I don't have a green thumb. Over the past few years, I've managed to kill a few potted basil and other herbs. When my son is old enough to understand, I want the both of us to know how to grow the simplest plants that's packed with vitamins and other nutrients.
This one is a known galactagogue. I take this in powder and capsule form to increase my milk supply. This grows EVERYWHERE and it's very easy to take care of. I like adding this in soups and stews and the powdered moringa is also great in my cup of Joe.
Here it is in my unhealthy-but-instant-soup from a packet:
Rich in vitamins A, C, E, iron, and good cholesterol
Rich source of calcium and protein. Even better than milk!
Its vitamin C content is: 1 oz. of malunggay leaves = 7 oranges
Analgesic (relieves pain)
Also: I plan on making baby/kid appropriate fritters/nuggets with malunggay leaves in the future.
2. Alugbati/Ceylon Spinach/Malabar Nightshade (COOL NAME I KNOW)
In the Philippines, this plant grows almost EVERYWHERE. I see these crawlies dotting someone's front lawn despite the suburban nature of the area. This one's a safe laxative for pregnant/lactating women. I've made this twice and it's actually pretty tasty combined with coconut milk. Ginataang Alugbati, if you will.
I sauteed some garlic in coconut oil, added some shredded ginger, added cubed green papaya, and splashed some freshly squeezed coconut milk. Lastly, added the alugbati because it's quite slimy and I didn't want the finished product to be like slimy coconut milk. Et voila, a dish that dear husband liked! A twist on this dish is a small sprinkling of instant sinigang mix (cheating, I know) and you have a Lebanese-inspired dish! Season with patis/salt and pepper.
As a side note: this vegetable, like the kangkong, is a tropical spinach and could be added to any dish that requires spinach. Just take note of its slimy texture so it's not that great when added to vegetable shakes/juices.
Quick facts: the fruits are used as natural rouges/lipstick by many women and it's also a great natural dye substitute! When I make my own lipbalm, I may have to score some alugbati fruit. Health benefits:
Good source of folate
Good source of fiber
Good source of vitamins A, C, and B complex
Low calorie source of calcium, iron, and magnesium
Pansit-pansitan is another low-maintenance plant and it also grows EVERYWHERE. My husband used to weed this out of his mini garden thinking that it's just some random plant. Apparently, this is great for arthritis!
Some people consume this as a tea to relieve arthritic aches and pains. They make a decoction by boiling the leaves in hot water, but, I'd rather consume it fresh and raw.
Here is my recipe for Shiny Bush Salad:
-Splenda (Optional, but I added one packet in mine)
-A dash of water
Rinse the leaves. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil (about a teaspoon will do), salt, pepper, and a dash of water. Soak the leaves in your balsamic vinegar dressing for about ten minutes. Toast your chopped garlic in oil. Then crush some peanuts (we used the raw ones that you buy at the palengke). Sprinkle the garlic and peanuts on top of the alugbati-balsamic mixture. Enjoy!
Note: make enough dressing so that the leaves will be soaked! Don't make too much though as this will overpower the crunch-factor of the pansit-pansitan!
Analgesic (again, a great pain reliever)
A poultice made from pansit-pansitan cures skin problems like pimples and boils
These three plants are a great addition to anyone's garden due to the fact that these plants don't need to be fussed over. Not to mention that these plants are excellent survival food that any pinay prepper would definitely need in her arsenal.
Cliche or not, having a baby opened my eyes to a lot of things, like, that lip balm I always buy? Too expensive. And my favorite soap? Too strong for my baby's nose (and not to mention his sensitive, eczema-prone skin).
Above photo made with the help of Polyvore
In the bid to be more eco-friendly, save money, and be more self-sustainable, I have convinced myself (80%) to give up commercial beauty/hygiene products and make my own ones when my stash of soap, shampoo, deodorant, et cetera, runs out. It's a scary prospect, to be sure. Especially since the summer heat is starting to creep in and the thought of a non-commercial deodorant scares the living daylights out of me.
Here are the products I will make in the future:
Stay tuned for the recipes!
Here's a quick tip: stock up on coconut oil, cornstarch or arrowroot powder (uraro), and essential oils. Am currently on the lookout for cheap suppliers, especially for arrowroot powder. If you know where to buy these ingredients for cheap, do email me please or leave your comments.
A Go Bag is one of those things you could start with. We all have the prerequisite first aid kit in our homes, but, let's face it. What if a tropical storm hits our shores and does a lot of damage that requires immediate evacuation? Earthquakes are one of those things I'm constantly afraid of because my family lives near a fault line.
A Polyvore account is useful for killing time and making things like this^
A sturdy, waterproof backpack is preferable.
Change of clothes. I made this in Polyvore, so, um, this one's quite fasyown.
Shoes. If you want to bring rain boots, place them beside your bag for when there's a situation and you have to get out asap. We're a flip-flop wearing nation but when there's a lot of walking to be done, nothing beats comfortable, close shoes that can survive in flood water.
Medicine. If you're regularly taking medication, make sure to set aside some extras for your Go Bag.
A first aid kit.
Flashlight. I was feeling cheeky so I used the batman one. Sadly, I don't have this in real life.
Water and easy-to-eat food. I'm a snacks person so I'd rather bring an energy bar. For my husband, a snack bar most definitely will not do. So I'm thinking of canned rice and tuna by San Marino?
Radio. I still don't have one of these. But I'm definitely going to find one in my next Divisoria trip.
Whistle. This could mean the difference between life and death in certain circumstances. It could alert other people of danger or could be used as a communication device. Or, it could serve as an annoying entertainment device when bad weather rolls in and there's no Internet.
History teaches us that when there's a currency crisis, people didn't stock up on gold bars and silver coins. A lot of preppers are saying that gold bars and silver coins are necessary to any prepper. Here in the Philippines, even those with above average incomes don't have a gold bar or two hidden in their closets.
Take a look at Volos, Greece. The people there have set up tents and stalls to barter with one another. It's an ancient system that's gaining popularity as the Euro slowly loses its value. One man selling children's underwear said that he got computer lessons and language classes in return for his goods.
This is where proper prepper planning (let's call it PPP for fun!) comes in. Even if you cannot invest in gold bars or silver coins, if you have life skills (such as knowledge in plumbing, engineering, or planting herbs) or you have stocked up on arguably cheap essentials (such as toilet paper, shampoo, or entertaining books) then you can ensure that if a monetary crisis lands in our shores (or rather, a bigger monetary crisis than the one we're facing hits us square in the face), we'd be like the people of Volos.
This dame frequents Booksaleon a regular basis and is hoping that one day, maybe my extra copy of Franzen or my still brand-new Coelho will come in handy.
No matter what theory or philosophy you believe in, religious or not, prepping should be a priority.
If not, at least try to acquire a few tidbits here and there so that when things go really bad, you'd know what to do.
Maybe you think that Obama is the Anti-Christ. Maybe you're a TNT with democrat leanings and you have some time to kill. Or maybe, the weird weather is starting to get to you and the thought of having no food, electricity, and potable water is enough to scare you into prepping. Or maybe, you've simply watched one too many episodes of Doomsday Preppers and YouTube videos.
With the European crisis, weird weather, and local telenovelas rehashing the same plot lines over and over again, the normal person can't help but think about the future and be a little pessimistic (or realistic) about it.
The Doomsday Dame's reason for prepping all boils down to this: when the going gets tough, the tough (and prepared) will have an ample supply of food and water.
Heck, I'll even have a few energy bars and sweets to snack on while everyone is scrambling for the grocery stores to stockpile essentials like canned goods and rice.
In the end, the question to ask is not "Why prep?" but: How to prep (with limited funds)?
The incoming slew of posts will hopefully answer the question above.