The Simple Life

Fork or Spoon?


As a matter of choice we don’t bring dishes to the table rather we serve in the kitchen and come sit together. This habit started soon after I realized just how many dishes we have to wash if we have to remove food from the cooking pot into a serving dish and then to a food container for the leftovers. Suffice it to say, I cut down on dirty dishes by leaving the food in the pot.

Don’t even talk about the aluminium bleeding into the food. When I realized it was happening in my kitchen, I changed to the ceramic and stainless steel pots and pans; it has been a wonderful breeze since then. Easy cooking, heat retention and easy cleaning became a part of my daily life. Anyway, that wasn’t the point.

Fork or spoon? Oh what a question.

It was just the young king and I at home and we had just served food when he asked the above question. I was taken aback because he knew I mostly used a spoon so why was he asking. Even as I said spoon, my mind wondered why a spoon, not a fork yet a few years ago, I would not be caught using a spoon except for cereal and dessert. I realised that I switched to spoons only around 2003. Let’s not even talk about fingers. My mother tells a hilarious story of me and my fingers in her plate from when I was 9 months but that is a story for another day. (hope I remember to tell it)

In a moment of clarity, I found that I moved to spoon from fork when I had very short lunch breaks and I needed to finish the food on my plate before then next patient walks in or Doc finishes his current patient. I would eat at my desk if there was no one to hold fort so I needed to ensure I was done quickly otherwise all sorts of interruptions would ensure I didn’t finish my meal. The spoon helped me take bigger bites even when I got home from work so I ate faster and went back to the task in record time.

Oh don’t tell me about the need to chew every bit thirty-two times and savour every bite.

Eating was a necessary function that needed to be done as fast as possible and this led to many different challenges. The most interesting one was the capacity to really overeat. The satiety or fullness hormone doesn’t kick in until after fifteen minutes of eating so as long as I was a fast eater I would finish and still feel hungry so go for a second round. I was conscious about the possibility of weight gain so I chose to have veggies when I added a helping but it wasn’t a perfect solution. When the fifteen minutes were up I was so full it was uncomfortable…too uncomfortable.

This full feeling led to a bloated stomach because of indigestion caused by too much food that was difficult to digest or took a long time to digest. It was amazing that such a simple thing could have such ravaging effects. I also noticed that the outcome was different for different people. For some it caused increased weight gain especially around the belly, others had crazy bloating and gas, others heartburn that was absolutely insane.

In time I changed to fork from spoon and it changed everything.

My bites were smaller, my eating slower, I learnt to really enjoy my food and in time my portion size and tummy shrunk. It became impossible to think that I used to want to eat on the run because I was too busy to stop. I also learnt to focus on eating not doing other things all through my meal. I sat down to eat and put my phone down, the computer away and focused on the task. The anxiety I’d always felt faded and I found that it was easier to enjoy life. Clearly, a spoon or a fork can change a life.

What do you know that needs to change for your relationship with God to deepen? Deal with it and be the shining light God sent you here to be.

Shalom.