A companion to the upcoming book of similar title, this blog gives recipes to make your own homemade and healthy Meals Ready to Eat. Whether you prepare these for survival in emergency situations or to provide healthy meals for work and camping/backpacking, or if you just need portion control for your diet, there are recipes here for nearly everyone! // ALL ingredients are dehydrated or freeze-dried, or shelf-stable, and all recipes are for one serving. // At least ONE new recipe will be added each week.

Diet struggles

Hubby and I finished the bantam chicken coop today and finally got them moved out of my garage today. They are all huddled together because they've been growing and out-growing a small coop they've been in since babyhood. Hoping they'll come around.

But dag, that wore me out.  So much that I could barely reach up into a bowl to grab some candy!  Aw, too bad we're out in the boonies, and had nobody to come by for candy.

Which brings me to my topic: candy.

I have a sweet tooth.

And the bad teeth and tummy to go along with it.

Hate that I can't control my eating, and unfortunately, Hubby isn't strong enough to NOT buy me these things. I ask for candy, or tacos, then he runs out to buy them.  I deeply wish he wouldn't, but maybe he is weak like that, and since I'm too weak to NOT ask for these things, well, I'll never feel better.

At least the candy I'm eating is gluten-free.  And my tummy is feeling a tiny bit better.  But it is NOT good for my fatty cirrhosis liver. 

God, help me be strong.

Bad news plus gluten-free

I got a call on Wednesday from my gastroenterologist.  He said that even tho he still isn't 100% what's causing my nausea, bloating and abdominal pain, he has the results of some of my tests.

I have cirrhosis of the liver.  Non-alcoholic.  Which means, I either got it from meds I've been on for a long time, plus over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naprosen, but also probably from being overweight for so long.

PLEASE LOSE weight NOW!  You don't want to end up like me, ok?

Anyway, he didn't tell me how bad the cirrhosis is.  Could be reversible, or could be near transplant stages.  He insisted that his office make time for him to meet with me, so we're meeting on Nov 17 so he can give me the particulars.

Plus, he has the results of my cortisol stimulation test.  I'm slow.  Duh.  He wants me to see an endocrinologist, so I've found one in his same building and asked my PCP to send over a referral.  Hope the endo doc sees it soon and gets back with me before the end of the year. 

The gastro doc also suggested that even tho my colonoscopy and endoscopy/upper g.i. show no indication of me being celiac, that I should do it for at least 30 days and see if I feel better. So, now I have to re-think my instant meal plan.  Why?

Because many "instant" products, like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, rice, lunchmeat, etc, have gluten in them.  And because I have cirrhosis, I am researching what I need to eat for that.

Bear with me, please.  It's frustrating but if changing my diet to be gluten-free and for liver problems, then maybe I'll feel better.

Protein-Packed Overnight Oatmeal

Do you remember how my post last week was about my overnight oatmeal? And how I needed to add protein to it?

Well, I ordered from Amazon.com (a few weeks ago) some hulled hemp nuts/seeds.  They do provide a bit of roughage as well as protein, but I guess I need it.  SO when I made my overnight oats Wednesday night, in addition to cinnamon, powdered milk and a tiny bit of nutmeg, I also added a tablespoon of the hemp nuts for protein.  Know what else? I added some powdered peaches ... I've been craving peaches lately.

Thursday morning, got up, found that it had all reconstituted nicely, and ate it cold.

So very delicious.


Note: This was a difficult week, this one past.  On Monday I had minor surgery.  Fasted Sunday night, and at the hospital first thing on Monday for a trans-jugular liver biopsy.  That means, they cut a hole in my neck to get to my jugular, then fed a tube with a camera and claw-thingy on the end, went all the way down to my liver, looked around and took a piece. I'm not recovering very well.

THEN yesterday, on Friday, I had to go to a different hospital for an adrenal/cortisol stimulation test to see if THAT is causing my abdominal pain, bloating and nausea.

Hope to get my results soon.

Bland Overnight Oatmeal for Tummy Problems

I still don't know the cause of my abdominal pain, bloating and constant nausea. Saw my PCP yesterday who said she had no new ideas. To listen to my gastroenterologist. No help, she.

Meanwhile, I'm doing a bit of bland diet.  Making oatmeal in the morning ... EVERY morning... is getting old. Last night I put my portion of oats in a glass container, added the water called for and finished up with milk powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirred, covered, and let sit in the fridge.

Trouble sleeping, though, so I got up early today, got out my oatmeal, and it had all reconstituted!  Tasted delicious.

Thinking I need to add protein to it. Somehow.

Pemmican as a diet food

I've been researching lots of different kinds of foods that were eaten in the past, when modern conveniences were not available. Pemmican fascinates me, but how can I make it from instant foods, PLUS make it healthy.

First, oils can't be dehydrated.  At least not that I know of.  Butter can but I don't want to use that.

So we have to assume that this food can't be completely instant.

Second, the other two ingredients are dehydrated powdered lean meat plus powdered super-healthy fruit like blueberries.

3/4 powdered meat
1/4 powdered fruit

Mix until completely combined.

Add just enough oil or fat (animal fat or go healthy with olive, coconut or walnut oil) to get it to all stick together.

Easy to make, especially if you already have the powdered fruit and meat.

This can actually be a super-healthy diet some-what-instant food!

Health Update

I finally have a few minutes to myself so I thought I'd catch you up on my health.

Last night I sprained (or is it strained) my foot as I walked to the bathroom in the dark.  I had to follow a certain path because we haven't cleaned the carpet yet.  Why do I need to clean it?  Well, it's a gross reason so you should feel free to skip ahead, but after my EGD/colonoscopy the other day, I had a sudden attack of diarrhea.  Hubby did his best to clean it up, but, well, you know men!  I had every intention of cleaning it up, but I haven't felt up to it until last night.

And then I hurt my foot.

So ... hopefully, Hubby and I will do it tomorrow.  If I still can't walk on my foot, he'll do it.  Bless his heart. He even bought some carpet cleaner to do it.

Meanwhile, I have appointments next week to get the results from my barium swallow, and my EGD/colonoscopy.  Hoping at least ONE of them will tell me what's wrong with me.

I weighed yesterday and am still surprised there's not a drop in the numbers.  Weird.

As to what I'm eating, besides the protein drinks in the morning, plus the juice, I am managing to keep fresh plums down. Wonder why. I would think they would be too rough on my stomach, but nope.  Same goes for some apple dices that I dehydrated this week ... no problems eating them. And I am now able to eat a bowl of oatmeal or life cereal at night for dinner. 

I did try to eat some fast food but my body obviously knows me better than I do because it refused to process it.

Geez, I'd love to have an Olive Garden salad. Or a chef's salad.  Or even a plain ole salad with a boiled egg, peanuts, scallions, croutons and thousand island dressing.  Okay, maybe not so "plain ole"!

Anyhoo, I have lots of fruit to dice and get in the dehydrator... plums, peaches, pears, kiwi and apples.  That's my plan for next week.  I also have LOTS of chickens in our freezer, processed from our own little farmette, that I need to dehydrate. The plan is to boil them good, let cool, skim off the fat, pick off the meat, cut the meat into very small pieces and dehydrate until quite crispy.  I'll figure out what to do with the fat later. And I might dehydrate the bones till crispy, then crush and use as bonemeal for my roses.

Gotta learn how to use every bit of food in some way.

Well, my alone time is over, so I guess I'll get off and finish watching the last episode of Youtube's "Secrets of the Castle" with Ruth, Tom and Peter.  I love love LOVE this and their other series.

= = = = = = =
p.s. The "helpers" we fired last week... well, we think they stole one of my credit cards' numbers because I had some fraudulent purchases which thankfully, my bank caught.  Can't trust anyone, right?

Still have abdominal pain

Here it is, after 8:30 p.m., and I'm regretting trying to eat a normal meal.  I had half a ham-and-cheese sandwich with an heirloom tomato and bell peppers, plus some milk.  That was around 7 p.m.

By 8:20 (thank goodness for the journal I keep!), I came down with such severe abdominal pain and nausea that I had to get Hubby to bring my nausea meds into the bathroom for me.  Uh, too much information?


I have so many wonderful heirloom tomatoes and other produce sitting here, waiting for me (and family) to eat. But I can't.  It's very frustrating.

On the 15th, 3 days ago, I had another attack as bad as the one that put me in the hospital on the 10th.  Luckily, I had all of my meds here, so I took 3 (yes, three) of the Zofran (which is a melt in your mouth emergency nausea pill) plus two of a different pill, one of a third pill, and I changed my behind-the-ear nausea patch.  I finally calmed down quite early in the morning and fell to sleep, finally, by 6 a.m.  I read and re-read my journal from the 15th and from August 10th and can NOT figure out what those two days have in common to make me have such intense attacks.


So ... what do you eat when you can't eat?  Never again will I have jello as that's what I threw up on Aug 10th when all of this started.  Instead, broth.  Applesauce scratches my stomach.  Oh, and about a half of a banana is ok (a whole one is too much).

I did my barium swallow yesterday and now my dizziness is worse.  I get my results in a week or two. Here's hoping they found SOMETHING that will help solve my health scare/problem.

Take care, people.  You never know what something horrible will attack you.  Can you imagine trying to do any kind of work with severe nausea and abdominal pain that has you doubled over?

Eat healthy.  Please.  Not for me, but for you and your future.

Read the labels on the products you buy.  If there are more than few ingredients, put it down and make it from scratch.

Helpers Gone but Now We are Afraid

We fired the "Helpers" today.  Suspicious that the hours worked reported to us was not accurate, I watched them carefully today.  First of all, the woman never did anything to help.  Second, out of 3.5 hours reported, he really only worked a total of about 20 minutes!  What?!?!?! 

So we fired them.  And now they are a little threatening, saying that I underpaid them, when, in fact, I very much overpaid them for work that was never ever as I requested.

I'm sitting in the living room, lights out except for outside where we have ALL of our outdoor lights on so we can see what is going on outside.  I fear they will return.  Hubby says he'll sleep out here tonight, and keep an ear out for anything that isn't supposed to be there.

So glad they are gone.  But this stress isn't good for my nausea.

I did eat lunch today, though. Nothing big. Just a banana and some oatmeal.

By the way, met with my g.i. doctor this week who said all of the blood work has come in and nothing seems amiss. He is scheduling some more testings, including an upper g.i. to look at stomach and a colonoscopy to look at the other end. 

Plus, he wants a special kind of test that involves a tube with a camera on the end to enter through the vein on the right side of my neck to check my liver's pressure and will do a liver biopsy.

Another doctor, an ENT, has scheduled a barium swallow to see why I'm having troubles swallowing.  Wonder if that problem has anything to do with my nausea.

Well, at least I got some of my favorite instant oatmeal down: 1/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal, 1 tbsp. pineapple powder, 1 tbsp. banana powder, and 1 tbsp. of raw sugar.  Delicious and it stayed down!!! Might add a bit of cinnamon the next time.

BTW... the fruit powder I mentioned in the last paragraph is real fruit, in powder form.  I get them, among many others, from www.justtomatoes.com

Helpers not really working out

The helpers we found through Craigslist are really not working out.  Disappeared for a day completely with no word until I sent a strongly-worded text.  Thinking this time next week, we'll have them gone.  I keep hoping the man will do something like I actually tell him to do, but so far, only one project has been done to the way I requested and demonstrated.

They are taking advantage of me, but I need them (him) to "work" a bit more to pay us back for providing enough gas to get here that first day, plus antifreeze we also bought that day.

My nausea is getting just a tiny bit better but now I have new symptoms: peticulae (tiny red spots in strategic places).  I reported them to both my hematologist and my g.i. doctors.

Did I mention that my spleen is quite large and growing and that my white platelets are quite low and still dropping?  Thankfully the two doctors are in the same building.

Why is my body suddenly falling apart, so completely? 

Is it because I've been so fat all of my life?

As a side note, even with the nausea, I'm really not losing any weight.  No one understands the why of this because you'd think I'd have dropped 50 pounds by now.  It's been only 5-10 pounds since Aug 10, when I went into the ER.


Help at the House and Farmette

Since Winter is coming and I don't have the strength to get some of our little farmette jobs done before the cold weather sets in, we put an ad on Craigslist and have hired a man and his wife to help out.  Seems like a good fit.  They understand that I'm quite ill, and are willing to help Hubby re-build our front yard fence (needed to take it down so the water well people could get to the well to dig it further).  They will also build a new chicken coop for the 13 baby bantam chickens we have in our garage. They absolutely need to go outside within a month because they are getting so big and they need to acclimate to outside weather before the cold gets here.

As for me, I'm not feeling any better.  And now, my insomnia is bothering me again.  So I wait until Hubby is asleep, and if I don't feel sleep coming any time soon, I gather a few things (pillow, water bottle, phone) and go into the living room.  Our wonderful but dumb Labrador retriever lays beside me, sometimes nuzzling my tummy or leg in sympathy.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to add foods to my day, like oatmeal.  I tried it with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar, but the sugar made me sick.


I hope that soon, someone will figure out what's wrong with me and will help me be able to eat again.  Once that happens, I can start posting on here again some healthy homemade instant meals!

Oh, how I look forward to that.

Still Quite Ill so Sorry

It's been about a week since I got home from the hospital, and I'm sorry to say that I've made very little progress.  I see my PCP tomorrow to discuss my hospital stay, and hopefully to get refills on the 3 meds plus the skin patch that are keeping my food in me.

Hoping she agrees to it.  Because, even with the meds, I'm barely hanging on.

And now I have constant dizziness to go along with everything else.

I seem to be slightly better in the mornings, so I'm making sure I drink a protein drink (pre-made or Carnation instant with extra protein) plus a Bolthouse or Naked or V8 fruit/veg juice... for the nutrition.  Then, if I can't get anything else to stay down during the day, I'll feel like I not doing too awfully bad, nutrition wise.

Again, I apologize for not doing much to help you on your health journey.  I can barely think about food without getting more nauseated.

Thank you.

My Health Scare

Today is August the 13th, and I just got out of the hospital.

You might know that since I had my right knee replaced in November 2014, my fibromyalgia has tilted into full pain mode, and I'm non-stop nauseated.  The doctors I've seen said the nausea is from the meds I was on, so I didn't worry about it.

Then I had my second (left) knee replacement surgery in April 2015, and the nausea got worse.

But this week, on the 10th, a few days after our well went dry, my nausea went bonkers, and I became uncontrollable nauseated, with vomiting and severe abdominal pains. My family took me to the Emergency Room (a 35 minute drive) where they did everything they could to get me quieted down. Nothing worked. It actually got worse because every time they flushed my IV with saline, the taste of it make my nausea worse.  By 4 a.m., they had admitted me to the hospital.  Over the course of the next 2 1/2 days, they tried many different medicines to calm my stomach.  I threw up about 30 times in  24 hour period. You can bet my ribs and throat hurt.

It took the combination of three (yes, 3) medicines plus a nausea skin patch behind my ear to get me to stop throwing up enough to go home.

So, if I don't write much about making homemade healthy instant foods for a while, you'll know why.

Thank you for your patience.

MRE RECIPE: Protein Popcorn

Yeah, I know. Weird.  Yeah, popcorn, since it comes from corn, has a slight amount of protein. But this recipe will bump up that protein AND add flavor and nutrients.  Plus it tastes cheesy without adding the dairy!

2/3 cup of heirloom popcorn kernels
2-3 tbsp. oil (olive, walnut, avocado, your choice)
3 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Place kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, fold down the top a few times, then put in the microwave for about 4 minutes. Take out when kernels aren't popping fast.

Once popped, take out and place in a bowl  Add a little oil, the nutritional yeast flakes (and salt, nuts and M&Ms if you'd like).  Mix well.  Add more until you get the taste you are going for.


NOTE: If you air-pop your popcorn, after it's done, drizzle on the oil before sprinkling on the other ingredients.  It helps them stick, and adds healthy oils to your snack.  You could also pop the kernels in a COVERED pan on the stove or over a fire (just be sure to add oil to the pan first!)

NOTE: Please do NOT use pre-packaged microwave popcorn .. it has toxins in it and seriously, you can do it just as easily yourself.  //  Also, my son has a problem with regular GMO corn (is it any wonder?) so we buy heirloom popcorn, multi-colored, from Azure Standard.  They have a LOT of bulk products, many heirloom and non-GMO, and are so reliable.  They rarely mess up my order.

NOTE: If you took my advice and are putting enough food and such away for a year, please be sure to add these ingredients, especially the nutritional yeast.  You can use them in your dehydrated flax crackers, on pasta and so many other ways where you want to bump up the nutrition while adding a cheesy taste.

COPYRIGHT (C) 2015 Vikki Lawrence.  This recipe is for your personal use only.  Please do not copy or distribute without written authorization from the author.  Thank you.

MRE RECIPE: Flax Protein Crackers

I hate buying crackers, with all of those chemicals and such in them.  Plus I like to get a bang for my buck.  With prices rising on lots of items, I needed to pull out my Flax Cracker recipe and give it some twisting.  This is the result.

2 cups ground flax seeds
2/3 cups whole flax seeds
½ cup fava bean flour [or almond flour]
1 tbsp amaranth seeds
1 tsp salt (we leave this out sometimes)
1 tsp spice/herb (Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, etc)
2 cups [more or less] of water.)

Combine all ingredients. Use more or less to get a nice thick consistency.  Line 2 dehydrator trays with parchment paper or roll-up sheets that fit your dehydrator. Spread batter evenly on the trays, using the back of a spoon. Dehydrate (for raw, keep under 115 degrees F.) for 2 hours, then reduce to 105 degrees F. for the rest of the time. After 4 hours, use a knife to score the crackers to where you want to separate them later. When they are dry enough to hold their shape (maybe 8 hours), remove and break them along the scored lines, then turn over and put directly on the tray (no parchment or liner this time). Finish dehydrating until crispy dry (the dryer they are, the longer they will last so go for NO moisture left). Store in an air-tight, moisture-proof, dark container.

NOTE: When we are conserving electricity, I put these in the solar dehydrator that I got for my last birthday.  (Yes, I asked for it!)  It's a bit of a pain to go outside, unhook it from where it's hanging, bring inside, score or turn the crackers (or other foods) over, and put it back outside, but I feel good knowing I have a way to preserve food when our electricity is down.

NOTE: For a sweeter cracker, leave out the savory herbs and add some applesauce and cinnamon. Delicious with a little peanut butter and a slice of apple.

ANOTHER NOTE: IF you are stocking up because of the weather and bird flu problems, please remember to add the above ingredients to your list of items to purchase. Being able to make your own crackers could be a family project when there's nothing to do, and you need that crunch.

COPYRIGHT (C) 2015 Vikki Lawrence
Do not copy or distribute this recipe as it is a TASTING recipe for Vikki's book. If you try this receipt, please leave comments below ass to whether you liked it, did anything different, etc. Thank you.

MRE RECIPE: Quick Cakes

Yes, these are NOT diet friendly, but you can store the products to make these in your pantry and are super-easy to make.  I do NOT suggest using diet soda pop as they usually have asparatame in them which can cause seizures (it does in my boy) and other health problems.  But these ARE lower in fat than if you were to use oil and eggs.

Cake Mix + Soda Pop = Moist Cake

Yup, I make these all the time for bake sales.

1 box of cake mix (15.25 oz)
1 can of soda pop (12 oz)

Take your favorite cake mix and instead of adding the oil, eggs, butter, or other add-ins, just add ONE CAN of any flavor soda pop.  Completely combine (it looks weird at first), then pour into a 9 x 13 greased pan, and bake for the time on the cake-mix box.

I found this picture online, and use it often.  Remember that the soda adds only a LIGHT taste. My son LOVES the creamsicle cake (vanilla cake plus vanilla pudding plus orange soda pop).

Basically, tho, I use lemon-lime soda pop with most of my cake mixes. It barely gives any flavor, but makes the cake so moist that it's hard to get it out of the pan.  Leave it in the pan!! 

You can use canned frosting (yuck!) or make a glaze by adding a liquid (can made from unsweetened lemonade or other drink powder + water) and powdered sugar. It's a delightful and tasty glaze/drizzle!

MRE RECIPE: Chicken Ranch Spread

Thanks again for your patience.  If you are a subscriber to this blog through Amazon, please be sure to e-mail me for your free meals-in-jars book.

Now... to the recipe!

I love this one.  I created it for my son, but find it is convenient for me to fix an easy and protein-packed lunch.  I add diced tomatoes, diced bell peppers and scallions to mine for even more nutrients and satisfaction.  I pair it with my dehydrated flax protein crackers (recipe coming next week) and it's a delicious healthy meal for my weight-loss program.

I thought of it one day as I was trying to come up with something to store-back for my son, the picky eater. He'll eat SOME chicken things, and he'll eat bacon bits (the real kind) by the bowl-full, every day. He is also a cheese-hound, and the only dressing he'll eat is Ranch.  We've slowly introduced variations of these, and this is one of them.  So glad he'll eat this, which is a version of a ranch club wrap. Full of protein (with celery sneaked in for him), he can use it as a dip or spread to rehydrate whenever wants the taste, and munch it with some chips, crackers or veggies.  He loves it! 

He won't touch anything "onion-y" but if you like scallions, add them in, along with bits of other veggies.  Don't add too much, or you'll lose the chicken/bacon/ranch taste!

As always, ingredients are freeze-dried, dehydrated, or otherwise, shelf-stable.

1/2 cup chicken dices
¼ cup bacon bits
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup shredded dried cheddar cheese
¼ cup powdered sour cream
2 tbsp powdered ranch dressing
s & p to taste

Combine all ingredients and place in a jar or storage bag.  Include an oxygen obsorber and seal tightly.  Label it.  Keep it out of light, heat and humidity. 

When ready to use, add approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cups of boiling water, seal and let rehydrate for 10-20 minutes.  (You may need to experiment with the amount of water.) 

Spread on tortillas or dip with fresh veggies, chips or crackers.

We don't add salt or MSG to our food, so I leave them out usually. Unfortunately, using the pre-made ranch dressing powder, we couldn't help it.  We also don’t eat black pepper when we can avoid it.

Give it a try YOUR way, and leave your comments below as to how it tasted for you.

If this is too bland for you, feel free to add those diced scallions, diced green peppers or tomatoes, powdered garlic, or anything else.  Remember to bump up the water if you add more ingredients.

Makes 1 serving.
Copyright (c) 2015 Vikki Lawrence
This is tasting recipe for my book. Please do not copy or and absolutely do NOT share this recipe. For your personal use only.

Upheaval in America so are you prepared?

I don't normally talk about politics on my blogs, but I feel I must before I continue posting recipes here.

I live kinda in the middle of the country ... in Colorado, near the Rocky Mountains.  Our weather has been super-weird for a few years now, not getting very cold in the winter, going from Summer to a couple months of Autumn then almost directly to Spring for a few weeks then on to Summer.  It was 107 degrees F. 2 days ago!  We've had more than our share of rain in the last few months, but now it's dry as a bone. First it was too wet to plant anything and now that we do, it's too hot for things to grow.

A lot of the eastern to middle of the country, all the way down to Texas, is flooded.  Too much rain means crops aren't being planted, and if they are, then they are rotting in the fields.  Of course, the rain is also messing with roads, housing, being able to get to jobs, and more.

Shall we talk about California?  I understand that in a good year, California produces MOST of our fruits and veggies, and nuts like almonds.  But this is the fourth year in a row that Cali is in the throes of a horrible drought.  Farmers, with their parched landscapes, are giving up.  People aren't allowed to water lawns and landscaping, or even fill pools!  See this picture ... all of those dead almond trees mean so many products that use almonds from ice cream to trail mixes, will drastically jump up in price, or just disappear. Plus, so many dead trees create a huge fire hazard.

And what about the bird flu?  It's killing thousands and thousands of domesticated chickens and turkeys, among others. That means there are far less chickens for eggs and meat, and turkeys for meat (think: Thanksgiving).  Eggs are being rationed AND their prices are going up.  People are turning to little farmers like me for chicken eggs, and will soon be asking for meat birds too. (And some of us are having chickens stolen!  What?!)

Between the flooding, the drought and the bird flu, food prices of all kinds are jumping up. Not just for us humans but food for animals too.  Because corn isn't growing in the flooded areas like Kansas, feed for cattle (milk AND meat) just isn't available.  Know what that means? Farmers and ranchers are slaughtering most of their herds NOW so the animals won't starve later.  Yes, meat will be plentiful and priced reasonably for another week or two ... maybe even a month or two ... but soon, there won't be much on the shelves.

That goes for vegetables, fruits and nuts too.

Take some time NOW to stock up on canned foods, or can or dehydrate your own. Can or dehydrate what's in your freezer. I want you to stop going out to eat and spending money on frivolous things, and get supplies for 1 year. Yes, I said ONE YEAR.  That estimate is conservative because it will probably take 2-3 years ONCE THE WEATHER RETURNS TO NORMAL, to get our flocks, herds, orchards and farms back up and running.

(p.s. don't tell anyone you're stocking up so that people won't be beating down your door, or steal what you have)

Take at the sample list below, then take quiet action.  Please.


MOST IMPORTANT: WATER!!!!  Lots and lots of bottled water. But remember, after a while, the gallon bottles WILL leak.  We store our bottled water in a bathtub.

DAIRY (dehydrated/freeze-dried/NOT refrigerated):
-sour cream
-milk (cow, rice, soy, goat, etc)

FRUITS (canned or dehydrated):
-apple sauce
-berries (www.justtomatoes.com)

-wheat berries (to grind)
-muffin mixes, crackers
-oats (quick cook)
-rice (instant brown and white)
-pasta (easy to store tiny pasta in jars, or spaghetti noodles)
-instant mashed potatoes/canned potatoes

-eggs (powdered)
-bacon pcs (look at Hormel)
-nuts and seeds
-canned spam, ham, beef, etc

this list is so long - stock up on dehydrated or canned veggies that YOU and your family like.

-broth or bouillon cubes
-seasonings, spices, herbs
-gelatin, pudding, desserts, candy, cake mixes
-vitamins and supplements
-coffee, tea, hot cocoa, instant apple cider
-soda pop (you'll see why on my blog in a couple of weeks)
-canned soups, stews, sides, etc.
-powdered unsweetened drink mixes, instant tea, instant lemonade

NON-FOOD that could be effected:
-toilet paper, paper towels, tissues,
-medicine (OTC and other)
-cleaning products
-a way to go to the bathroom, in case your water and/or electricity stops working
-hygiene products
-cooking methods, like an alternate stove, fuel, matches

This is just a small list.  Take a look at your grocery receipts for the past 2 months. What did you buy?  Do you have enough of those items for one year?  If not, GET THEM!!


I sincerely hope the weather and bird flu will straighten themselves out, and this will all be unnecessary.... But wouldn't you rather have it and not need it, than not have it and desperately need it?

Recovering from 2nd knee replacement surgery

Yes, I dropped the ball again. 

I spent most of March and the first half of April, getting ready for my knee replacement surgery.  That entailed a LOT of doctor appointments, including a cardiologist who cleared my heart for surgery, dental, x-rays, MRIs, and so many more. I was on the go 5-days a week.  Between the busy-ness, I was struggling with fibromyalgia that smacked me over the head after the first knee replacement surgery in November.

So, I didn’t get a chance to write a monthly column about being a caregiver for someone who has epilepsy, I didn’t work on books, I didn’t experiment with recipes and I didn’t write in this blog.

I feel VERY guilty.

I’m still recovering from my surgery.  After all, it’s only been nearly 3 weeks.  My incision is healing well.  I’m regaining mobility in the leg.  I don’t fall down all of the time any more.  And I **think** … yes, **think** that my fibromyalgia has gone away a little bit.

So I hope to be back soon, giving you your money’s worth in this blog.

I will tell you that the food at the hospital was HORRIBLE…very few fresh veggies and fruit.  Had 6 different kinds of white potatoes but not even ONE sweet potato! Protein was unexciting.  Eggs were disgusting.  Cheesecake and carrot cake super yummy.  No wonder I came out of there with severe upset tummy syndrome and an additional 5 pounds.

Thought about maybe I should have had Hubby bring to the hospital some of my “instant meals” that I make but decided not to.  (1) I couldn’t have gotten up to find hot water and bring it back without spilling or falling.  (2) My 18 year old autistic son who stayed there with me couldn’t have brought the hot water back without spilling.  (3) Hubby wasn’t there a lot. (4) It’s not the nurses’ jobs to bring me hot water. (5) I guess I could have gotten the room service people to bring it to me but they never got my order right as it was!

Then I left the hospital and HAD to have comfort food.  Problem is, I had too much.  Too much jello, rice pudding, Hubby bringing home too much take-out, and, well, sweets.

I weighed this morning.  I gained a total of 10 pounds in 3 weeks.  What?  No way!  Uh, yes. And I really don’t like that.  I do still have a lot of jello in the freezer because I am still nauseous a whole lot and medication isn’t really helping.  But here’s my plan starting tonight:

  • oatmeal with raisins OR
  • nuts/seeds with fruit OR
  • eggs from my chicken or turkey girls

  • nuts/seeds
  • fruit
  • dried cranberry with almonds and cashews
  • dried cherries with cashews and peanuts

  • lettuce salad with veggies and a boiled egg and fresh fruit on side
  • tuna salad with veggies with fresh fruit on side
  • taco shell with brown rice or quinoa filling, tom, etc with fresh fruit on side
  • hummus with tortilla chips
  • snack meal (healthy fresh protein like cheese/egg/hummus plus lots of fresh bite-sized veggies and a starch like rice crackers).
  • soup/stew/casserole from dehydrated ingredients (minimal meat, bump up bean and nut protein, lots of veggies and lots of spices and herbs).

What do you think? Is it healthy?

My Own Weight-Loss - Update

When I went in for my surgery on November 19 2014, I weighed 254 pounds.  After the surgery, I was so nauseous, on pain killers, and didn't feel like doing anything.

But to regain mobility in my knee / leg, I needed to do leg exercises.  By the end of December, I had lost several pounds, had regained full mobility in my knee, and, except for the pain, was starting to feel better.

The surgery made my fibromyalgia worse.  Biggest flare-up I've ever had, and it's not going away.  I read about diets to help with the fibro, so I started eating mostly fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and gluten-free.

I added exercycling to my daily routine.  Then found my 3-pound hand weights and started working with them, in addition to physical therapy.

But the physical therapy was making my other leg/knee worse.  I had to stop that.  I researched exercises to do in bed, and changed things.

As of last week, I have lost 27 pounds since my surgery.

I exercycle daily.
I work out with weights daily, on the bed.
I do my knee exercises daily, on the bed.
I do mock-stomach-crunches daily, on the bed.

I started water therapy 2 weeks ago, but because of the snow, have attend only once so far. Hope the snow goes away soon.

If **I** can lose weight, so can YOU!

I have another 50-75 pounds to go.  I CAN do this!

MRE RECIPE: KFC-Like Original Recipe Chicken

KFC-Like Chicken:

I love Kentucky Fried Chicken, but in most cases, it is so greasy. And I usually just want to eat the skin because it’s so delicious. Nope, soooo not healthy.   But now, for those of us working to be more healthy, I think I've come up with a taste substitute for KFC chicken.

I have been experimenting with KFC copycat recipes, trying to convert them to an instant meal, and I think I might be close for Original Recipe chicken. I need your help to experiment.

1 cup pre-cooked freeze-dried chicken pieces
2 tbsp Accent (MSG seasoning)
1 tbsp buttermilk powder
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant egg powder
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chili powder

Combine everything except chicken until completely mixed.  Add dried chicken and toss again. Store in a tightly sealed container, keeping out moisture, light and oxygen.

When ready to eat, rehydrate with 2 cups of boiling water. Could take a little more or less, depending on humidity, etc.  Allow to sit, covered, for at least 10-20 minutes. Drain extra, although the flour, egg powder and buttermilk powder should thicken the extra water into a nice flavorful sauce.
I don’t like using MSG / Accent and I don’t like much salt in our food, so I leave them out usually. We also don’t eat black pepper when we can avoid it.

Give it a try YOUR way, and leave your comments below as to how it tasted for you.  Feel free to top this onto some instant mashed potatoes (with or without butter powder). Maybe make a side of cole slaw or corn.

To Make Gluten-Free:
To make gluten-free, replace the flour with arrow-root powder or chia seeds or ground flax meal (to thicken). Check the other ingredients to make sure they are all gluten-free.

To Make Dairy-Free:
To make dairy-free, eliminate the buttermilk powder. It will taste a little different but give it a try anyway.


Makes 1 serving.

Copyright (c) 2015 Vikki Lawrence
Do not copy or share this recipe. For your personal use only.

Sincere Apologies

I feel so bad that I haven't written in this blog in a while. 

I had knee replacement surgery November 19 2014, and I've been struggling with recovery ever since.  The next knee replacement surgery is scheduled for April 2015.  Once I've recovered from that surgery, I **WILL** get back to writing regular posts here.

If you subscribed to this blog via Amazon.com, please contact me at vikkibooks aT yahoo period com. I want to send you something for staying with me.

So ... I really am sorry that I haven't posted in a while.  I am planning a post for this Friday for my version of instant KFC - Original Recipe Chicken!

Thanks again.