Let’s Talk About Meal Prep….

If you ever see me scrolling through my social media feed on my iPhone it’s highly likely that I’m not just distracting myself from something. I actually follow a lot of healthy sites and fitness experts online to get inspiration for my daily routine.

One thing that I’ve casually picked up on, that actually seemed daunting at first, is meal preparation. I see these glorious photos posted online of tupperware with perfect proportions in them, people eating six meals a day, and the perfect diet breakdown from fitness professionals… So of course it seemed completely unrealistic for me to be a part of that culture!  But what I’ve learned is that we can modify our meal prep to fit our own life. We can prepare meals ahead of schedule to save time later.

I’ve learned what works for me by trial and error. I know that if I’m on the road working and hunting then I might not actually need meals prepared every day. If I can’t take a cooler along with me, then it’s useless to prepare something just to leave it sitting in my refrigerator. I don’t like to be wasteful.

What does work for me is meal prep in a realistic way. For example, last night while I made dinner (chicken breast and salad) I found time to prepare my next days breakfast. We all know that it takes at least 30 minutes for chicken to cook, and that’s plenty of time to think about ways to save time for the next day.

So here is what I put together last night:

½ cup of quick oats

⅔ cup of water

½ cup greek yogurt

a little salt (pinch)

Toppings: raspberries and chopped walnuts

Put all of those things into a mason jar in that order. Don’t stir or shake! Put it in the refrigerator overnight, and when you wake up you have the perfect prepared breakfast! You can add any toppings you like (brown sugar, blueberries, fresh fruit…) And you’ll have no excuse to reach for something that’s completely unhealthy because you’re pressed for time!

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Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of preparing your meals ahead of time. Instead, experiment with some fun and simple recipes and see what works for you and your schedule. I’ve found that it makes me happy to find these little shortcuts, and I feel so much healthier when I follow my diet.

Tips For Booking Your Next Hunt

If you’re looking to book a hunt for next season, I recommend that you start soon. Many of the more reputable outfitters will book up quickly because of return business, and people are booking more hunts than in previous years. I personally take note of the places that I’d like to return to from our previous season, and sometimes after we film a show with an outfitter I’ll even book a personal hunt with them. That’s right, even though we do this for a living we still spend our vacation time hunting!..

One hunt that we filmed in Montana this year may end up being one of my all-time favorites.  We booked a “general deer” hunt for a guest on the show, and I didn’t realize that this tag would allow him to take either a mule deer or a whitetail! What a wonderful surprise. The area that we hunted in had a very healthy deer population, and we finally filled his tag on our last day of the hunt. I should also mention that we were seeing an average of 70 deer per day, with about 35% being bucks. We used Bearpaw Outfitters to guide us, and if I book a hunt in Montana for next season I’ll call on them once again to be in charge.

It’s a wonderful thing to find outfitters that you can trust, so here are a few tips if you’re looking to book a hunt…

1.  Do your research and find out if they have references. It’s easy to research companies in today’s world, just beware of information overload when you’re doing your research. I don’t read the reviews on their personal websites because of obvious reasons. I always check around online to see what other people are saying in forums. We’ve only had one really bad experience with an outfitter ( I won’t name names ), which isn’t a bad ratio considering how many hunts we book every year. I should have done more research on that one, and I learned my lesson from it.

2.   Book early. If you wait until the last minute you run the risk of either not getting prime hunting dates or not getting your tag at all. Some states allow you to purchase tags without being drawn in the lottery through over-the-counter or leftover tags. But if you want a specific tag for a specific area, you’ll need to buy them online while they’re still available. Coordinating your license / tag purchase with your outfitter and their available dates is a very good idea.

3.  Go with your gut. If you feel uneasy about the outfitter right away, then chances are that you should look elsewhere for a guide. Some personalities just don’t mesh well, and you should know pretty quickly when talking to someone on the phone if they are a good fit for what you’re looking for. Don’t let the big trophy photos online change your mind about what makes you comfortable.

4.  Ask a lot of questions. I actually keep a list of questions sitting on my desk that I go through with every outfitter that we book. Small things like “Do you have wifi” and “What are the sleeping arrangements” will be important for you to know. I also clarify what’s included in the price. Do they include meat processing? What is their cancellation policy?  Think about what’s important to you and don’t be afraid to call them back if you think of something you missed. They should be concerned with making you comfortable and happy, and they can’t do that if you don’t ask the right questions.

As soon as the holidays pass I’ll begin booking our hunts for next season of Brotherhood Outdoors. I always welcome suggestions on outfitters and locations to look into, and with social media being the way it is today I actually get a lot of feedback from fans of the show on what they’d like to see.

Our wonderful partners over at the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance allow us to get creative and think of new places to go each season, and I know that Season 7 of the show is going to be extremely fun to watch.

Brotherhood Outdoors will begin airing on the Sportsman Channel on January 4th 2015.  

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Long Time Gone…

What an incredible season it’s been for us so far! We aren’t even finished filming yet for Season 7 of Brotherhood Outdoors, but we’re getting close. We spent about 65 days straight on the road hunting, filming, and chasing big game animals around the country. Needless to say, it’s been fun. We’ve had success in the field, met some amazing people, and now it’s time for one last whitetail hunt in Kansas before the Christmas holiday rolls around. Thank you all for the support while we’ve been on this journey. The awesome comments and long-distance high fives never go unnoticed.

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