Without This, All Your Preps and Training Are For Naught, by M.P. in Ohio

The Answer Is Good Health

Instead of teasing you by giving you the answer in the third paragraph, here is what you need for your preps and training to be meaningful; it is good health. So before you think you’ve already read similar articles, please read on. I think you’ll find this different. Your health during SHTF scenarios is more important than:

1) All your training,

2) All your stored goods, and

3) Your bug out location

I understand we can’t all be in perfect health, but you owe it to yourself to be as healthy as possible. I’m not only talking about getting in better shape, but included with your preps, you should include certain foods, herbs, and spices that I will list here to help keep you healthy and to cure many ailments when you get sick. If you think staying healthy is difficult now, imagine how hard it will be to do so after TSHTF. There will be no doctors, no hospitals, and no pharmacies to run to when you need them. Without good health, all your preps may likely go to someone else who comes along and takes it.

I can’t tell you the number of acquaintances I know who have spent years and lots of money stockpiling but don’t do squat (no pun intended) to stay healthy. How they think they’ll survive is beyond me.

Inexpensive, Easy To Grow, and Easy To Store

The good news is most of the items I’m referring to are either inexpensive or can be grown in most areas of the U.S. They are lightweight in the event that you must bug out, and they can be preserved for many years without losing much of their potency. Of course one method to preserving is keeping spices/herbs in air-proof containers. I put much of mine in plastic Food Saver bags and shrink wrap them. They can also be preserved in Mylar bags that are placed in 5-gallon buckets and then all of the oxygen removed from the bucket. There are many videos you can research on how to do this.

Call it a coincidence if you must, but by including a certain regiment of foods, herbs, and spices in my diet on a daily basis, I have not had a sick day from work in over 10 years. I’m no spring chicken either. I’m a baby boomer. I’ll list items to grow and store, followed by my daily regimen. I will also include linked sources at the end of this article to back up the information.


Tumeric is one of the most important to have on hand. This powerful herb contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory. It helps reduce pain and swelling and is needed by many boomers, such as me, due to minor arthritis. Some studies indicate it may also help prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately turmeric can be easily grown in most U.S. climates.


A recent German study shows cinnamon is helpful for those with Type II diabetes, as it reduces blood sugar by 10%. It’s also shown to help reduce cholesterol. Mind you it’s possible to take too much of this spice, and it can be dangerous. Cinnamon is not grown in the U.S., so you must buy and store it.


I know many who avoid eating garlic merely because they’re afraid how others might react to the odor from their breath. After Armageddon, who gives a hoot? I’m sure some will respond to this by saying the odor may give yourself away if you’re on patrol while in a survival camp, but in my humble opinion the benefits outweigh the smell. I’m also not suggesting that you eat it every day. I too have certain work related appointments where garlic breath wouldn’t be preferred.

Garlic has many benefits. It is known to lower cancer risk, improve cardiovascular health, reduce high blood pressure, help prevents strokes by slowing arterial blockages, and reduce cholesterol. It’s also one of the few plants in existence that is all three, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Besides being easy to grow, garlic can also be dehydrated. There are many books available from Amazon that will include all its benefits.


We may end up having to fry or grill meats after TSHTF, so including rosemary will help prevent the risk of potent carcinogens that are often in meat that are cooked at high temperatures. Rosemary contains two antioxidants that reduce carcinogens. Rosemary is easy to grow inside your home or outside in your garden. And if you don’t grow it, it’s inexpensive to buy and stores for long periods.

Flax Seed

Many have the false belief that all fats are unhealthy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Our bodies need a certain amount of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), because without it we die. Many of you have heard the term “rabbit starvation”. Simply put, if for example someone were to rely on rabbit as their sole source of protein, the lack of fat in the meat will put one’s health at risk.

One source of EFA’s are oils such as olive, canola, peanut, and vegetable oil and many others you are now using at home. The problem comes from the fact that you won’t have access to many oils because they don’t have a long shelf life and can go rancid. Even if you stock up on oils, they will run out. Olives can only grow in certain climates, and those of us in areas outside of the Southwest cannot grow it. However, two seeds that can grow in most areas of the U.S. are sunflower seeds and flax seeds that contain EFA. Flax can be grown in your garden in abundance. Flax can be consumed as a seed or the oil can be extracted.

Now unless you have a seed press (a good one is pricey), it can be difficult to extract the oil. Flax seed can be heated on the stove for a short time, which will draw the oil out that will float to the top of the water. Then you merely pour off the oil and store it in a cool place. It’s not as beneficial as the first cold press extraction method, because heating it up will cause some of the health benefits to dissipate. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. The oil will also have a shelf life of 1-2 weeks using this method, even if refrigerated, so it’s important to use the heating process on a routine basis and only process a small amount at a time.


Eating the wrong foods or foods that have spoiled during SHTF periods could become more common. Ginger helps prevent nausea whether it’s from upset stomach, pregnancy, or motion sickness. In one study, ginger was shown to be more effective than Dramamine for subjects who suffer from motion sickness. Ginger grows in most climates and can be dehydrated.


I could fill up a book on the benefits of onions, but with so many varieties available and the ability to grow them in most any climate, onions are among the healthiest of foods. I know many individuals that find onions difficult to digest making it impossible for them to eat. But the majority of us have no such issues. Without including all the benefits here, see the link at the end of the article for additional details. Onions can also be chopped up and dehydrated for long storage life.

Horseradish Root

Another food item that grows in most climates, horseradish is a powerful plant that is connected to many health benefits, including its ability to reduce weight loss, lower blood pressure, alleviate respiratory conditions, build strong bones, improve immune system health, stimulate healthy digestion, and promote heart health.

Cayenne Pepper

One of the best books I’ve read is by John Heinerman entitled The Health Benefits of Cayenne. It’s only 48 pages long and you’ll read it in an hour or so, but no one I know explains the benefits of hot peppers like Heinerman. There are many varieties of hot peppers that grow in most climates, but the key ingredient– capsicum– seems to be most prevalent in cayenne peppers. Its key benefits will help reduce severity of colds, improves circulatory and digestive issues, infections, and respiratory ills. Like most items listed above, cayenne can be crushed and dehydrated.

Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

Again, I could fill up volumes explaining the health benefits of vinegar, so I’ll spare you with those details. You can search for many articles and purchase books online with the many uses of apple cider vinegar including other benefits that don’t include ingesting it.

Using Items For Good Health

Now here is how I use some of the items on a regular basis for good health.

Master Tonic

One of the healthiest drinks you will ever taste is called Master Tonic. I have a link below with a YouTube video where I first learned how to make it. It’s made up of garlic, the hottest onion you can find (White or Spanish), hot peppers (I use cayenne and/or jalapeño), ginger root, horseradish root, and raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The secret to its benefits is the mixing of the ingredients. Even though any of the six ingredients are beneficial on their own, their combining enhances its benefits.

One reason many prescriptions and O-T-C liquid medications include alcohol is that the alcohol enhances the other ingredients. So by mixing all six items here, it’s as if each ingredient is on steroids. I’ll be the first to admit, you won’t find it pleasant tasting. I can’t take more than a sip or two without making an awful face. In the video link I included here, you will see the gentleman drink 2 oz of it while holding a straight face. I’ve been taking this for years and still make a face. Don’t drink it for the enjoyment, (you won’t) but drink it for its benefit.

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

Another tonic I drink every morning is called Apple Cider Vinegar Detox. Read link below for additional information. One of the ingredients you see here (lemons) won’t be available in most areas of the world after TSHTF, but you can at least drink it now while available. It may also be beneficial to stock up on bottled lemon juice to use in place of freshly squeezed. Besides being a detox, studies show this drink will help you lose weight without doing any other changes in your diet and lifestyle.

Include 8-12 oz of warm water and the following:

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a blender for a few seconds and drink up. It’s certainly better tasting that the Master Tonic mentioned above.

Turmeric Tonic

The last tonic I will mention here utilizes turmeric. There are a variety of ways to use it, but I include:

  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice

The link below for this tonic includes carrot juice. I have also done it using olive oil instead of lemon juice.

Here’s a food item that is delicious, and its health benefits are like medicine…sauerkraut. Growing cabbage is easy and can be done in all areas of the U.S. By fermenting cabbage into sauerkraut, it’s not only healthy but has a long shelf life. Canning sauerkraut is also easy. I have a link below that shows a simple way to make it in only a few days from your kitchen counter. Some don’t like the flavor of sauerkraut.

However I have found those people have often purchased it in a grocery store from a tin can. Ugh! No wonder they didn’t like it. In a SHTF scenario, you won’t be buying it in a can. So making it is much more pleasant to eat and will include a higher level of Probiotics than you’ll find in the canned variety. Most people know that food purchased in tin cans has lost most, if not all, of its nutritional value due to the high level of heat required to seal the can.


As a baby boomer, I have various aches and pains that I have been dealing with for years. I’m not always cognizant of them because I can block some of them out of my mind, not always but many times. Many of the ingredients mentioned in this article have helped alleviate some of those aches and pains. I also don’t have the upper body strength I had 30 years ago. But I improve upon my body, strength, and flexibility by doing simple exercises that don’t take up a lot of time and don’t require me to join a gym.

An article earlier this year from Men’s Journal describes 8 exercises they recommend that will get and keep you in shape. In the link provided, the article demonstrates each movement. If you can’t find the time to do these 2-3 times per week, you’re simply lazy. And that’s something you can’t afford to do now and after TSHTF.


SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 72 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
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  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
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Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
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Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
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  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and

Round 72 ends on September 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Great list. Maybe add vitamin K2 foods. They promote clean arteries, strong bones/teeth and much more. The best sources are natto (easily fermented soy beans), butter, egg yokes and organ meats.

  2. Great list. Maybe add vitamin K2 foods. They promote
    clean arteries, strong bones/teeth and much more. The best source is natto (easily fermented soy beans). Other good sources are products from grass fed animals (cheese, egg yokes, organ meats, bones and meat).

  3. Excellent article. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Be sure to use Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka, not cassia cinnamon. This is very important. There is lots of information online about the difference.

  4. “Your health during SHTF scenarios is more important than:
    1) All your training,
    2) All your stored goods, and
    3) Your bug out location”

    A good article, but I don’t agree with your opening statement at all.

      1. Yes good health is important, more more important than ALL of your training or food preps?

        It’s pretty easy to imagine going into a SHTF scenario in good health but with no food or skills. You would quickly be SOL.

        It’s all about balance. You need skills, stored goods AND good health.

        1. What good is having anything stocked, or knowing how to use it, or having a safe place to put it, if you’re too sick/dead/debilitated tonuse any of it? I don’t mean to rant, but I look around and see a ton of obese, fat, lazy American Preppers who own 260 guns and 20,000 rounds of ammo and love to talk about S hitting TF, but can’t so much as knocknout 10 pull-ups, let alone carry a combat load uphill for 2 miles. I swear it’s like Preppers think they are going to magically lose 75 lbs the day after something happens. God help them, they’re in for a RUDE awakening.

          1. Exactly. There are some things we cannot control as our bodies age (hearing/eyesight) but physical fitness should be a goal far above drooling over that new Tavor from IWI. Especially if you’re in CERT or Oath Keepers.

          2. Jason, I am one of those out of shape survivalists you talked about. My wake up call was when I got a simple recurve bow of 35 pounds draw weight and went out back to shoot it. I could not pull it back without my muscles having tremors. A sign of total lack of tone. I am not at Rambo levels yet, but I can at least pull that bow back now. I am with you that most preppers (like most Americans) are completely out of shape, but then again none of us plan on humping a full combat load uphill for 2 miles. You will not be able to do it either when you are in your 60’s.

          3. Retired

            My intent was not to denigrate my elders or the disabled, who’s decline in ability can be traced to factors beyond their control (such as aging). My frustration comes from seeing younger men like myself (I’m 36) 75 pounds overweight in the couch drinking Pepsi eating cheese puffs watching Reality TV typing on there phones about how when SHTF they intend on turning their suburban 2 story cape cod on 1/10 of an acre into a retreat while simultaneously becoming the next General George Washington SEAL Team Member, but can’t do much as walk to their mailbox and back without losing there breath. It’s real hard to run when you’re carrying 50 extra pounds in your gut

  5. Regarding exercise, don’t forget the Burpee. It was developed by an exercise physiologist to measure overall body fitness. It requires little room and no equipment. It works multiple muscle groups. I didn’t think much of it as a young, fit lad because it seemed easy then. Boring even. Now that I am rather older, it is something to be done in small quantities with multiple sets throughout the day.

  6. I knew a so called “survival guru” on a gun forum who sat up on high and arrogantly made is pronouncements about what we all should do after SHTF, then one day he drops dead. Sounds like he had his priorities all wrong and should have read more articles like this one.

  7. Another way to stock up on lemon is a product call ‘True lemon’. It is dried lemon in individual packets equivalent to a slice. All natural no preservatives. Also packets in lime and orange.

  8. I feel the article dances around the [unhealthy/healthy] + [weak/strong] matrix. Superfoods alone will not make you strong, and I’ll argue they can’t make you healthy by themselves. Problem is, WTSHTF, I’ll bet on the unhealthy yet still relatively strong Gen Xers and Millennials overwhelming the healthy but physically more frail Baby Boomers that have done all the right things with their food and wellness preps.

    I’m in my early 40s, still running 10ks and such, still in good shape, but I can see very well that by the time I’m in my early 60s I’m not going to be much good in a firefight, particularly against a bunch of people. Heck 4 or 5 against 1 is hard enough when you’re in perfect health and have terrific reflexes. Sure, older guys like Michael Bane and Jerry Miculek make it look easy but they are savants, 1% of 1% kind of shooters.

    In short, I disagree with the author. If you can’t defend your cache, you’d better bring in some muscle from the outside to help you keep it. JWR has done a good job in his books detailing these sorts of scenarios more than once.

    1. I agree, but I would not confuse gamesmen like Miculek to a combat shooter. Gamesmen stand out in the open, use tricked out “shooting machines” and are in it for points. I will be 62 at the end of this month and am under no illusions of how good I used to be. However, I feel rioters & takers akin to bullies. They want to riot and take, not fight. Once faced with stiff resistance, they will go someplace else…I hope.

  9. Good article. But I have a serious question. I am deathly allergic to peppers of any kind, in ALL forms. That limits my food choices, which I have dealt with my whole life. Is there a substitute that I could use in these tonics? The health benefits are great, if it doesn’t make you quit breathing!

    1. Elderberry juice is an extremely powerful anti-viral and anti-biotic. Grow the black kind only. It MUST be heated for a few minutes, or it will make you sick. It can be simmered into a concentrated syrup for storage, or made into elderberry wine, which was the traditional method.

      It is so valuable that some cultures absolutely forbade cutting it down for any reason.

      Second is sunlight, as long as you avoid burning yourself. Vitamin D is also an extremely potent anti-viral. However, you cannot take a hot, soapy shower for at least a day or so afterwards, or you will wash off all the Vitamin D oils before your skin absorbs it. Spot clean any dirty or smelly places.

  10. When TSHTF the great culling will begin, and for many of the reasons you suggest.

    Look at Amerika:
    1. Less Than 3 Percent of Americans Live a ‘Healthy Lifestyle’: https://www.theatlantic.com
    2. 1 in 6 Americans Takes a Psychiatric Drug: https://www.scientificameri
    3. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs: https://newsnetwork.mayocli

    When food becomes scarce, so will prescription medications (think Venezuela today, or Zimbabwe of 10 years ago, or Wiemar Germany). When one’s antidepressant is no longer available and people stop taking them abruptly, their lives will become a living hell. To properly go off of an antidepressant it can take months of gradually decreasing the dose. If done suddenly, it will lead to unimaginable horrors for that person and those around them. Zombies, anyone?

    If one is taking antihypertensives (~30% Americans = 75 M = 1 in 3 adults), and many take 2 or 3, (and not the starting dosage – they have their dose increased as well as the number of drugs to maintain a BP number) and stop suddenly, they will quickly come to understand what “hypertensive crisis” means. For those on the most antihypertensive meds who have been on them for a lengthy time, as in years, I wouldn’t give them a week to live. And, that last week will be hell. Stroke, anyone?

    I’m guessing that this is one of the ways that the Georgia Guidestones accomplishes their first commandment: “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000”

    It’s time to wake up folks. Your very survival depends upon it.

    “These things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquillity. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.”
    Lyn Nofziger

    1. Going off anti-depressants abruptly can be extremely dangerous. A family member was forcibly taken off, against medical advice, when she was hospitalized, and had a psychotic episode, screaming at the ceiling.

      However, a great many people have gone off their anti-depressant meds abruptly, on their own, and do fine. It is playing Russian roulette, but most of the chambers are empty.

      The scenario of millions of people suddenly going crazy when their meds run out is false. Some will, most won’t. I am a clinical psychologist, and have had many clients confess to me that they had done just that, knowing they shouldn’t, and they got away with it.

      1. JW

        Agreed. There seems to be a prevailing notion that once many of these folks no longer have there SSRI’s or other category of psychiatric medicines, the world will be full of stark raving lunatics. Most people and family members I know use them as quality of life issues to deal with excessive anxiety, mild depression, or OCD. Off the meds, they are neither a danger to themselves or others. Life is harder, but far from impossible. DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor of any sort and do not advocate going on or coming off any medication except under the supervision of a licensed trained medical professional.

  11. Dental health. Take care of your teeth. Five years ago my Air Force wife had left home for a typical 2 weeks on the road as air crew. That Friday night came around and me and our then 5 year old were just hanging out-pizza and movies on friday night. About 5:30 p.m. I got a tooth ache. It was an absess. No family around, and no friends I knew well enough to call up for real help. I could go about 2 minutes max, and then ‘d have to rinse with salt water or the pain spiraled quickly to excruciating. But as long as the salt water was being swished about I was A-okay. I made it two days like that-salt water rinses until we ran out of salt. Then saturday night I ran out of table salt. So I rummmaged around and found some precocet from a previous tooth extraction. 4 of them spaced out over several hours did not even dent the pain. So I did what ever resourceful person does. I improvised and found a bottle of my wife’s wine and took a another percocet with that. By this time I was ready to collapse from exhaustion. The percocet/wine combo took hold after 4 hours & let me get 8 hours sleep. My point is, I had options but didn’t want to impose on people I knew of but didn’t know, but what happens when the shtf? In that same scenario I would likely have ended up dead; that coming from the Air Force Colonel who saw me 2 months later in this process when I ended up on pre-deployment orders. Apparently the wine/percocet mix slammed the cycle of oral self-torture down, tho didn’t fix the abcess issue. That had eaten a hole in my jaw by the time a dentist saw I had a problem and not just symptoms. I’d had four dental visits and each one shuffled me along without anyone saying that the abcess could kill me. So when you are doing all your preps, keep in mind dental problems, either as a preventative or keep up on regular visits. I’d fallen into the habit of brushing with the original lysterine and my 2 year gap from my last visit had my dentist impressed by the extreme lack of plaque. Still stupid to wait. So when my 10 year old balks at brushing or doing a half-assed job, I make him look at all the silver and composites in my mouth, then point back to the sink and his toothbrush. Thank god I don’t need opposing teeth to open a blackpowder cartridge any more.

  12. Great article. Agree with most of it. My issue is that apple cider vinegar and sauerkraut trigger severe gout and I would not be able to walk. I avoid them gout with meds readily available. I have had gout so painful in my feet that it hurt to look at them.

  13. I am One of the Few that survive too 80 Wife is older
    we do what we can and hope one of the children in their 50s is close enough to pick up our saved up goodies

    People are Dying to get away from US all the time


  14. A good reminder, thank you. I have purchased products called “Super Tonic” and “Fire Cider” which have similar ingredients as your homemade tonic. They really seem to help with everyday colds, sore throats, congestion, etc. and the natural ingredients are said to have many benefits. I really don’t mind the taste, but they are spicy!

    In middle-age, I have come to realize that it’s easy to take our health for granted. At some point, you notice that you aren’t going to be 25 forever.

    Those of you who are preparing for a major event or disaster should consider that those things may or may not ever happen, but Lord willing, getting OLDER is going to happen! Your health is valuable in every situation, and I appreciate the reminder.

  15. Turmeric mixed with black pepper
    can help with inflammation. 5 parts turmeric to 1 part black pepper placed in 00 capsules. My husband has an auto immune disease and takes 5 two times a day. By taking this he doesn’t have to take the toxic medicines that were prescribed him. It has helped many of our friends that have dealt with inflammation. It’s easy to store for long term.

  16. Personally, I think exercise is the most important think on this list. All those supplemental foods and spices may be good, but they can’t make up for the health issues that result from being 20 or more pounds overweight. Being in your 40’s or older doesn’t mean you can’t do hard workouts, but it does mean you have to start slow or embrace Tylenol.

    I’m 49 and I make my way through a number of those beach body home exercise programs, including the hard ones like max:30 and body beast. The results were that I lost 60lbs of fat, and can actually make it through my local athletic shooting competitions with less huffing and puffing than many 10 years my junior.

    Less aches and pains were a major plus too. I just need to follow one basic rule. Always add one or two extra weeks to any program where I use minimum weights or lower intensity- if not, I’ll spend the next week or two in pain.

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