You probably wouldn’t know it to look at me, but since I was a young kid, I’ve dreamed of being a cowboy. Not the John Wayne, western movie type of cowboy, but the open range, cow working, trail driving cowboy. This fascination has led me to read, research and investigate just about every part of their lifestyle. One part, in particular, has really stuck out to me and that’s the cowboy diet.
If you look at old photographs of the real cowboys from the last part of the 19th century, you will be hard-pressed to find a plump cowboy. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for this, including the fact that they had to work really hard every day and therefore burning a lot of what they ate off before it could settle as fat, but their diet, I’m convinced played a large part in keeping them in good shape and modern science is backing me up. If you look at some of the most popular nutritional concepts of the last five years; Intermittent Fasting, High Protein, Low/Slow Carbs, and more whole food, the cowboy diet seems to fit right in line.
Some of you might be wondering why this would be a topic for this blog, but the issue is really high performance. As a person that spends a lot of time on the road and a lot of time being “on”, I’m constantly looking for new ways to get the edge. With my love of cowboy culture and red meat, I think that this is a concept worth pursuing.
Research has led to the belief that cowboys ate mostly one large meal, at the end of the day. They started most days with a light breakfast featuring strong coffee, followed by a light afternoon meal consisting of whatever they could carry in their saddlebags, and when the work was done, a heavy, meat-rich meal with the one staple of every chuckwagon; beans. This isn’t sexy, but could it be effective? I’m going to give it a shot and keep you posted on my results. My plan will be as follows:
4 cups of strong coffee with heavy cream.
Beef jerky, almonds, and smoked meat sticks.
Beef of some kind (preferably steak), beans and biscuits.
Obviously, there will be some variations of this but noticeably missing are sugars, fruits, and other starches. The only possible carbs will come at dinner with beans and a biscuit after a hard days work. The great thing is that this is a diet that can be found virtually everywhere even when I’m on the road. It just requires a lot of water and a little thought.
I would invite you to join me in this experiment and see if we don’t all end up looking like Gary Cooper before we’re done.