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

If You’re Bugging Out, Avoid Fatigue and Have These in Your Supplies

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ReadyNutrition fans, we’re going to talk about something that may seem simple, but it can make a big difference for you when the SHTF and the situation arise that you must bug out and be “on the move” without respite.  By “respite,” I don’t mean a half an hour break, or an hour to nap.  I’m speaking about when there is continuous activity for many hours (8-12) that may run up to a day or even longer.  If such a thing occurs, you’re going to need all the help that you can get.

Your Body Will Be Under a Tremendous Amount of Stress

There are several things that happen under stressful conditions from a physiological perspective.  As explained in earlier articles, your body burns off stores of glycogen (stored in the muscles) until it runs out.  Without replenishment, the body cannibalizes its muscle tissue and “manufactures” its glucose and glycogen requirements.  After “hitting the wall” (your body’s limit, usually reached within an hour or so), you burn off muscle tissue during this cannibalistic phase at a rate of 5 grams of muscle protein for every thirty minutes of prolonged effort.

With epinephrine and norepinephrine going haywire during your “fight or flight” metabolic reactions and with adrenaline pumping levels to the moon, your body will consume a tremendous amount of energy.  When there is any kind of a lag, the body kind of “sags” as it attempts to relax.  Notice how I wrote “attempts” here?  So, how do we solve this one?

Some kind of snack would be beneficial, and keeping in mind what we wrote earlier, you may not have the time for it.  Remember what I wrote for you a few articles back:

You need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes of a strenuous workout, and more if the workout is protracted.

That being mentioned, many people turn to things such as power bars to make up for the protein and carbs.  Those are OK, but make sure you have plenty of water when you eat them, or else they’ll pull water right out of your cells in order for your body to digest them…leading to dehydration.

If You’re Bugging Out, Make Sure You Have These Energy Enhancers

Even then, you may still be “lagging” for a while waiting for your body to extract what it needs.  In the meantime, try the caffeine.  Instant coffee can be consumed in an instant, just as the name implies.

While in the service, our MRE’s came with packets of coffee (Taster’s Choice, to be exact).  We “stocked” up on them and kept those packets handy for when we might need them besides just (if we could do it) the proverbial “morning cup of Joe.”  Be careful not to take in too much…but if you’re in a bind and don’t have a lot of time to restore your mental alertness, the caffeine in a helping of instant coffee (either in a happy manufactured packet or one you make up yourself) can do you some good.  I’m going to cite the PDR for Herbal Medicines, page 215, for Coffee for you:

“Quantities corresponding to as much as 500 mg of caffeine daily (5 cups of coffee) spread out over the day are toxicologically harmless for healthy adults accustomed to drinking coffee.”

The PDR goes on to state that dosages of 1,500 mg per day can lead to problems, but unless there are underlying health concerns such as arrhythmias, there is normally no real concern.  Consult with your friendly and happy family physician before using the coffee.

Many people extol the virtues of guarana, and if it works for you, that’s great.  Understand that guarana seeds (from which the energy drinks are made) main constituent to provide that energy is none other than caffeine, as well as theobromine and theophylline, two purines that are also stimulants.  Guarana is listed as a tonic for fatigue in the PDR.  Caffeine overall is also an appetite suppressant.

Keep this in mind: caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that it works against ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) and increases the frequency of your urinations.  Care must be taken when using it so as to prevent dehydration.  Ensure you take in enough water to prevent it from occurring.

Please let me clarify one final time with all of this: I’m referring to a situation that you’re not going to get any real rest for a long period of time.  All of these items in the form of premade beverages, dried product, or tablets can be purchased in advance and stocked aside for the time you may need to rely on them.  Let’s hope that need never arises and still plan for it nonetheless.  Keep in that good fight, drink some coffee (just because it’s good!) and take care of one another!  JJ out!

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Pine Pollen Can Be Used as a Super Food

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

Pine Pollen is a Powerhouse of Nutrients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Dental Care: These Are the Supplies You Need To Survive a Post-Collapse Dental Emergency

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As far as preppers are concerned, the majority of you guys and gals have already probably stored up about a half a pallet of toothbrushes and toothpaste for shtf dental emergencies.  Yes?  No?  Well, in any event we’re going to cover some field-expedient methods to clean up the teeth.  The reason for this is that it’s hard enough in a normal environment to keep those teeth cleaned and healthy.  In a grid down collapse, there will be no dentist and there are going to be a lot of problems that will affect the teeth and gums, so the more you know about oral hygiene now, the better.

Firstly, it is in your best interest to pick up the reference guide entitled, Where There is No Dentist,” by Murray Dickson.  It will be money well-spent, as it covers all of the different procedures to follow for abscesses, tooth extraction, and other “niceties” of oral care when you will not find a dentist, as the title suggests.  A manual such as this is just what your preparedness library needs.

Alternatives to Toothpaste

That being mentioned, what about things such as toothpaste and floss?  Well, many of your aromatic mints can be crushed up and used as toothpaste, such as spearmint and peppermint.  Follow this up with baking soda, and you’ll find a good clean set of teeth after brushing.  Charcoal powder is also an excellent dental cleanser, as well, a strong salt water solution will also be of use.  Cloves, in particular are good for swollen or abscessed gums, and clove oil itself can be used as a topical analgesic with excellent results and can easily be made.


To Make Clove Oil: Dried cloves can also be chopped up to be placed in a jar with 50% ethyl alcohol.  Make sure you cover over the pile of chopped cloves by about ¼ inch.  Tightly close the jar, and shake it vigorously several hundred times a day, once in the morning and once at night.


Keep the clove mixture in a cool, dark place, and after two weeks, you’ll have your solution.  Cloves contain eugenol, which is both an anesthetic and an antimicrobial.  Don’t drink it.  Use it as an oral rinse: a more effective one than most supermarket-brand mouthwashes.  It can also help to prevent and to aid with swollen gums.

Keep this rule in mind: The main causes for tooth problems are poor nutrition and then poor hygiene. 

This does pose a problem, and there are certain foods that can do a number on your teeth. This will be a challenge for you to be able to find not just food, but healthy and nutritious food after a collapse.  Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease of the gums that eventually leads to tooth loss if unchecked.  Protein deficiencies are also a big problem that can cause teeth to loosen and gums to rot.  Clean water is very important, not just for the care of the teeth, but also to prevent any microorganisms from entering an already unhealthy oral cavity post SHTF.  Boil the water for at least 3 to 5 minutes after you have strained and filtered it in every way that you can.

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

Toothbrushes can be fashioned out of sticks with the diameter of a pencil.  Notch the ends and then hammer the end, spreading out the wood and softening it somewhat.  With these you’ll have to be a little more careful, as there not your “Oral-B” store-bought toothbrushes.  Floss can be made from cotton or nylon thread that you can wax beforehand to strengthen it somewhat.  Just take the start of your thread and press your thumb on top of it, crushing/pressing it into the wax, and then just pull the thread through.  Do this several times to give it a light wax coating that smooths out the thread through the teeth and strengthens the fibers.

Above all else, make sure you have some post-collapse dental supplies. Anything that you can pick up before the disaster is a plus, and you may wish to practice with several of these techniques to find out which are the best for you personally.  The reason is that everyone’s mouth is different, and genetically many are predisposed to having either teeth without a long lifespan or other problems.  As well, have an understanding of how to mitigate dental pain should something arise in a disaster. Prior to taking any actions here, consult with your friendly, certified, government-approved dentist for his or her friendly approval.  Take care of those teeth, and stock up on stuff you need…before the SHTF.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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


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


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Big Brother Could Be Spying on You Through Your Prescriptions

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bigbrother 

Prescription meds are a way that the Big Brother state can maintain control over your medical supplies and monitor you as an individual.

In mid-January, an article came out entitled Feds force Doctors and Pharmacists to Spy on 60% of Americans,” and deals with the PMP, the Prescription Monitoring Program, and 48 states have adopted it.  The federal government keeps track of all your sensitive information (birth date, address, etc., and demographics on you) in the “interests of combating drug abuse.”

That reason is nothing more than a front to be able to monitor you and using the prescriptions as a “back door.”  It is the usual government mantra: “For the good of the whole,” “for the public safety,” ad infinitum ad nauseam.  The problem is that they utilize these existent programs to justify more and more control measures that eventually encompass everything you do.  A case in point is the hormone androstenedione.  This is a precursor hormone to testosterone, and the last “gate” before reaching testosterone on the metabolic pathway.

In 1997, it was a completely legal and obtainable as a supplement.  The East German Olympic athletes had a lot of success with it boosting testosterone (thus performance).  Later it was banned by the Olympic committee, and then the torch was taken up by the American sports agencies, then the FDA, and so on.  Now you cannot obtain it.  In many countries (especially in Europe) you cannot even have amino acids without a prescription.  In the last eight years, this country has followed suit in a lot of the practices of Europe.

How to ‘Opt-Out’ of Prescription Monitoring

  1. Stock up on as many nutritional supplements as you can, in the form of herbs, tinctures, and naturopathic aids such as vitamins and anything you can use
  2. Obtain as many long-shelf-life antibiotics for your fish and pets for as long as you can
  3. Learn how to replace medicines that may not be readily available by supplementing with herbal foods and natural food aids (you can’t call any of them “medicine,” by the way)
  4. Get yourself in shape (yes, this is why JJ writes so many articles dealing with physical training and conditioning), as this will prevent you from being ill and/or visiting with these Doctors…. Dr. Doolittle, or Dr. Do-Nothing. YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST HEALTH CARE PROVIDER THROUGH PREVENTATIVE MEANS
  5. By following these instructions, it’ll keep you out from under the magnifying glass of feds or anyone else “lingering” from the Dark Ages of Obama’s reign.
  6. Practice OPSEC (Operational Security): don’t be a “Chatty Kathy” doll, to paraphrase Steve Martin…tell those worth telling, and only so they can emulate your actions…not to be the center of attention. Don’t let anyone know what you have or what you’re doing!

The last sentence of #6 is very important.  Such is not just to keep the government from prying in on you, but to prevent your nosy neighbors from knowing what you have surrounding a SHTF situation.  Today’s “Madge” from the Palmolive ad is tomorrow’s Marauder with a pickaxe hammering at your front door to get to your supplies.  We have a President who is taking action on behalf of the American people, but we’re not out of the woods yet.  Just because it’s sunlight outside doesn’t mean there are not plenty of vampires snoozing in coffins, just waiting for the opportunity to strike.  If they do, the best “wooden stake” you can use on them is to be prepared beforehand, and not expose yourself to them in the night.  May the sun always warm your back and light a path for your feet!  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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prepper dudes 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Prepared Workplace: Lifesaving Supplies You Need Before the Emergency

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prepared workplace[Editor’s Note: On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared. Would you have enough food and water to wait an emergency out at work? A disaster plan is only as good as your Plan A, B and C.]

So, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, have you made a big batch of pemmican for yourselves yet?  If so, then I commend you.  If not, then get on the stick!  The beef stick, that is, because pemmican is one of the foods that is perfect to carry around.  I know, I know, between bug-out bags, micro-tools, thermoses, and the likes of which I have been writing about recently…you need to be an octopus to be able to carry all of it.  It is better to have, as you well know, than not to have something.  Let’s talk about food in this regard.

The Secret to Survival is Prior Planning

Undoubtedly you have laid up a supply for yourselves and your families in your home and have some packed in your “go” bags.  We’ll now touch on a few other areas: in your workplace and on your person. Some preparedness and emergency items for the entire office are:

Talk to your supervisor about the existing emergency plan and find ways of improving it. You could even create a preparedness month where each coworker donates money to get the office prepped!

Ultimately, It’s About You!

If your workplace shrugs off your attempts to get them prepped, that shouldn’t stop you from getting some extra food and provisions for yourself in your workplace (and also carry a little on you at all times). Keep in mind, this is about giving yourself an “edge” and perhaps buying you some time in a sticky situation.

If you have a workplace locker (the best are those that lock), a basket/cubby space, or a shelf for your things, you can stock up a few cans of food and some essentials.  Why?  Because that is what preparation is all about: the “what-if’s” that may arise.  What if you cannot go outside to your vehicle to get your “go” bag?  There could be any number of reasons: severe flooding, rioting, extreme cold weather, among others.  You may have to make do with what you have on your person or in your workplace.

As well, make sure you have some clean athletic socks and walking shoes stored on you. As well, have some extra change on hand in case you need to get items from the vending machines (items like water, nuts, crackers, etc., will run out quickly in an emergency).

Your Personal Workplace Prepper Pantry

Even if you just have a bag that you stash under a table or in a back room, you can throw extra canned goods in there.  Here’s a sample of what to place in your bag or locker (with a locker, remember, you can probably put some more food in there):

  • (4) cans of food (preferably heat-and-eat prepared dinner-ravioli, soups, etc.)
  • (2) 20-ounce or 32-ounce bottle of water
  • (1) Ziploc sandwich bag of a snack (trail mix, pretzels, dried fruit, etc.)
  • (1) Ziploc bag of hard candies
  • (1) small bag of dried meat (jerky, pemmican, beef sticks, etc.)

That will get you started, but you don’t have to stop there. There are many types of disasters that could occur while you are at work. What happens if there is a fire and you need to escape? Or, in a worst case scenario, hazardous material has leaked into the air. Why not have a gas mask on hand? There are many gas masks that are compact and can fit inside your desk.

Remember, these items are for your personal space/storage space in your workplace.  If you have an office and a desk, all the better.  If the desk has any drawers that lock, then it’s optimal.  Remember this rule:

If it’s a time of trouble or scarcity, whatever you need will also be needed by others.

Sesame Street rules aside, you do not need to advertise that you have a stash of extra food in your office drawer or wall locker.  Keep your supplies in a nondescript gym bag or other non-transparent/non-translucent carrier.

Their need is not a justification for your sharing, nor their shortsightedness for your “help” regarding preparations. 

One way to circumvent this is to get coworkers involved in getting the workplace prepared for these types of emergencies and have them create their own personal workplace pantries.

So, we’ve addressed the workplace, and now how about on your person?  Why?  Because it gives you an edge.  I have written articles in the past on the value of cargo pants with cargo pockets.  Here I am, recommending them again.  I carry a small bag of peanut butter-filled pretzels in my cargo pocket, as well as a bag of jerky, and about half a dozen hard candies (I like those Jolly Rancher ones).  There’s a good reason for it.

What if you’re trapped in an elevator?  Or (as mentioned before) something goes wrong, such as a power outage that leaves you trapped for a while.  What then?  It is a proven fact that the intake of simple sugars helps the human body during times of stress or crisis.  In addition, it is a psychological support you’ll give to yourself to help you deal with all of it.  The protein in the jerky and the peanut butter is important; the necessity to replace protein can never be understated.

The hard candies give you some simple sugar to throw into your bloodstream, and keep the mouth from drying out.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, if you can’t drink, then do not eat anything.  You will deplete yourself further; you must drink in order to digest your food.  The difficulty this presents is obvious, because if you don’t tote around a water bottle all the time, you’ll have trouble finding water when the need arises.  So, tote it around!  Everybody walks around all the time with coffee cups and soda bottles, so it won’t look out of place for you to tote around a 20-ounce PowerAde bottle with water in it.

These are akin to “tiers” of response levels: 1st is what you have on you, 2nd in your work area/locker, and 3rd in your vehicle.

One more key point: All the stuff not on you becomes a cache point if you can’t reach it, and you can go for the stuff later on.

You may have to forgo getting food out of your locked desk drawer because 10 other people may see it.  Who’s going to think of going into your desk drawer for food unless you make them aware it’s there.  Practice OPSEC, and re-read the article I wrote on the Nosy Neighbors…the ones who will eat your food and maybe you along with it if their needs call for it.  Keep it to yourself.  It’s better to wait until everybody is out of the area, and then obtain your supplies from your locked and unknown (to your “buddies” at work) location.  Ounce of prevention, pound of cure.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Your Sleep Needs Change With the Seasons

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

Bodies Slow Down in Winter

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

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

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

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Natural Remedies

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These are the Building Blocks of Survival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Whole Foods are Always Better Than Nutritional Supplements

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

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

Synergistic Effects

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

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

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

Bioactivity of Phytonutrients

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

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

Increased Protection by Combining Foods

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Exciting Ways to Use Cranberries

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

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

Cranberry Red Wine Relish

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Cranberry Chutney

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Sweet Wheat Berry Cranberry Salad

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

Ingredients:

Makes 8 servings

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

For Dressing:

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

Directions:

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

Cranberry Quinoa with Cilantro

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Three Basic Exercises To Help You Increase Strength and Mobility

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

Push-ups

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

Body Squats

body-squat

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

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

Reverse Plank Bridge

plank-bridge

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why You Need Sunlight Everywhere You Can Get It

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

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Benefits of Vitamin D

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

Sources of Vitamin D

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

Inadequate Sun Exposure

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

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

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

The Right Amount of Sunlight

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Ways to Cut the Duration of Your Cold

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

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

Sleep Helps You Heal

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

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

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

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

Give Zinc a Chance

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

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

Remember, Time Heals All

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why You Should Consider Eating Peppers with Every Meal

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

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

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

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

Three properties that are of interest to research scientists are:

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Reasons Why Drinking Coffee Is Great For Your Health

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

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

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

Coffee Has Naturopathic Tendencies

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

Coffee Provides Mental Alertness Seconds After Drinking

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

Drinking Coffee Helps To Lower Health Hazards

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

Coffee Is Full Of Antioxidants

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Say-So

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

 

JJ

 

coffee health

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Incredible Edible Dandelion: Using This Weed to the Fullest

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  We’re going to give you guys and gals a bit of information pertaining to Taraxacum officinale, also known as the Dandelion.  Last year I conducted a book review on the work “Eat the Weeds,” and out of the edible weeds, none exemplifies quality vs. misunderstanding as the common dandelion.  Most consider them a nuisance; however, they really are a treasure-trove if you know how to use them.

The dandelion is a perennial, and it contains a wealth of vitamins and nutrients, as well as naturopathic applications that are astounding.  The dandelion is edible in its entirety, which is really good to know from a survival perspective.  They also grow upon a taproot, an important consideration as they will grow back if harvested from the surface and the root is left alone.

Natural Medicine

From a naturopathic perspective, dandelion tinctures and teas can be used to help the liver and gall bladder, and the root can be tinctured and used as a diuretic, especially good for women with excessive water weight caused during the normal course of menses.

NUTRITION INFORMATION   Taken from USDA SR-21   

Source

Here are just a few segments of the breakdown (nutritionally) from dandelion.

Dandelion, 1 cup, chopped (55g)

  • Protein 1.5 g                                    
  • Vitamin A   5588 IU  (112%RDA)                           
  • Vitamin C  19.3 mg (32%RDA)
  • Vitamin E  1.9 mg (9%RDA)                      
  • Vitamin K  428 mcg  (535%RDA)

Other ingredients include Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc.  All from the dandelion!  When you’re tincturing, you should try to harvest the roots in October/November.  This period of time is when the concentration of its natural constituents is at its height.  Dandelion is an excellent diuretic and is good to take when sweating and flushing the system are needed, such as during the time of fever or cold.  Just remember to replace the fluid taken out of your system by the dandelion.

Edibles

The herb can also be dried and preserved, reconstituted in soups, stews, or salads with minimal losses of its vitamins and nutrients.  Concentration and focus should be placed on gathering it, as it provides vitamin C and A in large quantities, and these vitamins will be scarce in times of collapse or shortage.

After rinsing the dandelion off in cold water, you can chop them up and eat them in your salads.  There is also another way that I personally prefer to eat them.  Parboil them lightly, just to take out the crisp without making them go completely limp or wilted.  Then drain them off in a colander.  Next, throw them in a frying pan with about ¼ cup of olive oil, and sauté, adding fresh chopped cloves of garlic.  It comes out with the taste and consistency of spinach.  Throw a little bit of butter and salt on it, and it is delicious.

Ben Charles Harris’ book mentioned earlier gives more weeds and “nuisance” plants for you to cook and make salads from.  Why not supplement your diet with quality food while cutting your grocery bill for fresh vegetables at the same time?  Dandelions actually help the soil by aerating it and allowing some space between for the growth of helpful microorganisms and other “helpers” such as worms and beetles that help to condition the soil.

In addition, honeybees are heavily dependent upon the pollen produced from countless fields of dandelion.  If you plan on making any honey, it would be wise to preserve the fields full of them as a food source for your bees as well as for you and your family.  So, with these words, I encourage you to go out into your backyard and reacquaint yourself with the dandelion.  With so many gifts to offer, it would be wise to take advantage of them.  Just as with anything else, sometimes a gold mine is right in front of you, and you just need to recognize it for what it is.  Dandelions are just that.  Happy salad-gathering, and let us know about your adventures and any recipes you may have for us!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Non-Organic Crops Are About to Become Much More Toxic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

The Importance of Lauric Acid

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

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

Side Effects

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

Purity

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

Cost

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Grow Pineapples Like a Pro!

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

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

Grow Pineapples Like a Pro!

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Keto Diet: Health Benefits Beyond Weight Loss

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Increase Your Muscle Mass Naturally with this Natural Supplement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Inflammatory Foods That You Should Eat in Moderation

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

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

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

White Bread

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

Sugar

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

Fried Foods

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

Alcohol

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

Meat and Dairy

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

You’ll Go Bananas Over This Natural Sleep Remedy!

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

Making the Natural Sleep-Aid is a Breeze

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

The recipe is simple enough. You’ll need:

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

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

What to Expect When Drinking Banana Tea

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

Improvements you might experience with less sugar in your diet…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you do moderation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try replacing sugary drinks with unsweetened tea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What You Don’t Know About Sugar Can Kill You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, and Dr. Lustig added:

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

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

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

The results?

“Everything got better,” said Lustig.

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

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

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

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

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

Sugar is a real heart-breaker…

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

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

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

Sugar can damage your liver and kidneys, too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Added sugar can make tumors grow faster.

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

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

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

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

I’ll conclude with a warning from part 1:

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

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

****

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

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

 Essential Equipment for Plan B During a SHTF Event

Detection

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

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

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

Discretion

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

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

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

Be Prepared

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Vegetarian Diets Linked to Genetic Mutation That Causes Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Nutritious Foods You Can Afford When You’re Practically Broke

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free_range_eggsIf there’s one thing we all learned from the crash of 2008, it’s that any one of us could be dragged down into poverty. No one is really immune to that anymore. In the Western world, economic prosperity has been crumbling for years, and stability is rapidly disappearing for a variety reasons. Truth be told, you’ve probably read about countless disasters and survival situations on this website, but the one situation that is most likely to affect you, is a financial calamity in your family.

And if that happens, one of your most pressing concerns will be food. Every resource you consume will have to be restricted, and every day you’ll be forced to triage your finances. You’ll have to choose between paying for your rent/mortgage, utilities, debts, medical bills, and of course groceries. And even if you accept assistance in the form of food stamps, you’ll likely struggle to afford nutritious food.

That’s why I’ve compiled this list of low-cost groceries. Keep in mind however, that this isn’t a list of the cheapest foods. Things like taste or long-term health implications aren’t a priority either. These are foods that simply provide the most nutrients for the least amount of money, and you should keep them in mind if you ever find yourself in the poorhouse.

Butter

In terms of the number of calories you get for every dollar, you can’t beat butter. The only thing that would surpass it is refined sugar, but obviously you don’t want to make that a significant part of your diet. Butter is cheap, and brimming with saturated fats that will keep you sated for hours.

Whole Grain Wheat Flour

Grains have fallen out of favor among health conscious eaters in recent years, and for many very good reasons. But again, long-term health isn’t the priority of this list. Despite its faults, whole grain flour is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is incredibly cheap. So cheap in fact, that even the organic brands often only cost a few cents per ounce.

The main drawback to wheat, and most grains for that matter, is that they contain phytic acid. This substance is known to prevent the absorption of many different nutrients. However, if you’re planning on using the flour to make bread, pancakes, or even hard tack, you can soak the flour dough in lemon juice overnight, which will eliminate most of the phytic acid.

Eggs

Lately eggs have been pretty expensive due to a rampant avian flu epidemic that wiped out millions of chickens last summer. At one point, prices rose so high that ounce for ounce, the protein in chicken meat was cheaper than egg protein. Most of the time however, eggs provide one of the cheapest sources of protein and fat. However, not always as cheap as…

Whole Milk

While milk can provide plenty of protein, fat, and sugar at a low price, unlike eggs it has far more vitamins and minerals. Milk contains an abundance of vitamin D, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B12, and for minerals, it provides plenty of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. It also contains a very good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which eggs do not.

Beans

White beans, Lima beans, Kidney beans etc. They all have a few things in common. They’re usually light in vitamins, rich in minerals, and contain a moderate amount of protein. They aren’t always cheap, but their high shelf life allows you to cut down costs by buying them in bulk.

Canned Salmon

I don’t normally recommend any processed canned foods, but canned salmon is one of those rare foods that are healthier than the fresh version. Aside from being expensive, fresh salmon is usually farmed, which means they are typically contaminated with PCBs, and fed chemicals that turn their flesh pink (which happens naturally in the wild). Canned salmon is almost always caught in the wild, and is usually very affordable. It provides an abundance of omega-3, vitamins, and minerals, and unlike other canned sea food like tuna, the amount of mercury in salmon is negligible.

Bananas

While the cost of groceries has gone up significantly in recent years, bananas are still remarkably cheap. They also contain a well-rounded dose of nutrients like vitamins C and B6, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium. Contrary to popular belief, bananas don’t contain the most potassium (see beans above) but they are one of the cheapest ways to consume that mineral. Though most westerners aren’t aware of this, you can actually eat the banana peel as well if it’s properly prepared, which will double your potassium intake.

Beef Liver

There’s no doubt that the taste and texture of liver renders it unpalatable to most people. Unless you grew up eating it, there’s a good chance that you will absolutely hate beef liver. However, the widespread unpopularity of liver means that it’s usually pretty affordable. The nutrient profile of this organ is also amazing. It might give you the best bang for your buck, compared to everything else on this list.

In fact, some of the nutrients in beef liver are so high, that eating a single serving every day might actually be bad for you. That serving would include 431% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, 137% of riboflavin, 800% of B12, and 486% of copper. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep very long in the fridge, so you may want to skip liver if you live alone. But if you live with a family, you can easily divvy up a single slice between everyone.

Have any great ideas for highly nutritious foods that won’t break the bank? Let us know in the comments below. 

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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dog eating wikimedia

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

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

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

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

Foods your dog shouldn’t eat:

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

Foods your dog can eat:

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Sugar Keeps You Trapped in a Cycle of Addiction

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

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

And…the more I have, the more I want.

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

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

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

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

Did that sink in?

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

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

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

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

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

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

To make matters worse, sugar can be highly addictive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your health is in YOUR hands.

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

Additional Resources

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

Sugar Has 56 Names: A Shopper’s Guide

Good Calories, Bad Calories

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Scientists Discover New Link Between Sugar And Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Here’s What Happens When You Eat Nothing but MREs

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mre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Ways the Pine Tree Can Save Your Life

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

Food

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

Pine Needle Tea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bedding and Shelter

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

Fuel

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

Medicine

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

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

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Autumn Harvest: How To Store and Cook With Winter Squash (plus recipes)

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winter squashOne of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of winter squashes and all the delicious recipes one can make with them.  Unlike their summer cousins, zucchini and yellow crookneck, winter squashes can be stored for two to three months if handled and kept properly without significant loss to quality.  They lend themselves to cold weather dishes beautifully, too, whether roasted, sautéed, cubed and added to soups and stews, or mashed.

The most readily available squash in grocery stores are sugar pumpkins, butternut, acorn, and spaghetti varieties, but don’t limit yourself to the ones that are familiar- experiment with different varieties and have fun.  It’s almost impossible to go wrong with a nice winter squash.  Many of the lesser known varieties can be found at farmers’ markets.

Harvesting and Storing Winter Squash

In order to store them for months, be sure to select the ones that are blemish or bruise free.  They should also have an intact peduncle (stem) of about 1-inch for squash and 3 to 4 inches for sugar pumpkins.  If any are missing their peduncle, make sure to use them quickly.  The concave area at the top of the squash where the stem used to be makes them susceptible to molds and fungus.

If you’re harvesting from your own garden, don’t handle or harvest the squash while they’re wet and don’t let the harvested fruit get wet.  Cut the fruit from the vine (allowing appropriate stem length on the fruit) using kitchen or pruning shears, brush off any blossom still clinging to the end and any dirt chunks that might be stuck to them.  Space them far enough apart that each fruit gets adequate air flow around it.  The best temperature for curing is warm days between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you think nighttime temperatures are going to dip below 40 degrees or so, move your squash indoors to finish curing.  Frost can sweeten the fruit, but it can also dramatically reduce storage life.

Curing the squash gets rid of excess water which creates several benefits:

  • During the curing process, the skin hardens and creates a protective layer
  • It concentrates the sugars in the fruit making it sweeter
  • It reduces the chances of rot

A harder skin also helps to slow moisture loss (respiration) during storage which helps preserve the quality of the fruit from both an aesthetic and nutritional perspective.

Once your fruit has cured, check them again for any signs of blemishes or bruises and to make sure the stems are still securely attached.  Set aside any that aren’t in perfect condition and use those first or can them using the pressure canning method.  Squash store best at around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and at about 50 to 70% relative humidity.  Cooler temperatures, like those in your refrigerator, can cause chilling injuries to the fruit and shorten storage life just like a frost does.  Higher temps or higher humidity can encourage mold and mildew growth.

Don’t wash the squash!  If there are still dirt chunks stuck to the squash, use a soft rag to gently wipe them away.  Always make sure your squash is dry before storing it.  Carefully stack your squash to avoid bruising or breaking the stems, and don’t stack more than about three feet high.  Any higher and the weight of the squash on the top will squish the squash on the bottom.  I don’t have a root cellar at my house here in California, but since I live above the snowline in the Sierras, my outbuildings can get too cold to store them in without damage.  We use wood heat in the main living area of the house and I’ve found that a back bedroom, with the door shut to keep the heat from the woodstove out, stays at just the right temperature.  Also, if you’ve put up fresh apples, don’t store them with your squash.  The ethylene gas that apples give off makes everything else ripen (read: rot) faster.

I have a confession to make: cutting open hard squashes scares the beejebus out of me.  I’m always afraid I’m going to lose my grip and slice my fingers clean off.  Yes, I know I can get a very nice Japanese cleaver like the one shown here, but I already own a vintage cleaver and many nice knives.  Don’t laugh- my solution is a hatchet.  Yes, the same hatchet I use to make kindling.  It makes an inelegant cut, but pretty isn’t what I’m after.  I just want to cut the dang thing in half (or pieces) and get it in my belly.  If company is coming over, I use my vintage cleaver, a sturdy and thick cutting board to rest everything on, and a kitchen mallet like the one shown here.  I give the squash a firm whack with the cleaver first to se the blade and then use the mallet to hammer the cleaver through the squash the rest of the way.

Five Delicious Butternut Squash Recipes

This is especially helpful when I have several imperfect squashes that need to be canned instead of going into winter storage.  According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation the only way to safely can winter squashes is to cube them and use a pressure canner.  However, there are many recipes that one can make and either freeze the finished product or can it.  One of my favorites is a Butternut soup base recipe found here.  This recipe for Pickled Butternut is surprisingly good when warmed and mashed and spread over cold roast beef.

This recipe, for Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut and Quinoa, can be doubled and the leftover frozen for later use.

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage makes a beautiful presentation for dinner parties while still providing a filling entrée.

Going meatless and gluten-free?  This recipe for Spaghetti Squash Alfredo Boats is just the ticket for cold winter nights. Sweet Dumpling squash, with their small size, make the perfect serving for a side dish.  Stuffed with mushrooms, wild rice, and apple sausage, they pair perfectly with this recipe for Grilled Venison Loin from my favorite game chef, Hank Shaw, over at the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.  Trying to sneak more veggies into a picky eater’s diet?  The Spaghetti Squash is for you!  Once boiled or baked, this squash has a stringy, mild-flavored flesh that is very much like the pasta it’s named for.  Top with marinara sauce and some grated parmesan cheese and your kids will eat it up.

The Blue Hubbard squash has the longest storage life of all the squashes.  This beauty can weigh 15 to 40 (FORTY!) pounds and has a sweet, fine-grained, golden flesh.  These are excellent simply roasted with apples, nuts, butter and maple syrup or honey.  To prepare, start by cutting the Hubbard in half and scooping out the guts.  Core and chop four or five apples and about one cup or so of nuts (I like pecans, but walnuts and almonds work just as well).  Combine the chopped apples and nuts with about ¾ C maple syrup or homey and about a half a cup melted butter (save a little melted butter to brush the squash with).  Feel free to play with the amount of the ingredients until you find the ratio you like.  Place the halved squash in a baking dish with about ½ inch or so of water in the bottom of it.  Scoop the Apple and nut mixture into the center of the cut squash, brush the cut side with melted butter, and cover with foil and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.  The meat of the squash should be tender when done like a baked potato.

Winter squashes come in a variety of sizes, textures, and flavors and if stored properly, make an excellent winter food store.  They’re easy to incorporate into dishes or make excellent entrees.  Check out your local farmers’ market to see their wonderful variety.

Stay tuned!

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Restorative Properties of Ginseng

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Cold Sores: How to Deal with These Winter Pests

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cold soresReadyNutrition Readers, this is the season for a real pain-in-the-neck to surface seasonally, as you’re hiking and backpacking in the last days of autumn and winter is making its way around the U.S. slowly and steadily.  The dreaded cold sore surfaces, and it can make wearing a face mask or muffler pretty uncomfortable, to say the least.  Carmex and Chap-stick, along with their buddy Blistex are making their rounds.  We are going to cover a few more things that may help besides those supportive salves that may make your life a little more bearable!

The information herein details conditions of cold sores, as well as the mention of several naturopathic foods that may provide relief for sufferers.  The information presented in this article is just that: for informational purposes only.  The contents of this article and any actions herein are not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, or rectify any condition or malady discussed here.  For questions or concerns pertaining to this information and actions outlined, please consult your doctor or family physician for their advice and approval.

The Ugly Truth About Cold Sores

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters.  They are a form of the herpes simplex virus that occurs on the lips.  The affliction’s scientific name is herpes labialis, or herpes on the lips, where the cold sores occur.  The virus is the Herpes Simplex Virus 1, or HSV-1.  The virus itself is a human DNA virus that causes recurring eruptions that are painful and embarrassing to the patient.  Also present can be found vesicular eruptions (burst blisters, to phrase it commonly) that leak exudates that are infective and thereby can be transmissible to others.  During the cold weather months, they surface more regularly and due to a weakened immune system often accompany illnesses such as the common cold or the common flu.

After making initial contact with the skin, the virus travels in the body along the nerve fibers until reaching the sensory ganglia.  In this location the virus establishes a latent infection.  Latency means the infection is not active but is lying hidden within the tissues and cells.  There are certain stimuli that may activate the virus, such as sexual contact, exposure to UV radiation, illnesses characterized by fever, and stress/anxiety.  Such stimuli may cause the affliction to resurface and travel back to the site of original infection.

A rash with a red base, upon which can be noticed groups of tiny blisters, characteristically identifies cold sores.  Prescription medications to treat outbreaks and/or prevent recurrences are Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir.  They are also effective antiviral agents and analgesics.  You will need to seek a doctor’s care to obtain them.

What To Do When Symptoms Manifest

There are some steps to be taken when confronted with HSV-1/cold sores either when you have them or are with another person who does:

  1. When the lesions do manifest themselves, avoid any skin-to-skin contact
  2. The sufferer may wish to use a soft toothbrush, as well as mouthwashes with saline or bicarbonate
  3. Oral anesthetics may be employed (over-the-counter)
  4. Consume soft foods
  5. Use lip balm with sunscreen; this helps to decrease oral lesion recurrence

Natural Ways to Alleviate Cold Sore Symptoms

There are a couple of naturopathic foods that can help to alleviate the symptoms and discomfort with cold sores.

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) is used medicinally.  The dried, flowering herb sans roots is the therapeutic part of the plant.  Scarlet Pimpernel is antiviral, and the aqueous extract of the dried leaves is fungitoxic.  The methanol extract of the dried, powdered drug is antiviral, specifically to HSV-1, the organism responsible for the cold sores.  It can be administered topically as a poultice and/or internally as an infusion.  The dosage is 1.8 grams of powder taken 4 times per day.  Orally (as per infusion) take 5-10 drops or 1 tablet per day.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if purchasing it in a health food store.

Scarlet Pimpernel can also be administered as an ointment 1-2 times per day.  Be advised that the herb is a strong diuretic, is a diarrheic, and is mildly narcotic at higher dosages.  The herb is beneficial against a variety of other influenza viruses as well.

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis) is a second herb that is effective against cold sores.  Thuja is actually a tree that grows 36-60 feet in height.  The medicinal parts are the oil extracted from the leaves and branch tips, the young dried branches, and the fresh leafy branches.  The tree is found in Eastern North America and is harvested for medicine in the spring.  Dosages must be followed strictly, due to Thuja’s tendency to cause spasms with high dosages of the essential oil, as well as convulsions, metabolic disturbances, and renal disturbances.

Thuja is used in conjunction with antibiotics to treat bacterial conditions of the skin and with Herpes simplex infections.  Thuja is a powerful antiviral, not to be taken lightly.  The use is contraindicated with pregnant women.  The official thujone (a constituent of Thuja) toxicological limit is 1.25-mg/kg body weight.  Dosages are as such:  for extracts – 1:1, 50% ethanol, or 1:10, 60% ethanol, both given 1-2 ml three times daily.  Tincture is given as 100 parts Thuja powder to 1000 parts diluted spirit of wine (EB6).

To summarize, both of these herbs are very serious.  Dosage recommendations of the manufacturer in preparations must be followed to the letter!  You can find these herbs either in commercial preparations or as the raw herb in your better health food stores.  As an adjunct to the salves, these will actually work on the offending organism, and aid you in your battle with a wintertime visit from the cold sores.  May your trips and excursions be happy and safe, and you have a great day!

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Healthy Alternatives to Bisquick Pancakes

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

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

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

Banana Pancakes

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

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

Coconut Flour Pancakes

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

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

Almond Flour Pancakes

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

Quinoa Flour Pancakes

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

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

Sweet Potato Pancakes

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

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

McDonald’s May Be “Facing Its Final Days”

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

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

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

They’re losing money, and instead of improving the quality of their product and their service, they just keep attempting new marketing gimmicks until something sticks. That’s a classic sign that a company is in its death throes, and coincidentally, many of their franchise owners agree.

“We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing,” a franchise owner wrote in response to a financial survey by Nomura Group. “Probably 30% of operators are insolvent.” One owner went as far as to speculate that McDonald’s is literally “facing its final days.”

Franchisees have also been complaining about the erratic nature of McDonald’s corporate decision-making process. As Business Insider reports, “The lack of consistent leadership from Oak Brook is frightening, we continue to jump from one failed initiative to another.” They are likely referring to the company’s many marketing schemes that have been implemented recently to slow the bleeding of younger customers as they choose healthier, more local options en masse. As Anti-Media also reported in June,

“Though the chain has dominated the fast food market for decades, recent competition and health consciousness has challenged the popularity of its product. The growth of chains like Chipotle, which recently stopped using genetically modified ingredients, has reportedly diverted customers away from McDonald’s. Additionally, the company is losing a share of its young patrons while the rise of boutique burger chains such as Five Guys has put a dent in profits.

McDonald’s financial floundering has sent a clear message across the food industry. There’s a new customer in town, and he wants real food that won’t kill him. And if you can’t or won’t deliver, you’re going out of business.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition