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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sodium



In general, we Americans eat too much and as a result of eating too much we consume too much fat, sugar, and sodium.

This is not a diatribe against Americans, but rather a cautionary message.

Our nation has abundance and we enjoy that abundance.

It is a good thing that most Americans do not know what true hunger is.

I’m saying we need to enjoy the abundance our country affords us, responsibly.

We read labels for many food items, but we need to watch our sodium intake.

The safe amount to consume is 2400 milligrams per day, but sodium shows up in many products that aren’t salty.

Sodas have sodium. Sports drinks have sodium. Heck even store-bought iced tea has sodium in it.

Some people actually believe that in a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event we need more sodium to keep up hydrated.

Nonsense. Just drink water.

Let’s make the case for why sodium is dead-wrong for a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event.

A SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event increases stress, heart rate, and blood pressure. We bust open our pouches of SHTF or TEOTWAWKI foods and chow down. The over-the-top amounts of sodium in those pouched foods only deepens the high-blood-pressure threat.

Stop and think.

We stockpile pouches of food that can last forever, but because the food in those pouches have a pretty ridiculous amount of sodium in them, we must use them with intelligence.

Mountain House is an excellent company that makes high-quality food products, but most of their products have a dizzyingly high level of sodium in them.

That is not a dig at Mountain House because they are no different than their competitors.

They deliver a high quality product with way too much sodium in them because—as Americans—we have grown accustomed to consuming too much sodium.

We are at fault, not Mountain House.

Do I own Mountain House products? Yes.

I would be foolish not to have a selection of their products for a dire emergency where I have to leave my home.

What I am proposing is something different.

I propose we cook fresh from scratch and actively reduce our sodium intake by paying attention to literally every ingredient AND have a selection of pouched foods for dire emergencies.

Most people realize that bugging in is better than bugging out.

If we bug in, we should not need pouched foods.

Bugging in should take advantage of our pantries.

I say lets prepare the foods that stock our pantries more than we buy processed foods.

We can make and then can or freeze our own spaghetti and enchilada sauces, salsa, and broths.

Homemade always tastes better.

Buy canned vegetables with “no salt added” written on the label whenever possible. When you cannot buy “no salt added” canned foods, make a conscious decision NOT to season with salt.

Canned meats are excessively high in sodium.

Meat can be canned…easily.

Homemade canned meats will have better flavor, quality, and wholesomeness than store-bought canned.

Canning meat is time consuming and buying canned meats is convenient. 

I get that and we need some canned meat, but the majority of our food should be homemade.

I want to be proactive. 

I want to ensure that the food I am consuming in a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event is of excellent quality.

I live in an earthquake zone.

It is quite possible that I would have to leave my home with my trusted Mountain House products…and I would because I can go to any Starbucks and get hot water in order to feed my daughter and myself.

The sodium content would be unavoidable, but a necessary evil.

However, if I were bugged in without electricity, my pantry of home-prepared food bases will taste better, be more nutritious, and not have excess sodium.

My path to rejecting mindless sodium consumption has taught me how amazing foods taste without excess salt.

I've also learned how stupidly simple things are to make.

Men, women, sons, and daughters need to be in the kitchen building competence there.


Live a healthy life every day because that will fortify you in a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event, but more importantly in a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event your stockpile of healthy food choices will save your life.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mr. Grumpytrousers




To outsiders, being a prepper is a mindset—one monolithic, right-winged, misguided-at-best mindset—but the reality is that there are a multitude of mindsets.

Some want to be the “gray” man who is prepped but no one knows it.

Others want to be the camo-wearing, Hummer owner with a knife between his teeth ready to bug out to Buttfluck Idaho at the slightest interruption in normalcy.

Too many of us relish talking about #WROL, #SHTF, #TEOTWAWKI, and #C-Day.

Too may of us relish being Mr. Grumpytrousers.

We wallow in worst case scenarios.

I’m not saying we should all whistle past the graveyard or retreat into a normalcy bias from hell, but I am saying that we could lead by example.

I want to be the open prepper. I want people know know I prep.

Yes, I could get punked in a #SHTF moment, but I would rather increase the number of people who prep rather than trying to guard against the uneducated and uninformed.

I am a teacher by trade, so I value bringing knowledge to people.

I became a prepper—not because I was scared spitless into it—but because a Mormon couple I dearly love providing an example that made sense to me.

Yes, they are prepared for #SHTF and #TEOTWAWKI, but more importantly, they are prepared for FORSEEABLE crises, not imagined ones.

I began my journey as a prepper and concurrently I decided to write about my growth as an emerging prepper.

I have learned a lot.

I believe we preppers should be ambassadors rather than keepers of arcane information that only we know.

We need to change our image.

We are sane people who are outfitting pantries, looking at frugal practices, taking nothing about our lives for granted, and looking to be responsible people as our default.

We need not to bristle when someone “offends” us. Today, my daughter and I made a Dr. Pepper cake and she wanted to take one layer to her mother—my exwife—and so we boxed it up. The first question out of my ex was whether the cake she eyed with suspicion was a “survivor” cake.

I have no idea what a survivor cake is.

I could have been Mr. Grumpytrousers and protested, but instead I just reiterated what it was.

My ex doesn’t “get” prepping and I have to be patient enough to not react to her “funny haha” comments, which are neither funny nor haha.

My ex may never become a prepper, but my daughter values frugality.

In six weeks, we have run the dryer 4 times because we have a clothesline.

During summer, my daughter is amazed that our pantry has everything we need to survive.

In August, she and I are headed to a family reunion barbecue that is prepper themed.

As preppers, we are not crazies.


We are—yes—misunderstood, but not crazy.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Austerity





The cataclysm in Greece offers a very troubling possibility to Americans.

What would happen in an American economic collapse?

If you think an American collapse is impossible, realize that we have had several.

The Great Depression was the most damaging one and another is possible—even likely—given the fiscal mismanagement by President Obama.

President Obama DOUBLED the all-time debt of EVERY President before him in just 2 ½ years.

That is irresponsible—no wait—that’s criminal.

That catastrophic reality is not all of it.

By the time Obama leaves office, he will have doubled the debt yet again.

Every American owes just shy of $60K to pay off the debt.

Democrats love social programs that enslave people.

The Democrats give free money to people who have not earned it and then they tell those people that the evil Republicans want to take away the money they supposedly deserve.

When the collapse happens—and it will—the FIRST people to suffer will be those with their hand out wanting free money.

We will have “Ferguson terrorists” across the nation.

The second group of people to lose will be those who have their money in the bank.

As in Greece, money will be confiscated making you a pauper.

Having some of your money in cash is a good hedge to the societal stupidity that will ensue.

Liberals believe that everyone deserves everything.

Idiocy!

Liberals believe that minimum wage is a career wage.

Idiocy!

Liberals believe that medical insurance is a right.

Idiocy!

Medical care is a human right, but insurance isn’t.

The more we say people “deserve” things without saying to them that must “earn” things, the quicker we head toward the clusterscrew that Greece currently is.

If anything, we need to require that ALL people receiving public assistance do community service in exchange for their free money.

Take the dollar amount of their free money and divide it by the minimum wage and that is the number of hours they must contribute back to the community BEFORE they receive their check.

That’s right.

They work first THEN get their money.

Why? Because that is how working people are paid.

I also have no moral qualm with requiring all people getting public assistance to have to prove they are drug and crime (felony) free to receive the money.

Mess up once and you’re banned from receiving free money.

In general, I believe that austerity should be how our government runs.

We should have a big surplus NOT a big debt.

Thus, when something like 9-11 happens, we have the cushion to respond, rather than running up the debt.

My position is unpopular because our society is focused on feeling good, not sweating the details, and having the money magically come from somewhere.


Perhaps it comes from rainbow-spitting unicorns.