Advieh Zoodles

Do you make the same 3 things for dinner every night after work? Are you looking to add something a little exotic, but familiar enough that your kids will still eat it? Make Advieh Spaghetti and Zoodles tonight!

What is Advieh?

Advieh is a Persian spice blend that has rose petals. Typically, I hate flower flavored foods, when I see lavender flavored chocolate I want to throw a temper tantrum. But the rose in Advieh is subtle and somehow very comforting, like something a Persian grandma would make. I was able to find food grade rose peddles at my local spice shop, but they can also be bought on Amazon. Here is an Advieh spice, but I have not tried it, but I’m sure it will work.

 

Advieh Zoodles

This weeknight Paleo dinner is somehow both a comfort food and exotic.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs grass-fed ground beef or lamb
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon Advieh
  • 3 cups tomato sauce about (just 1 Jar)
  • 1-2 eggplants 1 inch cubed 1t salt 20 minutes 425
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • ½ bunch parsley roughly chopped

Advieh

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground rose petal
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  1. On a sheet pan, sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over eggplant, set aside while oven preheats
  2. Brown meat and onions together in a pan with ½ teaspoon salt
  3. Put eggplant in a 400 degree F oven to roast (15-20 minutes)
  4. Add spices and garlic to meat and stir until you can spell them. (Note: if there is a lot of liquid in the pan drain that off before adding spices)
  5. Stir in vinegar
  6. Add tomato sauce and simmer
  7. When the eggplant is done roasting stir into the sauce
  8. Simmer for about 15 minutes
  9. Stir in chopped parsley
  10. Serve over zoodles

Tips and Tricks

Persian Spaghetti with Zoodles

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like. Thanks for the support!

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Epic Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

paleo brown butter chocolate chip cookie

Where I Eat Epic Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of enjoying a cookie or two on top of a mountain. These Paleo-ish Epic Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are a perfect mid-hike treat. Of course, you don’t have to climb a mountain to enjoy them, they are also good wherever you happen to be.

Brown Butter

Brown Butter is amazing and makes everything better. Basically, if a sweet recipe calls for butter, brown butter will make it better.

How Treats Fit into My Diet

To prepare for my upcoming Dahl Sheep Hunt I have been going in and out of ketosis. “How can you eat cookies?!”, you might ask. First off, I am a huge believer in the occasional treat when I’m not eating keto. But according to Dr. Cate Shanahan, even in ketosis, you can enjoy some carbs if you time them right with exercise.

So then you kind of emptied out those little suitcases in your muscles that store glycogen (during exercise), and so now you could just refill those suitcases, and it doesn’t take insulin to do that, either (allowing you to stay in ketosis). Balanced Bites Podcast

Plus, a cookie tastes its best when you are it enjoying with friends, surrounded by nature, after working hard. But seriously these cookies will taste great anytime.

Epic Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chewy Paleo-ish cookies are a nice little treat you can enjoy on top of a mountain or at your kitchen table. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 30

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter

Dry Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Mix-In

  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat
  2. Occasionally swirl, until the milk solids turn golden and the butter smells nutty.
  3. Set aside and let cool off until you can comfortably touch the pot.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  5. In the saucepan mix butter, dry ingredients, and wet ingredients.
  6. Once completely mix together, fold in chocolate
  7. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough on to silicon or parchment paper lines cookies sheets
  8. Flatten out dough balls with a measuring cup
  9. Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown

Recipe Notes

Makes 30-35 cookies

*the instant coffee is optional but adds a nice bitter note to offset all the sweetness

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Here is a brown butter How-To video. Once you learn how you’ll never want to use plain butter again, I’ve even put it in my coffee! It has a great sweet, caramelly, nutty flavor. I’m not sure why it tastes so sweet, because to my knowledge it does not contain carbs.
  • I use Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips or chopped Lindt dark chocolate bars because they do not contain soy lecithin.
  • I love my cookie scoop and use it for everything including Fat Bombs and mini muffins. Mine is a size #50, but I also have size #20 for muffins and cupcakes, and a large #12 I use for Keto flatbread.
  • Silicon mats are great for baking cookies, veggies, and sheet pan meals. They make clean up a breeze! Or use an unbleached parchment paper. You can use parchment paper a couple of time before you have to throw it away.

 

 

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like. Thanks for the support!

paleo brown butter chocolate chip cookie

Paleo “Oatmeal”

grain-free hot breakfast

If you’re like me, you miss having your “healthy” bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Well, I have good news for you, this Paleo Oatmeal is just as comforting and a better low-carb alternative to the insulin spiking bowl of sugar you used to eat. Here is a Mark’s Daily Apple article about oatmeal if you are looking for a comprehensive read.

I made my Paleo Oatmeal in a mason jar. I use my blender all the time and love that I can blend everything right in the jar. I also use my blender for Make-Ahead Smoothies. Seriously, I could probably write an entire cookbook for this blender. It doesn’t have the power of a Vita-Mix, but I’m obsessed with mason jars and hate doing dishes.

Blender love letter aside, you can make this recipe in any blender😊

 

Paleo Oatmeal

This healthy breakfast will have you forgetting all about oatmeal. Plus it can be eaten hot or cold!

Course Breakfast
Keyword dairy-free, grain-free, low-carb, paleo
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cup water + a splash
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin optional, but highly recommended
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup berries

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, bloom gelatin in your blender (or jar) with a splash of cold water.
  3. Add hot water, coconut butter, salt, nuts, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  4. Blend until nuts are in small pieces.
  5. Add coconut and chia seeds to the blender, pulse just to mix
  6. Pour out half the mixture into a bowl and top with berries

 

Tips & Tricks

  • If you don’t have gelatin or coconut butter, just heat up 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk or another nut milk.
  • You can half this recipe for a single serving, but why cook once and only eat once. This can be reheated or eaten cold as a parfait
  • Try using your favorite types of nuts
  • If you want your Paleo oatmeal a little sweeter, add a drizzle of maple syrup (just know you are adding sugar).
  • Buy nuts raw and store them in the freezer

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like. Thanks for the support!

oatmeal

A Formula for a Simple Curry

formula for curry

A post in the Open Sky Fitness Podcast Group by Rob Dionne got me thinking. How many recipes do I use to cook most of my dinners? I realized that rather than “recipes,” I have formulas. At least once a week I use A Formula for a Simple Curry. Honestly, I think we ate curry four times the other week. When your life gets crazy … simplify where you can.

Why a Formula Instead of a Recipe

Give a person a recipe and they can cook tonight. Give a person a basic formula for a simple curry and they can cook for a lifetime, with whatever they have on hand.

Warning

This looks much more complicated than it is. Once you have used the formula once or twice, it will become second nature!

Developing a Formula for Curry

It was harder than I thought to write down my abstract curry formula, even though it’s very logical. I started with my very general dinner formula.

Meat + Veggies + Flavor = A Healthy, Good-Enough Dinner

For example, take my simple Salmon Fajitas.

Meat (salmon) + Veggies (onions and bell peppers) + Flavor (fajitas seasoning) = Healthy Sheet Pan Supper

So, I guess my Formula for Simple Curry goes like this:

1 pound meat + lots of veggies + 2 cups liquid + 1-2 tablespoons spices + bone broth (optional) = Fast, yummy dinner

Meat

Typically, I use wild game hamburger, ground turkey or chicken. I personally don’t like fish curries, but don’t let that stop you from giving it a try! (Lots of people like fish curries; I’m just weird.)

A good general rule, is 1 pound meat -> 1 teaspoon salt added during cooking.

Veggies

My go-to veggie preparation? Roasted! Most nights, we eat some form of roasted veggie. Not glamorous, but I love the way they taste, and silicon mats make for fast preparation and clean up.

Curries are a great way to use up any random veggies hiding in the bottom of your crisper drawer. Just throw it all in there! Extra roasted/steamed/baked/sautéed veggies from the night before? Throw them in there! Often, I make a curry Sunday night to use up anything I didn’t get to that week. This cuts down on food waste.

 

These veggies I found last night. Even the sad wilted celery tasted great in the curry.

 

Often, at the very end, I throw a few handfuls of spinach or kale into the sauce to get some extra veggies in my simple curry.

Liquid

To make my curry sauce, I typically use full-fat coconut milk. Usually, I have some Homemade Collagen Coconut Milk in my fridge. If I don’t, I’ll use canned.

Lately, I have started to occasionally mix it up with cashew milk.

Spices

Thai Kitchen makes a green curry and red curry paste that I really like. They are made from real ingredients. They also don’t need to be refrigerated until you open them, and then you can keep them in the fridge for a long time.

One or two tablespoons of garam masala and/or curry powder is also a good option. When I add dried spices, I usually add at least a teaspoon of cumin, just because I love cumin.

Bone Broth

Bone Broth is optional but is so good for you! You can either make your curry a soup or cook rice or quinoa in bone broth instead of water. Although rice is not paleo, when it’s prepared properly, most people tolerate it well and it’s a crowd pleaser. Personally, I feel pretty good feeding my kids sprouted brown rice I’ve cooked in bone broth. For more information about properly preparing grains or legumes, check out this awesome in-depth Weston A. Price Foundation article.

Simple Curry

This is a formula to make a curry out of whatever you have laying around. It is a fast and healthy meal to cook on those nights you did not plan ahead and you are in a hurry... so basically every night.

Course Main Course
Keyword curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound meat
  • Lots of veggies chopped
  • 2 cups liquid
  • 1-2 tablespoons spices
  • bone broth optional

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or pot brown meat

  2. Stir in spiced

  3. Add liquid 

  4. Either add veggies or roast them at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes

  5. Simmer curry for about 15 minutes

Ingredient Options (include but not limited)

Instructions for Ground Meat

  1. In a large pot or skillet, brown meat with onions if available, over medium-high heat.
  2. Add spices to meat mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low and carefully add liquid to make a sauce.
  4. Either serve with roasted veggies or simmer veggies until done.

Instructions for Stew Meat

  1. In a large pot or skillet, brown meat with onions if available, over medium-high heat.
  2. Add spices to meat mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low, then carefully add liquid to make a sauce.
  4. Simmer at least 30 minutes or add to slow cooker (LOW 4-6 hours, HIGH 2-4 hours).
  5. Serve with roasted veggies.

Instructions for Chicken Breast and Thighs

  1. In a large skillet, brown onion over medium-high heat with a little oil, if available.
  2. Add spices to meat mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low, then carefully add liquid to make a sauce.
  4. Either stir in veggies now, or roast them at 425°F for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add chicken and let simmer in the sauce for about 30 minutes.
  6. Use a fork to break chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Instructions for Fish

  1. In a large skillet, brown onion over medium-high heat with a little oil, if available.
  2. Add spices to meat mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low, then carefully add liquid to make a sauce.
  4. Either stir in veggies now, or roast them at 425°F for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add fish and let simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  6. Use a fork to break fish into bite-sized pieces.

Instructions for Slow Cooker

  • Not recommended for fish.
  • Chicken thighs hold up better than chicken breasts.
  • If using ground meat, brown before adding to slow cooker.
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker.
  2. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.

Tips and Tricks

  • Garnish your curry with cilantro, green onion, and a squeeze of lime or lemon (if available).
  • Garnishing with a finely diced granny smith apple adds a nice texture and brightness.
  • Roasting veggies take another pan but add flavor and texture, while adding very little to the actual prep time.
  • Make enough for lunch the next day

 

Give it a try! Thinking about cooking this way will make it easier to throw together a fast, healthy, and tasty curry.

 

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like. Thanks for the support!

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A Formula for Make-Ahead Healthy Smoothies

Make Ahead Smoothies

Make-ahead smoothies are a healthy way to start your busy morning. I love smoothies, but I found it was taking too much time each morning to get all the ingredients out, make the smoothie, then put everything away.

Formula vs. Recipes

Most of my go-to meals I use formulas instead of recipes. The general formula allows flexibility to change things up without thinking it very hard. They allow me to work with what I have. And if you give a person a recipe the can cook for a day, give them a formula, they can cook for a lifetime.

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Why I Use A Formula for Make-Ahead Healthy Smoothies

Like everyone, my mornings are a bit hectic. I must get my kids ready, and lunches packed for daycare, pack food for my husband and me, get my car packed for my job, and feed the goats. I try to get as prepared as I can the night before, but I’m always looking for ways to simplify.

Batch “cooking” smoothies is a great time saver. Making them ahead of time is just more efficient. Most smoothie ingredients can go straight from the freezer to the blender which is a huge advantage. Smoothies are also highly customizable, which is also great.

Here is a general formula for a make-ahead smoothie.

Greens + Fruit + Protein + Liquid +(extras)= Smoothie

Use the table below to get combination ideas. Play around, see what you like

Smoothie Chart

*best if added just before blending or chopped before freezing if applies

I found this blender on Amazon that you can screw a regular mason jar directly to the base. It’s no Vitamix, but it gets the job done.

Blender with make ahead smoothies

I like that I can store, blend, and drink all in the same jar. This saves time and dishes. If you have a different blender you can store your make-ahead smoothies in the container you plan to drink it out of.

How to Make Ahead Smoothies

  1. Add greens, fruit, protein, and any other powders to your jar.
  2. Close jar and keep in freezer until you are ready to eat.

Morning of

  1. Take jar out of the freezer
  2. Add liquids and any other ingredients that don’t freeze well
  3. Enjoy and rock your day!

Make-Ahead Smoothie Formula

This smoothie will save you time, and make it easy to start your day off with a healthy breakfast.

Course Breakfast
Keyword breakfast, green smoothie, greens, smoothie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups greens
  • 1/2-1 cup fruit
  • protein
  • liquid
  • extras optional

Instructions

Before Hand

  1. Add greens, fruit, protein, and any other powders to your jar.
  2. Close jar and keep in freezer until you are ready to eat.

Morning Of

  1. Take jar out of the freezer
  2. Add liquids and any other ingredients that don’t freeze well
  3. Enjoy and rock your day!

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Tips, Tricks, and Fun Facts

  • Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. When I’m in ketosis, I like smoothies that are just greens, collagen coconut milk, and protein powder.(Here’s my favorite Goat Whey protein powder)
  • A splash of lemon juice will protect nutrients from blending oxidative stress.
  • Freezing vegetables makes some micronutrients more bioavailable (ice crystals cut through cell walls making nutrients more digestible)
  • I use these mason jar lids all the time for smoothies (and to prevent messes with toddlers), If you like straws these reusable stainless-steel straws will work with the lids. Sometimes it just seems more fun to drink a smoothie throw a straw. These both prevent the dreaded smoothie nose.
  • If you are going to use mason jars a lot this canning funnel saves time and prevents messes.

 

 

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like. Thanks for the support!

Smoothies

Crowd-Pleasing Baked Salmon Fajitas

Typically, I cook salmon every Monday. Lately, my go-to salmon meal has been Baked Salmon Fajitas. Mondays are my busiest day, so this sheet pan dinner is perfect. It’s also a crowd-pleaser because you can make it Paleo, Keto, low-carb, gluten-free, or grain-free, or serve it with a flour tortilla.

Salmon Fishing in Alaska

Like man Alaskans, I always have salmon in the freezer. So, I’m always looking for different ways to cook it. I know that sounds spoiled, but what can I say? I am. During red (sockeye) salmon season, people literally scoop fish out of the river with giant nets. It’s called dip netting and it’s a great way to fill a freezer.
You can also go “fishing” for salmon, but I don’t much care for this. Most salmon fishing is done shoulder to shoulder with tons of other people. You throw your weighted hook in the water and watch it drift downstream. Then you plop it upstream again … and again … and again, hoping your hook will drift into a salmon’s mouth.
The most fun I ever had salmon fishing was when we hired a guide to fly us into a secret spot. We were close enough to the ocean that the silver salmon were still attaching our streamers.

Silver Salmon Fishing
Oh, I was also about 36 weeks pregnant. Thank God waders are made for overweight men 😊

Why Try Baked Salmon Fajitas?

  • They are yummy. Life is too short to eat food you don’t enjoy.
  • Salmon is sooo good for you. Omega-3s and Astaxanthin, anyone? (Here is a good article if you want to know more.)
  • Sheet Pan Supers are the best. Everything cooks on the pan, so clean up is a breeze.
  • Salmon Fajitas is one of the most versatile meals ever! The serving options are endless, so you can make just about anyone happy.

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Pulling Pin Bones

I highly recommend pulling the pin bones out of the fish before you cook it. This is especially important if you are feeding kids. If you don’t pull out pin bones, you have to chew really carefully. To pull out the pin bones, you need a pair of tweezers. Run your finger along the midline of the fillet. When you find a bone, pull it out with your tweezers. Different parts of the fish have different numbers of bones. If your fillet comes from closer to the tail, you will find fewer bones. When you think you have them all, double check

Baked Salmon Fajitas

These Easy Baked Salmon Fajitas are a crowd-pleasing meal that can be made on one sheet pan.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword crowd-pleasing, easy, fajitas, fast, healthy, keto, low-carb, one pan, paleo, salmon, sheet pan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 fillet salmon
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil about

Spices

  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  1. Place the sheet pan in the oven to preheat at 425° F.

  2. While the oven is preheating, mix together the spice mix. 


  3. Coat the onions and peppers in oil and 1-2 teaspoons of the spice mix.


  4. Place on the baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables have started to brown on the edges.


  5. Take the pan out of the oven. Turn the oven down to 250° F.


  6. Place the salmon fillets on the pan. Sprinkle each with about ½ teaspoon seasoning.


  7. Bake all together for about 15 minutes more, until the salmon just flakes with a fork.

Recipe Notes

Serving options

Flour or corn tortillas – if you eat grains

Cassava tortillas – if you are grain-free

Rice – if that is part of your diet

Over a bed of greens – for a simple salad

Garnisher options

Lime Cilantro Jalapenos Cotija or Queso Fresco (if you eat dairy), or sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (if you eat dairy)

How to Make Bakes Salmon Fajitas

  1. Place a sheet pan in the oven to preheat at 425° F. These are the sheet pans I use. I love them because they are a higher quality so they don’t warp and use them ALL the time with these silicone mats. Silicone mats make clean up even easier because food doesn’t stick to them. Most of the time, I wash only the mat, not the pan.
  2. While the oven is preheating, mix together the spice mix. The coconut sugar is optional. I find that the coconut sugar balances the flavor nicely and adds only a couple grams of carbs to the meal. When I’m in Ketosis, I leave it out. It’s totally up to you.
  3. Coat onions and peppers in oil and 1-2 teaspoons of the spice mix. I use avocado oil because it has a high smoke point. Extra virgin olive oil would work but cooking with expensive EVOO is kind of a waste because it will lose that great olive taste. Other oils, such as vegetable and canola, have a high Omega-6 fat content, which increases inflammation. The way they are made also causes the fats to oxidize, which damages DNA and tissue in your body. Here is a good article about the dangers of vegetable oils.
  4. Place on the baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables have started to brown on the edges.
  5. Take the pan out of the oven and it down to 250° F. Studies also show that higher-temperature cooking degrades astaxanthin (a killer antioxidant found in salmon). If you totally want to geek out check out this PubMed article.
  6. Place the salmon fillets on the pan. Sprinkle each with about ½ teaspoon seasoning. It’s ok to guess on the measurement; personally, I like the freedom of just eyeballing it.
  7. Bake all together for about 12-15 minutes more, until the salmon just flakes with a fork. Cooking the salmon at a lower temperature prevents it from drying out and makes the texture delightful. When I first started cooking salmon, I cooked the heck out of it. I did not want it to be undercooked. Slowly, I have seen the light. I would rather eat salmon undercooked than overcooked.

Serving options

  • Keto – over a bed of greens or cauliflower rice
  • Paleo – cassava tortillas, you can buy them or make your own
  • Gluten-free – over rice
  • Conventional – corn or flour tortillas

Garnishing options

  • Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapenos
  • Salsa
  • Cabbage Slaw
  • If you eat dairy Cotija Queso Fresco, sour cream, or plain greek yogurt

Enjoy!

 

 

*This post was adapted from a post I originally did for Open Sky Fitness.

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like. Thanks for the support!

Salmon Fajitas (1)

 

Designing a Sheep Hunting Fitness Program

Now is the Time to Get Ready for Hunting Season

Now is the time to think about designing a sheep hunting fitness program. A couple weeks before sheep season the shooting range is packed, and you see people walking around with their packs, don’t be the guy that waits until the last minute to sight in your rifle and get in shape. It takes more than a couple of weeks to properly prepare for something as challenging as sheep hunting.

You really should shoot all year round and work out consistently.

Periodization

Periodization is important to get the most out of your training. It helps prevent General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS), or when your body adapts to the specific stresses you are experiencing (i.e. exercise). Each period has a different focus and stresses your body in different ways. If you want to learn more here is an interesting journal article that goes into more detail.

*It is important to use training programs as a guide while allowing yourself to be flexible to make changes as need be.

My Training Phases

The day after tags came out I had written out my nutrition/training plan. The two go hand in hand. I’ve posted this before, but here it is again.

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HEAL/base

I have a chronic overuse injury in my upper thigh, from packing out a caribou over 7 miles over the tundra. Seven miles doesn’t seem very long, but trust me, it is on the tundra. I have been fighting with it off and on for 8 years. I also have Diastasis Recti from my two pregnancies, which leaves my abs super weak.

For the overuse injury, I have tried rest, physical therapy, and dry needling with no real improvement. Currently, I am trying daily foam rolling and Tune Up Fitness ball soft tissue work. So far this has given me the most hope.

For my abs, I am doing Pure Barre, and group workout that mixes barre work and Pilates-like exercises. I’m excited about this because my abs seem to be improving and it strengthens a lot of stabilizer muscles traditional weight lifting does not, and your feet and ankles. This should all come in handy when I’m carrying a heavy pack over uneven terrain.

In addition to the exercises to help heal my body, I am also strength training 2-3 times per week. I mostly do squats and pull-ups. Keep it simple.

Base

For the base period, I will add in cardio workouts while continuing my soft tissue work, strength training, and Pure Bar.  I plan on hiking, walking, biking, and swimming. During this time, I will also focus on getting fat adapted (which I have already started by “going keto”). I will complete many of my workouts fasted or with only a fatty coffee.

Strength

During this phase, I will increase my time in the weight room while still doing cardio a few times a week. I will also increase my calories by adding more carbs and protein for just a few weeks. This will allow my body to recover faster and build muscle.

Pack Time

During the summer I will focus on hiking, with a weighted pack, and when I say weighted I mean carrying a kid or two😊. I will also add in some CrossFit to increase functional strength and muscular endurance.

Rest/pack

The week before I will rest. Yoga and preparing for my hunt will take up my time.

Now is the time to start preparing for your fall hunting season. If you need help coming up with your own personalized program, let me know. I would be happy to help.

Why Go Keto for Sheep Hunting

sheep hunting

Keto for the First Time

This Monday, I’m going Keto! This will be the first time I’ve ever tried. I generally eat Paleoish/low-carbish but I’ve never been very strict about it. I’m definitely a believer in the 80/20 rule. So, a Ketosis diet will be a change.

Pre-Keto Diet Phase

The last phase of my diet plan has been about making the transition to Keto easier. To prepare, I have been:

  1. A little more intentional in my diet, cleaning it up and lowering my carb intake.
  2. Delaying my first fatty coffee and the first real meal of the day.
  3. Recipe testing fat bombs.
    I’m hoping all the prep work will help me succeed.

Lightening Up My Pack

I decided to try Keto for sheep hunting because I need all the help I can get in lightening up my pack. As much as I want to believe that women can do anything, there are some limitations to what females can do physically. I am about 135 pounds, and it is unreasonable for me to think that I can pack out as much as the average sheep hunter does.

So, I am doing everything I can to lighten my pack and increase my strength.
In addition to the numerous health benefits of Ketosis, I am interested in its weight-reducing aspects. (Check out the health benefits.)

  1. Fat has over twice as many calories per gram as do carbohydrates and protein.
  2.  Becoming fat-adapted increases your ability to burn body fat during exercise, decreasing your immediate need for food.

I’m hoping to carry fewer calories (i.e., rely on body fat) from lighter (fatty) foods … double whammy!

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Photo Credit https://www.morgseliz.com/

Strategies for My Success

For me, the key to success will be planning ahead. I’m a huge fan of meal planning and batch cooking. I’ve found that meal planning helps me make good decisions about food. It also saves me time and money, and I really enjoy looking for new recipes. That won’t change. After reading the 21 Day Paleo Rest Diet by Mark Sission, I feel like I have even more tools.

HERE ARE SOME OF MY STRATEGIES

  1. Meal planning, batch cooking, and meal prep
  2.  Always packing food when I won’t be able to eat at home
  3. Having plenty of healthy, yummy, high-fat snacks
  4. Eating when I’m hungry, at first (I’m not worried about weight loss or fasting this first time)

Let me know if I can help with strategies that work for you, or with recipes that will have you loving low-carb. I’ll keep you posted on my Keto experience 🙂

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like.

NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR SHEEP HUNTING

Backcountry Nutrition

The first time I went sheep hunting, I did not have a nutrition program. I was, however, in it to win it. I carried food for over 20 days. My plan was to stay out until the last day of the season if necessary. As you can imagine, the rations were not generous.

My hunting buddy and I would split a candy bar every other day for a treat. I consumed 800-1500 calories a day until, finally, on the eighth day I shot my sheep. With all the hiking and cold nights, this was not enough food.

This year I want a nutrition plan.
Now that my hunting buddy and I have real jobs and responsibilities, we can be gone only a week, so that helps. I also know a considerable more about nutrition, which will hopefully help as well.

Nutrition Planning

Reading The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever by Mark Sisson has inspired me to go KETO for my sheep hunt.

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For every gram of fat, you get nine calories. For every gram of carbohydrate, you get only four calories. This seems like a great place to cut weight – a lot of weight – out of my pack.
After listening to The Open Sky Fitness Podcast episode 186, about nutritional periodization, I decided to write it into my diet and exercise plan. How great is Excel?

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I already eat relatively low-carb, Paleo-inspired, so going low-carb isn’t a huge deal for me. However, I have become a little stricter the last week. Starting March 12, I plan on doing six weeks of full-on Keto for the first time, to really acclimate my body to burning fat for its primary fuel.
Then I will return to low-carb until late June, when I plan to go back to Keto until my hunt.
I anticipate that during the hunt, I will need more carbs because of the insane physical demands of sheep hunting. However, hopefully most of my calories will be from magically light fat.
If you have been low-carb or Keto for a sheep hunt, I would love to hear from you.
Stay tuned for more details about my nutrition program and preparation for my sheep hunt.

UPDATE!!

The Delta Sheep Hunt was a dream come true and my food worked amazingly! The Keto Lunches and DIY Dehydrated Dinners were game changers!

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like.

Hunting Tags Are Out!

Last Friday, hunting tags came out. I’d been excited, but I haven’t really draw anything in a while, so I was just cooking breakfast. My husband was sitting at our kitchen island on my computer, he gets every other Friday off, looking up tag results. When he pulled up mine, a disappointed look came on his face, so I knew I had drawn something good. Delta Walk In!

For those of you that don’t sheep hunt in Alaska, Dall Sheep draw areas have the best sheep numbers, so your likelihood of shooting a sheep is way better than over the counter tags.

I danced around the kitchen the rest of the morning. I also decided the Meghan Trainor’s song “Me Too” was the theme song of the day and I played it pretty much on a loop. “If I was you, I’d want to be me too”

Let’s back up a second. Hunting used to be my life. I put a great amount of time and effort into my hunting trips each year. Seven years ago, I shot a Dall Sheep in the Tok Management Area (also a low probability draw area, I’m a lucky girl!). Before and after that I was obsessed with sheep hunting, then…. Life happened. For the last 4 years, I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding. But this year, it’s my turn to hunt again!!

Shortly after breakfast, my brain started to race about all the thing I would need to do to get ready for my hunt

  1. Get in shape
  2. Go Keto, get fat adapted
  3. Find someone to watch my kids while we are hunting, or find a hunting buddy if my husband must stay with the kids
  4. Work up a load for my rifle
  5. Hit the shooting range
  6. Pack list
  7. Gear testing
  8. Re-Read Sheep Hunting in Alaska by Tony Russ
  9. On and On and On

I’ve decided to blog about my hunting prep. The first couple months will be mostly preparing my mom-bod for the extreme physical challenge of sheep hunting.

Here we go, wish me luck!

 

*Wild and Well Fed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. While this does not add any cost to the consumer it helps Gina continue to work on this blog. She will only provide links to things she thinks will help you or you might really like.