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What To Expect From FEMA After A Disaster (Spoiler: It’s Not Good)

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 05:46

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to get some “help” or disaster assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) after a tragic natural disaster happens?  Well, some know all too well just how much and how little FEMA does to help those who have lost almost everything. Spoiler: it isn’t good.

For years, we have stressed the importance of having a preparedness plan including a financial plan for when disasters erupt. In the book, The Prepper’s Blueprint, we walk the reader through a prepping regimen with a guide and easy to follow instructions and give beginning preppers a foundation to build on so that one doesn’t have to rely on government handouts.

Why Government Red Tape is Hurting Disaster Victims

FEMA doesn’t seem to want to bypass the red tape in order to help those residing in the lower income parts of Texas affected by hurricane Harvey.  It’s been more than ten months since the hurricane devastated parts of Houston, and while middle-class and affluent neighborhoods are back to business as usual, those with less money are still struggling to get assistance from FEMA – or assistance is being denied because residents cannot afford the mandated flood insurance.

Part of the reason the wealthier people have their lives back could be the ability to save money on their own. They can also afford to comply with the law mandating flood insurance so their claims aren’t being denied as often.  With money to spare in the event of an emergency, those who are more affluent don’t need to rely on FEMA (or any aspect of the federal government) regardless of how dire the situation becomes.  But that leaves some families struggling to get what they need in the aftermath of a disaster because they don’t have the money to obey the law.

In nearby Kashmere Gardens, a 10,000 person neighborhood, FEMA has been less than useless. According to reporting done by Politico, nearly every street of the Kashmere Gardens neighborhood has homes that are gutted. Empty window panes reveal sparse interiors without walls, doors, or carpets. And because there’s nowhere to go, families still live in those homes. The challenges in Kashmere Gardens, where the median income is $23,000 per year, are not the result of any one policy or agency. They’re the consequence of a complicated, bureaucratic disaster-response system built up over decades that experts nearly universally agree is failing to provide critical support to low-income communities when a disaster strikes.  In other words, as always, when it comes to government, they just don’t care about anyone.

A POLITICO investigation found that numerous low-income families were denied funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency because much of Kashmere Gardens was in a flood zone, and homeowners were thus required to carry flood insurance — a law that many of them were unaware of. Other families, struggling with language issues and inexperienced with the federal bureaucracy, simply couldn’t cope with a system that even FEMA officials agree is too complicated. Still others fell victim to shoddy contractors who took their money and failed to make repairs. –POLITICO

And the News Just Gets Worse

Those who took the time and made the effort to jump through hoops and go around the red tape of the bureaucratic nonsense and were able to comply with the law to purchase flood insurance were only getting a mere $4,300 from FEMA – not enough to make many repairs. And as many prepare for the 2018 hurricane season, which is expected to be worse than last year’s, the situation becomes all too important to resolve.

Even when FEMA does come through and somehow manages to provide food and shelter for those in dire situations, it becomes something many describe as an inescapable hell. “It’s not a safety net,” said Craig Fugate, who served as the head of FEMA for all eight years of the Obama administration and, like other FEMA veterans, believes the current system is too confusing. “The system is really designed for the middle class. It’s not designed to take care of the pre-existing conditions.”

The horrors of a FEMA disaster relief camp became all too real for those who lost everything in the East Coast’s Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. Americans were literally freezing while wrapped in blankets and trash bags as they struggled to survive in FEMA tent cities such as New Jersey’s “Camp Freedom,” (the irony of that name isn’t lost on many) which reportedly “resembled a prison camp.”

“Sitting there last night you could see your breath,” displaced resident Brian Sotelo told the Asbury Park Press. “At (Pine Belt) the Red Cross made an announcement that they were sending us to permanent structures up here that had just been redone, that had washing machines and hot showers and steady electric, and they sent us to tent city. We got (expletive).” The officials “in charge” also banned residents from taking pictures and cut off WiFi. “They treat us like we’re prisoners,” Ashley Sabol told Reuters. “It’s bad to say, but we honestly feel like we’re in a concentration camp.”

Sotelo also said Blackhawk helicopters patrol the skies “all day and night” and a black car with tinted windows surveys the camp while the government moves heavy equipment past the tents at night. Reporters were not allowed in the fenced complex or “FEMA camp” to report on conditions either, where lines of displaced residents formed outside portable toilets. Security guards were posted at every door, and residents could not even use the toilet or shower without first presenting an I.D. to a government official.

One of the worst places to be when you have nowhere to go is a FEMA camp.  Don’t subject your family, especially if you have little kids, to the angry and hungry masses clumped together like cattle in those fenced in hells.  Sure, many FEMA workers mean well, but they are not well funded and incompetent.  At the end of the day, they are doing a job and getting paid for it, so their own survival trumps yours. Prepare for the worst and make sure you can survive on your own because, in the end, it may come down to having only yourself that you and your family can depend on.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’” President Ronald Reagan

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 20th, 2018

3 Emergency Uses for Plastic Sheeting

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 05:01

The focus in this article is on rolls of plastic sheeting, and why you need it in your emergency supplies. Plastic sheeting is a cheap and multipurpose prep that has many uses in a survival situation. It can be used for rainwater collection, making a solar still, waterproofing containers, and it can even be used in a worst-case scenario as a body bag.

The best type of sheeting to store is 6 to 8-mil thickness. This can provide you with a wide range of emergency uses. I found a good type for you, made by Frost King, labeled as “Crystal Clear Vinyl Sheeting” for those windows. I have a roll of 3’ x 75’ for use with most of my windows if I lose them. It is also “greenhouse-grade” plastic, although it doesn’t have a UV rating. The best feature? It is 8 mil in thickness: that’s good stuff.  It is also transparent, not translucent, so you can actually see through it.

3 Ways You Can Make Plastic Sheeting Work in an Emergency! 1. Make a Greenhouse

One of the most practical ways to use plastic sheeting is to make a greenhouse. Did you know that greenhouses that use plastic sheeting provide better insulation than regular glass greenhouses? This is because the plastic has better heat retention properties than glass. So, not only is it cheaper, it is more energy efficient! Another added benefit is that it lasts longer. Unlike glass, plastic greenhouses are able to withstand impacts from heavy weather conditions and objects without leaving any sign of distress or damage. It’s also cheaper to maintain than glass and easier to fix or replace should you need to replace a panel in your greenhouse.

Learn how to make a plastic sheeting greenhouse for $50

How to add plastic sheeting to a greenhouse – the easy way

2. Temporary Repair From Natural Disasters

One of the problems with disasters (besides their unpredictability) is the amount of damage that can be rendered to your home while not actually destroying it. The most vulnerable points of the home are the windows. In fact, in the aftermath of Hurricane Hurricanes Harvey, repair supplies were one of the critical items to disappear. Hurricanes can throw all kinds of horrors at you if you live on the coast, but the coastal regions are not the only areas greatly affected by storms. Tornadoes strike throughout the Midwest, and severe winds accompany arctic storms in the Northwest where I live.

Wind and snow are conditions that tend to bring down trees, especially in the Rockies, as pine trees are not deeply rooted in the way deciduous trees are. The loss of a window in wintertime isn’t an inconvenience here: it’s an emergency of the highest order, especially when it’s 10 or 15 degrees below zero. If it happens, you need to close up the window and fast.

For hurricane and storm-susceptible areas, I’ve already covered how important it is to have pre-measured pieces of pressure-treated plywood cut for each window. I also mentioned how it would behoove you to pre-drill holes in both the corners of that plywood and in the exterior casing of the window frames (if applicable) where you will mount the plywood with galvanized deck bolts. First, seal it up with plastic sheeting on the outside, and then cover it up with the sheet of pre-cut plywood.

High winds may rip your sheathing off, but if you pick up some fir strips or 1” x 3” strips, you can cut them to be able to outline your window frames. After tacking the plastic up with the staples, then put the fir strips up all along the outer edges of the plastic. Use a cordless drill and put deck screws in (2-inchers will do just fine) to secure the fir strips.  They will act as a “frame” to support the outer edges of the plastic and to hold it down, thus preventing the wind from ripping it off of your now-broken window.

Don’t forget to put on heavy gloves and remove the glass from the windows all around. If the wind blows, you don’t want the sheet of plastic to flap against the window aperture and be ripped by shards of glass, not to mention the safety issue for those inside. My recommendation is to cover the inside as well as the outside. The reason you don’t want to cover just the inside is that there is nothing to really seal the window off when the wind blows, and the sheet is moved inward, causing more problems if it knocks things over or is dislodged.

Again, if you’re in a storm-susceptible area, you may even want to go so far as to have extra windows protected and in storage for replacement when such work can be undertaken. It also doesn’t stop there. You may even need that sheeting to temporarily close off a roof with a hole from a falling tree or flying debris. You can use it to protect something that is exposed with lack of a tarp.

You also want to pick up a good staplegun with long staples, such as ½ inch. Cheap you buy, and cheap you shall receive: stick with Stanley, and you can order one along with the staples on www.amazon.com as well. Keep in mind: this is your temporary fix…one that may need to be in place for a month to two months. Without windows, your “R” factor and insulation are going to diminish quickly. The staples can be put in on the edges quickly, and then emplaced for long-term with fir strips.

3. Pandemic Containment

Another way to utilize plastic sheeting in an emergency is during pandemics. In times of a pandemic crisis, it is important to prevent the spreading of illness by containing the illness to a containment area or sick room. By making a containment area or room, you can remove clothing that may be infected with a contagious illness so that you are not transferring the illness to other parts of the home. You will want to store enough plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover the entire room in plastic – including the vents, doors, floors, and ceiling. Remember, your main priority in a pandemic is to contain the illness in one room and prevent it from spreading throughout the rest of the house. This article has great instructions on how to seal a room using plastic sheeting.

It is important for you to pick up a few rolls for your home that can benefit you and your family not just for use in a greenhouse, but in a disaster, as well. Stock up on a few rolls of it, and you’ll appreciate your own efforts when something occurs. Just one time and it pays for itself.  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

Originally published July 18th, 2018

Every Member of Your Prepper Group MUST Have This On Them When the SHTF

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 05:26

I wrote several articles in the past about the importance of maintaining good first-aid treatment capabilities when you’re out in the woods, as well as in the home. I also mentioned the need for training and suggested several ways to go about receiving it to better prepare you and your family. That being said, your situation is your own: you may not have the time to do such training, although it is a priority.

In a related article, we discussed the importance of prepping trauma packs in detail:

“Having these items pre-packaged cuts down on response time, and gives the responders more of an advantage in properly caring for the wounded…

Medical first response packs can be made ahead of time using most of the medical products that you have on hand. In fact, these first response packs are not limited to medical emergencies, they can also be used for dental emergencies as well. To prepare for a SHTF scenario, it would be beneficial to take into account the most likely medical situations you may come in contact with and plan accordingly.

In the meantime, you can stock up on some supplies that will help you and perhaps “fill in the gaps” when you don’t have the time to train. As I’ve covered the topic extensively, this is not the scope of this article. You’ve all heard of “quick clot,” the substance used to stop bleeding and aid you in bandaging up wounds. We just put out an article on Yarrow, an herb that stops bleeding and aids in clotting. Let’s go a step further with a couple of kits to recommend.

These two products are put out by the Tendy Corporation. The first is a QuickClot advanced Clotting Sponge that will run you about $13.00 for deep wounds and lacerations. You apply it to the wound and either wrap it with a bandage or affix it with a cloth (field-expedient method), such as a “drive-on rag,” or cravat. It’s a “one-shot Willie,” meaning you use it once and then dispose of it. Be advised: it’s not a substitute for a good pressure dressing, but it’ll give you an edge where you need it with a severe or deep laceration.

The second item is the Trauma Pak, and this is a sturdy pouch with the following in it: 25 grams of QuickClot, a 5” x 9” trauma pad (dressing), one pair of gloves, a hand-cleaner pad, a 2” x 26” section of duct tape (without duct tape the world would come apart!), (4) Sterile dressings, some 3” gauze, and antiseptic wipes. The bag can be re-sealed if you need it. A perk to having this kit is it has a small booklet on First-Aid ABC’s and instructions on how to render first aid on life-threatening injuries such as a sucking chest wound.

This last: the instructions, could very well make the difference for those who are not well-trained in first aid and need some guidance in a hurry. The whole pack can fit easily inside a cargo pocket, as it’s only about 6” square, and about an inch and a half in thickness. This pack will run you about $20, made by the same company as the clotting sponge.

Throwing the Trauma Pak in the glove compartment of your vehicle or in an exterior pocket of your bug-out-bag could prove invaluable should the need arise. Both are inexpensive and will pay for themselves the first time you use them. As mentioned earlier, they are no substitute for sound training or for being able to improvise when the need arises, however, they can give you an edge and are valuable to add to your preps at home or on the go. Prevention beforehand usually carries you through the tough times, and these items may help you out in a pinch.  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

Originally published July 16th, 2018

Six (More) Reasons to Get Better Quality Sleep

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 05:58

 

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” ― Ernest Hemingway

Scientists have yet to discover WHY humans need sleep, but one thing is certain: not getting enough shut-eye can lead to serious – even life-threatening – consequences.

In recent years, studies on sleep have revealed all kinds of interesting things.

Awakening several times through the night is more detrimental to people’s positive moods than getting the same shortened amount of sleep without interruption. “When your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you don’t have the opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration,” study lead author Patrick Finan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explained.

When we sleep in an unfamiliar place for the first time, we often feel as though we haven’t slept as well as usual. This is often referred to as “the first-night effect.” Researchers from Brown University discovered the reason why: under those conditions, one hemisphere of the brain stays more awake to keep watch. This phenomenon is likely a survival mechanism that allows us to be more aware of any danger that may arise while we are sleeping.

A 2014 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that 24 hours of sleep deprivation caused healthy people to have hallucinations and other schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Perhaps the most promising theory of sleep so far is that it plays a major role in the brain’s connectivity and plasticity, explains Live Science:

Plasticity is involved in learning and memory. Although it’s unclear exactly how, plenty of evidence suggests that losing sleep can cause problems with memory, particularly working memory, the process that allows people to hold information in an easily accessible way while working out a problem. People who are sleep-deprived also struggle with choosing what to pay attention to and regulating their emotions.

Much about sleep remains a mystery, but six recent studies have uncovered more about the importance of getting adequate Zzzzs.

Let’s take a look at those studies now.

Inadequate sleep is a worldwide public health problem

A study published in the journal Sleep found that inadequate sleep is a public health problem affecting more than one in three adults worldwide and that insufficient sleep could also have serious economic consequences. In Australia, between 35 and 45 percent of adults report inadequate sleep and associated issues, but the researchers emphasize that the problems associated with lack of sleep apply to other nations with similar demographics:

Some 35 percent of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. About 30 percent of Canadians don’t feel they’re getting enough sleep. Some 37 percent of those in the UK, 28 percent of people in Singapore, and 26 percent of French people also report insufficient sleep.

Insufficient sleep is associated with:

  • lapses in attention and the inability to stay focused
  • reduced motivation
  • compromised problem solving
  • confusion, irritability and memory lapses
  • impaired communication
  • slowed or faulty information processing and judgment
  • diminished reaction times
  • indifference and loss of empathy
  • increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and depression

The goal of this study was to measure the economic consequences of limited sleep time in Australians, defined as “difficulties with sleep initiation, maintenance or quality associated with the presence of impaired daytime alertness” at least several days a week.” The researchers found that the financial costs associated with inadequate sleep are substantial: the estimated overall cost of inadequate sleep in Australia in 2016-17 (population: 24.8 million) was $45.21 billion.

The impacts of inadequate sleep were summed up by the researchers:

We are in the midst of a worldwide epidemic of inadequate sleep, some from clinical sleep disorders, some through pressure from competing work, social and family activities and some from failure to give sleep sufficient priority through choice or ignorance. Apart from its impact on well-being, this problem comes at a huge economic cost through its destructive effects on health, safety and productivity. Addressing the issue by education, regulation and other initiatives is likely to deliver substantial economic as well as health benefits.

Poor sleep quality appears to be linked to junk food cravings and related health problems

A study by University of Arizona Health Sciences sleep researchers found that junk food cravings were associated with double the increase in the likelihood of nighttime snacking, which was associated with an increased risk for diabetes. They also found that poor sleep quality seemed to be a major predictor of junk food cravings and that junk food cravings were associated with a greater likelihood of participants reporting obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

The study was conducted via a nationwide, phone-based survey of 3,105 adults from 23 U.S. metropolitan areas. Participants were asked if they regularly consumed a nighttime snack and whether lack of sleep led them to crave junk food. They also were asked about their sleep quality and existing health problems. About 60 percent of participants reported regular nighttime snacking and two-thirds reported that lack of sleep led them to crave more junk food.

Light exposure during sleep may increase insulin resistance

According to preliminary results from a new study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, nighttime light exposure during sleep may affect metabolic function.

“Our preliminary findings show that a single night of light exposure during sleep acutely impacts measures of insulin resistance,” said lead author Ivy Cheung Mason, PhD, who was a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine when this study was conducted. “Light exposure overnight during sleep has been shown to disrupt sleep, but these data indicate that it may also have the potential to influence metabolism.”

The researchers found that a single night of light exposure during sleep can acutely impact measures of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas. It allows your cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy. When a person has insulin resistance, it means they have cells throughout their bodies that don’t use insulin effectively. The cells have trouble absorbing glucose, which causes a buildup of sugar in the blood.

If your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes, you have a condition called prediabetes, which is caused by insulin resistance.

While more research is needed, this finding is concerning, given the increasingly widespread use of artificial light.

Study links screen time to insomnia symptoms and depressive symptoms in adolescents

Greater amounts of daily screen time are associated with more insomnia symptoms and shorter sleep duration among adolescents, a new study found.

The study, published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, revealed that social messaging, web surfing and TV/movie watching, insomnia symptoms and sleep duration fully explained an association between screen-based activities and depressive symptoms.

“Higher rates of depressive symptoms among teens may be partially explained through the ubiquitous use of screen-based activities, which can interfere with high-quality restorative sleep,” said postdoctoral researcher Xian Stella Li, Ph.D., of the findings.

The research team suggested that parents, teachers, and health care providers educate young people about the risks of too much screen time, and teach them how to regulate it to improve sleep quality and reduce depression.

Why do some sleep-deprived people experience worse cognitive functioning than others?

Many studies have linked sleep loss with cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and other disorders, and it is well known that sleep loss negatively affects cognitive performance. Those adverse effects are experienced differently from person to person, however, and little is known about how to accurately predict and detect these individual sleep-deprivation deficits.

A recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is the first to find that microRNAs in the blood are changed by total sleep deprivation (TSD) for 39 hours, and by psychological stress, and can predict the resulting cognitive performance in adults.

From the press release:

MiRNAs are small non-coding RNAs and are key regulators of gene expression, which guides information in a gene to be made into a functional protein. MiRNAs typically repress expression of their target messenger RNAs, preventing translation into proteins.

“These findings show for the first time that miRNAs can track responses to total sleep deprivation and its detrimental combination with psychological stress and predict robust individual differences in various types of cognitive performance,” said senior author Namni Goel, PhD, an associate professor of Psychology in Psychiatry. “As such, miRNAs are viable biomarkers of sleep deprivation, psychological stress, and cognitive vulnerability in humans and can be used to identify individuals ahead of time who are in need of countermeasures or interventions such as caffeine or naps to mitigate or prevent impairments associated with insufficient sleep.”

Optimal sleep linked to lower risks for dementia and early death

Short and long daily sleep duration were risk factors for dementia and premature death in a study of Japanese adults aged 60 years and older. The findings of this study are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

For this study, researchers followed 1,517 adults for 10 years. During that time, 294 of the participants developed dementia, and 282 died. After adjusting for age and sex, the study found that rates of dementia and all-cause mortality were greater in participants with daily sleep duration of fewer than 5.0 hours and 10 hours or more, compared with those with daily sleep duration of 5 to 6.9 hours. Participants with short sleep duration who had high physical activity did not have a greater risk of dementia and death, however.

If you are one of the millions of people who just aren’t getting enough Zzzzs, there are things you can do to naturally improve the quality and quantity of your sleep:

  • Establish consistent sleep and wake times – even on the weekends
  • Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep
  • Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy
  • Create a comfortable and inviting sleep environment – your bedroom should be calming, cool (65 degrees is optimal but no warmer than 75 degrees), and dark
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine – turn off electronic devices, take a bath or read a book (not IN bed), or listen to soothing music
  • Avoid using your computer or watching TV while in bed – turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime
  • Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings
  • Finish eating 2-3 hours before you go to bed
  • Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime
  • Exercise regularly (but not for a few hours before bed – it may keep you awake if done too close to bedtime)
  • Avoid caffeine too close to bedtime

For more tricks and tips to help you improve your sleep quality and quantity, please see Natural Ways to Improve Sleep.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 14th, 2018

3 Medicinal Herbs You Can Grow Indoors

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 05:57

The advances in modern medicine are obviously wonderful and have added years to the average American’s lifespan.  But what will you do when medical care isn’t so readily available, such as in a survival scenario or for a mild ailment?  Hopefully, this list of three medicinal herbs that everyone can easily grow in their own home will help you decide if herbal medicine could be of some aid.

Herbal medicine has been around for much longer than Western medicine, and with interventions like chemotherapy being only 2% effective at the 5-year mark, many are already looking to use mother nature instead of or in addition to radiation treatments to help cure ailments.  That isn’t to say you should not undergo chemotherapy, it means only that many are looking out for their health by using nature and diet to affect the appropriate changes in their bodies.

The use of traditional remedies increases when conventional medicine is ineffective in the treatment of disease, such as in advanced cancer and in the face of new infectious diseases. Furthermore, traditional medicines are widely perceived as natural and safe and non-toxic.  Although that isn’t necessarily true, especially when combining herbs with chemically made medicines, each person should still decide for themselves if they would like to begin growing medicinal herbs.  If you decide that’s right for you, here are three herbs that anyone can grow in the comfort of their own home!

1.ALOE VERA

Aloe vera plants have many benefits, and not just for the skin.  Most people know of using aloe vera gel to soothe a sunburn. When you snap open an aloe vera leaf, you’ll immediately notice the clear gel inside. That gel is packed full of nutrients that are great for common skin ailments such as cold sores, minor cuts, and rashes. Aloe gel will help soothe the pain and itching and speed up healing.

Because of its skin-soothing properties, aloe is also an excellent addition to homemade beauty products like soaps and lotions.  Aloe gel can help heal tissues in the digestive system, too. The one caveat here is that you need to be careful ingesting too much of the aloe latex  (the yellow-ish sap that seeps from the leaf when cut.) It tastes bitter and can act as a strong laxative for some people.

Aloe is also readily available.  Check at any store near your home that sells plants, and it’s likely they’ll stock aloe. If you prefer to grow it yourself, consider first that aloe is a succulent – a desert plant and prefers a loose dry soil and they thrive without regular fertilizer. These plants also like sunshine and warmth.  Consider growing aloe in a sunroom or on a window sill in a warm space. Aloe plants are rather difficult to kill, however, if you manage to kill an aloe vera plant, it’s probably because you overwatered it.  Aloe plants don’t like being wet, so you want to make sure your pot has plenty of drainage holes and your soil is amended with lots of perlite or sand. You can also buy special potting soil designed for succulents. Allow the soil to go completely dry before watering.

2.LEMON BALM

Lemon balm is an herb that smells and tastes fantastic in a tea.  It can help with mild depression and acts as a very calming sedative. 

Lemon balm is a great anti-viral with amazing relaxing properties that are helpful for soothing frayed nerves and calming hyper children. Traditionally, it’s been used to gently treat colic and upset stomach in everyone from infants to elders. A leaf can be chewed to freshen the breath or crushed and placed on a bug bite to help ease the itch. Leaves can also be dried an made into a tea. Lemon balm is also a natural mosquito repellent.  Rub a few leaves on your clothes or skin and those blood-sucking critters will stay away!

Lemon balm is hearty and one plant can easily take over your garden!  That’s why you could consider growing it in a pot inside.  It would be easier to simply buy a plant at a store, or you could grow your own. Lemon balm likes good quality soil, lots of sunshine, and regular watering.  It will thrive inside next to a sunny window, but it doesn’t mind a little bit of shade either.

3. SPEARMINT

Spearmint is very closely related to peppermint in terms of medicinal properties, but the reason it was chosen over peppermint is that many feel the flavor is preferable. Spearmint is a less minty and almost sweeter flavor that’s a bit milder due to a lower concentration of menthol. It makes teas that taste amazing while offering plenty of health benefits.

Medicinal uses of both peppermint and spearmint include aid in digestion and a reduction in flatulence. Spearmint is used for the relief of nausea, cold symptoms, stomach distress, headaches, and indigestion. Spearmint teas are flavorful and could help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or diarrhea.

Spearmint is readily available in nature but can be purchased at some stores which sell herbal plants, but you could grow it yourself too. Spearmint is a hardy perennial that grows best in partial shade with well-draining, rich, moist soil and a pH of 6.5 to 7. Mint is easiest to grow from plants, but you can sow seeds once the ground has warmed in the spring. Keep seeds moist until they germinate and then thin the plants to 1 foot apart. Since spearmint can quickly take over, many gardeners grow spearmint in hanging baskets or containers to avoid having to pull out runners constantly.

There are obviously many more medicinal herbal plants that can be added to your home or garden space.  If there’s a certain plant you’ve been eyeing, consider looking into its healing properties and how to grow it at home!  You won’t regret your decision! Even if you never use the plant as medicine, you’ll have a beautiful and sometimes fragrant addition to your garden or home.

*Always consult with your healthcare professional if something seems serious. This article is meant for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or cure.

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 13th, 2018

Food Scare: Are Pre-Washed Salad Greens Worth the Risk?

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:31

What’s with all the produce recalls lately? Recently, lettuce growers in California announced a major lettuce recall due to an E.coli outbreak. It seems food recalls are a news staple these days. In fact, the CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from eating contaminated food every year. Raw foods of animal origin – including chicken, beef, dairy products, raw shellfish, and eggs – are the most likely to be contaminated. Sometimes, fruits and vegetables get contaminated as well. Food can get infected at any time, from the field to the kitchen.

With modern convenience came a surprising culprit: bagged leafy greens – including lettuce and salad mixes.

Before we move on to discuss health concerns associated with bagged lettuce, let’s first talk about common foodborne diseases.

Foodborne Illness 101

Researchers have identified more than 250 foodborne diseases, according to the CDC. The agency estimates that 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness each year, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.

Most foodborne illnesses are infections caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Harmful toxins and chemicals also can contaminate foods and cause foodborne disease. Sometimes natural toxins such as those in some mushrooms and molds are the cause.

Food poisoning symptoms may range from mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ you consumed.

The most common symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

Sometimes, food poisoning causes severe illness and can be life-threatening.

The CDC recommends seeing a healthcare provider if any of the following symptoms appear:

  • High fever (temperature over 101.5°F, measured orally)
  • Blood in stools
  • Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)
  • Signs of dehydration, including a marked decrease in urination, a very dry mouth, and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up.
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days

Despite the common belief that food poisoning strikes immediately after eating the offending food or drink, in some cases it can take hours or even days before symptoms appear.

For example, if you eat something contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), you will likely know it within 30 minutes – 6 hours. But if you eat food infected with Listeriayou may not develop symptoms until 4 weeks after consumption! Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection can take up to 50 days to appear.

The CDC has a handy chart that lists each foodborne illness-causing organism in the US, the symptoms and the typical time it takes for them to appear, and the common food sources for each.

The top five offenders in the US are:

Some other organisms don’t cause as many illnesses – but when they do, the illnesses are more likely to lead to hospitalization.

Those germs include:

Preventing Food Poisoning

There are things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe from food poisoning.  Foodsafety.gov recommends following four simple steps: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

Now, about bagged lettuce…

It might seem hard to believe, but pre-bagged lettuce is one of the biggest food poisoning offenders. Leafy greens can become contaminated at any point during the growing and packaging process.

A recent multi-state outbreak of E. coli was linked to bagged romaine lettuce. During the outbreak, 210 cases were reported in 36 states. Five deaths were reported, and 96 people were hospitalized, including 27 people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Researchers determined that the outbreak was caused by romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region, according to the CDC:

CDC laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in canal water samples taken from the Yuma growing region. FDA is continuing to investigate the outbreak to learn more about how the E. coli bacteria could have entered the water and ways this water could have contaminated romaine lettuce.

According to the FDA, the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, and the harvest season has ended. Contaminated lettuce that made people sick in this outbreak should no longer be available.

Antibiotics are not usually given for E. coli infection, even though it is caused by bacteria. The reason? Some studies have shown that taking antibiotics for E. coli O157 infections might increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure). For most people, treatment consists of rest and proper hydration. Of course, if you suspect you have an E Coli infection, it is very important to see your healthcare provider for testing and treatment advice. In some people, the infection can become quite serious and can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (even without antibiotic treatment). In these cases, hospitalization and supportive care including IV fluids, blood transfusions, and kidney dialysis are often necessary.

So, is buying bagged salad greens worth the risk?

A recent Examine.com report sought to answer that question.

According to the report, there are reasons for concern:

  • Outbreaks caused by leafy greens do happen a lot – they have been responsible for 22 percent of foodborne illnesses in the last 10 years
  • Because leafy greens grow so close to the ground, they are easily contaminated
  • There are many possible points of contamination, from farm workers to the factory
  • The infectious dose for E coli is very low – it doesn’t take much to cause contamination
  • The long-term impacts of food poisoning can be quite serious and include the risk of developing reactive arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease

There are other factors to consider. Some people are more at risk than others, including those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, children, and pregnant women. And, reactions to bacteria like E coli vary from person to person. It is possible that having a healthy gut microbiome might help the body deal with E coli better. There’s no way to know your gut will react, however, and as the report states, “… (ironically) eating a diet rich in leafy greens and other produce may help fortify your gut against gut inflammation, which can enable bacterial toxins to enter the bloodstream more easily.”

Here are some practical tips the Examine.com report suggests to help you reduce the risk of infection:

  • If you buy bagged leafy greens, use them before the use-by date on the package. This will limit the time any bacteria that may be lurking within will have to multiply.
  • Avoid buying sprouts. They are commonly contaminated and are “germ incubators” because they are grown in wet, warm conditions.
  • Remember – organic does not mean infection-free. A large study found 18 food outbreaks in organic food occurred within a 12-year period. “Back in 1996, juice from the organic company Odwalla was behind a big outbreak that made 66 people sick and killed a 16-month-old girl,” Examine warns.

The bottom line: Ask yourself  –  is the risk of infection worth the bit of convenience pre-washed and packaged salad greens offer?

If you’d rather not take the risk, buying un-bagged loose greens might be your best bet, or – better still,  grow your own or buy them from a local farmer. No matter where you get them from, be sure to wash your greens and avoid cross-contamination with other foods while you are storing and preparing them.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 12th, 2018

Off Grid Cooking: 4 Types of Camping Stoves and Why You Need Them

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 04:07

I’m a “throwback,” an “Uncle Cave-Man” type of guy who would prefer to cook everything over an open fire. That being mentioned, I understand that there are instances when that is either impossible or inconvenient…but you still need to cook. This is where your stoves come in, and we’re going to be speaking for the individual, and not the whole entire gigantic family. Four types of stoves we’re going to focus on: Sterno, heat-tablet, propane, and liquid fuel. Let’s do it!

Sterno

This is a type of stove that is usually scoffed at or relegated to the cobwebs of history, but it is actually a pretty safe and reliable piece. I have one that has never been used and is still in the original cardboard sleeve! The Sterno Single-burner Folding Stove, Stock No. 30, that uses a 7 oz. can of Sterno Canned Heat. The Canned Heat is nothing more than gelled alcohol. Set a match to the aperture, and a blue flame will sprout. It doesn’t cook anything really fast, but you can boil water and heat up a can of food with it. The stove folds up nice and compact, and stove and can of Sterno tuck away nicely in a pouch in your pack. Total Cost: about $10 to $15

Heat Tablet

These are stoves that run off of hexamine tablets, commonly known as “heat tablets.” Very popular back in the day in the U.S. Army. Each heat tab will burn for about 9 or 10 minutes. The stove itself is a little steel job with two “legs” that support the “deck” where the heat tab is burned, and a top area to set your pan or pot. Coghlan’s puts out a stove with 24 heat tablets for just under $10, and you can pick up spare tablets just about anywhere. These are 24 tabs for about $4. The whole thing folds to about 4” x 4” x 1” which is really compact. Take some advice, and put them in a Ziploc bag: not just to protect, but for “off-gassing” from the hexamine tablets.

Propane

This is where your small bottles of Coleman propane and others will be fuel for such models as the Scorpion, or the Whisper-Lite. They’ll run you about $40 to $50, plus the propane bottles. They can be a pain in the neck, as you have to use them and then dispose of the bottles.

Liquid Fuel

These would be the ones that use white gas, and/or gasoline, with the ones that use both types being referred to as “Dual Fuel” stoves. Coleman puts out a few models that are good, such as the Sportster II, the 533 series. It has a bottom base that fills up with the fuel. You close it off and then take the priming knob, turn it, and pump air into the chamber, then seal it back up. This burns a blue flame much the same as a gas stove, and you can cook both fast and well on this thing. The main item here is you need to make sure you don’t drop it or have something crush or bend the nozzles or mechanism of the neck, or it will leak. If you’re out of Coleman fuel, you can take some gasoline and burn it in these…a very good feature to have in an emergency or when it hits the fan. These will run you about $50 to $60 in price.

If you can, try and pick up one of each. This falls in line with the “force multiplier” concept, where you’ll always be able to find fuel for at least one of them if push comes to shove. You can order each of them or all of them and have them delivered to your door on www.amazon.com, and take the legwork out of driving all over town.

The stoves can be used for a variety of purposes besides simple cooking. Boiling water and boiling strips of cloth for bandages, as well as sterilizing instruments for minor surgical wounds are just a few. All of these types have compactness and portability to their credit. It’s up to you to determine how to fit them in, as either equipment to be used during the outdoor excursions or preps to stock up on for a disaster.  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

Originally published July 10th, 2018

Trauma Medicine: How to Use and Apply a Tourniquet

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 05:08

Tourniquets aren’t discussed often when it comes to prepping supplies; the focus seems to be on medical supplies such as antibiotics and a simple first aid kit.  But a tourniquet should be added to your gear, and there is one big life-saving reason why.Basic emergency medical skills are a must-have to survive the perils you encounter in a survival situation or possibly even in your own backyard.  A tourniquet could save a life or a limb in a dire situation.

First, the proper use of a tourniquet is to stop arterial bleeding on a limb – when an artery is severed and simply applying pressure while waiting for a clot to form won’t work. Proper use of a tourniquet could ensure the saving of a limb, but proper care needs to be taken as well, as misuse could result in the loss of a limb. And a helpful hint: you may need more than one, so add a few to your supply!

Primary Principles of Immediate Response

Wounds that can cause death are often located in the arms and legs, the torso junctional (located in the armpits, groin or neck), and the chest or abdomen which could be an indicator of internal bleeding.

There are a few primary principles to consider when you are controlling a life-threatening hemorrhage. The first of which is to ensure your own safety. Make sure you are out of danger and are in a safe location before you render aid. If you are out of danger, begin using the ABC’s of Bleeding Control:

  • A-Alert 9-1-1
  • B-Locate the bleeding
  • C-Compress and apply pressure to wound

If there is life-threatening bleeding to an arm or leg, you want to apply a tourniquet.

Types of Tourniquets

The common tourniquet used by the army can be purchased on Amazon.  It’s called the Combat Action Tourniquet (CAT tourniquet) and is made for a single-handed (meaning you could use this on yourself) application. The tourniquets run around $30 and aren’t practical for a civilian to carry around in his pocket every day, but could be a vital addition to a prepper supply. The Mgrowth Rescue Tourniquet is a less expensive option, or you could just add a complete trauma kit, such as the Ever Ready First Aid Trauma Pack, which contains other items such as Quickclot, to stop the bleeding quickly and effectively.

Alternatives To Tourniquets

You can also use some critical thinking skills if a tourniquet is needed and you don’t have one on hand. Look around you; there are tourniquets everywhere. Your belt, the laces on your shoes, or a long sleeve shirt could be tourniquets.  A bicycle inner tube, a backpack strap, or a woman’s bra could be used as tourniquets also.  You can fashion this lifesaving device out of almost anything. You could even consider using a rope or a survival bracelet first if you have them handy. In order to tighten your tourniquet, you’ll also need a torsion device. This can be anything long and stick-like. If you’re in the woods I recommend using, well, a stick. If there are absolutely no sticks or stick-like objects around you, then close your knife’s blade, or put the sheet on it, and give it up for a good cause. It’s now your torsion device.

An important note to remember is that a tourniquet will not help in the event of a snake bite and you should never attempt to use one to restrict the blood flow to the area. In case of a snake bite, mark the area so you know how much worse the spread of venom is getting and keep the victim as calm as possible.  Never attempt to cut out or suck out the venom as seen in movies either. In this case, you should have a snake bite kit in your first aid kit as part of your survival gear.

Everyday tourniquet use (a first responder may not be available in a SHTF situation, so please keep this in mind).

  • Make sure you wear gloves if you have them to create a blood barrier between yourself and the victim.
  • In some cases, you need to remove the clothing covering the injury so you’ll know exactly what you are dealing with.
  • Apply direct pressure to the wound site. Use gauze on the wound during this step if it’s available. If there is no gauze, use a towel or washcloth or a rag torn from a shirt. Non-sterile bandages can cause infection, however, experts agree that it’s better to stop the bleeding first.

If the pressure you’re applying does not stop the bleeding, and the dressing becomes soaked with blood, then you will need to apply a tourniquet.

  • Tourniquets are ONLY used on limbs! Never on a neck! A tourniquet won’t help with bleeding on the torso. Keep the tourniquet high and tight. The purpose of a tourniquet is to shut down the artery.
  • Twist the torsion device in ONE DIRECTION until the bleeding stops and then secure the tourniquet in place.
  • You need to then check on the person who you’ve just applied the tourniquet to. Make sure they are still breathing.
  • Set a timer so that when (if) a first responder arrives they can be told how long the tourniquet has been in place.

It is important to know how to properly use a tourniquet, and properly assess a person for shock, you should consider taking a class and practicing how to apply one.  It could be a life-saving skill, and you will likely want the confidence to use the tourniquet if necessary.

 Applying a Tourniquet For a Massive Lower Extremity Bleeding

Applying a Tourniquet to an Upper Extremity


Recent research in military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown that, contrary to popular belief, using a tourniquet doesn’t guarantee limb amputation or even nerve loss. In fact, researchers found that among patients who had a tourniquet applied to a limb before arriving at the hospital, only 0.4% of them underwent an amputation and usually the reason they got an amputation had nothing to do with the tourniquet. When it comes to nerve damage, only 1.5% of patients who needed a tourniquet suffered any kind of permanent nerve damage. Based on this newfound knowledge, many civilian EMS teachers and practitioners are starting to encourage tourniquet use much sooner.

Skills such as applying a tourniquet could mean life or death for the person being saved.  Please ensure you get training if you feel it’s necessary an make an effort to properly stock your prepping supply because let’s face it: none of us knows what can happen when the SHTF!

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 9th, 2018

Machetes Are All the Rage Right Now. Here’s the Best One to Put in Your Backpack

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 06:19

When you’re out and about in the outdoors, Ready Nutrition Readers, no doubt in the late Spring and in the Summer you have met with obstacles: stickers, thorn bushes, and creeping foliage. Although I’m not advocating carving out new wilderness trails in the manner of Lewis and Clark, there’s something to be said for taking “the path less traveled by,” to paraphrase Frost. If you have to “bust brush,” you could use more than a walking stick. This is where a good machete made by Gerber will come in handy.

I have one and consider it absolutely essential when I need to traverse through a heavily thicketed and thorn-infested area. The Gerber Machete is 25” in length from the tip to the base of the handle, or pommel, if you prefer. The blade is 17” in lengthOne of the best features is that the spine or back of the blade is a ripsaw, and this is just over 15”. This last is pretty important, because that long length of saw blade with sharp, ripping teeth will allow you to cut thicker poles from fallen timber, such as needed for lean-to’s, tents, and hammock-ends.

The saw’s teeth are 3/16” in depth: just under a quarter of an inch. For busting brush, this is good for if you have a heavy load of a pack and you can’t go over or around a woody thorn bush. With this, you can cut it right off at the base, very quickly, and be done with it. The blade is burnished with an overcoat, whereas the edge is fine-honed with the blade sharpened its entire length and an edge-width of ¼”. The handle is rubberized with a tough polymer material and quite ergonomic. It has a rope handle for your wrist that loops through the machete’s handle for a backup.

The machete comes in a Cordura nylon sheath that is rigid, and it is riveted at the blade-edge with a thick seam that’s double stitched. The Velcro clasp that holds the blade in (or hook-pile tape, if you prefer) is extremely strong and doesn’t allow the blade to slip out. The sheath has a vertical loop on it to attach to your belt, although you may wish to do what I do, and attach loops around the sheath to affix Alice clips: this enables it to be mounted on the outside of a rucksack and hang horizontally instead of vertically.

The advantages to a machete for clearing brush and for cutting light kindling and poles are speed and ease of motion. It is not as cumbersome as an ax and you have more cutting (blade) surface than either an ax or a hatchet. It also extends the reach of your arm considerably beyond the hatchet or ax. If you need to construct a lean-to or cut some wood quickly for either a small campfire or for poles, this one will do the trick. It’s also made of steel, people…real steel that is magnetic. It will serve your needs admirably.

In a disaster, you may need that good cutting power and speed…that fluidity of movement that an ax cannot always give you.

It packs easily and can be used as a defensive weapon if you’ve exhausted other options. The saw feature is really valuable in this instance. How many times have you either cut or chopped something only to find that you really need a saw-blade to finish the job? This ripsaw blade is durable and rather than stumble around looking for a saw, this one is more than able to handle 2” x 4”s and 2” x 6”s as well as other wood, such as 4” x 4”s that you may have to cut in a hurry.

The Gerber Machete runs between $20 and $25, and you can order it at www.amazon.com and have it delivered to your door. Affordable, reliable, and practical, Gerber made a machete that follows after all of their knives…in my opinion the best and most cost-effective machete you can lay your hands on. As you know from past articles, I’m partial to Gerber: their Mark II blade is a top-notch combat knife. For combating the sticker bushes off the trail or for cutting those lean-to poles in a hurry, Gerber’s machete is my pick for your all-around number one machete for backpacking, the outdoors, and if a disaster strikes where you need to cut quickly and effectively without digging through your toolbox.  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

Originally published July 6th, 2018

The Many Ways Lavender Is A Must For Natural Health

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 05:27

Most of us have already heard of a few of the many benefits of lavender, but its healing properties go way beyond simple aromatherapy.  Whether it’s in the form of a tea, an essential oil, or a dried herb for food, lavender is a must for those seeking a healthy way of life naturally.

Lavender’s history can be traced back all the way to ancient Egypt. Did you know that when King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1923, there was said to be a faint scent of lavender that could still be detected after 3,000 years? The Romans also used lavender to fragrance their baths and introduced both the baths and as perfumes.

Lavender is an essential part of many gardens.  It’s not only aromatic but beautiful as well making it a treat for the eyes and nose, as well as the body. But how do you know which plant is right for you? There are, after all, several varieties of lavender, so we’ll focus on the three most popular and widely grown varieties, however, there are about 40 different types of lavender. 

PLANTS

If you choose to grow lavender, the first step is to choose the right variety for the climate you live in.  This will affect the scent of the flowers and any essential oils you make, the flavor of any teas, and the flavor of the foods you use it on, so keep that in mind when making your selection.

  • French Lavender (Lavandula dentata) is better for the humid South, where they’re often grown as annuals. Use moderate amounts when cooking as this lavender can overpower a dish.  French types do well in climate zones 8-11.
  • Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is also better for the humid South, where they’re often grown as annuals. Spanish lavender works well in non-sweet dishes, as it is not as sweet as English lavender. It is abundant in zone 8, working well in warmer climates.
  • English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) types are widely grown, thanks to their tolerance for winter moisture and humidity. English types will do well in climate zones 2-24. This is a sweetly fragrant lavender used for perfume and sachets; which is also good for flavoring ice cream, jams, sweeter meat rubs, and pastries.

Lavender Fields Forever located in Jacksonville, Oregon grows a whopping 7 different varieties of lavender. They cultivate white, pink and blue/purple lavender for culinary use, crafting, and essential oil production. Most climates will not be so fortunate to have so many options for lavender plants. But stopping by a place such as Lavender Fields Forever in your area which offers so many varieties may help you decide which type of plant (or plants) is right for you!

All lavender plant varieties will thrive in full sun and well-drained soil; adding organic matter will improve heavy soils. Water plants deeply but infrequently when the soil is almost dry. Once you’ve planted some lavender, start using it in your foods! Cook with it by rubbing it on meats an fish or add some to your jams.  You can also dry it for some delicious and calming teas and add it to a bath. 

Lavender as a medicine

The medicinal uses for lavender are many. Most already understand that just its fragrance can offer a calm and stress-relieving environment.  The aromatherapy benefits are outstanding, but lavender’s use in natural medicine goes much further. Because of its powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, calming and antidepressive properties, lavender oil has been used for therapeutic and natural remedies for thousands of years.

Because lavender oil contains such versatile properties and is gentle enough to apply directly to the skin, it can be considered it a must-have oil, especially if you are just getting started with using essential oils for your natural health.

Combat Free Radicals

Lavender is an antioxidant and offers the body natural protection against damaging free radicles, which are often the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans today. Free radicals are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body  The body’s natural response to free radical damage is to create antioxidant enzymes — especially glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) — that prevent these free radicals from doing their damage. Unfortunately, your body can actually become deficient in antioxidants if the free radical burden is great enough, which has become relatively common in the United States because of poor diet and a high exposure to toxins. Thankfully, lavender essential oil is a natural antioxidant that works to prevent and reverse disease. 

Neurological Disorder Treatments

The neurological benefits of lavender essential oil don’t stop at its ability to treat depression and boost your mood either. Research has also shown that lavender oil serves as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease! Studies conducted on rats show that inhaling lavender essential oil vapor can help to prevent brain oxidative stress and improve cognitive impairment. [12]  To reap the benefits at home, diffuse in a high-quality essential oil diffuser directly into the air, add to pulse points such as wrists, neck or temples, or inhale the sent directly from the bottle.

Enhance Sleep And Fight Insomnia

Most Americans struggle with getting to sleep and staying asleep.  Many don’t get enough sleep to keep their bodies in the tip-top condition necessary to fight diseases and ward off infections like the common cold either. Even though we all know sleep is vital to a healthy body, many still don’t know that lavender’s properties can aid in getting a better night’s sleep. Inhaling lavender has shown to reduce sleep disturbance, improve the quality and the duration of sleep, fight insomnia and improve our overall well-being. Plus, unlike most sedative drugs, lavender does not cause any unwanted side effects. It actually promotes general mental and physical health. To improve your quality of sleep, diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom before and during sleep. Also, you can rub 3–5 drops directly on your neck, chest, and temples. A few drops of lavender oil on a pillow nearby can also be effective, however, if you are concerned about staining, consider a sachet or even a wool ball to absorb the oils. Place the sachet or ball on your nightstand or next to your pillow and get a good night’s sleep!

These are not the only benefits of lavender either! Lavender is a must for those who want a naturally healthy body and mind.

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 5th, 2018

Independence Day Wishes and a Salute to Our Ready Nutrition Readers

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 02:17

Salutations and Greetings, Ready Nutrition Readers!  Yes, I’m paraphrasing “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White, to give a start to this greeting to you, prepper families and survivalists all…for Independence Day.  We can take much of the history of our country and use it to our ends to help us in our endeavors even today.  You are the men and women who are the descendants of pioneers, of the rugged individualist who came to this country for many reasons…religious persecution, lack of opportunity in their original homeland, the desire to be free, and/or all of the above.

“So what does prepping and survival have to do with Independence Day?” you may ask.  Everything.  It has everything to do with Independence Day because on that day men affixed their names to a document…the Declaration of Independence…and declared that they and those of their ilk would no longer submit to tyranny and the oppression that accompanied it.  You are doing that now, with your preparations, with your planning, and your steadfast refusal to “go gently into that good night” when the SHTF.

July 4th is just a date on the calendar, but what made it unique is that our forefathers put pen to parchment and affirmed they would also not “go gently into that good night.”  They were a rugged folk of opportunistic spirit who recognized a scam when they saw it: hence the Boston Tea Party.  They knew that things were going to go afoul.  They knew it and they took a stand, just in the same manner that you are taking a stand.

I wrote an article about the Victory Gardens and how Americans, in the middle of a world at war, still provided and prepared for their families and made up for shortages and scarcities by being self-reliant and self-sufficient.  There is more: a lot more.  Those people knew the importance of the 2nd Amendment and the fear of God and love of family and community in their hearts.  They were not that much different from us, from the prepper community…taking a stand and standing up for what they believed.

There was the Jerry Sandusky case with Penn State a few years ago, and two lawyers were discussing Sandusky’s guilt or innocence.  This discussion took place on Fox News, and the liberal lawyer said that Sandusky faced an adverse situation and (if anything) the adverse circumstances would build his character and see him through.  Obviously, it didn’t, as Sandusky was convicted on multiple counts.  Neither did the liberal lawyer point out that Sandusky’s position, if he was not exonerated, was inexcusable, and the lawyer did not take into account the shattered lives of college athletes who were hurt badly by a trusted coach.

The conservative lawyer, however, pointed out the key to the whole statement in a riposte that will be with me for the rest of my days, so sagacious a saying it was:

            Adversity does not build character: it reveals it.

So true.  As preppers, we can stock up on as much as our homes can hold.  We can provide for a family of four for the next fifty years.  We can have every technical and scientific marvel at our disposal for medicine, home security, self-defense, and agriculture.

            But what good all of this if we are not committed to taking a stand?

This doesn’t mean standing on a street corner with a bullhorn and trumpeting how you think that it should be (although that is your right and privilege under the 1st Amendment).  This also does not mean an armed foray into a government-run national park, or refusal to pay income taxes or our debts.

It means taking a stand to share the knowledge of our experiences and beliefs with others while there is still time…and then standing up to toe the mark when the S does indeed HTF.  It means teaching your children and grandchildren about the Constitution, about the Declaration of Independence…explaining what it means and how our country came about.  It means forming a community…with family, with neighbors, with like-minded individuals and committing to one another to help one another when the time comes.

It means remembering your history – our history – as Americans, and the men and women who died enabling you to grow up in the best country in the world and follow your own lives.  Not a collective, but a community.  Take the time this Independence Day to reflect upon all of the greatness of this country.  Not her military might or her successes in warfare, although that contributed to it.

The greatness: that you and your family can barbeque good, clean food, and share it in safety among yourselves and with neighbors, thanking God for the food, and knowing that all of it was made possible by the men and women who did so much – sacrificed so much of themselves and their comforts – in order to have a free nation today.

And the humility: that all of it can disappear in the twinkling of an eye with “Red Dawn” actually occurring here, in our country…in our home.

You share with Miss Tess Pennington and me your thoughts and comments and contribute to this little community of preparedness-minded people.  We also glean knowledge from you, and as it is written that iron sharpens iron.  We must all be more: we must refine that iron and must be steel, for the times to come.  Our Independence Day links us to the actions and sacrifices of those who went before us.  We owe it to them to carry on that legacy: to survive what is coming, and the triumph of not allowing it to turn our hearts from goodness and the pursuit of happiness and peace.

You are more than just preppers and survivors.  You are the inheritors of a legacy of freedom that was borne of personal struggle and resilience.  See, our founders prepped, and when the time came, they watered the Tree of Liberty.  We, their sons and daughter will do no less when the time arises.  And more: we’ll do it as wisely as we can.  May God Bless all of you and your families, and I wish you a Happy Independence Day!  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

Originally published July 3rd, 2018

Creative Prepping: 5 Everyday Items That Do Double Duty in an Emergency

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 05:59

Let’s cover a few tools that you can carry and some of their subtle uses…not necessarily the uses for which they’re designed. You want things that are convenient to carry and usable, yet not for everyone’s eyes. Most of the time when a severe emergency or survival situation arises, you’re not going to have the time to go to your handy toolkit and pull out everything you need. You may have to improvise and also use what you have on hand.

We know about multitools, especially Leatherman’s, Gerber Multi-Tools, and folding knives. We are going to cover some you might not have considered, as well as listing some things you can carry that have multiple functions. Let’s do it!

Survival Card Tool 0.5

Yes, that is the name of it, made by Ultimate Survival Technologies. You can order this one at Amazon.com or pick it up in a big-box store for $3.00. It has 11 functions: Knife, flathead screwdriver, bottle opener, ruler, hex wrench with 4 positions, direction indicator, 2-position hex wrench, lanyard hold, saw, groove-wrench, and can opener. All of this stuff is on 1 tool, in the size and shape of a credit card and made of stainless steel…real steel, the kind that a magnet sticks to. It comes with a little plastic sheath. I advise keeping the sheath, as it’s pretty sharp and can potentially cut your wallet if you shift around with it. Also, you may want to cut the back panel off describing the functions…with a diagram…put into the pouch along with the card tool to help you until you’re familiar with it. Tuck it in your wallet until you need it.

Magnets

Carry a small magnet with you…the “extra strong” variety, approximately the same size, and shape as a “button” battery. The magnet can be used for many things. Verifying that an object claimed to be stainless steel actually is, for one. Also, for testing any kind of jewelry or coins to find if you’re getting gypped. In addition, the magnet can support something, such as a map or chart you may need to reference on the go. You can affix it to something you may need to mount on an object made of metal. You can magnetize a needle and make a compass point out of it by rubbing the needle on the magnet repeatedly (a field-expedient method). You can also detect counterfeit money with it. Real currency has iron fibers within its ink, and it will move a bill that’s folded in half (in an L-shape) with one-half vertical and the magnet moved close to it.

Grocery Store Vegetable Produce Bags

When they come off the “roll,” they are folded into a long strip/piece. Separate them and refold them as an “accordion.” These bags can be placed into a wallet and kept for when needed.  Need to not leave a print? The bag can help you. Also, inclement weather? Place your piece inside of it, and then back into the holster. The bag will keep moisture and debris out of your weapon, and if you need to you can fire with the piece still in the bag with no ill effects. A multitude of other uses can be found quite easily for these bags.

Paper Clips

Very useful as a potential expedient fishhook, as a “probe” for some type of small object under your skin or in your flesh, a cleaning implement/scraping tool for a weapon…the list is endless. You can tuck one of these inside your hat liner or inside of your wallet. You can also escape cuffs with one of them, although you’ll have to practice. When you wish to test it on yourself, have someone around to help you if you’re not successful.

Safety Pins

These little guys are worth their weight in gold when it hits the fan. They can also be used as probes for splinters and foreign debris under the skin, as a fishhook, a fastener to temporarily repair or patch an article of clothing such as a tear or a busted zipper or snap. Read more about the multiple uses of safety pins and SHTF emergency. They can also be sterilized with a flame to lance a boil or cyst.  Make sure and obtain multiple sizes, and affix these to pocket flaps, hats, shirts, or whatever articles of clothing you are wearing all the time.

One thing I wish to stress is that you should not just gather these items. You should practice employing them in the manner that I’ve outlined here. This is just scratching the surface. You can make covers for binocular lenses out of plastic lids, turn a nylon stocking into a scope cover that cuts down on glare for your forward objective lens, or use the stocking as a field-expedient substitution for handcuffs or flex-cuffs. Only your imagination limits what you can do. We welcome your comments and what you may wish to share with others on this topic. 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

Originally published July 2nd, 2018

5 Tips For Naturally Healthy Skin All Summer Long

Sat, 06/30/2018 - 05:10

The warmer, more humid weather in the summer means our skin isn’t as dry and itchy as it was in the winter; but that’s no excuse to neglect your skin. As the largest organ of the integumentary system, it’s important to protect your skin, but doing so in a natural and earth-friendly way is often difficult.  So we’ve come up with five tips and tricks designed to help you get the most out of nature’s bounty while caring for skin this summer.

1.Moisturize, But Avoid Drying Ingredients

While there are many products out there proclaiming to be “all natural,” the only sure way you’ll really know, is by reading the ingredient list.  This is where personal preference plays a key role. For example, some people do not mind alcohols in products used on their skin.  They offer a range of excuses from “the concentration is so small” to “companies wouldn’t use it if it was bad for me.”  And that’s ok too! But more natural ways are available. Personal preference should come first, but you should also know that all alcohols can cause dryness and a sort of addiction to a product using dryness.  Once you get itchy and uncomfortable, you’ll be slapping on some more of the alcohol-laced product with the same drying and itchy results.

The skin has a natural barrier that helps seal in moisture and protects from environmental stressors and other damaging elements. Alcohol disrupts this barrier, leaving the skin more vulnerable to attack from irritants, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. In a 2003 study, scientists noted this to be true in doctors who were using alcohol-based cleansers to get germs off their hands. They found that it removed “barrier lipids” (healthy fats in the skin) and caused the skin to lose moisture and hydration. Evidence showed that modern foaming liquid cleansers were the major offender, and that replacing them, reduced hand problems among hospital staff.

But not all alcohols are equal either. Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol that helps other ingredients absorb into the skin. It can be useful and probably doesn’t need to be avoided like the plague.

But a moisturizer is still important.  You want to seal in as much water as possible by creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss from the skin.  Try coconut oil! Straight from the container, organic non-GMO coconut oil is one of the most versatile items you can have. Coconut oil’s skin benefits include: strengthening underlying epidermal tissue, removing dead skin cells, and protecting us from sunburns. It also contains antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Research even shows that coconut oil is strong enough to fight chronic skin diseases characterized by defects in the epidermal barrier function and cutaneous inflammation, including atopic dermatitis (AD).  Coconut oil can be used on its own as a standalone moisturizer, and its a good one too!

Related: Here are some other ways coconut oil can bring out your natural beauty

2. Avoid The Sun And ALWAYS Wear A Non-Toxic Sunblock

This should be a no-brainer anymore.  Personally, I never go outside in the summer or winter, without a hat and sunblock. If I’m going to be outside for long periods of time (over an hour), I forego my comfort and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.  I also avoid sandals as my feet are usually neglected by sunblock application. The more protection from the sun you can give your skin the better.  Don’t skip the sunblock in favor of that “healthy glow.” Dermatologists can agree on one thing: there’s no such thing as a safe tan.  Wear a safe, non-toxic sunscreen, even on cloudy days or days you’ll be inside a lot.  Skin cancer is the number one cancer in the US now and the sun’s rays are rather proficient at aging you significantly.

To avoid a toxic sunscreen, make sure yours has no oxybenzone. This commonly used ingredient gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can also trigger allergic reactions. Look for a mineral sunblock containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Those will inevitably leave a “white cast” but it’s far superior (in my humble opinion) to getting skin cancer or slathering on a toxic chemical.

When choosing a sunscreen, look for an SPF of at least 30, even if you don’t have fair skin. Many sunscreens with an SPF from 50 to 100, effectively block just 1-2% more sunburn rays than an SPF 30 products. Regardless of which SPF you choose, you should reapply often (ideally every 90 minutes), and always after swimming.

Try Garden Goddess’ natural sunscreens!

3.  Exfoliate your skin at least once a week, ideally twice.

Dead cells sit on the surface of your skin making it look dull, rough and dry. By exfoliating, you are removing these dead cells, allowing your more radiant, healthier summer skin to shine through. Exfoliating also allows skin cells to regenerate more quickly, which keeps aging at bay. Whenever possible, choose a gentle, more natural exfoliator. Some “fruit acid” exfoliators such as alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid (AHA and BHA) can actually be very harsh and cause significant irritation. Choose products with natural exfoliating grains instead.

You could also try an agave exfoliating cloth in your shower.  They are made from the agave plant, and won’t break the bank, costing less than $10.  No fancy creams or chemicals needed!

4. Get Enough Sleep!

Although this is an important tip in the winter too, sleep is one of the best and most natural ways to refresh your skin.  Americans, however, are chronically sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of stress hormones, which may slow the production of collagen in the skin. When our skin stops producing collagen, it begins to lose elasticity and starts looking tired and worn.  Your body boosts blood flow to the skin while you snooze, which means you wake to a healthy glow. Skimping on sleep and your complexion can look drab, ashen, or lifeless.

5. Drink A LOT Of Water

One of the most natural ways on Earth to impact your skin health is by drinking water. Drinking water helps removes toxins from the skin and if your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. As water is lost in large quantities every day, you need to replace it somehow. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin, so make sure you’re abiding by step one and moisturizing with non-drying and natural ingredients.

Some will disagree that water has an effect on the skin at all, however, many people often report (myself included) that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant and healthy glow. Those who suffer from acne have reported the same results. Nothing will happen overnight, but even a good couple of weeks of increasing water intake should be enough for you to see how proper hydration affects your own skin.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 30th, 2018

Brace Yourself! Why You Need These Six Braces in Your Emergency Supplies

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 15:29

One of the most common sets of problems deals with orthopedics and injuries to the joints during exercise. There are a number of good reasons for this, and we are going to go into them a touch and cover braces. These braces (or for a more general term, “supports”) will enable you to train and work the muscle groups while protecting the sensitive areas where your bones articulate. These being the major joints: the elbows, ankles, knees, and hips.

In the location of these joints, you have places where muscles articulate, and where tendons and ligaments bridge the gap between the ends of bones. Tendons actually attach muscle to the end of the bone, made of strong fibrous connective tissue. Ligaments are made essentially of the same material; however, these connect bone directly to other bones.

Why You Need Braces in Your Preps

You can suffer tears, pulls, and inflammation (swelling and tenderness) in and around each of these structures and the surrounding musculature and can take a long time to heal. Many are due to hyperextension, which means that the structure has exceeded the limitations of its ROM (range of motion) and sustains an injury, giving pain along the way. FYI, pain has a good purpose: to stop you in the middle of an activity that is hurting you or endangering you, and preventing you from going further…doing more injury to yourself.

Your leg muscles are strong: you can do a seated squat-press with free weights of hundreds of pounds. The quadriceps and calves are more than able to hold up under this tremendous weight. It is the knees and ankles that give you the problem. The tendons and ligaments are not designed to handle so much weight under ordinary circumstances…we’re born on Earth, not the planet Jupiter with a crushing gravity. This is where braces come in.

Support Yourself with these Six Braces

Common types are made just for your joints, usually out of neoprene or nylon. The knee braces drape over your knee and have a cutout in the back to enable the brace to bend a little. It may not seem as if it’s much, but the brace’s rigidity and combined flexion (ability to bend) absorb some of the force that your ligaments and tendons would have to bear on their own. Same for the ankle braces, and these slip over your foot akin to a shoe, but leave the toes free for calf-raises, or more stationary lifts such as squats or leg-presses where the ankle will move only slightly. The brace will help support it and keep it from moving laterally.

Wrist guards are very good. The wrist is the weak point for the arm. If you’re doing deadlifts or rowing, you could use a wrap with a strap…transferring the weight from your grip of hand and flexion of the wrist to the muscles of your arm and shoulders. Wrist guards themselves will help you to do the work on the muscles you intend to exercise and prevent you from being injured because the wrists flex or extend the wrong way.

A good example is a set of Wrist Wraps made by Gold’s Gym, available from either your friendly Wal-Mart or online with Amazon.com made of poly and elastic, 3” in width by 1’ long with a loop for the thumb and Velcro to adjust to your wrist. When you’re doing curls, flies, military press, or triceps extensions, you want these to support your wrist and keep them from bending in a manner that you do not wish. In that same vein, if you are investing in braces and wraps, look into purchasing some shoulder slings for bad sprains too.

You should always wear a weight belt when you lift. This helps to prevent a hernia, a condition where you strain so much that a portion of your intestines/innards actually comes through the abdominal wall. Not good. That belt does not brace a joint per se, but it does give some support to the hips. Neoprene waistbands can be used just for the purpose of strengthening the hips, and these work quite well.

You can use Ace wrap in a pinch, but the pre-formed braces are more user-friendly, as they’re tailored for the specific body area/joint you wish to support and protect. Orthopedic injuries and associated muscular trauma are the number one area for weightlifters and those training with weights to suffer a setback. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and wearing braces is not the sign of a sissy. Braces are signs of strategy and of being smart. In order to maximize your gains, you need to use all of the tools at your disposal. Train safely, train as a professional, and train to win.  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

Originally published June 28th, 2018

Off-Grid Cooking: How To Smoke Fish

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 06:45

Ready Nutrition Readers, over the years, we’ve talked at length on how fish are a great addition to your prepper food supply and taught you how to catch a fish without a hook, how to make a fishing spear, and even ways to use up every ounce of your catch. Now, we’re going to cover some fine points on the smoking of fish.

As we speak, I’m throwing some salmon steaks in to broil. Good eating! Firstly, you have some of your best protein in the form of seafood or freshwater fish. The meat is high protein, packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, and it supplies forms of essential nutrients that are very beneficial in strengthening your cognitive abilities and preventing things such as Alzheimer’s disease.

In a wilderness environment, you can easily erect a three-posted tepee out of green wood, and a “platform” of green sticks on which to smoke your fish, or you can skewer them on a pole and dry them out over an open fire. This video gives great instructional information on how to smoke using this method. Without refrigeration, you want to eat those within 24 hours. In this article, we’re going to deal with more conventional methods, as they are more readily available and simpler to use.

You can smoke with an oven, but the preferred method is with a barbecue grill (Brinkman being the best kind, as it has multiple levels). Take your charcoal down to gray coals, and above this place a pan of wood chips that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes. Hickory and mesquite chips are good for this. The object is to make smoke with the chips, and not fire. You should smoke the fish for about 30 minutes, and make sure the edges of the grill don’t allow the smoke to escape.

For the fish, after they’re cleaned, gutted, and scaled, season them down. I prefer Old Bay seasoning for all my fish, but you can use lemon, pepper, and natural hickory smoke flavor. Make sure your rack of fish is close to the smoking wood chips…just over top of it for maximum output. Remember: you’re smoking it hot, not “cold smoking” it, which is not cooking it. When you’re finished, you want to refrigerate the fish.

Hot smoking by this method cooks the fish, and the smoke flavors the meat. This is not to be confused with dehydrating, which is not the same as dehydrating meat such as beef into jerky. There are many stove top-type smokers up there that can be used on the kitchen stove. Just be sure to provide plenty of ventilation when you use it: you should have a good exhaust fan with your stove.

Smoking can also help your meat to last longer should you decide to freeze the fish after you’re done. In the end, you’ll come out with a good piece of meat that has been cooked without any added oils or breading…high protein and healthier for you. Try it out. Bass and crappie are in season, and flounder are running now on the East Coast. Smoke some, and get some good quality protein and practice for when you’re next in the woods and land that trout.  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

Originally published June 26th, 2018

Summer Safety: How To Avoid and Prevent Heat Injury and Dehydration

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 21:19

Now with summer rapidly approaching and temperatures starting to rise all over the U.S., it is important to cover some information that is pertinent to your activities. Certain very physical occupations and activities require more activity in the direct heat, as well as the need to consume more water. Even if you work in an office, or if you have a moderately physically demanding job, don’t take the heat lightly and practice heat safety when needed: it is easy to allow yourself to become dehydrated.

First, let’s repeat what we’ve covered in other articles. Thirst is actually a late sign of dehydration. What this means is that your body becomes dehydrated before thirst kicks in and prompts you to drink. Another problem is with osmoreceptors. Without delving too deeply and allowing confusion, these osmoreceptors in your brain help to regulate the concentration of your bloodstream, an area you can’t just “dump” water into to replace without affecting blood concentrations and components.

For this reason, it is important to follow preventative measures by drinking water regularly before an incident occurs. The osmoreceptors will prompt you (along with a feeling of fullness) not to drink any more until your bloodstream is balanced.  It is for this reason that IV solutions are isotonic…that is, compatible with your bloodstream and body chemistry.  I detailed in articles past that you can purchase isotonic packets that are very beneficial and easy to use.

Trace Minerals Research is the type that I use. The packets are 0.18 oz/5 grams. They are for the replacement of electrolytes, with Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium being among them. These packets are akin to powdered gold, and they can really be useful after you’ve had a grueling workout or a hard shift at work to replace the electrolytes you lost along with the fluid.

The best time for physical exercise is usually during the peak performance hours of 3 to 4 pm; however, this changes in the summer months. I recommend working out in either the early morning an hour or more before sunrise, or in the evening at about 6 pm to avoid the heat of the day. Wherever you travel, it is important that you take a good water supply. During the summertime, you should be drinking (on average) a gallon of water per day, and for jobs and actions with a lot of physical labor, even more.

Cold water will help bring your core temperature down if you become overheated. Avoid cold fruit juices, as these have a lot of sugar in them (whether from natural or processed sources) and will deplete your hydration levels. The sugar works from a reverse osmotic angle and draws water out of your system in order to help you process the juice. Water or an isotonic solution, such as an ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) is your best bet. The sports drinks have a ton of sugar in them and a bunch of different chemicals that you may not want.

Make your own ORS solution with a 32-ounce bottle. Fill it up with water and add ½ tsp. of salt and 1 tablespoon of honey or raw, unprocessed sugar, or use some of these ORS powder recipes. This amount will not be enough to detract from the solution’s isotonicity, and it will give you a few calories if you’re energy-depleted. Food intake is also critical to prevent dehydration. The nightly meal is an important one. I have emphasized in the past to take a good protein shake before you go to bed. This will be a “booster” for your training, as well as replenishing and creating stores while you sleep…the process where your metabolism slows down and you have more of the benefits from the shake. Those shakes also have electrolytes. You’ll give yourself an edge even before you awaken and start the next day.

Before you start your strenuous activities in a workout or on the job, hydrate up and drink about a half a quart to a quart of water before you begin. The cold water will cool you down if you’re overheating, but the best way to drink water under normal circumstances is at room temperature. Your body receives less of a shock when you take it in, as it is closer to your own body temperature. Hydration is hydration, plain and simple, and the water does not need to be cold to be taken in. It is partially a matter of preference.

You can measure your body’s balance by your output, as well. Dark or extremely-yellow urine is a very reliable sign. The darker your urine (not considering underlying health conditions or medications), the more water your body needs. It is trying to retain water and excreting urine that is dark with a lot of filtrates and less actual water in it. Dark urine is a sign that you need to drink water as soon as possible. Another thing is skin turgidity. The skin on the back of your hands is elastic. If you pull up on it and it returns to normal immediately, that’s good. If it kind of “withers” and “shrivels,” taking a second or two to return to normal? This is a sign that you are dehydrated.

Other signs are aching teeth, a thready, rapid pulse, a headache, and visual disturbances, such as blurriness or inability to focus properly. On these, you’ll do better to down one of those electrolyte packets we covered, as well as increase the intake of water. Eat well-rounded and regular meals. Not only do you obtain some water in your food, but the foods contain salts, electrolytes, and other essential vitamins and minerals that help you maintain a healthy fluid balance. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. Prevent dehydration by taking these steps and enjoy your summer…the safe way.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 24th, 2018

5 of the Most Popular Survival Kits You Can Find

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:33

We’ve done some digging and come across some of the best survival kits offered on Amazon, making the purchasing of prepping gear easy. Depending on your needs and the size of your family, consider adding a small kit to your car or splitting up these kits to upgrade your bug out bag or add to your home prepping stash.

When preparing for a disaster, many overlook the possibility of something happening while in a car and away from home.  That’s why some of the kits below can be purchased and left in your car so you’ll never be left without at least some survival gear.

The peace of mind offered once you’ve got your car outfitted is difficult to describe, that’s why some of these kits offer bags that are light enough they can be moved around (in and out of a car if you choose to not store survival gear in your vehicle) or stored neatly under a bed.

1. Tianer Survival Gear 11 in 1 Kit

Tianers Professional Outdoor Emergency Survival Gear Kit offers 11 tools, including a military compass, survival (multi-function) knife, saber card, fire starter, whistle, wire saw, flashlight, signal mirror, scraper, tungsten steel pen, and a box to keep it all in. 

At only $23.99, this little survival kit is inexpensive considering what’s in it and perfect to toss in a vehicle or set on the shelf with your other prepping tools.  You could also take several of the items and add them to your bug out bag if you happen to be missing a few of the essentials, and for the price, wouldn’t have to worry about splitting up the kit.

If you don’t want to split this kit up, don’t worry.  It’s small and easy to carry. The dimensions of the box containing the other ten items 4.1 x 1.8 x 6.3 inches and it weighs only 0.65 pounds. The box is touted as “sturdy enough to be waterproof and protect the products inside.”

2. Emergency Case Premium Family 4 Person 4 Days Emergency Kit 

This kit will set you back $800, but it has everything you need for a family of four to survive for four days.  It comes in an easy to pull waterproof, durable, and lockable container.  This kit is perfect to grab and toss in the car in the event of an immediate natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane.

It can be stored anywhere and decreases evacuation time to 60 seconds. Easy rolling, mobile, highly durable, lockable, and waterproof case contains a 5 kit emergency system. In that system are a food & water kit, sleep & shelter kit, advanced medical kit, tools & safety kit, and health & hygiene kit.  It contains a tent and sleeping bags and includes a water filtration system.

If you live in one of the nation’s “disaster zones” and are ill-prepared for a quick evacuation, though a little expensive, this kit could be a lifesaver.

3. Emergency Zone Family Prep Emergency Survival 72 Hour Kit

Available in both a two-person and a four-person kit, the survival gear comes in a discrete red backpack and all supplies are conveniently packaged in a discrete and nondescript red pack.  This kit is only $179.99 for a four-person kit and $139.99 for the two-person version. 

The items come well-organized ziplock bags to keep everything organized and dry and the convenient backpack includes a 48-page emergency preparedness guide.  It also comes with a hygiene kit and some basic medical supplies and a flashlight. This pre-made bug out bag could be the perfect solution to the previous more expensive kit and would be excellent for the beginning prepper. 

4. Get Ready Now Deluxe Car Emergency Kit

 This compact, convenient sized kit is designed to fit under the front seat, in door panels, or backseat pockets.  Basically, you could toss this thing in any vehicle without losing too much space, and at only $125.99, you could feel confident in having at least some survival gear should you get lost or break down.

This kit will offer you the best supplies for a worst-case scenario. The kit includes critical gear often omitted in DIY kits including light, first aid, utility tools, warmth & cooling, sanitation, and food and water products.

5. Survival Frog All-in-One LifeShield Survival Bug Out Bag

At $299.99, this kit certainly is not the cheapest on the list, but it’s a good one for those with minimal prepping under their belt. Even though this kit contains a wide selection of essential survival gear, it still weighs less than 15 lbs. This means that preppers who purchase with this pack will get the best of both worlds – a complete bug out bag that you can actually carry around comfortably.

Purchased individually, the items included in this kit would retail for over $500, but Survival Frog wanted to eliminate any barriers that would prevent customers from being fully prepared. The lifeshield bug out pack is incredibly spacious, offers 2,400 cubic inch survival gear capacity in six organized compartments, and is also insanely durable.

The options are endless, but good and lightweight supplies should be at the forefront of a prepper’s mind. Remember, these kits are great on their own or they can be broken up to make the perfect bag or kit for your personal situation.  You are limited only by your imagination! The important thing to remember is you must consider your personal situation.  Many may not desire a bug out bag, preferring to “bug in” but can use the individual items in some of the kits to add to a car kit or enhance a home prepping stash.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 21st, 2018

How To Best Prepare Yourself For The Coming Financial Crisis

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 15:49

Many financial analysts believe the United States economy is in a dire situation.  Peter Schiff, who accurately predicted the 2008 recession has come out and declared we will all live through another Great Depression, only this time, it’ll be much worse than before.  But there are ways to prepare for such an event, and we’ve gathered some helpful tips and tricks to help make the process a little more smooth.

“The bad news is, we are going to live through another Great Depression and it’s going to be very different. This will be in many ways, much much worse, than what people had to endure during the Great Depression…This is going to be a dollar crisis.”

When you are talking about the magnitude of the debt we have, that extra money [raising interest rates] is big. That’s going to be a big drain on the economy to the extent that we have to pay higher interest to international creditors…a lot of this phony GDP is coming from consumption, while the average American who is consuming is deeply in debt and they are going to impacted dramatically in the increase in the cost of servicing that debt…given how much debt we have, and how much debt is going to be marketed the massive increase in supply will argue for interest rates that are higher.” -Peter Schiff

According to Financial Times, it is becoming clear that the global monetary policy is now caught in a debt trap of its own making. Continuing on the current monetary path is ineffective and increasingly dangerous. But any reversal also involves great risks. It stands to reason that the odds of another crisis blowing up continue to rise.

So how can you forecast this economic disaster and best prepare?  For starters, you should pay off as much debt as possible. There are many reasons for this, the obvious being if it truly belongs to you and you have the title in hand, no one can take that property from you.  Pay off your unsecured debts first and as quickly as possible, however.  Credit card debt will become more expensive as interest rates rise, making those already only able to make a minimum payment stuck choosing between a credit card payment or another bill. Make sure you stop putting things on a credit card in order to pay it down with the goal of eliminating that debt. Cut things out of your budget if you must to pay things off. A good tip from Surviopedia is to tackle your debts one at a time starting with the smaller ones. Once the smaller one is paid off, apply the money for those payments to the next biggest debt, paying it off early. Once things are paid off, you’ll also have the added benefit of having extra money to buy things of value that can be used as currency during a crisis, such as gold, food, or ammunition.  Remember, when paper money is of no value, food or ammunition could very well be a powerful form of currency as bartering for goods and services inevitably returns.

Everyone knows they should store a little extra food “just in case,” even if it’s only to wait out a harsh storm. But accumulating ammunition is a great way to prepare for a post-apocalyptic world, especially one in which no one has money (or money is worthless) and grocery store shelves are empty. This is a great primer article to learn more about SHTF Firearms. Rifle and pistol cartridges will always have value if you store them right because ammunition could mean the difference between life and death.  An unloaded gun is merely a club, while a loaded gun can kill an animal for meat or protect one’s life from a violent attack.  Hoarding ammunition and having a safe and dry place to store it could be almost seen as a “savings account.” Even if you don’t own a gun capable of shooting a cartridge you are storing, someone else likely will. One strategy to use, though is to arm yourself with firearms and ammunition using very common cartridges. This will increase the chances that someone else, will have a gun that can shoot what you are offering. The most common pistol cartridges are 9mm, 38 Special and .45 ACP. The most common rifle cartridges are .22 Long Rifle, 7.62x39mm, and 5.56x45mm.  Ammunition is often overlooked as a possible form of currency during a financial crisis but it will be necessary and difficult to come by making it a highly valued currency.  Make sure you have a safe place to store your ammunition and keep its availability quiet to prevent theft or violent attacks against yourself. Rifle cartridges will represent months worth of food, even if you don’t own a rifle. The trick is to find someone who does and trade them for something of equal value.

The final tip to best prepare yourself for a financial crisis is to learn how to make things, such as biodiesel or vegetable oil. Vegetable oil can be extracted by the proper processing of corn and other seeds of your choice and during Venezuela’s collapse, this was one of the first staples that disappeared from the market. Most of the oil producing companies were seized and nationalized. Now their production is a small fraction of what it was when they were private, and the military controls the supply and sales in the black market. Once the vegetable oil has been used for cooking, it could be used as fuel, to improve the heat output of wood stoves, or even as a makeshift a water heater that runs with WVO (waste vegetable oil).  But you should also consider learning to make biodiesel, especially if you own a vehicle or a generator that will run on diesel fuel. It is possible to make biodiesel using vegetable oil too.  If you’d like to try it, Thoughtco has put together a helpful guide that will walk you through the process. 

Remember the three things that will be the most impactful during an economic collapse: having no debt, having items that will serve as a currency, and being able to produce things of value.  If you can accomplish all of those, your chances of survival will go up.

 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 19th, 2018

The Science Behind How Colloidal Silver Is Made: Getting Less Ionic Silver

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 05:10

If you have ever been curious as to how colloidal silver is made, and the science behind it all, you’ve come to the right place! Since there is a lot of confusing misinformation about colloidal silver out there, we’ve created a handy guide in the form of a series of articles to help you make the right decision about colloidal silver.

Since metallic silver is what we want when using colloidal silver as a supplement, when creating the colloid, we want as little ionic silver in the mixture as possible.  If you read the previous article on colloidal silver, you should already understand that ionic silver is less desirable as an antimicrobial supplement because of the missing election. Since ionic silver is missing an electron from its outer orbit, it easily bonds to chloride in the body creating silver chloride. The body then expels the compound through urine providing few, if any microbial benefits.

So how exactly is an effective silver colloid made?  That’s where things get a little more scientific. While a colloid can have many forms, colloidal silver is one type of colloid that consists of solid particles suspended in a liquid. The solid, in this case, is very small particles (not individual atoms of silver, but clusters of atoms which create particles) of metallic silver and the liquid is water. The “very small particles” in this context refer to particles whose diameter is measured in nanometers.  A silver colloid then must have silver particles in suspension. However, Colloidal silver also contains another form of silver called ions. The difference between solutions, colloids, and suspensions is defined by the size of the particles in the liquid.

Since we are focusing on colloidal silver, a colloid contains silver nanoparticles ranging in size from 10-9 m to 10-6 m (1 nm to 1000 nm). A one-nanometer silver particle consists of 31 silver atoms.  The diameter of a single silver atom is .288nm.

Colloidal silver is made when an electric current is passed through a series circuit consisting of a silver electrode and de-ionized (DI) water.  The current can be either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). The current flow causes Ag0 (metal) and Ag+ (ions) to migrate from the electrode into the DI water. AC processes tend to be more efficient than DC in limiting the ionic concentration. It is generally assumed that water ionizes to H + and OH- and that the H +, in the form of the hydronium ion, H3O +, migrates to the cathode, where it is reduced to hydrogen gas, H2, which is liberated. The electrons taken from the cathode are replaced at the anode when Ag metal goes into solution as Ag+.

Therefore, colloidal silver consists of silver in two distinctly different forms, metallic silver particles, and silver ions. The total amount of silver that is reported as the silver concentration (in parts per million) is the sum total of the silver contained in the particles and the silver contained in the silver ions.  Typically, silver ions make up 75 to 99 percent of the total silver while only 1 to 25 percent of the total silver is metallic particles.

A solution containing only ionic silver and no particles is not a colloid since there are no solid silver particles in suspension. On the other hand, if 100 percent of the silver was particles and no ions were present, the solution would be a pure colloid. One measure of the quality of a silver colloid is the percentage of silver particles. Ideally, all the silver content would be in the form of particles with no silver ions.

The good news there is it’s almost impossible to get argyria, colloidal silver’s only known side effect, by consuming silver ions. But ionic silver also won’t offer much in the way of antimicrobial benefits either. Accurate measurements of total silver content require the measurement by either atomic absorption or atomic emission of the silver atoms.

The diagram below shows the setup of a colloidal silver generator.  Remember: 9-volt batteries deliver DC.  As mentioned previously, to get more metallic silver, AC is more effective.  It’s also important to bear in mind that AC batteries are not actually batteries, but converters that create AC current out of DC battery supplies. AC can carry electricity several miles without the loss of power and can also be controlled to increase or decrease power with a transformer. An AC converter on a DC battery creates a more controllable AC energy source with the portability and self-contained benefits of a battery.

Since most manufacturers of colloidal silver do not list the concentration of metallic silver or ionic silver, there’s an observational way to note the difference. When looking at the advertised colloidal silver and the colloidal silver you create at home, you can easily tell by how it looks whether or not there’s a high concentration of ionic silver or metallic silver.  Ionic silver solutions should be clear (they look like water) or have a gold tint to them. The particles of ionic silver are too small to be seen except with an electron microscope. When ionic silver is created, bubbles will form on one or both of the silver wires. Colloidal silver is made from silver particles that are microscopic in size.  When creating colloidal silver, it will look like wisps of smoke emanating from one of the silver electrodes. The metallic silver particles will usually deliver a gray or silver tint to the solution.

It would be beneficial if colloidal silver manufacturers would list the concentration of ionic silver in their products, but until then, we’ll have to use our observational skills and decide based on appearance.

One of the purest silver collides can be found by clicking here. This particular brand also cites sources and attempts to educate the consumer.  You’ll note links to scientific articles below the image of their bottle which will also give you the information we are providing here. MesoSilver also labels the percentage of the metallic silver in their product vs. ionic silver so you’re a well-informed consumer.

In the next colloidal silver article, we will go into detail as to how and why silver particles are more effective than silver ions in the human body.

 

*This article is for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to treat or diagnose. 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 18th, 2018

Vegetable Consumption Increases When Children Learn To Garden

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 05:37

Most of us know by now that increasing our consumption of fruits and vegetables and limiting processed foods will lead us down a path of nutritional sustenance and health for years to come. Now studies are even suggesting that simply teaching a school-aged child about the importance of gardening and growing your own food can cause them to make the choice to eat more vegetables.

Any parent knows that children are often reluctant to eat their vegetables, especially considering the processed yet flavorful foods they are surrounded with anymore.  But teaching them to grow food in a garden can help change this trend. They can’t grow a Cheeto!

In a study conducted by Parmer et al., second graders who participated in school gardening as part of a nutrition education class increased their selection and consumption of vegetables at school, compared to second graders who did not participate in gardening. In addition, students who gardened demonstrated a higher preference for the fruits and vegetables that they had sampled.  This suggests that children want to actually try the foods they grow themselves leading them to make healthier choices even at a young age.

But that isn’t the only study that looked at the effects a vegetable garden can have on our children. In another study, which was conducted by Ratcliffe et al., middle schoolers with garden-based nutritional education demonstrated a higher preference for vegetables than the students who were not exposed to garden-based nutritional education. Students who gardened were also more willing to taste vegetables and increased the variety of vegetables they ate at school. Since most Middle schoolers have more freedom when it comes to making food choices than elementary school students, they often tend to eat fewer vegetables as they approach their adolescent years.

A garden for your school may serve as an effective way to increase vegetable consumption in young kids and maintain higher levels of vegetable consumption in adolescents.  If you homeschool, it could be highly effective to garden at your home and teach your children about healthy food choices.  Personally, I often allow my children to try to read the ingredient list on a bag of Cheetos (for example) just to see their reaction as they attempt to sound out the chemicals listed.  Then a simple explanation as to why Cheetos are more of a “food-like” substance rather than a nutritional food goes a long way to nourish the body and mind.

“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t,” says the author of Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, Michael Pollan.  “It’s not food if it’s served through the window of your car. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles.”

Gardens can be used to teach many subjects and they do serve as a reminder to parents to reinforce health messages students receive in other activities at school and at home. If a garden is not possible for your family, consider alternative ideas, such as beginning a gardening project at your kids’ school which could include school family nights. You could also consider a community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. Many of these programs increase families’ access to fresh produce by offering shares families can purchase. Some even provide adults with ideas for preparing produce in ways most children can enjoy. Plus, these programs often give children and their parents a way to interact with the farmer who actually grew the food they will be eating.  Since children are naturally inquisitive, the questions they ask the farmer could serve as very important gateways to eating right.

It is also important that the parents eat the food grown as well.  Even if your child’s school has a garden, nutritional education shouldn’t stop when the child gets home.  Making healthy choices for dinner at home can also have a positive impact on what your child chooses to eat for themselves. But this isn’t limited to school-aged children, meaning it is never too late to learn to garden!

College students who garden, or who learned to garden as children, eat more fruits and vegetables than their peers who do not or never learned to garden. The findings were based on a survey of 1,351 students conducted for the “Get Fruved” project, a collaboration between eight American universities aimed at improving the health and diet of students across the country. Anne Matthews, Ph.D., wanted to know how much gardening had affected the eating habits of college-aged kids. She and her team found that 30 percent (of the college-ages kids in the study) had gardened as a child, and 38 percent gardened at the time of the interview. Compared to students who said they never gardened, those “green-thumb” groups reported eating more fruits and vegetables: an average of 2.9 cups a day, versus just 2.4.

The bottom line is to help children understand gardening and how to grow their own food.  Making it fun and getting children involved helps them understand where their food should come from.  Gardening also serves to give kids a variety of vegetables to try in new ways and has shown to be successful in helping them make positive food choices as they age. Teaching them to grow their own food may also help in getting them interested in tasting new and different vegetables too.  They may even want to help in preparation of the vegetables for dinner.

Try a garden, or work with your school to add one and watch your children learn how to eat better seemingly on their own!

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 16th, 2018

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