Written by: Marie Scott, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Many times, widows and widowers stop taking care of themselves after their devastating loss. I remember the first time I went shopping for myself after my late husband of 30 years passed away. I broke down in tears in the meat section. It was a real tearjerker buying just one piece of salmon, one steak, one piece of chicken. I half-expected the butcher to hand me a tiny violin as I sobbed my way through the protein aisle. But hey, if I didn't cook for myself, I knew my health would suffer. And who wants their widow fog to stick around like a clingy, damp blanket?
Now, eating healthy means different things to different people. Some folks count calories or follow strict diet plans (I’ve tried them all!), while others focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that make their bodies sing like a well-fed choir. In this article, we'll explore why eating healthy means saying goodbye to boxed foods... and hello to culinary liberation!
Healthy eating: The premium fuel for your human sports car
Eating healthy is all about fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Think of it as putting premium fuel into your shiny new sports car—you wouldn't dream of settling for plain old regular gas, would you? Well, your body deserves the same treatment! This means embracing a balanced food plan with plenty of whole foods, good fats, and the right proteins. One very important note, eat clean and organic fruits and vegetables! Sign up to download EWG.org’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen here. Not only can this decrease the risk of chronic diseases, but it can also boost your energy levels through the roof and help you maintain a healthy weight. It's like getting a turbo boost for your taste buds! When I changed my food preferences, something amazing happened. Thirty pounds melted away, and I finally bid farewell to the medication aisle at the pharmacy. Goodbye, high blood pressure pills! Farewell, cholesterol meds! See ya later, metformin! I even reversed my pre-diabetes. Now that's what I call a sweet recipe for success.
Whole foods: Nature's gifts (without the wrapping paper)
Whole foods are like the VIPs of the culinary world—they're unprocessed or minimally processed, giving you the full, unadulterated experience. No flashy packaging or artificial additives here! We're talking fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins. These superstar ingredients are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and other good stuff that your body craves. Trust me, healthy nutrition is the secret ingredient to navigating the grief journey, banishing that widow fog, and getting your energy back. You'll be back on your feet faster than a sprinting cheetah at a salad buffet.
Remember, your body deserves the best! Now, let's spice things up with some practical tips to eating well and feeling your best.
Plan your meals: Cooking for 1, 2, or 20 (because Italians know how to feed everyone!)
One of the biggest challenges of cooking for one as a widow is that many recipes are designed to feed an army. But fear not! As an Italian, I know the secret to feeding a crowd every Sunday. Planning your meals is key when you're alone as a widow, so make sure to keep those pantry and freezer staples stocked. And here's a secret tip: my upcoming cookbook, "Cooking for 1, 2, or 20," will make your taste buds do a happy dance. With simple, easy-to-find ingredients and freezer-friendly recipes, you'll never have a dull meal again. Get ready to be your own kitchen superstar!
Invest in small kitchen appliances: Cooking solo made easy-peasy
Cooking for one can be a breeze when you invest in some nifty small kitchen appliances. Picture this: a tiny slow cooker, an air fryer, or a toaster oven sitting proudly on your countertop, ready to whip up healthy meals in a flash. These magical contraptions make cooking for yourself a piece of cake (or a slice of salmon, if you prefer). And the best part? No more drowning in leftovers that could rival Mount Everest. It's a win-win situation.
Cook with friends or family: Because food and laughter always go hand in hand
Who says cooking has to be a solitary affair? Grab your friends or family members and turn meal preparation into a social event! Not only will you whip up healthy meals together, but you'll also laugh, bond, and feel less alone. Plan a weekly or monthly cooking night and take turns playing master chefs. You'll learn new recipes, cooking techniques, and maybe even discover your hidden talent for juggling carrots. The power of community can do wonders during tough times. And hey, if you're craving more connections, don't forget to join my private, vetted Facebook group for some widowhood camaraderie and sample recipes from my kitchen to yours.
Kicking boxed foods to the curb: Send them packing and say hello to real flavor
Ah, boxed foods—the ultimate tricksters. They lure you in with convenience, especially when you’re cooking for one as a widow, but leave you feeling bloated and disappointed. This makes it impossible to shrug off that widow fog when you feel this way. These culprits are usually packed with calories, sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats with unrecognizable names and impossible to pronounce. Talk about a recipe for disaster! Say goodbye to empty calories and artificial additives, and embrace the deliciousness of whole foods. Your body will thank you for it, and your taste buds will have a party in your mouth. Trust me, real flavor beats those cardboard boxes any day!
Join a cooking class: Spice up your culinary skills and your social life
If you're looking to level up your cooking game and meet new people, and perhaps even find new purpose in Life Part 2, why not join a cooking class? Whether it's at a community center, culinary school, or adult education program, cooking classes offer a fantastic opportunity to learn new recipes and techniques. Plus, you'll be in the company of fellow food enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty of a well-seasoned dish. Who knows? You might even discover your inner Iron Chef. Get ready to stir, sauté, and socialize like a culinary boss! In conclusion, cooking for one after widowhood can be a challenge, but it's also an opportunity to prioritize your health and happiness, even after the devastating loss of your spouse. By planning your meals, keeping it simple and delicious, embracing small kitchen appliances, cooking with loved ones, and maybe even joining a cooking class, you'll conquer the kitchen and nourish your body and soul. Remember, healthy eating isn't just about physical well-being—it's a recipe for emotional resilience too. Now, let's feast on life and make those taste buds dance! Head to my website and download the report “Tips for Healthy Eating After Widowhood.” Bon appétit, my fellow kitchen conquerors!
Marie Scott, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Creator and Founder of Happy and Healthy After Widowhood. A best selling author, keynote speaker, and Functional Medicine Health Coach, Marie is on a mission to help widows and widowers rediscover how to live well, laugh more and perhaps even find love again.