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PROIS STRONG Q and A! What Foods Do You Recommend For Extended Backcountry Hunting?

Prois Strong Pro, Kelli Jennings is full of fantastic suggestions!  Kelli recommends nutrient-dense foods for backcountry excursions.

Low-volume, light fuel is the name of the game when backpacking. But, your food choices also need to be calorie-dense, protein-dense, have adequate carbohydrates, and dare we?…be delicious (nothing kills morale more than facing a meal you disdain). I recommend including a combination of carbohydrates and proteins at meals and snacks when engaging in strenuous hunts.  Backcountry meals often include grains and dried fruits for carbohydrates, but low-volume, shelf-stable proteins can be a bit trickier. Here are 10 options for nutrient-dense foods to sustain you while hunting in the backcountry, and how to use them in meal/snack planning:

1)    Any type of meat jerky – loads of protein, iron and sodium in a lightweight food

2)    Tuna foil packs – when it comes to nutrition, fatty fish like tuna are some of the best protein options around

3)    Hard processed meats like salami – not quite as small in volume, but the sodium and protein are worth a bit more room and weight

4)    Nut butters and nut butter powders such as PB2 – not as high in protein as meats, these options still add protein and calories in a small, convenient form (especially the individually packed peanut butters – and if you haven’t considered a peanut butter and bacon combo, you should)

5)    Hard-boiled eggs and egg powders – you can dehydrate eggs or buy egg powder, or just pack in some hard-boiled ones. Make sure to keep tightly packaged and do your best to avoid cracks in the shells

6)    High-protein breads: Bagels (such as the Everything Bagels highlighted in this post) can pack 10 grams protein per bagel, and if salami or tuna is added to it, you can fuel up on upwards of 30 grams protein and significant carbs – not bad for a backcountry lunch!)

7)    Bars: RX Bars, Pro Bars, Tanka Bars, Perfect Bars and others are “paleo” options that use everything from egg whites to bison meat to bulk up the protein, in small, convenient form.

8)    Protein Powders – I’m a fan of undenatured whey powders (here’s why) such as Natural Factors Whey Factors , and these can easily be added to drinks in the backcountry. For example, 1 scoop of the chocolate powder mixed into hot chocolate will warm you up and add 20 grams of protein.

9)    High protein grains: Couscous (cooks by simply adding water in 5 minutes) or pastas such as Barilla PLUS pasta (made w/ chickpeas, and cooks quickly) can pack 8-12 grams protein.

10)  There are many, many ideas in backcountry cook books such as Lip Smacking Backpacking. You can dehydrates sauces, meats, and more to make backcountry trips more enjoyable. After hiking, hauling, and hunting, a good high-protein meal goes a long way. Or, try pre-made options like Mountain House.

While your body could use even more, aim for 80+ (women) and 100+ (men) grams of protein in the backcountry. Pair these proteins with carbohydrates such as grains and dried fruits at meals and snacks. If you’re doing a lot of hiking and climbing throughout the day, consider using a “sports drinks” such  as Skratchlabs or Carborocket for 50% of your fluids during the day…the carbohydrates and electrolytes can absolutely improve athletic performance (if possible, it’s easiest to drink these adequately from a hydration pack). Protein goals can easily be accomplished with the above options, aiming for 15-20+ grams at each breakfast and lunch, 25-30 at dinner, and 15+ at 1-2 snacks using a high-protein bar and 1 scoop protein powder in hot chocolate. Plan your nutrition and stay strong in the backcountry!

***Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links based completely on my own professional opinions and recommendations. Long before affiliate links, I provided links to online products so that my readers and clients across the country and world would have an easy way to purchase them without confusion. I do NOT align my recommendations with any one company, but thoroughly research and practice them. When you purchase through an affiliate link, the prices stays the same for you, but I receive a very small commission that helps make this blog possible.***

Prois Strong Weekly Q and A- See What The Prois Strong Experts Recommend!

This week’s question for the Prois Strong Pros!

I need a 2 week, fool-proof plan to climb canyons and miles in boots.  I have had a lazy summer with lots of drinks and am about 30# over my healthy weight.  I need a good 2 week program that can keep me motivated and interested.

Trent Ezzel, PT, MPT and Performance Coach has the following suggestions for this.
Fool Proof!!? Well…that’s up to the individual, but here we go. Start small usually, but there is a small window of time. I would start with performing most activities with the boots on that you plan to hike in, like grocery store, mowing the lawn, preparing meals, walks (passing the liquor store without going in), and some workouts. Workouts will be focused more on aerobic activity like stair master or stair climbing, spin bike, rowing machine 20-30 minutes with heart rate in your Target Heart rate zone for age (easy to look up on internet).

Next, focus on postural control exercises, hip, and core exercises. This is very broad. Breathing with initiation of low lateral rib expansion to inhale starts core awareness. Engaging the pelvic floor…stop your pee…lifting the pelvic floor is the next step.

Then, glute activation exercises which include side stepping with resistance, lunges with movement at the hip, and squats with initiation of motion at the hip like your going to sit in a chair or ‘squat’ in the woods. As the stair master or stair workouts become easier, add weight in a back pack or CamelBak. Always ‘think tall’ during workouts as this will improve the potential for the correct core engagement which actually includes some of the shoulder and back stabilizers. Hope this helps. Always try to make it FUN!

Kelli Jennings, RD and Owner of Apex Nutrition LLC has additional thoughts. 

As you’ve probably guessed, there’s fool-proof diet. There are fools, and there’s proof, but I’ve never seen a fool-proof one! Seriously, any real weight loss will take some time, commitment, and work. But, I do have tips and a great plan to make it easier, actionable (starting now!), effective, and a lifestyle.
Some good news? You can see results in two weeks if you get going. Here are my 5 tips:
1) Forget about motivation. Fuu-getta-bout-it. Instead, rewire your brain to form habits. Habits are where it’s at. To start, watch my favorite video on habits here: Mel Robbins. This is L-I-F-E- C-H-A-N-G-I-N-G and about as close to fool-proof as I’ve got. Don’t skip this step. Really! Have you watched it? Dang, we’re down about 22 minutes on our 2 weeks!
2) One tool I utilize with my clients is a “smoothie cleanse.” However, it’s not magic. The point of the cleanse, whether you do it for 1 day or 3, is that you have a mental break (not down) from old ways or eating to new, and a mental shift. Fresh smoothies are great because it’s tough to feel anything less than ultra-healthy while you drink them…and you’ll have a mental shift to the new healthy you. They can be loaded with nutrients. And what’s more, the liquid nutrition can slightly change your metabolism, allowing smoothies to help you get a jump start or break plateaus. Here’s an example of one of my smoothies, or use the whole smoothie cleanse found in the Fit and Strong Plan (see below).
3) Use my number tip for weight loss: Light at Night eating. This is easy and requires less, not more effort for you.  Simply omit the carbs, grains, sugars (you get it) at dinner. Eat protein/meat and vegetables. You can make these fun and use amazing sauces like this one…but skip the carbs. Then, keep it light and skip the dessert (that can be tougher). Here’s the benefit…as you go low-carb from just evening through the morning, your body mimics fasting for an entire 12-16 hours because it doesn’t require insulin to deal with the carbs. This can promote weight loss and better health. Watch my quick video for more on Light at Night.
4) During the day, eat to fuel your activities. See nutrition as an opportunity to feel your best, not as a list of “don’ts.” Most of your calories carbohydrates (whole-food ones like fruits and starchy vegetables) should come during the day when you need the energy. Proactively eat good meals and snacks to nourish your body. Then, eat “light at night.”
5) Don’t go it alone! Find an accountability partner, make a bet to stick with it (like on this site where you can wager to pay organizations you despise if you don’t meet your goals…a few come to mind quick), keep a food journal (your own accountability or with someone else), and make your goals known. Research shows better outcomes when you’re not a closet dieter.
Need more specifics and help! I’ve got it for ya. You can find my full plan, including an action plan, full meal plan, smoothie cleanse, in-home HIIT workout and more at Apex Nutrition Fit and Strong. Best of all you can download it today and use coupon: ProisStrong for 25% off. You’ve got this!

PROIS STRONG…. A Story Of Success!

By:  Kirstie Pike
CEO/Founder Prois

 

It is with great pride that I actually write this post.  The idea of Prois Strong game when Trent Ezzel of Heights Performance approached me about starting this wellness/training/preparedness program for female hunters.  Trent added Kelli Jennings, RD and Pete Kadushin, Mental Performance Consultant to the Prois Strong professionals to create a fantastic think tank to help offer wellness and training advice to all women across the spectrum.

I offered early to become the Prois Strong guinea pig in that I had a challenging trip in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistand pursuing Asiatic Ibex.  I knew I would need physical, nutritional and definitely mental tips to get ready for this.  I took the tips offered to me by Trent, Kelli and Pete and headed across the world with Diana Rupp.

My physical training focused on muscle building and cardiovascular endurance.  I gained a lot with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts every morning.  I would mix in some elipitcal cardio training as well.  I gained a lot of benefit out of hiking the mesas behind my house a couple of times a week. I would focus on going up as fast as possible to gain the uphill endurance and muscle strength.  Trent also advised that building strong glutes would be the cornerstone to the success of managing the high (and I mean  high) altitude climbs in the Pamirs.  I felt that I had really committed to this over the summer but still had doubts when I left for Tajikistan.  I wasn’t sure exactly what I would be experiencing there.

I am happy to report that all of Trent’s recommendations were great.  I felt fantastic on this hunt.  We hiked 5 hours to our basecamp of over 14,000 feet.  We hiked and hunted up to 16,000 feet!  I never knew I could physically do this.  I found myself strong enough to keep up with the guides and didn’t really suffer much soreness.  While this was physically the biggest challenge I have ever had, I felt that I was better prepared than I had anticipated.  Great tips!

Nutritionally, Kelli suggested an increased consumption of iron rich foods.  We eat a lot of wild game and increasing the iron without supplement was easy.  I focused as well on her suggestions of trading out junkie snacks for nutrient rich snacks.  I packed myself a variety of wild game sticks and protein bars for the trip.  I focused as well on her suggestions to maintain optimal hydration before, during and after the trip.

Again, the hunt was a success and despite it being demanding, my body felt good.  I feel that I handled the altitude quite well.  Part of that can be credited to living at 8,000 feet.  Part of that could be Diamox.  Part of that was following Kelli’s suggestions.  She trains high altitude athletes (and I mean professional athletes!) and her recommendations will pay out in spades.

Pete had some very solid suggestions about mental preparedness for this trip, which I relied on heavily before and during.  I had a lot of trepidation going into this hunt based on the unknowns of traveling alone with one other woman to central Asia.  Additionally, I was very uncertain about safety and the stress of the hunt.  I fell back consistently on Pete’s suggestion to focus on the goal and why that goal was important.  It actually became my mantra.  There were some very difficult moments when we were hunting at 16,000 feet, physically exhausted and emotionally spent.  I leaned a lot on his suggestion to begin with the end in mind.  I practiced visualization of my goals and reiterating in my own mind why this goal was important to me.  This truly helped me through some of my moments of doubt and exhaustion.  I really found that breaking my thoughts down into these two mantras, I could stay focused and not let doubts or fear creep up.

From a hunting perspective, I am extremely happy that Amy Shaffer of Branded Rock Canyon reached out to me and recommended I attend their performance shooting instruction course.  Oh man.  Not only did the pros at Branded Rock help me get my scope and rifle dialed in, they taught me how to understand and adjust my parallax, MOA’s and windage for extreme shooting conditions.  I never thought I would get a grasp of all of this, but I did. I practiced A LOT over the end of the summer.  I had some hiccups with my data card, but got it all figured out to the point that I had memorized all of my adjustments out to 550 yards.  I really felt exhilarated when I was able to take my shot on my ibex and adjust as the animal ranged out to a distance of 460 yards.  I am so grateful for this knowledge and cannot wait to continue to hone my abilities.

With that, I can honestly say I am so happy to have been the guinea pig for Prois Strong.  I want to see women of all hunting abilities, physical abilities and geographic locations lean on this program to empower them physically, mentally and emotionally for ANY hunt on their horizon.  It doesn’t have to be something like Tajikistan.  It could be a turkey hunt in Alabama.  A mule deer hunt in Wyoming.  A sheep hunt in Alaska.  A whitetail hunt in Pennsylvania.  Every woman has their own goals and Prois Strong can help!

 

PROIS STRONG Q and A! What Foods Do You Recommend For Extended Backcountry Hunting?

Thank you, Diane Martinez for this question!

And of course, Prois Strong Pro, Kelli Jennings is full of fantastic suggestions!  Kelli recommends nutrient-dense foods for backcountry excursions.

Low-volume, light fuel is the name of the game when backpacking. But, your food choices also need to be calorie-dense, protein-dense, have adequate carbohydrates, and dare we?…be delicious (nothing kills morale more than facing a meal you disdain). I recommend including a combination of carbohydrates and proteins at meals and snacks when engaging in strenuous hunts.  Backcountry meals often include grains and dried fruits for carbohydrates, but low-volume, shelf-stable proteins can be a bit trickier. Here are 10 options for nutrient-dense foods to sustain you while hunting in the backcountry, and how to use them in meal/snack planning:

1)    Any type of meat jerky – loads of protein, iron and sodium in a lightweight food

2)    Tuna foil packs – when it comes to nutrition, fatty fish like tuna are some of the best protein options around

3)    Hard processed meats like salami – not quite as small in volume, but the sodium and protein are worth a bit more room and weight

4)    Nut butters and nut butter powders such as PB2 – not as high in protein as meats, these options still add protein and calories in a small, convenient form (especially the individually packed peanut butters – and if you haven’t considered a peanut butter and bacon combo, you should)

5)    Hard-boiled eggs and egg powders – you can dehydrate eggs or buy egg powder, or just pack in some hard-boiled ones. Make sure to keep tightly packaged and do your best to avoid cracks in the shells

6)    High-protein breads: Bagels (such as the Everything Bagels highlighted in this post) can pack 10 grams protein per bagel, and if salami or tuna is added to it, you can fuel up on upwards of 30 grams protein and significant carbs – not bad for a backcountry lunch!)

7)    Bars: RX Bars, Pro Bars, Tanka Bars, Perfect Bars and others are “paleo” options that use everything from egg whites to bison meat to bulk up the protein, in small, convenient form.

8)    Protein Powders – I’m a fan of undenatured whey powders (here’s why) such as Natural Factors Whey Factors , and these can easily be added to drinks in the backcountry. For example, 1 scoop of the chocolate powder mixed into hot chocolate will warm you up and add 20 grams of protein.

9)    High protein grains: Couscous (cooks by simply adding water in 5 minutes) or pastas such as Barilla PLUS pasta (made w/ chickpeas, and cooks quickly) can pack 8-12 grams protein.

10)  There are many, many ideas in backcountry cook books such as Lip Smacking Backpacking. You can dehydrates sauces, meats, and more to make backcountry trips more enjoyable. After hiking, hauling, and hunting, a good high-protein meal goes a long way. Or, try pre-made options like Mountain House.

 

While your body could use even more, aim for 80+ (women) and 100+ (men) grams of protein in the backcountry. Pair these proteins with carbohydrates such as grains and dried fruits at meals and snacks. If you’re doing a lot of hiking and climbing throughout the day, consider using a “sports drinks” such  as Skratchlabs or Carborocket for 50% of your fluids during the day…the carbohydrates and electrolytes can absolutely improve athletic performance (if possible, it’s easiest to drink these adequately from a hydration pack). Protein goals can easily be accomplished with the above options, aiming for 15-20+ grams at each breakfast and lunch, 25-30 at dinner, and 15+ at 1-2 snacks using a high-protein bar and 1 scoop protein powder in hot chocolate. Plan your nutrition and stay strong in the backcountry!

***Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links based completely on my own professional opinions and recommendations. Long before affiliate links, I provided links to online products so that my readers and clients across the country and world would have an easy way to purchase them without confusion. I do NOT align my recommendations with any one company, but thoroughly research and practice them. When you purchase through an affiliate link, the prices stays the same for you, but I receive a very small commission that helps make this blog possible.***

 

PROIS STRONG- Kelli Jennings’ Recipes For Endless Energy, No-Bake Bars

Prois Strong Pro Kelli Jennings, RD and Owner of Apex Nutrition LLC shares these fantastic energy bar recipes that are inexpensive, easy and delicious!

What can you get with 6 ingredients, 1 recipe, and 5 minutes?

Hmmm.  How about endless variations of a delicious, fueling, whole-food energy bar!  It’s no joke.  In just minutes, you can make your own perfect energy bars.  These are tasty, real-food, great fuel, and require no cooking.  On the bike, you’ll find that they are not too sweet, and very refreshing.  If you’ve got a food processor, you’ve got everything you need to make these.

Fresh Lemon Fuel Bars

Ingredients:

  • Nuts: 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • Fruit: 2 lemons and 18 pitted Dates
  • Sweetener: 2 Tbsp organic honey, organic agave, or real maple
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions:

Place cashews, dates, and coconut oil in food processor, process until finely chopped.  Zest 2 lemons, juice 1 lemon.  Add zest, juice, and salt to food processor.  Process until smooth, but not quite a paste (this doesn’t need to be exact).  Press into a greased bread loaf pan (if it’s sticky, you can use wax paper to press).  Place in freezer 1 hour, or in refrigerator until firm.  Cut into 12 equal bars or squares.  Store in refrigerator – wrap in plastic wrap to take with you.  If you find that they fall a part when riding along in your jersey pocket, simply pack tightly into balls rather than leaving as bars.  No matter their shape, you’ll look forward to your fuel.

Makes 12 bars.

Nutrition: 207 calories, 20 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 52 mg sodium, 258 mg potassium, 16 mg calcium, 82 mg magnesium

 

To Make Fresh Orange-Chocolate Bars:

Use 1 1/2 cups almonds, 1/2 orange (zest and juice) and 18 dates, 2 ounces 70%+ cocoa bars + 1 Tbsp honey/maple, 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Follow the same instructions, using zest and juice from 1/2 orange, and adding in chocolate with zest, juice, and salt.

 

 

To Make Delicious Cashew Cherry Bars:

Use original recipe, using 12 dates and 1/2 cup dried cherries.  Omit lemons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments:

Once again, we’ve used some energy all-stars in our energy bars.  In fact, I’d say this recipe sets the bar pretty high.   Here’s what’s in it for you:

Cashews are special energy ingredient because they are especially high in copper.  Copper is a key nutrient for energy as it supplies a specific enzyme that’s necessary for both energy production and iron utilization.  What’s more, copper is an antioxidant and important in collagen health.

Organic coconut oil is a staple of my recipes and diets.  It’s a very special fat.  It is primarily composed of medium chain triglycerides, a quick-acting fat that is easily absorbed and used as an energy source by the cells.

Dried dates, berries, cherries,  or other vibrant fruit choices provide a significant carbohydrate source in the recipe.  And, when you’re pedaling, these carbs are welcome and needed.  In addition, you’ll load up on powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals like potassium!

Organic Honey & Maple: Our second carbohydrate source provides moderately long lasting energy, similar to maltodextrin.  And, when using honey, you’ll also get digestion-aiding enzymes.

Salt: You’ve heard it before…I like to add just a pinch of salt to my fuel recipes – the added sodium is often what differentiates a “regular food” from a great fuel source.  You’re sweating out a bunch on the bike, so give your body a source within your fuel.

Issues in temperatures over 78 deg F: Anytime you use a coconut oil-based recipe, you’ll have some issue with them melting and falling apart when their environment is warmer than about 78 deg F (temperature at which coconut oil melts).  When I’m riding in the Spring/Summer, I often smash these into cubes or balls rather than leaving them as bars…as smashed as I can get them…they hold up better. Or, I simply eat them right out of the baggie, like you would a gel – kind of. In this case I actually appreciate not having to chew as much when I’m working hard on the bike. I always find it annoying when I bite into something hard-to-chew when I’m breathing hard from pedaling. Alternatively, if this is a deal-breaker, try either freezing the bars ahead of time OR leaving out the coconut oil (although I don’t recommend the latter since coconut oil is a valuable fuel). No matter how you bar, smash, ball or gel them, they are great!

If you tired of your stale, pre-packaged, same ol’ same ol’ energy bar, give these a try.  You’re sure to find some combination that you’ll love.  And, the best part? Faster than you can get to the store, you can make your own fresh, real-food bar this week.

PROIS STRONG- Women Inspired and Able! Weekly Q and A…Read What The Experts Recommend!

This week’s question…

What is an example of a good nutrition plan/macros/etc for a woman who already works out and is active but looking to shred down? How do I stay motivated when I work out daily but still need to shred down?

 

Great Question!  There are many of us out there who are committed to diet and exercise but hit that plateau.  Here are some great tips from the Prois Strong Team!

Pete Kadusin, Ph.D- Mental Performance Consultant:
Often, the difficulty is staying connected to goals and chasing after specific targets effectively.  Decide what your ultimate motivation is.  And know that motivation is a function of the following:

why: what’s driving you to try and achieve a different physique or physical capacity?
what: what are you going to be able to do after you’ve accomplished your goal that you weren’t able to do before?
how: making sure you wake up each morning with a clear idea of what (small) step you’re going to take today that will get you closer today.
Too often, it’s not a lack of motivation but a lack clarity as to where to apply that motivation that trips us up.  Take the time to truly evaluate your goals and exactly what is motivating you to the end.
Trent Ezzel, PT, MPT- Performance Specialist: 
From my perspective as a Physical Therapist, focus on high reps and low load with a cardio emphasis. Make it fun!! Get outside and off the stairmaster!! Find incline/decline and set goals for time. Push ups and planks in the grass!! Smell the flowers! Add some weight to your hunting pack to get more bang for the buck. If you have a small child, put them in a kiddy pack and enjoy the workout together. Take your bow or rifle for a hike and do curls and over head press with your weapon of choice. My calves, glutes, quads are all sore from hiking up and down incline over the weekend in search of the mighty Wapiti. Also work on slow hiking with good control, trying to not make noise! It’s amazing how taxing it is!

Kelli Jennings, RD and Owner Apex Nutrition LLC:

When looking to get leaner or shred down while remaining an active lifestyle, it’s important to eat to 1) nourish your body, 2) provide great energy, and 3) control portions and calories/macros to help you meet your goals. In addition, I’ve found that eating more during your active day while “lightening up” with protein and vegetables and dinner can be an effective strategy for success.
If you’re looking for numbers, most women can lose fat at 1300-1500 calories per day, PLUS added training nutrition for recovery and/or if you workout more than 60 minutes at a time. Of course, this is a huge generalization, and there are variances from woman to woman. If you’d like to check out my calorie calculator and find your own estimate, click  here: http://www.apexnutritionllc.com/fuelrightblog/apex-calorie-calculator/.
For macros, I find that 40% carbs, 35% protein, and 25% fat works well (again, for most). So, this means around 130-150 grams of carbs, 114-130 grams of protein, and 36-42 grams of fat for this range. Not only do these ranges generally promote fat loss, they also provide the nutrients your body needs for muscle gain/retention, balanced energy, and hormone support. If you’d like more flexibility it’s also okay to decrease these carbs while increasing protein and/or fats.  It’s also important to note that this is my recommendation for Daily Nutrition (normal meals and snacks) and does not include the Training/Performance Nutrition I add for workouts >60 minutes.
And of course, it’s not all about the numbers – not even close. 
For great daytime energy, I recommend adequate nutrition during the day and “light at night” eating. See this video for instructions on eating dinners of proteins and vegetables: https://youtu.be/VCgsHrI_BR8 . And, here’s some recipes to get you started: Light At Night Dinner Recipes
For overall wellness and health, I recommend mostly whole-food, single-ingredient (think fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, some dairy, etc), and homemade as much as possible. IF you choose a commercial product, skip the nutrition label initially and go right to those ingredients – are they great? Or full of…junk?
For sanity, make sure to include 2 cheat meals per week. This does not mean full-on cheat days with all sense out the window. It also doesn’t mean to stuff yourself and feel horrible. Instead, just eat what you want a couple times per week. Eat slow, stop when you’re full, and don’t feel stuffed.
For more on 3 Tips for Healthy Eating, see this video: https://youtu.be/Cvfosii-ZPg
If you want more help with all of this, I’m all about “just tell me what to eat” meal plans, and this is just what my meal plans offer. You can find out all about my Fit and Strong plans and programs, which include full mix-and-match meal plans, a smoothie-cleanse jump start, and even an at home HIIT workout to use alongside the fun outdoor adventures you choose.
There’s even a FREE nutriition assessment to help you figure out if you need a plan or not!
And there you have it!  Tips from the Pros at Prois Strong!
Coming Soon…Prois Strong Facebook Page!

PROIS STRONG Q and A: “How Do I Best Train At Low Altitude For A High Altitude Hunt?”

Prois Strong is in full swing!
Now it’s time to ask  your questions and get answers from the pros on the Prois Strong Team!  We will be selecting a question each week and weighing in with tips, thoughts and suggestions to help you reach your ultimate hunting and wellness goals.

This week’s question was submitted by a subscriber looking for the best training tips for a high altitude hunt when she resides at a low altitude.  This can be very concerning for some who are heading up to the higher elevations for the hunt of a lifetime!

Fear not, the Prois Strong team has worked to help this hunter prepare for her upcoming hunt!

Kelli Jennings, Registered Dietician and Owner of Apex Nutrition LLC provides the following insight:
Some of the best hunts happen at high altitude. And sometimes, hunters lose opportunities or experience less-than-optimal health when they travel to high altitude. It could be a constant fatigue or heavy legs. Getting winded climbing a hill. Or worse, nausea, headaches and altitude sickness can sideline a hunter.

While not all of these ailments can be completely avoided every time, there are nutrition strategies you can use to reduce your risk and feel great when headed up into the mountains or high plains. Here are tips for nutrition at altitude. Some of them are in-the-field strategies. Many of them you can begin utilizing before you ever leave home.

1) Hydration: Fluid requirements can actually be a bit higher at high altitude than they are at sea level. The reason? Super low humidity.  This can mean more water losses out of your skin, your breath, and your sweat.

  • One mistake many hunters make is to look at the cool temperatures (mornings in the 20-40s deg F and highs never rising above 75 degrees F during the day) and reduce fluid consumption accordingly.  If you’re from a lower-elevation but warmer climate, you may think you don’t need as much.  You do.  The dry air will suck moisture out of your body, and you’ll feel the effects. Most travelers feel tissue-dryness even when being sedentary – everything from lips to eyes to hair feels dryer.
  • What’s more, the “direct sunlight” your skin feels at higher elevation is different than that at lower elevation.  It’s intense and has a direct effect on you skin and its moisture. It’s not uncommon for athletes to get sunburned in the mountains.
  • The plan: While I don’t believe most “fit” hunters need to carry and drink more than 16-20 ounces per hour of a hunt, it’s important to stay on top of hydration, and hydrate according to a plan rather than just to thirst. Stay on top of it. Don’t get behind.  Don’t let lower temperatures tempt you into dehydration. Usually, once it hits, it’s hard to come back.
  • Think about the logistics. How will you carry hydration? In a bottle in your pack? In a hydration pack? Whichever you choose, make sure it’s easy to get to each hour and make sure it holds enough.
  • After a long day of hunting, make sure to hydrate at dinner while you recover for the day. This can make up for any losses incurred during the hunt.
  • Be sure you are hydrating well day to day before you arrive at high altitude. Many times, the headaches felt at high altitude are linked to dehydration in general. Traveling and preparation can be hectic and stressful, it’s easy to just forget to hydrate – make it a priority remember! What’s more, air travel is also dehydrating. Although it sounds contrived, it can help to drink to “a plan” day to day.  Try: 32 ounces by noon, 32 ounces by 4:00, 18-24 ounces by 7:00.  Of course, add more for any workouts or training.

2) Nausea and altitude sickness: There are a few things that can help reduce nausea symptoms that some people experience when traveling to high altitude.

  • To proactively reducing your risk: Try 1000 mg ginger beginning 3 days before you arrive at altitude and until you’re home. Ginger supplements are usually 500 mg each, so take 1 pill twice per day.
  • Keep foods simple and avoid heavily fried foods. The day before your adventure/race and the morning of, stick with foods that you know you digest well.  Don’t experiment.
  • During your hunt/adventure, stick to fuels you know work well and “settle” well with you. It’s not the time for new things, especially if you are already feeling nauseous.  Simple carbs will digest most easily (while hunting, try sports drinks, dried fruit, sandwiches, crackers, etc.).
  • Try this high altitude specialty formula: Acli-Mate.  It is great as a pre-hunt drink at breakfast, a drink during your hunt (along with waters and others), or after the hunt. It’s also great for less-intense hikes and climbs alongside real food fuels. What’s more, the Acli-Mate site is a great source of information on Altitude Sickness.

3) Oxygen: Our old friend Oxygen. Usually, this is what’s most intimidating to anyone doing work at high altitude.  Hunting or training ahead of time at high altitude can certainly help.  But, we’re here to talk about nutrition.  One strategy to increase both oxygen flow and uptake by muscles is to take advantage of nitrates by using a beetroot product or dried beet root powder.  There are many to choose from.  For example, try 16 ounces of a drink like Red Rocket by Carborocket at breakfast before your hunt (you can use code Apex2014 here for a 25% discount).  The nitrates in beets can dilate arteries (for better oxygen flow) and improve the muscle cell response to oxygen in the blood (better uptake).

4) Iron: With higher altitude, the body attempts to increase hemoglobin production – this means higher iron needs.  While most meat-eating males will adapt without an issue, those who are at higher risk of low iron stores (female hunters and those with diagnosed low iron stores) may need to supplement.  For any hunter with a concern about low iron, I recommend supplementing with 20-30 mg elemental iron for 2 weeks before traveling/hunting and until 1 week afterward.

  • If you’ve got reason to believe your iron stores are significantly low, get your serum ferritin checked.  Although a “normal” level is often stated at 10-150 ng/dL, you’ll want your levels to be up at 30+ ng/dL to feel good at altitude. My supplement of choice is Hemaplex.

5) Lean, Strong, Fit Body Weight: Whether you’re hunting at sea level or high altitude, you’ll put your body in the best possible position if you are carrying a lean weight rather than extra fat. You’ll climb hills stronger, reach altitudes better, and more. Your body will also be healthier and function better including lung strength, heart strength, and more. We will be launching Prois weight loss and fitness plans soon, and these will include meal plans that will help you achieve your goal body weight while remaining strong and fit for the hunt. For now, do what you can to eat more real, whole-foods like fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, nuts, beans, and more, and cut down on processed foods that come in boxes, bags and packages.
Of course, the more time you can spend an altitude, the better. And, the more you try these nutrition strategies ahead of time, the better. If you’re headed to high altitude, don’t leave it to chance. Do what you can to prepare your body and your foods for a great experience!

 

Trent Ezzel- Physical Therapist and Performance Specialist- Founder Heights Performance, Rehab and Health offers the following suggestions for building to a successful high altitude hunt:
Aerobic training activity is always best in terms of preparing for the altitude.  Try to achieve 20-30 min/session 3-4x/week is a start to see a benefit. The most beneficial aerobic/cardio exercise should be performed at 80% of your target heart rate.  Target Heart Rate (THR) is easily calculated by subtracting your age from 220.  (ie- THR for a 50 year old woman would be 170)  To calculate the suggested 80% of THR, simply multiply your THR by 0.8.  (ie- this would then be 136 for a 50 year old woman- 170 x 0.8 =136)  Thus, that 50 year old woman should aim for a heart rate of 136 for training during these 20-30 minute sessions.  I  also suggest a Fitbit or heart rate monitor  as it will be easier to monitor heart rate.

 

Kirstie Pike, CEO/Founder of Prois Hunting Apparel for Women offers the following hunting preparation tips for hunting at altitude:
As most high altitude hunts take place in mountainous terrain, I highly recommend practicing uphill and downhill shots no matter what your method of take may be.  While I could create volumes of information about calculations and angles, I will leave that to the pros.  Just remember that is a common mistake to miscalculate the angle of an incline.  This can indeed affect your shot placement if you have not practiced.  One simple tip I always follow is to truly envision the flight of your bullet or arrow as it passes through the animal and get a solid feel for where the vitals are.  If you are shooting uphill and you are placing your sight right on the kill zone, your arrow or bullet will most likely pass high.

Practice with your shooting sticks if you are on a rifle/muzzleloader hunt.  Fumbling with your sticks can ultimately cost you your shot.  Practice getting set, getting solid and squeezing off some dry fires.  Hard earned lesson- keep your sticks where you can readily get them.  Don’t pack them deep into your pack.  I am right handed and keep them on the right side of my pack so I can grab them without difficulty.

Consider the weight of your day pack.  If you are going with a guide- you most likely won’t need every survival piece of gear ever created.  I am a huge proponent of keeping my pack light in altitude as it is a huge waste of energy carrying what is not necessary.  IF you are going with a guide, ask what exactly you need to take.  Then take just that.  IF you are on a DIY, keep it light and simple.  If there is water in the area, I only bring a Lifestraw rather than pack water.  Think knives, headlamp, range finder, optics,  snacks, game bags, nylon cord, firestarter of choice and other items you deem necessary.  Every hunter has their personal packing list- but focus on the necessities.

So there you have it!  The Prois Strong Team has sounded off on this fantastic question!  Stay tuned for next week!

PROIS STRONG~ Mental Muscle- Climb Your Mountain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By:  Pete Kadushin
Mental Performance Consultant

In this space we’ll focus on the skills and tips you can use to help you zero in on your best self – whether you’re out hunting, looking to boost your health, or just want to squeeze a bit more out of life.  It seems best that we start… at the beginning! Today’s focus is on how to set yourself up for success when you’re getting ready to start a new challenge.  This can be anything from getting in shape for a big hunting trip, working on handling stress better, or shifting your nutrition around – we all have our next “mountain” to climb.

Know What you Want

Too often, we get started on a new project without getting really clear on what it is we’re trying to accomplish. The first step for any new adventure is to get a good sense of what the finish line is going to look like.  By doing this now, we can get excited for the journey, and stash away some extra energy for when the trail starts to get a little steeper.  Here’s how to do it:

    Seeing is Believing. One of the simplest ways to get some clarity is to just close your eyes and actively daydream about your end goal.  Give yourself a couple of minutes, and crank up the detail on the scene of you at the top of your mountain.  What do you see? Hear? Smell? How do you feel? Focus on making your vision as crystal clear as you can, and really tune into the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment that come with all the hard work you will have put in!

 

    Write it Out! Nothing helps make your vision more concrete than putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)!  As if you were writing your own story, create the picture of you after you’ve reached your goal.  How are you walking? Talking? Acting? Just like before, how do you feel?  Keep your story someplace close by, and use it to top up your motivation when the going gets tough.

 

Stay Plugged In

Being able to see your success is a great first step, but as life starts flying at you, it’s easy to lose track of why you’re doing the hard work. Usually getting to the top of the mountain requires us to skip some of the fun stuff now so that we can get an even bigger reward later.  Since humans aren’t really wired to pass up the good things in this moment, we have to set ourselves up for success, rather than leaving it up to our feelings in the moment.

 

    Tell a friend. Talk to someone you can trust about the reasons you’re taking on your challenge. Remember to be as detailed as you can; the more clear you are now, the smoother the process is later!

 

    Write it out! Just like before, if you can write it, it feels more real.  Put down the top 3 reasons you’re tackling this particular summit, and put it somewhere you’re going to see it every day. A few good spots:

  • The bedside table
  • The bathroom mirror
  • The background on your phone.

Pró(is) Tip – Our brains get used to things if they’re constantly in the same place. If you want to up your motivation game, move your motivation list around every week or so to keep it fresh and have it continue to catch your eye.

 

Create Your Plan

This one is a bit tougher, and requires you to avoid the trap of “just winging it”.  In a future post, we’ll tackle the role that fear plays in taking on a big challenge, and how we often set ourselves up for failure. For now, just know that failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

 

Begin with the End in Mind. Start at the finish line and work your way backwards, thinking about the important checkpoints along the way. It’s best to do this with a calendar and/or notepad in front of you so that you can write down the steps as you think of them.

  • You should aim to break your long-term goal into medium and short-term goals.  As a rule of thumb, aim for weekly and daily targets, and check in each night to see how much progress you’re making!
  • Make sure your goals are specific and measurable. If you don’t know if you’re making progress, it’s that much tougher to adjust your plan of attack. Just like before, the more detail we can have now, the easier it is to follow marching orders later!

 

Pró(is) Tip – Avoid the trap of biting off more than you can chew.  Daily targets should be enough to get you just out of your comfort zone, but never so much as to overwhelm you.  If you can focus on ‘winning’ today, and you stack a bunch of days like that together, you’re much more likely to hit your weekly and monthly targets.

 

All Projects are Works in Progress. Your plan is a living thing, and is going to grow and evolve just like you do.  One of the biggest downfalls for folks taking on a new challenge is that they get too invested in their initial plan, and as soon as real life shows up (and I promise, it will), we abandon the plan instead of adapting our strategies.

 

Remember to check in regularly and adjust your daily and weekly goals.  Being successful is never about being perfect – it’s about racking up days where you’ve pushed yourself a little bit further than the day before!

 

Reward yourself along the way. Challenges are about finding out what we are capable of… where our self-imposed limits end and how good it feels to dance on the edge of our ability.  More than anything, each new challenge is an opportunity for self-discovery and adventure. Be kind to yourself, work hard, and have fun!

 

PROIS STRONG! Kelli Jennings’ 5-Cycle High Intensity Interval Training!

As we started discussing exactly WHAT female hunters were wanting in terms of getting fit and healthy for their upcoming hunting seasons, it was fairly universal that time is one of the biggest constraints when it comes to exercise.  Kelli Jennings of Apex Nutrition has compiled a great 5-Cycle high intensity interval workout that lasts less than 1/2 hour.  It is a great place to start!  If you cannot keep up with her on all exercises, that’s perfectly fine!  Just keep building your strength over time until you can keep up!

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of  interval training, a cardio vascular strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue. Though there is no universal HIIT session duration, these intense workouts typically last under 30 minutes, with times varying based on a participant’s current fitness level.

HIIT workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition as well as improved  glucose metabolism.. Research has shown that HIIT regimens produced significant reductions in the fat mass of the whole-body.There is no specific formula to HIIT. Depending on one’s level of cardiovascular development, the moderate-level intensity can be as slow as walking. A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of jogging or walking, repeated to fatigue or muscle failure.  While this sounds ominous, HIIT offers a great workout when time is limited!

So go for it! Become PROIS STRONG- Women Inspired and Able!  Let us know your comments below!