So you think salads aren't manly? Think again...
Ever been on a first date where you enjoyed a salad whilst she had a bacon cheeseburger or steak with all the trimmings? The look you got across the table was enough to make you reconsider your kale and pumpkin-packed bowl. It didn't matter how good the date was, how the conversation flowed or how you made her laugh - she thought you'd emasculated yourself by ordering rabbit food.
But why DO we have this pervasive belief that salads are a female thing? That low-fat, low-sugar versions of food are aimed at women, and that healthy fruit smoothies and kale salad bowls are for the female of the species? We look at food, and we think, "Salads aren't manly."
'Manly' food usually involves hunks of meat (in some shape or form). Chicken wings, beef jerky, loaded burgers, juicy steaks - these are 'manly' foods. Kale salad or stuffed sweet potato? Woman fodder. These antiquated beliefs have prevented millions of men from across the globe from making healthy choices when it comes to food. If you're still amongst those who believe that salad isn't manly, we're here to shake some sense into you! Here's why salads are actually an incredibly manly food...
Women want you to look good
You don't want to date someone that doesn't take care of themselves and fails to take pride in their appearance - neither does she. Women want men that look good, and in order to look good, you need to be healthy from the inside out. That means fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs - lean protein, wholegrain carbs and plenty of fresh produce. We're not saying that being physically and mentally fit is going to make your love life anything like the Lynx ads, but it can't hurt to take care of yourself and look your best. Not to mention, eating a healthy diet will make you FEEL good - that means increased energy levels, improved mood and enhanced self-esteem; not bad, eh? Next time a burger is calling your name, whip up a salad with some dark leafy greens instead - eating greens can help you build muscle mass, and they're a great source of iron and vitamin C. And yes, you can add some lean meat for protein.
Rocket is a natural aphrodisiac
Ever wondered why you feel so aroused after a rocket salad at your local Italian? It's not just the ambience and the music - it's this leafy green wonder itself! Rocket, with its slightly bitter, peppery flavour, is a stimulant which energises your entire body. Since the 1st century AD, it has been used to aid arousal. In fact, Greek philosophers such as Pliny identified rocket as having the ability to increase libido (1).
Medical research in recent years backs up these beliefs, and it's thought that the antioxidants and trace minerals rocket contains can inhibit the body's production of contaminants, which could negatively affect libido. Eating rocket can also improve liver function and blood quality, and it's high in fibre, low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy body and mind. Why not try one of our healthy salad recipes today and get some rocket in your bowl?
Be a manly man - make your own decisions
The men we admire most in life are those who are independent and make their own decisions. Why should you let someone else's beliefs dictate what you eat and impact your healthy choices? If you want to have a green smoothie for breakfast rather than a Full English, have a green smoothie. If you want to order a salad next time you're out for dinner with your mates, order a salad! Just because other people have a problem with your healthy eating, doesn't mean you should change. So man up and order some greens - we promise you'll feel great for it!
Salads make you interesting
What's more interesting than a bowl of spaghetti bolognese or a steak? A salad. Making a salad to impress your date shows you've put time and thought into its creation - even if you did cheat and use a Jamie Oliver recipe. But seriously; salads don't have to be all about limp lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Add some exciting ingredients such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, pomegranate seeds or sweet potato. Make a warm salad. Whip up an Asian-style noodle salad with a peanut dressing. Create your own vinaigrette. The options are endless. Combining ingredients just the way YOU want them makes your salad something special, and that can't fail to impress anyone!
'Kale' rhymes with 'Male'
Seriously. Ok, no, so we're just kidding around here. But there are plenty of other reasons why eating a salad doesn't have to be a 'feminine' thing to do. Maybe you're trying to lose weight, beat your personal best at the next London Marathon or just support your partner as they start yet another healthy eating plan/diet. Whatever your reasons for eating salad, avoiding the green stuff just because you're worried about what your mates will say isn't cool. You can make your salads as 'manly' as you want by adding some traditional 'man food' - things like bacon and eggs, chicken or even sliced steak, if you must. Or you can fully embrace the salad revolution and enjoy imaginative salads with quinoa, avocado, sweet potatoes and edamame. Make your own, pick up quick options on-the-go at your local M & S or health-food cafe or go out for dinner and order a salad. Be proud - you're making changes to your eating and you're doing it because it feels good!
What is 'man food' anyway?
I guess traditionally we see 'man food' as being something a man would eat to sustain himself whilst working on a ranch, chopping lumber, or doing some other, traditional, physical 'manly' job. But it doesn't have to be that way. Chances are if our ancestors had had access to a hearty kale salad with avocado and a delicious olive oil dressing, they'd have lived longer AND chopped more wood for the fire. Just saying!
You know you want to. Put down your tablet, step away from the laptop or leave your smartphone on the sofa. And go. Make a salad. It's manly.
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