Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Wild Game Recipes & Meal Prep Container Review

Today I have this week’s recipes and meal ideas (scroll down for those), plus I wanted to share with you a nifty food storage container that we are trying out.  The containers are called Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers.  They are made specifically to help you eat healthier by preparing healthy meals to eat at a later time.

Hamburger Salad, Meal Prep

The Fitpacker Original are the perfect size for individual meals (28oz.)  and we have been using them for lunches and dinner on the go.  There is also the option to get the Fitpacker Duo which has two compartments or the larger Fitpacker XL (38oz.) containers to accommodate a variety of meal types.

Pros:

We have been using these containers for about a month and a half and they really help simplify things.  They stack up really nicely, so I can store them neatly in a cooler bag when we will be eating supper in town and I love how sleek and simple they look when they are all lined up and ready to go.   I don’t just use these containers when we are away from home either, they are also great for setting up snacks for the kids (sliced fruit and veggies) or pre-making my own lunch so that I don’t end up making poor choices because I am in a hurry and just grab whatever is quick. Another big plus for me it that they are made in the USA.  Fitpacker containers are also BPA free, easy to clean and freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe.

Specially contracted with a USA manufacturer to provide the most dense and highest quality plastic container they have ever made.

I was a little worried that the lid would leak when we packed up foods with liquids, but the lip on the tray and a well-fitting lid keep liquids from spilling out.

They are a great tool to have around for meal prep and it makes it easier to make healthy choices when you have your meals all ready to go. Red Beans & Rice, Meal Prep

Cons:

The lids fit so well, that sometimes they are difficult to remove.

Pricing:

Fitpacker containers are on sale right now so the price on the Original size ranges from $13.99 for 7 containers to $21.99 for 16 containers.

*Fitpacker graciously sent us the Fitpacker Original containers in order that we could provide this review.

This Week’s Recipes:

Okay,  this post is getting a little long, so I am going to keep the recipe information basic this week.  But if you need some ideas on how to use the fish and game you have in your freezer, here you go!

Hamburger Salad– This is SO good, we use a little bit of cheese and this salad tastes like a Big Mac.   We used Elk burger for this one.

Honey Soy Salmon  You can’t go wrong with a Pioneer Woman recipe… This was easy and delicious.  We had a problem with our rice (let’s just say, we had some uninvited guests) so I nixed the rice in this recipe and went with some Dreamfields Spaghetti noodles.  I spooned some of the sauce from the fish over the noodles and the kids went especially crazy for that.

Loaded Nachos Another Pioneer Woman recipe, you can use Blue Corn Chips if you are trying to steer clear of too many carbs.  This was a fun meal for the day we had one of the kid’s friends over.  We used Elk burger for this one as well.

Taco Skillet Oh, man… If you need a quick dinner, this is the one.  Brown some burger, open a couple of cans and you are set.  We ate this over a bed of lettuce with a dollop of sour cream.

Elk Loin steak with mashed potatoes and salad.  I salted the thawed steak, fried it in the pan and then sliced it with the potatoes and salad on the side.   No recipe needed.   The Pioneer Woman does have  a great tutorial for how to cook a steak if you need something like that.  I don’t use the seasonings she recommends, just salt and pepper and I do cook our steak just a smidge more than she does, but she has some great pictures that will help you get a good idea of how to cook a great steak.

That’s it for this week!  Let me know if you try some of these out, or if you have questions about the Fitpacker containers.  And, as always, I would love to hear your meal suggestions.

God bless!

-Katrina

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Wild Game, It’s What’s For Dinner…

Hey!  We are adding a new aspect to the blog.  Almost every week I will put together a post that includes recipes and links to meals we made during the week.  Most of them will be centered around fish and wild game that we have harvested and will for the most part be low-carb, paleo-ish friendly.  I think this will be really fun and I look forward to hearing what you all think.  I will be figuring out how to make these recipes printer friendly as well.

I don’t have a full week this time, as we ate at a friend’s house and went out to dinner, but here’s what I do have.

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans & Rice

*Unless you are lucky enough to have some smoked sausage made with game, this recipe does not include any wild game, but it’s tasty…

This is a recipe I found quite a few years ago. It’s pretty quick to put together because it uses smoked sausage and it’s nice and hearty.  This is the original recipe, but I have made a few adjustments.

1.I don’t like how mushy it was from being in the crock-pot, so I saute the veggies and then add all of the ingredients to a soup pot and let it simmer for 30 min.

2. I skip all of the spices in the recipe and just add 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

3. I add extra veggies and only put in two cans of beans to limit carbs.  You could also (a)leave out the rice, (b)use a rice that fits the way you eat better (we use brown rice) and (c) just take a small portion to limit carbs also.

4. I substitute whatever polish sausage we decide on while looking at the store.

This recipe makes a nice, large amount and is great for breakfast or lunch for a few days or you could freeze it for a quick meal later.

Elk Loin Steak with Veggies

Elk Loin Steak

 

This is such an easy and tasty meal to make.  Of course loin is a great cut, but we pretty much enjoy any cut of steak eaten this way, except for cubed steak which tends to be a bit tougher.

 

Recipe:

1-2 lb Elk Steak

Salt & Pepper (or your favorite seasoning)

Veggies

Directions: Thaw steak and sprinkle with a generous amount of  salt, let the steak sit for up to an hour, 10 minutes works too.  I have used different spices and seasoning mixes, but I find that just a nicely salted steak, cooked well, is ideal.

Pre-heat a frying pan to med-high heat and lay those steaks on there.  Depending on thickness, cook for 2-3 minutes per side. If the steak sticks to the pan, wait.  It’s not ready yet. You want it to be seared and then it should release. Now flip! As this side cooks, all those yummy juices should come to the top.  You want the juices on top to still be a little red and the outsides to be seared.  A dry, overcooked steak=sadness.  If you aren’t certain if it’s cooked right, take one steak out of the pan and cut it in half.  It should be red, but the middle should not look raw.  Red=yes, Raw=no.

Once the steak is cooked to perfection, pull them all out of the pan.  Throw your steak on a plate, slice it up so it looks pretty and fill up the rest of your plate with veggies.  We normally do salad.  The night I made the steak in the picture, it was just the kids and I so we had raw carrots with ranch and potatoes. (ok!  It was tater tots, but sometimes you do what you have to do to survive…)

Enjoy.

 

Perch Chowder

I don’t have a picture for this final recipe, the lighting was horrible and I was missing a couple ingredients.

So, I think this was a good recipe… But the problem with fish is that, no matter what you do to it, it still tastes like fish.  Now, I know fish is healthy and we have a lot of it, so I continue to eat it.  But I don’t care for it.  But Bob and our 4 yr old son, who both like fish, enjoyed this dish.  So I think it must be okay.

Here’s the link to the recipe: Perch Chowder

 

I hope you find these helpful!  See you next week with more!

 

-Katrina

 

 

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Learn to Hunt Series: I run now because…

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This article is the third in the Learn to Hunt series.

I wanted to talk a little about how I am preparing for hunting season, and life in general, as far as fitness goes.  I started running again in March and I am currently running about 3 1/2 miles three times a week.  Bob and I started eating Paleo, although we still include some dairy.  Basically we have cut out grains (most carbs) and sugar. We do still get to eat treats, we just use Stevia instead of sugar.

Sometimes when I don’t want to get up and go out, or I am having a tough day, it helps me to remind myself why I am out there.  I would encourage you to make a list of why you make the choices you do (or are going to start) to have a healthy lifestyle.  So this is my “I run now…” list.  It’s why I am making the choices I am today because I know it has an impact on tomorrow.

  1. I run now because I don’t want to get left in the dust during hunting season.  The people I will be hunting with are all guys and are all taller than me so I am at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to covering ground.   In fact in our local circles, it is well known that my dad could out walk a mountain goat when it comes to being in the mountains!  He spends most of his days outside and has a physically demanding job, plus a never quit mentality and it all equals out to him being able to really get going on rough terrain.
  2. I run now because not quitting becomes a habit.  Running (or any consistent physical challenge) really bleeds over into every part of my life.  I not only have more energy and strength, but often I find myself thinking “If I can push through when running is hard, I know I can do ____.”  I am not only training my body, but I am training myself mentally to not say quit.
  3. I run now because I am still working on making good food choices, especially at social events.  I find that when I am consistently running, I don’t want to waste my hard work on eating badly, so it actually gives me pause on some occasions and also helps me put on the brakes when I otherwise might binge on crappy food.  But, there are times when we go to an event and I end up eating dessert or eating some carb-ridden food.  In those cases, I run to help my body use the fats that it had to store because I was overwhelming it with sugars.
  4. I run now because it gives me self-confidence.  Being overweight is an odd situation.  Nobody likes being that way, but it’s a place that we are putting ourselves into. I think that’s why it makes you feel like you want to hide.  It sometimes feels like you are wearing a billboard that says you can’t figure life out, or that you are weak.  But when I started running and eating Paleo, I felt like I finally had control of the state of my health.  I think it gives you a feeling of being strong and able.  Before I started running, I remember talking with Bob and wondering if some people just weren’t meant to run.  Maybe I couldn’t even do it.  And initially it sort of felt like that.  But now it’s so neat to know that I really can do something like this if I keep at it.  Who knows what else I can do?!

Not quitting becomes a habit.jpg

Now, there is even more to this article.  It gets a little long, but I thought I would tack this on here in case you wanted to hear more about what I have done and what I am still working on in my journey to health. I would love to answer any questions or hear any suggestions you might have as well.  So, carry on if you so choose…

 

Katrina’s Story

I remember from a very young age just feeling cumbersome.  I always had in my head that I was slower and less agile than everyone else. I was also very shy and so intimidated by the fact that I might fail and draw attention to myself that I very rarely had the courage to try athletic feats in sight of anyone.  In grade-school, when we had to run the mile, I refused to run and walked the whole time.  Not because I couldn’t, but because I was too embarrassed to run.  Looking back on pictures, I wasn’t even an overweight child.  I just couldn’t break out of that shell.  I did spend a lot of time outdoors riding my horse, working at the barn or going on walks, so I was fairly healthy.

Then high school hit and I got a job at an old-fashioned drive-thru restaurant.  That was the beginning of my significant weight gain.  We were allowed to have burgers and fries, ice-cream and soda… And so I did.  Especially the soda.  I still rode my horse often and liked being outside, but those activities couldn’t compete with the food I was eating.

After high school I began working as a veterinary technician and was on my feet all the time, plus I would go team roping with some family friends quite often and my diet improved some.  I wasn’t doing too bad, but some of the weight gain stuck with me.

Eventually I met Bob and once we got married we moved into town where he was going to college.  I lost my outlet of going riding and I remember there being a lot of pizza!  By this time I had gone from being 5’5″  and 155 lbs to being around 175 lbs within 3 yrs.  After another 3 years we began having children and I slowly continued to gain weight.  Which leads me to where I am today.  When I weighed myself in January of 2016 I was at my highest, 196 lbs.

Changes

Last year I started running using the C25k app.  It slowly builds up the amount of running you do each week until you are able to run a 5k.  I used the app for a couple of months but then stopped. I had gone on a 13 mile hike and let myself “rest” for a few days too long and then just didn’t get back into my routine of running.  I made excuses and we were in the midst of moving to a new house and I just let it slide.  I loved they way I felt when I had gone running though and I had been losing a little weight.  I had also been trying to follow the Trim Healthy Mama Plan , which is a low-glycemic plan, for a couple of years and had finally started sticking with it.  I was feeling so much more energetic because of it too.  In fact, about 6 months prior to that time I had my bloodwork done at my husband’s office when they changed the insurance and my A1C was 8.4, which is diabetic level.  Because of moving to a new town I put off going to a doctor.  By the time I went, I had been running and following the plan for a few months and when they rechecked my blood work, it was entirely normal.  So for the past year I have been mainly following that eating plan. But I have not been exercising consistently and I’ve allowed way too many “treats” into my diet and so I gained back anything I had lost plus a few.

In January, the time of resolutions, Bob talked me into trying the Beach Body 21 Day Fix.  I wasn’t really sold on it, but I wanted to support him so we did it.  I had a really hard time sticking with the little food containers you use to measure your food, and I have to admit, I HATE workout videos!  Bob stuck with it longer than I did, and still uses the videos sometimes when he needs a quick workout but can’t get out.  But that wasn’t a good fit for us.

What has really turned us around now is the fact that Bob was listening to the Gritty Bowman podcast and the Scottish dude on there was talking about how he had lost 50 lbs.  Bob contacted him via Facebook to find out more and received a reply that explained that he was mostly eating Paleo and especially limiting carbs.  Bob wanted to give it a try and it closely resembles the Trim Healthy Mama plan, which I think is really the way to go, so we decided to go for it! We were finally on the same page and committed! For years and years I tried to figure out what to do, what to eat, that would help me be fit and get rid of the excess weight.  I tried really hard and was frustrated that it didn’t seem to make a difference so I would quit trying but wouldn’t quit thinking about it.  Bob and I were talking the other day though about how we wish that we had known how easy it could be years ago.  Between reading the Trim Healthy Mama book and learning more about Paleo, it has really been an eye opening experience.  For years, conventional wisdom has said that you should eat low-fat, lots of “healthy”grains and low-calorie foods.   And it turns out that all of those things are just causing your body to gain unhealthy weight.

I started running again in March and this time a friend agreed to go running with me.  She has been running off and on for years and she’s a lot taller and slimmer than I am.  It helps a lot to have the accountability and someone to push me a little bit when I would wimp out and go slow or just not go at all!  At this time I have finished the C25k app and started using the 10k app.  It’s so awesome to to know that I can ask my body to do something like that and I can do it!

That leaves me to tell you where I am now.  I have lost 16 lbs since we started eating Paleo and I began running again and I can see that my stomach, arms, and legs have slimmed down and I have put on muscle.  I feel more motivated to get out and do things and I am slowly getting more energy.

I really would love to hear what you are doing to prepare for hunting season and to gain health.  You can comment here or join the conversation on our Facebook page!

 

 

 

Learn to Hunt Series: Intro

Hey everyone! It’s Katrina here. I wanted to tell you a little bit about a blog series I am going to start.  It’s going to be all about my journey as I learn more about how to hunt and fish and how to increase my fitness level to increase my capabilities in the field.  I grew up in a family where my dad and brother went hunting and fishing but I did more observing than actually experiencing these things for myself. I did a couple of easy deer hunts, shot a lot of gophers and really loved rifle club, but I want to find out what it means to gain the skills necessary to go on some serious hunts and take care of myself when we go fishing.

I hope you will follow along. I will be sharing great resources, tips and fun stories!  It doesn’t matter if you are a guy, a gal, a newbie or experienced outdoorsman, I think you will be able to get a lot out of this.

Here’s a list of articles you can look forward to:

Learn to Hunt Series: Resources

Learning From the Best: An Interview with my Dad

Archery Class

I Run Now Because…(I Don’t Want to Get Left in the Dust During Hunting Season)

I’m a Wimp and I Think It’s Gross to Put Worms on a Hook

Learning How to Process Game

Kat and kids 2015.jpg

Tangy Asian Venison Bowl

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Tangy Asian Vension Bowl

This recipe is my take on beef and broccoli but it’s Paleo and Trim Healthy Mama friendly!  So if you are looking for a yummy low-carb meal, this is a great option.

Ingredients

  • 2-lbs Venison Steak (I used round steak, but loin would be really good too.)
  • 16 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets
  • 2-16 oz bags Frozen Cauliflower Florets (makes lots of extra so you can freeze it in individual portions to eat later)
  • 1/2 c. Bragg’s Amino Acids (like soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  •  2 tsp coconut oil- 1 tsp per broccoli & cauliflower
  • 1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

Prep ahead of time: (These are optional, but it makes things easier and tastier!)

Make sure you have thawed steak and lay it out on a plate and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for at least 1 hr.

Take broccoli and cauliflower out of freezer 30-45 minutes before cooking to thaw slightly.

Steak:

Cook steak to desired doneness in skillet.  I cook mine on high for 2-3 minutes per side or until the juices coming through the top aren’t bright red anymore.  Let rest for 5 minutes prior to slicing into thin strips.

Broccoli:

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in skillet on med-high.  Add broccoli to skillet and saute to desired doneness.  In the meantime, mix ingredients for sauce.  Once the broccoli is tender, add the sauce and stir in until heated through.

Sauce:

In a small bowl, mix Amino Acids, Rice Vinegar, Sesame Oil, Ginger and Garlic.

Cauli-Rice:

Lightly steam cauliflower and pulse in a food processor until you have rice sized pieces.  In a skillet, add 1 tsp coconut oil and saute the cauliflower for a few minutes with salt and pepper to tate.

To dish these up, add a scoop of cauli-rice, add broccoli and layer steak on top.  Then spoon some of the sauce from the broccoli over the steak.

Enjoy!