BR033 Dehydrating food

heather_kelly Dehydrating foodHave you been in a situation where you needed to figure out how to eat healthy while on a multi day hunt?  If you said yes then I’m sure you have resorted to buying dehydrated food at least ones from companies like Mountain House, etc… right?Well if you’re anything like me you know that not all the packets they make taste good, plus it seems like they always have a two portion size which is overkill.  Try packing 3 to 4 days worth and you start to realize that most dehydrated foods are crazy big, take up way too much space and quite frankly, don’t taste all that great.  I’ve had this issue for years, but today, my friends and fellow listeners, I have a solutions and that solution is Heather’s Choice.  Not only are these packets crazy small (single portion), they are also the only dehydrated food that I’ve found using only the highest quality ingredients.  I wanted to know more about Heather’s Choice and so I reached out to Heather and she was graciously willing to take some time out of her afternoon in Alaska and give us some insight on her company and dehydration process.  Heather has a background in Paleo Nutrition and a degree in Sports Nutrition. It’s a great conversation.  I hope you enjoy!

Show Notes:

Heather Kelly first came up with Heather’s Choice while needing a compact way to bring enough food while rafting down some wicked rapids.  Heather’s Choice bag are almost half the size of other dehydrated food on the market. Heather’s Choice is a gluten free, soy free and dairy free dehydrated meal.  What does this have to do with bow hunting?…. Nothing directly; however, for the ones who go on long hunting trips, weight and pack size is very important and every ounce counts when figuring out what to pack in.

Heather’s Choice is a line of dehydrated meals + snacks for adventuring. Our goal is to provide you with healthy, delicious food for all your backcountry endeavors.

Dehydrating foodCost for Heather Choice:  This is my own personal opinion, but the price is actually reasonable based on the quality ounce-per-ounce, if you understand nutritional value and pack in value.  When I brought that up to Heather, she made good point that each packet has 6 ounces of quality protein packed in.  Remember, quality is important.  Just because you can get a $0.99 cent burger at a fast food restaurant doesn’t mean that the meat and flavor is of the same quality as a $5.00 to $15.00 burger at a higher end restaurant.  You know this to be true, so why question it.  You pay for the best, but in relation to price with Heather’s Choice over other dehydrated foods, the cost isn’t really that much more.  You know the source of ingredients is of the highest quality and designed to give you maximum space when packing in.  The cost of Heather’s Choice ranges from $5.00 to $8.00 to $15.00.  If you are used to buying food based on price along “cheap crap” then Heather’s Choice might not be of interest. If you’re looking for healthier options, because you care about what you eat while backpacking, camping or multi day hunting trips and you also care about the weight and size limitations, then Heather’s Choice is the way to go.

How important is nutrition overall?

Heather shared that 80% of your physique or performance is based on food, because food gives us the building blocks for having healthy muscles and faster healthier recovery. Heather brought up a good point that people in general tend to put more time in the gym to workout well before putting any solid effort towards cleaning up their diet.  After a person does put more focus on their diet, they start to feel better and see better results overall.   The reason why I asked Heather this question is because nutrition doesn’t stop while you’re out on a multi day hunt.  You need the proper nutrition while out-in-the-field to stay focused and have sustainable energy to get the job done.

Multi day hunting tip!  It’s better to have heathy fat sources to burn instead of carb (Carbohydrate) sugars.  Fat is a more efficient source of food to burn while in the back country as it’s going to fuel your body longer and can help keep you from having to reach for a snack less often.

What to look for when buying meat:  do some research on how the animal was raised.  What did the animal eat? Was it raised on open pasture gracing on grass? Are you buying 100% grass fed or grass finished?  Note!  Grass Fed does NOT mean Grass Finished and Heather took a moment and shared the difference which was a real eye opener. Do you know the difference?

A Few Dehydration Process Tips:

  • When making a meal, best practice is to cut everything in quarter inch pieces.
  • It’s easier to use ground meat instead of inch pieces of stew meat.
  • The thicker the recipe is better, because soup or broth based meals would flow off the tray.
  • Look at your micronutrients balance, because something that is very fatty like a ribeye steak wouldn’t really dehydrate at all. That’s why jerky is normally from very lean meal source.

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