Who needs something else to complicate their lives? No one. Who needs something else to enrich their lives? Everyone. That “something” can be eating with others. Although most people agree on the benefits of eating together, a common belief is that getting people together for a shared meal is too complicated. Not true. September is Family Meals Month and certainly eating with your family is key to family well-being, but what if you live alone and your family lives miles away…
Barb and I have been friends since our student days at Purdue, and have shared many meals and recipes over the years. Recently I sent Barb a cookbook link which I thought took family and community meals to an inspiring level. Together: Our Community Cookbook was created by the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen with the support of HRH The Duchess of Sussex (nee Meghan Markle). The kitchen, based in the Al-Manaar community center in West London, was opened soon after the Gren
If you took a walk around your neighborhood, how many residences could you name the residents? How many residences have you been inside for a visit? How many residents have you had a meaningful conversation with? If the answer is not very many, you are not alone. My husband, Joe, and I have lived in our neighborhood for 37 years and when our children were small we knew many more of our neighbors than more recently. Answering those questions ourselves convicted us to make a ch
What is the secret to a long and healthy life? The Blue Zones project www.bluezones.com was initiated to determine the answer to that question by studying commonalities among people who live to be 100 years or older. They identified 5 places around the world with the highest concentration of centenarians and discovered 9 common traits shared by these long-living populations: Move Naturally – living in environments that nudge daily activity Purpose – a reason for living – “pla
In celebration of our nation’s birthday on July 4th, many of us will take the day off to enjoy parades, picnics, outdoor activities, and fireworks. If your family is like mine, you will gather to eat – hot dogs and hamburgers, BBQ chicken, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, and a bounty of other delicious food. Can you see it, smell it, and almost taste it in anticipation? One of my favorite parts of summer in Indiana is fresh, local, sweet corn. So you can imagine my pleasure when
Have you ever considered how much of what you know you learned by observing others? Children imitate their parents. Students emulate their teachers. All of us look up to those we admire and strive to become more like them. Everyone has role models. Over the course of a lifetime most everyone IS a role model. Who is watching you? Throughout my career I have worked extensively with parents to help them become more competent and confident in feeding their children. I believe one
I venture that outside of formal school I have learned more around a table sharing meals with others than any other single place. I’ve learned language, manners, customs, cuisine, jokes, stories, trivia, and truths. I’ve learned that toddlers throw food on the floor and young children have trouble sitting still. I’ve learned that fixing the meal often takes longer than eating it, but the time spent eating it together is time well spent. Meet my family. Every Monday we gather
Our country is in the midst of a “loneliness epidemic.” Consider these statistics: More than one-fourth of all American households consist of people living alone.
(US Census, 2010) More than one-fourth of Americans regularly experience loneliness. Don’t assume these are the same people who live alone – same percentages, but different statistics.
(Cacioppo, 2009) Loneliness and living alone increase the risk of premature death by 26% and 32% respectively.