Police Mistook Her Vitamins For Drugs. She Then Spent 5 Months In Jail.

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Police Mistook Her Vitamins For Drugs. She Then Spent 5 Months In Jail.

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Rebecca Shaw spent five months in jail because a sheriff’s deputy conducted a field test that could not tell the difference between vitamins and oxycodone pills.

To make matters worse, it took a year for the state crime lab to test the pills and clear Shaw’s name.

“He does the field drug test and because it tests positive, nothing else mattered,” Shaw’s attorney, Patrick LeDuc, said of a Pasco County, Fla., deputy. “It didn’t matter she had no prior record, it didn’t matter she was out of gas.”

Shaw’s nightmare began in September 2015 when her car ran out of gas. A deputy received permission to search her vehicle, found the pills, ran the test and arrested her, The Miami Herald reported.

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“He said, ‘They don’t look like vitamins. They look like oxycodone,’” Shaw said of the deputy, according to Fox 13 in Tampa.

She added, “It felt like my whole life was over. It was terrible. My kids were devastated. I was away for five months. I cried constantly.”

She was arrested on drug trafficking charges, and placed in jail for five months. She stayed there until her husband was able to raise $5,000 in bail money. It took another seven months for a Florida crime lab to retest the pills and discover they were vitamins. That caused prosecutors to finally drop the charges.

“We have men and women sitting in jail languishing if they cannot make bond awaiting that scientific testing that should be performed immediately,” Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder told Fox 13.

Shaw is just one of many people who were jailed because of faulty field tests. Fox 13 went to a lab and had the kits themselves tested.

“We watched as aspirin, cough medicine, coffee and spices like oregano … tested positive for illegal drugs,” Fox 13 reporter Gloria Gomez reported. “These are the same kits used by law enforcement all over the country to make drug arrests.”

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Growing Microgreens and Sprouts Indoors All Winter Long (Video)

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fresh-arugula-micro-greensAs the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, I’ve heard from several gardeners up north that they are packing it up for the year and winterizing their gardens.

But even up north, there’s one easy way to keep some fresh greens coming all winter long–with just a few containers and a little bit of your open counter space.

Microgreens are a great option for keeping your vitamin intake up over the winter. In addition to being tasty and trendy, they pack a big nutritional punch. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry looked at 25 common varieties of microgreens and found that they generally have higher concentrations of healthful vitamins and carotenoids than their mature counterparts. Red cabbage microgreens had the highest concentration of vitamin C, and green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E.

Check out this video about growing microgreens and sprouts indoors:

If you want to give this a try and you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to get started, read this article from our writing contest: Easy and Fresh Micro Greens and Herbs All Year Round. You’ll find one example of a no-frills way to get this done–without needing to buy anything but seeds.

(This post was originally published November 17, 2015.)

The post Growing Microgreens and Sprouts Indoors All Winter Long (Video) appeared first on The Grow Network.

Recognizing and Resolving Common Vitamin Deficiencies

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Recognizing and Resolving Common Vitamin Deficiencies Thanks to the constant burrowing of science into how our bodies work we are now more educated than ever on the effect of vitamins on the body. We know that low levels of Vitamin D can actually make people depressive. We know that mega doses of Vitamin C can …

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The post Recognizing and Resolving Common Vitamin Deficiencies appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

The Surprisingly Quiet Ammo That’s Often Misunderstood

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It’s The Misunderstood Ammo That Makes Less Noise

Along with the rising popularity of gun mufflers, usually called suppressors or silencers, has come an increased interest in subsonic ammunition. Often, though, there are more questions than answers.

This article seeks to inform the reader with basic knowledge of subsonic ammo.

Subsonic ammunition is ammunition made primarily for use with a suppressor. It also can be used in a handgun or rifle all by itself, unsuppressed, though weapon performance may not be the same as with regular ammo.

When compared to other cartridges within the same caliber, subsonic loads have a smaller powder charge inside the case, and are generally a heavier bullet. In extraordinarily simple terms, we can think in terms of the formula mass times velocity equals force. When velocity is decreased by having less powder, and therefore less gas to drive the bullet down the barrel, through the air, and into its target, a bullet of more mass compensates to a degree. For example, Atomic Ammunition’s subsonic load in .223 has a 75-grain bullet — not an extraordinary weight, but one associated with match rounds. An average .223 target match bullet weighs 55 grains.

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It is the moment a bullet leaves the barrel, and the explosion of gas that’s behind it, that creates the “bang” of a firearm. Subsonic ammunition, traveling at lower-than-normal velocity relative to the caliber, is quieter. It still, though, makes enough noise to necessitate hearing protection when used sans suppressor.

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In tandem with a suppressor, subsonic ammunition makes a hearing-safe pop, the kind you hear in the movies when the bad guy fires a gun with a silencer. Funny, isn’t it, how it’s always a bad guy in the movies? On the street, most criminals aren’t interested in making the effort to conceal these bulky attachments.

Why Use Subsonic?

Subsonic can be used when less noise and/or less recoil are desired. It’s a great choice for indoor or urban ranges. With a suppressor, it’s beneficial for hunting, especially when a landowner may want to eliminate more than a single varmint or pest animal. The minimal report is less scary to the rest of the herd. Some hunters claim the remaining animals may still spook, but since subsonic offers no muzzle flash and no directional bearing on sound, they actually may run in the hunter’s direction.

It’s also a good choice for teaching gun handling and marksmanship fundamentals to a new or very young shooter without the complication of recoil.

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Subsonic protects the irreplaceable asset of hearing. Quieter shooting is an asset not just for gun users, but also for non-shooting neighbors who are less likely to object to our hobby — at home as well as in the voting booth.

What Are the Downsides?

Some subsonic loads will, consistently or occasionally depending on the semi-auto firearm, fail to automatically cycle the action. This challenge is gradually being overcome as manufacturers fine-tune components. I found it to be quaintly enjoyable to hand-cycle my AR-15 while using subsonic.

A notable exception is the popular .300 AAC Blackout caliber, purpose-made for suppressed shooting. With a bolt carrier group and barrel change, it can be fired through the AR-15 platform. This widely available load offers the AR owner great versatility from one firearm, although many feel it’s unnecessary unless it’s used with a suppressor.

Subsonic ammunition is a bit less accurate at longer distances. The smaller doses of powder in subsonic loads can shift around within the case, producing less reliable flight. I experienced this in a 100-yard field trial of .308 caliber subsonic. In several three-shot groups, two rounds would be remarkably accurate; their impact holes touching. A third would be a modest flyer, three to five inches away from the others. It’s not a huge difference for most applications except where absolute precision is required.

According to Jerod Johnson, a company rep for Atomic Ammunition, subsonic rifle loads such as the .308 are rather ineffective beyond 300 yards, where velocity loss is rapid.

The price of subsonic is, like match ammunition, reflective of the specialized manufacturing process. Expect to spend double or more the price of FMJ.

If there’s no admonishment against subsonic ammunition in your firearm’s user manual, trying out a box of subsonic is an interesting experience, whether accompanied by a suppressor or not. Especially with centerfire calibers, there’s a surprising ease to firing powerful rounds, while getting sound and recoil that are closer to the rimfire range. Try some!

Have you ever used subsonic ammo? Share your thoughts on it in the section below:

4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition

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

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

Stinging Nettles: The Delicious Spring Edible ‘Weed’ That Is Easily Tamed

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Stinging Nettles: The Delicious Spring Edible ‘Weed’ That Is Easily Tamed

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Stinging nettles are a common forest plant found in Northern regions around the globe. They prefer rich soil near the edges of streams, lakes, springs and other sources of cool, clean water. Although they can be a nuisance for any person tromping through the woods in shorts, stinging nettles are an incredibly versatile and important wild edible.

Most people in our society no longer view nettles as a plant of value, but for early homesteaders and Native f of the nettle was used for treating joint pain and inflammation. Clearly, stinging nettle is a plant with multiple purposes.

So how does one find, harvest and utilize nettles? First, it is important to properly identify this plant in the wild. Nettles are characterized by the following features:

  • Nettles grow in dense clusters or groves near water and begin to emerge shortly after snowmelt in the spring.
  • Young nettle leaves have a heart-shaped appearance and may exhibit a purplish tint.
  • Leaves are opposing in orientation along the stem, and range between two and five inches in length, with serrated edges and a pointed tip.
  • Veins of the nettle leaves are indented.
  • Nettles have small, glassy hairs on the underside of their leaves and along their stems.
  • At maturity, nettles can be more than five-feet tall.

Remember to collect nettles only from pristine environments, away from roads or any source of pollution and contamination. The tastiest portion of stinging nettles is the new leaves at the growing tip. Whenever possible, harvest nettles during the early part of the spring after they have first emerged from the soil. Look for plants that have eight leaves or less.

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Stinging Nettles: The Delicious Spring Edible ‘Weed’ That Is Easily Tamed

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It is OK to harvest leaves from older plants, but they won’t be as tender or as sweet. To harvest nettles, it is best to wear a pair of gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. While holding the topmost leaf, clip the stem just below the first whorl of leaves, either with scissors or garden clippers. The stems tend to be fibrous. Avoid cutting too much stem material. In the case of more mature plants, you will want to strip the leaves away from the stem altogether. Nettles can be stored loosely in a plastic bag in the fridge for several days before use. To preserve the quality of the nettles, do not rinse until just prior to processing.

The sting of the nettle plant comes from a combination of formic acid, histamine and several other chemical compounds that the plant uses as a defense mechanism against browsing herbivores. The modified hairs on the underside of the leaves and along the stem are used to inject this stinging solution into the skin. Nettles will lose their ability to sting when they are properly prepared.

When you are ready to eat your nettles, blanch them in hot water for five minutes and drain. (The blanching water makes a great tea or can be used a base for a vegetable stock, so don’t throw it out). The nettles now have lost their “sting” and can be used in place of spinach for most recipes, including lasagna or pasta sauce. Use stinging nettles in place of basil for pesto (freeze any extra in small glass jars) or as the base for a creamy spring soup. If you have acccidentally over-harvested, try drying your extra stinging nettles in a food dehydrator. The dried nettles make an excellent tea and can be crumbled and used as a flavoring herb for soups and sauces during the winter months.

Regardless of how you use them, stinging nettles are sure to become a household favorite. Their sweet flavor practically screams “springtime.” As a homesteader, I can no longer imagine life without them as part of our pantry.

Do you harvest and eat nettles? Share your nettles tips in the section below:

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10 Brain-Boosting Foods That Just Might Make You Smarter (You’re Gonna Love No. 6)

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10 Brain-Boosting Foods That Just Might Make You Smarter (Our Favorite: No. 6)

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We have all heard the phrase, “you are what you eat,” but did you know you that what you eat can make you smarter?

In addition to helping your body stay healthy and strong, certain foods can help your brain work better and even protect against mental disorders.

“Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain,” said Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science who has researched the effects of food on the brain. “Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging.”

The food we eat can affect everything from our mood to our memory. Nutrient-dense whole foods can do more than just fuel our bodies; they can help us think more clearly.

According to Cynthia Green, PhD, an expert on memory and brain health, key nutrients — along with exercise and daily brain stimulation – help keep brain cells healthy and prevent inflammation. Green writes that a person’s memory, attention span and ability to learn all benefit from the right food choices.

Here are 10 brain-boosting foods to make a part of your diet.

1. Fish — Salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, trout and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which experts believe are essential for healthy brain function.

Nearly 40 percent of the fatty acids found in brain cell membranes are the DHA variety, which are found in fish oil. Scientists have discovered that DHA helps the brain transmit signals between its cells. The body cannot manufacture fatty acids, so they must be gained through diet.

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

Tufts University researchers found that people who ate oily fish three times a week and therefore had the highest levels of DHA in their blood reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by almost 40 percent.

10 Brain-Boosting Foods That Just Might Make You Smarter (Our Favorite: No. 6)2. Dark green leafy vegetables – Dark green vegetables, such as kale, collard greens and spinach, are excellent sources of vitamin E and folate. Folate may protect the brain by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. Nitrates in spinach help increase blood flow to the brain and thereby improve mental performance.

Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K, which enhances cognitive function and improves memory. Leafy greens also contain carotenoids, which help protect the brain from damage from free radicals, the waste products the body makes when its cells create energy.

3. Nuts and seeds — As sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and vitamin B6 and vitamin E, nuts (especially walnuts) and seeds are good for the brain and the nervous system.

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds contain omega fatty acids, protein and B vitamins, which all can help provide you with an energy boost. These seeds also contain tryptophan, a substance the brain converts into serotonin to elevate your mood.

Eating a handful of seeds also can provide you with the daily recommended amount of zinc, which helps enhance thinking skills and memory.

4. Berries – Dark berries, such as blueberries, cherries and blackberries, are both good to eat and good for your brain. They contain anthocyanins and other flavonoids that improve memory function and cognitive function.

Research indicates that berries help protect the brain from oxidative damage and stress that can contribute to premature aging, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

5. Avocados — Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin E.

Consuming these nutritional powerhouses helps increase blood flow to the brain, lower “bad” cholesterol levels and absorb antioxidants. Avocados are delicious but high in calories, so consider adding just one quarter to one-half of an avocado to your daily diet.

10 Brain-Boosting Foods That Just Might Make You Smarter (Our Favorite: No. 6)

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6. Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate – the kind that contains at least 70 percent cocoa – can be a powerful brain booster. It contains important antioxidants as well as natural stimulants, such as caffeine, which help improve concentration.

The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help blood vessel function, which enhances cognitive function and memory skills.

7. Bone broth — When you sip a homemade stock made from animal bones, you can help nourish your brain.

Bone broth contains collagen, which helps keep cells, bones, ligaments and the brain healthy. Additionally, the glycine in bone broth helps improve sleep and memory.

8. Whole grains – The complex carbohydrates, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids found in whole grains help protect the heart and brain from cholesterol, blood clots and sugar spikes.

Whole grains – such as oatmeal, oat bran and brown rice — also contain B vitamins that enhance blood flow to the brain and improve mood and concentration.

9. Beets — Beets as brain food? You had better believe it. Beets are high in vitamin B9 and in nitrites, which help increase blood flow in the areas of the brain related to cognitive functioning.

They also are rich in carotenoids, which help boost brain functioning and improve mood.

10. Beans and legumes – An excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, beans and legumes also offer a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risk of potentially harmful sugar spikes.

Beans and legumes also contain omega fatty acids and an abundance of folate, both of which boost brain function.

Finally, don’t underestimate the role hydration plays in good brain health. Be sure to drink plenty of water each day to keep your body and your brain working at optimal levels.

The brain is approximately 85 percent water, and brain function – including thought and memory processes — depends on you staying hydrated. So drink up this summer!






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3 Easy Ways To Cook Plantain, The Spinach-Like ‘Survival Weed’

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3 Ways To Cook Plantain, The Spinach-Like 'Survival Weed'

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I grew up in Chicago and remember seeing plantain growing in yards and parkways along city streets. What always caught my eye were the slender seed stalks emerging from a nest of green leaves. I had no idea they were edible, but have harvested them frequently since then.

Both plantain leaves and the seedy stalks can be eaten, and they contain a surprising number of nutrients on a par with spinach and other leafy green vegetables like kale and collard greens. Plantains have healthy doses of vitamins K, A and C, in addition to iron and fiber.

Harvesting Plantain

Plantain leaves can be easily snipped from the plants with a pair of scissors. The leaf stems are actually a bit fibrous, so cut close to the base of the leaf. The leaves are best when harvested before the tall 4- to 6-inch seed stalk emerges. Much like dandelions, the leaves of plantain become a bit bitter once the seed stalks emerge.

The seed stalks also can be eaten, and there are a few ways of preparing both the leaves and the stalks.

Cooking Plantain

A general rule of thumb for cooking plantain is to immerse the leaves or the stems in boiling water for 4 minutes, and then immediately immerse them into a bowl of ice water. This will shock the leaves or stems to stop the cooking process and fix their deep, green color. When plantains are overcooked they tend to disintegrate, so stay close to the 4-minute rule.

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This initial boiling step will not only tenderize the plant but will help to dilute any bitterness in the more mature leaves. Once you have done this initial step you can go into a variety of directions with further preparation and recipes. It’s not absolutely necessary to do this blanching step. Young, tender leaves can be washed and tossed into a green salad, served with any dressing you prefer.

3 Ways To Cook Plantain, The Spinach-Like 'Survival Weed'

Image source: Wikipedia

Here are three recipes:

1. Sautéing Plantain

I’ll often follow the blanching step in the boiling water with a quick sauté. I’ll drain the plantains and then drop a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil in the pan, and toss the plantains around over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. They make a great side dish, and you can top them with anything from pine nuts to bacon bits.

The seed stalks can be sautéed the same way, and when stacked on a plate have the appearance and a bit of the flavor profile of asparagus. The seeds also can be stripped from the stalks and used as a garnish on everything from salads to mashed potatoes.

2. Plantain Soup

In its simplest form, plantain soup includes strips of plantain leaves boiled in a broth for 4 minutes. I’ll usually add two cup of plantain leaves cut into julienne strips about a 1/4-inch wide and bring 4 cups of chicken broth or beef broth to a boil before adding the plantain leaves. You can add other ingredients to the broth, from noodles to vegetables or even chunks of chicken or strips of beef or venison. Add the noodles or meat or other vegetables to the pot first, and add the plantains to the broth 5 minutes later and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

3. Plantain ‘Goma Ae’

I lived and worked in Asia for two years and spent about 4 months living in Japan. It was there that I first encountered Goma Ae. It’s basically boiled spinach that is squeezed dry after boiling and then tossed in a mixture of sesame seed oil and soy sauce before being shaped into a cube about the size of an ice cube. It’s then sprinkled with a little more sauce and sesame seeds and served cold.

To make the plantain version of Goma Ae, take 2 cups of plantain leaves and boil them in water for 4 minutes. Shock the leaves in ice water and then squeeze out as much water as you can. Mix 2 tablespoons of sesame seed oil with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and toss the leaves in the sauce. Form the leaves into cubes with your fingers; you should get about 4 cubes in total from 2 cups of leaves. Drizzle any remaining sauce over each and sprinkle with sesame seeds. This is the plantain recipe I make most often, and it goes great with any meal. If you want more cubes just double or triple the recipe.

How do you eat plantain? Do you have any other advice? Share your tips in the section below:

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The Super-Nutritious Grass You Can Grow Indoors, Eat, And Transplant To Your Yard

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The Super-Nutritious Grass You Can Grow Indoors, Eat, And Transplant To Your Yard

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There are many benefits to growing grass indoors. For example, wheat and rye grasses are very healthy if you juice them. Also, if you can spare some sprouted seeds, they make a great addition to oatmeal, bread and other recipes. Additionally, indoor grasses in pots bring the green inside in winter and help beat winter blues.

How to Start Wheatgrass and Rye

First, decide how much grass to grow. A 10 inch x 10 inch tray will take one cup of seed to yield approximately 10 ounces of juice. If you want a supply of grass to add nutrition to your winter diet, you will only need a tray or a couple of pots; you can cut the grass you need and re-seed when shoots are no longer being produced. You may want to sprout seeds at intervals of a week or so throughout the winter, to provide you with a supply of wheatgrass that is continually being refreshed by new sprouts. You also can grow a larger tray of grass or several trays, if you have space and you want to attempt transplanting in the early spring. Obviously, this method is not going to cover multiple acres, but you can grow enough to test the grains in a smaller plot or cover a plot intended for later-sowing crops.

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Use sterile soil if possible to discourage mold growth. Wheatgrass is extremely easy to grow given the right conditions, and will grow quickly. For rye, you may want a container with better drainage as it grows a bit more slowly. Cooler and drier indoor air is generally best for grasses indoors, versus warm and humid, to prevent mold growth.

Here are a few basic steps to get started.

  1. Soak your seeds overnight, in water just covering them.
  2. Sprout your seeds in a jar or sprouter. You can follow our sprouting instructions.
  3. Place a thin layer of sterile soil in your tray or pots. Plant your sprouts on top of the soil, and thoroughly moisten. Leave in a dark area.
  4. Cover, and water thoroughly daily (if needed) to prevent drying.
  5. After four days of growth, remove the cover and move to an area of indirect sunlight. You can also grow grass under full-spectrum lighting
  6. Harvest grass with scissors when each shoot splits into two blades. This will take about a week or two. Cut the whole grass shoot and consume immediately, or refrigerate for up to two weeks.
  7. If you intend to transplant grass, allow it to regrow indoors without being harvested, and begin your next wheatgrass crop in a different tray. However, if you are not going to keep the plants, you can dispose of them into the compost and begin again.

Using Grasses in Food

Wheatgrass is an excellent source of potassium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, and many other vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. Some claims suggest that a pound of wheatgrass is worth the nutrition of 23 pounds of vegetables! Rye grass has much the same nutritional value and flavor as wheatgrass. However, most of those nutrients are not accessible without juicing.

Hand-cranked grass juicers needn’t be expensive, but will be an integral part of your kitchen in the winter months. If you’re considering a juicer, look for a stainless-steel model that clamps to a table or countertop; it will last longer and reduce your labor. One pound of harvested grass will yield about 12 ounces of juice.

The Best Kept Secret In Indoor Self-Reliance Gardening…

Many people enjoy mixing this with the juice from an apple or carrots to sweeten it.  It can, however, be enjoyed on its own; just remember how many vitamins you’re getting out of it and drink it down.

Transplanting Your Grass in Spring

You may be able to move the plants outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked. If your region is prone to late frosts, move trays outdoors on warmer winter days to harden plants before transplanting, or place plants in cold frames to protect them from the harshest weather. Eventually, you can tear the root system and work the grass a little into the soil. If the soil is kept moist, the roots will take hold where they are and the grass will rebound, helping with soil retention and preventing weed growth.

If you wish, you can start letting the plants grow and go to seed. In the late summer and fall, you will be able to harvest grains for food, as well as save seeds for next year’s winter grasses. This way, you and your family will never be without the nutrition you need to be healthy and strong.

What advice would you add on growing wheat grass and rye grass? Share your tips in the section below:

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The Ancient Superfood That Lowers Cholesterol, Sheds Pounds And Improves Digestion

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The Ancient Superfood That Lowers Cholesterol, Sheds Pounds And Improves Digestion

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They may be little but they are quite powerful. Flax seeds have been around for thousands of years and are still topping the charts as a delicious and nutritious superfood. Sometimes referred to as linseeds, these little brown gems contain the richest sources of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids (sometimes called alpha-linolenic acid – ALA) on the planet.

The nutritional profile of flax seeds is nothing short of amazing. Here is a snapshot of what 1 ounce (3 tablespoons) of flax seeds contains:

  • 3 mg Omega-3
  • 8g fiber
  • 6g protein
  • 31 percent RDA vitamin B1
  • 35 percent RDA manganese
  • 30 percent RDA magnesium
  • 19 percent RDA phosphorus
  • 10 percent RDA selenium

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider consuming flax seeds daily.

1. Promotes weight loss

Flax seeds are in the same camp as walnuts when it comes to containing healthy fats and fiber. This will help you feel full longer and may lead to weight loss. In addition, the ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation. An inflamed body tends to retain excess weight.

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A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that both flax seeds and walnuts help to reduce obesity. Try sprinkling a couple of teaspoons of ground flax seeds in smoothies, yogurt, salad and soups.

2. Improves digestion

flax-seed-983769_640You may have heard it said that health starts in the gut, and it is true. If your digestive system is out of whack, it is likely causing other health issues. Flax promotes healthy digestion and protects the lining of the digestive tract. People who suffer from Crohn’s disease or other digestive disorders will find that flax helps reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms. In addition, flax is rich in magnesium, which is also beneficial for digestive health. The fiber in ground flax seeds will help cleanse waste from your digestive system and provide food for beneficial bacteria in your gut.

3. Reduces menopausal symptoms

Lignans (antioxidants) found in flax have been shown to reduce symptoms that occur with menopause. They have even been used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. That’s not all; flax has also been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help women maintain cycle regularity. Include one to two tablespoons of flax meal in a breakfast smoothie for all day relief.

4. Reduces cholesterol

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds to your daily diet can reduce cholesterol levels. This is due to the fact that the soluble fiber in the seeds traps the fat and cholesterol in the digestive system and keeps it from being absorbed.

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The soluble fiber also grabs bile, which is made from cholesterol, in the gallbladder. The bile is excreted through the digestive system, which forces the body to make more of it, using extra cholesterol in the blood – which lowers overall cholesterol.

5. Encourages healthy skin and hair

If you want shiny and healthy hair, try adding some flax seeds to your diet. The ALA fats in flax seeds provide essential fats as well as B-vitamins that help to moisturize your hair and scalp. If you suffer from dry skin, dry eye syndrome, eczema or acne, a daily dose of flax seeds can help. You can also add some flax seed oil to your diet; this gives you an even greater concentration of healthy fats than the ground seeds. Besides sprinkling ground flax on your food, mix a little essential oil with some flax oil and use as a moisturizer for radiant skin.

Don’t Forget to Grind Them

Many people ask if they can use flax seeds in their whole form. The issue with this is that when you consume whole flax, the body can’t digest the hard outer casing and break apart all of the goodness inside. Grind whole flax seeds in your blender or coffee grinder, store them in a cool dark place, and enjoy!

Do you eat flax seeds? Have you discovered other benefits? Share your tips in the section below:

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11 All-Natural Remedies You Should Stockpile For Flu Season

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11 All-Natural Remedies You Should Stockpile For Flu Season

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Cold and flu season is here, and many Americans are stocking up on over-the-counter medications to help fight sickness.

In fact, according to the research organization Euromonitor International, retail sales of cough, cold and allergy remedies in the US are expected to reach $8.8 billion in the next four years. However, before you hit the pharmacy or even your doctor’s office for a prescription, you would do well to look to a variety of potent natural remedies. Many of them can be found in your grocery store’s fresh produce section, or they may already be in your kitchen.

1. Lemon juice. Heat it and mix it with water, and then drink. You can ease a sore throat by heating water and adding fresh lemon juice. A spoonful of honey helps the taste and offers an added boost of nutrition.

2. Apple cider vinegar. Add a tablespoon of this miracle liquid to a glass of water and gargle on an hourly basis until symptoms improve. The vinegar helps alkalize the body and helps kill infections.

3. Cinnamon. Cinnamon is effective as a natural antiviral and antibiotic. Simply mix one tablespoon of cinnamon with one teaspoon of honey and stir to make a tangy tea that helps reduce cough and congestion.

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4. Garlic. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Finely mince two to three cloves and then place them in a small glass of water. Drink quickly.

5. Thyme. You can use thyme as an antiseptic and decongestant. Steep thyme leaves into a tea and sip slowly.

6. Eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus is a natural antibiotic and naturally antiviral. Add a few drops to heated water and inhale for relief from congestion.

7. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil is a soothing remedy for sinus congestion, nausea and upset stomach.

8. Oregano. Oregano can be used in a soothing tea, or it can be added to a warm bath. It is a natural antibiotic.

9. Ginger. Use fresh ginger on its own or blended with garlic for its strong antiviral qualities and its ability to boost immune system function.

11 All-Natural Remedies You Should Stockpile For Flu Season10. Honey. An excellent source of antioxidants, raw honey can help rebalance electrolyte levels and treat coughs and sore throats. Also, when used consistently, raw honey can help increase the body’s white blood cell count. Take a teaspoon of honey directly or add it to your favorite herbal tea.

11. Echinacea. Echinacea contains polysaccharides that naturally boost the body’s resistance to infection. A study involving 755 participants conducted by the Common Cold Center at Cardiff University found that participants who took echinacea had significantly fewer sick days than those who took a placebo.

Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs

Nature has provided us with vitamins and minerals that boost our immune system so that we can ward off illness, but it’s important to understand which vitamins and minerals we need for flu season. Consider increasing your intake of:

Vitamin C. Increasing your intake of Vitamin C should be among your first line of defense in cold and flu season. In controlled studies, Vitamin C has been shown to aid in the prevention of influenza, as well as shorten the duration and reduce the severity of respiratory infections. Foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, bell peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, peas, tomatoes, berries and papayas.

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Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain the body’s mucus membranes, which are part of our defenses against viral and bacterial infections. Vitamin A also assists with vital T cell function, which is part of a healthy immune system. Natural sources of Vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, squashes, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, liver, fish and tropical fruits.

Vitamin D3. As a hormone precursor, Vitamin D3 helps optimize important Vitamin D levels, which can help prevent illness and help speed recovery. Cod liver oil is a potent source of Vitamin D3. Other lesser sources are beef liver, egg yolks, cheese and fatty fish

Zinc. Zinc helps maintain healthy immune function. Low levels are associated with a decrease in T cell function, the white blood cell that helps us fight infections. Natural sources of zinc are spinach, lean beef, shrimp, kidney beans, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and oysters.

Many teas and herbal drinks have been used for centuries to fight off illness. Next, let’s look at hot drinks that can help during cold and flu season.

Before taking any supplement, check with your health care provider. This is especially true for young children and pregnant or nursing women.

Here are some other natural tips for boosting your body’s resistance to illness if you feel a cold or flu coming on:

  1. Take a hot bath with one to two cups of Epsom salt added to the water. Epsom salt has many beneficial properties that can help soothe and relax the nervous system, soothe bodily aches and pains, ease muscle strains, heal cuts and abrasions, and treat congestion.
  2. Drink plenty of warm liquids, including the above-mentioned teas as well as soups and plenty of water.
  3. Get plenty of rest. When you are fighting off an illness, your body needs some down time. Stop “burning the candle at both ends” and get to bed early.

What do you stockpile for flu and cold season? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

The Incredible ‘Wonder Drug’ Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

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The Incredible ‘Wonder Drug’ Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

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Did you know you have a “wonder drug” in your cabinet? Raw honey, or liquid gold as some call it, is quite powerful.

Forget store vitamins and supplements for the moment. Raw honey contains up to 80 different substances that are beneficial to humans. It is a great source of energy with glucose and fructose, but that’s not all! Compared to the empty energy you obtain from cane sugar, honey has all of the B-complex vitamins, along with A, C, D, E and K vitamins. It also has the following trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper and manganese. When raw honey is heated, it is stripped of many of these incredible benefits. In order for honey to be considered raw honey, it cannot be filtered, strained or heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Incredible ‘Wonder Drug’ Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

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Honey’s uses are immense and impressive. One of the most common ways people use honey is for sore throats and colds. A dollop in hot tea, with a little lemon, soothes an aching throat. Take a teaspoon or two of it for a natural cough suppressant; it has been found to be as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants in the store. It is a great source of antioxidants, which help protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals (agents which contribute to the aging process and may also contribute to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease).

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

Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. Interestingly, hospitals in Europe have used Manuka honey – which comes from bees around Manuka trees — to fight specific types of staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

Raw honey is a wound healer and used in emergencies for its ability to kill germs. It is useful for basic skin rashes, burns and scrapes. Raw honey is a digestive rockstar, with its many active live enzymes and probiotic qualities that aide digestion, maintain healthy bacteria in the gut, and soothe stomach ulcer pain. Additionally, honey’s amino acids and vitamin C speed the growth of healthy tissue. Possessing abundant phytonutrients and being a plant-based item, honey is also helpful with inflammation.

Like many things, we are coming back to what we already knew. Honey was considered extremely valuable during ancient times. It was used as a sweetener (especially by the wealthy) and was used for religious ceremonies and for embalming the dead. Today, honey is enjoying renewed appreciation and prominence in the alternative health world and among health food advocates today. As a nutritional powerhouse and substance capable of such profound healing, it is easy to see why.

How do you use raw honey? Share your tips in the section below:


Goldman, Rena. “The Top Six Raw Honey Benefits.” Healthline

Miller, Jordan and Kyla. “The Many Health Benefits of Raw Honey.” Wake Up Word

“Raw Unfiltered Honey: Health Benefits of Honey.” Pure Healing Foods.

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How To Grow Moringa, The World-Famous All-Purpose Survival Tree

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How To Grow Moringa, The World-Famous Survival Tree

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Morgina is probably one of the most nutrient-dense foods and herbal medicines on the planet that you’ve probably never heard of. With every part of the moringa tree useful for food or medicine, this “Tree of Life” is now being used to save many lives around the world.

The moringa tree is an especially nutrient-dense plant, providing a nearly complete source of human nutrition.


  • Contains 10 times the vitamin A content of carrots, twice the vitamin C of oranges, 15 times the potassium of bananas, and 17 times the calcium of milk.
  • Contains high amounts of selenium and vitamin E.
  • Contains 19 of the 20 required amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. The amino acids in moringa are present in a form available for optimal absorption and assimilation by the body. These highly bio-available amino acids make moringa leaves an excellent source of leafy green vegetable protein.
  • Is high in antioxidant compounds, and can support the body in the prevention of cancer and other diseases.
  • Assists the body with detoxification of the liver, and thus, the detoxification of the rest of the body as well. Moringa has been demonstrated in an animal study to normalize liver enzyme counts in the livers of mice that were damaged by acetaminophen.

Because moringa meets the majority of our basic nutritional needs and is so bio-available, it can be used as a replacement for commercially produced multi-vitamin pills, many of which have been manufactured with isolated compounds that are never absorbed by our bodies in the first place (and have been found to actually remain intact even as they exit the body). With moringa, you never have to worry about wasting money on something that doesn’t work to support your health.

Moringa’s Use in Developing Countries

One of the many amazing things about the moringa tree is that it thrives in places where it is difficult to cultivate other crops, primarily in hot, dry and barren landscapes. Used widely in Africa, South Asia, and India, moringa has also been introduced into Central America and South America, and is currently being used to prevent malnutrition in many developing countries around the world. The countries of Rwanda and Ghana are now using moringa as part of their food security programs.

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Moringa leaves are commonly dried and then ground into a powder. Nursing mothers use the moringa leaf powder to help them produce nutrient-rich breast milk for their infants. Women are also incorporating the leaf powder into all of their family’s meals, leading to well-nourished children who are healthier, happier and experience greatly improved energy.

By growing moringa trees locally, poor communities no longer need to rely on imported food goods to provide the important nutrition that they need.

Another great use of the moringa tree is that its seeds are used to purify water in developing countries where water supplies are often questionable.

How to Use Moringa

As a multi-use plant, moringa has many uses and applications. All parts of the moringa tree are useful, including the roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seedpods.

  • The leaves can be powdered and used as a supplement. A minimum of two teaspoons of the leaf powder per day is recommended to best experience the benefits of moringa.
  • The leaf powder can be made into a tea, added to water or juice, or blended into your smoothies. The fresh moringa leaves can also be made into a tea.
  • The leaf powder can be added to soups and juices.
  • The seed oils can be used topically for skin and hair conditions.
  • The seed oils can be used for cooking, cosmetics and many other uses.

Survival Applications

Because moringa leaf powder is an excellent source of nutrition and meets the majority of our body’s basic needs for nourishment, it is an excellent super food to stock up on and have on hand for times when other local food sources become scarce. It is also a useful food to have a supply of in the winter when it is difficult to grow our own nourishing fruits and vegetables in colder climates.

How to Grow a Moringa Tree

The very amazing things about moringa that make it a miracle survival plant in sunny, hot, dry and barren lands also means that the majority of the climates in the United States are not optimal for year-round growth of moringa trees.

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

However, some people grow moringa trees as annuals, and others are experimenting with bringing them indoors and keeping them alive in pots over the winter. In temperate climates, moringa trees require artificial lighting and heating throughout the cold times of the year in their indoor home.

It is important to note that moringa trees grow very large very quickly, and if you wish to keep them in a pot, you will need to “trick” them into believing that they will never grow very big by trimming their roots back once and their branches regularly.

Some Warnings

Experts warn that moringa seeds should not be continually consumed, as their plant compounds may build up in the body, become toxic, and potentially cause damage. Only the leaves are recommended for continued daily consumption.

It is also recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers only consume the leaves (or leaf powder) due to the potentially negative effects of other parts of the moringa plant on a developing baby.

All information in this article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition. Always consult with your health practitioner concerning any supplement(s) that you are considering incorporating into your diet and lifestyle to determine if it is right for you.

Do you have experience with moringa? Share your advice on using or growing it in the section below:

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Liver: The Unappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear

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Liver: The Unappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear

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Many people make a face when the subject of eating liver is discussed, convinced that no one should consume it.

But what they don’t know is how easy liver is to make delicious and how nutritious it really is.

Looking back in history, almost all traditional cultures valued organ meats for their ability to build up the body’s vitality. For instance, native African mothers would give their babies raw liver as a first source of solid food. In some traditional cultures, the liver was even considered to be a sacred food.

Why Eat Liver?

Organ meats, including liver, are rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, essential fatty acids, and many macro and trace minerals.

A deficiency of vitamin A in the diet has been linked to multiple health problems, including disturbances in ovulation, infertility, a resorption of the fetus in pregnant women, lack of coordination, spasms and blindness.

A lack of vitamin D also can lead to many health issues, including the development of rickets, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, an impaired immune system, childhood asthma, and an increased risk of cancer.

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Some people have bodies that are unable to make certain essential fatty acids that are needed, and therefore they must consume them in their diets. Organ meats, along with chicken egg yolks, fish eggs, and fish oils are excellent sources of the EPA and DHA that are needed by the body. These foods, such as the nutrient-rich organ meats like liver, contain a number of fat-soluble vitamins that are critical for long-term robust health and fertility.

Liver can be a very important preconception and fertility food for both men and women, and pregnancy food for women. The fat-soluble vitamins A and D and the macro- and trace minerals present in organ meats like liver are important for producing healthy and strong babies.

According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, those planning to conceive should consider eating organic liver and other organ meats, as well as taking a cod liver oil supplement and eating other traditional fertility-supporting foods such as seafood, eggs, butter, cream, bone broth, and fermented milk products for at least six months prior to conception.

The Weston A. Price Foundation guidelines for pregnant women include two eggs, raw milk or bone broth, and cod liver oil every day, and eating liver at least once per week. Nursing women should continue to consume liver, eggs and cod liver oil to provide high quality fat-soluble vitamins in their breast milk.

High vitamin A intake is necessary during childhood, but is also a critical nutrient for supporting ideal health and strength throughout adult life.

Can’t You Get Vitamins Elsewhere?

Liver: The Unappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear

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It is very difficult to get sufficient Vitamin A by eating plants alone. This is because the vitamin A (such as beta carotene) that is present in plant foods (such as carrots and sweet potatoes), is actually not true vitamin A, but is actually in a form that must first be converted into the version of vitamin A that the human body can use. Yet quite often, the body doesn’t actually covert these carotenes very efficiently. Conversion of these compounds requires bile salts, fats and vitamin E. Children, infants and people with thyroid disorders do not convert carotenes very well in the body.

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Vitamin D can be made in the skin from cholesterol and sunlight, but much of the modern human population receives insufficient sunlight due to our largely indoor lifestyles.

True vitamins A and D in the diet are only present in animal foods such as seafood, liver, butter and eggs.

What About Toxins in Liver?

Many people are concerned about the toxins that might be present in liver. Such a concern embodies the reason why it is important to eat only organic liver from naturally raised animals. While organic liver may still contain some toxic substances, the nutrition that is provided by liver such as copper, zinc, iron and the fat-soluble vitamins A and D far exceed the small amount of toxins that may still exist.

Liver is also a good source of antioxidants that help your own liver to detoxify, so the dangers of any toxins present in organic liver are likely to be minimal.

How Should Liver Be Prepared and Consumed?

Liver should be organic and fresh, or frozen. The surrounding filament should be removed prior to cooking.

To draw out impurities and improve flavor and texture, the liver can be soaked in lemon juice for several hours. Liver can be cut into ¼-inch to 3/8-inch slices and then used to make dishes such as liver and onions, liver and mushrooms, breaded liver, and liver with balsamic vinegar sauce.

If the idea of eating organ meats is challenging for your family, such foods can be “snuck” into a number of dishes to make them palatable and even unnoticeable, while giving them the great nutrition that they need. Grated liver or other organ meats can be added to any ground muscle meat dishes, such as meat loaf or hamburger, and grated liver can be added to brown rice in a casserole.

Do you eat liver? Do you have any preparation tips? Share it in the section below:

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