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Get Prepped Newsletter: February 10, 2012

Ready Nutrition’s weekly newsletter focused on getting it’s readers prepared for life’s unexpected emergencies.



Hello Everyone,

Can you believe that we are 18-weeks away from completing our 52-weeks to preparedness? I hope the preparedness tips and suggestions that I send to you each week have helped. Do you feel more confident in your preparedness supplies?

At our 34th week, we are still concentrating on getting smart about our survival. Legumes will be the main topic of today where we will discuss why having this protein source is so essential to your diet and your food storage, as well as touch on which legumes have the richest sources of proteins and nutrition.

For any Texans or Southerners out there, now is the time to make your way to the Self Reliance Expo in Dallas, Texas this weekend. It is a great way to see new products, as well as hear new opinions on prepping and homesteading.

Do you feel compelled to help your friends and family become more prepared for emergencies? They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator on Ready Nutrition and create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency. Moreover, do the best thing for them and send them the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter or Facebook. I love to interact with the preparedness community, because, after all, we are all in this together!

Best Wishes,

Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 34 of 52: Essential Legumes

Ideally, in and extended emergency, many of us would prefer to be living in a self-reliant environment where we have access to fresh foods and meats. However, since we are preppers, we are making preparations to have back ups for our back ups. If, for some reason, our homesteading environment isn’t thriving, we will need to fall upon on our food pantry. Therefore, we want to have a well-rounded pantry to meet all of our dietary needs.

Last week, we discussed essential fats and oils to store in our deep larder. Another layer we need to focus on for our long-term dietary needs is a protein source capable of being stored long-term for shtf emergencies. Legumes are the most versatile option for storable proteins. Best of all, they are low cost and have the capacity to last a decade if properly stored. So, why do we need protein in our regular diets?

In general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. When beans are accompanied with a grain source such as rice or quinoa, it becomes a complete protein. Having protein in your diet not only provides energy, but also creates a special form of nitrogen that the body cannot get from carbohydrates or lipids. In the case of starvation, the body may actually “eat itself” (called wasting) to acquire the necessary amino acids, or borrow the amino acids from the immune system or body functions to meet its protein needs. Beans, peas and lentils are the richest source of vegetable protein, as well as a good source of fiber, calcium, and iron. Aside from using legumes in the usual manner, legumes can also be ground into an alternative flour source, sprouted for a fresh vegetable source, or made into spreads such as hummus. To learn more about why having a protein in your shtf diet is essential, click here.

Like most of our preparedness foods, beans should be stored in the absence of the enemies: oxygen, moisture, insects and sunlight. Beans in their original plastic packaging have roughly about 13 servings and a shelf life of 1 year or more. However re-packaging the dry goods in heavy duty Mylar and/or plastic containers can prolong legumes for up to 10 years or longer! Ensure that you have proper storage conditions or else your hard work could be all for nothing. Beans that are improperly stored could lead to rancidity of bean oils, color fade and an overall “off” flavor taste. To make the most of your legume storage, consider these 5 tips:

  1. When storing larger amounts of food, plastic containers, #10 cans, or Mylar-type bags are best for long-term food storage.
  2. If you are using one of the above long-term storage containers, you can keep the beans in their original packaging, or remove the plastic wrapping and pour the contents into a long-term container and properly seal.
  3. Oxygen absorbers should be used to remove oxygen from the packages to extend shelf life and minimize off-flavors caused by oxidation.
  4. For smaller quantities of storing beans, consider using canning jars. Ensure that the jars are stored in a dark place.
  5. Like most stored foods, colder storage temperatures will increase shelf life. 40-75 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature range for keeping your long-term food storage safe.

Lentils have the highest nutrition value of legumes next to soybeans, so keep this in mind when purchasing for long-term storage. Further, consider the cooking time that legumes require. Larger beans take more time cooking and may require more of your fuel source to cook them. If this is an issue, purchase smaller legumes such as lentils and split peas. They cook faster, thus decreasing your fuel usage. Soaking beans for 6-12 hours can also reduce the cooking time by about one half, saves vitamins, minerals and proteins which can be lost during hours of cooking.

Those of you planning on putting away bulk quantities of beans may want to consider finding a super store or larger scale grocery store near you. These stores typically carry the 25 lb. bags of beans. Further, the Latter Day Saints have food storage warehouses that usually carry legumes and an assortment of other food related items. Check online to see if one of these LDS warehouses are near you. By far, the larger quantity bags will be a better investment compared to purchasing mass amounts of the smaller bags. If you want to purchase these items online, doing a simple search for “buy legumes in bulk” will connect you many online companies that can take your order.

 Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]

  • Lima Beans, Dry
  • Soy Beans, Dry
  • Split Peas, Dry
  • Lentils, Dry
  • Dry Soup Mix, Dry
  • Chickpeas, Dry
  • Black beans, Dry
  • Navy Beans, Dry
  • Sprouts

Action Items:

  1. Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
  2. Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator to find out how much protein you need to add to your storage supply.
  3. Bear in mind, daily caloric intakes are different with each person, so research how many calories you need to stay at your optimum health.
  4. Those with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get more protein sources, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
  5. Learn how to package and store your bulk foods for long-term storage.
  6. Store your purchased products in a suitable environment where it is not exposed to natural elements. Click here to learn about your food’s worst enemies.


In the Home:

Well, I tried my hand at dehydrating eggs this week. I don’t know what happened, but my dehydrated eggs looked nothing like the how they were supposed to. I was planning on serving the kids the dehydrated eggs for breakfast to get their unbiased opinions, I didn’t have the heart to force that upon them. Oh well, back to the drawing board. I’ll keep trying and get back to you on any progress.

I have also been updating the kids emergency i.d. cards and their personal preparedness kits that go in their backpacks for school. I read something the other day, that in an unexpected emergency where the lights go out, most people wish they had a flashlight to maneuver around in the dark with. I can rest assured knowing that my kids have a flashlight plus some!

Family Preps:

No new preps this week aside from a few sanitation items I saw on sale and of course another bag of toilet paper. When the shtf, you know you are going to want to have that on hand. So far we have about a 6 month supply of toilet paper, but in my opinion, that isn’t enough. So, each time I’m at the store I grab another bag of toilet paper. Slowly and surely, it’s adding up. I just have to stay the course.

In the Garden:

I started my Spring garden this week. So far, I have planted a salsa garden with Amish tomatoes, Cherokee purple tomatoes, 2 different types of peppers, jalapeno peppers, cilantro as well as a bed of greens like spinach, lettuce, carrots and onions. I can’t make my garden as large as I’d like because we plan on moving in the summer. So this will be my last garden in Houston.

Hopefully, the weather will be kind and we will not have drought-like conditions for multiple months on end. Cross your fingers for me, I’m dying to make fresh salsa this year!


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Have you considered planting by the moon cycles? Lunar gardening is based on the moon’s gravitational effect on the flow of moisture in the soil and plants.  Ancient gardeners noticed that when they planted seeds at certain times during the month they grew better than other times. Many people believe that planting by the phases of the moon gives you larger and tastier vegetables.

So when do you plant?

  • First Quarter (Waxing): Plant vegetables that produce above ground leafy parts and produce seeds outside of themselves. Some of these vegetables are spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli.
  • Second Quarter (Waxing): Plant above ground producing vegetables that produce seeds inside such as beans, peas, tomatoes, and squash.
  • Third Quarter (Waning): Plant your root crops such as onions, potatoes, beets and carrots.
  • Fourth Quarter (Waning): This is the best time to cultivate, weed, and to turn your compost.



Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s question addresses my own preparedness endeavors:

 Dear Tess,

Thank you so much for all the information you give to us each week. I hope I am not being to forward, but I was wondering what the most expensive preparedness item you have bought is?

Lena M.


Hi Lena,

You are not being forward at all. In fact, I specified that no question is too big or too small. Something I have noticed is that one’s idea about preparedness varies from person to person. By far the largest investment I have made is my food supply.

But the most expensive investment I have made into a single object is a copper still. For me, I am extremely concerned about medical emergencies, as well as having a fuel source. My husband and I decided that this was something we wanted to invest in. We have a friend who is skilled in welding and had him design the still. The finished product is 6 feet tall and cost about $750. With this item, in a long-term emergency we will be able to distill water, produce fuel-grade ethanol, alcohol for consumption, and make medical antiseptic. So, with all of it’s uses, it’s a pretty good deal. If any of you are interested, here is the website: www.LNLProtekt.com.

Hope this helps!

Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on February 10th, 2012

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