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Get Prepped Newsletter: January 6, 2012

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


Welcome to 2012!

Nothing brings in the New Year like surrounding yourself with friends and family. My family and I did just that and sang our hearts out the whole night. I hope everyone had an amazing time bringing in the New Year. Now that the world hasn’t ended, let’s get back to concentrating on getting you prepped!

In our 30th week of getting prepped, we will be discussing the importance of self-preparation, preparing your body for short and long-term emergencies through proper nutrition and exercise. Honestly, this might feel like the hardest to implement, but it is also the most important. This is because when an emergency strikes, being in prime health allows you to protect and care for yourself and your family.

Missed any issues of the 52-weeks to preparedness series? We’ve got you covered! You can view the 52-weeks to preparedness series online at Ready Nutrition. Help friends and family become more prepared for emergencies in 2012 by sending it to them. They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator on Ready Nutrition to create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency.

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!

Happy New Year and Best Wishes,

Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 30 of 52: Nutrition and Exercise

Each emergency provides us with its own set of unique challenges. One aspect of emergencies that is always present and yet one we tend to overlook is the fact that we must adapt to the physical challenges an emergency presents. Some may find themselves chopping more firewood, or scaling rooftops or bending over more while gardening, thus putting more stress on the back. In any case, if your body is not prepared to handle this influx of physical activity, you will be more susceptible to injuries and strain.

The term “survival of the fittest” is not just a phrase someone coined to describe the evolution of organisms who best adapt to the environment. In a survival sense, those who are the fittest will have the greatest chance of surviving. Our bodies were not designed to sit stagnant at a desk for 8 hours a day. We have large muscular systems that were created to help us maintain a physical activity level. Yet, we have been conditioned to be sedentary due to our jobs, and ease of transportation. How do you think you can survive if your body is not conditioned to make it?

Here’s another scenario, say you and your family have made the decision to bug out of the city. If you have not conditioned your body to hike with multiple pounds of gear strapped to your back, then you will a very difficult time bugging out. Lugging around extra pounds on your body on top of all the gear you have in a bug out scenario will quickly wear you out, could potentially cause an injury and even put you in harms way. Therefore, we must begin preparing the body now for those physical activities we may find ourselves in. Here are a few changes to consider:

  • You are what you eat – Make healthy snacks ahead of time to avoid binge eating. When you are ready for a more dramatic change, get rid of your weaknesses (junk food, sodas, ice cream, chips, etc) and begin incorporating more healthy meals into your diet. To learn more about healthy eating habits, click here.
  • Drink lots of water. We all know that water helps your body and organs function properly, so start drinking more water. It really does a body good.
  • Bring on the protein. Adding more protein into your diet helps rebuild muscles that are torn from exercising. It also provides with more energy.
  • Strengthen your muscles, especially those in your back by stretching exercises such as yoga. Cardiovascular activities are also a great way to strengthen muscle groups and lose the extra pounds.
  • Stretch regularly – Stretching promotes blood circulation, strengthens and elongates muscles. Stretching before any type of activity can assist in preventing injuries from occurring.
  • Create muscle memory. Any activity you believe you will be doing in an emergency situation, begin practicing in order to develop muscle memory. You want your body to be able to fall back on what it knows and what it is used to doing when an emergency occurs. This “second nature” response is very beneficial in an emergency situation.
  • Take your vitamins. Vitamins have a beneficial effect on the body and also help build stronger muscles as well as assist in building the immune system.
  • Stop the bad habits. Make a commitment today to stop consuming anything that is harmful including alcohol, tobacco products, and harmful drugs and substances. You do not want to be dealing with withdrawl symptoms during an emergency.

Personally speaking, I dusted off my elliptical machine last year and began incorporating an exercise program into my daily life. My goal was to prepare my body physically for working outdoors. When I began, I could barely do 20 minutes at the lowest setting. The more I continued, the easier it got and I have worked myself up to 45 minutes/ 2-3 times a week. I have also included doing yoga to further strengthen my muscles. What I did not realize is the largest change I noticed wasn’t the sweat equity, but I became more aware of what my body needed. Another great reward was the increased energy that I had. With three kids, a busy lifestyle and my homesteading hobbies, I needed all the energy I could get; and spending time on the elliptical gave me that much needed energy boost.

What you may find after incorporating physical exercise and stretching is that not only will you begin a physical transformation, but your mind and spirit will transform as a result of making healthier choices. Being physically well is realistic and a very important aspect of preparedness. Peter Holy, CEO of 123 Feel Better Company suggests that, “A physically healthy person is someone who strives to do all that they can to maintain their body at the optimum level of functioning both in times of sickness and good health…Total health reaches far beyond Physical Wellness, but adequate Physical Wellness provides a good foundation for a whole and complete life.”

Action Items:

  1. Start an exercise routine and make a commitment to do at least 10 minutes a day of physical activities and gradually build up when your body gets used to the workout.
  2. Begin a daily vitamin regimen.
  3. Plan healthy meals before you go grocery shopping and stock up on healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, trail mixes, eggs, yogurt, etc.
  4. Always stretch your muscles before doing any type of physical activity.

Preps to Buy:

  • Speak with a wellness advisor or physician about what your physical exercise plans are and short/long-term goals. See if they can give you any pointers.
  • Buy any exercise equipment needed for your exercise regimen.
  • Begin purchasing foods that will enhance your health. Some super foods to consider can be viewed here.
  • If you plan on hiking outdoors, consider a good pair of hiking boots. More information can be viewed here.


In the Home:

Now that the holidays are over, my body is telling me to slow down. As a result, I have been listening to my body and have done the bare minimum around here. My kids are still getting used to going back to school. I must say, it has been nice having them go to bed earlier and have the house quiet during the day.

Family Preps:

This week I splurged and bought some new homesteading books. I believe that we can never have too many resources to fall back on. I also purchased another copy of Patriots. I lent my first copy to someone and I figured they needed it more than me because I haven’t seen it in over a year. So, now I have a new copy and plan on reading it again over the weekend.

In the Garden:

I am letting two of my garden plots rest over the winter. The other two are hardly growing right now due to the chaotic hot/cold weather we are having. My poor garden is not shaping up to much right now. I don’t know what to tell you other than many Houstonians are still wearing flip flops around town and it’s January!



Top 10 Ready Nutrition Articles of 2011

Living Mindfully in 2012


I’m sure there are a few of you that have made the decision to dust off those treadmills or stair masters and get in shape this year. Kudos to you for making that choice to get yourself in better shape. Those personal resolutions are necessary for us to strive to our potential.

As important as it is to be prepared, we typically overlook the importance of keeping our body in shape. An article in Newsmax cited that by 2020, 75 percent of the population will be obese. Think about that, 3 out of 4 Americans are obese. Interestingly, the same percentage of Americans are those that probably do not have any type of exercise regimen in their lives.

By restricting 100 calories out of your daily caloric intake, and exercising for at least 20 minutes, in 1 year a person could lose 10 pounds. Make the choice today to be more active and get physically prepared!


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 lamp oil alternatives:

Are there alternatives for lamp oil? I’ve heard animal fat can be used.




You asked a great question. In fact, I’m sure this has been on the mind of many preppers who are looking for alternatives and trying to find ways to make the most of their stored preparedness items. It’s true that many preppers stocked up on kerosene and lamp oil for those emergencies where they find themselves without electricity. However, lamp oil and kerosene are both expensive and a prep item many want to conserve for as long as possible. Looking into alternatives is a great way to make those precious prep items last for as long as possible.

Some alternatives to lamp oil that you can use are:

Lard – This was a method that pioneers used to make use of what they had on hand. Any kind of used animal fats or even store bought lard can be used to make this lamp. All you need to start is a glass jar of any size. Then, fill the jar with liquid lard, insert a wick or fabric such as an old sheet, torn into strips and twisted up, and let the lard solidify. And voila, you have a lard candle.

Cooking Oils such as olive oil or vegetable oil can also make great alternative lamp oils. The best part about olive oils is that a little goes a long way, and it is 99% pure renewable fuel and does not produce smoke or odor. According to Mother Earth News, olive oil is much safer to use compared to using candles or kerosene. Because of the high flash point olive oil has, it is not a very flammable material and will stop burning if spilled or knocked over.

Recycling food oils would be a great way to make use of what you have on hand. Used cooking oils and even oil packed canned goods such as tuna can be used to create lighting. Here are a few links that can guide you down the self reliant path:

Bushcraft Emergency Lighting

How To Make a Lard Lamp

I hope this helps. Thanks again for the great question!

Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World!

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on January 6th, 2012

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