Goooood morning! I am all jazzed up after another gorgeous weekend in Leavenworth. Made new friends, climbed some excellent boulder problems and spent a ton of time outside (even sleeping outside when it was 20 degrees, ha!).
I always feel so rejuvenated and more psyched the more time I spend outside, probably partly why I LOVE this time of year so much. Great temperatures, stunning scenery and getting a ton of energy out before the stillness that the winter season can bring.
#1 Kalahari Biltong Beef Jerky
I am super in love with this thinly sliced jerky that has no added sugar, clean ingredients and tastes AMAZING. Kalahari Biltong is naturally air-dried and makes an almost “silky” jerky that is anything but dry and chewy!
Made with only 6 ingredients – beef, salt, vinegar, black pepper, chili powder and coriander, this jerky packs a whopping 16 grams of protein per serving (2 servings in a small bag so 32 grams protein total!). As an athlete, I am always looking for easy and portable snacks to bring with me to the gym or crag so I can refuel right when I need to instead of waiting.
Protein is essential to helping build and repair muscle tissue after hard workouts. Without enough protein, our bodies and muscles will break down over time and athletes will find it harder and harder to recover after a workout. More on finding how much protein might work for you here.
Thankfully it is super easy to prioritize protein with the Biltong beef jerky! Since protein is also the most satiating of the macronutrients (second is fat, third is carbohydrates), it is incredibly important to find out how much protein feels good for your body.
#2 CocoAloe Drink
Two of my favorites combined into one!! I absolutely love coconut water for its electrolyte purposes. Coconut water contains potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium – making it an excellent choice for refueling after a workout! Replacing electrolytes that are lost though sweat is crucial for maintaining a balance in the body and not becoming too depleted.
Aloe is incredibly beneficial for the digestive system. Internally, aloe delivers the same benefit that it can deliver to the skin- think soothing sunburns. Aloe coats the digestive tract and can be really soothing for an upset stomach. It can also relieve constipation through a gentle laxative effect by increasing the water content in the intestines and help with the breakdown of food. Also also contains minerals like calcium copper, selenium, chromium, manganese and more!
Combine the two and you have an superfood drink capable of making you feel REALLY GOOD! Honestly I love this drink if I’m feeling a bit “off” or just want to settle my stomach. With only 12 grams sugar per serving (from the coconut water) I feel confident knowing I am fueling my body with a natural source of electrolytes and minerals.
The Taste Nirvana brand is my all-time favorite because it comes with coconut pulp chunks in it! That might sound a bit weird but I promise they are really enjoyably chewy and satisfying!
I am a huge advocate of using real, whole foods to create the optimal diet but am becoming more and more obsessed with finding supplements to fill in the gaps in my diet! Sure, I could eat more whole food sources of zinc (which I definitely try to prioritize) but I am happy to have a little extra help from Trace Minerals to keep consistent to see results.
What exactly do we need zinc for? Zinc is responsible for over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body like immunity, healthy bowel movements, strong hair and nails, acne-free skin and much more. Since most Americans are zinc deficient, getting a proper dose (between 8-11 mg for females and males respectively) is becoming incredibly important. Deficiencies can cause a weakened immune system, diarrhea, food and environmental allergies, thinning hair and acne.
Since I am not interested in any of those symptoms, I have been really focusing on using zinc to clear up my skin around my menstruation cycle, strengthen my immune system and help to balance my hormones. For more on how zinc can benefit a woman’s cycle head to my post here.
I love and trust Trace Minerals brand and love that they have a liquid formula that is free of fillers, additives and preservatives! I typically combine zinc and magnesium in the evening right before bed to help repair my body while I sleep.
Looking for natural sources of zinc? Grass-fed ground beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cashews, cocoa powder and oysters are all excellent sources of zinc.
#4 Sloppy Joes via Predominately Paleo
I made the Sloppy Joe recipe and fell back in love with them! Seriously one of my favorite meals as a kid, I loved the sweet and smoky flavors of the ground beef. YUM! As an adult I really appreciate the same flavors but with upgraded ingredients like dates to sweeten the mixture and a little smoked paprika to add smoky depth. I served mine over some roasted spaghetti squash and was not disappointed. Like spaghetti and meatballs but better! The sauce is to die for and my only regret is not making a double batch!
Jennifer’s book is such a steal and available on Amazon. I love the options she provides for paleo, vegetarian and sugar-free. Something for everyone!