The Dandelian, a boon to some bust for others!

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The Dandelian, a boon to some bust for others!

The Dandelion a boon to some bust for others!
Lynna “A Preppers Path ” Audio player below!

Now really how does one not smile at the brilliant yellow blossoms dotting the country side or perhaps your lawn each spring and summer! Ok Ok I know dandelions are one of the most common and despised weeds of those keepers of pristine lawns. But really the dandelion is just as useful as it is prolific.

Continue reading The Dandelian, a boon to some bust for others! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

The Overlooked Nutritional Powerhouse You Can Stockpile For Years

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The Overlooked Nutritional Powerhouse You Can Stockpile For Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you are looking to add some powerhouse nutrition, be sure to consider lentils.

Lentils are legumes, and when compared with other dried beans, they are easy and quick to prepare since they do not require presoaking. However, they offer high nutritional content, and they readily absorb other flavors in your soups, stews and side dishes. Even better: They will store for years and years.

Lentils originated in central Asia and are one of the world’s first cultivated foods. In fact, lentil seeds dating back to Old Testament times have been discovered at archeological sites in the Middle East. Sometime before the first century, lentils made their way to India, where they became the basis of the popular Indian dish, dal.

There are dozens of varieties of lentils, and they are classified by size and by color. Although green and brown lentils are the most common types in the U.S., lentils also come in orange, red, yellow and black varieties. Flavors differ slightly among the different types, but each one offers a rich, dense, slightly nutty taste.

The ‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

Here are some of the many health benefits lentils can provide.

Manganese. Stored in the bones and in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, this mineral helps the body maintain a normal level of blood sugar. It also offers protection against free radicals. A 100-gram serving of red lentils provides 100 percent of your daily manganese requirements.

Protein. If you are a vegetarian or are just looking to increase your protein intake, lentils are a great choice. A half cup serving of dry lentils provides 26 grams of energy-packed protein. They also are naturally gluten-free. Lentils are one of the best sources of alkaline protein, which means they can help balance the body’s pH level, promoting a healthy gut.

Fiber. If you consume 100 grams of dry green lentils, you will get 80 percent of your day’s fiber recommendation. A high daily intake of dietary fiber can help lower your “bad” cholesterol levels and offer protection against developing Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. High fiber also regulates the digestive system, helping to prevent constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis.

Potassium. Potassium is helpful in regulating blood pressure, and it can help fight the damaging effects of too much sodium in the diet. A 100-gram serving of red lentils offers more potassium content than a large banana.

Folate. Folate plays an important part in heart health, nerve function and the formation of red blood cells. It helps prevent anemia and is very important in helping increase the blood volume of pregnant women and women of childbearing age in general.

The Overlooked Nutritional Powerhouse You Can Stockpile For Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

Iron. You can take a natural iron supplement by eating 100 grams of lentils, which provides almost half of your daily iron requirement. Iron helps in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in the muscles, both of which help fight against fatigue and tiredness.

Low starch content. Compared with refined grains and packaged carbohydrates, lentils have a low impact on blood sugar levels. Lentils contain about 35 percent digestible starch, and about 65 percent resistant starch, which is the type that escapes absorption in the small intestines. Eating lentils can help curb your appetite, since they are low in calories yet are satisfying.

How to Purchase Lentils

Lentils are available in prepackaged containers and in bulk bins. Look for lentils that are whole and without cracks and without any evidence of damage from insects or moisture.

Unlike many canned vegetables, canned lentils retain most of their nutrition. Check the label, however, to avoid added salt or other ingredients.

Storage

When dry lentils are stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place, they will store for years. Cooked lentils will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about three days in a covered container.

Cooking With Lentils

Spread lentils out on a light plate or surface to check for and to remove any small rocks or other debris. Then rinse lentils in a strainer under cool running water.

To boil lentils, use one cup of lentils per three cups of liquid. For lentils that are easier to digest, place them in water that is already boiling. When the water returns to a full boil, turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Red lentils take about 20 minutes to cook, while green lentils take about 30 minutes.

You can lengthen or shorten this time depending on the consistency you desire. For example, you might want to cook them for less time if you want a firmer texture for a salad or soup. If you are making a curry or a dal, however, you may want to increase the cooking time so your lentils have a softer consistency.

Have you ever eaten or stored lentils? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Here are some recipes for lentils you may want to consider:

http://allrecipes.com/recipes/16982/fruits-and-vegetables/beans-and-peas/lentils/

http://www.thekitchn.com/20-lentil-recipes-for-easy-weeknight-meals-227286

https://minimalistbaker.com/1-pot-lentil-dal/

https://minimalistbaker.com/1-pot-lentil-dal/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/24/lentil-recipes_n_1070678.html

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/recipe-finder/lentil-recipes

The post The Overlooked Nutritional Powerhouse You Can Stockpile For Years appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Video: Fire/Cooking Supplies For Disasters

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VIDEO: Fire/Cooking Disaster Supplies

Eco-zoom's Stove

Eco-zoom’s Stove

Amy Alton ARNP asks: What should you have in your disaster supply storage to help you keep your family  in hot meals even when you’re off the grid? In this video, Nurse Amy gives her thoughts on what the well-prepared family needs to function in the aftermath of a major disaster.

To watch, click below:

Here’s wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,

Amy and Joe Alton

Amy Alton, ARNP

Amy Alton, ARNP

For more advice on disaster supplies and discussions of over 150 medical topics for when help is not on the way, get a copy of The Survival Medicine Handbook’s award-winning Third Edition!

2017 Book Excellence Award 1st place winner in Medicine

2017 Book Excellence Award 1st place winner in Medicine

 

 

Amazing Blue Balls The Blueberry!

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Amazing Blue Balls The Blueberry!
Host: Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!

The blueberry, you know that pretty little orb of blue we make muffins, smoothies and more out of. The one that is delicious all by itself with nothing added. They get their name from their deep blue color and are one of the few fruits native to North America. We all know they are tasty but do you know how beneficial they are and what a boom to a prepper based home they can be.

Continue reading Amazing Blue Balls The Blueberry! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

The Laws of Nature: A Touchstone for Gardening

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As a rule, when we grow plants, we follow some known practices. The practices may be based on our own experience, on the wisdom of our parents and grandparents, or on scientific research. Whatever the source, it is useful to examine the practices through the lens of the Laws of Nature, sometimes referred to as ecological principles.

The Laws of Nature are broad and substantive statements for how nature functions.

So the question becomes, “Are our plant-growing practices in harmony with or in conflict with the Laws of Nature?”

What other criteria would we use for how we treat our lands, the soils, and all ecosystems, if not the Laws of Nature?

I think of this as a pyramid, with practices on the top, undergirded by Laws of Nature criteria. Then, the practices and Laws are undergirded by our personal land-use ethics.

9 Laws of Nature

Below, I’ve listed nine Laws of Nature.

This list is not fully inclusive; some may seem to be more pertinent than others; and someone else may choose to describe them in a different manner. Nevertheless, they are all statements that hold true, with rare exceptions.

In my garden, if a practice violates a Law of Nature, I look for a substitute practice that is in harmony with the Law.

This broad topic has deep implications and is worthy of further study. The more we understand and apply these Laws, the more we can grow healthier crops, become healthier ourselves, and more fully appreciate the magnificence of nature.

Calvin Bey - Harmony Gardens

#1: Everything in Nature Is Connected

It’s like a huge spider web. Every spot on the web is connected to the whole web. All the factors effecting growth and development—from the minerals in the air to the plant’s physiological processes to the soil microbes to hundreds of additional factors—are all part of the whole.

The implications of this concept are significant.

For example, apply too much nitrogen and the plants get a pretty green color, but at the same time produce an excessive amount of simple carbohydrates, which are ideal foods for the ever-present aphids.

Chemicals and other toxins that reduce soil microorganisms have impacts on soil mineralization and soil digestion processes, which all affect quality and quantity of production. For example, if your soil has a shortage of available calcium, a tomato plant is not likely to set fruit.

Laws of Nature - Mile-High Corn - Calvin Bey

#2: Plants Are Designed to be Healthy

Like humans and other living organisms, plants have an immune system that makes them resistant to insects and diseases that are native to their environment. Plants become weak and sick when they become stressed because of environmental factors, inadequate nutrition, and/or exposure to toxins.

Chemical pesticides and fertilizers create plant and soil conditions that are not conducive to the desirable bacteria and fungi in the soil. The soil microbiome is part of the plant’s defense mechanism.

#3: Insects and Disease Are the Appropriate Response to the Existing Conditions

Insect problems and disease are the result of plant weakness, not the cause of plant weakness. When we improve the conditions, we improve plant resistance. Diseases are nature’s demolition crew and insects are nature’s garbage collectors. Both are appropriate when plants are stressed. Unhealthy plants actually send signals to the insects so they can perform their meaningful designed role.

#4: Mineral Nutrition Supports Plant Immunity

When plant growth is supported with proper mineral nutrition, plants will create higher-order compounds—for example, plant secondary metabolites like essential oils. This and other enzyme developments can lead to optimum levels of health and immunity.

The thousands of enzymes needed in metabolic processes each require a mineral “enzyme cofactor” to function. Without the mineral cofactors, enzyme pathways collapse and plants accumulate soluble compounds in plant sap, leading to pest infestations as plant health begins to fall apart.

#5: Microbial Metabolites Are More Efficient Than Simple Ions as a Source of Nutrition

The ultimate level of plant nutrition and immunity exists when plants can absorb the majority of their nutritional requirements as microbial metabolites. In this model, the soil microbial community serves as the plant’s digestive system. A complex community of soil microorganisms digest and break down organic residues and plant root exudates. In this digestive process, minerals are extracted from the soil mineral matrix and released in a bioavailable form that plants absorb and utilize very efficiently.

Laws of Nature - Strawberry Harvest - Calvin Bey

#6: When Fruit Quality Improves, Yields Increase

When management emphasis is placed on plant nutrition to improve quality, the immunity of the crop increases, creating higher yields, longer produce shelf-life, improved flavor, and reduced dependence on pesticides.

This fundamentally different approach to plant nutrition can lead to yield increases ranging from 10–30 percent. Yield increases come in not only bushels per acre, but also in higher test weights, increased protein production, and increased nutrition per acre.

#7: Healthy Plants Create Healthy Soil—an Investment in Their Own Future

It is commonly understood that healthy soils create healthy plants. The reverse is also true.

Healthy plants create healthy soils.

Healthy plants with high levels of energy can, at times, send as much as 70 percent of their total photosynthates (manifested as sugars, amino acids, and other compounds) into the roots, and then out through the roots and into the soil. Those root exudates are the fuel that feed the soil microbial community and lead to the rapid formation of organic matter.

This process, called carbon induction, is the fastest and most efficient way to sequester carbon and build soil organic matter.

It is an advantage to the plants to invest in soil building. Root exudates rapidly build humic substances. Humic compounds last in the soils for many years. In the end, the entire process ends up rapidly building soil health. It’s another win-win for nature.

#8: Genetic Variability in Plants Serves as a Buffering System

Plant variability allows for selective fitting of plant genetics to specific qualitative differences in the environment. It’s like an insurance plan, with the goal of increased probability of improved plant survival and growth. There are positive synergistic effects, above and below ground, that result from creating diversity through the mixing of species.

#9: Weeds Are a Barometer of Soil Health

We know that different crops have different soil, mineral, and soil biology requirements. So, too, with weeds. When compared to healthy domesticated crops, weeds are usually pioneering (first to enter) species that thrive in soils with imbalanced microbial and nutritional profiles. As soil health improves, crops will improve and weeds will lose their vigor. The weeds are no longer needed to correct the soil imbalances.

Laws of Nature - Harvest Basket - Calvin Bey

Take-Home Lessons

To sum up how nature functions in nine Laws certainly does not do justice to the topic nor does it show the magnificence of nature. Still, despite the inadequacies, the nine Laws are sufficient to provide guidance as to which gardening practices fit the Laws of Nature model.

The following list of gardening practices, which I use in my natural/organic garden in Northwest Arkansas, respect the Laws of Nature. Furthermore, the practices fit my personal land-ethics values.

I do these things to eat healthy food, to teach others, and especially for the children and future generations.

I hope you will consider joining in the transformation.

  1. Use no or at least minimum tillage. Never use a roto-tiller. Besides destroying the natural soil structure, roto-tillers will seriously damage the beneficial fungi in all kinds of soil situations.
  2. Keep the soil covered with a vegetable crop, cover crop, or some type of organic mulch at all times. This practice will promote soil microbial life.
  3. Keep something growing on the beds for as long as possible throughout the year. Where you can, grow crops specifically for deep-root penetration and/or high carbon production.
  4. Wherever possible, encourage diversity of species. Use companion planting where you can.
  5. Use organic fertilizers, compost (sparingly), bio-pesticides (if needed), filtered or structured water, foliar fertilizer sprays, natural biologicals for organic matter decomposition, and natural amendments (like paramagnetic rock) for plant fortification.
  6. Among all things, “communicate” with your garden through positive intentions. Remember: “Thoughts become actions. Choose the good ones.”

Thanks to John Kempf of Advancing Eco-Agriculture (www.advancingecoag) for some of the ideas included in this article.

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The post The Laws of Nature: A Touchstone for Gardening appeared first on The Grow Network.

5 Tiny Items That Will Keep You Nourished in a Survival Scenario

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This video is a little different from all the other “survival food” videos out there. In it, The Green Prepper talks about five tiny items that are often overlooked, yet pack a big punch in terms of taste, energy, and nutrition. Here’s his list: 1. EmergenC – Mix this stuff with water to make a […]

The post 5 Tiny Items That Will Keep You Nourished in a Survival Scenario appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Survival Foods For Your Garden.

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It is said that you will never starve if you are growing Jerusalem Artichokes. The Jerusalem Artichoke is a root crop & member of the sunflower family. The green foliage can be fed to stock & chooks as can the root itself. You only need one root bulb to start your crop.

Nutritional Information:


8 Reasons to Support Local Farmers

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Think about all the items you put in your cart at the supermarket or mega-store. Do you feel you paid a fair price for that product? If you have questions about a particular item, would you know who you could speak to for answers? Where did those potatoes come from, how old is that carton of eggs, and who is being supported by your hard earned dollars? Probably not local farmers.

local farmers

Chances are, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get satisfactory answers to those questions when you buy food at any grocery store. However, when you buy from local farmers, it’s a completely different story.

The following are some reasons why you should support your local farmers whenever possible.

Prices from local farmers

With a big family that includes three teenage girls and two preteen boys, keeping everyone fed at my house is certainly a challenge. Just to make a taco dinner usually requires 4 pounds of ground beef to fill everyone’s belly. With the average price of $3.99/lb for ground chuck, that is $15.96 for just one element of one meal! Yikes! One homemade taco dinner could easily total over $35!

Obviously the grocery bill could quickly get out of hand if the average meal totaled that high every night. Fortunately for my family, we are able to purchase a half beef every spring for an average cost which costs far less than what can be found at the grocery store. Even better, this low cost not only applies to ground beef. We enjoy savings on all wonderful things beef, such as steaks, ribs and roasts. Honestly, without the benefits of buying from local farmers, my family would be eating a lot of Ramen noodles and five-dollar pizzas.

Buying local, though, isn’t always the cheapest way to go, since they are not factory farms that rely on artificial growth hormones and unnatural living conditions for the animals in order to maximize profits. Call local farmers directly, ask about their livestock, what they are fed, and their prices in order to determine what will best fit your family’s needs and budget.

If the price of a side of beef, for example, seems outrageous, be sure to figure how many meals will be made from the meat, and you may find, like I did, that it really is the best way to go, and the least expensive.

Get answers from local farmers

Of course, there are many other benefits of buying from local farmers other than just price. Buying local means I can talk to the farmers about the feed and medicines used for the market beef we purchase. Many facilities will take you back to see where the animal was raised. If I wish, I can speak to the actual human being who was in charge of raising the animal that feeds my family. Information about any chemicals that were sprayed on my vegetables is also available. Questions abut genetic modification can be asked and many farms offer recipe suggestions. Farmers love to discuss their products and they should. They invest hours, days and months to get their products perfect for purchase!

A good way to talk with several farmers at once is at a farmer’s market. At one I attended, I had the opportunity to chat with a local beef farmer and learned a great deal about how beef is categorized and the challenges he faces raising his cattle. He was a wealth of information that helped me decide what I wanted to buy.

Personal experience

In the summer, I can buy produce directly from roadside markets. Nothing makes me feel more like a domestic goddess than selecting fruits and vegetables so fresh you have to shake the dirt off.  How rewarding it is to rummage through the baskets and bins of product and selecting ears of fresh sweet corn or the perfect melon. I do not have to worry about another hurried patron with shopping cart road rage pressuring me along.

Tradition

From these produce stands, I can see the fields of crops being handpicked and brought by the bushelful to the small, family-owned stands. Many times, these farms allow you to pick your own produce for an even cheaper rate. The family farmers are usually on site and although extremely busy, they’re usually willing to answer questions about the fruits of their labor. By purchasing from local farmers, you help keep tradition alive. Many farmers today are third or fourth generation or even greater! This is a great reason to support local farmers whenever possible because the small, family-owned farm is an endangered lifestyle and one I want to support when I can.

Create memories for your children

The two farms located on each side of the small town where I live have been there as long as I can remember. I have memories of going to the north farm with my grandma and picking up bushels of cabbages and tomatoes. She would buy one bushel of tomatoes just for the family to eat that afternoon and a couple others for canning and stewing. When I was younger, I remember sitting under the shade of the big pear tree in the front yard and grabbing tomatoes straight from the bushel. I was eating them like apples with my grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins. Grandma would round up the entire family to go pick strawberries from the south side farm. The rest of the afternoon was spent eating them right out the little green quart containers.

It is important to take our children to local farms and let them see how the food gets to the table. With the convenience of supermarkets and online shopping, little ones today might not grasp the concept of farming that may be a common mindset to older generations. Ask a farmer to talk to them or even show them around. A farm can be an exciting place with tractors, bright and beautiful colors of the produce and all the hustle and bustle of the workers planting, sorting or harvesting.

Local economic support

It is a rewarding feeling knowing the money you spend in your community stays in your community. Fresh produce at prices often lower than what is found in grocery stores is certainly a perk of shopping local farms. Supporting these local farms is important for the livelihood of our community as well. Both of the farms in our town have been in operation for as long as I can remember and are an important pillar of our local economy. Each farm provides summer employment to many local teens and adults needing a seasonal job or supplemental income.

Be sure to shop, though, at peak season for the best prices for you, and help farmers get rid of their produce at just the time they likely have huge harvests to move.

There’s nothing like the taste

Food grown in its ideal season and picked at the perfect point of ripeness tastes much better than product mass-produced in a greenhouse in the off season. Of course this is a matter of opinion, but I am confident that the majority will agree.

The one item I can tell a vast difference in taste between prime season and off season is tomatoes. Nothing is better than fresh tomatoes off the vine. Image those warm, juicy and flavorful tomatoes sliced for that charbroiled cheeseburger, diced and mixed with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil for that perfect bruschetta topping or cut in chunks for that garden fresh salad. Nothing beats tomatoes at their prime. Personally, I think tomatoes grown in the off season with manufactured growing processes generally result in a waxy, flavorless tomato-like substitute.

Nutrition

Buying produce from local farmers’ markets and roadside stands generally means you are getting an amazingly fresh product. Often times, produce is picked in the early morning and delivered straight to the stand for sale that same day. When produce is picked at the peak of freshness, the nutritional value is also at its peak. Each day that produce is off the vine, tree, plant, etc., the nutritional value, as well as taste, decreases.

Think about the produce in big markets and find out where it comes from. Grocery stores carry tomatoes from Mexico and bananas from Brazil. Much of our produce comes from afar. Even with today’s sophisticated logistic methods, the produce you buy at chain stores and larger markets could be days old by the time you put it in your cart. Some industrialized farms harvest produce, like tomatoes, while they are still green so they do not bruise or spoil in transit. Distribution partners then use gas to ripen them for market! Not only is the product picked before it reaches its nutritional peak, but the product itself is not up to par when compared with from field to table product.

Small farms across the land are what helped build our nation. Hard working folks work 365 days a year growing and raising food the old-fashioned and natural way are finding it hard to keep their farms running. Often the consumer dollar is thrown toward mega-marts and superstores. Why not support local farmers? You can take advantage of the better taste, price, nutritional value and other intangible gifts of those delicious fruits, veggies, meat and eggs!

As they say, “On the eighth day, God created the farmer.”

local farmers

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5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Ruining Your Health

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I often find myself looking up the nutrient profiles of the foods I eat. I try to do it on a regular basis, just to see where my diet is lacking. What I usually discover, is that I’m deficient in one nutrient or another. You really need to eat a lot of really high quality foods to take in the vitamins and minerals that are recommended by the FDA. And even when you pull that off, it’s still isn’t necessarily enough. The daily recommended values that you see printed on the sides of most food packages, often reflect the minimum nutrients you need, rather than the most optimum nutrient intake.

And I know that I’m not alone. Despite the fact that people living in the United States have access to more food than anyone else in the world, or throughout human history for that matter, millions of Americans are still deficient in many different kinds of nutrients. The most common of which include:

Vitamin D

Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies are skyrocketing in the US. Because we receive most of our vitamin D from sun exposure, the most likely reasons for this trend include our sedentary lifestyles, and increasing sunscreen usage. Symptoms of a deficiency include fatigue, reduced mental faculties, and bone fractures. Though sea foods and dairy provide the most vitamin D in our diets, exposing your skin to the sun is the most efficient way to receive enough of this nutrient.

Magnesium

Because magnesium is present in every cell in your body, it would be impossible to list every symptom of a deficiency. Magnesium effects every bodily function, which makes it one of the most important nutrients. Though estimates vary between different studies, they all suggest that a majority of the population isn’t consuming enough magnesium. The best sources of magnesium include leafy greens, fish, beans, and nuts.

Omega-3

This is one of the most important nutrients for reducing inflammation, and when you don’t eat enough of it, you may suffer from severe cognitive decline, skin problems, and high blood pressure. Plus, the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that you consume needs to be in balance with the amount omega-6 in your diet, if you want to reap the benefits of this nutrient.

Though estimates vary, you should probably be consuming 1 mg of omega-3 for every 4 mg of omega-6. Unfortunately, for most people that ratio is closer to 1/12 or worse, due to the highly processed nature of our diets. So skip junk foods that are loaded with vegetable fats, and eat more fish products like salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil.

Iron

You wouldn’t think that this deficiency would be a problem in America when you consider how meat-rich our diets are. However, it’s fairly common among infants, children, and women who are pregnant or menstruating. The symptoms include fatigue, headaches, chest pains, pale skin, and shortness of breath. To receive enough iron in your diet, you need to eat plenty of meat (especially liver), seafood, seeds and nuts.

Potassium

Potassium is a crucial nutrient for hydration, so when you don’t consume enough, it can cause a wide variety of problems including nausea, heart palpitations, delirium, cramps, and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, it’s fairly difficult to consume enough potassium every day. There isn’t just one food you can eat to alleviate a deficiency (contrary to popular opinion, bananas only have a moderate amount of potassium).

You need to incorporate a wide variety of plant foods into every meal to receive enough potassium. That can include beans, squash, potatoes, leafy greens, tomato sauce, and avocados.

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

Nutrition in SHTF Part 2

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Nutrition in SHTF Part 2 Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio player provided below! Nutrition in SHTF part 1 I talked a bit about fat and cholesterol and the myths about it. This will be all about veggies and what a good diet can do for you during shtf. The need for veggies right now … Continue reading Nutrition in SHTF Part 2

The post Nutrition in SHTF Part 2 appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Backyard Survival Herbs – Meet the Powerful Plantain

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Survival Weed - Plantain

Did you know that there is an edible and almost magical “weed” which grows freely in backyards, meadows and along roadsides that has a history of use as far back as the ancient Persians?

Alexander the Great Used it for Headaches

Pedanius Dioscorides (40 BC-90BC), an Egyptian-trained physician in the Roman army counted on its varied healing properties for battle wounds.  It is documented that in ancient India, when a mongoose was bitten by a cobra, it sought this herb to neutralize the venom!

It has been used through the ages to heal everything from dog bites and scorpion stings, black spots, boils, carbuncles, swellings of the lymph gland, epilepsy, excessive bleeding during menstruation, uterine pains, headaches, coughs, fevers, flu, and sore feet and for the improvement of the eyes, gums, and bladder. And that’s just naming a few of the uses!

Shakespeare, Chaucer and Longfellow Hailed it in Their Works
Henry the 8th dabbled in medicine and considered it one of his foundational herbs.  It was a very commonly used medicinal throughout the ages.  Today we call it a weed…the title given to a plant which really indicates that we just don’t know what amazing properties it has!

So What is this Amazing Plant?

Plantain

Well, it’s plantain – an herb, not the banana look-alike, and there are nearly 200 varieties of it that are found in many places around the globe.

A Brief American History of Plantain
Its history in America is that it was brought over by English and Europeans, when it was coined “White Man’s Foot” by the Indians because it seemed they scattered it wherever they went…which they did – purposefully.

The American Indians were soon using it for wounds, bruises, boils and to reduce the swelling of rheumatic pains by mixing it with clematis.  They would also heat the leaves and place them on wounds.

Plantain was also used with yarrow to stop hemorrhages of the lungs and bowels. Supposedly, the Assembly of South Carolina gave a reward to the Native American who discovered that plantain would cure the bite of a rattlesnake.

So the two most common types we’ll see around the U.S. are ribwort plantain (plantago lanceolata) and greater plantain (plantago major).

Great for Salads
You need to know that you can go right out in your yard and pick off those leaves for salad or steamed greens.  Seriously!  It’s amazing how many nutritious greens there are all around us.

Plantain is Great in Salads

Plantain is great in salads. Best of all it’s nutritious and free!

Before you pick, make sure you find a pure spot to gather them where it’s not a dusty roadside or in an area that may have been sprayed or contaminated. Then prepare to have a boost in beta carotene, calcium, vitamin C and Vitamin K (important for celiacs – I know because I am one).

Nutty Flavored Seeds
You can even harvest the seeds for a nutty flavor to whatever you’re using them in.  The older the leaves, the tougher they are, so try to pick the younger ones.  The leaves, seeds and roots can all be used to make an herbal tea.

Good Chemistry
Here’s a partial chemical breakdown of plantain: allantoin (also found in comfrey, a popular herb for wound salves), apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid, sorbitol and tannin – all mixing together to create one amazing anti-inflammatory, anto-microbial, anti-hemorrhagic, expectorant substance! Oh – and it belongs to the same family as psyllium – the plant that’s sold by vitamin companies to “get you going”.

Herbal Oil
You can make an herbal oil by crushing some fresh leaves and filling a jar with them, adding a vegetable oil of your choice and letting the mixture sit out in the sun for a few weeks, where it will get a deep green color. Strain out the leaves and you have an oil you can use for any number of skin conditions.

Make a Salve
Go a step further and make a salve by simply adding some beeswax to a couple ounces of the oil in a pan, melting them together and then putting it into a container to cool. Do some research and add some other complementary herbs in too – like comfrey.

Save the Day with a Plantain Poultice
Another way to use plantain is just as a fresh poultice. A poultice is typically a moist mass of plant material that is applied to the body to relieve soreness, inflammation etc.

When your loved ones come to you with stings, bites, scrapes, and rashes, you will be a rock star when you pull out the plantain.  An easy way to crush the leaves is to just chew them up in your mouth some might find this distasteful, so we’ll let this be our little secret.

Of course you can simply crush them with a rock or rub between your hands to break them down.  The pain and any toxins will be drawn out, bleeding will be stopped and the edges of the wound will start to heal.  Replace the poultice as needed.

Plantain Infusion
Finally, another way to use the leaves is in an infusion – or a tea.  Just add clean leaves to water and bring to a boil.  Let them steep for awhile and then strain and cool.

As a wash, plantain is great for soothing sunburn or other skin chafing and rashes.  As a tea, (you can add the aerial parts of the plant, too) it can really help as an expectorant and in healing inflamed throat tissues for coughs and bronchitis.

In future posts we’ll talk about some other herbal “weeds” that you have around you, and teach you a few more things that you can add to such a brew!

Until next time…

~Carin

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Disclaimer: Of course we claim no responsibility for your experience with these herbs.  Everything we share is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as professional or medical advice. Do your own research!  Always consult a professional. Be wise. Consider always the chance of an allergic reaction. We are all unique in body chemistry.  We are NOT a medical professionals by any means, however we have saved our family a boatload of annoyance and money by being resourceful and using what is right at our feet – literally.  See full disclaimer here.

Vegetables In 1950 Were More Nutritious. Seriously.

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Vegetables In 1950 Were More Nutritious. Seriously.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Most potatoes we eat today have 100 percent less vitamin A than potatoes did in the 1950s. One hundred percent. That may sound unbelievable, but it doesn’t end there.

An analysis of nutritional records done by Canada’s national newspaper found that potatoes also lost 57 percent of their vitamin C and iron, 50 percent of their riboflavin, 28 percent of their calcium, and 18 percent of their thiamine. Of the seven nutrients analyzed to determine nutrient density, only niacin levels increased in potatoes in the past 50-60 years.

This decline in nutrient density isn’t specific to potatoes. Broccoli in the 1950s had more calcium. Scientific American reported – shockingly — that it takes eight of today’s oranges to pony up the same amount of nutrients that one single orange had in the 1950s. What on earth is going on?

Nutrient Density

Nutrient density is the measurement of key nutrients in a predetermined amount of food. For example, the USDA’s “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference” indicates that 100g of “tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average” contains 237 mg of potassium, 1.2 g of fiber, and 833 IU of vitamin K. These numbers are averages, based on testing done on produce purchased around the country. Nevertheless, these averaged numbers help determine how nutrient-dense — how healthy — each type of food is. And it’s by comparing historic numbers with contemporary numbers that the decline in nutrient density can be tracked.

Crop Development

Vegetables In 1950 Were More Nutritious. Seriously.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Agribusiness is called “agribusiness” for a reason: It’s about making money. And in its quest to make money, agribusiness has developed new varieties of vegetables, selecting for characteristics that impact the bottom line, rather than nutrient density. Cultivars are chosen for their disease resistance, suitability for the climate, maturity rate, high yields, and physical appearance.

Plants are growing bigger, but their ability to take up or process nutrients has not increased at a comparable rate. Also, as Scientific American points out, the high yields of commercial plants have a direct impact on nutrient density. It’s not unusual for commercially grown tomato plants to produce 100 tomatoes per plant. The plant itself is limited in how many nutrients it can take up and disperse among that many fruits.

Soil Depletion

Another problem that’s rooted in agribusiness is soil depletion. Intensive farming methods strip the soil of its nutrients. If the soil lacks nutrients, so too will the plants that grow in that soil. Just as the health of human beings depends on what they eat, the health (nutrient density) of vegetables depends on what they “eat” or absorb from the soil. The more nutrients they take up, the more nutrients their produce will have.

Need Non-GMO Seeds? Get The Best Deals Here!

The only way to address soil depletion is to fertilize the soil. For agribusinesses that are not concerned with nutrient density, the high cost of fertilization may seem to be an unnecessary expense. But, as Scientific American points out, without re-mineralizing the soil, “each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.”

Chemical Pesticides

The term “pesticide” collectively includes substances that control pests and/or weeds, including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Chemical pesticides are formulated to kill specific things, but once released into the soil, they also may kill beneficial microorganisms. Microbes are crucial to nutrient density because they recycle and release nutrients in the soil, which are then taken up by plants and distributed to the produce.

Long-Haul Transportation

Once picked, vegetables start losing nutrients. Leafy greens lose their nutrients very quickly; some types of spinach may lose 90 percent of their vitamin C within 24 hours of being picked. While vegetables are in transport to grocery stores or sitting on grocery shelves, they continue to “respire;” that is, they continue to live by drawing from their nutrient stores. The longer the time between harvest and consumption, the more nutrients are used up during respiration.

Impact on Human Health

Insufficient nutrients may be one reason why we continue to crave food even after we’ve eaten full servings. And, some speculate that due to the decrease in nutrients, five to ten servings of fruit and vegetables daily is insufficient to meet our needs. Foods that are low in nutrient density may contribute to Type B malnutrition, which is prevalent in industrialized nations. While people with Type B malnutrition take in adequate calories and do not appear outwardly malnourished, the food they eat does not contain sufficient nutrients for health.

What Can We Do?

The solution? Plant a garden. Amend the soil with natural fertilizers. Besides producing healthier nutrient-dense produce, nutrient-dense soil creates a healthier plant. A healthier plant has:

  • Increased pest and disease resistance.
  • Higher and healthier yields.
  • Produce that has more intense and complex flavor due to increased nutrients.

Soil that is rich in microorganisms and nutrients is good for plants — and good for us, too.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition

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Nutrition is a topic that doesn’t get much attention in the prepper community, but it should. Let’s say you’re living through a long-term disaster and every day you’re eating rice, gravy, pasta, sauce, and canned soup. You’ll certainly be getting enough calories, but what about vitamins and minerals? Without a well-rounded diet, you will slowly […]

The post 4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

GROW: Can You Be Healthy Eating From The Grocery Store? (Video 1)

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When I started eating more healthfully, one of the major changes I noticed was that my allergies went the way of the dodo.

How about you? Has eating better had any effect on your health?

If so, I have a HUGE favor to ask of you.

You may have heard that I’m writing a book. But because of the way my brain works, I’m writing it orally first in a series of videos that correspond to one chapter each.

I’m publishing the next video in the series, and I’d LOVE your feedback.

In it, I discuss:

  • Why It’s Impossible to Be Completely Healthy Eating Grocery Store Food—EVEN if You’re Eating Organics!
  • The No. 1 Deficiency in America
  • The SINGLE Most Important Source of Nutrition (And Why Modern Carrots Are 10 Times Worse Than They Used to Be!)
  • The First of 5 Keys to Optimal Health
  • Why the Recommended Daily Allowance Won’t Keep You Healthy—And What You Can Do About It

The video is a good bit longer than the ones I usually publish, but it would mean SO MUCH to me if you would watch it through.

Then—and this is just as important— please leave me a comment with your answer to one  of the following questions:

  • Do you think good soil affects plant health? If yes, what personal experiences make you think so?
  • Have you noticed any improvements in your health due to better eating?
  • What made you decide to start eating more healthfully?
  • What advice would you give to a newbie gardener who is intimidated about starting to grow their own food?

Stories like yours will be essential to helping people interested in better health understand the true value of homegrown food and medicine.

I SO appreciate it!

The post GROW: Can You Be Healthy Eating From The Grocery Store? (Video 1) appeared first on The Grow Network.

Why Nutrition is an Essential Part of Preparedness

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Why Nutrition is an Essential Part of Preparedness via The Survival MomWhen you start acquiring your long-term food storage supply, you should keep nutrition and variety in mind. Nutrition is considered a matter of course, but we don’t often think about the importance of having a varied diet. What we think about even less is how nutrition and variety often go together. When you were growing up, did your mom ever tell you to make sure the things on your dinner plate were all different colors? There is a reason for that.

They say that variety is the spice of life, and no one understands this better than the typical college student who exists mostly on ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I, myself, subsisted primarily on cup-o-noodles, sun chips, and apple juice during my last semester of college. A bland, unvaried diet gets old really fast. Many cookbooks like this one have been written to help college students get beyond boring and not very nutritious meals.

Now, most of us, when we think of “nutrition” immediately think of the phrase, “don’t eat junk food all the time.” Junk food can definitely have a severe impact on your heath, but it usually manifests as weight gain and lethargy. When I talk about nutrition, I am referring to the practice of eating enough of all the things your body needs to prevent it from developing a deficiency. Believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to eat this way on a food storage pantry diet.

Deficiencies

Monotonous meals are boring to eat, and therefore, not very good for morale. (Never underestimate the importance of morale when it comes to preparedness!). Boring, repetitive meals can also be bad for your health. Eating a narrow range of foods can put you at risk for numerous nutrient deficiencies. Which ones you develop can depend on which nutrients are absent in your diet. All are unpleasant, and all can, unchecked, result in death.

Most of us learned about scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) in middle school. Other conditions due include beriberi (thiamine deficiency), and pellagra (niacin deficiency), kwashiorkor, and marasmus. The latter two disorders are caused by to starvation in general, but beriberi and pellagra can turn up in people who have plenty to eat, surprisingly. They are not starving and often have full meals.

Beriberi is often found in regions of the world where the main staple is polished white rice. Rice has a much longer shelf-life when the husk and bran are removed, but this process also removes much of the rice’s nutritive value. The Southern United States suffered from a Pellagra epidemic in the early 20th Century. Most of the low-income people of that time and place subsisted primarily on ground corn, which by itself is deficient in niacin. Today in the United States, all white rice and cornmeal is enriched with nutrients before being packaged for sale. Check out this easy recipe for Super Rice as a way to increase the nutrients in white rice.

An Edible History of Humanity,” by Tom Standage, illustrates the connection between nutrition and variety of foods very well. He points out that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were actually healthier than their agricultural descendents.  This conclusion is based on forensic examinations of ancient human remains. As hunter-gatherers, our ancestors ingested a wide variety of things (berries, grains, nuts, meat, tubers), instead of living on a diet made up of almost exclusively bread and beer once wheat became domesticated. Their foraging skills were keen, something we should all learn to do, no matter where we live.

Skeletons dating from the early period of agriculture are shorter, and contain poorer dental health compared to their early hunter-gatherer counterparts. (Lest we overly romanticize hunter-gathering, Standage also mentions that agriculture allowed for more economic stability, which was a definite plus even if the price for that stability was a few inches in height.)

Taking Nutrition For Granted

Most of us learned in 9th grade biology that the entire structure of the human body consists of only a handful of amino acids put together in different ways. Most of these we can synthesize ourselves, but some must come from the foods we eat. Luckily, with our modern economy, fulfilling those needs is as simple as a trip to the grocery store. Eggs, milk, bread, veggies, maybe a steak for dinner, and check. Your body has what it needs to thrive.

Because very, very few individuals in Modern America develop nutrition issues, the importance of eating a balanced diet is overlooked. And because of the massive availability of food, and the practice of enriching things like breakfast cereal, white flour, rice, and cornmeal with nutrients, we don’t even think it’s a huge deal. We take for granted the non-scarcity of everything, and don’t appreciate how tenuous our system is, and how reliant on shipping. “Eating your vegetables” has become a moral issue, something that good little boys and girls do if they want to please their mothers, when it should be a basic health issue.

Those who survived rationing during the second World War have a much better understanding of why we tell people to eat vegetables and drink all their milk. There was great concern in Great Britain during this time period about procuring adequate sources of vitamin C; people picked rose hips and preserved them in syrup to be taken as a tonic to prevent against scurvy. Here’s an article I wrote about World War 2 and food storage.

How to Store a Balanced Diet

So with all this in mind, what should you put in your long-term food storage to keep your family healthy during a crisis? Thanks to food storage companies like Thrive Life, you can get just about everything you can think of in a #10 can: fruit, vegetables, pasta, quinoa, instant meals, even cookie mix. Pretty much anything you can think of that is used in every-day cooking has a food storage analog. If you don’t already have some of these things in your food storage, I’d encourage you to get some because of all the many reasons listed above.

Some people are hesitant to spend money on freeze-dried strawberries because it seems like a luxury item and not a staple – strawberries are lovely, but won’t keep you full. I would argue that it’s worth the money. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, plus there’s that little issue of morale I mentioned earlier.

Freeze dried fruits and vegetables are highly recommended because of their very long shelf life when unopened and the fact that they retain nearly all their nutrients. You can browse through all Thrive Life produce from this website.

If you haven’t already tried your hand at gardening, that’s something you should look into this very next spring. Brassica vegetables are a good choice, being a great source of vitamin K. They are easy to grow (except maybe for cauliflower – I can never get that stuff to work for me!), and grow quickly. And, being outdoors increases your own Vitamin D levels, even if you have a very black thumb!

In a pinch, if you have already exhausted all sources of vitamin C and have no more cans of freeze dried strawberries, you can eat sprouted grains of wheat. Learning to sprout seeds is an incredibly easy way to add nutrients of all types to your diet. Read this to learn how.

Warning: this does not work with all grains. Sprouting rye is not a good idea; the risks of contracting Ergotism from moldy rye outweigh the benefits of vitamin C. 

 

Why Nutrition is an Essential Part of Preparedness via The Survival Mom

6 Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong And You Need To Stop! Especially #3

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6 Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong, nutrition, weight loss, nutrition myths, fat makes you fat, salt is bad for you,

6 Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong

6 Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong And You Need To Stop

I hear a lot of stupid nutrition myths that are wrong. Everyone you run into is a nutritionist these days. It doesn’t matter that they are 300+ pounds and have diabetes. One of the rules I live by is to never take advice from those less successful than you. If Rich Froning wants to tell me about nutrition I’m getting out my notebook. If, however, an obese guy is trying to tell me that bacon is bad for you, he can get lost. 

For the most part, science is getting better at nutritional studies. In the past and probably still to this day numbers are fudged to suit agendas.  The often quoted China Study is a prime example of these. Where the scientist just tossed out all the numbers that didn’t fit his model. 

Butter Is Bad For You

If you tried to tell your Grandma that butter was bad for you ,she’d probably slap you silly. Butter has been a staple of the human diet since we transitioned from hunter-gather society to a hearder farmer one. Butter made from grass fed cows is one of the best health foods you can be consuming. The likely culprit for health issues was what it was being spread on. That morning toast is far worse than the butter. Same goes for pancakes, waffles  all the other grain-based junk. 

 

Salt Is Bad For You

I hate hearing this all the time. Salt being bad is one of the Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong that irritates me the most.  People so afraid of salt and the sodium in food. To counter salts unhealthiness they choose low sodium potato chips and sodas… Yeah that the trick. You are focusing on the wrong thing totally. So you know only 25% of Americans are sensitive to salt. If you are actually sensitive to it you will know. 

If you eat a healthy diet based on whole foods then will probably need more salt. The highly processed foods in American diets is loaded with sodium. Take that away and reduce how many carbs you are eating and you will not have an issue with salt. In fact, I usually start my morning  with a swig of olive brine. Also getting extra salt has done wonders for some lightheadedness I had. 

 

Fat Makes You Fat

Have you seen that internet meme where Robert Downey Jr is rolling his eyes? One the  Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong list I get that look when I hear fat makes you fat. I almost want to just start slapping people. You can loose a ton of weight eating essentially a 90% fat diet.  Without dropping dead of a heart attack either.  The Inuit did fine on a very high-fat diet. With no cancer or heart disease until western food was introduced to them. 

 

Low Fat High Carb Is Healthy

This is a  Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong because of money. There is a huge conspiracy on how the grain farmers got the FDA and government to push a grain based diet as the healthiest. That became the model for the US food pyramid in the 1991 and the obesity rate has flown through the roof since then. And the worse to me is all the people that believe the government and follow the guide in confusion as to why they are gaining weight. 

 

Egg Yolks Are Bad Because They Are High In Cholesterol

I friend of mine once said he couldn’t eat eggs for breakfast cause the cholesterol. I’m not sure I remained calm. Come on people Cholesterol is not the freaking boogie man. Do you even have a clue what it is? DO YOU? No so go read Cholesterol Clarity. Did youJust know that cholesterol gets turned into testosterone while you sleep?. You probably need some more. 

 

All Calories Are Equal

The idea that the incredibly complex human body burns food as it were a furnace is ridiculous. I can’t believe anyone believes Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong. This talks about one of my favorite studies. Participants ate diets of either 90% fat, 90% carbohydrate, and 90% protein. If the calorie theory held completely true then the results should be equal. 

The results were no equal. The Fat group lost the most weight and the high carb group gained weight. Drops Mic.

Conclusion

Science changes a lot. Numbers are fudged to suit the agendas. You have to gain the knowledge yourself. You have to keep up with current science studies and combine it with anecdotal evidence from the health communities. Studies that  say something that is backed up with community results then It’s worth a try. And see if it works for you. If it does then good. If not drop it and move on. So eat natural whole foods and the rest will be easier. 

Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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The post 6 Nutrition Myths That Are Wrong And You Need To Stop! Especially #3 appeared first on Survival Punk.

JJ Flizanes Great Tips You Can Use To Improve Your Fitness 117

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JJ Flizanes

 

JJ Flizanes

                             JJ Flizanes

 

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JJ Flizanes Great Tips You Can Use To Improve Your Fitness 

I have said over and over how the best prep you can have is to get fit. And not just physically. You need to have a holistic approach to your fitness to cover mentality and spirituality.  JJ Flizanes teaches from that position.

     JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist and Host of The Fit 2 Love Podcast Show. She is the Director of Invisible Fitness, an Amazon best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life, and author of Knack Absolute Abs: Routines for a Fit and Firm Core, and was named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine.

 

Topics

  • Who is JJ Fliznes 
  • Tell me about fit to love 
  • Tell me about getting into personal training? How would one go about it 
  • Tell be such a successful personal trainer your techniques must work. What are something that has helped the most clients 
  • What do you have the most pushback on?
  • Sometimes clients can be difficult. tell me about a time you had to fire a client 
  • You take a balanced and holistic approach to fitness. Can you tell me about that? 
  • Cardio vs Weight Lifting Debate

 

Rapid Fire Questions

 

  • What is your #1 supplement you use 
  • What is the song your jamming out to right now? 
  • Most recommended book? 
  • Your stuck on a desert island and can take 1 item besides your basic survival gear. What is it? 
 

Links

 
 
 

Subscribe to the show

Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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 content and discounts!

 

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The Delicious Edible Weed That Doesn’t Get Bitter, Is Packed With Vitamins, And Grows EVERYWHERE

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The Edible Weed That Doesn’t Get Bitter, Is Packed With Vitamins, And Grows EVERYWHERE

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

We tend to take weeds for granted. We spray them, pull them out and either compost them or simply toss them in a field. Unfortunately, we’re often tossing away nature’s bounty.

We’ll pay a premium for spinach or kale but lose sight of the fact that many plants like dandelions, plantain and purslane have equal nutritional value.

In fact, purslane not only equals the nutritional value of spinach and kale, but it also has a semi-sweet, salty and succulent flavor. Dandelion leaves and plantain leaves can acquire a bit of bitterness once they begin to flower or go to seed. Purslane is different.

That’s because purslane is a succulent plant. It is related to the cactus and absorbs water, which gives it a refreshing taste and flavor. Unlike the cactus it has no needles and when chilled makes a great addition to a tossed, green salad and will stand up to the boil of a soup or broth.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids and contains vitamins A, B, and C, and magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. It’s also an excellent source of fiber.

Here are the official nutrition facts on a serving of purslane:

 

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 16 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 3.4 g 3%
Protein 1.30 g 2%
Total Fat 0.1 g 0.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Vitamins    
Folates 12 µg 3%
Niacin 0.480 mg 3%
Pantothenic acid 0.036 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0.073 mg 5.5%
Riboflavin 0.112 mg 8.5%
Thiamin 0.047 mg 4%
Vitamin A 1320 IU 44%
Vitamin C 21 mg 35%
Electrolytes    
Sodium 45 mg 3%
Potassium 494 mg 10.5%
Minerals    
Calcium 65 mg 6.5%
Copper 0.113 mg 12.5%
Iron 1.99 mg 25%
Magnesium 68 mg 17%
Manganese 0.303 mg 13%
Phosphorus 44 mg 6%
Selenium 0.9 µg 2%
Zinc 0.17 mg 1.5%

 

Both the leaves and stems are edible, which also sets it apart from other “wild” weeds. I’ve even incorporated purslane leaves into deli salads like potato salad, egg salad and tuna salad to give a burst of freshness and flavor. You also can eat purslane on its own. It has a burst of flavor when chilled.

The Edible Weed That Doesn’t Get Bitter, Is Packed With Vitamins, And Grows EVERYWHERE

Image source: Wikipedia

Purslane grows close to the ground and needs to be washed and rinsed a couple of times. As a low-growing plant it tends to pick up a lot of dirt, dust and those ever-present bugs. Once you’ve washed and rinsed your purslane harvest, you can easily store it in the crisper in your refrigerator. It keeps fairly well in a plastic bag or tied into a bunch with a rubber band.

If you’ve never tried purslane, here are a few easy ways to enjoy it and some ideas about how to add it to many of the things you eat.

Purslane Salad

I usually toss a cup of chopped purslane into a chopped green salad and top it with an apple-cider vinaigrette of a ½-cup of oil, a cup of apple-cider vinegar and a tablespoon of water with about a half-teaspoon of salt and a half-teaspoon of pepper. You also can eat the purslane salad on its own if you can harvest enough of it.

Purslane Soup

Bring 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil and add a cup of noodles and when the noodles are done add a cup of chopped purslane leaves and stems for 2 minutes.

Bacon Fried Purslane

Fry 6 strips of bacon until crisp and then drain on paper towels. In the reserved drippings toss chopped purslane leaves and stems. Chop the bacon and top the purslane with the bacon bits.

Growing Purslane

Growing purslane is surprisingly easy. The seeds are simply cast on the top of dry soil, and they germinate quickly. Purslane cuttings of the stems also will develop roots when watered. It’s a tough plant and grows in the worst conditions, which is why it’s considered to be a weed by so many gardeners. But once you get to know purslane, your view of it surely will change.

What advice would you add on eating purslane? Share your tips in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

3 Survival Uses For Bones, Straight From The Native Americans

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3 Survival Uses For Bones, Straight From The Native Americans

Image source: Cody Assmann

People living in a self-reliant or survival situation must be resourceful. That seems obvious, but it is worth remembering.

This point is constantly reinforced when you watch someone on a survival show learn about living a more natural existence. As we’ve previously covered, creativity is a must in a survival situation, and that promotes resourcefulness. Resourcefulness refers to both finding new resources to use as well as fully using the resources you have. In other words: Waste not, want not.

One resource routinely discarded, but particularly useful, is the bones of animals after the hunt. Most folks today don’t give bones a second chance after dressing a carcass. It’s either a short trip to the dump or off to a deep hole for the coyotes and flies to pick clean. But in a situation where you must be completely self-reliant, you can’t afford to let all of the potential uses of bones go to waste.

If you ever do find yourself in that kind of situation, you’ll want to know these top three uses of bones.

1. As a cutting edge

Prior to the importation of iron to this hemisphere, Native people needed to be innovative to find a cutting tool. A cutting edge is simply one of the most used tools for primitive skills. It is common knowledge that stone materials, such as obsidian and flint, were widely used for cutting tools. What is known to a lesser degree is the use of both bone and copper by Native people for cutting tools, as well. Fresh bones take an edge very well and were used for knives, arrowheads, needles and spear points, as well — anything that needed a cutting edge.

Portable Device Restores Your Old Blades To A Razor’s Edge In Just Seconds!

The processing of bones is very simple. Cutting tools can come from a variety of bones, but big leg bones work well. Bones can be split by smashing between two rocks or cutting lengthwise if you have access to a saw. Smashing tends to produce small chunks well-suited for arrowheads, while cutting in halves creates ideal material for making larger points. Once you have your bone pieces broken to size, you simply start to file it to shape using a modern metal file, or a hard stone of some kind. When you have your general shape it’s only a matter of honing the cutting side to a sharp edge. You’d be surprised how fast you can knock out a sharp bone point.

2. As heavy working tools

3 Survival Uses For Bones, Straight From The Native Americans Heavy-duty bones, such as shoulder bones and pelvic bones, also can be put to work. Native American people would have used these bones for heavy labor, like scraping hides, to be tanned or turned to rawhide. Scraping can be a rather labor-intensive process, and the heavy-duty bones would have stood up to the test just fine. It also has been said that rib bones were used for scraping hides, and with their concave nature that seems to be a likely scenario.

Bones were used for farming purposes by many people. Eastern woodland tribes depended heavily on agriculture for their sustenance, and farming takes a lot of work. Bones were used as shovels and bound to handles to make crude hoes, as well. These bone tools would have been quickly exchanged for steel and iron tools, but they were the tools used by millions of people prior to the importation of harder metals.

3. As nutrition

Heavy leg bones are packed full of nutritious bone marrow, which has omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It can be cooked in several different methods or boiled and made into a broth. This broth has been used by doctors around the world to treat a variety of diseases, from digestives issues to cancer. It is also consumed throughout the world by different cultures for its taste and nutrition. The Native Americans, too, ate bone marrow. I would doubt that most Americans have ever even considered eating bone marrow, but in a situation where food is tight, you can’t afford to let a single thing go to waste.

Next time you return home from a successful hunt, be thankful for the meat you’ve been blessed with, but also take advantage of the bounty of bones, as well.

What survival uses would you add for bones? Share your tips in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

Wild Violets: For Beauty, Nourishment and Healing

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Wild Violets

Who isn’t entranced while walking a shady wooded path strewn with a carpet of wild violets? It instantly creates an almost magical atmosphere, intoxicating with the sweet scent of the blooms. Makes me wonder what virtue of the violet gained it prominence on the Napoleonic Imperial Army’s emblem! It is certainly a plant full of offerings for us, be it for just sensory enjoyment or for practical purposes.

There are many varieties of wild violets, some more fragrant than others, but all are edible and beautiful. Johnny jump-ups, or Viola tricolor, are a well-loved cousin to the violet, also with many uses. (They are also the forefathers of the cultivated garden pansy, which are also edible.) The violets I collect are Viola odorata.

To add violets to your home herbal apothecary, collect the leaves and flowers in mid-late spring. Dry carefully as they are delicate, which is also why they don’t withstand the summer heat. The plant likes some shade and can often be found at the edges of woods, stream beds and thickets, where the soil is rich and moist. Flowers sprout up on their own stems apart from the surrounding orb leaves, which is interesting. Leaves are heart shaped and often curl a bit on the edges. The flowers can be yellow or white but are definitely most commonly found in a shade of purple – hence, violet! Because the violet doesn’t seed until autumn when a new stem with a seedhead emerges where once in spring the beautiful flower resided, you can harvest violets to your heart’s content, knowing that you aren’t restricting their reoccurrence! I like that!

Wild Violets

Violets are also rich in medicinal characteristics. In an infusion, the leaves and flowers have expectorant action, helpful with any mucus buildup in coughs and especially bronchitis, and also have an alterative action, helping your body to rebalance and cleanse – especially your nerves, lungs, reproductive and immune systems. Their anti-inflammatory action is helpful for any condition related to inflammation, with people noting results in conditions as varied as eczema and rheumatism. As a diuretic, it can aid the body in ridding the urinary tract of infection. There is ancient and not-so-ancient medical literature that cites violets – specifically the leaves- as a viable anti-tumor agent, be it fibrocystic tumors or cancerous tumors. Check it out.

Also consider extracting properties of the violet by making tinctures and violet oil. Remember when making an infused oil to dry your herb first so that the moisture from the herb doesn’t cause mold in the oil. Violet leaves would be a welcome addition to any wound-healing oil to be made into a salve, because of the antiseptic, dissolving, cooling and healing properties they harbor. Pink eye? Get some violet leaves and make a hot poultice!

Wild violets

As part of a beauty regimen, it is told that soaking a cup of violets in a cup of warm fresh goat’s milk overnight and then soaking a heated washcloth in the milk in the morning and applying it to the face and neck does wonders for the complexion.

As an edible, we have just eaten the flowers and leaves as we pick them, strewn them into salad for a touch of beauty and tastiness and also have dipped the flowers into beaten egg whites (with a smidge of water) and dipped in sugar to let dry into beautiful decorations for edible creations. You can also add the greens to a collection of spring potherbs, a vitamin and mineral-rich treat of the spring season! The leaves are especially rich in vitamins A and C. (100 g fresh leaves = 10,000 IU vit A and 264 mg it C) Yum! Don’t eat the roots of the violet, however, or you will wind up with a belly ache. I’m going to add a fun recipe I found in an old book of mine on wild foods. It’s something I plan to make before the violets disappear for the year!

Wild Violets

Violet Jelly
1/2 cup fresh purple violet petals
1 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 1/2 Tbs plain gelatin
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Whipped cream
Fresh spring violets

Add stemmed violets to a boiling syrup of the sugar and water. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Strain and measure out 2 cups of syrup. Soften the gelatin in the orange juice and add. Pour into a mold and jell in the refrigerator. Unmold and garnish with whipped cream and fresh violets.

Wild Violets

Happy Spring everyone! ~Carin
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Disclaimer: Of course we claim no responsibility for your experience with these herbs.  Everything we share is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as professional or medical advice. Do your own research!  Always consult a professional. Be wise. Consider always the chance of an allergic reaction. We are all unique in body chemistry.  We are NOT a medical professionals by any means, however we have saved our family a boatload of annoyance and money by being resourceful and using what is right at our feet – literally. See full disclaimer here.

Building a Home Gym Episode 99

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Building A Home Gym

Building A Home Gym

 

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Building a Home Gym

This week Mike and I talk about the building of out out doors home gym. The episode mostly revolves around fitness and nutrition. We talk about pricing options and places to find used equipment. We also talk about some DIY options. Like filling 5 gallon buckets with concrete.

I talk about how I bought my Olympic Bar off Ebay for a decent price. Later I found Play it again sports had an Olympic Bar and 300#s of weight for $157. I would have prefered to get that.

Craigslist is another great resource. I’ve been watching craigslist for a few weeks and see several great deals pop up. You have to have the cash and act pretty fast though. The good deals don’t last long.

I think we mention me going to a scrap yard. Weights are sold for scrap metal sometimes so you can find them for really cheap. The only ones I found recently were 1 inch standard weights of all low weights. Checking regularly might get you some decent weights.

 

With episode 100 coming up get your voice mails in to me soon. If you want to be heard on the show call (615) 657-9104 and tell me what you’ve been doing with Survival, prepping and fitness. All calls will get on the show. Don’t put off we only have a few more weeks. Thanks for all the support and sticking with us through the first 100 episodes.

 

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Holistic Weight Loss for Gardeners

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Support Your Body, Mind, and Soul for Healthy Weight Loss

Looking for holistic weight loss strategies? While there’s a whole psychology around weight loss, there are a few simple tricks that you can implement right away.

The first is sleep. As any health practitioner will tell you, if you aren’t sleeping properly, you can kiss your weight loss goals goodbye (yes, it has everything to do with cortisol and adrenal health).

The second is stress. And your food can be a major part of your daily stress management. Eating is a time of rest and digest. It’s a time to sit down and replenish. Enjoy your food, and chew it thoroughly.

The third is appreciation. Being grateful for your food helps you to appreciate all that you have right now. If you are thankful for the food, then you will be thankful for the person who worked hard to grow the food, and guess what… that person is you! You’re eating healthy food, celebrating an accomplishment, and you’re starting to feel better already.

When you’ve got the basics down and you’re ready to really shed some weight, your garden is a great resource for weight loss.

Here are 8 weight loss strategies that should fit right in for home gardeners. Think home grown veggies, fiber, and water. And, of course, some exercise too.

8 Holistic Weight Loss Strategies for Gardeners

The 80-10-10 Rule

One of the best tips for weight loss is to follow the 80-10-10 guideline: 80 percent of each meal is comprised of low glycemic veggies with the other two 10 percent portions being protein and fat. Note the word guideline here, because you can play around with the numbers.

For example, one person might choose to eat 50% low glycemic veggies and 30% medium or high glycemic veggies (e.g. carrots, squash, potatoes, etc). Another person might use this rule and eat 60% low glycemic veggies and 20% medium to high glycemic fruits. Yet another person might up the protein or fat, perhaps to 15% each, with 70% being low glycemic veggies. And still another person might not make much fuss about the glycemic index and just eat a combined total of 70-80% veggies.

Generally speaking, making half of each meal with low glycemic veggies is a good rule of thumb to follow. Here’s what that might look like: a green smoothie for breakfast, soup with veggie “buns” for lunch, and steamed veggies with protein and a salad for dinner.

Having snacks on hand to curb hunger and prevent you from eating something not-so-healthy is also a really good strategy. Keep low glycemic fruits like Granny Smith apples; cut up veggies like carrots, celery, and bell peppers; or a handful of seeds and nuts, or trail mix, on hand for times when you have the munchies. Fruit leathers, fruit chips, veggie chips and kale chips are some other healthy snacks that you can DIY for cheap.

Read about several healthy DIY snacks here: 5 Dehydrator Recipes for Home Grown Fruits and Vegetables

vegan-taco-wrap

Swap out the Carbs

A great way to follow the above rule is to out swap out high glycemic foods like bread, pasta and cereal with low carb veggie options. There are also many snacks and desserts you can make where veggies are the main ingredient. Look for recipes of this kind in Paleo cookbooks. If you’re the kind of person that says you just have to look at carbs and you’ll put on the pounds, you’ll really benefit from incorporating this eating strategy. Looking for a few ideas right away? Get the scoop and a slew of recipes in my article 8 Ways to Replace Carbs with Home Grown Veggies.

Think Liquid Nutrition

Does your green smoothie make you feel like voguing? It should! Green smoothies feature fiber-rich, low glycemic greens married with sweet fruits and blended to a smooth puree.

Some people have an issue with downing a green colored drink. They wonder whether or not green smoothies taste good. The answer is unequivocally yes!

Green is the new black, folks. Greens are hot, and they are always in style. Not only are greens low in calories, but they are a good source of protein. Green smoothies make an excellent choice for breakfast, snack time, or as a pre-/post- workout energy boost.

The secret to making an outstanding green smoothie? Finding that perfect balance of sweetness from the fruits to smooth out any rough edges from the bitter greens.

Everyone’s taste buds vary, but as you get used to that healthy taste, your body will actually crave a more bitter tasting brew; in other words, more greens and less fruit.

The bitter taste is actually the most underdeveloped taste here in the West. That’s a shame, because bitter foods and herbs are great ways to stimulate the production of bile from the liver to help with digestion.

Here’s a fun recipe to try that boasts minerals and vitamins by replacing the water in a green smoothie with an herbal weight loss infusion:

Banana Kiwi Nettle Silk-y Smoothie Recipe

  • 3-4 handfuls chopped red kale
  • 2 oranges, peeled & seeded (or manually juiced if you prefer)
  • 2 apples, cored (peeled if you prefer)
  • 2-3 cups corn silk* and nettle infusion**, for consistency
  • 2 bananas, peeled
  • 2 kiwis, peeled

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and whip to a smooth consistency.

Variation: Juice the kale, oranges and apples first. Add the juice to a high speed blender with the rest of the ingredients and whip to a smooth puree.

Variation of Herbal Infusion: Use 1/3 ounce each corn silk, nettle and lemon balm.

*Corn silk can be purchased at Asian markets, but you can also collect those corn “strings” when you eat fresh corn on the cob (simply let silk dry out by spreading  on newspaper or on mesh sheets in a dehydrator before making the infusion). Corn silk is used as a diuretic and weight-loss aid.

**To make the infusion: place 1/2 ounce each corn silk and nettle in a 1-liter mason jar. Add in boiling water to the top. Place on lid and screw cap, let sit 4 hours, then strain out solids and use in recipe.

Here are some ideas for making juice and smoothies from some items you might not have thought about: 9 Ways to Eat Commonly Wasted Seeds, Stems, Peels & More

More Options for Liquid Nutrition

Other options to get you thinking liquid nutrition? Freshly made green and veggie juices, soups and congees.

While juices don’t have any fiber, they offer up a quick rush of energy packed with antioxidant power and they help alkalize your system. And while green juices – which boast leafy greens and low glycemic fruits like apples – are low in calories, veggie juices like carrot and beet juice are excellent to help the liver flush toxins out of the body. You can also use the psyllium tip below before gulping down that juice to help keep you feeling full for longer.

When it comes to soup, have you ever noticed that pureed veggie soups are similar to green smoothies and juices, except that the veggies are first cooked before being pureed? Carrot, broccoli, leek and potato soup, all make for light liquids (or meals) that fill up the stomach. Yet to help keep you satiated for longer, consider trying this hack: add water to a one-pot meal and puree it into a soup. For example, take rice, chicken, and veggies and add sufficient water to turn it into a puree. Make sure to add your fave herbs and spices, warm it up and done! The trick is that because you’ve added water and your belly can only hold so much, you’ll actually be eating less food than had you eaten the one-pot meal by itself.

Congees are similar to soups, and like soups they offer up lots of water with few calories: the usual recipe is 1 cup rice to 5-7 cups water (although I’ve seen recipes for as much as 8-9 cups water). Place both in a crock pot and let cook overnight. You can do this with brown rice or white rice and even some whole grains like rye and millet. To add taste to your congee, replace the water with chicken, veggie or mushroom stock and add in your fave herbs and spices to taste. You can also add in 1-2 tablespoons of miso or hoisin sauce to add flavor; add in chunks of chicken, fish, or tofu; and add in 1-2 bunches of chopped green onions or shallots. In Chinese medicine, congees are seen as a nourishing “porridge” for those under the weather or who have weak digestion, but they also serve as great comfort food during the colder winter months. Here’s a simple and tasty recipe to help you out with this idea:

Easy Ginger & Tempeh Rice Congee Recipe

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 package tempeh, diced
  • 2 bunches spring onion, chopped
  • 2 TBsp freshly grated ginger

Instructions: Add all to a crock pot and place on low for 6-8 hours or overnight. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Fill Up On Fiber

When we think of fiber, we often think of fruits and veggies.  But while fruits and veggies offer up insoluble fiber – mucilaginous seeds like flax and chia, as well as psyllium husk, offer up soluble fiber that not only helps to regulate bowel movements but that helps keeping you feeling satiated for longer. To help keep you full – and hence, to help you eat less – take 1 tablespoon psyllium husk with a glass of water, half an hour before meals. You can also use 1 tablespoon ground chia or flax seed as well.

Green Goddesses of Weight Loss

Most of the herbs that are used in weight loss tend to be stimulants that work on metabolism, or diuretics that help flush water out of the body. A simple green goddess herb for holistic weight loss is Chickweed (Stellaria media) – it grows wild, is easy to grow, self-seeds readily, and is shade-loving. Chickweed contains saponins and natural lecithin that mop up fat and allow for better absorption of nutrients and minerals.

You can make a standard infusion of 1 ounce dried herb to 4 cups boiling water in a mason jar, let sit 4 hours, then strain and drink 2-4 cups a day.

A daily dropperful of tincture will also work: chop fresh chickweed with scissors and slightly pack to fill a mason jar (size depends on how much herb you have). Fill the jar with 100 proof alcohol (50% by volume), put on lid and screw cap and let sit 6 weeks. Strain and pour into sterilized amber bottles. Chickweed can also be juiced, added to smoothies, tossed into salads and cooked like spinach. If you don’t happen to have any on hand, Mountain Rose Herbs has both dried chickweed and extract.

Another green goddess herb for weight loss is parsley – this known diuretic might already be growing in your garden. Nothing could be easier than giving this spritely herb a rinse and juicing her with other fruits and veggies to partake of her weight loss benefits. Here’s a simple and refreshing recipe that doubles as a green juice and green smoothie:

Parsley Rules – Juice or Smoothie Recipe

  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped

Instructions: Juice all ingredients and drink up! Alternatively, add all to a blender with enough water for consistency. And a third option still: juice the fibrous celery and parsley. Add to a high speed blender and blend in the zucchini and cucumber.

Variation: You can add a cored apple or two for sweetness. You can either juice the apples or add them directly (peeled, if desired) to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is another diuretic and lymphatic system stimulant that is a superior ally in breaking down cellulite and encouraging the kidneys to release metabolic waste. Drinking 2-4 cups daily of this nourishing infusion will also supply you with a host of nutrients that support overall health, including adrenal health, such as chlorophyll, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and Vitamins A, D, and K. To make a nettle infusion, follow the directions above to make a chickweed infusion but use nettle instead. For a recipe idea using nettle infusion, try this nettle soup recipe:

Nettle, Asparagus & Broccoli Soup Recipe

  • 3 cups nettle infusion
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 handful broccoli florets
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 tsp Chinese 5-spice or Moroccan marinade mix, to taste
  • 3-4 TBsp olive oil

Instructions: Blend nettle infusion with veggies and water in a high speed blender. Add soup to pot with spices to taste and warm up. Place in soup bowls, add in oil and serve.

Timing Counts

A very important rule for weight loss is not to eat after 7 PM. This is not only a “secret” known in bodybuilding circles, but is a truism known in Chinese medicine that eating late at night puts a strain on the liver that impinges weight loss. As I’m sure you’re aware, the liver is a major organ in the body that plays a crucial role in fat digestion and in detoxification, and does a host of 500+ jobs in the body.

From a nutritional or naturopathic perspective, not eating late at night also makes sense: eating a heavy meal at night (e.g. protein and fat) that can take up to 5-6 hours to digest will impede the process of rest and repair during sleep. If you are hungry after 7 PM, make it something liquid, such as a green juice, or something easy to digest like a small piece of fruit. I can’t tell you how many people have followed this simple rule of timing and have seen weight loss results (plus have been helped with their liver issues).

Polar Bear Skinny Dipping

If this sounds like you plunging into cold water in your birthday suit, you’re spot on! It’s also called cold water immersion therapy, cold therapy, cold thermogenesis and cryotherapy.

To do: fill your bath tub with cold running water. If it’s winter weather, the water will be cold enough. If not, add in a bag of ice or two to get that water really cold. Get in and sit in the tub for 5 minutes.

The first time is the worst, I’ll warn you now. It’s darn cold, but your body will go into thermogenesis, a fancy term which means that your body will kick start its metabolism to conserve heat and you’ll start shivering. During this process, your “brown” fat (brown adipose tissue) which is found in your sternum, collarbones, neck and upper back will start to burn up the white fat that hangs around hips, thighs, buns, and bellies – the stuff that everyone wants to get rid of. You can do this every day or every second day. Try to add 5 minutes each time you do it until you reach 30 minutes.

In case you’re wondering if this is healthy, this technique has been shown to boost the immune system, improve sleep quality, enhance hormone levels, improve sexual performance, lower blood sugar, and help with food cravings.

Does it work for weight loss? Many people swear by this technique, although it is a little extreme.

If you’re looking for a much more gentle approach – which will work on the lymphatic system – you can play with the cold and hot water taps during your shower. After washing up, adjust the water to a cool temperature that is kind of cold but that you can withstand. Do this for 30 seconds up to 1 minute, then put it back to warm for another 30-60 seconds. Do this for a minimum of 10 times. With time, your body will be better able to tolerate the cool water, and you’ll be able to adjust the water so that it’s much colder. This technique will help you to flush toxins out of your body, as well as to support your weight loss goals.

happy-and-healthy-woman-working-in-her-garden

Exercise

We all know that exercise is important, and the great news is that you don’t have to pay a cent to lose weight. The cheapest and easiest? Walking. It costs nothing and you can do it anywhere, anytime, right from your front door. Snowstorm or not, there’s just no excuse (in fact, you actually get a better workout walking in the snow because of the resistance). Other free workouts include gardening, dancing, and shoveling snow. Gardening is especially good exercise, because the more you do it, the more your diet improves.

There’s a plethora of free instructional videos on YouTube – everything from barre classes, belly dancing, and pilates to high intensity cross-fit and sandbag training – that you can do in the comfort of your home.

Two other dirt cheap ways to shed pounds? Skipping and rebounding. For a few dollars, you can buy a jump rope and walk-jump on a pedestrian path, along a track field or in a park. Skipping burns more calories in less time than running; although if you have joint issues, you’re better off going for a jog in the pool or jumping on a rebounder. Jumping on a rebounder is a great way to stimulate the lymphatic system, helping your body with detoxification. It also boost the immune system, increases mitochondrial production (provides energy), and improves balance and coordination. It makes very little noise (great if you live in an apartment) and a hand rail can be used for those with mobility issues. Rebounding is used by astronauts to help with bone mass and density – which goes to show you that something as simple as rebounding can have a profound effect on your body.

So get moving already!

Read more: The Secret to a Long and Happy Life is in the Garden

Finding the Right Diet and Exercise for You

So what’s more important, diet or exercise? How about both?

Finding the right types of food and exercise for your lifestyle and your specific body type are a much better prescription for holistic weight loss than any of the latest diets du jour.

To help you discover what’s best for you, you can refer to some existing classification systems that recommend eating strategies according to body type. You might be interested in learning about eating for your metabolic type (see Dr. Mercola’s website), your dosha type according to Ayurvedic medicine (see Nature’s Formulary), or your blood type (see Dr. Peter d’Adamo).

For specific types of weight loss exercise (as well as dietary recommendations), see either Dr. Eric Berg or Dr. Abravanel for your hormonal body type.

The post Holistic Weight Loss for Gardeners appeared first on The Grow Network.

Food Wastage in Modern Times

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food pixabay dot com

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In a survival scenario, when you’re struggling just to make it one more day, there’s nothing that would horrify you more than the sight of food going to waste. Yet, The National Institute of Health says that U.S. consumers waste up to 50 percent more food than they did in the 1970s. 25 percent of all state landfills in the state of California is thought to be comprised of foodstuffs and agricultural waste, some of which is (or at least started off) edible.

 

 

Who’s wasting all this food? Farmers, restaurants, and other agricultural concerns certainly contribute, but so do you. The U.S.D.A. (U.S, Dept. of Agriculture) says that an American family of four discards around $1,500 worth of food annually.

 

 

That statistic certainly doesn’t warm the cockles of a prepper’s heart; there are a lot of supplies you could buy for $1500. So what’s behind all this food wastage?

 

 

Could it have something to do with places like Whole Foods and Fresh Market? In olden days, fresh food was less desirable to many city dwellers. Some even considered it to be dangerous due to the possible presence of infectious organisms and improper food preparation practices. People relied on food preserved with salt or preferred non-perishable canned foods. But over the years, fresh food has become safe and widely available. From bananas in Montana to quinoa in Florida, you can get just about anything you want, even out of season due to imports. This might just be causing us to all become food snobs.

 

 

Looking for the freshest food easily turns into a game of what’s the best-looking produce. That’s called food “aesthetics”. You’re looking for that perfect apple, and the result is that blemished items end up in landfills, never to see the inside of a supermarket.

 

 

Only the best specimens make the cut onto U.S. food shelves. “A lot of product is excluded earlier in the supply chain because not everything grows that perfectly,” said a scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

 

 

This desire for perfect food is generating food and agricultural rubbish like never before. It’s not just picky shoppers though, though. The economics of agriculture has something to do with it. Big crop Producers sometimes throw out edible food just because the cost of harvesting and labor can make processing unprofitable.

 

 

Of course hunger and poverty are real problems around the world today, not to mention in the uncertain future. Certainly, food demand will grow as the population grows, giving new importance to every calorie  when it comes to food availability. The world’s population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, up from the current 7.3 billion, and each one of those almost 10 billion will have a mouth that must be fed.  Somebody, somewhere, is going to be happy to have that funny looking potato.

 

 

Academics are looking for solutions to deal with food products that are rejected. This mostly involves working to use it as a source of energy, but the real goal of food production should be, well, to feed people. In other words, to fill stomachs and not landfills.

 

 

Privileged societies can throw away a lot of imperfect food now, but one day that spoiled society might be reduced to eating spoiled food if a major catastrophe occurs. So be a little more lenient on that apple that’s not quite red enough or that banana with a bruise. Somewhere in this world, there’s somebody who wishes they could have the produce that isn’t pretty enough for your table.

 

Joe Alton, MD

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Everything You’ve Heard About Drinking Whole Milk Is Wrong

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Everything You've Heard About Drinking Whole Milk Is Wrong

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Skim. Low fat. Two percent. One percent. What type of milk do you choose for your family? If you are like most Americans, you steer clear of whole milk, believing that it contains too much fat and calories.

Since the early 1970s, whole milk has been criticized by scientists and nutritionists for its high content in saturated fats, which have been believed to lead to weight gain, and because of its high LDL level (or bad cholesterol level), which has been thought to contribute to heart disease.

According to the USDA, sales of whole fat milk sales decreased by more than 60 percent between 1975 and 2014. During the same period, on the other hand, sales of 2 percent milk increased by almost 106 percent, and sales of 1 percent and skim milk soared by about 170 percent and 156 percent, respectively.

Some critics have called a glass of whole milk no better than a glass of liquid fat. Others have said that whole milk consumption can be a contributing factor to the onset of diabetes.

Diatomaceous Earth: The Best All-Natural Wormer For Your Livestock

However, recent studies are showing that we have been sold a bill of goods where whole milk is concerned, and that drinking whole milk actually may be better for you than drinking low fat or non-fat milk. Here’s one reason: The fat content in milk helps bind its other ingredients, such as calcium and vitamins, so that the body can absorb them more efficiently, studies show.

A recent article published in the European Journal of Nutrition reported that people who consume full-fat dairy products, including whole milk, are not more likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes than people who consume low-fat dairy products.

Dr. Mario Kratz, first author of the study review and a nutrition scientist at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reviewed 25 studies for the published research. In a press release accompanying the review, he reported that none of the research suggested that low-fat dairy is healthier or is better for humans in terms of obesity.

Everything You've Heard About Drinking Whole Milk Is Wrong

Image source: flickr

A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care in 2013 reviewed the dairy consumption and obesity rates of about 1,500 middle-aged and senior adults. It found that those people who frequently consumed full-fat dairy products had lower obesity rates than those who consumed low-fat dairy products.

How is it that a food with more calories can be better for maintaining a healthy weight? The answer lies in the fact that not all calories are the same. Kratz and his team theorized that the fatty acids in whole dairy products help you stay fuller longer and thus eat less in the long run. Dairy fat may also help the body regulate hormones and help your body burn energy.

Everything You Need To Know To Keep A Cow Healthy, Happy, And Productive…

United States commercial dairies process milk of all fat contents similarly. The cream is separated from the whey. With the exception of skim milk, the cream is then added back in. Low-fat milk contains 1 percent or 2 percent fat, and whole milk contains 3.25 percent fat. (Of course, if you drink raw milk, you don’t have to worry about that.)

Not surprisingly, the taste of low fat and skim milk is less rich and creamy than low fat varieties Frequently, dairies add flavors to low-fat and skim milk to make up for the loss of taste when the fat is removed. In those cases, the sugar content can increase by as much as 14g per eight ounce serving.

Whole milk contains fewer carbohydrates than low fat or skim milk because more of its volume contains fat. Whole milk also contains slightly less protein than low fat or nonfat options.

Recent research also shows that the saturated fats in whole milk may protect against certain diseases and are not associated with heart disease as previously thought.

If are concerned about the use of growth hormones or antibiotics in commercial dairies, check out organic milk options at your grocery store. You also could consider purchasing your cow’s milk straight from a dairy farmer whose cows are raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

Scientific recommendations vary on how much milk we should drink on a daily basis. The Harvard School of Public Health, for instance, recommends consuming one or two servings a day of milk and dairy products. On the other hand, the International Food Information Council’s latest dietary guidelines suggest three servings of milk, or of an equivalent dairy product per day.

How much milk you should drink each day may be unclear, but it does appear that drinking whole milk is something you can put back into your diet in moderation without any misgivings.

Do you believe whole milk is healthy? Share your thoughts in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

hydrogen peroxide report

How To Feed Your Goats During Winter Without Going Broke

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How To Feed Your Goats During Winter Without Going Broke

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The nutritional needs of goats will increase dramatically over the next several months, and addressing these needs is paramount for a successful kidding season. But meeting a herd’s nutritional requirements during the winter months can quickly break the bank if you’re not careful. Knowledge (and a little preparation) is key in preparing to meet your goats’ needs for protein, energy, vitamins and minerals and water.

Stockpiling Pastures

One way to cut down on winter feeding costs is to stockpile pasture. “Stockpiling is the practice of saving certain hay or pasture fields for grazing in the fall and winter after forage growth has stopped due to cold weather.” (1)

It isn’t always an option to have a field sit unused for winter grazing, but if you have the land, it can help save you money on winter feed. Additionally, grazing your goats on the pasture, spreading manure, can save you the time of having to manure in the spring. “Perennial grasses such as timothy, tall fescue and bluegrass have been traditionally used for stockpile grazing.” (2)

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You will need to manage your animals on the stockpiled pastures just like you do on your other fields during the summer. Watch that your herd doesn’t overgraze or trample the field. Maintain a holding area to keep animals in at least part-time when the fields are extremely muddy to prevent them from ruining the field. Or, rotate your animals to other stockpiled fields. Also, keep in mind that the nutrient quality of stockpiled pastures decreases the deeper into winter you get. In snowy regions, stockpiled pastures tend to last until about December, depending on the type of grass grown. Watch your herd and be prepared to begin supplementing as needed.

Supplementing With Hay, Concentrate and Mineral Salt

How To Feed Your Goats During Winter Without Going Broke

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Goats do well on most hays that are considered “horse hay.” As long as the goats are acclimated to them appropriately to avoid stomach upset and founder, “legume hays such as alfalfa, clover, vetch, soybean or lespedeza work very well for kids, as well as pregnant and lactating does.” (3)

When you select hay, open a bale up and look at the color. It should be bright green. Depending on how the hay was stored, it may have turned yellow around the edges, but as long as it’s green in the center, it should be fine. Check for heat, which signals fermentation (not a good thing). Look for extraneous matter like rocks, baling wires or twine, excessive weeds or other items. It’s best to avoid poorer quality hay. Also, be sure to check if there are poisonous weeds in the bale. Avoid hay that shows mold, dust, or discoloration. Don’t buy hay that smells sour or musty. Hay prices continue to rise, but by being selective, you can ensure your herd receives the hay with the highest nutritional quality, a less expensive option in the long run than poorer quality hay and unhealthy animals. If you have to cut corners, save your highest quality hay for your gestating does, as their systems will need the biggest boost.

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A 14 to 18 percent protein concentrate should be fed to lactating does as well. Make sure the feed comes from a clean source and shows no signs of mold or spoilage. Additionally, check your does periodically to ensure they are not too fat or too thin. Being overweight can lead to kidding issues (like pregnancy toxemia). You will also want to offer trace minerals. “In general, the less expensive the mineral, the lower the availability of important trace minerals” (4) There are multiple ways to offer trace minerals to your herd; use a method that keeps the minerals off the ground and preferably protected from excessive rain (so you don’t waste money on minerals washing away).

Ensuring Adequate Water Availability

It is essential that your herd has access to plenty of water. During the winter months, freezing water troughs and pipes can cause quite a headache. I’ve written an article here on a number of great options for keeping water unfrozen and available even during the coldest days of the year.

Culling Your Herd

One way to cut down on feed costs during winter is to downsize your herd before you have to start supplementing with hay. Sell your inferior animals. Cull goats that are more susceptible to worms or other health issues or who struggle with maintaining good body condition. Cull does that don’t kid easily and/or have difficulty providing adequate milk for their offspring. Cull does that struggle with fertility. If you are butchering some of your own stock, choose a date before you have to start supplementing. Keep your best animals through the winter and start your herd out fresh in the spring.

Getting your herd through winter can be challenging at times, but by stockpiling, choosing the highest quality supplements and using them judicially, and by culling surplus stock, you can take good care of your herd without stretching your budget too far.

What advice would you add for taking care of goats during winter? Share your advice in the section below:

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Stockpiling 101: Which Foods REALLY Have The Longest Shelf Life?

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How Long Will Your Food Stockpile REALLY Last?

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Any thoughts about stockpiling foods in the event of a catastrophic emergency are dominated by two simple words: Shelf life. Some foods lose their nutritional value over time; others can become rancid or even dangerous if microbial or fungal growth invades the food. Curiously, there also are foods that have a shelf life measured in decades, if not centuries

We’re going to explore three general categories of foods that can be stored for various periods of time:

  1. Foods with an extremely long shelf life, even up to centuries.
  2. Foods with a very long shelf life (decades) due to their processing and packaging.
  3. Grocery store foods with a fairly long shelf life, six months to a year, or longer.

Foods With an Extremely Long Shelf Life

Some foods by their nature have surprisingly long shelf life if packaged and stored properly. Many are available at your local grocery store for a relatively low cost but you may want to consider repackaging or further sealing them if you plan to store them for any significant length of time. Here’s the top 10 long-term food storage champs:

1. Honey

A story about honey that’s often touted was the discovery by archaeologists of honey jars in an ancient Egyptian tomb.  The honey was carbon dated as 3,000 years old and was still food-safe and tasted just like honey.

2. Salt

If you can keep the moisture out of stored salt it will last indefinitely. Salt is a standard staple in any long-term food storage plan and is used in food preservation methods such as curing and pickling.

3. Sugar

Sugar possesses many of the characteristics of salt but here again, moisture is the enemy. If you can keep it hermetically sealed and perhaps add a moisture absorber, sugar also can keep indefinitely.

4. White rice

Stockpiling 101: Which Foods REALLY Have The Longest Shelf Life?

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White rice can last up to 20 years if properly stored. As a staple of most diets around the world, it’s a must in any long-term storage plan. Just don’t assume you can buy a large bag at the grocery store keep it in the pantry. It needs to be carefully sealed and stored.

5. Whole wheat grains

Whole wheat grains are usually purchased through a supplier that specializes in long-term food storage. They are often sealed in large, foil packages and sometimes repackaged inside large plastic buckets.

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The foil package is hermetically sealed to remove oxygen and prevent the permeation of moisture. If processed, packaged and stored properly it can last for decades. Remember that you’ll need a flour mill to further process any stored whole wheat grains.

6. Dried corn

Corn when properly dried and protected from moisture will last for decades. It’s another staple that provides significant nutritional value.

7. Baking soda

While it’s not a food source, its uses from baking to cleaning are many and varied. If kept dry it also will last indefinitely.

8. Instant coffee, cocoa powders and tea

If you succeed in keeping these ingredients dry they will survive for decades without losing potency or flavor.

9. Powdered milk

This staple will survive for up to 20 years. Moisture absorber packets are highly recommended when storing powdered milk for the long-term although some packaging solutions – such as in #10 cans – might not require them.

10. Bouillon products

This may seem a bit redundant with salt, but bouillon products have the added value of flavor. Most are chicken or beef flavored and the granular type tends to store better that bouillon cubes in the long run. With proper processing, packaging and storage they can last for decades as well.

Foods With a Very Long Shelf Life

Some companies today are in the business of specifically selecting, processing and packaging foods that will typically have a stable shelf life of 20 to 30 years if stored properly.

These are the some of the common foods packaged to have a very long shelf life:

  • Dried beans, 30 years
  • Rolled oats, 30 years
  • Pasta products, 30 years
  • Potato flakes, 30 years
  • Dehydrated fruit slices, 30 years
  • Dehydrated carrots, 20 years

These are great items to stockpile because you can be reasonably assured they will retain their integrity and nutritional value for years to come.

Foods With a Fairly Long Shelf Life

Some foods can last a relatively long time but it’s measured in months or a couple of years as opposed to decades. As a general rule, you should pay attention to the expiration dates on bottles, cans and boxes purchased at a grocery store. You can still eat the food after the expiration date, but there may be a loss of nutritional value. Also packages – such as boxes or bags – are more likely to allow compromise due to moisture or rodent invasion.

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Stockpiling 101: Which Foods REALLY Have The Longest Shelf Life?

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If you are thinking about storing any oils for the long-term, regular olive oil is a hero with a shelf life of two years. Canned goods range from one to two years, and for some foods like tomatoes that are highly acidic, glass jars are the ideal package given the tendency of acidic tomatoes to compromise both metal and plastic packaging over a period of time.

If you want to adapt grocery store foods for long-term food storage you should seriously consider some packaging solutions that can allow you to protect and preserve these items. This includes using sealed cans, and both oxygen and moisture absorbers. Keep in mind you also can order from a reliable purveyor of long-term foods and buy in bulk.

An important consideration for the shelf life of any food is how it is processed, packaged, stored and rotated.

Processing

The way that any food is processed has a lot to do with shelf life. Typical processing approaches include dehydrating, freeze-drying, pasteurization, heat processing, curing and pickling. While all of these processes extend the shelf life of many foods, the nature of the food itself determines how long it will remain edible.

Packaging

The integrity of packaging is as important as the processing. Typical long-term food storage strategies involve packaging dried or dehydrated foods in metal, #10 cans that are hermetically sealed and often have oxygen and moisture absorbers enclosed.

Another long-term packaging solution involves the use of large, 5-gallon plastic buckets. This is usually used for bulk items such as white rice, flour, sugar, salt and other staples that someone wants to store in a large quantity. Make sure you inquire about the integrity of the seal on the lid. I had five gallons of sugar in storage for five years and when I open the lid, mildew had permeated the bucket. Not a single teaspoon was edible.

Storage

Storage has a direct effect on the duration of shelf life. The cooler the temperatures the longer the shelf life, but be careful to avoid freezing temperatures.

A dry environment is also important. Mildew can permeate the seal on some food containers, moisture can cause oxidation of metallic cans, and certain foods like grains can actually sprout if exposed to moisture over a period of time.

Darkness is important for any foods stored in glass jars, and in general advised because direct sunlight will raise temperatures.

Rotation

As I’ve noted, some foods have a shelf life measured in months. That really doesn’t qualify as long-term in the classical sense so you should practice “Eat what you store, store what you eat.” This means you should eat from your food stash and keep it organized so that you are always using the food that has been in storage the longest, first.

The Bottom Line

Do your homework. Long-term food storage requires a plan that not only assesses the foods you should store, but the number of people you plan to feed and for how long. It’s the duration that makes shelf life such a critical consideration.  As much as possible, rotate your stock of foods by eating what you store. If you simply want to store food and forget about it unless it’s needed in an emergency, make sure it’s packaged and stored properly and that you know its expiration date.

From your experience, which foods last the longest? Share your tips in the section below: 

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6 Food-Storage Mistakes That Even The Experts Make

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6 Food-Storage Mistakes That Even The Experts Make

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Long-term food storage is a common-sense approach to ensuring that you and your family can survive a catastrophic event that significantly affects our food supply. But there’s more to it than just stacking cans in the attic. In fact, that may be the worst place to store any kind of food.

A lot can go wrong if you have food in storage for years and simply assume that everything will be okay when the day comes that you need to open those cans.

There are fundamentally six things you should consider with regards to any long-term food storage plan:

1. Consider nutrition.

There are some fundamental considerations you have to think about with regards to long-term food storage. The first is diversity. Storing 200 #10 cans of macaroni and 50 #10 cans of dry milk is not a nutritious solution. You have to think in terms of nutritional diversity. Many companies offer pre-packaged solutions for three months’ to one year’s worth of food. If you can’t afford a large package offering, look carefully at what they include so you can purchase a diversified collection of foods over a period of time.

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You should also keep a running tally on what you have stored.  You may think you have it all figured out, but you don’t want to find out the hard way that you have too much of one item and barely enough of something that may be more essential. A good way to make this assessment gets to the next point.

2. Eat what you store and store what you eat.

Failure to follow this simple suggestion may be the biggest fail for anyone stockpiling food supplies. While many products in hermetically sealed, #10 cans will survive for years and years, some in 5-gallon buckets aren’t as dependable. I opened a five-gallon bucket of sugar after six years and it was permeated with mildew.

You’ll also find great value in this practice of eating what you store. We’ve never bought a box of macaroni and cheese in the last 10 years when we figured out that a can of macaroni and a can of cheese powder was essentially the same ingredients.

Eating what you store also gives you experience with how to prepare these foods and combine them with available fresh ingredients to create a pattern of recipes you and your family will enjoy.

3. Watch out for heat.

6 Food-Storage Mistakes That Even The Experts Make

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The standard recommendation is to store your foods in a cool, dark place. That’s why an attic is a bad idea. Not only is it sometimes inaccessible on a regular basis, but the heat that can develop in an attic space will quickly compromise the shelf life of any stored food. A dedicated pantry is ideal and a basement is also an option. Darkness is not as critical as ambient temperature, because most long-term foods are hermetically sealed in cans, but direct sunlight at any time can raise temperatures.

4. Watch out for moisture, too.

If your basement is damp, that’s a problem. Even though cans are sealed to prevent moisture from affecting the contents, oxidation or rust from moisture can affect the integrity of any metallic item over time. Moisture can also permeate food even if it’s sealed. This was my experience with the five-gallon bucket of sugar. A bit of dampness in my basement was all it took to compromise the entire bucket.

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You should also take your cans out of the cardboard boxes if you have purchased foods in bulk. The standard package is six #10 cans in a box. That’s great for shipping, but cardboard absorbs moisture and can continually compromise the cans inside. Get the cans out and do whatever you can to keep them free of moisture.

5. Use common sense when opening food.

When we eat what we store we have to remember that the minute a can is opened, it is subject to the standard shelf-life of any consumer packaged goods. Most #10 cans come with a plastic lid and you can even buy additional lids if you lose one, but resealing a can with a plastic lid doesn’t mean you can return it to the storage area for another five years. Once it’s opened, you need to consume it on a regular basis.

6. Rehydrate your food properly.

What allows most foods to have a long-term shelf life is dehydration. In order to prepare most of these foods, the addition of water or some form of liquid is required to rehydrate the foods. Failure to rehydrate properly is perhaps the greatest fail when it comes to the enjoyable consumption of long-term foods stores. We’ve prepared an article on this subject that gives you guideline for various rehydration methods and food types. (Recommended: The Right Way To Rehydrate Long-Term Storage Food.)

This gets back to the fundamental concept of eating what you store and storing what you eat. You’ll gain valuable experience with various types of stored foods that will ensure that you can prepare meals that not only sustain you nutritionally, but that you’ll actually enjoy.

What would you add to this list? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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How To Grow An Edible Indoor Garden In Just 10 Days

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How To Grow An Edible Indoor Garden In Just 10 Days

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Microgreens are essentially immature plants, such as greens, lettuce and herbs, that are harvested when they are about an inch in height after about 10 days to three weeks of sprouting. Just about any lettuce, green or herb can be grown as a microgreen and harvested for powerful plant nutrition.

Microgreens can be grown as single or mixed plant varieties (such as mesclun mixes), and the flavors range from mild to spicy.

Specific examples of plants that can be grown as microgreens include mustard, kale, endive, arugula, beet greens, spinach, tatsoi, radish greens and watercress.

Why Grow Microgreens?

Microgreens have a very concentrated flavor compared to the original vegetable, and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as adding them to salads, sandwiches or stir-fry. They also can be grown during winter, helping you get your “garden fix” when temperatures are frigid.

Microgreens pack a lot of nutrition inside their tiny leafy bodies.

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They contain many of the health benefits that sprouts do, but unlike sprouts, which are grown only in water, microgreens are grown in soil or another growing medium where they absorb minerals, adding more nutrition. Microgreens undergo more photosynthesis than sprouts do, which increases their nutrition even more. They also have more fiber content than do sprouts.

For example, leafy greens are good sources of beta-carotene, iron and calcium, and dark leafy greens such as kale and chard are high in lutein and zeaxanthin.

Microgreens require minimal amounts of sunlight and space, and therefore can easily be grown inside homes within compact spaces, including in your kitchen or on your windowsill.

Microgreens are expensive to buy at grocery stores, making growing your own a very economical option. By doing this, you also will be able to avoid pesticides.

How to Grow Microgreens

Materials:

  • A suitable growing container with drainage holes. This can be just about any type of container that you can grow plants in, including a nursery flat, takeout boxes, peat pots or traditional plant pots.
  • Organic potting mix or soilless seed-starting mix (with vermiculite).
  • Can be either microgreen mixes or any sort of greens, lettuce or herb that you would like to grow.
  • Lightweight plastic or clear plastic domed lid.
How To Grow An Edible Indoor Garden In Just 10 Days

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Directions:

1. Fill your chosen container with the potting mix or seed-starting mix. Place a drip tray or a saucer underneath to catch excess water.

2. Scatter your seeds so that they are about 1/8 to ¼ inch apart and lightly cover them with approximately 1/8 inch of soil/potting mix.

3. Gently and thoroughly water the seeds. If you are using a soilless seed-starting medium, sprinkle the vermiculite on top of the soil just prior to watering.

4. Place your growing container in a spot that will receive at least four hours of sunlight every day. South-facing windows are best, but eastern or western-facing sunlight is also sufficient.

5. For optimal sprouting conditions (warm and moist), place the lightweight plastic or a clear plastic dome lid over your growing container. After the seeds sprout, remove the plastic.

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6. Keep the soil medium consistently moist like a wrung-out sponge, but not too soggy. If the soil medium is too wet, the sprouting plants cannot properly take root.

Harvesting Microgreens and Starting the Next Crop

Microgreens can be harvested in about 1 ½ to three weeks after sprouting, depending on the size of microgreens that you would like to harvest. They are ready to be harvested once they have developed their first set of true leaves. The very first leaves that develop after germination are the seed leaves, which don’t resemble the true leaves of the plant.

To harvest the microgreens, snip them with scissors just above the soil level.

Because microgreens are essentially sprouts and are in such an early stage of development, you cannot re-grow a second crop from the stems of harvested microgreens. To grow another crop, scatter new seeds and cover with soil. You can remove the old roots if you wish, but they are a good source of organic matter if left where they are.

By planting a new crop of microgreens a few days to one week after planting the first one, you will have a continuous supply throughout the year, even during winter when your outdoor garden is still “sleeping.”

Have you grown microgreens? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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