Recently, I told a friend to take care of herself. Afterward, I thought about how the act of taking care of oneself is unique to each person. For me, it means food: miso soup, roasted veggies, tea, healthy food.... it's my usual diet on my own. However, with a family and a sometimes crazy schedule, my routine falls off kilter. I recognize when my diet has been altered because my body lets me know in that run-down, achy feeling that overcomes me.
Do you cook for yourself? Sometimes, I'm so busy making breakfast and packing lunches for everyone else in the family, that I forget to eat. Come late morning, I find that I'm famished. In that state, I'm apt to stick whatever is nearby into my mouth to fill the void. I try to catch myself and remind: slow down and make something for yourself.
This morning, I made a little helping of polenta/grits, topped with eggs over-easy, garden tomatoes, and this homemade salsa. It was sooooo good! And filling, too.
While I ate by myself, I thought about the very act of eating alone; how eating is such a social activity for us humans. Sharing food innately forms bonds---- I think it's in our DNA somewhere. But what about when you're alone? I've read many reports about the decline in nutrition when one lives alone---- that we're not apt to cook for ourselves. 'Why bother?' seems to be the mentality. I can relate. Like I said, I have to remind myself to truly eat, rather than snack.
What if I was alone, though? Would I cook for myself? I think I possess enough interest in food and cooking that I probably would. I'm sure there are many cookbooks on this very subject.
I also thought about the single men I know---- the ones whose kitchens store extra computer parts and random screw drivers amidst dusty, unused kitchen appliances. They often eat out. I recently read some statistics on the negative repercussions for single men as they age--- the statistics formed a pretty grim picture. I guess in many ways we need each other---- and often food is the common bond.
There are programs for the elderly, such as Meals-on-Wheels, but I'm not educated about their program---- does it include a social aspect? One of my college classmates worked for a program in which she was paid to travel to the homes of elderly folks to bring them to the regional library. Besides the opportunity to borrow books and visit the library, the other perk to the program was sharing a lunch together.
One of my favorite healthy snack books (Raw Energy) includes the author's recommendation of making something healthy for an elderly neighbor---- easily digestible fresh juice or a smoothie. What a nice surprise! Something to consider.
How about you? Would you cook for yourself?