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Old 06-04-2016, 06:33 AM
 
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She hasnít been motivated to cook since her husband passed away last year. Her doctor was concerned about her declining weight.


Dr. Komaroff responded that he sees this with patients quite often.

ďThe sadness and depression that follow the loss of a loved one can cause apathy. After years of cooking for two, it can be hard to make the effort to prepare regular, nutritious meals for one. Also, when you do make the effort to cook, little things remind you that youíre only cooking for one.

If youíre not motivated to cook, you may wind up skipping meals. Or you may rely on less-healthy convenience foods, like cereal, frozen dinners or canned foods. Some of my patients eat the same thing for every meal. They donít bother with fruits or vegetables; they eat poorly and their diet lacks variety.

That can lead to malnutrition ó deficiency in vitamins, fiber, protein or calcium. And malnutrition can lead to poor digestion, weight loss, bone problems and fatigue.

The sadness that follows a loss can cause you to neglect caring for yourself, including eating well, and then poor nutrition can make you feel worse. It can be a vicious circle. You may feel like you donít have the energy to cook, but once you start to eat right, you may suddenly have the energy to see your friends or family more often, go to the store, pursue a hobby ó or even cook a healthy dinner.Ē




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http://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/askd...a45e67204.html



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malnutrition depression June 3, 2016 Dr. Komaroff AskDoctorK.com
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,577 posts, read 4,782,672 times
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Usually lots of food is brought over shortly after the death. After that ends is when people should step up with the occasional meal, invitations to lunch, stopping over with a pizza, a fruit basket. It's not only the food it's the companionship or just an ear that they need.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:44 PM
 
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This is a very real problem. I have experienced this big time. With very little interest in eating, and no one to cook for or with, one tends to just pick up snacks, left overs, this and that all day. This is especially true when one has had to make special diet food for your spouse for years of care giving. You get to a point where you care only about what your are making for the spouse (to keep him as healthy as possible) and you don't even know what you like anymore. You forget all the cooking habits of the "healthy" years, and anyway, dietary recommendations keep changing. So you end up not knowing what you should eat as well as not knowing what you want. And it is too much work just for yourself anyway. No wonder my mom, in her later years, resorted to toast and coffee and cereal much of the time. I remember trying to get her to eat better food. And now I am in that same place. At least I do take supplements to make sure I don't get too malnourished, but I know that I have not regained my footing on the whole diet issue.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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What I do is cook in big batches and freeze in portions. It also helps keep veggies from going bad.

Example, I'll take an entire chub of burger, a loaf of bread, a bunch of carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes in the food processor and tomato paste, Worcestershire and a few other things and make 7 lbs of meatloaf to freeze in roughly 4 oz portions.

Example, I take a 4 gallon pot, sweat the onions and add carrots, celery, chickpeas, winter squash and whatever veggies are around to make a huge pot of veggie soup. I add a little khombu and oil for flavor but skip the salt until the soup is served.

A meal is little more than going to the freezer and microwaving one or more things, making it almost as easy as junk food.

Where I find difficulty is stopping shopping for two. There are also stored foods that will never get eaten.

I REALLY do not like anyone saying that the grief process is "depression." It is not. It is a process of loss and grieving and that includes sad feelings and not wanting to do a whole lot for a while. It is entirely normal and is NOT something to be moderated with chemicals except in extreme cases. It is a process to be worked through over time. The "diseasification" of America by "experts" is a disease in itself. Sometimes life sucks. A lollypop prescription isn't going to be a meaningful help.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:23 PM
 
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IN lieu of how my family member passed, I carried PTSD, it culminated with high anxiety and yes severe depression. the true sorrow would come after much therapy on the onslaught of the over riding condition. The diet was the first to be gone... Then it took a forceful effort to eat with any concern. Just trying to cook was challenging, every stir was a bitter reminder that my loved one was not going to enjoy it. Dinner time was a special memory.
Three years now... And eating is to maintain, but it's no longer a joy or even a want. it's what logically Is understood to give some health and energy.
Quick foods of salads, or fish seem less bothersome...
Appetite has changed...
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:27 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
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I was the opposite. I ate and ate and ate my way into 40 extra pounds. I was stuffing down the grief by forcing food into me. My son lived with me for two years after my husband/his father died, and it really upset him to see me cry, so I didn't in front of him, and just learned to suppress my grief. Now that it's been 6 1/2 years, and my son's got his own place, I rarely eat, but what I do eat is really unhealthy. Lots of pasta, bread, fried foods, etc. I got a Fitbit and log my food, it logs my sleep (huge surprises there) and my exercise, steps, etc. Apparently, I'm much more of an insomniac that I thought I was. I am also night eating more than I realized. The Fitbit is a real wake-up call...
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Midland, MI
504 posts, read 478,495 times
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Since my parents died I just sort of dropped out of managing my eating. I still get exercise and preventative care but find myself eating lots of snack foods before going to bed; I guess just to deal with the emptiness and sorrow. I actually lost my parents, not a spouse but they died within several months of each other and I've found it very very hard to deal with.

I have two sisters but they seldom even mention my parents when we get together. I'm feeling a lot of depression, anxiety and just longing for what used to be.
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:48 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,103 posts, read 3,923,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nov3 View Post
IN lieu of how my family member passed, I carried PTSD, it culminated with high anxiety and yes severe depression. the true sorrow would come after much therapy on the onslaught of the over riding condition. The diet was the first to be gone... Then it took a forceful effort to eat with any concern. Just trying to cook was challenging, every stir was a bitter reminder that my loved one was not going to enjoy it. Dinner time was a special memory.
Three years now... And eating is to maintain, but it's no longer a joy or even a want. it's what logically Is understood to give some health and energy.
Quick foods of salads, or fish seem less bothersome...
Appetite has changed...


I hear you on this. For the last 3 years of his life I was trying to get my husband to gain weight so I made sure he had carbs with his dinner and as many calories as I could get in him.


Now 5 years after his death I couldn't care less about food, I only eat to maintain myself, although I do eat healthier now than I ever did. Some nights I will make an Atkins frozen dinner but most nights I cook a little something, usually a meat or fish, a vegetable or a salad. I eat a lot of fruit. The plus side is I've lost 15 pounds which I needed to lose anyway. But food has lost all its appeal, no matter what it is.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert, AZ
2,840 posts, read 1,163,727 times
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My wife died 3 months ago. I've gained 5 or 6 pounds. Go figure.
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:11 PM
 
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I have heard about and read about people who go both ways. Some people lose interest in food, some use it as comfort. One reason I can think of for gaining weight after the loss of a spouse is not just comfort, but loss of the person who made healthy food for you. Fast food and processed food from the grocery store just aren't healthy and put pounds on people. Personally, I lost interest when my husband was diagnosed (it was predicted that he would die quickly, but actually lasted almost 4 years.) I remember thinking that eating was just so trivial when placed next to the fact that my husband was dying. I was so numb with shock I remember staring at the plate of food as if it were something I didn't recognize. Then came the years of making special food for him. My whole focus when it came to food was his health and doing what the doctors wanted. I sort of ate whatever was around after making his food. So when he died, I felt that I had been out of touch with food for ever, that I had no idea how to shop, how to cook, and didn't even know what I liked. I would have been much happier if I could have just taken some big nutrition pills every day and forgotten completely about eating. Now 18 months later, I am better, but I am not good. There are still times when I feel too down to eat, times when I just pick up things that are easy. But I also do cook well once in a while, and we have a great farmers' market, so I do get fresh fruit and some veggies. But I know that my eating is still irregular and not really balanced. I wish someone would make a cookbook for widows and widowers that helps us to re-establish good eating patterns. (And by the way, it seems like the science on nutrition has changed so much since I was actually cooking for a family that all those really old habits are no longer any good anyway.) We need a widow's cookbook that is up to date.
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