Simply put: balance of mind, body, and spirit.
Sounds easy enough right? But any stressful situation can make it super difficult. Simply put, it can be easy to let yourself go when you are upset. Excessive weight gain or loss is not healthy no matter how you split the pie.
After I got married, I did what a lot of us do when we get comfortable: I put on weight. I got sloppy about what I was putting in my mouth both in terms of quality and quantity. Carbs were my best friend. Looking back, it seemed like every night I would eat takeout pizza, or pasta, or chips and queso and skip the gym more than go to the gym. I felt awful physically and I felt tired, and it drove me bonkers.
After my divorce, I realized that I could not let my eating continue the way it had in the past. Or whenever I was dealing with a stressful situation I wanted to ignore.
I admit, in life after divorce, I had been accused of maintaining a refrigerator comparable to that of a hot shot, young lawyer in his late twenties. Ketchup, coconut spread, a tub of grated Parmesan cheese (who has time to grate?), and an unopened bottle of Limoncello that someone gave me as a gift, probably circa 2012. And let me tell you, living life without food and starving yourself is every bit as unhealthy as stuffing your stomach with the copious amounts of processed and highly refined carbs, including sugars and starches. This leads to a coma-like state that I have come to know as "Carb Fog." While I often crave just these foods, when I eat them, more often than not, they physically sicken me.
These are important points because, many times, when you go back to cooking for one, you start to eat badly because you do what is easy and depend on processed, packaged, and prepared foods full of the worst of the worst carbs. Few of us in a bad or traumatic place seriously wants to "cook for one" so "cooking" is more like opening a can, calling the local Chinese restaurant, or, worst of all, drinking your dinner with a chaser of Cheese Nips. Whether you are overeating or under eating, the sad fact is it is cheaper and easier to be unhealthy.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School found that it costs, on average, about $550 more per year to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. That's $1.50 more per day to eat the good stuff, rather than the cheap, factory-processed, high sugar and starch "foods" filled with twenty-letter-long, multi-syllabic additives, and preservatives. I should also mention that the $550 per year difference doesn't account for the money saving long-term health benefits. In other words, it costs a lot of money in the long run to eat a poor diet. Good food, as much as anything, is a determining factor in who we are going to be tomorrow and years down the road. Many experts say certain foods can help to slow down the aging process and fights disease. Plus, when you eat well, you look and feel better.
I have found that when I do the following, I have more energy and I sleep better at night.
1. Eat more green. Dark, leafy green vegetables top the list.
2. Snack on nuts to stay satisfied and they are good for your heart!
3. Stay away from sugar. Too much shows it can lead to heart disease.
4. Drink lots of water. Add lemon or lime slices to spruce it up. (I even like orange slices)
5. Balance your calories with protein at each meal.