hands cutting lemon on a wooden board with mango and carrots

Hello, Sir.

You…with the can of Red Bull in your hand.

We need to talk 🙂

It is true that us ladies seem to be more preoccupied with taking care of our health and eating well than most fellas. Maybe you have a lady in your life that does all the shopping and the cooking and the worrying for you.

Maybe you are busy, more interested in the World Cup or even too in love with bacon to think all this rabbit food is for you? It doesn’t have to be this way. If your belly is occupying a bit more real estate than you’d like or that old football injury is acting up – you’ve got to know that food can help.

You don’t have to totally overhaul your diet to start to get healthier in a real, meaningful way. Just adding in a few key foods or making some simple swaps can really help your body start to repair itself – without banning Super Bowl parties or post-work brews. In honour of the first Men’s Health week here in Canada, I want to share a few simple food additions you can make to your diet to help you get your groove back. No rabbit food required.

1. Quinoa

Plan on hitting the gym later? As you may already know, protein is important for building up your muscle, providing structure and support to your movements (via ligaments and tendons), in addition to regulating many other processes in the body like your immune system. The swap here is to go for grains that offer a bit more protein so that each bite is working for you, like quinoa. Why? It’s delicious AND easy to cook! Boil one cup dry quinoa with 2 cups water, stock or orange juice and simmer for 15 minutes. Add it to a quinoa salad packed with lots of veggies, herbs and spices and your favourite homemade dressing. I also find that it makes a great addition to soup!

2. Tomatoes

Warm weather is fast approaching which means that tomatoes are in season! Tomatoes are a stellar choice for leading a long, disease free life. They provide lycopene, a plant chemical with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene is thought to help prevent prostate cancer when added to a healthy lifestyle – it is also thought to help boost skin’s UV defence system. Maximize the benefits of tomatoes by enjoying them cooked with a little extra virgin olive oil, so start hunting recipes for your favourite tomato soups and sauces!

3. Sunflower seeds

Okay, recommending you eat a seed may seem a little bit like rabbit food. But these tiny seeds pack a powerful punch! High in magnesium, sunflower seeds support your bones and help ensure proper muscle contraction, including that all important muscle, the heart. No preparation is required…just toss some in a ziploc bag and voila! Knock back a handful whenever hunger strikes or stir into a salad, cereal or soup.

4. Beans     

Remember good old-fashioned beans on toast? This five minute meal actually has some benefits. Baked beans are an excellent source of zinc, which has a role in enhancing your immune system and supporting prostate health. Feeling anxious or moody? Zinc can also aid in stress relief. And beans are a super energy food because they pack protein and slow-burning carbs to help stabilize blood sugars and help you avoid the 3pm desk crash pictured above. Oh…and they keep things moving, if you know what I mean. Critical to feeling energized and well.

5. Guayusa Tea

Need a little kick? Skip those chemical-filled energy drinks; really, they are terrible for you on all levels. Black coffee would be way better but I really love this new energizing tea. Guayusa tea is naturally caffeinated, the same amount of caffeine as coffee so it will give you the energy and alertness you need without that oh so familiar post-coffee ‘crash’. Start your day with a boost of energy by drinking a cup of guayusa tea as part of your morning routine.

Like these tips? My book, Un-Junk Your Diet is packed full of them!