Posts Tagged With: Primal Blueprint

Live Like a Prepper but You Don’t Have to Be a Prepper: A Tale of Two Cities

[Todd's note: Follower's of this blog know that I am a lover of unconventional wisdom when it comes to health, nutrition, and fitness... which I consider your most important prep. I discovered Dr. Dan Stickler (Paleo Doc) in his post at SurvivalBlog a few years ago. His advice confirmed my Primal prepping lifestyle. He graciously agreed to write this article for Survival Sherpa readers. Thanks, Dan! Enjoy! To connect with Dr. Stickler, see his bio below.]

Live Like a Prepper but You Don't Have to Be a Prepper: A Tale of Two Cities

by Dr. Daniel Stickler

I live half of each week in Asheville, NC and the other half of the week in Charleston, WV, these cities are of similar size but the mindset of each group is very different.  Asheville would be a wonderful place to be if there were an “event” that took society back a century or two.  The population of Asheville has the mindset that makes them a great prepper society.  Many people raise their own chickens, have permaculture yards, have gardens, and there are many small farmers.  You have people with bees, people making butter, old-fashioned soap makers, and even people making clothes.  These are just some of the things you can find at any of the five or so farmers markets that are going on around town on various days of the week.  People here are also very environmentally conscious and active in promoting it.

Charleston, WV is very different, it has the potential to be like Asheville, but it is not and I am not sure why, especially with its recent history.  In July of 2012, Charleston was one of the hardest cities hit by the derecho.  Power was out over most of the state, the shortest power outage in our area was five days and these days were in the upper 90’s.  Gas stations could not pump gas, stores were closed but it did not matter because they had no drinks after day 2 and we had a boil water advisory.  People were panicking….no food, no water, no gas to get anywhere, and no air conditioning.  This was the first wake up call, some heeded this warning and did some stocking up but many sat back and blamed the government for their failures.  Round two occurred just two weeks ago; a toxic organic chemical used to process coal leaked around 10,000 gallons into the river a mile upstream from the water processing plant that supplied water for over 300,000 residents.  Not sure who allowed this chemical to be stored upstream in the first place but the tanks had not even been inspected for 23 years.  The EPA was not even familiar with the risks of the chemical.  Residents are told do not use the water for bathing, washing clothes, and certainly not for drinking.  All restaurants are shut down, stores are out of water and drinks within 24 hours.  The chemical is finally low enough after five days of this to allow some residents to flush their pipes, three days later we are told a new reading shows the level too high again.  People leave town because they have no water and cannot clean, cook, or stay hydrated.  You would think that most of these people would have been prepared.  Unfortunately, most did not learn their lesson the first time and now complained again about the government failing to take care of them.  Now, Charleston is the chemical valley, there are major chemical plants all up and down the rivers.  Coal and the chemical industry is the life-blood of this region and the reality is; this was going to happen at some point.

I tell this story to first illustrate the point that few people are prepared for these short term emergencies and live in a world where, in their opinion, the government will be there to help.  This demonstrates two emergency situations in a short time frame in one town.  Secondly, I bring this up because it is a real test of preparation.  I had water and food and at no point did panic set in.  I also had a back-up, Berkey water filters, and so I did not concern myself about the water running out.  The black carbon filters along with the PF-2 chemical filters can pretty much make any water potable.  I do not keep a huge stockpile of dehydrated and canned food (3 months for 7 people) and you will see my reasoning in the next part of this article.

Why Prep?

Let’s start by asking: what are you prepping for?

Financial collapse of society?

EMP, solar flare, computer attack that shuts down the grid?

Super volcano or major environmental shift?

Massive pandemic?

It’s really not possible to adequately prep for all of these so you are really taking a gamble if you select one to be your focus.  Also, lets face the fact that in some of these scenarios – does it really matter?

Let’s first eliminate super-volcano and major environmental shift, not only would survival be near impossible but life would be pretty miserable for those that did.  Now pretty much all other scenarios will involve a significant culling of the population but the time frame for this culling is what will dictate the adequacy of the preparations.  If a massive pandemic quickly eliminates 80-90% of the world population then the mindset of most preppers will be justified.  By this, I mean having a retreat or homestead with plenty of stockpiles would be beneficial.  However, the other scenarios where the culling is gradual then this type of mindset could get you killed.

If the grid goes down, people will get desperate and the more hungry they become the more desperate they become.  Desperate people will not reason with morality in mind.  Violence will undoubtedly run ramped and gangs will form up knowing the power in numbers.  The cities will quickly empty and these gangs will head for the countryside’s.  You say you have guns but so do they and they will significantly outnumber you.  Unless you are prepared to spend a few years in a nuclear missile silo then you will lose your preps.  No matter how fortified and well armed you are, you will eventually be overrun.

What about food?  You cannot sustain yourself on years of dehydrated and canned foods.  The slightly unbalanced nutritional mix will eventually catch up with you.  Some have said they could hunt for their food.  Think again, based on the deer population and the number of hunters, the deer herd will be completely wiped out in a few weeks and besides a gunshot in the woods will be like a dinner bell for everyone else out there with a gun.

What about the heirloom seeds you plan to plant to get your garden going?  Again, those marauding hordes will enjoy feasting on that garden when they come.

So what is my recommendation?

We need to get back to basics and learn to live like humans did for hundreds of thousands of years – like hunter-gatherers (HG’S).  Those that are successful at this will be the ones that will go on to build the next generation after an apocalyptic event.

Start Here

Where to begin?

Something that I have spoken about many times before is your health and fitness level.  So many preppers focus on their “preps” but that will be a limited resource.  If you are truly anticipating some major apocalypse then you need to focus on your own health and fitness.  HG’s generally do not survive long if they do not possess a certain degree of fitness.  First, you need to get any excess weight under control and work on resolving any health issues.  Those that are relying on medications to survive will likely not last too long.  Exercise, I am not talking about treadmills and nautilus machines.  I am talking about functional fitness.  Train like you will live.  Strengthen the movements that will be required for daily function.  Basic movements can consist of push-ups, squats, and pull-ups.  Add some long hikes with a pack and also throw some sprints in there.  When I say sprints I mean short bursts of running at your top speed.  Climb things.  Jump around.  Parkour training is an excellent option.

Water: This is life or death.  Learn to identify safe sources of water.  For several months you may be fine using portable filtration devices but these will eventually become depleted.  Learn how to derive water from sources in nature and how to use items in our natural environment to filter the water.

Nutrition: As I said, dehydrated foods will only get you so far and that assumes that you are able to keep your cache.  We must learn to forage off the land.  In most post-apocalyptic scenarios, we are going to need to be mobile at least for the short-term (a few years).  Our forests are full of life-sustaining nutrients and we need to learn how to obtain them.  Buying a book on edible plants and thinking that you will use it when needed is a recipe for disaster.  Many people will look at plants and identify them incorrectly in their field guide and end up poisoning themselves.  There are many available weekend courses on foraging.  Getting a good understanding of plants can also help with being able to identify medicinal species.  You will also need a source of meat.  One of the most successful hunting techniques is trapping.  These small animals are abundant and few of the surviving population will understand the techniques to obtaining them.  This also does not require a gunshot.

As things begin to settle down then you should also consider settling down but not as a mountain man hermit type.  Successful living will require community support.  Once the gangs have dwindled and died out, survivors will begin to gather together in communities to rebuild society.  It is helpful to possess a skill that can contribute to these groups; farming, making clothes from hides, medical care, bee keeping, and other more basic crafts.

I am not telling people to abandon their current ways of prepping but rather to think about contingencies.  Prioritize the process.  No matter what the scenario, your health and fitness level will be paramount so if you have neglected this area so far then make it a higher priority.  Spend some money on a personal trainer or nutrition coach instead of another gun to add to your stockpile.  Take a course on foraging instead of adding another 3 months of dehydrated food to your stores.  Lastly, organize around a group of people who have complimentary skill sets.

I will add that I am not someone who expects this societal collapse to happen but these types of events can be highly unpredictable so it is always good to be prepared as I have learned from experience.

Author bio:

Live Like a Prepper but You Don't Have to Be a Prepper: A Tale of Two Cities

Dr. Stickler trained in allopathic medicine and held board certification in General Surgery for more than ten years; performing general and vascular surgery as well as over 3,000 gastric bypass weight loss procedures. He had a thriving surgical practice and was a specialist in weight loss, treating over 10,000 clients in both the surgical practice and at the wellness institute. The busier he became the more he began to realize that true health is not a result of pharmaceuticals and stainless steel. He discovered that the clients at the wellness institute were making remarkable progress through nutrition, fitness and lifestyle counseling and hormone optimization.  Not only were they resolving disease, they were optimizing health, regaining vitality, improving neuro-cognitive status and creating lasting changes.

This realization led him to the understanding that he could leave the old methods behind and fully embrace the new paradigm of health optimization. He retired from surgery and now knows that each individual has within them the ability to achieve optimal health and live a life full of vitality. He works closely with each client to develop individualized treatment regimens and provides extensive guidance throughout the year to assist the client in achieving their goals.

Dr. Stickler is an avid outdoor enthusiast who thrives on rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and world adventure travel.  He is a member of the Wilderness Medicine Society, Age Management Medicine Group and is CrossFit Level 1 certified and trained in Mountain Athlete. He and Mickra have five active teenage boys who live for adventure.

Website: Synchronicity Wellness

Blog: PaleoDoc

Facebook: Paleo Doc

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

You Don’t Have To Go Fast…You Just Have To Go

[Editor's Note: One of the easiest and best ways to start your journey to being more fit is to move slowly.  Walking is one of the principles in The Primal Blueprint that revolutionized my health and fitness. Daisy offers a great primer on how to walk the walk.]

SURVIVAL FITNESS: WALK THE WALK

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One oft-overlooked factor in survival is fitness.  How many preppers do you know who rest on laurels of athletic prowess back in their 20s?  Whose idea of exercise is getting up to go to the refrigerator, lobbing a crumpled can to the garbage can?  Who talk the talk, but never walk the walk, especially if it consists of walking that walk in inclement weather?

In many different survival situations, your personal fitness level can mean the difference between life and death.  We’ve already talked about maintaining and achieving a healthy body weight – now let’s talk about being fit.

A prepper’s forte is playing “what if” so let’s play that game right now and look at some examples where being able to move quickly for a long time, possibly in adverse conditions, would be vital.

  • Bug out. Perhaps martial law  has been instituted, house-to-house searches are occurring, and vehicle checkpoints are everywhere, so you and your family have no choice but to set out on foot, through the backcountry.  With a 40 pound bug out bag strapped to your back.  Carrying a toddler.  Over mountains.
  • Car crash. Maybe you are returning home after a visit with family.  You are, of course, on the most isolated road known to man, in the middle of the night, when your vehicle goes into a skid, takes out the railing and tumbles down a mountain.  Miraculously, you survive, but then you realize that no one can see your car.  You have no choice but to wiggle out through the window, climb that darned mountain, and walk for help.
  • Kidnapped. Somehow, you’ve been kidnapped and taken to a cabin someplace deep in the forest.  Through a stroke of luck, you escape the cabin, and begin to hie off through the woods, but your kidnappers aren’t far behind.  In this situation, the person in the best physical condition wins.  Whoever can run for the longest, wins.
  • EMP. An EMP strike or solar flare has taken out the grid, as well as all the vehicles.  If you want to get anyplace other than where you are, it is most likely that you will have to walk.  If, for example, you’re at work, you are going to have to trek your way home to be with your family.  Whatever the distance, whatever the terrain, you better start walking now.

These examples, of course, are what happens immediately, when you must escape something.  What about those long days after the initial disaster, ones of plowing fields, chopping wood, and lugging water?

As a prepper, your personal health and fitness level can be your most valuable asset.  Just as important as tools, weapons and plans, your ability to simply move your body for a long time without stopping can be the difference between life and death.

And it all starts with walking.

Just Walk

Of course, there are many components to fitness and eventually we will talk about all of those.  But the best place to start is to lace up your sneakers and walk.

 (This is where I tell you, as I am legally bound to do, that you should seek the advice of your physician before starting this or any other exercise program.)

When people start a walking program, they tend to make one of two mistakes.

1.) They push themselves way too hard and end up getting so sore on the very first day that they are virtually crippled from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

2.) They don’t push themselves hard enough and stop the  second they begin to feel out of breath.

Your starting point depends on your current fitness level, of course, but that can be hard to judge if you have been moving from sitting on your rear at your desk at the office over to sit on your rear on the sofa at your house.  So I generally recommend that you start with 30 minutes.

If you are truly sedentary, don’t kill yourself by trying to set a rapid pace for your 30 minute walk.  You should walk at a very comfortable pace for at least 5 minutes to warm up your body. Then, speed up to the point that speaking is possible but not super-easy.  Your heart rate should be elevated enough that your speech is limited to short bursts of words, not Shakespearean monologues.  If you get to the point that you can only gasp out a word at a time, you are pushing yourself too hard, and you need to slow down.

If you need to slow down, that doesn’t mean stop!  Keep going, just at a slow, easy pace.  This is you, building your endurance. Unless you are having the symptoms of an actual heart attack (extreme shortness of breath, faintness, dizziness, pain down one arm, etc) keep moving at a slow pace as you catch your breath.

About 5 minutes before your walk is over, drop back your pace a little to cool down.

As you become more fit, you can make things more difficult and more akin to survival situations.  You can add hills, obstacles, increase your speed, carry a loaded pack, or walk for longer to add to the challenge.

Motivation

Some things that help:

  • A dog.   My dog would walk FOR-E-VER!  Walking a dog is a great way to keep motivated and will result in not only a healthier you, but a healthier and better-behaved pet too.
  • A buddy.  A walking buddy will help you maintain a pace.  As well, we are much less likely to cancel our walk if a friend is going to be let down when we don’t show up.
  • Tunes.  My Ipod full of headbanging rock is my favorite piece of workout equipment.  I opt for music with a beat that mimics the pace I want to keep. I like energetic, heavy driving music to keep me motivated.  Make a playlist of whatever inspires you to move quickly.  Sometimes I’ll walk a little further just because there is a really great song on.  I save the Ipod for walks, making it a special treat.

Safety note: I recommend only using one headphone.  Whether you are in the city or out in the woods, like me, wearing two headphones and making yourself deaf is the equivalent of wearing a “Prey” t-shirt.  It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings.

Remember that you can have all of the preps in the world, but if you can’t walk far enough to get to them, they will do you no good whatsoever.  In fact, they’ll feed the next guy, you know, the one who’s out there pounding the pavement every day!  He is in shape enough to get to them.

Your physical stamina can mean the difference between life and death, not only for you, but for those who depend on you.  Just get out there and walk and within a month, you will see that your 30 minute walk takes you a lot further than it did when you began.

Excuses

And a word about excuses.  Okay, a few words, because there are oh-so-many excuses.

Unless I am going to be struck by lightening or die of hypothermia because I’ve gotten soaked in sub-zero temperatures, I walk.  There are many days that I look out the window at the gray skies and think, oh, man, I don’t want to walk today!  But I do it any way.  Why?

Because, if you are a prepper, you are training for life.  You are training for events that happen at the most inopportune times.   Rarely does a disaster conveniently time itself on a sunny day of moderate temperatures.  Nope, if you have to hike away from a car accident, it likely happened because of ice or rain on the roads.  You will be hiking away from it through the pouring rain.  If a crime has been perpetrated on you, and you must flee, are you going to take your chance when it presents itself, or will you say, “Yeah, it’s raining, dude.  I’m just gonna hang out with this serial killer until it clears up.”

You aren’t made of sugar. You aren’t going to melt.  Just walk.

And yes, you do have time.  Unless you are moving from the moment you get up in the morning until the moment you go to bed, you can find 30 minutes to go for a walk.  Trust me, after you get used to it, your body will crave it and you’ll feel so much better!  If you really truly are that busy, break your walk up into two 15 minute walks, or even 3 ten minute walks.  There really are very few days that you can’t take 30 minutes from your day to do something wonderful and potentially life-saving.

You’re sick?  Are you really, truly sick?  If you are, you’re right.  You should stay home, tucked under the covers.  But if you have a bit of a headache, low energy, some female problems, or just general lethargy, you may be surprised at how much better you feel after a bit of exercise and fresh air.  Exercise is nature’s anti-depressant and sometimes those minor aches and pains are related to mood more than they are actual physical maladies.

You don’t have to start with a Marine Corp Mud Run.  You see all those big buff dudes running down the road in fatigues, carrying an 80 lb. pack?  Let ‘em run!  You, my friend, are just going to walk today.  You are going to get started and you are going to find your own path to fitness.  This isn’t about comparing yourself to those who are more fit or more strong than you.  Everyone is not capable of doing what an Ironman Triathlete does but just about everyone is capable of more than they are doing right now.  If you challenge yourself, you might just be amazed at what you can do once you’ve built a base of fitness.

 Get Started

Today.  Right now. If it’s the middle of the night when you’re reading this, then you can wait until tomorrow.  But remember that the sooner you start, the sooner you are ready to face survival challenges head on.  You, keeling over from a heart attack while you bug out, will be one less thing that you (and those with you) have to worry about.

Getting into better shape is something you will never regret. Even if you never need to be more fit because of a survival situation, you still get all the health and well-being benefits from doing it.  Your body and those who love you will thank you!

“I got fit and I never even had to escape from a deranged stalker!

What a waste of time!”

said no one, ever.

About the author: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Functional Fitness | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

How Chronic Couch Preppers Can Look Good Naked Again

by Todd Walker

Do you hate mirrors!

http://fitnessgurunyc.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/1.1250550826.fat-mirror.jpg

In the not so distant past, mirrors were my arch-enemy. I’d talk myself into believing that the shirt hid my love handles. The Dirt Road Girl must have used a shrinking agent in the laundry. Wait a minute! That doesn’t explain my leather belt shrinking. Hum. What’s up with that?!

I had become a chronic couch prepper. I was carrying 50 more pounds than my once athletic frame was intended to haul. In my delusional mind, I figured on summoning super-hero strength if the time came for me to hump my 40 pound bug-out-bag plus an extra 50 pounds of self-indulgent body fat. Pulling myself up by the bootstraps in a SHTF scenario or emergency situation has it’s time and place. What do I do when merely reaching for my boot straps is exhausting?

If you’ve followed my journey any length of time, you’ve heard me talk about my primal/paleo lifestyle. It’s not some fad diet. It’s a lifestyle of making choices and taking your health and fitness into your own hands. I can’t imagine that preparedness minded people would not embrace this lifestyle. Going into any emergency, natural or man-made, optimal health and fitness might give you the edge in survival. The people who depend on you can’t if you’re a chronic couch prepper.

If you stumbled upon this site and aren’t into preparedness, self-reliance, and resilience, but are looking for a solution to the dieting dungeon and want to experience real long-term health and fitness, you’re in the right place.

The benefits of going primal

Since going primal in February 2010, I’ve lost the aching joints, irritated bowel, sugar cravings, and 50 pounds. I’ve gained confidence in my physical abilities, muscle mass, increased energy levels, new appreciation for play, and a lifestyle of healthy living. An added bonus is I look good naked again – according to Dirt Road Girl :) Vanity? Not really. It just goes with the territory of a primal lifestyle.

Do you have to follow the primal lifestyle to be physically fit? No. It’s the path I’ve followed and highly recommend for those who have tried ‘everything’.

Prisoner of the Pyramid

http://philadelphia.grubstreet.com/20070711zombies.jpg

The real Zombie Food Pyramid is the USDA Food Pyramid

Nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle. Following conventional wisdom on nutrition was a big fail for me and millions of Americans. I have two degrees in Health and Physical Education. In those six years, I was schooled to follow the conventional wisdom of eating mostly carbs mixed with a little fat and protein. Great plan if you value chronic health problems, fatigue, and dying. Following the misinformation put out by our benevolent government (corporate-driven USDA food pyramid) will only help you remain a chronic couch prepper. Why would they do that? Follow the money. I’ve chosen to abandon willful ignorance and take control of my own life. Self-reliance and preparedness starts within you.

RESET!

Flip the pyramid upside down and start over. Eat no grains, or grain based meals for one month. Hold on there pilgrim! All preppers know that storing grain in 5 gallon buckets is the way to survive TEOTWAWKI. Again, think like a hunter/gatherer. Destroy the old conventional paradigm. I know this will offend and even anger traditional/conventional preparedness folks. I’m no expert on nutrition, I just know what worked for me. All I’m asking is that you take the challenge for one month. Break free from the conventional wisdom and give it a chance.

The Caveman’s Gym

http://agarlandcrown.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/caveman-fitness.jpg?w=470

What would Grok do? Short and intense is better than long and grueling. I’ve had friends join me on my work outs. They are very simple and minimalist. No gym membership, long hours, expensive equipment, or boring stuff. Here’s some of the ‘gym’ equipment I use.

  • My body weight for pull ups, push ups, lunges, and squats.
  • Rocks for throwing and lifting.
  • Fallen trees, broken into manageable pieces, are used for weighted squats and balance.
  • Sledge hammer swung at old tires. I also do Shovelglove. Never heard of it. Click here to check it out. Splitting wood with a sledgehammer, wedge, and axe are great full body movement creating functional fitness.
  • Don’t discount children and grandchildren. I hoist my grandson on my shoulders (40 pounds) every time he comes over and we do our walk. Well, he rides and giggles. I walk.
  • 7 gallon water containers. Grab two that are full to perform killer lunge sets. I don’t do many with that weight. Work up to heavier weight with two gallon jugs of water or other object with a handle.
  • Sprint as fast as you can every 7 to 10 days. This is all out effort whether you bike, run, or swim. My sprint sessions only last about 10 minutes. Long slow distance only leads to stress related injuries (chronic cardio)…especially in shoes.
  • Tree climbing. I’m not talking about with a deer climbing stand either. Get over your domesticated workout and go wild!
  • Here’s another wild workout I posted that you may find helpful.

Functional fitness for SHTF

Specialization is for insects. “Time to go to the gym,” my buddy moaned. He can bench press 400 pounds but can barely squeak out a pull up. In any survival situation, versatility will be the key to not becoming room temperature. If he and I were hiking and had to climb a tree to escape a charging wild boar, he might be out of luck. Ever watch a dog ‘exercising’ outside? He doesn’t run in a boring circles. He mixes it up with jumping, sprinting, sparing, playing, with an occasional stop to pee on bushes. Animals move without monotony. Movement is survival.

Wild animals depend on their ability to move to survive. The odds of us having to sprint to the nearest tree to outrun a wild beast is small. WTSHTF it’s the two-legged predators I’m worried about. Knowing we could escape a dangerous encounter is rewarding. More practically, could I carry my wife or children to safety if called upon? Our fitness level should be well-rounded. We’ve got to be strong to be useful.

Here are a few resources I recommend to get you into the wild and moving naturally.

1) The 13 MovNat Movement Skills© (Check out this site for natural movement)

If you’re wondering what moving naturally means for human beings, think of human species-specific movement aptitudes. Visualize how the human animal would move in nature for his survival – that is natural human movement.

‘Aren’t there more natural ways to move naturally than just running?’

Human beings possess locomotive skills such as 1) walking, 2) running, 3) jumping, 4) balancing, 5) crawling, 6) climbing, or 7) swimming.

In addition to locomotive skills, human beings also utilize manipulative skills such as 8) lifting, 9) carrying, 10) throwing, and 11) catching, and 12) throwing and combative skills, such as 13) striking or grappling.

2) Mark’s Daily Apple. Reprogram your genes for effortless weight-loss, vibrant health and boundless energy.

3) The Paleo Solution. Revolutionary solutions to modern life.

4) Free The Animal. Richard Nikoley’s quest to live a primal/paleo lifestyle.

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired when it comes to your workout, give these suggestions a try.

You’re turn. What’s been your exercise regiment? – I hate that word. It’s so hard to keep up with a regiment. Share your wild functional workout with us.

NOTE: A recent email conversation with Daisy Luther got us both thinking about the importance of fitness and health for survival. Over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together a more detailed series on functional fitness, healthy living, and unconventional advice for those following a preparedness and self-sustainable lifestyle.

Got anything in particular that you’d like to hear discussed?

 

Categories: Functional Fitness, Natural Health, Primal Skills, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are You a Desk Jockey? Stand and Deliver

My standing workstation in my classroom.

By Todd Walker

When I took a stand two years ago, I’ve never sat at my classroom desk again.

Research has shown prolonged sitting to be neither healthy or natural for us. I built my standing desk out of a throw away desk and some scrap plywood, added paint, and mounted it on top my sit down desk. Being on my feet all day wearing minimalist shoes while teaching, has helped my posture.

It’s rare that I’m behind my desk during class anyhow. However, when paperwork and bureaucratic pencil-pushing call, I stand and deliver – literally.

To refresh my mind and get my blood pumping, I knock out several sets of push ups behind my desk on my PVC DiY push up handles.

Easy and cheap PVC pushup bars

Easy and cheap PVC push up bars

Doing push ups outside in the sunshine is my favorite place. Time constraints and weather don’t always allow me to do so. These bars are sturdy and allow me to twist my wrists to a natural angle during exercises.

Oh, and here’s a closeup of the poster on my wall behind my standing workstation.

The Primal Blueprint Pyramid

The Primal Blueprint Pyramid

You’re turn to stand and deliver. Got any stuff you do to blend health and fitness into your daily work routine?

 

 

 

Categories: equipment, Frugal Preps, Survival Education | Tags: , , , , , | 6 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

Doing Push-ups for Preparedness

I do a lot of push-ups every day. Why? I don’t need fancy equipment, gym shorts, or a gym membership. Al Kavadlo does an excellent job with his guest post over at Mark’s Daily Apple explaining this perfect primal (and prepper) exercise. Can’t do a regular push-up? No worries. Take it step by step and gradually build up to massive amounts of this functional fitness exercise.

Push-ups: The Perfect Primal Exercise

Push up1This is a guest post from Al Kavadlo of AlKavadlo.com.

Push-ups are one of the oldest and most widely known strength exercises on Earth. They’ve been a staple in military fitness, martial arts and just about every other type of exercise program that’s ever existed. Anyone who has even the slightest interest in working out has probably tried to do a push-up at least once in their life.

Funny thing is, amongst many modern fitness enthusiasts, the push-up is often overlooked due to its simplicity. A lot of people are under the misconception that something so basic couldn’t possibly be the best overall upper-body exercise out there. Even members of the primal community who know better than to buy into mainstream hype are often skeptical of my claim that the humble push-up is nature’s perfect exercise.

I hope you’re at least willing to hear me out.

 

Perfect Push-up

Push up2

Push-ups are as close to a perfect exercise as you can get. They work your entire upper-body (including your abs), and can be modified in an infinite number of ways to suit any fitness level. Push-ups emphasize the chest, shoulders and triceps but every muscle in the body has to do its part for a proper push-up to take place. Your lats, traps and abs must stabilize your pushing muscles, while your lower back, legs and glutes need to stay engaged to keep your hips from sagging or piking up too high. Like many calisthenics exercises, push-ups teach your muscles to work in harmony with one another.

But my favorite thing about push-ups is that they don’t require anything more than a floor, so you can do them anywhere. And as I always say, If you don’t have a floor, you’ve got much bigger problems!

Wall Push-up

WallPush up

Everyone knows strength training is great for your muscles, but a lot of people don’t realize that working out also does a lot for your bones, tendons and other connective tissue. It’s true though; strength training makes the entire body strong. It’s obvious when you really think about it – your connective tissue needs to be strong to support those muscles! Sometimes people are so concerned with aesthetic goals that they overlook the changes that can’t visibly be seen.

If you have bad shoulders, wrists or elbows, in time your joints can be restored with lower intensity variants like the wall push-up. The body can only be as strong as its weakest link, and connective tissue tends to be slower to adapt than muscle. A novice or an injured person should start with the wall push-up, working to 20 and eventually 50 consecutive reps in each set before moving on. To perform this variant, simply lean against a wall with your toes a few feet away and do the push-up movement from this semi-upright position.

Read the rest here

 

Categories: Functional Fitness, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

DIY Pemmican: Bread of the Wilderness

by Todd Walker

What’s bread of the wilderness?

This is a follow up to an article I posted about making this perfect primal stick-to-your-ribs survival food a few months ago. Like most things survival related, it’s best to experience it first hand before counting on it with your life. Here you’ll find my mistakes and successes making pemmican. “Doing the stuff” is more important than talking about or reading about the stuff.

Why pemmican?

Charles Washington’s Zeroing In On Health blog has a great primer on the importance and history of this survival ration. He writes,

“Pemmican has been described by many famous and influential people as being the most concentrated and nutrient-dense ration known to man yet became a marginal and even forgotten item.”

Frontiersmen, polar explorers, American Indians, fur traders, soldiers, hunters, and mountain climbers all understood the importance of carrying a lightweight, compact, food to sustain them on physically taxing adventures. Little is needed to prepare tasty (with the right recipe) “bread of the wilderness.” Just a few ounces was said to keep soldiers marching for several days. Also, with no time to cook with an open fire that might give up your position to the nearest looter population, packing pemmican is a great fuel to help get you to your hideaway.

Pack Pemmican and Less TP

Another advantage, according to Washington, is you poop less and with less offensive odor. Unless you’ve never wiped your backside in the woods with leaves, sticks, or a shirt tail, you won’t appreciate this point. Eating the low-carb, primal/paleo diet that I do, my family can confirm the odor claim. Yeah, whatever Walker! We all know your sh#t don’t stink…

There are many recipes online for pemmican. Here’s what I used.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 9 oz. of beef jerky: I would have preferred to use homemade jerky (venison or beef) but I’m out. So I went with 6.2 oz. and 3.0 oz. bags.
  • 3 oz. of dehydrated blue berries and maybe a couple of ounces of cranberries. I didn’t measure.
  • About two inches of melted tallow in a pint mason jar. Again, not exact measurements. I buy my organic beef fat from a local butcher and render it myself. Frying with tallow beats veggie oils and Crisco which is only a few molecules away from plastic.

You want to grind the jerky into as fine a power as possible. I used a food processor. NOTE: If using store bought jerky, you’ll want to dehydrate it in the oven (or dehydrator) until it is brittle when bent. I tossed this batch in the processor and it didn’t give me the desired powdery texture. I dumped the chopped meat into a pan and placed it in the oven at 175° with the oven door cracked slightly to vent moisture.

Be sure to remove these before processing store bought jerky. I almost ground this one up.

 

Dusty ground jerky

I loaded the fruit into the processor thinking I’d create fruit dust. Wrong! All those little individual pieces turned into one huge glob of fruit. Not what you want to happen. You’re going for a powdery mixture on the fruit as well. Some say a few chunks are okay. To remedy this, I rolled the fruit ball out into a thin layer on a cookie sheet and tossed it in the oven with the jerky.

Too much moisture leads to a fruit ball!

I stirred the jerky every hour and poked the fruit. After about 3 hours and no more patience, I took both out and let them cool. The fruit tasted like a fruit roll-up. Very yummy! The fruit hardened after cooling. I then added these two back into the processor at the same time and let her rip. With more moisture evaporated, both the meat and fruit broke down into smaller pieces.

Now comes the best part. Add the liquefied tallow in small increments in a container with the ground jerky and fruit. Hand mix as you go. You want enough fat in the mixture to be able to hold the ingredients together. Too much liquid fat will cause a soupy mixture that won’t hold together. Too dry and it crumbles.

Once you’re satisfied with the consistency, give it a test. Take a scoop into your hand and form it into a ball. I squeezed mine into a log shape. Dirt Road Girl said that the shape I created was very unappetizing. It reminded her of cleaning up after our two mongrel mutts in the backyard. A good buddy of mine who cooks in BBQ competitions told me that we eat with our eyes. If that’s the case, you may want to spread your pemmican out in a Pyrex dish and cut them into more appealing brownie shaped bars – for your eye’s sake.

Don’t eat with your eyes!

Either way, they turned out fine to me. They will store without refrigeration – if I don’t eat them beforehand. My next batch, I’m adding a little spice like cayenne pepper. Kick it up a notch!

On my last pemmican post, Matthew from Jimmy Cracked Corn, asked me for an honest assessment on the taste. Here’s what I think Matthew. It’s not something I’d serve at the dinner table with company. It is very tasty, nutrient-dense, and long-lasting – both as a storage food and fuel in the body. It’s an acquired taste I’d say. It’s a survival food.

Other recipes:

http://www.wildernesscollege.com/pemmican-recipes.html

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

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Categories: DIY Preparedness, Food Storage, Preparedness, Real Food, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Survival Sunday Roundup #10

I had to skip last Sunday’s post. Life happened. Let’s try this on today.

Don’t read Bracken’s essay below and think he’s a racist. He’s making a sobering assessment of human nature. The grouping is evident in the suburban school in which I teach – staff and students. Forced association by coercive statists has left more than a few scars on school students and society.

Mr. Bracken offers a very realist view of things to come. Prepare accordingly.

Doing the stuff,

SS

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Bracken: When The Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence

Illustration: Bracken’s CW2 Cube; click to enlarge

From Matt Bracken:

In response to recent articles in mainstream military journals discussing the use of the U.S. Army to quell insurrections on American soil, I offer an alternate vision of the future. Instead of a small town in the South as the flash point, picture instead a score of U.S. cities in the thrall of riots greater than those experienced in Los Angeles in 1965 (Watts), multiple cities in 1968 (MLK assassination), and Los Angeles again in 1992 (Rodney King). New Yorkers can imagine the 1977 blackout looting or the 1991 Crown Heights disturbance. In fact, the proximate spark of the next round of major riots in America could be any from a long list cribbed from our history.

Read the rest here

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

Source: The Art Of Manliness

by Brett & Kate McKay

As “Heading Out on Your Own: 31 Basic Life Skills in 31 Days” draws to a close today, we’d like to use the final post in the series to discuss a saying your grandfather was probably quite fond of: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Your great-grandfather likely used that maxim too, and his grandfather as well. It actually first appeared in print way back in 1640. The saying was born among sailors, who needed to both keep things orderly in the tiny galleys and cabins below deck, and to make sure all their tools and ropes were placed and secured properly up above, so that things didn’t wash overboard when the ship was rocked by storms and waves.

“First then, while you are little boys, let there be order in everything. Try and have a place for everything and everything in its place. If your father has things in that way, see that you place everything back after using it. Hours, days, yea, months and years, are wasted by too many in hunting tools and farming implements; time thus wasted is time needlessly lost, precious time that will never return…I mention this first because it is first in importance. It governs your every act through life. If you start life thus and have a place for everything, you cannot fail to make good farmers.” -Report of the Secretary of the Iowa State Agricultural Society, 1865

“A place for everything and everything in its place” came ashore in the 19th century, and was adopted most rigorously by farmers, who owned and used a wide variety of tools and pieces of equipment, and who couldn’t afford to leave them to rust in the rain or exposed to elements during winter. Keeping track of their tools ensured they could get to work when they needed to, and there was always plenty of work to be done.

The maxim was subsequently taken up by men in all trades and businesses, white and blue collar alike, who saw how having a set place for their tools and papers, both at home and at work, contributed to their success. The standard espoused in old books was for a man to be able to dress himself in the dark or find any tool in his shed with his eyes closed.

Read the rest here

Overcoming the Insurmountable

Source: Mark’s Daily Apple

real life stories stories 1 2

I never thought I would be writing or sharing a success story. Not because I didn’t’ think there would be success, but because I am really not the sharing type. But what happened to me and my wife is important, and I want you to know. I have been telling anyone who will listen:

First, a little background. I was and still am an active person. I used to work out daily at the gym for an hour, played hockey twice a week and was an avid skier, but I was really starting to loathe my workouts. I ate well, or at least I thought I did, but I also had a sweet tooth and we had no shortage of cookies, candy and everything in-between stocked in the pantry. I would go through phases of what I would call the Atkins diet if I felt I was getting too flabby. I would cut out refined sugars, bread and pasta, but was still keen on items like Diet Coke and anything a grocery store would classify as meat. My weight and body composition fluctuated regularly.

Read the rest here

Homemade Cottage Cheese, 1839 Style

Source: Rural Spin

In 1839, making cottage cheese was just a matter of leaving raw milk sit out until it formed curds, then strain overnight.

First, let me say that this won’t work unless you have raw milk available to you. The reason is that raw milk never really goes “bad,” it just sours. You can use it months after it’s left the cow (properly handled, of course). Pasteurized milk, on the other hand, has had its molecular structure altered, and because of that it doesn’t ever sour, it putrefies. This means if it goes bad, it’s not edible. I know, I know, this happenstance eliminates the possibility for many to make cottage cheese using this method, but it’s still interesting to see how people made food 175 years ago.

But if you do have access to raw milk, this makes a wonderful creamy cottage cheese that I love. It’s creamier than store-bought cottage cheese, and the “lumps” are very small. The flavor is a combination of cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese. It doesn’t taste like store-bought cottage cheese because the store-bought stuff is cultured, which gives it a specific flavor. You can make cultured cottage cheese at home, too, if you purchase the culture from an outside source, but this recipe allows you to make your own like folks made it at home long ago. And, it’s easy as pie!

Read how to here

The worst of all deceptions is self-deception. – Plato

 

Categories: Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival Sunday Roundup | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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