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!
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  • 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

 

Ravn lives!

Greetings,

It appeared as though I had fallen off the grid (I wish!) but I can assure you I’m still here surviving in this bizarro world.

The past 6-7 months or so have been very tumultuous in my life. I suppose you could say I took cover in my bunker and went underground for awhile.

For now I am just going to touch base and inform you fellow preppers/readers that I’ll be back in action in the coming days with more regular posting.  This week, stay tuned for a post updating what I’ve been up to, my prepping plans, and future plans.

I want to thank those that have reached out and touched base with me.  Sometimes we all need a little motivation. I had no idea how many folx were reading my posts and were hungry for more. It feels good to be told that my writing has been helpful and to let other queer and trans brothers and sisters know they are not alone.

If you have any questions and want to send me a message about any suggestions for future posts and topics you’d like to hear my perspective on, by all means, get in touch!

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Back from the bunker

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

 

 

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.

Prepping for your body: Prepper Fitness

Taking care of the body is very important when it comes to prepping (and should always be important all around!).  When SHTF, being able to run, hike while carrying large amounts of weight, fight, lift, carry, work, etc a won’t do you much good if you’re out of shape.  You can get in shape at home or join a gym. Whichever works best for you!

Today I re-enrolled at my local Golds Gym. I’ve been weight training off and on for over 4 years. In college I had access to the fitness centers.  After I graduated I was enrolled at another gym for a few months until I lost my job.   It’s been about 4 months since I’ve been at the gym, however, I have kept up with exercising at home. Now that I have a stable income I decided it’s time to go back.

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This morning I got a complimentary fitness assessment and got a base reading of where I’m at currently.

Ravn’s Stats as of 2/7/2017

Weight:  129

Body Fat %: 18

I’m excited to see where I’ll be a month from now.  The trainer at the gym said that I’m what he calls a “hard gainer” and recommended I eat 6-8 meals a day.  I have a few meals prepped already.  Training really helps stimulate my appetite.  He also recommended that I cut down on cardio to maybe 2 times a week for 3o minutes.  I could be over-doing my cardio and burning off that hard earned muscle and setting myself back.  He advised I gain about 15lbs.  My goals are to gain that and then I’ll test myself with a weighted endurance hike in the spring.

A gym really works for me because it gets me out of the house and doing something constructive.  Going to the gym while being trans can be nerve-wracking though.  I pass as a man now, and so the locker room I use is the mens locker room.  I feel a bit of nervousness about it but so far I’ve not encountered anything.  Today I just used the entry way and changed my shoes. I show up already dressed for exercise.  I know you shouldn’t wear your binder when exercising, but I don’t have anything else to wear to hide my chest.  I really hope to get top surgery sometime in the near future.  I’d like to be able to shower right away after a hard work-out, but I’m still unsure if that would be safe there. I do believe there are private showers. I’ll have to feel it out some more and figure out what time of day is the least volume in terms of busyness.

For some folks a gym isn’t really their atmosphere, and that’s okay! There are plenty of different ways to get in shape! Whether it’s doing more outdoor activities or exercising at home, there’s something for everyone.

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When I work-out at home I use this doorway pull-up bar and resistance bands as well as some body weight exercises.  The pull-up bar was a great investment for me because not only can you use it to do pull-ups, but you can use it for sit-ups, push-ups, and dips.  Resistance bands are pretty inexpensive and there are numerous exercises you can do to really feel the burn.

On top of building your body you must fuel your body right too!  I have cut alcohol completely from my diet, and four years ago I quit smoking. I continue to eat clean, but I do treat myself now and then. In the past I had restricted myself too much to where it was unhealthy.

I wrote an article about fitness and nutrition that got published in FTM Magazine: Embodiment and Empowerment through Exercise and Nutrition that goes through some of the things I do and eat.  I also am an avid reader of this website: Muscle For Life.

Having a strong and healthy body is vital for living in the apocalypse or encountering any kind of emergency situation.  If you can think through scenarios but your body doesn’t follow through with the kind of strength, endurance, stamina, and energy it needs, then your chance of survival diminishes. You could really endanger yourself and that of your party.

Until Next Time,

Ravn Thor

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  -Jim Rohn

 

DIY mini lantern

Good evening,

I’ve been tinkering around with some Do-It-Yourself projects.

Here’s a beverage can tea-light mini lantern!

All you need are 3 items: A can, pocket knife, and a candle.

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Make an incision somewhere in the middle.

 

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Very carefully cut down about 2 and a half to 3 inches (depending on size of can)

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Then cut two little incisions on the top and bottom.

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Open it like a door.

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Repeat on the other side.

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Put in your candle/tea light.

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Light it up!

 

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There you go! This took less than 10  minutes to do.

wp-1484615573099.jpg It’s not the brightest light but it’s better than nothing!

Until next time,

RT

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.