“The Southwest’s annual monsoon season is created by a wind shift that draws warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean waters, carrying it over sizzling desert land.
When this moisture meets rising hot air, torrential rains ensue, including thunder and lightning,” said Ruby. “Monsoons are beneficial because they bring down high temperatures and provide much-needed water, but they also produce lightning strikes which can cause fires. Either way, monsoons often trigger power outages and evacuations.
Today I will teach you to pack an emergency kit with healthy food. It is crucial because we don’t necessarily consider emergency food’s nutritional value. Yet, the right food can help maintain your health in a stressful situation.
“Keep in mind you want to pack food you and your family will eat and require little to no preparation. Include oats, dried fruit, honey, nuts and seeds, healthy fat, protein, water, and salt. Be careful about salt; don’t include salty snacks, as they increase thirst. A small amount of pink or sea salt is okay for flavoring, and because the body does not produce it, an outside source of salt is necessary since it supports nerves, blood, sweat, and the digestive system.
Start with breakfast and pack non-perishables. Try an easy Overnight Oats recipe. Oats keep you feeling fuller longer and stabilize blood sugar levels, helping you better manage stress. Hot or cold, oatmeal is a blank slate enhanced with dried fruit, honey, and nuts; all ideal in an emergency kit.”
“What type of dried fruit is best?” asked LJ.
Ruby nodded, “Dried raisins, apricots, dates, and figs, which can be stored for years, are high in carbs, natural sugar, and fiber. They are energizing, naturally sweet, and help keep you regular. In an emergency, staying close to a normal routine helps better manage the situation.”
Annie remarked, “I like honey in an emergency kit because it is a nutritious natural sweetener with a long shelf life. Honey has medicinal value too; it is known to help manage a sore throat, cough and heal wounds.”
“Honey is a wound healer? That’s good to know,” said Beverly. “I have walnuts, almonds, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds in my emergency kit. They are a reliable source of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. I store them in airtight containers to retain their nutritional value. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also a healthy fat with a long shelf-life. It has anti-inflammatory properties which help lower the risk of heart disease and strokes.”
Ruby agreed, “Absolutely, include olive oil. Now let’s talk about protein. It is a source of energy and produces amino acids used by your body to build and repair muscles and bones. It is essential to eat protein daily and crucial during an emergency. Some nutritious protein foods are canned beans, legumes, tuna, salmon, and sardines.
I recommend salt-free corn, tomatoes, carrots, peas, and green beans for the canned veggies. Each is fiber-dense and nutritious.
In sealed containers, whole grain bread or crackers can last and are high-calorie and nutritious, making them vital to include in an emergency kit. Whole wheat sourdough, while not gluten-free, has less gluten than other bread.
Nut butter and honey on whole-grain bread or whole-grain crackers with tuna, for example, can be a substantial lunch. The list of foods in your emergency kits provides many options for an evening meal, like a tasty Corn Salad with tomatoes, peppers, and onions. However, water tops the list of what to have in an emergency kit. The CDC recommends having at least one gallon of water per day for each person and pet. At a minimum, keep a three-day supply and up to two weeks of unopened commercially bottled.”
Annie leaned over to LJ, “Luck favors the prepared.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.