As mentioned in the previous article, there are numerous things you can begin to implement into your life (depending on your situation) to start walking the path toward independence, frugality, and a healthier lifestyle. Remember, the healthier you are, the more productive your Christian life can be to benefit others and God’s kingdom. If you are constantly worn down because of a poor diet, you will not have the energy to do what you might otherwise accomplish in your lifetime. If you are in bad health you may die early, cutting off years that you could minister to others. You will also end up draining yourself financially because of the thousands of dollars put into medical bills (either that, or you will end up contributing to the cause of the Marxist Left by “proving” that we need to force others to pay for your health). Living unhealthily and draining yourself of money that you could otherwise use for better purposes is being a wasteful steward of the talents that God has given you (Matthew 25:14-30) . You will also miss out on the opportunity to promote more freedom from government interference in your local area.
In this article, we are going to focus on the internal: food and medicine.
Pay careful attention to the things mentioned below. There will be hyperlinks to many tutorials, recipes, how-to’s, and resources on where to find more information about the things being mentioned.
First things first, the easiest way to implement a healthier and more independent lifestyle is in the area of diet. And the easiest way to do that, is by making everything you possibly can from scratch, and from the most natural ingredients possible.
- Use whole wheat for breads, homemade tortillas, baking, etc. Better yet, grind that whole wheat fresh and soak your grains, for maximum nutrition benefits.
- Use raw, hormone-free milk for drinking and cooking, if you can get it. We use it for everything, from homemade ice cream, to making our own yogurt.
- Never use anything but real butter. Margarine and it’s chemical laden friends, are nothing more than glorified plastic.
- Find free range and local organic eggs. Or if you have the space, raise a few chickens of your own, as they provide fresh eggs and healthy meat.
- Find a place to buy local, hormone-free meats. There are many meat markets out there who sell from local farmers. The meat shop we buy from out in the country is right next to the pasture: the cows you see outside today, will probably be packaged in the cooler come spring. For an even better deal for your money, go in with a family or two and buy a half a cow or a side of pig, then have it processed to your liking,
- Use raw, local honey for sweetener. Not only is honey much better for you if you can find it collected from bee-keepers in your area, but also the pollen that is contained in the raw honey can help counter attack those allergies. (Take a teaspoon a day to ward of the springtime sniffles.) If you can’t find a good source for local raw honey, use raw sugar for baking.
- Make your own peanut butter. We use our juicer, but most food processors can handle it. Some peanuts, a little salt, oil, and honey, and you have a healthy, protein laden, delicious spread.
- Make your own mayonnaise, cream soup mixes, salad dressings, homemade vanilla extract, sweetened condensed milk, etc. Just about anything you can buy in the store can be made in your kitchen, for a minimal amount of prep, costing mere pennies compared to their chemical laden counterparts.
- I cannot stress this one enough: grow your own food. Whether it be a one-acre garden in the country, or a couple of potted tomato plants on your city apartment balcony, the easiest and healthiest way for all of this is to grow as much of your own food as possible.
- If you can’t grow it, go pick it. In the summer and fall time, we head out to you-pick farms with the children to gather all the yummy local and pesticide-free produce we can. Gallons of strawberries, bushels of apples, dozens of pumpkins — everything that we can’t grow enough of in our backyard suburban garden is harvested from nearby farms and prepped at home to fill our freezer and pantry for the year.
- Make the most of the bounty you grow and buy, and learn how to can your food. If that isn’t an option, invest in a small deep freezer, and purchase bulk produce from your farmer’s market to freeze.
- If you can, build up a pantry stash of at least 3-6 months worth of food for your family in emergency situations. Whether it be a loss of job or an economy crash, you know you will be ok when it comes to eating.
- Prepare your own “convenience” foods. Bake giant batches of muffins, sausage biscuits, etc. for quick breakfasts in the freezer. Double up your dinner meals, freeze the other half, and you will soon have a stash of ready made meals for those nights when making dinner is a chore. Create your own mixes, like taco seasoning, “bisquick” mix, pancake mix, hot cocoa powder, etc. For just pennies, and without the harmful preservatives, you can easily whip up your own “pre-packaged” items to store in your pantry.
Eating food the way God intended, and not something that was chemically altered in a factory, will not only keep you healthier, but will also save you money, and help you avoid dependence on the commercial foodstuffs for your meals.
No matter how healthy you eat, however, there will still be times you are bound to get sick. Instead of grabbing the nearest bottle of Tylenol, or running to the doctor at the first sniffle, there are other ways to treat many common ailments. In fact, there is an herb or natural remedy for just about any sickness or problem out there. (Of course you need to use common sense; if your problem is beyond home treatment, or if it does not improve after the first few herbal tries, then you obviously need to seek help.)
- Garlic. It is a miracle antibiotic. Did you know that most prescribed antibiotics from doctors can make you sicker? Killing both the good and bad germs, it makes your body lose its ability to fight the same illness next time, meaning you are more likely to get sick again. Eat a raw clove of garlic daily in the winter to stay healthy, and take it religiously when already ill. If you mince garlic into warm oil, then place the strained oil in the ear, you will see earaches miraculously disappear.
- Ginger. This is another food good for its heating and antibacterial properties. Helps with digestive problems, nausea, and much more. Making a hot ginger tea with the juice squeezed from the root can help clear chest congestion, fight infections, and calm a turbulent tummy.
- Coconut. Coconut is just a miracle food. Plain and simple. It is known for its unique saturated fat that can help prevent things like heart disease, it kills many viruses, and it also contains the same healing and protection properties similar to breast milk!
- Cayenne. This amazing little spice can clear your airways, help slow bleeding, and even stop a heart attack in its tracks! It promotes healing and circulation. Add a pinch to some tea for a sore throat.
- White Willow Bark. An all-around pain reliever, great for headaches and soreness.
- Colloidal Silver. Known for it’s wonderful antibiotic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, this is great to have on hand for both internal and external infections. Worth the investment in a colloidal silver generator: you can use it to help purify water in emergencies.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. This is another germ killer and an energizer. It helps treat aches and pains, sooth sunburn and bug bites, and is great for helping fight illness. Make a hot toddy for a sore throat, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in hot water with honey and lemon.
There literally is an herb or home treatment for everything. The ones I listed are just a few of the many important substances to add to your medicine cabinet. Do your research, and switch over from toxic and harmful medicines to natural remedies as much as possible. God knew what He was doing when He created these things! The Bulk Herb Store has hundreds of resources and information on most every herb, books to learn more, and wonderful prices on bulk herbs, tinctures, and supplies.
As I said, there are so many ways to start changing your diet. But don’t be overwhelmed. Start small, and add more and more as you go. It took us ten years to get where we are, and there is still so much more we can do. But make sure to do the best you can in your situation — baby steps! Next time, we will share with you the ways to implement better health, frugality, and independence with the external and household areas of your life.
Even though there is so much we have learned, so much we have already added to make our family’s life richer, there is so much more we would like to do. We will not accomplish half of what we would like. But we are taking steps in that direction. And our children are going to have a major head start and advantage in this area. They will build upon what we have laid for a foundation. Everyone’s situation is unique. But you owe it to God to do your best in your situation. We must not become lazy and slothful servants of God, but take advantage of the tremendous wealth of knowledge we have access to in this 21st century.
(Thank you to my wife, Holly Cart, for co-writing this article with me.)