Here’s the Absolute Best Way to Tell If a Wild Plant is Edible

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You have to give a lot of respect to people who practice foraging. It’s definitely one of the most underrated skills in the modern world, and it’s also quite difficult to learn. If you want to eat plants that are found in the wild, you must have an encyclopedic knowledge of wild plants, both where you live and abroad. And not just because there are thousands of plants in the world that are poisonous, but also because many of them look a lot like edible plants.

For most people however, it can be difficult to justify learning this skill. We live in an era that provides an abundance of cheap food (relative to previous eras of course). If you want to learn how to safely forage for food in the wild, you have to spend a lot of time and energy on a skill that may not ever come in handy for you.

But if you want to better your odds of surviving in the wilderness, and you don’t have time to gain such an impressive skill, there is a shortcut you can learn. Like most things in life that take less effort, it’s not as comprehensive or effective, but it’s a lot better than nothing. It’s called the Universal Edibility Test, and it’s a method of safely testing wild plants that you’re not familiar with to see if you can actually eat them. Here’s how it works:

  1. Say you find a tasty looking plant in the wilderness. To see if it’s safe, the first thing you need to do is separate its parts, such as stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and roots. That’s because in many cases, only certain parts of a plant are poisonous.
  2. Next you need to take one of those parts and smell it. Certain plants have evolved to avoid being consumed, and they often have a terrible smell. So if it smells something awful, throw it out.
  3. But if it passes the smell test, the next thing you need to do is rub or place the plant on your skin, preferably on your inner elbow or wrist. Keep it there for a few minutes, then wait eight hours. If that spot starts to feel itchy, numb, or develops a rash, then clearly that plant doesn’t want to be eaten.
  4. If the plant passes that test, then the next thing you need to do is cook it if you can, since that often neutralizes poisons. Then you need to rub it on your lips for about three minutes. If you don’t encounter any kind of burning or tingling sensation after 15 minutes, then you can move on to the next step.
  5. Now you need to put the plant in your mouth. However, don’t swallow just yet. Just let the plant material rest on your tongue for 15 minutes. If the plant tastes bitter, or just gag-worthy in general; or if you experience burning or tingling in your mouth, then it’s probably not safe to eat. If it passes this test, then try swishing it around in your mouth for 15 minutes and look for the same signs. If you do experience any of these negative reactions, then not only should you spit the plant out, but you should also clean your mouth out with water.
  6. Finally, if you don’t receive any negative reactions from that previous step, then you can swallow the plant. Wait till the next day, and don’t eat anything else while you’re waiting. If you’re still feeling alright after that, then you can be reasonably sure that the plant is safe to eat. You can repeat this process for the other parts of the plant.

Now you can try eating a more substantial amount of the plant. If you still feel fine after another eight hours or so, then it’s definitely safe to eat.

Given the time-consuming nature of this test, you’ll want to try this out first on plants that are more abundant in your environment. It’s also important to note that there are certain things that are not worth your time with this test. Most notably, mushrooms usually can’t be tested with this method, so don’t even bother with them unless you’re well versed in spotting edible mushrooms.

Obviously the Universal Edibility Test isn’t perfect, and conducting it in the wild is going to use up a lot of precious time. Nothing beats having actual skills, and genuinely learning how to forage for wild plants. But if you don’t know what is and isn’t edible in your environment and you’re in a survival situation, then this is the absolute best way to find edible food in the wild.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Avoid This Potentially Dangerous Preservative Found in Dried Fruit

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dried fruitIf you opened up a pantry belonging to any prepper, you’d most likely find a veritable cornucopia of dried foods within. It’s pretty much a staple for preppers. Unfortunately, dried foods of all kinds often come packaged with preservatives that aren’t so healthy. It can be a real challenge to find long-lasting foods that you would want to eat during an emergency, that aren’t also filled with toxic preservatives.

Among those preservatives, there’s one that most people aren’t aware of. It’s called sulfur dioxide, and it’s found in more foods than you probably realize. It can be found in wine, jam, fruit juices, shrimp, instant coffee, pickled foods, processed meats, and powdered potatoes.  And the one food that probably contains the most sulfur dioxide is dried fruit. It’s typically added to all of these foods, not only to prevent bacterial growth, but to preserve the color of the food.

So is sulfur dioxide something that you need to worry about? That really depends on who you ask. The FDA has deemed it safe for most people. I say “most people” because some folks are more sensitive to it than others. About 1 in 100 people have some degree of sensitivity to sulfur dioxide, and people who are asthmatic are 5-10 times more likely to have a sensitivity.

When these individuals consume this preservative, they may face nausea, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and sometimes full-blown asthma attacks. Occasionally this leads to death. And just because you’ve never had any harmful symptoms from eating these foods, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the woods. You can develop a sensitivity to sulfur dioxide at any point in life. It’s also important to note that even if you never have this kind of reaction, sulfur dioxide might still hurt you. A study conducted in 2004 found that sulfur dioxide, when fed to mice, would damage their DNA and cause cancer.

With that said, it may be a good idea to avoid this preservative entirely. If you avoid processed foods, then you’re already on the right track. You can also avoid sulfur dioxide by buying organic products. At the very least you should be checking the labels on anything you buy. Any food item that contains this preservative in more than 10 parts per million is required to be labelled as such to protect people who are sensitive to it.

And if you really love dried fruit and want to make it a staple in your emergency food supply, you can also make it yourself in your oven. You can dry fruit in the sun. And if you’re a real fanatic for dried fruit, you can buy a food dehydrator.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Better Than Botox: Study Backs Up Benefits of Niacin for Better Skin

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Skincare products make up a staggering $20 billion dollar a year industry in America alone. It seems that there is always some new miracle lotion or cream on the market that promises drastic results. Scientists and doctors devote huge amounts of time to developing these products because they are so lucrative. Every so often an ingredient really does have an amazing effect on skin. Niacin and niacinamide (a form of the vitamin B3) is one such ingredient, with plenty of studies and research to back up the benefits.

What is Niacin?

You’ve probably heard of niacin before, but perhaps in a nutritional context. Niacin is found in milk, eggs, green leafy vegetables, beans, cereals, yeast, and in some types of fish. It’s required by the body in order to properly metabolize fats and sugars and in the maintenance of cells and a lack of niacin can lead to indigestion, fatigue, depression, and a serious deficiency called Pellagra. Though niacin is found in food, research has shown that to achieve increased benefits for the skin, it takes more than what we typically receive in our diets.

Benefits of Niacin on the Skin

For skincare, niacin is best used topically. When used in creams, lotions, or sprays directly on the skin, it leads to increased cell turnover, wrinkle reduction, boosts moisture, protects against certain forms of skin cancer, and treats a wide variety of other skin issues including:

  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Flaking
  • Peeling
  • Inflammation

Risks or Side Effects

One thing to be aware of is the “Niacin Flush” when using products containing niacin. Tingling and redness is very common immediately upon application to the skin, often resulting in a deep red flush and warmth on the cheeks of some individuals who use it. Niacin is a vasodilator (it expands the vessels to bring blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin) so the flush is actually one indication that the vitamin is working its magic on you. The redness and tingling typically only last for a few minutes, but for this reason, many people may choose to apply niacin-based skincare products at night. Being sufficiently hydrated can also prevent or lessen the niacin flush. For many people, the tingling sensation and redness will lessen over extended weeks of use. Some individuals may find they never get the flush at all.

Where to Find Niacin

Because it is water-soluble and stable in the presence of heat and light, niacin works well for topical use in a variety of different types of skincare products. It is now being formulated in a variety of serums, creams, sprays and lotions, but unfortunately, like most products, a majority of the cost to the consumer is not for the ingredients themselves but for the marketing and packaging. Instead of spending a lot of money on pre-formulated products, niacin can be purchased in bulk online or from your local vitamin shop.

There are several DIY products you can make on your own to save quite a lot of money. See the video below for information about how to make a naicinamide face spray for incorporation into your beauty routine.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Popular Hollywood Hallucinogenic Plant Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

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hollywood-drugReadyNutrition Readers, this article holds some important information and advice for anyone considering using naturopathic or holistic supplements in their diet.  As a certified Master Herbalist, in no way, shape, or form do I wish my words to be construed as “knocking” herbs and herbal supplements.  There is an article that recently surfaced, however, that bears mentioning, as it presents a substance in a light that is not objective.  The article is entitled Hallucinogenic Plant Ayahuasca Gains Foothold in the U.S.,” by Veronique Dupont of AFP, released on 12/25/16.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a constituent of the plant, and it is illegal in the U.S., which makes study of it very difficult.  It is said to produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, and is claimed to have therapeutic use in helping addiction, trauma, and depression.  Scientists have looked upon it with wariness, as the South American herb has negative effects when mixed with other medications or when used by people with preexisting medical conditions.  The herb is, however, gaining popularity, and people are trying to use it under the protective blanket of its use in “religious rituals and ceremony.”  Here is an excerpt from the article; please take note of the “distinguished” individuals who (according to the article) recommend using Ayahuasca:

“Thousands are flocking to sample the elixir and swear by its therapeutic properties, despite warnings from scientists and users that ayahuasca can be dangerous and even prove fatal, especially when mixed with other drugs.  Ayahuasca’s proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.”

Really, guys and gals, Lindsey Lohan?  Sting?  The point that I am making (and I am a trained Master Herbalist) is that scientific research and good laboratory work provide true and useful information that should not be ignored just for the sake of bucking the “Big Pharma” train.  Seriously, if you want good information, weigh any herbal supplement against lab data and scientific research provided for you.  In the past, I have mentioned such reference materials as Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman (a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine), as well as the PDR for Herbal Medicine,” a compendium gathered by hundreds of Medical Doctors and Herbalists.  I have also mentioned traditional medical references, such as Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

These reference materials in no way detract from the principles of herbalism and naturopathic aids: rather, they reinforce them with research, study, and in-depth chemical analyses that are possible only in a laboratory setting.  They give dosages, contraindications, and specifics about the herbs that enable a person to arm themselves with knowledge that could prevent an illness or injury.  Part of your survival supplies is the knowledge to employ them.  Nothing could hold more true than with herbs and herbal supplements.

Most laypersons aren’t particularly fond of scientists and chemists; however, these people studied hard to win approval in their profession…with real and valuable information in their curriculums.  It is my firm belief that traditional medicine and herbalism need to support and complement one another, as they are interrelated, with the latter discipline being the older of the two.  Although there are plenty of laws that are not good, they are not the majority: there is common sense in stopping at a red light, common sense in being required to put a tarp over a dump truck loaded with gravel, and common sense with keeping a snarling dog on a leash and maybe muzzled.  Common sense and the observance of it help keep people safe.  If they “forget,” then the law is their guideline.  Without laws people really would eat one another.

In this light, many times some of these exotic herbs have been used for innocuous or innocent purposes with well-meaning, and through no fault of their own, people have gotten hurt or worse.  The reason for this is they didn’t really know the herb or know what they were doing in the first place.  The scientific research on lesser-known substances should be trusted and further researched before attempting to utilize these herbs, as well as consent and approval of a physician…an individual trained in chemistry and biology with years of practical experience in medicine and (we hope) a professional who places patient care first and foremost.

So, to summarize, learn about herbs and herbalism as much as you can when an obscure or “new” thing comes to light.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your prevention lies within your references and the professionals you have at your disposal to question regarding your supplements.  There is no shame in asking questions, and it is just as important to know about your supplements and how to use them as it is to have a full supply.  Be safe, and have a Happy New Year!

 

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make Pemmican: A Step-By-Step Guide

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dried-beefWe’re going to do an introduction on making pemmican, a survival and backpacking food that can be used all year round as well as prepared anytime.  It is a lot simpler to make than most people realize, and does not take up a whole lot of resources or too much time.  Pemmican can be stored for long periods of time and can give you a ready source of protein when you don’t have the time to cook up a large meal.  Sure, you can buy a whole pallet of it at a time from Costco, but when your supply runs out, how do you replenish it after the SHTF?  Well, this piece gives you the basics of how to do that.

Pemmican is the Original Superfood

Pemmican is similar to jerky, but it isn’t: it’s a little different.  It is actually the original processed meat, “invented” if you will, by the Indian tribes to provide a way to preserve the meat from their wild game.  Now, as I mentioned to you in previous articles, man needs fats in his diet and vitamins as well that are not able to be furbished completely by wild game.  Here is where it becomes tricky: the Indians had to supplement their meat with fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits both wild-crafted and raised to well-round their diets.  Pemmican well-rounded the Indians diet by adding some fats as well as some vitamins and minerals to the protein.

Pemmican is the result of drying the meat in thin strips, grinding it and pulverizing it into powder, adding liquefied fat and seasonings, and re-drying it to form the finished product.  That’s it!  The Indians had deer, elk, buffalo (bison), and antelope to use.  Most pemmican these days is made of beef and comes in a family-friendly, happy plastic bag with food grade desiccant.  This method I’m going to give to you is bare bones to make your pemmican.  Here it is:

Jeremiah’s Pemmican Recipe

What You Will Need:

  • 4 cups of extra lean meat…this is about a pound/a pound and a half…pick your meat
  • 4 cups of dried fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, or even raisins
  • 2 cups of fat (after rendering), or about ½ pound of weight
  • Seasonings: I prefer dried onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
  • Sweeteners: You can also use some molasses or honey if you wish

The Process:

  1. Slice up your meat in long, thin slices (as thin as possible).  One way to slice it thin is to have regular pieces of meat, and harden it in the freezer.  Don’t freeze it!  You just want the meat to be “sliceable”, but more “solid” than just barely-refrigerated meat or meat at room temperature.  Then you can add your seasonings.  Rub it in with your hands, spreading it evenly over the sliced pieces.

2. Next set that meat on the rack of your oven, and keep the temperature as low as you can go…around 135 to 150 degrees F.  Permit the oven door to be gapped/cracked during the process, as this will cut down on the humidity and water building up from the drying.  Do this for 12-16 hours, until your meat is dried out and akin to a potato chip…brittle, or crisped.

3. Pulverize this meat in any way that you wish (mortar and pestle, hammer, food processor…whatever works).  Pulverize your dried fruits (you may have to dry them even further than when you first get them).  Next comes the liquefied fat to add…first you must liquefy it.  This is called “rendering,” and you can do it in a saucepan or in a crock pot, after you cut up the fat into pieces that will easily dissolve.  Beef tallow is the best…you can pick this up from a butcher shop.  You can use pork lard; however, I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t keep as long or as well as the beef fat.

4. All of your chopped-up beef and fruit can be placed in a large pan…such as a baking or casserole pan for the addition of the fat.  Do not use the fat until it has been liquefied completely, and you’ll have to remove the solid portions of any bits floating in it…use a small sieve/strainer to scoop these pieces out by hand.  For the sweeteners (such as molasses or honey) I like to take about a quarter cup and mix it into the meat prior to the addition of the liquefied fat.

5. Then carefully pour your hot rendered fat all over the meat, allowing the fat to be absorbed by your powdered mixture.  You need to take your time with this step, and then smooth/pat the fat into place with your hands to further enable the even distribution of the fat into the meat.  A good cook uses his or her hands.  A great cook washes their hands before using them to cook!

6. When this congeals and hardens, you can cut it into strips or whatever shapes your heart desires.  I personally like to use a pair of scissors (a pair I only use for food and cooking), and cut them into elongated strips about 1” in width and 6” in length.  The reason I make them this size is that they’re easier to pull out and eat.  So many times, with store-bought pemmican you have to rip it all to pieces just to cram it into your awaiting maw.  “Not I,” said the little red hen!  I want to eat leisurely and not waste effort or energy ripping my food into bite-sized pieces. You can store this best either in plastic or in wax paper (I prefer the latter) and then flatten it out, and throw it into Ziploc bags.  Keep it in a cool place free of light and moisture, and it’ll be good for a long, long time.

So basically, that’s it!  Simple enough, right?  Now you have the information and all you need to do now is employ it!  Just think: there’s still time to make yourself a batch before New Year comes about.  Oh, what a delightful crowd-pleaser it will be to make up some and have everyone eat it all up right in front of your eyes!  Partygoers and piranhas have one difference: both eat everything until they’re filled up, but the piranhas don’t also grab some extra to take home with them!  You make up a batch of jerky and (if they haven’t eaten it all) they’ll take it!  Just make sure to keep some set aside for yourself so that you can enjoy what you made.  Happy New Year to all!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

New Study: Running Instantly Increases Brainpower

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 We know that exercise is great for our bodies, but did you know it’s also great for your brain? A new study shows that running, even more than other aerobic or high-intensity exercises increases the development of neurons in the parts of the brain we use for learning and retaining information. Researchers saw that the hippocampus lights up on imaging scans during running (indicating growth and new connections) but stays dark during exercises like weight lifting.

I practice high-intensity interval training myself (with exercises like weight lifting or rope jumping) because studies show that exercising in this way burns more calories; however, the effects of neurogenesis only occur during sustained running (i.e., at a steady pace for 20 minutes or more). And compared to those who are sedentary, subjects who ran three times a week had 2-3 times more hippocampal neurons at the end of the study. While researchers are not exactly sure why these results are the case, there are theories about how sustained increased respiration (and therefore oxygen) and blood flow contribute to this brain activity. Running has even been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in known patients and researchers believe there may soon be evidence that running can prevent the disease altogether.

This is all well and good, but what if, like me, you don’t currently run? Or what if you don’t work out at all? Starting a running routine can seem overwhelming, but there’s an app that can help.

Couch to 5K

The Couch to 5K app is exactly what it sounds like a program to get absolute beginners off of the couch and running 5K in just 9 weeks. 5K is 3.1 miles, which should take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to run at a good pace (i.e., just the right amount of sustained time to get those brain-boosting benefits). While the many benefits of running are extremely convincing, embarking on a run incorrectly is a surefire way to get injured (or at the very least, to overdo it and decide running is not worth it after all).

You can download the app to your smartphone and plug in your headphones. The program includes three detailed, timed runs per week with rest/recovery days built in between. The program tells you when it is time to walk, when to jog, and when to run. Each week has a slightly different routine to help you get accustomed to your routine. Alert texts let you keep track of your goals and stay motivated even in between runs.

Becoming a Runner

I started my Couch to 5K program last week. I was surprised at how simple it was to follow. The affable voice of Laura, the C25K coach, comes in over my music to tell me what I should be doing and when (I have an iPhone 5 but I’ve heard that those with earlier versions of the iPhone may have trouble listening to music while using the app—for me this would be a really big deal since I depend on my music to motivate me to work out. There is also a version for Android phones). The basic app is free, but an advanced app with GPS locator and other features is $1.99.

I was surprised by how quickly the first six routines flew by and honestly it was difficult to not keep running beyond the allotted times by the end of week two (but this may be because I’m used to exercising regularly, albeit not running). As with any exercise program, make sure you have approval from your doctor before you begin. You’ll also need appropriate running shoes and a safe surface on which to train (if you have access to a track that’s great, but I find running on natural trails to be far more engaging). Happy running/neuron growing!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

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winter-water
“Water, water, everywhere,” wrote Coleridge, in application to the ancient mariner of his prose.  The big difference, though, is his water was not potable, as it was the ocean.  The water I’m referring to in this piece is the water that is all around you in the winter, and the importance of consuming the proper amount of water to prevent dehydration.  Be advised: your needs for water do not decrease; rather, they increase due to stressors that are different on the human body.

The tendency is to not drink as much when the weather is cold.  This is a natural thing, as people usually (even when thirsty during the winter) do not wish to drink cold beverages.  Conversely, they prefer warm beverages that are (usually) caffeinated, such as coffee or tea.  As a die-hard coffee drinker, I know from experience that you must offset the caffeine consumption (to a degree) with an increased intake of water.  At the end of this article, I’ll mention more on this.

How the Body Loses Water During Winter Months

With increased activity, there are many ways that a person loses water.  Diaphoresis (sweating/perspiration) is one way, and insensible water loss is also increased, examples being water lost from the eyeballs and from respiration.  People breathe out 1-2 glasses of water per day.  Urination is another way that water is lost, the composition of urine being about 95% water and 5% miscellaneous solids.  The needs (on average) of water consumption in humans is about a gallon per day, with kids needing a little less except when they’re extremely active.

Water is Fuel

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuel: never forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water.

As mentioned earlier, you may (due to the cold and a desire to not drink that accompanies it) take in more food than water.  This, too, is not good for you.  I don’t want to get into proponents of eating your food and drinking sparingly to allow hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest more efficiently.  That may be, but more importantly, you need liquid to consume your food.  Remember, if you do not drink, your body will rob what water is in and between the cells (that is, inter, and intracellular fluid, respectively) to digest the food.  We learned it thoroughly in SERE school: Thou shalt not eat until thou canst drink.  You must be able to drink in for your body not to take from itself to digest the food.  If you do not drink, then you’re dehydrating yourself when you eat.

The appearance of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration.  Dark yellow urine means you need water.  Your body excretes the waste it must excrete on a regular basis; nevertheless, the body will reabsorb as much water as possible to conserve it.  The urine will be thicker with more solutes (dissolved substances, such as sodium) in it.  This brings us to the secondary problem: your body needs to excrete wastes but you’ll be losing electrolytes.  Your food replaces the electrolytes, but if you have no food readily available, you want to supplement and not just drink excessive quantities of water.  Too much water can flush out your electrolytes.

Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  In a survival situation, do not eat snow.  The eating of snow robs your body of calories (as explained earlier) to enable itself to melt the snow into water, and in addition, lowers your body temperature.  You can melt it over a fire, in which case it is worth it.  I highly recommend a small folding stove with hexamine tablets.  Each tablet burns for about 9 minutes…plenty of time to melt some snow, ice, or icicles for your water.  As mentioned in times past, the U.S. Army issue canteen cup is a great thing to have, made of steel.  It can take a beating and be set on a campfire or on a little portable stove with good results.

It is very difficult to keep water on hand when you’re dealing with subzero temperatures.  Most urban and suburban residents are always able to duck into a store and purchase whatever they want…for now.  People in more remote or less dense areas may have a bit of a problem.  Living where I do, I have a real problem. What I do is pack two thermoses (Aladdin’s) with hot water, and then wrap the outside with towels to further insulate them.  This ensures that I have a supply of drinkable water when I leave the house for up to 24 hours without freezing.

I also tote electrolyte packets and bouillon cubes with me, as well as my ever-present jar of instant coffee.  Returning to my earlier note, whatever you drink as far as coffee and tea are concerned?  Don’t deviate from that, and your body will compensate for the caffeine consumption so that it will not affect you in the same manner as if you were drinking that amount for the first time.  I usually have five cups a day, and my coffee is very strong.  Most people would shake akin to a leaf and be hitting the restroom all day long.

But perhaps you get the gist of the article: you need to maintain your consumption of water, even during the wintertime.  You should also have access to fire-starting materials and things such as hand warmers/chemical heat producers.  You don’t know when the need will arise for you to melt some water.  If you can keep a Camelback handy and keep the water pouch near your body heat to keep it from freezing, all the better.  Just have a source of water, and a means to replenish that source when it runs out.  During the winter, you don’t want to be dehydrated.  And if the SHTF, or if there’s a winter emergency?  These measures can mean the difference between life and death.  Stay hydrated, stay safe, and bundle up…the winter’s just starting!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Procure Protein Sources During Winter

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  ReadyNutrition Readers, we already kicked off the first segment of this two-part series on protein and its importance in a day-to-day, as well as a survival scenario.  Now we’re going to cover a little more on protein from a survival perspective.  This will include wild game, of which we must give you a short note to keep in mind.  A person needs fats in his diet that wild game will not provide, as the meat is very lean.  For this reason, one cannot subsist solely on wild game and must supplement that food with other foods that provide fats as well as other nutrients.

That being said, there is still an abundant amount of protein out there in the wilds you can take advantage of.  Concentrating first on the animal protein, let’s make a list of what you can obtain during the winter months.

  • Fowl:  Ducks, Geese, Turkey (No!  Not more turkey!), Grouse, Dove.
  • Fish: Trout, Bass, Bluegill/Crappie, Pike.
  • Game: Deer, Antelope (primarily the Western States), Sheep, Mountain Goat, Elk, Rabbit/Hare.
  • Other Game: Black bear, Wild Boar.

In a survival situation, beggars can’t be choosers.  It’s wintertime now, so we’re going to concentrate on what you’ll find (and face) in the wintertime.  Black Bear are semi-hibernators; that is, they slumber for extended lengths of time during the winter and emerge periodically to feed.  They do possess more than the average needed to supply humans with the essential fats.  Bear meat is very tough.  If you can, roast and/or smoke the meat, chop it up well or cube it, and then throw it in a Dutch oven.

Over the coals with a good amount of moisture and the meat will tenderize quite a bit more than just cooking it over a fire.  Supplement this protein with cattail roots.  When you dig them up (their presence is indicated by the dead reeds at the edges of frozen lakes and ponds), take the roots and boil them.  They are very similar to potatoes.  Acorns can also be gathered and pulverized into powder for a flour, but be advised: acorns are high in tannic acid. This can be leached out of the acorns by soaking them in water for a few hours, and then allowing them to dry out before making the flour.

Now be advised that many trappers (according to reports from the Hudson Bay Company in the 18th and 19th centuries) died from only eating rabbit.  As mentioned before, wild game (especially rabbit) does not contain enough fats and nutrients to keep a person alive. As the company reported, many trappers starved to death by not rounding off their diets.  The human body leaches minerals and vitamins from within itself in order to digest the rabbit, and these are passed out in the stool.  The trappers literally ate themselves to death, when if they had supplemented their game with some vegetables, their protein uptake would have been assured without depleting themselves.

Pine needle tea provides enough Vitamin C when steeped in boiling water (about 1-2 cups of needles per quart of water.  Beneath the snows can be shoots of different edible plants; use a guidebook for your geographical area to determine what you have available.  Also, your trees such as spruce and willows, as well as lichens can provide you with nutrients to balance your needs for protein with a well-rounded diet that supplies you with vitamins and minerals.  Remember, the goal is to take in more than just lean protein that will steal nutrients from your body, although protein is very, very important.

Fish and waterfowl contain more fat and while providing the protein you need are more well-rounded in terms of fats and carbohydrates.  In the wintertime, the feeding activities of fish decrease, however, you will still be able to get them if you’re diligent.  As worms and insects are mostly unavailable during the wintertime, you will need to use either artificial lures or you may use offal/meat from game that you have trapped or shot.  With ice fishing, you’ll probably need an ice augur to open a hole in a lake.  There are many rivers and streams that do not freeze totally, and it is here that you will still be able to find and catch trout.

Just 3 ounces of trout yields 21 grams of protein, along with 9 grams of fat, plus calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium.  You pull in a good-sized brookie or a rainbow trout, and you’re looking at about an 8-10 lb. fish.  Brown trout can reach about 30-40 lbs.  You can do the math: that’s a lot of protein per fish!  In addition, you can smoke and salt the daylights out of it to preserve it and carry with you.  The Northern Pike (also known as Chain Pickerel) is also a good-to-eat fish.  Be advised that from the beginning of January to about the beginning of February, they lose teeth and will not be able to strike as much.  Be careful with them when you land them, or they can bite off a finger if they’re big enough, and their teeth are very sharp.

Be advised, especially in the Western States.  Salmon are also available, but as a fisherman, you have some competition: the bears, especially Grizzly Bears.  The salmon are one of their principal food sources before they hibernate, and between September and sleepy time, they eat everything and anything they can sink their teeth into, including us.  Black bear will also fish for salmon and trout.  If it’s a survival situation, you be the judge, but for either of those two you had better be armed.  You also (regarding the Grizzly) better have the ability to prove to a court of law that it really was a survival situation, and not that your car just broke down and you would have had to walk 5 miles to get to McDonald’s.  The survival situation better be real in this case.

To back up a bit, ducks and geese have high protein, and high amounts of fat…they’re a waterfowl and need that fat to insulate them from the cold of the water and in flight.  Render the fat and save it in a jar in a survival situation; you can use it to supplement the wild game you take on land that is low in fat.  Those two also have tremendous amounts of minerals to help balance your diet.  Turkey is leaner, as it is a “ground” bird, with less fat, although it too does contain vitamins and minerals.

Also, be advised to read up on things such as Tularemia, as well as intestinal and liver flukes and parasites.  All of the mentioned types of land game can have them, the former being in rabbits and the latter found especially in deer/venison, and wild pig.  Cook all meat thoroughly, making sure to keep from contaminating the meat when you’re dressing it out and preparing it for the spit.  Better safe than sorry, so ensure that it is cooked through and through to avoid such pitfalls.

To summarize, there are many methods to prepare your protein that you garner in the outdoors.  Such is beyond the scope of this article, the point of which was to make you well aware of your options in the outdoors, especially in a survival situation.  Winter is not a “dead” time of the year; it is merely dormant, with different pitfalls and challenges to face.  Use your greatest resource – your mind – to learn about your geographical vicinity and the game and vegetation that you can subsist upon.  I also highly recommend a good book on scats and tracks to be able to identify the game that moves about in your locale.  Keep fighting that good fight, cook all your wild game until it’s well done, and be safe!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Full Spectrum Health Gadget Gives Whole Picture of Your Well Being

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spireNearly 40 million people used wearable devices to track their fitness and movement this year. Devices like the fitbit make it easy to determine calories expended and help you maintain or reach your fitness goals. If you are one of those people who does not find the idea of tracking your every move paranoia inducing (and storing it in the cloud, no less!), you might want to consider Spire, a new product meant to address the mental side of your health.

The makers of Spire believe fitness is comprised of both mind and body and that being healthy is about more than exercising and eating well. True health, according to those at Spire, means having clarity, control, and inner peace.

What is Spire?

Spire is a wearable device (it clips onto your pants or bra) that offers the same movement features as other activity trackers on the market but with the addition of sensors that monitor how you react to stress. Our bodies are constantly giving physical cues that indicate our mental state, such as increased or shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, and perspiration. Spire picks up on these cues and alerts you in real time so that you can adjust your behavior and reduce the effects of stress.

For example, if you are in a meeting with your boss and things are not going well, you might feel a little vibration from your Spire. A notification on your phone (which synchs to Spire) will indicate that your heart rate is increasing and that you need to breathe deeply. It sounds almost too simple, but researchers say correcting the physical effects of stress allows us to better tackle the mental effects, even in the heat of the moment.

And this goes for situations that you don’t even know are stressful, like driving on highways or talking with certain people. The creators of Spire hope that by becoming aware of how our bodies are reacting at any given moment, we can create a positive feedback loop and get relief from stress. Breathing is literally the only automatic function in our bodies that we also have control over. How you breathe sets up how you feel, and vice versa.

How does it relieve stress?

The main way that Spire works, like other fitness wearables, is by tracking and accumulating information that we are too busy or unable to track ourselves. Sensors detect your breathing and respiratory movement, including the depth of each individual breath. Advanced algorithms allow the device to make sense of your breathing patterns based on multiple laboratory studies that show links between respiration patterns and emotional states. In addition, Spire is customizable and able to tweak and reinterpret the data it receives over time (“stressed” for you is different than “stressed” for someone else).

Because Spire is always tuned in to your behavior, it also serves as a monitor during times of calm and focus. Looking at your data and recalling moments of peace, contentment, and clarity can allow you to reproduce these results at a later time.

How much is it?

I was very surprised to see that Spire costs just $99, considerably less than many other wearable fitness trackers. Considering the fact that Spire still tracks steps and calories expended in addition to the other respiration tracking capabilities, it seems that people in the market for this type of device might benefit from having a look at Spire. It may not be an overnight cure-all for stress, but those interested in “body hacking” may find it’s a welcome tool for providing a more complete picture of the whole self.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These are the Building Blocks of Survival

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amino-acidReadyNutrition Readers, we are going to cover a few tips and pointers you can use in your preparedness stance.  I word it in that manner because you are never truly done with preparedness.  Even if you had every supply known to man, you still must work on yourself, on other perishable skills (shooting, first-aid, etc.), and on your procedures (SOP’s if you will).  As a survivalist and preparedness adherent, you must always keep this in mind: you’re a work in progress, and neither the work nor the progress ever stops.

We’re going to mention protein and amino acids because they are both so important for you.  When I had surgery about 6 years ago, my recovery time was cut in half from the doctor’s original prognostication because of my intake of protein supplements and amino acids.  When you have traumatic injury, surgery, exercise, or conditions of physical and emotional stress and trauma, the supplements will aid your recovery and ability to weather the storm.

I’m not going to delve into categories of vegan discipline, gluten free diets, or non-GMO foods.  Such is not within the basic scope of this article and would require attentions that would detract from the main message: how to obtain and use protein and supplements effectively.  You will face (in a SHTF scenario) a great deal of difficulty in obtaining protein that you have not already stocked up beforehand.

Proteins themselves are essential in the formation of cellular tissue and virtually every hormonal and endocrine function in the human body.  Proteins degrade, and this means that they wear out, or fall apart over a certain period of time, dependent upon the particular tissue in the body.  Protein turnover is how they break down and then are recycled to form new protein structures.  The average protein lifespan in our cells is 1-2 days; the protein is constantly being broken down and then replenished.

In order to maintain itself, the body must also take in protein, and amino acids are the basic structures that are needed to manufacture proteins.  There are nine amino acids that are considered essential.  By this term essential, these amino acids cannot be synthesized (or manufactured) within the human body, but must be taken in through food/diet.  These nine are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

The highest sources of amino acids in food include watercress and spirulina (which even exceed meat), pumpkin, leafy greens, hemp seeds, chia seeds, soybeans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and sunflower butter, almonds, avocados, figs, raisins, quinoa, and wheat.

In addition to these nine are six conditional amino acids: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, proline, and tyrosine.  This means their synthesis (production by the human body) is limited by physical condition and/or environmental condition (to include diet and trauma).

Then there are BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids) and these are, in particular, the proteinogenic BCAA’s…and there are three of them: isoleucine, leucine, and valine.

These three are very important, because as you may have noted, they are also three of the nine essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body as mentioned earlier.

When it comes to weight training and bodybuilding, these BCAA’s are essential to help with tissue repair and (eventually) muscle growth.  Many doctors discount them as not having the effects that weightlifters claim.  I can personally shoot that down, as I bench press 4 sets of 6 with 350 lbs. and max over 400 lbs.  I’m doing seated behind-the-neck military presses 4 sets of 6 with 225 lbs.  If the learned doctor prefers to “teach” me how the BCAA’s are not of use, let’s see if his physical training regimen stacks up to mine.

All of the theories in the world are worthless unless they can be placed into practice.

Protein works, both for your physical training intake and for tissue repair following a workout scenario, or a traumatic event/series of events.  I am recommending what I use.  I supplement my meals with 2-3 “shakes” of milk and protein powder.  I prefer Target’s brands of Market Pantry whey powder with 25 grams of protein per serving.  These have all of the amino acids I need.  I also use Rapid Drive Amino Series BCAA 5000, the 12.32 oz. size with 50 servings, running about $30 a can.  This gives the three BCAA’s that are also essential; I mix it with water and drink it post-workout and one before bed on days I lift.

The protein requirements are different for men and women and differ also by physical condition and needs.  Average daily requirements can be looked up in with differing numbers in just about every text.  I have found that as a man weighing about 200 lbs., I need between 200-300 grams of protein per day.  Not all of this is meat, and as I said, I supplement with the shakes which give me about 40 grams per shake when I add milk and peanut butter.  The time to store up your supplements is now, along with high-protein foods: canned meats and fish, peanut butter, canned chicken.  Believe me, under adverse conditions of physical and emotional stress, your needs per day shoot up akin to a rocket.

You will need to work up an exercise and dietary regimen in order to prepare yourself for situations in the days to come.  Consult with your doctor on any exercise program or fitness regimen, as they have the legal authority to advise on health treatment in our Soviet-style society.  Keep in mind that these guys do have investments in companies whose business it is to make sure you’re “well,” such as drug companies and other “prescribed” remedial treatments.

I’m here to tell you, it’s important to keep in shape, have supplies of proteins and supplements, and plan a fitness and exercise program that will properly sustain and maintain your body’s physical needs.  Keep up the good fight and don’t stop the training!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survival Fuel: You Must Have This in Your Disaster Supplies

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hikingBeing well-nourished during a disaster can mean the difference between powering through the event with strength, stamina, and energy or plodding through the situation barely able to put one foot in front of the other.

Protein in Crucial For the Prepper’s Pantry

Protein is the basic necessary structure for the growth of organic life on a molecular level.  Protein can come from vegetable and animal sources.  Protein is further broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of protein.  There are 8 essential amino acids the body needs that it does not produce on its own and needs to obtain from food sources.  They are as follows:  isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Your best sources for protein and those essential amino acids are as such: dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, oats, nuts, seeds, and soy protein.  Here is a term you need to know concerning protein, and that is the thermic effect, which is the total calories burned in the course of a day to digest your food taken in (it usually equates to about 10% of your total caloric intake).  The reason it’s important to know is that 1 gram (g) of protein and 1 g of carbohydrates supply the same amount of energy, 4 calories.

Survival Fuel

The difference is that food is energy in the form of the various chemical bondings that must be broken down, and you need 2 1/2 times the energy to break down the protein as you do the carbohydrates.  Protein prevents you from overeating by giving you a feeling of satiety, as well as speeding up the metabolism.  That protein from meats gives you muscle.  It also aids you in tissue repair.  I also stress that while the intake is important, you can’t just be an “eating machine” and not exercise/live too sedentary a lifestyle.  Then again, you guys and gals are preppers and survivalists, well aware that your body is the most important personal tool you have.

There are a couple of works I wish to cite for your further study, as they are excellent in the manner they delve into this topic from a fitness standpoint.  They are as follows:

  1. The Testosterone Advantage Plan,” by Lou Schuler and Jeff Volek, ISBN: 1-57954-507-6.  This book is geared toward men, but has a wealth of health and dietary information that women can use, as well as information on exercise that will benefit both genders.  In-depth breakdowns of protein analysis and the glycemic index, as well as the different types of exercise and the muscle systems benefited by their application.
  2. Sports Supplement Review, 3rd Issue,” by Bill Phillips, ISBN: 096587320-X.  This is one of the greatest books you can find.  It goes into each different type of amino acid and tells you the chemistry and their effects on and requirements by the human body.  It details vitamins, minerals, supplements, and could be a “Bible” for exercise…strength, conditioning, and recovery exercises in your workouts.  This book gives you scientific procedures to obtain lean body mass and maximize your protein intake.

These works will more than get you started: they’ll help you finish.  As I have mentioned ad infinitum, you need to exercise to fully develop and take advantage of all your physical gifts.  That being said, you can supplement your diet with high-protein and high-amino-acid bearing dietary aids.  I already mentioned how I like the use of the whey protein powder; I need it with as much as I lift.  There’s one out there called Nutribiotic Organic Rice Protein Powder (Plain) in a 3-lb. container, organic with 80% vegan protein content.  One serving in scoop form gives you 36 grams of protein, plus I add 2 tbsp. peanut butter (another 8 grams) and the milk (8 grams) will give you a good “jolt” of protein.  Don’t use it as a meal replacement!  It is meant to complement, not replace.  I add the peanut butter and make a shake out of it because it really tastes bad.

Another goodie: All Natural Bragg Liquid Aminos, comes in a 32-oz bottle.  Just 1/2 tsp. will give you 290 mg of aminos.  It tastes akin to soy sauce.  You can throw this into your bowl of soup, stew, mashed potatoes, or dish such as casseroles.  It actually tastes pretty good, and you can use this to flavor your food a little better while adding amino acids.

You Need More Protein in Colder Months

During the winter months, you need more protein than usual.  The cold causes your body to need to break down more calories to provide more heat internally.  High protein diets take away some of that seasonal debilitation.  Needless to say, the high protein will also benefit you in the times of cold and flu by helping you to boost your resistance and (if you should get the sickness) hasten your recovery if necessary.  Protein is very important.  In our next segment, we’re going to cover survival sources of protein and explain why you can’t just live off of a diet of wild game and other niceties of wilderness living.  Until next time keep your powder dry, take care of one another, and turkey sandwiches…lots of turkey sandwiches!  JJ out!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Whole Foods are Always Better Than Nutritional Supplements

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Have you taken your multivitamin today? Well, you might want to reconsider that decision.

A number of studies have shown that not only is synthetic vitamin supplementation unnecessary but it may also be a potentially harmful habit altogether. Synthetic supplements do not lower rates of cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and often many of the ingredients are not even sourced from plants but from rocks. As T. Colin Campbell, PhD explains, nutrition is generally investigated, and findings interpreted in reference to the activities of individual nutrients. This reductionist approach to nutrition has been shown not to yield the same benefits that one would derive from all of the phytochemicals and stabilizing properties present in plants. The evidence is mounting in favor of the use of whole plant foods for full-spectrum nutrition over and above any form of synthetic vitamin supplementation.

Synergistic Effects

There are thousands of phytochemicals present in whole plant foods that play a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Whole foods have been consistently found to be protective because of the bioactive compounds contained therein, which are linked to a reduction in the risk of major killers, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant and anticancer activity of plant foods is derived from the additive or synergistic effects of each of these compounds in combination. Synthetic supplementation simply cannot mimic this balanced natural combination of phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables. Now, this information has been known for more than a decade, but the marketing campaigns for these worthless, and likely harmful, synthetic supplements are still running strong and sales continue to soar.

In his paper, Untold Nutrition, Dr. Campbell elaborates on why you should consider replacing your consumption of supplements with whole foods:

Summaries, which mostly represent meta-analyses of more than 100 trials and hundreds of thousands of experimental subjects, overwhelmingly show no long-term benefit for vitamin supplements, along with worrisome findings that certain vitamins may even increase disease occurrence for diabetes (5, 9), heart disease (6, 7), and cancer (7). Supplementation with omega-3 fats also was said to have no long-term benefits, even posing increased risk for diabetes (8, 9). More worrisome is the fact that these findings, first appearing more than 10 years ago, have had no discernible effect on their market. The public desire for quick fixes through pills (i.e., reductionism) is overwhelming, especially when money can be made. The activities of individual nutrients observed in carefully controlled research conditions will not necessarily be the same, at least quantitatively, when these nutrients are consumed in the form of whole food.

Bioactivity of Phytonutrients

A 2003 study suggests that in order to improve nutrition and health, it would be in the consumer’s best interest to retrieve antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and other whole food sources instead of nutritional supplements, which do not contain the balanced combination of phytochemicals found in whole plant foods. Researchers explained, “The isolated pure compound either loses its bioactivity or may not behave the same way as the compound in whole foods.” The study further differentiates between the synergistic effects of whole foods and supplementation of individual nutrients:

We also studied the total antioxidant activity and synergy relationships between different fruit combinations, with results showing that plums had the highest antioxidant activity and that combinations of fruit resulted in greater antioxidant activity that was additive and synergistic. We proposed that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods (31–33). This partially explains why no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables in achieving the health benefits. There are ≈8000 phytochemicals present in whole foods. These compounds differ in molecular size, polarity, and solubility, and these differences may affect the bioavailability and distribution of each phytochemical in different macromolecules, subcellular organelles, cells, organs, and tissues. Pills or tablets simply cannot mimic this balanced natural combination of phytochemicals present in fruit and vegetables.

Increased Protection by Combining Foods

In a 2013 study, we see that certain whole foods can increase the protective properties of others. Researchers found that the introduction of grapes to breast cancer cells growing in a Petri dish caused a 30% reduction in cell growth, and by adding onions separately, there was nearly a 60% suppression of cell growth. By adding half of each, cancer cell growth was reduced by 70%, showing that the combination of whole plant foods magnifies the effect greater than either food on its own. In The China Study, which is based upon data collected from Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine over a span of 20 years, Dr. Campbell, and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II, MD observed notable reduced risks in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases as well bone, kidney, eye and brain diseases in response to a whole food, plant-based diet.

The evidence is mounting that whole plant foods can be more powerful than any pharmaceutical or synthetic vitamin supplement in protecting against chronic disease. If you like the idea of living free of cancer, heart disease and a myriad of other diseases, you should consider adding as many whole plant foods to your diet as humanly possible.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 ‘Gateway Veggies’ Kids Will Love!

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 Anybody with kids can tell you that getting them to develop healthy eating habits is no easy feat. We know that children in the US are in the midst of an obesity epidemic—that they are eating processed foods and drinking sugary drinks and sodas at an alarming rate. But studies now show that children are hardwired to like sweet, high-caloric foods (the theory is that this preference gives them an evolutionary advantage for growth, particularly in circumstances when calories are scarce).  So how can we counteract these biological impulses in our kids and also make sure they are eating plenty of fresh vegetables?

Kids may not gravitate naturally toward vegetables, but when they are responsible for growing them and harvesting them from their own gardens, they are much more likely to taste their efforts. In addition, there are a few very sweet things you can grow in your garden that acts as introductory veggies, a kind of “gateway” to the world of vegetables. Once you win kids over with a few known favorites, you can sneak in the less sugary veggies and open them up to a lifetime of flavorful, healthy choices.

6 ‘Gateway Veggies’ Kids Will Love!

Carrots

You can thank Bugs Bunny for making carrots appealing to young kids. Carrots are often the only vegetable picky eaters will agree to, but it’s not a bad starting point. Kids are great at pulling these up from the garden by themselves and leaving the leafy green tops on makes the act of eating them more like the cartoons. The sweet flavor comes in at about 6 grams per cup (for comparison, a typical candy bar has more than 25 grams of sugar) and they are a handy snack that almost every kid loves to crunch on.

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes are technically a fruit, of course, but the sweet, flavorful garden favorite has just 3.9 grams of sugar for a cup serving. A single cherry tomato plant can provide a huge harvest and kids love that they can be popped right into their mouths for a treat. Even if you have a big garden, you might want to plant tomatoes in planters on your patio so that they are always readily available to add to salads or snacks. Once kids are sold on the cherry variety, you can introduce them to the various other types of tomatoes available to them.

Sugar Snap Peas

These veggies have “sugar” in their name for a reason, and kids love to help pick and pop out these sweet, healthy peas. They taste great raw and are fast growing so kids can quickly see their progress in the garden. A cup has just 2.5 grams of sugar

Sweet Corn

It isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow, but if you are able to, sweet corn is a huge favorite for kids. It can be used in salads and soups and is a great side dish, but perhaps the best way to enjoy corn is to eat it straight from the garden. Adding this more difficult plant to your garden will help kids to see how their hard work and effort pays off. Corn has 6.8 grams of sugar per cup, though it is a higher glycemic food that raises blood sugar levels a bit more than the other veggies in this list.

Rutabagas

Though it is not the prettiest veggie in town, the rutabaga is a sweet treat that is often overlooked. It is a hardy, cool-weather biennial grown as an annual and it’s easy to maintain. It has a sweet woody flavor and can be cut into sticks and eaten raw (at our house we call them rutabaga fries). Rutabagas have 6 grams of sugar per cup, the same amount as a carrot.

Beets

People think of beets as an adult vegetable that you have to trick kids into eating, something along the lines of Brussels sprouts. In reality, kids are naturally attracted to the bright red color and the unusual shape and, if your kids fascinated with bodily functions like mine are, they will be all too excited to see the “result” (i.e., bright red poop!) that comes from eating a meal of beets. Like other root veggies, beets are easy for kids to pull out of the ground themselves. The beet is actually sweeter than any other vegetable in this list, coming in at 9 grams per cup, but the fiber and other nutrients make it a very healthy choice.

 

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Exciting Ways to Use Cranberries

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cranberryCranberries are a beautiful addition to any dinner plate. Their rich color dresses everything up and adds a touch of complex sweetness. Cranberries are also extremely healthy—they are chockfull of antioxidants and proanthocyanidins (or PACs) that help to prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria (these anti-adhesion properties inhibit the bacteria associated with E. coli, and potentially those associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers as well). Cranberries are also rich in phytonutrients, giving you an upper hand at combatting various illnesses. Women have long-been using cranberry juices and extract to treat and avoid urinary tract infections.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you might find yourself with an abundance of cranberries on hand. Resist the urge to make typical cranberry sauce and call it a day–the following recipes show a few exciting ways to change things up. And don’t limit yourself to the holidays! These dishes taste great year round.

Cranberry Red Wine Relish

This recipe is a kind of adult version of the classic cranberry sauce. Tasty and colorful, if you make big batches you can put them in mason jars for beautiful holiday gifts for your friends and neighbors.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine (this is a fancy one I use during the holidays)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, cut into slivers

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and red wine in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cranberries, cinnamon stick and orange peel. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until most of the cranberries have burst (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and chill before serving.

Cranberry Chutney

Again, this is a bit of a more festive take on classic cranberry sauce. Perfect with turkey and other holiday dinners.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces (or 1 package) fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, peeled, tough membrane removed, chopped or 1 small can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cranberries are bursting.
  2. Chill until serving time; freeze surplus in small containers.

Sweet Wheat Berry Cranberry Salad

Wheat berries are a versatile whole grain. Learn more about how to use them here.

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apples, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

For Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. For salad: In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.
  2. For dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss. Refrigerate the dressed salad to allow the flavors to meld before serving. Serve it cold or heat it up for a breakfast cereal.

Cranberry Quinoa with Cilantro

The stronger cranberry flavor plus cilantro in this dish is a real compliment to the quinoa, which can be a bit bland. Note that the cranberries used in this recipe are dried.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour in the quinoa, cover with a lid, and continue to simmer over low heat until the water has been absorbed (about 20 minutes). Scrape into a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator until cold.
  2. Once cold, stir in the red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, sliced almonds, carrots, and cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

This is a delicious and easy way to prepare chicken breasts. The cranberries add a welcome change to our regular chicken dinner, and I love using the crockpot to prepare meals during the week.

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle Catalina salad dressing
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the salad dressing, cranberries, and onion soup mix over the chicken. Cook on Low 4 to 6 hours.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Three Basic Exercises To Help You Increase Strength and Mobility

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 Within the preparedness community, there is a tendency for individuals to place an almost exclusive focus on acquiring the right supplies and tools for survival, and for good reason, but what is too often brushed aside in this pursuit are the tools that every person carries within his or her body, namely the muscular system. Whether due to personal neglect, lifestyle barriers or just plain lacking motivation, there is a tendency to put off strength and endurance training. Being physically fit is equally as important as having the proper resources when disaster strikes. Making sure that we are doing what we can to have able bodies with which to face and survive a major disaster should be a top priority, and this means starting today, doing basic strength training exercises to improve your overall health and mobility. Maybe you don’t consider yourself athletic, and maybe you haven’t worked out in years, but there is no good reason to let that hold you back from doing daily exercises now so that you can help yourself and your family when it counts. Here are three basic exercises that you can implement into your daily routine today (none of which require the use of weights):

Push-ups

pushupsPush-ups seem fairly straightforward, but many people have been taught an incorrect way to do push-ups that can cause irreversible damage. Wide-arm push-ups, in which your hands are extended outside of shoulder-width, cause a bone in your shoulder called the acromion to rub against the supraspinatus tendon just beneath it, which can cause permanent damage. Avoid damaging your shoulder by placing your hands at or within the width of your shoulder. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done push-ups and you are finding it difficult to push your full body weight, then you can focus on pushing only your upper body weight by placing a pad under your knees and doing push-ups with only your knees on the ground instead of your feet. For someone who is just starting, you can do just 10 push-ups a day and gradually increase that number as you build endurance with this exercise. Push-ups are great for building strength in your chest, core and back.

Body Squats

body-squat

Arguably one of the most important exercises you can do for overall leg strength, body weight squats are a great exercise that requires no weights. It’s important to maintain a straight posture as you squat down, and this will require that you shift your waist backward considerably as your waistline reaches your knees. Make sure that your knees do not bend over the tip of your toes to avoid injury.

A person’s ability to do a squat can be affected by a number of factors, from overall leg strength to ankle-, knee- and hip-related stress. Those who have not squatted much in their life tend to have a shortened Achilles tendon which impedes full range of motion and only allows these particular individuals to do a partial squat. By doing consistent partial squats, they can eventually form an elongated Achilles tendon and do full squats. As you grow in strength and body weight squats become easier, you can begin to add weight to the exercise by holding a weight in the center of your chest and increasing that weight as you increase in strength and endurance.

Reverse Plank Bridge

plank-bridge

The reverse plank bridge is basically the opposite of a push-up; you hold yourself up by placing your hands directly beneath your shoulders in a sitting position and push yourself upward; either extend your legs and keep them straight, balancing on your heels, or bend them and keep your feet flat. Just by holding this position you are working a number of muscles. This exercise is exceptional for building your core, lower back, and arms.

By adding these three simple exercises to your daily routine, you can dramatically increase your full spectrum strength and mobility.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

One of the Most Undervalued Storable Survival Foods

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 23Preparedness is more than a method of planning, it is a lifestyle. Long-term survival strategies are most effective when they are incorporated into one’s daily life. Anybody who seeks to be prepared for the future should be prepared to live out their plans in the present, even if the only purpose is to understand the efficacy of their plans. Food preparedness stands paramount as the most fundamental element of any long-term survival plan, and it is important that your preparations for long-term food storage are efficacious and simple.

Food Preparedness

As impending socioeconomic collapse fast approaches, many of the commercially available storable foods have risen in popularity, and for good reason, but many of these so-called foods are pre-packaged freeze-dried meals, powders or just plain mush that are intended to sit in storage for up to 2 years. Consequently, these foods contain a high amount of sodium and/or preservatives to maintain their shelf life; they are designed only “for emergency” and not as a nutritional food that could be eaten in one’s daily regimen today. Over time, many of the storable foods that people rely on, especially canned foods, contain meat which will putrefy and cause all other food in the package to spoil. How likely is it that these foods will sustain your survival and nutritional needs when the time comes?

The food you choose to store should be something that you are comfortable eating today, and it should be providing what you need to stay healthy.

What You Need

These are the basic requirements that a food should have for long-term survival:

  1. It must be inexpensive.
  2. It must have the capacity for long-term storage (Check out these 25 must-have survival foods)
  3. It must be a calorie-dense food that yields significant nutritional benefits.
  4. It must have a number of uses so that it can be incorporated into your diet today.

When searching for the best long-term survival food, the one food that seems to match every basic quality mentioned above is seeds. There are various seeds which are substantially inexpensive as compared with many of the other commercially available long-term food storage products on the market, and they are perfect for long-term storage if they are stored correctly. Here we will discuss two highly nutritious and widely available seeds and give you a number of ideas as to how you can use them in your diet now.

Chia Seeds

Salvia hispanica, also known as chia, is a member of the mint family and is native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala. The seed of this plant was once a staple food for Inca, Maya and Aztec civilizations. Chia seeds are considered a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, and histadine. They are also a great source of  omega-3 ALA fatty acids, which have been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease when converted to omega-3 EPA and DHA in the body. One tablespoon of chia seeds provides approximately 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and lignans which have shown a potential role in cancer prevention. These seeds provide 80 calories per tablespoon, and they would serve as a highly efficacious way to obtain sufficient calories if there is ever a food supply shortage as a result of a natural or unnatural disaster.

Chia seeds are highly absorbent; they will absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. They are best eaten after being soaked in a liquid of some kind, where they will soak up moisture and form a gel-like consistency. Once soaked, they could be added to a number of beverages or foods. They are commonly added to fruit drinks. Another easy way to consume eat chia seeds is to add them to cereal or to add them to a fruit jam and spread them on toast. They do not have a very strong taste, so they will tend to taste like whatever you mix them with.

Hemp Seeds

The hemp plant, also known as cannabis sativa, has been used by humans for over 10,000 years for industrial and commercial uses, such as the creation of clothing, rope, paper, fabric, biofuel, biodegradable plastic, paint, and food. The seed of the hemp plant is full of nutrition, and it could possibly be the ultimate survival food. In addition, to be a complete protein source, hemp seeds are a particularly good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but hemp seeds actually have almost twice the omega-3 content as chia. Hemp provides 4.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and 90 calories per tablespoon.

Hemp seeds have a subtle, nutty flavor, and they taste great when added to a shake. Similarly to chia, they can be added to a cereal or spread on toast with jam. They also taste great when added to a salad.

Storage

Both chia and hemp seeds can last up to two years if stored properly. Preparing a cool, dry place will be necessary for any long-term storage strategy. A cellar would make an ideal location, because it is underground and undisturbed by household heating systems, however, for those who do not have underground storage available, a refrigerator will do just fine. The amount you need to store will be dependent on how many people are in your home and how much space you have. The best idea is to store at least two-weeks-worth of seeds at any given time to ensure long-term survival.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Ways to Cut the Duration of Your Cold

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cold-and-fluAt our house, back to school means back to kids bringing home germs. When the leaves start turning, I start reaching for my cough drops, feeling that all too familiar tickle in my throat. If I can, I try to drink tons of water, wash my hands like crazy, and keep the bug from taking hold. But once I know I’m past the point of no return, the following things can help cut the duration of my cold and get me back to my busy life.

Do you know how to tell the difference between a cold and a flu virus?

Sleep Helps You Heal

You probably know this already: one of you body’s first ways of signaling that all is not right internally is to make you very tired and sluggish. Don’t fight this feeling! Take a day or two off of work, if need be. Sleeping early and often during a cold can significantly cut the duration and intensity of a common cold. Sleeping allows your body to rest and recuperate—taking 10 hours of rest now could save you days down the line. Chances are you’ll pass out right away, but if you have trouble getting good sleep (particularly if your cold symptoms include coughing and congestion) put yourself in a dark, cool room with a white noise machine and a high-quality humidifier.

Avoid catchall cold medications that are high in alcohol. Even though these drugs might seem like they’re helping you pass out, what you need is good quality, REM sleep. Alcohol can disrupt your natural, restorative sleep patterns and leave you feeling groggy. If you’re certain you need some assistance with sleeping, some people swear by melatonin as a natural sleep aid.

Exercise (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It)

So, you’ve succumbed to a cold, you’ve slept a solid 8 hours and you’re still feeling under the weather. You should definitely skip your workout today, right? Wrong! Even though the LAST thing you probably feel like doing is slogging through your exercise routine, you don’t want to flake out altogether. Movement and respiration actually speed up the healing process (doctors believe working out causes immune cells to respond to and attack viruses at a faster rate). But instead of doing your normal intensity workout, try doing light cardio such as walking or even speed walking. Listen to your body—if it feels like you can do more, push yourself a little. If you fell like you want to die, dial it back. And of course, it’s not polite to spread germs at the gym, so taking a walk outdoors or at least avoiding a community treadmill is much appreciated.

Give Zinc a Chance

Zinc, which helps boost the immune system, can shorten the duration of the common cold by nearly 50 percent. Studies have not been able to show exactly how Zinc fights the common cold, but research shows that it does work. Zinc has antiviral properties and provides relief from some common cold symptoms such as sore throat. Zinc in lozenge form is the most convenient to use while you have a cold, and it’s available online or at most drugstores.

Studies show that Zinc supplements could also help keep your immune system strong while you’re healthy, potentially staving off more colds. You might think about incorporating these supplements into your everyday vitamin routine.

Remember, Time Heals All

Though it can sometimes feel like your cold will last forever, remember that even if none of the above seems to be helping, your cold will eventually go away. If your symptoms persist for more than 10 days or seem to be intensifying, you should visit your doctor to get a professional assessment.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Life-Saving Health Benefits of Turmeric

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turmericTurmeric, also known as Curcumin, is a medicinal plant that has been used to remedy a number of diseases for over 4,000 years. Commonly used as a spice in Southeast Asia, the turmeric root is growing in popularity internationally due to recent discoveries of its healing potential. With over 9,000 papers published on the life-saving benefits of turmeric, health advocates are now recognizing the immense medicinal benefits derived from this plant.

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Here are five reasons why you should include turmeric in your diet:

1. Inhibits the Growth of Cancer Cells

A recent study found that pancreatic cancer (PC) cell growth was inhibited with the introduction of curcumin to cancer cells. In the study, there was observed suppressed cell growth, cell cycle arrest and induced cell apoptosis, meaning programmed PC cell death. This means that turmeric taken daily could prove to be an effective measure to prevent cancer or mitigate the growth of cancer.

2. Very Good Source of Vitamin B6

Turmeric is a great source for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), as well as Iron, Potassium and Manganese. B6 assists in the process of generating usable energy for the body out of food and helps to fight infection. Adding turmeric to your daily diet will ensure that you do not suffer a deficiency of vitamin B6, which can lead to anemia, dermatitis or a number of other maladies.

3. Potent Anti-diabetic Properties

An April 2015 study showed that turmeric powder exhibited potent anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All three properties would be helpful in alleviating complications associated with diabetes, such as for anti-hyperglycemic therapy. It was also shown to impede molecular complications of type 2 diabetes milletus.

Curcumin extract was found to be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes in prediabetic patients. Following 9 months of treatment of a prediabetic population, 16.4% of test subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but nobody in the curcumin-treated group was found to have type 2 diabetes. Those suffering from type 2 diabetes and those who are prediabetic should consider adding turmeric to meals to relieve their symptoms.

4. Treatment for Depression

A study published just this month suggests that curcumin may be helpful in treating depression. When given active drug treatments comprising variant doses of curcumin and combined curcumin/saffron, patients with major depressive disorder experienced an effective reduction in depressive and anxiolytic symptoms.

Curcumin has also been found to enhance nerve growth in the the sciatic nerves in mice, which may be the reason it is said to enhance nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal areas of the brain. This could be one of the mechanisms contributing to a reduction of depression among patients. Patients may experience relief from depression with the addition of turmeric in their daily intake.

5. Improves Vascular Endothelial Function

A study comparing the benefits of exercise to those derived from turmeric found significant improvement to vascular endothelial function, suggesting that daily curcumin ingestion may help to prevent against cardiovascular disease. The curcumin group showed a slightly greater improvement when compared with the exercise group. It would be best to combine daily endurance exercise with turmeric ingestion to obtain the maximum improvement of endothelial function in order to effectively protect against heart disease.

If you are interested in preventing cancer and diabetes, improving cardiovascular function, relieving depression and ensuring that you are not deficient in vitamin B6, then you should certainly consider adding turmeric to your diet today.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we have been concentrating a great deal of focus upon the current world situation and the ongoing threat of nuclear war and/or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  The U.S. and Russia are currently in a head to head standoff that has resurrected the Cold War.  The military posturing by both sides is both noteworthy and alarming.  Not since the fall of the Soviet Union have we faced so dangerous and precipitous times that can escalate into a world war in so many theaters at once.  I stress my caveat again:

The next war will be initiated by an EMP device above the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange, and then conventional warfare.

That being said, the main things we are going to concentrate on here are naturopathic and homeopathic aids that can be used for both preventative measures and also in the event that radiation from a nuclear bomb comes into play.  When a nuclear blast occurs, there is a tremendous amount (with a ground blast) of dust, debris, and particulate matter that is sucked up into the fire-ball that terminates in the “mushroom cloud” we are all so familiar with seeing in photos.  The main problem comes from when that debris settles back down to the earth in the form of radioactive materials.

A nuclear blast produces Alpha particles, Beta Particles, Gamma Rays, and Neutrons.  These particles and waves can be shielded against in the form of a fallout shelter with varying degrees of thickness being required to prevent people from being harmed by the radiation.  One of the books you may wish to invest in is Nuclear War Survival Skills,” by Cresson Kearney.  The author worked for decades compiling the research in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the work is classified as a Civil Defense Publication.  You can order it on Amazon.com.

There is actually a great deal of foods that can be used both preventively and to detoxify after the body has absorbed harmful radiation.  We will list several of them here:

  1.  Activated Charcoal – this is easy to obtain without any complications or side effects, and it is not particularly expensive.  Approximately 10 g (grams) of activated charcoal will neutralize up to 7 g of toxic material, and yes, it does neutralize radiation.
  2. Organic Geranium – this holistic herb combats the free radicals that are released with the introduction of radiation and harm the cells.  It is effective against Cesium-137 and Gamma Rays.  The Japanese have found great success with the use of this herb for patients exposed to radiation from Fukushima, and their experiments yielded good effects with a dosage of 100 mg (milligrams) per day. You can read more about it here.
  3. Clay – binds to radioactive particles and prevents them from having further damaging effects to the human body.  The clay “carries” the radiation from the human body when it is excreted in the urine and the stool.  A good website that details the types and uses of these protective clays is found here:  www.vitalityherbsandclay.com.
  4. Fruits high in pectin, such as apples – they bind to Cs-137 (mentioned in #2) and neutralize its effects.
  5. Calcium and Magnesium – in combination will lower Strontium-90 absorption by as much as 90%.  The Orolate forms of it are preferred, as it will be more readily absorbable into the human skeletal system.  When taken preventatively, they strengthen bone tissue and increase bone health.  The Calcium can be taken by adults 800 – 1500 mg/day, and children need 800 mg per day.  The Magnesium is taken 550 – 1100 mg per day.  Note: Caution must be taken by those with heart conditions who are already on such medications as Calcium Channel Blockers, or those whose conditional maintenance depend on a balance of electrolytes and minerals that the addition of these two may affect.

There are other foods that detoxify the human body, and are effective against radiation.  Here are some:  Seaweed, Kelp, Garlic, Onions, Wheatgrass, Sauerkraut, Ginger, Horseradish, Spirulina, Chlorella, and Kale.  This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many websites that specialize in each of the aforementioned “list of 5” mentioned earlier, as well as these.

The best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to keep yourself abreast of current events, have sufficient books and materials to help you plan, and have a store of supplies such as those mentioned to enable you to take action when the time comes.  We hope not, but it is better to be prepared and hope than to simply hope and remain unprepared.  I strongly recommend a copy of Kearney’s previously-mentioned book in order to go in-depth for things such as building fallout shelters (long-term and expedient), how to construct a Kearney Fallout Meter, and specifics on nuclear fallout, taken from years of testing with laboratory findings to back up the facts.

Now is the time to prepare if you have not yet done so.  Get the whole family involved.  The more knowledge you have together, the less of a “mystery” radiation becomes, and it can then be viewed for what it is: a dangerous variable that you can nevertheless defeat and defend against in your battle to survive, and thrive.  Keep fighting that good fight.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why You Should Consider Eating Peppers with Every Meal

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pepperPeppers are great for flavoring food, but did you know that consuming spicy peppers on a regular basis may substantially extend your life? It was once thought that hot peppers were damaging to the intestines and that they might possibly cause ulcers. However, in defiance of this common misunderstanding, spicy foods have been shown to reduce the risk of ulcers by the gradual eradication of the ulcer-causing bacteria, “Helicobacter Pylori,” effectively balancing gut flora in the digestive tract.

A 2015 Chinese health study suggests that consumption of peppers shows promise for increasing longevity. The study found that “the habitual consumption of spicy foods was inversely associated with total and certain cause specific mortality.” From 2004-2008, there were 487,375 participants in this study, ages 30-79, enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank, excluding those with a history of cancer, heart disease or stroke.

A median follow-up after 7.2 years found 11,820 deaths among men and 8,404 deaths among women. The study controlled for varying family medical history, education, age, diabetes, smoking and other variables. It was found that consumption of primarily chili peppers less than once a week  resulted in a 10 percent reduction of overall risk for death. When spicy food intake was increased to six or seven times a week, the reduction of risk went up to 14 percent.

Peppers of all sorts are particularly good sources of Vitamins A, C, K and B6 as well as Potassium and Manganese. As if these properties were not enough to make the case that you should eat more peppers, there seems to be immense benefits found in the properties that contribute to the spicy nature of peppers.

Three properties that are of interest to research scientists are:

  • Capsaicin: Found in cayenne and chili peppers, capsaicin is often cited as assisting with weight loss because it has been shown to boost metabolism by raising body temperature and effectively lowering appetite. Capsaicin also has been found to help protect against heart disease by lowering total cholesterol levels in rats given capsaicin supplements.
  • Dihydrocapsiate (DCT): A similar substance to capsaicin, often found in mild or sweet chili peppers, and sometimes called “CH-19” peppers, DCT in capsule form acts similarly to capsaicin in the body, without the associated burning sensation.
  • Piperine: Found in dried black pepper, piperine may prevent new fat cells from forming. However, more investigation is required in human subjects to understand this mechanism. Consumption of piperine can also increase the bioavailability of circumin, an anti-cancerous chemical found in turmeric root, by as much as 2000%. This means that circumin absorption is particularly efficient when piperine is consumed simultaneously.

The reasons to include fresh, spicy peppers in your daily intake are many. Regardless, not everyone is attracted to the burning sensation from consumption of these peppers. For those who want to avoid this and still yield benefits, you have two options. One method would be to sautée the pepper for a minute or so prior to eating. The heat will cause the spice to lose its potency and will be substantially less spicy. Remember to wash your hands immediately after making any skin contact with hot peppers to keep from causing irritation to your skin, or you could simply wear gloves and avoid contact altogether. Another approach would be to build a tolerance by consuming small bits of a spicy peppers on a daily basis. Gradually, you will find that you are able to handle more of the pepper as you make a consistent

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Reasons Why Drinking Coffee Is Great For Your Health

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coffee healthReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is to laud the many wondrous benefits of coffee.  Really, I love it without all of the benefits that we’re going to mention, and drink it by the gallon.  There are a few studies that came out about coffee that I think you’ll find interesting; therefore, there’s a little in this article for everyone.  Let me take a sip of my coffee, now, and then we’ll continue.

Ahh, that’s good!  Now, coffee beans happen to be the seeds of Coffea arabica, a cash-crop harvested in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.  The beans are harvested nine months after the plant is in its flowering stage.  Then they are dried, either by the sun for about a month, or with machines.

Why many say this beverage is unhealthy is all the “extras” you put in your java. Cream, artificial sweeteners add extra calories and fat to coffee. If you drink it without any of these, then you receive the most health benefits.

Coffee Has Naturopathic Tendencies

As a naturopathic aid, coffee has quite a few uses.  It can be used to treat nonspecific, acute diarrhea.  This is diarrhea that isn’t long term, and could come from a number of different stressors, most of them not disease-related, such as severe fatigue and overwork, or a sudden change in diet.  Caffeine (the main constituent of coffee) is also a diuretic, which means it causes urination.  For this reason, it isn’t used in diarrhea caused by diseases of the stomach and intestines, as it will help with the diarrhea but cause you to lose water through excessive urination.

Coffee Provides Mental Alertness Seconds After Drinking

The caffeine restores mental alertness, and these stimulating effects occur within just a few minutes after ingesting it, in this case with your cup of coffee.  Although we’re primarily concerned here with it as a drink, caffeine as well as ground coffee is available in other forms, such as tablets and as an ingredient in a mixture.  It takes a lot to overdose, and the lethal dose for an adult is 150 to 200 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight.  To place this into perspective, if you weighed about 120 lbs., you would have to drink about 75 cups of coffee before you checked into the big Starbuck’s in the sky.

Drinking Coffee Helps To Lower Health Hazards

An article by Maggie Fox entitled Study Finds More Evidence Coffee Can Be a Life-Saver,” explains some little-known benefits of drinking coffee.  The study comes from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, in which it explains that coffee can actually help you live longer.  Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology helped run the study, and he and his colleagues found that coffee consumption helps with diabetes, cardiovascular problems, feelings of depression/suicide, and can lead to an overall lowering of mortality risk.  The study found that having 3 to 5 cups per day can lower the risks associated with these health hazards.

Coffee Is Full Of Antioxidants

Coffee happens to be the Number 1 source of antioxidants in the American diet.  Antioxidants are chemical compounds that offset the damage by free radicals to your cells that occurs on a daily basis.  The studies went on to tell how inflammations in your body’s system and resistance to insulin is diminished in diabetic patients by several ingredients in coffee, such as quinides, lignans, and magnesium, among others.

The reason the study is very reliable is this: it was taken from a sampling of 200,000 doctors and nurses over a period of a decade that tabulated their habits.

Statistically speaking, those are pretty good numbers, when you consider the persons being sampled are in a high-stress, high-pressure work environment.  This is not to say that coffee is for everyone, but the really good news about the coffee intake is this:

The beneficial effects were with (regular) caffeinated coffee as well as (“unleaded”) decaffeinated coffee.

In addition to the points made above, you can make your coffee even healthier by adding these superfoods to your favorite brew. It must be mentioned that your coffee grounds can do wonders for your garden. Here are 14 genius ways to use coffee grounds.

The Final Say-So

The final say-so rests with your happy, smiling, family doctor.  Obtain his smiling permission before undertaking any regimen of therapy suggested in the referenced article or using any information in this one.  If coffee is something you normally enjoy (such as I’m enjoying this very moment), then this article should have given you some food for thought that is positive reinforcement to “our” indulgence in coffee.  So, bottom’s up, and keep up the prepping and learning!

 

JJ

 

coffee health

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Spice Up Your Vacation With These 7 Spices

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imageWhen we go on vacation, my family almost always chooses to stay in a house or apartment rental instead of a hotel room. We like having additional space, the cost is usually more reasonable, and most of all, we like to cook our own meals. Buying groceries and using someone else’s kitchen is a great alternative to ordering room service or eating in expensive restaurants, but because you can never be sure how fully stocked your vacation kitchen will be, we always make sure to travel with our own spices. This may sound extravagant or difficult but it makes a huge difference and is extremely easy.

Spice Up Your Travels With These 7 Spices

I’ve found that the best way to travel with spices is to use a weekly pill dispenser—each day holds about two tablespoons of spice. This is the perfect amount for a weeklong trip and the seven compartments means we can bring along seven of the most versatile seasonings with us. These are the ones we get the most mileage out of:

  1. Garlic powder: When fresh garlic is a scarcity or if your vacation kitchen is lacking in a garlic press or a sharp knife, garlic powder can really save the day. We use it in everything from tomato sauce (spaghetti is a cheap go-to travel meal my whole family can agree on) to seasoning meat to sprinkling on our popcorn.
  2. Lawry’s Season Salt: Lawry’s is a perfect blended salt for use on any potato dish (from fries to mashed to hash browns)
  3. Cayenne pepper: we like a little heat in our food and cayenne is perfect for savory dishes of all kinds. My kids also love a little dash mixed into their hot chocolate.
  4. Cinnamon: we use cinnamon on toast, pancakes, oatmeal and my husband and I use it in our coffee.
  5. Coleman’s Mustard Powder: mustard powder is great for eating on the go. Simply mix a little with cold water until the desired condiment consistency is achieved. I also mix it with olive oil and use it to dress salads.
  6. Taco seasoning: tacos, burritos, and fajitas are another quick and easy meal to make when traveling. We marinate chicken breasts, cook them, and cut them into strips for the week. It’s nice to be able to grab a tortilla, some chicken, and a little cheese and wrap up and go!
  7. Sugar: You’d be surprised how many people no longer have standard sugar in their kitchens. My husband can’t handle his coffee without a little sweet stuff and the kids like to add some to their oatmeal in the mornings. Sugar is also critical in our tomato sauce.

Before you go on your next trip, take stock of the spices in your cabinet with the lowest levels. These are your seven traveling spices! Bring them along to add some variety and flavor to your vacation.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

You’re Body Will Be Pushed to the Limit in an Emergency – Here’s How to Prepare For It

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers something that can affect you quite adversely and make the difference between success and failure during a long-term emergency.  We’re talking about muscle fatigue brought on by stress and overexertion.  The precursor to that is the buildup of Lactic Acid.  Doesn’t sound as if it’s such a big deal, does it?  Read on, because it is something that can affect your ability to survive.

Stress and Extra Physical Activity Can Wreak Havoc on the Body

As you may have deduced from previous articles, I am a big believer in weight training and physical training in general.  Whatever your “thing” is, do it, and be consistent with it.  You need a good, physical fitness regimen and a well-balanced diet.  Even those with physical limitations should make this part of their daily lifestyle. By following after this, you can virtually eliminate problems resulting from Lactic acid buildup and muscle fatigue.  Let’s go over some basics and delve into this subject.

Lactic  Acid

Lactic acid is an organic acid, and it is formed and built-up in your body’s muscles after strenuous exercise and/or stress.  It can be produced when there is not adequate oxygen to the skeletal muscle system and other tissues of the body.  Lactic acid also is formed during anaerobic muscle activity during a period of glycolysis, where your glucose isn’t changed into pyruvic acid and this is the factor that leads to a marked increase in muscular aches and fatigues.

Physical Challenges on the Body

Anaerobic exercise, keep in mind, is the type that uses energy that is limited to short bursts of strenuous tasks or activities.  Weightlifting is a prime example of such, as opposed to aerobic exercise where the body takes in a tremendous amount of oxygen over a longer period of duration.  So what does all of this have to do with survival, you may ask?  Here’s the answer: if you’re not in good shape already, the stresses and extra physical activity when a collapse occurs will be telling on your body.

Already someone out there is smirking, but be advised: this advice comes with experience.  When your power goes out and you have to haul water from a river or lake by hand, and have to walk ¼ of a mile with two 5-gallon jugs (they would weigh 75 lbs.), you will see how quickly this will debilitate you.  The stress and pressures of maintaining security for yourself and your family, the loss of electricity, and the need to build a fire (hence cut wood and move it) and do other tasks…this starts the minute everything collapses.

As well, in a related article, Ruby Burks discusses some of these same viewpoints.

“No matter what kind of shape you think you’re in, training to bug out on foot and being prepared for the unique stresses it puts on your body is best accomplished practicing often with the actual gear and in the setting you’re most likely to find yourself when the SHTF.  It builds strength, endurance, flexibility, and improves your cardio and respiratory fitness.  And most importantly of all, you’ll be confident that you can stand – or run – on your own two feet.”

There may be other physical challenges, such as an injury to a family member who needs to be carried to safety.  You will not have time to wait and rest.  All of these factors can make your arms and legs so sore as to not even be able to straighten them out, let alone do more work with them.

Make Physical Fitness a Priority in Prepping

If you work out 3-4 days per week, you will be building your muscles and body up, conditioning yourself to strengthen the muscles and thus avoid the problems with excessive Lactic acid buildup that leads to muscular weakness and fatigue.  These daily strengthening exercises will give you a good head start. You don’t need an expensive gym membership – all you need is the will power and a few tools to get started. From when you first start working out, it will take you anywhere from 1-2 weeks to initially recover from lactic acid and soreness.  Eventually it will go away, but you have to start somewhere.

GNC Rapiddrive BCAA 5000 Supplement, 350 g, 12.32 OunceI strongly recommend a good protein supplement to take at least once per day to help balance your body’s needs for protein.  Tissue repair is very important.  There’s also some stuff out on the market (supplements) that can be used for recovery that aid in synthesis of proteins and cut your recovery time in half.  I use this stuff called RapidDrive BCAA 5000, in a 9.33-ounce container that gives you 50 servings.  The BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids, specifically L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine at 3,000 mg, 1,000 mg, and 1,000 mg respectively.

This stuff is micronized (pulverized) from larger to smaller molecules that are easier to absorb and uptake.  These amino acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis, keep your proteins from breaking down post-workout, and preserve the glycogen stored in your muscles.  Glycogen is fuel used by your muscles; when they run out of their natural supply, your muscles feed off of themselves, literally.  All of this complicates and lengthens your recovery time.  This stuff comes from GNC (the pro performance series), and it isn’t cheap: a can will run you $50.00, but I’m here to tell you it’s worth every penny.

You can pick up a couple of cans (this is what I do) and FIFO them as you’re using one.  It takes me about a month and a half to go through a can.  I know this is stuff we’re mentioning for recovery, and it is: you can have some always on hand…that spare can, if you need it, to help you get rid of the Lactic acid buildup and protein debilitation that you will experience naturally as a result of a catastrophic event.

I also use Beta-Alanine powder, with ½ teaspoon giving you 2,000 mg of Beta-Alanine that helps you with both muscular endurance and to reduce muscle fatigue as a result of lactic acid buildup.  My stuff is made by Now Sports, and it’ll run you about $45.00 for a 17.6-ounce jar that gives you 250 servings. Between those two, my recovery time for a muscle group I’ve worked is down to one day.  It is fairly expensive; however, my question to you is do you see yourself as being “worth” it?  You would not skimp on a water filter, or on any kind of home canning equipment.  How much less should you invest in yourself…your most important asset?

Catastrophe is something that you are absolutely unprepared for, in any capacity.

Once again, consult with your family practioner for his approval prior to taking any actions or using any of the materials recommended in this article.

As preppers and survivalists, it is our job to be “well-rounded,” and I’m not referring to body shape.  I am speaking about being well-rounded and well-versed on all of the different disciplines that go into surviving and preparing.  Physical conditioning is a key factor for you, and the work that you do now will pay off in spades when the time arrives.  I wish to encourage you…you can do it if you set your mind to doing it consistently and with regularity.  You keep fighting that good fight, and keep a sense of urgency about all of it…without stressing!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Grow Your Own Lemon Tree

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 Lemons are such a versatile fruit—especially for summer time foods. They’re great squeezed over fresh fish, mixed into iced tea, or as an accompaniment to your favorite cocktail. Lemon trees are very pretty to look at and they are among the easiest citrus fruits to grow yourself—though you should note that lemon trees thrive in temperatures around 70 degrees—if it’s much hotter or cooler than that in your backyard, you might want to tackle a different planting project!

Lemon trees make wonderful potted plants to have on your patio garden and will be easy to access from the kitchen! With a little bit of effort, you could be using homegrown lemons in your drinks and recipes in just a few months.

Start a Lemon Tree in Seconds

Before you start, you’ll want to make sure that you are using a seed from an organic lemon as non-organic lemons typically have non-germinating seeds that will not grow. You’ll also need a seed pot, a larger planter pot, some plastic wrap, and fertile soil.

Step 1: Work With Damp Soil

Lemons need very moist soil so before planting, you’ll need to properly and thoroughly moisten the potting soil. Because lemon trees have a tendency to dry out, make sure you don’t skip this step (but also don’t overdo it—keep the soil damp but not watery).

Step 2: Add the Soil to Your Seedling Pot

Fill your smaller seedling pot with soil, leaving a small gap (1-2 inches) at the top

Step 3: Pick and Plant Your Seed

Take your organic lemon and squeeze out the juice and seeds into a bowl. Pick the seed that looks the largest and heartiest. Plant your seed a half an inch below the surface of the soil in your seedling pot. Water the soil immediately afterward.

Step 4: Put Plastic Over the Pot (or not!)

Like all citrus plants, lemon trees flourish in warm climates. You’ll want to cover your pot with plastic (regular cling wrap will work but you’ll need to poke several tiny holes in it so that it air can circulate). Be careful that you do not overheat or dry out the soil—if you believe that it is warm enough in the space where your seedling is planted, you might not need the plastic cover.

Step 5: Transfer the Seedling to a Larger Pot

Once the seedling sprouts, you can transfer the seedling into the larger pot that will become your lemon tree’s permanent home. If you’ve been using the plastic cover on your seeding, you can continue to do so once the transfer is made. Once your tree starts to really gain height, you can place the planter outside for a few hours each day so that the tree gets proper sunlight. You’ll know your conditions are ideal when your fruit starts to grow! Also, remember to give your new lemon tree some citrus fertilizer to give it the best growing conditions.

If you want to bypass the seed process, there lemon trees are usually readily available at commercial garden stores and you can even order them online, but you won’t have as much control over what growing medium will be used. Do some research to find out which lemon tree variety grows best in your neck of the woods.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Common Medications That May be Disturbing Your Sleep

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We all know how critical sleep is in our lives and we’ve all suffered from the occasional restless night. You’re probably aware that caffeine and alcohol can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep, but there are also several other medications you might not be aware of that can lead to sleep disturbances. When it comes to fitful sleep and bad dreams, the monster may be in your medicine cabinet!

5 Common Medicines That Cause Sleeplessness

  • Cipro: This commonly prescribed antibiotic (full name ciprofloxacin) belongs to the category of fluoroquinolones, which are used to treat urinary tract infections and gastroenteritis. Cipro is extremely effective as an antibiotic, but it has also been linked to vivid, violent dreams in adults and agitated sleep walking in young children.
  • Smoking-cessation drugs (Chantix, nicotine patches, Zyban): Many people are not aware that medications meant to help them quit smoking can cause disturbances in sleep. Stressful, seemingly endless dreams as well as frequent waking has been reported by those using these medications.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: These are highly regarded dietary supplements used for relieving pain in the joints, as well as improving joint function and lessening inflammation. Both components are found naturally in the human body and have been proven to be beneficial for those suffering from arthritis; however, people who take this supplement at night often note difficulty falling and staying asleep. Other complaints include muscle cramps and sleep talking.
  • ACE Inhibitors: are used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and other conditions. ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels and keep blood pressure low. Some people who take these drugs develop a dry, hacking cough that can disrupt sleep. These medications can also cause potassium to build up in the body, which leads to muscle cramps and diarrhea—two things that may have you up out of bed frequently.
  • High Doses of B Vitamins: B vitamins such as niacin (aka B3) are often used to help you sleep; however, when taken in large quantities (daily doses higher than 5,000 mg) the opposite can occur. People taking higher doses reported insomnia, vivid, disturbing dreams, and frequent waking overnight.

Natural Remedies Could be the Answer

Prolonged bouts of sleeplessness can have an impact on your health. Sleep deprivation carries numerous health and safety implications, and some are serious:

  • Poor work performance
  • Car accidents
  • Relationship problems
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Mood problems like anger and depression
  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, cancer, and increased mortality

Any sudden and persistent disruption in your sleep should be discussed with your doctor, but a little analyzing of your medicine chest can arm you with more information before your visit. Alternatively, consider some natural ways to improve your quality of sleep. For instance, natural herbs and essential oils have proven to have a positive effect on restfulness. As well, banana tea have been making the headlines lately as a popular way to catch some zzz’s. If you plan on using these natural remedies, check with your healthcare provider to ensure these natural remedies are safe to take with your medications.

It’s easy to forget that the supplements and medications we take, even infrequently, can impact our sleep cycles. In some cases your doctor may be able to provide an alternative medication or supplement, or they may be able to tweak the dosage or time of day when the medication is administered to give you benefits without disrupting your sleep.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Which Oil is Best for Your Diet: MCT vs. Coconut Oil

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  There’s a lot of hype surrounding medium chain triglycerides (or MCT). In fact, there are claims that MCT oil feeds your brain and jumpstarts your metabolism, but there’s no getting around the fact that MCT oil is a man-made supplement. Medium chain fatty acids no doubt have tremendous health benefits, but can you find all of those benefits in MCT oil? Is coconut oil, which contains naturally occurring medium chain triglycerides, a better alternative?

The Importance of Lauric Acid

Lauric acid is the most well known medium chain triglyceride. It is prized as a strong microbial that kills harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Coconut oil is 50% lauric acid (as a reference, breast milk–the gold standard in nutrition–is generally 6-10% lauric acid).

In MCT oil the lauric acid is generally removed during the manufacturing process–tests on MCT oils show negligible or zero percentage remaining.  Lauric acid is what makes coconut oil solid at room temperature. MCT oil is by contrast liquid, even when cold. Though MCT oil is sometimes marketed as “liquid coconut oil” this is certainly not the case. With the lauric acid removed, the composition of the oil has changed dramatically.

Side Effects

Naturally occurring MCTs are great for loosening bowels and keeping your digestion regular. Manufactured MCT oils, on the other hand, frequently cause intestinal distress. Even coconut oil, in large quantities, has been known to cause a tummy ache, but because of the concentrated composition of MCT oil, these effects are intensified. It’s also easier to take too much MCT oil because the serving size is generally much smaller than that of coconut oil (a typical starting dose of 1 teaspoon of MCT oil vs. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil).

Purity

Another issue is that MCT oil means different things to different manufacturers. Some contain the chains C6, C8, C10, C12 (the numeral indicates the length of the chain)—or any combination of these. Using C6 alone has been linked to side effects such as a burning sensation in the throat and mouth upon drinking. There can also be large discrepancies between the quality of each brand of MCT oil, depending upon how and where it’s processed. Some MCT oils may contain chemicals, solvents or other byproducts that occur during processing.

Cost

I expected MCT oil to be much more costly than coconut oil, but a 32-ounce jar of virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil costs $20, about the same price for the same amount of MCT oil. Still, since MCT oil is (as we’ve now learned) of lesser nutrition, potentially lower purity, and puts you at risk for more side effects, you’re better off with reaching for straight coconut oil! Get those same metabolism-boosting benefits, the nutritionally-dense lauric acid, and never worry about manufacturing by-products getting into your body.

This is simply another case where real, whole food wins!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Grow Pineapples Like a Pro!

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pineapple 1Pineapples are delicious and nutritious—they’re great when used in smoothies, muffins, or baked goods (find even more recipes here). They provide 105% of your daily value of Vitamin C, they’re high in Manganese and Thiamin, and studies have shown that three servings per day can prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Pineapples are also hearty, hard-to-kill additions to your garden. If you plant them in the right place they need virtually no care and will thrive.

Grow Pineapples Like a Pro!

Besides the tasty fruit, the flowering plant itself is also very beautiful. Here are the steps for adding pineapples to your garden:

  1. Cut the stem from a store-bought pineapple (be sure to remove all of the fruit flesh as well as the lower leaves). Let the stem cure for a day or two.
  2. Make a small hole in your garden and drop the stem in, pushing the soil around it so that it stays upright and will not tip over. Pineapples don’t need a lot of soil and the soil itself does not have to be high quality. Pineapples are part of the bromeliad family, and like all bromeliads they do not have large root networks. Because of this, you don’t need to worry about having a large space underground; however, beware that pineapples are large and spiky and give them enough room to spread out without bothering your other plants. Pineapples are even content to grow in pots or tubs, so it’s really whatever location you prefer.
  3. Pineapples don’t need a lot of water and they have very tough leaves that don’t lose moisture through evaporation.
  4. Pineapples grow in direct sun, even in extremely hot climates, but they also do well in shaded areas.
  5. Pineapples rely on their leaves for nutrition. If you apply concentrated/artificial fertilizers they will harm your plant. Instead, mix a little compost into the soil if the leaves of your pineapple take on a purple or reddish tinge. Otherwise, your plant is healthy and has all of the nutrients it needs.
  6. Once the pineapple plant flowers you’ll have to wait about 5 months for the fruit to grow and mature. When it’s yellow, it’s ready to pick.

And that’s all there is to it! Pineapples really are ridiculously easy plants to grow and they make an exotic and beautiful addition to any garden.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Ways Coconut Oil Can Bring Out Your Natural Beauty

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coconutCoconut oil is everywhere—you’ve probably read about its uses in lifestyle magazines, in recipes and in holistic medicine articles. You might already know that coconut oil is an antifungal great for curing athlete’s foot and for use in treating head lice, but what you might not be aware of is how many of your most expensive luxury products can be completely replaced with this miracle oil. The Beauty Industry spends billions in advertising dollars to promote products they want you to believe are specially formulated and scientifically proven. In fact, coconut oil is not only an affordable alternative, it’s better for your health and safety than most chemical-laden beauty products.

6 Ways to Achieve Natural Beauty with Coconut Oil

Not all coconut oils are created equally. Since you’re putting this directly on your skin, you want to look for an organic coconut oil like this one that will nourish and protect. Make sure your coconut oil comes from a reputable source. Don’t accept anything that is not organic and non-GMO, and make sure that it is cold-pressed and unrefined. Refined coconut oil may have been bleached or deodorized and processed with chemicals, while unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil (also called virgin oil) is mechanically pressed immediately after picking, without any additives. Remember that what you put on your body goes in your body!

 Eye Cream and Nighttime Moisturizer

Because it is quick-absorbing and rich, virgin organic coconut oil is an excellent deep moisturizer for dry, delicate skin.

Simply use your ring finger to smooth around your eyes after your cleansing routine. It might be too heavy to spread over your entire face, but feel free to dab a little over those rough patches on your cheeks and forehead. It’s also a great lip balm!

Shaving cream

Drugstore shaving cream can be irritating and drying to skin. Coconut oil is much more hydrating and won’t clog your razor the way some shaving creams can.

To use, wet the area to be shaved, rub coconut oil over the area in circles, and shave as usual.

Bath oil

 Adding coconut oil directly to your bath is better than bubbles or bath salts. Skip bubble bath and salts, and try adding coconut oil to your bath.

Since coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, simply run hot water over the jar for a few minutes to melt it down. Add a few tablespoons to soak up the moisture.

Hair mask

Coconut oil is one of the few oils molecularly small enough to be absorbed by the hair shaft. Many of the expensive hair masks and leave-in conditioners for sale merely sit on top of the hair and coat it. This can lead to buildup over time and dull, lank hair. Coconut oil actually infuses your strands and repairs damage.

To use, at night, wet the hair and comb a few tablespoons of coconut oil from root to tips. Wrap your hair in plastic or use a shower cap. Get some beauty sleep. In the morning, you may have to wash your hair twice to remove the excess oil, but what you’ll have afterwards is manageable, shiny hair that feels silky and soft.

Makeup remover

Makeup removers are often expensive and they sometimes have harsh chemicals that can burn or sting your eyes. It makes no sense that something meant to remove eye makeup can be dangerous to your sight! Coconut oil is a non-irritating alternative.

To use, apply a small amount to your face with your fingers. Massage the coconut oil on the makeup you’d like to remove, then wipe off with a light-colored cloth (so you can see when all of the makeup is off).

Lip balm

Your lips are one of the most exposed areas of the body. With only a thin layer of skin to protect them, the cold, dry air can wreak havoc. When every ounce of moisture counts, we have to take steps to protect them.

To make an easy lip balm, check out this recipe for step-by-step instructions.

Is it safe to say that coconut could be the miracle beauty we have all been looking for? Bring out your natural beauty and start using these coconut oil products today!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Keto Diet: Health Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

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keto dietLow-carb, higher fat/protein diets are nothing new in mainstream culture–chances are you’ve heard of the Atkins Diet or Protein Power or some other version of these weight loss plans. These diets are at their core high-fat, low-carb Keto Diets or KDs, so called because they put your body into a state where it runs on ketones, rather than glucose or glycogen (you can read more about the science behind the process here). But what you might not be aware of are the myriad medical studies that show how Keto Diets go far beyond weight loss. In all reality,the Keto Diet is common sense eating.

KETO-food-pyramidThe following is a list of health issues and the way that the Keto Diet brings about positive effects in each of them. As always, speak to your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise plan—I’m not a scientist or a doctor, but this list was compiled based on studies from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

  1. Keto Diet for a better brain: One of the most common issues people have with cutting carbohydrates from their diet is the “brain fog” that occurs in the first few days or weeks of a Keto Diet. Many times, people give up during this phase, but if you can hold out a little longer, there are many benefits including enhanced focus, clarity, and long-term neuroprotection. Several days into a Keto Diet there is a rise of ketones in the liver and an overall lowering of blood glucose levels. Fatty acids are better oxidized, leading to enhanced biogenesis, or the creation of brain cells. Synaptic energy (meaning the connections between existing brain cells) is increased and strengthened, while there is a decrease in oxidative stress (the process by which brain cells corrode and die). These findings are not speculative—they are based on human studies. Basically, your brain is running at its best when in a keto zone.
  2. Keto Diet in Alzheimer’s patients: Because of the neuroprotective properties of a KD, scientists believe there may be some benefit for Alzheimer’s patients to adhere to a Keto Diet. Patients with certain mutations of the disease have shown improved cognitive functioning in double-blind studies. More research needs to be done to conclude whether all variations of the disease may benefit from a KD, but the research is promising.
  3. Keto Diet to slow aging: General aging is caused by a gradual decline in neurons and neural circuit functions. We, of course, don’t know how to stop this process, but research shows that altering the energy metabolism of the brain can slow this process. Rodent studies have conclusive evidence that a KD implemented in older rats leads to slower overall cell degradation and the results for humans is currently underway.
  4. Keto Diet for Parkinson’s Disease: Clinical studies are currently underway to determine the effects of a KD on Parkinson’s sufferers, though an initial small study showed promising results.
  5. Keto Diet for Epilepsy: There is now conclusive evidence that a KD reduces the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients, particularly in children. A Keto Diet is the first or second line of defense against seizure along with anti-convulsant drugs. Many patients prefer a KD as the first treatment because of the side-effects that can occur with anti-convulsants. Children or others who have difficulty swallowing pills or remembering to take medication every day often choose a Keto Diet. As well, some children who had no response at all to oral medication showed excellent results with a KD.
  6. Keto Diet on cancer cells: Of course there’s no known cure for cancer at this point, but because cancer cells exhibit high metabolic rates, they are also the most sensitive to a lack of glucose fuel (this is known as the Warburg effect). Pioneering work in animals has shown that a KD greatly slows the rate of tumor growth. While clinical proof in humans is still underway, a pilot trial of 16 patients with highly metastatic cancer showed improved functioning and decreased insomnia in patients, indicating that there are benefits that need to be explored further.

The Keto Diet is also being considered in the treatment of migraine, autism, stroke, traumatic brain injury, psychiatric disorders, and many other diseases. I find it very easy to maintain a KD. All of these medical results are promising, plus, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the main reason for me is that it keeps me thin. I’m very interested to see the results of further scientific research as they develop.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What Miniature Cows Mean for Your Homestead

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jersey cowI recently returned from a month-long trip to Iceland. While there, besides the amazing natural beauty and the wonderfully kind locals, I also noticed something interesting and unique about their livestock. In Iceland, there is only one dairy breed: the Icelandic cow. These cows are descended from Scandinavian ancestors and they are small and compact in stature with vivid, exotic coats (including brindle, stripes, and a vast array of colors–over 100 possible combinations!). Their small size, coupled with their ability to produce rich, copious milk, got me thinking about miniature dairy breeds and how they could be useful on smaller farms in the United States. Of course, getting a cow from Iceland might be a difficult prospect, but there are there are more than 25 breed categories recognized by the International Miniature Cattle Breeders in the states. Some of the most popular miniature cow breeds are:

  • Belted Galloway
  • Dexter
  • Jersey
  • Panda Cow
  • Hereford
  • Lowline angus
  • Texas Longhorn
  • Miniature Highland
  • Holstein

As well, this book goes over some of the benefits of miniatures of all types and how they can be beneficial to your homestead.

  • Space: Okay, so it’s abundantly clear that dairy cows are big, but let’s talk about the size difference between a mini and a traditional cow. Minis range in size at three years of age from 36″ in height to a maximum of 48″. This is one-half to one-third the size of normal cattle. A traditional dairy cow can weigh over 1300 pounds and stands close to 5 feet tall. A mini-Jersey breed, on the other hand, weighs about 400-500 pounds and is about 3 feet tall. A smaller cow means a smaller space commitment (for both housing and grazing) overall—suddenly, the idea of having a dairy cow becomes feasible even for people with small homesteads.
  • Feed Conversion: These petite cows need only half an acre for grazing and a third of a ton of feed per year (as opposed to full-sized counterparts who need more than a ton of feed per year), yet minis still produce 50-75% as much milk as the bigger cows. This makes the feed conversion rate outstanding and efficient for a smaller farm or homestead.
  • Safer for families: The sheer size of a typical dairy cow means many precautions need to be taken to handle the animals. Younger kids who might otherwise be intimidated by a regular-sized cow can help with the daily care/maintenance of a mini. Children should, of course, always be supervised around livestock, but a cow the size of a large dog is definitely a safer bet for those with families.
  • Gentle nature: It’s more than only size that makes mini cows so easy to handle and get along with—they are particularly docile and gentle. They do less damage to pastures/fences when they walk, and many owners compare them in nature to golden retrievers.

Initial cost may be the only downside to owning mini cows—they can be $1,000-$2,000 more than a traditional dairy cow; however, when you do the math, the investment into feed + dairy output + accommodations over time likely still make minis worth it for your family. Adding another layer of self-reliance to your homestead is always beneficial, as we never know what the future holds, and for those nervous about making the leap to “farmer,” the mini cow could be a great first step.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

10 Delicious Zoodle Recipes You Can Make From Your Summer Harvest!

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 For the better part of a year I haven’t felt like myself. I was lethargic, depressed and always on the verge of catching the latest virus circulating around, even though I was taking supplements and eating a healthy diet. After having enough of feeling crappy all the time, I took a food allergy test and found out I had a food intolerance to dairy, gluten and a few other food types.

For years I had heard of people talking about the Wheat Belly book and thought it was impossible to live that healthy of a lifestyle. Well folks, my time had come. Long story short, after eliminating gluten out for 30 days, I felt so much better and even lost 15 pounds! While losing weight wasn’t the objective of my elimination diet, I felt so much healthier simply by removing this food types.

A New Way to Eat Garden Fresh Salads

During that journey, I found news ways of eating some of my favorite dishes and some new tools in preparing these foods. One of my favorite tools I found was the Zoodle slicer. I know it’s a wonky name, but it’s a great way of creating gluten-free and paleo meals.  Basically, the tool cuts vegetables into long, spiralized shapes and makes healthy versions for pasta dishes. I have used this handy little contraption to make “vegetti” and veggie ravioli and lasagna, and also used it to dehydrate zoodles for future meals. It also makes fresh yummy salads and even jazzes up some of my favorite healthy salads like carrot apple salad. What’s great is many of the zoodle slicers have different tools so you can change up your zoodle sizes into wider ribbons of zoodles. Also, you can find spiralizing attachments that go on your Kitchenaid mixer!  There are different types of zoodles makers and each have different features that make them appealing. Here are the top five spiralizers:

  1. iPerfect Kitchen Vegetable Slicer Bundle – $12.95
  2. Premium Vegetable Spiralizer Bundle – $14.47
  3. Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer – $30.48
  4. Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer – $30.99
  5. Müeller Spiral-Ultra 4-Blade Spiralizer – $27.99

By far, the easiest vegetable to use when making these healthy “noodles” is the zucchini, but other vegetables can be used too. Here are some that I have tried.

  • squash
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • beets
  • jicama

I love this cooking tool and it’s perfect for summer salads. I recommend it for anyone looking for new ways to get more vegetables into their diets and this is the perfect time to take advantage of all the wonderful vegetables out in the garden! Try some of my favorite zoodle recipes using some of the garden ripe veggies. If these recipes aren’t enough for you to get started, there are spiralizing cookbooks loaded with more recipes.

10 Delicious, Nutritious Zoodle Recipes

1. Zoodle Lasagna

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 4 zucchini
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese/cottage cheese or make your own with this recipe.
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a skillet, add ground beef and brown until cooked. Season, if necessary. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add parsley, cottage cheese and egg and mix until incorporated. Set aside
  3. Take zoodle slicer and cut zucchini into wide ribbons to resemble lasagna noodles. Wipe zoodles with paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
  4. In a casserole dish, spoon some of the meat mixture into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish (just enough to cover).
  5. Add a layer of zoodles directly on top of the meat.
  6. Add 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over zoodles and top with a layer of spinach.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella over zoodles.
  8. Repeat layering process.
  9. Top the finished lasagna with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is gooey and golden.

Note: You can also make a “one pot” meal with these ingredients if you decide not to go through the layering process.

2. Loaded Zoodle Ramen Soup

  • 1 cup bone broth (I use this recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (This microplane grater is amazing)
  • 1/2 cup spinach, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced
  1. In a soup bowl, add all ingredients and enjoy.

3. Pad Thai Zoodles

For Pad Thai:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound chicken, beef or shrimp
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • about 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • Few lime wedges for serving (optional)

For sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  1. In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients together for the sauce and set aside.
  2. Next, make your zoodles using your spiralizer. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the peanut oil to a wok and heat over high heat. Add meat and cook until fully cooked.
  4. Add garlic to the wok and toss everything together, continue cooking for another minute, if heat is too high, turn to medium high.
  5. Push ingredients off to one side of the wok, and crack the eggs in the other side. Using a spatula break the eggs and scramble eggs.
  6. Add half the bean sprouts, half the peanuts and half the green onions to the wok then pour the sauce over everything. Toss everything together and continue cooking for a 2 more minutes on low heat.
  7. Add the zoodles to the wok, toss everything together and turn off the heat.
  8. Serve while warm and add remaining bean sprouts, green onions and peanuts. Garnish with a lime wedge.

 4. Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Ravioli

One of my very dear friends introduced me to veggie ravioli and I have been experimenting ever since! This is a wonderfully light meal your entire family will enjoy!

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese/cottage cheese or make your own with this recipe.
  • 1 cup tomato sauce of choice
  • cheese, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Take zoodle slicer and cut zucchini into wide ribbons to resemble lasagna noodles. Wipe zoodles with paper towel to remove any additional moisture. Set aside.
  3. In a large pan, add spinach and basil and top with olive oil. Cook on medium-high heat until wilted.
  4. Add in garlic and saute for one more minute. Allow to cool.
  5. Add cooked basil/spinach mixture and add to a small bowl along with ricotta cheese. Stir to mix.
  6. Assemble the ravioli by placing two pieces of zucchini strips down. Add a spoonful of ricotta mixture and roll.
  7. Take two more pieces of zucchini and roll the opposite direction to hold the ricotta mixture in place.
  8. Repeat until all zucchini, ricotta and spinach has been used.
  9. Place zucchini in a large oven-proof pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and top with tomato sauce and cheese, if desired.

5. Mediterranean Zoodle Salad

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 6 green onion
  • 1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 small can of black olives
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon basil, chiffonade
  • 2 tablespoons of artichoke marinade, reserved
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • juice of one lemon
  • crumbled feta cheese, optional
  1. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of artichoke marinade with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, spiralize zucchini and carrots and add remaining ingredients. Add dressing and stir until incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

6. Thai Cucumber Salad

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 carrot
  • 6 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • dash of red peppers
  • dash of sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

For peanut sauce:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  1. In a mixing bowl, add ingredients to make peanut sauce. Set aside.
  2. Using a knife, cut out seeds of cucumber and slice into half (long ways).
  3. With your spiralizer, make noodles from cucumbers.
  4. In a large bowl, add cucumber noodles and remaining ingredients.
  5. Top with sauce and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

7. Greek Style Cucumber Salad

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 carrot
  • 6 green onions
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • fresh herbs like basil, thyme and oregano
  1. Using a knife, cut out seeds of cucumber and slice into half (long ways).
  2. With your spiralizer, make noodles from cucumbers.
  3. In a large bowl, add cucumber noodles and remaining ingredients.
  4. Top with vinaigrette and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. Zesty Jicama Salad with Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • jicama
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3 green onions
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper

For cilantro cream sauce:

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. In a food processor, add all the ingredients together for the sauce and blend until combined. Set aside.
  2. Next, spiralize the jicama. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to salad bowl and top with desired amount of dressing.
  4. Chill salad for an hour and serve cold.

9. Zoodles and Peas in a Lemon Cream Sauce

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups slices asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  1. Make your zoodles using your spiralizer. Place in a bowl and set aside.In a pot of boiling water, cook spiralized zucchini for 3 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan and sauté 1 minute.
  3. Stir in vegetable broth and cream, juice, salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, Add pasta mixture to broth mixture; toss gently to coat. Garnish with coarsely ground black pepper and lemon slices, if desired.
  5. Serve immediately.

10. Bacon and Shrimp Zoodle Pasta Dish

  • 2-3 medium zucchini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup green onions, minced
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4-6 chopped basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  1. In a pot of boiling water, cook spiralized zucchini for 3 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon and drain on paper towel lined plate. Remove bacon fat leaving one teaspoon in skillet. Add garlic and green onions cooking for 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes, and shrimp. Cook shrimp until it turns pink. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Turn the shrimp and add lemon juice and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the zucchini noodles and toss to combine. Return shrimp to skillet, along with basil and crumble in the bacon. Toss to combine. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

So there you have it. 10 easy, delicious recipes to get your started using your spiralizer! Happy zoodle maker!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Beauty Tip: Eat Fat for Fabulous Skin

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 Sometimes it’s not what you put on your body that makes the most difference, it’s what you put inside it. Fat has gotten a bad reputation, but it’s time to reconsider. Fats help keep your skin supple and soft, they ward off fine lines and wrinkles, and they give you a glow. Of course, you can’t just eat a box of Krispy Kremes and call it a day—when it comes to having great skin, not all fats are created equally.

All About Avocados

Avocados are high in omega-9 fats and they have a high oleic content. This type of monounsaturated fat maintains moisture in the epidermis and keeps skin hydrated and supple. Omega-9 supplements are even prescribed by dermatologists to help patients with irritation and dryness—but, if you can, it’s always better to eat your vitamins. This skin-moisturizing fat does you more good from the inside out (eating an avocado is more beneficial that moisturizing your skin with avocado oil) and eating an avocado every other day will help to keep your skin soft.

Fatty Fish

The omega-3 fats in oily fish like salmon are also very moisturizing. Omega-3 fats cause the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that help counter skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. An added bonus is that oily fish also contain Vitamin E, a vitamin many of us are deficient in. Vitamin E protects the skin against free radicals.

Egg Yolks are no Joke

Egg, particularly the yolks, provide heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The monounsaturated fats help maintain the water level in the epidermis while the polyunsaturated fats supply ceramides (the building blocks of skin cells) which keep skin looking youthful. In addition, eggs provide biotin, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A—all essentials to having glowing skin.

Nuts for Nuts (and Coconuts)

Nuts and seeds, like eggs, are loaded with poly and monounsaturated fats that make skin supple and smooth. Coconuts contain saturated fats (solid at room temperature) which are full of lauric and capric acid—key ingredients for glowing skin.

You’ll note that all of the fats on this list come from whole, natural foods. Keep this in mind when searching for your fatty skin-fix: when you’re eating real food, you don’t have to feel bad about the fat!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Overcome Your Coffee Addiction With This Healthy Alternative

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  Yerba Mate (yer-bah mah-tay) is my new saving grace. I love coffee as much as the next person, but recently I noticed I was having trouble sleeping at night on the days I drank it. I was also getting the jitters after my second or third cup, even though I wasn’t feeling fully awake. I have small children, so the idea of giving up caffeine entirely is unfathomable, but tea never really gets me going and energy drinks (especially those with mythical creatures in their titles) make my heart race and my palms sweat.

What is Yerba Mate?

I first heard of Yerba Mate from a friend of mine who visited Paraguay, where everyone from university students to the elderly to children have been known to sip it (this is the brand she saw people drink the most often and is consequently what I now drink). Yerba Mate is made from the leaves of a South American holly tree that grows in the rainforest. It has approximately the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (around 75 mg) but the way the body processes it is very different. While it has energizing properties, Yerba Mate doesn’t result in the same jittery quality caffeine sometimes does. People tend to drink it all day long, not only in the morning, and it’s been said to actually aid in sleep. In Central and South American cultures people often drink from traditional gourds, but I found a travel gourd that is super cute and works just as well (and you won’t get strange looks from your coworkers when you show up to work with a hollowed-out coconut). You suck Yerba Mate through a metal straw with a filter (called a bombilla) but you can also run it through a coffee machine or use a tea ball or French press and get basically the same effects.

Energy without the Jitters

As soon as I switched from coffee to Yerba Mate I noticed an immediate difference in my ability to concentrate. Besides that, I didn’t have the anxiety I sometimes get from coffee. I’m not going to lie, the taste is very different—closer to a very strong, almost oaky, black tea—but I drink coffee for the pick-me-up, not the flavor. On the first day that I switched, I opened a very long, tedious document I was to copyedit. It usually takes me well into my second cup of coffee to get into the flow with this type of work, but before I had finished one gourd of Mate, I was in the zone. I drank two gourds full over 4 hours and easily completed my assignment. I didn’t drink any more Mate that day because I didn’t need it.

Sweet Dreams

I’ve never been the type to drink coffee after noon, but even still, I was finding it difficult to turn off my brain at night to sleep. Once I switched to Yerba Mate I had no problems sleeping—in fact, these days I’m often able to sleep when my baby takes his nap—something I always try to do but find difficult. In addition, I’ve begun having vivid, cinematic dreams, both during naps and at night. I’m also able to remember these dreams after I wake up, which is unusual for me.

Other Benefits

Besides simply being a great, energizing drink, Yerba Mate contains several antioxidants, 24 vitamins and minerals, and 15 amino acids. Because it is lower in tannins, it is not as acidic as coffee, so people with stomach issues might find it easier to tolerate.

It’s been about 6 weeks and I’m still extremely happy with my switch to Yerba Mate. I still drink the occasional cup of coffee just for the ritual of it—plus I like to work in coffee shops and I have to buy something to “rent” my table—but these days I choose decaf instead of regular.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

You’ll Go Bananas Over This Natural Sleep Remedy!

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SLEEPWe live in a world of constant stimulation: light from laptops and iPhones, noise pollution, and the stress of being so very connected all of the time. As well, insomnia could be caused by environmental influences. Luckily, there are lots of natural remedies, and if you are anything like myself, you have tried all of them. I’ve had success with melatonin, chamomile tea, valerian root, and even just a cup of nice, warm milk. But I’m always happy to add to my sleep remedy arsenal, so when I read about a banana and cinnamon tea meant to help you sleep, it sounded right up my alley.

Making the Natural Sleep-Aid is a Breeze

teaBananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, both components known to aid in sleep, so the science checks out. But was it possible that something so common in a household could be the cure for insomnia? I decided to find out.

The recipe is simple enough. You’ll need:

  1. 1 organic banana with the peel still on
  2. 1 small pot of boiling water
  3. a little dash of cinnamon

The first thing you do is cut off both ends of the banana. Next, put the banana into a pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes to allow the magnesium and potassium to leech into the water. Finally, sprinkle some cinnamon into the water and let it simmer for two additional minutes. Use a slotted spoon to fish the banana out of the water or pour the water through a coffee filter or tea strainer and into a mug. If you’d like to add some sugar or honey, that’s fine too, though remember that sweeteners can spike your blood-sugar levels before bed.

What to Expect When Drinking Banana Tea

On the night I tried the banana tea, I was surprised at how easy it was to make it. It tasted a little bit bitter, but not at all unpleasant. Almost immediately after drinking the tea, I started to feel drowsy. I’m not sure if that was actually the tea at work or if I was just particularly tired, but I slept very soundly. I woke up around 3 AM, which is normal for me, but I was able to go back to sleep rather quickly. When I woke up in the morning, I felt very well rested.

Sometimes with sleep aids like melatonin or Tylenol PM I wake up feeling a little groggy, but that wasn’t the case this time. I think I’ll need to do a few more experiments to see if the banana tea truly works, though I have to say I’m very impressed so far. Since most people have bananas and cinnamon and their homes already, it’s a pretty low-risk option to try. And even the most challenged chefs among us know how to boil water.

Why not give it a chance? Worst-case you’ll get a little dose of potassium and magnesium and you’ll use up some of those old bananas!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Overlooked Protein Source Needs to be in Your Prepper Pantry

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 Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  I wanted to give you some information on something I go nuts about.  Peanuts, that is!  As we speak, I have some right here, salted in the shell…cracking open in between sentences akin to a giant squirrel.  Yes, they’re really good.  I know, I know, some of you guys and girls are allergic to peanuts.  Still, there are some uses that you can still find for them.  The point I’m making is that the peanut is a winner…. now, and after the SHTF.

Did you know that peanuts are the main source of protein for the majority of the people in the world?  Technically they’re a legume, and are one of the top 25 foods to have in your prepper pantry. You can even boil and can them for later use. To grow peanuts, you’ll have to check the times of the year to germinate and plant because it varies on your geographic location.  They are a “cover” crop, simply meaning that after a harvest one year of corn, wheat, etc., you plant the next year in peanuts…it promotes the restoration of nitrogen to the soil.  That is what peanuts do.  I pick up seeds periodically as a backup, and grow some (potted) every three years…. just to seed-save and have a few.

Peanuts are a high protein source

Peanuts are very high in protein.  1-ounce of shelled peanuts has about 7 grams of protein.  They’re very high in minerals: Niacin, Magnesium, and Manganese, to name a few, and the ounce gives 20, 10, and 30% of the RDA for these respectively.  They also contain sodium and potassium (230 and 180 mg respectively), which is a good indicator of why they’re optimal for hiking and physical exertions, as they can replace some electrolytes.

Create an alternative oil source

Because peanuts have such a high oil content, you can also press them for oil.  This oil, understand, can be used for cooking (optimal), as well as lamps, emollients in homemade lotions, ointments, and creams, and in a grid-down, SHTF scenario, nothing could be so useful…for cooking meals and providing light when candles and batteries are a thing of the past.  There are hand-presses you can order that will enable you to harvest your oil.

For more information on how to press oil from seeds and nuts, click here.

Another thing of interest: the resultant mass after the oil is pressed out of the nuts can be both eaten and/or used as feed for livestock. Then there’s peanut butter, JJ’s end-all, be-all of existence in some form or fashion.  The protein shakes I take for lifting weights taste as the “S” in the SHTF; therefore, I augment it with 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter, adding an additional 8 grams of protein and making it taste really good.  Peanut butter is really great for storage and for survival food.  The type and grade is your choice.  I like to pick mine up in plastic jars, as this is Montana, and I don’t want 500 lbs. of peanut butter and 100 lbs. of cracked, broken glass jars, the former stuck and frozen to the latter.

Seriously, folks, it’s great survival food and will supplement your diet and give you the extra protein and fats your body needs in times of trouble.  The fiber (2 g per 1-ounce) will also help to prevent constipation, as peristalsis decreases in times of high stress found during a collapse scenario.  And it tastes great.  That counts for something, ladies and gentlemen.  You’re going to face enough problems when it hits.  You need something to mentally buoy you through the tough times.  Something that is good for you and fits the bill for a survival food that actually is enjoyable to eat is a definite plus that will help you mentally.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with the peanut, and how you have incorporated it into your preps.  As you probably may have guessed by my exuberance on the subject, yes, Reese’s peanut butter cups are JJ’s favorite candy, and those Nutter Butter cookies.  Either of them are akin to a can of Macadamia nuts…. you eat until everything is gone, gone, gone!  Looking forward to hearing from you.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Incredible Things Can Happen When You Give up Sugar. Here’s How to Do It.

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sugarIn part 1 of this series, How Sugar Keeps You Trapped in a Cycle of Addiction, we talked about the prevalence of sugar in the typical diet, how easy it is to inadvertently consume too much, and how addictive the tiny white crystals are. In part 2, What You Don’t Know About Sugar Can Kill You, we discussed how dangerous sugar is to health.

Here, in part 3, we will explore ways to kick added sugar out of your life.

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You might be wondering WHY giving up added sugar is a good idea (unless you read part 1 and/or part 2 of this series), so here’s a brief overview.

Improvements you might experience with less sugar in your diet…

  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss
  • More energy
  • Increased focus
  • Improved mood
  • Better overall health

Reduced risk of developing health problems including but not limited to…

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High triglycerides
  • Heart disease
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Cell aging
  • Deficiencies in cognitive health

As you can see, you have a lot to gain and nothing to lose (except perhaps some extra body fat) by reducing or eliminating added sugars from your diet.

But should you quit sugar cold turkey, or gradually phase it out of your life?

To figure this out, first ask yourself – and be honest when you answer…

Can you do moderation?

A lot of people really struggle with it – “just one” cookie ends with the entire box disappearing. Having “just one” Coke results in two or three cans chugged by mid-afternoon.

If you CAN do moderation, then work on gradually reducing your consumption of added sugars over time. After a few weeks, you’ll be surprised at how little you miss it.

If you CAN NOT do moderation, cutting added sugars out completely is your best option, but you may experience some withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings for a week or so.

Going cold turkey might be challenging at first, but rest assured – the cravings WILL eventually go away. Choosing to gradually reduce your intake can work too, but you might find it more difficult, as each bite of something sweet is likely to trigger a vicious cycle of cravings. Have a cookie or two after dinner and crave a donut the next morning, and so on. It will be difficult to break the cycle if you keep indulging.

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Important reminder: we are talking about reducing ADDED sugars. Many foods naturally contain sugar, and some of those are fine (examples: berries, apples, carrots).

You don’t need sugar as much as you think you do. In fact, you can train your taste buds to enjoy things that aren’t as sweet.

Try cutting out one sweet food from your diet each week. For example, pass on dessert after dinner or skip that mid-afternoon candy bar. Start putting less sugar in your coffee or cereal. Over time, you will lose your need for that sugar taste.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. You’ll notice their natural sweetness and they’ll taste better, too.

Drink extra water. Try making flavored waters infused with fruit and herbs if you find it hard to drink plain water.

If you drink soda, juice, or other sugary beverages (including those coffee shop mega caramel double mocha frappe latte drinks – they are LOADED with sugar), reduce your intake or cut them out of your diet completely.

YES, juice comes from fruit, and YES, fruit contains nutrients, but juice lacks fiber and is much easier to over-consume than whole fruit. If you must have juice, save it for special occasions, dilute it with water, or have a very small serving.

You can overdo it on fruit and starchy vegetables, too, so be mindful. Berries, avocado, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts), leafy greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, carrots, and bell peppers are among the best low-sugar options.

Try replacing sugary drinks with unsweetened tea.

Flavored teas are available in a wide variety of flavors, including Blueberry Bundt Cuppa CakeCaramel Vanilla Cuppa CakeRed Velvet Cuppa ChocolatePeppermint Cuppa ChocolateCaramel Apple, and Coconut Cocoa. As long as you don’t add sweetener, these options are sugar-free.

Get rid of any sugary temptations at home and at work. This includes any INGREDIENTS or mixes you may have in your pantry that can be used to make sweet treats like cookies, brownies, or cake.

Consume enough protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They digest more slowly and don’t make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbohydrates and sugars do, and can help you stay full longer.

If you are a fan of nut butters, get the ones that don’t contain added sugar, or make your own without sweetener.

Avoid artificial sweeteners – some studies have shown they can increase cravings for sweets.

Honey, brown sugar, and cane juice may sound healthful, but sugar is sugar. Honey and unrefined sugars are a tiny bit higher in nutrients, but they can still cause your blood sugar to rise.

Read food labels, and choose items that don’t have a lot of sugar or better yet, are unsweetened.

Sugar hides where you’d least expect it, including in pasta sauces, salad dressings, flavored yogurt, protein/energy bars, and bread. Ingredients are listed in order of how much exists in the product, so if sugar is near the top, that’s a red flag. Watch for labels that say “fat free,” “light,” or “low fat.” Those terms are often code for “high in sugar or artificial sweeteners.”

Speaking of reading labels, you’ll need to know how to recognize sugar by its aliases, and there are many. According to SugarScience.org, there are at least 60 names for sugar:

Agave nectar, Barbados sugar, barley malt, barley malt syrup, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, cane juice, cane juice crystals, cane sugar, caramel, carob syrup, castor sugar, coconut palm sugar, coconut sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, date sugar, dehydrated cane juice, Demerara sugar, dextrin, Dextrose, evaporated cane juice, free-flowing brown sugars, fructose, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, glucose solids, golden sugar, golden syrup, grape sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, icing sugar, invert sugar, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltol, maltose, mannose, maple syrup, molasses, muscovado, palm sugar, powdered sugar, raw sugar, refiner’s syrup, rice syrup, saccharose, sorghum syrup, sucrose, sugar, sweet sorghum, syrup, treacle, turbinado sugar, yellow sugar

Whew! That’s a long list, but good information to have.

Some products may contain more than one of those kinds of sugar, by the way.

The best way to avoid added sugars is to prepare your own meals at home using fresh foods. Stick with chicken, turkey, meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, natural cheeses (not processed “cheese food”), unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, and healthful fats.

When you find yourself craving sugary stuff, remember…you don’t need it. You are sweet enough already.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What You Don’t Know About Sugar Can Kill You

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;“Sugar causes diseases: unrelated to their calories and unrelated to the attendant weight gain. It’s an independent primary-risk factor. Now, there will be food-industry people who deny it until the day they die, because their livelihood depends on it.”Dr. Robert Lustig

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In part 1 of this series, How Sugar Keeps You Trapped in a Cycle of Addiction, we talked about the prevalence of sugar in the typical diet, how easy it is to inadvertently consume too much, and how addictive the tiny white crystals are. Here, in part 2, we will discuss just how dangerous sugar is.

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Remember when dietary fat was demonized and “experts” told us it would give us heart disease and cancer and kill us all?

It didn’t take long for “food” manufacturers to capitalize on that information. Seemingly overnight, supermarkets were filled with non-fat and low-fat products: cookies, crackers, snack foods, cake, cheese, ice cream – you name it, there is a fat-free or low-fat version available.

For many, the assumption was that calories and carbohydrate content no longer mattered. As long as a food was low-fat or fat-free, it was fair game, and we indulged.

Those of us who fell for the trend are paying for it now. Dearly.

That’s because in order to make reduced-fat and fat-less foods taste good, sugar was added. Lots and lots of sugar.

The low-fat/fat-free diet became the High Sugar Diet.

The food industry – aided and abetted by politicians and lobbyists – has undermined (to say the least) the American diet for decades. Without bribery partnerships between corporations and politicians, after all, who else would make the outrageous claims that ketchup and pizza are vegetables?

In 2014, Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist and expert on sugar and obesity, toldTime that since the low-fat/no-fat craze began, we’ve suffered some serious ramifications:

Since then, childhood obesity rates have increased from 5% to 30%, children developed type 2 diabetes (never seen before) and doctors discovered a new entity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, now prevalent in one-seventh of all American children. At the same time, academic test scores fell, behavior problemsand the need for medication increased, and spending on health care rose from 9.0% of our GDP in 1980 to 17.2% today. More people are shuttled through the medical system every day, and 75% percent of healthcare dollars are spent on preventable diseases that are either caused by or related to sugar consumption.

Oh, and Dr. Lustig added:

If we don’t acknowledge and aggressively address the inherent connection between “all dessert, all the time” and the medical, social and economic devolution we currently face, America will find itself fat, stupid, and broke.

Last year, Dr. Lustig and his colleagues published the results of a study they conducted on 43 children ranging in age from 8 to 18. First, the researchers collected detailed food questionnaires from each of the adolescents to get an idea of the average amount of calories they ate per day. Then they designed a special menu for each of them for nine days that matched the total numbers of calories they would normally eat. The only difference in the nine-day diet was that most of the sugar the children ate was replaced by starch – the overall number of calories remained the same.

The children weighed themselves daily, and if they were losing weight, they were told to eat more of the provided food in order to keep their weight the same throughout the study. Their total dietary sugar was reduced to 10% of their daily calories.

The results?

“Everything got better,” said Lustig.

Some of the children went from being insulin resistant (a precursor to developing diabetes in which the body’s insulin levels can no longer keep up with the pace of breaking down sugar that is being consumed), to insulin sensitive (that’s an improvement).

The children’s fasting blood sugar levels dropped by 53%, along with the amount of insulin their bodies produced since insulin is normally needed to break down carbohydrates and sugars. Their triglyceride and LDL levels also declined and, most importantly, they showed less fat in their liver. These improvements occurred in children whether or not they lost weight.

Dr. Lustig said the improvements happened even though the children were not given ideal diets for the study. Starches were given instead of more healthful options for a reason – he wanted to prove the point that even with a less than optimal diet, the removal of most sugars still resulted in significant improvements in health measures.

The good doctor’s study adds to accumulating evidence that sugar is damaging to health.

Here’s an overview of what research has discovered so far.

Sugar is a real heart-breaker…

Consuming a diet high in sugar has been shown to cause numerous abnormalities found in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), such as high total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, oxidized LDL, uric acid, insulin resistance and abnormal glucose tolerance, low HDL, and altered platelet function. Oh – and these changes can occur within just a few weeks of high sugar consumption. It doesn’t take long for damaging effects to begin.

Added fructose – generally in the form of sucrose (table sugar) or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in processed foods and beverages is especially harmful. Consuming these sugars can lead to resistance in leptin, which is a key hormone in the maintenance of normal body weight. The overconsumption of added fructose increases the risk for obesity, which is also a risk factor for CHD.

More than one study has shown a link between high sugar consumption and high blood pressure.

Sugar can damage your liver and kidneys, too

Excess fructose significantly increases the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – the most common liver disease in the US and a strong independent risk factor for CHD. The association between NAFLD and CHD is stronger than the link between CHD and smoking, hypertension, diabetes, male gender, high cholesterol, or metabolic syndrome. Yikes.

Right now, you might be wondering how sugar causes fat to build up in the liver and arteries. Here’s an explanation. When there is more fructose in your body than it can use for energy, it stores the excess by converting it into fatty acids, which are then packaged into small fat molecules called triglycerides. Some of those fat globules enter your bloodstream and can line your arteries…increasing your risk of a heart attack. Other triglycerides build up in your liver and can lead to NAFLD.

NAFLD often has no symptoms, but it can cause fatigue, jaundice, swelling in the legs and abdomen, mental confusion, and more. If left untreated, it can cause your liver to swell, which is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It can also contribute to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

Overweight and obese people aren’t the only ones who can develop NAFLD – it is seen in thin people too. In fact, doctors have coined the term “TOFI” (“thin on the outside, fat on the inside”) to describe such cases.

Some findings suggest that sugar consumption – particularly in the form of sugary drinks – may cause kidney disease. Diabetes is also a major risk factor for kidney disease.

Diabetes, cancer, and aging are linked with high consumption as well…

A diet high in sugar has also been found to promote prediabetes and diabetes. And people with both of these conditions have a much greater risk for CHD compared to normal healthy patients, particularly a severe narrowing of the left main coronary artery.

The amount of fat in the liver is associated with insulin resistance (a condition in which the body produces insulin but doesn’t use it effectively) and plays a role in Type 2 diabetes – whether or not a person is obese.

High amounts of dietary sugar in the typical western diet may increase the risk of breast cancer and metastasis to the lungs.

Added sugar can make tumors grow faster.

Sugary beverages may have been responsible for 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease, and 6,450 from cancer.

Regular consumption of sugary drinks has been associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes independent of obesity.

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages every day is associated with an increase in visceral fat, a particularly nasty type of body fat that has been linked with diabetes, heart disease risk, and a multitude of other health issues.

Studies have found a relationship between sugar consumption and the aging of our cells. Aging of the cells can be the cause of things as simple as skin aging to conditions as serious as chronic disease. But even more alarming is the evidence that sugar may affect the aging of the brain: it has been linked to deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health.

I’ll conclude with a warning from part 1:

The only ones benefiting from your high sugar consumption are the sugar and processed food industries. Think you can rely on your government to provide you with accurate information about the dangers of sugar? That’s not going to happen – Big Sugar is a large, powerful, and wealthy industry that has been using Big Tobacco-style tactics to influence policy and ensure that government agencies dismiss troubling health claims against their product for decades.

Your health – and that of your family – is in YOUR hands.

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Stay tuned for part 3 of this series – we will cover tricks that will help you break the sugar addiction cycle.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

20 Practical Ways to Use Bacon Grease

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bacon greaseBacon are little strips of heaven and always makes everything better, doesn’t it? My family recently bought half of a pig from a local farmer and guess what was eaten first? That’s right, the delectable bacon. But what about the leftover bacon grease? This happens to be one of the most thrown away items, but can serve more than one purpose. There are many ways to use this healthy animal fat and in our quest to be less of a throw away generation, it’s time we learn how this useful byproduct can be used.

Fats are one of the four main food sources that should be in your food pantry. Those who are prepper-oriented know of the important role that fats have in our nutrition, especially during times of emergencies.

  1. Fats are an essential component in any diet for proper vitamin absorption. Specifically, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.
  2. Fats also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.
  3. They also serve as energy stores for the body.
  4. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, which are an important dietary requirement and also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. (Source)
  5. Fats are one of the 4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition.

As a southern girl, we always had bacon on the weekends and my mother would pour the fat into a metal grease collector and put in our fridge. When my mother needed to add some extra “flavor” to dishes, she would take a spoonful or two and add it turnip greens or to use for grandma’s famous biscuits. I could go on and on about how to cook with bacon grease (I did include a few in the list), but I know that you all probably know those secrets too. Instead, I wanted to share some more practical applications you can use bacon grease for. But first, you need to know how to properly store this animal fat.

To Store Bacon Grease:

2 pounds of bacon will create 3/4 cup-1 cup of bacon grease

grease crock

Reserve an old coffee tin or bacon grease crock and pour over a paper towel or strainer while it is hot to get out the little bacon bits. Lard will keep longer if you strain it because the meat bits are the first thing that will go rancid.

If you’re using a glass container to store bacon grease, allow the grease to cool before pouring it into the container so the glass will not to break  from the extreme temperature change. Some people have used coffee mugs to avoid this problem.

When the grease is cool it will be an off white to brown color depending on how the bacon was cooked and at what temperature.

Cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap to keep outside smells from flavoring your grease.  Many people claim that it can be kept indefinitely on the countertop but I keep mine in the fridge just to be sure. You can also freeze it for longer storage.

Bacon grease will last 6-9 months in your refrigerator or freezer.

20 Uses for Bacon Lard

Leftover bacon grease has many uses including a quick splinter removal or even making a quick candle (See how easy this is below). As well, consider these other additional uses for bacon grease.

  1. Those who are interested in natural living will be happy to know that it can also be used for biofuel. One a side note, if a vehicle was run solely on bacon grease, would that make it a bacon mobile? I kid, I kid; but if you plan on using lard for this, make sure the lard or grease is filtered to remove any bits of leftover food.
  2. Did you know that lard can be used as a preservation method? Many homesteaders swear by this method. Author, Carla Emery explains how to do this in her bestselling book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living.

    “The fat seals the air out… After slaughtering a hog, the fat was rendered into lard. Those cuts of the hog that were not cured for smoking, or made into sausage, like the shoulder, were fried. While still hot, these slices of pork steak were preserved through the winter by larding. In a large crock, layer on layer of the fried steaks was covered with hot lard. This meat was then used through the winter by scraping the lard off each layer. The amount necessary for a meal was removed and reheated. The used lard was reused in pies or other baking or cooking and ultimately for soap.”

  3. Make cookies just like grandma with these bacon fat ginger snaps.
  4. Reward your dog with homemade bacon flavored dog biscuits. Along those lines, you can also drizzle a little bacon grease in your dog’s food bowl and this will encourage Fido to eat his food.
  5. Season your skillet or your cast iron cookware.
  6. Make bacon gravy. Did you mom ever make cream gravy? All you need is some milk, flour and bacon grease and this will make your meal sing! Here’s a recipe you can use.
  7. Make a candle – Pour the bacon grease in a cup or can, and place a wick inside. Give the grease a few minutes to soak into the wick, and then place it in the fridge until it solidifies. Viola! You now have the best smelling candle that money didn’t buy (at least if you like the smell of breakfast).
  8. Bacon grease is a great substitution for butter. 1 tablespoon of bacon grease can be used in place of butter or oil in just about any recipe; and don’t even get me started on how delicious bacon grease is with sauteing potatoes!
  9. Make some handy firestarters for your next camping trip by dipping a cotton ball or a piece of tinder in the fat and storing it in an unused Altoids tin can. Voila! You could even use bacon grease that has accidentally been left out and gone rancid, to make the most of what you have.
  10. Who wouldn’t want to bathe themselves with some bacon soap? You can use just about any animal fat to make soap, including bacon grease.
  11. How about some tasty pemmican? This Native American superfood is made of fat (typically deer fat but any will do), jerky made from lean meat, and dried fruits and/or berries. You just ball up the ingredients in equal parts and tuck it away. Here’s a great recipe!
  12. If you’ve run out of your leather boot protectant and need a quick alternative, animal fat is the way to go! In fact, one of the secrets that backpackers have used to waterproof boots is with animal fats.
  13. Make a bird feeder! The Girl Scouts taught me this one. Take a pine cone and cover it with bacon grease and then sprinkle wild bird seed over it. This is a great craft you can do with your kids!
  14. Fix those squeaky hinges! Add a dollop of bacon grease to a rag and grease hinges. They should quiet down without a problem. This will also work on squeaky wheels!
  15. Trap bugs. You can trap annoying bugs by placing a plastic container of bacon grease and a bit of vegetable oil in a common bug area. The oil will be too thick for bugs to fly out of, trapping them for life.
  16. Moisturize your hands and heels. Cracked hands and heels can be very painful. Instead of Vaseline, rub some bacon grease on your heels. Apply a bit before bedtime, put on your socks and get cozy. In the morning, your feet will be brand new again and soft as ever. This is because animal fat contains vitamins A, D, K, and E.
  17. Grease your muffin, pie or cake pans. This will no doubt add just a touch of bacon flavor to your baked goods, but who wouldn’t want that?
  18. Stop boiling pots from overflowing. I just learned this handy little trick. By dropping a bit of oil or bacon grease into the pan when boiling pasta will help it not boil over.
  19. Take your sandwiches to the next level with baconnaise. Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome. You could even add a spoonful of bacon grease to condiments like ketchup or barbecue sauce to give it a little extra flavor.
  20. Pour used bacon grease into a tuna or cat food can, chill until firm, and wire the can to a tree to give your feathered visitors some food. Bacon grease may be gross to some of us, but it attracts bluebirds, crows, jays, ravens, starlings, woodpeckers and Carolina wrens.

Now that you know twenty more ingenious ways to use bacon grease, it’s time to get crackin’! This healthy animal fat is one of the most popular and one that adds the most flavor to any recipe. Best of all, it’s free with your bacon; so don’t let it go to waste!

How do you use leftover bacon grease?

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Plan B: What To Do When Your Survival Shelter Has Been Compromised

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marauderReady Nutrition Readers, this is a simple “food for thought” article to stimulate the “planning juices” in the brain cells of you guys and gals. It’s no secret how important a good home defense plan is especially during a long-term event. The scenario of the Twilight Zone episode “The Shelter” is the rule of thumb rather than the exception.  So what will you do when the marauding hordes come knocking on your door…with a battering ram?  It is wise to consider such options now, before they occur, so that you are armed with a plan and a course of action to pursue.

 Essential Equipment for Plan B During a SHTF Event

Detection

Firstly, what do you have in terms of detection equipment?  Do you have motion sensors and a camera?  Do you have a large dog that knows how to guard his family?  Do you have a means to detect Mr. and Mrs. Marauder?  Finally, if you’re wired with cameras, IR, and motion sensors to the max, are they hardened in the event of an EMP or will they become paperweights along with your ungrounded Jag and Hummer?  Then what do you have to help you detect the threats?

I strongly advise as much of the high-tech stuff as your budget will allow.  A camera (especially one with IR capability) is worth its weight in gold to actually see Snidely Whiplash as he creeps across your lawn.  You want an array of cameras to localize the bad guy or multiple bad guys.  What good is one camera in the front that gets Boris if Natasha is sneaking around the back with a Molotov?

Speaking of such, are your windows screened?  And I’m not asking about the screens that stop flies and mosquitoes…I’m talking about sturdy-gauge wire.  Sure, doesn’t look pretty, perhaps, but all the better to stop a stone by some would-be Tiny Tim trying to tiptoe through the window.  Worse: Tiny Tim with a Molotov is a very frightening picture indeed.

Discretion

Next part we’ll cover involves discretion.  Obey all of the little laws and ordinances of your happy home state…the ones that require you to lock up all of the weapons, and string a device into the chamber to keep it from firing, and all of that.  At ReadyNutrition we’re not advocating or advising you to break or disobey any laws of your wonderful local, state, or federal governments or to rail against the direction of your happy policeman, Officer Friendly.

In that light, if you can legally do it…it is advisable to have a weapon ready to go in every room of the house.  You also need to monitor what area of the house is broken into and have a family plan to move the family into the opposite and protected area of the house.  This takes time, planning, and coordination.  You need to establish “safe” areas of the house that you can barricade yourself in and make a stand.  These safe areas also need to have an exit portal/hole in the event the big bad wolves want to huff and puff and burn your house to the ground.

Depending on how many family members you have, you must consider splitting your family in two: one group to remain inside, and another group to go outside and take care of Mr. Big B. Wolf and company.  If you are the lone person in the house, you need to take a page out of the movie “Death Hunt,” with Charles Bronson…how he pre-prepped his cabin and supplies before the jerks came to bother him.  It is JJ’s firm belief that no house/home is an impregnable fortress, but at the bare minimum your preparations can buy you some time.

Be Prepared

Let’s not leave out what I’ve been saying for some time: you must have supplies, food, and other important, life-sustaining items ready just in case you have to surrender the homestead and go running off into the night.  Remember: you can replace anything except one another.  Make your lists and your plans, and game them all the way out until each member of the family knows what to do if the house is compromised.

A final word on detection: use low-tech tools to help you keep tabs on things.  Yes, tripwires with aluminum cans and bolts/nuts/pebbles in them, strung across areas of approach and entrance points to the house.  Tie tripwires off to large piles of noisy cans/metal debris.  True, they are Uncle Caveman primitive, but they are effective.  These are the types of things that will still work regardless of an EMP or loss of electrical power.  Use your imagination.  But plan your work and work your plan, and get it all in order with your family while there is time to practice it.  Be safe, and watch out for one another in all you do.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

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FITNESSReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully the icicles on the edge of the roof are melted down and the snowfall has stopped wherever you live.  It’s time: emerge from the cavern of winter hibernation!  Come forth, my fellow patriots and survivalists…come forth!  Emerge from that winter slumber, for spring is about here, and it is time to lose all those lipids from the long winter’s rest!  Yawn, stretch, and put on those sweats and t-shirts!  Time to get back into shape!

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

The Many Benefits Exercise Has on the Body and Mind

On a serious note, exercise is one of the most important things that you can do.  You don’t have to be a world-class, Olympic athlete…just think as if you’re one, and use those positive thoughts to push yourself to make gains.  Many guys and gals out there have some physical problems that may limit you; therefore, you’ll have to tailor-make your individual program to accommodate your needs and limitations.  Consult with your doctor prior to undertaking any fitness regimen and see if it meets with his/her approval.

Incidentally, the doctor can be a big help if you have a condition such as hypoglycemia or diabetes…they can find out just what your blood sugar levels are, and give sound guidelines to your limits.  The goal of an exercise regimen is to “train and don’t strain,” so first and foremost do not exacerbate your condition.  Check with them to see what is the best course of action.

That being said, the benefits of good exercise are manifold.  Working out lowers the triglyceride levels of your bloodstream.  Exercise strengthens your muscles and your heart (which is a muscle), as well as improving your circulation.  Losing weight and getting in tone will give you many physical and psychological advantages for when the SHTF and also just in the normal course of your day.

Weights are great.  I lift hard and regularly, and my program pushes me to my limits.  Weights are not the sole thing you can use to get in shape, by any means.  Calisthenics are simple, effective, and they aren’t expensive.  Let’s cover some of them that you can use for starters.

Four Daily Strengthening Exercises You Can Do At Home

Push-ups

They strengthen the arms and the pectoralis muscle group.  They are a winner.  Women in the service do them using the knees as the base of their triangle, as they have less volume of pectoralis muscles there, as well as the breasts to contend with.  This is just fine, and you gals do not fret it: you’ll see the results in a short time.  The key is a good, straight, rigid body position, and extend fully on both the upward and downward motion, going “all the way to the ground” with the latter.  These push up bars are great for freestyle. Variations include incline push-ups (where your feet are resting elevated slightly), wide-armed push-ups, and the diamond push up.  These latter three develop the pectoralis in-depth and breadth, the shoulders, and the triceps (respectively).  Start at your own pace…3 sets of 10, for example, and work your way up.

Sit-ups

These are for the abdominal muscles and the hip-flexor muscle group of the thighs.  You may need to hook the instep of your feet beneath something first.  There are plenty of contraptions out there that enable it to be done with the contraption hooked to the bottom of a door frame.  Ensure you interlace your fingers and place your hands behind your head.  Start from a sitting position, and go smoothly to the ground as one unit, and then return to the sitting position.  Again, start out with 3 sets of 10 and increase your sets and reps gradually.

Flutter kicks

Lay flat upon your back with your palms facing downward and the backs of your hands underneath of your buttocks.  Start with both feet (the heels) about 3-4 inches from the ground.  Then lift your legs alternating left then right, lifting to about a 45-degree angle and then returning it to hold about 3-4 inches from the ground.  This exercise is great for your abdominal muscle and your quadriceps (thighs).  Figure your own pace…start with 3 sets of 30 seconds and a minute to rest in between.

Dips

You can use two good, sturdy chairs for this one.  Place one chair in front of you.  You’ll have to measure accordingly.  Using the other chair, take a firm grip with both hands on the corners of the chair.  Then place your heels up on the other chair.  Be careful the first time you do this!  You want to make sure that when you raise yourself up by the arms, you are balanced and your heels are on the chair in front of you (the seat) firmly and securely.  Then raise yourself up for one repetition, and when you go down, the middle of your back should “dip” below the edge of the chair where your hands are braced.  This is excellent for the triceps muscles, as well as the rotator cuff of your shoulders.  The other variance (version) is to have a “U” shaped bar and do it from the front, while supporting your body’s weight entirely by your arms.  Again, start off small…3 sets of 10 will be more than enough if you’ve never done them.

These exercises will be able to be supplemented with a good jump rope, and also a heavy or speed bag and some bag gloves to practice with.  The reason I mentioned these calisthenics is that when I was in the Service, we used to do them even when we were in the field.  This prevented our muscles from any atrophy, as well as the aforementioned health reasons.  They can be done simply and effectively.  I strongly recommend a notebook to jot down what you are actually doing to help you monitor your progress and to make improvements.

Exercise is very important to keep in good physical shape, as well as mentally toughen you.  Innumerable studies have proven that those who are in good physical shape are able to withstand disasters, sicknesses, and the trials of daily life much better mentally than those who are not in good shape.  You must view your body as a piece of the puzzle for your readiness and preparation.  Good diet (high proteins and low fats) is essential, as well as getting the proper amount of rest and recovery time.  In the end, you will be the winner when you develop a winning program that enables you to excel.  You guys and gals are winners now: get in good shape, train hard, smart, and safe, and keep up that good fight!

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Vegetarian Diets Linked to Genetic Mutation That Causes Cancer

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vegetables wikimediaThe debate between meat eaters and vegetarians has been raging for years. One side has often claimed that the human body never evolved to eat meat. The other side points out that some nutrients are nearly impossible to obtain without a meaty diet. Truth be told there can be health consequences for both diets, especially in the modern world where most meats are processed and loaded with preservatives.

However, the health issues associated with vegetarian diets doesn’t receive nearly enough attention. While it can lower blood pressure, as well as decrease your chances of having diabetes and some forms of cancers, there is definitely a trade-off. Aside from the fact that you’ll be more likely to be deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and protein, vegetarians are also known to have lower bone densities, lower sperm counts, and more mental health issues.

On top of that, there is an issue with vegetarian diets that has puzzled scientists for years. Even though past studies have linked excessive meat consumption with colorectal cancer, vegetarians are 40% more likely to have the disease. Recent research may be able to finally explain why this happens.

Researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and found there was a significant genetic difference.

“Those whose ancestry derives from vegetarians are more likely to carry genetics that more rapidly metabolise plant fatty acids,” said Tom Brenna, Professor of Human Nutrition at Cornell.

“In such individuals, vegetable oils will be converted to the more pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, increasing the risk for chronic inflammation that is implicated in the development of heart disease, and exacerbates cancer.

“The mutation appeared in the human genome long ago, and has been passed down through the human family.”

Essentially, vegetarian diets have created a mutation in the human genome that becomes more prevalent with each generation of vegetarian eaters. The mutation helps digest plants, but it comes at a cost. Not only does it increase inflammation and cancer risks for vegetarians, but it also stifles the digestion of omega-3 fatty acids. The research points out that this could increase the risk of heart disease, but that’s not all. Omega-3 is responsible for preventing a host of health problems, such as depression, asthma, and Alzheimer’s.

The fact that this genetic mutation developed is very telling. It shows that being vegetarian isn’t the norm for our species. Our bodies had to adapt to it over many generations, and that adaptation is giving us health problems. Without this gene your body will have a harder time on a vegetarian diet, and with it you’ll be at risk for several diseases. This research proves that vegetarianism is not ideal for humans.

That’s not to say that a vegetarian diet is all bad, but it may not be a diet that you want to turn into a lifelong pursuit. Going on a vegetarian diet for a short period of time could probably help you sort out several health problems, but sticking to it is not going to be good for you, regardless of whether or not you carry this mutation.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Coconut Oil: Some Really Good Stuff!

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coconut oilWell, why not mention something that can help you out on a daily basis?  Yes, Coconut oil is some really good stuff!  Its uses and benefits are tremendous.  The books that have been written about it are too numerous to count, but we are going to skim over a few of the basics to give you some knowledge about it.  Coconut oil is taken from the meat of the mature coconut, and technically it is an edible oil.  It has a shelf life of around 6 months to a year if kept at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and it is not prone to any kind of rancidity or spoilage.

There are two types of it, virgin and refined.  The latter is usually used for cooking or other applications and doesn’t even remotely taste akin to a coconut.  It is the former, the virgin coconut oil that you are looking for regarding consumption.  The primary difference between the two types lies in the extraction method; although each method involves pressing, the refined also adds heat to extract the oil.  When this is done, a host of impurities come out into the oil that lead it to be further refined.

How Effective is Coconut Oil?

It is an excellent emollient and can be used very easily and safely on the skin.  When used in the care of hair, it can help the hair to retain protein/suffer less protein loss.  The oil is high in saturated fats; which doctors proclaim can lead to cardiovascular disease.  The health benefits far outweigh any claimed risks.  Coconut oil helps with digestion and immune system function, as it is anti-fungal and anti-microbial.  It is also an anti-oxidant, helping to guard the body’s cells against free radicals, that oxidize and destroy the cellular tissues and are a large component of aging.

Some of the components of coconut oil such as lauric, capric, and caprylic acids help with fighting microorganisms.  As a matter of fact, coconut oil fights yeast infections, such as Candida albicans that usually develop from unrestrained and uncontrolled growth in the human stomach.  The essential fatty acid in coconut oil counteract the harmful effects of packaged and processed foods that lead to these yeast infections found primarily in the nations of Northern Europe and North America.  These geographical areas have cold weather and damp conditions that when combined with the particular eating habits and lifestyles of peoples living in them, contributes to a rise in the incidence of yeast infections.

There is an organization known as the Coconut Research Center that has determined the effectiveness of coconut oil and its components in defeating a host of different illnesses, such as influenza, SARS, herpes, and measles, to name a few.  Coconut oil helps diabetics with the maintenance of blood sugar levels as well as being a stimulant for the release of insulin by the human pancreas.  Athletes can also take advantage of it, as it has fewer calories than comparable oils and thus can be more readily transformed into energy without a buildup of fat in the heart and blood vessels.

Where to Buy Coconut Oil

You can obtain coconut oil virtually anywhere, as it is no longer kept “in the closet” and out of the public view.  I have found that Wal-Mart puts out an organic coconut oil that is a few dollars less in price for an equal volume you might find in the health food stores.  As in all things to do with natural health, we recommend you speak to your all-knowing, certified, licensed physician prior to undertaking any regimen with coconut oil, and obtain his/her approval.

I try and take about a tablespoon of it a day.  Half in the morning goes pretty well with some steel-cut oats, and the other half I just throw in my food and let it melt in…mixing it up with my dinner.  Personally I think it sucks when eaten by itself, however, that choice is up to you.  I lift a lot of weights, and I find that it is really good for the hands to keep calluses and thicknesses from forming up on my palms.  In any event, do your research and learn more about it…life is a learning experience.  You will find the benefits far outweigh the claimed drawbacks.  Enjoy, and give us some feedback on your experiences with coconut oil.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Warning: Some High Carb Foods Can Give You Lung Cancer

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bagelsWe all know that bad habits like smoking can often lead to lung cancer. In fact, in our culture, the association between lung cancer and tobacco is so strong that we often forget that there are other causes of this disease. We’re usually surprised when we hear about a nonsmoker getting lung cancer, as if it’s some kind of anomaly.

In truth, there’s more to it than just “abuse this one organ and it’ll fall apart.” Our diets play a much bigger role in our long-term health. You could live a squeaky clean life without any addictions or vices, and still have cancer if you don’t eat the right foods. And since the food we eat affects every cell in our bodies, a poor diet can fuel cancer in any organ.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that science has just discovered a new link to lung cancer in nonsmokers, and it has everything to do with what these otherwise healthy people eat.

Could lung cancer be one of those malignancies? Dr. Xifeng Wu, chair of cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, conducted the new study to help answer that question.

Her team looked at the health and dietary histories of more than 1,900 people with lung cancer and more than 2,400 people without the disease.

The investigators looked specifically at the intake of foods with a high glycemic index, such as the white bread and potatoes cited by Jain.

Overall, people who registered in the top fifth in terms of a high-glycemic diet had a 49 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer versus those in the bottom fifth, Wu’s team reported.

And when the researchers focused solely on people who never smoked, the link was even more compelling. Those who had the highest glycemic diet were more than twice as likely to get lung cancer as those who had the lowest glycemic index scores.

Dr. Wu made it clear that the study wasn’t 100% conclusive. It’s likely that there are other factors involved. People who eat a high glycemic diet are also more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which can contribute to cancer. Just having a high insulin resistance can do the trick. But regardless of whether or not these factors are involved, the result is the same. Some high carb foods can really mess you up.

And it makes a lot of sense. These high glycemic foods often have an effect on your body that is similar to eating candy and drinking soda. And as we all know, sugary processed foods fuel cancer growth.

We often think that there’s a big difference between foods that are laced with simple sugars, and those that are filled with complex carbohydrates, and we assume that the latter of the two is safer because those carbs are digested and broken down into sugar at a much slower rate. However, it isn’t always that simple. Milk is loaded with simple sugars in the form of lactose, but is low on the glycemic index, whereas potatoes with their abundance of complex carbs, are ranked very high on the index.

So if you want to stay healthy, do some research on your diet, find out which foods are high on the glycemic index, and consider cutting back on them (though many of them are still good for you in moderation). You might just be surprised to find that your healthy diet, isn’t so healthy after all.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Make Your Own Healthy Homemade Ginger Ale

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 So, ReadyNutrition Readers, last week we covered the finer points of the “3-G’s” for herbs…garlic, ginger, and ginseng.  I want to expound a moment on those benefits I covered on ginger.  Hopefully you guys and gals like ginger ale.  It is really good for aiding with the digestion after a large meal, and I have found it to be an excellent tonic for upset stomach.  Besides all of that, it tastes really good, and I like the daylights out of ginger ale to begin with.

In a nutshell, here are the ingredients and supplies you’ll need to make yourself a batch of delicious ginger ale.

JJ’s Ginger Ale:

  • 1-1 ½ tablespoon ginger root
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ½ cup raw/unrefined sugar
  • 1 orange or ½ grapefruit
  • ¼ teaspoon yeast  
  • Filtered water
  • 48-ounce juice bottle (the type with “rounded” shoulders of firm/sturdy plastic)
  1. So, if you’re a ginger fanatic the way I am, you can add up to 2 tablespoons, but be advised: it will have quite a bite when you’re done!  You can chop up the ginger fine, and peel it if you wish.  I just rinse it off and use all of it.  Also, I slice mine into really thin slices.  When this is done, throw it in the sturdy plastic bottle.
  2. Next, add your ½ cup of sugar.
  3. Then squeeze the two halves of your orange, or your ½ grapefruit and pour the juice into the bottle.  You can add some segments of either the orange or grapefruit if you wish some of the pulp in your ginger ale.
  4. Add ¼ cup of molasses.
  5. Lastly, add your ¼ tsp of yeast.  Now you’re ready to add your water.  First fill your bottle halfway and then cap it up tight.  Shake the bottle vigorously for about a minute and blend all of the ingredients inside well.
  6. Now open up your bottle and fill it with filtered water until it reaches just at the curve of the shoulders of the bottle…this will correspond to about two inches below the mouth/opening of the bottle.  This part is important!
  7. Squeeze the air out of the bottle with one hand…there’ll be a little bit of foam at the mouth of the bottle.  Use your other hand to pat down this foam.  When the liquid reaches the top of the mouth, keep it there…and cap the bottle tightly with your other hand.
  8. Shake the bottle vigorously for half a minute.  Don’t worry…you won’t hear a lot of sloshing around, as you just removed the air.  There’s a reason for this.
  9. Set the bottle in a fairly warm, open area, about 65 to 70 degrees F.  Leave it there undisturbed.

The Waiting Game

Now that your ginger ale has been bottled, you want to look for the bottle beginning to swell. This usually takes about 6-12 hours.  Don’t open it!  The yeast is fermenting, and you’ll ruin the process with the introduction of any air.  When the shoulders begin to swell really firmly?  It will then be time to refrigerate the bottle.  Leave it in the fridge for 24 hours to complete the whole process…some of the swelling will diminish after this time is done.

Careful when you open the bottle…your ginger ale is now carbonated!  Yes, then all you need do (if you wish) is to strain the ginger ale into a glass and drink.  Voila!  You want to keep it capped tightly when not pouring it, and the carbonation will last about 24-48 hours.

Measures up equally in taste with Reeds, and of course you can do other things, such as add some nutmeg or cinnamon to taste.  Less on the sugars if you like it dry, keeping in mind it is the sugar that the yeast feeds on to ferment and produce the carbonation.  You’ll end up with a full-flavored Ginger Ale that is good for the stomach that you made yourself.  So, with all of this, bottoms up, and I hope you enjoy the recipe!  JJ out!

 

For other homemade soda recipes, click here!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Prevent and Cure a Pinworm Infestation

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pinworm eggs wikimediaPinworms exist among many subjects that most people would rather not talk about. And who could blame them? In case you don’t know, pinworms are an intestinal parasite that anyone can be infected with if they happen to ingest their microscopic eggs. They live in your bowels for several weeks before emerging from your rectum at night to lay eggs, which leads to unbearable itching. That itching gets the eggs under your fingernails and bed sheets, which helps the parasite spread to new hosts.

I can already sense some of you moving your cursor to click away from this dreadful topic, but before you do, consider this: At any given time, between 10% and 15% of the population is infected with pinworms, most of them children. This isn’t some exotic parasite you pick up after visiting a developing nation. You can get them anywhere, and although children between the ages of 5 and 10 are the most susceptible (on account of their poor hygiene) anyone can get infested with pinworms. Statistically speaking, it will happen to you at some point if it hasn’t already.

So how do you get rid of these nasty critters? There are several options, the most common being over the counter medicines. Pyrantel and mebendazole are the most common treatments, and you take them the same way. You ingest one dose, which will kill the worms but not the eggs. Then you take another dose two weeks later to kill the new pinworms as they hatch. Both of these drugs have a high cure rate, and can be found in most drug stores.

Unfortunately, they’re not suitable in all cases. They’re not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and they may cause problems for people who are taking certain prescription drugs. They’re also known to cause nausea, headaches, vomiting, cramps, and insomnia. And in any case, they don’t work 100% of the time. That’s why you may also want to consider a few of these natural remedies:

  • Consume raw garlic on a daily basis. Unlike the over the counter drugs, this will kill the worms and the eggs.
  • A daily dose of food grade diatomaceous earth can kill the worms. It can also be applied to diapers and bed sheets to keep them from multiplying.
  • The sulfur in onions creates an environment in your digestive system that repels pinworms. Eat raw onions, or soak chopped up onions in water and drink it throughout the day.
  • Eating pumpkin seeds won’t kill the worms, but there are compounds in the seeds that will paralyze them. Rather than clinging to the intestinal walls, they will slip away during bowel movements
  • Wormwood and ground up black walnut shells are often taken together to kill many parasites, including pinworms.
  • Apple cider vinegar doesn’t kill pinworms, but it does lower the pH in your bowels. The worms can’t thrive in that environment, and will die off naturally without multiplying.
  • Cut excess sugar out of your diet. Pinworms love sugary foods, and struggle to survive without them.

Keep in mind that whatever treatment option you choose, it’s important that every member of the household is treated. These critters are highly contagious. Their eggs are light enough to go airborne, and they can stick to anything. If one person in the house has pinworms, it would be best to assume that everyone has them. And unlike the medicines you buy in the drug store, any natural treatment that doesn’t outright kill the worms should be continued for 13 weeks, which is the full lifespan of a pinworm. If you fail to follow any of these procedures, there’s a good chance that you’ll get infested with pinworms over and over again.

As you can imagine, dealing with pinworms is a major pain in the butt, figuratively and literally. Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself from getting infected in the first place.

Cleanliness of the highest order is key. In all seriousness, if you’re OCD, you’re ahead of the curve in this case. First and foremost, everyone in your house needs to keep their fingernails trimmed at all times, especially if you have any kids. The most common way they spread is from kids scratching their behinds, and getting the eggs burrowed under their nails.

Wash your hands frequently and take a shower every morning, because the eggs are always laid overnight. Clean your bed sheets, towels, and clothes every few days, for at least for the three weeks following any treatment regimen. Dry them on high heat, which should kill the eggs.

Clean your house religiously for several weeks. Every item and surface in your home needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, because the eggs can survive for 2-3 weeks outside of the body. You might want to consider wearing a face mask while you clean to prevent the eggs from being inhaled or swallowed. The eggs typically don’t last long in the sunlight though, so keep the drapes open and let in as much sun as you can.

And finally, you should learn to stop touching your face. It’s an incredibly difficult habit to break, but like everything else listed above, it will go a long way towards keeping pinworms out of your body, and out of your life.

Additional links:

http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2013/03/14/how-to-treat-pinworms/

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15625/1/Home-Remedies-for-Pinworms.html

http://www.findhomeremedy.com/treatment-of-wriggly-pinworms-through-natural-methods/

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Agrihoods: The Self Sufficient Alternative to Suburbia

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suburb wikimedia

Compared to rural agricultural areas and cities, suburbs are some of the most wasteful settlements in the United States. When you really break it down, suburbs are nothing more than the midpoint between rural and urban areas. They have a population density that leans more towards cities, but they take up the space of a countryside. Unfortunately, this means that suburbs, though taking on the costs of both of these extremes, wind up receiving none of the benefits. From an economic stand point, they often combine the worst of both worlds.

Here’s a few quick examples of what I mean. In the city, the cost of housing is very expensive, but fortunately there are more job opportunities. In rural areas, rent and most basic goods are cheaper, but there aren’t nearly as many jobs in most cases. But in suburbia, you often get the high rents without the same job opportunities, which means you’ll probably have to commute to the city for work. That brings me to another example.

In the city you probably don’t even need a car. Everything you need is incredibly close and public transportation and taxi cabs are everywhere. If there is somewhere that is too far to walk to, you won’t have any trouble finding a ride. In the rural areas, you’re practically doomed if you don’t have a car, or know someone who can drive you, but at least there isn’t any congestion. In the suburbs, you get the long distances and the congestion. Plus, newer suburbs aren’t built with pedestrians in mind, and they don’t have nearly as many sidewalks and trails as the suburbs that were built several decades ago.

See what I mean? Suburbs often combine the worst of both worlds. This of course, also includes sustainability and self-sufficiency. Rural areas have great potential for both of those attributes and cities do not, but at least cities have more economic opportunities. Suburbs on the other hand, take up all of the space of that is typical of rural community but without any of the self-sufficiency, especially in regards to food production. Which is a shame, because they have a great potential to capture the best of both worlds, in terms of self-sufficient food production and economic opportunities.

Case in point, all over the world there are a growing number of so-called ‘agrihoods.’ These are essentially residential neighborhoods that are built around small farms. Having this in the suburbs means you could have the benefit of fresh sustainable produce, but still live in an area that has far more job opportunities. Given the growing interest in organic, and local food, these types of neighborhoods may be the wave of the future.

This farm-to-table residential model has been sprouting up everywhere from Atlanta to Shanghai. It involves homes built within strolling distance of small working farms, where produce matures under the hungry gaze of residents, where people can venture out and pick greens for their salads.

“Real estate developers are looking for the next big thing to set them apart,” said Ed McMahon, senior resident fellow with the Urban Land Institute in Washington. “That gives them a competitive advantage.”

There are many variations of the agrihood, McMahon said. “Some developers rent acreage to farmers,” he said. “Some set up non-profit C.S.A. (community-supported agriculture) programs. Some have the residents doing it (the growing) themselves.”

Agrihoods frequently include farmer’s markets, inns and restaurants sited in communal hubs where the edibles are processed or sold.

For now, these neighborhoods are very pricey. They are often built as gated communities, and are marketed primarily to second home buyers and retirees. While the cost of food is much cheaper, that alone isn’t nearly enough to offset the cost of housing.

Like most things in this world however, the cost is always higher for the first product to fall off the assembly line, so to speak. What will really drive down the cost, is when preexisting neighborhoods start to retrofit their surroundings into small, sustainable farms. The first of these retrofits will probably coincide with golf’s lagging popularity, which is causing hundreds of golf courses to close every year. That’s a lot of open space with plenty of water access, right in the middle of suburbia, and it’s ripe for the picking. Give it a few years, and you might start to see these farms pop up in neighborhoods near you.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Frugal Living: Using Up Fish Scraps for Broth and Other Recipes

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[Editor’s Note: Finding ways to find natural food sources and using up every bit will not only enhance our preparedness skills, but also help us create a more frugal lifestyle in the process. Fish is one of the most readily available wild protein sources and homesteader, Ruby Burks provides some very sound advice on how to add these last food bits to make delicious meals.]

fish 

Periodically, I need to go through our freezers and cook or can up the food items that I just didn’t have time to get to during their season and to take stock of what got pushed to the back.  Today, I’m concentrating on all the fish.

Why Fish?

Fish is an important part of our diet here (and taking a day off to go fishing is an important part of our mental health!) and we try to be as conscientious about eating nose to tail to reduce food and money waste with fish as we are with all of our other foods.  However, I don’t always have time to preserve every part of the fish as soon as we bring it home.  So, like the ingredients for other meat-based stocks and broths, trimmings from the fish, including the heads, go into freezer bags to accumulate until I have enough to fill a stockpot, pressure can, or smoke.

There’s plenty of scientific evidence to prove that eating fish has many health benefits.   From Harvard School of Public Health:

Fish and other seafood are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats and are also rich in other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels. An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants indicates that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

Eating fish fights heart disease in several ways…Both observational studies and controlled trials have also demonstrated that the omega-3 fats in fish are important for optimal development of a baby’s brain and nervous system, and that the children of women who consume lower amounts of fish or omega-3’s during pregnancy and breast-feeding have evidence of delayed brain development.”

Source

Unfortunately, fish can be crazy expensive for most people, especially if you’re among the Broke Folk.  And as much as I value the rest and relaxation that can be found in a day spent fishing and the value of knowing an essential prepping skill, the cost of the gear and licence can really add up if I’m not actually catching any fish.  So, to offset that, I try to find as many ways to cook, preserve, and use every bit of the fish.  The following is a collection based on what is available in my neck of the woods.  If you have access to other species of fish in your area, please share your recipes below in the comments section so we can all share the wealth of knowledge found in our prepping community.

Fresh and Fried

No doubt about it, my very favorite fish is pan fried trout cooked over an oak and manzanita campfire.  Freshly caught and cleaned, dredged in cornmeal, and just the right size to fit in a cast iron skillet that has been liberally greased with some bacon grease.  The recipe isn’t fancy, but the eating is good.  To round out the meal, I add the recipes below:

Firepit Dutch Oven Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease
  1. Mix all your dry ingredients together in a container or easy seal bag before you leave the house so you don’t have to worry about measuring at your campsite.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.  I like to bring my dry ingredients in a gallon size Ziplock bag so I can dump my wet ingredients in, seal it up, and squish them all together.  Cornbread is forgiving and turns out just fine this way.
  2. Lightly grease your dutch oven and and set it over the fire to warm.  Once warm, pour the batter in, cover with the lid, and place the dutch oven back on a nice glowing bed of coals.  Scoop enough coals on top of the lid to cover it.  Wait about 30 minutes or so, replenishing the coals as needed to keep it hot, and then test for doneness by inserting a clean pocket knife.  When it comes out clean, it’s done.
  3. While your cornbread is cooking, fry up a few pieces of bacon.  It’s delicious crumbled over the trout and adds the extra fat calories needed for hiking and fishing.  Remove the bacon and set aside to cool.  Dredge your freshly caught and cleaned trout in some cornmeal, salt and pepper and fry it in the same pan you just took your bacon out of.  The trout is done when it flakes easily with the point of your knife.

I like greens with my fish and will usually bring some home canned collards or spinach to heat up off on the side of the grill while everything else is cooking.  Or, if I’m lucky, I might find some Miner’s Lettuce and make a salad.

Fish Stock

Broth is an extremely healthy way to make use of the head and bones. Personally speaking, I love fish stock.  It’s a great way to use up all the bits of fish that aren’t normally served up on a plate.  The meat from the cheeks is especially tender and tasty.  Just be sure to remove the gills from the fish heads before cooking because they make the stock bitter.  A great video on how to remove the gills easily can be found here.

No matter what the recipes say, you can use any kind of fish to make stock.  If I have enough salmon heads and trimmings, I might make a stock that is nothing but salmon.  The stock has a beautiful pink hue and a rich, fatty taste and texture.  However, if I don’t have enough salmon heads, I might throw in some trout or any other freshwater fish I have to finish filling my stock pot.  Trout heads are pretty small, though, and picking them clean is a little like trying to pick the meat off of nothing but chicken backs.  If you want some meat to go with your broth, make sure you have at least a couple of heads or trimmings from a larger fish like salmon.  On the other hand, if you aren’t planning on using the pickings in your stock, you can still use them to make Goldfish Cakes:

Ruby’s Goldfish Cakes

  • 15-ounces salmon (or other cooked, picked fish)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • About 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • About 2-3 cups of  breadcrumbs Note: This is one of those recipes where I don’t measure and instead cook by feel.  Add enough breadcrumbs to bind it all together but not so much that it tastes too much like breadcrumbs.  You can also use saltines or Ritz- whatever you have on hand and sounds good at the time.
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil or bacon grease
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the cooking oil together in a bowl.
  2. Shape into burger-sized patties and fry in a hot skillet until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside.
  3. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve warm.

Wondering what to do with all that fish stock?  Check out this list of my favorite recipes below:

Salmon Head Soup 

Bouillabaisse

Paella (substitute the 3 C of water in this recipe for fish stock.  Trust me, it’s better than cooking with water)

New England Fish Chowder 

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

No Bones About It – Gourmet Broth is Sweeping the Nation

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broth1 

It looks like Grandma really did know best. Over the last ten years, there’s been an awakening to the importance of the old ways where natural health has become a huge part of how we live our lives. Ultimately, it has led to natural living trends and movements, like the local foods movement, farmer’s markets, farm to table eating and even the paleo diet. At the epicenter of this natural food renaissance has been a man with lofty dreams of sustainable local food sources in every grocery store in America: Chef Gabriel Claycamp.

Claycamp, a chef from some of the best restaurants in the Seattle area, wholeheartedly believes in being a part of the sustainable agriculture locavore movement which involves utilizing the whole animal in our day-to-day lives. Image that, nothing goes to waste!

A Sustainable Artisanal Broth Company

brothCurrently, he has his hands busy with another trend sweeping the nation – bone broth. In fact, Chef Gabriel Claycamp, owner of Cauldron Broths jokes, “It is funny though, this is like our ‘Ancestral Health Inheritance’, this is some old magic.” How right he is! Broth is something we all turn to as a first line of defense when we are beginning to feel under the weather. That slow simmering of bones, herbs and vegetables is just what the body needs to be invigorated with health.

But Claycamp has taken it a step further. His locally sustained business is making artisanal broth using certified organic produce and spices and is using carefully curated grass-fed beef bones, GMO-free certified humane pork bones, certified organic chicken bones, and pastured lamb bones, all from local farms in the state of Washington. In his words, “This is the stuff that culinary dreams are made of.”

 

Chef Gabriel wants to make the most delicious broth you’ve ever tasted. He says that most restaurants use a ratio of 1 pound of bones to yield one gallon of broth, but Cauldron Broths uses five pounds of bones! This will make the broth more rich and as nutritionally complete as possible. He has started a Kickstarter campaign with dreams of producing rich broths in a USDA approved kitchen by early summer in Bellingham, WA. Ideally, he plans on selling his gourmet broths to local grocery stores and restaurants, as well as have the broths made available to local hospitals so patients can have a more natural diet that improves their health. How awesome is that?!

Check out his Kickstarter page and Facebook page and help get the word out about Cauldron Broths. Chef Gabriel and his wonderful wife, Kathy are taking the local sustainable movement by storm and you can be a part of their success. Who knows, maybe a Cauldron Broths storefront will open in your neck of the woods.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Sugar Keeps You Trapped in a Cycle of Addiction

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I admit it: I’m a little bit addicted to the stuff.

I know it’s terrible for my health, but sometimes I need a fix.

And…the more I have, the more I want.

I used to believe that I was weak…that I simply lacked willpower.

But, lately, I feel a bit vindicated: mounting evidence is showing that the tiny white crystals are VERY addictive.

****

Sugar is found nearly everywhere. It is in approximately 75 percent of packaged foods purchased in the United States.

The average American consumes anywhere from a quarter to a half pound per day.

Did that sink in?

If so, you probably think I’m terrible at math, or that I made a typographical error.

As outrageous as consuming up to a HALF POUND of sugar per day sounds, it is entirely possible – and common.

It is equal to about 30-60 teaspoons of sugar in a 24 hour period. Still seem like it would be hard to consume that in one day? Well, consider that ONE 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories. And every single calorie comes from…sugar. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon, so ONE can of soda contains almost 8 teaspoons of sugar. Cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and orange juice contain 48 to 63 grams of sugar per 12 ounces…which is 9.6 to 12.6 teaspoons of sugar per serving. 

Sugary beverages are the primary source of added sugar in the average American diet, and they are particularly dangerous because the method of consumption is rapid. It’s easy to gulp down a few sugary drinks every day without thinking much about it.

Then, of course, you have to account for all of the non-liquid sources of sugar you consume.

As you can see, avoiding sugar can be challenging, consuming a lot of it is fairly easy, and tracking your intake can be difficult (unless you are a meticulous label-reader and number-cruncher).

To make matters worse, sugar can be highly addictive.

James DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. He says that refined sugar is similar to cocaine, and that studies show it can be even more addictive than the recreational drug.

In an opinion piece for The New York Times, DiNicolantonio explained why comparing sugar to drugs is not hyperbole:

Substance use disorders, defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, exist when at least two to three symptoms from a list of 11 are present. In animal models, sugar produces at least three symptoms consistent with substance abuse and dependence: cravings, tolerance and withdrawal. Other druglike properties of sugar include (but are not limited to) cross-sensitization, cross-tolerance, cross-dependence, reward, opioid effects and other neurochemical changes in the brain. In animal studies, animals experience sugar like a drug and can become sugar-addicted. One study has shown that if given the choice, rats will choose sugar over cocaine in lab settings because the reward is greater; the “high” is more pleasurable.

Sugar stimulates brain pathways just as an opioid would, and sugar has been found to be habit-forming in people. Cravings induced by sugar are comparable to those induced by addictive drugs like cocaine and nicotine. And although other food components may also be pleasurable, sugar may be uniquely addictive in the food world. For instance, functional M.R.I. tests involving milkshakes demonstrate that it’s the sugar, not the fat, that people crave.

“When you look at animal studies comparing sugar to cocaine,” DiNicolantonio told Here & Now, “even when you get the rats hooked on IV cocaine, once you introduce sugar, almost all of them switch to the sugar.”

Sugar addiction is not biological, DiNicolantonio says. A certain consumption threshold must be achieved over a certain period of time in order to alter the brain’s neurochemistry. Subsquently, people experience dopamine depletion and sugar withdrawals:

You get this intense release of dopamine upon acute ingestion of sugar. After you chronically consume it, those dopamine receptors start becoming down-regulated — there’s less of them, and they’re less responsive. That can lead to ADHD-like symptoms…but it can also lead to a mild state of depression because we know that dopamine is that reward neurotransmitter.

In the following video, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert H. Lustig and psychologist Dr. Elissa S. Epel explain how sugar and other junk foods can “hijack” the brain to make us want more and more.

Evidence is growing that eating too much sugar can lead to cardiovascular disorders, fatty liver disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, and even cancer.

The only ones benefiting from your addiction are the sugar and processed food industries. Think you can rely on your government to provide you with accurate information about the dangers of sugar? That’s not going to happen – Big Sugar is a large, powerful, and wealthy industry that has been using Big Tobacco-style tactics to influence policy and ensure that government agencies dismiss troubling health claims against their product for decades.

Your health is in YOUR hands.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series. We’ll talk about the mounting evidence that shows the links between sugar consumption and disease. In part 3, we’ll cover tricks that can help you break the addiction cycle.

Additional Resources

Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease

Sugar Has 56 Names: A Shopper’s Guide

Good Calories, Bad Calories

Pure, White, and Deadly: How Sugar Is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It

Anarchy is defined as the non-recognition of authority. If nutrition becomes regulated by a bunch of bureaucrats who, at best, don’t really care about people, and at worst, hope to depopulate the globe, you must have the plans and weapons in place to live a life of nutritional anarchy. Founded by Daisy Luther of the Organic Prepper, and Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton of Truthstream Media, the team at Nutritional Anarchy is dedicated to helping people prepare for the day when real vitamins might be completely inaccessible without a prescription and real, untainted food may not be available in stores.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Six Laws of Survival: Strategies For Beating the Worst Case Scenario

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 [Editor’s Note: Our underlying goal in a SHTF scenario is ultimately to stay alive and live without exposure to risks.  As much preparation as many of us have made, in the altered world of a SHTF crisis, there will be many dangers that lurk; and some of them will be inadvertently from our own doing.

Jeremiah Johnson outlines the six laws of survival. Read this. Memorize this. Apply this. One day, you will need it.]

 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we just finished a series on how to escape from Bill Ayers’ Summer Reeducation Camp (or Gulag 17, depending on the situation).  Now we will cover one of the most important elements of all: How to stay out of the “Happy” Camp.  Best thing of all: do not go in.  Easier said than done, however, there are some things you can do beforehand that will increase your chances of staying out of the Gulag.

These things are not complicated, however, they will require both willpower and action.  They will not be things that happen on their own.  In order to stay out of a camp, you must do something very important:

 You must do things that others do not do, and you must not do what others do.

Let us run with this concept in a scenario:

You’re in bed…it’s a Saturday morning, and you don’t have to go to any of your 3 jobs today until noon.  Your battery-powered clock seems to have stopped at 5:15 am.  Puzzled you hear the drone of jet engines, and all of a sudden the house seems as if it is shaking.  You jump up and run to the front door and as you walk onto the front porch, all hell is breaking loose.

 Your mind is playing, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica as you look up and see dozens of aircraft flying West to East, disgorging sesame seeds that sprout parachutes by the thousands, all coming down into your neighborhood.  “Red Dawn” isn’t playing: it is happening, and you’re in it.  Your neighbors didn’t bother to come wake you up; however, they’re working on starting their cars, with no success.  The paratroopers are landing, and a large crowd of people is running down Main Street to the tune of automatic gunfire in the distance.  Yep, you guessed it!  America has been invaded, and chances are you are not going to be handing out a Slurpee this afternoon.

Now what?  You must fall upon the six laws of survival or else all could be lost.

The Six Laws of Survival

In a survival scenario all bets are off and the following laws will keep you alive. These laws are rigid, but necessary. Harsh, but true. Keep your cards close and always have a plan.

Law 1: Wherever that crowd is running, do not join them.

This is not to say that they aren’t (initially) running in the right direction.  But what of it?  They are bound to be either captured en masse or worse (bombed, strafed, or shot).  For the horror of the IHM (the Incredible Human Mob), look no further than “War of the Worlds” with Tom Cruise where he and his family are driving the passenger van…right up and into the mob.  Look what happened there.  You can’t defeat their numbers, and you will be captive to them…another steer in the herd.

Strike out on your own, you and your family, avoiding the main thoroughfares at all cost, and avoiding the IHM.

Law 2: You have to have a place (and places) to go.

This is where thinking outside of the general herd will pay off.  We’re going to instruct by running through a checklist…. this will be a “handy-dandy” checklist that you can print out or run over in your mind to be able to follow rule #2.

  • Did you preposition assets (food, weapons, money, etc.) at an initial safe location?
  • Is that location within walking distance for you and your family?
  • Once there, are you and your family secure for at least a 24 – 48-hour period?
  • Safe from enemy troops/government “peacekeepers” on the hunt?
  • Safe from fallout and/or NBC agents?
  • Does it have a food and water supply to sustain all of you for 7 days?
  •  If your initial safe location has been compromised, is a duplicate location nearby?
  • Do you have a farther (more remote) location that you can reach on foot in 3 days?
  • A secure, sustainable location with supplies for at least a month?
  • Do you and your family have a handheld method of communication for each member?
  • Have you formulated short-term (initial contact, 48 hours, 7 days) plans?
  • Have you made long-term (1 month and month-by-month; 6 months and 6-month continuous analysis; 1 year) plans?

Guys and gals, these are just basics.  You must have these things in place in order to give you and your family a fighting chance.  Whether or not it is a foreign invasion or a domestic communist takeover of the United States, you must leave your home in suburbia or you will be rounded up, bringing us forward:

Law 3: You will be leaving your home, permanently or for a long time.

This is survival.  The majority of readers are not living in the mountains or in a remote location.  If you follow these steps and practice them on a dry-run on a regular basis…it will give you the advantage that most people will not have.  You must innovate: come up with ideas that others will not think of.  Do you know of an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town?  Chances are that 90% of others will think the same thing in a grid-down/Red Dawn survival scenario.  You need to find the places that are off the beaten path.  And if there are none?  It may mean that you have to create a place.

How?  By caching your supplies within the walking distances described for each part of the “safe” area.  By finding tunnels, caves, or other sub-structures that can protect you from the elements and at least afford partial protection from radiation.  By being who it is you imagine yourself to be: a prepper…a survivalist…or a survivor.  When you enter any contest, do you enter it to lose?  Do you strive for just “second place” or “second best” in this arena?  Chances are the answer is “no,” but you have to arrive on that conclusion on your own.  All of this is a challenge, and this underlines everything for you if it needs clarification:

Law 4: In survival, there is no silver medal: “second place” means death.

Forget that phrase in “The Hunger Games,” because if you are taken…the odds are not ever in your favor.  We went through a 4-article series on how to escape from the Gulag where I reiterated how important it is for you to stay out of it.  I stand by this concept.  If you are taken captive, the odds aren’t in your favor of getting out…for the duration of it.

And then guess what?  The Germans during WWII as the allies approached began to hide their transgressions by liquidating the camps…basically killing everyone that could bear any type of witness to the atrocities.  Do not think for an instant that it will not happen again.  Look at Holodomor in Ukraine and the starvation tactics the USSR used to follow after the Malthusian model.  Our enemies have very little regard for human life, and the lives they value are of their own people.  If the Chinese communists would run over their own people with tanks and sell their internal organs while they’re still alive, what will they do with us?

Which brings us to the “Malcolm X” rule:

Law 5: You must stay out and survive by any and all means necessary.

Some of you may think “JJ is a little harsh.”  I would rather be hard and harsh now, and enable you, my countrymen, to have some tools at your disposal and a “sharp tack” under the figurative buttocks of your mind to give you the impetus to do something about the situation prior to its occurrence.  The country is “long in the tooth,” and you have to grasp these concepts and act upon them now…not burn off the pages and save them in the survival archives…but use them to inculcate your own, individual plan of action now.

Rule #5 means resolving yourself to do what you must in order to protect yourself from the ravages (and not just possible, but probable death) inside of one of these camps.  These are all basic, “generic” things to begin as a base for your preparations.  This is a form of guerilla warfare!  Avoid the occupiers/oppressors at all cost!  These things will work for you…if you resolve yourself (ves) to do them.  I’ll close with a note on OPSEC (operational security): you better build off of these basics and keep all of them to yourself.

JJ is giving you the basics that you need, without revealing everything of his own plans.  Why?  Because I earned them by paying for them with years of experience and suffering, and it means my family’s survival.  Such measures would run you a lot of money and imagination; such measures come from years of practical experience and the willingness to take chances.  This thought brings us to our final rule, the failure of which means compromise leading to death:

Law 6:  Do not tip your hand or reveal your plans to anyone.

Next installment we will talk about life under occupation, be that by foreign invaders or by totalitarian state that has morphed out of a democracy.  In the meantime, prepare and plan, and when you are reasonably sure, execute a dry run.  The practice does make perfect and affords you a time and trials to iron out all of the glitches in your operations.  Until next time be good to one another and keep up the fight!

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Plants & Herbs That Heal Respiratory Infections & Soothe The Lungs

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lungs

 Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, was right when he pronounced, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This has been confirmed by decades of research showing the healing power of food, as well as, inversely, its potential to cause some serious health problems. So many diseases, as well as the exponential rise in chronic disease in recent decades, can be linked to our eating habits today.

We live in a world full of pesticides, antibiotic-laced meats, and processed foods that are manufactured to be addicting. On top of this, the birth and rise of chemical-based medicine has completely wiped out natural remedies that seem to be more effective. Chemical-based medicine, according to many, is also responsible for the massive rise in various diseases.

As Glenn A. Warner, MD, former head of the immunotherapy department of the Tumor Institute under Orliss Wildermuth, MD, writes: “We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of doing research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison.”

This is precisely why Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of The Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world — recently  published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false:

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. (source)

Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of The New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. (source)

It is highly unlikely that a doctor would prescribe you a daily dose of celery rather than pills to lower your blood pressure, despite the fact that some foods, like celery, have been shown scientifically and experimentally to have amazing results…

That being said, below is a list of 10 plants and herbs that can heal respiratory infections, boost lung health, and repair pulmonary damage.

 1. Sage

Sage is packed with essential oils which have multiple benefits. These can be unlocked by drinking sage tea, which is used to treat common respiratory and lung ailments.

Sage has thujone, camphor, terpene, and salvene, which, when inhaled in vapor form, can dispel lung disorders and clean out your sinusitis.

To do this, you can brew a strong pot of sage tea and place it into a bowl or vaporizer.

2. Cannabis

Not many people know this, but when you smoke cannabis you actually change its chemical composition in a negative way. If you are going to use it for healing purposes, it’s best to ingest it or use a vaporizer; neither of these methods result in the toxic breakdown of the therapeutic compounds that happens when burning the plant.

Study after study has shown that cannabis is one of the most effective anti-cancer plants in the world. Vaporizing it can allow the active ingredients to trigger the natural immune response that exists within the body, thus reducing the ability of infections to spread.

Vaporizing cannabis (especially with very high amounts of cannabinoids) opens up airways and sinuses, acting as a bronchodilator.

It is even a proven method for treatment and reversal of asthma.

3. Oregano

This herb contains vitamins and nutrients that are vital to the immune system.

Oregano contains compounds, like rosmarinic acid, which are natural decongestants and histamine reducers.

These have a very positive effect on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow.

Oil of oregano is also great and known to fight off strep throat; it is also considered to be a great alternative for common antibiotic treatments.

4. Eucalyptus

This has been used for thousands of years, and today it’s commonly used to promote respiratory health and help ease throat irritation. This is precisely why it’s a common ingredient in several cough medicines.

5. Mullein – Verbascum Thapsus

Both the flowers and the leaves of this plant have medicinal value, and they are both used to make an herbal extract that makes the lungs stronger.

Holistic and herbal practitioners often use it to clear mucus from the lungs.

Tea can be made from one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiled water.

6. Peppermint – Mentha + Piperita

Peppermint contains menthol, an ingredient that relaxes the respiratory tract and muscles, thus promoting free breathing. Peppermint oil contains many other additional compounds, like limonene and pulegone, which are great decongestants. Many therapeutic chest balms contain these ingredients.

7. Plantain herb – P. Ianceolata and Plantago major

Plantain leaf is another herb that has been used for hundreds of years to help soothe an irritated chest and coughs. It also also contains many anti-inflammatory and antitoxic compounds.  Clinical trials have found it favorable against cough, cold, and lung irritation. Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs.

CE inspires us to begin expanding our way of thinking so we can take conscious steps towards creating BIG change on the planet. CE’s Mission!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Three Preps Your SHTF Stockpile Cannot Do Without

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 In a recent article written by Tess Pennington regarding why we should continue to prepare when nothing seems to have happened.  My philosophy and hers are almost identical.  In the vein of her sound advice, who is to know exactly when something will or will not happen?  And then, if you prepare 99 times out of a hundred, do those 99 times count for anything if you did not prepare for the 1 time that something did happen?

Statistics and probability alone bespeak of the current situation here in the U.S. and in the world.

Michael Snyder posted an excellent piece, 27 nations where the stock markets have already crashed in 2015.  Britain, China, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, surprisingly, to name a few among the group.  The Euro is in deep trouble, as is the European Union, united only in the concept of introducing their own self-destruction with inane (unless you’re a globalist-oligarch) policies of “immigration” for the “refugees” of the Middle East.

The Credit Deferred Swaps, estimated at some 80-100 trillion dollars, actually exceeds the GDP of the planet Earth.  I mentioned it that way to draw significance to it.  The entire planet Earth does not earn the amount of CDS’s that are due.  In addition to this, we know the economies of the whole world are coming apart akin to an unraveling sweater.  The numbers in the U.S. are all “faux,” with actual unemployment being somewhere around 20%.

What is on the horizon?

War is coming in the Middle East between Russia and the United States.  War is coming in Europe (the flashpoint being Ukraine) between Russia and the United States.  The world situation is rapidly deteriorating, with flashpoints in the South China Sea, with the two Koreas, and an undefined, worldwide battlefield pitting Muslim extremists against anyone not a Muslim extremist.

The Three B’s

Understanding all of this, what we need now are basics.  When all else fails, return to your basics and your base.  Regroup is the term we used in the Service.  What is your base, prepper/survivalist family?  Your base is the Three B’s:  Bullets, Beans, and Band-Aids, in that order.  Let us go into them once again.

Bullets:

The category “bullets” is all-inclusive of weaponry, meaning the firearms themselves.  It also includes reloading equipment, and anything necessary to enable you to effectively employ the weapon technically and tactically.  There is a saying by Thomas Jefferson that I will mention.  I’m sure he will not mind, as he modified the words of the prophet Isaiah.  TJ said:

               “He who beats his rifles into plowshares will plow for he who does not.”

Sage wisdom, and completely applicable.  You must defend yourself, your family, and your property, or you will lose all three.  Let me give you some rules…rules you should not bend at all…regarding such.  It may help.

  1. Firearms take precedence over food; if you have a firearm, you can hunt for food.
  2. Never barter ammunition, as it will come back at you. The sole exception is blood family members.
  3. Minimum 1,000 pieces of “Pez” per “Pez-dispenser,” if you catch my inference. Anything less (unless it is either specialty or rare), and you are shorting yourself.
  4. You must be able to reload for every “Pez-dispenser” at your disposal; never trade or relinquish reloading equipment. Here is a great ammunition loader to consider. Make sure the loader is compatible with your firearm.
  5. You need it all: muzzle-loaders, boxer, berdan…the whole kit for reloading. Berdan is tough, but it is worth it in the end.
  6. Stagger your Pez-dispensers in terms of size/caliber…you need to be able to fire whatever ammo you can find
  7. Be an expert with whatever you have. All the supplies in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you can’t employ them.
  8. Shut up around others. Keep your amounts of candy and toys to yourself.  Today’s buddy is tomorrow’s burglar.
  9. Whatever you fire, your spouse should also fire…this for handguns/pistols, and rifles. You want to be able to exchange magazines/speed loaders/ammo.
  10. The golden rule: Never give up your weapon…ever, to anyone.

[Editor’s Note: Do not be solely dependent on a firearm for protection. As much as I value my firearm, I know that it can be taken out of my hands and used against me. Learning of other forms of personal protection such as hand-to-hand combat, krav maga, martial arts and other forms to self-defense for last resort measures will only make you more capable of protecting yourself, your loved ones and your preps.]

Beans:

Important, but secondary to a weapons, always is food.  Here is the proof.  You have a rifle and I have a hamburger.  Give it time.  You’ll have a hamburger and a rifle soon.  It is neither good or bad.  It just is.  I know, it doesn’t fall in line with “The Waltons” or “Bonanza,” but it is reality.

You can be the good, giving, guy; however, you better be able to beat the bad guy.

You need to set limits and goals for yourself for food for you and your family.  Now is the time.  Knowing how to layer your food sources in order to avoid malnutrition will keep your family thriving, Canned goods, freeze dried foods, vitamins, supplements, water supplies, water purification devices.  This preparedness calculator can save valuable time in helping you plan how much food your family needs. As well, consider these 25 food items.  All of these things, it would behoove you to reevaluate now while you have some time remaining.  One year’s food supply per person should be the absolute minimum you stock up.

Make allowances for seasonal and temperature changes.  Make allowances for hunting and foraging.  He who does not hunt and forage is forced to eat from his stores. If you feel compelled to have some items to donate to the needy, make sure you do so inconspicuously.

Band-Aids:

These are your medical supplies.  First-aid kits and supplies should be comprehensive and be able to deal with a wide range of injuries.  A thermonuclear device is not just dangerous due to radiation.  There are thermal burns, and the damage caused to structures by blast overpressure.  You better have a good supply of Potassium Iodine pills.  It might also behoove you to know there are naturopathic foods such as Chlorella and Spirulina that can rid your body of radiation.  Get ahold of some silver sulfadiazine cream for burns, as well as Aloe Vera gel for the same.

You can never have enough bandages, gauze, antibiotics, suturing kits, or IV bags.  Now is the window for you to stock up on as much as you can.  As well, consider creating trauma packs to have on standby in case a dire emergency occurs. You must also have any kind of supportive or life-saving medicine or medical equipment for your family members with special needs!  When the mushroom clouds sprout, it is too late to lay in supplies for the diabetic in your family.  You need (once again) to not just gather the supplies, but know how to use them and to administer them.  You also better have some good reference materials with plenty of photos and diagrams, if you’ve never done needle pericardiocentisis or run a chest tube (tube thoracostomy) on your own.

We have covered these areas to exhort you to return to basics, and build outward.  The time is short, and Yours Truly believes that there will be a war, a World War very soon.  Prepare now while you have the time and you’re not beset by a host of problems and “behind the power curve,” so to speak.  Keep those 3-B’s in mind, and “game” the possible scenarios day by day in your mind.  Fight the good fight!  JJ out.

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Ways the Pine Tree Can Save Your Life

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pine treeHey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  Today we’re going to give a few pointers to possibly an overlooked resource for your survival right under your fingertips.  You guessed it: the pine tree.  There are many benefits that pine trees offer for the survival enthusiast.  They can be found virtually in any part of the country; therefore, it will benefit you to explore the resources of this bountiful plant.

Food

Pine needle tea alone contains more than 5 times the amount of vitamin C in an orange.  The way to prepare it is as follows.

Pine Needle Tea

  • 1 handful of pine needles, cut up 1/2 inch in length
  • Boiling water

Take your pine needles (a good, full handful) and cut up the needles until you have a bunch of pieces about ½ inch in length.  Then macerate them (chop them up).  Add them to boiling water, and boil for about 3 minutes.  Then take them off the burner, keeping the pot covered and allow them to steep for a good 15 to 20 minutes or until cool. One cup of it is enough to maintain the RDA for Vitamin C in an adult.

This holds true for all of the pines, however, there are 6 species that must be mentioned for toxic effects.  Avoid these for any kind of food use:  Norfolk Island Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Monterey Cypress, Lodge pole Pine, Common Juniper, and Yew.

Pine nuts can be gathered from pine cones between September and November.  They are rich in Vitamin E, pinolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid), and oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat that lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol, Low-density Lipoprotein).  Pine nuts are chock full of essential minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. The nuts also provide the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates.

From a nutritional perspective, it can also be said that the pine tree can provide for some of your needs in a survival situation.  There is a layer beneath the bark called the cambium layer.  This is a layer that the tree stores all of its energy, similar to the way other plants store theirs in bulbs, roots, etc.  When you extract this cambium layer, you can obtain the carbohydrates by cutting pieces of it up into strips and chewing them.  Don’t eat them!  The fiber will pass through you akin to a lawn mower in Stephen King’s movie “Maximum Overdrive,” thereby defeating the positive gains you may realize.

Chew on those strips and allow the carbohydrates to be softened and absorbed as you such on the plant fibers.  It tastes terrible: akin to turpentine.  Then again, this is survival, and you don’t have the luxury of choice in certain circumstances. The thing that makes the pine so good a resource is that it is a perennial and an evergreen: it can be used in these outlined capacities all year round.

Here is a link you may find interesting that has several films on various uses of pine sap (resin).

Bedding and Shelter

Pine boughs are excellent material for bedding.  When layered properly, they will lock the cold out and keep your heat from being transferred into the ground (conduction).  You can also thatch the top/roof of a lean-to that will enable you to keep drier.  See video here. This is due to the semi-waxy coating on the outside of the leaves (the needles) that help in terms of water resistance.

Fuel

Fire is life in a survival situation and pine wood is an excellent source for fires. Specifically, older pine needles make excellent fire starting material, as well as the older pine cones. Fatwood is another bi-product from the resourceful pine tree. You can find high quality fatwood in forests or in your own backyard that will help to start your fire more quickly. You can also collect the sticky resin from pine trees to use to start a fire – all you need is a dime-sized amount. Pine stumps are an excellent source to look for fatwood and resin. As well, the resin can be used as a waterproofing agent to patch up tent seams, boots and mittens.

Medicine

Incidentally, I almost forgot…the tea I outlined above?  You can also bottle it up and use it as an astringent for minor cuts, wounds, abrasions, and rashes.  Pines are habitats for many different forms of wildlife, such as birds and squirrels.  In a survival situation, it would behoove you to study what pines the birds and squirrels prefer in your locality.

The pine tree can be a very valuable resource for you: for food, shelter, fire and medicine.  Be sure to mind the local laws and ordinances before you practice some of these techniques.  I highly recommend (if you have a Christmas tree) trying it with some of the needles, and experimenting with a tea for yourself, prior to discarding the tree this season.  Have a great day!

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Prevent Breast Cancer Through An Armpit Detox

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detoxarmpitCE

 It’s pretty crazy when you think about the fact that, if you’re a male, you have a 50 percent chance of developing cancer in your lifetime, and if you’re a female, you have about a 33 percent chance. These rates are extremely high and are expected to continue climbing, at least in part because we spend so much time trying to find a cure yet so little talking about the cause. We need to start discussing the reasons why cancer rates continue to rise exponentially and what lifestyle changes we can make to combat this disease. (source)

Cancer is caused by physical carcinogens, chemical carcinogens, and biological carcinogens, all of which we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. These “cell transformers,” in the form of food, cosmetics, health care products, and more, have become ‘normal’ for us. It’s time to start questioning the environment we choose to surround ourselves with if we want to get to the bottom of why disease is so excessive and uncontrollable.

One excellent example (out of many) is cosmetics and the other products we choose to put on our skin, like deodorant. In 2007 a study was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry in which researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. The study pointed out that concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast. (source)

This is quite alarming, as the higher incidence of tumors in the upper outer quadrant of the breast seems to support the contention that aluminum-containing antiperspirants are contributing to breast cancer, even though the identification of a mechanism of antiperspirant-induced breast cancer remains elusive.

That being said, aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin that has been linked to all sorts of diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease, to name one). There are numerous studies which have examined aluminum’s potential to induce toxic effects, and this is clearly established in medical literature, and has been for a long time:

It’s great stuff to build airplanes out of, it’s great stuff to build cars out of, it’s great stuff to make various things in your household out of. It’s not great to have in your body. … Aluminum was not bio-available traditionally in the world’s biota until the industrial revolution, and so, it just had no place in any biochemical reaction that was normal. And where it does occur, now, because we are increasingly surrounded by it … [is] in our food, it shows up in our water, it shows up in our air, it shows up in our medicines … so we increasingly have this compound that is not part of any normal biochemical process, on Earth, for anything, that now can only go in and do havoc, which is exactly what it does. It causes all kinds of unusual biochemical reactions in the body, including the brain. – Dr. Chris Shaw, Neuroscientist and Professor at the University of British Columbia (source)

Another study that was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry in 2013 found increased levels of aluminum in non-invasively collected nipple aspirate fluids from 19 breast cancer patients. These patients were compared with 16 healthy control subjects:

In addition to emerging evidence, our results support the possible involvement of aluminum ions in oxidative and inflammatory status perturbations of breast cancer microenvironment, suggesting aluminum accumulation in breast microenvironment as a possible risk factor for oxidative/inflammatory phenotype breast cells. (source)

The study also found that aluminum content and carbonyl levels showed a significant positive linear correlation. Studies have already confirmed that plasma levels of protein carbonyls can increase the risk of breast cancer. (source)

It’s also noteworthy to mention that aluminum salts used as antiperspirants have been incriminated as contributing to breast cancer incidence in Western societies (source). Another prior study outlined how aluminum is not a physiological component of the breast, and yet it has been measured in human breast tissue as well as breast cyst fluids at levels above those found in blood serum or milk. (source)

The science is out there, and there is lots of it. When it comes to mainstream cosmetics and healthcare products, we are talking about thousands upon thousands of ingredients used that have no oversight or regulation from health authorities. If these chemicals, many of which have been listed as hazardous and toxic, are considered safe by the corporations that manufacture them, that’s good enough to get them approved. All a company has to do is vouch for itself and their products will get put on the shelves. Not many people know that about the modern day cosmetics industry.

It doesn’t take long for whatever it is we put onto our skin to enter into the bloodstream. For example, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a study to quantify how many sunscreen agents penetrate the skin after it is applied. The results demonstrated significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. We are talking about multiple chemicals entering multiple tissues within the body. (source)

Below is a great video about aluminum that we’ve shared before in some of our articles. It comes from Dr. Christopher Exley, a professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University and Honorary Professor at UHI Millennium Institute. He is known as one of the world’s leading experts on aluminum toxicity.

Above is just a tidbit of information that’s out there regarding aluminum toxicity. Even the government’s national cancer institute has admitted to all of the information scientists are publishing linking certain ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants to breast cancer. Despite this fact, they claim that their own researchers are not aware of any evidence linking these products to breast cancer, which is disturbing. (source) Again, these products contain parabens (these increase the risk of breast cancer by mimicking estrogen), propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, and DC&C colours, among many other toxic chemicals. It’s no mystery why scientists are now discovering links to breast cancer.

Many antiperspirants also contain triclosan, which recently made headlines across alternative media after a study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology found that the chemical encourages cancer cell growth. So, it’s not just aluminum in antiperspirants that we have to be worried about. (source) Triclosan can also pass through the skin and interfere with hormone function (endocrine disruption). Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there; a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives from 2008 shows how scientists detected triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested (2,517 people age six or older). (source)

Colgate Total toothpaste contains triclosan, and they were recently outed for their use of the chemical, along with the FDA for hiding decades old documents showing it to be carcinogenic. You can read that release here, and more about that story here.

I am sharing this information as I did with sunscreen (earlier in the article) just to show the penetration of the skin aspect.

How To Prevent Breast Cancer Through An Armpit Detox

  • Sweating

Sweating has many important health benefits. One of them is that sweating is one of the best ways to expel toxins from your body. This in turn supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases that could be related to toxic overload.

  • Mineral Water

In the video above, Dr. Exley mentions two types of mineral water to help with aluminum detox. He mentions Volvic, which is sold at various Whole Foods and Trader Joe stores, and Spritzer, which is harder to find. His main point was igh silica content mineral water.

  • Alternative Solutions

Do some research on alternative solutions. Find antiperspirants that do not contain aluminum and other harmful chemicals. You can also search for DIY deodorant recipes on the web and make your own; the most common use baking soda and coconut oil. The solutions are endless and, at least from personal experience, they work better than mainstream, chemically ridden products.

  • Holistic Solutions/Ingredients

One common way people seem to detox their armpit area is with the use of this recipe: 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar, 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, 5 drops of cilantro essential oil, and one tablespoon of bentonite clay.

From here, you mix ACV and the clay in a glass bowl, then add the essential oils to the point where it looks smooth, like sour cream.

Then you spread a thin layer of this mixture on your armpit and leave it for a few minutes.

After that, rinse and repeat daily until the odor subsides. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water, because the body needs to flush out all of those toxins .

The best way to prevent toxic overload here is to simply be more cautious of the products you purchase and what they contain.

 

Related CE article: Are Breast Screenings The Biggest Catastrophe In Women’s Health Today?

CE inspires us to begin expanding our way of thinking so we can take conscious steps towards creating BIG change on the planet. CE’s Mission!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

City-Dwellers Can Become Self-Sufficient Gardeners With This Indoor Vertical Farm

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By: Amanda Froelich

 

1_vertical-farmIf something were to happen today, tomorrow, six months down the road, or even three years into the future, would you be able to sustain yourself and your family?

A large percent of Americans do not have any resources – financial or otherwise – saved up in a case of an impending disaster, which would make them incredibly dependent on the government if hard times hit (that is if the government was still functioning).

While one may always purchase silver or stock up on canned goods, having a sustainable source of live, nutrient-dense food could be one’s saving grace in the wake of an economic disaster.

For this reason and many more, this gorgeous vertical farm is a God-send for many urban-dwellers who may want to reduce their food costs or just live more sustainably while in the city.

As Treehugger reports, the NutriTower – a seven-foot tall vertical farm specifically designed for tiny spaces – is the solution to urban gardening problems many have been asking for.

Designed by Byrce Nagels of Montreal, the NutriTower fits in small spaces and allows plants to thrive inside by delivering water and nutrients to the bottom of the plant pots.

Nagels (below) relies heavily on his own NutriTower and uses it to grow a continuous supply of lettuce, Swiss Chard, spinach and an abundance of herbs such as mint, parsley, basil and oregano. He can even grow melons and tomatoes.

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How does it work?

The NutriTower is a hydroponic system, no messy soil is required. Water and nutrients are pumped up from the base to each of the pots, and the plants are supplied a ‘nutritonic’ that is custom designed for the tower. The mixture is predominantly plant-based and is derived from all sustainable sources.

Because the tower comes with its own lighting system, it can be suitably set up in any location. And – wonderfully, it only takes up one tenth of the space that a horizontal planting bed needs.

2-imageNutriTower

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The cost of one of these towers is $1,299 – quite expensive for most families, but likely worth the investment if you consider the long-term benefits of growing your own food.

Above all, the company hopes the invention will be used as a learning component. In fact, they’re even offering a special curriculum to anyone who would like to have the NutriTower play a part in the classroom. From the germination of seeds to the actual harvesting of fruits and vegetables, the curriculum serves to ensure kids not only know how to play a part in growing their own food but enjoy the process of doing so.

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Just in time for Christmas, the item will be released on December 1, 2015. You can, however, pre-order the incredibly unique and innovative invention here. And, for every 50 NutriTowers sold, the company will give one to a school for free.

 

What are your thoughts on this urban solution to growing food? Comment below and share this news!

This article (City-Dwellers Can Become Self-Sufficient Gardeners With This Indoor Vertical Farm) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under aCreative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com

The Natural Blaze team is dedicated to the path of natural health and wellness. But we’re not just believers, we’ve experienced the healing properties of natural remedies first hand. That is why we are so deeply passionate to report natural health news, share wellness tips, and provide proven natural products to you.

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This Restorative Properties of Ginseng

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ginsengReadyNutrition Readers, this installment is going to focus on the wonders of Ginseng as a natural food supplement that can serve you in a plethora of extraordinary capacities.  To make it a part of your diet is to give yourself an arsenal of weapons usable against a variety of ailments.  We’re going to give you the basics on its physical properties and manifold uses.  As with all things, prior to using Ginseng consult with your family physician.  He or she will determine if its use is contraindicated for you according to any prescription medications or any condition he or she has diagnosed you with previously.

Ginseng has several species that hold these incredible benefits.  Panax ginseng is the species that most are familiar with.  This species is found in Europe and Asia, especially in Russia and Korea.  The supplements are labeled as either Siberian Panax ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) or Korean Panax Ginseng respectively.  There are minor differences as per the offshoots mentioned: strength of concentrations, chemical compositions, and growing season parameters.

Panax quinquefolium is the ginseng species that is native to North America and the United States.  It grows throughout the woodlands of America, yet because of harvesting all the way back to the 17th and 18th centuries, it is harder to come by than one might think.  Seven states of the U.S., along with Canada enacted legislation in 1890 limiting the times of harvest for it according to the growing season.  The legislation focused on prohibition of gathering during the spring and summer months when the plant produced its seeds.

Even in these early years, comprehensive works were compiled that chronicled the abilities of ginseng to heal various ailments.  One such work entitled “The American Indian Doctor: Dr. John Williams’ Last Legacy, A Useful Family Herbal,” emerged in 1827 that detailed the various cures by the Indian tribes and those brought from Europe and/or those learned by the settlers during the period of Western expansionalism.  In 1720 a Canadian company had formed for the express purpose of trading ginseng (the quinquefolium species), and its importance even took priority over fur trading.

To give you an idea of the scope of the trade and the amount of decimation that was visited upon the species, in the year 1862, a total of 622,761 pounds of dried roots was shipped to Canton and Hong Kong for the Chinese markets.  That amount is staggering when you realize this was the pre-industrial era.  Now we will shift our focus on some of ginseng’s properties and characteristics that made (and make) the herb such a valuable asset in your prepping herbal-medicinal stores.

Ginseng contains adaptogens, a scientific term used to describe substances that increase the body’s resistance to disease that are not accompanied by deleterious side effects.  Comprehensive studies (especially in the former Soviet Union) have proved conclusively that adaptogen-containing natural food supplements are far better for a person’s long-term health that synthetically-created substances that mimic natural plant-produced compounds.  The scientific data was compiled in the city of Vladivostok, with the Institute of Biologically Active Substances of the Siberian Department of the Academy of Sciences (former USSR) that chronicled more than 200 different species of medicinal plants.  It may interest you to know that more than 1,000 plants with curative and healing qualities grow just in Siberia.  Among those indications that ginseng has proven results are the following, and keep in mind this list is not exhaustive:

  1. Functional Nervous Disorders:  neuroses, hypochondria, nervous instability, depression.  Ginseng functions by acting as a sedative and relieving stress and anxiety associated with these (and other) nervous disorders.
  2. Cardiovascular and Blood Disorders:  hypotension, atherosclerosis, mild hypertension, and reduction in serum cholesterol levels.  Ginseng helps with these ailments by its actions in protein and fat metabolism.  In the stomach, ginseng reduces the amount of cholesterol that is retained and absorbed; this indirectly contributes to keeping the arteries and vessels clear, especially the coronary arteries.  Ginseng also contributes to the manufacture of red blood cells and their component parts, such as hemoglobin and iron uptake.
  3. Diabetes:  Especially Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus) reduces the amount of blood sugar in patients with mild to moderate diabetes.  One patient chronicled by the USSR’s studies (in the aforementioned institution) was given ginseng for four weeks, resulting in a reduction of blood sugar by approximately 40%.
  4. Cancer: It is a proven fact that cancer develops in individuals with either compromised or non-functioning resistance.  Ginseng inhibits the formation of tumors and helps as a cancer preventative (initial formation and progression) in its adaptogen and normalizing effects.  These effects help to reduce stress and imbalances in homeostasis that lead to the formation of malignant cancer cells.  Ginseng also inhibits relapses after long-term and successful chemotherapy.
  5. Radiation poisoning: the effects of X-rays and radiation produced by radiation therapy as well as negative effects caused by free radicals are minimized and reduced by the adaptogens in ginseng.  Such radiation includes background radiation, examples of which are high voltage power stations, microwave ovens, televisions, radar stations, and nuclear power facilities.

Ginseng promotes cellular metabolism by increasing DNA and RNA synthesis in cell tissue.  It also enhances ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) formation, which is an energy source used in cellular metabolism and reproduction.  As mentioned earlier, ginseng stimulates the production of red blood cells and their components.  It also aids in the body’s internal nutrient manufacturing (the way in which the body breaks down and repackages certain substances for uptake).  Ginseng increases the digestive tract’s tone, and enables more efficient protein, fat, and carbohydrate synthesis.

Regarding the category of radiation poisoning mentioned earlier, free radicals’ effects are diminished.  Radicals are groups of atoms that are involved in a chemical reaction that enter the reaction and depart it without being changed.  They are a basic component of many cell structures at the molecular level.  Free radicals are radicals that (when affected by an outside stimulus, such as radiation) are radicals that are released from a molecule.  The free radicals, in a nutshell, “wander about” and then attach themselves to other molecules; their “joining up” with the molecule then impairs that molecule’s regular function.  Many scientists believe that aging is the gradual buildup over time of free radicals.

Ginseng takes 6-7 years to cultivate.  Glycosides are the adaptogens, and Panax ginseng contains six of these (A, B, C, D, E, and F) called panaxosides.  Each of these has different actions and levels of stimulation for the body.  The daily dosage for ginseng is 1000 to 2000 mg of root per day.  It can be obtained in your larger stores, such as Wal-Mart, and also in your local health food concerns.  Follow the directions on the outside of the package (as mentioned earlier) as it comes in different concentrations and strengths.

Take an herb walk with a Master Herbalist in your local area and learn to identify it in the wild.  Seed-gathering and seed-saving can lead to your own personal cultivation of it…you just have to wait 6-7 years before you can have plants that are ready to be used medicinally.  As with all things, consult with your local laws to find what the requirements and restrictions are for wild crafting in your area.  A good supply of ginseng will go a long way in helping with many ailments and can be nothing but a golden addition to your preparatory and survival supplies.  Have a great day!

 

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Four Flu Fighting Foods That You Probably Weren’t Aware Of

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oyster wikimediaMost people seem to welcome the holiday season, even though it can be a hectic and expensive time of year. We love reacquainting ourselves with family and friends, getting cozy with our loved ones, and enjoying some well deserved time off from our jobs. I feel the same way about this time of year, though I take exception with one particular aspect of the season. As soon as November 1st rolls around I know that I’ve entered the danger zone, and it usually lasts until March. That’s the season that typically gives me at least one cold or flu bug, and I’m sure it’s the same for many of you.

For me, this time of year is also a time for research. Every holiday season I like look for new cold remedies that I wasn’t aware of before, and readjust my strategy for fighting and preventing these nasty bugs. This year I’ve discovered a few different foods that might help you recover faster from these viruses, or stop them from infecting you in the first place.

These aren’t your typical food remedies however. These are the flu busting foods that most people don’t talk about, or might not even be aware of. If you’ve struggled to fight these bugs in the past (and boy, who hasn’t?) this should give a few new remedies for your fight against the germs. Here a few of the most potent, and underrated cold remedies:

Raw Onions

No, I’m not talking about that ridiculous myth that claims onions will absorb bacteria out of the air. If you want to stay healthy, onions are far more useful in your belly than they are on your window sill. They contain quercetin, which is an effective antihistimine, and allicin, which is known to kill a wide variety of viruses and bacteria. And as an added bonus, raw onions will help you break down mucus and open up your nasal passages.

Sweet Potatoes

Aside from being a very nutrient dense food that is great for your overall well-being, sweet potatoes are absolutely brimming with vitamin A. While vitamin C gets all the credit for warding off colds and flus, we often forget that vitamin A is a crucial nutrient for maintaining the health of your skin and mucous membranes, both of which are important for keeping viruses from proliferating in your body.

Meat

Protein may be the biggest unsung hero in the fight against the common cold and the flu. It rarely comes up when people talk about cold remedies, even though it plays a crucial role in your immune system by forming antibodies, and helping your body produce immune cells. Unfortunately, many of us lose our appetite when we’re sick, and we miss out on those large servings of protein right when we need them the most.

Oysters

While many of us reach for oranges when we’re sick, a cheap can of oysters may be one of the most underrated foods for fighting off colds and flus. Aside from providing a hefty dose of vitamin D, oysters also contain the highest density of zinc compared to any other food, which most people don’t realize is an antimicrobial substance. Much like Vitamin A, zinc is found in high quantities in your skin and mucous, where it provides a first line of defense against pathogens. It’s also an important component in the production of white blood cells.

 

So there you have it. For most of us, getting sick during the holidays is practically a foregone conclusion, but that doesn’t mean we should give up the fight against these pathogens. We should never stop trying out different remedies, because our bodies need all the help they can get this time of year. Hopefully now you have a few new weapons in your medicinal arsenal, for your personal war against those dastardly cold and flu bugs

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Healthy Alternatives to Bisquick Pancakes

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pancakesPancakes have always been one of my favorites breakfast treats, and I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this feel the same way. It hits the spot in all the right ways, yet somehow leaves you asking for more. It’s not unlike eating dessert for breakfast (hell, it even has “cake” right in the name).

But that’s also kind of the problem. Pancakes are undoubtedly one of the least healthy ways to start your day, especially if you make them with Bisquick. If you haven’t already, read the ingredients list sometime. Every Bisquick pancake comes saddled up with a hefty serving of unpronounceable garbage.

However, there are plenty of healthy and tasty alternatives that will make you wonder why you ever used Bisquick in the first place. Below, are a few of my favorites.

Banana Pancakes

Let me start by saying that you will find a ton of different pancake recipes on the internet, but since we’re looking for alternatives to Bisquick, I’m just going to share the simplest version of each recipe, and link to more detailed versions for those of you with tastes that are more refined than mine. With that said though, banana pancakes are probably the easiest meal to make on this list.

Honestly, they don’t taste like a traditional pancake. In fact, they taste way better. It has the texture of cream filling or custard, but with a lightly crisped coating. I usually mash up or blend a large ripe banana with one egg, but other recipes will call for a ratio 2 eggs for every 1 1/2 bananas. A pinch of baking powder will also help fluff them up a little. Once you put your batter together, add your favorite spices and fry them in butter. Keep the cakes small though, since it’s impossible to flip a large banana cake without it breaking.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Coconut flour has become a really popular alternative for dishes that are traditionally wheat based, and understandably so. Each serving comes with a modest dose of protein, easily digestible fats, and fibers. That’s a nice step up from white flour, which tends to be lacking in nutrients. Fortunately, coconut flour also makes a pretty mean pancake.

For one person, I’d suggest mixing a single egg with a splash of milk, and anywhere between two tablespoons and a quarter cup of coconut flour (as you can see, I’m not a big fan of following recipes to the letter). Most recipes call for a pinch of baking powder as well as sea salt, but I’d skip the salt if you’re sensitive to that taste. Cook on medium heat with butter, or perhaps coconut oil if you’re just crazy about the stuff.

Almond Flour Pancakes

While almonds usually make a fine addition to many meals, in this case they rock as the main course. I usually mix a half cup of almond flour with a single egg, and add two tablespoons of water with a touch of salt to the mix. Cinnamon and Nutmeg also go well with the batter. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I hear that mixing this with some variation of the coconut recipe is to die for.

Quinoa Flour Pancakes

I have to admit, there are other items on this list that most people will probably find tastier, but quinoa pancakes make up for it by being super nutritious. Not only is quinoa loaded with vitamins and minerals, but these nutrients are very well balanced together. It also doesn’t hurt that each serving of quinoa comes with a few grams of high quality protein.

Most recipes will call for baking soda or baking powder, or they’ll have you mix the quinoa with wheat flour, but I honestly think that the batter is perfect with only three ingredients. Mix one egg with a half cup of quinoa flour, and slowly add milk until you have a gooey consistency. They cook a little faster than regular pancakes so keep a close eye on them. You’ll find that flipping them is really easy since quinoa holds itself together. I’ve never had one of these cakes break on the spatula. After it’s done, you’ll find that it’s a little heavier than a regular pancake, but with a nutty flavor. Instead of syrup, I usually mash up a banana and use it as a spread.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I once tried cooking up pancakes that were made from sweet potato flour. It was super easy to make, but unfortunately it tasted pretty awful. It was way too starchy and I didn’t feel very well after eating it. If you want to make these pancakes, you’ve got to start with a fresh sweet potato. It’ll take a little more effort, but it’s worth the wait.

Like the quinoa cakes, most recipes call for wheat flour and baking powder, but there’s a two ingredient recipe that really hits the spot. Keep this one in mind if you ever have leftover sweet potatoes, since the process is a little time-consuming. You start by roasting a sweet potato in the oven, and then you gather the flesh into a bowl. Mix in two eggs with whatever spices you prefer, and thoroughly whisk it all together. Cook on medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes, flip them, and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes. Since these won’t bubble like normal pancakes it’s hard to tell when they’re done, so use a timer (FYI, quinoa cakes don’t really bubble either). Serve with butter, honey, or maybe even a little cream cheese.

On a final note, if you’re trying to find a healthy alternative to pancakes, you should also be looking to replace your store brand syrup. Throw out the Aunt Jemima and buy real maple syrup. It’s usually in a little glass jar, and it tastes way better. Other than that, my favorite alternatives are honey and molasses. Most people don’t think of molasses as a condiment, but it’s worth trying out on a few of these recipes. You haven’t lived until you’ve had honey, butter, and molasses on a sweet potato.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

McDonald’s May Be “Facing Its Final Days”

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mcdonald's wikimediaFor seven consecutive quarters, McDonald’s franchises in the US have been hemorrhaging money, and they’ve had it coming for a long time. Even before the modern health movement really picked up about a decade ago, McDonald’s food had become synonymous with garbage, and we’ve known for a long time that their products are downright harmful to human health. And for that, fast food companies like McDonald’s are almost as reviled as the tobacco companies, so it’s not surprising to find that they are losing their customers in droves.

And rather than correcting this problem with an obvious solution, like actually improving the quality of their food, the company has turned to marketing gimmicks like providing breakfast all day or the Create Your Taste program. Predictably, this hasn’t brought health conscious customers back to their stores. All they’ve succeeded in doing is alienating their franchise owners, as well as the customers who were still brave enough to endure their atrocious food.

For instance, their ‘breakfast all day’ initiative has turned into a chaotic mess. It has increased labor needs, caused equipment failures, and has slowed down the service time for a company whose only redeeming quality was the rapid delivery of food. This may not sound relevant, but keep in mind that all of this is rooted in the fact that people just don’t like their food anymore.

They’re losing money, and instead of improving the quality of their product and their service, they just keep attempting new marketing gimmicks until something sticks. That’s a classic sign that a company is in its death throes, and coincidentally, many of their franchise owners agree.

“We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing,” a franchise owner wrote in response to a financial survey by Nomura Group. “Probably 30% of operators are insolvent.” One owner went as far as to speculate that McDonald’s is literally “facing its final days.”

Franchisees have also been complaining about the erratic nature of McDonald’s corporate decision-making process. As Business Insider reports, “The lack of consistent leadership from Oak Brook is frightening, we continue to jump from one failed initiative to another.” They are likely referring to the company’s many marketing schemes that have been implemented recently to slow the bleeding of younger customers as they choose healthier, more local options en masse. As Anti-Media also reported in June,

“Though the chain has dominated the fast food market for decades, recent competition and health consciousness has challenged the popularity of its product. The growth of chains like Chipotle, which recently stopped using genetically modified ingredients, has reportedly diverted customers away from McDonald’s. Additionally, the company is losing a share of its young patrons while the rise of boutique burger chains such as Five Guys has put a dent in profits.

McDonald’s financial floundering has sent a clear message across the food industry. There’s a new customer in town, and he wants real food that won’t kill him. And if you can’t or won’t deliver, you’re going out of business.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Study Reveals Ginger May Be Stronger than Chemo for Fighting Cancer

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ginger root public domainWe all know that ginger is a healthy addition to any meal, and that it can reduce nausea and inflammation in the human body. It’s a food with curative powers that have been highly regarded for centuries, though science is still unlocking its secrets. Coincidentally, three researchers from the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in India may have just stumbled upon one of those secrets, and it will likely have far-reaching implications for the cancer treatment field.

They’ve found that there is a chemical in ginger called 6-shogaol, which has an impressive effect against breast cancer cells. It also targets cancer stem cells in particular, which are largely responsible for spreading cancer throughout the body, as well spurring the growth of tumors that have been previously treated with chemo or surgery. And best of all, it is effective at doses that aren’t harmful to noncancerous cells, unlike chemotherapy.

In fact, the researchers decided to see how 6-shogaol would stack up against a traditional chemotherapy drug known as taxol. While taxol is known to inhibit ordinary cancer cells (and cause a host of awful side effects) it still struggles to eliminate cancer stem cells. The researchers tested the taxol at a concentration that was 10,000 times higher than their 6-shogaol samples, and it still wasn’t as effective at destroying cancer stem cells as the ginger chemical.

As for how 6-shogaol works in the human body, the researchers found 6 different ways that it can inhibit cancer growth.

  • It reduces the expression of CD44/CD24 cancer stem cell surface markers in breast cancer spheroids (3-dimensional cultures of cells modeling stem cell like cancer)
  • It significantly affects the cell cycle, resulting in increased cancer cell death
  • It induces programmed cell death primarily through the induction of autophagy, with apoptosis a secondary inducer
  • It inhibits breast cancer spheroid formation by altering Notch signaling pathway through γ-secretase inhibition.
  • It exhibits cytotoxicity (cell killing properties) against monolayer (1-dimensional cancer model) and spheroid cells (3-dimensional cancer model)

While the study investigated the effects 6-shogaol in the lab, it’s hard to say how well it will proliferate in the human body, if at all. Although previous studies have found that feeding ginger to mice can inhibit cancer, so there’s a good chance that you can receive 6-shogaol by consuming ginger. However, you have to find dried ginger, since it is produced by gingerol chemicals that are dehydrated.

Although the study doesn’t definitively prove how effective ginger would be in the real world, or how useful it would be against other forms of cancer, it certainly is promising. It has provided another perfect example of how mother nature has solutions to health problems that we’ve been struggling to treat with pharmaceuticals for decades. Hopefully, future research will prove that something as simple and affordable as ginger can prevent and treat some of our most devastating diseases.

If you’re interested, you can read the study in its entirety at plosone.org.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition