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Friday, September 27, 2013

Appetite Fatigue and your food storage plans

Have you ever made a large meal and "enjoyed" the leftovers for several days?  But, by the third, fourth, and fifth day you groan when you look in the fridge and realize that your next meal will be one you've already had several times this week.  Now for those of you with teenagers in the house you probably think this sounds like a dream - but that feeling you get when you've had the same meal over and over again can be a real problem when it comes to food storage and planning. It's called Appetite Fatigue and it's real. Simply put it is the body or minds very real reaction to eating the same food or groups of food over and over again. 

Growing up each school day we ate oatmeal or germade for breakfast.  For lunch we had peanut butter and jam, peanut butter and honey or baloney.  While I will eat oatmeal as an adult the fact that I disguise it at an almost 2:1 ratio with brown sugar is probably the secret to my success.  But I haven't taken a sandwich to work more than a few times a year in my adult life.  While my oatmeal fixing methods and my personal ban on the ubiquitous sandwich is a bit inconvenient and a bit funny, it's not so funny when it comes to planning our personal food storage. 

Imagine being in a situation where you are relying solely on your food storage, whether from unemployment, disaster or any other reason and physically not being able to bring yourself to eat the food you have stored.  Not good.

This week at work I had the opportunity to talk with a man who was interested in building a food storage plan and implementing it for his family and extended family.  As he was interested in buying food over making it himself, I first mentioned THRIVE to him as an example of one way to plan and store food for the long term.  (Much of their product comes in #10 cans and is either freeze dried or dehydrated.)

I then introduced him to the food bucket called Chef's Banquet - the ARK, which is ready made meals sealed in mylar pouches in a sealed food grade bucket.  His eyes lit up and he said to me, "I'll just take enough of these."  We were both rather startled when I grabbed the bucket back and blurted out, "you can't!"  I guess I feel rather strongly about the topic of appetite fatigue, which is probably why I'm writing about it here.  I did take the opportunity to explain about appetite fatigue and how a mixture of foods or food products are your best way to combat this problem.  Putting 20 ARKs in your basement is a great way to take care of a large portion of your storage, just round it out and store some other foods as well so you have variety and choice. And in my case be sure to store a few extra bags of salt and vinegar chips!

I have a sister in law who writes out on a calendar a month at a time what they are having for supper.  I've always been fascinated by this because I can't decide morning to morning what to have for breakfast so skipping it is always a high possibility for me.  The meals on her calendar aren't law, she mixes things up a bit or enjoys leftovers when they happen but it is a great working guide for their family and if she is working a late shift and isn't around to make supper my brother takes over in the kitchen and follows what his wife has written down (this amazes me by the way and is pretty cool to see).  Quite frankly I enjoy looking at her calendar and sometimes try to plan my visits to them by what they are having for supper.  Typical little sister stuff, right?  (And in my defense I'm always up for bringing a salad or dessert.)

Avoiding appetite fatigue is easier than it sounds and only takes a bit of work.  Most of us are already doing it in our day to day lives without realizing it.  So why would we think that when it comes to our food storage plans that storing large amounts of grains, beans and legumes that we've never eaten and really hope not to eat would be any sort of solution?  Just continue with your food storage plan like you do for your daily food intake - where possible.  Some of the ways many of us are already using to create variety and nutrition in the food we eat and store are: canning your own food, dehydrating it, freezing it, using salt, smoke or jerking your meat, buying freeze dried or bulk food you already eat.  Ready to eat meals are also a great addition too.

At the core of the issue here is the old saying "store what you eat and eat what you store." 

This post by Deanna from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Greener Cleaners: Homemade Cleaners With Simple, Easy to Find Ingredients

Our family is progressively taking steeps to reduce our toxic imprint on the planet.  Our next phase is to reduce the toxins we bring into our home by making household cleaners from scratch.  Making your own cleaners does not just reduce toxins: having bulk base ingredients on hand is a great addition to preparedness. We recently watched the documentary Chemerical.  The family in this documentary had a challenge to remove all toxic clearness from their home and replace them with natural or home made alternatives.  Although challenging, this documentary opens your eyes to the mountain of benefits that non toxic household products will have on your family.   We aren't saying to go and throw away every corporate cleaner or toiletry today.  Try gradually introducing specific everyday use cleaners and take it from there.  We have some recopies that might help you get started that use basic everyday household products that you may already have in the house.  Happy homemaking and please share if you have any homemade replacements that you personally enjoy! 

If you don't already have the products you need to get started, everything you need to mix your own cleaning solutions can be found at your local supermarkets.  It's best to buy in bulk to get a better bang for you buck. You can cheap out on olive oil as I am pretty certain that you won't be snacking on the outcome.  

What you will need

  • Liquid Castile Soap
    • You can buy it or even make it yourself.  Click here for instruction on how to make your own. 
  • Essential Oil with Antiseptic Properties 
    • May we recommend lavender, tea tree, sage, eucalyptus, lemon, thyme or pine. 
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • White Vinager
  • Cornstarch
  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Olive Oil 
Before getting started you need to experiment with scent.  Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile soap comes in a bunch of different scents.  Try combing them to create a scent that is something you enjoy and make sure to take note once you have the right mix.  If you are making your soap from scratch you simply need to pick an essential oil or combination of that you love. 

Recipes 

All Purpose Cleaner - Makes 2 medium Bottles
Use on all surface except granite, wood furniture, and food areas like cutting boards
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 2 TBSP Borax
  • 1/4 Cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Castile Soap
  • 40 Drops of Essential Oil 
Disinfectant - Makes 1 Medium Bottle
Safe for use on granite, great for killing germs
  • 3 TBSP Castile Soap
  • 30 Drops of Essential Oil
  • Enough water to fill the bottle 
Glass Cleaner - Makes 2 Mdeium bottles
Shake often to keep mixed
4 Cups hot water
2 TBSP Corn Starch (dissolve)
1/2 Cup rubbing alcohol
1/2 Cup Vinegar

Furniture Polish - makes 2 small bottles
This one separates fast, so shake every other spray or so.  Goes a really long way. 
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Vinegar
  • 60 drops (about 3ml) essential oils 

Shower Spray - Makes 1 bottle
Lightly mist walls and tub after you shower
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Castile Soap
  • 10 Drops Essential Oil

Soft Scrub - makes 2 squeeze bottles
Scrub into tubs, sinks, and toilets, let sit, then rinse 
1/2 Cup Baking soda
1/2 cup borax power bottle
1/2 cup castile soap per bottle
15 drops essential oil per bottle
Splash of water until you get desired consistency

Join us Monday, October 7th for a Greener Cleaner Workshop.  Leave with your own home made cleaners.  Class is by donation and presented by the Langley Environmental Partners Society.  Register at kgreenwood@tol.ca


Friday, September 13, 2013

Chef's Banquet ARK Emergency Food bucket now in Canada

We are happy to announce the arrival of the Chef's Banquet ARK bucket into Canada. The Chef's Banquet line has been available in the US for some time now, and has been received very well there. The Chef’s Banquet line is widely known for its high quality of taste, packaging and value.

We are always scouting for real food products, you know, the type that you can actually eat and smile while doing so… So when we heard about Chef’s Banquet, we brought in some samples, loved them, and now I have a pallet sitting beside my desk. Over the years we have tried many bucket meals, and our team honestly gives this bucket two thumbs up. (More reviews below…)

Details: the ARK bucket is a 6 gallon pail weighing in at 25 lbs, contains 335 servings of food within 11 different varieties, and has a 20 year shelf life.

The 11 varieties:
• Beef flavoured vegetable stew (30 servings)
• Chicken flavoured vegetable stew (30 servings)
• Polenta (30servings)
• Pasta and marinara sauce (30 servings)
• Red beans and rice (30 servings)
• Mixed vegetables (30 servings)
• Spanish rice (30 servings)
• Hearty potato soup (30 servings)
• Instant potatoes (30 servings)
• Rolled oats (30 servings)
• Orange drink (35 servings)

Simply by searching online you can find a tonne of reviews on Chef’s Banquet, and the majority show positive feedback towards the quality and taste of the product. Here are some of our personal reviews.

Chicky Stew anyone? Chicken Flavoured Vegetable Stew -
The instructions say to mix ¼ cup of stew with 1 cup of water. I had some mouths to feed, so I did up 1 cup of mix and 4 cups of water for my first batch. Then “slowly bring to a boil” – simple, check. “Stir often to avoid burning” – check. “Soup will thicken rapidly when it reaches a boil”. Not sure who gets to define rapidly, but in my kitchen, I stirred and boiled for about 15 min. At that point it was a very nice thick consistency. I know the name says stew, but this is much more of a soup in my opinion. A nice thick and creamy soup. The water to mix ratio was just right.

Chicken Stew powder Chicken Stew made up I dished it up and handed it out to our testers. (Four of us including children) There were smiles all round. Yummy, yummy, yummy. The veggie chunks had all softened up nicely, the cream tasted great and everyone handed empty bowls back for seconds. The consensus was that this meal was way better than emergency food and could be used happily on a daily basis.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
(A quick note on the Briden teams rating scale. We rate based on apples to apples – so comparing camping or survival type food to the same – not compared to a gourmet restaurant meal. Therefore: 0 = gross, rather eat dirty dirt, 10 = the best campfire meal you can imagine)

Hearty Potato Soup – wow, hearty indeed. Potato Soup is a favourite meal amongst our crew, so this one had some stiff competition to measure up against right from the start. Thankfully, we were not disappointed, but were rather surprised – it actually tasted as good, if not better than our normal potato soup variety. It has great flavour and consistency by itself, but can also be easily enhanced by adding corn, cheese and/or bacon to make it stretch a little further. This meal, in our opinion, goes far past emergency food to the point that we would happily add it into our regular, every-day meal rotation.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Beef Flavoured Vegetable Stew Beef Stew made up Beef Stew powder – this one cooked up more like a stew I thought. Though the longer I cooked it, the more creamy it became. So I suppose you could cook it to your liking. Once again I made way more than the instructions, 1 cup of mix and 4 cups water. Once again about 15 min of boiling. The instructions said 10 - 12, but even at 15 minutes the veggies were still a little too solid. We found out after they had sat and cooled for a few minutes, the veggies then softened up a good amount. Taste test response: certainly edible, not gourmet.
Rating: 6 out of 10

Orange Drink Orange Drink – I mixed up a full two litres of this one. No sense wasting time. Handed it around, response: its orange drink, nothing more, nothing less. No qualms on this one.
Rating: 7 out of 10

Overall we are very satisfied by the contents of this bucket. When testing, we didn’t add any seasonings or anything else to any of the mixes to make them edible, and to me that is very important. We are taught to store seasonings, and we do, but I don’t want to base my precious storage on having to “fix” my food just to swallow it.

The ARK now replaces the Food for Health bucket, which we stopped carrying in December of last year. The Food for Health Bucket was letting us down in terms of quality, and we simply won’t stand behind a product we aren’t happy to eat ourselves.

We have also recently brought in a Breakfast Granola Bucket from Nutristore. I won’t go into it in this post, maybe next time, but just to let you know it tastes great too! The options for our food storage are just getting better and better. Now it’s your turn to try some out and see what you think. If you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments below or contact me directly. There are more pictures and details like the Nutritional label available via the Briden Solutions online website.

This post by Dwight from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Starting a Fire With Steel Wool and Batteries - Video Blog Post

How to start a fire using a piece of steel wool and two AAA batteries.
Then, keep it going with homemade fire starter made from a cotton ball and petroleum jelly.
It's so simple, you just have to see it to believe it!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Heads up for Gabrielle!

We are well into the late part of hurricane season, which means now is the time for eastern Canadians to pay particular attention.  Our fist threat of the season is Humberto, currently somewhere near Bermuda.  This storm is expected to affect Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and PEI by Friday or Saturday.

The following is an email alert issued by the Canadian Hurricane Center...
Although the email title indicated Humberto as the threat, it is clear that we are currently looking at Gabrielle.
Humberto will however, possibly be right on her heals!



TROPICAL STORM GABRIELLE REDEVELOPED AFTER SPENDING 4-AND-A-HALF DAYS DRIFTING NORTHWARD AS A WEAK TROPICAL LOW.  THE STORM IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN IN A MODERATE 'WIND SHEAR' ENVIRONMENT WHICH MAY LIMIT THE DEGREE OF INTENSIFICATION.  SOMETIMES 'SHEARED' STORMS CAN DISSIPATE QUICKLY OR EVEN INTENSIFY RAPIDLY - THERE IS LOW SCIENTIFIC SKILL IN PREDICTING INTENSITY CHANGE IN SYSTEMS LIKE THIS.  MOST COMPUTER MODELS KEEP IT GOING AS A 45-50-KNOTS TROPICAL STORM FOR SEVERAL DAYS AND TRACK IT OR THE REMNANTS TOWARD NOVA SCOTIA AND NEWFOUNDLAND LATER THIS WEEK.  MODELS ARE UNANIMOUS IN THEIR PREDICTION OF A COLD FRONT MOVING INTO THE MARITIME PROVINCES FRIDAY MORNING.  THE MERGING OF FRONTS WITH TROPICAL MOISTURE OR TROPICAL STORMS, IN GENERAL, IS OFTEN A RECIPE FOR HEAVY RAINFALL SO KEEP THIS IN MIND.

GIVEN THE CURRENT EXPECTATION OF A TRACK JUST EAST OF CAPE BRETON, HEAVY RAIN COULD BE AN ISSUE OVER NOVA SCOTIA AND PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.  NEWFOUNDLAND IS CURRENTLY EXPECTED TO BE ON THE 'WARMER' AND 'WINDIER' SIDE OF THE TRACK, BUT THIS PREDICTED PICTURE COULD EASILY SHIFT, SO PLEASE STAY TUNED TO FORECAST UPDATES TO ESTABLISH A SENSE OF HOW THE FORECAST IS CHANGING.

A. WIND.

MUCH TOO EARLY TO QUOTE WIND SPEEDS.  BY THURSDAY MORNING WE WILL HAVE AN IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT IN TERMS OF WIND.  AT THIS POINT IT APPEARS THAT NEWFOUNDLAND WOULD HAVE A HIGHER CHANCE OF WINDY CONDITIONS.

B. RAINFALL.

MUCH TOO EARLY TO QUOTE RAINFALL AMOUNTS.  BY THURSDAY MORNING WE WILL HAVE AN IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT IN TERMS OF AMOUNTS.  FRONTS MERGING WITH TROPICAL MOISTURE/STORMS CAN CERTAINLY LEAD TO FLOODING RAINFALLS.  THIS MUST BE KEPT IN MIND ESPECIALLY FOR AREAS WEST OF THE TRACK (WHICH AT THIS TIME INCLUDES NOVA SCOTIA, PEI AND WESTERN NEWFOUNDLAND).

C. SURGE/WAVES.

TOO EARLY TO ESTIMATE MAGNITUDE.  WE WILL HAVE AN IDEA OF WAVE HEIGHTS LATE WEDNESDAY OR THURSDAY MORNING.

3. MARINE WEATHER IMPACTS AND WARNINGS SUMMARY.

IF THE STORM PERSISTS AND DEVELOPS FURTHER, HIGHEST WAVES AND WINDS WOULD BE OVER SOUTHEASTERN MARITIME AND MOST NEWFOUNDLAND WATERS.
TOO EARLY TO PREDICT DETAILS THOUGH.

Friday, September 6, 2013

All of the "Dangerous" Things We Should Let Our Kids Do!

Gone are the days of playing with knives and spears and on to the days of IPods and gears.  As a mom of three I believe if we want to change the world for our next generation we have to change the next generation.  Kids don't know how to get dirty anymore.  They are clean, techy, headphone wearing, internet surfing, game boy junkies.  I never mean to generalize, there are kids out there that know how to catch a fish.  It is my opinion that we have lost the foundation of survivalism in our kids.  There is still such a thing as scouts and girl guides but it is not the same as it used to be.  We need to shift the status quo and give our kids an opportunity to light fires, play with knives, cook food on a flame and so on.  Here are a list of thing we should do with your kids.  They are resilient little creatures so give them the opportunity to make mistakes and figure it out on there own (with guidance fo course). 
  1. Grow vegetables from seeds - 
  2. Have local edible and medicinal plant foraging skills
  3. Meeting Dietary need from wild plant and game 
  4. Make a fire and know fire safety
  5. Cook on an open fire
  6. Open a can of food with and without can opener 
  7. Be able to tell if food is too spoiled to eat
  8. How to safely use a knife
  9. How to shoot a sling shot
  10. How to hunt small game with snares, traps and sling shot
  11. How to fish and hunt-bow & gun when old enough
  12. How to clean fish and wild game
  13. Find water and identify if it’s safe to drink
  14. Filter and boil water to drink
  15. Basic first aid
  16. Basic hygiene practices
  17. Find or build a shelter in the wilderness
  18. How to stay warm, cool and dry in the elements
  19. How, Why and When to stay hidden
  20. Self defense
  21. How to make a basic weapon and how to use it
  22. Be able to run and walk a good distance and be in generally good shape
  23. How to climb a tree- to get away from predators, get directional barrings, and hunt.
  24. How to read a map and use a compass
  25. How to read the sky for directions, time and approaching bad weather
  26. Know where family and friends live if they need to find them
  27. How to sew so they can mend clothing or any fabric and even make things such as bags or quilts
  28. How to bargain and trade (teach them at garage sales)
  29. How to be responsible for themselves and to be aware of their surroundings at all times
How many of the above can you kids do? Do you have any stories that you would like to share about your kids and survivalist skills!



Visit Chylan.ca for all of your preparedness needs or visit us in person at 109-6039 196th Street


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Practice Does Not Make Perfect!

How many times have we heard that practice makes perfect?  Way too many, right?  Well, I think it's time to point out the issues with practicing, well, anything.  You see, when we practice skills such as shooting, self defense techniques, or other such activities, we are simply repeating actions in order to create an unconcious memory of how this action is performed.  So, what happens when we make a mistake in our practice routine?  Simple, we make a memory of performing that mistake.

Take driving as an example.  When you are cruising along the highway at 100km/h and come up behind someone traveling at 90 km/h, we go into the memorized routine of changing lanes to pass.  Most of us take the sequence of actions needed to do this for granted and just go with the flow...check side view mirror, check blind spot, signal your intention (not optional as many drivers believe) and change lanes.  The problem with this is that you have forgotten to check your rear view mirror first...remember what your driving instructor told you.  Now, for the most part, you will repeat this error thousands of times without incident.  Then one day, you will end up cutting someone off because you didn't notice them in your side view mirror or blind spot as they whiz down the highway at 140 km/h.

Sure, this is a simplified example, but it proves the point that if you want to practice something in order to make it a second nature action, you must practice it properly, every time.  The same principal can be applied to almost anything...shooting, self defense techniques, preserving food, you name it.  If you practice the action with an error, you are doomed to perform this error when you really need to do it right.

Practice does not make perfect....Perfect practice make perfect.  Always review your basics and never rely solely on your memory.