Tornadoes Wreak Havoc: How To Prepare Yourself For One

No one is exempt from disasters like the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Okla., last week. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their loved ones and those who lost their homes, personal belongings and businesses to the storm, which had winds of more than 200 miles per hour and which was 1.3 miles wide as it moved through the town. Many people lost their lives, and hundreds of people were injured.

Make A Plan

You must always have a plan for any emergency situation. Write down all the different scenarios that could possible happen to you in an emergency. Plan out the supplies you may need, purchase them and store them so they will be safe and waterproof. A plastic sealed bag will keep your supplies waterproof. Below ground is the best place to store your emergency supplies, if you have a basement or a storm shelter of some kind.

Implement your plan and practice your skills. Become certified in first aid. Become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. You really need some training in search and rescue so you don’t endanger yourself while helping others.

Prepare A Medical Kit

It is important to have an up-to-date medical kit with everything you can possibly anticipate needing to help others with wounds and trauma. In a disaster first responders are needed everywhere. Your skills will be very valuable in helping bandage wounds and calm down people in an emergency.

Emergency medical teams can take hours to respond to minor injuries, so plan on helping out with your own supplies. I suggest you store enough medical supplies for your own family as well as several other people.

You can purchase a pre-made medical kit, or create one of your own by going through your home and collecting the following items and putting them in a backpack, medical bag or suitcase:

  • A tourniquet.
  • Pressure bandages.
  • Assorted sterile gauze.
  • First aid tape.
  • Sports tape.
  • Antiseptic.
  • Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment.
  • Hydrogen peroxide.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Instant cold and hot packs.
  • All sizes of bandages, including triangular, butterfly and ACE bandages.
  • Scissors.
  • Tweezers.
  • Thermometer.
  • Splints for broken fingers.
  • Cotton balls.
  • Cotton swabs.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Washcloths.
  • Towels.
  • Water.
  • Lightweight blankets.
  • Pain reliever such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin.

Your medical kit should be loaded with everything you could even anticipate needing in an emergency. I keep one medical kit in my home, one in my car and one at my business where they are protected and I can get to them easily.

Along with the medical kit, you will need a clean change of clothing, shoes, warm socks, a blanket, gloves, a hat and a jacket or coat.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen)

ION Stabilized OxygenI use ION (stabilized oxygen) for any kind of injury where the wound needs to be clean and free of bacteria. ION will kill bacteria on contact and can be used to clean the wound. It can be used on scrapes, puncture wounds, burns and infections; and it can be taken internally to kill bacteria in the body from colds, flu or infections.

Clean Potable Water

Clean water to drink is more important than food. ION treats water that has any kind of bacteria in it. If you are using dirty water, strain it through a dishtowel, T-shirt or cheesecloth to get the dirt and impurities out. Boil the water and then mix 20 drops of ION in each glass of water before drinking. ION kills many bacteria immediately externally and internally. ION is non-toxic and won’t hurt you in any way. It oxygenates the blood and helps the body fight its own battle against bacteria.

Redmond Clay (First Aid)

Redmond Clay First AidI keep a product called Redmond Clay First Aid in my medical kit and even in my purse. Redmond Clay First Aid is a premixed clay that takes the pain and inflammation out of any injury immediately. It looks like mud. You squeeze it onto the injury and cover it with gauze and tape. It works extremely well for bruises, broken bones, injuries and for burns of any kind, including sunburn. But if it’s a severe injury, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Redmond Clay also comes in bulk, which can be mixed with water and used as a compress to pull inflammation, toxins and pain out of the body. I mix the clay like mud, put it on the injury, place plastic wrap around the injury so the clay does not dry out and leave it for 24 hours. It is an amazing product that can be mixed in water and you can drink it to pull toxins out of the body.

Prepare To Save Your Important Documents

In emergency disaster situations you must be prepared ahead of time for any situation where you may lose everything valuable. It is important to keep important documents and records in a waterproof bag or, if possible, in a waterproof and fireproof safe. This includes important paper documents such as photos, deeds, birth certificates, money, family scrapbooks and any digital records on your computer. It is important to have several copies of your will and other valuable documents. Keep them at another family member’s house in another State or area in case yours are destroyed.

Have a backup of all digital photos and documents on your computer. I have an external hard drive to back up all my documents. I switch off between two external hard drives, so I have an extra one in a waterproof storage container. Once a month, I back up to the one in storage.

This will help you to have a record of all your valuables for insurance claims. If your home was demolished and you had to prove what you owned, this would come in really handy and could determine whether you receive reimbursement from your insurance company.


If you live in an area where tornadoes hit, get the right kind of insurance that covers natural disasters, on your home and vehicle. Medical insurance is also very important to have for any kind of emergency situation. Your entire life savings and all you have worked for could be wiped out in a few minutes in an earthquake, tornado, tsunami, snowstorm, etc.

During A Tornado

People in tornadoes have no time to even grab anything and run. Taking cover is the most important thing to do. Keep all valuables in a waterproof bag and in a place that is waterproof and preferably lower than ground level, such as a basement.

If you live in an area where you can have a root cellar, bomb shelter or safe room in a basement, you will be protected more than a room above ground.

If you are above ground, find a closet or a small room such as a bathroom in the middle of the home. Outside walls can collapse around you, and flying debris can hit you.

The safest place above ground is in the bathtub. It is best to cover yourself with a mattress or something soft like pillows to protect yourself from flying debris. It is safer to stay away from windows.

Vehicles are not a good place to be in a tornado. Depending on the category of the wind, cars may be lifted up and thrown into buildings and trees. If you have to abandon your vehicle, the safest place for you to be is in a ditch below ground level or try to find a building with a basement or storm shelter.

Anticipate Utility Shut-Off And Power Failure

Utilities such as electricity, gas and water and everything that is run off them will be affected. The refrigerator, freezer, garage remote, security systems, stove, lights, heat and water will all be affected. If your home is demolished to a point where it is unsafe to stay, you must make decisions about where to go and what to do. A generator can come in handy for temporary solutions, but ultimately you will need to relocate.

It is good to have an alternate set of keys to your home, car and business stashed somewhere below ground so you can find them easily if the first set are lost.

It is important to have emergency tools in a waterproof place also. You will need a gas shut-off wrench, a shovel, an axe, a hammer, gloves, a helmet, pliers, screwdrivers and a chain saw with fuel. You may need to help rescue people or animals trapped under debris.

Emergency Food Storage

As a business owner in the emergency preparedness industry, I keep close watch on these incidents that are happening and I am hopeful that families have prepared themselves for these tragic events. Many of our customers live in areas that have been hit. We hope their emergency food and water supply will sustain them in the aftermath of the tragedy.

If you call me before May 29, you can get a special price of $500 for a five-month supply of delicious meals ready to just add water and cook. That’s four servings per package and 635 servings total, which works out to be .79 cents per serving. Plus, I will give you a free wholesale membership so you can purchase food later at the wholesale price. The food is highly nutritious, with no GMOs, added MSG or trans fats. It’s compact and lightweight, too, making it easy to store. And it will retain its flavor and nutrition for up to 25 years.

To order online, go here and click on “sign up.” On page one of the sign up, there is a place for a promo code at the bottom. Use promo code SUCCESS500. This promotion won’t last, so take advantage of it today. Please call me, Peggy Layton, at 435-851-0777 if you have any questions or need assistance with this amazing offer.

–Peggy Layton

Use Baking Soda In The Kitchen And Beyond

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a chemical compound in a powdered form. It is mined and pulverized into a powder. It can be purchased at any grocery store or health food store. It is one of the most useful and safest substances on this Earth.

When mixed with water and an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, baking soda releases bubbles of carbon dioxide. Baking soda is a staple in many homes for baking. It acts as a leavening agent in baked goods, helping them rise and hold their shape. Baking soda also can also be used in a multitude of ways to replace household cleaners made with chemicals. In addition, baking soda has medicinal uses, as I discussed in my last article.

Cleaning With Baking Soda

Oven cleaner

5 tablespoons baking soda
5 drops dish soap
4 tablespoons of vinegar

Mix all ingredients into a paste. Spread the paste all over the oven. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub it and wipe it off.


1 tablespoon baking soda

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of baking soda on the dishes before running the dishwasher. It degreases and makes the dishes sparkling clean.

Clothes Degreaser, Whitener And Deodorizer

1 tablespoon baking soda

Use 1 tablespoon of soda along with the laundry detergent (per batch of clothing) in the washer to remove grease from clothing.

Carpet Deodorizer

Sprinkle dry soda onto carpets or over pet stains and vacuum it up.

Carpet Cleaner

1 quart warm water
4 tablespoons baking soda
4 drops of dishwashing soap

Mix the ingredients into a solution. Scrub the solution into the carpet to remove stains. Rinse with clear water and use a towel to remove the excess moisture.

Refrigerator And Freezer Deodorizer

Open a small box of baking soda and leave the whole box inside the refrigerator or freezer. It will absorb unwanted odors and will last for up to a year.

Drain Cleaner

½ cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar

Pour ½ cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar into a plugged or sluggish drain. Let it sit for 20 minutes and form bubbles. After it stops bubbling, rinse with hot water.

Here are other ways you can use baking soda to clean:

  • Clean the bathroom: Make a paste that can be put on a scrub brush or toilet brush. Clean toilet bowls, tubs and sinks with soda paste. Rinse it and wipe dry. For fiberglass, use a mixture of soda and dish soap. Wipe it on with a sponge so it does not scratch.
  • Clean the refrigerator: Use a paste on a scrub brush.
  • Clean barbecue grills: Use a paste and generously coat the grill with it. Let it sit for 10 minutes and scrub the grill with a scrubbing pad. The soda will remove baked on food.
  • Clean greasy garage floors and remove grease from anything: Sprinkle baking soda on grease spots, and it will soak up the grease. Remove it with a paper towel, then use more baking soda with a scrub brush and clean the cement. Rinse with warm, clean water.
  • Freshen kitty litter: Sprinkle baking soda in the kitty litter box to deodorize and freshen it.
  • Remove burned on food from pans: Make a solution of baking soda and water by mixing 4 tablespoons of soda to 1 quart of water in the dirty pan. Heat it up and let it set for 10 minutes then rinse it out.
  • Wash dishes: add ¼ cup soda to the wash water when washing the dishes.
  • Wash fruits and veggies: Soak vegetables in a bowl with a solution of 4 tablespoons soda per quart of water. This cleans the vegetables and removes dirt, sprays and chemicals. Rinse produce before eating.

Medicinal And Personal Care Uses Of Baking Soda

Baking soda has myriad medicinal and personal care uses, including:

  • Antacid to relieve heartburn and acid reflux: Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a small glass of water. It will bubble and fizz up. Drink it down two to three times during the day on an empty stomach, and it will neutralize the acid in the stomach and stop heartburn and acid reflux. Work up to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar mixed with 4 ounces of water. If it upsets your stomach, then back off on it.
  • Athlete’s sore muscles: Athletes can take 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 4 ounces of water to relieve them of muscular pain from strenuous physical activity.
  • Cancer: People are raising the PH level of their bodies by using baking soda. Cancer and other diseases may grow more slowly in a more alkaline environment. The healthy range for PH of the saliva and urine is 7.4.
  • Canker sores: Put a dab of baking soda paste on the canker sore and leave it there as long as you can. It takes away the pain and may help heal the canker sore.
  • Deodorant: Use straight by applying powder to underarms.
  • Insect bites: Put a dab of paste on the bite and cover with a Band-Aid.
  • Facial scrub: Mix equal parts of soda, salt and water together into a paste and scrub the face with it. Rinse it with warm water. This removes dead skin and blemishes.
  • Mouthwash: Swish a soda solution made with 1 teaspoon soda to ½ cup of water around the mouth and gargle with it.
  • Rashes, skin irritations, sunburns, bee stings: Spread a thin layer of soda paste on these. It relieves the itching and burning on contact.
  • Stuffy nose: Put a solution of soda water in a humidifier and run it all night to help clear the sinuses and relieve a stuffy nose.
  • Sore throat: Gargle with warm salt water (one cup warm water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda).
  • Tooth decay: Taking a pinch of baking soda into your mouth and moving it around your teeth and gums with your tongue minimizes tooth decay.
  • Toothpaste: Make a paste of soda and salt in equal portions and use it as toothpaste.

Household Cleaning With ION And Baking Soda

Because ION (stabilized oxygen) kills bacteria on contact, it can be used to disinfect countertops, clean vegetables and kill germs on cuts and wounds.

Soak vegetables in the following solution in a bowl: mix 3 tablespoons baking soda and 20 drops of ION in a ½ gallon of hot water. It will kill bacteria on the vegetables. Rinse before eating.

The more I use ION, the more uses I find for it. It is one of those amazing products just like baking soda.

ION Oxygenates The Blood

I talk about ION in my articles because I believe in this product 100 percent. Baking soda and ION together will give a person a real boost to his immune system and general overall health.

I take 20 drops ION and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a cup of water or juice (except lemon juice) every day. Lemon juice is the only acid that will neutralize ION, so do not mix lemon juice and ION together.

ION floods the body with lifesaving oxygen and raises the PH to an alkaline level which boosts the immune system so the body can do the job of healing itself. When the bloodstream is fully oxygenated, it fights disease.

–Peggy Layton

Baking Soda Helps The Body

It is wise to stock up on baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Every home should have plenty of it on hand. This article is the first in a two-part series about the miracle of baking soda for cooking, cleaning and medicinal uses. There are multitudes of uses for it. And it is so effective in balancing the pH of the body and allowing the body to heal itself that it won’t be long before the American Medical Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Big Pharma and the powers that be will make it illegal to get baking soda without a prescription.

It is now being used as an alternative medicine for trying to prevent cancer, kidney disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. No wonder the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know about it. There is no money to be made with this preventive treatment.

When the body is too acidic, it creates a perfect environment for disease. Rather than addressing the causes of cancer, the doctors choose to cut, poison and burn the body to rid it of the unwanted tumors after they start growing. What if it was as simple as raising the pH of the body to a normal level (7.4) so cancer cells have trouble getting started? And if they were already present, would they actually shrink in an oxygenated, alkaline environment? Mainstream doctors say they don’t.

Recipe For Baking Soda Water

The following alternative treatment is being used to try to keep the body alkaline and disease free. By flushing the digestive tract with soda water, it will get absorbed much faster than if you ate alkaline foods and waited for them to digest and make it to the bloodstream. Soda water is the first line of defense against acidic conditions.

Start out by taking ¼ teaspoonful of baking soda mixed in ½ cup water before bedtime then gradually raise it until you can take 1 teaspoon in a cup of water. Some people add a teaspoon of molasses to the soda water because it activates the soda faster. Continue the treatment for one to three weeks at the most, then stop the treatment.

It takes only about a week for the pH to rise to a normal level and boost the immune system so it can fight off diseases. Baking soda helps maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. A pH level between 7.2 and 7.4 is ideal. If you are facing any kind of surgery, take soda water for one week before surgery to raise the pH in your body to a normal level. (Discuss this with your doctor, though, to be safe.) Some alternative practitioners claim that surgery goes much better if your pH is at 7.4.

When purchasing baking soda, make sure it does not have any additives such as aluminum in it. It will say “pure baking soda” on the label. It should be mined from all-natural deposits of mineralized sodium bicarbonate and extracted by a water process that uses no chemicals.

pH Test StripsMonitor Your Own pH

If you want to monitor your pH, you need to go to a pharmacy or health food store and get pH strips for the tongue and urine. Test your saliva and urine in the morning and again at night to see if the morning reading is more acidic because of the toxic waste dumped by the liver during the night. If you don’t want to take soda water, you can purchase sodium bicarbonate tablets that can be swallowed easily. Sodium bicarbonate tablets and digital pH meters, as well as pH test strips, can be purchased online. Digital pH meters can be purchased here.

Continue the soda water until your pH is consistently in the 7.2 to 7.4 range. Keep it there for an internal alkaline environment. If you become too alkaline (7.5 or higher), stop taking the soda water because you can get sick to your stomach and feel bloated or even throw up. Your body will tell you if you have had enough. By monitoring your pH every day, you will know if your pH is going down into the acidic range (below 5.0) then you will need to start taking the soda water remedy again.

I read an article by a woman who added a teaspoon of black strap molasses to her baking soda water to make it more palatable; it also activates the soda to form carbon dioxide gas bubbles.

The body kills off invading bacteria and viruses by automatically raising the alkalinity level. Alkalinity is vitally needed, especially when the immune system is suppressed or destroyed (from surgery or chemical toxins). The body will automatically try to raise its alkalinity level more frequently than in a healthy person to accomplish a balanced pH. If the acid level is overtaking the body, it will not be able to raise its alkalinity without help.

Alternative health people sometimes claim that cancer and other diseases cannot live in the presence of oxygen. As you are working on raising the pH of your body, you need to get oxygen into the bloodstream. Exercise, walking, yoga, meditation and deep breathing will help. It brings more oxygen into the bloodstream. They say that cancer cells and other diseases cannot survive in an alkaline environment or in the presence of oxygen. Bicarbonate is found in the blood naturally for the purpose of neutralizing acids.

ION Stabilized Oxygen
ION (stabilized Oxygen) Will Oxygenate The Blood

I talk about ION in my articles because I believe in this product 100 percent. I take 20 drops in a cup of water or juice (except lemon juice) three times a day. It floods the body with life-saving oxygen that boosts the immune system so the body can do the job of healing itself. When the bloodstream is fully oxygenated, it fights disease. Baking soda and ION together will give a person a real boost to his immune system and general health.

Eat A More Alkaline Diet

You can do an online search for the total list of foods that are alkaline verses acidic. Do a little research and start eating better. If a person is sick and wants to restore his health, his diet should consist of 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods. Once you are feeling better, you can maintain a balanced pH by eating 60 percent alkaline foods and 40 percent acidic foods.

These Are The Best Alkaline Foods To Eat

  • Beans and legumes such as lentils and (sprouts).
  • Celery, all green leafy vegetables.
  • Peas, watercress, onions, sweet potatoes, parsley.
  • Sea vegetables such as seaweed and kelp.
  • Fruits such as lemons, limes, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, raspberry, tangerine, pineapple, seedless grapes, nectarines, persimmon, dates and figs.
  • Spices, herbs, seasonings, baking soda, sea salt, seeds and nuts especially pumpkin seeds, taro root and lotus root.

Avoid These Highly Acidic Foods

  • All meats such as pork, fish, seafood and poultry.
  • Dairy and eggs.
  • Grains and some legumes.
  • Artificial sweeteners, alcohol products, sugar, carbonated soft drinks.
  • Cigarettes and tobacco, coffee, black tea.
  • Breads made from white and wheat flour, processed foods such as pastas, pastries and cakes, and processed cereals.
  • Jams, jellies, processed maple syrup and sweetened yogurt.
  • Pickles, vinegar, processed cheese and fried foods.

–Peggy Layton

Everyone Should Know The Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack

Being prepared for any kind of a disaster is important. What about a survival situation with your health?  Most people know that chest pain or angina and numbness in the left arm are the classic signs of a heart attack. But in reality most of the warning signs are much more subtle than that, especially in women. They are easy-to-ignore symptoms, such as indigestion, breathlessness, pain in the shoulder blades and arms, profuse sweating, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

Heart disease is becoming more common in younger people now even in their 30s. I have two cousins from the same family that both had stents put in their arteries while in their mid-30s. With the standard American diet, full of sugar, trans fats and processed foods, combined with genetics, it is no longer an old person’s disease. This type of diet clogs the arteries, causes inflammation and triples the risk of heart attack.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer today, along with cancer and diabetes. Women have a tendency to take care of everyone else but themselves. Symptoms in women are much more subtle than in men. Women are less likely to visit a cardiologist. And when they do, the cardiologists are not as aggressive at treating women compared to men. And women are less likely to call for help until it is too late.

Smoking and breathing secondhand smoke raises the risk of heart attacks. If you do smoke and quit, your risk reverts back to normal after 20 years of not smoking.

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

If extreme fatigue when doing the simplest things causes you to need to rest, it could be a sign of a heart attack coming on.

  • Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness and dizziness.
  • Shortness of breath, for no obvious reason.
  • Upper-back pain and pressure in the chest area, or muscle strain.
  • Sleep deprivation can bring on heart palpitations. Chronic lack of sleep and trouble falling asleep or unexplained insomnia could also be a sign of a heart attack.
  • A grayish-colored skin tone along with cold and clammy skin and sweating could be a sign.

What To Do

The main thing is that you know your body better than anyone else. If you do not feel right, do not just hope the symptoms will go away. Trust your instincts and pay attention to your body signals. Be proactive and take preventive measures.

In the case of a potential heart attack, every minute counts.

  • Call 911 first.
  • Chew an aspirin.
  • Lie down.
  • Administer CPR (if necessary and if you know how to do it).


It is very well-known that a baby aspirin a day helps thin the blood and is prescribed by doctors for people who have had heart surgery or problems with blood clots. Aspirin is a blood thinner.

Cayenne Pepper Capsules

In a previous article I wrote about taking cayenne capsules or cayenne tincture if you feel like you are having a heart attack. Cayenne pepper, aka Capsicum, dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation. Cayenne also shocks the heart into beating again if it has stopped. I have been taking cayenne capsules to see how I react to them, and I get sick to my stomach when they start to dissolve. I have been sipping on milk to soothe the burning, which seems to be fine. If someone is having a heart attack, they may not feel like taking cayenne; but if they can get it down, it will help. A small bottle of hot sauce such as Tabasco will help also. Just take a swig of it if you feel chest pains coming on.

Keep it in your purse unopened in case you need it.

Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium is very good for the heart. Magnesium calms the nerves and is powerful in prevention of blood clots. Magnesium has strong blood vessel-dilating properties and is effective in blocking dangerous heart rhythms.

I keep magnesium/calcium tablets, aspirin and cayenne capsules in my purse at all times because I have tachycardia. My heart will race every so often, and I start to black out. I breathe deep and get oxygen into my lungs, and I come back around quickly. When this happens, I take magnesium/calcium, an aspirin or cayenne capsules. They are all good for dilating blood vessels or thinning the blood.

Things You Can Do To Lower The Risk Of A Heart Attack

  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you need to drink 75 ounces of water per day. That is about nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
  • Walking every day for 30 minutes or other equivalent exercise may reduce your stress level and help your heart.
  • Quit smoking or breathing secondhand smoke.
  • Reduce the inflammation in your body, especially if it is from an infection or arthritis.
  • Eat only small amounts of red meat. Eat fish such as salmon. Do not eat fish or animals that have been grown in fish farms or farms where they are fed genetically modified foods.
  • Cut out sugar, fats and modern processed foods. These include pasta, chips, white bread, potatoes and anything that is prepackaged such as cake mixes, cookies and any foods that come in bags or boxes. Sugar and fat together do the most harm.
  • Eat more oats, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits, especially berries.
  • Strawberries and blueberries, eaten three times per week, may lower the risk of a heart attack.
  • Eat more fish such as Alaskan salmon that provides omega-3 fatty acids. If you do not like fish, you can supplement with fish oil in capsules from the health food store that have been cold pressed and are certified to be mercury-free.
  • Increase intake of nuts and whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth.
  • If you are gluten intolerant, cut out all wheat, barley and rye products and make sure the oats you eat are pure oats that have no cross contamination with wheat (certified GMO-free). You can get them from the health food store.
  • Eat only oils that are cold pressed from plants, seeds and nuts such as olive, coconut, grape seed, avocado and palm oil. Eat Smart Balance, which is a non-dairy butter substitute that is made from palm fruit oil. It stays solid at room temperature and allows for better shelf life without additional trans-fats. Palm oil is loaded with tocotrienols (vitamin E) and beta-carotene, which are potent antioxidants. Use these oils as a salad dressing without cooking them.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that strengthens the function of the heart muscle.
  • Grape seed extract improves circulation and blood vessel flexibility.
  • Aged garlic extract is a great supplement for heart health.
  • Taking a probiotic twice a day helps digestive health. Eat plain yogurt that contains acidophilus because it builds up the friendly flora in the digestive tract, which helps build a healthy immune system.
  • If you are diabetic, it is imperative that you eat right and exercise every day. Diabetes that is not taken care of properly can lead to heart disease.
  • Image (2) ION_product.jpg for post 18542ION (stabilized oxygen) is a product I highly recommend. It is important to get more oxygen into your blood every day. I take 50 drops of ION per day in a glass of water or juice to boost my immune system and get more oxygen into my blood. This helps the heart function better.

–Peggy Layton

Gluten-Free Food Storage

What is gluten? Gluten is found in anything made with wheat, barley or rye. It is the ingredient that makes yeast bread dough stretch like elastic. Without it, the ingredients would not bind together into dough that can be kneaded and stretched in that way. Gluten-free dough does not stretch, so the dough tends to be thicker — like batter rather than dough. Most bread made from gluten-free flour tends to be more like a quick bread rather than a yeast bread. You can substitute the flour called for in any recipe with other grains that do not contain gluten. There are hundreds of gluten-free recipes for breads and other food items on the Internet.

What Is Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten intolerance means you react to gluten, either with celiac or gluten sensitivity. If you suspect that you are gluten-intolerant, you must be prepared to cut out all products containing gluten. Gluten comes from three different grains that are cleverly hidden and disguised in everyday foods. Wheat, barley and rye attack the intestinal tracts of innocent consumers unaware of the hidden grains.

Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance

Our nation has seen a rise in the number of people that are being diagnosed with diseases directly related to the consumption of breads, cereals and other items containing certain grains. The gluten in the grain triggers a reaction in the intestinal tract that causes inflammation and results in a very painful bowel disease. If you suspect that you have an intolerance to wheat, barley or rye, do not store these grains.

The following are symptoms potentially caused by gluten intolerance, celiac disease or gluten insensitivity:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anemia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bloating.
  • Brain fog.
  • Constipation.
  • Depression.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Heartburn.
  • Joint pain.
  • Rashes.

Avoid The Foods That Contain Gluten

A crisis is not the time to discover that you have a problem with gluten. You could have a double crisis if you are not prepared for a situation where you cannot get to the grocery store and you need foods that are gluten-free. You must be a label reader to make sure grain flours containing gluten, as well as hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, are not hidden in the mixes.

Avoid anything that contains wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale and all wheat products such as bulgur wheat, durum wheat, cracked wheat cereal, farina, wheat bran, bran cereals, wheat germ, couscous, wheat starch and any packaged meals that contain the flour from these grains. Also avoid semolina flour, panko, surtan, udon, faro and orzo.

Check the labels on prepackaged bakery products such as cake, pancake, pizza, muffin and biscuit mixes, or any pasta dishes with sauces that contain flour. Wheat pasta contains gluten, too. Watch out for products such as soy sauce, thickeners, bread coatings, mustard, salad dressings, sauces, gravies and anything that contains natural flavors. Flour is added to other items that you may not even be aware of such as toothpaste, lipstick, chutneys, relish, curry powder, white pepper, hard tack candy, licorice, cheap chocolate and even some cheap brands of supplements and pharmaceutical products.

Oat groats and oatmeal have been known to trigger a reaction in some people because of cross contamination of oats and wheat in farmers’ fields and storage been. If you have a gluten problem, you will need to make sure that the oats you purchase are pure oats that are organic and have not been cross contaminated. They should be certified gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Foods That Can Be Stored

Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, green peppers, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, onions, spinach, tomato powder, vegetable stew blend and zucchini.

Fruits: Apple slices, apple crystals, banana slices, mango, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, raisins and tropical fruit blend.

Fats and oils: Vegetable oil, olive oils, shortening, mayonnaise and some salad dressings with oil and vinegar in the mix.

Canned and bottled fruits, vegetables, beans, soups and tomato sauces: Plain canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans and lentils, spaghetti sauces, and organic pre-packaged vegetable soups are all a great addition to a gluten-free food storage program.

Snacks: Popcorn, gelatin and dried fruits.

Canned and freeze-dried meats: Canned fish (tuna, salmon and sardines), canned ham, chicken, beef and other meats. Freeze-dried meats packed for long-term storage.

Grains, seeds and thickeners: Acceptable gluten-free grains are amaranth, millet, quinoa, brown and white rice, rice bran and rice flour, teff, and buckwheat. Flax seeds, arrowroot flour, cornstarch and potato starch can be used to thicken gravies and sauces and are also gluten-free.

Condiments: Apple cider and white vinegars (but not malt vinegar), mustard, ketchup, horseradish, jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, relish, pickles and olives.

Cereals: Cream of rice, millet, pure organic oats (certified gluten-free) and gluten-free cereals.

Baking Items: Sugar, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, evaporated or condensed milk, corn meal, tapioca, baking soda, baking powder, gluten-free flours, high-quality baking chocolate, and cocoa.

Beverages: Coffee (some flavored coffees contain gluten), tea , soft drinks, fruit juice, powdered protein and other drink mixes.

Dairy products and eggs: Powdered milk and dried eggs are a great addition to a gluten-free food-storage program. Dried dairy products include dried butter powder, buttermilk, cream cheese powder, cheddar cheese powder, sour cream powder, scrambled egg mix, and whole egg powder. Dried dairy products can be used in baking as well as substituted in any recipe calling for the fresh product.

Beans and legumes: Dried beans are all gluten-free. Beans can be dry or canned. Dried beans can be ground into a bean flour and used as a thickener in gravies and sauces. Dried bean flour can also be cooked with boiling water until it is the thickness of refried beans. Refried beans can be used in any Mexican dish or made into a bean dip.

The following varieties of beans and legumes are available and will store for many years: 16-bean mix, baby lima beans, butter beans, large lima beans, black-eyed peas, black turtle beans, lentils, small red beans, small white navy beans, split peas, red kidney beans, refried beans, garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), great northern beans and pinto beans.

With the rise of diseases due to gluten intolerance or allergies to wheat, it would be a good idea to stock up on these gluten-free products.

–Peggy Layton

Sugar And Spice Could Save Your Life

There are some pantry items that I believe are very important to have on hand in any emergency situation. They are sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I strongly advise you to store these items and get used to using them so you will think of them in a crisis situation. They could save you a trip to the emergency room and possibly even save your life.

Sugar Stops Bleeding

Sugar in the pantry may not be good for your health, but it will heal wounds and stop them from bleeding. My grandma told me that she learned this method from her grandmother. It has been passed down from generation to generation that sugar heals wounds and burns as well. It is totally amazing to note how fast wounds heal when sugar is applied.

When I was a child and any of us children got wounded, scraped with nasty cuts or if we bit our tongue, my mom would grab the sugar jar and pack our mouth or wound with sugar. When I was young I fell on a barbed wire fence that was partially lying on the ground, and the barbed wire cut my leg almost to the bone. It was bleeding profusely. My grandma and my mom packed the wound with several tablespoons of granulated sugar, wrapped it with gauze and taped it. The sugar instantly absorbs the blood, miraculously makes it clot and stops the bleeding. It also absorbs any dirt or debris that might be in the wound. It is thought that sugar draws the moisture out of the wound, depriving bacteria of the moisture that is a perfect environment for infection.

I have known for years that honey is a great salve on wounds and does about the same thing. Some people like to combine honey and sugar (white or brown) together into a sticky poultice and put that on the wound.

Some Third World countries use this method because there are no doctors for miles. It has worked so well for them that they report a reduction in the level of pain and inflammation associated with leg ulcers and wounds.

Sugar will stop the pain within minutes of placing it on the wound. It can be put deep into any gaping wound and it will dissolve on its own and stop the pain associated with the wound. I like to use pure cane white or brown sugar that has not been processed and bleached; however, in a pinch any sugar will do.

History states that sugar was used in ancient Egypt on the battlefields where massive wounding has occurred. There were no antibiotics available at that time because antibiotics had not been discovered yet. As modern medicine became more available, this old-time remedy fell by the wayside.

One good thing about sugar is that most people have it in their pantry cupboard and food storage. As a diabetic prepper, I avoid personal consumption of sugar; but I am willing to store it to use topically to stop bleeding and help fight infection. Sugar may come in handy when antibiotics and modern medicine are unavailable. It could very well save someone from bleeding to death.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is an amazing spice that should be in every medical kit. Cayenne is a hot pepper that has been prized for its healing power for thousands of years. Many herbalists believe that cayenne is one of the most useful and valuable of all herbs not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them

In an old-time remedy book that I read, cayenne was described as a cure all for every health problem imaginable. The company called Nature’s Sunshine started with one product, which was encapsulated cayenne pepper, and sold it as the most valuable medicinal spice on the market.

Stops Bleeding

Cayenne pepper works similar to sugar in that it also stops bleeding. It absorbs moisture and kills bacteria on wounds. Pack equal parts of cayenne mixed with sugar onto a wound.


Cayenne aids in digestion and has been known to rebuild the tissue in the stomach and intestines. It aids in assimilation and helps the body to create hydrochloric acid, which is necessary in digestion of protein and other foods.

Heart And Circulation

If you want to carry something in your first aid kit for a heart attack, carry a cayenne tincture. Even a bottle of Tabasco sauce will help if you can get the person to take it. Tabasco sauce is loaded with cayenne pepper. I like to store cayenne extract as well as the pepper for that purpose.

Cayenne has been known to stop a heart attack within a few minutes. It is claimed that cayenne will get the heart beating again after it has stopped. Taking cayenne capsules or drinking cayenne tea every day will prevent a heart attack. At the first signs of a heart attack, take droppers of cayenne extract or a glass of cayenne tea. John R. Christopher, N.D., suggested giving the following every 15 minutes until the crisis has passed: either a teaspoon of cayenne extract or a teaspoon of regular cayenne pepper in a glass of hot water.

You can purchase cayenne tincture at any health food store. Keep a bottle of tincture in your car, purse, medical kit and kitchen or medicine cupboard.


Historically, cinnamon was also one of the most widely used spices for medicinal purposes. Cinnamon was described as comparable to gold and frankincense. The best cinnamon to purchase is in a stick form called Organic Ceylon Cinnamon. Look for it in health food stores.

Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used to relieve tension headaches, stimulate appetite, improve memory and relieve anxiety and depression. It has been used to relieve menstrual cramps, reduce excessive bleeding during menstruation and improve the contractions in labor. It has been used to clear up acne and improve the skin.

Cinnamon is known to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. It has the ability to kill bacteria associated with respiratory infections. Studies show that oil of cinnamon is very effective at combating 21 foodborne pathogens.


Cinnamon may be a great option for diabetics who are looking for a more natural way to control their blood sugar. Cinnamon is safe and inexpensive. It can be made into a drink by using cinnamon bark steeped in hot water to extract the oil. The Mexican cinnamon bark called organic Ceylon is known to be the most potent for making tea. I purchase it in cut pieces, and I add a few pieces to my hot tea and let it steep.

I was on pills that my doctor gave me to lower my blood sugar. After I had blood sugar readings in the low 30s to 40s, I went into a coma and was lucky to wake up. I was afraid I would be one of those statistics from properly prescribed medication. My father died when he was 54 years old when his blood sugar went into the low 30s and he slipped away into a coma. No one could revive him. I threw those pills in the trash, and I went searching for something more natural.

I use cinnamon every day in my tea, and I sprinkle it on everything I can before I eat it. I also take cinnamon capsules. It seems to be leveling out my blood sugar in a more natural way.

Ways To Get More Cinnamon Into Your Diet

You can add cinnamon to any baked goods: quick breads, such as banana bread, cakes and brownies. Add it to oatmeal, hot cereals, cold cereals, yogurt, applesauce, French toast, grains such as quinoa and rice, vegetables, stews, soups, squash, carrots and rice pilaf. My favorite way is to make a tea using Mexican or organic Ceylon cinnamon. Steep it in boiling hot water or add it to any other tea you are drinking.

Recipes For Cinnamon Tea And Paste

Cinnamon Tea: Mix 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder into an 8-ounce glass of hot water. Add 1 teaspoon honey and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and stir. This is a tea that will help you fight a cold or digestion issues.

Mouthwash: Mix 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in 8 ounces of warm water and use as a mouthwash.

Headache: Mix a paste of cinnamon and a few drops of water until it is a paste. Apply it to the forehead to relieve a headache.

Acne: The same paste can be mixed with a small amount of lime juice and used on acne to kill bacteria and clear up skin problems.

Coughing: Cinnamon oil can be been mixed with carrier oil and applied to the chest to calm coughing and allergies. Cinnamon oil straight will burn the skin, so always mix it with carrier oil like olive, almond, grapeseed or vegetable oil.

Mood Swings: Inhaling the aroma of cinnamon oil has been known to lift depression and improve irritability and mood swings.

With all of these wonderful things cinnamon does medicinally, I encourage anyone who has blood sugar problems to increase their intake of cinnamon. I encourage you to increase your intake of cayenne pepper for heart and circulation problems and to store these three items for the future to have on hand in case of situation where they in short supply.

To learn more about the medicinal uses of herbs and old-time remedies as well as ION (stabilized oxygen) check out my book, Cookin’ With Home Storage.

–Peggy Layton

Make Your Own, Old-Time Herbal Remedies And Household Cleaners

Many of my ancestors came from England where they were converted to the Christianity. They came to America in ships looking for a better life. They were promised freedom of religion and their own piece of ground in the wide-open spaces of Utah, and they were given a new hope and vision for their future.

My ancestors were willing to live in extreme poverty and to walk thousands of miles to reach their new home. They traveled in covered wagons filled with food supplies and minimal household necessities. Many of them pulled handcarts with small children in them. They encountered harsh winters, lack of shelter, illnesses, lack of food and water, and problems with snakes and wild animals. Many of the people moving west died along the way and were buried in shallow graves.

The pioneers used the food items they brought with them and what they could scavenge from the land for food and for making medicines. Foods such as berries, mushrooms, flowers, weeds, dandelion root and herbs were gathered and dried. The pioneers knew which plants were edible and which plants were not, and they knew which ones were medicinal. They were fishermen, hunters and trappers. They would kill deer or other wild animals and dry the meat to preserve it for future use.

The settlers moved in groups that functioned as one big family. They had many things in common and made sure the entire group was fed and taken care of. They walked together, ate together, sang together and prayed together. They relied upon the Lord for their very existence.

Wild Herb And Berry Tea

In pioneer times, people had to rely on the herbs and berries they found growing wild in the mountains or along riverbanks and streams. Simple herbal tea was a staple for any illness. They made soothing herbal teas by adding boiling water to five or six berries along with a spoonful of honey or molasses. This was their medicine when a doctor was not available.


My pioneer ancestors found many medicinal herbs growing wild along the trail to Utah. Spearmint or peppermint was a real find. They would dry these herbs and take the leaves to make tea to soothe an upset stomach.

I harvest peppermint leaves in the summer from my peppermint plants. I dry them and save them for my own peppermint tea.

To make peppermint tea, place five fresh or dried leaves in a cup. Add hot water and let it set for a few minutes. Add sweetener such as ½ teaspoon of honey, molasses or stevia to taste. Drink it to settle an upset stomach. It works great.

Sore Throat

To sooth a sore throat, pioneers gargled with a mixture of salt and water. It seemed to work quite well. Even my grandmother used this as a remedy for sore throats when I was a child.

Make a salt-water gargle by mixing ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup of warm water. Gargle with it and spit it out after 30 seconds. This will help a sore throat.

Soothe A Cough

As my ancestors settled into their homesteads and the Wild West was tamed, they were able to get items like lemon juice and glycerin brought in from California on wagons or by train. They would make their own cough syrup using everyday simple ingredients that they had on hand. These recipes were handed down from generation to generation until over-the-counter cough syrups were available.

Cough Syrup

1 cup honey
Juice from two lemons (about ½ cup)
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon glycerin

Mix together all ingredients and take 1 tablespoon at a time to soothe a cough. Glycerin can be purchased in a drug store or pharmacy.

Relieve A Fever

Rubbing alcohol was a staple in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet. When we had high fevers, she would soak a cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub us with it. Every few hours, we took a cool bath and had another rubdown with rubbing alcohol. She made sure we had plenty of water, chicken soup and lots of bed rest. That would break a fever instantly. If we were coughing, then we also got our chests rubbed with Vicks VapoRub.

Emergency Toothpaste And Mouthwash

Baking soda mixed with salt in equal parts works well for cleaning teeth. Swish mouth with warm water to remove all the paste. If you have any gum problems, you can rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide. After 30 seconds of swishing it around in the mouth, spit it out.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products were made from scratch using items that every household had on hand: alcohol, dish soap, vinegar, cream of tartar, soda, salt, ammonia and even wood ashes from the fireplace. The pioneers were so innovative. Our generation has become dependent on the grocery store for every type of cleaning product. We have dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, oven cleaner, stovetop cleaner, floor cleaner, glass cleaner, degreaser, car wash, shampoo, body wash, face wash, baby wash and dog wash. My grandmother just made an all-purpose household cleaner and used it for everything.

Window Cleaner

1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 tablespoon liquid dish detergent
4 tablespoons ammonia

Mix together all the ingredients and add enough water to make 1 gallon of cleaner. Shake the mixture well and transfer part of the cleaner into a spray bottle. Use it to clean and polish windows.

Household All-Purpose Cleaner

½ gallon water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup of ammonia
¼ cup soda

Mix all ingredients together and add enough water to make a gallon. Shake it well and transfer some of the cleaner to a spray bottle. Use on all surfaces as an all-purpose cleaner.

Drain Cleaner

1 cup baking soda
¼ cup cream of tartar
1 cup table salt

Put ¼ cup of this mixture in a clogged drain. Add 1 cup of boiling water and let it stand in the drain for a while until it loosens up the clog.

Jewelry Cleaner

¼ cup concentrated lemon juice

Soak tarnished jewelry in concentrated lemon juice. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the jewelry. Be careful not to get the lemon juice splash on your clothing, because it causes bleached-out spots.

Silver Polish

Take the ashes from a fireplace where you have burned wood. Mix the ashes with a little water to form a paste. It is the best silver and copper polish; it will really shine them. Wood ashes and water form lye, which is one of the ingredients in homemade hand soap.

Furniture Polish

1 quart hot water
1 tablespoon of turpentine
3 tablespoons boiled linseed oil

Stir all ingredients together and keep in a glass jar with a lid. Heat a small amount in a metal can on low heat just until it softens to warm it up before using. Rub it on, wipe it off and polish with a soft cloth.

Turpentine and linseed oil can be purchased at any hardware store. This polish is better than any commercial furniture polish available today.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen)
ION photo

I keep ION on hand for medicinal purposes. Just like my ancestors could not live without their household staples, I feel the same way about ION for modern times. I keep it in my purse, medical kit, vehicle and grab-and-go bag.

  • Ion will kill bacteria on contact, so I use it as a mouthwash. Mix 20 drops of ION into about half a cup of water. Use as a gargle or to swish around in the mouth to kill bacteria that might be causing gum disease, tooth decay, etc.
  • I also put 3 drops of ION on my toothpaste and brush my teeth with it.
  • Ion can be used to disinfect countertops, floors, toilets, sinks, etc. Mix 20 drops in ½ gallon of warm water. Use a clean cloth and wipe down countertops, sinks, etc. This will kill bacteria on contact.
  • I drink 20 drops per day in a smoothie, glass of water or juice. This oxygenates the blood and boosts the immune system by killing off any harmful bacteria in the body. To learn about the many uses of ION (stabilized oxygen), click here.

Cookin With Home Storage168
These recipes came from my book Cookin’ With Home Storage, a fascinating cookbook with more than 500 old-time recipes, remedies and household cleaners as well as recipes using dehydrated food and shelf-stable pantry food.

–Peggy Layton

Making Simple Flat Breads From Food Storage Staples Can Sustain Life In An Emergency

Everyone loves fry bread, tortillas and pita bread. All these breads can be made from a few staple ingredients.

If you get caught in an emergency situation, these breads can be made and eaten to sustain your life. Add canned meat, beans, rice and rehydrated vegetables and you have a meal.

Wheat Grinder Or Grain Mill

A wheat grinder or grain mill is very important to have. If you have a wheat grinder, you can make whole grain flour that is much more nutritious than white flour. I suggest you have an electric grinder for everyday use and a hand-operated grain grinder for emergency use if the power goes out. I really like the Wonder Junior Hand Grain Grinder and the Wonder Mill Electric Grain Grinder.

Food Storage Staples For Making Bread

Everyone should store the following staples for making simple breads:

  • Wheat and other grains to grind into whole-grain flour.
  • White flour (has no nutritional value).
  • Shortening or olive oil.
  • Sweetener such as honey, sugar or agave.
  • Salt.
  • Baking powder.
  • Dry yeast. (Keep it in the freezer.)
  • Powdered milk.
  • Potable water.

Wonder Junior Hand Grain GrinderWith these basic ingredients you can make just about any flat bread, tortilla or pita bread. Try practicing making these simple breads so that if you ever need to make them in an emergency, you will feel confident that you can.

Pita Bread Recipe

2 packages dried yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups lukewarm water
4 cups  flour (white, whole wheat, multigrain or a combination)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Dissolve the yeast and sugar into 1½ cups of warm water, then set it aside for 10 minutes so it can proof. This means it starts to grow and form bubbles.
  3. Mix the flour, salt and oil together in a bowl and then add the yeast and water mixture.
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary until it is no longer sticky.
  5. Place the dough in a warm, oiled bowl, turning the dough around to coat the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with a dry cloth and set it in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise until it is double in volume. This takes about two or three hours.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead it for about two minutes. Divide and roll the dough into 12 little balls.
  7. Place the dough balls on a dry cloth in a warm place, then cover with another cloth and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out the balls into circles about 1/8-inch thick.
  9. Bake the pita bread on a preheated cookie sheet in the center of the oven for six to seven minutes, watching them so they don’t burn. When the bread cooks, it will puff up like a balloon. It will collapse when it cools.
  10. Once the pita bread is cooked, remove it from the baking sheet and cover it with a dish towel with plastic wrap on top of the towel. Repeat with each loaf until all the pita bread is cooked. If you do not cover with the towel and plastic wrap, the bread will harden and not be as good.
  11. Store the pita bread in a zippered baggie. You can eat it immediately or freeze it.

Pita bread can be eaten with any meal. A staple in many Middle Eastern countries, pita bread can be used as a spoon or scoop and is eaten with olive oil, hummus, dips, soups, sauces, meats and vegetables. When cut in half, pita bread can be opened up like a half-moon pocket that can be filled with meats and vegetables.

Old Indian Fry Bread Recipe

2 cups white or whole-wheat flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening or lard
¾ cup milk or (½ cup powdered milk mixed with ¾ cup warm water)
Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Rub the mixture with your fingers until it forms coarse crumbs. Push all the shortening and flour crumbs to the side of the bowl.
  2. Add the milk and mix this together in a circular motion with your fingers. Knead the dough until it forms a soft dough ball. It usually takes three to five minutes to knead the dough by hand. It takes practice, and you will get a feel for it. Continue to add a little extra flour to the countertop and continue kneading the dough until it is no longer sticky.
  3. Divide the dough into six portions and shape them into balls. Flatten each of the balls with your fingers from the center outward until it is round like a small pizza. Pull it back and forth and form it into a 6-inch tortilla. You can roll the dough with a rolling pin to flatten it as well.

Basic Dough

This dough can be used for making into tortillas or flat bread. The difference is that tortillas are cooked in a cast iron skillet without oil and flat bread is cooked in a frying pan with oil. How you cook it depends on what you are making.

Tortillas are usually filled with meat and ingredients such as tomatoes, onions and cheese and then rolled into a burrito or soft taco. Fry bread is used flat and topped with meat such as shredded beef, hamburger, chicken or pork, then topped with black beans, pinto beans, rice, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, minced onions, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. If fresh food is unavailable, use canned tomatoes, canned beans, canned meat and whatever else you have on hand.


To fry tortillas, the pan must be hot with no oil in it so that the bread dough does not raise and puff up like fry bread. It stays flat and soft.

Fry Bread

To fry the flat bread, you will need to prepare a frying pan with vegetable oil in it about 1/8-inch thick. Heat up the oil in the pan and place the fry bread in the oil. When it turns golden brown, turn it over and cook it on the other side. Take it out of the oil and place it on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Bread Cooked Over Hot Coals Or On a Stick

Use this same recipe and method of preparation as for fry bread and tortillas. Shape the dough into a circular piece of flat bread and cook it on a wire rack that has been placed above the hot coals. Turn the bread over several times to make sure it is browned on both sides and has thoroughly cooked.

You can cook flat bread on a stick by wrapping the dough around a willow-type stick and securing it by pinching the dough together so it won’t fall off the stick. Hold it over the warm coals and turn it often so that all sides will brown evenly and cook all the way through.

Cookin' With Home StorageThis recipe came from the book Cookin’ With Home Storage.

This book has more than 550 food storage recipes as well as:

  • Emergency food storage instruction and tips on survival.
  • What to store and how much to store.
  • Reconstituting charts for dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.
  • Authentic pioneer and early settler recipes using basic food.
  • Fascinating historical pioneer information.
  • Natural beauty and personal care.
  • Natural household cleaners.
  • Grandma’s home remedies.
  • Emergency baby food.

–Peggy Layton

How To Add 10 Extra Years To Your Life

When I was a young girl, my grandma taught me many things. When she was a young mother, she raised her children during the Great Depression. My grandfather worked for $5 a day and their mortgage was $25 a month. My grandma was very frugal; she used up everything she had. Nothing went to waste.

Fresh, homemade yogurt was always brewing on the counter near Grandma’s stove in her warm kitchen. When my mother would take us for a visit, Grandma would tell us that if we ate yogurt every day it would help us to live 10 years longer. I believed her and never questioned my yogurt consumption.

If any of us grandchildren got cut, had a sunburn or a burn of any kind or even an upset stomach, Grandma gave us yogurt to eat. She even plastered it on us like salve. It felt so good on the sunburn and soothed the pain right away. I am following in my grandma’s footsteps by making my own fresh homemade yogurt.

Yogurt & BerriesI found out with a little research that my grandma was right on. Yogurt lowers cholesterol, boosts the immune system, helps with lactose intolerance and is rich in calcium and protein. If we have friendly flora in our intestinal tract, it boosts the immune system and helps fight infections, which help us avoid getting those nasty flu bugs that are going around. Yogurt returns friendly flora to our bodies that are killed by antibiotics. Eating yogurt boosts the immune system without any side effects. Eating yogurt can spare many trips to the doctor and, like my grandma said, add 10 extra years to life.

Yogurt Is A Natural Antibiotic

Yogurt is just fermented milk. You can make it by adding the active cultures Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) to heated milk. This produces lactic acid, which gives yogurt its strong tart flavor and its thick consistency.

Yogurt is not just a breakfast food anymore. Some cultures use yogurt in their everyday cooking. My grandma put yogurt on top of warm rice with fresh fruit cut up into small pieces on top. It was delicious. I like to make a dessert out of yogurt. I put frozen strawberries, peaches or apples chopped up on top of a bowl of yogurt, and then I sprinkle homemade granola on top of the fruit. This is the best dessert for me because I am diabetic and I can still enjoy dessert without all the sugar. Yum, yum!

Yogurt Starter

A yogurt starter is a must. You can purchase a plain unflavored yogurt with a live culture at any supermarket. You must read the label to make sure it has the active culture in it. Believe it or not, there are some yogurts in the supermarket that do not have the cultures added. They are loaded with sugar and are not that healthy or good for you.

One way to store yogurt culture for an extended period of time is in the powdered, freeze-dried form, which can be purchased from a health food store or a cheesemaking-supply website. The freeze-dried culture is best kept in the freezer or refrigerator.

Making your own yogurt is much less expensive and better for you because you can control what is put into it. You can add fresh fruit and stevia or other healthy sweeteners. Knowing that there are no preservatives or additives will give you true peace of mind.

YogurtMaking Grandma’s Homemade Yogurt From Powdered Milk

Most people have powdered milk in their food storage. This is a way that you can use up your powdered milk and make something yummy from it.

Mix the powdered milk according to the instructions on the package to make half a gallon of milk. If you want to double the yogurt, you can double the recipe. The first time you make yogurt is the only time you will need to purchase fresh yogurt. After that, you can keep it in a jar in the fridge and use 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to make another batch. This is much more economical than purchasing yogurt from the store. Use your own and keep it going like sourdough starter. I like to add fruit to my homemade yogurt. Just mix it into the pint jar and enjoy.

Homemade Yogurt


½ gallon of fresh milk or (Mix powdered milk and water together to make ½ gallon of milk)
1 extra cup powdered milk (to thicken the yogurt)
1-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or pectin (to thicken the yogurt)
½ cup plain unflavored yogurt (with active cultures)
¼ cup sweetener such as honey and agave or 1 teaspoon of stevia (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Clean, sterilized glass pint canning jars
Candy thermometer (optional)


  1. Warm the oven on the lowest setting for about 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the door closed so it remains warm. Place the clean glass canning jars on a cookie sheet.
  2. Mix the powdered milk and gelatin into the ½ gallon of milk.
  3. Add the milk to a stainless steel stock-pot and cook on high heat until it barely starts to boil. Get it to 200 degrees but no higher. Keep checking the thermometer. When you see little bubbles on the surface, hold it at 200 degrees for 20 minutes and then remove it from the heat. This is to kill any bacteria in the milk. This is especially important if you are using fresh cow’s milk or goat’s milk that has not been pasteurized. It also allows more time for the milk proteins to denature and bind together better to create a thicker yogurt like the store-bought kind.
  4. Let the milk cool to about 150 degrees (on the candy thermometer) or until you can comfortably place your hand on the side of the pot (or dip your clean finger into the milk) for at least 10 seconds without it being too hot. Placing the pot in a sink with ice will help cool down the pot, and it will chill faster.
  5. Once the milk has cooled down, put the yogurt into a bowl. Scoop out about ½ cup of warm milk and add it to the starter yogurt. Whisk it up until it is mixed well and then return the mixture to the pot with the rest of the milk.
  6. Add the sweetener and vanilla to the mixture. Stir gently two to three times to make sure it’s all mixed well. Then pour (or ladle) the milk and yogurt mixture into clean glass pint jars.
  7. Carefully move the cookie sheet of jars into the oven. Turn the oven light on (very important) and set the timer for four hours.
  8. Remove the jars from the oven and rest them on the counter until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Then, cover the jars with canning lids and rings and store them in the fridge. The yogurt should be set after eight hours in the fridge, where they’ll keep for up to 10 days. You can put the yogurt in an insulated ice chest or cooler with ice in it for the eight hours it takes to set.

Add ION (Stabilized Oxygen) To Yogurt

ION stabilized oxygen keeps the yogurt from going sour. Just add eight drops of ION to each pint of yogurt right after filling the jars with the yogurt and milk mixture. Stir it up and let it set in the fridge for the remaining eight hours while it thickens. ION is very good for the intestinal tract; it kills all harmful bacteria and actually enhances the friendly flora in the body.

Yogurt MakerCommercial Yogurt Makers

There are several commercial yogurt makers on the market if you feel safer doing it that way.  They are inexpensive (usually less than $40). The jars rest on a warming plate that keeps the temperature controlled at the right degrees to grow the yogurt culture and help it set up.

Add Toppings To Your Granola

When eating yogurt, add fresh or dried fruit and granola to the top. I especially love frozen strawberries stirred up into the yogurt, which freezes it and makes it into a frozen dessert. I also like to use yogurt and fruit in smoothies and salad dressings as well as sauces.

Homemade Yogurtsicles

YogurtsiclesI remember as a child we made homemade Popsicles. You can do the same thing if you have Popsicle molds. Just mix the yogurt and berries together and put the mixture into the molds, then pop them in the freezer. I have even made these in the snow. Our weather in Utah gets below 0 degrees F in the winter; these yogurtsicles freeze outside as well.

Cookin' With Powdered MilkFind this recipe and other recipes for making yogurt, several types of cheeses, cottage cheese and buttermilk using powdered milk in my book Cookin’ With Powdered Milk.

–Peggy Layton

Are You Prepared For Basic Survival?

What if a natural disaster, food and water contamination, or any other type of emergency disrupted your life? Do you have the essentials for you and your family to survive? Do you have a plan in place in the unlikely event that the power, telephone, water, gasoline and food supply were cut off for an extended period of time?

The start of a new year brings resolutions and new commitments. I challenge you to evaluate how prepared you really are and recommit yourself to getting more prepared in the year 2013.

Understanding basic preparedness concepts and ideas, as well as practicing those skills, will help you develop confidence in dealing with any disaster or emergency situation that might arise in your family or community. Preparedness is the ability to take care of your own physical needs, as well as those you are responsible for and anyone else in need, during a crisis. You will be the one helping others rather than asking others for help.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the media hype about the end of the world, natural disasters and the problems we are all facing with the pending economic collapse and problems with the government. I advise you to take it one step at a time and concentrate on basic, short-term needs first before you move on to long-term needs. Getting prepared for anything is a journey. It takes thought and preparation. It may even feel like a step back in time as you learn the skills your grandparents knew and practiced on a daily basis.

Basic Survival Needs Include Food, Water, Shelter

Basic needs are those things that are necessary to sustain life. In your preparations you will be maintaining enough food, water, clothing, bedding, fuel and other necessities for warmth and shelter. This is a very simplistic way to look at preparedness, but it is a starting point. And it must be achieved first before moving onto other more complicated preparations.


I keep on hand ready-made meals that are simple and easy to prepare. In any short-term emergency, no one wants to fix anything complicated. I also store food such as canned meats to add to any packaged meal, as well as dehydrated vegetables that can be reconstituted. Soup and premade mixes are great for quick-fix meals. Store anything easy that you can open and eat right out of the can or is simple to prepare by just adding water.

Water Storage TanksWater

One gallon of water per person per day is recommended for drinking, making meals, bathing, etc. The water can be stored in large containers in your home or garage. I own a water tank, and I keep it in a shed. It has never frozen in the winter, and it stays relatively cool in the summer. I really like the 185-gallon and the 250-gallon tanks because they are tall and do not take up much room in a corner. They fit through any standard-sized door and have two spigots on them to dispense water, as well as a hole in the top with a cap for filling the water-storage tanks. The water can be drained quickly into smaller containers, if necessary. I also keep many small containers of water on hand that I could grab and load into the vehicle if needed.

Stabilized Oxygen Water Treatment

I always use ION (stabilized oxygen) as a water treatment in my water tanks, as well as in any contaminated water. It keeps the water safe for five to 15 years, and it will treat 110 gallons of water. ION kills all harmful bacteria in the water on contact.

Shelter, Lighting, Fuel

A lightweight tent and tarps are important to have in a handy place. My husband and I have an entire shed dedicated to camping and evacuation equipment. Everything is in backpacks and totes that we could grab and load into the vehicle if we needed to. Sleeping bags and wool blankets are in duffle bags ready to go as well. We have lighting equipment such as solar flashlights and kerosene lanterns on the shelves, along with medical kits, lots of food and the equipment to cook it with.

Make A Preparedness Plan

The first thing to do is get out a notebook and start planning your list. If the power, water, gas and other vital municipalities were disrupted, what would you need to have on hand to meet your family’s basic needs of food, water, clothing, bedding, shelter and warmth?

Staying in your home is the first option. Plan a list of skills that you would like to learn that would help you be more self-sufficient.

An example could be:

  • Learn new gardening methods.
  • Learn how to filter and purify water in the event of contamination.
  • Learn how to cut and chop wood using a chain saw and an ax.
  • Learn how to build a fire with a bow or flint and steel.
  • Learn how to build a temporary shelter using a tarp and rope.
  • Learn how to build an outdoor kitchen to prepare food without power.
  • Learn how to cook using the staple foods like beans, rice and other dehydrated foods.

Turn Off Your Power, Water, Gas, Computers And Cellphones

The term “shelter in place” this means stay home and weather out the disruption. If you really want to find out how prepared you are, you can take a specific weekend and turn off the power, water and gas to your home. The rules of this drill are that you cannot go to the grocery store for food or gas station. Conduct this drill as if it were a real-life situation. You must survive a 72-hour period of time with whatever you have on hand in your home and vehicles. You can use only the gasoline that is in the vehicle at the time you start the drill. When the gasoline is gone, then you do not drive anywhere else. You can barter with friends and family, but make no purchases.

Keep a journal of what you learned from the experience. Note things such as how much water you needed and how hard it was to make meals or food of any kind. What did you have too much of and what did you wish you had more of? This will help you more than anything if you are serious about being prepared.

Once you know what it takes for a 72-hour emergency, you can multiply that by 10 for a month and then by three for three months. This will help you know exactly what you will need to survive a long-term emergency where the utilities are disrupted.

Bugging Out

Bugging out to another location is the second option. If you live in an area where there are hurricanes, tornados or super storms, you will need to plan differently. Bugging out might be the best scenario for you. Every region of the country is different, and every family is different.

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook by Peggy LaytonThink of what you would need to survive a 72-hour period of time. Plan for a camping trip, keeping in mind that you can take only what fits in a backpack and in your vehicle.  This is where a bug-out bag (BOB) comes in handy. BOBs are also called 72-hour backpacks or grab-and-go bags. Take into consideration your entire family and all their needs as well. You may want to have backpacks with water bladders built into them. Again, this becomes a matter of preparing properly. If you have your planned-out list and proceed to purchase items from that list, you will fare much better than if you haphazardly purchase items without a plan.

If you are just beginning a preparedness program or if you are well on your way to being self-sufficient, you might like my book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. With this handbook by your side, you and your family will learn how to plan for, purchase and store a three-month supply of all the necessities, including food, water, fuel, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding and shelter. This book includes many lists for putting together different kinds of kits.

–Peggy Layton