Let’s face it: men in New Zealand need to eat more fruit and vegetables for their health. We’ll let a man speak for himself on this:
"Every time my wife suggests fruit or a carrot as I fossick in the fridge for a snack, some form of selective deafness seems to overcome me. Left to my own devices, the nearest I come to the dreaded vegetables is the odd pea and carrot in a meat pie." - Bill Ralston, New Zealand Listener, October 31, 2009
Ouch! Where does that come from? In these days of obeying multiple health dictates, pouting at vegetables can seem like a harmless boyish leftover. But it comes at a heavy price. Because of their diets, Kiwi men have a shorter life span and more heart problems than their female counterparts.
It’s ironic, because our most admired Kiwi men are our athletes – rugby teams, league players, Olympic competitors. And what do athletes, especially weight lifters, eat? Lean protein and vegetables – lots of vegetables, and fresh fruit snacks.
Athletes’ diets show how eating vegetables separates the men from the boys. Athlete favorites are:
- Spinach and silverbeet - for excellent nutrition and extra iron
- Asparagus – nutritious, filling, and low-calorie
- Pumpkin and squash – laden with vitamins, sweet flavor, and rich texture
- Sweet potato/kumara – more delicious natural flavors and textures, super-nutritious, and with a low glycemic index
- Mushrooms – go well with all the lean protein, also low calorie
- Apples and fresh berries
For men who see themselves as more everyday guys, adding more vegetables is a great way to enjoy hearty favorites. Here are Jina’s ideas to get the most nutrition into “bloke tucker”:
- Big breakfast? Don’t forget the mushrooms and tomatoes, and scramble eggs with spinach and green onion.
- Make your favorite type of pizza at home…and load on the veggies.
- Steaks? Fish and chips? Burgers? Make a habit of eating a side salad with these.
- Barbecuing in the summertime, when you cook a heap of onions for sausages and steaks, add thin sliced capsicum and mushrooms to the veggie side of the grill.
- When enjoying Asian food, mix it up – split a meat dish and a vegetable main dish with a mate, or choose a main that combines meat and veggies. And get adventurous with side dishes like pickled Chinese vegetables, seaweed salad, or spicy Malaysian achar.
See our advice on including the tastiest fruits and vegetables with a packed lunch, too.
For dads; what you do, say, and eat influences your kids, especially at mealtimes. They admire you and want to do what you do, too. If you eat your All Black vegetable sides with your roast dinner, your kids will also – and Mum will be happy, as well.
A last tip for all men who hope to have an “active evening”… snack on an apple before you kiss. Apples sweeten your breath and make your teeth shine.
We hope this inspires you all. And we love to see the fellas in our store!