Posts Tagged With: primal prepping

Cancer: Don’t Feed the Mother of all Diseases!

For anyone thinking about trying the Primal/Paleo diet, PJ Martin demonstrates another potential benefit over at Bug Out Nutrition. Cancer cells thrive on glucose we ingest. It makes them fat and happy. Since DRG’s battle with cancer, I’ve researched into how to starve this disease without taking the one pill that is supposed to block the protein her cancer feeds on.

The common strategy I’ve discovered is to take away the cancer’s food. Starve it by not feeding it what it wants – glucose. Dr. Mercola’s timely article advocates the same: “A ketogenic diet calls for eliminating all but non-starchy vegetable carbohydrates, and replacing them with healthy fats and high-quality protein.” This is how I lost 50 pounds three years ago. But better than weight loss, could it be a drug-free cancer cure?

Please weigh in on the discussion, pro or con, in the comments.

Originally published at Bug Out Nutrition. Please check out the Author’s Bio at the end of this article.

The Paleo Diet and Cancer

So I stumbled upon this recent post on Mother Nature Network on the use of a paleo diet for cancer. Confused by the death of a healthy eating friend, she questions whether her paleo diet is really helping her stay healthy and cancer free. To pour gasoline on the fire, there’s even evidence of a neanderthal skeleton with a tumor. What are we to do?

While I don’t think the existence of a non-human skeleton with cancer debunks the paleo diet (although any death before the modern period is apparently proof against it), it bears going into why and how a paleo diet could possibly stop the mother of all diseases.

The Warburg Effect

According to research conducted at UCLA by Dr. Thomas Graeber, cancer cells undergo a profound shift in the way they get their nutrients. It is based on an observation by Nobel Laureate Otto Warburg, who noticed that cancer cells went through the process of glycolysis up to 200 times faster than healthy cells.

How is it possible for them to do this? By ingesting glucose of course. The mitochondria of cancer cells are fundamentally unequipped to dealing with ketones and other metabolites of fat consumption, but can stay happy when there is glucose in the bloodstream. As a matter of fact, some estimate that cancer cells have as many as 18 times the amount of insulin receptors than normal cells.

Maybe the author’s ‘health freak’ friend was eating a vegetarian diet high in grains, was eating starches to support extended cardio training, or something similar. There could be more to this after all.

Prevention and starvation

So if we’re in a situation where there are 16 times the insulin receptors on a cancer cell, we are effectively in a situation where cancer cells will grow 16 times faster, gram for gram, with any insulin spiking carbohydrate you consume. Have you passed the rolls yet?

Read the rest here

Author’s Bio: JP Martin started Bug Out Nutrition in an attempt to apply the science of nutrition to survivor scenarios. Her aim is to help you be better prepared physically, mentally and maybe even spiritually by superior nutrition today and when the SHTF. Whether you’re young, old, male, female, black, white or purple, superior nutrition will give you what it takes to maximize your efficiency for better survival (and heck, better living until that day comes). You can connect with JP on Twitter @BugOutNutrition and like her on Facebook.

Categories: Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food, Survival | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Food Storage ~ How Many Food Independence Days Do You Have Each Year?

 A good friend of this blog, Caroline Cooper, shares her journey to food security. In the world of conventional prepper food storage, I don’t fit. I avoid grains and processed foods. Here’s a peek into my primal pantry if your interested.

Caroline’s food security program is very similar to ours. Take a look and let us know what you think. Is six months a good target for nutrient dense food storage?

How many independence days do you have each year?

by Caroline Cooper

independence days How many independence days do you have each year?

To me, the Theory of Anyway shifts the structure of the discussion. Instead of asking “Do we have time to make the peach jam?” It asks the question as it should be asked: “Do we have the time to live rightly?”
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk

I just found a very enjoyable book at the Kamloops Public Library called Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation by Sharon Astyk. The book outlines why every household should have a program of food storage. The book would be best suited for someone new to the concept of food storage. The book is more about the why of food storage, not the how-to. If you are looking for more detailed how-to information, here are some of my favorite books about food security:
Create an Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig
Four Season Harvest by Elliot Coleman
Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times by Steve Solomon
How to Grow Food in Your Polytunnel: All Year Round by Mark Gatter
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Putting Food By by Janet Greene
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables by Mike Bubel
The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town & Country by Peter Bane
When Technology Fails by Mat Stein
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Sharon gives suggestions for how a householder could start a food storage program even with very limited financial resources. She is an avid gardener and processes the bounty of her garden by putting away food in a root cellar and processing food for storage by fermenting, drying, canning and freezing. This saves her a great deal of money. Food she doesn’t grow herself, she buys from local farmers, which supports the development of her local food system. She does buy some dried foods from other areas, but she makes a practice of never importing fresh foods.

Sharon addresses two very important issues surrounding food storage. The first issue is to buy as much of your stores locally as possible — especially fresh foods — because fresh foods take a lot of energy to ship and you are really importing water from one area of the country to another. Sharon makes a compelling argument to buy as much of your stored food locally as possible. But if you do need to buy foods from other places requiring shipping, focus those purchases on dried foods. This will reduce your carbon footprint and stop the practice of shipping water from dry areas of the country to wet areas of the country, which intensifies water shortages and resource conflicts.

The second issue of food storage is to buy foods your family will eat. She believes food stores should be made up of foods that your family eats on a regular basis. She doesn’t understand the practice of buying emergency rations the family does not intend to eat, a practice done by some emergency preppers. Thus, storing food intended for eating, means developing a method of rotation. Sharon walks the reader though how to put away and rotate 30 days of emergency food and water. She stipulates that her emergency rations could be eaten without cooking. Her suggestion for one person’s 30 days of food independence is as follows:
15lbs rolled oats, raw
30 16oz tomatoes, canned
30 8oz beans, canned
30 8oz assorted fruit, canned

sharon astyk menu 1 How many independence days do you have each year?

I used to get a breakdown of the macro-nutrients of Sharon’s emergency rations.

sharon astyk menu 2 How many independence days do you have each year?

Here is the micro-nutrient profile of Sharon’s emergency rations. A very small amount of cod liver oil and canned oysters would help with deficiencies in vitamin A, D and B12.

The Weston A Price Foundation would not consider eating raw oats a safe practice but would recommend soaking, souring and cooking the oats before eating. Most commercially canned beans and legumes are not normally soaked before canning and can be difficult to digest for some. (Here is Sarah Pope’s video for Proper Preparation of Grains and Legumes.)

This list of emergency rations does not appeal to me because it is grain-based and extremely high in carbohydrates. The rations wouldn’t work well for people on theSpecific Carbohydrate Diet either. The major benefit of these emergency rations is price. The rations would fill someone up and give enough energy to do work. No matter how limited someone’s financial resources, they could put together this list, and achieve 30 days of food independence.

My pantry has 6-12 months of food depending on the time of year, stored in a root cellar, freezers and dried storage area. In an emergency, I would do everything in my power to remain in my home.

But Sharon’s list got me thinking about what I would store for 30 days of emergency rations, if I couldn’t cook or had to leave my home. I almost never eat canned foods but I do have a few commercially and home canned items in my pantry.

This is the list I came up with for one person. It would be good for anyone on the SCD, GAPS or modified paleo diet. Sorry, I couldn’t keep it down to four items:
30 180g assorted cans: wild sockeye salmon, albacore tuna in olive oil and sardines
500g assorted homemade beef jerky, buffalo jerky or home-cured meats
1L organic extra olive oil
1L organic cider vinegar
1L home-cured green olives in brine and olive oil
1L lacto-fermented kimchi or sauerkraut
500g organic creamed coconut
250g organic coconut oil
1kg pastured butter
1kg raw hard cheese
500g mixed organic dried fruit: figs, plums, apricots and apple
500g mixed organic raw nuts: cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts
1c organic sprouting seeds: French green lentils, fenugreek, radish and broccoli

salmon menu 1 How many independence days do you have each year?

This is the macro-nutrient breakdown of my emergency rations. I would be concerned about this diet for any length of time because it lacks in fresh foods.

I cannot imagine any situation where I could not work out some way to heat water and cook. In my Got-to-Go Kit, I have a way to purify water, a stove, cooking gear and a kitchen kit. (For more information please read Eating Nourishing Traditional Foods While Traveling.) I would have a way to sprout seeds if there were no fresh garden produce available or a way to wildcraft greens. I would have two thermoses for keeping water hot all day long. If I could cook, I would add:
1L dried homemade mushroom, seaweed and herb broth
4L homemade dried onions, squash, carrots and garlic (fresh would be better)

You may find my list of emergency rations expensive but my family would come out of the 30 days well nourished. Actually, their diet would be very close to their regular diet. My emergency rations are very high in fat and moderate in protein. The carbohydrates come from the dried fruit, apple cider vinegar, mushrooms, dried assorted vegetables and sprouts. Every family would have different emergency rations because everyone’s family is different. What would your family’s emergency rations look like?

Independence Days also poses another great question: “How many independence days do you have each year?” Independence days are the number of days each year you eat for free.

Free doesn’t mean easy or without effort. It means growing food in your own garden or trading food with neighbors or friends. It means getting free of the industrial food system and producing as much of your own food as possible and supporting the growth of a local food system. It means personal food security. This book got me hungry for my own independence days. It got me wondering how many independence days I could have each year.

Sharon challenges the reader to:

  1. Plant, harvest and preserve something as many days of the year as possible.
  2. Minimize waste by finding ways to reuse or re-purpose waste; recycle the waste of others by buying used or actually re-purposing the waste of others.
  3. Try cooking or preparing something new and work on managing your reserves as frugally as possible.
  4. Work on developing your own local food system. This action will improve food security for everyone in your community.

Lastly, Sharon asks the reader to take on Pat Meadow’s Theory of Anyway as your own and “do the right thing” three times a day with each meal you feed your family:
“95 percent of what is needed to resolve the coming crisis is what we should do anyway, and when in doubt about how to change we should change our lives to reflect what we should be doing “anyway”. Living more simply, more frugally, leaving reserves for others, reconnecting with our food and our community — these are things we should be doing because they are the right thing to do on many levels… Pat’s Theory of Anyway… points out that the way we live must pass ethical muster first. We must always ask the question, is this choice contributing to the repair of the world, or its destruction?”


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

Primal Prepping: Reprogram Your Genes and Health

Reading my daily dose of, I found what I’ve been looking for since 2010. I discovered in ’07 and read it daily pretty much. Three years ago I discovered primal/paleo lifestyle through an article on by Karen De Coster. After reading Mark Sisson’s book “The Primal Blueprint“, I changed my lifestyle and lost 50 pounds, improved my health, and looked good naked again🙂

That may not be your “stated” goal, but it can happen.

My dilemma in my preps started after going primal. The prepping community promotes grain-based diet and food storage. While I don’t disagree that they’ll get you through emergency situations, we’re not designed to live on grains. Then I read Dr. Dan Stickler’s post today over at and got happy. It’s unconventional wisdom that really worked for me. I recommend this lifestyle highly!

Dr. Stickler, The Paleo Doc, can be found here.

Full article from

I first began prepping about two years ago so I am fairly new to this.  In those two years I have been fairly aggressive with my education and training on the topic with much of my real world education coming from reading blogs.  I have found an area where there is a great deal of misinformation and limited preparedness so it has prompted me to address this topic since it is the one area where I possess a skill set that I can share.  The topic is healthcare after the SHTF.  I think it is difficult for any of us, especially in America, to understand how so many aspects of our health we may be taking for granted.  I can honestly say that I was in the same boat which is a sad statement considering the fact that I am a physician.

To give a little background as a lead in; I worked as a general and vascular surgeon for about 10 years after I finished residency.  A little over two years ago I walked away from that to focus on nutrition, fitness, and wellness counseling.  There were many reasons for this change, lifestyle being a big one but more importantly I came to understand that we were no longer practicing medicine but rather pharmacology and surgery.  I found that training people to modify lifestyle was the best defense and prevention strategy and this certainly applies to prepping.

I will be focusing on four topics:

  • Optimizing your health
    • Nutrition
    • Fitness
  • Healthcare skill sets
  • Water and hygiene
  • Healthcare supplies

Optimizing your Health

Health should be viewed as a spectrum with chronic disease at one end, disease-free in the middle, and optimized health at the other end.  Think about where you would want to be and whom you would want in your survival group should the SHTF.

In reading through the various prepper and survival blogs, I see so many people that are unhealthy and they do not hesitate to talk about it.  I would be worried if I were in this situation or if I had to rely on this person as an essential link in my support group.  Stocking up on medications may help but what happens when they run out or expire?   Will you live to take advantage of all your amazing preparations or will they be taken from you?  The solution is to get out of the chronic disease end of the spectrum and get as close to optimal health as possible.  I treat and resolve chronic disease every day by basically changing one thing: lifestyle.  This means nutrition and fitness.  You just have to understand that chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and most high cholesterol are actually just symptoms of a poor lifestyle, you fix that, and you fix the problem without medication.

Nutrition is the key to good health; the problem is there is way too much misinformation out there as to what constitutes good nutrition.  What I am about to say will make most prepper gasp, but let me explain.  Get rid of all grains from the diet!  Now, that said, I do store grains but I do not currently eat them, they are reserved as emergency foods only.  You may now be asking, “where does this insanity come from?”  Well the answer is biochemistry and anthropology.  We are and always have been physiologically hunter/gatherers and grains were not a part of our natural diet.  Our bodies function best and experience the most positive effects from a hunter/gatherer style diet.  I am not asking you to immediately take my word for it just because I have a few initials at the end of my name, but I do ask that you try this challenge – give up all grain, bread, pasta, rice, crackers, chips, pretzels, popcorn, sweets, etc., for one month and see how you feel.  You will eat only meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts during this time and eat all you want.  You will experience amazing results.  Since I do have limited space here to go into all the details, I have provided a link to a video on Vimeo to help explain my approach to this diet: Functional Nutrition.

Other good sources of information are the books The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf and The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.  Sisson also has a great web site at  Good nutrition is 80% of a healthy lifestyle, it is the base of the pyramid of health and without it you cannot develop optimal health.  I am not promoting some agenda here or trying to sell some magic snake oil, all I can tell you is that I have been utilizing this diet in my clinical practice for years and the health transformations and the disease resolutions I have witnessed are amazing.

Another aspect of optimal health is fitness.  It is a necessity in survival and should be an integral part of any preparation regimen.  Everyone seems to prep for food, medical and self defense but another aspect of preparation is your body.  I would like to see the 3 Bs change to the 4 Bs: Beans, Bullets, Band-Aids, and Body.  Your level of fitness will be directly proportional to your chances of survival so you need to train the right way.  Bottom line – lift heavy stuff and run fast.  What I recommend is functional fitness and you do not need a gym for this.  Functional fitness means training the body to be able to do the necessary things in life well and remember, life will be substantially different if society fails.  If you have weights available, then lift heavy – squats, cleans, military press, rows.  Add push-ups and pull-ups.  Chop and carry wood, dig ditches, and run sprints. The book The Primal Blueprint that I mentioned has some good functional training advice and workouts.

Healthcare Skillsets

The practice of medical care could change dramatically in this scenario.  Physicians and nurses currently practice with the aid of technology, sterile environments, a slew of available instruments and specialist referrals.  EMTs and paramedics are trained in stabilization and transport.  Despite my surgical training and experience, my experience in a level 4 trauma center and having been an Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor, I would have little skills to care for people in a post-apocalyptic scenario.  That was until I began studying wilderness medicine.  Wilderness medicine training is available for health care providers (EMTs, paramedics, nurses, and physicians) and what makes this different is that you have to diagnose and more importantly TREAT in the field without the benefit of technology and transport.  In TEOTWAWKI scenario things like minor wounds, burns, blisters, and fractures become potentially life-threatening emergencies. I never realized all this until I took a Wilderness First Responder course offered by NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) and I feel that this is an absolute necessity for someone in your group.  We should all know how to properly clean and care for wounds, close lacerations, treat a burn, splint and reduce fractures and dislocations in situations where we do not have the luxury of modern technology.  Now this course will not make you the Dr. House of the TEOTWAWKI but it will give you the basis to build from and a level of comfort in dealing with many of the issues you may encounter.  You should still have access to someone with advanced medical training.

Water and Hygiene

Wilderness medicine gets you thinking about things we take for granted like water or hygiene.  In the wilderness, clean water is your best friend.  Even sparkling clear mountain spring water can be full of protozoa and bacteria so boiling or filtration is essential.  What kills more people worldwide?  Infectious diarrhea.  This is also one of the number one debilitations in the wilderness along with food poisoning related to poor food prep hygiene.  It is also important to remember that filtration will not get rid of viruses, so in the face of a viral outbreak if the water supply gets contaminated, you will need a chemical disinfectant as well.  Iodine and/or chlorine will work well for this added safety.  We need to look at the health care issues faced in the third world countries in order to fully understand what we need to prepare for should the worst case scenario occur.

Healthcare Supplies

First thing to remember here is that it will do you no good to stock up on supplies that you have no skill or knowledge to use.  When I design and stock kits for people, I always find out what abilities they possess first.  You also have to determine what size group you want to prepare for and the environment where the kit will be needed.  I typically see a need for three types of kits and a stock of supplies on top.

Kit #1: Basic field kit.  This kit needs to be compact and lightweight but still be supplied to cover you for a 1-5 day trip away from your Bugout Location (BOL) for 3-4 people.  This should cover everything for stabilizing illness or injury long enough to get you back to your BOL.  This is the kit that I keep in my Bugout Bag (BoB) and I take hiking or camping.
Basic contents:

  • Sterile and non-sterile gloves
  • Facemasks with eye protecting, also antiviral mask
  • Thermometer
  • Ace bandage and scissors
  • Various quantities of different size sterile gauze and gauze rolls
  • Field surgical kit and sutures
  • Variety of medical and athletic tape
  • Moleskin for blisters and second skin for burns
  • Opsite or other occlusive dressing
  • Steristrips and benzoin for wound closure
  • Small vial of povidone iodine or betadine
  • Bacitracin and Cortisone
  • Thermal reflective blanket
  • SAM splint
  • Eye pad
  • Large irrigation syringe
  • Several cravats
  • Quikclot or Celox trauma bandage
  • Pen light
  • Emergency resuscitator pocket facemask
  • Ibuprofen, aspirin, Benadryl, and various antibiotics

Kit #2: Advanced Home Kit. This is an advanced medical kit for the home or BOL.  It contains all the above items from Kit #1 just larger quantities, plus:

  • Stethoscope and BP cuff
  • Fiberglass casting wrap
  • Greater variety of surgical items
  • Lidocaine, needles, and syringes
  • Battery operated cautery device
  • Skin stapler
  • Greater variety of antibiotics and other prescription meds
  • Emergency cricothyrotomy kit

Kit #3: Advanced Trauma Kit.  Now this kit would be mainly for people with advanced medical training or military field medics.  I keep this is a STOMP bag and it weighs about 40 pounds.  It is basically a portable trauma bay with advanced surgical instrumentation, major wound treatments, airway control, etc.

My recommendation is to train each person in your group in the basic medical skills and have each carry a basic kit.  Many prep groups run drills for defense and bug-out but few run through medical scenarios and these are the most likely issues that they would encounter.  Each group or family should have someone in charge of medical and it should be their responsibility to train the others.

So our best course of action is prepare and prevent.  Prepare by optimizing each individuals health, have the training necessary for your environment, and have the appropriate tools and knowledge in order to act.  Prevent by obtaining/maintaining optimal health, recognizing and understanding the risks of your environment, practice good hygiene, and utilize adequately filtered water.


Categories: Food Storage, Natural Health, Preparedness, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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