Category Archives: preparedness

Gluten & Dairy Free Thoughts on Preparedness

A question was asked about preparedness  and I have wanted to address some issues from a gluten and dairy free perspective.

This is not a post discussing if you  should or shouldn’t prep.  This is not a post on whether a Christian should or shouldn’t prep.  If you want my take on these, I highly recommend you read this post by my friend Enola Gay:  Preparedness Appologetics.  She and her family are further along in their preparedness than my family, but one can only start when their eyes have been opened.  And you can only do what you can.

No one will ever be completely prepared for every and any eventuality.  I do believe that I can prepare to be ready for some of the more likely scenarios.  But I did say that this post is not really about all those issues.

All of the places you go to get recommendations on how much and of what to have on hand rarely deal with food restrictions.  Much of what is “recommended” to have on hand is not something I  can even eat!  The beginning of our preparing was before I discovered my problem with gluten.  And only recently has my ‘problem’ with dairy become even more of a problem.  I seem to be ‘troubled’ most Monday afternoons and have finally narrowed it down to… the hidden, dairy-laden food at church!  So storing a bunch of dairy would not help me survive some kind of disaster.

Trying to buy up all the packages of gluten free crackers or buying them by the case (or cases) takes up far too much valuable space.  I don’t know about you, but I have a limited amount of space for storage and need to maximize the space I do have…  getting the most bang for my buck, as the saying goes.

I’m not saying do not buy any prepackaged items.  What I am saying is don’t make them the bulk of your food storage.

My goal it to store the basic ‘from scratch’ foods we need to eat a healthy, well balanced diet.  For baking I store a variety of rices, whole buckwheat, whole sorghum, whole millet, certified GF steel cut & rolled oats, quinoa in whole and flaked versions and pearl & granular tapioca.  These I will use whole and ground up for baking.

I also store a variety of seeds and nuts.  These I repackage into small vacuum sealed bags, then in a 5-gallon bucket.  Chia seeds are my favorite preparedness food stuff.  The nutritional content is wonderful and they can be used in a variety of ways!

For cooking I have stored a variety of beans, dehydrated lots of fruits & vegetables, have purchased some canned items in cases and have powdered coconut milk in 5 pound bags, powdered stevia in 1 pound bags, bulk spices in large containers, evaporated cane juice and sucanat in 5-gallon buckets.

So where will I get my calcium?  Chia seeds!  Magnesium?  Hemp seeds (no it’s not THAT hemp).  I don’t like the taste of flax and the chia and hemp have a better nutritional profile and are better keepers.

What should you store?  What grains do you tolerate well?  What grains are you already baking with… you do bake some of your own gluten free cakes, breads, and such don’t you?  Some???  That is one reason I joined the Ratio Rally.  I made me get up off my… baking behind and start baking my own gluten free breads, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, biscuits, crepes, popovers and brownies!  I have learned so much, especially how freeing it is to bake my ratio.  I don’t need any recipes… I can make them fit the ingredients I have on hand!  Now THAT is truly being prepared.

Store what you use and use what you store.

That is one reason I am so very fond of my ‘new’ (but from a very old & favorite cookbook) Rice Flour Muffin Recipe & Rice Flour Muffin Variations!  It is very simple, uses ingredients that I always have on hand and is versatile!  Flavor variations will make ‘survival food’ so much more pleasurable!

What kinds of things do you think are important in being prepared for TEOTWAWKI or even just a current job loss?

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae  (aka~Mrs. R)

Other posts that may be of interest:

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Breakfast Mix

Black Berkey Water Filter Failure

A Few Thoughts on Expiration Dates

How to Clean a Trout or other fish

Art thanks to art.com

photos thanks to shorpy.com

This post also linked here: The Better Mom, What joy is Mine, Raising Arrows, Finding Heaven, Homestead Revival, Far Above Rubies, Time Warp Wife, Growing Home, A Pause on the Path, Thankful Homemaker, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, We Are THAT Family, Deep Roots at Home, A Mother’s Heritage, Women Living Well, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows, Our Simple Country Life, At the Picket Fence, Best Post of the Week, Serenity Now, Homemaker by Choice, Comfy in the Kitchen, Finding Beauty,

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Radiation Found In Tuna

Giant Bluefin Tuna

Here is an article about the radiation found in tuna caught off the California coast.

Another reason I am glad I have been preparedness minded.  I bought lots of canned tuna right after the Fukishima disaster in March 2011.  Must be time to ration our usage…

974 lbs World Record tuna

I wonder if tuna will start dying of radiation poisoning…

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Resolution – MORE Attentive to DH

Peder Severin Kroyer

The fourth item on my resolution list is:

#4 More Attentive to my Husband.

The Patriarch is undemanding.  But I KNOW the cluttered house bugs him, though he doesn’t say a lot about it.  I want to get it all ship shape to please him.  He’s been pleased with what I have done so far!!

I need to be more deliberate about looking for more ways to be attentive to him.

One thing I have been trying to do is stop reading on my computer and turn to look at him when he is reading something to me from his computer.  He thought it was important enough to share with me so I should really listen better!  Shame on me for not doing this before.

This was not the resolution I thought I should work on first… apparently the Lord thought otherwise.  This past 25 days I have been given the privilege to demonstrate attentiveness and respect to The Patriarch  in a way I was not expecting.

You see, The Patriarch has been out of work since the 5th of March.

There are many things I could say about our situation but worried, grumbling and unhappy are NOT three of them!  😀  In fact we have been experiencing ‘the peace the passes all understanding’ from the very beginning of this current circumstance.  Your prayers for our job need would be appreciated.

On one of our walks the other day, both Arrow & I separately and unprompted, told the Patriarch that we have loved having him at home!  I did tell him that having a regular source of income would also be nice, but I will miss him terribly when he has to leave to go to work everyday.

When I made my resolutions list our current jobless situation was no where on the horizon.  The Lord has interesting ways of allowing me to demonstrate my resolution resolve!!

Being without a paycheck for the past four weeks also makes me even more thankful we have been preparedness minded!!  We have plenty of food, toiletries, education materials, entertainment activities, clothing, etc. and I have only had to go out to purchase perishables like milk and lettuce.  We were also able to pay all our bills this month.

We are trusting the Lord to bring about another job or have us start a home business (besides my soap).  There are a few job irons in the fire, but I am not at liberty to share any more than that at this time.

Blessings?  Why yes we have seen some from this extended time of joblessness.

1. The Patriarch’s blood pressure has been going steadily down!  The systolic is down 33 & diastolic is down about 17 from it’s highest reading!!  That’s a very good thing!  We are working at getting it even lower, but at least it is headed in the right direction!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. We have been able to have daily devotions both morning and evening!  Currently we are using two of Kevin Swanson’s books.  Proverbs in the morning and Genesis in the evenings.

In our Genesis reading for tonight was chapter 20 where Abraham’s wife if taken by Abimelech king of Gerar.  One question at the end was specifically for me, but I suspect that I may not be the only one who is in need of trusting…

Section end on how this passage teaches us to walk with god in faith and obedience:  “God doesn’t instruct wives to submit to their husbands out of blind trust in their husband’s impeccable wisdom.  Not at all!  They should submit to their husbands because they trust in a GOD of infinite wisdom.” – page 98

Family discussion questions:  How can a wife submit to her husband even when it seems like her husband is making some unwise choices?  Is there any point at which she should not obey her husband?

My answer:  I can readily submit to you, cheerfully so, because I know that God will use all the circumstances in our lives for our good.  God can always be trusted, even when the situation may look grim.  I know you did not mean this for our hurt (unlike Joseph’s brothers) but God means this for our good.  the only point where I should not obey you is where you ask me to violate scripture.

3. We are quite well rested!  We have been going to bed early and rising after a full night’s, restful sleep!  Since sleep is the number one thing you can do to begin healing your adrenals, I think we are on our way!  We have eliminated the major stresses, are getting proper sleep, reduced the caffeine to only tea and only in the mornings, have been limiting computer time (we don’t have television), and are getting regular exercise in our walks.  I have also reduced everyone’s sugar intake by using half stevia when and where I can along with de-cluttering the house (a stress factor).

4.  Gives me a chance to work with our preparedness supplies.   Actually cooking with our stored foods on a more regular basis.  As well as giving me the opportunity to be creative with what we have and make do with what’s already there.  One thing I already knew – we need to organize our supplies!!

Off to bed for us…

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Other posts you may be interested in:

My New Year’s Resolutions

Regarding Resolutions

Happy Valentine’s Day

LAF Has  Returnd

This post also linked to:

Greetings & Update

Hello All!  I am so sorry I have been so quite here lately.  Life has been in a bit of an uproar in our home and blogging was set aside for a short time.  The photo challenge is also off for now.  I just can’t keep up with all that right now.

The Patriarch injured himself at work.  Nothing serious, but it is taking longer to heal that I would like to see!  He has a bursa on his knee.  He is a field service technician fixing forklifts, which is a hard, physically demanding job.  On the 16th he spent an hour & a half kneeling while working on a lift truck.  The next day he had a large lump just below the knee cap, about the size of a large apricot.  The following day he mentioned that he had hurt his knee and was required to fill out L&I forms by his boss.  He didn’t think it needed medical attention, but did leave work early every day the rest of that week.  He rested it over the weekend but it hadn’t changed.

Then early the following week he had to kneel on it again.  That night he called me into the bathroom to see his foot.  I was shocked!  It was a deep maroon color along the entire inside of his foot and partly along the outside.  His foot and ankle were also swollen.  He came home early to rest his leg most of that week also.  Because it hadn’t gotten any better he said  he would have a doctor look at it.

Then on Tuesday, the 28th of February he went to the clinic for his work.  He waited an hour to be seen.  The doctor took one look at his swollen foot, ankle and calf and sent him to have an ultrasound to eliminate the possibility of any blood clots!  YIKES!!  All that was done at the regional medical center.  Because of the possibility of blood clots, he was ushered in to be scanned immediately upon arrival.

That sure had me a bit worried I’ll tell you! 

Thankfully he scanned all clear of any clots.  Phew!  If there had been a clot, he would have been immediately admitted into the hospital and would have been there for at least 3 days.

It seemed like late September’s medical emergencies all over again… was I prepared for all that again… this time with MY husband??

In case you are new to my blog, this past September my mom & step-Daddy came to visit.  He suffered a series of strokes and went home for treatment.  His cancer was causing thickened blood, which resulted in his strokes.  He died in early December from the cancer.  I miss him very much.

Anyway, The Patriarch was sent home to rest his leg for the remainder of the week.  It has been nice having him home, but that always throws my schedule w-a-y off!

And today, today is Arrow’s 13th birthday.  Where has all the time gone?!

We originally planned to go to the zoo.  But Arrow said he would prefer to go next week and stay at home with his Dad.  It gladdened my heart to hear him say that.  🙂

Arrow & I are also taking a break from formal piano lessons for a bit.  We will continue to work ahead in our books, but on our own.

I have been amazed at how much more I have gotten done at home, not leaving… even for that one appointment!  I am REALLY liking this!  I am also cutting back on my computer time.  Not for blogging, but for my yahoo groups, facebook, etc.   No, this is not a lenten thing it is a ‘get my priorities straight’ thing.

I have started a major de-cluttering… and started in the ‘office’.  Our school books were in piles and boxes in the office and scattered in various locations throughout the rest of the house.

And dust…?  Oh am I supposed to do that??!

I know have completed a thorough dusting of the three tall bookshelves in the office, organized most of the books on those shelves, went through and got rid of loads of paper & condensed some storage files.  I also dusted, arranged and organized the books on the two small bookshelves in the master bedroom.  I still have some organizing to do with the books so they are easier to use, but I now know where they all are!!

Labels.  I hate it when I have “reorganized” but can’t find anything.  So I have labeled drawers & plastic bins with my nifty label maker.  It is a P-touch and everything is neatly labeled.  Including my spices!

Arrow hung up some new bird feeders a few weeks ago.  We have three feeders hanging just outside of the living room window and one that is one Arrow’s bedroom window.  So far we have had nuthatches, Juncos, chickadees, and finches.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy bird watching!  Our visit to my mom’s reminded me and renewed Arrow’s interest in birds.  I sit on the couch in the living room and watch the birds at the feeders early in the morning.  We just picked up almost 25 books from the library on bird watching, bird house building, gardening to attract birds and bird identification books specific to back yards in the Seattle area.

After hanging out feeders, it was only 3 or 4 days before we had birds visiting them!  We have one feeder that is for thistle seeds which finches really like.  There is one suet feeder that the nuthatches and chickadees like.  The third feeder has a seed mix for a variety of birds.  Once that mix is gone I will no longer use it.  There is too much ‘junk seed’ in there.  We will switch to providing shelled sunflower or safflower seeds.

With all the time The Patriarch has been off work, we are looking at next to no paycheck for the next pay period.This is yet another reason I am SO GLAD we have been preparedness minded!  I have enough ‘supplies’ stocked up that all I really need to purchase for the next few weeks are perishables.  All those preparedness supplies will be my next organizing focus!

Then we come to tomorrow.  Tomorrow are the Washington state Republican caucuses.  There will be NO primary voting this year, it was eliminated due to budgetary cuts.  So we are supposed to go to a caucus… but I don’t like any of the candidates!  Sigh.

Sorry for the jumbled post!  It does sort of fit with my life right now though…

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Black Berkey Water Filter Failures

Discovered this and immediately thought of all my many prepper friends who would NEED to know!!  There is a potential problem with two batches of the black Berkey filters.

Here is a link to the New Millennium Concepts letter explaining how to tell if YOUR black Berkey filter is one in the effected group AND how to check to see if yours works or not.
Me??  I didn’t need this information.

Why?  We bought an Aqua Rain!  Made in the USA too!   Do you want to know the second reason I bought an Aqua Rain?  The first being made in USA as stated above.  The second reason… the filters.  You can read about their superior filtering at their website.

The third reason… those nifty handles on the upper reservoir!  Those things are not on the Berkey.  Prepper friends told us that you frequently lift the upper reservoir to check the water level.  I figured it would be easier with handles.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

B-I-G Preparedness/Homesteading Giveaway!!

I have not talked about preparedness for a while.  I am still working on our supplies and a comprehensive inventory is becoming a necessity!  There are still some areas where I could use some help.  That is where THIS post comes in.  I stumbled across this giveaway and immediately thought… wow!  These are some of the very things I need to add to our preparedness supplies!  How timely.

Isn’t that just like the Lord?  Providing when you hadn’t been looking!

The ForgottenWayFarms.com folks and HomesteadDryingRacks.com are teaming up for a great giveaway for preparedness &/or homesteading minded folks and there are 6 different prizes worth $304!

Six Prizes – Six chances to win

1st Grandpa Jakes Campfire Cooker ($139.00 value)

2nd One handcrafted Peddler drying rack (49.00)

3rd Homesteading for Beginners vol. I- II-III ($45.00)

4th Plunger Washer ($29.00)

5th  Erin’s Super Green Drink Mix 1 lb. ($25.00)

6th Erin’s Sick Tea ½ lb. ($17.00)

I am drooling over the Grandpa Jake’s Outdoor Cooker.  I also need the Plunger Washer for my preparedness supplies.  The Green Mix and Tea would also be wonderful as would the DVDs!  Who couldn’t use a really nice drying rack with REAL space for drying things??!!

Hop on over to their blog to check out how YOU can enter a chance to win one of these great items!  Don’t delay… this giveaway ends at midnight on Feb 5th!

A Common Sense Look at Soaking Grains

Long, worth the read and re-printed with permission.  😉

Phytic Acid Friend or Foe?

The Soaking of Grains Investigated

By Sue Becker

 Since 1992 I have been teaching others the health benefits of freshly milled whole grains.  I have heard literally hundreds of testimonies of improved health, from minor issues to life threatening ones.  What a confirmation these testimonies have been to the truths that have been taught.

Over the years, though, conflicting messages have arisen from time to time.  When questioned concerning these teachings, I would research each one as to their validity.  Most of the time I found some truth mixed with error.  I chose to answer these questions on a personal level as they arose.  I did not wish to get in a public arena of debate, choosing instead to just let truth prevail, and it always has.  I have watched books, diets and teachers come and go.

However, there is a teaching I feel I must address formally. It is causing quite a stir among those of us who have embraced the lifestyle of milling our own grains.  I have searched, studied and agonized over the subject for the past 4 or 5 years.  My desire was not to prove any one wrong, but I had to know that what I was teaching was correct.  If I was teaching error I had to change.  It is my desire to present to you my findings and let you make an educated decision as to what is correct.

The subject is phytic acid and the sprouting or soaking of grains.  Phytic acid is considered by some as an anti- nutrient component found in the bran portion of all grains and beans.  It is being taught that “untreated” phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption.  It is being said that a diet high in unfermented whole grains supposedly can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.  It is also suggested that long term consumption of these untreated phytates may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and other serious adverse affects.

Statements are also being made that imply that grains have always been eaten in their sprouted form and that “our ancestors and virtually all pre-industrialized people only ate grains that were soaked or fermented”.  Nourishing Tradition by  Sally Fallon pg.452

My first thought is, that I see no reference of sprouting grains in the scripture.  Many people refer to Ezekiel 4:9 as the first mention of sprouted bread.  Careful examination of the verse however, gives no indication that the grains are sprouted.  God’s instruction to Ezekiel is to take “wheat, spelt, barley, millet, lentils and beans” and to put them into “one vessel”.  A word study done on “one vessel” showed that it means exactly that – one container.  I do not see any indication of sprouting.  One must remember that each of these grains or beans was used separately for food, for example barley loaves or spelt bread.  The instruction to Ezekiel appears clear to me.  God did not want Ezekiel to make a variety of breads out of the individual grains, but one bread out of the grains combined.  Individually, grains and beans lack certain necessary amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  However, when grains and bean are combined, they perfectly complement each other, forming a complete protein.  In a long term fast, much body mass is lost due to a lack of nourishment, particularly protein.   When grains or beans are sprouted some protein is lost.  I believe this bread was not sprouted, and the incredible supply of complete protein and other nutrients perfectly nourished Ezekiel for over 400 days!

It is taught by some that grains were harvested differently in Biblical days than now.  This is Jordon Rubin’s best argument as to why there is no evidence of the sprouting of grains in the Bible. The teachings of Dr. Edward Howell are quoted and embraced as truth by both Sally Fallon and Jordon Rubin.   “Dr. Howell noticed that the old harvesting techniques helped preserve and enhance the nutrition value of the grain.  After cutting the mature grains in the field, farmers would gather the stalks and loosely bind them upright in sheaves and let them stand overnight in the field before threshing them (or removing the grain from the grass stalks) the next day.  This allowed the grains to germinate or sprout”The Maker’s Diet by Jordon Rubin pg.139 (emphasis mine).  The premise is that this “germination” or sprouting of the seed in the field broke down the “harmful” phytic acid naturally so that no further soaking of the grain was necessary.

Dr. Howell’s statement is so simplistically wrong I truly thought I was missing something!  No seed can begin to germinate or sprout and then be stored.  The sprouting process can not be put on hold.  It is like being pregnant – you are or you aren’t.  If you are, you can not put it on hold and save the baby until you are ready for it.  That baby will continue to grow until it is full term.  It is the same with seeds.  Once the sprout is formed, a full grown plant is going to develop.  If seeds were allowed to sprout, they could not be stored, resulting in no seeds for next year’s crop and no food for the winter. 

Germination of the seed does indeed stimulate phytase activity.  Phytase is an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid and that allows the release of stored mineral which the new plant needs for growth.  Normally these nutrients are stored securely inside the seed until it germinates.  The fermentation process of yeast triggers this same activity and causes phytase to transform non-usable minerals into digestible ones.  These minerals include phosphorous, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper.  Without proper fermentation, these minerals remain inaccessible to your body.  Allowing bread to rise for several hours before baking insures maximum nutritional value and the release of these stored nutrients.

I checked with the owner of one of our grain elevators on grain harvesting procedures.  The owner had just returned from Ethiopia.  It was harvest season there.  He assured me that the primitive methods used for harvesting grain in Ethiopia today were the same primitive methods for harvesting grain used for thousands of years.  The cut wheat was tied up in bundles, because it is easier to pick up a bundle than an individual stalk.    The seeds must be fully dry at harvest time or they will not store!  It is not desirable for the grain to get damp; therefore, it is harvested as quickly as possible.  The only difference in modern methods of harvesting is that machinery is used to perform the tasks.  The last thing any farmer wants is for the grain to get damp!

 “Like snow in summer and rain in harvest so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Proverbs 26:1  Amp. version

 “Is it not wheat harvest today?  I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain; then you shall know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord in asking for a king for yourselves.” I Samuel 12:17 Amp. version

Moist grain at harvest is a curse from God, not a benefit!

The History of Bread Making and Natural Leavens

Since I first began this journey of making my own bread, from freshly milled grains, the history of bread making has fascinated me.  I have read many books and articles on the subject.  I have never read anything to document the statement about our ancestors and “virtually all pre-industrialized people” soaking their grains.  In preparation for writing this article I have spent even more time searching out and reading articles on the internet on the history of bread making.  Again I found nothing on soaking or fermenting grains historically.

I think perhaps there is some confusion with the yeast “starters” that required an over night soak.

Prior to the availability of commercial yeast, bakers, as well as, homemakers had to “make” their own starter.  I found two recipes for starters in a cookbook that was printed in 1901.  The cookbook belonged to my husband’s great grandmother and was a “Careful Collection of Tried and Approved Recipes” compiled by The Ladies Aid Society.  I figure that would date these recipes in the 1800s.

Organisms needed to leaven bread dough could be “caught” from the air.  Equal parts flour and milk were mixed together to form a smooth batter.  The raw milk, unlike today’s pasteurized milk, would supply the lactic acid bacteria.  The mixture was allowed to set uncovered for several days to catch various organisms from the air.  Once the growth of the yeast and bacteria made a nice bubbly mixture the “starter” was ready and could be used for making bread.  The day before making bread, this starter was mixed with equal parts flour and water or milk and allowed to soak or “sponge” for 24 hours or overnight.  The next morning a portion of the starter was saved and stored in a “yeast pot” (mentioned in the book of Exodus) for future use.  Flour, sweeteners, oil and salt were then added to the rest of the sponge to make the bread dough.  The dough was kneaded then shaped into loaves and allowed to rise for several hours.  The entire amount of flour used was not soaked or allowed to ferment, only what was necessary to make their yeast.  These starters are a mixture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria.  The yeast does the leavening and the lactic acid bacteria gives the bread a sour flavor, hence the name sour dough bread.  These “starters” are often referred to as natural leaven since the yeast is considered wild and caught from the air.  To say that natural leaven is not yeast is incorrect.

The strains of commercial yeast used today were isolated, as microorganisms were discovered, and grown for commercial use because of their hardiness and viability.  It was more practical for bakers to have yeast readily available.  I enjoy the flavor of sour dough and first learned to make bread using a sour dough starter.  But I enjoy the convenience of bakers yeast and see no difference in the method of bread making through out history and the way I make bread today, except that I do not have to grow my yeast.  I incorporate the yeast into my dough, just as has always been done, except that my yeast is in a dry form and not from a starter.  I do, of course, lose the sour flavor contributed by the lactic acid bacteria.

Through out history many civilizations have indeed had numerous fermented foods as part of their diet.  The fact that many ancient cultures ate a fermented bread of some sort, however, does not mean that all bread has to be fermented.   Just because one culture eats a fermented cabbage food, known as sauerkraut, does not mean that all cabbage has to be fermented.  Yogurt is a fermented dairy food; does that mean all milk has to be fermented?  Certainly not!

One must remember that the fermentation of foods was chiefly a preservation method.   Fermenting grains also offered a variety of texture, flavor, and aroma.   Years ago, sweeteners and flavoring were not as readily available to the common people; therefore, grains or flour and water were often allowed to ferment overnight to give the bland “bread” some flavor.  The dough was then fried or baked.  Fermenting grains does indeed break down some of the protein, which is not necessarily advantageous.  In fact, a nutritional study done on Ogi, a fermented African corn bread, showed that there were considerable losses in protein and calcium during the fermenting of Ogi.  Researchers found that “the biological quality of Ogi was so poor it did not support the growth of rats”! (History of Fermented Soy Foods, Special Report by William Shurtleff)

Common breakfast cereals, such as oats were often soaked overnight.  Before the process of rolling oats came along to shorten the cooking time, oat groats could take several hours to cook to obtain a nice creamy texture.  Soaking the groats overnight shortened the early morning cooking time.   Our ancestors were logical people.  To imply that they soaked or fermented grains because of some innate sense that it was more nutritious is sheer speculation.

Phytic Acid – Friend or Foe?

Phytic acid’s “chelating” ability is considered by some to be a detriment to one’s health.  On the other hand, many researches embrace this ability to bind with minerals as its most powerful asset.  In her book, Diet for the Atomic Age, Sara Shannon, lists 11 nutrients in particular that protect against heavy metal toxicity and radiation damage.  Phytates bind with radioactive and toxic substances and carry them out of the body.  Aware of phytic acid’s mineral binding properties, Shannon states that an adequate diet will more than compensate.  One must also remember that whole grains themselves are an abundant source of iron, calcium, and zinc.  After extensive research, Shannon found that the more toxic our environment becomes, grains are our best source of protection, particularly due to the phytate content.  She believes that “for optimal health, at least half of every meal should be grains”. Why would one want to denature something that is so beneficial?   In fact, a supplement company is actually isolating this “powerful antioxidant” because of its anti-tumor, anti-carcinogenic, and blood sugar regulating properties!

Studies show that phytic acid, particularly from wheat bran, actually stimulates the productions of phytase in the small intestine.  The fact that phytase can be produced in the small intestine eliminates the necessity of fermenting all grains before consuming them, as in the case of unleavened breads, quick breads (that do not use yeast as a leavening), and parched or boiled grains.  Phytase activity in the small intestine actually increased, not decreased, the absorption of minerals, especially, calcium.  (Journal of Nutrition 2000:130: 2020-2025).  Over the years we have seen numerous people healed of life long anemia issues after they began grinding their own grains to make their bread.  How could this be if phytic acid in the bran kept iron from being absorbed?

Other studies have also shown that this increase of phytase activity, stimulated by phytic acid, offered significant reduction in the formation of cancer cells in the colon.  This anti-carcinogenic protection was also attributed to phytic acid’s mineral chelating properties.   If phytic acid strengthen and protects the colon, how could it cause colitis and irritable bowel syndrome?   Again we have heard numerous testimonies of healing of both colitis and IBS from eating “real bread”.

Phytic acid can be digested by humans and actually releases inositol during the process.  Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.  Whole grains are a valuable source of inositol, as well as choline and lecithin, which are also important in the break down of cholesterol.  This may explain why so many people have reported a significant reduction in cholesterol levels once they began making their own bread from freshly milled grains.  Inositol is also an essential nutrient in reducing depression.  Again I ask – why would we want to denature this valuable nutrient?

One should really wonder why whole grains and phytic acid were “picked on” at all.  Why not oxalic acid?  It is a mineral chelator found in spinach, chard, cranberries, almonds, rhubarb and other vegetables.  Should we quit eating these healthy foods as well?  Sally Fallon encourages the use of flaxseed for its rich source of fatty acids, stating that it is low in phytic acid.  Yet sources that herald phytic acid as a nutrient, give wheat bran and flaxseed as the richest sources.   Does soaking the grain over night actually denature the phytic acid?  Not from what I have read.  Only about 10% of the phytic acid is broken down in an overnight soak and that is not enough to make a significant difference.

Is There a Place for the Sprouting of Grains?

Absolutely!!  In fact I got very excited as I began to study this.  Of the many essential nutrients needed by your body to promote health and life, there are only four nutrients deficient in wheat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and the amino acid lysine.  When grains and beans are sprouted, there is some loss in protein, but vitamin A content increases by 300% and vitamin C by 500%.  In fact sprouted grains were used on long ocean voyages to prevent scurvy.  Limes, and lemons would eventually rot, but the storable grains would last the duration of the voyage and could be sprouted at any time. Sprouted grains can also be more easily tolerated by those who can not digest gluten.

As our food supply gets more and more contaminated and manipulated – our fruits and vegetables are radiated and picked long before ripening, animals are fed antibiotics and hormones that then show up in our meat and dairy products, genetic modification is being done to much of our food supply – we can become very discouraged and left with very few safe food options.

Grains, however, do not have to be radiated to be made storable, they are not fed antibiotics or hormones, and organic grains are not genetically modified.  From all of this, I see the hand of a wonderful Creator that made a perfectly storable food, which can be ground into flour to make delicious breads of all sorts and to obtain two of the missing nutrients one can then sprout the grains.   Grains, as I see it are our most reliable food!

The Attack on Bread – God’s Perfect Provision

For a long time I have been very concerned as I have watched bread be attacked from every direction.  The “low carb” diet propagated the myth that bread will make you fat.  Gluten is treated like some evil substance, found in bread, when in fact it is just the protein portion of the grain, with specific health benefits.  This is not to negate the fact that some people have serious physical issues with gluten.  But the problem is not with gluten.  If so, why is corn such a common allergen?   It has no gluten.  What about milk?   These are all wonderful foods that God has given us that are now thought of as unhealthy when in fact we are the ones who are unhealthy.  We lack the ability to digest these foods properly.   Now presently grain is bad because of some mold on the wheat and phytic acid in the bran.  What next?

I believe that the day has come where God is going to use sickness and disease as a powerful evangelistic tool.  As God’s people we must prepare.  As we turn to His ways of eating, always letting His word be the final authority, we will see our health return.  As those around us become sicker they will look to us for answers.  As we share truth for physical health, we will be sharing truth for spiritual health.  But if deceptive teaching can prevail and convince the world that bread is bad, then why would any one want the Real Bread of Life.  Deceptive teaching is a powerful tool of the enemy. We must pray continually for wisdom. None of us is above being deceived.  In fact as I have struggled with the validity of this teaching, the Lord spoke this scripture to my heart:

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? … Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to obtain your goal by human effort: Galatians 3:1 NIV version

I do not wish to be either foolish or bewitched.  James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom we are to ask God who will give it.

Throughout the Bible, bread is considered a symbol of healing or the presence of God.  Jesus compared Himself to bread because bread, made from freshly milled whole grains is life giving and life sustaining. As the days become more and more evil, Jesus will be attacked in any and every way.  If the life giving bread to which Jesus compares Himself, can be brought into question, then the very name of Jesus and His saving power can be more easily discredited as well.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article should be construed as medical advice.  Consult you health care provider for your individual nutritional and medical needs.  The opinions are strictly those of the author and are not necessarily those of any professional group or other individual.

This article is re-printed here with permission.

I am so thankful for Sue Becker’s research and careful analysis of this “grain soaking necessity”.  Though gluten and my body do not happily co-exist together, I believe many who read my blog are able to consume gluten and I would like to free them from an unnecessary burden – soaking grains.

There is another reason I believe this article is important.

Preparedness.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation, you might find it expedient to soak your grains overnight to save cooking time, water, and fuel.  These three (among others) will be precious commodities when the grid goes downMany other times you will NEED to prepare a meal quickly, and may not have had the time to start soaking something for the next day’s meals.  Or the dog, or mice or other vermin might have gotten into your grains soaking on the counter – or tent floor – or vehicle dash – or….

Then there will be the times of necessity when you are out gathering fuel, water or whatever it is you need and have to take some kind of food with you.  You will NOT be soaking your grains on the go!

Please, don’t saddle healthy homemakers and preppers with a false sense of guilt if they don’t (unnecessarily) soak their grains!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

More Strokes & Other News

Hello everyone!  Phew…  In my previous post I told you about my folks visiting and my step-Dad having a stroke while in my backyard.  Well the medical upheaval continued.

Step-Dad was released from the hospital on Saturday, September 24th.  He rested that day and we all went out to dinner (his request) and they attended church with us on Sunday.  He was able to talk with Mr. CR who had lymphoma and was an encouragement to him.  Yes, my step-Dad was diagnosed with cancer about 4 weeks before their annual trip to see us.  His doctor said it wouldn’t be a problem to take the visit.

Monday and Tuesday he and I spent many hours talking about my soap business.  He has been helping me ‘launch’ my business as well as help me stream line the production process where I can, think through establishing a website and all the behind the scenes things that have to happen before the website is ready for the public.  Don’t ask me about domain names… what hard work THAT was!  😉

Also on Tuesday we were supposed to visit some local gift shops in order to find a few that would be willing carry my soaps.  We had stopped at 3 and were on our way to the 4th one when my mom said step-Dad’s tongue sounded “thick” and asked how he was feeling.  We then got to the gift shop and I had gotten out of the car and he had opened his door.  He was sitting in the back with Arrow.  He had started to swing his feet out of the car when he slurred a word.  He had not lost any strength on his right side.  We shut the car door and by the providence of God we were across the street from the firehouse, so we drove there.  Also by God’s providence they were “home”!  My step-Dad walked into the firehouse, and was slurring his words a little and sat in their chair.  The firemen drove the ambulance around and brought the gurney in.  By that time (less than 10 minutes) he had lost strength in his right side and had to be helped onto the gurney.  Off he went to the hospital… again.  We followed… not “followed” but drove along at a safe speed behind the ambulance and actually arrived only a few minutes after them.

Step-Dad was taken to the emergency room.  They were very busy.  He was offered the same drug taken previously (t-PA), but because of his very high blood pressure his risk factor for significant bleeding, possibly leading to death, was significantly higher.  They declined the t-PA this time around.  The doctor ordered Heparin, but then changed his mind and after 20 minutes that was stopped.  He had a CAT scan somewhere in there…

Then we waited… and waited… and waited… and waited some more.

The emergency room nurses were unfriendly, stood around the counter talking and acted like we were an interruption to them if we came out to ask for anything.  Step-Dad was unable to find a comfortable position in the very uncomfortable emergency room bed.  There was also no way to get out of the emergency room to other parts of the hospital without having to go through security doors… and then no way back in… we didn’t have a badge to open those doors.  So we couldn’t leave to get food or water.

After 4 1/2 hours he was sent up to the 5th floor ICU because the doctor was up there.  He hadn’t even been “officially” admitted.  Even the nurse said she had never heard of this before.  She had no orders and couldn’t do anything for him.  We were told that the doctor would see him in about half an hour so we went down to have dinner… at 9:30 PM.  Poor Arrow!  It had now been over 9 hours since he had eaten lunch.  He was a real trooper, but v-e-r-y hungry!  We got back up to Step-Dad’s room 45 minutes later and the doctor came in a little after that.  He explained the treatments options and what tests he was ordering.  Step-Dad was given a blood thinner.

The doctor asked how they wanted to have his care handled if his heart stopped.  Mom told the Dr. that they have a living will and wanted no artificial life support.  Step-Dad agreed with her.  The Doc verified that step-Dad was “Do Not Resuscitate” and they both agreed.  I stopped them to ask if step-Dad’s heart were to stop they really didn’t want the hospital to attempt to restart it at all???  They had not understood what the doctor was asking, for all they wanted was not to be kept alive artificially long term.  And your care options are much more limited with a DNR code… so please be careful!  There is no “life saving” treatments with a DNR… for you have asked for no life saving measures.

Thursday step-Dad had another CAT scan and a Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE).  The latter is a more in depth scope of the heart from inside the body instead of through the chest wall.  It showed that his heart is fine.  The cancer raises the white cell count in the blood, making the blood thicker.  The thicker blood is what ’caused’ step-Dad’s  strokes.

The CAT scan showed lesions in 4 new areas that were not there on his CAT scan a month ago.  These new areas are the left axillary armpit, left lower neck, right kidney and the liver.  The first biopsy found cancer in the lymph nodes on the right side, in his back, just above the waist.  That is where his pain has consistently been.  The doctors here said these new lesions were suspicious for cancer and they suspect lymphoma.

The folks changed their flight to fly home on Saturday evening.They have already scheduled an appointment with an oncologist for the end of the week.  They were given copies of all Step-Dad’s scans, records, and treatments to give to his doctors in Minnesota.

May the Lord’s will be done and He be given glory through all this.

Fourteen things I am thankful for:

#1 – medical technology that allows doctors to “see” inside our bodies

#2 – the gift of my step-Dad.  He is like a dad to me and he says I am like the daughter he never had.  🙂

#3 – that Arrow & I were able to be there at the hospital with my folks for support and encouragement

#4 – Step-Dad’s positive attitude and generally cheerful disposition, even through all the hospitalizations, ambulance rides, numerous needle pokes, scans, etc

#5 – Step-Dad’s planner – he had his MN doctor’s phone numbers, list of all his medications he was taking, travel info & phone numbers so travel plans could be changed, and his file on my soap business

#6 – the hospital’s free parking & free Valet parking service

#7 – the general cheerful decorating of the hospital building & grounds

#8 – Mrs. GB, who came to visit with her dear children – such a sweet blessing

#9 – AMcD, who works at the hospital Step-Dad was in & stopped by to see him… twice!  Last time to pray with him the day before he was released the second time

#10 – BMcK, who called to talk with Step-Dad & pray with him

#11 – my church family & extended brothers and sisters in Christ who have prayed diligently for Step-Dad since his cancer diagnosis

#12 – the Lord’s gracious arrangement of small details: changing my menu to accommodate being at the hospital, being “right there” at the firehouse, parking spaces right inside the parking garage,

#13 – I didn’t eat out of frustration, or stress during the entire visit

#14 – I was prepared for an emergency: I knew when to call 911, my cell was charged, when I couldn’t eat anything at the hospital cafeteria (very little gf & df) I could easily pack my own food, Arrow could easily grab some games & drawing materials to keep him occupied at the hospital, my gas tank is kept full, I have maps & atlases in the car (GPS might not work!), I had easily prepared food on hand for those late night meals

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

Weight Loss Update – Week 7 & Soap Sale

Here are the previous posts on my very slow girth reduction progress: week 1, week 2, & week 5 but don’t go looking for weeks 3, 4 or 6.

I have still been far too sporadic with my T-Tapping.  But I have Tapped.  Since I started my sporadic Tapping I have lost more inches than pounds.  I had to purchased another tape measure, and I finally measured myself today.  Since July 26th I have reduced a total of 7 inches!   🙂  A little boost to help me with my consistency!

I knew I had reduced in ‘some’ areas.  One bit of proof… we went walking the other day at the park and I wore my new split skirt (purchased in late June).  It has an elastic waist… and kept slipping d-o-w-n…  Oops!  I had to tuck it into my bra in order to walk without indecent exposure.

My Labor Day Sale on Mae’s Handcrafted Natural Soap!  This link will take you to the page will all the details.  Don’t delay, the sale ends tonight!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

Art is from art.COM.

Weight Loss Update – Week 5 & Soap Sale

Did you think I had forgotten you??  Were you waiting on the edge of your computer chairs… waiting with bated breath for my next ‘weight loss progress’ post??  Well it is finally HERE!  Oh… and there is a week 1 and a week 2, but don’t go looking for weeks 3 & 4.  Those posts just never got written.  Sorry…

Not that I have much to say today.  I have been sporadic with my T-Tapping.  And those days that I have T-Tapped I forgot to mark it down on the calendar.  So now to go back and report accurately… well that just isn’t possible! And I had a wonderful bible verse I wanted to share… but now can’t find the piece of paper I wrote the reference on… sigh.

I did weigh myself and have taken off 2 more pounds.  Not a stellar reduction, but I am not discouraged!  I will continue to persevere.  I know I need to be more consistent with the T-Tapping and I could probably stand to do some more tweaking on my eating plan.

I think the one thing that would help me the most is to actually get a weekly menu made up.  Standing at the refrigerator at 6 PM wondering what to fix for dinner is not a good thing.  I had made a menu preciously and loved it!  It was so freeing.  If I wanted to deviate I could do so easily, but I knew what I was going to fix and made sure I had all the ingredients on hand to do so.  I also found that I had more variety in my meals with a schedule.  Without one I tend to fix the same thing over and over because a) it is easy, b) the how to’s are in my head and c) I have the ingredients on hand.

I have followed my eating plan pretty well up to date.  Even with the Patriarch’s birthday celebration!  I made him a Willimasburg Orange Cake.  Well of course if was gluten and dairy free!!  Did you really need to ask??!!!  🙂  What you don’t see in my photos is that I made a single layer, cut it in half.  That made for a half of a two layer cake.  Much better size for our small family.  And baking by ratio means it is a simple thing to double or triple or more the recipe to suit your individual needs.

Then on the 13 of August we met Flopsy and her husband, the Geek, at the Patriarch’s favorite restaurant.  Staying away from gluten is SO much easier than that dastardly hidden dairy!  Ugh.  I did manage to find something that I thought might be ‘safe’ for me to eat and then asked all the standard questions about sauces and butter, etc.  Our waitress was wonderful.  I had ordered a salad and when it came it had croutons on it.  She asked me if she needed to have them remake it for me!  It was a lovely evening.  I literally could NOT eat all my dinner!  I took a few extra bites and then stopped.  I had to give myself permission to NOT eat all that expensive food and I didn’t take it home either.  I was SO full from my dinner that dessert was easily skipped by me!  Yeah!!

And I have some exciting news!  No, I am not pregnant, I wish!!  I know how you think!  I have “officially” launched my soap business as of the 20th of August!!  I have been busily making plenty of soap and started off with a Labor Day Sale!  This link will take you to the page will all the details.

That is all the news that is fit to print.  I will try to post more often… if WordPress would cooperate.  Or is it my computer?  Every time I try to do some action (save, upload a photo, publish, etc) the operation takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r and e.v.e.r and e..v…e….r……..  Hope I find the glitch soon!

UPDATE!  I did find and fix my own computer problem.  I am amazed… I did it all by myself!  My problem was… cookies.  I needed to delete them.  Appropriate for a weight loss post.  🙂

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

Art is from art.COM.