AfghanGirlMajidSaeediGettyImages

Suzanne Lenzer cultivates eating alone:

It goes without saying that eating is nurturing. Our first food comes straight from our mother’s body and for most of us our formative years of eating are shared experiences with those closest to us. Later we share meals with friends, or partners, but for many if not most of us, eating alone is relegated to home or a quick bite somewhere anonymous, where it’s less about the experience than sustenance. Especially, it seems, for women. Independence and self-sufficiency aside, an anecdotal study of just a handful of my friends reveals that women still don’t eat out alone at restaurants with a sense of security, and it’s a shame. Because learning to enjoy a meal out with only your own company or that of a good book is an empowering experience, one that offers an opportunity to nourish both the body and the mind.

(Image: An Afghan girl. By Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

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