Don’t Throw It Out! Even When You See Mold, These Foods Are Still Edible

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Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of throwing out spoiled food. It’s a sad experience that we all share. You opened up your fridge to grab a snack, only to find that it’s riddled with small moldy spots, and is exuding a funky smell. However, what isn’t shared is the reaction to that situation. That’s because there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who respond to the sight of moldy food by grimacing and immediately throwing it away, and those who wonder if that food can be salvaged.

So which is the correct decision? That’s highly dependent on what kind of food you’re dealing with, according to the FDA. The government agency has released a handy guide to determine which foods should be avoided when they begin to grow mold, and which foods can be saved by scraping off the mold.

According to that guide, the main thing you need to consider is how mold grows in certain foods. In some cases, it only resides on the surface of the food. In other cases however, the mold has roots that burrow deep into the food, and can’t be seen. When that happens, you can’t simply cut the mold away. Once the mold is visible, it’s probably burrowed into everything.

So which foods are most likely to promote this kind of deep-seated mold growth? It’s mainly foods that have a high moisture content, such as:

  • Leftover meats, lunch meats, bacon, and hotdogs
  • Casseroles
  • Cooked Pasta and other grains
  • Yogurt and sour cream
  • Jams

You also should avoid eating soft fruits and vegetables that have become moldy, such as peaches, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Hard produce however, such as carrots and bell peppers, have a much lower water content. If they become moldy, you can simply cut it away. The FDA recommends cutting out at least an inch of material below the mold.

Cheeses have a similar recommendation. Mold on hard cheeses can be cut out; again by removing an inch of material around the mold in every dimension. Soft cheeses, like brie, camembert, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, should always be thrown out.

However, there are some items that don’t have a high water content that should always be thrown out. Bread in particular, tends to grow mold with deep roots, despite having very little moisture. And though they don’t produce mold with deep roots, Peanut butter, legumes and nuts should be thrown out as well.

The only moldy meats that you can eat, are salami and dry cured hams. When these foods grow mold, it’s almost always restricted to the surface. Unlike hard cheeses and produce, you don’t have to cut away a huge chunk of meat to remove the mold. You can just scrub it off of the surface.

Of course, there’s a lot more you can learn about dealing with foods that have mold. Check out the rest of the FDA’s article, which contains an abundance of information on mold, and how to protect yourself from it.

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

Scientists Reveal Fukushima Doused Everyone on Earth With Radiation

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When the crisis at the Fukushima power plant first began six years ago, there were legitimate fears that the radioactive particles spewing from the fuel rods could blanket the Earth. Since then the experts and the mainstream media have downplayed that possibility. Either they don’t think it’s possible, or they don’t think it’ll be significant. But recently, scientists in Norway have revealed that the radiation emitted from Fukushima really did have a global reach.

It’s been over half a decade since Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown due to the effects of a tsunami which struck the island nation, but scientists are only just now confirming its far-reaching effects. After conducting the first worldwide survey to measure the ultimate radiation exposure caused by the reactor meltdown, researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research finally have a figure on exactly how much extra radiation humanity was exposed to.

According to the group’s data, over 80 percent of the radiation that was released by the meltdown ended up in either the ocean or ice at the north and south poles. Of the remaining radiation, each human on the planet received roughly 0.1 millisievert, which equates to about “one extra X-ray each,” according to the team.

Fortunately, that’s not a whole lot of radiation. That’s significantly less than the average amount of background radiation that most people receive in a year. The fact that we all received the equivalent of an x-ray isn’t alarming. What is alarming, however, is the fact that Fukushima did this, and it did it to every man and woman and child on Earth.

The reason why that’s so scary is that the Fukushima disaster is still unfolding. Earlier this year it was revealed that the level of radiation at the power plant was at its highest level since this crisis began in 2011, and the fuel rods have likely melted through their containment vessel. If this situation isn’t contained, then these fuel rods could melt into the groundwater, and spew radioactive particles into the ocean for years (or at least, more than what the power plant is already leaking into the ocean).

And we have to consider that as long as those fuel rods aren’t properly stored, they could still explode. If at any point in the next few decades, (which is how long most experts believe it’s going to take to decommission the power plant) the workers at Fukushima fail to keep the rods cool, they could become critical and cause an eruption of radioactive smoke that would spread throughout the atmosphere.

That’s why the discovery made by these Norwegian researchers should be taken seriously. We know for a fact that the radiation from Fukushima is capable of reaching everyone on our planet. So if the situation in Fukushima ever worsens, we know that there will be nowhere to run to. There will be no escaping the lethal emanations from that power plant.

Read More:

The Next Fukushima? These Nuclear Power Plants Reside in Earthquake Zones

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ATTACK: HOW TO SURVIVE A NUCLEAR MELTDOWN

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

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 Pine Pollen Can Be Used as a Super Food

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ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, this piece is designed to make you aware of the many benefits of pine pollen.  That’s right, it’s a superfood that can be put to many uses, and we’re actually coming up on the time that it can be harvested in the wild.  Raw pine pollen is good for a lot of different things, especially exercise and physical training.  Let’s outline some of the qualities of it and cite some references for your perusal.

Pine Pollen is a Powerhouse of Nutrients

Pine pollen is, technically, the male “sperm” cells of the pine tree, and is analogous to a plant-formulated testosterone.  Don’t smirk, ladies: in this form, it is very beneficial for you as well.  Studies prove that low testosterone levels in both genders (yes, women also have a minute quantity of it in their bodies) cause cholesterol levels (the “bad” form of it) to increase.  Low levels also cause losses of bone and tissue that translate into aging prematurely, and also significant weight gain (fat), sexual problems, and cardiovascular problems.

With men, in particular, low testosterone levels lead to a higher probability of cancer.  Pine pollen can fight all of these with its components of Phyto-androgens, which are the sexual hormones found in human beings but produced in plants.  This is really neat stuff because the pine pollen gives you androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), and androsterone.  Sift through the archives and you’ll find some articles I wrote on DHEA and testosterone that go into detail.

Some of the ailments that raw pine pollen can fight off are high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, and diabetes.    These conditions have been dramatically improved by the regular addition of pine pollen to the diet.  Although these Phyto-androgens are almost identical to the ones produced by the human body, there is still a slight difference, and this is beneficial: the difference enables the body to continue producing its normal levels of the androgens without being affected by the addition of the pine pollen.

It can be taken in the form of powder or tincture, and with either case mixed with a beverage.  The tincture is the more easily-consumed out of the two forms.  Here are a few websites to help you in your quest for further information:

http://www.rawforestfoods.com/questions.html
http://rawfoodhealthwatch.com/pine-pollen/
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Pine_Pollen…

The pine pollen is also made up of about 35% protein and contains 7 essential amino acids.  To refresh your memory from the articles I have written previously, essential amino acids are those necessary to the body that are not produced within the body, i.e., we must obtain them from food.  Here they are, with the 7 essentials being underlined:

  • Alanine 17mg
  • Arginine 30mg
  • Aspartic acid 33mg
  • Cysteine 3mg
  • Glutamic acid 47mg
  • Glycine 21mg
  • Histidine 6mg
  • Isoleucine 16mg
  • Leucine 25mg
  • Lysine 24mg
  • Phenylalanine 17mg
  • Proline 26mg
  • Serine 16mg
  • Threonine 15mg
  • Tryptophan 4mg
  • Tyrosine 11mg
  • Valine 19mg

The recommended amount to consume is ½ to 1 tsp per day.  Pine pollen is also chock full of vitamins and minerals, as well as acids and a ton of substances that normally we buy in bunches, such as resveratrol and MSM.  These substances are all right there in the pine pollen.  I have seen many places to order it online, and your finer health food stores will (at the bare minimum) be able to order it for you.  As with all things, consult with your physician prior to using any of the information or materials mentioned in this article.  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

Scientists May Have Finally Found a Solution to Antibiotic Resistance

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Antibiotic-resistant superbugs may be the gravest threat to human health in the 21st century. After over-prescribing antibiotics for decades, multiple strains of bacteria are now immune to treatment. Millions of people are infected with these superbugs every year in the US, and tens of thousands die. And that’s just the beginning. We may be in the early stages of the post-antibiotic era, and if this trend isn’t reversed, superbugs may be killing more people than cancer does by the year 2050.

As you might expect, the scientific community has been desperately trying to find a solution to this crisis for some time. And fortunately, scientists have made some significant progress in recent years. In 2016 for instance, researchers from the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts discovered Teixobactin, the first antibiotic to be found in nearly 30 years. And with that discovery, they figured out an entirely new avenue of research that could bring about many more antibiotics in the near future.

Of course, that doesn’t really solve the problem with antibiotic resistant superbugs when you think about it. It only serves to kick the can down the road. It’s entirely possible that any new antibiotic that is brought to market, will be thoroughly abused by the medical and agricultural communities. New resistant strains of bacteria will emerge, and we’ll be back to square one.

What we really need is a whole new approach to using antibiotics and treating bacterial infections. Preferably, something that bacteria can’t readily adapt to. Fortunately, a researcher by the name of Dr. Bruce Geller has come up with a new treatment method that might just fit the bill.

“Bacteria will develop resistance to any one antibiotic or antimicrobial given enough time,” says Dr. Bruce Geller, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University. “Because they’ve had a 4 billion year head start in the evolution of mechanisms to adapt to changing environments, they’re very, very good at getting around any antimicrobial they might encounter.”

So rather than just coming up with a new antibiotic, which bacterial strains would surely become immune to, he’s developed a compound that when exposed to bacteria, eliminates their resistance to antibiotics.

Geller’s megaweapon is a PPMO designed to neutralize resistance mechanisms in bacteria, leaving them vulnerable to antibiotics. “This molecule can restore sensitivity to standard, already-approved antibiotics in bacteria that are now resistant to those antibiotics,” Geller says, which eliminates the need to invest time and money in developing new antibiotics. So how does this PPMO work?

A PPMO is a type of synthetic molecule that mimics DNA and can bind to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of a cell. RNA takes the information stored in the DNA of a cell, translating it into proteins that carry out the various functions of that cell.

Imagine a gene as instructions, written in a letter. Normally, the RNA receives this letter and carries out the instructions, creating the appropriate proteins. The PPMO instead intercepts the letter along the way, replacing it with one that commands the RNA to do nothing. So Geller’s team can create a PPMO that binds to the gene that produces NDM-1 — an enzyme that neutralizes antibiotics — and silences it. Suddenly, the bacterium has no defense mechanism.

Of course, PPMOs aren’t a broad, perfect solution. For instance, Geller points out that a different kind of PPMO would have to be developed for each type of infection. So this method will be mainly used when a doctor knows exactly what is afflicting a patient. Despite that, what Dr. Geller has created is probably the best solution to antibiotic resistance that has been developed so far, and is the best hope we have to stem the tide of the superbugs.

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

A Major Lyme Disease Outbreak Is Coming; Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself

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Lyme disease makes every trip to the outdoors a little less fun. The threat of this tick-borne pathogen forces us to take extra precautions every time we venture out into nature. Fortunately, Lyme disease mainly proliferates in a few specific regions of the country, such as the Northeast and the Great Lakes region. The majority of Americans only have to worry about the ticks themselves, and not the diseases they carry. There are still plenty of wilderness areas that lie just outside of Lyme disease hotspots.

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However, many of the places that everyone assumes are safe from this disease, may not be in the near future. In fact, we may be facing a massive Lyme disease outbreak this summer, and this event is probably going to spread the disease to areas surrounding the typical hotspots. And unfortunately, most of the people living in those areas have no idea.

That’s the determination of Dr. Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist who currently lives in New York. Ostfeld has found a unique way to tell if there’s about to be a major Lyme disease outbreak.  It has to do with how many acorns the forests are producing. The more acorns there are in a given season, the more ticks and Lyme disease there will be. Due to warmer weather conditions, there are a lot more acorns than usual.

So how could a floor of acorns two years ago tell Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, that 2017 would see an outbreak of Lyme disease? It’s all down to what happens next.

A bumper crop of the seeds – “like you were walking on ball bearings” – comes along every two to five years in Millbrook. Crucially, these nutrient-packed meals swell the mouse population: “2016 was a real mouse plague of a year,” he says. And mouse plagues bring tick plagues.

Soon after hatching, young ticks start “questing” – grasping onto grasses or leaves with their hind legs and waving their forelegs, ready to hitch a ride on whatever passes by, usually a mouse.

Once on board, the feast begins. Just one mouse can carry hundreds of immature ticks in their post-larval nymph stage.

This is where the problems for us start. Mouse blood carries the Lyme-causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which passes to a tick’s gut as it feeds. The tick itself is unharmed, but each time it latches onto a new host to feed, the bacteria can move from its gut to the blood – including that of any human passers-by.

“We predict the mice population based on the acorns and we predict infected nymph ticks with the mice numbers. Each step has a one year lag,” Ostfeld says.

And this isn’t just a problem for New York. The number of Lyme disease cases is expected to climb throughout the United States and Europe over the next two years. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to avoid Lyme disease no matter where you live.

First, take a look at where this disease has popped up, and see if you live near any of the hotspots. Then look up how to properly remove ticks, and the measures you can take to avoid them in the first place. You should also learn the elusive symptoms of Lyme disease so you can seek medical treatment before the disease ravages your body. And finally, you can purchase natural bug repellents, which are perhaps your best defense against ticks.

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

The Real Reason Why Diet Sodas Increase Your Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Stroke

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The Gaurdian dropped a bombshell of a health report on Thursday. Researchers working on the Farmingham heart study, which has tracked the health of thousands of residents from Farmingham Massachusetts since 1948, discovered a correlation between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and several serious health conditions. Apparently, drinking a diet soda every day may triple your risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.

“After adjustments for age, sex, education (for analysis of dementia), calorific intake, diet quality, physical activity and smoking, higher recent and higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke, all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease dementia,” the co-authors write.

Those consuming at least a can of so-called diet drinks every day were 2.96 times more likely to suffer an ischaemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank them less than once a week, they found.

Ischaemic strokes occur when blood cannot get to the brain because of a blockage, often one caused by a blood clot forming in either an artery leading to the brain or inside a vein in the brain itself. They comprise the large majority of the 152,0000 strokes a year which occur.

So far the researchers haven’t found a clear causation, meaning that there could be other reasons why people who drink so much diet soda are afflicted with these conditions. Though the study didn’t find a link between consuming regular sugar laden sodas with stroke, Alzheimer’s, or dementia, there’s a good chance that real sugar is the problem here.

What most people don’t realize is that consuming artificial sweeteners can lead to more sugar consumption. It makes you crave sugar. The leading theory on why this happens, has to do with how your body responds to sweet foods. When you eat something that’s sweet, regardless of whether or not that sweetness comes from real sugar, your body produces insulin to process it. But if you don’t have any significant levels of sugar in your bloodstream, there’s nothing to balance out the insulin, so you crave sugar even more.

So it wouldn’t be far-fetched if sugar is still the real culprit here. That’s because previous studies have also shown correlations between sugar consumption and heightened risks of dementia and strokes. So instead of diet sodas by themselves, the real problem may be that people are consuming artificial sweeteners, and then pigging out on large quantities of sugar.

To give you an idea how horrible real sugar is for your health, one study found that people who drink one or more sugar sweetened sodas a day had a 16% higher chance of having a stroke. That may not sound like a lot, but that 16% emerged after watching subjects over the course of 20 and 30 day periods. Compare that to the Farmingham study and artificial sweeteners, which found that your risk of having a stroke nearly tripled. However, that was based on ten years of data. Clearly, sugar consumption shows a stronger relationship to strokes than artificial sweeteners.

Obviously, we’re still talking about studies that have found a correlation, not definitive proof. Regardless, the results of these studies are both alarming and compelling. It would be wise to stay away from both added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

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 Finds Link Between Radiation Therapy and Secondary Cancers

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cancer patientIn the medical world, there probably isn’t anything that fits the description of “necessary evil,” quite like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is the slash and burn of medical treatments, because it doesn’t just harm cancer cells. It can decimate everything in your body. It can suppress your immune system, make you lose all of your hair, cause infertility, lead to nausea, vomiting, and organ damage.

The radiation side of this treatment is especially damaging. We know this intuitively. We all know what radiation is capable of doing to the human body.

However, it might surprise you to learn that although it’s widely accepted in the medical community, that radiation therapy can cause secondary cancers later in life, that fact has never been scientifically proven. Of course, this risk is often downplayed in the name of eliminating a more immediate danger, but it’s something that people need to be aware of, because it’s not a minor risk.

A recent study found a solid link between radiation therapy and secondary cancers, And it shows just how significant that risk is.

Never forget that radiation therapy should be a last resort. If you have cancer, always look for a second professional opinion, and explore every option before deciding to undergo radiation therapy.

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

Why You Should Avoid These Five Dangerous Over the Counter Meds

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Most people assume that over the counter drugs are very safe. After all, why would they be available for sale without a prescription if they weren’t safe? And for the most part they’re right. With the exception of a few people who use them recreationally, are allergic, or are more susceptible to the side effects, these drugs are safe.

For ordinary consumers however, serious problems arise when these drugs are taken for long periods of time; often in an attempt to treat chronic conditions. Given their accessibility they may seem safe for long-term use, but these drugs are anything but, and there’s plenty of evidence to prove it. The drugs below in particular, are among the most dangerous over the counter medications.

Ibuprofen

Over the past few years multiple studies have raised the alarm over ibuprofen (more commonly known as Advil) and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are often used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. It turns out that this class of drugs may cause serious heart conditions. The latest study to suggest this comes from Denmark and was recently published in the European Heart Journal. After following 29,000 people over the course of nine years, the study found that people who take ibuprofen have a 31% higher chance of suffering cardiac arrest.

Benadryl

Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) and other anticholinergic drugs are very effective at reducing cold and seasonal allergy symptoms. Unfortunately the drug also reduces a chemical in your brain called acetylcholine, which helps your memory and learning ability. And that’s why it may increase your chances of developing dementia.

A study by the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy followed 3,500 seniors over the course of 10 years, and found that 800 of them developed dementia. When the researchers dug deeper, they discovered that people who take anticholinergic drugs on a regular basis for three years or more, had a 54% higher risk of developing dementia.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is widely considered to be the world’s most popular pain reliever, and there are millions of people who rely on it for chronic health issues. Unfortunately the drug has been causally linked to a lot of its own health problems. Multiple studies have suggested that taking this drug over a long period of time may cause a heightened risk of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, kidney, and heart problems.

Perhaps what’s more freaky about this drug, is not what it may due to your body, but what it may due to your mind. Recent studies have found that the drug can reduce your ability to empathize with others.

Dextromethorphan

Though it’s an effective sleep aid and cough suppressant, it doesn’t take long to gain a tolerance for dextromethorphan, which is commonly used in Robitussin, NyQuil, and Delsym. And for people with chronic sleep problems, it’s very easy to become addicted to this drug. When used as instructed and for short periods of time, it isn’t very dangerous. Over long periods of time, it can cause liver damage and multiple mental problems.

Aspirin

Aspirin is another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug similar to ibuprofen. And like ibuprofen, it’s another drug that doctors often tell patients to take every day when it can alleviate conditions that are more dangerous than the side effects of the drug. However, those side effects shouldn’t be underestimated. Taking aspirin every day can vastly increase your risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Though some aspirin brands have an enteric coating that is advertised as being “safer,” it doesn’t actually reduce your risk of gaining ulcers. In fact, it can reduce the benefits of this drug, as well as its pain relieving effects.

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

The Government Sets These Cyanide Traps in Rural Areas. Here’s How to Avoid Them

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Every reasonable person is cautious when they go out for a hike. They keep their eyes and ears peeled for any potential predators, and they make sure to watch their step. Unfortunately, being cautious isn’t so helpful when you’re dealing with the unexpected. It doesn’t help you when you don’t know what to look for.

That’s why so many people were shocked and horrified to hear about a recent incident involving a teenage boy and his dog in Idaho. Most people are completely unaware of the device that killed his dog.

14-year-old Canyon Mansfield was out playing with his dog in the backyard of his parent’s rural property, when he saw an object on the ground that he mistook for a sprinkler head. When he touched it, the object erupted in a cloud of cyanide.

The explosion sprayed the boy and his 3-year-old, 90-pound (40 kg) pet with toxic cyanide gas, according to the boy’s mother, Theresa Mansfield.

“Canyon said there was a bang like a bomb, then an explosion of an orange substance that covered him and Casey, who was writhing in pain on the ground before he died right in front of Canyon,” she said.

Her husband, Pocatello physician Mark Mansfield, rushed to the scene and pounded on the dog’s chest in a futile effort to revive the animal.

The family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures and the boy, who was sprayed in the face, was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.

What the boy encountered is called an M44. It’s a type of trap that is laid in rural areas by Wildlife Services, usually at the request of local farmers and ranchers. It’s a spring-loaded cylinder that is buried partially in the ground, with a bait scented cloth exposed to the surface. When an animal tugs on it, the M44 releases a dose of sodium cyanide into the animal’s mouth.

The device has been widely criticized over the years because it is so indiscriminate. Though it does successfully kill thousands of predators that threaten livestock, the M44 also frequently kills animals that aren’t intended for the trap, including pets and endangered species.

And from time to time, humans are injured by these devices as well. In 2003 a man from Utah was out with his friend, riding ATVs on BLM land. He found what he thought was a surveyor’s stake, and tried to pick it up. It turned out to be an M44, and it blasted him with cyanide. For years following the incident, he suffered from high blood pressure, severe breathing problems, and frequent vomiting.

So you may be wondering how you can avoid these devices. For starters, the M44 is normally laid on or near private property that houses livestock. So if you’re hiking in an area that isn’t near any agriculture, then you should be fine. These devices are often accompanied by warning signs, but it seems that isn’t always the case; or at the very least the signs aren’t always visible. In the cases I described above, nobody reported seeing any warning signs, so you need to know what to look out for. Here’s what an M44 looks like after it’s been partially buried:

That cloth roll is always exposed to the surface, though it isn’t always that color. Sometimes it’s a pinkish color.

You should be especially careful if you’re out walking your dog. These things are often scented to attract coyotes, but what attracts one kind of canine will also attract any kind of canine. So if you’re walking in an area where livestock is nearby, it might be best to keep your dog on a leash and watch where your pet is sniffing around.

And as a rule of thumb, if you ever see anything metallic sticking out of the ground, think twice before picking it up. It’s not exactly clear how long these things can remain potent, and it’s not clear how many of them remain in the ground, unaccounted for. Over time, erosion, corrosion, and decomposition of the cloth could make them unrecognizable.

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

Monsanto’s Terrible Secrets Are Tumbling out as Company Faces Wave of Cancer Lawsuits

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In 2015 the World Health Organization declared that glyphosate, the world’s most popular herbicide, is probably carcinogenic. That declaration has since become a serious chink in the armor of Monsanto. It was one of the first times that a reputable institution suggested that maybe, Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide could be bad for human health. In fact, the company’s first response to that claim was that every other regulatory agency in the world had seen the same data as the WHO, and none of them thought that glyphosate was harmful.

But it seems that was enough to turn up the heat on Monsanto. Two years later, 700 people across the US are now suing Monsanto because they believe glyphosate gave them non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It turns out these people were right to ignore the claims of all those regulatory agencies around the world, because these lawsuits have revealed evidence that may prove Monsanto has been colluding with government agencies, and manipulating scientific studies.

For instance, last week a judge in San Francisco unsealed documents that suggest Monsanto was scheming to ghostwrite scientific papers about glyphosate, and hire real scientists to publish them.

The debate over the safety of Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup has become more complicated, as newly released emails suggest the company had ghostwritten scientific research on glyphosate, the pesticide’s key ingredient.

Monsanto’s internal communications were unsealed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in California. Chhabria is presiding over litigation brought by farmers and other agricultural workers who claimed that exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In one email, Monsanto executive William Heydens recommended company employees could write papers about glyphosate and hire scientists to publish studies under their names. He said that this had been done once before.

“We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” Heydens wrote.

The court has also found evidence that may show that Monsanto was working with the EPA to shut down studies that questioned the health effects of glyphosate.

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to his colleagues, according to a court filing made public Tuesday. The company was seeking Rowland’s help stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, that is part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department, according to the filing.

A federal judge overseeing the glyphosate litigation in San Francisco said last month he’s inclined to order Rowland to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a “highly suspicious” relationship with Monsanto. Rowland oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer and quit last year shortly after his report was leaked to the press.

It would suffice to say that Monsanto is probably in big legal trouble for the first time in a long time. If Monsanto is found guilty, the whole world is going to know that they’ve been lying to us, colluding with the government to cover that up, and they did so without any regard to the health of agricultural workers and consumers.

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

Could This Be the Most Versatile Firearm to Use in a SHTF Scenario?

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Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round.  Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years.  Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round.  It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.

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During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition.  The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers.  The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.

Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon.  They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement.  After many failures, the .357 finally came about.  For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil, and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it.  Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.

The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting.  It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect against large game, and if firing +P rounds (with a brand such as Buffalo Bore), can be used in self-defense against large predators.  Mind you, in Grizzly country you prefer the .44 Magnum round, but the .357 +P round has been effective in stopping these monsters.

There are plenty of handguns and rifles to choose from for your cartridge.  I highly recommend Ruger’s SP-101 series revolver, with a barrel length to your choosing.  Although a five-shot revolver, that .357 is a serious round…a magnum round…and will more than serve your needs if your marksmanship fundamentals are followed.  You can find lever-action rifles chambered in .357 magnum, such as the Marlin lever-action carbine.  One that I am interested in is the Rossi Ranch Hand, that boasts a greatly-enlarged finger-loop for use by cattlemen and cowboys.

The Ranch Hand can be kept in a side sheath on a horse and then withdrawn to fire from a moving gallop and reloaded (re-levered) with the enlarged finger loop.  My interest is to remove the loop and replace it with a more standard-sized finger loop such as is found in the Winnie ’94.  The reason is because it is really a short carbine.  I was thinking of doing this to stick in a sheath atop of my rucksack.  I’m still deliberating, because the Ranch Hand also comes in a .44 Magnum cartridge.  I like both rounds for bear and mountain lion country.

The .357 cartridge is easily acquired and simple to reload.  You are getting the accuracy of a 9mm cartridge with a stopping power on a level with a .45 ACP.  Your velocity of the rounds is approximately 1,300 fps.  Want another “Bennie” for this equation?  No, not Benzedrine…a Benefit!  If you have a firearm that will fire a .357 magnum round, you are (99% of the time) also able to fire a .38 round through it, such as a standard .38 Special round!  There’s a plus for you…as you’ll have a weapon that can fire multiple calibers without a barrel change.


Caution!  It doesn’t work in reverse: your .38 is NOT able to handle the extra chamber pressure from the .357 magnum round! 


I’m highlighting, underlining, and isolating that sentence just so that you keep it in mind for your safety.  The ammo is very reasonably-priced and can be obtained in your friendly Wal-Mart quite availably and affordably.  It’s a good piece for men or women and the round will serve your needs well.  The .357 magnum round is quite reliable and has been dependable for a long time.  Happy and safe shooting, and we’d love any questions or comments you may send us.  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

Post-Disaster Wellness: Why Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments Should Be Avoided

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  We are going to discuss how alcohol affects your physical training, and what physiological effects you must take into consideration.  Please understand: I am not “demonizing” alcohol or alcoholic beverages, and am not scoffing or scorning anyone who partakes in them in a normal, healthy manner.  Indeed, the scope of this article is not “moralistic,” nor am I a spokesperson for abstinence.  The intent is to explain how alcohol diminishes your recovery time and performance regarding your physical training.

You, the readers are a very demographically-diverse group from all walks of life and all ages, some with special health care needs.  I implore all of you to analyze your status and with your doctor come up with an exercise program for yourself.


Physical training and exercise are your best tools for preparation, along with proper study, diet, and rest.


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

That being said, why am I writing about alcohol affecting training?  I do so because the proverbial “two drinks,” as well as the “after dinner drink,” and the “after work drink” are pervasive in our society and culture.  The Super Bowl just finished up, with hardly anything in the ads for your physical training, but a barrage from Budweiser to drink beer.  Consider me a quiet voice on the sideline, little more than a whisper in your ear recommending the physical training.

Alcohol deposits fat in your midsection, and also has a wasting effect on the thigh and gluteal muscles.  There was a study in 2000 done published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found cortisol (a hormone we discussed in previous articles) rose 61% when alcohol was consumed after strenuous physical activity.  The reason for this significance: many people have physically-demanding jobs and wish to “wind down” with a beer or two, or a shot after work.

The cortisol (usually produced with stress) has an adverse effect on muscle maintenance and muscle growth.  See, alcohol has an effect that has gravitated man toward it throughout history: it holds similar effects to the drug Valium (or Diazepam, if you prefer) with calming, anxiety-relieving effects.  It also releases dopamine and endorphins within the first 20 minutes of consumption, substances that enhance pleasure when released by the brain…and in this effect, alcohol is almost akin to opium.

With low doses, alcohol increases stimulation in certain brain areas and the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria.  So, with all of this, you may be thinking…shouldn’t I be taking an occasional drink of alcohol in conjunction with training?  The answer is an unequivocal “No!” on all counts.

Alcohol has the ability to severely depress brain function by interfering with the ion channels needed to fire neurons…that is, allow your brain to communicate to and with other important parts of your body…such as respiration, heart, motor control, and so forth.  Far from being a “sleep aid,” it can rob you of REM.  No, not the band from the late 80’s to early 90’s…but Rapid-Eye Movement sleep.  Alcohol can hurt your sleeping habits.  To say nothing of your love life.

Chronic consumption of alcohol is a libido-killer in both men and women.  It seriously lowers testosterone levels in men, and causes the testicles to shrink, as well as promoting impotence.  If you read the article I recently wrote for men on the importance of maintaining healthy levels of testosterone with weight and physical training, you’ll understand just how negative these alcohol-induced reductions are.

Alcohol increases the amount of recovery time that you need to heal and restore your muscles after hard physical labor or exercise.  Your liver works hard to excrete the alcohol and the toxins associated with it.  A substantial amount of energy is also needed to break down the molecules and process them.  If you work out for an hour in the gym and then go and have a beer or a glass of wine, you have just ruined or severely cramped the gains you may have experienced.

Tissue repair and the uptake of amino acids are also severely hampered by alcohol consumption.  Studies in the past have shown that a glass of wine will lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream and help prevent blood clotting.  This is true, but guess what?  So will a regular exercise program!  You can lower those triglycerides and build yourself up!  Alcohol also tends to reduce the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and calcium with long-term consumption.

Will it kill you or cripple you to have a drink every now and then, such as once a month?  Consult with your doctor first, but it probably will not harm you.  I still stand by the fact that you don’t really need it, and it can cause your training and physical fitness regimen to suffer.  I haven’t even mentioned the other negative effects that heavy drinking can cause, but you can figure them out if you haven’t experienced them yourself.

To summarize, alcohol has its uses and is not a “villain,” and neither are people who consume it responsibly villains.  Just keep in mind that this piece is not designed to “excoriate” alcohol, but to keep you informed of the negative effects it can have on your physical fitness training when it is consumed.  Feel stressed?  Put on the bag gloves and beat up the heavy bag for ten or fifteen minutes.  If you still feel that you need a drink, well, then down a big shake full of amino acids…that’ll serve you better!  Stay healthy, make gains, and keep in 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

The Signs You Need to Know When Your Dog Is About to Bite!

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4.5 million people are bitten by their dogs each year, and I’m willing to bet that each of those individuals was caught completely off guard. When someone is bitten, they tend to act so surprised as if the bite was totally unprovoked, when in reality it rarely is.

There’s a simple explanation for most dog bite incidents. People desperately want their dogs to understand them, but they aren’t always willing meet their dogs half way by understanding their language. Dog bites only seem unprovoked to people who haven’t bothered to learn what provokes their dogs, and how dogs warn you to back off.

If you want to know the warning signs that dogs display before they bite, then you should really take a look at this video, which was created by a professional trainer.

And those are just a few of the signs that you should look out for. We’re all aware that dogs will also often growl and gnash their teeth, but you should also back off if you see their hair stand up, or if you see the whites of their eyes (also known as “whale eye”). And it’s often the case that in the moment before they bite, (especially if it’s a serious bite, unlike what you see in that video), a dog’s body will become perfectly rigid.

So the next time you encounter a dog, or perhaps play with your own pet, look for these signs. You may have seen them before without being bitten, but that doesn’t mean that your dog isn’t expressing his or her stress, agitation, and fear. The sooner you learn these signs, the sooner you’ll develop a much better relationship with your pet.

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

Mental Preparedness: These Mental Gymnastics Will Sharpen the Mind

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this segment has to do with some simple things that you can do on a daily basis to keep your mind fresh and avoid the ravages of aging much better.  Naturally there is a lot to do with heredity and genes that go into such ailments as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that you cannot control.  You can do some things that will help to prevent these ailments from affecting you, and they are simple remedies that take up little time and cost almost nothing.

Numerous (almost innumerable) medical studies throughout the decades have revealed that the more active you keep your mind, the greater your mind will function in the years to come.  The mind isn’t a “muscle,” however, it is an organ that can be developed, conditioned, and exercised in order to carry out preventative maintenance.  Your risk factors for decreased cognitive function are improper diet, consumption of alcohol and/or legal or illegal drugs, inadequate sleep, overwork, and high stressors.

Meditation (as outlined in numerous articles at ReadyNutrition) is a way to help your mind overcome the stressors, and I had recommended it at least twice per day: once in the morning, and once in the evening.  Meditation can be in complete silence, or listening to quiet, soothing, relaxing music.  I may not have mentioned it before, so I will add regarding music that it should be instrumental in nature.  The music should be of a type that is soothing and relaxing without any words.  The reason for this is that lyrics and words tend to steer your mind toward something and make it think in a manner that is not necessarily relaxing.

When you listen to light or soft classical music, or musical instruments with soft tones and no singing, you free your mind from the human “word,” so to speak: you don’t introduce into your mind something that will cause it to focus upon or associate it with a concept embodied within the word or words.  Meditation is a time for your mind to escape from the confines of day-to-day activity and to relax, not be channeled into some form that limits it and perhaps even adds more stress by associating thoughts that are negative with a word that may happen to pop up in the song with lyrics.

So, that is what can be done to relax your mind.  Now let us discuss what you can do to strengthen it.  Some things may interest you, and some may not.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  Reading is very beneficial to mental acumen.  When you get up in the morning, it can be a very productive stimulus toward beginning the day.  When you go to bed, reading just before going to sleep can help you to fall asleep more quickly and smoothly.  Before I go to sleep, I try not to read anything that can be classified as “current event” oriented, or day-to-day news/problematic.  I try to read short stories and light fare that enable my mind to rest.  Perhaps this will work for you.  Short stories by Jack London, or Ray Bradbury, or such are some ideas.

Next, we have exercises that we can perform mentally.  Crossword puzzles, word quiz books, mathematics problems, and word trivia books are excellent tools to use to fine-hone your mental “gymnastics” and practice “exercising” your brain.  Research this on your own, but it is proven that such things help to strengthen your thought processes and “work” your brain productively.  They stimulate mental activity.  The brain has billions of cells and neurons that in many ways “atrophy” from lack of use, misuse, or abuse, the latter especially when drugs or alcohol are introduced into your system.

It is part of your preparedness for your later years…not just right now, while you’re young and either resemble Payton Manning or Emily Blunt in youth and strength.  You’re doing these things to prepare for later, to keep your mind healthy later in life.  When you do these word challenges, keep a dictionary beside you and look up any word that you don’t know or understand.  In addition to strengthening your mind, you will be increasing your vocabulary and learning new things.

Just as a “matter of fact,” I tend to pick up the dictionary each day and look up words…either to confirm what I already know, or to find a new one that I haven’t heard or one that I’ve forgotten about.  Inadvertently, I always end up looking at multiple definitions and cross-referencing what I was originally searching for with other words in the dictionary.  A good dictionary has a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

Word games such as “Boggle” or “Scrabble” are games you can play with your family to work on the concept as a team.  It is a cheap but productive way to spend an evening, and translates into true quality family time.  In addition, you are all going to benefit from the increased vocabulary use (especially the kids), and the fun of challenging one another with the words.  In this last case, a “weird” word is attempted and you find out whether it is really a legitimate word or not by using the dictionary.  I stress it is not a way to “kill” time, but a way to invest your time in something that is worthwhile.

So, present challenges to yourself each day that are beneficial challenges with the development of your mental acumen.  Sharpen each other’s “iron,” and you’ll find that your mind will work better and more efficiently.  It is something that will benefit you both in the short term, and in the long run.  Take care of one another!  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

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes

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There probably isn’t any part of your body that is more sensitive, exposed, or crucial to your survival than your eyeballs. You use these soft, delicate organs during every waking moment and for just about every task, but unfortunately the only thing that protects them are a few eyelashes and 1mm thick eyelids. Evolution is cruel like that.

So given the vulnerability of our eyes, it would be wise to brush up on the first aid measures that should be taken in an emergency to protect them. Below are the most common eye injures and the protective procedures that you need to take to prevent further damage, at least until you can see a doctor:

Chemical Exposure

If a caustic chemical ever gets splashed into your eyes, your first knee jerk response will probably be to close them. In this instance however, that’s a bad idea. You want to keep your eyes open so that the chemical doesn’t get trapped under your eyelids. Find a source of water and rinse them out for 15-20 minutes while keeping your eyes open the whole time, and seek medical attention.

Foreign Debris

We’ve all had some kind of debris in our eyes at one point or another. It’s a situation that your eyes are normally capable of correcting themselves by tearing up and washing the debris away. But if the condition persists, refrain from rubbing your eyes. It’ll only irritate them more. Pull your upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, you need to pull open both eyelids and roll your eye around before rinsing it out. You can repeat that process a few times if it doesn’t work right away.

Embedded Foreign Object

If you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, the measures you need to take aren’t what you might expect. Unlike the previously mentioned first aid procedures, you’re not supposed to wash out your eyes (this also applies to any cut or puncture wounds to the eye). You’re also not supposed to remove the object. Find something that you can place over the eye without applying too mush pressure to it, such as large, loose-fitting goggles or a plastic cup; then seek medical attention.

Blunt Force Trauma

The most important thing to do if you suffer a blow to the eye, is to reduce the swelling. Apply a cold compress or ice to the eye for 5 or 10 minute intervals. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. After a 24 hour period, begin using a warm compress instead. You need to look out for any bleeding or vision problems. Or if it hurts to move your eyes, there may be damage to the eye socket. In those cases, you need to find a doctor.

Welder’s Flash

You probably already know that the light from a welding arc can hurt your eyes. This is called “welder’s flash”, and it’s why every welder has to wear a mask with tinted glass. However, there’s a good reason why this condition goes by many names, including “snow blindness” and “corneal flash burn.” It can be caused by any overexposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight that reflects off of snow, sand, or water can also cause the condition.

The symptoms may include eye pain, severe light sensitivity, bloodshot eyes, blurry vision, and a gritty sensation under the eyelids. To treat the condition, you need to stay indoors in a dark room and wear sunglasses as much as possible for 1 or 2 days. You should also be applying artificial tears on a regular basis. If you wear contact lenses, remove them until your eyes heal. Most victim’s of welder’s flash find that a cold compress helps alleviate the symptoms. If your symptoms continue for more than a couple of days or worsen after 1 day, then you should see a doctor.

 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/first-aid/eye-care#blows-to-the-eye

http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/eye-injuries-treatment

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/snowblind.htm

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

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

This Might Just Be the Coolest and Most Convenient Way to Extinguish a Fire

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Regardless of whether or not you’re a prepper, arguably one of the most important safety devices you should have in your home is a fire extinguisher. Fire presents a possible danger no matter where we live, and having a handy device to put out the flames is a must. And it doesn’t just make sense from a safety perspective. It makes a lot of financial sense too. Most fire extinguishers cost less than a hundred dollars, but can prevent thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

However, most people aren’t aware that there is an alternative to the classic red fire extinguisher that we’re all familiar with. Since the fire extinguisher design hasn’t changed much in decades, you might think that there isn’t room for improvement, but there is. Behold, the Elide fire extinguishing ball:

As you can see, the Elide Ball has a distinct advantage over an ordinary fire extinguisher, in that you can put the flames out from a further distance. The ball is designed to automatically burst after being exposed to flames for 3-5 seconds, and won’t go off without the presence of fire. It’s always ready to go, and doesn’t require any training or specific techniques. It uses a fire-retardant chemical called mono ammonium phosphate, which is typically used in ordinary fire extinguishers since it’s non-toxic. Also, the ball only weighs around 3 pounds, so it’s not difficult to throw.

The Elide Ball costs about $120, and is supposed to last 5 years. Since that costs more than a regular extinguisher, that’s really the only disadvantage with the device. So far there aren’t any well-known distributors for the Elide Ball in the United States, but it can be purchased on Ebay. Alternatively, there is a knockoff called the AFO Fire Ball, which can be bought on Amazon and costs half as much. But being a knockoff, it isn’t clear yet if that brand is as effective as Elide, so buyer beware.

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

These Are the Diseases That Will Run Rampant When the SHTF

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Most people like to think that if society collapsed, the most common cause of death would be at the hands of other people. They like to imagine that the apocalypse will be filled with action packed shootouts and marauding gangs of looters. Obviously there would be a lot of violence if society collapsed, but the truth of the matter is that violence would be a secondary concern.

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Mother Nature Has Plans of Her Own

This is evident if you only take a quick look throughout history. During the most tumultuous times in human history, it wasn’t violence that killed the most people, but disease and starvation. Even during war, when violence reached its apex, most of the soldiers didn’t die from violence, and that remained the case until the 20th century. During the American Civil War for instance, for every three soldiers who died on the battlefield, five died of disease.

It’s important to remember that if society were to collapse, it would be tantamount to traveling back in time to when modern amenities didn’t exist. And without those amenities, there are a ton of pathogens that can kill you. So before you blow your entire prepping budget on guns and body armor, consider some of the many unglorified ways that the collapse of society could cut you down.

These are the Seven Likely Causes of Death When the SHTF

1. Superbugs

The world was a hell of a scary place before the invention of antibiotic medications. Any nick or scratch could lead to an untreatable infection, and communicable diseases often ran rampant. Nowadays our antibiotics can treat these diseases, but just barely. As various strains of bacteria become immune to these treatments, we’re rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic world that looks an awful lot like the old world. If society collapses then these souped up diseases are going to be unleashed without any inhibitions. Tuberculosis, staph, typhoid, strep throat, MRSA, and E. Coli will become all too common.

2. Water-Related Illness

If society collapses, people are going to suddenly find themselves reliant on local water sources, and unfortunately those water sources are going to be contaminated. It’s often the case that natural ponds and stream are already unsafe to drink, but the same disaster that cuts off your tap is going to make that water even more dangerous.

Without running water, people will be forces to leave their waste in their immediate environment, where it will likely mingle with local water sources. This among other unsanitary conditions can cause a whole host of water-borne diseases including gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, intestinal parasites, Diphtheria, cholera, typhoid, and even polio. Here are 9 common water-borne illnesses to prepare for in a disaster scenario.

3. Mosquitoes and Rats

It takes all the might of modern civilization just to keep certain pests in check. But when the garbage trucks stop showing up and the swimming pools turn green, you can bet that the rats and mosquitoes will proliferate like crazy. And they’ll be carrying diseases that are the stuff of nightmares. Rats will carry the hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and the plague; and in North America, mosquitoes will most likely be carrying dengue fever. Here are some tips to rat-proof your preparedness supply closet.

4. Cold Weather

A lot of people will be forced to go without adequate shelter after the collapse. So when winter arrives, you’re going to see a lot more weather related ailments. We’re all very familiar with flu season, but most people don’t realize that cold weather conditions can spawn numerous diseases, most of them respiratory related. Between the lack of sunlight, people crowding indoors, and the poor circulation caused by cold weather, there will be more cases of strep throat, pneumonia, croup, bronchiolitis, ear infections, and the stomach flu. To prepare for this, understand that hospitals and medical care may not be available (or too dangerous to get to). You may want to consider storing natural remedies, herbal poultices and tinctures to assist in these cold weather ailments.

5. Malnutrition

In a roundabout way, malnutrition would probably be the leading cause of disease after the SHTF. That’s because your diet is tightly linked to the quality of your immune system, so if you’re not getting enough calories, protein, vitamins or minerals, you’re more susceptible to every ailment under the sun. However, malnutrition is most associated with conditions like scurvy, rickets, pellagra, goiters, and beriberi.

6. Cadavers

The collapse of society would destroy every kind abundance that the modern world provides us, and in return, the only thing that would be in abundance are the dead. Dead bodies, especially the kind that were infected with disease to begin with, pose a serious health threat. Without a functioning society, and with bodies piling up faster than they can be buried or cremated, these cadavers would litter our towns and cities, and would most likely pose a serious threat to local water supplies.

7. Disease

Overshadowing many of these medical ailments will be disease. In fact, many believe that disease would be the real killer if the world fell apart and would dwarf the number of casualties caused by violence. Diseases are opportunists and tend to surface at a time the conditions are right for them to flourish. A long-term emergency would be just the right time, wouldn’t you say? These 10 diseases could become common medical emergencies. Make sure you have a well supplied medical closet and a sick room prepared for these issues.

There is a Silver Lining

As bleak as that sounds however, there is a silver lining. Prepping to prevent disease and infection is a lost less intimidating, and a lot more affordable than preparing to face-off against your fellow-man.

In fact, it’s as simple as stocking up on very general supplies that you should be accumulating anyway. Having plenty of food, toiletries, basic medical supplies, and water purification tools, will go a long way toward keeping you safe from the ravages of disease.

Resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-by-Step Preparedness Guide to Get Through Any Disaster

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

52 Weeks to Preparedness: An Emergency Preparedness Plan For Surviving Virtually Any Disaster

The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF

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

The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

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 Would you have the supplies you needed to stop a severe bleed? Do you know what household items you could use if someone was suffering from dehydration? What will you do if someone in the home has shortness of breath?

Short-term disasters can bring on a myriad of medical situations and they can occur very quickly. Because of the disaster, roads may be impassable, or in some cases, the hospitals may be at capacity and cannot take in any more patients. With that in mind, it is important to know what the most common medical emergencies are and prepare accordingly for them. In 2006, The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) released a 2006 Emergency Department Summary that gathered statistics of emergency department use, including the most common reasons adults and children sought medical care and treatment. Having medical supplies that could assist in these common medical emergencies would be proactive on your part.

    •  Children fever
    • Childhood earache
    • Various injuries such as sprains, strains, broken bones
    • Chest pain
    • Abdominal pain
    • Back pain
    • Shortness of breath

In short-term disasters, prepare for water-related illnesses. This will be very common given the close proximity to contaminated water sources. In The Prepper’s Blueprint, it states, “The relationship between communicable diseases and disasters exist and merits special attention. When there is a short-term emergency, there is an increased number of hospital visits and admissions from common diarrhea-related  diseases, acute respiratory infections, dermatitis, and other causes. These type of medical issues are due to those coming in direct contact with flood waters contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. These contamination factors will cause irritation to skin and a host of other medical conditions.”

In longer-term disasters, burns, cuts, rashes and secondary infections will also be very common medical emergencies to prepare for. Folks, these are the disasters you will likely face and it is imperative that you prepare for this with proper medical supplies and knowledge.

I realize that there are a lot of medical conditions to think about. The best approach is to look at the basics and prepare for those. Many medical items can be used for multiple disasters, so take comfort in this and prepare accordingly.

Build the Ultimate 1 Year Medical Supply with These First Aid Basics

Experts suggest that each home have a basic medical supply that is unique to your family’s needs. Therefore, keep any preexisting conditions and allergies any family members may have, as well as the above list of the most common medical conditions that hospitals see. It is within your best interest to ensure that you have any and all necessary medications that require prescriptions before an emergency happens.We all have our fair share of band-aids and antibiotic ointment, but do you have medical supplies that can help with true medical emergencies? The following list is your basic medical preparations broken into sections of need to help in your organization.


Hygiene

  • Liquid antibacterial hand soap – 20
  • Disposable hand wipes – 20
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer – 20
  • Feminine items – 12 packages
  • Extra baby needs (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, medicine, etc.) – in quantity
  • Exam gloves – 5 boxes

Essential Medical Tools

  • Trauma shears
  • Pen light or small flash light
  • Scalpel with extra blades
  • Stethoscope
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Foam splint – 2 per family member
  • Thermometer

Over-the-Counter Products

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever (for adults and children) – 5 bottles
  • Stool softener – 5 bottles
  • Electrolyte powder – 3 boxes
  • Cold/flu medications – 2 boxes per family member
  • Expectorant/decongestants – 3 per family member
  • Hydrocortisone – 3
  • Miconazole/anti-fungal – 3
  • Syrup of Ipecac and activated charcoal – 2
  • Eye care (e.g., contact lens case, cleansing solution, eye moisture drops) – 3 per family member

Natural Supplements

Wound Care

  • Disinfectant (Betadine, isopropyl alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) – 2 per family member
  • Band-aids – 3 large boxes in assorted sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment – 5
  • Instant cold and hot packs – 10
  • 1 week of prescription medications – as many as you are able to get with your prescription
  • Ace bandages – 10
  • Non- stick gauze pads in assorted sizes (3×3 and 4×4) – 10 boxes
  • Sterile roller bandages – 5
  • Surgical sponges – 5
  • Adhesive tape or duct tape – 5
  • Steri-strips – 5
  • Moleskin – 3
  • Respirator masks – 4
  • CPR microshield – 1 per family member
  • Suture kit – 3 per family member
  • QuikClot® compression bandages – 2 per family member
  • Tourniquet – 2
  • Thermal Mylar blanket – 1 per family member
  • Antibiotics

*These are your minimum quantities. If you are able to do so, prepare for more.


Customize Your Supplies

Many believe that a basic store-bought medical kit will provide for all of  their medical needs, but these kits tend to be overloaded with unneeded items (i.e., 500 band aids). Buying your own medical supplies allows you to customize your kit to fit your family’s unique needs and is more economical. In fact, you can purchase many of these items at your local Dollar Store to save money.  Customizing your family’s medical supply gives your family members the best chance at being cared for when a medical emergency arises. Further, take your preparedness a step further and organize your medical preps and create medical response packs for quick acting.

Storing Medical Supplies

How you store your first aid supplies is every bit as important as having the supplies in the first place.

Medicines can lose potency or spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and light.  For example, aspirin begins to break down when it is exposed to a slight amount of moisture.

Unless the instructions indicate otherwise, store medications in a cool, dark place that is out of the reach of children.   However, you still want to store the medical supplies in a place that is easily accessible to adults, who may need to respond very quickly in the event of a medical crisis.

Check expiration dates periodically to ensure the medicines are still good to use.  While most medicines lose potency once they’re past the expiration date, there are a few that will actually make a person extremely ill if taken after it spoils.  For example, tetracycline antibiotics that have spoiled can cause a severe, sometimes deadly, kidney ailment.

Signs of Expired Medicines

Although there is data that states most medicines can last longer than their expiration dates, it is important to understand that using medicine years past its expiration date can lose effectiveness and in some cases, change its chemical makeup. If you are in a survival situation where your life depended on an outdated drug, then it is wise to follow the cliché “better safe than sorry”.

Knowing the signs of expired medicine can help indicate when new items are needed.

  • Creams or ointments which are discolored or have changed in texture.
  • Creams or ointments which have cracked or separated.
  • The medicines smell has changed since it was opened.
  • Tablets are broken or chipped and have changed color.

Source – www.generalmedicine.suite101.com

Bear in mind, there are some medications that should never be used after their expiration and could have severe consequences for patients. These include:

  • Anticonvulsants – narrow therapeutic index
  • Dilantin, phenobarbital – very quickly lose potency
  • Nitroglycerin – very quickly lose potency
  • Warfarin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Procan SR – sustained release procainamide
  • Theophylline – very quickly lose potency
  • Digoxin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Thyroid preparations
  • Paraldehyde
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Epinephrine – very quickly lose potency
  • Insulin – very quickly lose potency
  • Eye drops – eyes are particularly sensitive to any bacteria that might grow in a solution once a preservative degrades.

Source

Don’t limit first aid supplies to your home

Store a first aid kit in the car (being careful with heat sensitive items) and also tuck some medical supplies into your 72-hour bag. This way, you can be ready to deal with medical emergencies wherever they happen to occur.

To conclude, there will always be the threat of completely unanticipated disasters, but your overall preparedness should enable you to effectively deal with those situations when they arise. This year supply of first aid items will enable you to prepare for medical emergencies when the hospitals aren’t an option.

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

Bill Gates Admits Biological Terrorism Could Kill Hundreds of Millions

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bill gates wikimediaLove him or hate him, there’s definitely one thing that you cannot deny about Bill Gates. He’s a guy who is in the know. Since he made his billions, he has brushed shoulders will all manner of experts and powerful people. That’s why regardless of how you feel about him, you should listen up when he provides a warning. Even if that warning is BS, it’ll tell you a lot about what is on the minds of the most powerful people in the world. Those individuals are after all, well acquainted with each other.

Get prepared for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller!

In this particular instance however, there is no BS. Before speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, he told The Telegraph that biological terrorism is one of the gravest threats we face today, perhaps even more so than nuclear war. He believes that within the next 10-15, it’s likely we’ll face a bioweapon that could kill hundreds of millions of people.


“Natural epidemics can be extremely large. Intentionally caused epidemics, bioterrorism, would be the largest of all.

“With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100million. Smallpox won’t stop. Because the population is naïve, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number.”


Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

Of course, engineered bioweapons have been around for a long time. But Bill Gates explained in simple terms why the threat is greater now than ever before.


He said developments in genetic engineering were proceeding at a “mind-blowing rate”. Biological warfare ambitions once limited to a handful of nation states are now open to small groups with limited resources and skills.

He said: “They make it much easier for a non-state person. It doesn’t take much biology expertise nowadays to assemble a smallpox virus. Biology is making it way easier to create these things.”


Gates is absolutely right about that. What used to take massive laboratories, hundreds of researchers, and millions of dollars, could one day be accomplished by a handful of people in a basement with a shoestring budget. We’re rapidly approaching a future where a manufactured virus capable of killing millions and completely upending global civilization, can be created by nearly anyone with the proper skills and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment.

To put that in perspective, there’s only a handful of people in the world who are capable of ordering a nuclear strike on another nation. How many people are there in the world with the kind of skills that would allow them to make a world-ending virus? Tens of thousands of people perhaps. How many people in the world have the means and ability to learn these skills? Perhaps hundreds of thousands. And that number could grow as technological advances make genetic engineering easier. So if hundreds of thousands of people had their finger on the red button, you have to ask yourself, how long would it take before someone pushes it?

This is the world we live in now. A global pandemic engineered by terrorists is practically inevitable, and will likely be seen in our lifetimes. Make sure that you have the right skills and the right gear to see your family through it.

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

Emergency Wound Care: When All You Have is in Your Pantry

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 Without access to hospitals and emergency medical care during off-grid emergencies, a simply infection from wounds can become life-threatening. Having knowledge of alternative medical treatments using natural wound therapies could save a life.

 

Years ago, the Mrs. and I made a major move.  We had a specific timetable to adhere to, and as we were moving ourselves, efficiency was the word that exemplified our overall goals.  About an hour before we were going to batten down the hatches and hit the road, she slipped and slammed her shin on the edge of the moving van’s bumper: a combination of a laceration and abrasion, as well as potential for a broken bone.

What to do on something such as this?  Well, we certainly had enough antibiotics and (if it was broken) the hospital was close by.  She/we decided on some ice, a bandage, and (so as not to go into our antibiotics) herbal aids.  Oregano is one of the best herbs to have on hand for natural medicine and an astringent can  be made from oregano tincture to wipe down the abrasion.


Oregano Tincture

  • Add handfuls of oregano flower and leaves to a pint-size jar and cover them with 80-proof alcohol, such as vodka.
  • Allow the jar to sit for 3-6 weeks out of sunlight.
  • Strain the mixture and transfer to a tincture bottle, or proceed to make a double-strength infusion.

For oral dosage: The standard adult dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day, as needed. Children usually get 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

To make astringent: Add 1 tablespoon oregano tincture to 1 cup of distilled water.

Learn more ways to disinfect wounds using pantry staples


Wound Care Made with Sugar and Honey

Once we applied the astringent to the wound, we made up a sugar formula that was common during the Napoleonic era:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Mix sugar and honey together and pack the laceration with it, spreading it liberally upon the abrasion and dressing it.

Monitor and change dressing daily.


Why Sugar and Honey Is Great For Natural Wound Care

We’re talking about plain white sugar, here: the same kind vilified for the diet is actually very beneficial with regard to wound therapy.  The sugar promotes tissue repair, while fostering an antimicrobial, anaerobic environment regarding the wound.  The sugar can be mixed with honey or glycerin (honey is cheaper and easier to get a hold of).  On some kind of laceration, you can pack it with the mixture after cleaning out the laceration with clean water and/or a mild astringent (such as the one I first mentioned).

The dressing needs to be changed once every day, and the packed laceration monitored for signs of swelling and tenderness.  Also, put fresh mixture to cover the overall wound, and then redress it with a fresh dressing and bandage.  The sugar will also reduce the amount of scarring and enable the wound to heal at a faster rate.

Sugar can also be used as an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), in combination with table salt.  Take a one-quart bottle (remember how I advised to save those empty Gatorade and Power-Ade bottles, the 32-ouncers?  This is why.), and fill it up with water, leaving a little space.  Put ½ cup of your sugar into it, and about ½ tsp of salt.  Voila!  You have effectively made your own field-expedient “Gatorade,” minus the potassium.  The reason this is good is that the sugar will provide quick sugar to the bloodstream, while the salt will help to replace what you have either lost from sweating or from trauma.

Your sugars and honeys (yes, honey is a form of sugar) can be used to sweeten up a tincture that you might have to take in water.  If you have ever had Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), it is one of the worst-tasting substances you can imagine.  We adults can grin and bear it, but when you’re administering a tincture to a kid, it is a big help to make it taste not quite so bad.

Honey For Wound Care

Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed.  For the wound-packing mixture I advised above?  Honey is the medium that keeps the sugar from falling out of the wound and congeals it to keep the dressing viable longer.

The reason these should be kept in mind: when the SHTF they are easily found.  You’re much more likely to find either of these two (sugar and/or honey) in a gas station or convenience store out in the middle of nowhere than a Cephalosporin such as Keflex (Cephalexin, if you prefer) for a soft tissue injury.  That’s what this is all about: winning with the weapons you have and tailor-making things you can rely on.  Practice with them sometime for something minor.  You’ll see results and build confidence in what you do.  That’s the way!  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

Prepper Dudes – “Your Testosterone Has Everything To Do With Preparedness and Survival”

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prepper dudes 

ReadyNutrition Readers, I once did a piece a while back on firearms for the ladies, and in that light, it’s time to do one that pertains to the guys.  This one is on the importance of testosterone, a substance that is very important in areas besides procreation and family life.  Testosterone is a “building block” upon which many complex bodily functions in men is dependent.  It is also the key regarding weightlifting and physical training.

Firstly, I highly recommend picking up the following book, one that I have mentioned in other articles regarding physical training.  Entitled, The Testosterone Advantage Plan,” this book is really the end-all, be-all in terms of weight training for men.  It has a ton of information besides the subject of testosterone from the glycemic index and charts to the workings of fatty acid glycolysis.  We’re sticking to the subject of testosterone in this article.

Testosterone is produced by cholesterol, a precursor hormone, and relies on fat to form.  Fat comes in several forms which we have outlined in previous articles on Ready Nutrition.  Testosterone is an androgen, a hormone produced in the bodies of males.  Some functions (in addition to sexual and reproductive tasks) are bone density, increase in oxygen-carrying capacity, musculature, and the mobilization of fat for energy.

The higher the levels of testosterone in the male body, the less prone a man is to muscular fatigue when exercising and lifting weights.  Testosterone also ensures better neuromuscular efficiency, and enables a tougher workout for more of a duration.  There is also an inverse relationship between testosterone and cardiac risk: higher levels of testosterone lower your risk of heart disease.  This is because testosterone has a dilating effect on the coronary arteries.  These arteries are the ones that supply the heart with blood.  The relaxing effect enables a blood flow increase of up to 17%.

The optimal level of testosterone (standard) is 800 ng (nanograms)/dl (deciliter) in the blood; this ratio will need the assistance of the doctor and a laboratory to discover.  Now, returning to cholesterol, the normal amount the body needs is equivalent to 300 mg per day.  We have approximately 0.2% in our body weight.  It is a precursor to hormones such as testosterone and the adrenal corticoids.  Too much of it in the body can cause problems; however, it is (for the most part) not a problem except for those with sedentary lifestyles or with existing heart problems or conditions.

Stress can lower testosterone levels.  This stress is both physical stress, such as working out too much or too long, and emotional stress, such as caused by daily stressors at work, at home, and as a man ages.  One of the problems with stress of either kind is the production of cortisol, a hormone released when stress occurs.  Cortisol is the biggest “enemy” of testosterone production, as it promotes the storage of fat in the body (the “fuel” that makes testosterone and also keeps you slim when testosterone “burns” it off).  Cortisol also sends the body an “instruction” to burn off muscle tissue for energy in the form of protein, a form of “cannibalism” detailed in previous articles.

The amount of cortisol released under normal conditions can be prevented from being counterproductive to testosterone levels with a well-managed, well-crafted program of weightlifting.  Such will suppress the release of cortisol.  Testosterone functions during the anabolic (building) phase of exercise, and cortisol functions during the catabolic phase, which is where the muscles that are broken down need to be prevented from being so depleted that they turn themselves into energy (cannibalism).  Right after working out, you need to take in protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of exercise completion or sooner…and the sooner the better.

You can stick to all-natural ways to boost your level of testosterone.  There is an article that lists 16 different foods that all directly or indirectly (the latter meaning affects the body in a way to stimulate its efficiency) boost testosterone levels.  The article can be found at www.anabolicmen.com/foods-that-boost-testosterone-naturally.  The details can be taken from the other article; however, I’m going to list the foods here to give you a good start to supplement the research in the article with your own.  Here are the 16 foods, in the order they appear: Potatoes, Macadamia nuts, coffee, Brazil nuts, Extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, ginger, raw cacao/cocoa, eggs, baking soda, probiotics, grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, garlic with vitamin C in combination, and onions.

By utilizing testosterone as produced within your body, you can generate gains for yourself in your physical training.  Some may ask, “What does this have to do with survival and preparedness?”  It has everything to do with it.  In order to perform your best under a stressful situation, such as beating the daylights out of a marauder in hand-to-hand combat, or lifting a heavy object pinning down a family member…you have to be at your best to do it.  Guys, your greatest weapons are your mind, and a body that you work on each day to train to maximum potential.  This is part of it: a part of who and what you are.  Testosterone is a tool within yourself that can help you meet your goals if you develop it and use it to its potential.  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 Everyday Activities Creates a Complete Workout

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snow-shovelingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it’s a new year and there’s still work to be done!  Yes indeed, speaking for myself here in Montana, I’ve been shoveling snow every day for the past week.  Doing this helps me to do things, such as pull my vehicle out of the driveway, different structures on my property to not collapse or be buried…little things such as that.  Some days it has been dumping almost a foot of snow on me, and most I see about 4 to 6 inches.  What a pain!  But it’s not all complaints in this department, as it serves a purpose that perhaps you, too, can “latch” onto to make your own.

I’m referring to your daily activities for use as exercise.  When I shovel (I don’t like snow-blowers, and prefer the shovel…grid down, I still can remove snow), that counts as a workout.  Especially if it’s between 1-2 hours per day.  That’s just simple maintenance; however, I take it as a workout.  You can too!  This is not to say that I don’t lift weights on these days, but as a workout, my “yard work” supplements (or complements) the lifting.

Shoveling snow works the shoulder muscles (the deltoids), and the neck muscles (the trapezius), as well as the biceps and triceps in the arms.  It also works your legs: your quadriceps for when you squat and drive your shovel into the snow.  Your lumbar and lower back gets quite a workout for when you turn and throw the snow.  Oh yes, when you’re running “full tilt,” you work up quite a sweat. [Remember to stay hydrated!]

Before I shovel, I tend to stretch out for about 5 minutes with some deep knee bends (squat thrusts) and arm circles, as well as stretching out my chest, arms, and shoulders.  The snow-shoveling forces you to use your hip flexor muscles, as well as accessory muscles of breathing, such as interior and external obliques and transverse abdominus muscles, all located on and near the stomach.  In the gym, it would be hard to duplicate some of the motions you pursue in the mechanics of the shoveling.

I estimate with a damp, “wet” snow, each shovel I fill up weighs about 15 lbs. or so.  After you have done that several thousand times, you can see the point.  You also work on regulating your breathing.  I have a pattern of filling up and moving ten shovelfuls, and then taking a breath for a few seconds…assessing my work remaining.  It is good for the cardiovascular, as well.

To digress, the same runs for cutting and chopping wood.  Splitting wood is good for your arms, shoulders, and back.  You also practice some hand-eye coordination, and I’m here to tell you…you split a quarter or a half a cord with an axe?  You’ll get a good workout, believe me.

You should log all activities in your workout book.  I’m a believer in workout notes, because you can see what gains you make, what problems you face, and you can perfect your activities and training program, changing it to suit your needs.  With your woodcutting and snow-shoveling, note down the time you worked and the amount you moved (an estimate: it doesn’t have to be down to the pound).  It is also important to factor in a recovery, and here’s a rule that doesn’t require supplements.

You should consume some protein and carbohydrates within ½ hour of finishing strenuous activity.

The reason for this is twofold.  After a workout, your body breaks down tissues that will immediately scream for protein to repair them.  In addition, you need to infuse some carbohydrates into your system, because if your body doesn’t have the energy to begin the conduct of repairs, it will break down muscle tissue in order to secure that energy supply.  This article is not for the purpose of covering anabolism and catabolism or the glycogen cycle; however, you need to follow that guideline after your workout is complete.

And what if you don’t live in the Rocky Mountains?  And what of it?  You can still figure out what you do during the course of a day that is a “natural” form of exercise.  Are you a waitress or a health care professional?  Secure a pedometer and use it to figure out how many miles a day you walk.  Tie this in with your functions.  Many professions require a person to sit behind a desk all day.  Do you live within walking distance?  Well, this needs to be factored in, and you can figure out whether or not it gives you some of the exercise that you need.

Bicycling to and from work may be another method, if you live too far to walk and have a profession that requires more cerebral than physical activity.  Those in lines of work that require a lot of physical activity tend not to regulate them (in thought); nevertheless, they reap the benefits of consistent physical activity, such as construction men and bricklayers, as well as steelworkers or dockworkers.  Look at how those guys (and gals) are built, and tell me they’re not benefiting from the physical labor.

When you’re home and have yard work of any kind, incorporate the task and turn it into physical training for yourself.  In a SHTF scenario, you will probably not be able to visit HappyFitness Gym, but you still have a need to exercise.  It lowers the triglyceride levels of the bloodstream and builds up the muscles and stamina.  Exercise is a life-long function that needs to be pursued.  Consult your doctor on all routines you’re considering.  So, Happy New Year, and I hope this year brings you success in your physical training programs…one that you can potentially fill with your everyday work.  In the meantime, I have about three inches of snow to shovel, now, so I’ll catch you later!  JJ out!

Here are some other at-home workouts you could pursue:

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

The Wild Woodsman Workout

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

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 Your Sleep Needs Change With the Seasons

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, the holidays are in full swing.  As such, there is a mountain of tasks to be accomplished: the ever-present workday, the kids going to school, doctor’s appointments, travel plans, and continuous shopping and planning for the holidays.  As most of you are well aware, we’re in the winter months where the days and the daylight periods are shorter.  December 25 is the shortest day of the year, and for the most part we have darkness for about 14 hours or more.  Whether we realize it or not, this affects us in an extremely negative manner that sometimes calls for a little bit of naturopathic help to get us through it.

Bodies Slow Down in Winter

In the winter months (as is the case for most mammals, of which human beings are classified), the metabolism slows down.  In man’s past, the summer and fall were the times to gather in the winter supplies, such as food and fuel.  Even though man does not hibernate, with the advent of increasing periods of darkness he does slow down.  The amount of work (especially outdoors) that can be accomplished during the wintertime is significantly lessened or abated completely.

In addition to this, man still requires a high caloric intake and a greater need to stay warm during the winter.  We were designed to not continue so frenetically through the winter months.  Yet in these modern times we do.  We are continuously bathed in artificial light and follow after man-made patterns and rhythms, not the natural circadian rhythms that have governed man’s existence for millennia.  In this artificial environment, it is small wonder that people have a hard time keeping up the pace of their existence.

What happens is that with the advent of darkness, your body naturally produces chemical messengers that tell it that the time to rest approaches.  The problem is that most people work a 9 to 12 -hour workday, and now (in the winter months) they leave the house when it is dark and return home when it is dark.  The tasks do not stop.  The treadmill is ever-present and we seem to never be able to leave it.  As a consequence of the pressures of work and holiday requirements, many people are operating with a disturbed rhythm and (this time of the year) experience sleeplessness and/or difficulty in getting a good night’s rest.  There are some natural foods available to help you in this time of the year.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Natural Remedies

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a really great herb that helps you to relax and obtain the rest that you need.  It is classified as a nervine in herbalism; that is, it directly affects the nerves and helps a person to relax.  It isn’t an herb that “puts” you to sleep; rather, it enables you to rest and enter your sleep-period more effectively.  It is extremely affordable: a bottle of it is available in Wal-Mart for about $5.  The brand I suggest is Spring Valley, with 100 capsules, a serving being 3 capsules that give you 500 mg of the Valerian.

There are no contraindications, except is will make you drowsy. Also, if you are using any kind of tranquilizers, sedatives, or anything that is considered a depressant (remember, cold medicines have alcohol in them a lot of times), the Valerian can potentiate it, adding to its effects.  It should not be taken by pregnant women or nursing mothers. It is best taken about half an hour before bedtime; don’t take it if you have to drive anywhere: make sure you’re home first.

Another aid is Melatonin, which is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the human body.  It is a hormone that functions as a sedative and is used to treat sleep disorders and other things such as jet lag.  Melatonin is also available at Wal-Mart in 5 mg tablets with 120 tablets per bottle that costs about $6 on average.  It is contraindicated with both pregnant women and nursing mothers, and should not be taken by anyone with autoimmune disorders or depression.  Once again, you don’t want to be driving or operating any kind of machinery or heavy equipment, as it will bring on drowsiness.  Melatonin needs about an hour to kick in before you retire for the evening.

I’m recommending these two because it may not be as convenient to wait for Chamomile tea (which is not as strong as either Valerian or Melatonin) to steep, as you may not have the time for it.  Before you start using either one of them, consult with your family physician and ask for his or her approval.  Pleasant dreams!

 

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 Avoid a Sprained Ankle

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In an emergency situation, it is imperative that you are healthy and strong enough to remain alert, prepared, and most of all, mobile. You have no way of knowing if your home base will be compromised or not and/or if a natural disaster or other circumstance will have you on the run. Something as seemingly innocuous as a sprained ankle can mean the difference between making a getaway or getting stuck.

History Repeats Itself

Many people will tell you that they have suffered from a sprained or twisted ankle at some point in their lifetime. However, more than half of those people who have done so never seek professional medical treatment because it is “just a sprain” and they don’t see how a doctor can help them. This is risky because the majority of ankle sprains will occur again at some point later in life. A sprained ankle that does not receive the appropriate physical therapy during and after healing often results in a weaker joint. This can lead to a myriad of issues, including problems maintaining proper balance, developing a slight limp or altered gait, and having a joint that is unstable and more likely to twist or collapse again. In very serious cases, a sprained ankle left untreated can result in a lifetime of pain and immobility.

Bad Advice Following a Sprain

There is a lot of really bad advice out there about what to do following a sprained ankle. The worst of all is the adage to “walk it off” or ignore a sprain. You must immediately stop doing whatever exercise or activity caused the sprain and take all weight off of the ankle. The moments following a sprain are the most critical when inflammation and swelling put the joint at risk. If possible, head to the ER for a medical consultation, especially if the pain is severe and lasts for more than a few days. Although in most cases, an X-ray or M.R.I. is not needed to make an accurate diagnosis, you need to rule out the possibility of a more severe injury. A doctor can give you a plan for therapy to strengthen and heal the joint.

Prevention is the Best Plan

Your best bet is to not get an ankle injury in the first place. This means wearing appropriate shoes for your activity, protecting your joints, and making sure that the ground surfaces you are using are level and clear of all debris. A majority of ankle sprains occur not during intensive sports or activities, but in everyday walking situations. Don’t put your health at risk for fashion trends—keep your shoes low-heeled with sufficient tread. Hold onto handrails when walking up or down stairs, and limit walking in icy or very wet conditions if possible.

The stronger your ankles are, the more you can avoid getting an ankle injury in the first place. The muscles around your joint help to protect and stabilize, so building up those muscles with the following exercises can be very beneficial.

Three Exercised that Strengthen the Ankle

Ankle Alphabet

Sit on the ground with your knees up and your legs bent in front of you. Cross one leg over the other and “trace” the shape of each letter of the alphabet with your ankle. This will feel very easy at first but by the end of the alphabet, you might have trouble remaining steady or completing the shapes. This means it’s working! Switch to the other leg and repeat.

Calf Raises

This exercise is the single most important strengthening exercise you can do to build up the muscles around your ankles. Simply stand with your feet apart, and shift weight off of your heels and onto your toes (like you are on tiptoe with both feet). Do 25 reps and work your way up to 50 (do not exceed 50 reps without consulting your doctor first–you want to build strength but not over-fatigue the muscles, which can lead to injury)

Tree Pose

This balancing yoga pose is simply standing on one leg with the other one bent and placed on the knee. Beginners might have trouble getting the bent leg up to knee height, so simply lifting it off the floor will suffice. This is a balancing pose that requires core strength, so beginners might also want to have a wall or rail nearby in case they begin to fall. Your body will shake as it stabilizes itself—this is a sign that the muscles are working.

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

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

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prepper-stocking-stuffersSometimes the best gifts are the ones hanging in the stocking on Christmas morning. Adding a few stocking stuffers that are preparedness centered is a great way to help the family get more prepared.

While there are a lot of prepper-inspired products out there, this modest list of prepper-inspired products are the ones that really caught my eye. These tiny treasures have the gift of practicality and deserve a place on your preparedness shelves.

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

  1. Pocket Chainsaw
  2. River Knife Eat n’ Tool
  3. Tactical Holster Shirt
  4. Tea Variety Pack
  5. QuikClot
  6. Iosat Potassium Iodide Radiation Protection
  7. Paracord Survival Kit
  8. Tanto Knife with Fire Starter
  9. Inflatable Solar Lantern
  10. Outdoor Dry Sack
  11. Tactical Flashlight
  12. Encrypted Thumb Drive
  13. Platypus Platy Bottle
  14. Doom and Bloom SURVIVAL! Board Game
  15. RFID Blocking Wallet
  16. Human Energy Concealment Facemask
  17. Windowsill Herb Kit
  18. Portable Camping Chair
  19. Essential Oils
  20. Emergency Sleeping Bag
  21. Tactical Kuba Kickz
  22. Camping Hammock
  23. High-Intensity Glow Sticks
  24. Tactical War Hammer
  25. Keychain Carabiners 
  26. Gardening Tool Set
  27. Credit Card Survival Tool
  28. Sawyer Mini Filtration System
  29. SOG Entrenching Tool
  30. Kevlar Tactical Gloves
  31. Folding Key Knife
  32. The Prepper’s Cookbook
  33. SAM Splint Fold
  34. Green Coffee Beans
  35. Wound Seal Kit
  36. Conflicted Card Game
  37. RFID Blocking Faraday Cage
  38. 10 in 1 Wild Survival Kit Briefcase
  39. Bread Dough Hand Whisk
  40. ESEE Fixed Blade Survival Knife
  41. Wild Flower Seed Kit
  42. Maple Syrup Tree Tapping Kit
  43. LED Nightlight/Flashlight
  44. Waterproof Matches with Case
  45. Pocket Blanket
  46. Firearm Protective Eyewear
  47. SOG Snarl Fixed Blade
  48. Survival Grenade Keychain
  49. Whetstone Knife Sharpener
  50. Cell Phone/Credit Card Wallet with RFID Blocking

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

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

Why You Need Sunlight Everywhere You Can Get It

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sunlightWith the apparent elimination of rickets at the turn of 20th century, following the discovery of the role that vitamin D plays in the elimination of this disease, most may think that vitamin D deficiency is a problem of the past. While vitamin D deficiency is not often found in North America, insufficiency is still very common. This should not be surprising, being that there has been an unprecedented increase of indoor computer use as social media and remote-access work continue to rise in popularity. The acclimatization of modern people to a lifestyle that is primarily indoors is a recipe for disaster when considering the importance of vitamin D and bone health. The following will discuss some of the major reasons why you need as much sunlight exposure as you can obtain within reasonable limits and how you can remove the primary obstacles that could be in your way.

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Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical for establishing the body’s processes which contribute to building and repairing bone. Through the synthesis of vitamin D, the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus, which are required for maintaining bone health. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce cancer mortality and all-cause mortality. A study found that vitamin D2 improves memory in rats, which may have to do with the observed protection of cortical neurons from toxicity and suppressed apoptosis. Other studies suggest that vitamin D may be helpful for those suffering from chronic kidney disease and might even be helpful in the management of multiple sclerosis.

Sources of Vitamin D

Although vitamin D is most often studied in the form of supplements, the primary source of vitamin D for humans is by the absorption of UV radiation through sun exposure. The body generates vitamin D from cholesterol in the blood during a metabolic process initiated by sun exposure. While vitamin D2 and D3 supplements have come to be effectively used by individuals who are experiencing deficiency, the most advantageous way to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D is to set aside a limited amount of time to expose your skin to the Sun periodically each day.

Inadequate Sun Exposure

There are a number of natural and unnatural causes of inadequate sun exposure. A worldwide study conducted in 2010 found that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are still very common, citing cultural habits of people around the world to cover much of their skin and a reluctance to spend time outdoors as the primary causes of deficiency in Africa and the Middle-East. North America is mentioned as still suffering from a widespread vitamin D insufficiency, which may be caused by these same cultural habits.

The shade of a person’s skin can also be a significant determining factor of how much sun exposure one might require daily. Pigmentation of skin will determine the amount of light reflected and amount of absorption of light impeded. Darker skin reflects more light and absorbs less. Individuals who have darker shades of skin will require more sun exposure on average than a lighter-skinned individual. Also, remember that sunscreen is meant to block the sun for prolonged periods in direct sunlight, so applying sunscreen for limited daily sun exposure would be counterproductive. Of course, as an added measure, someone who has darker pigmentation may consider taking a supplement, but this is may not be the best long-term strategy.

It must be noted that some are restricted to only relying on supplementation due to the geographic location in which they reside. If someone does not have the resources to do so, relocation is not a primary strategy. In the United Kingdom, for instance, a person may require vitamin D supplements from late September to early March because of the heavy cloud cover and inability to access sunlight.

The Right Amount of Sunlight

Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation are the primary cause of skin damage related to sun exposure. UVA rays can cause long-term damage related to skin cancer, while UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburns. UVB radiation has the strongest presence during the hours leading up to and past noon, however, atmospheric conditions, seasons and latitude are the ultimate determining factors of the magnitude and concentration of the Sun’s rays. It is best to go outside when the UV index rating is between 3 and 5.

The best way to prevent vitamin D deficiency is to schedule time daily to be outside. Expose as much skin to direct sunlight as you feel comfortable doing. Keeping in mind the risks and benefits, you should consider having at least 15 minutes to an hour of combined direct sun exposure each day. For someone of a lighter skin tone, one 15-minute sitting in the sun each day may be enough time and an hour might be damaging, but those of darker skin tones will require more.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Build a Prepper’s Medical Emergency Kit on a Budget

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first-aid-dollar-photo-clubWhen disaster strikes, you want to know that you have done what you can to prepare for the worst. If an event such as a hurricane or nuclear disaster forces you and your family to leave your home without warning, you could easily find yourself in a serious situation where you will need first-aid medical attention. However, during natural or unnatural disasters, emergency medical attention might not be able to come to your location, so having the resources and knowledge to help yourself and your family members at a time like this can be the difference between life and death.

In the midst of a catastrophe, having a functional medical emergency kit is essential for survival, and sometimes you have to plan for it on a limited budget. In this case, the best approach is to build your own, while utilizing only the most critical items you need for your survival.

Prepare for any disaster step-by-step

Build Your Own: Four Essential Medical Categories to Concentrate On

The four general categories you will want to take into consideration for your medical kit preparations are: ointment, bandages, tools and medicine. Knowing the necessary components for each category will help you to form the most cost-effective kit.

Ointment

The first and most important in this category is antiseptic wipes, like iodine wipes or alcohol-based wipes. In addition to wipes, you may also want to include an antibacterial ointment, like bacitracin.  These are other ointments you may also find valuable:

  • Hand-sanitizing gel
  • Insect repellent
  • Insect sting relief treatment
  • Iodine liquid
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water sink or basin
  • Water-treatment chemicals

Bandages

You want to have bandages that can address any possible injury that may arise. Keep in mind that a person can die after just 10-15 minutes if they are bleeding from a major artery; you will want to have sufficient bandages to stop blood flow and close the wound. Remember, the best thing you can do for an actively bleeding wound is to apply pressure until you are able to apply ointment or bandages. The Israeli Battle Bandage is a first-aid device commonly used for major wounds, and it’s only $9. You will also want to include the following bandages in your medical kit:

  • Blood-stopping (hemostatic) gauze
  • Triangular cravat bandages
  • SAM splint and finger splint
  • Stretch-to-form bandages
  • Liquid bandages
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Band-aids (various sizes)

Tools

You are definitely going to want a suture kit as well as scissors and fine-point forceps to deal with critical injuries. You may want to consider buying paramedic shears in order to cut through clothing for injuries that require fast response time. Cotton-tipped swabs will be helpful for applying iodine liquid to wounds. In addition to these items, here are a few other tools that will likely be useful:

  • Multi-tool (or pocket knife)
  • CPR mask
  • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket
  • Headlamp (or flashlight) with extra batteries
  • Safety pins
  • Industrial gloves (preferably non-latex)
  • Needle-nose pliers

Medicine

There are a number of medications and treatments that you will want to consider packing in your medical emergency kit. Aloe Vera can be helpful as both as sun screen and a treatment for sunburns. You may also want injectable epinephrine, commonly known as an “Epipen” (only $7), to treat allergic reactions. Here are a number of other medications or treatments that one may require:

  • Antihistamines for allergic reactions
  • Prescription medications
  • Glucose to treat hypoglycemia
  • Eye drops
  • Aspirin
  • Iodine tablets for water purification
  • Multivitamins

Take into account the above mentioned items and each of the general categories as you compare prices on medical emergency kits that are prepackaged versus individual items. Many of the prepackaged kits have a great variation of items, but they may be lacking on some of the critical components previously mentioned, and this is why it often the most cost-effective strategy to build your own.

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

Store Your Child’s Baby Teeth for Later Medical Use

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 A new study has shown that children’s baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells. Stem cells, as you may know, are important because they are a kind of “blank” cell that can be grown into multiple kinds of cells as necessary. This comes in handy when cells are lost or damaged due to illness or disease. Though it’s not without controversy, doctors are excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat injury, illness, and tissue deterioration due to age.

Most moms and dads store their child’s baby teeth as a keepsake, but merely throwing these tiny teeth in a box isn’t going to cut it for later medical use.  Like the stem cells that can be found in cord blood samples, the cells in baby teeth must be collected and preserved in a particular way.

A new company called Store-a-Tooth offers state-of-the-art storage and maintenance for these baby teeth. Using a solution of liquid nitrogen, these teeth are securely frozen in a laboratory where they are monitored and maintained until use. Though it isn’t cheap, for a little under $2000, Store-a-Tooth will set up and maintain your samples for you. It’s important to collect stem cells while a person is still young, because our cells become compromised by environmental pollutants and normal degeneration with age. Storing teeth may be potentially beneficial for parents who did not bank their children’s cord blood for whatever reason.

Learn more about the process of harvesting dental pulp stem cells here:

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

Upcoming Health Crisis? 4th Incident of Superbug Gene Found in the United State

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 This week a toddler in Connecticut was found to have the superbug gene MCR-1, which makes E. coli resistant to most antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been closely monitoring cases like this one since the superbug gene first appeared in China. The toddler had been traveling to the Caribbean with her family when she first became ill. She was treated for E. coli once she returned to her home in Connecticut and that’s when the superbug gene was detected after her condition worsened.

The superbug is primarily spread through the consumption of food (the first case of the bacteria was discovered on a Chinese pig in 2015). Analysis of the child’s diet while in the Caribbean showed that she had eaten chicken and goat meat from a live animal market and also that she interacted closely with a pet dog and cat.

MCR-1 has been found in 30 countries on all 5 continents and it spreads rapidly in various types of bacteria. We’ve long known that taking antibiotics when you aren’t really ill is a leading cause for “growing” superbugs. There may also be a connection between antibacterial soaps and gels. Scientists warn that if the superbug is not discovered early enough, it could make humans resistant to multiple drugs. In May, a woman showed antibiotic resistance in Pennsylvania but was eventually successfully treated after much trial and error. The source of that woman’s infection was never identified, but experts were able to determine that contamination due to exposure from colonized patients was extremely rare (since this woman had the superbug for some time and did not infect even her close family members living in her home).

Still, researchers wonder if at some point, a superbug will be resistant to all modern antibiotics. If this were to happen, medicine as we know it would degrade beyond recognition. Antibiotics are the basis for most medical advancements—cancer treatment, surgeries, and childbirth become extremely risky when there is no way to treat infection. The CDC is watching and waiting and hopefully they will be able to stay one step ahead of the bacteria. This is one SHTF scenario we certainly do not want to happen.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Wash you hands with soap and water: Experts recommend singing the “Happy Birthday” song as you lather. Traditional soap mechanically removes germs from your skin, so time and motion and your friends.
  • Avoid antibacterial soaps: they aren’t more effective than regular soaps, and many of them have also been recently banned by the FDA. They also tend to be drying, which leads to small cuts in the skin, which is how germs get into your body.
  • Moisturize your hands: see number 2. Well moisturized hands offer more protection against germs.
  • Avoid hospitals: Hospitals are breeding grounds for germs. Malingerers and those who use the emergency room for general treatment are at extremely high risk.
  • Avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics: studies show that those who are most at risk for contracting a superbug are people with compromised immune systems (the elderly, children, and pregnant women) and people who routinely take antibiotics.

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 the Fish Industry is Defrauding Millions and Should Be Avoided At All Costs

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 Eating fish is synonymous with health. We think of the excellent nutrient profile: the high protein, beneficial fish oils, and healthy fats. But what if the fish you’ve been eating has been misleading you?

According to a new report on seafood fraud, one in five seafood samples turn out to be completely different fish than what the menu or packaging might lead you to believe. The group analyzed more than 25,000 seafood samples and a little more than 20% were mislabeled. The biggest faux fish was farmed Asian catfish, which was sold as perch, cod, grouper, and 15 other more expensive fish.

This isn’t just alarming because you might be paying top dollar for a bottom-dwelling fish; 58% of the mislabeled fish were varieties that could potentially pose health risks, particularly for children and pregnant women. A grocery store in New York City was selling blueline tilefish in the place of many more expensive types. Tilefish is on the FDA’s “Do Not Eat” list because it is extremely high in mercury.

Beware of these Fish

  • Red Snapper is the most commonly mislabeled fish: of the 120 red snapper samples purchased for the study, only 7 of them actually turned out to be genuine red snapper.
  • White tuna came in as the second most commonly mislabeled fish. More than 80% of the samples taken for the study were actually a species of snake mackerel called escolar, a fish that can cause serious stomach issues for some consumers.
  • Sashimi-style fatty tuna was often replaced with whale meat, a serious offense because whales are an endangered species.

It is unclear whether the organizations and businesses selling these fish knew about the fraud or if they too are victims of a much larger problem with fish regulations. Either way, here’s how to avoid the most likely situations where misrepresentation arises.

How to Avoid Eating Mislabeled Fish

  • Avoid sushi bars. Sushi restaurants were particularly misleading. According to the study, in New York City and Chicago, every sushi restaurant visited sold at least one misrepresented fish. Down in Austin Texas, one sushi restaurant mislabeled every single sample. Use common sense—if that sushi bar in the landlocked Midwest is selling amazing exotic fish at low prices—beware!
  • Buy Local. If you live on the coast, consider yourself lucky. Visit your local fishmonger or find a seafood-buying club that allows you direct access to fishermen. They can tell you exactly what you’re buying, fresh from the water. Or better yet, learn to fish and take out the middleman altogether.
  • Buy online. If you are landlocked, don’t give up on delicious fish. Fresh seafood is available from ethical, certified online stores like I Love Blue Sea or Vital Choice.
  • Avoid eating Fish in Restaurants. It’s a lot easier to disguise a fish in a sauce or fish stew. Until the regulations on fish peddling become more vigilant, it’s your best bet to only eat what you’ve cooked and handled yourself.

 

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

Junctional Tourniquets Can Be a Lifesaver. Here’s How They Work

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ambulanceLearning how to apply a tourniquet and when it is appropriate to do so, is one of the first things taught to anyone who is trying to learn first aid. It’s a pretty simple procedure, and is extremely effective at stopping traumatic blood loss. But unfortunately it doesn’t work in all cases. There are certain parts of the body that you simply can’t apply an ordinary tourniquet to.

For instance, you can’t use a tourniquet on a wound in the gut or in the chest. You also can’t use a tourniquet on a wound that is located too far up on a limb, near the pelvis or the shoulder.

When that happens, in most cases you’ll have to apply pressure to the wound with one or both of your hands, which isn’t always ideal. If you or someone you’re with is suffering from a grievous injury, chances are you’re in a survival situation of some kind, and you’ll need your hands free for other tasks. Or if it’s going to be a long time before help arrives, your hands could get tired.

Fortunately there’s a fairly new invention that tackles this problem. It’s called a junctional tourniquet, which is capable of cutting off circulation in places that an ordinary tourniquet can’t reach. It’s so effective that even the US Army is giving these devices to their medics. Here’s how the junctional tourniquet works, according to the manufacturer:

Unfortunately, the junctional tourniquet is quite expensive at the moment. It can be bought new for around $350, but these devices can also be found slightly used on ebay for around $100.

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

Why Are Childhood Cancer Rates Up 40% in 16 Years?

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cancer patientCancer seems like a plague of the modern world. While we know that our ancestors were capable of being ravaged by this disease, they didn’t seem to suffer from cancer at anywhere near the same rate that we do now. In the year 1900, only 64 out of every 100,000 people died from cancer. Now the death rate from this disease is approaching 200 out of every 100,000 people on a yearly basis. And if you examined any human society before the year 1900, you’d find that cancer was incredibly rare. By all appearances, there is something about modern life that makes us far more susceptible to cancer.

Of course, mainstream science has offered a few reassuring explanations for this trend, and they’re not without merit. It could be that modern humans suffer from more cancer, simply because we’re capable of living longer. No matter how healthy you are, your chances of dying from cancer go up as you age; and before the industrial revolution, most people didn’t live very long.

Another factor to consider, is the limitation of medical science in the past. Without modern technology, there were a lot of cancers that would have been difficult to diagnose. And until the 20th century, dissection was considered extremely taboo, or was outright forbidden in many societies. So unless the symptoms could be seen on the surface of a body, it would have been difficult to diagnose someone with cancer postmortem

However, there is a problem with both of those ideas. Though they certainly explain a lot of the cancer cases in our society, they’re not applicable to the cancer rates that are seen in modern children.

Researchers with the charity Children with Cancer UK published data on that subject for the very first time this week. They found that there are now 1,300 more child cancer cases in the UK than there were in 1998, which is roughly a 40% increase. The rise was most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged 15-24. According to Dr. Denis Henshaw, an adviser with Children with Cancer UK:

Air pollution was by far the biggest culprit, accounting for around 40 per cent of the rise, but other elements of modern lifestyles are also to blame.

Among these are obesity, pesticides and solvents inhaled during pregnancy, circadian rhythm disruption through too much bright light at night, radiation from x-rays and CT scans, smoking during and after pregnancy, magnetic fields from power lines,  gadgets in homes, and potentially,  radiation from mobile phones.

“When you look at cancers such as childhood leukaemia there is no doubt that environmental factors are playing a big role,” said Dr Henshaw. “We were shocked to see the figures, and it’s modern lifestyle I’m afraid.

“Many items on the list of environmental causes are now known to be carcinogenic, such as air pollution and pesticides and solvents. There has been good research to suggest a mother’s diet can damage DNA in cord blood. Light at night we know is very disruptive for the body, which is why shift workers have such bad health.

Childhood cancer rates throw a wrench in the idea that we have more cancer because people are growing older in the modern world.  These statistics also dispute the notion that cancer rates are increasing because medical technology and awareness are making it easier to diagnose someone with cancer.

Dr. Henshaw argued that some of these cases could be accounted for because of that, but we’re talking about kids living in a developed country in the modern world. How often do children in that situation go without receiving the level of medical care needed to identify cancer? I doubt it happens very often. So if childhood cancer rates are going up, it’s obviously from environmental sources, and those sources are also hurting people of all ages.

It’s safe to say that cancer doesn’t happen naturally in most cases. It happens when you live in a world where being exposed to toxins is nearly inescapable.

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

General Mills Recalls Multiple E. Coli Tainted Flour Products

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flourA lot has happened over the past three months. There was a mass shooting at a night club in Orlando, Hillary and Trump were nominated to run for president with their respective parties, there was a coup in Turkey, and the UK voted to leave the European Union. And amid all of these crazy stories, the media largely forgot to mention that there have been multiple food recalls for flour products over the summer.

General Mills, one of the most popular flour producers in the United States, has issued four separate recalls for their flour products since May. Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock, but I was surprised to learn this. With the exception of a handful of news articles, this story has pretty much flown under the radar for three months. It hasn’t “trended” at all.

I digress.

The products were tainted with E. coli, which has plagued America’s food supply for years. Fortunately, these products can be made safe if cooked properly. As we all know however, sometimes baked goods don’t come out of the oven perfectly cooked. Where normally you might be inclined to overlook something that’s 99% cooked, in this case it would be best to not to take any chances. According to General Mills, if you happen to own any of their tainted food products, they should be thrown out.

You can find a list of their potentially tainted products on their website, which includes brand names like Betty Crocker, Gold Medal, and Kitchen Signature. The items in question are listed by their UPC number, and better if used by dates.

Of course, not everyone is going to heed their warning. If you’re confident in your baking skills, and you don’t plan on throwing out your flour, then look out for the symptoms of E. coli, which typically show up between one and five days after eating tainted food:

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is the type most commonly heard about on the news because of the outbreaks it causes. An intestinal infection by STEC — which typically lives in cattle and migrates to humans after animal feces contaminate human food — results in:

  • Nausea
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea, which can be severe and bloody
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting (rare)
  • Low-grade fever (rare)

People generally recover from STEC infections after about a week. But some individuals, particularly children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, may develop complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening form of kidney failure.

Early symptoms of HUS include:

  • Bloody stools (typically diarrhea)
  • Vomiting
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Fever

If the condition progresses, it can lead to:

  • Bruising and spots on the skin (petechia)
  • Decreased urination
  • Pale skin
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures (rare)

If that doesn’t convince you to take this product recall seriously, then you’re a hell of a lot braver than me. It may be tedious to throw out a sack of flour, but these products are pretty cheap. Would you risk coming down with some of those symptoms over a couple of dollars?

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

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

How to Identify Sepsis as Quickly as Possible

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emergency careDo you know what sepsis is? Sadly, if you answered affirmatively to that question, you’re in the minority. Most people don’t really know anything about this condition. At best, the general public has heard some actor mention it in passing on a medical drama. They don’t really get what it means, or how big of a threat it is.

Which is unfortunate, because sepsis is very common. About 750,000 people with sepsis are hospitalized every year (of them, over 250,000 people die from it), and at any given time, about 1 and 10 patients in US hospitals have the condition. Over half of patients who die in hospitals have the condition in some form, and sadly, the number of people who die from it is increasing every year.

So what exactly is sepsis? For starters, it’s a condition, and not a disease as many people think. It’s basically what happens when your body responds to an infection, but that response is so severe that it damages your own tissue. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection, but fungal, viral, and parasitical conditions can also cause it.

As for who’s the most susceptible to sepsis, a wide range of people can come down with it. On the one hand, it tends strike people with weak or compromised immune systems. That includes the very young, the very old, those undergoing chemotherapy, or people with chronic ailments like AIDS.  On the other hand, anyone can get it. Even if you have a healthy immune system, a traumatic injury, infection, or surgery can cause it. The most common infections that lead to sepsis are pneumonia, kidney infections, bloodstream infections and lung infections. In half of all sepsis cases, the lungs are found to be the source.

By now you may be wondering how you can identify and treat sepsis. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy answer to that, because to properly treat sepsis, it first has to be identified very quickly. With every hour that sepsis goes untreated, your chance of death increases by 7.6% percent. Once the most severe form of sepsis sets in (aka septic shock) there is about a 50%-70% chance of death.

And it’s very difficult to identify. Even highly trained doctors struggle diagnose the condition early on, because many of its symptoms can look like complications from other diseases, and not everyone suffers from the same exact symptoms. But if you do know the early symptoms, you have a fighting chance at identifying the condition quickly.

One of the biggest indicators is low blood pressure, which is usually accompanied by an elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and a low body temperature. Though oftentimes, a high body temperature is found instead (you can see why this may be tricky for a doctor to diagnose). If caused by an infected wound, severe swelling, intense pain, and redness can be seen. Edema and decreased urination are common as well. And finally, a rapidly deteriorating mental state resulting in confusion is very common.

Sadly, those are pretty much the only symptoms that you as a layman can look for to identify sepsis early on. If you understand what makes someone more susceptible to it, and you know what the symptoms are, you can try to put two and two together, and that’s about it. You’d be fortunate to catch it early on, so it’s best not to take any chances. If there’s even the slightest possibility that you have it, go to the hospital immediately. Once there, the only treatment is antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and lots of prayers.

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

5 Reasons Why Some Are More Prone To Mosquito Bites Than Others

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mosquitoMy husband always jokes that mosquitos like him because he’s so sweet (thereby implying that I am mean because I almost never get bit). It’s a joke, but there’s definitely something to it. We can go outside and I’m completely fine while he’s covered in bites.

This begs the questions, why are some people more prone to mosquito bites than others? It turns out there are reasons why and knowing what they are could prevent future bites. In this time of the Zika virus and other serious mosquito-borne illnesses, it pays to understand a little about what make someone a mosquito magnet.

5 Reasons Why Some Are More Prone To Mosquito Bites Than Others

Clothing

Mosquitos are visual insects and they are drawn toward the color red, along with darker colors like black, navy, and brown. It may be to your advantage to wear light colors, especially during dusk and other times when mosquitoes are more active.

Blood Type

Research shows that people with Type O blood attract more than twice as many mosquitos as those with Type A blood (Type B blood attracted a med-range of these two).  I’m type A- and my husband is O, so this definitely explains some of his popularity with mosquitos.

Beer

In one study researchers found that significantly more mosquitoes landed on people who had recently imbibed a beer than on those who did not. Maybe choose a glass of wine or refrain altogether at that next BBQ if your goal is to avoid mosquitos.

Warm Bodies

Mosquitos are attracted to warm bodies. They are drawn to the heat and also the scent of sweat, so if you tend to run hot, beware.

Pregnancy

Mosquitos love pregnant women. Researchers believe this is largely due to the fact that pregnant women secrete more carbon dioxide that non-pregnant people and the mosquitos use CO2 as a way to determine the location of their hosts. Pregnant women also tend to have higher temperatures, which goes along with the warm body point above. This is particularly alarming since the recent Zika virus outbreak. Pregnant women are encouraged to wear long sleeves, bug repellent, and to avoid being outdoors in areas where mosquitoes congregate.

So my husband may be sweet, but it’s more a matter of these particulars that make people mosquito magnets. Stay safe and exercise caution at that late summer BBQ. It’s not just annoying—mosquitos could seriously affect your health

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

6 Million Americans Are Drinking This Toxic Chemical and Don’t Know It

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tap waterFor the developed world, clean drinking water is taken for granted. It’s one of the first things that a society has to figure out how to provide on wide scale, before it can be considered modern. However, just because the water that flows through your taps is free of dangerous microorganisms, doesn’t necessarily mean that your water is clean. If anything, it seems like the modern world has traded “water filled with bacteria” for “water filled with strange chemicals and heavy metals.”

Here in the US, the public is starting to realize that their tap water isn’t nearly as pure as they thought it was. We know that in some parts of the country there is Uranium in the water, and in other parts, pharmaceuticals are often found in the taps. And after the Flint water crisis made the news, we learned that lead is much more pervasive in our water supply than any of us could have imagined.

And now you can add polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl (also known as PFASs) to the long list of crazy stuff in our water supply. These carcinogenic chemicals can interfere with your body’s immune system, disrupt your hormones, and can cause obesity. They’ve been around for about 60 years, and once they get in the water supply they’re nearly impossible to remove. And according to a recent study conducted by Harvard researchers, PFASs are all over the place now.

The study found that PFASs were detectable at the minimum reporting levels required by the EPA in 194 out of 4,864 water supplies in 33 states across the U.S.

Drinking water from 13 states accounted for 75 percent of the unsafe supply, led by California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

Sixty-six of the public water supplies examined, serving six million people, had at least one water sample that measured at or above what the EPA considers safe for human consumption.

The highest levels of PFASs were detected near industrial sites, military bases, and wastewater treatment plants—all places where these chemicals may be used or found.

And there may be far more than 6 million people being exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis. This study only looked at small public water systems and a few private wells, which only accounted for the water supply of about 100 million Americans.

If you wondering if this problem will be taken care of in the near future, don’t hold your breath. There’s a reason why so many toxic substances are in our water in the first place. Either nobody knows how to filter them out (which is the case with PFASs), or the local governments that manage the water don’t have enough resources to prevent the contamination, or clean the water. Every day our public water supplies are turning more and more into toxic soup, and there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.

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

Non-Organic Crops Are About to Become Much More Toxic

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corn crop gmo toxicWhen Monsanto first released their Roundup Ready crops, which are seeds that have been engineered to withstand the company’s trademark pesticide, most farmers rejoiced. After all, this meant that they could eliminate weeds without having to worry about damaging their crops. And as an added bonus, it was thought at the time that these GMOs would reduce pesticide use; a notion that is laughable in retrospect.

The application of glyphosate around the world has increased 15 fold since these Roundup Ready crops were first introduced in the 1990s. These days US farmers are applying 300 million pounds of glyphosate to their crops every year, which is staggering when you consider that they were only using 11 million pounds per year in the 1980’s. However, this usage rate as less to do with popularity and more to do with necessity.

Roundup Ready crops have created a problem in agriculture that is similar to the problems caused by antibiotics, whose overuse has bred highly resistant strains of superbugs. The overuse of glyphosate has bred superweeds, which are resistant to the pesticide. And the more resistant they become, the more pesticides that farmers have to apply. It’s an endless cycle that farmers have no idea how to break out of. The problem just keeps getting worse and worse as the years go by. There are now 100 million acres of crops in the United States that contain superweeds.

So if Monsanto caused this problem, do they have a solution? Yep, and it’s the kind of horrifying solution that only Monsanto could come up with.

Monsanto’s own solution to this escalating problem would seem as laughably predictable as a bad Hollywood sequel if it weren’t all too real: Let’s roll out more GMO crops designed to withstand being doused with even more weed killer. Monsanto calls its next-generation line of GMO soybeans “Xtend,” and these are capable of not only surviving heavy applications of glyphosate but an older, more potent herbicide known as dicamba.

Federal regulators have yet to approve the new dicamba-based weed killer Monsanto formulated to pair with its dicamba-resistant GMO soybeans. But that apparently hasn’t stopped some desperate farmers from spraying dicamba anyway. And because the chemical has a nasty tendency to drift to neighboring fields, Monsanto’s new GMO crops aren’t only upending the natural order, they appear to being upending the social order in tight-knit farming communities too: Neighbors are accusing neighbors of illegally spraying dicamba and killing off crops that haven’t been engineered to tolerate the chemical. Dozens and dozens of complaints have been filed in Missouri and in Arkansas, but that may only be the beginning in the next chapter of the Monsanto saga. If the company’s new herbicide wins federal approval and certain farmers start spraying it, surrounding farmers might have no choice but to plant Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant GMO crops too—or risk their own crops dying from herbicide drift.

As one crop scientist at the University of Arkansas tells NPR: “[These farmers are] afraid they’re not going to be able to grow what they want to grow. They’re afraid that they’re going to be forced to go with that technology.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where this is going. There’s going to be more pesticides on more crops, more superweeds, and a hell of a lot more money for Monsanto. As for the company’s new dicambe based pesticide, it hasn’t shown any potential to cause health problems in humans, but there also hasn’t been nearly as many studies on the chemical. When Roundup first came out for instance, everyone thought it was safe. Now it’s becoming more acceptable in the scientific community to admit that this stuff is super toxic. Until dicambe is used on a wider scale, we won’t really know what it’s capable of.

If you haven’t switched to organic food, consider this a wake-up call. America’s food supply is probably about to become more toxic than any of us could have imagined.

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

Book Review: “You Are Your Own Gym”

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bookOne of the coolest things in life that happens fairly regularly is that just when you need to find something, it actually appears.  The case in point is this book that I wish to tell you about.  As most of you know, I am a firm believer in physical fitness and (personally) I prefer weightlifting as my main forte.  I have written a number of articles that stress the importance of a good fitness regimen.  This was one area that I drew a blank with as far as providing you all a reference you could use.

I know I mentioned the Army’s physical fitness guidebook and basic calisthenics you can follow after in the field.  As things would have it, I actually found a reference last weekend that fills in the aforementioned blank.  I’ve been reading it all week long, and having finished it last night I came to the conclusion that you can really use this book as a tool to help you tailor your fitness program.

bookThe book is entitled, You Are Your Own Gym,” and it was written by Mark Lauren in 2011, with a cover price of $16.00.  As good timing had it, I managed to find it in a used book store in mint condition.  This guy is a Certified Military Physical Trainer and has worked with Special Forces (after my time).  His website is www.marklauren.com, and apparently he is also a champion in the discipline of Thai boxing. As well, his YouTube channel is very popular amongst athletes and those trying to get back into shape.

The thing that makes this book different is it is exactly as it is entitled.  It breaks down every calisthenics exercise known to man and tells exactly what specific muscle groups are built by the exercise.  Each exercise has several pictures and there is a detailed explanation of how to perform them.  Page 55 has an index of the exercises.  Page 138 tells you how to set up your own program, and the exercises are categorized in a chart beginning on page 143 – 165.  Then it culminates in how to make exercise equipment out of everyday things lying around the house.

The first 11 chapters (more akin to sections, totaling 55 pages) entail all of the basic concepts and methodology of using your body’s own weight in a regimen of calisthenics.  More.  These first chapters (especially chapter 3) give the “Why?” component of the methodology, tying in with successes that professional athletes and Olympic athletes have achieved.

Laying out a program that can enable you to take advantage of this each day, Lauren covers all of the essentials.  Another reason this is good?  In a SHTF scenario, you will still need to exercise…yes you will!  And this most excellent resource shows you step-by-step how to do it without needing a gym.  Remember, exercise removes triglycerides from the bloodstream, and exercise is very, very important in bone formation and bone replacement.  Exercise keeps the muscles in tone, and keeps you in better health and feeling it as such.  It also helps you to deal with stress and depression in a more productive manner, factors that a collapse will undoubtedly exacerbate to the highest degree.

These exercises can be done with limited amounts of space, time, and equipment.  It is perfect if you’re on a tight budget and have a small living area.  The book delves into such detail that you can use it exactly in the manner that will fit your individual needs.  I wish I had a resource as good as this one when I was in the service.  When you’re out and about, there are a ton of things you can do in here…be that in the woods camping for a month, or if you are on the road for business trips…suggestions in this book are perfect for down time in a hotel room on the road.

Some exercises, such as push-ups and dips you’re undoubtedly familiar with.  But there are others, such as “One-Legged Romanian Dead Lifts,” for the hamstrings and lower back, and a whole series of different lunges and squats that are really intense and productive.  This guy is as sharp as they come in terms of giving you good photos to see how it is done and a good, solid breakdown of what the exercise does for you.  I’m going to be experimenting with many of these over the coming months and seeing what they do for me.

So if you get a chance, order the book for yourself and put it to use.  You can find it on Amazon.com and it is not very expensive but contains a plethora of knowledge and instruction that you can incorporate into your own personal physical fitness plan.  Keep training, keep learning, and keep doing…keep in the 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

First Locally Transmitted Zika Cases Confirmed in the U.S.

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mosquitoFor most of the past year, the mosquito borne Zika virus has been in the news quite a bit, and for good reason. Though it’s not the sort of threat that will end civilization as we know it, Zika can make you really sick, and it can cause birth defects in pregnant women. But more importantly, the virus has a real knack for spreading to human populations that were once considered unlikely hosts.

Originally, Zika mainly preyed on monkeys in Africa and Asia, and it rarely made the leap to humans. But since 2007 the virus has managed to spread across several Pacific islands, and has thoroughly riddled Latin America. It’s estimated that as many as 1.5 million people have been infected in Brazil alone, leading to thousands of cases of babies born with microcephaly.

And over the past few months we’ve been seeing Zika pop up in the United States. For the most part, these cases consisted of people who had been infected in other countries before returning to the US. Unfortunately, that’s all about change.

An outbreak of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Florida, marking the first time the virus has been found to be transmitted via infected mosquitoes within the continental U.S.

The outbreak has infected at least four people, three men and one woman, through local transmission, Florida officials said today.

“This means Florida has become the first state in our nation to have local transmission of the Zika virus,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said today.

Scott said a small area in northern Miami that is about a square mile in size is the only area where the Zika virus is being transmitted from mosquitoes to people.

“We’re being very aggressive at testing people there we are testing the mosquitoes there and we spraying to make sure it’s contained,” Scott said. He said health officials do not think that the transmission was ongoing.

Now that mosquitoes are carrying the Zika virus in the United States, all bets are off. The government thinks that it can contain Zika with aggressive mosquito control programs, and they may very well succeed if they quickly implement those measures. If they don’t however, then the possibility of becoming infected with the virus may turn into a normal fact of life in America.

That’s because the mosquito that typically carries Zika, the Aedes aegypti, can be found all over the United States. The highest concentrations of this bug are in the deep South, but they can also be found in much of the East Coast and in California. If Zika isn’t contained in Florida, then some of these regions may face the same levels of infection that we’re seeing in Brazil.

Unfortunately, once a virus like this finds a foothold in the environment, it’s pretty much impossible to completely remove it. Even if we did eliminate it, we would still have people carrying the virus, and unwittingly transporting it across borders. It will just keep coming back.

We’re looking at a situation where the authorities will probably be able to contain the virus in small pockets of the South, but will never be rid of it. If say there is an economic collapse of some kind, and the mosquito control programs lose their budget, then Zika is going explode and show up in thousands of communities. In other words, we’re going to be living with the impending threat of a Zika epidemic for a very long time.

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

The Synergistic Effects of Meditation + Exercise on Depression

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meditateYou’ve definitely heard of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that are released during physical activity. And you’ve probably heard about the head-clearing benefits of meditation, how being mindful can help to combat stress and anxiety. But what you may not have heard about is how combining these two activities (exercise + meditation) has an effect greater than the sum of each part. A new study shows that MAP training (mental and physical training combined) allows for increased results from both types of activities. These findings could drastically improve the quality of life for people with mild to moderate depression. Some even say the results are so good that certain individuals may find MAP training as beneficial as drug therapy.

Sitting Before You Sweat

Professional athletes have long known that meditation can improve performance. Sports rely heavily on mindfulness, the moment-by-moment awareness of a person’s feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations. Legendary Bulls coach Phil Jackson told Oprah in a 2013 interview, “As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we build our mental strength up so we can focus … and so we can be in concert with one another in times of need.” It turns out that even the most casual exerciser can experience improved performance after meditation.

Depression and anxiety are often fraught with ruminating thoughts—feelings of worry or anxiety that a person can’t see to get out from under. Both meditation and exercise can help with breaking these thought patterns, but when used in conjunction, the results are magnified.

In the aforementioned study, subjects (half with depression and half without) were taught a form of meditation called focused attention. This is a simple, entry-level form that involves counting your breaths up to 10 and then counting backwards. Participants engaged in this for 20 minutes and then moved on to a walking type of meditation for 10 minutes. After the 30 minutes of meditation, they participated in the aerobic exercise of their choice for 30 minutes. Not only did participants find that they could keep doing their aerobic activity for linger than they thought, they found the exercises easier to complete and felt positive about the process.

Synergistic Results

Subjects completed this hour-long routine twice a week for 8 weeks and were tested at various points along the way. The mental health results were significant: of those with depression, a 40 percent reduction in anxiety was reported. Those subjects said they felt free from anxious thoughts and felt more positive about their lives in general. These benefits peaked immediately following the exercise, but the gains were measurable even on the days when the MAP training was not done. The non-depressed subjects also noted a significant increase in their mood, concentration and attention.

No Reason Not to Try MAP

This study focused only on the mental health and well being of the subjects, but we of course know that exercise provides numerous physical health benefits as well (from endurance, improved heart rates, to the burning of calories). At only a 2-hour a week commitment, there’s really no reason NOT to try a MAP program, whether you want to improve your symptoms of depression or just improve your outlook (and your body).

Have you incorporated meditation into your workout? Comment and let us know!

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

Five Strange Things That Can Boost Your Immune System

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tissueNobody likes to get sick, and nearly everyone is open to any trick or habit that will boost their immune system. For most people, this means eating better food and getting more exercise and sleep. Or if someone is already coming down with a cold, they’re quick consume as much vitamin C as they can, or engage in whatever immunity boosting fad is making the rounds on the internet.

However, the human body is an unbelievably sophisticated machine, and improving your immune system isn’t so simple. In fact, there are some rather strange ways of boosting your immunity, which you probably would’ve never guessed are effective, such as:

Cold Showers

You’d probably assume that cold water would make you more susceptible to illness, considering that you’ve been told your whole life to bundle up in cold weather, lest you fall ill. But studies have shown that when you’re drenched in cold water, your body increases immune cell production.

Looking at Images of Sick People

If you’ve ever had an ailment that you couldn’t quite explain, you’ve probably tried to diagnose yourself by looking up your symptoms on the internet. Doing so will inevitably lead you to a Google Image search, where you will scroll through hundreds of ghastly images of sick people as you try to identify what’s bothering you. It turns out that you’re really doing your immune system a favor.

As part of a study in Canada, subjects were told to endure a 10 minute slide show that consisted of images of people who showed visible symptoms of illness. Afterward their blood was tested, and it showed signs that their immune systems had been temporarily boosted. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. People who could boost their immune systems by simply looking at a sick person probably outlived anyone who lacked that bodily response.

Fasting

While most trendy cold and flu treatments involve consuming popular superfoods (some of which do have merit) it turns out that abstaining from food can help keep you from getting sick in the first place. Fasting for three days causes your immune system to completely regenerate. It prompts your body to start eliminating damaged immune cells, and to start generating new more efficient cells. After three days without food, your immune system is completely rebuilt from the ground up, which is helpful for anyone with a damaged immune system, such as the elderly or cancer patients.

Physical Contact With Your Pets

If you can believe it, studies have shown that petting your dog can boost your immune system, though an explanation for this effect has never been found. If you happen to be a cat owner, don’t be discouraged. There’s a reason why cats often purr when they’re sick or injured, and it’s because their purring vibrates at a frequency that has a documented healing effect in mammals. It can help heal bones and tissues, and can even boost the immune system. It’s been theorized that holding or petting your cat while he or she purrs could transfer that effect to you.

Get Dirty

And finally, one of the best ways to boost your immune system is also one of the least intuitive. We live in a germaphobic society that has taught many of us from childhood to avoid contact with anything that isn’t sterile, and to constantly wash our hands. But it turns out that kids need to come into contact with dirty substances, so that their immune systems can develop properly. Kids who grow up in uber clean environments tend to have more allergies and autoimmune diseases.

As for adults, it’s not really socially acceptable for us to play in the dirt and eat bugs off the ground anymore. However, we do have our own version of introducing bacteria into our bodies. One of the best things we can do to boost our immune systems, is to consume probiotic foods such as yogurt, raw milk, and fermented vegetables.

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

6 Natural Remedies for Sunburn That Aren’t Aloe Vera

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sunburnAs proactive as some of us are at trying to mitigate the harmful effects of the sun, sometimes those warm rays are just too much for our skin, and sunburns occur. While aloe vera is our first go-to product to start the healing process, there are a few other remedies to consider.

The best defense against sunburned skin is prevention—try to avoid being outdoors between the hours of 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Make sure you wear at least an SPF 30 sunscreen and a large hat for shading your face. But when it’s too late and you come home looking like a lobster, there are some home remedies beyond aloe vera that you might want to try.

6 Natural Remedies for Sunburn

  1. Oatmeal: soaking in an oatmeal bath (whole oatmeal, not instant) can take the sting out of sunburned skin. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and is also a skin soother. Run a cool bath and add a couple handfuls of oats to the water. Soak for 30 minutes or until your skin feels cool to the touch. Pat yourself to dry off, making sure not to rub your skin too vigorously with your towel.
  1. Black Tea: soak a few teabags of black tea in a pitcher or bowl of warm water and then apply to your skin with gauze or a wash cloth. The tea will ease the itch of the sunburn and should provide immediate relief. Make sure to use a washcloth that you don’t care about and you might want to do this in the nude (black tea will stain your clothing).
  1. Witch Hazel: witch hazel provides an instant burst of cool to your skin and has been shown to prevent peeling and flaking while speeding up healing time. Simply saturate a few cotton balls with a 1:1 solution of witch hazel and water and apply to your sunburn.
  1. Yogurt: For sunburns on your face, the solution might be in your refrigerator. Applying yogurt to your skin like a facial mask for a few minutes can ease the sting and hydrate to prevent peeling. After a few minutes, rinse off with cool water.
  1. Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is another one that soothes and prevents blistering and peeling. Be sure to mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts cold water because vinegar is highly acidic. Soak a washcloth or towel in the mixture and swab over your sunburn. There’s no need to rinse it off.
  1. Coconut oil: You’ve no doubt heard about the myriad uses of coconut oil—well, now you can add sunburn soother to the list! Coconut oil is tremendously moisturizing and when mixed with a few drops of essential peppermint oil, it will cool burned skin. Slather on as much as possible and continue to do so for several days after sun exposure. It will help heal and relieve discomfort.

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 Harvest Clean Drinking Water From a Tree

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water-300x225You’ve probably seen it countless movies and TV shows. Some poor guy is stranded out in the desert, and is in desperate need of water. So he cuts into a cactus, and harvests an abundance of lifesaving H2O. In the real world however, most cacti don’t really provide much water. The fluid they do provide is far from potable. In all likelihood it will induce vomiting and delirium rather than quench your thirst.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t gather water from other plants. In fact, there are several tree species you can tap for fresh drinking water, in much the same way you would tap a cactus (if you had a death wish). While everyone knows that you can tap maple trees for their syrup, birch and walnut trees can also be tapped. They will produce a fluid that has a much lower sugar content than maple, though all three are good sources of hydration in case you’re ever stranded in the wilderness. Here’s how it’s done:

Or if you’d rather make a less intrusive mark in the tree, you can use this slightly different technique.

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

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

Increase Your Muscle Mass Naturally with this Natural Supplement

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 Ready Nutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to discuss a supplement that I have been using regularly for a few years called by its acronym DHEA, short for Dehydroepiandrosterone.  Wow, a $20 word if ever there was one!  The good thing is that DHEA is less than that amount and can do a great deal for you.  Let’s get into the meat and potatoes and give you some facts.

DHEA is the most abundant hormone found in mammals, humans included.  It is absolutely essential in many different biological and metabolic functions, and our bodies produce it naturally from cholesterol.  Boy, I’ll bet eyes widened on that one!  Seriously, DHEA is used extensively by our immune systems in fighting disease.  It is also used to maintain hormones (growth, sex, etc.) and is a major basic component of those hormones.

When people have low levels of DHEA (to the deficient level), this leads to disease.  Among those ailments are diabetes, cancer, CAD (coronary artery disease), high blood pressure, and illnesses of the immune system to name a few.  So let’s jump over to its origin within the body.  Cholesterol is converted by the body into a hormone called pegnenolone, and from this hormone comes DHEA and progesterone.

DHEA is responsible in aiding glucose metabolism, and it also plays a major role in stress response.  Optimal levels of DHEA are 750-1250 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) for males and 550-980 ng/dL for women.  This can be measured by a blood test, of which you may ask your physician for help with.

The supplementation of DHEA in men and women helps to reduce body fat mass while simultaneously increasing muscle mass.  That is a key point.  It does this while lowering HDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and helping to prevent atherosclerosis.  It is an exceptional supplement for athletes and those who follow training and exercise regimens.  It is an OTC (over the counter), natural steroid.

Yes, indeed, it can be purchased in many health aisles at your local stores. You take 1 per day with a meal.  After three to four months, discontinue taking it for about 2 to 4 weeks before starting it again.

There are no contraindications to using DHEA, except that sometimes it causes a slight increase in acne, and mild facial hair growth.  It is not recommended to take by those who have suffered any type of prostate, breast, ovarian, or uterine cancers, as those are hormonally influenced and the DHEA may contribute to it.  As with all things, consult with your family physician prior to utilizing DHEA and any information provided in this article.

I have found it to be very useful, especially regarding weightlifting and exercise.  It is very economical with no side effects, and is great in addition to the protein powders for packing on the beef regarding muscular development.  It helps to reduce stress (short-term and chronic), and is easy to use along with any other vitamins and supplements in your daily routine.  Consider stocking up on it and incorporating it with your physical fitness program.  You have a great day and keep up 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

Bass and Bluegill : Two SHTF Protein Sources You Haven’t Considered

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fishReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, there are a few words that need to be mentioned regarding Bass and Bluegill from a survival perspective.  As preppers and adherents to the survival lifestyle, you are well aware of how important protein is for your diet.  After a SHTF scenario, we are going to be forced to return (at least partially) to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  Such a change can best be effected if you are cognizant of all avenues open to you.  One of those good avenues is taking advantage of pan-fish as a source for your protein.

I found the following chart you may wish to save for your records:

Bass and Bluegill Nutritional Values, Fried, 3-ounce serving

Calories 211 Sodium 484 mg
Total Fat 3 g Potassium 291 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 15 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 1 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 20 g
Cholesterol 31 mg
Vitamin A 1% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 11%

As can readily be seen from this chart, bass and bluegill (in relatively small amounts, mind you) provide substantial amounts of protein, along with valuable electrolyte minerals, such as sodium and potassium.  (Source)

Now there is a lot more to it than just knowing the nutritional values for these fish.  Suffice to say that Bass and Bluegill can be found throughout the United States, and are fairly easy to catch.  You can fish for them with something as simple as some line, a hook, and a bamboo/sapling-type pole.  You can even catch fish without a hook – you just need to know how! Meat fishing is decidedly different from sport fishing.  I strongly recommend studying some books on these two species of fish.  They’re in season now.  For your home state, it is best to visit either the county extension office or the USFS (U.S. Forestry Service) for more detailed information and maps as to the prevalence of these two fish species.

The bass really go for minnows, worm, and crayfish, and the bluegill for the former two.  I have never really liked the artificial lures and spinners, even though many people have great success with them.  Crayfish can be found in the streams and lakes where the bass abound.  If you aren’t experienced in capturing these guys, be careful, as they are similar to a miniature lobster and can inflict a good pinch on you with their pincers/claws.

When you hook them to use for bait, you should try to place your hook in them between thorax and tail, from the top.  If you hook it from the bottom it will cause them to present upside-down, and the bass (who hunt from sight) will know that something’s “fishy.”  Plus, you want them to travel backwards, which is their normal manner.  Worms are not as complex; however, your object should be to not disable the animal to a degree that it doesn’t even move on the hook.  Another consideration is that you must make sure the hook will be taken by the fish.  Worms and minnow are good both for bass and for bluegill.  The crayfish is a little tough for the latter to handle, except if he’s a really big bluegill or your dealing with an exceptionally-small crayfish.

Cooking fish can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are even recipes that will use up the odds and ends that you normally don’t eat. Remember: In an emergency, you want to know how to make use of everything you have. Practice your pan-fishing, and also practice building yourself a pyramid-frame hardwood smoker.  You can smoke your fish and dry them out over wood smoke.  This will preserve them; the time will increase accordingly with the amount of moisture you remove from the fish.  Salting is another method.  Why not take the time to (along with your fishing) practice the preservation of your catch?  You should also keep a notebook with you to record the locations and conditions of your excursions.

Remember you’re practicing to be a meat-fisherman who will provide protein either for yourself alone or for others of your family who are dependent upon you.  Also good as a skill to develop it the making of line, poles, and hooks from scrap materials.  “Zebco” won’t necessarily be around after the SHTF, nor will the “Bass Pro Shop.”  Use this time to hone your skills and learn the habits of these two common pan fish.  It can benefit you in the long run and add to your survivability for when it hits the fan.  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 Would You Survive Hyperinflation in Venezuela?

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printing-moneyVenezuela is currently in the throes of a devastating economic collapse that was spawned by the ignorant socialist policies of the Chavez/Maduro government. Everything is falling apart there. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans are so desperate that they are forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime is rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.

However, the worst part of this economic collapse is the rapid inflation of Venezuela’s currency. That may sound minor when compared to soaring crime rates and dumpster diving, but the diminishing status of Venezuela’s currency (the bolívar) is what enables so many of the moral and financial tragedies in that country. To one degree or another, inflation is related to every facet of Venezuela’s collapse.

In 2003 the situation was quite different. A dollar could be exchanged for 1.6 bolívars. Now the exchange rate is 172 bolívars per dollar, but that’s just the official exchange rate. That’s what you would get if you walked into a Venezuelan bank. On the black market, it would take 996 bolívars to buy a single dollar. With an inflation rate of 180% (and those are just the official numbers) Venezuela’s currency fits the definition of hyperinflation.

Considering how much damage this hyperinflation has done to the economy and the very fabric of society, it has to make you wonder. What would you do if this happened in your country? What steps could you take to survive when your money becomes worthless?

Much has already been written on the subject, and most preppers are already familiar with this sound advice: take your rapidly diminishing currency, and buy something that will at least hold its value no matter how many zeros show up on your money. The most common assets that are recommended for preserving your wealth include:

  • Precious metals
  • Cash held in other currencies
  • Land
  • Non-perishable food
  • Drugs and other medical supplies
  • Weapons and ammunition

However, I would say that what you need to survive hyperinflation is the same thing that is crucial to your survival in any disaster. You need to have the right skills, which for this scenario, would fall under two categories. First, you need to know how to do things that will help you get by when society at large is falling apart. The kind of skills that aren’t as essential when you live in a prosperous nation, such as:

  • Growing food
  • Hunting and gathering
  • First Aid
  • Car Repair
  • Self Defense
  • Bartering

And second, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Just because hyperinflation tends to screw up society, doesn’t mean everything is going to completely grind to halt. People will still need basic goods and services, and they will still desperately want to live in a functional society, even if it’s just the shadow of a functional society. You’ll still be able to find a job.

However, just as hyperinflation diminishes the value of a currency, so to will many jobs pay less during and after a collapse. That’s not just because the money isn’t worth the same. With so much widespread poverty, everyone will be desperate to enter the job market, including the very young and the very old. In other words, the labor pool will have lots of supply and very little demand, so employers will have the economic leverage to pay their workers a pittance. However, some jobs will be able to retain some of their value, such as:

  • Just about anything to do with the medical field
  • Farming
  • Private security
  • Mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind
  • Teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills

At the end of the day however, your skills will only get you so far depending on how long the crisis lasts. In the case of Venezuela, the situation is about as dire as it can get. Sometimes an economic collapse merely destroys any chance of prosperity for the average citizen. But in Venezuela, the economic climate hasn’t just killed prosperity. It has made it damn near impossible for anyone to survive.

So at the end of the day, the best way to survive an economic collapse is to flee the country. Everyone in your family should have their passports, and enough money to leave the country before the SHTF. In Venezuela, everyone who could leave did so a few years ago. Now most people can’t even afford to leave their city, much less the country.

Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive. Cut your losses and start a new life in a new country if you can. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.

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 Inflammatory Foods That You Should Eat in Moderation

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donutsThese days, most people associate the word ‘inflammation’ with ‘unhealthy.’ Truth be told though, inflammation can be a very good thing. It’s your body’s way of healing. When you’re sick or injured, your body flushes the effected area with blood, immune cells, and nutrients, in an effort to combat pathogens and heal what is damaged. Obviously, this results in pain and discomfort, but in the big scheme of things it is exactly what you need to survive and live a healthy life.

When someone says that inflammation is bad, what they’re really talking about is chronic inflammation, which is a bit more insidious. It doesn’t always make you feel like you’re sick or in pain, but it is highly damaging to your body. Chronic inflammation has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even cancer. It can be caused by a lack of sleep, stress, pollution, certain allergies, or a poor diet; and it can add more damage on top of whatever is causing the inflammation.

However, diet is often associated with inflammation more than any other cause. Certain foods and can do a number on your body, and if you’re eating them every day, you may be on the path to an early grave. Foods that you should either eliminate from your diet or consume in moderation include:

White Bread

You’ll find that most foods that are “refined” typically have a higher glycemic index, which causes inflammation. White bread is one of the worst examples. It causes your insulin levels to spike, creating the perfect environment for inflammation to run rampant. Whole grain foods however, can reduce inflammation.

Sugar

Of all the inflammatory foods that you eat, sweeteners are the most notorious. The human body simply did not evolve to process straight sugar. Rather, our digestive systems were made to take sugar in small amounts, preferably bound in whole foods like fruit, which take much longer to digest. The consumption of white sugar gives your body a massive spike in blood sugar, which is highly damaging and inflammatory. Not only that, but refined sugar leads to weight gain, which is also inflammatory. Artificial sugars can also create an immune response, since your body does not recognize them.

Fried Foods

Foods like french fries, potato chips, and donuts are cooked at a high temperature, which creates advanced glycation end products, or AGES. Your body doesn’t recognize these compounds, so they are treated to an immune response upon ingestion. Not only that, but fried foods are also often cooked in vegetable oils, which typically contain very high levels of omega-6 fats. Normally these fats are good for you, but if they’re not balanced with omega-3 fats they are inflammatory.

Alcohol

Not only does alcohol often contain inflammatory gluten and sugar, but by itself it can initiate your body’s immune system. The way your liver breaks down alcohol produces toxins, and alcohol can make your intestines more porous, which allows bacteria to spread throughout the body. On top of that, alcohol can have a devastating effect on the good bacteria in your digestive tract, which plays a significant role in your immune system. Overall, alcohol is pretty hard on your immune system. It weakens your immune response while simultaneously giving your immune system more to fight, both of which can be inflammatory.

Meat and Dairy

While meat and dairy products provide an excellent source of nutrition, they should be consumed in reasonable portions. They both contain saturated fats, which while essential to a healthy diet, are also inflammatory. They contain arachidonic acid, which your body produces naturally when it needs to create inflammation. Meat is especially inflammatory, since like fried foods, it is often cooked at a high temperature which produces AGES. Again, these foods can be quite good for you, and their pros typically outweigh the cons, but only when you don’t go overboard on them.

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

3 Toilet Paper Alternatives That Will Get You Through The Collapse

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toilet paper wikimediaIn modern America, going without toilet paper for even a single day is unfathomable. The thought of it is cringe-worthy to most people. That’s why any time a major storm is about to hit, and everyone rushes to the store to buy up supplies, one of the first items to run out is toilet paper.

However, for any situation that results in the break down of society and lasts more than a couple of weeks, stocking up on toilet paper is not a viable option. The average family of four goes through about 240 rolls of toilet paper per year. So unless you have a large home, keeping anywhere near that much toilet paper is only going to take up precious space that would be better used for essential survival supplies.

As sacrilegious as it may sound, toilet paper is not essential to your survival. In fact, it’s only been in common usage around the developed world for over a century. Many of the alternatives that humans have been using for thousands of years are, shall we say, unpleasant. However, a few of these old school methods are bit more palatable, and much more sustainable, such as:

Reusable Cloth

In the past, it was typical for the wealthy to use strips of wool, hemp, or cotton to clean up after a bathroom visit, while the poor were stuck using, hay, moss, or even stones. The most obvious advantage to using these fabrics, is that they can be cleaned and reused. But more than that, they’re also more comfortable and provide a thicker barrier for your hand.

From a prepping perspective though, there is one downside to this idea. Cleaning these reusable wipes would require a considerable amount of water. Unless you have a well on your property or live near a river or creek that flows year round, reusable wipes are not economical. If on the other hand you do live somewhere that has a natural source of water, you do have another viable alternative to toilet paper…

Another alternative would be to repurpose old bits of cloth that have been tattered or torn. This gives the cloth a new purpose and can help you conserve your preps. Many old-timers have been collecting these strips of cloth and saving them in their “rag bag.”

Water

One of the most common methods of cleaning your rear throughout the world, is to simply rinse it with water. In India, the vast majority of the population will simply rely on a splash of water or a hose, while the Japanese and the Europeans use bidets. Since you’re preparing for a situation where running water may be out of the question, you’d have to rely on the Indian method of scooping water out of a bucket and repeatedly splashing it on your behind. Not exactly sophisticated, but it is somewhat effective. At the very least it could help prolong what toilet paper supplies you do have.

Leaves

For thousands of years humans have been using leaves in lieu of toilet paper, and in most parts of the US, you’ll find leafy plants that can provide one of the best alternatives to toilet paper almost year round.  Unless you live in the heart of a city where plants need to be constantly maintained and watered to survive, you won’t have any trouble finding trees and bushes that provide an abundance of leaves after any prolonged collapse.

That of course means that, unlike the other two toilet paper alternatives, this one won’t suck up your water supplies. Leaves are clean, abundant, disposable, and quite effective. The most common plants that are used as a toiletry include Mullein, Corn Lilly, Thimbleberry, Large Leaf Aster, and Wooly Lambs Ear. However, pretty much anything that doesn’t cause rashes and isn’t abrasive, will work. If you do happen to use the wrong leaf, here are 5 natural remedies to soothe rashes.

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

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

Oregano: A True Herbal Goldmine for the Natural Medicine Chest

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 What do Chef Tell, Chef Boyardee (he was really a real chef), and Chef Paul Prudhomme have in common?  They all used oregano.  Seriously, Guys and Gals, oregano is a really awesome herb and one of the most popular to have for medicinal use.  Not only does it taste great on pizza and in spaghetti sauce, but it has some really astounding qualities that you should be aware of.  It is a true boon in your arsenal for day-to-day ailments and also when things head south and you need to find natural alternatives to medicines.  Inexpensive and easily-grown, it needs to become part of your field medical chest of herbs to use in regular situations or when the world takes a dive.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a woody perennial plant.  It grows to a height of approximately 3 feet.  The parts of the plant that serve in a naturopathic capacity are the extracted oils from either fresh or dried leaves (the method of extraction is usually distillation), and also the whole herb harvested during the time it flowers.  The thick stems can be dried just as effectively as the rest of the herb.  It can also be tinctured.  All of the plant with medicinal qualities are the parts that are above ground, not the root.

The volatile (easily broken down) oil’s chief constituent is carvacrol (in a percentage ranging from 40-70% of the oil.  There are other components as well, such as thymol, but we are concentrating on these two just mentioned now.  Carvacrol is antimicrobial, and the phenolic compounds make it both antibacterial and antifungal.  Sound good thus far, a health food you’re sprinkling on your pizza slice?

Oil of Oregano

The strains of bacteria that essential oil of oregano works against are Proteus vulgaris, Streptococcus faecalis (found in stool), Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli (one of the bad ones, also found in stool).  In terms of antifungal activity, essential oil of oregano is effective against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium species.

The oil also is effective against several types of parasites, such as Entamoeba hartmanni and Endolimax nana.  Most of all of these bugs and fungi can be found (whether you want to find them or not) in…you guessed it…the great outdoors.  In the case of Candida albicans, a bug that affects women, oil of oregano has positive effects that are similar to Nystatin in clearing up the problem.

The other good news is that oregano (in either dried herb form or the essential oil) are readily available over the counter and in your health food concerns locally.  You can also prepare it on your own from the dried herb, using 250 ml of boiling water.  Pour this over the herb after you have brought it to a rolling boil and then allowed it to cool for about one minute.  This enables you to use the water without boiling the herb itself, because straight boiling water will many times kill off the beneficial effects of the herb you are using, as I have mentioned in past articles.  Pour the water over 1 heaping teaspoon of the herb and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.  After straining it (I leave it in, but you can strain the herb if you desire to), you can sweeten it with honey.  As a tea this can be taken 2 to 3 times per day.

You can also use this tea as a gargle or mouthwash, as oregano is highly effective for inflammations of the mucous membranes, and also for respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis or coughs.  There are no known health hazards or adverse side effects with its use.  The essential oils will store for years if you keep them out of the light.  I haven’t provided any dosages for these because it will be different as per the manufacturer due to the different extraction processes used and varying percentages of carvacrol and thymol, both of which are phenolic compounds.

I have personally found that the best food-grade essential oils of oregano you can take and place a few drops (depending on who makes it) in a glass of water, and take this several times a day.  It will really knock out a bacterial or a viral infection; the oil is very powerful.  Remember to protect all of your essential oils and tinctures from light, as light will cause your naturopathic aids to break down and deteriorate in quality and effectiveness.  The really good stuff I buy locally for about $20 for a 1-ounce bottle.

If you grow it yourself, water it but do not overwater it.  When you dry it you should try to dry it in an airy and well-ventilated area so the air will circulate, and keep it out of the direct sunlight.  The sun can lower the qualities of the herb, even though this method is faster.  I have found the best method is to take 2-3 stalks and hang them from rafters in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

Oregano is really good stuff.  You also do pick up some of the benefits and qualities mentioned here by consuming it with your meals.  It is similar to garlic, in that if you like it and make it a regular part of your diet, you will be exercising good preventative care benefits just in the normal course of its use.  You’ll spend pennies on the dollar, and it cannot hurt to pick up a few packets of heirloom seeds if you do not already have them, or a good seed vault for long-term storage.  So Buon Appetito if you’re having oregano with your meals, and lay in a good supply of it.  In the long run, this affordable and safe herb can do nothing but be a benefit to your preparations and supplies.  Keep fighting the good fight, and enjoy!

 

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

Coal: An Underrated Fuel Source that Preppers Should Consider

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coal wikimediaIf you’re living in a rural area and you happen to have a wood stove, you’re probably living the dream. Not only are you experiencing the joys of living so close to nature, and the peace of living so far away from the city, but you’re also sleeping easy knowing that if the grid ever goes down, you can always cut down a few trees for the winter.

But wood isn’t the only thing you can put in your wood stove. These days most people have forgotten that there is another source of fuel that is far more attractive: the much maligned rock known as coal.

Though coal is still widely used as a source of fuel for power plants, its house-warming applications have fallen out of favor over the past few decades, likely due to environmental concerns. Even if you don’t believe all the arguments about Co2 and global warming, the smoke and ash from a coal fire can contain radioactive materials, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. Coal is not something you want to burn in your house every day.

It should however, still of be of interest to preppers for occasional or emergency use. For starters, it has a very high energy density. It doesn’t have quite as many BTUs per pound as gasoline or propane, but it has at least twice as much energy density as wood. And unlike those aforementioned fuels, it doesn’t really require any special storage methods, and it’s not going to go bad. You can just leave it around somewhere on your property. Though it can catch fire, it’s not that easy to get it burning on accident. All in all it’s a very low maintenance fuel, but most importantly, it’s really cheap depending on where you live.

The location of your property is very important to keep in mind. Out of the ground, coal is nearly dirt cheap. The cheap stuff costs about $40 per short ton, or 2 cents per pound. But the cost of shipping can quickly dwarf the cost of the coal itself. If you live anywhere in the eastern half of the United States, then you don’t have much to worry about. The Western United States on the other hand has very few coal mines, so it’s probably going to cost significantly more for you there. You probably won’t be able to get a hold of any significant amount of coal in the West without incurring heavy costs.

Not only that, but you may not want most of the coal that is produced. The bulk of the coal that is produced around the world is known as bituminous coal. This is the stuff that contains a lot of those nasty substances I mentioned before, and it does not burn cleanly. You can still use it, but it would be wise to do so sparingly and mainly for emergencies.

If you can get a hold of it affordably, anthracite coal is what you want. In the United States it is only produced in Pennsylvania, and is a far superior coal compared to bituminous. That’s because it has a higher energy density, and burns with very little smoke.

Whatever you use, make sure that your stove is capable of handling coal. You don’t want to use some rinky-dink burner made of thin steel. Unless a stove is advertised for its ability to burn coal, you probably don’t want to trust anything other than cast iron. Otherwise you can use a fireplace, so long as you purchase and install a wood/coal-burning insert.

All in all, coal is a great fuel source for preppers living in rural areas. It’s something that can be cheaply and easily stockpiled on your property, and left on its own for years until an emergency occurs. You don’t have to worry about it rotting or going bad like wood or gasoline, and it doesn’t have the same storage dangers as propane or natural gas. You can just set it by your house and forget it till you need it. It will burn for a lot longer than wood too, sometimes for up to 24 hours, so you won’t have to stay up all night feeding that fire. If you want to have your home heating needs taken care of when the grid goes down, a big pile of coal is your best friend.

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

Call of the Wild: Why Living in Nature is Good for Your Health

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hikingIn the big scheme of things, human civilization is a blip on the map of history. We’ve been around on this planet for between 50,000 and 200,000 years depending on how you define modern humans. And as far as anyone can tell, advanced human civilizations have only been around for about 6,000 years. You may be asking yourself, why is that so important?

Because, it explains a lot about many of the predicaments that humans find themselves in today, like why so many people living in modern civilization are so unhappy and unhealthy. In fact, it seems like the more advanced our civilization becomes, the more unhappy and unhealthy we are, which is kind of confusing when you think about it. How could we be so messed up, when we’re living in an era that provides us with such an abundance of wealth and resources?

How are we so sick when medical care has never been so advanced? How are we so depressed when we’ve never had such a wide selection of entertainment? How come we feel so unfulfilled when we have more career choices than anyone else in human history? How are we all so stressed out, when by compared to the lives of our ancestors, we’ve never had it so easy?

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that many of these problems can be blamed on civilization itself in one form or another. This provider of so much material good is what’s messing us up, because we don’t know how to handle it. We’re walking around with caveman brains and caveman bodies, but we’re living in a world that is light years ahead of what any hunter gatherer could have imagined. We’re out of our element, living in an alien world. Civilization, our greatest creation, has out-evolved us.

One of the ways we know that civilization is tripping us up, is how it has separated us from nature. Our species was raised in the dirt and the trees and the sunshine. Now most of us spend our days huddled indoors, staring at electronic screens, and traveling through concrete jungles in temperature controlled vehicles until we reach other indoor locations. It’s not the kind of environment that our minds and bodies have evolved to thrive in, and according to recent research, people who are living in that kind of environment aren’t living as long as people who reside in rural areas.

The research relied on data from a vast long-term Harvard study funded by the National Institutes of Health called the Nurses’ Health Study, which has collected health information biennially on more than 100,000 female registered nurses in the U.S. since 1976. The new paper analyzed participant data from between 2000 and 2008, taking note of any deaths that occurred and their causes. At the same time, the researchers used satellite data to assess the amount of green vegetation surrounding each participant’s home during the study period.

The researchers found that people living in the greenest places — that is, people who had the most vegetation within 800 feet of their homes — had a 12 percent lower rate of mortality from any non-accidental cause than people living in the least green places. Specifically, they found that the relationship was strongest for deaths related to respiratory disease, cancer and kidney disease. These results were the same regardless of the participants’ income, weight or smoking status and also did not significantly change between urban and suburban locations.

There were several reasons for this, most notably was the fact that greener areas produce less pollution, and can actually help clean up any hazardous materials that might present themselves. But more than that, people living near nature are more likely to go outside, interact with other people, and get more exercise, all of which increases our mental well-being. And since stress and depression can affect us physically, it’s no wonder that living near nature can keep you alive longer.

In fact, just being in nature is enough to lift your spirit. It’s a means to it’s own end. It doesn’t matter who you are or were you come from, even a lifelong urban dweller can be left in awe of nature. There’s something primal and ancient within us, that allows us all to feel better when we’re in the presence of the wilderness. It’s always been with us, and if we don’t make room for it in our lives, then civilized life will always put us in an early grave.

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

Got Mosquito Problems? Here’s an Easy Way to Wipe Them Out

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mosquitoMosquitoes and the diseases they carry have been in the news quite a bit lately. Everyone has been talking about the Zika virus and the tremendous health consequences it causes. But truth be told, Zika is just a drop in the bucket. Mosquitoes have been killings millions of people with dozens of different diseases since the beginning of human history. In that regard, they are technically the most dangerous animal on the planet.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the impending threat of Zika. Most of the US is relatively free of the worst diseases that mosquitoes carry; diseases that frequently ravage the developing world. And unfortunately that may be about to change. This virus is spreading fast, and is expected to proliferate throughout much of the United States in the near future.

So what can you do to control these disease ridden creatures? Heck, even without the threat of being infected, you’d probably be willing to try anything to get rid of any mosquitoes on your property. They’re already a nuisance, even when they don’t make you sick.

There’s a new method you can utilize that was recently developed by a Canadian professor by the name of Gérard Ulíbarri. It works by turning the mosquito’s favorite breeding ground into a trap. That breeding ground is of course, the humble car tire. When left outside and filled with rainwater, tires are known to attract mosquitoes for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. It’s believed that the heat retention qualities of rubber may be to blame, or perhaps the tires give off a scent that is irresistible to these creatures.

Whatever the case may be, mosquitoes love laying their eggs in wet tires more than anywhere else, and there’s a way you can use that against them. It’s called the ovillantas, and it looks like this:

ovillantes

It’s an attractive breeding ground for sure. It’s filled with water in the bottom half where they can lay their eggs, but is still covered to protect them. About once every three days to a week, you drain the water into a container covered in fabric, so that the eggs and larvae can be separated and killed. You pour the water back into the device, since it is now filled with pheromones that will attract more mosquitoes.

So just how effective is it? After testing it in Guatemala, Professor Ulíbarri found that it was 7 times more effective than traditional mosquito traps. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, here’s how you can make the ovillantas yourself.

One thing to keep in mind, is that much of this process can be done without power tools if they’re not available to you. You can wing it with a knife or a boxcutter, but obviously it will take longer, and will be a heck of a lot harder.

There will likely be a bundle of steel wires running along both of the inner edges of the tire, which can be cut away before you cut the tire in half. If you have the stamina and patience for it, you can do the rest of the cutting without power tools. But like they say in the video, this can be done without cutting the tire in half. Just so long as you can cut a hole for the valve, it will still work fairly well.

Unfortunately, most tires in the United States have a belt of steel wires running just under the tread. This belt is nearly impossible to cut through even with power tools, and in all likelihood will damage whatever blade you’re using. However, the steel belt doesn’t run along the walls of the tire, only under the tread. I’m willing to bet that you can place the water valve on the side of the tire instead of beneath it.

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

Treating Cactus Injuries Is Harder Than You Think. Here’s Why

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cactus glochids wikimediaVisiting the desert can be a ton of fun. The vast open spaces, the clear blue skies, and the isolation from other people can all make for a relaxing trip. However, it’s easy to let your guard down in the desert if you’ve grown up in an area that is filled with plant and animal life. If you walked through a forest or a jungle, you would immediately assume that many of the lifeforms you encounter could be dangerous. But in the desert, where life is so sparse, it might be easy to assume that you don’t have as much to worry about from the local flora and fauna.

You’d be mistaken, especially if you’re visiting a desert in North or South America. Though you’re probably already aware of the dangers associated with snakes and scorpions, most people don’t realize that the humble cactus can really mess you up.

Obviously if you fall into a cactus, you’re in for a bad day. However, those wounds are usually fairly simple to treat. The vast majority of the time your first aid kit and some basic knowledge would be all you need to patch yourself up. If your skin was punctured by a spine, then all you need is some rubbing alcohol and a bandage. If a spine gets embedded in your skin, it can be extracted with a pair of tweezers. However, those thick sharp spines aren’t what you should be worried about. It’s the spines you can’t see that will keep you up at night (literally).

There are several species of cacti that carry what are called glochids. These are very small, barbed spines that are almost impossible to see, and making contact with a cactus can release hundreds, or even thousands of them. Even a slight breeze can release them. And once they get on your skin, it’s pretty much impossible to remove them all. In all likelihood you won’t even know that you have them until your skin starts to itch 1-3 days later.

At that point you’ll start to notice itchy red marks on your skin that are often mistaken for bug bites. Buckle up, because if those lesions are left untreated, they’ll remain itchy for up to 9 months. The longer you wait to treat them, the more those spines will burrow under your skin, so it’s imperative that you treat this condition as soon as possible.

The most common mistake people make when treating a glochid injury, is that they often try to suck them out with their mouth. As you can imagine, this often embeds them in the tongue or throat, which is even harder to treat. When the wound is fresh, you can even spread them to another part of your body or to another person (perhaps whoever thought it was a good idea to visit the desert, am I right?).

The best way to remove them is with some kind of adhesive. In a pinch, applying duct tape to the skin and ripping it off can remove quite a few of them, but there are better options. Oftentimes the glochids are stuck together in clumps, and are thus visible. These can be removed with tweezers. After that you can apply Elmer’s Glue to the skin and wait for it dry before removing it. That will take many of the individual spines, and combined with tweezers, should remove about 95% of the spines. This is considered more effective than any other method.

There’s another method you might want to consider, though it hasn’t been rigorously tested like the method I explained above. Though if you’ve already used the Elmer’s Glue and tweezers trick, it can’t hurt. You can apparently use pumice to exfoliate the skin. The glochids will fall away as the pumice strips the outer most layer of the skin.

So if you’re ever in the desert, you should be a bit more suspicious of all those cacti you see. A few them can turn your trip into an itchy nightmare.

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

5 Dangerous Medical Myths That You Don’t Want to Fall For

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defibMost people have a lot of really stupid ideas about what to do during a medical emergency. 90% of these ideas are probably gleaned from what we see on television. Even though we know deep down that movies and tv shows do not reflect reality, after seeing our favorite characters perform the same medical procedures over and over, we start to assume that they must be based in fact. The rest are old wives tales that simply refuse to die.

So if you don’t have any medical training, leave it to the professionals. And if a professional isn’t available, take note of the following:

Don’t Induce Vomiting

Most of you probably remember a time when it was normal to have a bottle of ipecac lying around the house, on the off chance that you would need to induce vomiting. It’s not so common anymore. In fact, ipecac has been discontinued. That’s because it’s no longer recommended as a treatment for accidental poisoning. Trying to vomit up a toxic substance is likely to cause even more damage to the esophagus, mouth, and lungs.

Granted, there are times when vomiting is the right thing to do. That’s why you should call poison control if you, a pet, or a child consumes a dangerous substance. They’ll tell you if you need to induce vomiting, let the substance pass, or go to the hospital.

Defibrillators Aren’t Magic

Based on how defibrillators are portrayed in movies, you’d think these machines run on the same principles you’d find in a Frankenstein movie. With enough electricity, just about any unconscious or near dead person can be jolted back to life. The reality of the matter is quite different.

Defibrillators are only useful in cases of cardiac arrest. Specifically they’re used to treat an irregular heart beat. In a nutshell, they temporarily stop the heart which gives it an opportunity to restart, hopefully with a healthy heartbeat. And unlike what you see in the movies, where doctors can bring a flat-lining patient back to life with their electric paddles, in the real world defibrillators don’t really work on someone without a heartbeat. In that case, CPR is probably in order rather than defibrillation.

Concussed Patients Need Sleep

For decades movies and TV shows have propagated this idea that a concussed person should never be allowed to sleep, lest they die or slip into a coma. However, the media didn’t necessarily pull this notion out of thin air. It was widely believed by the medical community until recently.

And it’s still true, but only to a small degree. If you have a concussion and you’re struggling to speak and walk, or your pupils are dilated, then you should avoid sleep and see a doctor ASAP. But most of the time that isn’t the case. For mild concussions, sleep is actually the best medicine.

How To Really Treat Nosebleeds

You’ve probably had a severe nosebleed at some point in your life, and I’m willing to bet that when it happened, someone told you that you need to tilt your head back. This is actually the exact opposite of what you should do to treat a nosebleed. You should lean forward and pinch your nose (unless it’s broken) for 5 minute intervals. You might have also been told to lay down, which again is terrible advice. It’s best to sit upright, which will reduce the amount of blood pressure in your nose.

It may not sound dangerous to lean your head back or lie down, but in some rare cases you can die from blood loss, or choke on the blood from a nosebleed (or pass out from blood loss and then suffocate). Nosebleeds are rarely serious, but they should always be treated as such.

Don’t Remove The Bullet

Whenever someone gets shot in a movie, this event is usually followed by a dramatic race against time to remove the bullet before the victim perishes. It’s never really explained why this needs to be done. In reality, trying to remove a bullet from someone is the last thing you want to do if you want them to survive.

For starters, once a bullet is lodged in the body, it’s probably done all the damage it can do. It’s not going anywhere. It’s probably not going to cause lead poisoning. And since bullets reach a very high temperature as they leave the barrel, it’s going to be completely sterile. If you were shot, you could probably leave the bullet in there for the rest of your life without experiencing any complications.

On the other hand, trying to remove the bullet outside of a hospital setting could lead to an infection. And bullets aren’t exactly smooth after they punch through soft tissue and bone. There are usually plenty of jagged bits that could easily rupture blood vessels upon removal. Taking a bullet out of the human body is a very delicate procedure that is almost always unnecessary; and when it is needed, it’s best done by a professional in a sterile surgical room.

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

Why Aspirin Should Be In Every SHTF Medicine Cabinet

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  We’re going to sing a little ditty about Aspirin, and it’s many uses.  Why?  Because it is an inexpensive treasure-trove available just about anywhere that can be added to your supplies.  It is safe and effective, and has a heck of a long shelf life if you protect it from moisture and the elements.  A good supply of it is not hard to build up, and you can always FIFO your supply to utilize it as needed. This simple little prep is highly recommended for your preparedness supplies and can be found at the Dollar Store and most drug stores. For those of you who may not know, FIFO means “first in, first out,” in accordance with inventory: use your oldest bottles first, and rotate your newest replacements to the back of the stack.

The origin of aspirin

Willow, Poplar, and Myrtle trees have a component known as salicin in them.  This chemical (a derivative of salicylic acid) has the ability to reduce pain, fever, and relieve small-scale maladies (such as headache and fever).  A German chemist (the Germans have always been great chemists and are world-leaders, FYI, in the field of Herbalism) named Felix Hoffman in 1895 first successfully employed salicylic acid to help his father.  Felix did this at the ripe old age of 29.

Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was a synthetic version of this salicylic acid, and that had been discovered by a French chemist in 1853 by the name of Charles von Gerhardt (OK, he was a French citizen, but he was of German descent!).  Not much was done with this synthesized version of the natural acid taken from the trees.

But Hoffman learned about it.  One of the problems with the salicylic acid he gave to his dad was that it upset the elder man’s stomach.  When Hoffman expounded on von Gerhardt’s discovery, however, he found that ASA (yes, aspirin) was a lot less harsh on the stomach, and Hoffman is credited with giving Aspirin its name.  But that company Felix worked for (a dye and pharmaceutical firm) took the young man’s discovery a step further.  They patented it and developed a process for manufacturing it in 1899.

That company was Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co.  Yep, you guessed it: Bayer, as in Bayer Aspirin!

Here is how aspirin can help

In your body are prostaglandins, a twenty-dollar word for substances that work in your body to do all sorts of functions, from regulating your body temperature to helping your blood clot.  Aspirin works by reducing these prostaglandins.  This has the effect of reducing pain and inflammation, and also thins the blood to reduce clotting.  It does this by disabling an enzyme called COX (cyclooxygenase) that turns acids found in your cells into prostaglandins.  Pretty intricate, huh?  The primary effect is to lower inflammation, and thereby pain is lowered.

Regarding the circulation, aspirin also helps fight against coronary artery disease and does it by lowering the amount of platelets that can attach themselves to the arterial walls and preventing clotting.  In the event of a heart attack, the Mayo Clinic advises taking 162 mg of aspirin and chewing it up, enabling it to be broken down and more readily absorbed and transferred by the bloodstream, after calling 911.  It also helps with angina pectoris.

Aspirin has been found useful in the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancers, osteoporosis, dementia and other forms of Alzheimer’s disease, prostate cancer, and to neutralize viruses.

Looking for a more natural approach?

From an herbal perspective and naturopathic viewpoint, white willow bark is a healthy and natural alternative to synthesized ASA.  White Willow (Salix spp.) is also interchangeable with the American Willow (Salix nigra).  The only ones contraindicated for its use are pregnant or nursing mothers, very young children, or people with allergies to salicylates.  It comes in a liquid or powder in your better health food stores.  Follow the directions on the package, as the manufacturer, hence formulating the correct dosage, knows the exact salicin content.

The standard for powder is 1-2 grams several times a day as needed.  This is not denigrating the manufactured aspirin by any means.  As I wrote earlier, aspirin is a safe and cost-effective supply for you to have in your preps.  In addition, if you stock up on some extra?  Post SHTF, it can be more valuable than gold for barter and trade.

Another thing: if you have a battery that you suspect of being dead (maybe you left your lights on) pop a couple of aspirin into the battery, and wait a few minutes.  The aspirin will react with the nitric acid in the battery and produce a weak charge, enough to start up the engine with.  And if it doesn’t work, you can take two more yourself for any headaches you may suffer while you’re awaiting triple-A and a tow truck.

To summarize, aspirin does many wonderful things.  It is an affordable asset that you can store up in large quantities in your preps and not come anywhere near to hurting your billfold.  It has a high degree of safety, and helps with many different ailments.  Because of all of these things, it will be highly valuable, both for your family and as a bartering commodity when the bottom drops out and our society comes crashing down.  On that happy note, hope I didn’t give you a headache, and you have a great day!  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

Shocking Photos: This is the Chicken That You Feed Your Family With… Abuse, Deformity and Disease

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Pilgrim’s Pride, one of America’s top leading poultry providers is under fire after leaked videos and gruesome images of the deplorable conditions from some of their contract farms. Gangrenous dermatitis, enteritis, coccidiosis are only a few of the vile conditions chickens are dying from, but it gets worse.

Disease, Deformity and Deplorable Conditions Spell a Recipe For Disaster

Two farmers along with Leah Garces, the director of Compassion in World Farming USA, felt it necessary to expose the truth and let the people know about the chickens that America feeds their families with.

Equipped with secret cameras the brave men filmed inside the chicken houses – revealing the horrifying reality of chicken farming.

The gruesome footage shows close-ups of the dying, abandoned birds – some discolored dark red, purple and green and others a bloody mess of rotting flesh and feathers.

‘About a year and a half ago we started getting gangrenous dermatitis, Hedrick explains to Garces – just one of the many problems facing chickens and their farmers.

‘It’s almost like the bird is eaten from the inside out, like its rotten from the inside out… alive,’ he says.

Source

Undercover: Equipped with secret cameras two farmers filmed inside the chicken houses - revealing the horrifying reality of chicken farming.

The gruesome footage shows close-ups of the dying, abandoned birdsSome are discolored dark red, purple and green and others a bloody mess of rotting flesh and feathersSee more of the horrendous pictures here

According to the article source, the chickens chosen for meat production are “fast-growing chicken breeds who often have poor immune function, making them more susceptible to disease. This fast growth (by genetic modification) is unsustainable and can have other dire consequences for the birds, such as leg deformities, heart attacks, foot pad dermatitis, hock burns, and more. With an already crowded, dirty, and warm environments they are kept in are perfect for such bacterial disease to thrive.” When asked why the farmers haven’t done anything to rectify the situation, Hedrick says, ‘We’re not allowed to do anything with the birds unless it’s approved by the company,’ The farmers decided to speak out about the treatment at the poultry contract farm after the company sent a mysterious letter explaining that no one apart from ‘essential people’, should be allowed into their chicken houses.

This is a Dirty Industry

Many of you may be wondering why the FDA or USDA has not intervened? What is almost rarely mentioned about these government-run groups is how little the highly industrialized American food supply is actually inspected. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) doesn’t inspect as many plants as one might think, thus leading to constant chicken recalls due to food-borne diseases. In 2014, Tyson chicken factories came under fire when they had to recall 60,000 chicken products due to staph infections on meat. As well, because of our regular consumption of meat and dairy products that were given antibiotics, bacteria are growing resistant and causing many of the “last resort” antibiotics to be less powerful than in years past. So, I ask you, how healthy do you think our commercialized food sources really are? Look at these gruesome images and ask yourself if you really want to continue feeding your family this food.

What Can Be Done?

With constant food increases, one would surmise this is because our food sources are of higher quality than most in the world. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It’s time that we begin to question our commercial food sources. You do not want to feed your family tainted or questionable food and the only way to ensure you have the best food sources available is to research and understand how they are raised. As well, stop buying commercial chicken products. If industry standard is equivalent to the way Pilgrim’s Pride is allowing their farms to be run, then we are all in for a world of hurt.

One of the most simple recourses for better meat and egg quality is to raise your own chickens. This animal breed is one of the easiest to raise and aside from meat and eggs, the bug population in your yard will be cut down, as well as providing you with natural fertilizer for gardening. Here are some backyard food strategies you can try today.

 

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

Stop Being a Slave to Technology: Here’s How to Unplug

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tech slaveIf you could pluck any of your ancestors from any period of time in history, and send them to the world we live in now, they would be in for quite a shock. All of the technology that we have at our disposal would seem like magic to them. The diseases we can cure and prevent, the speed with which we can communicate with anyone around the world, the devastating weapons we use to defend ourselves with, and the machines we use to travel from place to place, would all leave them in awe.

They’d have to pick their jaws up from off the floor after they see what kinds of energy we use, and I’m not even talking about nuclear power. For people who relied on firewood for most of their energy needs, the cost and energy density of crude oil would blow their minds. I’m sure that seeing the accessibility of food in our society would cause a similar reaction in their minds. The idea that some people in the West only need to work a few hours a week to cover their food and energy costs, would leave your ancestors shaking.

And then they would meet us. The residents of this magical high-tech world.

They would see people who spend more time staring and laughing at their ghostly screens, than they spend interacting with other human beings. They would meet us, a generation of people who are terrified of the sun, and who can’t step outside without slathering themselves in odorous creams (or who barely spend any time outside at all). They would be introduced to people who can’t find their way home or solve any practical problem without first consulting the computers in their pockets. They would come face to face with a society that is willing to sacrifice privacy for high-tech convenience.

They would see a society full of people who are completely out of touch with nature, and completely helpless without all of their gadgets. And more importantly, they would discover how incredibly stressed and unhappy many of us are, despite the wonders at our disposal.

Truly, we are slaves to technology. Here’s what you should do if you want to break free, and get back in touch with your humanity.

Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is the bane of the modern world. We clean the house with the TV on in the background, we text on our phones while we eat dinner, and we talk on those same phones while we drive. People in the modern world are obsessed with cramming as many tasks in their day as they can, and they pride themselves on their ability to multitask. And even though most of us like to believe that we’re getting a lot done and that we’re really good at multitasking, in reality we all really suck at it.

Every scientific experiment that has tested people on their ability to multitask, has shown that it’s not an ability any of us have. Anytime we try to tackle more than one task at a time, we perform across the board. Unfortunately, the gadgets we own have made it incredibly easy for us to get distracted. We use our gadgets as a crutch and an excuse for when we don’t want to do the task at hand. So stay focused and do one thing at a time. You’ll do a better job, you’ll learn more, and you’ll enjoy yourself more.

Get Back in Touch With Nature

Despite how far civilization has advanced over the years, human beings still have pretty much the same brains and bodies that we had when we were hunter gatherers. In a sense, we are an anachronism. We live in this sophisticated, high-tech wonder world filled with 9-5 jobs, cars, phone bills, taxes, and gadgets, but we’re still the same people who used to spend the majority of their days in nature.

At heart, the outdoors is where we really feel comfortable, yet we live in a time where most of us, especially our children, spend so very little time there. Our brains were never designed for the task of staring at screens for 11+ hours a day, and we’ll never be truly happy if we don’t set the phone down and spend some time outside. We evolved in the outdoors. It’s where we belong. If we don’t set aside time to be away from the hum our gadgets, and to enjoy nature, we’ll never really feel fulfilled or satisfied. It might even make us a little crazy.

Try to Remember How You Killed Time Before The Internet

If you’re old enough to remember what life was like before the proliferation of the internet and smartphones, or if you’re young but you remember what life was like before your parents gave you access to those technologies, then you’re in luck. You actually have some sense of how normal human beings are supposed to behave when they don’t have anything important to do.

Do you remember what you used to do when you weren’t working, doing chores, or studying? Did you doodle or write? Did you play the guitar? Did you tinker with stuff lying around the house? Did you go for a walk around the neighborhood? Those are the sorts of things that people used to do when they didn’t have anything important on their plates.

These days we feel compelled to fill every waking moment with electronic entertainment. We act like boredom is a crime, and the only way to stay out of jail is to check our email and watch another episode of whatever is on Netflix. We have to keep our brains in a constant state of hyper-stimulation. We fear quiet, contemplative activities. If you really want to unplug from technology for a while, then you have to teach yourself to not reach for digital entertainment every time you find yourself with an empty moment. You have to kill that knee jerk response, and learn how to enjoy the things you do, not the things you watch other people do.

Quit Using Gadgets to Solve All your Problems

Undoubtedly, the internet is one of the most useful things that humanity has ever invented. Having that vast library of information at our fingertips is a godsend whenever we have a problem that needs solving. It’s provided a voice for countless ideas and people who would never have had a voice in the past. Unfortunately, it’s also making us stupid.

Whenever we have a problem, we’re faced with two solutions. Figure it out ourselves and learn a thing or two along the way, or if this problem is out of our depth, we enlist the help of a friend or we hire a guy to fix it. If the problem arises again in the future, we know who to call. We all have a ‘guy’ that we refer to when a car or a computer needs fixing.

We also treat the internet as ‘that guy.’ We refer to it anytime we need to fix something, or find directions, or remember an obscure fact. Every time we do that, our ability to remember and our ability to learn, dies a little. We know that if any given problem shows up again, we can just look it up. Our brains don’t bother to retain knowledge when we know that it can easily be recalled for us at the click of a button.

In the future, always try to do it yourself first before you ‘look it up.’ Try to remember a phone number before you look for it in your phone. Try to remember that witty quote before you search for it on the internet. Take a shot at finding your way home before you refer to your GPS. Your brain is like a muscle, and if you never bother to use it, you will lose it.

Do Nothing At All

I dare you. No, I double dog dare you, to do nothing at all. Do you even remember the last time you just sat alone in silence for a while? Have you stopped to consider how crazy it is that most people can no longer stand to be alone with their own thoughts? That’s not an exaggeration. The inability to withstand silence is a sign that you’re a slave to technology.

Scientists have conducted experiments where they place people in a room with blank walls, by themselves for 15 minutes, and tell them to just sit and enjoy their own thoughts. A third of the participants admitted to cheating and checking their phones. Most of them admitted that it was an unpleasant experience. Then they introduced a device that would give these participants a voluntary electric shock. Two thirds of the men and a quarter of the women in this study chose to shock themselves out of pure boredom. Many of us would prefer physical pain over doing nothing at all. That’s freaking sad.

If you really want to stop being a slave to technology, then every once in a while you should take time out of your day to do nothing at all. You don’t have to fill every moment of your waking life with vapid entertainment. Meditate, or stare at a wall, or quietly think about your future. It’s a normal, healthy part of being human, and our technology has robbed us of our ability to quietly be ourselves. So take back the reins, unplug yourself for a while, and enjoy being human again.

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

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

Trouble Sleeping? Here Are 6 Tips That You Need to Know

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sleepThe modern world has done a number on our sleep cycles. While surely there have always been sleep disorders, living in a high stress world filled with lights, gadgets, and on demand entertainment has turned many of us into sleepless zombies. About 10% of the American population has chronic insomnia, and between 45% and 55% of us experience it infrequently.

Clearly this is a widespread problem. Calling it an epidemic would be an apt description, since it’s so common and incredibly bad for us. Sleep is like food and water. If you don’t get enough of it, every function in your body will be hindered in one form or another. And that of course, can put you into an early grave.

Fortunately there are a few simple (though not always easy) things you can do to finally get a good night’s rest. If you don’t want to be among the sleep deprived masses, consider the following:

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Caffeine

Everyone knows that caffeine can keep you awake and shouldn’t be ingested before going to sleep. Tobacco is another stimulant that can keep you up, and not just because of its brief energizing effects. If you smoke once or twice every waking hour, then that’s what your addicted brain is used to. But when you try going to sleep, all of sudden you’re going several hours without smoking. This often leads to restlessness and waking up in the middle of the night.

And finally, alcohol is one of the worst substances you can ingest before bed. Initially it will help you fall asleep fast, but like tobacco it hurts the quality of that sleep. You’ll get less REM sleep, and it may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

Light and Dark

It’s common knowledge that a dark environment is ideal for a good night’s rest. Even the slightest speck of light can hinder melatonin production (even with your eyes closed too) and throw a wrench in the gears of your circadian rhythm. It could be the numbers on your alarm clock, the lights on your TV, or the street lamp outside your window. Anything can throw you off. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a sleeping mask and/or blackout curtains for your bedroom. Most people don’t even realize how much these tiny lights are ruining their sleep until they try out these options.

What most people don’t know however, is that experiencing daylight is just as important for your sleep. Research has shown that seeing and feeling more sunlight throughout the day helps you sleep better at night. When you stay inside all day under artificial light, your body doesn’t really know when it’s day-time and night-time. Thus, it doesn’t know when to sleep.

Electronics

And while we’re on the subject of how light affects your sleep, you should avoid all contact with electronics for at least an hour before bedtime. As I said before, any form of light can hinder your sleep to some degree, but computers and cell phones are the worst. The light from these devices, as well as LEDs and fluorescent bulbs, is often tinted blue. That color actually induces wakefulness and focus, and it can hinder your sleep for several hours after you see it.

Skip the Snooze Button

The problem with hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock is that it interrupts your sleep cycles, which typically lasts about 90 minutes and consists of 5 stages throughout the night. Hitting the snooze button causes that cycle to restart unnecessarily as you drift back to sleep. You would feel more restful if you had just set your alarm clock a few minutes later. Not only that, but the snooze button has a tendency to disrupt your hormones and your circadian rhythm.

And when you think about it, you shouldn’t need an alarm clock either unless your work schedule changes from day-to-day. If you need an alarm clock to wake you up every single morning, then you’re not getting enough sleep. Set it every night anyway just in case something disrupts your sleep, but don’t rely on it. If you’re really getting plenty of consistent rest, and you’re disciplined enough to go to bed at the same time every night (which your body loves), you’ll wake up at the same time every morning a few minutes before that alarm clock goes off.

Exercise

One of the best remedies for occasional insomnia is a workout. If you sit on your butt all day, your body will have an abundance of energy that it wants to burn off, and that will keep you awake. If you really want to conk out fast, then you need to feel exhausted at the end of the day, and obviously exercise can do that. Even moderate exercise like walking and jogging can help take care of your restlessness. Keep in mind however, that this works best for the majority of the population that doesn’t have a sleep disorder. If you have chronic insomnia, then you should know that exercise may not have the same effect on you.

Find the Perfect Temperature

We all know that a hot muggy evening or a freezing cold night can make it difficult to sleep. However, the temperature range that provides the best sleep isn’t as broad as you might think. Anything between 65 and 70 degrees will put most people to sleep the fastest, and help them feel more restful when they wake up. To fall asleep, the temperature of the human body needs to decline slightly, and that aforementioned temperature range helps your body maintain that state. If the room temperature drifts too far from that range, then your body will have to work extra hard to maintain the lowered temperature, and you’ll struggle to sleep.

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

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

Every Natural Medicine Chest Should Have These 3 Herbs

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natural medicineReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, the object of this article is to provide you with a quick reference guide for on-the-spot herbs you can use in your first-aid kits.  The information has a twofold purpose: 1) to provide information on three basic herbs that will run the gamut of what you need for first-aid measures in your bug-out bag, and 2) to list herbs that are readily obtainable.  Regarding item #2, one of the problems with herb supplies is that the best/optimal herb for the job is either not readily available or it isn’t practical to use it (because it has budgetary constraints or presents with a high degree of difficulty to prepare).

Most Common Ailments To Have Natural Medicine For

There are some common ailments and their causative organisms that I’m going to list.

  • Enterococcus (Post-surgical infections, blood poisoning)
  • Haemophilus influenzae (Otitis media, meningitis, sinus infections, pneumonia)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis)
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gonorrhea)
  • Plasmodium falciparum (Malaria)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pneumonia, Bacteremia)
  • Shigella dysenteriae (serious/extreme diarrhea)
  • Staphylococcus aureus (Pneumonia, post-surgical infections, bacteremia)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (meningitis, pneumonia)
  • Escherichia coli /E. coli (foodborne illness, with/without bloody diarrhea)
  • Salmonella spp. (severe food poisoning, extreme diarrhea)

The Three G’s

Guess what all of these guys have in common?  They can all be treated with JJ’s #1 herb

  1. Garlic (Allium sativum): absolutely the best “broad spectrum” herb there is. Massive doses of it only lead to one immediate complication of severe flatulence.  Another contraindication/caution is that garlic is a blood-thinner.  It tends to interfere with those on platelet therapy and should be discontinued prior to a scheduled surgery.  It is easy to obtain.  For ear infections or external wounds you can make an infused oil for it.

How To Make Infused Garlic Oil:

– 5 cloves of garlic

– 4 ounces of olive oil

Chop up the garlic really fine, and place it in the oil…. shake it each day and let it sit in a cool dark place for two weeks…. much the same as a tincture.  Then when needed, apply liberally.

Garlic is such a powerful herb that if you have nothing but garlic, you’re going to be doing pretty well.  It can be found in the wild and easily cultivated.  You’re going to hear flak from people about the allicin content being diminished after gathering/storage/drying, etc.  Just do the best you can.  In a long-term emergency scenario, your stored/tinctured/chopped garlic will have what you need to fight the illnesses.  Along with what has been mentioned, it is antihypertensive, reduces plaque formation with atherosclerosis, lowers risks for cancer, reduces hypertension and lipids, and helps with unstable angina.  Average daily dosage is 1 fresh garlic clove 1-2 times per day.  Average daily dose is 4 grams or 8 mg essential oil.  With commercial preparations such as capsules or tablets, consult with the packaging information as they’re produced at different strengths and concentrations.

  1. Ginger (Zingiber officinale): this is another highly-effective herb that is used with all manner of illnesses. Malaria, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, strep, pneumonia, cancer fighting and Salmonella are just a few that ginger is effective against.  A primary herb against cold and flu, one of the best reasons to have it around is that it’s very safe, especially with peds (kids).  Teas, capsules, tinctures, and fresh (in your food) are some of the methods it can be employed with safety and effectiveness.  Ginger is an antitussive that is almost as strong as codeine, and it clears mucus from the system as an expectorant.  It is also an antihistamine.  It’s great for upper respiratory infections.  (Note: Garlic is good for lower respiratory tract infections….so the two go hand in hand.)

REMEMBER THIS!  Ginger is also great for burn treatment: apply the juice for an instant pain reliever, to reduce blistering and inflammation, and to prevent subsequent infections of the burned area.  You can make a tea and use this tea for burns, as well.

1 ounce/25 grams steeped for 5 minutes in 8 ounces of water.  I mentioned this in the past, and I’ll mention it again: bring your water to a boil, and then take it off-boil for 1 minute prior to steeping your herb in it…the boiling point kills off the helpful components of almost any and all herbs.  Dried root is 1 ½ ounces steeped for 10 minutes.  You can also tincture it, or obtain commercially-prepared tinctures, as well as capsules containing dried root.

  1. Ginseng: In this case, the preferred is Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), although Asian and American ginseng can be used, the latter actually growing in the wild in North America, making that a plus.  The ginseng does the following: enhances the immune system (T-lymphocytes in particular), increases mental alertness, and (proven by hundreds of studies) increases the ability of people to hold up under stressful, severe conditions [nice to know for when the SHTF].  It enhances physical performance, and has been used by athletes with great success.  It can be taken as a tea (3-6 ounces, or 85 to 170 grams) up to 3 times per day.  It can also be found in tincture or capsule form; again, follow the instructions as per the manufacturer on commercially-prepared supplements.  Cautions for those with high blood pressure, as ginseng tends to “get the blood moving.”

So, there they are: Garlic, ginger, and ginseng.  These herbs are easy to obtain, easy to prepare, and easy to use.  The trick is to do further research and really learn about them.  In this manner, you have the knowledge to employ them more effectively, and you can use them to balance and complement one another.  They are safe, reliable supplements that you can pack dried or (when safeguarded) prepare as either oils, teas, or tinctures.  Test them out for yourselves to tailor-make your own supply to fit your needs.  Have a great day, and enjoy the “Three G’s” in your preps!  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

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Shelter Your Children From Guns

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child with gunWhen it comes to the subject of children and firearms, there seems to be two prevailing schools of thought. One says that if you have children, all of your firearms need to be locked up and hidden away, and kids shouldn’t even be aware of your firearms until they’re old enough to respect them. The other school of thought suggests quite the opposite. Kids need to be introduced to firearms at a very early age, even if they don’t quite understand what they’re looking at. They need some familiarity with guns, so that it kills their curiosity.

It’s hard to argue with the former sometimes. Little kids don’t mix well with firearms unless they are under strict supervision. It’s not uncommon for children to stumble upon their parent’s weapons, and accidentally shoot themselves or others. Every year, over 2000 kids are accidentally injured with firearms in America, and among kids aged 10 and under, accidents account for 75% of all firearm injuries.

But is sheltering your kids from firearms really the best way to keep them from hurting themselves and others? It’s hard to say since, to my knowledge at least, there haven’t been any studies made on the matter. And sometimes, even when parents familiarize their children with guns, accidents still happen.

However, a recent experiment conducted by KWWL News in Iowa found that it’s probably best to familiarize your kids with firearms, even when they’re really young.  Though the experiment didn’t set out to prove anything in that regard, it sure is compelling. Under the guidance of a police officer, they planted an unloaded pistol in a room full of toys to see how long it would take for several kids to find it, and play with it. If you’re short on time, you can get the gist of the video by starting at the 5 minute mark.

Though the sample size is small, the results are impossible to ignore. The only kids who didn’t play with the gun were the ones who grew in households that have guns. They’ve seen them before, and on some level they know that guns aren’t toys.

So with that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that it’s a bad idea to shelter your kids from guns, even though it can sometimes be a little nerve-racking to broach this subject with them. If you’re a gun owner with a family, show your firearms to your kids, teach them how they work and how to be safe with them. And if they’re old enough to understand, explain the lethal potential that is inherent in every firearm. Make it clear that these aren’t toys and they’re not for fun (until they’re old enough to have fun with them of course) and you should be able to stunt their curiosity.

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

5 Tips That Will Turn You Into an Amazing Runner

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runningHuman beings are born to run. Compared to every other species on this planet, we are unparalleled. While there are countless animals that can run faster than us, none can run for nearly as long, nor can they run for such incredibly vast distances. Aside from our big brains, this is one of the few traits that makes us unique among every other species on the planet.

But for such a quintessentially human ability, many of us are quite bad at it, and I’m not just talking about how physically unfit many of us have become in the modern world. There are some very basic techniques that you can apply to vastly improve your ability to run, and most people are never taught them. Here’s what you need to know:

Run on the Ball of Your Foot

There’s a native tribe in Mexico that in recent years, has gained a reputation for producing excellent long distance runners. Many of them routinely outclass Olympic marathon runners, and even their elderly keep on running into their twilight years. While there are several reasons why members of the Tarahumara Tribe are such fantastic runners, one of the most significant reasons is that they don’t run like most Westerners.

When most of us run, we instinctively land on our heels first, before rolling our feet along the pavement until we spring up from our toes. The Tarahumara on the other hand, never land on their heels. They typically have a shorter, faster stride, and they always land on the balls of their feet. This is much more efficient for long distance running, and it doesn’t put so much stress on your knees or shins.

Just remember that if you’ve never done this before, it’s going to leave you incredibly sore after the first time you do it. Running on the balls of your feet activates a few muscles that you don’t typically use so strenuously. Start out by only jogging short distances like this, and work your way up until you can do it for longer distances.

Fix Your Posture

There are two major posture problems that you’ll see with inexperienced runners. They’ll either be hunched over like they’re sitting in front of a computer, or they’ll be leaning really far back with their chest in front of them. Neither of these are conducive to efficient running or breathing.

Ideally your torso should be straight, and only leaning a little bit forward. You should be perfectly aligned from your lower spine to the back of your head, and you should be looking straight ahead at the horizon, like so.

Breathe Through Your Nose

This doesn’t just apply to running. No matter what exercise you do, it’s important to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, or alternatively, breathe in and out with both orifices together. Breathing exclusively through your mouth won’t do you any favors, even when you’re not exercising. Of course, it’s easy to forget that when you’re huffing and puffing at the end of a long run, but breathing through your mouth will actually burn you out faster.

Your nose isn’t just for smelling. The moisture in your nasal passages filters out particles and pollutants, and warms the air before it reaches your lungs. This not only reduces the irritation and dryness in your throat, but it helps your lungs take in oxygen more efficiently. Breathing through your mouth may put more air in your body, but it doesn’t necessarily put in more oxygen.

Breathing Deeper

Another habit you’ll see with exhausted runners, is their tendency to give short rapid breaths. When you’re running hard it feels natural to try and breathe as fast as you can, but when you do this you’re actually making shallow breaths that fail to expel CO2.  You need to take longer deeper breaths, even when you’re feeling exhausted. And the best way to do that is…

Breathe With Your Belly

I’m willing to bet that right now, as you’re breathing, your chest is moving in and out. In reality, that is not the optimal way to breathe, regardless of whether you’re running up a mountain or sitting on the couch. Most people never think about this because it’s hard to believe that there is a right and wrong way to breathe. The truth is, you should be breathing with your diaphragm rather than your chest. It should feel like your belly is being filled with air while your chest hardly moves at all.

Try it right now. Extend your belly as you breathe in and relax your diaphragm to let it all out. You’ll find that this is far easier than chest breathing, which is normally restricted by the weight of your chest and shoulders. You’ll also find that your lungs can take in a higher capacity of air. Belly breathing puts more oxygen in your body, and pushes out more CO2.

It’ll feel weird the first time you try it out on a run, but after a while it’ll start to feel natural. And doing this alongside the previous tips will make your running experience easier and more enjoyable. In a sense, they won’t make you a stronger runner. You’ll simply be removing the handicaps that have been slowing you down this whole time.

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

Self-Sufficiency Skill: Basic Vehicle Maintenance

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 Maintaining my vehicle is my least favorite thing to do.  I tend to procrastinate on it way too long.  I justify my procrastination by telling myself that there are a million other more pressing things I need to get done today and the car can wait.  In the summer, I added the very good excuse that it was a waste of water while we were in the midst of a terrible drought here in California.  Now that it’s winter, I tell myself that there’s no point in it because…actually, I don’t really have an excuse.  Then I take it to someone else to do it for me.

According to my very unscientific pole of my female friends and family, none of us know much about cars.  We know how to put fuel in them and a few of us have actually checked our own oil (Yay!  Go, me!).  I began to realize that I was going to have to hand over my I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar card and couldn’t really continue to ignore this lack of knowledge and still call myself prepped.  The following are the things, while in no way complete, that I’ve learned so far…

The Owner’s Manual & Other Literature

You’ll probably find this in the glove box where it has sat undisturbed since acquiring your vehicle.  It’s loaded with information you didn’t know you needed to know.  If you have a question about your vehicle, read it first.

If you want to know in-depth information about how to repair something on your car, there are Chilton Manuals designed specifically for your make and model.  You can order the paper copy of the book or look it up online.

Wash, Dry, Wax, Repeat

Prior to the 1980’s, vehicles had a basecoat finish and the color of the vehicle was actually in the topcoat.  Today, the color of the vehicle is in the basecoat which is covered with a clearcoat.  The clearcoat helps to protect the finish, but only if you take care of it.

Road dirt, acids in rain, dust, salt, snow, and mud- these all take a toll on the finish.  Even accidentally brushing against a dusty car can leave small scratches in the finish.  For reasons I haven’t been able to discover, you’re not supposed to wash a hot vehicle.  If someone can explain why, please tell me the answer in the comments section below.  Also, don’t use dish- or laundry soap when washing your vehicle.  They strip the wax and dry out the finish.  To protect the finish, it’s best to use approved car washing soaps.

Once you’ve washed your vehicle, you shouldn’t let it air dry.  Water accelerates corrosion and hard water is the worst.  Dry the vehicle with a towel or a chamois.  Chamois are made of sheep skin and are super absorbent, but shouldn’t be used dry because they’re too hard and abrasive.  Instead, dampen the chamois prior to use and wring it out as needed.

Once your vehicle is completely dry, it’s time to wax it.  Again, don’t wax a vehicle in direct sunlight or while it’s hot.  Wax is to a vehicle finish what moisturizers are to freshly shaved legs.  It also helps to remove oxidation and keeps the finish (the clearcoat) shining.  Carnauba, a natural wax, has the tendency to shed water by making it bead and run off a finish.  Some synthetic finish waxes have added slickness and help shed water even better.  The important thing to remember is to get the right wax for your type of finish.  Some waxes aren’t safe for both basecoat and clearcoat finishes.  Clearcoat type waxes usually have fewer abrasives.

Cleaning the Inside

I am not proud to say that when my children were young, no matter how well-kept I tried to keep the interior, the inside of my car probably smelled like Ronald McDonald threw up and lost control of his bowels in it right before he died.  Even the protective seat covers were no match for two children in car seats and one in a booster at the same time and their exploding diapers, occasional upchucks from becoming carsick, and a few (ok, more than a few) lost French fries between the seats.  I could have hung a daisy chain of those pine scented car air fresheners and it still would have smelled like pine and puke.

In an attempt to air it out, I left all the windows down overnight during the summer.  That night a neighboring tom cat climbed into my car and sprayed everywhere.  Grossest.Smell.Ever.  The next night I left the windows down, but only a little so that cat couldn’t get back in, but the stench could get out.  It rained so much that night that the next morning my floor mats were floating a little.  True story.  I’ve never left my windows down, even a fraction of an inch, since.

Cleaning the inside of the vehicle helps preserve the fabric of the material in car seat covers and carpeting in much the same way that vacuuming the carpets in your house does- dirty fabric will wear out quicker than clean fabric.  Dirty windows can lead to unsafe driving. At night, windows that have a film over them glare.  Vinyl and rubber have a tendency to dry out and need to be conditioned, so be sure to use a specially formulated interior cleaners are safe for most types of vinyl and rubber parts and especially the dash, which is often exposed to the most direct sunlight.

So Many Oils!

I had no idea vehicles used so many different types of oils and fluids.  There are more than I’m going to list here, but these should get you started:

Engine oil

  • The most common weight of engine oil is 5W30, but refer to your Owner’s Manual for your vehicle’s recommendations. To get an accurate reading it is best to check the engine oil when the engine is cold. The caps of most of the places you’re going to put oils or fluids are pretty clearly marked, but if you have any doubt about which hole the engine oil or any other oil/fluid goes in, check your Owner’s Manual.  Never pour the right thing in the wrong hole.
  • Park on a level surface for the most accurate reading. I like to wear driving gloves to keep my hands clean and protect my hands from hot or sharp edges, but in a pinch medical gloves will do.
  • Remove the engine oil dipstick and wipe it off with a clean cloth. Put it back in the dipstick hole all the way, pull it out, and take the reading.  The dipstick should be clearly marked with where the oil level should be.
  • If the oil is low, use a clean funnel to help pour the oil in without dripping it on your engine. If you drip it on the engine, it will smell awful while it burns off the next time the engine gets hot.  If you don’t have a dedicated funnel for oil, a paper plate folded into a funnel shape will do.

Transmission Fluid (automatics)

  • Check transmission fluid when the engine is hot by driving the vehicle around for about tem minutes to get the transmission hot. Again, you should park on a level surface for the most accurate reading.
  • For automatic transmissions, leave the engine running with the parking brake on and the transmission in park
  • Open the hood and find the transmission oil dipstick. Again, unless you’re absolutely certain, refer to your owner’s manual to get the right dipstick.
  • Check the transmission fluid the same way you checked the engine oil: pull, wipe, dip, pull, read.
  • The automatic transmission fluid should be between the full cold and the full hot marks. If low, use a clean funnel to add the necessary fluid by pouring the fluid directly into the tube. Don’t over-fill.

Coolant (anti-freeze)

  • Ethylene glycol, which is used in standard and extended life coolants, is a toxic substance. Antifreezes that are propylene glycol based are safer in case of spills or accidental ingestion. When checking coolant level, the engine must be cool.
  • Check the level in the coolant recovery tank. The recovery tank is usually translucent with a “full cold” and a “full hot” mark. If adding to this tank, remove the cap and add a 50% water to 50% antifreeze mixture.
  • Check the level in the radiator. This requires removing a cool radiator cap and looking into the radiator. Never remove a hot radiator cap.  The coolant should be near the top, and if not, add the 50/50 mixture until it is.  Replace cap securely.

Tire Care and Safety

Maintaining the recommended tire pressure and tread is critical to minimizing tire wear and optimizing handling stability and safety.  You should check your tire pressure often using a tire pressure gauge.  If you don’t know how much air should be in your tires, you can find out by looking at the sidewall of the tires on your vehicle or by referring to your driver’s side door for a tire placard that lists the correct tire pressure.You should also periodically check the amount of tread remaining on your tires.  Some tires come with wear indicator bars that provide a visual way to inspect the tread depth. The wear indicator bars run perpendicular to the tread. New tires are needed when the tread wears to the same level as the indicator bars.  I’ve never felt confident that I was reading the wear indicators accurately and instead rely on an inexpensive, simple-to-use tread depth gauge.  Be sure to check all four tires as they can sometimes wear differently and replace your tires when the reading is less than 1/16th of an inch.

Conclusion

Learning basic care car is a skill everyone should learn as part of being frugal and becoming more self-sufficient.  By protecting and maintaining the exterior and interior of the vehicle and maintaining proper engine fluids levels and air pressure and tread levels on tires, you’ll get better performance, better fuel mileage, longer use, and retain better resale value on your vehicle.  And remember…keep those windows up!

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

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

9 Steps Preppers Should Take to Mentally Prepare For a Major Disaster

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mantraAs I sit here, ReadyNutrition Readers, I am indulging in some Nacho Cheese Doritos, the “breakfast of champions.”  There is no point: I’m just sharing with you.  But even if you don’t like them, perhaps you will enjoy the tips I present in this article to help with the way in which you relax.  I have found that it is necessary to clear your mind and focus when you are preparing for a significant event, as well as after the event occurs.  There are several elements to performing this, and they can be used for just about anything you may face.Events that occur suddenly and without warning are a little harder to prepare for, and some of them not at all.  Stress is something that can build up to a degree that renders you incapable of doing anything, if you do not learn how to deal with it.  I must also add that the better shape you’re in (proper diet, exercise, and rest), the better you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes your way.  These are things that I do, things I have done when in the military and since.  They’re not hard and fast rules, and you can refine them to suit your own needs.

Depending on your schedule you will want to explore ways to meditate and times to conduct your sessions.  This will enable you to train yourself to be able to go into “relaxation” mode on command, when you so decide.  Here are the main elements:

A Quiet Place

This element makes all the difference in the world.  A quiet, comfortable place is good to remove you from stressors and distractions and enable you to succeed.  The requirement is it needs to be a place where you are comfortable and not disturbed.  A park, a favorite room, or a place in the woods are a few suggestions.

Time

This is going to vary, and it will change.  The variance will depend on the upcoming event, and how soon it is going to occur.  You may have three hours before a grueling marathon, and yet you may only need 15 minutes to relax and clear your mind.  With time, the change may be that you only need 5 minutes.

Now you have your quiet place and the time you need.  Here is what you can do, keeping in mind these things have helped me greatly on deployments:

  1. Sit in your chosen quiet place in the most comfortable position possible (laying down, sitting back, or sitting cross-legged, for example.
  2. Consciously allow your muscles to loosen up and physically relax them
  3. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly: nothing forced, just try to introduce some regularity in it.
  4. Focus your eyes upon a stationary object that is “tranquil” and non-moving
  5. Clear your mind, yet think briefly about what it is that you face. What you are doing is imprinting the event and making it more harmless in your mind.
  6. Allow your eyes to close, focusing upon your breathing, and regulating it
  7. Think positive thoughts: that you will overcome the upcoming challenge
  8. Minimize the challenge: tell yourself that (even if it is not good) it is not so great that you cannot overcome it.
  9. When you feel ready, end the session and stand up slowly

Taking these steps before you face something will help you prepare to clear your mind.  Your stress will diminish, and your performance will increase.  You’ll handle things better.  With time and practice, this simple meditation process can be trimmed to be done in about 5 minutes, and in this manner you can face challenges in a few hours in the same manner that you can face them with several days or weeks to prepare.

After an event, do the same thing, focusing not on what happened but on what is in front of you.  Sometimes a soothing beverage or water can help you before or after, however, do not partake of it until after you have meditated without it.  The reason for this is you will divert your focus to the beverage instead of preparing for what is going to occur/what occurred.  Focus on the task at hand.

It takes practice, and I have found that doing this twice a day – once when you awaken, and once just before you go to sleep – helps immensely with developing your techniques and making them more effective.  It is a developed skill and requires practice, but it can take a big “bite” out of what happens both before and after the event.  These things can make it easier on you in the long-term.  Any comments or suggestions you wish to add from your own experiences will be appreciated and valued, and I look forward to them.  Rest up, and have a good 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

This Is What Your Dog Can and Can’t Eat After the Collapse

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dog eating wikimedia

If you’re a dog loving prepper, chances are you probably maintain extra food for your canine, just as you maintain extra food for yourself and your human family members. In an emergency, we want everyone to survive, including our pets. So it’s a good idea to keep extra dog food, not just because dogs are useful to have around in bad situations, but because we also don’t like the idea of eating our pets when society collapses.

But have you thought about how you’re going to take care of your dog if his or her food runs out? If you survive a disaster that lasts longer than a few weeks, you’ll have to start thinking about what else you can feed your dog, because dog food may not available for some time. Even as society is rebuilding itself, it’s safe to assume that everyone’s first priority is going to be figuring out how to restore food production for humans. Food for dogs however, is going to be a little further down the list of our priorities. You and your dog are going to have to manage in the interim.

This means that you need to have a really good idea of what your dog can and can’t eat. Most dog owners like to joke that their pooch can eat anything, but we all know that isn’t exactly true. Having dog food alternatives like the ones suggested in this article will help you use up the less desirable parts of a meat carcasses, utilize some of your food storage preps and keep the unique needs of your furry friend in mind too. Though pretty much everyone is well aware that dogs can’t eat chocolate, there are some additional foods that many of us aren’t aware of. There’s also a few foods your dog can eat, that you probably didn’t know about.

(Full disclaimer, just as there is a lot of debate surrounding human nutrition, so it is with dogs as well. This is a list of what your dog can and can’t survive on, which isn’t necessarily the same as what is healthiest for your dog)

Foods your dog shouldn’t eat:

  • Chocolate contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine, both of which can make your dog sick. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.
  • For reasons that are have yet to be discovered, macadamia nuts can induce weakness, immobility, vomiting, and hypothermia in your dog.
  • Just like humans who are lactose intolerant, many dogs don’t have the digestive enzymes to break down lactose, so be cautious with dairy products.
  • The pits and cores of peaches, plums, and persimmons (and most fruit in general) can cause digestive obstructions. The consumption of the flesh should be kept to a minimum, due to the vitamin C content. Dogs already produce their vitamin C, and too much can make any mammal sick.
  • Grapes and Raisins can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually kidney failure.
  • Even though they’re pretty carnivorous, dogs have trouble eating animal fats. Regular consumption of bacon or any meat trim can lead to pancreatitis.
  • Every part of the Avavado has a chemical called persin, which can cause breathing problems and nausea.
  • Onions and Garlic will destroy the red blood cells in your dog, leading to anemia.
  • Raw yeast dough can ferment in your dog’s stomach, producing alcohol (which dogs don’t have the same tolerance for that we do). Worst case scenario, it can produce enough gas to rupture your dog’s digestive tract.
  • Remember that dogs can’t devour a bag of potato chips like most humans can, due to their body weight. The sodium content of most snack foods is simply too concentrated for their bodies to handle.

Foods your dog can eat:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta, Rice, Bread, and Oatmeal
  • Chicken, Salmon, and any lean meat in general
  • Most vegetables, with the exception of anything mentioned in the previous list, as well as raw or green potatoes
  • Some cheeses that have very low levels of lactose
  • Eggs, but not on a regular basis

As you can see, there is a lot of crossover between the diets of humans and dogs. After all, we’re both mammals. But it seems like there are also countless human foods that can easily hurt or kill your dog. The lists above certainly aren’t conclusive either. If there’s any type of food that you’re unsure of, check out canigivemydog.com, which has a very comprehensive analysis on the canine health effects of pretty much any food you can imagine.

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

“Alarming Levels of Radioactivity” Detected in NY Power Plant

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indian point energy center wikimediaBy now, the average American has no excuse for not knowing how decrepit our infrastructure has become. Many of our roads, bridges, and dams are falling apart, and continue to be used long after their expected lifespan has expired. When any of these structures fail, you can expect plenty of casualties and mayhem.

But there’s only so much damage that a crumbling dam or bridge can do. The most frightening aspect of our infrastructure, is our electrical grid. Specifically, our nuclear power plants. If anything ever happened to those facilities, it would make any other infrastructure related disaster pale in comparison. And unfortunately, we may have just received a small taste of what that disaster might look like. A nuclear reactor was just shut down in New York, after a monitoring well detected a 65,000% increase in radiation levels.

ALBANY – New York will investigate the Indian Point Energy Center after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe after he said Entergy Corp., the Buchanan plant’s owner, reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells.

While the facility reported that the contamination has not migrated off site and did not pose an immediate public health threat, Cuomo said that the incident requires a full investigation.

“Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak ‎does not pose a threat,” said Cuomo, who lives in New Castle, Westchester County.

So the company that owns the power plant claims that the public has nothing to worry about, which is why they never alerted the surrounding communities. And yet, the governor wants a full investigation to see if the plant poses any health hazards. That’s reassuring. Some members of the State’s Assembly don’t seem to find it comforting either.

The findings of contamination drew harsh criticisms from state Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, who said in a released statement that this was not the “first time Entergy’s operation and maintenance has failed.” The nuclear power plant, Jaffee added, “cannot continue to operate as it has without a full and thorough investigation of this incident.”

“My primary concern is the potential impact this tritium-contaminated water may have on the health and safety of those who live nearby but also the impact this radioactive water may have on public health and our environment,” Jaffee said in the statement.

And she’s right. The Indian Point Energy Center should be a poster child for how decrepit our infrastructure is, because there have been countless age related issues in the facility over the past few years. Just last year a transformer exploded, a malfunctioning fan caused a reactor to shut down, and an electrical problem caused a different reactor to shut down for several weeks. There have been about 5 shutdowns over the past year, and to top it all off, the plant’s former supervisor was charged and fined for falsifying safety records the year before.

Not surprisingly, two of the reactors have passed their 40 year licensing period, which is how long most nuclear reactors were initially designed to last. And Indian Point Energy Center isn’t alone. Three quarters of America’s nuclear power plants have received 20 year extensions. It’s safe to say that what happened in New York last weekend is going to become a common occurrence all over the United States, and the worst has yet to be seen.

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

Preppers – Foot Care is a Top Priority

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I have a confession to make. I was born with extremely high arches and an obscene love of boots in all their variations. Although my feet don’t quite meet the standards for Pes Cavus (who’s literal translation is “hollow foot”), the footprint I leave behind, were I to stand on a piece of paper with a wet foot, is pretty close. The ball of my foot and my heel can be plainly seen, but there is only a thin line in the print from the outer side of my foot (lateral aspect) connecting the two. The opposite foot structure from mine is a completely flat foot.

foot arch types1Both of these variations in foot structure tend to run in families (sorry, kids, you got that from me) and can wreak havoc over time on “blue collar feet”. Being on my feet all day caring for animals, jumping out of semi’s and tractors, repeatedly pushing down with my foot on a shovel to turn earth or muck out stalls, hiking up and own the hills here in the Sierras, and carrying heavy sacks of feed on my shoulder while wearing improper footwear (for my foot structure) all added up.

I could tell you how to properly trim almost any animal’s hooves, the importance of properly fitting shoes on a horse, how to treat thrush, how to prevent and treat hutch burn in rabbits, and even how to treat bumblefoot in chickens. But until a few years ago, when I was diagnosed with severe, chronic plantar fasciitis, I didn’t know a thing about my own feet, nor did I appreciate the importance of their care. Whether you’re farming or concerned about winter wilderness survival taking care of your feet should be one of your top priorities.

Foot Injuries vs Foot Conditions/Diseases

A foot injury is pretty self-explanatory. Something acute has happened- you’ve stepped on a sharp object, developed a wickedly painful blister, or broken a bone. Foot conditions, on the other hand, are usually things you’re born with that may or may not have any effect for some time. The problem is, it’s a cumulative effect, so addressing the underlying condition and caring for it properly before an issue arises, is much more affective than trying to resolve it after the fact.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is certainly the case in foot problems. There’s a myriad of conditions and diseases than can affect the foot, but for this discussion, I’m going to focus on the ones most often encountered by “blue collar feet”: plantar fasciitis, sesamoid injuries, and their treatments.

Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain

pf 1Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain, but you’re at greater risk if the arch of your foot is very high or very flat, are overweight, have very tight calf muscles that make it difficult for you to flex your foot back so that your toes are point up towards your shins, repetitive impact injury (like jumping out of semis and tractors), or a new or sudden increase in activity (like bugging out on foot or the increased farm work that spring season brings). It can start off as pain in the heel, especially upon waking (post-static dyskinesia). Oftentimes, the pain and stiffness in the heel will go away after a few minutes of walking.

As it progresses and is left untreated, the heel also becomes very painful after exertion. If you ignore these early warning signs, as I did, the pain can spread across the bottom of your foot from your heel to the ball of your foot, is constant, and is so painful that bearing any weight on your feet becomes impossible. It can affect one or both feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is literally the inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia, the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot. To picture where this strong band of tissue is, imagine your bare foot print. The band looks something like a tree with the bottom of the trunk starting at the back of your heel print (called “the insertion point”), the trunk of the tree running up your arch, and the branches spreading out across the ball of your foot to each toe. Unlike other connective tissues in your body, the plantar fascia doesn’t stretch. Instead, it’s designed to absorb the high strains and stresses we place on our feet, but if too much stress is placed on it, it tears the tissue which causes stiffness and inflammation. Dr. Julia Overstreet, a podiatrist, high-risk foot and lower extremity specialist, has a very good video on the subject here.

Mild plantar fasciitis can be treated much like any other sprain or strain: over the counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), an ice pack, and rest. Many doctors recommend stretching the affected area by doing a calf stretch and plantar fascia stretch.

  • Calf stretch – Lean forward against a wall with one knee straight and the heel on the ground. Place the other leg in front, with the knee bent. To stretch the calf muscles and the heel cord, push your hips toward the wall in a controlled fashion. Hold the position for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat this exercise 20 times for each foot. A strong pull in the calf should be felt during the stretch.
  • Plantar fascia stretch – This stretch is performed in the seated position. Cross your affected foot over the knee of your other leg. Grasp the toes of your painful foot and slowly pull them toward you in a controlled fashion. If it is difficult to reach your foot, wrap a towel around your big toe to help pull your toes toward you. Place your other hand along the plantar fascia. The fascia should feel like a tight band along the bottom of your foot when stretched. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat it 20 times for each foot. This exercise is best done in the morning before standing or walking. (Source)

However, I completely agree with Dr. Overstreet that these exercises have little to no affect. The fascia doesn’t stretch, so you’re really just stretching the tissues surrounding them. This might work for very mild cases of plantar fasciitis, but it doesn’t work once you’ve allowed it to go beyond that.
Plantar fasciitis is a mechanical issue and as such should be treated with devices that help support the mechanics of your foot. That means finding an arch support that will fit your arch and keep it from being stressed. Low dye taping is an economical short-term treatment that can get you back on your feet long enough to get out of an emergency situation or to offer relief until you can see a podiatrist. Dr. David Hughes, podiatrist with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, has an excellent video on how to properly tape a foot in the low dye method for plantar fasciitis relief here.

A more permanent solution is to get a pair of OTC orthotics. Many think that the massaging gel foot inserts that you find at the pharmacy will help, but they won’t. Instead, go to a sports shoe store or a podiatrists office (you don’t need an appointment- many of them carry high-quality orthotics that they sell over the counter) and get your feet fitted for orthotics. Why get fitted? Because everyone’s feet are different, each arch is different, and the point is to get an orthotic that closely matches the arch of your foot to give it maximum support. You’re looking for something like this.

Examine Your Footwear

Now is a good time to examine your footwear, too. Shoes, like tires on your car, have a mileage life. Shoes will usually last about 300 miles. It doesn’t matter how pretty they still look on the outside- after 300 miles, the inner structure starts breaking down and will no longer support your feet. For maximum support, choose lace-up shoes. Slip-on shoes won’t hug your feet well enough to keep the arch support snug against your arch. There’s a reason the military provides all their soldiers with lace-up boots! This video gives you a good overview on how to evaluate the quality of the construction of a shoe or boot.

I love the convenience of my slip-on muck boots, but they had to go. My beautiful cowboy boots are now reserved for nights out on the town. Flip-flops and stilettos? Fuggedaboutit! You’ll probably need to remove the insole that came with your shoes. Most of them now have their own support and it will interfere with the custom fit of your new orthotic. Trying to put the orthotic in while the old insole is still in place will also make your shoes too small. If you find that your lace-up boots are too tight even after removing the old insole and replacing it with the new orthotic, you can try lacing them differently for a more comfortable fit. A video on alternative lacing methods can be found here.

Sesamoid Injuries

This is another common injury of “blue collar feet” that take a pounding. Most joint bones connect to each other, but some do not, like your knee cap. The sesamoid bone in your foot is like the knee cap of your big toe. It’s in the underside of your foot where the big toe connects to your foot. Bruising of the sesamoid in your foot is more common (I’m looking at you, stiletto pumps!), but sesamoiditis (inflammation of the tendons surrounding the sesamoids) happens over time with repeated stress. Ironically, it was the quality boots and the custom-fit orthotics that made me more susceptible to sesamoiditis (through no fault of either device).

I took advantage of the increased support and felt indestructible. I was jumping off of things and sitting in bent-knees, toes-flexed-backwards position for long lengths of time. By the end of the day, it felt like a fire had been lit at the base of my big toe and stretching it backwards, even a little, was very painful.

If I had fractured the sesamoid, the pain would have been immediate. Fortunately, the treatment for sesamoiditis and fracture is the same- first, stop doing whatever it is that made it hurt. Next, use NSAIDS, rest, and ice the area to bring the inflammation down. Taping the big toe so that it remains slightly bent down or wearing a soft J-shaped pad to cushion it can sometimes offer relief (but really, you should just stay off of it). If the symptoms persist, you may need to wear a short leg fracture brace for four to six weeks to let the fracture heal.

Conclusion

Whether you’re thinking about preps for your bug-out or your feet are putting in a hard day’s work, having the proper support for them and quality footwear is a must. Shoes wear out after about 300 miles and foot problems can stop you in your tracks. Knowing what to look for in the construction of quality footwear and how to take care of the unique structure of your feet will insure you remain mobile in emergency situations or can keep you earning a living. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”.  Stay tuned!

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

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

Five Components Determine How Healthy You Are

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healthA few years back when my kids were still pretty young, one of my girls and I and the family dog took a short walk in National Forest not too far from where we live. I had let the dog off the leash to stretch its legs while my young daughter and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll down a familiar trail. Free from the leash, the dog shot off down the trail only to come to an abrupt stop several hundred yards away, her hackles up, and staring intensely into the thick manzanita that lined each side of the trail. It was a bear with cubs.

I yelled, “run!” and my daughter took off like a rocket back the way we had come. Within seconds, I followed hoping the dog would distract the bear long enough for us to make it safely back to the vehicle. Time loses all meaning in moments like that and what could have been minutes felt like seconds. I quickly realized that the shock of accidentally crossing paths with a bear sow with cubs and the sudden burst of speed had stressed my heart. I was nowhere near close enough to the car and it already felt like my heart was going to burst and the muscles in my legs were on fire.

At the same time, the old saying, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you” flashed through my head. I was very glad to see my daughter running down the path and over fallen trees with the speed and agility of a deer. And I took comfort that, although I loved my dog very much, she would probably give her life to protect me from the bear…until she shot past me like a bullet.

I’m glad to say that we made it all out safely, including that damn dog that I wasn’t loving so much at the moment, but it was a sobering lesson. I was not in as good a shape as I thought I was. Also, thinking that my body would just know what to do in an emergency or that adrenaline would allow me to rise to the occasion like a lot of people think just wasn’t the case. When the SHTF, sometimes it’s a bear and sometimes it’s not. I wasn’t ready for any of it.

How Fit Are You?

It is a fact that past generations were more in shape compared to modern times. A healthy body that’s ready to take on whatever is demanded of it to the best of their ability should be the top priority of any prepper, not just for their own security, but also the security of loved ones that depend on them. I know that I could count on any one of my immediate family members if I ever needed help, but I also know that I have a personal responsibility not to overburden them in a crisis, and the best way I can do that is to make sure I am as healthy as possible before the SHTF. I would never want to put any of them in a potentially life threatening position to save me because I hadn’t bothered to take the time to get fit enough to save myself.

As well, many of us have physical limitations that can stop us from being as fit as we should. In an article on the subject, Tess Pennington writes, “As we get older, many of us are plagued with some type of physical limitation. Recognizing our physical weaknesses and figuring out how to make things work despite those weakness will be vital to our survival.”

Your Health Depends on These Five Components

Health, in this context, isn’t necessarily about weight, pants size, or any of the other standards of beauty frequently seen in fashion magazines. In this case, I’m talking about the ability to get the job done or get the hell out and that could mean different things depending on your own SHTF scenario.

Physical fitness can be measured by assessing five components of health: cardiovascular and respiratory, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, and flexibility. If you’re neglecting any of these areas, you won’t be ready to respond.

Cardiovascular and Respiratory Fitness

Each type of fitness effects the body in different ways and they all support each other. If you’re lacking in one type of fitness, it will diminish the performance level of another. In my case, I frequently hiked, but rarely at a pace that would bring my heart rate up. Cardiovascular exercises that require endurance and raise the heart rate like those performed by runners, rowers, cyclist, and swimmers, increase the size and strength of the left and right ventricles of the heart.

“The left ventricle is one of four chambers of the heart. It is located in the bottom left portion of the heart below the left atrium, separated by the mitral valve. As the heart contracts, blood eventually flows back into the left atrium, and then through the mitral valve, whereupon it next enters the left ventricle. From there, blood is pumped out through the aortic valve into the aortic arch and onward to the rest of the body. The left ventricle is the thickest of the heart’s chambers and is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to tissues all over the body. By contrast, the right ventricle solely pumps blood to the lungs.”

Source

My heart wasn’t strong enough to supply the boost of oxygen-rich blood quickly enough to keep up with the demand. Respiratory health ties into this- although lung function doesn’t change dramatically, oxygen that is taken into the lungs is used more effectively.

Muscle Strength

Muscular strength can be measured by the force your muscles are capable of exerting (example: lifting or pushing) and endurance is the measurement of how long your muscles can exert the force without tiring. A sudden sprint away from a bear requires both. Lifting heavy sacks of feed, children, and any number of daily activities as a mom on a farm had given me plenty of strength, but hadn’t really prepared me for endurance.

Muscles are comprised of two types of fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch fibers contract quickly and use a lot of energy, but they also tire out quickly. Slow twitch fibers, on the other hand, can work for a long time without getting tired and they also require a lot of oxygenated blood. Different types of endurance training will increase one type of fiber more than the other, but both types are important for running for your life.

Body Composition & Flexibility

Body composition is simply a relative measurement of muscle, bone, water, and fat in your body. We all know that carrying too much fat, especially around the waist, is bad for our health. Many people use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine their fat percentage, but the BMI is not without controversy:

“BMI does not take into account age, gender, or muscle mass. Nor does it distinguish between lean body mass and fat mass. As a result, some people, such as heavily muscled athletes, may have a high BMI even though they don’t have a high percentage of body fat. In others, such as elderly people, BMI may appear normal even though muscle has been lost with aging”

(Source)

If you feel you’re carrying too much body fat, you probably are, and you should make every effort to reduce it to a healthier level. By doing so, you’ll be more physically fit, stronger, and have more endurance to meet the increased stress and physical demands of an emergency.

Flexibility, the range of motion across a joint, is also an important factor in being prepared. It’s much more difficult to perform a task when one isn’t flexible and it greatly increases the chances of injury. Flexibility exercises help increase he range of motion of joints, ligaments, and tendons so that muscles can perform at their peak.

Conclusion

In the years since, I’m happy to say, I’ve made a concerted effort to get physically fit and now at 50 years old, I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I can hike eight miles with a 30-pound pack and a 1000-foot elevation gain in under two hours. It certainly wasn’t easy and there are times, especially around the holidays, that I let things slide. I probably still can’t outrun that damn dog, but I feel pretty confident that I can outrun you!
Next up, we’ll talk about some frugal ways to incorporate fitness into your everyday lives without breaking the bank so you too can get in shape to survive the bears in your life.

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

Hardcore Survival: What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

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winterThis article is going to give you some pointers on dressing for the winter weather to maximize your heat, minimize your moisture, and to enable you to be ready if the SHTF.  The article’s title holds the word “tactical,” and in this New Year I feel it is important to make this emphasis to you:

Every situation is either tactical or has the potential to become tactical in the blink of an eye.

Needs and Capabilities

Your needs and capabilities in this regard are going to vary in accordance with where you live (geographical/climate locale), and what you do during the course of the day.  Some may have an easier time with this, as they may be employed where they can wear what they want…few and far in-between as this may seem.  Others must wear a uniform or a suit and tie/business apparel.  No matter.  The first group (to paraphrase the band “Nirvana”) can “come as you are…as I want you to be.”  The second group will have to rely on the telephone booth akin to Clark Kent as he did when he “changed” into Superman.

Footwear

Footwear is as varied as the imagination.  I prefer military footwear and wear it all the time.  I have a pair of desert winter boots with Vibram soles that I switch up with a pair of Rocky Gore-Tex issue boots.  The majority of the time these days, I have a good pair of rubberized boots with leather instep, Kamin waterproofs, a necessity here in Montana where it snows about every day.  With socks, I like a thin pair of cotton, covered over with a thick pair of wool.  The cotton absorbs the moisture from your foot, and the wool wicks it away.

Essential Layers

I layer with long johns, a decent synthetic type by Russell, and over these I wear nylon jogging-type/sports pants with a thin cotton underlining.  They lock in the heat and they do breathe.  Over this are the pants, and as I mentioned in previous articles, only cargo pants will do for me, my preference being Riggs by Wrangler.  This triple layer keeps layers of air circulating between them and also insulates me thoroughly from the cold.  Here it has been about 20 degrees F during the day, and 0 – 7 degrees F at night.

Topside I wear a cotton t-shirt with a synthetic/polypro long sleeve undershirt.  If you can find shirts with wicking ability, it can help your body maintain your core body temperature. Over this I have a sweatshirt with hood, and I wear an Army issue uniform top: they’re durable, and I like the newer generation tops because of the amount of pockets.  Over this I throw a nice Marmot Gore-Tex jacket, and then it’s just my gloves and a hat. Remember, folks: wearing a hat will keep warm heat from escaping on your head. This is very important! When I’m all suited up, JJ’s ready to go!

The Doctrine of Contrasting Colors

You all know about the importance of layering, and now let’s cover a few things from a tactical perspective: the doctrine of contrasting colors.

What if “big daddy government” morphs into that totalitarian state we can all foresee and dread?  You are on the run.  Here’s the principle: they’re looking for a guy with a red jacket, and he disappears into a public restroom.  As people come out, there is nobody with a red jacket, but you went right by them…because you stripped off your top layer, discarded it (hopefully you can recover it!), and emerged in a gray sweat top.  The key here is to be able to alter your appearance and “change up” on the target they are looking for…and expecting.  The mind and eyes tend to focus on a target and keep it in mind.  This is our honing instinct, and it is as old as mankind.

If you’re wearing tan khaki cargoes and a red jacket (does that classify you as a SF ’49er fan?), how much better if you emerge wearing black nylon sweats and a gray sweatshirt?  The colors must contrast; that is, bear a marked difference to one another in the combination you’re wearing them both before you’re followed and after you give them the slip.

Now I’m sure a lot are going to comment that it “doesn’t matter with infrared,” and “you can’t avoid the cameras.”  No, actually, it does matter.  The goons that are on the ground do not have all of that equipment in their hands and right in front of them.  Not yet.  There’s a disconnect between what Stanley the Tech-guy is reporting to him in his ear and what he sees on the ground.

In addition, you want to wear hats and gloves, maybe a good scarf or a balaclava to keep warm and also to break up your outline that gives a signature.  I want to put in a word about the Gore-Tex.  It is the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion.  I wear the civilian Gore-Tex jacket so as not to be so obsequious, although here in Montana camouflage is a year-round sight and in some areas can be easily confused with evening formal wear.

The important tactical consideration here with the Gore-Tex is that you want to stay warm and dry, and a fire may be “inconvenient” for you until the initial fervor of the disaster passes.  A good acid test is to dress in the manner I outlined and then lay in the snow for about 15 minutes with no ground pad or insulation between you and the snow.  If you can say you’re still warm even after 15 minutes, then you may have found a winning combination for yourself.  Layers also help enable your skin to breathe and to reduce heat that could potentially be trapped and elevate your temperature too high.

The cargo pants and Army top help you with the pockets to store things that are essential to you…small tools, fire starting equipment, and the like.  You want your ensemble to be as rugged and durable as it can be.  When it hits the fan, you don’t know when you’re going to have a change of clothing.  You’ll start it out “as is,” so to speak: what you’re carrying and wearing is what you’ll have, at least initially.  Remember: when you have to hide, a lot of times you’ll be hunkered down or in the prone.  You have to keep warm, dry, and insulated, especially if you must lay on the ground.

So whatever your environment, dress accordingly for that environment.  Remember this doctrine of contrasting colors, and choose your garments for their utilitarian functions rather than for style or appearance.  Take the time to consider any physical limitations and plan your wardrobe accordingly.  Always take the time to assess the situations in the news and what is happening around you, and be ready to do the Clark Kent to Superman change as soon as the balloon goes up and you have determined it’s genuine.  Have a great day, Guys and Gals, be prepared, and stay warmly-dressed, and “frosty” in your mind!  God bless!  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

Scientists Discover New Link Between Sugar And Cancer

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sugar cubes wikimediaIt’s no secret that sugar is incredibly bad for you. The typical American diet, which probably has more added sugar than any national diet in the world, is known to cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, tooth decay, nutrient deficiencies, and of course, cancer (and that’s just the short list). Cancer in particular, has been connected to sugar consumption for some time now, by both mainstream and alternative medicine. Plenty of theories have been posited to explain the precise mechanism for how sugar fuels cancer growth, and it seems that modern science has just discovered another compelling link.

A study conducted by Lorenzo Cohen at the University of Texas was recently published in the Cancer Research journal. It found that sugar influences a metabolic pathway called LOX-12, which affects how cancer spreads in the body. This is big news, because as Cohen noted in an interview with NBC, “The majority of cancer patients don’t die of their primary tumor. They die of metastatic disease.” They discovered this link after feeding mice copious amounts of sugar.

Cohen’s team used mice for their study but say they took many steps to make sure the process was as close as possible to what happens in people. They fed sugar to the mice in doses very similar to what Americans eat every day, and they used mice that are genetically predisposed to breast cancer in much the same way that many people are.

They fed mice four different diets that were either heavy in starch or heavy in different types of sugar.

“A human study reported that dietary sucrose/fructose/glucose but not starch is associated with increased risk of breast cancer,” they wrote in their report.

When the mice were six months old, 30 percent of those fed a starch-dominant diet had breast cancer. But half the mice that had been fed extra sucrose had breast tumors. And the more sugar they were fed, the bigger the tumors grew.

While all forms of sugar contributed tumor growth, it was fructose that had the biggest effect. Mice that were fed the most fructose had stronger LOX-12 pathways, and as a result, grew the largest tumors. Considering that there is significantly more high fructose corn syrup (which is 55% fructose) in the American diet today than there was a few decades ago, this may explain why the United States has one of the highest cancer rates in the world.

What the study didn’t address however, is the relationship between naturally occurring sugars and cancer, or if there’s any link there at all. Fructose is of course, commonly found in fruit, and in smaller amounts, certain vegetables. That’s one of the reasons why representatives for the food industry claim that their sugary drinks and candies are relatively safe for human consumption.

Lorenzo Cohen stated that it’s simply a matter of quantity, since our bodies only need sugar in small amounts. “We need glucose. We need sugar. It is an energy source and we need it to live. We refine sugar that’s extracted from its source and consumed in extremely high quantities.”

On the other hand, the way these sugars are delivered to our bodies may be just as important as their quantity. While it’s true that the sugar in a candy bar is made of the same glucose and fructose as the sugar in fruit, it’s also wrapped up in fiber and other nutrients when found naturally in food. This serves to significantly slow down the absorption of sugar in our digestive tract.

So if you only ate sugar from natural sources, not only would you be eating less sugar since those foods usually don’t contain nearly the same amount found in processed foods, but that small dose of sugar would also be delivered to your body at a much slower rate. There’s a good chance that this LOX-12 pathway would be exposed to a negligible amount of sugar, if we stuck to a strictly natural diet.

Though the study doesn’t address the difference between natural and added sugar, it does sound like added sugar is the real culprit here. The recommended amount of added sugar for any diet, is no more 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Even when Cohen fed the mice an equivalent to those small amounts, it still contributed to tumor growth.

So it’s very possible that no amount of refined sugar is safe. The human body is simply not built to digest it in a healthy manner, and cutting it out of your diet should be your highest priority if you want to reduce your cancer risk.

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

Here’s What Happens When You Eat Nothing but MREs

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mre

Have you heard the news? The Army has an offer for those of you who are particularly brave. You no longer have to join the Army if you want to serve your country. You just have to eat their food.

U.S. Army researchers invited men and women to help improve their Meals, Ready-to-Eat — if those volunteers can eat nothing else for three straight weeks.

Participants would eat and drink the provided rations for 21 days, then go back to a normal diet for 10 days, according to the study. It’s open to people between the ages of 18 and 62 who “meet additional screening criteria.”

The goals of the study go beyond improving the taste, the Army Times reported. Researchers say they’re hoping to add other nutrients to the food and to look at its impact on bacteria inside the digestive system, potentially improving what they call “gut health.”

Don’t worry. You’ll be properly compensated for your service.

Volunteers can’t have alcohol to help swallow the food — they’ll need to avoid all outside food and drink for those first three weeks, officials say. The Army will pay volunteers $200 each for completing the study.

All kidding aside, I don’t think you could give me enough money to eat MREs every day for three weeks. Or at least, the Army doesn’t have enough money to compensate the number I have in my head. I’m willing to bet that a lot of you reading this feel the same way. For those of you who haven’t tried MREs before, let me fill you in on what’s going to happen to the poor bastards who volunteer for this study.

It’s probably not a coincidence that the researchers are trying to study the effects these meals have on gut flora. If you read the ingredients list for these meals, you’ll find that they contain a lot of the same garbage you would find in junk food. Lots of chemicals and GMOs, and much much more. If you had a prepared MRE dish in front of you, and you closed your eyes before taking a bite, you’d probably recognize the taste as something remarkably similar to that of fast food, convenience store take out, or TV dinners. Though it’s prepared in a way that allows the food to last much longer, that’s pretty much all it is.

So what do those junk foods do to your gut flora? As some studies have shown, they can absolutely obliterate vast swaths of your stomach’s bacteria within a matter of days. This might help explain why MREs are notorious for causing constipation (which is also caused by their lack of fiber and high calorie content). Other signs of poor gut flora include inflammation, bloating, gas, fatigue, and diarrhea.

So if you ate nothing but MREs for three weeks, it’s safe to say that your body would be kind of a mess. Granted, some people don’t seem to have any problem with digesting MREs, but for most us, three weeks would be devastating. In the past, a lot of veterans have reported severe constipation for the first few days, sometimes followed by the exact opposite for another few days.

However, it is possible for your body to adapt to this stuff. After all, many of our servicemen have had to eat MREs for months at a time when on deployment, so it’s certainly possible, even if it’s not desirable. Given enough time, your bowel movements would probably return to a (somewhat) normal state, and the other side effects would subside. The horrible ingredients in these meals would still be doing damage to your body, but eventually you’d return to functional state.

Once you stop eating them though, you might run into a few more problems. That’s why this study wants to follow their volunteers for a while after they go back to eating normal food. After eating MRE’s for three weeks, your digestive system would have adapted to the food. Going back to real food could be a real shock to the body. Diarrhea, gas, and cramps would probably be felt for at least a few days, until the digestive tract “relearned” how to digest real food.

Overall, I can say without a doubt, that I do not envy the volunteers for this study. While some people seem to be able to handle MRE’s without any severe symptoms, eating them for three weeks would be a wretched experience for most of us. That is after all, one of the reasons why they’re paying people to do it.

On a final note, if you have any MRE horror stories, feel free to share them in the comments.

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

The New Year: Train on the Old, and in with the New

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out with the oldReadyNutrition Readers, I wish to thank you for your comments, feedback, and insight you shared with me and the rest of us in my first year of writing with Tess Pennington and ReadyNutrition.com.  One thing you can be sure of: on behalf of Miss Tess and all of us, I reaffirm what I wrote recently, and that is you can depend on us – as a source of information exchange, new instruction, a forum for discussion, and a window into what we all need to keep preparing and stocking up.

And I am committed to you, Guys and Gals, to continue to help Miss Tess and this wonderful blog to do my part with timely information and instruction with your interests always in my mind and heart.  We all instruct one another; all learn from one another.  I have gleaned much personally from my dialogues and interactions with all of you.  I thank you for a wonderful first year of writing for you, and I am honored with the responses and contacts you have gifted me with.  You’re the heart and soul of what it means to be dedicated, self-sufficient, and resourceful with your interest and feedback.  JJ is a “very happy camper” to serve such a wonderful readership and ReadyNutrition.com.

Now that the “old” year is coming to an end, we will need to take the lessons learned from this past year and (remember: refresh on study continually!) and keep them close to mind and heart.  Such is necessary as a base and foundation for things we cover next year.  This year, in a short and summarized review, we covered such things as Bug-out/Go bags and ways to stock and employ them.  We covered a tremendous amount on Biological Warfare (a three-part series back in the late Spring/Early summer).  We went into a few pieces of equipment, reviewed some books, and gave some instruction on things such as the most likely waterborne diseasesrainwater catchment, water purification, setting up a home hospital/recovery room in event of pandemic.

We studied many different diseases and ailments and the naturopathic holistic support to aid a person in their healing, as well as covering preventative measures.  We did a series on Wilderness Survival techniques and Wilderness First-Aid.  In short, many articles covering a gamut of subjects with references and information based on training and practical experience.  I reiterate, all of the subjects I have written articles to you, I have had formal training and experience with.

I ask you to save your articles in hard-copy for your reference in the times to come: for continuous review, and also as a backup in case we ever face a long-term or indefinite power outage, stemming from man-made or natural sources. If you can’t print them off all at once, do a little at a time.  I’m certain most of you do save to hard copy, and this makes me smile: you have info that you can use, in your hands.  Read them all frequently and continually, always remembering that (as my First Sergeant used to say in the 82nd Airborne Division): “Repetition always promotes a good follow-through and success.”   He was right.

Also bring to mind what “Top” told all of us all the time (more reinforcement in itself), as I have written to you before, of which he was even more right:

            “How you train in peace is how you fight in war.”

Much of what I have tried to impart to you is that you always hold a “readiness stance,” that is, the “footing” to step off as soon as a situation throws itself into gear.  The military experience I bring to you is important, regardless of whether you have served, because we are all Americans and called upon to become citizen-soldiers when the true need arises, in whatever gifts and capacities we can serve one another.

Today’s soccer mom may be tomorrow’s key to a community’s survival: home canning and food preservation, to teach to the younger preservers, maybe serving a small, isolated town with a hundred souls.  Today’s soccer dad may be a builder by trade, but tomorrow he will be the engineer for a group laying out perimeter security projects of building and construction, building storage sheds, barns, etc., for that same community.

Today’s family member may be tomorrow’s family leader, called on to take responsibility and accountability for all of their kin, eldest to youngest.  Today you are our Readership, and (it breaks my heart to ever have to say this to you, my Countrymen), and tomorrow you may be called upon: A Citizen-Soldier, to fight a battle of survival for our country.

Review all of the techniques and articles from Miss Tess, Joshua Krause, guest-contributors such as Ruby Banks.  Review and study the things I have written to you.  It is important to reinforce the knowledge in your mind, and if you can put some of these in practicum with training?  All the better.

We’re going to go into the New Year with some goals and plans:  JJ will continue with these different subjects, and you can use many of the past year’s instruction as a basis for our ongoing studies in the coming year.  I will also interject some current events and tie them in with whatever subject I’m covering in the article.  I’m going to submit more photos and diagrams to cover many of these articles in order to help you with the instruction.  In short, the Staff and Writers of ReadyNutrition are going to be there for you in the coming year, just as in this year.

Take a few days before the New Year to reflect upon all you guys and gals have accomplished and learned.  Review these things, and go into the New Year with a fresh mind to follow after those two things you need with all of it: resolve and patience.  Outline goals you wish to accomplish.  Send in comments with requests for special subjects you wish us to cover together for you.  BTW, “Shadow,” we’ll be getting into trees and their gifts for use in survival, as you requested…haven’t forgotten you!

It has been a challenging year, but it has been great for me because of all of you.  I thank you for your support and comments and feel charged up to meet the tasks for next year with all of you.  I wish you all the blessings of the season, and a New Year with success, health, happiness, and all that your hearts wish for.  May God bless and protect you and your families, and Happy New Year.  JJ will drink a toast to all of you!  Take Care…of one another!

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

Expert Warns It’s “Almost Too Late” to Stop Superbugs

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e coli wikimediaYou’re probably already aware of the dangers posed by the overuse of antibiotics. Doing so can lead to the creation of pathogens that are immune to antibiotics, and often can’t be treated by modern medicine. What you may not know, is that these dangers no longer lie in the relative safety of the future. They are already with us today, and these superbugs are killing thousands every year.

More importantly, the age of pharmaceutical antibiotics is nearing its end. Last month, a gene was discovered in several strains of bacteria in China, which grants these pathogens an immunity to colistin. This drug was one of the earliest forms of antibiotics, and also the only one that had yet to breed immunity in any strain of bacteria.

What’s worse, is that this gene can be passed to different strains of bacteria, so the genie is out of the bottle. Someday soon, colistin will be useless, and we will be well on our way into the post-antibiotic era. However, some experts on the subject believe that there is still a slim chance of avoiding this disaster. According to Dr. David Brown, who is the director of Antibiotic Research UK, society could turn this ship around if we changed our ways.

Dr Brown told said: “It is almost too late. We needed to start research 10 years ago and we still have no global monitoring system in place.

“The issue is people have tried to find new antibiotics but it is totally failing – there has been no new chemical class of drug to treat gram-negative infections for more than 40 years.

“I think we have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again.”

Resistance is thought to have grown due to colistin being heavily used in pockets of the agricultural industries, particularly in China, often to increase the physical size of livestock.

Worldwide, the demand for colistin in agriculture was expected to reach almost 12,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year, rising to 16,500 tonnes by 2021.

Unfortunately, “50-50″ may be wishful thinking. The gene responsible for building immunity against colistin has already been found in the UK. If it’s been found in China and the British Isles, then it’s safe to assume that it has gone worldwide. “50-50″ may still be an accurate assessment, but only on the condition that the agricultural industry of every nation, agrees to stop using colistin with such wanton abandon. However, the chances of that happening anytime soon are slim to nil.

Agricultural use of antibiotics has been one of the biggest drivers of superbug development, perhaps even more so than human usage. Doctors may be handing out these drugs like candy to their patients, but farmers have been giving antibiotics to their livestock by the shovelful. They’re not just used to treat individual animals who’ve become sick. They’re often laced with their feed as a preventative measure, and are known to induce growth in the livestock.

In other words, there is a ton of money to be made by dosing animals with antibiotics, and since agriculture is largely a corporate game these days, there’s going to be a lot of lobbying to prevent any new legal restrictions. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or that it hasn’t been done before. It’s just that there are plenty of barriers that would prevent these laws from being made.

And in any case, the world has been fully aware of the consequences of overusing antibiotics in agriculture for decades, and yet, very little has been done to stop this practice. Now that we’ve finally reached the crisis point that has been predicted for years, is there any reason to believe that suddenly we’ll drop everything we’re doing and change? I doubt it.

It was short-term thinking that brought us here, and that thinking hasn’t changed. As far as the agricultural industry is concerned, it’s too late. So why not milk it for as long as they can? Besides, anybody who stops now is going to be out-competed by other companies that refuse to stop. It doesn’t matter that there’s a small chance of stopping this disaster. Corporations don’t sacrifice profits for small chances.

And finally, suppose that there was a concerted effort to ban this practice. Is it reasonable to believe that every country will go through with it? If even one small nation doesn’t stop using these antibiotics on their livestock, it will be enough to foster these immunity genes which will spread all over the world, as they have already done.

At the end of the day, there is no going back. There is no turning the ship around, and there is no last-minute solution. The antibiotics created by medical science are going the way of the dodo, and only natural alternatives will remain in the aftermath.

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