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For some reason there has always been a double standard when it comes to being fit and trim. Women are expected to maintain a slim, healthy figure by eating salad and exercising, while guys can get away with eating burgers and being a little bit cuddly. Unfortunately in its wake too much man-food (burgers, bacon sandwiches and beer) not only leaves behind a paunch, but it can also lead to a lengthy list of health problems.

For many women, trying to get their boyfriend or husband to change their not-so-healthy ways and join them in living a cleaner lifestyle is difficult. Over time, we have discovered that preaching about the benefits of kale and forcing them to take morning wheatgrass shots just doesn’t work. Here at Hip and Healthy we have put together a few tips to get your man eating better, feeling healthier and looking hotter without him knowing it!

MORNING SMOOTHIES

Start every morning with a nutrient-dense smoothie. Smoothies can be concocted so that they are almost like milkshakes but unbeknown to the man, they are jam-packed with fruit and vegetable goodness. Nut milks make a great base, frozen bananas or half an avocado create a delicious thick texture, throw in some berries and spinach (lots of antioxidants and Vitamin C) and you can also add a scoop of one of our favourite natural protein powders meaning it can pass as a protein shake (very manly!). If you are feeling a little more indulgent you can add in some raw cacao and nut butter. Smoothies might not be man-food but serve it as a “milkshake” and it will be drunk with gusto.

PUB GRUB

Re-create traditional pub-grub with a healthy slant. Sweet potato shepherd’s pie is always a winner (serve with plenty of veg), swap chips/potato wedges for oven baked sweet potato wedges, make your own guacamole or tomato sauce for dipping and experiment with vegetarian curries such as our healthy aubergine and squash curry. The greasy full English is another man-food which can be given a healthy make over. Swap fried eggs for scrambled, send the cheap meat packing and fill the rest of the plate with tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and avocado on toast. After several home-made meals like this, eating at the pub will only ever be a last resort.

HEALTHIER TREATS

Biscuits with tea, pastries, chocolate and other shockingly sugary snacks are only going to make him feel lethargic (equals more sofa time), add to the cuddly tummy and lie around the kitchen tempting you. Start by doing a blitz of the kitchen cupboards and removing all processed, sugar-infused “food” – if it isn’t there, he isn’t going to head out to the shops to buy it. If he moans about the lack of sweet treats, whip up some of our delicious cashew cookies, natural peanut butter cups, bliss balls or our healthy version of sticky toffee pud!

QUALITY NOT QUANTITY

Beer is probably something you will never win on (i.e. he won’t ever give it up). But, if you can impress him with buying the occasional good quality craft beer, he will probably nurse his drink a little longer and start opting for quality over quantity (we hope!). Craft beers aren’t produced in factories on a mass-scale and use good quality ingredients (no artificial sweeteners, colours or thickeners). And some micro-breweries are even organic! Once that taste for quality sets in, the cheap (less healthy) stuff will hopefully be second best.

We know from experience that nagging and harping on about the benefits of green juice doesn’t work (in fact it often just pushes them out the door to the pub). However, by implementing our small and subtle changes, after a few weeks the takeaways, pub grub and curries will no longer be able to compete with homemade healthy food and sugar-free treats. As well as probably losing a few pounds, having more energy and looking healthier, your man may well have converted to your hip & healthy lifestyle without even realising.

words by Kathleen Fleming

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