- Lose weight?
- Survive for a long period – say a month or longer?
- Power your body so that you can do more?
- Sustain your current weight?
Start with Your Caloric Needs Before an EmergencySo, how many calories do you need to consume on a typical day that does not involve an emergency? In this case, your calorie goal is about obtaining enough nutrition to meet your body’s daily needs. To make this more confusing, there is no true blanket answer. We each have different needs and should plan accordingly for daily caloric intake. Use a Calorie Counter to figure out a base number of calories that fits your lifestyle. Two calculators that work well are:
- Regular access to food is disrupted, such as a flood, road closures, etc.
- You must bug-out for a specific time.
- A non-emergency situation when your caloric needs do not change.
Calories are One Thing, Nutrition is AnotherA cup of sugar has 773 calories, yet we cannot survive for long by just consuming raw sugar. Our body needs vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for its many systems to function. Yet, many processed foods have too much sugar, too much salt, and too much fat while not enough healthy nutrients.
Case Study: Emergency Dried MealsHoneyville Rotini with Meat Sauce – Serving Size – 59 grams -Sodium 750mg or 18 percent of your RDA. Mountain House Beef Stroganoff Pouch – Serving Size 1 Cup – Sodium 800mg or 33 percent of your RDA. Hormel, Dinty Moore Beef Stew – Canned – Serving Size 236 grams – 984mg or 41 percent of your RDA. Frito-Lay – Doritos Nacho Cheese Single Serving Bag – Serving Size 1 ounce or 11 chips – Sodium 210 grams or 9 percent of your RDA.
- RDA for most nutritional labels is for a 2,000-calorie diet. The percent of RDA changes based on your recommended daily caloric intake.
- Walking: 88.9
- Running 112.5
- Walking 21.7
- Running 46.1
The new total for walking or running a mile is:
- Walking 110.6
- Running 158.6
Simple vs ComplexThe key bit of information when you discuss nutrition is bioavailability – how fast the food you eat is available for your body to use it. The bioavailability of simple carbs is quick. The bioavailability of complex cards tends to be longer. It sounds simple enough; sadly, it’s a little more “complex” than just storing up a bunch of simple carbs for the next time you must outrun a bear. One of the key points about carb intake involves the duration of the carb as a fuel. Our body has a store of energy for short periods of time – fight or flight. The exact length of time that carbs last depends on our health, fitness, and overall diet. If you have not gotten off the couch in ten years and you are 40-pounds overweight chances are you are not going to run a mile no matter what’s chasing you. Your body is simply not going to endure. Simple carbs tend to burn quickly while complex carbs tend to burn slowly and for longer periods. If you must force-march for ten miles which type of carb is best? When the duration of what you face is long, then complex carbs, are good, but they may not be enough. Energy bars are a mixture of both simple and complex carbs. They are in fact, two types of energy – short and long. The sugars in an energy bar act quickly to supply our body with fuel. The nuts and whole grains are complex carbs, and they become bioavailable after our body burns the simple carbs. This mixture works well because it helps our body overcome low blood sugar or sugar crashes following exertion.
Make Energy Bars a Way of LifeThere are lots of recipes online energy bars. Many of the recipes are simple, and you can customize them. If you grow fruit, then consider dehydrating it and adding to the energy bar recipe that you use. If you make energy bars at home, choose a recipe that freezes well. A good tip is to make them part of your food rotation plan. Energy bars make a great addition to lunches or for snacks. They literally power your day.
Emergency Food Includes Drinkable WaterDo you have a plan to address the need for potable water? Under normal conditions, most adults should consume 64-ouces of water per day. In an emergency, your body might require more water. There are many ways to make water potable. FEMA does a good job of outlining how to handle your emergency water supply and how to collect water and treat it. Food and Water in an Emergency – FEMA
The Difference in Emergency FoodWhen we discuss emergency food, it is important to put its context into the conversation. There is a difference between emergency food – those meals that are meal replacements – and survival food – food that powers us through a crisis. There is no denying that preppers blur the lines between these two types of emergency foods. What is important is that those of us who plan for an emergency consider the types of emergencies that we might face and then plan accordingly. It is also important to take into consideration the needs of growing children. As children grow, they require more food. Teenagers especially need a higher intake of food because their bodies are already using an increase in energy to promote healthy growth and physical changes as they approach adulthood. These kinds of considerations mean the difference between just getting by and being prepared to do more than just survive.
Final WordIn highly complex emergencies you may face one crisis after another. How you prepare for those events impacts your ability not just to survive but the quality of your life during an emergency. Hard times need not be made harder by the lack of resources. That is what prepping is – the creation of resources that help you overcome difficult situations. As a prepper, do you prepare for different types of food emergencies? What are some of the things that you’ve thought about and included in your emergency food plan? David is an active prepper and freelance writer. He lives in rural Northern California in the shadow of an active volcano. He hunts and fishes as a means of providing. He brings a science background to his writing and discusses botany, biology, geology, and weather as they apply to living, growing your own food, and surviving. He is a master gardener and understands food production, storage, and preserving. He lives five miles down a single-lane road and he deals with power outages, wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and crazy pot growers, raiders, medical emergencies, law enforcement and the potential of that volcano.
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