There are many websites and blogs about food and healthy eating. Most of them cover similar topics…
- Healthy ingredient substitutions
- Portion sizes
- Proper fueling after exercise
- Emotional relationships with food
- Individual food idiosyncrasies, like vegetarianism.
Promoting healthy eating is a very honorable and important mission. Diet-related disease affects many people in this country, especially youth. I see many blog posts about what to eat, but few posts about how to eat.
When I see a blog-posted photo of a fabulous plate of food, I often wonder where the meal was eaten, if it was slowly savored or wolfed down, and who shared in the meal. I rarely see this information posted. So I ask, why not?
Take my dinner last night. It was soooo good that my first inclination was to post a photo of my plate on this blog. I hesitated because 1) this isn’t a food blog; and 2) the reason my dinner was super good wasn’t because it looked delicious.
Cut to yesterday evening…
“Eating alone is no fun,” Grandma said, as she sat at the kitchen table and chopped vegetables for the family dinner. I love cooking with her, partly because Grandma is the best chopper in the whole wide world. I’ve never seen anyone else chop celery by hand in perfectly even, tiny pieces. With all of the fancy kitchen gadgets available, how many of us chop the old-fashioned way – with an actual knife?
For a perfect chop, Grandma’s secret is to slice one end of the celery stalk into thin vertical strips…
It should look like this…
Then, slice the vertically sliced end of the stalk horizontally, like this…
Ta-da! Perfectly sized tiny little pieces…
She does the same hand-chopping magic with other veggies too.
I think that one of the essential missing ingredients in healthy eating today is good old-fashioned togetherness and the traditional family dinner. When meals are shared from a common plate, there is a thankfulness and joy that surrounds the table. Food is passed with gratitude. It is consumed more slowly. Portion size becomes a natural tendency of sharing. Unhealthy habits are harder to disguise.
I agree with Grandma. Eating alone is no fun. I challenge you to think more seriously about the value of sharing the table – with family, with friends, with people you care about and who care about you. Then, look around that table. Notice how the meal is nourishing health, happiness, and strength. Food is something to celebrate and share. Not to fear and control.
“Grandma, have you ever gone on a diet?” “Nahhh,” she said “your grandfather always liked me just the way I was.” And with that, she finished her last bite of stew and reminded me about the home-made apple pie she baked for dessert.
Do you think that sharing meals with family and friends can improve the concept of Healthy Eating?