The next article in our series ‘Identify what you need to put aside‘ is Food.
Nothing here constitutes medical advice. I’m simply saying how I see things. You should take advice from your medical practitioner before trying an diet or following any advice read on this or any other web site.
The human body is a machine. Like all machines it requires fuel to function and like all complicated machines the fuel it requires has to contain a sophisticated mix of ingredients; in this case proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals or problems occur. The human digestive system is very sophisticated and can process a multitude of different ingredients which it converts into the vitamins and minerals it wants. Like everything too much or too little of an ingredient can lead to problems.
What is the recommended daily intake?
Well there actually isn’t one I can give you. People get fixated on calories, fat and salt content and try to fit us all into a narrow band where they define how many calories, how much of certain foods and how much salt. The problem with that is that you need more fat in colder climates; more salt in hotter climates and the calories you use depends on you, the temperature and the work you perform. There is no one size fits all despite what is said. We have an obesity epidemic because nobody plays outside any more because of the media and paedophiles and the kids would rather play games on the computer but their fuel intake, what they eat, is as if they were out working. They simply eat too much and the human body stores the extra fuel in the fat cells for later use. That is how our bodies have evolved. It was an evolutionary step that enabled us to live through the lean times. Unfortunately, we cannot change this and as we have no fuel gauge we eat until we think we are finished, some foods we just keep on eating because they are simply so nice.
To put it simply; If your calorie intake is more than you use you will put on weight and gain fat, if your intake is less than you use then you will lose weight and consume fat and your calorific requirements change daily depending on the weather, your sex, your height, your weight, your age, your health and what work you are doing. Younger people consume more calories which are used to make their body grow and they can eat a lot during growth spurts. Older people gain weight remaining on the same intake as their metabolism slows with age.
An average person, not a child, consumes around 15 calories per body pound just to keep the body going and for general moving around. It uses this to keep the body as its optimum temperature, the heart beating, and the juices flowing. If you are performing heavy work, running, lifting or your job requires manual labour then you will require more. If you are bedridden you will require less. In addition your body will require a minimum of 2 litres of water a day and may require more depending on your metabolism, the work you are doing and the weather. See this article on water. The more water the merrier as excess water is excreted via urine and in the process it helps the digestive process. Of course like everything else you can overdo the drinking. Just drink until you don’t feel thirsty and then drink an extra cup. Your body will betray you by not feeling thirsty when you are still slightly dehydrated.
If you consume 15 calories per pound and keep an eye on your weight every week then you can adjust the meals as necessary to keep your weight stable. When stable it is as simple as when you gain a pound do some exercise or have smaller portions and lose a pound then increase your portions a little. No drastic changes and keep your liquid levels up.
If your workload changes then although you should adjust your intake most of us wait until we start to feel it before we cut back. We get used to seeing a certain amount on the plate and don’t want to feel hungry whilst if we feel hungry we will eat more immediately. Again this is genetic from when we ate what we could because we didn’t know if there was going to be any more. We like to blame this on our weight by saying that it is our metabolism but generally it is not. We are not addicted to food we just like the taste and most of us have been brought up to see a plate with food left on it as wasteful. It is habit.
Children are slightly different as their bodies will go through growth spurts. Obviously if they are out running around then they are burning lots of calories. In the house watching TV uses much less but still more than you would expect. It is a difficult one but if your child has a healthy lifestyle with lots of running and playing then don’t worry how much, or little, they are eating. If they start to put on weight around the tummy and start being lethargic then consider cutting back on the sweets and chocolate and if it goes on consider taking them to the doctor just to check them out.
Our bodies are actually better off having several meals during the day rather than two main meals. Our stomachs like not carrying around a load of food while it is digesting and small portions are digested more efficiently. However, we are in the habit of breakfast with lunch and dinner as main, read big, meals while the snacks we have between them are blamed for our extra weight. In fact it is better for us to have breakfast, a mid morning snack, another snack for lunch followed by a snooze, and a mid afternoon snack and a meal at dinner time, followed again by a small supper. These snacks not being in addition to the main meals but are actually the main meals spread around during the day. The snacks can be as simple as an apple or a carrot and a drink.
What to eat
Remember that it doesn’t really matter what you consume. It is the total number of calories and the types and totals of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals that matter. However, the food consumed can also have effects on your body and you can, and will, get fed up of eating the same things time after time. You may become constipated or feel lethargic. Usually we have so many different foods which keep us in balance as certain foods have more protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins or minerals than others and our bodies will trigger cravings to ensure it gets what it needs.
What type of foods do I need?
You should always put away what you eat. For one thing you know your body processes its requirements of vitamins and minerals from those sources already and that it gives you no ill effect. Some people have allergies or intolerances to certain foods and that is besides those that have certain diseases or illnesses such a diabetes or genetic disorders, such as PKU (Phenylketonuria), that inhibit bodies producing certain enzymes. You now how those foods will react with your body, you know you like them already and you will not have too much of a culture shock, especially the kids.
Remember that tins will last years, many beyond the dates on the tin which are put there because of lawyers and legislation. Obviously you need to be careful with what tins you put away, their condition and storage conditions. Everything should be kept in a cool dark place. Tins should be stored only if undamaged, no dints, leaks or rust. When opened they should be checked to ensure they are not off. The usual method of smell first is just common sense with any doubt meaning the tin is discarded. It’s the method we used for hundreds of years but has been replaced over the last few decades by little dates printed on tins that are there because some of us are too stupid to use common sense and juries pay them vast sums of money for being stupid. The good news is the average IQ will rise 20 points when the government stops nannying these people and they die in droves on their settees waiting for the TV to come back on.
Things to consider
- Most foods come with a certain amount of vitamins and minerals in. Cooking and processing destroys those vitamins and minerals and so some foods should be eaten fresh.
- Some foods that are cooked leach the vitamins and minerals into the water they are cooked in. Consider using this water in some way to retrieve the vitamins and minerals.
- Convention is such that we sometimes remove the best bit from our food, from a vitamin and mineral viewpoint, and discard it. Consider eating all of the food. Bearing in mind some bits in/on food is actually poisonous. (Tomato leaves for example are poisonous while potato skins contain most of the vitamins and minerals in a potato)
- Our bodies need Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, Salt and a million other vitamins and minerals to live. Don’t cut out any foods from your diet for the latest fad. The only people that die from food really are those that die from a lack of something. Keep your weight under control and eat what you want.
What should I put aside?
There are many different versions of what you should put in your stores. Remember I am looking at having 15 months supply so lets get started.
Note this list is for one person only but is in no way a minimum. Many of the items here would be considered luxuries in the years to come but readily available today, some items will last decades although some will not and this list will aid the transition into your future lifestyle by reducing your options as you go along and make it less of a culture shock. Multiply by the number of people in your group and take advantage to swap some items around depending on preferences. For example; I prefer salmon over tuna. If you feel different about that swap the numbers around. Same with the canned fruits etc. Just don’t say I like peaches so you get nothing but peaches. Mix and match and make sure you have a variety.
The following lists are for an average person with no allegies or no special dietary requirements. If you are diabetic, PKU, nut allergy or anything similar then you must make up your own list that meets your dietary requirements.
The best way to have meat is fresh. We need to process it, cook it, because our bodies can no longer handle raw meat and the associate pathogens. This removes some of the vitamins and minerals but this still leaves meat on a pound for pound basis as the most efficient food for our needs. We have already discussed livestock and this ideally should be the primary source for your fresh meat requirements. However, meat does not keep long fresh so we have to make due with preserved meat, either in cans or processed. Put the following on your shopping list;
|50||Tin||Chicken – Canned|
|40||Tin||Salmon – Canned|
|20||Tin||Tuna – Canned|
In the UK we don’t really do as much with grain as we could and we see it as cattle food but there is a change in our thinking and grain is being looked at more and more. I suspect it is the immigrants coming in from places like Poland and Russia who are raising the profile of grains and introducing their cuisine to us. I myself found out about Buckwheat from a friend who had lived in Russia for a while. Grains are a bit part of the US survival scene and should be part of ours also. One point though. It is all well and good buying grains but you should also eat them as part of your diet now. First of all you find out if you can actually eat them, many can’t and their body may be gluten intolerant.
This is where the body cannot digest the glutens in the food and symptoms can be nausea, bloated stomach, stomach cramps, sweating, aches and stiffness, asthma, fatigue, sneezing, runny eyes, runny nose, sore/itchy throat and/or skin rashes as well as well being issues such as depression and mood swings and anxiety. Diagnosis is performed by removing grains from the diet for two or three weeks to see if the symptoms remain. Glutens are found in wheat, oats, barley and rye, while rice, corn, buckwheat, millet and quinoa are gluten free. Wheat contains the most and many find they have a mild form and are intolerant to wheat only.
Add the following to your shopping list;
|10||lb||Cereals – Cornflakes|
|10||lb||Cereals – Frosties|
|15||lb||Cereals – Muesli|
|10||lb||Cereals – Whatever the kids have|
|100||lb||Flour (Self raising)|
|25||lb||Lentils – Green|
|25||lb||Lentils – Red|
|75||lb||Noodles – Rice|
Fresh dairy items are a common item today that we could easily lose access to. It requires some animal to give up its mother’s milk and, despite the latest ice cream fad; we are not going to be able to replace it with human milk. For one thing any child in this situation must have first call on that food supply and the other is we just see it as icky. Regardless though there just won’t be enough. The options available are limited; We either keep dairy animals such as cows or goats or we make do with our stores until we can trade for some. Dairy products, milk, cheese and butter are a key component of our food and contain many valuable vitamins and minerals. If only we didn’t pump so many chemicals in today.
Dairy is another area where we have developed intolerances. This is an intolerance to lactose and symptoms are bloated stomach, stomach cramps, swollen lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat, allergic black eyes, itchy red rash, hives, eczema, diarrhoea, vomiting, gas/wind, cramps, abdominal pain, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Cow’s milk contains more lactose than goat’s milk. Again, diagnosis is performed by removing dairy products from the diet for two or three weeks to see if the symptoms remain.
Add the following to your shopping list;
|50||lb||Either : Cheese (Canned) (Source)|
|50||lb||or : Cheese (Small Wax wrapped)|
|100||lb||Milk Non Fat (Powdered)|
|100||Tin||Beans in Tomato sauce with sausages|
It is said that Chicken Tikka Masala, an Indian dish, is the most popular single dish in the UK today. A long way from fish, chips and peas, our old favourite. However, Rice, Pasta and Potatoes are the core component of almost every main meal in the UK all that happens is you change the flavour with sauces and spices and put in different meats and vegetables. Put the following on your shopping list;
|5||lb||Bouillon – Beef|
|5||lb||Bouillon – Vegetable|
|30||lt||Fruit Juices – Long Life; Various flavours to suit|
|5||lb||Gravy Powder (Beef)|
|5||lb||Gravy Powder (Chicken)|
|3||lt||Ribena – Blackcurrant|
|25||Jar||Sauce – Bolognaise – Tomato|
|10||Jar||Sauce – Chilli|
|50||Jar||Sauce – Curry – Balti, Biryani, Korma (whatever you like mix and match)|
|20||Jar||Sauce – Pasta Bake – Various flavours|
|10||Jar||Sauce – Sweet and Sour|
|150||Sachets||Soups – Various flavours|
|50||Tin||Soups – Various flavours|
|20||Box||Stock Cubes – Beef|
|20||Box||Stock Cubes – Vegetable|
|30||Lt||Sunflower or Vegetable Oil|
|3000||Each||Tea Bags – Black|
|1000||Each||Tea Bags – Green|
Herbs and spices to season up your food.
Stuff you shouldn’t be buying under the food catagory but will do for treats every now and again.
|30||lb||Biscuits – Assorted|
|20||lb||Sweets; Assorted Hard Boiled|
Things may not work out as well as you think and you may have to supplement your vitamin and mineral intake. Luckily today you can buy many vitamins and minerals from your local shops. Put the following on your shopping list;
|20||Box||Cod Liver Oil|
|50||Box||Multi Vitamins – Kids|
|20||Box||St Johns Wort|
Mix and Match
Remember that one of the important rules is that you store what you eat. Many will not be eating everything listed above. So mix and match. This list has been put together to give you a variety of different foods and different tastes. Just try and keep at least a little of everything even if you adjust the amounts. Remember that these are based on my likes and dislikes so feel free to swap the amounts around among the groups and remove any you don’t like adding those not on the list that you do.
As the intention should be to keep this stock available at all times you must introduce a stock rotation system to ensure that the items that will go off are rotated out and consumed rather than just thrown away. There are several methods available to you for this. The simplest, which is simply to put new stock at the back, requires a very big cupboard. I keep the foods in a cool dark place and have a couple of each item in the pantry replacing the consumed items as necessary. The problem I have is that several times I have come across fresh food that is out of date, I’ve eaten it but it makes me aware it is not a perfect system. However, it works for me as far as survival goes but is wasteful for prepping and cost cutting as it occasionally means I throw out fresh vegetables, fruit or meat that has been forgotten about.
You should note that nothing here requires refridgeration or freezing. If it did it would have bacon on there. I love bacon. Simply store all these items in a cool, dark place for later use.
This is quite a big list so I have made it available as a separate download as well. Download it from here (right click).
Next up is part 4 in the series, Seeds.