Posts Tagged With: Paleo

How to Make Turkey Jerky with 3 Ingredients (That’s Super Easy and Tastes Like Thanksgiving)

Source: Mark’s Daily Apple

How to Make Turkey Jerky (That’s Super Easy and Tastes Like Thanksgiving)

pic1 1

I’m pleased to have our friend David Maren of Tendergrass Farms pen today’s guest post. He’s written this great how-to for making your own delicious pastured turkey jerky. And don’t miss the coupon code that he’s generously provided below!

Most folks who make turkey jerky just make beef jerky out of turkey. They tend to use lots of teriyaki sauce, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to mask the turkey-ness of the turkey. To each his own, but in my opinion this is a real shame. After all, turkey is super scrumptious! Especially if you go to the trouble of getting some good quality pastured turkey, you’ll want to preserve its essential turkey flavor as a special feature of your turkey jerky. We’ve discovered an extremely simple way to make delicious, high-protein, sugar-free, turkey jerky that will not only taste and look nothing like beef jerky, but will also magically transport you back to your childhood Thanksgiving dinner table. In fact, between you and me, I think it tastes a lot like buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. But no worries – it’s about as primal as primal can be.

 

This recipe is the very pinnacle of culinary simplicity. You’ll need:

pic2

  • Turkey breast, at least about 2 LBS (preferably from a good pastured turkey)
  • Salt and pepper
  • An oven (no fancy dehydrator necessary)
  • A few kabob skewers (or wooden chop sticks)
  • Nothin’ else!

It’ll take about 10 minutes of prep time and then the jerky will need to be in the oven for 6 to 10 hours (depending on your oven and how thinly you cut the turkey strips).

pic3

You should really think about supporting a family farmer by purchasing some decent pastured turkey breast to make your jerky with. EatWild.com has a helpful directory of grass-based farmers across the USA, Canada, and beyond that would love your support. If you can’t find any local pastured turkey sources our little cooperative online meats shop, Tendergrass Farms, offers pastured turkey breast that we can ship right to your doorstep.

In fact, in the spirit of family farm generosity, we’ve created a coupon code that’ll give you four (4) free jumbo boneless skinless roasts of our pastured turkey breast with all orders over $199 (a $99.96 value), which will also qualify your order for Free Shipping. Head over to the Tendergrass Farms site and once you’ve added $199 of our grass fed beefpastured porkpastured chicken, or pastured turkey to your cart, just view your cart and apply the coupon code FARMERS-RULE-123 and four 2 lb. pastured turkey breast roasts will be automatically added to your cart with a price of $0.00 (expires 9/30/13, limited to 150 redemptions). Pretty cool, huh? I guess we just figure what comes around goes around.

Tip: If $199 sounds like a big first order just grab a couple friends from the gym and place an order together.

Once you’ve procured some good turkey breast, the first step is to cut it into very thin slices. There’s no danger of cutting them too thin, so just get a nice sharp knife and cut the pieces as thinly as you can. It’s best to keep them as even in thickness as possible to help them dehydrate at the same rate.

pic4

The second step is to sprinkle the turkey strips with a little salt and pepper. Salt and pepper the turkey just a little more than you would any other food that you were about to eat. The purpose of the salt and pepper is simply to bring out the natural flavor of the turkey, not to mummify it!

pic5

Read the rest here

Categories: Food Storage, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pass the Rolls: Why We Eat Grains

I wanted to share a post from Bug Out Nutrition today. JP Martin spends his time slaying the conventional wisdom of foods we eat and store and applies the science of nutrition to survivor scenarios. He was on my Top Ten Not-Famous-Yet Preparedness Sites post recently. 

by JP Martin

Source: Bug Out Nutrition

Gluten is everywhere. We eat bagels and toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and rolls with our dinner. The USDA recommends we eat 30% of our calories from grains and prior to myplate was recommending 6-11 servings of grain per day. Doctors and nutritionists in the mainstream media push whole grains as a solution to the problems caused by the standard American diet, which is about as effective as putting out a fire with gasoline.

We talk about being paleo and optimizing health a lot on this site but the reality is that most of the time it isn’t that easy. Whether it’s choosing a sandwich when you have 15 minutes to prepare lunch or buying flour by the drum instead of setting up a homestead, wheat is the easy way out a lot of the time.

The purpose of this series is to illustrate the health problems related to gluten specifically. This series is aimed at those of you that eat gluten occasionally, knowing it is bad but trying to minimize as much as you can.

For a while I was completely paleo compliant except on weekends, where I took ‘cheat days’ which I needed for training to epic proportion. Since cutting out gluten entirely I have seen a huge improvement in health and my hope is that by the end of this series, you’ll be able to see improvements too. And next time you eat out, you’ll feel comfortable in saying pass the rolls.

Also, for those of you that are die-hard paleo already, there should be some fun ammunition for your inevitable conversations with vegans, bageltarians, and low fat advocates.

On to the knowledge

Why the government is making you sick

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect

It’s common knowledge that fat is evil, grains are good for your heart and wheat is the bedrock of your diet. We all learned this in school, saw it supported by politics, and see it in pop culture. This serves as evidence for the majority of people who are comfortable with not questioning authority.

Many of these recommendations were developed by what our good friends over at Survival Sherpa refer to as alphabet agencies, such as the AHA and USDA. Much of the research that formed the basis for these recommendations  was done in the 1950s, on research that was far from conclusive (see Todd Walker’s excellent post on that over at Survival Sherpa). However, there are many reasons that it was not looked into more.

Follow the money

Wheat production is big business. The US has produced 50-60 million tons every year for the past decade. Much of this is controlled by massive agrobusiness outfits such as Monsanto. The consolidation of local farms into these huge companies happened over the 20th century and considers to accelerate.

Where there is money, there is political influence. But surely the people responsible for our health are looking after us, right? Not trying to help out big business at the expense of our health?

In many cases they are the same people. The above diagram is from a right-leaning website but I’m sure the list would expand if you put a magnifying glass to the republican party as well. For further evidence of the government’s support of agrobusiness, check out the subsidies on wheat, which amounted to over $34 billion of your tax dollars from 1995 to 2011.

Hiding behind the image of the farmer, many justify the actions of these companies but the fact of the matter is the local farmers you see don’t need subsidies because they aren’t competing in international markets. These are the companies that in many cases turned them from business owners into employees.

And if you’re open to making your extra tinfoil into a hat, there are also those that say that big pharma is involved, keeping the population sick. After all, how much lipitor can you sell to a healthy nation?

Full circle

Regardless of what you believe, the fact is that there are ulterior motives to the recommendations of the government. If this cannot be trusted, the bottom falls out for any rationalization made by the mainstream media and consumers. Think for yourself and stay tuned for some of the consequences the grains we are pushed can have on your health.

Categories: Food Storage, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Forehead-Smacking-Simple Health Hacks for Intermittent Fasting

By Todd Walker

Lifting heavy things in a fasted state

Lifting heavy things in a fasted state

Abundance and scarcity. Are we meant to live in abundance always? In our modern world of food at all hours, convenience on demand, and an all out orgy of sensory stimulation our survival genes don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting expressed.

I woke up in a warm home, crawled out of bed, went to the kitchen and made a pot of coffee in my electric coffee pot with water from my Berkey filter. Then I turned on my computer and started my daily routine. I’m sipping on a cup of joe with a teaspoon of coconut oil and some heavy organic whipping cream as I attempt to share my thoughts. Amazing! All our progress as a species allows me to enjoy modern invention and convenience.

Pursuit of pleasure is part of our genetic code. I’m all about enjoying and using these life luxuries. However, to be true to my genetic soup, scarcity needs to be introduced to make my genes really thrive. In Primal Connection, Mark Sission states that the genes we inherited from our hunter-gather ancestors haven’t changed when it comes to health related and survival issues. The paradox occurs because we engage in behaviors that were originally intended to enhance our survivability, but now there are no saber-toothed tiger adding selection pressure to our species. Today we live in overabundance with easy access to out of season fruits, vegetables, and treats that were once hard to come by.

Shocking our genes with scarcity takes a conscious effort on our part. It’s what our genetic soup expects. Intermittent fasting is one way to shock our system out of homeostatic boredom. Proceed with knowledge and caution before attempting IF.

First, here are few benefits of fasting intermittently

  • Reduces inflammation:  Inflammation is a major warning sign for many modern diseases.
  • Reduces cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight, and blood sugar levels.
  • Coupled with high intensity interval training, IF can counteract lean muscle loss. One recent study confirms the positive effects of fasting on human growth hormone (HGH) which works to protect lean muscle mass and metabolic balance – in a 24 hour window of fasting, HGH increased an average of 1,300 percent in women, and nearly 2,000 percent in men. As an added bonus, HGH plays an important role in anti-aging. At age 50, I like that :)
  • Increased life span and cancer fighter
  • IF’ing causes hunger and stress, which triggers your body to burn fat as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates.

IF is a supplement to a healthy lifestyle – not a magic wand

Is IF for everyone? The simple answer is no. NOTE: If your diet consists of processed foods loaded with toxins, sugars, and carbs, it would be wise to stop here and consider what you do eat before moving forward with any fasting protocol. Fasting may do more harm than good for Standard American Diet eaters. Check out The Primal Blueprint for how I eat.

When I opened one of my plumbing tool boxes last weekend before I headed to my in-laws to repair their kitchen sink, I notice a few tools I haven’t used in while. Memories of using them with my daddy rushed through my mind. I’ve kept these tools in my collection because one day I’ll need one to get the job done which only that tool is designed. I’ll never throw away these hidden tools because they have a specialized purpose – and sentimental value.

Before dismissing fasting and slamming the lid of your health and fitness toolbox, let’s examine fasting as a useful tool/weapon in your overall lifestyle. I love life hacks that create forehead-smacking, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that simplicity – little shortcuts to enhance my ‘Sherpa Simple’ lifestyle.

Sherpa Simple - Living life that is economical, sustainable, individualized, self-sufficient, comfortable, practical, resilient, and in harmony with nature and neighbors. It’s all about helping each other as we chase the simple life.

If things get too complicated, I’m probably doing something wrong. In the spirit of Sherpa Simple, here are my forehead-smacking-simple hacks for intermittent fasting.

1.) There’s no one right way to fast. If you’ve never tried fasting, you may imagine the experience to be a prison sentence or the end of the world as you know it – or it may prove to be a whole new world for thriving health. Intentionally skipping meals goes against many conventional wisdom advisers. Do your own research before starting IF. I’ll also add the obligatory “consult your physician before changing your diet or starting a fasting protocol” – which may be completely useless as I’ve found in my conversations with conventional medical practitioners. But there it is, my CYA statement.

Below are a few methods to experiment with. What works for me is a 16 to 18 hour fast. That means I skip breakfast and eat around 11:3o after my sprint workouts. I sometimes graze on nuts or eat a pickled beet egg before my allotted fasting time ends. That’s okay. Keep it simple and pay attention to your body. Don’t get all legalistic and dogmatic about IF. Do what works for you and be flexible.

These suggestions come from Mark Sisson’s excellent how-to guide on fasting. Mark’s work introduced me to IF after I started my primal lifestyle three years ago.

  • Skipped Meal:As Mark alludes to in his comment in the 1/3 meals post, he likes to miss meals naturally or on an unplanned basis. When we listen to our bodies rather than blindly follow routine we find we’re not always hungry when mealtime comes around. Let yourself skip a meal when this happens, or plan a meal skip during a convenient time.

    Condensed Eating Window:
    As shown in the comments from last week’s post, this is a popular option. The day’s food intake is condensed within a set number of hours, often somewhere between four and seven hours. The timing of this window varies depending on the individual’s schedule and preferences. The time since you prior meal or until you next day’s meal becomes the fasting period.

    Early and Late:
    For some, this option is more easily managed than the condensed eating window. The day’s food intake and nutrients are balanced between an early meal and later afternoon/early evening meal.

    Single Twenty-Four Fast:
    Most people choose to have a normal dinner and then fast until the following evening. Others choose to extend the fast until the following morning. For many people, this can be a weekly routine. Others may integrate it on a monthly basis or as an occasional event based on their sense of progress/plateau.

    Alternating Day Fast for Week (or more):
    This approach is often credited with a deeper “cleansing” character. Some people do it once or twice a year. Others make a seasonal commitment. You can choose to drink only water or include teas/small amounts of juices during fasting days. On the alternate days, some people choose to eat normally, and some opt for reduced caloric intakes.

Here are a few more alternatives to help you get started

  • Leangains by Martin Berkhan. Try his method if you’re already working out with heavy things on a regular basis and can handle do so in a state of fasting. He recommends only drinking no caloric liquids during the fast. * WARNING* It’s not okay to drink diet sodas as he recommends.
  • Fast and Feasting is a plan by Ori Hofmekler which combines under-eating, hunger, and exercise together to re-design our bodies and health. Read Dr. Mercola’s interview with Ori here.

Who should NOT be IF’ing?

  • Chronically stressed individuals. Why add more fuel to the stress-fire?
  • Non-fat adapted individuals. Folks that can’t go 3 or 4 hours without eating a meal. Can you skip a meal without feeling light-headed and dizzy? You may be fat adapted – you muscles are using fat as their fuel instead of mainly relying on carbs – the normal human metabolism.
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers.
  • Diabetics or persons with other eating disorders. Really consult your physician in this case.
  • Elite athletes or even a person going through intense training most days of the week. Don’t add scarcity to your training menu.

IF is not for everyone. Although now might be the time to find out if it’s right for you (if you’ve met the prerequisites). The day may come when you have no other choice and experience forced fasting due to scarcity of food in a real TEOTWAWKI scenario. Building resilient food sources (free-range meat sources, community connections, and growing your own fruits and vegetables) into your lifestyle gives you an edge and ability to bounce back from unknown unknowns.

I can say that I’ve experienced resilience in my health from practicing IF. What about y’all? Got any IF stories to share?

 

Categories: Primal/Paleo Lifestyle | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

The Paleo Solution For Preppers

February will mark my third year of following a primal/paleo lifestyle. Finding other preparedness minded individuals living this lifestyle has been difficult at times. Recently I discovered JP Martin’s blog Bug Out Nutrition. He was on my Top Ten List recently and wrote an excellent article explaining why paleo is good for preppers. Enjoy.

Why paleo is good for preppers

by JP Martin

As you can imagine, as someone who has had a lifelong interest in nutrition, I have tried out my fair share of strange diets. From heavy bulking “see food diets” (you see food, you eat it. Yuk yuk yuk) to ultra low carb ketogenic diets, I have done almost all of them. Aside from drugs I’ve experimented with almost everything you can put in your body nutrition wise.

However, I ended up settling on a paleo diet which I’ve been eating for over two years now. Why did I stick with it? Paleo foods might be some of the best survival foods around. I have a few reasons why eating paleo is the best from a preparation perspective.

1. You’ll be doing it anyways

Preppers all around the world are obsessed what’s in their pantries. I don’t criticize, I think it’s a fine plan for many kinds of potential disasters. But the problem with this sort of strategy is that it’s dependent on the eventual return to civilization. What’s going to happen after infrastructure cuts down and you finish your last can of beans? You’re back to square one, living in the wild.

That’s if you have a choice. There are a lot of disaster scenarios in which you won’t be able to stay in your house. In the case of large scale civil unrest, you might not be able to defend your home. Sometimes it’s hard to think of what could happen if your house was attacked, but if you end up being the only person in the neighborhood with food things will turn Mad Max pretty quick.

Not a good discussion to get in with the neighbors

It’s probably not hard to guess but at BugOut Nutrition we’re fairly fond of, well, bugging out. There is food to be found in every climate in the world if you know where to look for it, it’s how we made it so far in the first place. By eating paleo, you’re one step closer to switching back to those roots if you need to.

2. Your health will be better

Paleo diets have been touted far and wide as one of the healthiest diets you can possibly eat. There are massive communities based around the results people can get from paleo style diets such as Mark’s Daily Apple. Check out some of the transformations people have seen when they go on paleo diets, they’re incredible.

Some of the stuff you can expect:

  • Safe fat loss
  • Improved muscle mass
  • Clearer and healthier skin
  • Improved mental performance
  • Better energy and libido
I’ve recommended diets like these to my friends and family and have gotten incredible results for them. I’ve always been a pretty fit guy but my brother, who weighed 225 lbs at age 17 went on a paleo diet I recommended and lost close to 15 lbs the first month. He kept it up for 5 months and ended up getting down to a healthy weight of 175, a total loss of 50 lbs.
In the event of a disaster, who do you think is going to be more likely to survive getting out of dodge?

3. You’ll have fun doing it

Finding out ways to eat paleo food has brought me into a lot of fun situations. A little while ago my girlfriend and I went into a deep dive with paleo cooking for a strict month of paleo cooking. We ended up having to go way outside of our comfort zones when it came to shopping, checking out all sorts of weird grocery stores, farmer’s markets and holes in the wall to get ingredients we had never heard of. Learning how to cook a different style makes every meal an adventure of sorts.

There’s a sense of satisfaction from making something like paleo spaghetti and meatballs , indulging in it and knowing that you’re making yourself healthier. You’ll never know until you try though – so give it a shot!

 

Categories: Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Reducing Chronic Illness As We Age

I highly recommend the primal/paleo lifestyle for health, longevity, and just plain fun. Lose the dieting paradigm and embrace a lifestyle.

obesity-evolution

_____________________________________

by Harriet, Editor-at-Large,

Source: Seasoned Citizen Prepper

One of the most important preps I believe we can make is to stay healthy, or for those of us suffering the myriad of conditions that occur as we age, to improve our health.
I am one of those unfortunate people who have had poor health all my life. As a child I suffered a lot of pain that was variously diagnosed. Mobility became lessened and physiotherapy twice a week was instituted. Later I suffered extreme fatigue, occasions of massive inflammation, much pain and disability. The labels don’t really matter as they changed from decade to decade. Sometimes I got a “respectable” auto-immune diagnosis. Other times they wanted to characterize it as a neurosis or psychiatric problem. But all that time I staggered through life, suffering and getting no help from the medical profession beyond occasional two week placebo effect from some of the pills. There were also occasions when the doctors insisted the drugs they gave me worked when they actually made me feel worse. For decades suicide seemed a good choice as I was given no way out of the pain and suffering.
As a result of this I became very interested in healing and unexpected recoveries from severe illness. I knew there were always some people who had recovered when they weren’t expected to from stories in the bible, to the miracles at Lourdes, to miracles claimed by the modern evangelical churches. So I set out how to find out how to make a miracle healing more likely and along the way have learned how to be healthier than I have ever been in my life.
I became a researcher in a university department of primary care and later got a PhD in medicine studying people who should have died but didn’t. It was difficult to get patients for my study as the doctors did not accept that miracles occurred. However when I suggested I was interested in people who had less than a 10% chance of surviving they came up with people for me to talk to. As a result of that quite major study I discovered the psycho-social-spiritual components of health that all the survivors had.
However when I was publishing the paper a decade later (it took me a long time to be able to write it up in a way that my medical colleagues would accept) I went back to my survivors to see how they were doing. Many of them had died in that time and I had to accept that there was something in the physical arena that I had missed. The psychological, the social and the spiritual components were not enough.
I realized that all of the people in the study had eaten a basic vegetable and grass fed meat diet with little in common with the Standard American diet (SAD) pushed by the current dietary advisers. Because that was the way we all ate it didn’t seem remarkable to me at that time. However more and more industrialized food was being sold and eaten. Was that the reason they died? I had no idea but from the perspective of my own health it was a good place to start.
Categories: Natural Health, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food, Self-reliant, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caveman Classroom Tips for Real Learning

Leaning is “so easy, a caveman could do it.”

Can education be as simple as the GEICO ad?  Education, yes!  Schooling, no!

Two years ago I discovered “The Primal Blueprint“, thanks to Karen De Coster’s article over at LewRockwell.com.  I was 50 pounds overweight with aching joints.  I decided to go primal because it seemed so easy.  It was.  I lost the excess weight and started making choices for my life and health.  What’s my primal experience got to do with learning like a caveman?

Simple is better.  The institutionalized school system was set up to bastardize the learning process.  The rules, bells, standardized testing, and structured control, to name a few culprits, are all part the corruption of meaningful learning.  Sides are taken on how to reform “education”.  What the intellectual reformers miss is so simple.  Look to the caveman for the answers.

Caveman Classroom

If you assume there wasn’t much to being a hunter-gatherer in pre-agricultural society, you’d be wrong.  Young Grok’s survival depended on skills learned from birth.  He learned animal tracking, weapon construction and usage, physics, weather patterns, structural engineering, free market economics, plant identification, navigation, medicine, social interaction, music and dance, self-defense for both two and four-legged animals, athletics, art, negotiation, and the list could continue.  Grok and his buddies learned this stuff without being schooled.

Here’s 3 Easy Ways To Learn Like A Caveman

Teenage Cave Man

1. Play.  Allowed to play, Grok discovered things about himself as he explored the world around him.  Mom and Dad were wise enough to give him all the time and freedom he needed for discovery.  This was the surest path to education.

My experience with play as a child taught me much about myself and what I enjoy.  By age 7, my dad loaded up the family and moved to the country.  The nearest neighbor was a mile up the dirt road.  My brother and our two best friends spent our daylight hours and some nights in the woods.  We explored creeks, caught crayfish, built forts, had BB gun fights, and camped on horseback.  We didn’t have video games.  We played in real life.

2. Observation.  Grok and his friends learned new skills by watching the adults in the tribe.

I learned how to shoot, not from cowboys on TV, but by watching my dad and his adult friends while hunting or target practice.  Around 10 years old, I showed genuine interest in learning to shoot a shot-gun.  Daddy would take me with him to the landfill when it was time to dump a load of trash.  He’d throw glass bottles into the air and I learned to bust them with some helpful coaching.  I wanted to be as good a shot as my dad.

It was not always my dad I learned from.  There was people I respected of all ages and backgrounds.  Those that were successful at certain skills, I followed if I was interested in learning.

3. Explore.  Curiosity and inquiry naturally leads to exploration.

As an adult, I’ve become more curious about things I never was interested in growing up.  A question pops into my head and I begin my journey of exploration.  I’ve always been a serial multitasker.  I pursue what interests me.  That was not the case for me in school.

Subjects were forced on me.  I hated history.  Now I love it.  Why?  Because it interests me. I love learning as an adult.  School, on the other hand, was brutal.  I honestly can’t remember 90 percent of what I was “taught” in school.  I’d estimate even less during my college days.

The classes I remember learning in were Shop, Art, Physical Education, 4th grade Math, and 6th grade English.  I loved to draw, play sports, build stuff, and write.  The 4th grade Math class was fun because I learned all my multiplication tables that year.  The English class was taught by my aunt.  That’s not the only reason I loved that class.  Aunt Cindy would send the whole class outside to write or draw.  Our class published a poetry book that year.  One of my drawings and short stories got included.  I still remember the winter scene I drew.

I learn best when I really want to learn.  I bet the same is true for you.  Play, observe, and explore your passions.  Discover how easy it is to learn.

Fight the urge to think that kids need to be taught.  Kids are able to teach themselves if the right environment is provided.  If they need or want help, they’ll find it.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

Categories: Government "Education", Primal Skills, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self-reliance, Survival Education | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unconventional Functional Fitness: Sticks and Stones Interval Workout

It is not that our life is so short, it is that we waste so much of them. – Seneca

In my Individual Preparedness Plan series, I thought it necessary to talk about priorities in preparing. Today’s topic: Functional fitness.

I read something the other day about the popular Doomsday Preppers show. It seems that the producers of the show interview potential want-to-be-on-TV preppers and make them choose one doomsday scenario to highlight during their episode. I’ve never seen a full show, maybe one or two 5 minute segments, so I’m in no position to critique or criticize. I’m sure that those folks are preparing for more than that one potential catastrophe, right?

We all have our own reasons for preparing. Some are concerned about possible job loss and not getting that coveted gold watch after 30 years. Others worry about economic collapse, EMP attack, peak oil, government tyranny, zombie bikers, the golden hoard, natural disasters, and all manner of boogie man-isms like alien invasions. No matter the flavor of the brown stuff hitting the fan, being physically, mentally, and spiritually able to deal with chaos only increases your chances of survival. Let’s cover physical fitness priorities first.

I’m still amazed at the total lack of emphasis on being physically fit to handle the extra stress in survival situations. Claire Wolfe posted a letter of thanks from “just waiting” to her Commentariat related to clean up from Hurricane Sandy. Imagine the physical stamina needed for any common desk jockey to have to rip up storm soaked carpet and pad, soggy furniture, and mold infested drywall to the curb. Overwhelming. Preparing our bodies to handle the added stress in these situations should be done in advance. I’ve yet to come up with a workout tailored for alien invasions. Any suggestions? Until an invasion of green beings is imminent, we should focus on the practical benefits of being strong so we can be useful.

With Dirt Road Girl waging war on her cancer, I’ve been very cyclical in my approach to “working out.” Time to get my sweat on. I wedged this phrase in quotation marks for a reason. “Working out” is the path to fitness according to buff experts. Three to four times a week of weight training, squeezed in between a couple of cronic-cardio routines, a yoga class or two, and monotonous hours of sweating to Richard Simmons’ videos is not my idea fun. That goes for P90X and CrossFit. I have great admiration for practitioners of these way-intense fitness programs. It’s just not for me. Number one: My routine has to fit my primal lifestyle. Number two: I refuse to spend money on gym memberships, gadgets, and other shiny stuff to stay fit. About a month after the giving frenzy of Christmas, millions of shiny fitness objects will be laid to rest in the basement corner or closet.

There’s a better way. If you give me a moment, I’ll show how to develop fitness that is both functional and useful in the real world, and possibly in a post TEOTWAWKI world. I say possibly because I’ve never experienced the end of the world.

Obviously, a certain level of fitness is needed to perform basic functions in our modern world. Much less than our ancestors however. Today’s machines and technology have made our post industrial revolution lives more comfortable, convenient, and cozy. Cozy is code for complacent. I’m thankful for modern stuff. I plan on using my car, electric appliances, and time-saving machines like my leaf blower instead of a rake. This gives me more time to do the things I really want to do like hang out with my wife and our son while he’s in town. Plus, we’ve got a primal workout scheduled before we start herding leaves at my in-law’s down the street.

So what is functional fitness? Here’s my simple definition: The ability to do real work in real life situations.

What if our lives depended on functional fitness?

Could you fireman carry your friend or a stranger out of harms way? Split firewood without a hydraulics? Lift your body weight or even your child’s weight? Walk the 20 miles per day on your planned bug out route with 30 extra pounds strapped to your back? Rip 1,000 square feet of soaked carpet and pad from your floor? What if’s are endless. But…could you do it? I tell myself I could. I work towards that end. But quite honestly, I don’t know.

Anyone that has read my story knows that I follow a primal lifestyle. I’ve praised the benefits to the point of exhaustion. Guilty of the workout-so-I-could-burn-all-those-carbs cycle for many years, I discovered that eating, exercising, and weight loss is easy when we follow our true nature. Genetically speaking, we are not meant to eat the Standard American Diet. Humans are built to burn fat for fuel.  And we don’t have live in the gym to be fit. Below is the blueprint I follow.

The Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid

For functional, diverse athletic ability, and a lean, proportioned physique

fitness pyramid flat 2012

Sticks and Stones Interval Workout

Bored with your workout routine? Get out of the gym and get spontaneous. Cliche alert: Variety is the spice of life. Here’s a sampling of my functional fitness workout that cost no money (sweat equity required) and pays health dividends now and in our uncertain future. Dirt Road Girl, our son, and I jogged over to our local park a few blocks from our house. The temperature was in the mid 40′s so I wimped out and wore my five finger shoes. On warmer days I do it barefoot. Barefooting is optional.

WARNING: Here’s the caution about starting any fitness program in our happy-lawyer-society. Consult your physician before starting any exercise regiment. This info is for entertainment purposes only. Use your common sense before attempting any of these exercises. If you drop a rock on your head, it will hurt, and maybe even kill you. Don’t blame me. You’ve been warned.

Dead fall squats

A.) Dead Fall Squats: Grab a log you can manage, stand it on end and balance it on your shoulder. I’m not getting into the basics of form and how to. Search “Proper Squat Form” on your search engine to learn proper form and prevent injury. I usually do about 2 sets of 10 reps, alternating the log to each shoulder between reps. This helps strengthen your largest muscle groups in your legs, hips and gluts.

B.) Plyometrics: I do a set of ten box jumps on the stone bench in front of my squat station. I perform these in between each squat set. Find an elevated, stable platform and jump up and back down. It can be a tree stump, steps, homemade box, or whatever. Be sure to choose something that is sturdy and will not move when you stick your landing.

Plyometrics

C.) Front Squats: I like to mix it up with my squats. Rest the log on your chest and squat. Wear clothing you don’t mind getting dirty. Another note: During the warmer months, be aware of insects and poison plants on your workout equipment. Tics or poison ivy will ruin your day.

Variation on squats

D.) Overhead Press: Get creative. I’ve got a longer log that I use for this exercise. It’s about 15 feet long. I grab it at the heavy end, lifting with my legs not my back, and perform 2 sets of 10 presses over my head. The law of gravity and Newton’s Laws of Motion are still in effect, so get out of the way when you’re done and have to drop the log.

Overhead press

E.) Rock and Roll: You probably won’t find an old tractor tire lying around your park you can flip. Here’s Mother Nature’s answer to heavy tires. I have no way of knowing how much this rock weighs. My son said 300 lbs. maybe. He’s smarter and better at estimating. I roll the rock several times. It’s quite a chore and will enlist all of your muscles to perform this primal rock flip. NOTE: Use gloves to protect your hands.

Rock and roll

F.) Sprints: I usually do these about once every 7 to 10 days on our street before going to work. I run between five to six 50 plus yard sprints on days dedicated to sprinting. Sprint days don’t take long, but keeps me young. How many 50-year-old men do you see sprinting down your street with nothing chasing them? Whether you’re biking, swimming, or cycling, all out effort is what you’re going for here. We only did two sprints on this interval training day.

My son out running me

G.) Pullups: Wake up call. I could only squeak out one at the end of this interval session. Our son showed out on the bar. I’ve neglected my separate pull up routine for the last few months. I’ll remedy that oversight. Even if you’ve you never been able to get your chin over the bar, do modified pull ups. That was my goal three years ago. Maybe I’ll write about my goal of doing one stinking pull up in a future post. Oh, you don’t need an official pull up bar. Find a tree limb or piece of playground equipment that you can hack.

Pull ups

H.) Stones Throw: On our way out of the park, we did a few stone throws. DRG and I collected two stones and placed them at the base of a bird house last summer. They’re still there. We throw these like you might throw a medicine ball in the gym. Don’t lug rocks to the gym. You’ll be thrown out. Throw the rock as far as possible. Fetch it and throw it again from the other side of your body. Make about 4 tosses or more if you’re up for it. Then push the rock up over a head-high object (bush or fallen tree) a couple of times like you’re passing a basketball. Do this for as many reps as you can. When you’re done, put the rock back for your next workout.

Stones throw

That’s it. A simple, cheap, and challenging workout. Remember that 80% of your body composition is determined by diet. No amount of working out will overcome a crappy SAD diet.

I haven’t been as disciplined about the fitness aspect of preparedness since DRG’s diagnosis. That has changed. I’ll be posting more follow ups to my progress in later posts.  Whether you are in perfect physical shape or just starting your journey, I’d really like to hear your thoughts, comments, fears, and insights on this subject. I’m no expert. Just a middle-aged guy trying to stay young.

Doing the stuff,

Todd

Categories: IPP: Individual Preparedness Plan, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

What is a Healthy Gut?

Caroline Cooper is the Publisher of eatkamloops.org and has a great article published about gut health…just in time for Thanksgiving. I’m reprinting it here with her permission. She’s also sparked my interest in starting a local buyers club for local, fresh, real food. She offers great advice and resources for anyone wanting to live a healthy, sustainable life.

Photo: bestofmotherearth.com

What is a Healthy Gut?

A well-functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, like a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well functioning digestion system. The bacterial population of the gut – the gut flora – is the soil around these roots, giving them their habitat, protection, support and nourishment.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride

The are 400-500 different microbes in the human gut. There is a great deal of difference between the types of strains within the gut of individuals. Drug treatment, poor dietary choices, stress and disease can disturb the natural balance within the gut. The biggest factor that we control on a daily basis is the type of foods we eat. Food will change the environment of the digestive system for better or worse.

Inside and outside our body is a microscopic ecosystem. As with all ecosystems this microbial world is highly organized. Any area open to the environment, such as integumentary, digestive, respiratory and excretory systems, is inhabited by a huge number of microbes living in mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with their host.

The largest number of microbes live in our digestive system. Most of these microbes help us digest our food and also produce vitamins for our use. In fact, we cannot live without them. Like plants protect the soil from erosion, our microbes protect the walls of the gut from outside forces. Our microbes are our first line of defense from outside infectious or poisonous agents.

Read the rest here

 

Categories: Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Survival Sunday Roundup #12

With the week off for Thanksgiving, I’ve got many items on my growing to do list:

  • Make a batch of soap
  • Add some venison to the freezer
  • Help DRG decorate with Christmas stuff
  • Try on my old kilt and take up the waist
  • Rake leaves did it yesterday (most hated job of all time)
  • Winterize our BOB’s
  • Double my efforts with my bow drill on training wheels – fire from friction

I’ll do my best to keep the wheels spinning on this site in between tasks.

Today’s Survival Sunday Roundup hopefully adds value to our busy lives. Take a deep breath and keep the stress low. That can be a challenge with some family gatherings. The links below are focused on health – you want to actually live through the zombie apocalypse, right. So health and fitness should take a priority. I will definitely indulge in some non-primal/paleo fare. It’s not falling off the primal wagon, it’s a cheat day for me. And I plan on savoring every morsel, guilt free. So here goes:

Sleep is absolutely essential to happiness, health, and longevity. Here’s why.

Size matters…when it comes to your brain. A new study finds physical exercise, more than mental exercise, protects your brain against age-related changes; people who engaged in the most physical exercise showed the least brain shrinkage.

Karen De Coster, an ambassador for primal/paleo, freedom, and a general stirrer-upper, has a great piece on the benefits of the going primal on LewRockwell.com. She inspired me to get in touch with my inner caveman after reading a similar article of hers three years and 50 pounds ago.

Take a peek at my primal pantry here.

Dr. Daniel Stickler wrote a guest post over at SurvivalBlog a while back that deals with optimizing your health before Sh*t Hits The Fan.

As always, DRG and I are so thankful for the kind words of encouragement and supportive prayers sent our way from people we’ve never met face-to-face. You folks are quality, value-adders to our life!

Doing the stuff,

Todd

 

 

 

Categories: Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Survival Sunday Roundup | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Individual Preparedness Program: My Primal Preparedness Pantry

“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.” - Michel de Montaigne

We’re advised to store what we eat and eat what we store by survival gurus. My problem with following this sage advice is that I no longer eat a Standard American Diet (SAD). Most of what is sold by long-term food storage companies goes against the grain (pun intended) with my eating habits and primal/paleo lifestyle. GMO wheat produced from the Industrialized Food Complex is the number one offender to my system. Sugar is my number two nasty. That just sounded awful.

I’ll try to avoid turning this into an infomercial for Primal/Paleo living. I follow the 80/20 rule promoted by Mark Sisson in his Primal Blueprint. I do have cheat days where I eat a pizza and draft beer with DRG and friends – without guilt. My primal lifestyle isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle of taking my health into my own hands – making the connection between what I eat and how I live to how I function. If our hunter-gatherer ancestors survived and thrived without SAD meals, we can too. A little reprogramming is required.

In any emergency situation, being in optimal health gives you a fighting chance to survive. In my Individual Preparedness Plan (IPP), my paradigm favors quality food over quantity. The more nutrients food contains, the less you have to eat. If you’re hungry 30 minutes after eating items from your cupboard, the cause may be that your conventional long-term food storage follows the USDA food pyramid. More and more people are waking up to this recommended eating disaster labeled “healthy” by our benevolent government. I personally eat the exact opposite of what the government tells me is good for my plate.

With that out of the way, what do I add to my food storage pantry?

I aim for a six months supply of food that’s fresh and high in nutritional value. Only 6 months? Yes. This reduces my need for storage space by eliminating all those buckets of GMO wheat, #10 cans of plastic cheese, Crisco that is one molecule away from said plastic, and sugar-filled drink mixes. I must admit, I bought a can of Crisco last week. Not for cooking, but to make an emergency candle. For cooking, I use tallow I render myself, coconut oil, butter and ghee, bacon grease, or lard. We’ll cover fats in a moment.

It’s difficult finding foods that store well, are nutrient-dense, and primal/paleo approved. James, over at Survival Punk, posted a Top Ten List of paleo foods he stores. I plan on expanding his list with a few of my own. Remember, we’re individuals. This is my IPP. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Even if you eat a SAD diet, try supplementing your larder with these items. It can’t hurt.

Primal Pantry items

Chia – not the pottery pet

I first heard of this tiny seed when I read the story of Tarahumara Indian ultra-marathon runners in “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall. The ancient Aztecs called this seed “running food” due to increased endurance on long runs from a handful of chia. Spanish explores wrote that this ancient civilization valued this food more than gold.

I use chia seeds primarily on salads. They are a great pick-me-up so I keep some in my stand-up desk drawer at school as well. The uses are many and very beneficial. I don’t eat them by the handful. But they do offer a boast of omega-3′s in my eating plan. Even if you’re not a marathon runner, here are some reasons I stock this “running food.”

  • They pack the highest concentration of essential fatty acids – four times the concentration of other grains. Natural News
  • Chia is also touted as having the highest omega-3 content of any plant-based source, containing 64 percent alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Natural News
  • Hydration: Chia consumption contributes to maintaining balanced hydration and electrolyte levels within the body, steadying water intake, assimilation, and absorption.
  • Superior in protein quality to wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, amaranth and soy, chia also offers a disease-fighting arsenal of antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetinand flavonols. Red Orbit

Fat

Now this item is right in my wheelhouse. For any sugar-burners still brainwashed into believing saturated fats are the cause of heart disease and obesity, put down your computer/tablet/fancy phone and walk away – NOW! What is about to follow will only enrage you and make you grab a can of high fructose corn syrup to ease your pain. I don’t want to contribute to your suffering.

The unavoidable truth is that we humans prefer (physiologically) fat over carbs to fuel our bodies. Our genes came from fat burners. The obesity epidemic we face today comes from all the glucose released from the high carb wheat and sugar of the SAD. Eating good quality fat will hit the reset button on your genes. So what do I store to make my larder fat?

  • Pemmican. Here’s my recipe. Prepared and stored correctly, it’ll last for years. My recipe included dried blueberries. For a better recipe, click this link. Again, this is for educational purposes only. Do your research and eat at your own risk.
  • Coconut Oil. Excellent shelf life of several years. I eat it, cook with it, and “beautify” with it. Here are 160 more uses for this amazing fat. I use it on my skin after shaving my head and face. I’m using less in Novembeard.
  • Olive Oil
  • Ghee. Choose products that are made from quality butter. Making your own is cheaper. Butter contains 16% water and milk fat solids that cause it to spoil if not refrigerated. Ghee is almost pure fat and will last a couple of years in a dark, cool pantry.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have sustained humans for thousands of years. When it comes to our gut flora, exposure to bacteria is a good thing. Fermented foods offer the sterile gut a healthy dose of probiotics to help balance our intestinal flora. In a prolonged emergency or TEOTWAWKI event, the skill of fermentation will become very useful – even life saving.

  • Sauerkraut. Easy to make at home and full of probiotics. All you need is cabbage, salt, and storage containers. Here’s how I make homemade sauerkraut.
  • Yogurt and Kefir. No, it doesn’t store well. So, find a local source for raw milk before TSHTF. With this milk, you can make your own kefir and yogurt. I buy raw milk for my “pets” at my local farmers market from time to time. Milk from a cow, goat, or sheep can be used. If you can’t get by the milk police, the “safe” homogenized variety will work. Coconut milk is another alternative. Acquire a kefir culture and you’re in business.
  • Kombucha. From Mark’s Daily Apple: “Kombucha is a fermented beverage (fermented tea, to be exact), which means it can introduce beneficial bacteria into your body.” Action Note: On my list to make.

Protein

To store these long-term (6 months for me), freezing is the best option. Electricity is needed. I’m studying other options of storing meats long-term (salt cured, smoked, etc.). As I mentioned earlier about finding local sources for milk, the same is true for meat and protein (eggs). I’ve got a local source for Water Buffalo 3 miles from my house. He told me he doesn’t raise animals, he raises grass. He’s a grass farmer. His grass-fed protein-on-hoof is just the by-product of his pastures.

  • Eggs. I realize that finding true cage free eggs that are unwashed may be impossible for most. They’re worth the search for storage purposes. A local farm or neighbor’s backyard chicken tractor may be your best option. Be sure the protective, natural coating hasn’t been removed by washing. These eggs will store for several months in a cool space. Just wash them before eating.
  • Protein in a can. I stock sardines and other fish since they have a long shelf life.
  • Jerky. Make your own here.

Canned Goods

We can’t always have fresh veggies at our house. That’s when we dip into the canned stuff.

  • Vegetables. Tomatoes, tomato paste, beets, and other pallet pleasing veggies
  • Pumpkin
  • Coconut milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Bacon. Yep, it comes in a can. For DIY’ers, try this procedure.
  • Garlic
  • Olives

Other Stuff

  • Spices that we actually use
  • Seeds for nutrient rich sprouts. This is a great use of the wheat you’ve got stored.
  • Sea weed. Long storage life for minerals we need for health.
  • Raw, Local Honey. Lasts forever and has so many uses.
  • Salt. I like sea salt for our table and cooking. I buy other salt for different purposes and possible barter items in a collapse situation. Remember any wars being fought over this mineral?
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s great for what ales you. I drink a mix of this, raw honey, and water a few times a week.
  • Vodka. It makes a great martini and can be used for tinctures.
  • Containers. Don’t forget these. Store a wide variety of mason jars, freezer bags/container, wax paper, etc.
  • Vitamins/Supplements
  • Dried Fruit
  • Teas. I sweeten mine with raw honey.

A few of our spices on the homemade rack mounted on the kitchen pantry door

There is no finish line in preparedness. Our best preps should focus on a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Ditch the latest snake oil diet and try living a lifestyle that reflects our true, primal nature. Optimal health, functional fitness, knowledge, skills, and a Individual Preparedness Plan will go a long way in keeping us alive.

That’s the target, right?

I really appreciate you stopping by. Please share this with anyone who might find this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, I’d like to hear from you.

The next installment in the IPP series will cover what might be the most important, yet most neglected prep ever.

Still doing the stuff,

Todd

Categories: Food Storage, Frugal Preps, IPP: Individual Preparedness Plan, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,864 other followers

%d bloggers like this: