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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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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Dharma Food Supplies

Food Storage photo c/o westword.com

If you could only store four foods for you and your family, what would they be? Come on, take your best guess. The good news is you could indeed survive with some knowledge and creativity on just four foods for you and your family for an entire year, and you wouldn’t necessarily get bored either. The reason I share these four foods with you is in response to so many pleas to simplify food storage. Although I feel more strongly about storing what you eat and eating what you store using the “meal method”, some folks just simply won’t tackle their food storage needs unless it’s broken down to ultra simple. Well, here’s ultra simple, broken down to just four foods.

Allow me to share with you what I call “The Vital Four.” I don’t call them that to be cute or cunning. These four foods are not only ideal and relatively simple to use, they are also still relatively affordable.

Hard White Wheat photo c/o pgward.org

Hard White Wheat photo c/o pgward.org

So, what would The Vital Four be? In order of priority:

  • Wheat
  • Powdered Milk
  • Honey
  • Salt

Now, before you get crazy, these foods would NOT be appropriate if you currently aren’t eating wheat. Remember that due to the significant lack of fiber in our diet today, if you were to go on an all wheat diet, you would be dead within 30 days due to the shock to your digestive system. So don’t plan on using these foods “cold turkey”, folks. You’ve got to get your body used to this kind of fiber ahead of time if you intend to survive on it. With four of the most simple foods, could this list be any more “ultra simple?”

So why this particular order?

Vital Four #1: Wheat. Wheat is at the top of the list due to its enormous amount of protein, multiple uses, fats, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins—not to mention its longevity in your storage. An unbroken wheat kernel has the ability to retain its fat without going rancid. For those of you who don’t know, wheat was discovered in the Egyptian pyramids dating back to 2500 BC. The story is told that 36 of the kernels were planted and grew and thrived into 1,500 bushels of wheat over six years. Even those who are gluten intolerant can still use wheat by sprouting it. Once you sprout it, it’s no longer a gluten compound. It’s a vegetable—particularly high in vitamin C and B which is great for blood sugar regulation and energy. (1 ounce of sprouted wheat contains an entire day’s supply of vitamin C.) In other words, sprouted wheat can compensate for the absence of fruits and vegetables in a diet. As you’ve heard me say, sprouting is ultra simple.

Milk is Good for Bones. photo c/o franklinpierce.edu

Milk is Good for Bones. photo c/o franklinpierce.edu

Vital Four #2: Milk.  An important part of the “promised land” duo, milk has a great nutritional content–particularly protein and vitamin A and D, multiple convenient uses, and also stores very well–especially with today’s technological advances. Milk is a quality food which is found to be important for the proper function of the muscles and the bones, but even more so in times of stress. Very few foods can claim to assist the body in these two critical areas in one fail swoop, and none of the others I’ve found which do assist the body in this manner taste very good in baked goods, cheeses, and sauces like milk does. I mean really. Whoever heard of spinach cheese?  There’s nothing difficult about using milk. Measure it. Water it. Mix it. That’s it. Super simple!

Vital Four #3: Honey. Honey is the ONLY food which stores indefinitely (except maybe Twinkies. But it remains to be seen whether we can really call the Twinkie “food”). It was also found in the Egyptian pyramids, and serves as a necessary sweetener in everything which may call for sugar. As you may have read in a previous article, it also has amazing medicinal virtues. One aspect you may not have considered is that the sweetness of honey is so fulfilling, it’s not likely to be over indulged in. The last thing you need in an emergency is to be addicted to a particular food. Unlike so many other sweeteners out there, honey is NOT addictive. In fact several university studies have shown that withdrawing from sugar is just as challenging to most humans as withdrawing from heroine. Honey also has small amounts of protein, iron, and vitamin C. Hmmm… sweet, nutritious, and an indefinite shelf-life. Sounds like a food storage dream.  

Vital Four #4: Salt. Many folks are surprised to hear “salt” on my list of The Vital Four. Frankly, I’m surprised as well. I’m not one to “salt my foods. I rarely use it in my cooking, preferring other sources for a salty taste instead. In actuality, our bodies are just as reliant on salt as we are on water. In fact, it keeps our fluids in balance. It is necessary to all of the cellular processes in our body. ALL of them. It’s particularly necessary for muscle contractions, such as your heartbeat, nerve impulses, and the digestion of proteins. Our bodies do not produce salt. We deplete it through normal function. And we deplete a lot of salt when we’re involved in heavy labor or intense stress. Thus we must conscientiously feed it to our bodies. In addition to all of this, it’s also a great preservative for meats and vegetables without the need of any fancy equipment. Better yet, working salt into your diet doesn’t take any trickery.

If you want to still keep things ultra simple but add a few more “luxury items” to the list, I would recommend vegetable/olive oil, peanut butter, legumes, yeast, molasses, and dried fruits.

Passport to Survival photo c/o amazon.com

Passport to Survival photo c/o amazon.com

In summary, I find it interesting that The Vital Four are referred to in the Bible as foods of prominence: wheat—“the staff of life,” “land flowing with milk and honey” (mentioned 70 times in the Bible), and salt—“the salt of the earth” and “savor.” If you want a bundle of easy and creative recipes to use with your ultra simple food stores, I highly recommend Esther Dickey’s book, “Passport to Survival.” It was published in the late 60’s so you will most likely acquire a used copy on Amazon. But I find my copy to be just as useful—if not more so—today than perhaps it was intended to be several decades ago.

So I’ve made food storage as simple as is absolutely possible. Got any more excuses for delaying your food storage?  🙂

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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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Honey photo c/o Getty

Honey photo c/o Getty

My drug of choice?  Well, I could say chocolate, or a Dr. Pepper, or even a sweet kiss from my hubby (those make my knees buckle).  But there’s nothing like a small spoonful of honey to put me in a happy, delicious mood.  Seriously.  Perhaps it’s because each time I steal a taste, I’m not just tasting the substance of honey, but its overwhelming value everyday, and in an emergency.  Honey not only tastes good, but it has numerous medicinal and comfort uses as well.  You know me, I love items that have multiple uses.  Honey is one of the super stars of my food storage AND first-aid supplies.

For starters, honey has an infinite shelf life.  As an emergency preparedness pro, I LOVE items that have an infinite shelf life.  Even if it hardens and is crystallized, it’s still perfectly good.  All you need to do is warm it up if you’re using it to drizzle on your toast.  I frequently just dump my “crystallized honey” directly in my bread dough without heating it up again.

Alexandria Catacomb photo c/o touregypt.net

Alexandria Catacomb photo c/o touregypt.net

But there’s more to the reason why honey was bartered just like silver and gold was for centuries and long considered a nectar to the gods.  Honey is rich in history of medicinal uses.  Researchers believe that it’s as a result of its many medicinal uses why honey was found in many catacombs and pyramids.  (Along with wheat, of course, that was still good.)  History has recorded honey as being the most widely used medicinal substance—particularly in the annals of Egypt.  Even during the First World War, it was used mixed with cod liver oil to treat wounds.

Honey is also an antibacterial agent.  The reason being is that it has low water content and high acidity content.  Bacteria and microorganisms can’t flourish and grow in honey.  Thus it’s a lot like hydrogen peroxide.  Mind you, the HP is a heck of a lot less expensive if you were going to use it specifically for that purpose, but HP can actually irritate and even burn some skin tissue.  It’s interesting to note that honey and hydrogen peroxide are actually closely related.  Why?  Because honey also contains a substance called glucose oxidase.  When combined with water and oxygen, glucose oxidase forms gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide.  Yup.  The very same stuff that you can get for a buck a bottle at the pharmacy. This reinforces the antiseptic effect of honey but is less damaging or irritating to skin tissue.  But, I also look at the health benefits of the food I feed to others in which I used honey.  Consider that I’m feeding and fighting at the same time.

Local Honey photo c/o timeinthekitchen.com

Local Honey photo c/o timeinthekitchen.com

If you have allergies, ingest honey from local farmers.  It will help you develop resistance to the nasty pollens that are flaring up your allergies in the first place.  The interesting thing is when you combine honey with water (such as for a sore throat) it produces the NECESSARY bacteria for human health, not the yucky bacteria (yes, I just said “yucky).  Unlike hydrogen peroxide though, honey is actually very good for burn care and is definitely less expensive than the other burn treatment contraptions out there.  There are bacteria in the digestive system that are actually aided by the chemical make-up of honey.  This is why you may have heard of honey helping with colitis symptoms as well.  

As a food, honey is one highly underestimated substance indeed.  Did you know that honey isn’t just a sugar?  It actually contains protein, iron, important enzymes, and Vitamin C.  And, as opposed to sugar, humans are not inclined to over eat honey.  It doesn’t affect your body like the drug of sugar does—making you crave more, the more you eat it.

If I had to rely on only four foods in my food storage, honey would definitely be one of the key players.  (Because I know I’ll get emails on it, the other three foods would be powdered milk, salt, and wheat.)  If I can get my hands on Snow White honey, I do at every opportunity.  It should be stored in its granulated or crystallized state until ready to use.  I also like using the Blue Chip Foods brand of their powdered honey.  It’s a bit more convenient to use in my recipes when I’m in a hurry and I don’t use nearly as much of it as I would sugar.  (Usually about only half to a third of the amount of sugar a recipe calls for.)  I recommend that you only store raw honey, not processed honey.  In actuality, processed honey is more at risk for botulism in all ages.

Munaka Bush from New Zealand photo c/o nzplantpics.com

Munaka Bush from New Zealand photo c/o nzplantpics.com

Do I have an ulterior motive in writing you about honey today?  Well, the Swine flu has been on my mind, of course, and I’ve been studying alternative uses to aid in the spread and ill effects of Swine flu.  It’s interesting to discover that there is a unique honey called Manuka honey that is made from the flowers of the Manuka bush in New Zealand.  This particular honey has been researched and is believed to have a special component which helps fight “super bugs” which are resistant to many types of antibiotics.  While I’m not suggesting that you all spend hordes of money on the internet to obtain Manuka honey, I am suggesting to incorporate honey into your food storage supplies because of its tasty adaptation in any recipe that calls for sugar as well as the safe medicinal effects it has on the body. 

One caveat here.  As a general rule, honey should not be fed to a child under the age of one year old.  Their immune systems aren’t able to handle the pores inherent in honey and could contract botulism.  However, beyond that you will find honey to be an effective laxative, stomach ache cure, and aiding against colic as well.

Here are some medicinal honey recipes:

  • Stomach Ache: Mix one teaspoon of honey, juice of ½ lemon with a hot glass of water.  Due to it’s diuretic effect, it’s better to use this method first thing in the morning.
  • Coughs and Colds: Mix 6 oz. liquid honey, 2 oz. glycerin with juice of 2 lemons.  Bottle and seal firmly.  Use as necessary.  You can’t “overdose” on this particular cough medicine.
  • Sore Throats: Allow 1 teaspoon of honey melt in the back of the mouth and trickle down the throat.  This will ease inflamed, raw tissues.
  • Insomnia: Honey helps in nervous disorders including insomnia and acts as a tonic in recovery of any damage to the human nervous system.  Mix one teaspoon of honey in a cup of luke-warm water.  Drink before going to bed.  Obviously, it’s a lot less expensive and safer than Tylenol PM.

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
Photo c/o barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu

Photo c/o barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu

What you don’t know about expiration dates may cost you a bundle. Even more importantly, it may cost you your survival. Millions of pounds of food are thrown away all throughout America every year simply because the expiration date says that the food has gone bad. Well, you need to know about the truth on expiration dates, because the prevalent thought is costing you lots of money. Expiration dates exist for one reason, and one reason only, and that’s to protect the legal backsides of the manufacturers. They rarely have anything to do with the quality or taste of the food. Just because an expiration date has come and gone does NOT mean that your food has suddenly turned poisonous, ineffective, rancid, tasteless, or lacking in nutrition. It only means that their insurance or legal liability extends to the date printed on the package.

Examples: I’ve had spices in my cabinet for 5 years and they STILL season my food sufficiently. I’ve used cake mixes over a year past their expiration date and so long as I’m using fresh eggs, oil, etc., the mixes have never let me down.

Taking a few step simple steps towards extending the life of your food storage will help you significantly.

Keep in mind that in ALL instances, storing your food items in a cool, dry place is the optimal condition.

Photo c/o indiamart.com

Photo c/o indiamart.com

Did you know that sugar is a preservative? Think about it. How many fruits do you buy that come packaged in a syrup? That’s because syrup preserves items. So purchasing fruit in a syrup base will actually ensure that they last longer than a water base. If an item has sugar in it, it’s going to store a heck of a long time longer than its expiration date. Don’t throw it out willy nilly.

Items which contain oil as one of its primary ingredients will go bad shortly after the expiration date. This includes salad dressings, mayonnaise, and meats stored in oil. So pay attention to the ingredients of items which you intend to store long term.

When your stored food requires the addition of other products, such as pancake mix, cake mixes, soup mixes, etc., they will usually taste just fine so long as you add fresh ingredients such as oil, eggs, milk, produce, etc. (I mean really, just how bad can anything taste with fresh grated cheese melted on top? :))

Oats are also very hard to store long term, even under ideal circumstances. I recommend storing groats instead and then use a flaker. Groats will store almost indefinitely in a sealed container in a cool, dry environment.

Canned goods are an ideal way to store items. Number 10 cans are common for just about any food product being stored long-term. Boxed items or items in large paper containers are more challenging to extend. They get wet easily, they are porous, and they are easily infiltrated by “little critters.” While they can go as much as a year longer then their expiration dates, care must be taken to preserve their taste and overall makeup. You can seal boxed items via a Food Saver (sealer) and with an oxy packet and doing so can literally double their shelf-life.

Photo c/o naturalfamilyblog.com

Photo c/o naturalfamilyblog.com

The use of oxy packets in your food storage will also extend their life well past their expiration dates. But when storing food items in a 5 gallon bucket don’t use an oxy packet. Since the plastic is porous it’s essentially useless.

Don’t fall for the myth of “not placing your buckets on concrete.” That’s only applicable if the concrete gets heated. If you’re storing anything on concrete/cement that gets heated, such as with the heat of the sun, then yes, the chemicals from the concrete will leech chemicals from the buckets. However, if it’s in your cool, dry basement, you don’t have to worry about putting the storage containers on the floor.

Ultimately storing foods that you eat and rotating them is the best way to ensure they’re edible and enjoyable. But if you’re storing enough for a year, that’s not always realistic. Appetites, convenience, busy lifestyles, and restaurants come into play. I mean really, I could have a years worth of groceries, but unless the electricity is out and all hell has broken loose, I’m definitely going to make my husband take me out to dinner occasionally.

And that’s the truth about expiration dates.

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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