Four Letters Re: My Preparedness Plans Just Took an Unexpected Turn

While I cannot speak to diabetes, except to say that we use natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and honey and maintain a balanced meal, we do have a lot of hands-on with the gluten-free diet. Our daughter has gluten sensitivity, as well as intolerance for corn and soy. I encourage the mother who wrote to you to examine corn as a possible allergy. It tends to go with gluten sensitivity. This has made our situation more difficult as the dynamic duo of wheat and corn are pervasive, they are present in products that you would never imagine and many times hidden under different names, sauces or derivative ingredients. For example, gluten is contained in the following: malt flavoring (from barley), hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) (non-US made), caramel coloring (non US made), dextrins (especially vitamins and medications), wheat starch and the big unknown – natural flavors – which could be anything until you actually ask the manufacturer who often won’t even tell you.

We have been dealing with a gluten free diet for over a year now. Fortunately, as the rest of us have no such restrictions, all the preparations to date have not been wasted. The first approach, which we have been doing for years now anyway, is to have an organic garden from heirloom, open-pollinated seed. In a grid-down situation, we intend to grow as much as possible. Fruits and vegetables (excluding corn, wheat and soy) are perfectly fine for our daughter. We have also done well with the crop rotation and experimenting with varieties to manage to have fresh produce almost the entire year – January and February are a challenge here in the northeast – but even now, we have spinach and other brassica.

You can extend this philosophy of fruits and vegetables (and nuts) to the canned and dry goods on the shelves. Be very careful reading ingredients, for everything! The canned fruit (home canned and store bought) have less of a shelf life, but are a nice addition to the survival larder. Canned vegetables such as organic peas, green beans, etc., have a much better shelf life – measured in a few years. In fact, the old adage of bullets, beans and band-aids still holds… beans are fine for the gluten-free diet. For more substantive meals, we have found a few organic soup combinations (Amy’s Lentil, Split Pea, Three Bean, etc.) that are totally gluten and corn-free and that have a two to three year shelf life.

Turning to meat, there is more good news here in that most people with gluten sensitivity are fine with meat. So depending on the ingredients, whether MRE, #10 cans, jerked, dried, pemmican or freshly hunted, if it’s just meat, it will mesh with a gluten-free diet. Dairy is also usually fine for gluten-free, so milk, butter and cheese are on the menu from whatever your chosen source. Bread, however, is a much more difficult prospect. We have been experimenting for over a year now to find a recipe without wheat, corn, oats, barley (our daughter is sensitive to all of these). So far, my wife has made acceptable bread with chestnut flour (almond, lentil and brown rice flours were just so-so). The chestnut flour has been store bought and shelf life is limited, so not an ideal situation. However, this spring season we are going to try hickory flour (we have several shagbark hickory trees on the property, and yes, I’ll be planting chestnut trees) and you can make flour from just about anything. Hopefully this will work for the long-term. I also want to go back a moment to rice. Rice is also generally fine for the gluten-free diet and it is a staple on our table. We try to use brown rice for better nutritional value, but white rice does fill the belly too. It will store well on the shelves, and several companies (BioNaturae and Tinkyada) make gluten-free pasta. In our case the Tinkyada is best since it is brown rice based and both gluten and corn-free. Yes, it’s not quite the same as wheat pasta, but it’s an acceptable substitute. However, unless you can grow rice, it is not a long term solution.

Let me finish by suggesting that you search for gluten-free recipes on-line and drop by the library/used book sales for reference books such as “Gluten-Free Girl” by Shauna Ahern.
Jim – as always, our best to you and yours. – Bill H.


Hi Jim,
First I want to MP in Seattle that I’m sorry, and that we’ve been there and done that, my Grandson was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago July. We also have Celiac, dairy, egg, soy, nuts, oats and a host of other allergies in the family. However, the first thing is not to panic (although I do remember the panic weeks after the diagnosis!) We had to rethink things, big time! But we seem to be getting things together, and they can too, it does take time and lots of planning.

First try to get “comfortable” with the diabetes (those first months can be rough) start storing the extra insulin and supplies, and rotate them! (Even the test strips have to be rotated, and don’t forget the blasted [glucose] meter batteries! (We did that!) We now have about an eight month supply, but constant and diligent rotating is the key. Every pack and vehicle we own has a diabetic emergency kit in it–you never leave home without it. It truly does change everything.We are opting to stay with shots and pens for insulin delivery, as too many things can go wrong with little people and [insulin] pumps, especially if times get rough, and the supplies are cheaper and easier to buy over the counter.

As for the food allergies, because of the Celiac, soy, nut, egg and dairy (three of us) we went from wheat to rice as a staple, and have already put in place a plan for what if A & B would get cold cereal (rice bases) with rice milk while the rest of us eat oatmeal, et cetera But the plan is in place and new stores created with these factors being worked in. Again it’s not easy, but can be done, it just takes time, which I really hope we have, because we’ve come to realize everything changed with his diagnosis.

Oh, one more thing, regarding aspertame-based sweeteners: Yikes! He does get some, but we try to really limit it, there are alternatives, some herbal teas, very weak black tea (we made a deal, teas always made, and as long as he adds water, it’s okay) and water! Love your site! – Lori


My heart, too, goes out to the author; my son just turned one year old last week, and we’re blessed that he’s pretty healthy…

The following are two brief excerpts from the Walton Feed. web site. I remembered these, since I had been concerned that my son might be gluten-intolerant when he was a newborn. I hope it helps. – Bob

Here in the United States, until recent times, Spelt was grown mostly as feed. However, since the mid 1980’s, Spent has made a real inroad into the health food market as a wheat substitute.
Many people who are allergic to wheat can tolerate Spelt. However, many allergy doctors believe that Spelt is too closely related to wheat for it to be an effective replacement grain. They feel that even though wheat sensitive people might be able to tolerate it now, as time goes by they will develop wheat-like allergies to it. However, companies that exclusively sell Spelt products to people, many of them with wheat allergies, say their customers have had really good luck eating Spelt goods. Spelt has a lower gluten strength which makes it possible for many people with gluten allergies to eat this product. Purity Foods, one of the main marketers of Spelt say that out of thousands of their customers with wheat allergies, only 16 of them have reported allergic reactions to Spelt. An Ohio bakery that specializes in making spelt products and distributes them over several different states has numerous customers who can’t tolerate wheat yet can eat Spelt products. It seems, for the wheat intolerant among us, Spelt is probably worth a try. If you are allergic to wheat and you want to use Spelt, please consult your doctor before trying this product, then use adequate safeguards when trying Spelt to prevent serious complications should you also be allergic to this product.

Quinoa is one of the few foods with a relatively balanced protein. Quinoa’s high level of the amino acid, lysine, complements wheat nicely. By mixing Quinoa into your wheat at a ratio of 25% Quinoa to 75% wheat, the Quinoa will make your wheat breads a complete protein. Quinoa contains a long list of nutrients.

Quinoa contains no gluten so it’s safe for gluten intolerant people to eat. Quinoa can be eaten in many different ways. Traditionally it has been eaten as a porridge or in soups and stews. Only taking 10-12 minutes to boil until soft (Quinoa is the fastest cooking whole grain), Quinoa seed’s size mushrooms into plump little morsels with a tail. The Altiplano Quinoa has somewhat of a bland yet pleasant flavor. Having a nice, crisp texture similar to brown rice, Quinoa has greatly expanded nutritional qualities over rice and can be used in place of rice in most dishes. Quinoa is also delicious eaten as a side dish by itself. Quinoa flour has been made into spaghetti noodles, flakes, a drink and Quinoa has even been popped. Mixed with wheat flour, Quinoa will boost the nutritional qualities of your bread and add it’s unique flavor. In addition to this, it can be used to make delicious salads, soups and desserts. With the amazing nutrition that’s found in Quinoa, we think, as you begin to use this grain, you will start using it more and more in your daily cooking.

JWR Adds: I highly recommend the many resources at the Walton Feed. web site. I also recommend them as a storage food supplier.


Dear Jim;
This is for all those survivalists who have or who might develop Diabetes type 2.
I am a 48 year old white male, 6’3″, 206 pounds with a 34″ waist. If you put me in a room with ten Americans and asked random people, “Who is the diabetic?” I would be the last on their list. But here I am. I only had one symptom: I would wake up in the night feeling like my lungs were full of burning butane. At first I thought it was cancer but the “good” news was diabetes.
Just a little present from Uncle Osama. The stress of living through 9/11 triggered it. As could the stress of living through TEOTWAWKI.

My doctors want me to take insulin, blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, it is as if they get a free trip to the Caribbean if they get me to sign up. But those meds will not be available after the Schumer hits.

In a grid down situation there will be no medicines. However, there will be a lot of exercise. In India where the poor have to use very low tech, low cost medicine, diabetics are prescribed seven miles of walking every day. This amount of activity will erase all the symptoms of diabetes. It will also lower your body fat which will help with insulin resistance. Today I will walk 5 miles, or about 18,000 steps. I walk to work, one mile each way, and then I take care of three dogs with no fenced in yard. How many people reading this get up off the couch at 10 PM and go out walking for 3/4 of a mile?

My doctor does not believe the theory. But he sees the results. The number one thing every diabetic can do is eat right and exercise. That will mitigate 80% of the problem. Increase your training gradually. Listen too your body. It took me years to build up to this level. I eat an organic, free range, high fiber, high protein hunter/gatherer diet. You can’t hunt or gather Doritos in the wild. Why should I eat them now? YMMV.

The good thing is that my retreat is 200 miles away. I can walk there in ten days carrying the food and equipment I need on my back if I have to. I could ride my bike in two days.
Eat Healthy, Live Longer! – Spider, Long Island, New York