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By Kellene Bishop

h1n1-prevention-child-sick-in-bedI’m getting a lot of e-mails lately asking me for more details on the H1N1 risks. Frankly, I have a whole lot to say about the H1N1 flu, but that would probably take an entire day. So today I want to share some very basic aspects to help you begin to cut through some of the myths and misunderstandings about H1N1.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #1: First of all, don’t waste all of your money on the N95 respirator masks. Yes, they are a great quality. So are my expensive clogging shoes. But they will not do much to prevent me from getting sick. The N95 respirator masks are constructed to filter 95% of particulate that are 0.3µ, but the primary size of the H1N1 virus is 0.1µ, so they will pass through. The masks are good for other viruses that may result as a complication of the H1N1. But they will do very little to prevent you from getting H1N1 in the first place.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #2: H1N1 is transferred from one person to another via the nose and the mouth. It is only able to compound and grow (proliferate) in the upper respiratory system. So if you are going to take some preventative measures now (which I recommend you do), take actions that help the upper respiratory system such as a nasal saline rinse (they work wonders, I’m telling you!), or warm liquids, and the diffusing of some great essential oils such as Thieves. These are ideal preventative measures.

Upper Respiratory System photo c/o health.com

Upper Respiratory System photo c/o health.com

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #3: It’s virtually impossible for you NOT to come in contact with the H1N1. Contact with the virus won’t hurt you. But allowing the virus to proliferate in your upper respiratory system is what can be dangerous. Keeping your upper respiratory system clean and healthy so as not to provide an ideal environment for the proliferation of the flu virus is your best bet. The virus will only last in your system for about 2 weeks according to its natural cycle. So be diligent in your preventative measures so that you never give the virus a 2 week span in which it can grow to aggravate symptoms, get others ill, etc.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #4: Tamiflu does NOT kill the H1N1 virus. It is merely distributed to subdue the proliferation of the virus in the body. (Kind of like smothering a fire which doesn’t always work, depending on how the smothering agent is applied.) If Tamiflu is effective in the body for the 2 week duration, then you’ll notice very little illness and symptoms. Considering you are nearly guaranteed that you will have contact with the virus and that it’s not likely that you will “kill” it, it’s very important that you do everything you can not to encourage the virus’ growth. In addition to the aforementioned preventative measures, there are some other, relatively simple ways to defend yourself against the impact of this virus—without taking chances on chemical solutions.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #5: While it may sound a bit too simplistic, be sure to wash your hands a LOT! I wash mine nearly 3 times more daily than I used to in an essential oil base, such as Thieves. I also carry a little spray bottle of Thieves essential oil with me and spray down questionable surfaces as well as my hands when I’m out and about.

Gargle Salt Water. Photo c/o Photographic Advertising Limited

Gargle Salt Water. Photo c/o Photographic Advertising Limited

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #6: While most people only associate gargling salt water as what they do when they are sick, I suggest that you do it twice a day now. If you don’t care for salt water, then spray some Thieves oil in your mouth twice a day as a preventative measure. Bacteria and viruses simply cannot multiply in a salty environment. Don’t underestimate this. I’ve felt like I’ve been fighting something for a couple of weeks. So I’ve been faithful about taking more immune system builders, drinking my green drink, and spraying my throat twice daily.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #7: PLEASE keep your hands off of your face. When you touch your face, just picture you giving a “helping hand” to those little mongrel viruses right to your nose and mouth. Before applying makeup, be sure you’ve cleaned your hands. Moms, whatever you do, don’t do that licking of the finger to get a smudge or an errant hair under control. When you handle the drool of a little one, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #8: If you’re eating out, don’t TRUST that the table has been cleaned properly. Bring a sani-wipe with you and use it on the table. Be sure that you sanitize your hands before bringing food to your mouth either by utensils or by hand.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #9: When you use a tissue, be sure to use it once and then throw it away. If you reuse it (out of a need to conserve—I get it) you could be giving the virus a lift to your mouth and nose again.

Avoid people who have been vaccinated within the last 2 weeks. Photo c/o ehow.com

Avoid people who have been vaccinated within the last 2 weeks. Photo c/o ehow.com

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #10: OK. Here’s another bit you should know. Try to avoid contact with those who have had the vaccination in the last 2 weeks as much as you would avoid someone who has the flu. The vaccination does carry a smidge of the actual virus in it. Whether or not it’s able to proliferate within its host body doesn’t mean that it can’t do so in your body.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #11: Also get as much Vitamin D3 as you can. Conscientiously make yourself walk outside in the sun to absorb as much of it as possible. Have your kids do the same. Supplementing 5,000 IUs per day per adult and 2,000 IUs per day for children is a sound preventative measure. Vitamin D3 is a known immune regulator. (Isn’t that great how God has provided us with something like this for FREE?!) Remember, D3, not the common stuff you find stale on the pharmacy shelves. If you take a calcium supplement as well, you’ll dramatically improve the absorption of the Vitamin D3, as does zinc. Other health professionals have recommend taking 1,000 IUs of Vitamin C daily as well as a good source for multi-vitamin, including selenium. (Selenium is an anti-viral and an anti-inflammatory.)

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #12: Last but not least, try to avoid sugar, which suppresses the full functions of your immune system. Also avoid the less healthy oils such as corn, safflower, peanut, and soybean as they too suppress the immune system. Instead use grapeseed (which has a VERY long shelf-life) sesame, and cold pressed coconut oil if possible.

I’m currently working on an in-depth piece about what to do when you’re threatened or forced to take the vaccination against your will.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Germ Warfare. Photo c/o positivepsychologynews.com

Germ Warfare. Photo c/o positivepsychologynews.com

Yes, you do have a right to be a fanatic. When it comes to war, any war, the winner is always the one who never assumes they are safe. These same tactics must be applied to germ warfare as well.

There just had to be a Part II to my previous article on Germ Warfare. After writing the first article, I kept being mentally nagged by other danger zones I had left out. In some instances, I believe these germ danger zones may be more nefarious than some of those listed in my original article. So read on, and prepare to change some more of your life’s habits.

Soda pop and other canned goods—The other night while I was teaching a class on quarantine/pandemic ironically, a free can of soda pop was offered to everyone in the room. As I watched everyone happily opened their can of pop and drank from it. I on the other hand washed mine at the sink, wiped it off with a sani-wipe and then drank from it—simply because I couldn’t find any straws. Remember, you have absolutely NO idea what rodents the cans were exposed to at their original warehouse, as they were transported, or as they were housed at the retailer you purchased them from. Hanta virus is still a viable concern even if you have no rodents in your own home.

According to a new study, steering wheels have twice as many germs as toilet seats. Photo c/o autoexpress.co.uk

According to a new study, steering wheels have twice as many germs as toilet seats. Photo c/o autoexpress.co.uk

Steering wheel—Even if I avoid the fact that many people have questionable hygiene habits when they are in their own little world in their car, the fact of the matter is, you don’t exactly turn your head away from your steering wheel when you sneeze, cough, etc. Your steering wheel gets the brunt of all that nature expels from your mouth and nose. PLEASE be sure to clean it off regularly with sani-wipes. (If you haven’t picked up on it yet, manufacturers of sani-wipes may be a hot stock pick right about now. :))

Get your drinks WITHOUT ice—I know that’s unfathomable to most of you. But here’s an eye opening statistic. You have a 70% chance of having MORE e-coli (which comes from feces) in your ice than is in the toilet from the same restaurant, airline, hotel, etc. Yes! Not just a 70% chance of finding e-coli there. But a 70% chance that your ice will be MORE contaminated than the toilet water! Studies showed that the number of stars a restaurant or hotel had made no difference in the quality of water in most cases. E-coli is introduced into the water by the water source used to make the ice, bare hands used to load the ice (instead of the scoop) and the fact that the lines to the ice machines are virtually NEVER cleaned out. 

Lemon wedges—avoid them in your drinks. I loathe the taste of tap water but I simply mask the taste by requesting a lemon wedge. Alas, I won’t be doing that any more. Lemon wedges have a 77% chance of being contaminated with e-coli, staph infection, or a myriad of other infectious bacteria. The only good thing you’ve got going for you is the fact that lemon juice is a natural anti-bacterial and disinfectant agent. *whew* Lemons are usually put into your drinks by bare hands despite the fact that they’re supposed to be handled with gloves. However, most restaurants leave it up to the servers to put them in your drinks. Having them placed on your dinner plates should be safe though as that’s usually done by a food handler in the kitchen.

Beware of gas pumps! Photo c/o blog.foreignpolicy.com

Beware of gas pumps! Photo c/o blog.foreignpolicy.com

Gas pumps—If I had to give an award for the LEAST amount of cleaning on a public item ever, gas pumps would win hands down. Think about it. When have you EVER seen someone clean those? When you pump your gas, use a paper towel that the station usually has on hand or at least sanitize the heck out of your hands before you touch ANYTHING else—including your keys.

Last but not least is a stern word of warning about playgrounds. Those bouncy houses that your kids play in NEVER get sanitized. They get vacuumed sometimes, but never fully cleaned. The ones containing the bouncy balls are a cesspool of germs of the grossest kinds. When have you ever seen a school janitor clean the chains on the swings or the bars on the monkey bars or the handles on the teeter totters? How about the playground equipment such as balls, jump ropes, etc? It’s imperative that you teach your kids to SANITIZE their hands after recess or after using such equipment on any occasion.

Bottom line, you have EVERY right to be fanatical about your health care. This is your life we’re talking about here. You MUST be in a heightened state of awareness in order to prevent you and your family from getting unnecessarily ill. One touch is all it takes folks, so be mindful. You wouldn’t take your kid down a dark alley in the middle of the city at 3:00 a.m. Making contact with e-coli or the Hanta virus or the H1N1 virus isn’t any less of a gamble. So start putting the odds in your favor. This is called germ warfare for a reason. Position yourself to win every battle.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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bottling-butterBy Kellene Bishop

June 12, 2007.  That was a day I experienced a moment of euphoria as a concern of mine had just been satisfied completely.  That was the day I discovered you could bottle butter.  It was a very, very happy day for me, until I began doing research on it.  There were an abundance of comments surfacing on the internet stating that bottling butter simply wasn’t safe because it was “impossible” to get rid of any botulism.  My joy was squashed.  But after speaking to many lifetime emergency preparedness folks who swore that bottling butter was just fine, I decided to do more research on the matter.  The good news is I’ve decided to fully embrace bottling butter.  The thought of butter on my homemade wheat bread, even in the midst of a crisis, is just too enticing to pass up.  So here’s how I’ve come up with my rationale for bottling butter in spite of what some information on the internet has said.

1)      History: I interviewed no less than TWENTY individuals who have been bottling butter and using it without any instances of illness or food poisoning.  Most of these individuals have been bottling butter for longer than a decade.  The key is to use clean and sanitized jars and lids as well as to bring the butter up to the boiling point. (Instructions follow)

2)      The Source of the Bottled Butter Controversy: The bottom line is that oxygen and bacteria are the primary culprits in the deterioration of foods.  Just as fire can’t live without oxygen, bacteria doesn’t do so well without it either.  The bottling butter process eliminates oxygen from the butter.  However, nothing—not the canning of any item—can  be certain to  “kill” botulism.  You simply need to make sure that you do not provide a source for botulism in the first place.

Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum.  Such bacteria are commonly found in soil.  Butter is not a substance harvested from soil.  Additionally, instances of botulism have been mostly eradicated in the U.S.  Each year, the CDC records roughly 25 cases of food borne botulism poisoning.  Most of the findings originate in some fermented whale and other traditional foods prepared by Alaska natives.  There has not been a case of commercially prepared foods containing botulism since the early 1970s.  (Click here for a link of warning)

I have found that the majority of those who state that bottling butter is dangerous are relying primarily on a report issued by the USDA as linked for you above.  In other words, the primary entity stating NOT to bottle your own butter is the Department of Agriculture.  While I may sound a bit like a rebel, I don’t give that much stock.  After all, the FDA, Surgeons General, etc., have made a whole lot of big mistakes over the years such as “smoking IS NOT hazardous”, “Laetrile will not help with cancer”, “Ephedrine is perfectly safe”, just to name a few.  I’ve found that a great deal of “government studies” always tend to benefit the person who’s paying for the study.  Clearly it would not be financially beneficial to the commercial dairy manufacturers if folks were bottling their own butter. 

While you’ll have to make this decision for yourself, I for one will be bottling my own butter and stocking up on it any time I can get it for less than $1.50 a pound.  After all, does the USDA tell you that you can store cheese on your own for 25 years, or that you can store “fresh” eggs for 9 months?  I think not.  And yet I KNOW that these methods work.  I’ve also seen several “butter storing” canisters for sale on the shelves at kitchens supply stores.  Again, the concept is that you can store the butter on your counter by eliminating the oxygen that gets into it.

I have a confession to make.  I keep my butter on the counter by the toaster for when I have toast.  I don’t refrigerate it.  I’ve done it ever since I was a little kid, ’cause that’s just what Mom and Grandma did.  I’ve NEVER gotten food poisoning—ever.

When it comes to using your bottled butter, I have a recommendation.  In an emergency situation where you’re having to make your supplies last for “who knows how long” I don’t recommend using your bottled butter for anything other than buttering.  Applesauce, pie fillings, oils, and so many other items will suffice as substitues in your other baking and cooking endeavors.  So don’t think that you have to bottle enough butter to use in everything to last you for a year.  Save the butter moments for when it really counts.

Here are the bottled butter instructions.  You’ll see that they are VERY easy.

  • As an extra precaution, I place all of my jars, rings (no seals), utensils, pots, funnel, etc., that I am going to use for this project out in my solar oven for about 30 minutes at 200 to 250 degrees so that they are all sanitized.
  • You can use any butter available, but I don’t recommend bottling margarine.   The less quality of butter that you buy will take a little bit more “shaking’ but I’ll get to that later.  The results are the same regardless of how much you spend on the butter.
  • (One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars.  A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.)
  • Heat up your clean, pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals.
  • While the jars are heating in your oven, melt your unwrapped butter slowly in a pot on your stove until it comes to a slow boil.  DO NOT DO THIS IN THE MICROWAVE.  Be sure that the pot you are using is EXTRA clean and sanitized.  (I always like to make sure the pot I use has gone through the sanitize cycle of my dishwasher or the sanitation recommendation above.)  Boil the butter for 5 minutes like this.  Using a clean utensil, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching.  When you rest the utensil, be certain that it is NOT placed on any area that may have germs.  Being sure to do a slow boil will make the necessary shaking time shorter.
  • Place the rings and lids in a pot boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until needed.  Use tongs to pull them out of the water to avoid burning your hands.
  • Once the butter is finished boiling, remove it from the heat.  Using a ladle or small measuring cup, scoop the butter from the pan and pour it into the jars.  I like using a funnel to ensure I don’t leave a mess.   Fill the jars leaving a ¾ inch of head space in the jar.  This allows room for the shaking process.
  • Wipe off the top of the jars with a clean, sanitized towel or wash cloth. Place a hot lid and ring on the jar.  Secure lids.  The lids will seal as they cool.  Once a few lids “ping,” shake the entire jar while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle safely.  You are doing this because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom.  You want to blend it as much as possible while it cools.  Repeat this every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes.  You will begin to see a the same consistency in the entire jar.
  • Now place your jars into the refrigerator.  While they are cooling and hardening, shake again every 5 to 10 minutes for a half hour.  The butter will begin to look like firm butter.  Be sure that you don’t skip this step as the final shaking is very important!  Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar.  Leave the jars in the fridge for a total of one hour.

Canned butter will store for 3 to 5 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf.  I’ve had butter as “old as 7 years” with no problems or compromise in taste.  Know that your bottled butter will not re-melt after you’ve bottled it so you won’t need to refrigerate it after opening (yet another plus, in my book), though you should still plan on using it up within a reasonable amount of time.

Ultimately, if you don’t want to bottle butter, you can store it in your freezer and then use it up if your electricity dies.  If you decide that THEN would be a good time to try to bottle the butter after all, you can do so with a solar oven or simply by the power of the sun in your backyard.  But that’s another story.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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