It seems there has been a lot of discussion on “clean” eating and choosing “whole” foods. My wife got me turned on to the concept about 6 months ago and I have to admit I’m very pleased with the modifications to my diet. As hunters we are already ahead of the curve due to the wild game we pursue and eat that is untainted by any portion of the food industry. I’m guessing with a little bit of effort you too can jump on this healthy bandwagon and reap the benefits.
There are probably a million different definitions of clean eating out there depending on who you talk to and varying degrees of discipline when adhering to the concept. My simple thoughts on the matter are that I avoid boxed foods and highly processed carbohydrates. Another simple principle that I apply is that if I can’t pronounce it, then I probably shouldn’t be eating it.
The most straightforward approach is to only eat meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Those items are about as close to nature as one can get without the hand of man meddling with ingredients. Don’t think I’m on some pedestal though, I grew up on hotdogs and mac and cheese just like many of you but it is never too late to make improvements to your eating habits. Also, keep in mind that in reality unless you are extremely devoted to this concept subsisting on only meat and veggies is very difficult and not necessary.
I considered myself a pretty healthy eater to begin with so making the few changes I needed wasn’t too big of an effort. It took probably a month to get into a rhythm and since it’s become natural. The biggest things I did were cut out my morning boxed cereal and bread (sandwiches) at lunch. For breakfast I began eating half a banana and a handful of nuts before my workout, followed by a Wilderness Athlete Shake after my workout. An hour or so later I have a portion of berries (choose your favorite or just go with whatever is in season), whole plain yogurt (more to come on that in a minute), and some Muesli mixed in. I’ll follow that up with some hardboiled egg whites and an apple or grapefruit maybe 2 hours later. When lunch rolls around I either fix up a big, colorful salad and top with choice shreaded meat or make a sandwich substituting a romaine lettuce leaf for slices of bread or wrap. Having your shreaded meat ready to go is easy, just throw some chicken breast or wild game into a crock pot and freeze in serving sizes that best fit your family. Then for dinner you can have meat of your choice, a vegetable or salad, and if you need some carbs go with potatoes or even better yet, sweet potatoes.
Be aware of some of the ingredients that I eluded to earlier in yogurt or even some peanut butter (man I love peanut butter!) as a healthy snack. Make sure you check the labels!! Here are a few examples of why:
Would you rather have milk and peanuts or all that other stuff?!??!?!?! So make the decision and chose to eat healthier, clean, whole foods. You won’t be disappointed.
Don’t forget you don’t have to forgo your plan when on the go or in the field. Paleo Meals to Go provide you with complete meals made from genuinely natural ingredients. Seriously, their Canyon Chicken Chili contains the following; chicken, sweet potatoes, coconut sugar, mushrooms, cauliflower, green chili pepper, spices, celery, and sea salt. You can’t get more real than that! Also, if you’re looking for some extra protein or a pick-me-up on the hunt be sure to take a look at some of the products from EPIC bars. They offer natural protein bars and unique trail mixes made from clean, whole ingredients. (Note: I will be posting reviews on these two companies in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned).