These days, there are many people who live alone and numbers have grown from 7 percent in the sixties to 27 percent of the total today. Many of those who dine alone, are deficient in calcium, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals because they choose to skip meals and eat snacks as meals.
Research has shown that people who live by themselves are more likely to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies than those who live with others. I want to show you that eating alone can also be an enjoyable and healthy activity, as long as you plan ahead and make an effort.
Here is a list of things you can do to make eating alone more enjoyable:
- Stock your kitchen with a variety of staples with a long shelf-life, such as brown rice, oatmeal and other whole grains. If you stock your pantry with these foods, you will be less inclined to go out to the drive-through for a quick (and unhealthy) meal.
- Chop up vegetables, such a broccoli and lettuce, in advance so you always have them on hand. You can also stock up on easily accessible foods such as low-fat yogurt to go to when you are too hungry to wait.
- Prepare your meals in advance and freeze them so you won’t have to waste time throughout the week. Portion the individual meals into zip lock bags and defrost them when you are ready. Don’t underestimate the uses of your freezer and microwave. You can defrost bags of frozen vegetables when fresh produce is not easily within your reach. Also, rice and pasta can be frozen for later use.
- Some people don’t like to venture into the supermarket salad bars, but I say take full advantage of them. They are a great resource for single diners who may have avoided fresh fruits and vegetables they couldn’t use fast enough. Be sure to skip the mayonnaise-based salads and high-fat dressings, but load up on fresh vegetables and fruits. You can even add low-fat meat or favorite low-fat dressing when you get home.
- To make eating a more pleasant experience, try setting up a table with linens, attractive dinnerware and a centerpiece. You can make a lovely meal with fresh ingredients and enjoy it with red wine or some soothing music. If you’re used to eating on the couch or hanging over the sink, try sitting at the table.
- If you’re tired of eating alone, try getting together with a group of friends on a regular basis by setting up dinner or supper clubs. You can rotate homes and have everyone host a themed potluck or go out and try a new restaurant in your town.
- Another great way to prepare your meals in advance is to plan a day with a friend who also enjoys cooking and make a whole week’s worth of good and healthy food that you can split.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to eat out and dine alone! There are many people who enjoy dining and trying new foods by themselves and you can be one of them.