We’re not super into the fitness craze of the hunting industry, despite being friends with most of the guys that are. But that’s not to say that our level of fitness for the mountain is unimportant to us. To the contrary, we thoroughly understand the role of physical strength and endurance, and a mental willingness – dare I say an almost enjoyment of the “suck” – that mountain hunting requires. Furthermore, our brand is about living your best life… now this means different things to each of us, and to each of you, but to some varying degree it means maintaining a relative level of fitness as part of being a man.
This time last year, I was full bore preparing for my sheep hunt in August. I was lifting weights and running. I also had signed up for the Imogene Pass Run from Ouray to Telluride. There was a lot riding on my ability to quickly move from one place to another, in defiance of gravity. And then our sheep hunt came and went. And then I broke a rib in jiu-jitsu a week before the Imogene run, so I bailed on it. Then my Kodiak mountain goat hunt came and went. I slowly started dinking more beer than I should have (really there was nothing slow about it at all). I quit hitting the gym in December when I had my kids in town from New Zealand. And at 7,000 feet elevation, it was just too cold to run much during the winter.
But now here I am in May of 2018… a little older and a little fatter. And I’m not digging it at all. I don’t have any mountain hunts ahead of me this year. Nothing that needs specific training for. I haven’t even thought about the Imogene Pass Run yet, though registration is June 1st, so I’ll need to make a decision soon. I look at myself every morning, and I’m not happy with where I’m at. I drink too much beer. Eat too much crap. And I read and sleep way too little.
Luckily for me, one of my best friends is a chiropractor who emphasizes the benefits of human motion in his practice. And he’s got me set up on a movement and meal plan that, coupled with determination and discipline, should transform my year older body and mind back into the condition I’d developed prior to our sheep hunt.
As part of that plan, I’ve created what I consider the ultimate morning shake that I drink along with eating 2 slices of bacon and 2 fried eggs everyday. And I thought I’d share it with you.
- 10oz Cold Brew Coffee
- 6 oz cold water
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 teaspoon Neuroshroom
- 1 serving creatine
- 1 tablespoon MCT oil
- 1 tablespoon 3-6-9 oil
The Why’s of Each
So first off, the base of my morning shakes is cold brewed coffee. Specifically I’ll get espresso beans and have them ground to a medium grind. Cold brewing is easy enough, you just need to get a pitcher to brew in, and an almond milk bag. To brew, put 4.5 ounces of ground coffee beans in the milk bag, and add 2 quarts of water. Refrigerate for 8-11 hours, and remove the coffee beans. Cold brewed coffee beats hot brewed, in that you’re not changing the temperatures at all, so flavor gets locked in and it’ll last up to a week in the fridge. And cold brew is less acidic and is easier on your stomach. Which you’re going to need once we put the oils in this thing.
I want the caffeine, as it’s a nootropic and helps with alertness. Typically I’ll drink a Monster Energy drink, but those are expensive and not good for you (I’m shooting for another Dall sheep hunt in 2021, so figure $2 a day savings = $2200+ toward that sheep hunt). So I replace the Monster with the coffee. Coffee is also full of antioxidants, which, although might not be super super beneficial, are certainly better for you than ginseng and taurine.
Protein is protein is protein. I mean, maybe it’s not. Mostly when choosing protein I just look for a powder that has minimal sugar. Right now I’m using MTN OPS vanilla milkshake flavored protein, I’ve also used the protein by Wilderness Athlete, and a Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard available on Amazon. All of them are good enough. It’s important to note, that none of these companies actually manufacture the product, they’re merely private label enterprises, so pick the brand or logo or flavor or price you like best, and just make sure it meets your minimum standard of quality.
The Neuroshroom is an ingredient that I probably won’t replace once I’m out of it. I like it, and I do think it helps me maintain focus. I’m a big believer in the power of fungi for medicinal and/or health purposes, primarily Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and very very small amounts of #%$%#$#. Read or listen to anything by Paul Staments and be prepared to have your minds blown. Neuroshroom is a product by Primal Herb that combines a few of these into a relatively tasteless powder. The reason I’m not going to continue using it, is because if you look the product is sourced out of China, and I just don’t trust that what they say is in there is actually in there (Cordyceps can be particularly tricky). I’d be much more comfortable with it if the fungi was sourced in the US. But I have a few servings left, so I’ll continue using it, and then find a US based alternative.
Creatine, again, everyone knows what creatine does. And since I’m also lifting weights I’m going to supplement it. I found a suitable product with good reviews on Amazon, because again, all of the creatine is being manufactured in a handful of facilities, and private labeled by the companies building beautiful headquarters to sell if from. I’ll save my cash.
MCT oil is just Medium Chain Triglycerides. These are beneficial fats that are missing from a lot of our diets. This is added as brain fuel and as a way to stave off hunger. There’s some controversy surrounding the use of MCTs… but how long ago was it that we were being told to avoid fats, and candy was being marketed as “Fat Free”. Now its just the opposite. I like the MCT oil addition to the shake, so for now it stays. But you should definitely do your own research on it.
The Udo’s 3-6-9 oil adds polyunsaturated fats that your body can’t manufacture. These are the essential fats we should all be getting from a well balanced diet that come packed with many, many, many health benefits.
One thing to note, however, is that if you’re going to add the MCT and 3-6-9 to your shake, be certain to have easy access to a toilet. It will clean you out, and your body will take some time to make an adjustment.
I just throw all of this into a blender cup, shake the hell out of it, enjoy it, and feel better about how I start my day. And this one win, can easily become part of a series of wins. I figure if I stack enough of those wins together, I’ll get back to where I want my body to be. Give it a try, and let me know what you think.