Whoever the man in your life may be — whether it’s a significant other, your father, or your best friend — you might run into some resistance from him on the subject of healthy eating.
Some men live extremely healthy lifestyles. However, if you happen to care about a man who doesn’t, your divergent approaches to food and health can make your relationship harder than it needs to be. Healthy living can often be misconstrued as a pastime rather than a human necessity. Cooking healthy food could be dismissed as one of your interests, rather than something that you can do together.
Not only are you worried about his health, but your health can be affected by the habits of a parent or partner.
This can make eating together stressful. He might be down to get burgers every night of the week, but when it comes to your health you know better. And yet, time after time, you get dragged along.
The thing is, the excuse that he doesn’t like healthy foods doesn’t hold up: Everyone, even the most stubborn of men, enjoys healthy food. They just might not know it.
He may not be down for a smoothie bowl for dinner, but a nice summer cookout could be just as healthy. Does he like steak? That’s also a perfectly healthy food. By sticking to foods and to tactics that make more sense for both of your lifestyles, you can spend all the time you want together without letting your health fall off the radar. Not to mention, you can help him feel more energized and healthy, too.
Here are a few simple tips to getting your guy to eat healthy — without him really even knowing it.
A salad by any other name…
Is still a salad. Instead of telling him you’re making “a paleo superfood kale salad” for dinner, keep it basic. Even super healthy meals have basic, easy to understand ingredients. If that paleo salad has salmon and avocado chimichurri dressing, tell him those things. For dinner, you’re making salmon with avocado crema. Sure it’s loaded on top of crispy roasted vegetables, iron-filled kale, and crunchy sunflower seeds — but maybe don’t lead with that.
Buy tastier, more appetizing health foods
Maca root powder is great, sure, but might be a little much for a first-timer. When you’re shopping for the both of you, load up on ripe fruit, savory hummus, and healthier versions of popular snack foods.
Popcorn, chips, pretzels, and cookies can all be healthy — if you buy the right ones. Watch out for extremely processed versions of these foods and opt for simple ingredients and high nutritional value instead. Who knew munching on chips and guac could be healthy? He didn’t, that’s for sure.
Lead by example
Chances are, the two of you spend a lot of time together. And chances are, he thinks you’re pretty great. Basic psychology tells us that people tend to subconsciously imitate the people they spend time with. The concept is called mirroring. If he sees you eating healthy foods all the time, he’s going to start doing the same — at least while you’re around.
Sneak vegetables into his favorite dishes
Nowadays there are a million and one ways to add vegetables to anything. Even macaroni and cheese can involve veggies — you just have to get a little creative. Make chickpea pasta, bake zucchini muffins, and make cauliflower rice. Without even realizing what is happening, your man will be consuming more vegetables than ever before.