Wednesday, December 5, 2012

100% Whole Wheat Crackers Homemade

More and more I feel strongly that we need to become self-sufficient.  I know that becoming self-sufficient is impossible for some, but we can have different levels of self-sufficiency.  It is important to clean up our food.  As most are aware, the closer we can get to nature's way of doing things, the better off we will be.
So, instead of purchasing my usual box of whole wheat crackers at the store, I decided to try making them.  And, it was surprisingly easy. 

The end result was a good tasting cracker.  Not a "Ritz" mind you, but a good, nutty, whole wheat cracker that my body loves to use for fuel.  No preservatives or additives.  Just what nature packed into that whole grain.  With a few simple ingredients, I have taken another step closer to self-sufficiency and another step away from dependency on a grocery store for what I eat. 
In the end, I didn't even need the mixer, it is something I could have mixed up in a bowl.  So simple.  Next time you want a wholesome snack, I hope you will follow this simple recipe and tweek it to suit you. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Experiencing Growth by Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Hello my Prepared Household.  I had to take a necessary leave, but I am back.  During my absence, I have grown so much as I stepped outside my comfort zone.  I have spent the last seven months living and working in another state, while my family stayed behind.  Not an ideal situation, but necessary.  While away from my spouse, I became a more independent person and I learned a lot.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a rut.  Doing the same routine over and over again leaves us no room for growth.  So, I want to take this time to advise you to think outside the box and stretch yourself by stepping outside your normal comfort zone.  You will be surprised at what you learn and how you grow.
So, what did I learn?  I continued my journey on becoming healthy.  Good health is probably one of the most important things we need in order to be prepared.  In order to be an asset, instead of a liability, we need to become as healthy as we can possibly be.  We all have different levels of health, mobility, etc., but we need to stretch and strive to be the healthiest we can be.
During my time away, I had a lot of "me" time.  I had the ability to focus on my health.  I learned a lot more about nutrition.  I think I have been very successful.  I lost 42 pounds so far and I have decreased the need for medication.  As a matter of fact, I used to be an insulin dependent diabetic.  (Notice I said used to?)  I went away taking 90 units of insulin a day and I came back this past week no longer on insulin.  Now remember, I am not a physician and I am not telling you to go off insulin.  I didn't make this leap overnight.  With my doctor's assistance, while eating clean, healthy, unprocessed foods and being active, I achieved this goal. 
Not everyone can do this.  But I had to.  My health was deteriorating and I had to make a change.  If you are able to make this change, if your health permits it, go to your doctor without delay.  DO NOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN...IT IS DANGEROUS AND YOU COULD DIE.  But with your doctor's assistance, and your desire to get better, you could be healthier tomorrow than you were today.
I will be doing a series of videos to document my journey to being healthy.  Just remember that this is my weight loss journey and this is what I did and what is working or not working for me.  I am not a physician and can't give you advice on what to do to lose weight.  But maybe this will inspire you to seek help and get healthy.
Here is the first video:
 Happiness and health in the journey.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Should Sugar be Regulated Like Alcohol and Tobacco?

My first gut reaction to that question was, "No!  Why would we need Big Brother sticking his nose in yet another facet of my life?"  It's not as if we aren't being told more and more what we can do and what we can't.  I don't want a man in a trench coat coming in and taking my stash of chocolate, along with anything else he wants.  Okay, okay maybe that's getting a little over the top, but it happens.  Just ask Rawsome Foods who was raided because of regs on raw milk.  Check out  this article.

But when I read the articles regarding sugar, it was enlightening.

Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco advise that "Sugar poses enough health risks that it should be considered a controlled substance just like alcohol and tobacco."

I won't copy the articles here verbatim, but I highly recommend that you read them.  The research is eye opening and explains a lot.

Scientists contend:  "But there are also other areas of impact that researchers have investigated: the effect of sugar on the brain and how liquid calories are interpreted differently by the body than solids. Research has suggested that sugar activates the same reward pathways in the brain as traditional drugs of abuse like morphine or heroin. No one is claiming the effect of sugar is quite that potent, but, says Brownell, 'it helps confirm what people tell you anecdotally, that they crave sugar and have withdrawal symptoms when they stop eating it.'"

I know some people do not crave sugar.  My husband doesn't.  Personally I can tell you that the effect on me is strong because I do crave sugar.  When I don't get it, I am almost frantic.  Very similar to someone wanting their next "fix" or an alcoholic needing his next drink.  When I finally get my "sweet", it is a feeling of relief and I sigh contentedly as I eat it.

I have successfully stopped eating sugar in the past by "tricking" my brain into thinking I was eating sugar.  I used alternative sweeteners and was satisfied.  Therefore, I think a lot of it may be in the brain and senses, not a body chemistry reaction.  Once the sugar is out of the system for a couple days, the cravings go away.  And should I even take a taste of something with refined sugar in it, I am hooked once again.  I have problems with artificial sweeteners though, because they cause my heart to beat sluggishly.  So I have stopped using them.  I just need to try to go cold turkey on the refined sugars for a couple of days to get the cravings to stop.  I would welcome any suggestions.  As you know, we recently started to walk for our health and I believe the next step is healthy eating.
As I read these articles, I wondered about how sugar is made and discovered that in both sugar cane and sugar beets chemicals are added to refine them into sugar.  The process is explained at length here, but doesn't enlighten us on exactly what chemicals are used.  However, in my (humble) opinion, the addition of chemicals to your food and ultimately to your body cannot be good, no matter what the chemical.

Also, I checked some foods in the house and realized sugar is hidden in a lot of foods we eat that we may not realize. 

So, in response to the question, "Should sugar be regulated like alcohol and tobacco?", I would have to say...Maybe.  Yes, manufacturers should be held accountable for what they pack into processed foods.  Then again, we are talking about processed foods.  We need to get back to basics and take processed foods and refined sugars out of our diets, but that is probably another blog entry all together.

Put a tax on it if you want.  I don't care.  Ultimately, it's personal responsibility and I need to step up and eat healthy.

As far as sugar in my food storage, I plan on focusing on natural sugars like honey, molasses and natural sugars in fruits.  So, tell me your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Watch more on my thoughts here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Health or Being Physcially Prepared

Our health is important and being physically prepared or as fit as possible is extremely important.  Others rely on us and we need to do everything we can to not only be there for them, but to not be a burden.  I realize that there comes a time in ones life when despite all they do, they are just not as fit as they once were and rely on others.  There's no shame in that.  However, I am not as physically fit as I could be and I plan to change that.
I have struggled with health issues recently, and one of them being diabetes.  Diabetes is not easily controlled and the medications can be expensive.  While I have stocked up on my necessary medicines (always a prepper), I know that there may come a time when I can't get it.  Insulin is very expensive, not to mention you need a syringe to inject it.  So, I need to decrease my dependence on insulin, and hopefully remove it all together.  I don't know if it is possible, but I am going to try. 

So hubby and I decided to start walking every day and for the last three days we have walked approximately a mile.

My blood glucose was 368 (normal is 70-100) at 9:00 a.m. this morning.  I took my meds, ate breakfast and we began our walk around 10:00 a.m.  It took us two hours and we had a great time.  We made videos and worked around in the yard.  I started feeling like my blood glucose levels were dropping, so around 1:00 I checked it again.  It was 86!  Exercise can do wonders for your glucose levels!   

Since, I hate to waste time and I get bored so easily, we decided to multi-task on our walks. Make a game out of it.   Watch this video for details:

So, we are going to walk daily, pick up aluminum cans and scrap metal to make a few pennies, while we clean up the environment a little. Also, we are learning the native plants that grow beside the road. Can you identify these plants?

Believe it or not, while walking and keeping yourself entertained, you can find useful objects like reels, coal and golf balls.  LOL.  See the video below. 

So get out there and make a little bit of money, have fun and exercise.  Hubby says we are losing a few pounds while we find a few pounds (of cans and metal that is.)  Enjoy yourself and happy prepping!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Years Resolution Versus Goals

I don't like making New Years Resolutions. They are by their very nature made to be broken. I want to set goals. Goals can be achieved! I have many goals this year and I make mini goals to achieve those larger goals.

Photo courtesy of
So, what are my goals you may ask? I want to live a more self-sufficient life on this planet. I don't want to be dependent on anyone for my next meal or my next breath for that matter.

So the steps:

1. Become healthy and strong;
2. Garden;
3. Use less electricity;
a. grow accustom to cooler temps in winter and warmer temps in summer;
b. line dry clothes
c. weatherize and use various strategies to help keep home warm in winter and cooler in summer
4. Use less. Period.
5. Make my own
a. Pizza dough, foods, detergent, furniture, clothes, quilts, soap, cream of chicken soup, soup base, butter, etc.
6. Perfect a bartering system locally.
7. Soooooo much more!

Are all these goals attainable right now? No, but some of them are. I can’t make butter, I don’t have a cow or goats. But I might be able to trade for some. I am sure there are many things I can learn to do. But I need someone to teach me.

So, our path to self-sufficiency has been a struggle and we have been on this journey for nearly three years now. We have had some successes and some miserable fails! But we have learned lessons. I know that there are those out there that have learned lessons too and we can learn from each other.

So whether your goal is total self-sufficiency, a homestead or just getting prepared for life’s storms this is the place to be. I believe that being prepared involves self sufficiency. For years, our fore fathers were self-sufficient and supplied their own needs. Granted, I can’t grow a pineapple here, but there will be sacrifices and we all know it. I believe we are headed toward disaster and we better prepare ourselves for it now.

Since we are all on different levels of preparedness and we are all in different financial situations, I hope to cover things that are affordable to everyone. I love to learn how to do things for myself, but I am often discouraged when people talk about things that above my means. I want to include everyone I can.
Share your tricks:
1. How you save money to buy preps or other things you need?
2. What are your short cuts?
3. Where do you get items cheap?

Don’t be shy! Share! If you want to share something, but don’t want to post it yourself, let me know and I will post it without your information attached. This is how we learn, from each other.

Happy Prepping!