A Hunter’s Nutrition, the New Hunting Fitness Craze, and Other Dietary Resources

By: Josh Shaffer

In my travels and free time, I catch various podcasts, ranging wildly in topics, in-lieu of having a favorite TV show or playing Angry Birds (No offense).  It’s hard to ignore the trend across many industries/cultures and it is one that revolves around a health, nutrition, and fitness lifestyle.  More specifically, over the last few years the hunting world has highlighted these aspects and have brought forth many new products and mindsets that have created  seemingly new standards for us all, or so it seems.  Nowadays, It is normal to see references to "hunting athletes”,  “mountain athletes”, and the like whereas these terms where uncommon 20 years ago.  
The basic principles of a healthy life-style haven’t changed drastically over the last 20 years, but humans are constantly making strides in technology and medicine to push the limits of our knowledge.  I wonder what the next 20 years will bring?     
My own exposure to several health and fitness avenues lately spurred me into thinking more about my own life-style choices, diet, exercise regimen, etc.  As with anything, forging a healthy life-style is a learning process and I feel that I’m getting better as I experiment with my diet.  So with 2015 gone and 2016 here to stay I’ve put forth a few goals for myself as it relates to health and fitness.
I also would like to share a paraphrased quote (from various sources), “don’t let perfect get in the way of good.”  In other words, some good action is better than none at all while laying out a “perfect plan.”  I see this point mostly in terms of diet and exercise.  Just remember, no one is perfect and making mistakes along the way is part of learning your routine.  
To spur some of your own research and motivation along, I’ve put together this list of podcasts that I found recently that I’ve found helpful.  I’ve also included a few show notes (paraphrased) to key you in on what they discuss.  
Podcasts for nutritional reference

  • The Hunt Backcountry Podcast (Episode 20) - “Cut the Crap” No BS Nutrition Advice from Dan Staton of Elkshape.com.  Show Notes: Hunting hard and effectively is tough to do while eating a crappy diet.  This show talks about the importance of a good, balanced diet for a strong foundation to a healthy start to 2016.  
  • Beyond The Kill (Episode 002) - Backcountry Nutrition and Performance with Heather Kelly.  Show Notes: Heather has a company called Heathers Choice that focuses on back country meal options for the outdoors folks out there.  They cover some good points about basic nutrition principles as it relates to diet choices while afield.  I plan on trying some of Heather’s meals in place of Mountain House meals this year.  
  • AltShift Podcast (Various Episodes) - Show Notes: This diet program revolves around eating solid, non-processed foods in the right order (aka shifts).  It is a Paleo-ish type dietary plan with some variations that seem to make pretty good sense.  I’m currently in the midst of following this nutrition plan and it seems pretty good so far.  The podcast covers a wide variety of topics ranging from Q&A sessions, to calories counting, and meal planning.  The AltShift e-book is also worth a read, check it out.   
  • The Tim Ferriss Show (Episode from Nov. 3, 2015) with Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and The End of Cancer.  Show Notes: If any of you have listened to Tim’s show before you know that he brings a vast amount of knowledge to the table and during this episode he talks with Dr. Dom D’agostino from the University of South Florida.  It is an interesting talk about the effects of a ketogenic diet as it relates to the human body and fueling the body on proper levels.  For many folks, this episode will be a bit in-depth, but I found the discussion to still be interesting enough to do further reading on ketosis and other related discussions.  I’m not certain that nutritional ketosis is for me, but it offers a perspective that most are unaware of.

This list of resources should get you pointed in the right direction for 2016. I hope you find them enjoyable and spark some interest in your own nutrition planning.  As noted above, I’m following the AltShift diet right now and the best part about this diet is that I can incorporate all the wild game and fish I want!  It’s perfect for the hunter/gatherer life-style.  I plan on further honing my dietary needs this year and will be reading some more books to seek out further dietary knowledge.  I hope this post finds you all well to a solid start to 2016.