I just got back from a great weekend hanging out with several of the Elk101.com Pro Staff: Corey Jacobsen, Brian Call and Anthony Spencer (Gritty Bowman), Russ Meyer, Donnie Drake, and my twin bro, Mark Skousen. We got together to work on a fitness project we will be rolling out later in 2016 on Elk101.com. While we were there, Brian recorded a Gritty Bowmen panel podcast with 6 of us as we discussed how our individual workout programs get us into ElkShape and ready for elk season.
As part of our podcast, nutrition, supplements and diet came up as an integral part of getting into peak fitness. The general consensus amongst some really fit and knowledgeable elk hunters is that you can have the best workout plan in the world, but if you don’t pay attention to your diet, you aren’t going to get the most out of your fitness efforts. The point was also brought up that eating healthy is a lifestyle, and not something we should only focus on a few months before elk season.
It is easy to get lost in all the information and opinions about diet and nutrition. Just do a google search on the subject and you will see what I mean. The purpose of this article is not to debate which diet plan is best, or to discuss in a lot of technical detail which nutritional supplements work best. I’m simply going to share some basic principles that I live by that have helped me feel great and fuel my body. I know that if you follow these basic principles, you will feel better and increase your fitness level for elk season, which is just 5 short months away!
Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat, but also avoiding the junk foods and processed foods that are so readily available. My personal goal is to eat clean 90% of the time. I have found that by doing this, my body feels strong, I rarely get sick, and I can push myself day after day without feeling sluggish, tired, and fatigued. Here are a few ways I practice clean eating:
Where do Supplements fit in?
Experts say there is definitely a place for supplements in our diets, but their primary function is to fill in small nutrient gaps. Supplements are intended to add to your diet, not take the place of real food or a healthy meal plan. With that being said, I do use supplements to enhance my workouts, help me recover faster, and to add protein to my diet. For my weight and workouts, I need between 75-100g of protein every day. For the average sedentary person, this can be calculated by taking your weight and multiplying it by .36. If you have an active lifestyle and you want to build muscle, you’ll need more protein. For the past year or so, I have been using MTN OPS supplements and have experienced great results. (https://getmtnops.com)
There are three MTN OPS supplements that I use in particular. The first is Yeti, and I use it as a Pre-Workout and Workout drink. I have taken pre-workout drinks before that have made my body tingle and feel weird. Yeti has never had that effect on me, but it does make me feel alert and full of energy so I can make the most of my 5 a.m. early morning workouts. My favorite flavor is their new “Blue Raspberry”.
I also use their product called Enduro. I add 1 scoop to 9-10 oz. of water for a Post-Workout drink, or when I hit the trails on my mountain bike.
The last product I take is Magnum, which is a 100% Whey Protein Isolate. I add a scoop of Magnum in either a Post-Workout protein shake or a breakfast shake. The MTN OPS brand of whey protein has a large amount of protein – 23g – and only 1g of sugar per scoop. Compared to most of the other brands I have used and researched, this is awesome!
In conclusion, I want to stress that I don’t believe supplements will automatically transform your body or help you lose weight on their own. I do believe though, that supplements will enhance performance and help you get the most out of the efforts you put into your conditioning.
Eating clean and taking supplements is not something that just makes you a better elk hunter. It can also make you a healthier, stronger person. When you make it a way of life, it will make you feel better in everyday activities AND get you better prepared to take on the challenges of elk hunting this fall. Commit to it, and then do it!
Elk Hunter Protein Shake
1 C Liquid (Lots of options here: (Almond Milk, Skim Milk, or even water)
½ C Yogurt (My favorite is Greek Yogurt or Fage)
1 C Fresh Fruit (Whole strawberries, grapes, blueberries)
1 Scoop of Whey Protein (Magnum – Mtn. Ops)
Handful of green spinach
1 C ice
1 TBS of Chia Seeds and Hemp Hearts (raw shelled Hemp seeds)
(Chia seeds are an excellent source of OMEGA 3 and Hemp Seeds have 10g of protein plus a bunch of good vitamins per serving)
Throw everything into a blender and mix until smooth.
Nutritional Information (Calculated with 1% milk):
655 Calories (Including chia seeds and hemp hearts)
337 Calories (excluding chia seeds and hemp hearts)