Tinctures, Syrups, and Bone broth

I’ve been on a tincture kick lately. Part of prepping to me is maintaining ones strength and health.

A tincture is an herb where it’s medicinal properties have been extracted by alcohol. There are also tinctures that can be made with glycerin, apple cider vinegar, or honey.
For alcohol tincture it’s best to use a clear alcohol like Everclear, Vodka, or Gin that is at LEAST 80proof.

Mixed race woman holding bottle of essential oil : Stock Photo

In the farmers almanac and among many folk-medicine circles they say the best time to put your tincture together is during a New Moon. In 4-6wks your tincture will be ready. I  make my tinctures on a new moon and then go by the 2nd full moon I see to know when the extraction is complete.

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Here I put together what I call my “Dragon Vitality Tincture,” It has ginsengschizandra, and astragalus .  All three of these herbs work synergistically together as adaptogens to help combat stress, decrease inflammation, increase sex drive, and increase focus.

The other one I made is with Ashwaganda. I’ve been taking Ashwaganda tinctures for several months and decided it would be much cheaper to just make my own!  I put these together on the New Moon back in February.  The next Full Moon this March I will strain the herbs and bottle them.

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To fight Cold and Flu season I made an Elderberry Echinacea syrup with local raw honey.  So far this whole season I’ve not caught the Flu or a cold—and I work in the human services sector where I’m around people that tend to pass the virus around. Knock on wood thus far.

Another thing I’ve been really into lately is bone broth. There’s nothing quite like sipping a mug of hot savory broth on a cold winters evening.  You can pick up soup bones at your local butcher shop where it is much cheaper, or if you make a roast chicken/turkey be sure to save the bones!  You can make several batches of broth with a set of bones–you can use them until they disintegrate.  I love to roast my bones with onion, carrot, and garlic with salt and pepper first then I let it simmer in my crockpot for 24hours.  Sometimes I’ll throw in some raw ginger. You can season it however you want. Make your broth your own! There are also plenty of recipes and recipe books out there too. I saw this book and thought it was pretty funny….however, damn, those recipes look delicious.

I’ll follow up sometime about how my tinctures turn out.  I hope this inspires you to give it a try yourself. It can feel very empowering to take matters into your own hands and defend yourself against cold/flu/stress.

Until next time,

Ravn Thor
The Transgender Prepper

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we will not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.” – Buddha

 

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Starting Over, What’s Ravn up to?

Greetings from my hideaway.

I am such an asshole. My sincerest apologies for dropping off the face of the earth once again.  I keep getting ‘likes’ on this page and I notice that there is traffic here.  I miss blogging so much, and I didn’t realize that my little prepper blog got so much attention. I suppose there are not many prepper blogs that come from a transgender perspective.

I had a realization today that for me I’m not prepping for when SHTF, because shit has hit the fan for me in the present. I need to get my ass in gear now.

A few updates on what has been going on in my life without getting into too much detail:

  • June, moved back to my college town, worked full time at a homeless shelter
  • July, went through a painful break-up (relationship of 6yrs)
  • Fall, started EMDR for my complex PTSD–it’s going well, healing and growth however is painful.
  • Fall, issues at work, interpersonal issues with coworkers,
  • Winter, quit full time job due to too much passive aggression among co-workers
  • January, I turned the big 30!
  •  

  • January, got hired on the spot at the same Foundation I worked at in the town before at the branch here.
  • February, working only part-time, hours are not being met, learning frugality.

I reached some fitness goals too. I can dead-lift 225lbs, and I weigh only 132lbs. I reached my cut goals and my lifting goals.

I’m lifting heavier than I ever thought possible. I go to the gym 5-7 days a week. I’m now working more on endurance and flexibility—what good is strength if you can’t have agility, dexterity, and stamina?  My goal for this year is to be able to touch my toes. (Damn short hammies!)


I lost my health insurance when I quit my full-time position, but I did qualify for MNcare insurance.  However, I was in an insurance purgatory for a bit where I needed to pay for my scripts out of pocket. My health insurance starts next month and I will get reimbursed from the pharmacy.  I am hopeful that within the year I will get bumped up to a full-time position and have more hourly stability on the job. Meanwhile, my finances took a huge dive. It made me really learn how to manage my money and where it goes.  It’s these sorts of things that people don’t seem to understand that prepping is all about—-preparedness for anything–that includes job loss, illness, job change, etc.  I had plenty of food stored away this month and managed to only spend about $70 for food (You can do so much with potatoes).

In 4 months my lease is up and I well be venturing forth into finding a place of my own—no roommates. I need my own place.

I’ve been doing a lot when it comes to taking care of myself.  I feel like a loner most of the time now, but it’s given me time for deep introspection and reflection.  Along with counseling, I’m putting the pieces together of my fragmented sense of self. When it comes to prepping, I want to take a holistic approach and have all bases covered. It’s not just about stock-piling a bunch of stuff and doing bug-out drills. To me, Prepping is becoming self-reliant and learning to truly depend on yourself when you can’t depend on anybody else.

It’s so hard to trust anyone in this world, but I can trust myself to get my needs met and survive.  I do long for community someday. But right now, I need to get my shit together.

Thanks for reading,

Ravn Thor

The Transgender Prepper

 

Checking in, herbs, potions, surplus, and more

Hello,

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. I just returned from the Twin Cities a couple days ago.  Here’s a little update of what I’ve been up to:

Herbs are sprouting!

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Things are starting to really spring up and my goji berry plant has rooted and is standing tall and strong. I’m really relieved that it worked out. For the first couple days the poor plant had transplant trauma and was very wilty.  I gave it a few drinks of sugar water and it perked right up. Now it’s almost as tall as the bamboo stick!

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I stopped at a Herb shop and picked up a few ounces of adaptogen herbs for focus, energy, and virility.  Really decent prices. I spent under 10bucks.  Buying loose-leaf herbs is so cheap.
Ravn’s Virility Tonic
2 tsp Schizandra berry
2 tsp Horny Goat Weed
2 tsp Ginseng
Ravn’s Focus Potion
2 tsp Ginko
2 tsp Ginseng
2 tsp Schizandra berry
(For more of a focus kick use some green tea also)

Add more of each for a stronger potion. Pour the herbs into boiling water and turn off the heat. Let set for 5-10 minutes.

Or you can make this into a decoction. Put herbs into a boiling pot, turn heat down to a simmer, and let simmer for 30-45minutes.

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I made a stop in Fargo at Mills Fleet Farm because they have a really huge selection of military surplus gear.  Military Surplus is a great resource for prepper gear because it’s high quality and affordable.  I have been wanting a good durable bug-out bag that I can double use for camping and backpacking.  I got an “Italian San Marco Backpack” for around 20$.  I plan on saving up for an A.L.I.C.E Pack Frame to use as well.

Fitness Update

So a month or so ago I weighed in at 129lbs. Yesterday I weighed myself and landed at 141lbs! I am 3lbs away from my bulking goal.  Once I reach that goal I start on cutting.
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I’m looking forward to spring rolling around so I can put myself to the test on a long hike.

In the next couple months I will be moving back to my college town.  When I move I will start planning my garden.

That’s all for now,

Ravn

 

 

Herb Planting!

Good evening,

I decided to start my herb garden indoors.  There was a sale at a home improvement store and so I figured I’d take advantage.  I planted some culinary herbs as well as medicinal.  I hope to plant more in the future.

I planted what I like to call  Scarborough herbs:

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme 

and the rest:

Basil, Oregeno, Chives

Cayenne, Chamomile, Lavender, and Lemon balm

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I was really surpised and happy to find a goji berry plant! I’ve always wanted one to nurture indoors.

I even got a grow lamp so it can receive more rays when the sun isn’t shining through the window at certain parts of the day.

Here is my complete set up thus far:

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It’s pretty modest but it’s a start.  I hope what I have sown will reap successfully.

The links throughout this post are to various covers of Scarborough Fair. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s so timeless.  I used to play Irish Tin whistle(and mandolin) and this was one of my favorite songs to play (besides Greensleeves).

Until next time,

Ravn Thor

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair:
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.”

 

Journey to CPR/First Aid Certification

Hello,

I really lucked out in that one of the requirements at my new job is for me to be CPR/First Aid certified.  My job will be paying for the class!

The first portion is one I take online,

cpr

and then the other portion I take on March 12th.

Looking forward to some hands-on training. These are very important skills to learn.

Until next time,

Ravn Thor

SHTF Fitness Tuesday 2/21/2017

So it’s been 2 weeks since I started working out at the Gym and increasing my caloric intake to 3200 calories a day.  I’ve been going 5 days a week and doing 30min of HIIT cardio twice a week.

Increasing my calories has been really difficult because when I’m under stress or dealing with any sort of depression my appetite really lacks.  Thankfully, I started meal prepping so that I always have a nutritious meal on hand.

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This week I prepped  salmon, sweet potatoes, and a lemon, parsley, garbonzo bean salad. Week before that I prepped chicken breasts, broccoli, and rice.

Drinking my calories has also helped immensely.

Tonight I made a banana orange smoothie with almond milk, oats, whey, maca powder, spinach, and parsley.  I made a full blender of it and so I drank three pints.

I’m happy to say that I have gained 2 pounds per week and intend on keeping that up until I reach my 15lb bulking goal.  At the rate I’m going it should take close to two months.

Perhaps in the future I will share some progress photos.

Anyway, that’s how my training is going so far!

Take care,

Ravn Thor

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DIY Deodorant

Transitioning really opened my eyes to how powerful hormones are and how the body reacts to whatever chemical combination is put into  it or is exposed to.  Transpeople, however, aren’t the only ones who (if they choose to medically transition) are exposed to different hormones.  Everyday, people are unknowingly being exposed to endocrine disruptors that effect the hormone levels and cause a wide variety of health problems.

A few chemicals that are found in our everyday items include:

BPA

BPS

Phthytates

Parabens

and the list goes on.

Endocrine disruptors “mimic or partly mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially producing overstimulation.” source  This can lead to hormonal imbalances, obesity, reproductive problems, neurological and behavior problems, early puberty, and cancers.  Check out this entry in Wikipedia, skim through it and be sure to look at the bottom list of sources cited.

Endocrine disruptors can be found in cleaning products, plastics, cans, hygiene products and more.  While it’s difficult to completely eliminate these disruptors, you can limit your exposure to it.

One way of doing that is by making your own hygiene products.

Tonight I made my own deodorant using coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, witch hazel, vitamin e oil, essential oils and some shea butter.  I followed a simple template at this website.

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I made a mixture of cedarwood, tea tree, patchouli, bergamont, lavender, sage, and rosemary essential oils to scent it.  It’s really fun to make your own signature scents.  I added witch hazel as a way to wick moisture away.

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I was really impressed with how it mixed!

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I recycled my recently emptied deodorant stick and it fit right in.  I tried it on and it felt kind of wet at first, but it surprisingly dried within a minute or two.

In the future I may experiment with more recipes.