To her, food was love. Now I know that's gotten a bad rap from the celebrity shrinks who tell us that if we learn that food = love then we'll overeat when we want love.
I see it differently.
My grandmother made most everything from scratch, and she did so lovingly (and she always looked smashing with her hair up, earrings dangling, high heels clacking around the tiled floor and often left a red ghost of her lips when she kissed me on the cheek.) She was the best cook (in my opinion, anyway!) and fed EVERYONE. When she later moved to Miami Beach and I visited she'd have me bring a homemade chicken dinner to the doorman. When I was in her kitchen eating, surrounded by her knick-knacks and saw her smile as she watched me eat what she had made for me, I knew peace.
I have recreated that setting in my own kitchen, and when I cook I think of the things for which I am grateful. I tune out the craziness in the world as much as I can. If the old transistor radio is on, it's playing an oldies station. When I am feeling less stressed and more fulfilled I am less likely to stuff my face with empty filler foods. Food is love and I love to eat, and when I'm coming from a position of strength and positive energy I'm choosing what's best for me.
Eating like a slim lady from the 50's has become a lifestyle for me, and I think it's something that everyone can do without having to redecorate their kitchen. It's a mindset, but for me, and maybe for you, by bringing more of "back in the day" into my current life, I find that healthier choices come more naturally.