Posts Tagged With: Primal

Unconventional Functional Fitness: Sticks and Stones Interval Workout

by Todd Walker

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.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

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

What is a Healthy Gut?

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

What is a Healthy Gut?

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

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

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

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

Read the rest here

 

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

Individual Preparedness Program: My Primal Preparedness Pantry

by Todd Walker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Primal Pantry items

Chia – not the pottery pet

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

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

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

Fat

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

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

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

Fermented Foods

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

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

Protein

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

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

Canned Goods

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

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

Other Stuff

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

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

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

That’s the target, right?

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

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

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Food Storage, Frugal Preps, IPP: Individual Preparedness Plan, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Real Food, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

Primal/Paleo Top Ten List Of Foods To Store

This article was originally published at Survival Punk and is reprinted with permission from the author. We appreciate it James!

Top Ten Paleo Food for Storage

by James Burnette

I’m sure many of you have seen the lists going around the net of the top ten Long term storage foods. I’ve seen a ton of them and most of them are the same list over and over. On top of that most of the list is things I don’t want to eat now nor in a disaster. I’m not storing wheat and not going to eat it. So I thought about it and did some serious research. I’ve came up with a list of ten foods that are paleo friendly and have storage lives from years to indefinite. My paleo foods list is as follows.

#10

 

Coming in at number ten is maple syrup. While I don’t think you should be guzzling down maple syrup, used very sparingly as a treat . Maple syrup is very calorically  dense. As an occasional morale boost would be awesome. It has no real expiration date. I would not only use it one rare occasions and in small amounts. It would also make a good barter Item. People are always willing to pay more for wants over needs and America has a lot of sweet teeth.

 

#9

Coming in at number nine is Sauerkraut. Kraut is an amazing paleo food and has a ton of health benefits. Contains vitamin C and lactobacili bacteria. Captian James Cook made sure he always took plenty of kraut on his voyages to prevent scurvy. Lactobacili may posses many theraputic benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. It Can last many months in it’s fermentation vessel. Unfortunately unless it’s canned it does not last more than a season. Once canned it’s live bacteria dies and you lose the benefits. It it weren’t for that it would easily be number one on the list.

 

#8

Number nine is the often vilified Lard. Lard used to be the go-to fat of choice. It has long been a substitute for butter. I feel lard has got a bad rap though, lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight.[2]. Lard unlike the modern franken-oil contains no trans fats. Lard is massively calorically dense, with 115 calories per Tbsp. Lard has a great shelf life. I’ve seen some conflicting numbers on the internet but came across a story where a 64 year old can of Lard was tested and was still safe to eat.

#7

Salami is the number seven item. There are many hard Italian Salamis that claim to have no expiration date. Salami is great combination of Fat/protein. Does not require any refrigeration. In my experience of taking salami’s camping they have a huge satiety effect. It only takes a small amount to feel full and have plenty of energy. Plus they are delicious.

#6

Salt Cured meats is number six. This is a rather all inclusive category. Salt cured and salt packed meats can last a very long time and was the main method before refrigeration. From my research it seems to work for all meat. The time it takes and the complexity of the curing process varies greatly. Some hams can six months just to fully cure. This is one preservation method that should be studied and mastered now while there are resources and hospitals in case of a mistake.

#5

Coming in at the half way point is Salt. Without it you can’t do number six. Salt is a rock from the ground and never goes bad. Salt has been used for various methods of food preservation for thousands of years. It would be a huge benefit in making bland food taste better. Salt historically was a valuable commodity and in a long term disaster I can see it being a big barter item. Salts cheap stock up now.

Read the top 5 here

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Freedom Outlaw and Hoarder of Light Bulbs

I first discovered Karen De Coster in February 2010. She’s a frequent contributor at LewRockwell.com and is solely responsible for ‘ruining’ my life by turning me on to the Primal lifestyle. Here’s a piece, shared with her permission, in the category of the-government-knows-what’s-best-for-you. Also a great picture of her shooting a BAR!

Keep doing the stuff,

Todd

______________________________________

Gawker Media Piece On Me

by Karen De Coster

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This article from Gawker media, which is centered on my opinions and writings about the incandescent light bulb banishment, appeared on Gizmodo on Thursday, September 20, 2012, complete with compare-and-contrast photos. Gizmodo is one of many weblogs of the parent company, Gawker media. I took no issue with doing the interview with this particular website on why the government’s ban on incandescent light bulbs is totalitarian, even though I had a gut feeling – very early on – that the author and/or editor would attempt to slam dunk me. And the author indeed attempted to do this, and only lightly so, but the straw man argument was not very successful.

In fact, the author and story editor had googled me and they came across what they thought to be an interesting pro-gun photo of me that was in contrast to the photo – me with some light bulbs – that I had supplied to them. I had no problem with them running the other photo, knowing that the slam dunk and photo reveal on their part would actually backfire very much in my favor.

First of all – to correct a few items from the article: the shorts I am wearing are not “daisy dukes,” as several observant folks pointed out on my Facebook page. They are 1970s-style, cut-off Levi shorts. Big difference. Additionally, the rifle I am holding is a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), not an “assault rifle.” My friend who owns the rifle notes that the BAR would not be considered an assault rifle because it fires a full-size .30-06 cartridge. The “assault rifle” designation, which is always used as a pejorative remark, is merely an old ploy to paint one as a lunatic who is doing something that is in opposition to the uninformed opinions of the compliant masses (gasp!) that prefer following the sheep over the cliff in order to be good little citizens of the state. Since my blog clearly sates, “eccentric in demeanor and opinion,” one can expect that I may have a hobby or two, along with a thought or two, which are not approved by the masses who worship the purveyors of conventional wisdom from their dutiful fiefdoms.

Also, I am not an “unofficial leader” of any movement to hoard incandescent light bulbs. I am a lone writer, with almost no “official” associations, who has stood as an independent writer/blogger/researcher for fourteen years. I write what I see, and that includes both research and facts, and my ensuing opinions and/or conclusions are presented in various formats – serious, critical, humorous, and/or satire.

Read the rest here

Karen De Coster, CPA is an accounting professional in Detroit, MI. She is a writer of libertarian stuff, Primal/Paleo lifestyle, food freedom, Austrian economics, destroyer of conventional wisdom, and is resisting tyranny one word at a time. She has archives at LewRockwell.com and Mises.org. Check her blog out here. You can also follow her on Twitter @karendecoster.

 

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Functional Fitness, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Tyranny | Tags: , , , , , | 2 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. If you’ve never wiped your backside in the woods with leaves, smooth rocks, or a shirt tail, you won’t appreciate this point. As to frequency of nature’s call when eating pemmican, I ate pemmican, parched corn, and dried fruit on a three-day survival class once and only needed to relieve myself at the end of day three.

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 grass-fed beef fat from a local butcher and render it myself. Here’s our link to rendering tallow.

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.

Further Resources:

Other recipes:

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

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: DIY Preparedness, Food Storage, Preparedness, Real Food, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

The Wheat-Free Prepping Paradigm: Life After Bread

by Todd Walker

“Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.”

– Mark Twain

Can you survive TEOTWAWKI without a basement full of 5 gallon food-grade buckets of wheat? Conventional prepper wisdom frowns upon me bashing the grains. So, let the gnashing of teeth begin.

I fully understand the appeal of storing grains in the preparedness community. Grains offer a long storage life, cheap calories, and are widely used on America’s dinner table regardless of the negative nutritional effects. In a SHTF world, eating wheat is better than slowly starving to death. I get it.

I also get how we’ve been lied to.

Food Guide Pyramid

We are all familiar with the USDA Food Pyramid. It’s been plastered in Health books and institutional green walls for decades. You may not be able to quote it, but the grain based diet it promotes for healthy living is not fit for human consumption. Some animals are meant to eat the pyramid’s foundational food. We (homo sapiens) are not one of them. You don’t have to look far to see the disastrous effects of eating the American way.

Mrs. Obama, in her infinite health wisdom, destroyed the 1992 food pyramid and replaced it with the Food Plate guide. Lipstick on a pig won’t change the farm animal’s behavior. The new plate leaves essential fats off. Follow the USDA recommendations and you’ll find the fat in pockets of cellulite all over your body. Turn the government’s eating advice on it’s head to find food freedom.

Life after bread

The faithful few that have read my rantings about going primal understand my 180 mind-set. Over two years ago, my life was transformed in just under three months. No more IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), aching joints, bloated stomach, or excess body weight. My blood pressure normalized. Midlife for me is so non-typical-American-midlife. Stress is low. I learned to play again. I’m not addicted to chronic-cardio. I exercise smarter. I don’t train in the gym 6 days a week (conventional wisdom says eat less, exercise more). I feel functionally fit. When I’m hungry, I eat. Giving up grains was my first step towards taking my health into my own hands.

I’m I advising you do the same? No. I’m speaking from my personal experience on what worked for me. Research based information confirms what I and many others have discovered since life after bread. It’s a huge prepping paradigm shift. If you’ve made it this far, please don’t stop reading.

Take a look at the science

In an CBS interview, “Modern wheat a ‘perfect, chronic poison,’ doctor say“, Dr. William Davis lays the smack down on wheat.

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on “CTM” they’re just offering a poor alternative.

“All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there’s an apparent health benefit – ‘Let’s eat a whole bunch of less bad things.’ So I take…unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That’s the logic of nutrition, it’s a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, ‘Let’s eliminate all grains,’ what happens then?

“That’s when you see, not improvements in health, that’s when you see transformations in health.”

Mark Sisson, the godfather of primal living, offers ongoing researched based articles (somehow he makes research fun to read) on the dangers of grains. His site, Mark’s Daily Apple, would be a great place to start for anyone searching for answers, ideas, and support on reaching optimal health. Below are a few links to get you started:

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Amber waves of pain

If you give up grains, what in the world will you do for long-term storage options? Glad you asked. That’s the topic of an upcoming post. Ideas and suggestions are always welcome.

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Food Storage, Functional Fitness, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self-reliance, SHTF | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Chronic Couch Preppers Can Look Good Naked…Again

I use to hate mirrors!

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They 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 40 more pounds than my once athletic frame was intended to haul. In my delusional mind, I figured on summoning super-hero strength to carrying my 40 pound bug-out-bag plus an extra 40 pounds of self-indulgent 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? Answer: Get primal.

If you’ve followed me any length of time, you’ve become familiar with the primal/paleo lifestyle. Stop. 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.

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. Vanity? Not really. It just goes with the territory of a primal lifestyle.

Prisoner of the Pyramid

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Don’t eat like a zombie

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 (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. Whoa 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 lots of 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

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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 repetitive 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 walk and lunge sets.
  • Sprint as fast as you can every 7 to 10 days. This is all out effort whether you bike, run, or swim. 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!

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 piss on bushes. He’s able to do many movements well.

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 for your primal journey.

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.

This is Mark Sisson’s site with resources on all things primal. He is the author of The Primal Blueprint.

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 accept the 30 day challenge, please update your progress here. I’d love to hear from you!

Doing the stuff,

SS

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Functional Fitness, Preparedness, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Self-reliance, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Q&A: What makes pemmican store so well, long term?

From yesterday’s post, Pemmican: The perfect primal stick-to-your-ribs survival food, Jimmy Cracked-Corn asks,

“I just don’t understand the science behind it staying fresh, as other articles say, “for decades”. It’s half fat. I’ve had rancid Crisco, rancid lard, even rancid vegetable oil. What makes pemmican store so well, long term?

Answer: Jimmy, I believe the rendering process at low temps (240 and below) is the key to removing all the water out of the fat/tallow. Meanie bacteria can’t live without the water. The tallow, if rendered properly, actually acts as an anti-bacterial.

Here’s more info from PaleoHacks.com:

By rendering the fat, you remove all the water and protein. If you are rendering suet, you are left with a very high saturated fat tallow. Saturated fat is pretty stable stuff. If you protect rendered suet from light and water, it should stay edible for years.

Rancidity occurs three basic ways: via oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids (you avoid this by having a high saturated fat mix to start out with), via reactions with water, and via microbial digestion. Pemmican avoids all of those through rendering the fat, thoroughly dehydrating the meat and hopefully being stored in a waterproof container.

Related reading and research on pemmican:

http://www.lns.cornell.edu/~seb/pemmican.html

http://paleohacks.com/questions/116243/help-me-figure-out-pemmican-jerky-rendering-and-rancid-fat

http://www.grandpappy.info/rpemmica.htm (Recipe)

http://blog.zeroinginonhealth.com/2008/12/12/pemmican/ (history)

Categories: DIY Preparedness, Preparedness, Q&A | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Pemmican: The perfect primal stick-to-your-ribs survival food

Here’s my dilemma…

I subscribe to a primal/paleo lifestyle. I don’t have tons of grains stored as most preparedness gurus recommend. Some for extreme emergencies, but not tonnes. I’ve written about my lifestyle choice here, and over on my other blog here. No need to re-hash.

So what’s a preparedness minded, Primal Blueprint groupie like me suppose to store for lean survival times? A must-store, life-sustaining item is pemmican. No refrigeration required, full of hunger stopping fat, long storage life, tasty (with the right seasoning), and easy to make. What’s not to like?

Here’s Mark Sisson’s recipe on how he made pemmican. A simple search (use Startpage – it’s the world’s most private search engine) for pemmican recipes will yield many results. Now, get started rendering that fat!

Source: Mark’s Daily Apple

How to Make Pemmican

rii0lxVihljamur Stefansson, eminent anthropologist and arctic explorer, went on three expeditions into the Alaskan tundra during the first quarter of the 20th century. His discoveries – including the “blond” Inuit and previously uncharted Arctic lands – brought him renown on the world stage. People were fascinated by his approach to travel and exploration, the way he thrust himself fully into the native Inuit cultures he encountered. Stefansson studied their language, adopted their ways, and ate the same food they ate. In fact, it was the diet of the Inuit – fish, marine mammals, and other animals, with almost no vegetables or carbohydrates – that most intrigued him. He noted that, though their diet would be considered nutritionally bereft by most “experts” (hey, nothing’s changed in a hundred years!), the Inuit seemed to be in excellent health, with strong teeth, bones, and muscles. He was particularly interested in a food called pemmican.

Pemmican consists of lean, dried meat (usually beef nowadays, but bison, deer, and elk were common then) which is crushed to a powder and mixed with an equal amount of hot, rendered fat (usually beef tallow). Sometimes crushed, dried berries are added as well. A man could subsist entirely on pemmican, drawing on the fat for energy and the protein for strength (and glucose, when needed). The Inuit, Stefansson noted, spent weeks away from camp with nothing but pemmican to eat and snow to drink to no ill effect. Stefansson, a Canadian of Icelandic origin, often accompanied them on these treks and also lived off of pemmican quite happily, so its sustaining powers weren’t due to some specific genetic adaptation unique to the Inuit. In fact, when Stefansson returned home, he and colleague adopted a meat-only diet for a year, interested in its long-term effects. A controlled examination of their experience confirmed that both men remained healthy throughout.

So, pemmican has a reputation as a sort of superfood. While I’m usually leery of such claims, the fact that the stuff is essentially pure fat and protein (plus Stefansson’s accounts) made me think that maybe there was something to it. I set out to make my own batch.

I got about a pound and a half of lean, grass-fed shoulder roast, let it firm up in the freezer, then sliced it thin. After adding liberal amounts of salt and pepper, I set the oven to the lowest possible temperature (around 150 degrees) and laid out the strips of meat directly onto the rack. I cracked the oven door to prevent moisture buildup. At this point, I also put a handful of frozen wild blueberries on a small oven pan to dry out with the meat.

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I let the meat dry out for about fifteen hours, or until it was crispy jerky that broke apart easily. I tossed the jerky in the food processor until it was powder. After the meat, in went the blueberries to process. Again, you want a powder.

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Now I was ready to render some fat. I used grass-fed bison kidney fat, which was already diced into tiny pieces. I put about half a pound of that into a cast iron pan and cooked it slowly over super-low heat.

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I made sure to stir the fat as it rendered out, and watched closely so that it wouldn’t burn. When the fat stops bubbling, the rendering is done.

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Use a strainer to avoid all the crispy bits; you just want the pure, liquid fat.

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Mix the meat and berry powder together, then slowly add the hot liquid fat. Pour just enough so that the fat soaks into the powder.

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I think I poured too much too quickly, so I added a bit of almond meal to firm it up. Let it firm up, then cut it into squares or roll it into a ball. I went with a ball.

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Pemmican will keep almost forever. Pure, dried protein and rendered (mostly saturated) fat are highly stable, so I wouldn’t worry about it going rancid. If it does, you’ll know.

Now, my pemmican wasn’t exactly delicious. In fact, it tasted a bit like bland dog food [SS Note: Try smoking the meat for more flavor]. Maybe I’ll jazz it up next time with some more salt and spices, but I don’t think pemmican is meant to be eaten for pleasure. This is utilitarian food, perfect for long treks through the wilderness. It gets the job done, and I’ll probably make it again. It definitely doesn’t taste bad; in fact, the taste grows on you after awhile.

My dog certainly enjoyed cleaning up the bowl.

Categories: Bushcrafting, DIY Preparedness Projects, Frugal Preps, Primal Skills, Primal/Paleo Lifestyle, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

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