your teeth and tongue. I have a theory that eating with our hands is better for us - that by touching our food we connect with it a bit more, that it's easier remember to slow down and chew and swallow. We're more mindful. 

It's pretty normal-feeling to shovel food into your face with a utensil - ever tried it with your hand? It feels very strange, very post-apocalyptic. Quick, the zombies are coming - EAT! Or maybe you are the zombie. Hmmm.

Is eating with your hands better for you? At this stage, it's just a theory of mine. There's a lot of fluffy internet crap to wade through on the topic, but I'll let you know if I come up with any scientific evidence for you. All I know is that eating with my hands is fun, and feels nice in a kind of naughty, should I be doing this? kind of way.

Let me show you a little video of Nelle at 3 1/2 years - this is how you ENJOY your food! I mean, look at the pleasure on her face ...

In teaching Nelle about food these last few years, we've eaten a lot of things with our hands. Fruit, vegetables, pasta. I let her play with her food (within reason) so that the experience of eating is happy and sensory. And in the process, I've grown to love eating with my hands, too. Not noodles ... yet ... but lightly steamed green beans (!), and roasted broccoli (!!), and BBQ asparagus spears (!!!). I've always been a pick-salad-leaves-out-of-the-bowl kind of person, and now I feel justified. It's got to be good for me, people

So where do you start? Earlier this year, we traveled to Sri Lanka where everybody eats with their hands. You don't have to jump straight into eating a curry and salad and rice meal with your hands - though it'd be a natural goal for you to work towards. If you're nervous, I recommend you start with steamed or roasted or grilled veggies.

Like asparagus. 

If you've never grilled asparagus until it's deep green and lightly charred - if you've never held a grilled asparagus spear in your hand and felt the warm olive oil on your fingers and brought the spear to your mouth and bit just the tip off, then the next segment and the next - this is where you start. You will never eat asparagus with a fork again, I guarantee it. Doesn't even matter if the spear is one of those young ones that ends up kinda floppy when it's grilled. Tilt your head back and sink your teeth into it.

And if you think this all sounds a bit sexy - it is. Magazines might call it sensual, and if that makes you feel better doing this over dinner with your kids or your Nan or your new mother-in-law then call it whatever you want. Date night? All bets are off, my friends.

Eat with your hands, and love it. 
Amanda xx

PS. Just lightly oil the asparagus before grilling and dust with crunchy, flaky Maldon sea salt afterwards. Grilled asparagus goes incredibly well with olives or olive tapenade (who knew!). Don't burn yourself :)

Want some more ideas? Try these yummy tacos in lettuce cups or corn tortillas. I double dare you to eat them with a fork!


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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