When I developed the first Heather's Choice recipes back in 2014, I knew I wanted to apply my sports nutrition knowledge to my backcountry meal plan. This meant, I needed to have protein at every meal, carbohydrates from complex sources such as fruits, vegetables, and non-gluten containing grains, and healthy fats to round out the calories.
Many of us have no problem eating enough carbohydrates or fats on a daily basis, but why is eating enough protein so important?
Can you recall eating a protein-rich meal? You likely felt full, satiated, and ready to carry on with your day. That's the power of protein! Protein actually causes your body to secrete satiety hormones that signal to your brain that you're no longer hungry. Pretty neat, huh? Eating enough protein at every meal is a great way to keep you from overeating.
Do you know what's really expensive? Muscle! Your body needs a steady stream of amino acids through your diet to maintain your lean muscle mass, or better yet, build more muscle! By eating enough protein on the daily, you can help ensure that your body doesn't go catabolic, and start breaking down it's own lean tissue to scavenge amino acids.
Whether you believe it or not, you're an athlete! When you go and push your body to climb mountains, ride trails, and run rivers, you're exerting a ton of energy and causing micro trauma to your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In order to get up and do it all over again the next day, you need amino acids from protein to help your body rebuild and recover from the stress of exercise.
If you have a trip coming up and need to boost the amount of protein in your daily nutrition plan, I encourage you to check out the meals on our adventure menu! Our dinners contain a healthy serving of protein from grass-fed beef, organic chicken, grass-fed bison, or even wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon.
Here's to you, your health, and more adventures on the horizon!
Heather Kelly is the founder and CEO of Heather’s Choice. She was an NCAA National Champion and CRCA/Pocock All-American in women’s rowing, and hold a degree in evolutionary nutrition. Heather is also a certified eating psychology coach and has coached hundreds of athletes on developing a nutrition plan for optional performance and a healthy, satisfying relationship with food.
Heather lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her boyfriend and business partner Brad, along with their dog Jango. You can likely find her playing with food, building her urban homestead, or rafting rivers in her spare time.