Cooking and Eating

Is anyone else having problems with cooking and eating? I loved to cook for my dear husband and myself and enjoyed using a range of ingredients. Since I lost him, I even have great difficulty going into the kitchen without getting upset. He used to like preparing and cooking the vegetables.
It has got worse, I seem to be living on scrambled eggs on toast and beans on toast, with the odd salad.


I struggle with this as we both loved to cook for each other and a Gousto meal was a big part of our day. I’ve not been able to have a Gousto delivery since and I live on take aways or very basic meals. The fun of cooking has gone for now and I struggle to think about what to cook.

So basics or cereal.


My husband did all the cooking so food has been a big issue. Either the grief or the few things I have tried to cook have often given me gastric problems. I live off ready meals cereals and sandwiches but this is already becoming boring after only 8 weeks. I have no interest in cooking anything. Even putting a ready meal in the oven becomes an issue. I have no idea how to use the microwave.

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Yes I too used to love cooking meals for us and experimenting with new recipes. Now I either get dinner at my daughter’s or live on sandwiches & snacks. I’ve recently started to worry how unhealthy it is and know I need to change but I have no interest or motivation to cook just for me.


Exactly the same here.

I loved to cook with him. Or he’d cook something and it’d be ready when I came home from work. We have a massive collection of cookery books and would spend evenings watching cookery programmes or sharing recipes for the coming week. Most of our messages to each other were recipes we wanted to try out.

Since he passed I’ve been the same. Salad, scrambled eggs, lots of cereal and toast or things to go in the oven. I struggle with going around the supermarket. Lots of tears have been cried as I stand there trying to work out what to buy, or wondering how I’ll get through things before they go off. We were vegetarian but ate lots of fish, and I keep buying fish and then putting it in the freezer because I won’t eat it all myself, and then don’t have the motivation to cook it.

I really need to try to get back into a routine of cooking. It was something we really enjoyed and should be something that reminds me of him, but I just find eating as something that needs to be done these days, rather than something that’s a pleasure like it used to be.


I also dislike shopping, it’s stressful rushing past foods my husband liked and now trying to find something I will eat.
I usually end up with very little in my basket and leaving the store as soon as I can.
Eating together was one of our many pleasures which I can sadly no longer enjoy.


I have been unable to go food shopping since my husband died three months ago. We both stre healthy salads nuts and fruit etc but now what’s the point of buying fresh food ie salad and fruit goes off before I can be bothered to eat it. I’m living on cakes crisps and chocolate I just don’t have the willpower to prepare? a meal. Does this stage get better.

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It’s 28 weeks since I lost my dear husband and I just get worse with bothering to cook. I cannot decide what to eat and end up with the odd ready meal, beans or eggs on toast, salad or sandwiches. I eat too much cake and biscuits. I do make sure I have plenty of fruit.

Hi, I really empathize with this as my late wife and I were pretty obsessive about how we centered food in our lives. After she passed (7 months ago now)
I really struggled to get back in the kitchen, it was such an upsetting experience using her spoons and pots that she brought into our relationship. I existed on porridge and takeaway for many a week. But I could feel what this was doing to my mood: tired, lethargic, pointless. I forced myself to cook one dish a week, a curry, a stew, soup whatever I could muster, but only from fresh ingredients. It was difficult the first time making meatballs and tomato, scraping the sauce back into the pan the way my wife had shown me filled me with loss and longing. But the result made it worthwhile, fresh cooked food and batches for the freezer. And it was these batches for the freezer that helped me to turn the corner, I could just dip in and take one out and it was ready for the evening meal, and this would make me feel confidence and a link to the future, a link to my wife.

Cooking in batches meant I could just use the recipes I already knew, no need to adapt for one. It allowed me to journey through our life together, recalling fantastic times we’d had traveling and discovering, bringing it all back to our kitchen and trying to create. It was painful and comforting, but always rewarding, more importantly it gave me a bank of food I could rely on to just be there if I needed it on the days I just couldn’t function it always picked up my mood to know I could feed myself healthily. A progression on the road we did not choose.

One day I was looking through our cookbooks and found a hand written recipe, an addendum to the one in the book. I looked at this for a long time as I realized that my wife had written this when she was ill, that she wanted me to know this when she was gone. I cried a lot at that point as it was a direct link to her, an action she had taken during her illness when she knew she would not make it through to reinforce the bond we had between us through food. I’ve found others as I look through the books, I don’t seek them out I like to just discover them. I now cook with abandon and feel it as a positive action, a space where we are still together. But it took time, effort, letting the grief into an area that was sacred to us both, but I’m now so glad that I did as its brought me closer to her again, a place where I can chat with her, remember her tips and tricks, and allow the joy of food back into my life. She’s with me in the kitchen as we debate how al dente the pasta should be.


Thank you for your very positive and interesting response. I have got to get my act together and start cooking nutritious meals as I used to do, and in batches for the freezer. You have inspired me but my problem is motivation, not just cooking but in other things. Losing my dear husband has completely changed me, I am not ‘me’ anymore, and each day, I pray this will eventually change.
Best wishes.

Yes I understand the motivation thing but also we lived on a Mediterranean diet so mostly sales fruit and chicken or fish as we lived in Turkey for 28 years. So buying the salad ingredients like peppers corn tomatoes cucumber leaves etc was not a problem for two people but for one person I find the salad goes soggy after a day or two so I’m throwing away more than I’m eating. I’ve just managed to use my china plate again instead of a paper plate. I can’t dress the table for our meals like we did most nights I just sit on the couch. I’m very lucky I have a son who tho poor health takes me round to his family most weekends and I have friends who have me round firing Wednesday to Friday so I am not lonely as such but lonely for my husband.


I never cooked. I also have a problem standing for any length of time so prep is difficult. Ready meals get so boring and I even manage to ruin some. Not interested at all. Have found some I enjoy the rest are just fodder. Manage to avoid too many cakes and biscuits as my ordering is done online so i try not to include it in the shop.

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Thankyou @Walan for your inspiring post. I did exactly the same as you and once I got my act together I started to do batches for the freezer or veg for a couple of days for the fridge. I have allotments so veg was not a problem and I eat mostly vegetarian or vegan meals now making all my own meals from scratch.
I threw out a lot of my cookbooks in the early days because I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to bother again. I also stopped making preserves but now I am enjoying doing this once again. I agree with you to eat unhealthily only makes us feel worse.
Again many thanks and I do hope it will inspire some members to get back to cooking a decent meal.
P xx

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Hi there @Pudding
I had never cooked before I married many years ago but I had to learn fast as I was expected to cook a meal imediately and I couldn’t boil water at the time.
So many simple recipes now shouldn’t make it too hard for you to pick it up. One pot meals are easy enough and veg can be prepared sitting down.
I enjoy cooking but in the early days of my loss I bought a soup maker which is so easy peasy it might suit you. Throw the veg in and set it and that’s it. Bleeps when ready. You can leave the contents whole or set it to puree. Can’t go wrong as it does it for you. Might then inspire you to have a go at other things.
I think of myself as a healthy eater but I went through that phase of not being motivated and eating rubbish and it made me ill and combined with grief this is not pleasant but it gave me the kick up the backside I needed and I started making good wholesome meals for myself again.
If you have never cooked you might find you enjoy it.
P xx

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Thanks all for the responses, hoping it all helps. With that in mind a few tips for single cooking:

Lettuce makes a lovely Gratin

Peppers can be roasted, blitzed with vinegar to make a sauce, can be used for dipping or base for a dish, also freezable.

You can carbonara practically anything. And I mean a homemade carbonara which is just egg, cheese and herbs.

Which is also true for Paella, a good dish for using up leftovers.

Pesto, home made, you can use anything leafy/herby for this including rocket and various leafy salad, also no need for expensive pine nuts, hazel, walnut, pistachio just pick one and see, keeps in the fridge for a week or two, freeze in cubes for later.

Chinese cooking from scratch is very easy and healthy once you’ve got the basic backbone ingredients in the house. Again you can use a lot of left over veg. Also a lot of the ingredients can be bought dried, mushrooms etc.

Pulses can generally be substituted for any meat in stews, just add more flavour.

Mushrooms are you’re friend


Thank you so much, you have been so inspirational. I am going out for lunch today but from tomorrow, I am going to get myself sorted out and start cooking decent meals again.
I shall follow your useful tips.
I agree about mushrooms, I have cooked them a few times with grilled tomatoes.

Really made my day to know that it helps, and I mean that. A couple of other things I discovered or remembered:

If you’ve got a veg market near you use that, after the first few time you learn the best days to go, stalls to buy from. I found I could buy the amount I needed rather than have to buy the amount I was offered. The veg is always better quality and lasts much longer. I also find it a useful tool for giving purose and structure to days I dont feel great, gets me out the house, among people but not so claustrophobic as the supermarket. I guess it’s a bit of a gateway to ‘life’ where you can be among people and just observe. It doesn’t always cheer me up but more often than not.

I often ‘cruise’ the local M&S for there yellow stickers, I find 4 pm is when it gets really interesting! Okay this is ready meal territory but I figure I’m going to eat them sometime if not all that often, a treat. But the other thing is M&S use pretty durable tinfoil trays for their food, I’ve found that this has given me a supply of oven trays for 1 which I use a lot, I’ll eventually buy some durable trays but these allow me to see what I will need.

And funnily enough grilled tomatoes and mushrooms was my gateway back in, I felt so proud and happy when I first cooked them and knew it was good food! I built from there and just kept going. For me I found my reluctance to cook was definitely a barrier I was erecting for myself when it turned out to be only an obstacle that with a bit of effort I could get around. And it all started with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms!

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I have a very good local farm shop and must use it more again. It’s useful to be able to buy exactly how many vegetables or fruit you need, Also, have a local M&S food shop, so I have no excuse. I shall motivate myself in the coming days and ensure I have a good supply of healthy food.
I always used the foil trays for our freezer food: curries, casseroles, etc. I still have some.
Thank you again, you have been a great help. I am glad I started the ‘food and cooking’ title and I hope it has helped other people, hearing how others manage. Eating well is especially important whilst living through our traumatic and distressing grieving.

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Hi all.
I still struggle with this almost 10 months in. I cant cook, my hubby did all the cooking, he loved to cook. Was just soups for the first few months, now just snacks and sandwiches, or the odd poached egg on toast if im pushing the boat out haha x

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I have just ordered some filled pasta and a pasta sauce for my next online shop. Intend to shop once every couple of weeks. I pre book my slot then just keep adding to the order as I go. Your posts have made me remember my husband used to buy this and I must be able to boil some water and heat a sauce