The Survival Mom » Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 20 May 2015 07:00:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Surprising Facts About Corn, Popcorn, and Malnutrition http://thesurvivalmom.com/corn-popcorn-and-malnutrition/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/corn-popcorn-and-malnutrition/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 07:00:53 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22542 This is the first in a two-part series addressing the practice of making homemade cornmeal out of popcorn. In this first part I will address the dietetic science that shows why this is a bad idea and some surprising facts about corn, popcorn and malnutrition. The second part will address other things that can be […]

The post Surprising Facts About Corn, Popcorn, and Malnutrition by Beth Buck appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

corn, popcorn, and malnutritionThis is the first in a two-part series addressing the practice of making homemade cornmeal out of popcorn. In this first part I will address the dietetic science that shows why this is a bad idea and some surprising facts about corn, popcorn and malnutrition. The second part will address other things that can be done with corn that are much better for you than grinding it into cornmeal.

All about corn, popcorn, and malnutrition

Regular pre-ground cornmeal has a relatively short shelf-life. Five years is the usual rule of thumb. Unpopped popcorn, however, can be stored for decades under the right conditions. Someone put two and two together and figured that grinding popcorn into cornmeal as needed would be a decent solution to this problem. I’ve heard people insist that it is more nutritious than cornmeal from the store, “…which has the bran removed,” and that it tastes better.

I must admit that I have not tried it myself, so I can’t say that I can speak with authority about the taste, but I will tell you that it is not nutritious. In fact, if you made ground popcorn your primary staple you will put yourself at risk for contracting a lovely little disease called pellagra. Pellagra and its relationship with corn is one of those things that intersects food, history, and science.

Popped popcorn, when it is not smothered in fake butter and preservatives, is very good for you. It is high in niacin and fiber, and low in calories. Corn tortillas made from cornmeal, have undergone processing of their own and are similarly nutritious. The peoples of Pre-Columbian America built their empires on corn.

If a corn tortilla is good for you, corn muffins from ground popcorn must be just as good, right? Wrong.

Prior to processing, the nutrients found in corn, niacin, in particular, are inaccessible to the human body. In order for our bodies to absorb all the good stuff, corn must be either cooked with an alkali to form nixtamal (pronounced “neesh-tamal”), or popped. Eating corn meal from unnixtamalized field corn or unpopped popcorn is nutritionally equivalent to eating a cardboard box.

When corn was first brought back to Europe from the New World, Europeans really liked the idea of eating corn. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand the value of nixtamalization. To them, it was an unnecessary step. In places where corn became the primary staple, people started getting this “strange disease” that caused skin lesions, neurological problems, and death. This disease was pellagra. In the Southern United States alone, pellagra accounted for more than 100,000 deaths. Pellagra was also widespread in Spain, France, and Italy. Only in the early 20th Century did scientists figure out that pellagra was caused not by a toxin found in corn, as previously thought, but a niacin deficiency.

This is the reason why food companies fortify our breakfast cereals. If you grab a box of cornflakes, in particular, or regular store bought cornmeal, you’ll find niacin and folic acid on the list of ingredients. This does not constitute the native vitamins already found in corn, but synthetics that are sprayed on. Those spray-on vitamins are both a good and a bad thing. Good because when the FDA began to require niacin fortification in cornmeal, pellagra all but disappeared in the United States. Bad because there is some concern that synthetic vitamins do not behave the same way inside the human body.

Additionally, many nutritionists caution against eating highly processed foods that have more than 5-10 ingredients on the label, which leads some to actively search out unfortified corn products. Thrive Life Cornmeal, for example, lists only one ingredient on its cans of cornmeal: Ground Yellow Dent Corn.

This is not a step towards better health

Grinding popcorn for cornmeal is not going to be any better for you than grinding dent corn. In fact, it would be worse because the structure of a popcorn kernel is different from a dent corn kernel. Popcorn has a much thicker pericarp – that’s the bit that gets stuck in your teeth – and a much smaller amount of starch per kernel.

If you have a reasonably well-balanced diet, it’s unlikely that you or anyone you know will actually develop pellagra and die from the odd batch of cornmeal made from unfortified corn. But don’t kid yourself: cornmeal, and especially popcorn cornmeal, is empty calories. That’s a luxury that will come at too high a price in a survival situation, where you must make every calorie count towards optimal nutrition.

Cornmeal in your food storage pantry isn’t a bad thing, but add other foods rich in Vitamin B3 and, in fact, B3 nutritional supplements as well. Food to consider are:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Coffee
  • Kidney beans
  • Meat, chicken, and tuna
  • Mushrooms
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Sunflower Seeds

This is not to say that you should not store popcorn at all. When properly stored, popcorn can have a shelf-life of 15-20 years. Be sure to also store a small amount of (regularly rotated!) cooking oil or other fat along with it, so that you can pop it.

Stay tuned for my Part Two popcorn article, in which I will talk a little more about what you can (and should!) do with corn that will keep you well-fed and healthy: nixtamalization, masa, and tortillas.

For further reading, I recommend, Red Madness by Gail Jarrow, about Pellagra in the deep South and “Pellagra: Curse of the Unprepared“, an article by Liz Bennett.

corn, popcorn, and malnutrition

 

 

The post Surprising Facts About Corn, Popcorn, and Malnutrition by Beth Buck appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/corn-popcorn-and-malnutrition/feed/ 5
Evacuation Time? Don’t Forget Your Pets! http://thesurvivalmom.com/evacuation-time-dont-forget-your-pets/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/evacuation-time-dont-forget-your-pets/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 07:00:25 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=308 What plans have you made and put into place for your animals should an emergency of some type strike your area?

The post Evacuation Time? Don’t Forget Your Pets! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Make plans now to evacuate your pets and their supplies in an emergency. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comMy heart just about broke when I saw all of the abandoned pets in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  How could someone just leave behind a beloved pet?  Not only were the abandoned animals in jeopardy, but as days and weeks went by, they added to the already insurmountable problems faced by workers trying to clean up and restore the city.

Preparation for Pet Evacuation

What plans have you made and put into place for your animals should an emergency of some type strike your area?

First, make sure your pets are up to date with their vaccines and that you have copies of the vaccine records.  If you have no other choice but to hand your dog or cat over to a shelter, these records will become invaluable, and it will bring peace of mind to know that your beloved animal is in a safe, temporary environment.

Cats and dogs should be microchipped. A tag on their collars from the microchip company will facilitate their return to you, and be sure that your contact information with that company is up to date. You can usually do that on the company’s website.

Next, consider how you will contain your pet, if necessary.  Our two aggressive turtles can’t be in the same enclosure, unless we want to rename one of them, “Ole Two-Toes,” so we’ve looked at small, portable enclosures for each.  If you will be using a dog or cat kennel, place small food and water dishes inside them now, along with a leash, muzzle, maybe a harness.  With these already pre-positioned, you’ll only need to grab your pets and be on your way!

Transportation and Feeding

Transporting a cat? Unless your cat goes into a carrier willingly, believe me, it’s worth the time, trouble, and scratches to help her get accustomed to being contained before it becomes a matter of life and death.  Portable litter boxes can make travel easier, but, really, a collapsed cardboard box and a small bag of litter will help your feline feel almost at home. We used disposable litter boxes for the 2 weeks we spent in a hotel with our four cats. They worked out beautifully.

Small bags of dog and cat food can easily be tucked into a back corner in the trunk of your vehicle. Protect the food from moisture and pests by storing it in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. It will be a good idea to feed your pet a little less than they are used to.  In an evacuation situation, they will probably not be getting as much exercise, and less food means less poop.

Many reptiles eat fresh vegetables and fruit.  You could keep them fed and happy for weeks just by feeding them veggies from your Big Mac or fast food salad.

Transporting fish?  Not quite so easy because you’ll need a container that is spill-proof.  I’ve seen suggestions of large Tupperware containers to coolers with air holes drilled in the lids.  Fish don’t need to eat as much or as often as your dogs and cats, so that’s a bonus.

Advance Planning is Critical to Success

If you have livestock and other large animals, probably the best solution is to make prior arrangements with the owner of a nearby farm or other rural property for emergency boarding.   Plan on transporting large animals out of harm’s way long before the situation becomes perilous.  I found some great tips for evacuating horses here, and many of the tips are relevant to other large animals.

You know your pets and their temperaments better than anyone.  Take steps now to get them accustomed to car travel, spending time in a kennel, or whatever might be foreign to them in an emergency situation.

Remember, that often terrified animals will run away.  More than anything, they will need you to be calm.  (Our animals are such sensitive babies!)  With just a little pre-planning and preparation, evacuating your animals will be the least of your worries.

This post was updated from the original posting on June 16, 2009.

The post Evacuation Time? Don’t Forget Your Pets! by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/evacuation-time-dont-forget-your-pets/feed/ 18
7 Ways Blueberries Pack a Powerful, Nutritional Punch to Your Food Storage Pantry http://thesurvivalmom.com/health-benefits-blueberries/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/health-benefits-blueberries/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 21:23:39 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=23282 When I was growing up, my parents would buy blueberries in bulk. We would freeze them in little sandwich bags. Whenever we wanted a treat, my siblings and I would fill a small cup with the frozen berries and eat them one at a time until our fingers and mouths were purple and sticky. We […]

The post 7 Ways Blueberries Pack a Powerful, Nutritional Punch to Your Food Storage Pantry by Beth Buck appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Blueberries pack powerful nutritional punch via The Survival Mom

When I was growing up, my parents would buy blueberries in bulk. We would freeze them in little sandwich bags. Whenever we wanted a treat, my siblings and I would fill a small cup with the frozen berries and eat them one at a time until our fingers and mouths were purple and sticky. We also found that frozen blueberries were excellent bribes for our dog, though our mom was not pleased to discover we had been wasting berries in such a fashion.

We knew the blueberries were “healthy,” whatever that means when you’re ten years old, because our mom would go so far as to actually buy them for us. Fruit roll-ups and Froot Loops were not exactly welcome at our house because these were “mostly sugar.” The health benefits of blueberries were unknown to us, nor did we much care.

Fun fact: Blueberries are from the genus, “Cyanococcus,” which is literal Greek for “blue round things.”

Now that it’s been a few years and I have become a grown-up with kids and a mortgage and everything, it turns out that blueberries really are good for you! Most discussion on the health benefits of blueberries veers toward the technical side, tossing around mysterious words like “flavonols” and “anthocyanins,” and “antioxidants.” What does this mean in plain, non-organic chemistry English?

The health benefits of blueberries are numerous!

Simply put, foods with naturally-occurring blue and purple pigments (anthocyanins) are known to reduce the risk of developing certain kinds of cancers. This is the “antioxidant” property of blueberries at work. Blueberries are also high in manganese, copper, and zinc; elements important for maintaining heart health and bone structure. Manganese deficiency, in particular, is relatively common but difficult to diagnose. Feeling under the weather? Try some blueberries!

That’s just scratching the surface. It seems that there is no part of the body that does not benefit from ingestion of blueberries. Blueberries have been known to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and to improve short term memory. The fiber content is good for your digestive system, and they can help lower blood pressure Their low glycemic index makes them an excellent food for diabetics. Doctors suggest eating raw blueberries as a treatment for urinary tract infections.

Antioxidant compounds are a little finicky and can break down easily, so most nutritionists recommend eating raw blueberries instead of cooked in desserts. Even though the antioxidants may break down a little in cooking doesn’t mean that all of the blueberries’ goodness is destroyed if you put them in a batch of muffins. Blueberries are extremely versatile and taste amazing in a wide variety of baked goods, while retaining a good portion of their health benefits.

You can store blueberries by freezing them and dehydrating them at home. They can be safely frozen for long periods of time (at least 3-6 months in clinical studies) without any detriment to the antioxidants. In general, dehydration is not as efficient as freeze-drying in this respect. However, if you have a lot of blueberries on hand and want another way to preserve them, dehydrating is still a good way to store them over a longer period of time.

If blueberry smoothies or frozen blueberries in a cup aren’t your thing, don’t despair.

Freeze-dried blueberries in your food storage pantry

Including blueberries in your diet shouldn’t have to end at the door of your refrigerator. Freeze-dried blueberries are readily available, for example, these from Emergency Essentials. The freeze-drying process retains nearly all of the fruit’s original nutrients but because the berries contain zero moisture, they have a very, very long shelf life.

I add a small handful of freeze-dried blueberries to smoothies, along with a small scoop of Greek yogurt, some almond milk, and sometimes, a tablespoon of cocoa powder!

These two recipes from Emergency Essentials are perfect for using freeze-dried blueberries. The ingredients in each recipe can easily be stored long-term, making it possible to whip up a batch of muffins and bars any time!

Blueberry Granola Bars Recipe

½ cup honey

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ cup instant rolled oats

2 cup freeze-dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Reconstitute the blueberries; Drain excess water.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9″ square baking pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine honey, brown sugar, oil, and cinnamon. Bring to boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes without stirring.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and blueberry.
  5. Stir in honey mixture until thoroughly blended.
  6. Spread into pan, gently pressing mixture flat.
  7. Bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  8. Cut into 3″ x 1 1/2″ bars.

Blueberry Drop Muffins Recipe

1 cup flour

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ cup dehydrated fat-free milk

½ cup freeze-dried blueberries

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Work in butter with fork or pastry blender.
  3. Add milk, stirring in just moisten. Carefully fold in blueberries
  4. Drop by tablespoon on greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Blueberries pack powerful nutritional punch via The Survival Mom

The post 7 Ways Blueberries Pack a Powerful, Nutritional Punch to Your Food Storage Pantry by Beth Buck appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/health-benefits-blueberries/feed/ 4
Make an Evacuation Checklist http://thesurvivalmom.com/checklist-for-evacuations/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/checklist-for-evacuations/#respond Thu, 14 May 2015 17:41:56 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=23075 You wake with a start in the middle of the night. Someone is banging on your front door. A gas main has broken one block over. You have 10 minutes to get out of your house. What do you do? An up-to-date checklist for evacuations is the key. How you respond to a scary scenario depends on […]

The post Make an Evacuation Checklist by Amy Van Riper appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

checklist for evacuationsYou wake with a start in the middle of the night. Someone is banging on your front door. A gas main has broken one block over. You have 10 minutes to get out of your house. What do you do? An up-to-date checklist for evacuations is the key.

How you respond to a scary scenario depends on a wide variety of things, but comes down to one key factor: How prepared are you to leave your house?

During a wildfire event several years ago out west, our friends had to evacuate their home. They initially believed their home would be safe but an unexpected shift in the wind required them to leave very quickly. They were not at all prepared but loaded up their minivan, drove out of harm’s way, and to a community shelter. Fortunately, their home was spared and they were able to return two days later. When they unpacked their car, they realized that what they took out last was what was packed first.

What was it that they, in their panic, decided to put into the car first to save it from wildfire?

Their bowling balls.

You know what never made it into their car?

Their important paperwork that was in a filing cabinet, which wasn’t fireproof.

They simply weren’t prepared to evacuate and when suddenly told to get out, they weren’t in a proper mental state to make the best decisions.

With some events, like a hurricane, you may have hours or days to plan how to leave your home and to get packed up. Other incidents like a broken gas main, nuclear power plant incident, or a chemical spill require you to leave quickly and usually come with no advanced warning. Being told suddenly you must leave your home is no time to be making important decisions regarding what to put in your car.

Know how to plan for 2 types of evacuations: urgent and planned.

Make an evacuation checklist

Below is our list (made more basic and a little less personal for this article) that we’ll use upon deciding to evacuate our home. Since we have teenagers, all items on the list can be performed by anyone. If you have younger kids, you may want to have a separate list of things they can do.

Our plan is that one person controls the list and assigns the tasks. When a job is complete, the person gets the next task. Each action is placed in order of importance in case the entire list can’t be completed. If time has run out, we drop to the “Final Actions” portion and go.

Evacuation To Do List
Shoes on
Animals in crates
Bug out bags in car
Pet supplies in car
Emergency binder in car
Purses/wallets/cell phones/chargers in car
Fireproof safes in car — (In a house fire, leave the safes where they are and just get out!)
Supply bins in car
Water bottles in car
Pack additional personal items and put in car
Pack additional clothing items and put in car
Pack additional food items and put in car



Optional Actions Based on Situation
Water off
Gas off

Final Actions
Animals in car
Lock all doors (pins in sliding doors)
Set security alarm
All people in car

Each family member has a list of three or four “personal items” that they want to have during the evacuation. This not only helps packing go more quickly (again, because the decisions have already been made), but also ensures that if someone isn’t home, the others can grab the correct items. For my family, these items include specific photo albums, laptop computers and external drives, stuffed animals, and prized possessions.

Use this Last Minute Checklist for items that can’t be pre-packed, such as medications.

Be sure the list is somewhere accessible to all. We keep ours laminated and attached via carabiner to a bug out bag.

“Evacuation Drill!”

As with any preparedness activity, running through a practice drill is the only way to know if your plan will work. Set aside some time when your family doesn’t expect it, and announce, “EVACUATION DRILL!” Go through the entire process of actually loading these things into the car just as if you are actually leaving your home.

Set a timer and see how long it takes to get through the whole list. You may discover that moving a supply bin is a two person job, or that items must be placed in your car in a particular way in order to fit everything in the trunk. You don’t want an emergency to be the first time you test your list and your family.

“If the generals don’t panic, the troops won’t panic.”

Not only does an evacuation list provide you with a pre-determined plan that will ensure you have what you need when you leave your home, but it will also help alleviate panic in the process. As you lead your family to safety, you’ll be doing so in a more calm manner, which will help everyone around you remain calm as well. Evacuating your home will be a stressful time, but with a bit of preparedness, it doesn’t have to be a time of chaos.

Want a checklist as seen in this article? Click here!

The post Make an Evacuation Checklist by Amy Van Riper appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/checklist-for-evacuations/feed/ 0
Prepping with Type 1 Diabetes: 2.0 http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-with-diabetes/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-with-diabetes/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 19:15:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22972 Our recent article on prepping with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) was well-received, so here’s some more food for thought (totally carb-free!) as you prepare for an insulin-dependent loved one. If you missed the initial article, you can read it here. If T1D is not part of your daily life, scroll to the end for some diet-friendly […]

The post Prepping with Type 1 Diabetes: 2.0 by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

prepping with diabetesOur recent article on prepping with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) was well-received, so here’s some more food for thought (totally carb-free!) as you prepare for an insulin-dependent loved one.

If you missed the initial article, you can read it here.

If T1D is not part of your daily life, scroll to the end for some diet-friendly recipes that could help you reach your fitness goals.

Again, I do not claim to be a doctor or expert—just a T1D momma passing what I’ve learned online and through experience. Prepping with diabetes as become a part of my family’s life. Do with this information as you see fit.

Insulin information

Originally, I assumed that vial or pen insulin is not vulnerable to EMP because it doesn’t rely on the electronic components that a pump uses. However, I stumbled across this government study indicating that exposure to EMP renders insulin in any form less effective. Should that change how we store insulin? Yes and no.

I’ve spoken to an electronics expert who believes that since insulin is stored in a refrigerator, that barrier is pretty good protection. But he also said it couldn’t hurt to keep pens in their original cardboard box and wrap that box in aluminum foil just in case. I’ve decided that any insulin I carry for daily use may have to be discarded if exposed to EMP, as none of the carrying cases on the market are made from Faraday-like materials. If you’re concerned, consider making your own EMP-resistant pouch for everyday insulin carry.

Some helpful readers suggested purchasing the cheaper animal insulin with no prescription from Wal-Mart.  This over-the-counter insulin is called Nph, but it has not been approved for children under 12.

When you’re prepping with diabetes and kids, it is important to understand the way FDA approval works. First, a product must be approved for adults. Once that occurs, trials can begin for approval for kids, but that can take upwards of 5 years. None of the insulin pumps recommended by our children’s hospital have been approved for patients under 16, but the diabetes team recommends them even for toddlers, who fare very well.  Only you can decide if less-than-perfect is better than nothing at all if cost renders those your only two insulin choices. Personally, I’m much more comfortable considering an approved option for children.

Humulin R has been approved for children and is supposedly available without a prescription. I have not attempted to purchase this insulin over-the-counter.  Even at retailers like CVS the drug is marked “over-the-counter” but you can’t add it to your online basket unless you “refill a prescription.” I’d be interested to hear whether any readers have been able to successfully purchase it. Keep in mind that this particular brand has a 1-year shelf life at room temperature and seems like a pretty good option in an SHTF situation.

Under normal circumstances doctors discourage changing insulin brands without their approval and monitoring. But again, if stocking up depends solely on which type you can afford, only you can decide whether off-brand insulin is better than nothing. Perhaps now is the time to talk with your healthcare provider about switching to a less expensive brand so you can make the change under medical supervision.

I investigated Humulin heavily because I ran across an article about Freezing insulin—something most manufacturers warn against. While this article isn’t the same as a clinical study, it’s something to think about if you want to stockpile more insulin than can be used in a single year. Maybe check with your doctor to see if he or she would be willing to help you experiment with frozen insulin. Again, these are very personal decisions and risks—ones I’m not personally willing to take with my child. But as an adult in charge of my own body, I might contemplate it as one more measure for prepping with diabetes.

Prepping with diabetes and getting some help from nature

The National Library of Medicine contains a complete list of plants that either mimic insulin or stimulate beta cells to produce insulin. Though I don’t know many of them, I do already keep aloe and stevia plants.

Dr. Bones over at Doom and Bloom published a list of natural substances that are supposed to lower glucose.  It’s an interesting compilation, but it does not include links to clinical studies and mostly references experimentation with Type 2 patients.  If you’re interested, it’s worth further investigation.

Fig leaves also look promising in reducing the amount of insulin needed at mealtime, as do walnut leaves.

Food storage for preppers with diabetes

Include flax! Clinical studies indicate that flaxseed can reduce blood glucose levels by delaying sugar absorption and stimulating beta cells to produce insulin.  We use flax meal in homemade granola and baked goods to help temper the effects of higher-carb foods.  In our case, consuming a breakfast of homemade granola with flax meal resulted in lower post-meal blood sugars than a breakfast with exactly the same number of carbs requiring exactly the same insulin dose. I’ve started adding it to pancakes and cookies fwith similar results—adding flax meal keeps my kiddo’s blood sugar from skyrocketing after some of her favorite meals. (Scroll down to see our favorite diabetic-friendly recipes.)

The Survival Mom posted this article about including yummy junk food in your storage, and my little T1D cupcake has some she recommends:

  • Blue Bunny Brand’s CarbSmart ice cream
  • Soy Slender chocolate milk (shelf stable, and 5 carbs per cup!)
  • Sugar-free Jell-o Brand jello and pudding (also shelf stable)
  • Blue Diamond flavored almonds (They taste just like dessert!)
  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins (low carb, gluten-free crackers)
  • Libby’s Skinny Fruit in cans or single servings (Canning peaches with Splenda is doable for me; mandarin oranges and pineapples, not so much.)
  • Sugar-free pancake syrup (Try it on the pancake recipe below.)
  • Crystal light, Mio, or Powerade Zero water enhancers
  • Homemade beef jerky. Lots and LOTS of beef jerky.
  • Ditto on homemade dill pickles
  • Sensible Portions Veggie Straws.
  • Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Bread (freezes well, and only 15 carbs per slice)
  • Peanut Butter powder (lots of flavor for very few carbs)
  • Sixlets (One sleeve=6 carbs for a small, sweet treat.)
  • Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips (used in the recipes below)

Diabetic-friendly recipes

I loved this guide to replacing store-bought items with homemade versions, so I wanted to encourage T1D caregivers to try it, too! Diabetic-kid tested; A1C-approved.

Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Granola

1 cup each flax meal and unsweetened coconut

½ cup each sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, pecans, walnuts, and Splenda

½ cup each water and oil (coconut oil works well)

2 T cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 pkg Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips

Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together and add to the dry. Layer in a baking sheet and bake at 325˚ for 20 minutes or until dry. Cool and store in an airtight container. Makes 7 cups; 8 carbs per ½ cup serving. We like to eat it like cereal with Soy Slender chocolate milk. (As a variation, you can substitute 1 cup coco nibs for chocolate chips—6 carbs per ½ cup.)

 

Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 package Bob’s Red Mill low-carb baking mix

2 T flax meal

8 eggs

3 cups whole milk

15 chocolate chips per pancake (Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips)

Mix baking mix and flax meal together. Beat the eggs and milk, then add to the dry mixture. Drop ¼ cup mix on a 300˚ griddle and add 15 chips to the top of each pancake. When bubbles form in the pancake, flip and cook until golden brown. Makes 24 pancakes; 12 carbs each. We like to add peanut butter and sugar-free syrup. (Without chips, 10 carbs per pancake.) They freeze and reheat quite well.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ cup Crisco shortening

1 ¼ cup light brown sugar

2 T whole milk

1 T vanilla

1 egg

1 ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Low Carb Baking Mix

2 tsp flax meal

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp baking soda

½ cup Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips

Mix shortening, sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Stir in egg. In a separate bowl, combine baking mix, flax meal, salt, and baking soda. Mix into creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake a 375˚ for 8 minutes. Ours made 2 dozen, approximately 16 carbs each.

prepping with diabetes

The post Prepping with Type 1 Diabetes: 2.0 by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/prepping-with-diabetes/feed/ 4
When am I done prepping? http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-be-prepper/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-be-prepper/#respond Tue, 12 May 2015 15:01:26 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22986 When am I done prepping? When can I relax and say, “I’ve done all I can do. I’m fully prepared,”? This is a question that pops up from time to time. The simple and easiest answer is, well, you’re never done! Now, before I lose a bunch of you because of that answer, give me a […]

The post When am I done prepping? by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

how to be a prepper

When am I done prepping? When can I relax and say, “I’ve done all I can do. I’m fully prepared,”?

This is a question that pops up from time to time. The simple and easiest answer is, well, you’re never done! Now, before I lose a bunch of you because of that answer, give me a minute to explain.

In our society, we tend to be rather focused on finish lines. We want to set a concrete, observable goal, reach that goal, and move on. This has been the focus in the business world for ages, of course.
Measurable goals are the key to success. Same goes for sports. Who wants to watch a game that may
never have a clearly defined winner?

How to be a prepper and when am I finished prepping?

Because of this goal-oriented, ingrained, we struggle with the thought of engaging in an activity that has no real end. This is why I try to stress to folks that prepping isn’t a hobby but a lifestyle. As you become more and more involved with disaster and emergency planning, it will overflow into many areas of your life, perhaps even without you realizing it. You’ll find you make decisions on what to buy and where to shop differently. Instead of looking for an amazing deal on Dolce and Gabbana skirt, you’re hunting down the best price on a food dehydrator. Vacations aren’t always centered on fine food and dancing but getting outside and seeing Mother Nature in all her splendor, learning some fun wilderness and camping skills, and even checking out possible evacuation routes.

All of that isn’t meant to say that you can’t set and achieve prepping goals. Far from it, actually. When
someone is just starting out, I often suggest they set a food storage goal of one week. That’s very doable for many people and not only helps to get them prepared but reaching that goal gives a sense of
accomplishment. At that point, extend the goal to two weeks, then a month. Keep moving forward in
incremental steps. That’s what prepping is all about.

At the same time, though, you’re going to be rotating through your food storage, always using the oldest
items first and then replacing them with new. While food storage involves setting concrete goals, it is a
constant process. See what I mean about never being truly done prepping?

Skills need to be learned, then practiced regularly to maintain proficiency. Some of them will be used
daily, such as scratch cooking, while others only intermittently. But, as with your food storage, supplies
and gear utilized in the practice of some of these skills will need to be replaced as they are used up.

Many types of gear set aside for emergencies will need to be maintained regularly. Bug out bags need to
be unpacked, inspected, and repacked at least a few times a year if not more often. Gardens need to be
planted, weeded, watered, and eventually harvested. Learning how to be a prepper and then continuing in that lifestyle keeps you busy and always learning.

A new lifestyle brings with it a new perspective on life. Don’t worry about meeting a concrete goal. Just
try to do one thing each and every day that moves you forward. If you can do that, you’re headed in the
right direction, even if you can’t see a finish line.

Just getting started prepping?  Here are some resources for you:

And, this video created by The Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford, “How To Be a Prepper”:

 

how to be a prepper

The post When am I done prepping? by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/how-to-be-prepper/feed/ 0
Herb Gardening for Preppers: How to Get Started http://thesurvivalmom.com/herb-gardening-preppers/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/herb-gardening-preppers/#respond Mon, 11 May 2015 16:02:31 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22911 After learning to grow some or all of their own food, many preppers turn their attention to other useful plants like medicinal herbs. Once established, herbs can be relatively low fuss, but deciding what herbs to grow and where to plant them can be a bit overwhelming. Herb gardening for preppers takes some planning but […]

The post Herb Gardening for Preppers: How to Get Started by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

herb gardening for preppersAfter learning to grow some or all of their own food, many preppers turn their attention to other useful plants like medicinal herbs. Once established, herbs can be relatively low fuss, but deciding what herbs to grow and where to plant them can be a bit overwhelming. Herb gardening for preppers takes some planning but will be very rewarding.

Because gardening depends so much on the local environment, it’s important to take your location into consideration when you are thinking of establishing an herb garden with prepping in mind. Rather than try to highlight a few plants that might grow well in one part of the country but never make it in another garden, let’s take a look at how to determine what will work well in a given situation- even if you don’t have much space or very little gardening experience.

Deciding what herbs to grow

The first step is to decide on what you want to grow. This may take a good deal of research if you are new to herbalism, or you may already have a list in mind. If you aren’t sure what herbs you might want to grow, a basic guide like Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech, my book, The Independent Herbalist, or another resource that gives information about specific herbs and how to use them can be a good place to start. Some of the most versatile and adaptable herbs that you may want to look into for your area include yarrow, peppermint, elder, hawthorn, valerian, and lemon balm, but again- they may or may not be well suited for your area.

Once you have some herbs in mind, identify your garden zone. Most herbs are very hardy and grow across a wide range of temperatures and rainfall zones. Adding drainage in very wet areas can make a garden more successful, and very dry areas can use ideas like drip irrigation to concentrate water use. Knowing your zone and annual rainfall will help you when you begin to research the specific herbs you have in mind.

Another good thing to learn about at this stage is native plants local to your area that are also herbs. Incorporating native plants into your landscaping means you will be working with herbs that are adapted to your local environment. Field guides like Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore and Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America  by Steven Foster and James A. Duke are a good place to start for this type of information.

Deciding where to grow your herbs

Once you have assembled a list of plants that you think will work for your area and determined your garden zone and annual rainfall, it’s time to look at what else the plants on your list will need to survive. Do a little research and make notes on your list about how much sun each herb will need. Some herbs need full sun, but others do better in part shade. Soil type and water requirements are other important things to note.

Once you have that basic information, you can begin matching herbs to areas in your garden. Make a sketch of your garden or yard and make notes about what should work well in the different areas. It’s also a good time to strike through any herbs that are obviously not a match for your garden- a plant that needs sandy soil will not be happy in heavy clay. Although the soil can be changed by adding amendments and conditioning, it can be a daunting process.

Deciding how much of each herb to grow

In The Medicinal Herb Grower, Richo Cech suggests around ten feet of bed space per type of herb, or a minimum of three of a kind for home medicinal use. I’ve found that to be more than enough in most cases.

In my experience, one plant of most species will produce at least enough herbal material for one 4 oz bottle of tincture. That’s a good size for a home apothecary, (most store bought extracts come in a 1 or 2 oz size) so planting beyond that will give you material left over to dry and store for teas or other uses.

It’s important to note that plants in the mint family like lemon balm and peppermint will yield far more than you will ever need from one plant, and that large plants like hawthorn and elder will give a high yield from one plant, too.

Short on space? No worries!

Even though it’s great to have a full sized garden, plenty of herbs grow well in containers. A small patio can supplement an apothecary stocked with dried herbs bought in bulk, and allow you to keep a selection of herbs at the ready if you ever have the opportunity- or the need- to establish a larger garden.

Some kitchen herbs, like basil and oregano, can even be grown indoors in a sunny windowsill. Surprisingly, many kitchen herbs have lots of uses beyond seasonings. So even if you only have room for a few of these versatile herbs you will still be growing some excellent home remedies, too.

Whether you are growing a large herb garden or a small patio container garden, growing herbs as a prepper is all about determining what you want and what will work for your part of the country, but that’s the hard part! Herbs don’t need much care from us, so once they are established they basically look after themselves. Because they have such strong tastes, they are fairly pest resistant; and other than requiring regular weeding and an eye on watering if it gets too dry they don’t need much care. Good luck with your gardening endeavors!

herb gardening for preppers

The post Herb Gardening for Preppers: How to Get Started by Agatha Noveille appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/herb-gardening-preppers/feed/ 0
The Bug Out Bag Back-up Kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/bug-out-bag-backup-kit/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/bug-out-bag-backup-kit/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 18:00:30 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22506 To some degree, having a backup kit for your Bug Out Bag (BOB) might sound like overkill but bear with me a bit and allow me to explain. Every prudent prepper knows that it is important to have backups of essential gear. However, most of that gear, both primary and backups, ends up in the […]

The post The Bug Out Bag Back-up Kit by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

bug out bag backup kitTo some degree, having a backup kit for your Bug Out Bag (BOB) might sound like overkill but bear with me a bit and allow me to explain. Every prudent prepper knows that it is important to have backups of essential gear. However, most of that gear, both primary and backups, ends up in the almighty BUG OUT BAG, the crown jewel in any prepper’s disaster plan. Seriously, to hear some people talk about bug out bags, you’d think their BOB sits on a velvet pillow with sunlight streaming down on it from a conveniently placed skylight.

The reality is that the bug out bag could end up not being an option. It could be lost or perhaps taken from you. Seriously, if you cannot possibly imagine a scenario where your bug out bag isn’t available to you, you lack any degree of imagination.

Why a Bug Out Bag Backup Kit?

The idea behind a BOB Backup Kit is to have a small collection of only the most essential gear stored in a belt pouch or other small, easy to carry, container. I like the belt pouch because it isn’t something I’m going to set down somewhere and possibly forget about. Others, though, might prefer a small satchel type bag. It should be something that will not interfere with carrying your full BOB, though.

For the pouch, many people like the Maxpedition M-2. It certainly works very well, but it is kind of pricey. For those on a tighter budget, maybe look at the Condor version, which also works quite well. Obviously, a pouch like this is going to be fairly small so we’re not going to be carrying a ton of gear in it.

Here are some suggestions for the absolute essentials:

A small folding knife
A small multi-tool
A couple of butane lighters
Strike anywhere matches stored in an old pill bottle
Ferro rod and striker
Small compass
Adhesive bandages
Pain reliever tablets
Signal whistle
Emergency blanket
Cordage wrapped on an old credit card
Water purification tablets

Obviously, a small pouch kit like this isn’t going to meet all of your needs for days on end. However, it should keep you alive long enough for you to work on bettering your situation. The idea isn’t to fully replace your BOB but to give you options in case your BOB becomes unavailable to you.

I store my belt pouch kit next to my BOB in my trunk. When the BOB comes out, I put the pouch on my belt immediately. From that point on, the pouch is attached to me until I’ve reached a safe location. Could be I’ll never truly need it but I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

bug out bag backup kit

The post The Bug Out Bag Back-up Kit by Jim Cobb appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/bug-out-bag-backup-kit/feed/ 1
EMP Survival & The First 15 Things You Must Do Immediately After an EMP http://thesurvivalmom.com/emp-survival-first-things-to-do/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/emp-survival-first-things-to-do/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 15:41:08 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=23159 I’ve been working on a book about EMP survival for the past couple of months. It hasn’t been an easy task, since much of what I’m researching involves scenarios that have never happened, or have happened only in third world countries. It’s been challenging to apply those scenarios to the world in which I’ve grown up. […]

The post EMP Survival & The First 15 Things You Must Do Immediately After an EMP by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

EMP survivalI’ve been working on a book about EMP survival for the past couple of months. It hasn’t been an easy task, since much of what I’m researching involves scenarios that have never happened, or have happened only in third world countries. It’s been challenging to apply those scenarios to the world in which I’ve grown up.

In a weird way, this research has been fun. I feel a bit like Dr. David Livingstone venturing into parts of Africa that had never been imagined, much less explored.

Will my lovely next door neighbors really turn into cannibals, given enough time and lack of food?

Will the gangs and violent predators in the big city nearest me really begin going door to door, as a sort of perverse version of the Jehovah Witnesses, robbing, raping, and killing or will they end up killing each other first?

If well-prepared preppers have the perfect bug out location, equipped with every survival supply possible, how will they get there if the electromagnetic pulse has destroyed the electronic-based engines in their vehicles?

The approach I took to preparedness and survival in my first book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family For Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios, was all about common sense. My goal was to equip the average mom with information, checklists, and strategies for surviving the typical natural disaster, medical emergency, or job loss.

My second book is different. So far, it contains a lot of doom and gloom just because of the nature of a post-EMP world. However, it’s made me think twice about the predictions found in most EMP survival novels. I believe that desperate times encourage and, in fact, create just the type of environment that breeds innovation. In a post-EMP world, many communities may never need, or want, to go back to old systems once new and better ones have been devised.

Human beings are damn smart when they need to be.

EMP Survival for moderate preppers

That’s where, you, the moderate prepper can play an important role. Take practical steps now to prepare for everyday emergencies but also keep in mind that worst case scenarios are entirely possible.

  • Each month, you can add new skills and knowledge, which is why there is a Survival Mom Skill of the Month!
  • You can save money toward buying the gear and supplies that are truly necessary. (Have you joined my 52 Weeks Savings Club on Facebook?)
  • Prepare your body with exercise, training, and healthy eating so we are physically ready for difficult tasks, regardless of the crisis. (If you need a support group, join my Skinny Survival Moms group on Facebook!)

I don’t believe that only Green Berets, Navy SEALS, and the most vicious, lawless predators will be the ones to survive. In fact, moderate preppers already have many advantages over these groups. We recognize warning signs that have led us to take proactive steps to prepare. We’ve incorporated both the mindset and lifestyle of preparedness into our daily lives and, by doing so, blend in with every other household around us.

The “Gray Man“? Yeah, that’s us.

Survivors of a worst case scenario will need to think on their feet, quickly adapt and improvise, and be willing to connect with others to form communities. Moderate preppers who continue to refine their skills and supplies, connect with like-minded people, and stay up to date with the world around them are excellent candidates for EMP survival.

Here’s an EMP Survival tool I have for you

I wish I could say that my EMP survival handbook was ready to put in your hands today, but it’s not. I’m finishing the book now and then it will require editing and more.


What are the first 15 things you must do immediately after an #EMP? Get this FREE report!
Click To Tweet


However, here’s what I can give you now, via email: A special report that provides details for, “The First 15 Things You Must Do Immediately After an EMP.” As a mom, and knowing the fears that moms have for their kids, I’ve included information for when and how to retrieve your kids from school. I’ve listed items that should be in everyone’s Get Home Bag, tips for informing neighbors about what has happened and why this is a vital thing to do, and specific places to shop for last minute supplies, even if you’re already well-stocked.

Along with this Special Report, I’ve prepared follow up emails that will answer some of your most difficult questions:

  • Should I immediately evacuate my home following an EMP?
  • I don’t have a survival group or community. Can I survive on my own?
  • What if I have a newborn? What can I do to make sure he/she survives in a post-EMP world?
  • What can I do if I’m stranded hundreds of miles from home?

Along with these follow-ups that you’ll receive every 3-4 weeks, I’ll let you know when my book is ready for pre-order and how you can get a signed copy.

If you already get my weekly emails and occasional exclusive articles, this Special Report is sitting in your email box! Otherwise, sign up here:

There’s peace in being prepared and EMP Survival is possible!

Download link to Special Report: http://thesurvivalmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/One-Second-After-the-Lights-Go-Out-Special-Report-5-11.pdf

EMP survival

Get this FREE Special Report! Sign up via email.

The post EMP Survival & The First 15 Things You Must Do Immediately After an EMP by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/emp-survival-first-things-to-do/feed/ 41
Do you play the ‘What if …’ game with your kids? http://thesurvivalmom.com/emergency-planning-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/emergency-planning-kids/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 17:00:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22486 Our family likes to play the “What if …” game, and it’s something you might want to consider for your family. Playing the “What if …” game lets us talk through different scenarios and do some emergency planning with kids. Hopefully, it will give them tools that we hope they will never have to use. […]

The post Do you play the ‘What if …’ game with your kids? by Sarah Anne Carter appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

emergency planning with kids

Our family likes to play the “What if …” game, and it’s something you might want to consider for your family. Playing the “What if …” game lets us talk through different scenarios and do some emergency planning with kids. Hopefully, it will give them tools that we hope they will never have to use. However, if they do ever face an emergency situation, we’ll hope that it was a situation that we’ve talked about before. It doesn’t take much time or even much research to use the “What if …” game to prepare your children.

My favorite one so far is, “What if there’s a tornado warning but the house catches on fire?”

There’s also been:

What if I’m in the bathroom when there’s an intruder drill at school?

What if everyone has been picked up at school and you’re not there yet?

What if we wake up and we can’t find you?

What is the first thing you do if we have to evacuate the house?

What if … what if …. what if …

Emergency planning with kids

Take a few minutes and think about a few emergency situations that your children could face, and then take advantage of times you have their attention to talk to them about the situations in a non-threatening way.

Bring up a “What if?” at the dinner table when you’re gathered as a family. Talk in the car when you are going somewhere. Ask them what-if questions when you have down time around the house. Don’t make it an all-the-time conversation, but aim for at least once a week.

The rules: Stay calm, let them talk

Try to keep the topic non-threatening by calling it a game. If your children seem to get upset at all, change the topic and wait a while before bringing it back up. Remind them that it is highly unlikely that the scenario would ever happen, but that it’s good to be prepared.

Your job is to guide the conversation, but let your children do most of the talking. Listen to learn what their concerns and ideas are. I honestly would not have thought to think about what to do if they were in the bathroom during a lockdown – that was one of my children’s questions and it was a good one. That idea then prompted a discussion of what they would do in every area of the school since they have only practiced in a few areas.

Why you should play

Playing the “What if …” game gives children practice on thinking through scenarios. It helps them think of solutions to problems. It’s helpful to do this before an emergency happens. Playing the game gives children confidence that they know what to do if emergency situations happen. Playing the game also encourages their imagination. You may not always be with your children, but you can be in their heads by having these conversations with them.

For more ideas, here are some resources:

FEMA

Red Cross

Local police station or firehouse – see if they have any pamphlets or materials for children or can think of any topics you should discuss. They may even be willing to talk to your children, too.

Sesame Street

School district – talk to them about what kinds of emergencies they prepare for and how you will be contacted if there is an emergency. (See Where are my children? 3 questions to ask about your school’s safety plan)

emergency planning with kids

The post Do you play the ‘What if …’ game with your kids? by Sarah Anne Carter appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/emergency-planning-kids/feed/ 1