Like any mum, Jessica Rowe says staying fit whilst juggling a multitude of balls in the air is a challenge. However, when it comes to nutrition there’s one thing she says provides her with sustained energy which is a great source of nutrients ….

“It’s mince,” she admits. “Good old Aussie beef mince. I am a massive fan of it and cook it a lot – as long as it’s lean it’s a great source of protein and actually has the same nutritional value of more expensive cuts.

“Whether it’s tacos, Mexican in a pot or shepherd’s pie, I love it. My girls love it, and my hubby [newsreader Peter Overton] is ‘getting used’ to it considering I’m not the world’s greatest cook. But he does eat my meals, if he didn’t he’d go hungry! I’ve also learnt to ‘sprinkle’ the mince in a pan for more even cooking’ rather than just dumping it in one lump which has made a big difference.”

The self-proclaimed “crap housewife” has become a big fan of meat in general ever since becoming an ambassador with Meat & Livestock Australia and The Greatest Butcher on Your Block.

Get The Right Cut

This winter MLA will feature tips on cooking beef and tasty recipes in their Meals by Cut recipe book, which also has great options for those wanting to adopt a more ‘flexitarian’ diet and enjoy red meat no more than three to four times a week. The book also has great advice on how shoppers can find cuts at the right price point and how to properly cook meat for maximum enjoyment.

Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend each adult consume 455g of cooked red meat – the equivalent 650g per person per week of raw meat after trimming. This equates to three to four red meat meals a week with meal portion sizes ranging from 100 to 200g.

Full Of Good Stuff

“This is important as red meat is the best way to get enough iron and zinc recommended for good health,” says Jess. “Red meat is also packed with 12 essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, B vitamins (B12, B5, B6, riboflavin, niacin), magnesium, selenium and phosphorous. We need these essential nutrients for energy, healthy muscles, and for our brain and immunity to function.

“All lean cuts, including lean mince, are nutritious choices. The levels of fat and saturated fat are also relatively low compared to other popular protein foods such as chicken and fish. If you learn how to cook red meat properly it’s so easy – if I can do it anyone can!”

Here Jess shares her best health and nutrition tips. 

What do you eat to stay fit nutrition wise?

I never obsess about portion sizes it’s all about balance for me. Breakfast would be vegie toast, peanut butter toast, porridge, muesli, yoghurt, fruit or an almond croissant. Lunch might be a sandwich and then for dinner it might be spag bol, a stir fry or schnitzel with salad.

What’s your best nutrition tip?

Make it about balance. Eat healthy most of the time, but then don’t forget to treat yourself.  Friday night for us is takeaway night so it’s usually fish and chips or pizza. I also eat a little chocolate every night. There’s no point depriving yourself and it’s boring. You only get one life – enjoy it.

Do you drink?

I don’t drink during the working week but I love having a glass or two of rose on the weekend or a glass of Italian prosecco. We sometimes go to a local Italian restaurant and when I walk in they’ve already poured a glass of prosecco for me.

Now that you’re 51 what area of your health are you paying more attention to?

I’m making sure I have regular colonoscopies. I began having them younger at around 40 because of the increased risk factors in my family. My dad John who’s 73 was diagnosed with bowel cancer at 55 and my mum’s dad died of bowel cancer. Sure, the idea is irksome, but it could save your life. The last time I did a colonoscopy I drank the laxative prep in a wine glass thinking it might make it slightly more palatable!

What do you do exercise wise?

I do Pilates once or twice a week which I love as it’s great for strength and toning.

What about de-stressing mentally?

I love winding down and reading in bed. One of my favourite times is when everyone in the house is asleep and it’s just me awake reading in the glow of my kindle. Those small joys are so important for my well-being.

What do you say to your daughters Allegra, 14, and Giselle, 12, about body image?

I’ve always been very mindful of never talking about body size. I talk about bodies being strong powerful and capable of doing amazing things. I never talk about ‘not fitting into things’. Girls learn from watching and listening to us talk about food and our bodies. They are our sponges, so I am always very mindful how I talk about myself.

Check out The Greatest Butcher campaign page.

What your family’s favourite meat to eat? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • I love her Instagram posts, they’re so relatable! She does cook lots of mine dishes, they always look good


  • Don’t use a lot of mince but can see where this idea is going definitely


  • My favourite meal is shepherds pie served with cauliflower cheese. I use sweet potato for the topping on the shepherds pie for a bit of colour. We only have red meat 3 – 4 times a week.


  • We’re also big mince eaters in our house — chow mein, savoury mince, shepherd’s pie, tacos. Some of our fave meals include mince.


  • refreshingly honest, which is appreciated.


  • Staying fit is more what you put in your mouth than not. Try to have meat a few times a week and probably the favourite is slow roasted belly of pork which always turns out moist but with lovely crackling.


  • Mince is always a favourite of mine (but kangaroo as its lean).


  • 100% diet is key. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every week.


  • Thankyou this was a good read Thankyou for sharing


  • Fantastic tips , thanks heaps Jess


  • What a great read. Some really good tips.
    My favourite cut of meat is scotch fillet medium to well done.


  • I love Pilates for keeping moving I just wish I had more time to do it than once a week ????


  • We eat mince, it’s affordable and can be made into so many different meals, wtih plenty of added veges.


  • Hubby loves a good steak. He’d eat barbecued meats all day everyday if he could! But I always say to him it’s not good as it can cause bowel cancer.


  • I love mince too, especially bought from my local butcher because it’s super fresh.


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