His + Hers

I think it goes without saying that Ben + I have very different body types.

046_Beneighth

[Takin’ it back to middle school]

[his]

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…]

[hers]

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:

  1. Ben and I get to spend an extra half an hour together in the mornings
  2. I wake up early and feel useful
  3. Ben feels less stressed [whereas he’s slow in the mornings, I’m revving at 6am!]
  4. I get to create fun and crazy high-caloric meals that I could never enjoy myself [I’m eating vicariously!]
  5. Ben’s been eating quality meals and maintaining his weight [even if it is a bit lower than usual…]

IMG_4297

[A more recent shot Winking smile]

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. 

IMG_7259IMG_7260

breakfast.

[his]

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].

[hers]

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. 

[common ground]

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast: Same ingredients, just in two very different ways.

–me

IMG_7250IMG_7268

lunch.

[his]

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!].

[hers]

Roasted vegetables + 3 oz. broiled salmon [not pictured].   

[common ground]

Soba salad: heavy on the noodles for him, heavy on the greens for her.

IMG_7218IMG_6845

snack.

[his]

Bliss Bars full of delicious things like dates, peanut butter, nuts, peanut butter crackers, etc.

[hers]

Birdfood nuts + seeds, a boiled egg, etc. 

[common ground]

Kale chips

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. Winking smile

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? 

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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5 thoughts on “His + Hers

  1. Darlene Rodrigues says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Haley. I really find this post very helpful for me. I appreciate the reminder that everyone has individual needs based on their body type, genetic makeup, and what they grew up eating. My body type and digestive system loves to hold onto things. In our family we also have diabetes, etc. Iʻve been working with my naturopathic doctor and itʻs been great. I make sure I eat enough protein early on in the day (breakfast) and have cut out sugar and caffeine. I need to be better about the amount of cholesterol and fat, so easy to rely on meal protein in Hawaii. Needless to say, your recipes are awesome. Will let you know what else I try and modify for my nut sensitivity! Keep on, keeping on!

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Wow Darlene, you are so conscious and I’m glad to hear you’ve been working with a naturopath [I need one of those ;)]. It is amazing what cutting sugar and caffeine can do for a body, isn’t it??? I’m so excited to hear that you’re taking such excellent care of yourself… please do keep me updated!! xo.

  2. Angela @ The Chicken Scoop says:

    My hubs and I are pretty similar so it makes things easy actually. I have a hard time with raw foods too, glad to see I’m not alone!

    And another recipe, I forgot about the bliss bars! Ok, I think 3 weekends from now I have a free day when I can just open your blog and start cookin!
    ~Ang

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Ah, I know right? I kinda went recipe crazy this week, lol.

      Also, you’re definitely not alone with the raw food thing. My poor husband tried taking the family to a raw food event once and everyone BUT him had miserable stomach issues afterward [tmi?], lol.

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