I think it goes without saying that Ben + I have very different body types.
[Takin’ it back to middle school]
Ben has the metabolism of a beast. Seriously. It’s a gift that’s been passed down for generations in his family. Both Ben and his sister Heather can [and do!] eat ridiculous amounts and remain super lean and fit. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that they’ve both been very active and athletic since they were little. Oh, and that their Momma is a nutritionist.
Ben’s body functions best with raw foods and high levels of healthy carbohydrates. It doesn’t like lots of sugar or dairy, but it can tolerate small amounts of natural sugars [honey + maple syrup] and goat dairy just fine. His digestive system processes cold foods well, and he’d prefer anything cold over hot. When he’s stressed, his hunger tends to decrease. [Ha! If only I had that issue…]
My body, on the other hand, tends to hold on to things. My family has struggled with all types of health issues [including diabetes, high blood pressure and cancers], and I have been on my health and wellness journey for over nine years now. I was raised by a low-income single mother and was fed whatever my Japanese and Puerto Rican grandmothers made.
My body functions best with cooked foods and high levels of protein. The few things Ben + my systems have in common is our intolerance for sugar and dairy [and the love of goat cheese!]. My body doesn’t like wheat, either. And my digestive system doesn’t enjoy raw foods, but loves anything warm. When I’m stressed, my hunger tends to increase.
With such different systems, you’d think Ben and I would have a hard time finding meals that fit both of us, but that’s totally false. We always find common ground over the dinner table when we eat our vegetable-focused meals together [Ben usually just adds extra carbs to his plate].
Our other meals, however, look very different. Especially since he’s started teaching full time [Mr. Ben].
You may remember me saying that Ben kept forgetting to eat [something he cannot afford to do!]. Well, after he lost a few pounds, I made myself a promise to help him prepare and pack healthy [high cal] meals. For the past couple weeks, I’ve woken up with Ben. I make his breakfast while he showers and then pack his lunch and a few snacks for the day.
Doing this has helped in a few ways:
- Ben and I get to spend an extra half an hour together in the mornings
- I wake up early and feel useful
- Ben feels less stressed [whereas he’s slow in the mornings, I’m revving at 6am!]
- I get to create fun and crazy high-caloric meals that I could never enjoy myself [I’m eating vicariously!]
- Ben’s been eating quality meals and maintaining his weight [even if it is a bit lower than usual…]
[A more recent shot ]–
To give an example of how differently we eat, here were our breakfasts + lunches yesterday. And to give an example of how we often eat very similarly, I’m also highlighting a common ground meal that we often make when we’re enjoying our day together.
Monte Benjo: a fried egg, manchego cheese, turkey, avocado and mustard between french toast [two slices bread coated w/ 1 egg, cinnamon, vanilla, and a Tbsp almond milk].
Steel cut oats: 1/4 c steel cut oats with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla, a Tbsp chia seeds, a scoop of protein powder, and a tsp of maca root.
Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast: Same ingredients, just in two very different ways.
Chicken salad sandwich w/ the works: boiled chicken breast tossed with onion, veganaise, mustard and a dash of hot sauce; manchego cheese, cilantro, avocado, spinach and tomato [hello, calories!].
Roasted vegetables + 3 oz. broiled salmon [not pictured].
Soba salad: heavy on the noodles for him, heavy on the greens for her.
Bliss Bars full of delicious things like dates, peanut butter, nuts, peanut butter crackers, etc.
Birdfood nuts + seeds, a boiled egg, etc.
As you can see, while our bodies need different things to thrive, Ben and I find lots of common ground with our food. Lately, I’ve been making it a point to give Ben’s meals more caloric-oomph, though, which makes our fridge a bit more interesting.
I’m off to the eye-doc to get a new contact prescription [woot!]. Have a wonderful Thursday!
How do you deal with differing body type needs?
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