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I used to wake up in the morning and just flat out ache getting out of bed. My feet hurt, back hurt, and I just hurt all over. Why? I always said it was because I was getting older. Maybe that was it. I was 41 years old and was wishing I was back in my 20′s or even 30′s. Yeah – I know – some of you are a lot older than me saying, “Suck it up Rourke!”
I am now getting ready to turn 44 and I wake up with a lot less aches and pain. I will tell you why: I am active and for the most part I eat right. I am not going to get into a lot of details regarding my workouts and activities, as well as my diet. I will summarize in that I do a workout called Crossfit, I mountain bike, I run (a little), and I partake in martial arts. I do NOT sit on my arse wishing I was younger anymore. I did suck it up and got moving.
85% of my diet is based on a Paleo Diet. Basically if it once had a face, is a vegetable, a fruit, a nut, or an egg – I eat it. It is low carb and for the most part I really enjoy it. I have lowered my body fat percentage and lost about 13 pounds. I have another 15 or so to go.
Like many guy preppers (I hate that term) I love my guns and my ammunition. Just looking at an awesome black knife with a sharp blade built to take on a gang of zombies just does it for me. Like most – I used to ignore the importance of health and fitness while emphasizing on that which I could pick up and hold in my hand.
With the reign of Obamacare just starting and the uncertainty of medical care in a potential SHTF-future – staying as healthy as possible will help avoid the healthcare system altogether – and be able to take on less-than-desirable environments better.
Now I realize not everyone is going to go deadlift 375 pounds, do 100 pull ups or run 5 miles. Still – ANYTHING more than what you are doing now will be a step in the right direction. Depending on your current physical abilities here are a few suggestions to get started:
- Walk. Walking is better than sitting and great exercise. Start off walking a distance at a pace that you are comfortable with, and either add to the distance or increase your speed over time. The benefits go beyond just the time you are actually walking. Your body’s metabolism will increase for hours after you are finished – and your body will adapt to your walking. That is a good thing.
- Jogging. Same as above goes for jogging.
- Weightlifting. Go join the local YMCA or gym and get a trainer to set you up on a resistance (weight) training routine. Even the elderly can benefit from weight training. Those older muscles can be challenged – and they will respond by adapting to the workload. By the way ladies, do not worry about getting BIG muscles. It’s not going to happen. Women just do not have the hormones to get big like what you may have seen in a magazine or on TV (it takes steroids for that).
- Gymnastics. No – not talking about doing back flips in the air or doing a handstand. I am talking about body-weight exercises such as push ups and squats. Think you cannot squat? What do you do every time you sit in a chair and stand up? A squat!! Push ups can be done from the knees or even up against a wall. Point is – do what you can. It’s more than what your doing now, right?
- Eat right. Regardless of the “diet” you may try – eat more lean meats, fruit, vegetables. Stay away from processed foods. By the way – if it comes in a box, a pouch, or a can – it is processed.
- Eat until your are satisfied. Most all of us overeat. Rather than eat to survive – we eat for pleasure. Eat your meal and once you are satisfied – not full – just stop. Yes – in a couple hours you may be hungry again. That is fine – eat! Listen to your body.
- Try low carb. No bread, no pasta, no sugar. Hard? It can be but you will feel so much better. My aches and pains went away when I did away with carbs and increased my protein intake. Carbs should ONLY be used for energy – like right before or after a workout. Milk is full of sugar and what happens to a baby when they drink lots of milk? ’nuff said.
If you are already working out – great! If not – just start moving.
Disclaimer: Prior to starting any new workout program always consult a physician…..or don’t. After all – it’s your life, isn’t it?
Shaping up for preparedness: Using 5K Races
By MsKYprepper, Editor-At-Large
But I was fatter. Bug out ? – yea right, I doubt I could have walked one mile with a bug out bag. Bug in – OK, but I’m not sure I could haul water from the basement to the living quarters. I’m still not where I want to be with my weight, endurance and mental toughness, but I’m getting better each week. Check this out:
March – purchased a garage-sale treadmill. 15 minutes at 2MPH was the best I could do on my first walk. Went shopping for new tennis shoes. Shopping is fun!
April – I walked (scratch that, I strolled) my first public 5K walk/run race. That’s a little over 3 miles. My goal was to finish and I did but I came in last – and I do mean dead last. They had already torn down the finish line by the time I got there. I soaked in the tub for an hour when I got home and went to bed two hours earlier than normal.
There was a sign at the half-way mark that I will never forget. It said:
Did-not-win is still better than did-not-finish.
Did-not-finish is still better than did-not-show-up.
You’re already a winner.
May – Put myself on a self-directed program of walking in preparation for the next 5K. I got online and found all of the 5Ks in my area and scheduled myself for a race every-other month. Found a walking partner to train/practice/play with. She was a big help in getting my butt on the treadmill regularly. My motto became, “if I’m watching TV, I’m doing it from the treadmill.”
June 5K – My goal was only NOT to be in last place. I averaged 20-minute miles so the whole thing took about one hour. New mothers pushing baby strollers whizzed past me early on the course but I finished 100 from last. I got to experience the finish line, the announcers over the P.A. and the loud music. What a rush! I had enough energy remaining, I went back to walk with the last-place girl. I could tell she was struggling and I wanted to support her. It made me feel strong.
August 5K – My goal was to carry a 20 lb backpack. I filled it with small water bottles and shared water towards the end. It’s hot in August in KY and it was more of an endurance test in discomfort than anything else. It was a large race with a mob of 5,000 participants. It was at night but it was still 98-degrees and 98 percent humidity. Night put a whole new perspective on things, I started to think about what it would really be like to bug out at night. This freaked me out. It seemed so real being around so many strangers, at night, and carrying the backpack. I really scared myself. Must work on mental discipline. Finished 400 from last but moms pushing strollers still past me. Dang it!
I couldn’t find a good race for October so my next is September 23. Close enough. Most 5Ks have courses on level pavement. This one is through the woods, in the mud, and with obstacles. It’s shear physical punishment and mental toughness. As it turns out, this is very popular with the extreme sports people. It’s not a Tough Mudder, (look for YouTube videos if you are not familiar) it’s more of a mini-muddy for fat, middle aged women but it will push me a little further outside of my comfort zone. Ahhh, over the hills and thru the mud – I think my goal is back to “just finish.” Wish me luck!
For me, the concept of using the 5K was motivation to train with a goal date attached. In my area there is a 5K almost every weekend. Committing to completing a set of 5Ks put me in a position of thinking, and strategizing how I want to change my training to improve for the next one – something that I hope will have lasting overall general health benefits. I have a new set of “friends” now, the perennials near my walking speed, that I nod and smile to. People with familiar faces that I can walk up to and say, “How did you do?” or “Which race are you doing next?” It’s nice to have peeps to inspire each other to keep going when the finish line feels too far away.
If getting into shape is part of your preparedness plan then lace up the Nike’s and get out there. Most cost between $20 and $50 to enter. Most are fund-raisers for good causes. You usually get a T-Shirt. You could get muddy. You will feel good about doing it. Yes, there are the hard-core racers, running for a trophy but never mind them. Toward the rear of the crowd – where you’ll find me – you’ll find comfort in a large group of middle-aged, recovering couch-potatoes doing something fun and healthy. Just show up and you’re a winner.
See ya at the finish line.
Submitted by MsKYprepper
Health is something we are all concerned about,
and I know that I don’t do breast self-exams as much as I should.
But ladies, after watching this, I will never think of the letters “TLC” again in the same way!
Are You Forgetting Something?
So you are a “Prepper”. You have stockpiled water, food, firearms, ammunition, silver, gold, emergency medical supplies and whatever else that you want, for whatever time period you deemed necessary, 3 months, 6 months a year, more. However, if you are like most “Preppers”, you never have enough of everything you think you will need. But have you forgotten something that will limit how long you will live in a teotwawki situation.
There is an saying amongst “Preppers”. You can live for 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and three weeks without food. So what if more important than food and water? What about your daily prescription medicines.
After Hurricane Katrina, there were NO pharmacies open that I could find, in the New Orleans metro area for three (3) months. After any national disaster, how long would it take for the pharmaceutical companies to start to make the drugs that you take? Then they would have to be transported to the pharmacies so you could buy them. Could they even make all of the different medications that you take? Which medications would they make first? Would the government decide where and who gets those drugs first?
You can be the most prepared “Prepper” in the world but if you have a major medical condition such as Diabetes, a Heart Condition, Epilepsy, etc. and have not stockpiled your vital medicines that you need to take on a daily basis, you will only live as long as you have you medicines.
So, you spend a lot of money on other items so that you can survive whatever disaster you are planning for but you do not want to spend $300 or $400 for an extra bottle of medication that you need to keep you living. You had better rethink you strategy.
There is no reason to have a 6 months’ supply of water, food, weapons and ammo but only have a month or two of medication you need to take on a daily basis. Why? If you die or become none functional from not having all of the medications that you need to take on a daily basis, what is the use in having water, food, etc. for longer than the amount of medications you have.
In addition, you then become a liability on the persons in your family or group that now have to take care of you or no longer have you to help them.
First, make a list of all of the medicines that you take on a daily basis.
Second, go talk to the pharmacist that fills your prescriptions. Determine how much each prescription will cost you if you buy them without using your medical insurance. If you cannot afford to purchase a full months’ worth of medication that you need, ask the pharmacist if you can fill a partial prescription? Can you buy a weeks’ worth of your medicine instead of a full months’ worth?
Third, if you do buy partial prescriptions, as you buy them, keep them in the bottles with the labels that they came with. Most pharmacies print the expiration date on the bottles label. This is important. I have been told that some prescriptions can be toxic after their expiration dates.
Fourth, make a large zip lock bag up and as you buy your medicines, place one (1) months’ supply of you medications in that zip lock bag. When you have a full months’ worth of medications that you take, label the bag with the month and year that you purchased them in. I use a Sharpe’. As you start to obtain multiple months of your medications, place the bags in a small box.
Fifth, keep you surplus medications in a dark and cool place. Heat decreases the amount of time your medicine is good.
Sixth, be sure that you rotate them and use those stored medications well before their expiration dates.
Valerian Root Powder
Have you ever wanted to take an herb or supplement, but just found you couldn’t take it “as is”? Or, have you ever purchased ready made caplets, only to find you can make them yourself, much cheaper? Been there on both counts!
One of the herbs my family uses a good deal of is Valerian Root Powder. Valerian Root Powder is the powdered root of the Valerian flower – well, duh! (I heard that!). It is very effective, IMHO, at relaxing muscles and helping control pain, keeping me calm when the kids are driving me crazy, or just helping me stay “peaceful” when the world and all of its problems are just too much. But, if you’ve never experienced VRP, it smells REALLY bad; I mean, like, dirty socks three months old in the wet basement bad! I can’t imagine anyone taking this without help.
My help is in the form of making gel caplets, or “caplets” myself, in order to save money, and so that I can stand to take the things. As a warning, VRP should not be taken on an empty stomach; your tummy will not like it!
I purchase gelatin (vegetarian) gel caps at my local whole foods grocery; but you can also buy them from a number of online sources, including Mountain Rose Herbs, where I get a lot of my herbal supplies.
I started out filling these in just a styrofoam protector such as bullets get packed in for retail sale. I cut it in half and made two out of it; it actually worked fairly well, but it was a super messy job, in spite of using a dropper to fill them. A little too much pressure on a squirt, and what a mess!
Then I found the Capsule Machine. It is not a machine at all, and it apparently comes in two (2) gelcap sizes; I bought the 00 size, having no idea what I was doing. Fortunately for me, it was the right size for the gel caps I had purchased. This little device did, indeed, make the job much faster and easier. Money well spent!
The “machine” comes in a “box” of four separate parts: (1) a base; (2) a hole-filled center part where you put the gel cap bottoms (the long part); (3) the top, where you put the gel cap tops (the shorter part) and (4) a tamper/lid you use to force the product well into the gelcaps. To use it, you simply place part # 2 in part # 1 (the base); you fill all the holes in part # 2 with the bottoms (long part) of the gel caps; after loading all the gel cap bottoms; you drop your powdered product in, then use the tamper (part # 4) to push the powder down inside the caps. When they are full enough to suit you, use part # 3, filled with the tops of the gel caps (short parts) by placing on top of part # 3 with filled bottoms, and gently pushing together. Then press on the tabs on either side of the top of part # and it will release all of the gel caps – do this over a clean paper plate so they don’t roll all over the place on you.
BTW, the gel caps are not cheap, so, I fill them as much as possible. The green card that comes with the system is used to scrape off excess between fills, and works well enough.
I found it worked well to do this operation in a paper plate; that made it easy to pick up the paper plate, fold it in half (more or less), and pour the residue back in the container, to avoid waste.
The Capsule Machine can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs for $13.50 (plus shipping). It is available in both “0 and “00” sizes, at this price; I have no idea what the zero size is for, other than a “different size” of gel cap.
You can also buy vegetarian gel caps at Mountain Rose (and, no! I don’t work for them or benefit from any “endorsement” – it’s just where I get them).
I make different kinds of herbals using these gel caps; I just happened to need Valerian Root Powder caps on this day.
I hope you find this useful!
Behold – I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of the Earth … “- Genesis 1:29
From Rourke: HerbalGerbil (guest contributor) forwarded the following article to SeasondCitizenPrepper and suggested it get reprinted. Here it is:
The ABC’s of Natural Health Care for Your Pets (and People!)
By Kim Bloomer, V.N.D. on 08/28/2010
In truth the term “natural health” is redundant because real, true health can only be natural. Unfortunately for us, as well as our pets, we’ve relinquished control of our natural health care to the sick care industry: the medical community, which can only masquerade as health care.
On our podcast, Animal Talk, Naturally!, we’ve had holistic veterinarian, Dr. Stephen Blake, DVM (aka the Pet Whisperer) as our guest. He called the thinking behind a lot of modern medicine as reductionism thinking or flat world thinking but holistic, natural whole care as quantum or round world thinking. Really it is getting back to what we know is truth and what is really health. It is very basic and while this article won’t be long enough to share all of it with you here, if you can open your mind to all of this, you’ll begin to understand how we’ve been thoroughly duped and in only 50 short years.
Dr. Blake explained the ABCs of natural pet care as:
A is equal to avoidance of chemicals, toxins, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, etc.
B is equal to boosting through proper species specific feeding, rest, sunshine, clean good water, possible supplementation and so on.
C is equal to cleansing. By doing a detox or cleanse in your pet’s body, you will help to eliminate the accumulated toxins and mitigating factors hindering your pet from optimal health.
I often quote from a book by Dr. David Stewart, Healing Oils of the Bible, because of his great insight into the insidiousness of the fraud perpetrated upon our society with the overuse of pharmaceutical drugs. He states in his book how more than 100,000 people in the USA die each year from properly administered drugs and an additional 100,000 plus die from improperly prescribed and/or administered drugs! That is the equivalent to a jet liner crash every single day of the week and more than double the deaths that occurred on September 11, 2001 per week.
This is not being talked about in mainstream media because big pharma has deep pockets to share with them. Understand that veterinarians are trained exactly by the same pharmaceutical companies and have the same training as human doctors with the exception that they train on animals instead of humans. So it stands to reason that these numbers could be even higher for pets due to less regulatory control on the pet population.
We have somehow come to think that a trip to the veterinarian should yield us some kind of drug or vaccine to assure us we got our money’s worth on the visit AND that our pet is getting the protection and/or cure he or she deserves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No synthetic drug will ever cure or prevent illness. Rather we will find our answers in nature. Fresh air, daily sunshine (sans sunscreen -watch your pets, they bathe in it daily for short periods given the access and we need to do likewise), good clean fresh water free of fluoride and chlorine, and food appropriate to the species (not commercial junk made to line the pockets of those in the pet food industry not nourish our pets).
Understand that the pharmaceuticals we’ve come to rely on for health will not do much but to drive an illness deeper into the body until it is something very serious. 94% of the marketing claims on legal drugs (pharmaceuticals) are unsubstantiated and unsupported by scientific evidence. If the brakes in our cars were that unreliable, do you think any of us would be driving cars? I don’t think so!
However, those of us in natural care face a daunting task of re-educating the public to these truths with the AMA, AVMA, FDA and all those other letters trying to thwart the process. Just so you have a bit of reference to the claims you see on mainstream television news about how many deaths there are by supplements verses pharmaceuticals, here is just ONE statistic you can chew on:
From 1993-1998 “fewer than 200 deaths occurred from herbs and supplements (mostly from weight loss products) almost 1 million people died from FDA-approved, properly prescribed, medically administered pharmaceuticals and medical procedures.” - Healing Oils of the Bible
Even scarier is both doctors and veterinarians alike rely on the information given them by the drug companies. This is only one of the many reasons why I choose to not only use a holistic veterinarian but to care for my dog as an entire being through proper nutrition, food, clean water, fresh air and sunshine. Health doesn’t come in a pill. It comes from caring for your entire self, your entire pet, as a whole using what GOD provided us in nature. Amen? Amen!
In contrast to allopathic drugs, nature provides us the exact opposite, which goes to the cause while easing the symptoms. My favorite example to use is the essential oils. They don’t lie or send wrong messages to the body like drugs do. Rather they clean the receptor sites, erase wrong information in the cellular memory, and THEN restore God’s correct information or original information back into the DNA! This means that the body can then be well -for both pets and humans.
I hope you’ll consider the facts set here before you and dig deeper into natural health for you and your pets.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN AND ENJOY THE SUN!
by servantheart, Editor-at-Large
It’s that time of year, again! Time to get outdoors and enjoy the sun! But, hold on, there, Pardner! This is not your first rodeo, ya’ know! There are some things you need to remember, like, don’t rush out and fry yourself!
What’s the worst that can happen with overexposure? Well, the answer to that question is not simple and we cannot do it justice here, but we all know about the link between too much sun and skin cancer. Do you know there is another potentially deadly issue with overexposure? It’s called “sun poisoning”. This is where you get little red dots all over your skin that can become permanent scars. Truth is, it isn’t “sun poisoning”, but “blood poisoning”, and for those who ignore the warnings, it can be deadly. I’ll leave you to learn more about this on your own. Suffice it to say that if you get it, you WILL either be covering up and staying away from prolonged periods of direct sunlight, or you will become intimately familiar with “modern medicine practices”. I know which one I want!
You’re probably wondering, “why not just buy sunscreen”? Well, lots of people will do just that. But people who understand the connection between what we put on and in our bodies know it has everything to do with why we are the cancer and Alzheimers generation and that we do not have to “go quietly” into such a future. We can “fight back”, and the first line of defense is totally within our control. Read the chemicals list on the backs of these containers some time – and internet search (www.duckduckgo.com) the list – see what they are; that should do it!
To learn more about chemicals in sunscreens, go to EWG’s Sunscreen Guide: http://www.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/
You can buy ready-made all-natural sun screens, if you don’t faint at the price, that is. But you must still do your homework and remember: things are not always what they claim to be. I think there is an easier and safer way: make your own!
Note: This is not intended to be used “all over your body and every time you go out in the sun”., not that it would harm you, by any means. We all need sun. 15 minutes a day in the sun will produce the right kind of Vitamin D, which is so healthy for us all, and you don’t want to block your skins ability to produce Vitamin D. A side note on supplements: if you’re going to rely on supplements for Vitamin D, make sure it’s D3; others will not do the job. I’ll leave you to research. But 15 minutes a day in the sun is a much better solution.
Expose yourself to the right amount of sun at the right time of day, and you should not need to “protect your skin” all over; 15-30 minutes a day in the sun will do the job for you; if you must be out longer than that, yes, you should protect your skin, especially in higher heat times of day. Of course, if you’re prone to “freckles” and you really don’t want more freckles, you are going to want to do more to protect your skin, but you still need sun to be healthy.
Time of day for exposure to sun is very important. Morning or late afternoon/early evening sun will produce Vitamin D very well; being out in the hot sun in the worst heat of the day is simply not wise. It’s important not to “rush into” sun exposure, either, particularly if your skin has not been subjected to sun in quite some time. Work into it slowly, to prevent sunburn, which is skin damage. Skin that is damaged today will come back to haunt you tomorrow – make no mistake about it!
I’m sure none of us wants to burn the skins of our wee ones, either.
A wide-brimmed hat is an absolute “must”, for babies, children, and adults. A good pair of sunglasses to protect the eyes – absolutely! Light color clothing, as dark colors attract and hold heat. Long-sleeved white cotton or natural linen shirts to cover up when you want to stay “out” but know you’ve had all the sun you need on arms, and long pants of equal fabric that you can “slip on” at will. You’ll still be cool and comfortable; you’ll still be enjoying time outdoors, but you won’t be damaging your skin (sunburn).
Wearing sandals? Your feet can get burned, too; be prepared to change shoes or protect your skin at the top of your feet, ankles, etc. White cotton socks may not be “sexy”, but neither is sunburn or sun poisoning up your ankles.
Do not neglect your hands – the backs of your hands are more likely to have sun damage (referred to as “age spots” as time goes on) than any other part; as you age, you WILL care about this.
DO NOT subject yourself to sunburn, and certainly make sure your children don’t get burned. It’s more than just temporary misery, it’s permanent damage to our delicate organ we call “skin”.
Don’t be afraid to carry a large umbrella, particularly on the beach or outdoors for long periods; it once was quite fashionable, and should be again, IMHO. Asian and European women still carry an umbrella (parasol, if you prefer) to protect their skin from the damaging effects of sun, while still being able to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine outdoors. Start a wave!
Eat your fruits and veggies! Those antioxidants will be powerful in producing the right things for skin and avoiding the wrong things. And don’t forget that dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants! Happy! Happy! Happy!
So, let’s make our own very simple Natural skin protection:
- 1/2 oz. beeswax granules/pastilles (about 1/8 cup; or 2 Tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup shea butter (2 oz.)
- 1/4 cup pure coconut oil (2 oz.)
- 2 Tablespoons zinc oxide powder (1 oz.)
You’re going to need a “makeshift” double boiler, unless you’re lucky enough to have a vintage glass double boiler (I do!). Otherwise, use a glass bowl that will fit partially down inside one of your small cooking pans/pots. Put about an inch of water in the cooking pan/pot.
In your glass bowl, combine the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax granules. Gently melt your oils, while stirring (do not use a wooden spoon here – use stainless steel only). When oils are completely melted together, remove bowl from heat source. Add zinc oxide powder, stirring in gently (you do not want it to “fly”). Gently stir the oxide powder in until there are no “lumps”. Pour it into a glass jar or container and allow to cool. It will be a creamy white color upon cooling.
Use in delicate areas to prevent burn, such as nose, cheekbones, wherever protection is needed. It goes on “white” but disappears into the skin within a few short minutes.
This is a small batch for “trial”; you may want to double the recipe for larger batches.
I get my African shea butter (unrefined, certified organic; 1 lb. tub – but you can buy lesser quantities) from Mountain Rose Herbs: you can also buy this from your closest Whole Foods grocery, in the “beauty and personal care” section. I pay about $14.00 a lb. from Mountain Rose, currently.
I buy organic coconut oil off the shelf from any grocery in the natural foods section. I especially like to stock up on the rare occasion when I’ve found it on sale.
Zinc Oxide Powder: internet search, but some places are currently out of stock:
Also, check Whole Foods or your local health food store or even drug store (they may carry it). You’ll find them on ebay, maybe even etsy. You might also find beeswax granules here, otherwise, try:
With all of this, I hope you’re ready to have safe and carefree fun in the sun!
All Around the Web News
By: Editor at Large Suni
Novel Coronavirus H7N9
Tuesday when I reported the news I put this at the bottom of the news page from the CDC. After further information has come out I wanted to do an oped on what we can do to prepare ourselves and our family’s to keep us safe, or at the very least to make us all aware of the current situation.
Many of us tend to think of the flu as something we only get in the winter months. When we are indoors more and don’t open our doors and windows as much, well nothing could be further from the truth. This virus is deadly with a kill rate of up to 50%.We need to get prepared to take care of ourselves and our family’s NOW before the panic starts and their will be shortages of supplies like the ones I am going to suggest. Will this prevent this H7N9? No, sadly it wont but it may help us to prevent it from spending if we do come in contact with someone who has it.
What you need to Know Via CDC web site
It was revealed late this week by researchers at the University of Hong Kong that the H7N9 bird flu virus which has infected 131 people (and killed 36) can be transmitted not only by close contact but by airborne exposure.
Their study, published this week in the journal Science, indicates ferrets were passing the virus cage to cage. Additionally, inoculated ferrets were infected before the appearance of most clinical symptoms, demonstrating there may be more cases than have been detected or reported. Additionally, tests were conducted using pigs, a major host of influenza viruses. These tests also definitively showed that they could also get infected with H7N9, leading to the belief that H7N9 may combine with pig viruses to generate new variants. A particularly important, though unreported aspect of the entire H7N9 topic is that severe cases are reported to be hemmoraghic. What this means is that those infected could experience, among a myriad of other symptoms, excessive internal bleeding, liver or kidney failure similar to dengue, tick-borne encephalitis and Ebola.
Readers are reminded that while reported infection numbers are still relatively low, H7N9 clearly has world health authorities seriously spooked. So much so, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC this week published a 1 BILLION dollar cost plus Federal Solicitation for the purposes of emergency experimentation with H7N9 Flu vaccines and emergency experimental antiviral treatments.
The Solicitation specifically references “preparation for a possible large scale national H7N9 influenza vaccination program.”
Further still, the CDC is considering using the two oil-in-water emulsion adjuvants in its stockpile with an H7N9 vaccine in order to increase effectiveness. Of particular note here is that the CDC has never before allowed the use of adjuvants in either the seasonal or pandemic influenza vaccines as their use has been tied to onset of Narcolepsy, as was the case with their H1N1 vaccine.
And something you can be assured of is that if a nationwide H7N9 vaccination program is implemented, this will no doubt be made mandatory for school-aged children given the close proximity of students in a school setting.
1. Medical Grade Skin Cleaner – In theory flu viruses can be transmitted 3 ways: Air, body fluids and direct contact. One of the best things we can do is to wash our hands and often. One thing that hospitals use is Chlorhexidine Gluconate, or HIBICLENS (brand name) This is used as a surgical scrub, health care personnel also use it for hand cleaning and a per-operative skin prep as well as a skin wound cleaner. The cleaner bonds to the skin to help create a persistent antimicrobial effect. It can be purchased from Amazon at the following link or you may can find it other places. This is where I found it.
2. N95 Surgical/Filtration Mask – This will be useful for reducing person to person infection. The mask are currently inexpensive and readily available. N95 Mask http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=N95&linkCode=ur2&tag=worlcomprepbl-20
3. Disposable Scrubs -
4. Disposable Shoes –
5. Disposable Caps-
The last three (3) items I would encourage you to get in addition to the first two (2) just in case you are the one having to care for the sick individual. A trash can with lid and trash bags to be placed just outside the quarantine room will also be helpful in containing the contaminated items. This way you will be able to remove the disposable items place them in the trash and cover. Next go to lavatory and wash your hands using Hibiclens Liquid with warm water. A good rule of thumb is to sing the alphabet twice all the way through. This will ensure you are washing you hands long enough. You may also want to have disposable utensils, plates and cups. It is important that you keep contact with all items limited to the sick room. The less you have to be around this flu the better it will be for all. Use brown bottle Lysol or Lysol concentrate on ever washable surface in your home. What you can not wash – use Lysol Spray. The CDC is preparing for a full blown pandemic. Don’t take chances.
IMPORTANT from CDC http://www.flu.gov/about_the_flu/h7n9/index.html# Flu.gov
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/28/health/france-coronavirus-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 CNN NEWS
Ten Ways to Improve Your Immune System
by Harriet from Australia
As we grow older we need to optimize all chances at improving our immune system. This is all the more important when resources are limited and access to health/disease care is expensive – there I show you my prejudices. I’m not that enthralled at our current models of so-called health care, especially for those of us with chronic conditions. So if you have a chronic condition, or you just want to avoid getting one, what can you do?
- Spend some time in the sun to optimize your vitamin D. For years doctors have pushed the message about avoiding the sun to cut skin cancer levels. However now we also know that there is a strong evidence that low levels of vitamin D INCREASE the likelihood of cancer. So do be sensible and avoid getting sun burned, but do get some sun.
- Stabilize your blood sugar levels. This is a vastly unacknowledged factor in ill health. Yes, most of us know that unstable blood sugars are bad for people with diabetes, but they are also bad for everyone if they occur on a regular basis. For a comprehensive discussion on their importance read this article: http://www.drrosedale.com/resources/pdf/Insulin%20and%20Its%20Metabolic%20Effects.pdf
- Where possible eat herbs regularly. Bioflavenols and polyphenols are important to our general health as they provide important co-factors needed for good immune function. We need to stop thinking in terms of magic bullets to fix us when we are ill. Eat a range of fresh herbs and vegetables. What is easy to grow in your area will depend on your climate. Where I am I can grow garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, lemon verbena, and a range of mints. Use herbs frequently in your cooking.
- Undertake some regular exercise. There are far too many of us whose greatest exercise is to walk from chair to car to shop to car to chair. How many people get down on their hands and knees and scrub their floors? Or climb a ladder to clean our their gutters, or walk to the local shop, or personally dig their gardens. I would like to think that preppers undertake regular incidental exercise such as these, but if you aren’t then start.
- Eat enough quality protein to keep you healthy and replenish your stores that heal and provide energy. The general advice is to eat 1-2 grams per kilo of lean body mass. However that becomes complicated to work out so think in terms of a palm sized quantity of grass fed protein or fish three times a day.
- Improve your omega 3/omega 6 ratios. What this means is that we eat too much of the wrong sort of fat. We need to eat fish, lots of fish and if that is not possible for budgetry reasons then have some krill oil (preferable) or ordinary fish oil. Avoid vegetable oils except for coconut oil and olive oils.
- Laugh lots and make time for play. Medical research has shown that laughter improves our immune system.
- Do something creative that you enjoy, that’s another activity shown to improve your immune system, though I’ve currently mislaid my list of references for this.
- Deal with your unfinished business. There is a lot of research to show that bad stuff from our past can haunt us, either literally through bad memories and PTSD or through repressing them so they are reflected in poor immune function. Holocaust survivors who told their stories were shown to have improved immune systems compared to those who chose not to.
- Prepare for your future. When we are comfortable we have done as much as we can to look after ourselves then we are much less worried than if we are just aware and yet do nothing.
Elderberry Syrup, DIY
Submitted by servantheart, Editor-At-Large
½ cup elderberries, dried
1 cinnamon stick
1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
2 cups clean water
1 cup RAW, unfiltered honey
Put all in a saucepan EXCEPT honey. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to simmer. Simmer,
covered, until liquid reduces by one-half (about 20-30 minutes). Strain liquid into a glass
bowl. Squish all the good juice out of berries through sieve/strainer, however. Gently whisk in
your honey. Store in a closed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can make
this with fresh or frozen berries, but use a full cup of berries, rather than the half cup dried.
This only keeps for a couple of weeks, so make a small batch at a time from your stored
Source: Mountain Rose Herbs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOYzWyFGkqM
Check out: HerbMentor.com
Used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune
system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and
tonsilitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.
Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western
Asia, and North Africa, hence the medicinal benefits of elderberries are being investigated
and rediscovered. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to
improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs,
colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the
juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took
elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who
did not. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1951
Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar,
rutin, viburnic acid, vitamin A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly
laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account
for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube
studies2 these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect
cells against damage.
How to create a bed that will nurture your body.
Getting old sucks. Yeah, many of you are probably saying, “No kidding” or something a little more more colorful. From a physical perspective these last 6 years or so have been rough on me. I am only 43 – but numerous sports injuries have side-lined me at different times.
I grew up playing NO sports. I never really played basketball, football, baseball or any other sport like many other kids. I always found myself on the sidelines, being rather shy and too afraid that I would be embarrassed if I didn’t do well. I did get into bodybuilding at age 17 - which is a very individual sport. I enjoyed it through grade 11 and 12. After High School graduation laziness set in and my bodybuilding days went bye-bye.
Over 20 years have past since I graduated and I have gone through multiple levels of health and fitness. I have attempted to get physically fit doing many activities and currently find that Crossfit to be the best answer for ME. We are all individuals and have individual needs. Some people cannot lift heavy weights due to back problems. Some cannot run due to bad knees. Some people are in a wheel chair and others have their own specific limitations.
I am getting to my point – bare with me.
There are numerous workout programs out there that can help your chances of survival – as well as get healthy. From aerobic DVD’s to high intensity workouts such as P90X and Crossfit. There are local gyms packed with equipment and facilities to do all kinds of exercises such as weightlifting, tennis, racquetball - and running. You know what else? There is the great outdoors as well! Go for a walk. Take a stroll around the neighborhood. Have steps in your house? Walk up and down them 10 extra times every single day. Whatever your physical limitations will allow you to do – do! Go for a bike ride. Get up out of a chair and then sit back down – 50 times.
The important thing is MOVE and do more today than you did yesterday.
Man, I didn’t even mention diet. Guess I’ll save that for another day.
Take care all -
By Harriet, Editor-At-Large Australia
Health includes not just our physical body but also our psychological selves, our social set up and our spiritual selves. All three of these directly impact on our body’s functioning, our hormonal systems and our immune system.
This is an exercise to help you become aware of what you do well from a psycho-social-spiritual health perspective. – This is just as important as knowing what you need to change, in order for you to get better or to improve your overall stress levels. You must be aware of something before you can act on it – so scientifically gather the data for your self care experiment. Use the form below the instructions as your template for gathering your data.
For each aspect that you have done well give yourselves a tick (ü). Every now and then you will recognize something that you would prefer to have handled differently. That is great, give yourselves a plus sign (+) to indicate this. We do not allow a cross (x) because this is not a matter of getting something wrong. You have a plus for awareness and after you become aware you may well find the resources to make changes in the future.
Are you getting sufficient sleep, rest (including blob out time – see the note below for the definition of blob out time), relaxing time.
Is your diet balanced and appropriate? Sufficient fruit, vegetables, protein and water, and reduced processed food.
Are you getting daily appropriate exercise? Is it sufficient?
Are you seeing your GP/health professional as needed and getting the advice you need?
Are you taking required medications?
Are you going to the toilet as needed?
Are you managing your temperature requirements appropriately? Not too cold, too hot?
Any other physical requirements – dust, mould, allergens etc?
Are you doing too much? If so give yourself a +
Are you accepting yourself: who you are, where you are, how you are, why you are the way you are?
Give a tick for each occasion you value yourself.
Are you staying away from self judgment? (Evaluation is judgment if you feel bad about it.)
Values and principles, time management, priority and boundary setting
What is important to you?
Did you make decisions about your time management in relation to your values?
Did you set priorities in relation to your values?
Did you set appropriate boundaries so that others are not able to invade yours constantly?
Give yourself a tick for each affirming relationship you have had today.
What are your relationships like with your partner, family, work colleagues, social contacts?
Give yourself a tick for any personal work you do on anything that hangs over you, drains your energy or causes a strong emotional response, eg: relationship issues, poor self esteem, abuse issues, over-commitment, anger, etc
Fun, enjoyment, humour
Give yourself a tick for anything that you enjoyed, encouraged relaxation or made you laugh.
Give yourself a tick for any activity which is expressive of you. This includes craft, art (in the widest sense), music, home redecorations, gardening, cooking and many hobbies.
Future and dreams
Give yourself a tick for time spent with hope, desires and plans for anything that makes you feel more complete, more whole, more enjoyment, anything you look forward to.
Blob out time is time when you just stop. You give yourself permission to do nothing. You are not watching TV, reading, thinking, reflecting, planning, or even listening to the radio. This is stop time, non functioning time. You might choose to have a cup of tea or coffee and a small snack. You might choose to have some relaxing music in the background but it’s not the time to be listening or doing. Any TV watching is general relaxation time and this is in addition to blob out time.
STOP, STOP. Now before you go and read on, “thinking, yeah, yeah, that’s a bit basic, I know all that stuff”. Stop, and think, “Am I really acknowledging to myself all those things that I’m doing right?”
Mostly we spend time bemoaning the things we can’t do, thinking about what we would like to do and blaming ourselves for not being able to do more, or other people for not understanding that we can’t do more.
So… stop… and go through the exercise. Give yourself a pat on the back for EVERYTHING you are doing right – well at least a tick. The experience as we did this exercize weekly was that it took about ten to twelve weeks to ingrain the concept of developing awareness into our everyday thinking.
We have to start (or continue if you already have this insight) recognizing EVERY positive we can. Life is difficult enough with a health condition or when stressed without making it more difficult by “forgetting” all the things we are doing right.
Check out this graph to help you through an exercise:
From Rourke: Last week I published an excellent comment from SeasonedCitizenPrepper Editor-at-Large Servantheart. Well – Servantheart wrote up an expanded follow up to that comment.
Enjoy it below!
Detoxifying Your Body: Expanded
By Servantheart, Editor-At-Large
The Importance of Water
There are some very simple things one can do to reduce or even eliminate “inflammation” – the most important being, what you drink and what you eat. Drink lots of water every day – not citified (municipal) tap water with all the chemical neurotoxins, including fluoride (which is added and you pay for, by the way) and other peoples’ drugs, E. coli, etc., but clean, clear water – filter it yourself or buy bottled spring water (which can also contain many contaminants, so, be careful!). But drink more CLEAN water – flush out those vital organs, every day. Stay properly hydrated – every day.
Many health issues today are the result of dehydration, believe it, or not!
If nothing else, keep a “Life Straw” ($20) on you, so you always drink clean water, wherever you may be. Don’t worry about looking silly, worry about being sick (or, avoiding it, in this case). To avoid passing illnesses, have one LifeStraw for each member of your “party”, if possible. Or, a Sawyer Squeeze Filter might be a good choice for transport (about $60).
Get a good large-volume filter system; it doesn’t have to be expensive; a ceramic filter works well, but it’s very slow. If you build it yourself, it’s relatively cheap. Don’t think you’ll filter by the minute with one of these. A Big Berkey is expensive, and you’ll have to keep replacing the filters. Those cheap things that attach to your faucet or have a pitcher? Don’t waste your money or your time. Sawyer also makes “big” filters, that are well thought of, in general.
Eliminate all sodas. Maybe later you can have one on a rare occasion as a special treat, but it should be very rarely. (Side note: I actually had a stomach ulcer heal up when I stopped consuming my favorite drink, “Coca-Cola”!). The same Coca-Cola I use to soak and degrease and derust my cast iron when it needs it!
Other ways to naturally detox your body include:
1) Green tea: one of the best things you can do to detox your vital organ – in particular, your liver – as long as you don’t sweeten with refined sugar.
2) Garlic: one of the most potent foods you can consume to get healthy and stay healthy for many reasons, not the least of which is that it builds the autoimmune system AND is an excellent detox agent;
3) Ginger is another good anti-inflammatory; if you’ve never tried FRESH ginger (slice and eat from the tuber), you’ve never had GOOD ginger, IMHO! It’s like “candy”, only healthy!
4) Turmeric: this powerhouse can’t be overstated for many benefits, including anti-inflammatory and healing properties. You might want to do some reading on this natural herb; its abilities may surprise you!
5) Omega 3 Oils: these lubricate the vital organs, including the intestines, and help “clear” things out with minimal stress to the system; Omega 3 oils also reduce inflammation in the kidneys; when the kidneys become inflamed, the body cannot detox itself properly. Krill Oil is considered the best, but it’s very expensive. Not all “fish oil” is good; much of it is rancid before you ever buy it. Do a little research and read your labels carefully.
6) Bentonite Clay Powder: this is a natural substance (it is really just finely powdered volcanic ash!). BCP is a phyllosilicate which has adsorbent (yes, that’s spelled correctly) strength second only to powdered charcoal. You can buy it as a powder or as a liquid. BCP attracts, binds and removes pathogens, heavy metals and toxins- from the intestines. BCP gets absorbed into the blood stream and picks up “hitchhikers”, moving them out of the system, out of the vital organs, out of the body. If you can’t handle the liquid, make your own “pills” (this is the form I prefer) using the powder form and gel caps (buy them from The Bulk Herb Store: www.bulkherbstore.com or Mountain Rose Herbs (www.mountainroseherbs.com) or from your local health food store; you can fill them yourself with a dropper, but a “capsule machine” makes the job much easier; see video here: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/capsulemachine.php
7) Pumpkin Seed Oil: buy this at any health food or whole foods store; pumpkin seed is proven as an effective agent against worms in both humans and animals. Ewwww….gross! I know. But humans and animals can and do get worms from the world around us, as well as each other…detoxification by taking Pumpkin Seed Oil caps according to directions every six (6) months to even once a year should give peace of mind and prevent any unwanted “living hitchhikers” in the body. You can also use them for your pets; if you have cats, for example, they are famous for passing on pinworms. Did you know that?
Reduce or eliminate refined sugar from the diet, a common cause of inflammation in the body, especially the joints. Learn to eat and drink without “sugar” in order to break the addiction (sugar IS addictive!), but if you must have sweetener, use RAW locally-produced honey (you need the antibodies for your area!) or Stevia in the Raw.
Some people like Xylitol, but I suggest you do some reading first, as there is new evidence Xylitol has its problems, too, such as causing diarrhea, and being processed with ethanol – the same reason I say do not use TruVia or PurVia, which are a form of Stevia. Also, avoid Agave Nectar, even though you’ll find it in health food stores. You can do your research to find out why.
My personal favorite sweetener is locally-produced RAW honey, which helps build immunities (pollens from your locale), and never goes bad. If it crystallizes, just heat it up, stir, and use it. It’s also an excellent medicinal, but; I’ll leave you to research this on your own. Again, RAW (unfiltered) honey–its dark amber; not “golden”. That’s how you know. Look for an apiarist (beekeeper)in your area who sells it; an internet search (www.duckduckgo.com) should do it.
Get ALL of the artificial sweeteners (brain cell killers!) and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) out of your diet. Good luck with those two (read labels). I have found artificial sweeteners in a can of green beans (which is why I now can my own). It may take a while to get them all out of your body, as they do have a cumulative effect, and you may experience “withdrawal” symptoms, just so you know. These are neurotoxins (they both kill brain cells); people who persist in consuming them may find themselves diagnosed with Alzheimers or Epilepsy, when they don’t have either one; I learned that from my Neurosurgeon after I blacked out at the wheel in rush hour traffic over 20 years ago. It took eight (8) months to get it all out of my system. I haven’t touched these toxins since.
Cooking Simplified; “Fast Foods”
This means eliminating “ready to eat” foods, for the most part, particularly “off the shelf”. Watch foods out of the freezers, too; better still, don’t buy them and don’t eat them. Cook simple meals for yourself at home, even if you can only cook once or twice a week to eat from all week. Or eat raw fruits and veggies, if you can’t take the time to cook (once in a while).
Freeze your own meals – make not one casserole, but two; eat one for dinner; freeze the other. Mark and date it; “fast food” for a future meal.
Learn to can your own foods and know what goes in them – “fast food” you can live with! Pop a jar, heat it up, yum! I make large batches of soups, stews, beans, meats, veggies, etc., and can them up so I always have home-cooked “fast food” at the ready. If you work full-time outside the home, set aside one Saturday a month just for “food prep day”. Then go to worship on Sunday and thank our Heavenly Father for providing the food so that you would have something to prep! (Just throwing that in for good measure!) :-)
Wash All Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Start washing all fresh fruits and veggies before eating, including “organic” and getting the chemicals off; I like to soak mine in a mild solution of cold water with about a teaspoon of white vinegar per gallon of water. Buy only organic citrus, if possible, because you can’t remove the toxins from these skins. Better still, grow your own; citrus will grow just about anywhere if it gets enough light and warmth, especially in a greenhouse or climate-controlled home (for colder climates); they make beautiful “house plants”.
Eat foods as close to “natural” as possible. The less cooking, the less processing, and the less time out of the garden, the healthier for you.
If you make these simple changes to your diet, you’ll soon feel better, and probably feel like “moving” more! Now you’re ready. Go get some exercise – take a nice walk, even a short one; tomorrow, it will be longer, and the next day…and so on.
Yes, we ALL need exercise, if we don’t want to turn into a bowl of gelatinous muck, one that couldn’t whip its way out of a soggy paper bag. Can you say, “Easy target”?
Baby steps. But get started today!
Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,
Your Fear of the Doctor Could Kill You
The older we get, the more important it is to visit the doctor for annual check-ups. During these yearly physicals, doctors not only check patients for obvious signs of ill-health, but they request various blood tests that can alert both patient and doctor to beginning stages of such diseases as diabetes, high cholesterol and even cardiovascular disease. It’s not a stretch to say that, if you are afraid of doctors, your fear may be killing you. By avoiding the doctor, you are risking not only your health but, ultimately, your life. Here are five ways to manage your fear and get through your appointment:
1.Schedule a Visit
It may help to lessen your anxiety if you can meet your doctor face-to-face with no examination required. Schedule an appointment with your doctor simply to discuss your fears and have your upcoming physical explained in detail. Most doctors will be happy to schedule this meeting if you let them know that you’re fearful or anxious. Once you get to know your doctor, he or she may seem less intimidating during your “real” appointment. You can also ask your doctor how he or she suggests that you cope with your appointment; believe it or not, you won’t be the first person that they’ve run across with a fear of doctors.
Take part in a relaxing activity just before your appointment. You may want to go for a massage, sit for a pedicure or even go for a walk on the beach. Different things relax different people; find what relaxes you and do it before you see the doctor. By taking part in some type of activity ahead of time, you will be less likely to spend hours worrying about your appointment, heightening your level of anxiety.
3.Take a Friend
If you’re appointment won’t be too personal, take a friend or family member along. Having someone with you for moral support can go a long way toward lessening your stress. Even if your friend isn’t permitted in the exam room with you, just having them in the waiting room can keep your mind off of your pending appointment. Be sure that you take someone along who will be supportive; avoid asking anyone who will tease you to tag along. Remember that the goal is to lessen your anxiety, not to make it worse.
There’s nothing that will heighten your stress level like a long wait in the reception area. Feel free to call ahead and make sure that your doctor is running on time. Explain to the receptionist that you’re feeling anxious and don’t want to have to sit in the waiting room for an extended period of time. The receptionist should be happy to tell you if the doctor is running behind and can give you a better idea of when to show up for your appointment.
When we get nervous, our body naturally responds by quickening our breathing pattern. Make a conscious effort to slow your breathing to a more exaggerated pace. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs deeply. Hold your breath for about three seconds and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this exercise three times and then return to normal breathing. Perform this exercise in your car, in the waiting room and then again in the exam room. This breathing pattern is naturally calming and can help relax your mind.
If your fear of the doctor is causing you to avoid medical care, you could be harming yourself more than you think. Even if you feel “fine,” avoiding the doctor completely can cause you to miss out on early diagnoses that could ultimately save your life. If you can’t get yourself over your fear, you may want to seek the help of a trained therapist or psychologist who specializes in phobias. Getting over your fear will be the first step in ensuring your health and longevity.
Kelly Rhodes writes for health sites. If you’re concerned about your health, check out more information on locations for discount blood work in Florida.
It’s “Seasonal Influenza” (Flu) season – again!
By Servantheart, Editor-at-Large
Yep. It’s that time of year again. Various flu viruses are going around. Well, actually, they don’t just “go around”, they get “shared around” – we all know that. But, what can each of us do, individually, to attempt to ward off the evil demons of flu?
We could get a flu shot. Some people believe that’s a good idea. I am not one of them. But if you think it would help, then, by all means – get a flu shot! Chances are good, however, that it won’t make much, if any, difference. Unless you happen to be exposed to that PARTICULAR strain of flu, AND your body hasn’t built up a resistance to the drugs used to fight it in the past (superbugs!).
Remedy Health Media, a “multiplatform health information provider”, formerly “Medizine”, seems to be affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine Publications, UC Berkeley Wellness Reports, and healthcommunities.com; Remedy Health Media has this post online, to help understand about flu viruses:
The flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by an influenza virus. In the U.S., flu outbreaks typically occur in winter months. Symptoms include fever, chills, sore muscles, and cough. Thousands of people in the U.S. die each year from the flu or its complications. Most of those who die are the elderly, young children, or people with compromised immune systems.
The viruses that typically cause the flu are primarily categorized as influenza type A or type B. Influenza type B does not change much over time, but type A can mutate rapidly. Therefore, a new form of the flu vaccine must be developed each year to protect people against the exact strains that are expected to be most prevalent.
This is how the medical and pharmaceutical powers justify suggesting that everyone, especially those “at risk”, get a flu shot at the start of every flu season. If you listen to these sources, everyone six (6) months and older would be getting a flu shot, including expectant mothers!
But, hold y’er horses there, pardner! Is it really a good idea? Well, there are plenty of people who believe it is not, and some who are even adamantly opposed, arguably with good reason.
Time and space don’t permit going into all the arguments for or against flu vaccines here (as if my limited knowledge on the subject wasn’t sufficient, alone, to suppress the idea, in all truthfulness!). My choice of medical/health care knowledge or information, however, isn’t from any of the “modern medicine” or “Big Pharma” drug-pushing sources; I personally prefer sites such as Natural News (Mike Adams, “The Health Ranger”), Dr. Sircus.com, Dr. Mercola (mercola.com); and numerous herbal sites and books, just to name a few off the top of my pointy-little head. I’m not saying I agree with everything posted on these sites, but I will say that I have learned greatly from them.
I, for one, have settled the question long ago. I am in that “high risk” group, and I have not had a flu (or any other) vaccine in years –more than ten. I’ve had flu one time in that ten or so years, even though I have very little left of an “immune” system. Admittedly, that one time sent me to the ER – I’m not opposed to modern medicine when it is truly necessary, but it had better be “truly necessary”, as far as I am concerned.
That said, short of taking unnecessary or unwelcome risks in getting a flu shot – what can any of us do?
Well, for starters, I do not work outside the home any longer, though I did for many, many years, which, no doubt, helps greatly. I also haven’t had children in school for years, which significantly cuts down on everyone’s illness frequency in the family. Unfortunately, the DH still works outside the home, so, he’s good enough to share, bless him!
We also attend worship services on a regular basis, during which we shake hands, hug, greet one another, and have ample opportunity to “pass it along”, and, no doubt, sometimes do just that.
But what simple steps can we take to reduce our exposure, or even get the best of the little nasties (viruses) before they get the best of us?
- Wash your hands. Well, duh! I heard that. No, not just any old way, and not just when you’re “in the mood”. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, most certainly, and any time you’ve been shaking hands or handling items with other people. But do it according to infection control principles:
- Turn on water; get water to proper temp; water is going to run down the sink and may appear “wasted”, and this is one time when I’m o.k. with apparent “waste”. If you knew me, you’d understand that. Don’t worry – it gets recycled through the water system – it WILL be back!
- Wet hands thoroughly and lather up! Both of them! No cheating!
- Water should still be running; rinse hands thoroughly. DON’T TOUCH THOSE FAUCET HANDLES!
- Use disposable paper towels ONLY to dry hands; using those same paper towels, turn off water – don’t touch the dirty handles with your clean hands! NO PAPER TOWELS? Don’t you hate that?! Grab toilet paper – as much as needed – and dry with it, turn off spigot.
- But wait – you aren’t finished with those paper towels or tpaper; use them to open the door. Don’t touch that dirty door handle! Did you know that not everyone who goes to the bathroom washes hands before grabbing that handle? Uh-huh. Gross. But true. Use that paper, open the door; stand in front of the door and hold it open with your behind (this is where I put my brains to use! : ) and slam-dunk that well-used paper toweling into the waste receptacle.
- Your hands are now clean and as disinfected as possible – every time. This technique takes a little practice, but, once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.
But what about when you can’t wash your hands? Always carry disinfectant cloths, even just a small packet, for just that purpose. Keep a container in your vehicle and you’ll always have them for back-up. DO NOT use those sticky, gel-type “sanitizers”. Tests have proven these are actually worse than not washing hands! They are so sticky, everything you touch “clings” to you after you use them, making you a magnet for germs and bacteria!
- NEVER, EVER EAT OR DRINK AFTER ANYONE ELSE. I don’t care how much you like them. Unless you are stuck in the Mojave Desert with others and only one canteen of water among you, don’t do this! Don’t “sample” food from another’s plate, either. I have a family member who loves to do this. One good stab with a fork has proven quite helpful in retraining, in case you need to know that! Just sayin’….
- Stay hydrated – always. Drink lots and lots of pure, clean water. Not citified, municipal water full of toxins, but clean water. Filter that water with a GOOD filter, or drink bottled SPRING water from a trusted source. Many illnesses today are the result of insufficient amounts of good, clean water in the body – “dehydration”. Avoid caffeine and carbonated sodas, which will further dehydrate you.
- Droplets travel a maximum distance of about three (3) feet upon being expelled by someone in a cough or sneeze. These droplets are “loaded” with infectious particles. They involve “fomites” – diseases that spread by droplet transmission, fecal–oral transmission, or contact transmission. Avoid breathing air people are coughing into. I know – easier said than done. Keep a disposable tissue always at the ready and, if necessary, cover your mouth and nose with it as soon as someone sneezes or coughs around you. Hold it there long enough for “droplets” to settle. If you need to sneeze or cough, use a tissue and dispose, OR cough into your closest shoulder or the inside of your arm, or a coat or sweater, if you must. Just don’t be careless about where you place the coat or sweater upon sneezing or coughing into it!
- Use natural foods and herbals to build your immune system while you are still healthy, and it’s a pretty good bet you’ll stay healthy! Some simple, natural approaches:
- RAW honey, LOCALLY produced is one of the best immune builders you’ll find anywhere, and, at least at this writing, is generally not that hard to find. It needs to be RAW (unfiltered) to get all the “good stuff” those busy little bees worked so hard to collect for you – pollens from local sources so that your system can work with those things you are naturally exposed to; if you live in Illinois, pollens from Texas bluebonnets aren’t worth much to you, for example! Raw honey is dark, such as amber or golden brown, whereas filtered honey is see-through gold (you can buy that off any grocery store shelf, and, other than being a natural sweetener, will have no real medicinal value – too much heat applied). Raw, local honey is sometimes available at your nearest Whole Foods or Natural Foods grocery; otherwise, look online for an apiarist (beekeeper) in your area. Eat it by the spoonful, put it in your herbal teas, baked goods – however you can get lots of it in you – preferably before you starting feeling under attack, but even after is useful.
- Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) syrup: helps build your immune system (more power packed with antioxidants than even blueberries), also good for controlling cough; an excellent natural “mucilage”. Black Elderberry is the kind you want; red elderberry grows only in the Northern U.S. and Canada, and isn’t likely to be found in most places; however, while red elderberry has some of the medicinal value of Black Elderberry, it is not nearly as potent. The syrup is naturally sweet – very sweet; take a teaspoon of this three times a day just to build your immune system, BEFORE you get sick (consider it dessert, if you like!). Be careful not to get it on your favorite clothes – I don’t believe it will ever wash out.
- Garlic! Oh, yes! Garlic! Lots and lots of it! One of nature’s strongest antibiotics and natural immune builders! Read about it here: http://www.naturalnews.com/035462_garlic_immune_boosting_herbs.html
Warning: like all foods, avoid spices out of China. Did you know they don’t have to tell you where it’s from? Nope. They don’t. Adams Brand is still ALL U.S.A. made; Tone’s is ALL China (I know – I’ve asked them!). If it doesn’t say product of the USA, it isn’t. If it’s from China – DON’T EAT IT!
- Herbal teas such as Echinacea (purple coneflower), a real power house! Enjoy this preferably hot, sweetened with local, raw honey, and it will do wonders. I suggest blending your own; you can buy the dried herbs at any Natural or Whole Foods Store, or buy them online; I prefer “The Bulk Herb Store”, www. http://www.bulkherbstore.com/, or Mountain Rose Herbs http://www.mountainroseherbs.com Don’t have a tea infuser? Just wrap some herbs in a couple of layers of cheesecloth; tie with a rubber band or recycled twist tie, brew away! You can reuse the cheesecloth, but washing in between uses is recommended.
- Green tea (Camellia sinensis): drink this on a regular basis, and you’ll avoid a lot of illnesses! It fortifies the immune system with powerful antioxidants, counteracting free radicals and helps prevent damage to the immune system. It combats infections. It helps build strong liver function. Drink 3 or more cups of green tea a day for best results; feel free to blend with Echinacea for a powerful punch against illness!
- CinnamonA teaspoon of locally-produced, RAW (unfiltered) honey mixed with ¼ tsp. of cinnamon – we prefer Ceylon Cinnamon, and get ours from “The Spice House” online; Ceylon is “true” Cinnamon, grown only in the former “Ceylon”, now Sri Lanka; all other cinnamon is “Vietnamese” or “Saigon” Cinnamon. Once you taste Ceylon, you’ll know the difference! Take a teaspoon of this mix three (3) times a day; have a glass of water or hot (just warm for a child) herbal tea handy to help “wash it down” (especially for a young child; while it’s perfectly safe for all ages, the thickness may be an issue for a young child). Take cinnamon capsules to help heal, and also to prevent illness, in the first place. You can make your own – just buy the ground cinnamon and the gel caps (available at your health food store; also from Mountain Rose Herbs.com) and take a capsule a day, especially during cold/flu season.
- Don’t leave out these helpers, either:
Ginseng: detox aid and immunity-booster.
Lavender: calms nerves, boosts immunity.
Lemon Balm: antiviral. Grow as houseplant!
Parsley: this herb has cleansing properties. Grow in a pot on a windowsill
in cold months.
Peppermint: immune-booster (great mixed with Echinacea!) – this will grow well as a houseplant, as well.
Rosehip: antibacterial, immune-booster.
- HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP. Science has proven what every Mother has always known – homemade chicken soup has medicinal qualities! Don’t use that stuff in the can, please– way too much sodium and MSG! It isn’t hard to make a batch of chicken soup; and don’t omit the veggies: onion, celery, garlic, carrots, parsley – they ALL have strong medicinal value. Add noodles, if you like, but precook them in plain water and then add them to the soup, so they don’t absorb that important broth, one of the most healing elements of the soup. The carbs in noodles can help keep tummies calm. Without the noodles, it’s good to home can chicken soup and have it always at the ready. Cook noodles separately and add later.
- Clean or disinfect all shared objects, door knobs, etc., with white vinegar water or bleach water. Vinegar is more natural and won’t ruin your clothes, and is actually more effective at killing germs than bleach. Some people can’t handle the smell of vinegar, unfortunately.
- One of my favorite things to do is send over a jar of homemade chicken soup with other “care” items when someone is ill; I call them “get well kits”. I usually include a couple of boxes of tissues (not the ones with lotion – some people are allergic!); the soup, a box or two of herbal tea, some local raw honey, and ALWAYS a few packs of “Emergen C”; I’ll let you do your homework on this, but it tastes good and helps keep people hydrated, while boosting their vitamin and mineral levels. A nice hand-written “Get Well” note is always a little “happy”, too!
For the latest CDC flu outbreak map – check this out - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm.
I hope you find all of this helpful. Here’s to a flu-free season!
3 John 1:2 2Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (New King James Version)
― Mark Twain
You might have already talked to your doctor about getting a flu shot this year in an effort to combat seasonal illness. Now, this vaccine is readily available in places like health clubs, neighborhood pharmacies and community clinics, too. On a related note, the Women’s College Hospital and University of Toronto collaborated on a study, which found that influenza vaccine could reduce the risk of heart attacks, whether or not a person who received the vaccine had a prior cardiovascular risk.
During the study, researchers looked at clinical trials from the 1960s to the current time and noticed that the vaccine cut down on deaths of all types by approximately 40 percent, and that people reduced their probability of a major cardiac problem by half. Also, the study analyzed over 3,000 patients, and the pool was split almost evenly between people who had prior cardiac problems, and those who did not.
Helpful with Cardiac Implants?
There was also a study at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, which looked at the effects of the influenza vaccine on patients who had cardiac defibrillators implanted inside of them. The study was inspired when lead researchers discovered that their patients tended to have more incidents of needing assistance from their defibrillator during flu season.
The results showed that individuals with implanted defibrillators who received the flu vaccine were about three percent less likely to be reliant on their defibrillator. Researchers seemed optimistic at this evidence, and said that it could be good news for people who have already potentially compromised their lifespan.
Shots for the Needle-Phobic
If one of the reasons why you’ve been putting off your flu shot is because of the needle, there’s a new method to explore. Fluzone intradermal offers a new way to administer the flu vaccination. It uses a very short needle that’s less than 1/10 of an inch long, and only about as thick as a strand of hair. In an article on ABCNews.com, Dr William Schaffner, the chairman of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine also mentioned that the vaccine might also help patients avoid the persistent deep muscle aches that are common with standard flu shots. That’s because the intradermal versions go just under the skin’s surface.
Things to Ask Your Doctor
The possibility of a flu shot reducing the risk of heart problems adds to the already established recommendations that certain groups of the population, such as young children and women who are pregnant, should receive the flu vaccination. It’s also suggested for people who have prior health problems, because when flu strikes, symptoms can be worse for these individuals. If you work in the healthcare field, it’s particularly important to get vaccinated, especially since your potential level of exposure to the flu is so much higher than that of the general population.
However, if you have an allergy to eggs, tell your doctor. Some versions of the flu vaccine include a type of egg protein. Also, speak up if you’ve had a suspected adverse reaction to the flu vaccine before. It might not have been connected to receiving the shot, but it’s good for your doctor to be informed, anyway.
Thanks to advancing technology, the flu is no longer something that you automatically have to start worrying about whenever winter approaches. Be proactive and get vaccinated today.
Kara Martin writes for nursing blogs that feature articles on nursing jobs and higher education including the benefits of second degree nursing programs.
Words Wisdom from The Wyzyrd
(from SurvivalGeezer.com – coming soon!)
The best ‘granny remedy’ I know of is for flu symptoms, taught to me by a former co-worker, whose Mom was a traditional Chinese Herbalist from Szechuan Province who got out when the Maoists got totally crazy.
Make a big cup of hot green tea, add a nickel-sized slice of fresh ginger root (smash up the ginger a bit) and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Very soothing, and delicious even without unnecessary sweeteners. Works extraordinarily well.
“Grandma Penicillin” works surprisingly well for colds and flu as well. Homemade chicken soup with a lot of onion, garlic, sage and thyme (where the thymol in those cough drops comes from)
Not ‘cures’, but they’ll help make the symptoms a lot less severe.
Recipe from an upcoming (I hope) book, if anyone is interested:
(really magical when you’re sick)
whole roaster chicken, remove and keep all bones and skin
3 yellow onions, quartered, keep skin on
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, rough chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, rough chopped
2 stalks celery diced
large bunch fresh thyme
lots of minced garlic
2 fresh sage leaves
slice of fresh ginger, about quarter-sized (or 2)
egg noodles, boiled, very al dente
salt and pepper to taste
Grandma was right. Chicken soup really does help (warm fluids) . The herbs help too (where do you think they get thymol for cough drops?)
Start by skinning and boning the whole chicken, Toss all the skin and bones into a stock pot and brown everything, Cover well with water, add rough cut veggies and herbs, bring to a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and go away for a few hours (well, watch it and add more water, if needed). Dice up all the meat and reserve in fridge.
After a few hours, strain out all the veggies and herbs and discard – they’re done and have already given up all their flavor and nutrients. Let stock cool and skim off excess fat. Saute the diced veggies and add to the stock. Heat thoroughly. You may want to add more garlic and thyme :)
Now, here’s the secret: Do not add the noodles until you are ready to serve. Put them in the bowl, cover them with hot soup. Store leftover soup and noodles separately, and combine at meal time – the noodles won’t soak up all the stock and turn into ‘pudding’ that needs to be thinned out again.
It won’t taste like the stuff in the red can, but I bet you’ll like it, and it might help when you feel under the weather. :)