The Art of Wholesome and Moderate Eating

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By Dawn

Editors Note: This is a Guest Post from Megha of Back to Basics.

It’s been called uncouth by some and messy by others, but here’s why you need to try it for yourself, if you haven’t already! I am talking about leaving that spoon or fork aside and giving your fingers some exercise! (Indian and Egyptian cultures have been said to give a lot of importance to this practice)

First reason: Try this! run the tip of your thumb over the tips of your other fingers back and forth slowly. It’s very very minute but you’ll have a pleasant feeling. Why is that? These finger tips are said to be energy points that when they interact with each other create positive energy. Same is the case with when they interact with food or other things.

Second: Food just tastes better because by committing to eat with your hands, you’re already involving two senses, i.e sight and touch. This means a more involved eating experience and hence better digestion and taste.

Of course, it’s easier to practice this at home and also for certain kinds of foods more than others. But all I am saying is to try to at least incorporate it wherever possible and then notice how much more you enjoy your food and how you feel after!

It has been said that when you eat your food by involving all your senses, your food turns into energy and not fat and your stomach is happier! The Sanskrit word for which is ‘Mitahaar’ meaning, the aroma of the food increases your appetite, eyes absorb the colours of the food, fingers feel the textures, you hear the crunch of the bite (because your television is not drowning it out) and the tongue takes in the different flavours.

Of course, there are other things that are involved in following ‘Mitahaar‘ one of which I found at another blog. This is how it was described:


Eating wholesome food offered first to the Divine, with one-fourth of the stomach kept empty, is mitahara or moderate eating. – Hatha pradipika I:59


Editors Note Pt.2: Thanks to Megha for writing this article. Short and sweet but gets across a nice and interesting point. For me there are definitely some foods I prefer eating by hand, it just feels nicer and the whole tastes can be savoured. Fruit is a perfect example, I never get the same satisfaction out of a piece of fruit when it is already chopped,peeled and prepared as I would when doing this all myself. The same goes for some meats especially whole chickens which cannot be taken full advantage of unless you are willing to get your hands dirty. I would definitely recommend eating a few meals a week with as little use of utensils as possible whether it be peeling an orange by hand or dipping some veggies in homemade Hummus or Guacamole…….

In terms of moderate eating I find it is something that comes naturally once the body is in a well fed and nourished state, something I wrote about on a guest post at ZenHabits. When the body is in a good energy balance and running well the urge to overeat or binge will disappear…..

Thanks for reading and please checkout Megha’s Blog, it is full of great articles…..


  1. Grok says

    This was a great tip. Good food for thought!

    Looking back over these past few months, I do feel food has been more enjoyable, and I’ve been eating mostly with my hands since I started this raw food thing.

    I’m going to try and be more conscious of this now.

  2. Hans Hageman says

    This was enlightening. Eating with the hands encourages moderation and a communal feeling. The practice you outline removes yet another barrier between us and the physical world around us.

  3. meghan says

    This article reminds me of a quote from a movie. I don’t remember the movie but one of the characters was eating with his hand and the other picked up a fork to eat with. The character eating with his hand looked confused and asked “Do you not trust your own hands?”

    Never really thought of it like that.

    While stationed in Kosovo, I learned how the Albanians would only eat with one hand, while the other was under the table. One hand was for eating and hand shaking , the other hand was used for cleaning themselves since they didn’t use toilet paper.

    I’m glad for my Charmin!

  4. Robert says

    So very true. I generally try to eat with my hands more often than not. Mostly because it is far more enjoyable. Not to mention the fact that feeling the texture before eating offers a whole new dimension to what it is that you’re about to eat.

    If you think about it, the more senses (all of them if you do it right) that you involve while dining the better. Taste, Sight, Touch, Smell and even Sound the better.

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