Friday, March 1, 2013

Nutritionally Yours

The loss of a loved one can literally take your appetite away.
You find that you can barely get out of bed and food is not appealing at all.  You feel as though you are walking through cotton candy.  All of your senses seem dulled and off.

Sadly, these symptoms are considered to be pretty normal for a person grieving.
I remember at the reception after my husband's funeral I really didn't want anything to eat.  I had a yogurt before going to the church for the funeral mass but that was about all I could handle.  People kept giving me plates of food and I held the plates while talking to people but then I would put it down somewhere hoping no one would give it back to me.  Later on, even though I wasn't hungry, I did force myself to eat part of a turkey sandwich because everyone seemed so worried that I didn't want anything.
I soon realized that I needed to eat smarter and take care of myself.  I was responsible for raising my son and I needed to be strong for him.  My thirteen-year-old son had just lost his father and if he saw that his mother didn't care what happened to her, then God knows what would happen.  I needed to show him that part of grieving was remembering to eat healthy.  If I fell apart and I ate junk or skipped meals, then I knew he would feel the same way about his life and I couldn't have that happen.  I might not have cared about myself at that point, but I did love and care about him. 
I started being aware of what I was cooking and especially made sure that we always ate a good breakfast, not the breakfast we felt like eating: doughnuts, pancakes, coffee cake and sometimes even pizza.  Never had pizza for breakfast?  You should try it!  Totally delish!

People don't tell you this but grieving is hard work.  It's exhausting being under so much stress every day.  If you don't feel like eating, then you have to remind yourself to at least eat to give your body strength.  Or think of it this way:  there is so much going on that is out of your control at least you can make your own choices with regard to what you eat.

Going to the grocery store after someone you love dies can be dicey.  Aisle after aisle, you can be reminded of all the different foods your loved one ate and how you probably won't be buying those items anymore.  For me it was Ovaltine.  But there's also another way of looking at a trip to the grocery store.  I have heard a few people remark that food shopping can gradually become a kind of adventure because they can start to buy food that they always really liked but their spouse or partner couldn't stand.

Either way, you are trying to stretch a dollar and you deserve to be healthy.  Below is the link to timely story published in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Feb 27 discussing food shopping in the grocery store, saving money and learning to make those 'aha' wellness decisions:

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