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Yellowstone

A few weeks ago, the impending eruption of the super-volcano at YELLOWSTONE was forfront on most people's minds. Yes, even us. We live in Colorado, where we would be in the fall-out zone.

But it got us thinking. And thrusting even more into preparing to survive should the volcano actually erupt.

We always assumed that no matter what, we'd stay at our little farm. Here, in on the eastern plains of Colorado, we could weather almost any kind of natural disaster.

But the Yellowstone story changed our thinking.

Should the volcano erupt, we would HAVE to move. Er, bug out.  I mean, we couldn't stay underground for 10-15-20 years, now could we? Because it would take that along for the ash to settle and wash away, bringing back first plant life, then animals.

What have YOU done differently since you got the news that Yellowstone could go ka-blooey?

Vitamin D

We all hear about Vitamin D. We need it to be happy, to help calcium work in our bones, to move muscles and most important, to help our immune system work properly.  It is IMPERATIVE that we get enough Vit D, whether we are in normal situations, or living off of stored foods.

How Much Vitamin D do you need?
The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts from the Food and Nutrition Board (a national group of experts) for different ages are listed below in International Units (IU):

Life StageRecommended Amount
Birth to 12 months400 IU
Children 1–13 years600 IU
Teens 14–18 years600 IU
Adults 19–70 years600 IU
Adults 71 years and older800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women600 IU


How Do You Get Vitamin D From Foods?

Vitamin D is only in a few foods and often in very small amounts. Foods that provide vitamin D include:
  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
  • Beef liver (a little)
  • Cheese (a little)
  • Egg yolks (a little)
  • Mushrooms provide some vitamin D. In some mushrooms that are newly available in stores, the vitamin D content is being boosted by exposing these mushrooms to ultraviolet light.
  • Almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart. (Except milk you get from the farm, like our raw goat milk!) But foods made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, are usually not fortified.Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and soy beverages; check the labels.
 Getting enough vitamin D from your diet isn't easy. Studies show that typically only about 20% of our vitamin D comes from the foods we eat.
 
Get Enough Sunlight
  
Your body can make vitamin D on its own. When you walk out into the sunlight with exposed skin, your body naturally produces vitamin D. Just 10-15 minutes a day, like a nice walk around your property, should be enough. Please don't overdue it; you don't want skin cancer. If you will be outside more than a few minutes, wear a long sleeved shirt and sunscreen with an SPF of more than 8.

Dark skin, cloudy days, shade, and sunshine indoors through a window will not produce Vit D in your body.

Special Cases

My son is autistic with epilepsy. Because of his health problems, his epilepsy doctor (epileptologist) recommended he take 1,000 IUs of Vit D each day. This helps to bump up his immune system.

Since I have an autoimmune disease, I also increased my Vit D to 1,000 IUs.

We take a little liquid gell supplement to make sure we get at least 1,000. Then 10-15 minutes outside doing farm chores gets more Vit D into us.

Does it help? With our immune system?

Well, neither one of us have had the flu this year.  WITHOUT the flu shot, which we avoid like the plague.

Your call. 

Calcium: Lactose-Intolerance Living on Stored Foods

My husband is lactose-intolerant. He can take pills like "dairy digest" and it helps a little with cooked milk products, and can handle goat and sheep milk, but for the most part, he can't handle dairy. Believe me! He can NOT handle dairy!

Brings to thought, if we were to get rid of the goats and just ate stored food, how would he get enough calcium? Not just calcium, but Vitamin D also. (Vit D is in the next post.)

Why do we need calcium?

We need to consume a certain amount of calcium to build and maintain strong bones and healthy communication between the brain and various parts of the body.

Calcium strengthens the bones of humans until they reach the age of 20-25 years. After then, calcium helps bone maintenance and helps slow down bone density loss. It also regulates muscle contractions (including the heart, which is a muscle), helps normal blood coagulation (clotting), and with blood movement throughout our bodies. Calcium also helps with hormones and enzymes, and adequate levels early in life could protect against obesity later on.

Almost all of our calcium is stored in our teeth and bones, where it supports their hardness and structure.

How much calcium do you need?

I've seen these guidelines:
  • Young children 1-3 years old should get 700 milligrams (mg) per day.
  • Children 4-8 years old should get 1,000 mg per day.
  • Children 9-18 years old should get 1,300 mg of calcium a day.
  • Women younger than 51 and men up to age 70 should get 1,000 mg per day.
  • Women 51 to 70 should get 1,200 mg/day.
  • Women and men 71 and over should get 1,200 mg per day.

How does this translate into your daily diet?

A 45-year-old could easily get her recommended daily 1,000 mg of calcium by eating:
  • 1 packet of fortified oatmeal (100 mg)
  • 1 cup of skim milk (305 mg)
  • 8 ounces of non-fat yogurt (452 mg)
  • ½ cup of spinach (146 mg)
Hubby can't have milk (unless it's goat or sheep, or raw cow), but he can have yogurt. Something in the processing and enzymes.

But still.


Here are some foods that are high in calcium:
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Collards
  • Soy beans
  • White beans
  • Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
  • Foods that are calcium fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
We dehydrate as much spinach and other greens as we can. Plus we like okra (gumbo...yum!), white beans of all kinds, and we have several #10 cans of freeze-dried salmond. We do also have powdered goat milk and "better than milk" powdered rice milk, both of which have calcium.

Coconut milk doesn't have calcium. Not that I have seen.

Unless you raise the soy beans yourself from non-gmo seeds, I wouldn't recommend them as a source. Do your best to not only provide alternatives, but make sure those alternatives are as healthy as possible.

Of course, you could always store calcium tablets!