I was amazed recently to learn that the last census here is Australia revealed that 1/4 of our households are occupied by one person (that's around 2,000,000 people or 12 % of the population). Now I am sure there are a number who love the peace and quiet - I would love the occasional day where I could hang out by myself, make a very spicy curry and listen to my 80's music - without complaints; however not every day!!!! Living alone means dining alone which has the potential to be not only isolating but unhealthy. Some patients of mine have said they lack inspiration when only cooking for themselves, or can't be bothered or worse eat junk food all the time as no-one is watching them. Mealtimes are a chance for us to relax with family and friends, discus the day without the distraction of T.V and to set examples to our younger members of the family. Studies have shown that strong family ties and interactions reduce the risk of certain diseases, ensure we eat healthily and reduce anxieties. Don't take living with family for granted - set aside time to eat together- in our hectic lives it may not always be possible to sit down with the family every night (soccer training, dance, p and c meeting - I'm hearing you!) however try for even a Sunday 'Alfresco' or picnic.
If you are alone and prefer it that way, don't neglect your health. Make a quick chicken stir fry or marinate a salmon steak in some garlic and lime juice. A healthy home made pizza for one with a Greek salad or char grilled scallops with sweet chili and Asian greens is a nicer option, quicker and in many cases cheaper than an unhealthy takeaway. Remember even if the recipe makes 4 you have a lunch the next day and 2 re heats when you are late home from work a few nights.
If you do know of friends, family or neighbours dining alone every night- take them round a casserole to share or invite them to join you. You'll be glad that you did!