Ali’s New Adventure
From Minnesota deer camp, to hiking mile upon mile in the mountains of Idaho in search of elk, I’ve always been up for an adventure or a challenge. Yet, I never thought I would be where I am today. Five, yes, FIVE days away from my due date!
Entering into motherhood is never something I had dreamt about in my youth but, as I got older, the draw to becoming a mom became pretty dang strong. Now at 28, here I am, about to embark on my biggest adventure yet.
The Power Of High Quality Protein
Being pregnant, I’ve tried to maintain a fairly healthy diet. I’ve definitely had my cravings…ice cream and pickles at odd hours of the night. I’ve also had weird hankerings for anything sour. However, the one thing that has remained consistently healthy is the protein that I consume. I guess I never realized how unique I was until someone recently pointed it out to me. I don’t even have to think about the nutrition of the meat that I eat. In fact, I haven’t bought beef from a grocery store or meat market since before I met my husband 7 years ago. The black Angus beef in my freezer comes from my husband’s family farm. It’s a farm that’s been around for nearly 120 years. The pork in our freezer also comes from one of the hogs that were raised here, just for the family.
We live in a modest house right near the barns where the cows have their calves each Winter to Spring. In the summer, they are free to graze and are rotated throughout the land so the grass can be regenerated. They are truly free range, happy cows. They graze the same land that we hunt geese, grouse, and deer on. It’s land that just keeps giving and giving and giving.
Not Slowing Down
My pregnancy journey has been fairly “easy”. Well, as easy as growing a human can be. Yet, the adventure has never ceased. My baby girl was with me when I traveled to South Dakota for a ladies archery antelope hunt. She was with me when I attended the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Opener, when I harvested a doe with my bow in October, and when I spent the weekend hunting at Pine Ridge Grouse camp. She also sat with me on the chilly November day when I harvested a buck with my bolt action Savage AND she took a trip to Florida at 28 weeks to help me chase after gobblers. She was visibly there as the cutest “bump” when I crawled 50 yards to get within range of my 26 pound Tom (a mature male turkey). I may have been a little more tired than normal, but we did it together. Through all of these hunts, my freezer is abundantly full of wild game along with beef, pork, and fish we’ve caught. Between my husband and I, we processed and packaged enough wild game meat to last us for the year, plus some to share.
The Value Of Wild Game
Meat processing has been ingrained in my lifestyle since before I even realized that I wanted to learn to hunt. My family has always maximized every part of of a deer that is able to be consumed. When I was young, we were fairly poor and venison simply was the meat that was available. That said, I’ve always preferred venison over other meat, but I never really thought of it’s nutritional value until I became an adult. These days, there is a lot of “buzz” about consuming free-range, organic protein and, here I was just living my best life without knowing the goldmine of nutrition that I’ve had right in my own freezer.
Babies Like It Too!
At this point, I get it. I love knowing exactly how the animal that provides me with meat lived, and how it died. There truly is no meat better for you than wild game. It’s leaner and lower in fat content but higher in Omega 3 fatty acids. Wild game is a great source of iron and zinc, which has been AMAZING for my pregnancy. Iron is also crucial in pregnancy and zinc is an antioxidant that helps with immune system function and digestion. But, like hiding the peas in a hot-dish, I probably won’t tell my baby girl all about this nutritional goodness right away. She’ll fall in love with the lifestyle and the meat on her own, in her own time, by living it.
On June 9, 2019, just days before we published this story Ali gave birth to a healthy baby girl who was 5 pounds 15.5 ounces and 19 inches long. We’re couldn’t be happier for Ali and her family!