Dietary Misadventure

“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”
English ProverbSM-11.16.9

It is time to see the forest instead of the trees.

The food you put in your mouth will impact more than your snowshoeing.

Health care costs are escalating in synch with disease incidence rates – which is synonymous with disaster.

Our society is overfed yet undernourished and this includes endurance athletes. Billions of dollars per year are wasted treating symptoms and designing new therapies, medications and procedures to continue to treat symptoms.

This expensive approach is ineffective. The obvious element missing from this formula is the profound impact of our food.

SM - 11.16-4 Snowshoeing requires fluid integration of complex combinations of speed, strength, endurance, power and kinesthetic principles among other qualities.

Every aspect of your snowshoeing is directly impacted by the quality of your diet – and these aspects improve as your diet becomes more closely aligned with the foods you are biologically adapted to consume.

Ask yourself why the Standard American Diet [SAD] remains your fuel of choice?

Nutrition is the cornerstone of all dimensions of wellness. Plant-based nutrition has the profound and vastly underestimated ability to maintain health, prevent and reverse chronic and degenerative diseases and enhance endurance sports performance.

Awareness of plant-based, whole foods as an inexpensive, pain-free and effective alternative to health insurance is proliferating.

It is hypothesized that plant-based, whole foods nutrition – as a form of prevention and treatment – could cut health care costs by 90 percent and do wonders for the planet.

Chronic disease is considered an incurable illness. This is a matter of one’s perception. The goal of western-based medicine is symptom management with the tricky part balancing medications and procedures while creating the ultimate band-aid.

The Centers for Disease Control indicate that diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are the most common, costly – and preventable – problems in the United States. SM - 11.16-5

Each of the following conditions affects snowshoers and can be prevented – often times reversed – by simple lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise.

You have the exercise portion nailed but your fuel of choice might be less than optimal. Symptoms often signify a health issue linked to a poor diet. Honor the messages from your body.

Consuming nutrient-dense, plant-based, whole foods will ensure that your body is properly fueled for snowshoeing and optimal health. Find below a handful of unnecessary chronic and degenerative diseases.

Heart Disease

Also known as coronary heart disease [CHD] is the number one cause of death in America.

It is a food-borne disease in which an overconsumption of acidic, saturated and trans fats, animal proteins and highly processed foods trump plant-based, whole foods. Narrowing of the coronary arteries is virtually nonexistent in plant-based cultures worldwide.

Medications, stents and bypass surgeries do not address causation yet remain the primary medical solutions. These approaches are as ineffective as mopping your floor while your sink overflows with water. Consuming plant-based, whole foods will turn off the faucet and ignite your snowshoeing.

SM -11.16 High Cholesterol

A primary risk factor for possibly all chronic and degenerative diseases is a high cholesterol level.

One in every six adults in America has high cholesterol. Your LDL [low-density lipoprotein] should be less than 100 mg/dL with your HDL [high-density lipoprotein] above 45 mg/dL.

Statins reduce LDL [bad] cholesterol in the bloodstream but do not address the cause of elevated LDL. Statins can be toxic to your liver and incur other side effects due to its inherent nature as a medication.

Combine plant-based, whole foods with plenty of fiber and snowshoeing to witness your LDL level dramatically drop within three weeks – without side effects or prescription outlays.


The second leading cause of death in the United States is cancer. Abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth represents cancer, Your immune system has the capability to thwart abnormal cell progression via regeneration – only if your body is in an alkaline state. Abnormal cells flourish in an acidic state. SM - 11.16-7

Every major epidemiological study concludes that those who consume animal products, including fish (mostly contaminated with mercury and other cancer causing chemicals), milk, dairy products and chicken eggs, have significantly higher incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis.

This is due in part to the acidic nature of animal-based foods.

Flood your immune system with nutrient-dense, whole foods and snowshoe as often as possible to maintain an alkaline edge at the cellular level.


Nearly 24 million people have diabetes and millions more have prediabetes. These numbers increase daily. Blood sugar [blood glucose] cannot be absorbed into the cells because of insulin resistance.

Type 1 diabetes – onset at childhood – is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can decrease insulin doses and more effectively monitor long-term health outcomes despite its autoimmune status.

Type 2 diabetes is now prevalent at the childhood level. This type of diabetes can be prevented and reversed with diet and exercise. Obesity is the most common factor predisposing someone to type 2 diabetes.

Transporting a few extra pounds in concert with poor dietary choices will elevate your predisposition to this disease no matter your snowshoeng frequency.

Diabetes is the number one cause of amputations and blindness. Long-term outcomes include kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, skin infections, neuropathy and foot ulcers to list a few.

These outcomes are secondary to the health complications of daily tiptoeing the hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia precipice.


High blood pressure affects one-third of the American population. This condition is a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Hypertension is a cause and result of kidney disease. The focus for decades was on the reduction of sodium intake.

We now know that optimal efficacy means an emphasis on weight management, adhering to a plant-based, whole foods diet with plenty of exercise. Diet and lifestyle play significant roles in maintaining a level below 140/90 mm Hg.

SM-11.16-8 Osteoporosis

Your bones are living tissue comprised of protein embedded with calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, fluoride, chloride, and sulfite. Bone mineral density [BMD] determines the strength of your bones.

Mineral breaks down in the bones after age 25. Osteopenia is diagnosed when the BMD is lower than normal. It is a precursor to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a crippling disease in which your risk for fractures is considerably elevated. The disease is most common in post-menopausal women and abstaining from animal products does not increase the risk for clinical diagnosis.

The hype respective to drinking milk and ingesting isolated supplements to prevent osteoporosis is a self-defeating marketing ploy. The greedy backlash reaped by pharmaceutical, medical, supplement companies and food industries is now being fiercely whipped by the truth.

Milk was intended for calves to consume – not humans. Humans are not wired genetically to consume milk. Milk is often touted as the mother of all elixirs because it contains calcium, vitamin D and more to build strong bones and teeth.

Because milk is an animal food it is acidic. Your body leaches calcium from your bones to neutralize the acidity – your skeleton essentially dissolves itself. Enter osteoporosis. This is why plant-based alkaline-forming foods are vital to the pH balance of your body.

The more milk one consumes the greater the incidence of fractures – it is an inverse relationship. Drinking raw milk is not a solution because the amino acid structure of the dairy protein remains unchanged in the absence of pasteurization or homogenization.

Get your calcium from sea vegetables, kale, collards, figs, tofu, black beans, and Blackstrap molasses among other sources. Add resistance training to your exercise regimen. Get your vitamin D from sunshine. Skip the dairy and the supplements.

You can make the commitment now to properly fuel your body or pay for the treatment of symptoms later.

Do not let your diet ruin your snowshoeing adventures.


Mt Washington 001

About the author

Jeff Kildahl, Wellness Editor

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, wellness consultant and philanthropist advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine.

Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life."

He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications. He is a US-based ultra-endurance athlete and philanthropist for the 100 FOR 100 Movement ~

Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment

  • Thank you for the support the article provided me. I was just diagnosed with osteoporosis and feel much more confident now about the snowshoeing class I signed up for prior to finding out my osteopenia has graduated to “posis”. I also appreciate the reminder about the foods I can lean on.