Diet & Nutrition

How All Blacks great Kees Meeuws cares for his mental and physical wellbeing

The rugby legend shares his best wellbeing tips for a fast-paced lifestyle

Kees Meeuws, a legendary figure in All Blacks history, has 42 tests to his name from 1998 to 2004. He’s since made Dunedin his home and has triumphed over numerous personal and professional hurdles, even featuring on TV Three’s Match Fit, a reality show aimed at helping rugby players regain their mental and physical health.

We recently spoke to Kees about his approach to maintaining his wellbeing, his advice for a healthy lifestyle, and his partnership with meal supplement brand Optislim. Here’s what he had to say.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am a real estate agent with Bayleys Dunedin. A typical day is: gym most mornings, then I’m off to the office, where I’ll do callbacks, meet with new clients, show houses and do appraisals. Every day brings something new, and I have to be adaptable. Most days are busy.

You’re a former All Black and rugby coach. What’s been your most defining sporting achievement?

There have been many great moments in my career, but the Ben Darwin incident at the 2003 World Cup semi-final would have to be my most significant and pleasing result.

Kees Meeuws of New Zealand on the charge during the Rugby Union World Cup 1999 match against South Africa played at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Dave Rogers / Allsport

How have you maintained your wellbeing since starring on TV Three’s Match Fit?

I’ve always tried to keep fit since retiring from rugby. When I retired I had to deal with a few personal issues that required me to seek professional help to learn some coping and cognitive skills, which I found super beneficial.

I had just gone through counselling six months before the show and thought that it would be a really good experience to share with others. Being so vulnerable on TV in front of the New Zealand public was quite scary, but the response was phenomenal.

I continue to stay on my health and mental wellbeing journey by watching what I eat, how much I drink, incorporating Optislim products into my diet, and keeping active. I have learned to take time out when needed and do the things I love, like hunting, fishing, and art.

What’s your diet like, and how do you incorporate Optislim products into your daily routine?

I eat a low-carb, high-protein diet along with eating in a six to eight-hour window. As mentioned, I have a busy workload, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits and fast food consumption. So, I am always covered by having Optiman shakes and Optislim bars at work and in my car. I love the speed and convenience of these products. My favourite Optislim product is the Optiman For Him shake range.

My interest in Optislim and Optiman came from needing a meal replacement shake that covered all my nutritional needs but wasn’t full of sugars or fillers. Along with the convenience and ease of using the products, they have great flavours and are tasty and satisfying.

Having a busy schedule isn’t an excuse for poor food decisions, especially with the ease and convenience of Optiman and the Optislim products. Give them a try; I know you will love it just as much as me.

“My interest in Optislim and Optiman came from needing a meal replacement shake that covered all my nutritional needs but wasn’t full of sugars or fillers. Along with the convenience and ease of using the products, they have great flavours and are tasty and satisfying”, says Kees.

What’s your favourite meal of all time?

I love a good old roast chicken meal. It’s my go-to comfort meal.

How do you stay active during the week?

I go to the gym three times a week, do Inferno Pilates two times a week and play golf once a week, where I walk the course. I also do saunas and cold plunge baths. I try to do something every day.

How do you take time for yourself between juggling work, family and social commitments?

I have learnt to make an appointment with myself and add it to my diary as part of my day. I find that if I don’t do this, then I don’t prioritise it.

All Blacks Justin Marshall, Kees Meeuws and Jerry Collins stand for the national anthem before New Zealand’s 417 win over Argentina in their rugby test played at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, Saturday, July 26, 2004. Photo by Ross Land / Getty Images

You’re also an artist. What is your preferred medium, and do you find it relaxing?

I love creating art. My favourite is sculpting, especially large sculptures. It is time-consuming, so I have to pick when I want to be creative.

What’s your number one wellbeing tip?

Try to do something every day for your health and wellbeing. Prioritise it; we only have one life. Start small and keep growing from there. Long journeys have started from one step.

To learn more about Optislim products, visit optislim.co.nz.

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