Diabetes & The Apocalypse
If you have any kind of health issue, you need to spend some time considering how to manage that prior to the zombie apocalypse. Heart medication? Ask your doctor for a prescription that will allow you to stock up. Blood pressure? Same, but maybe do more cardio and solve the problem so you're not reliant on meds.
But what about diabetes? This is something about which I've given much thought, as a Type I diabetic. To survive without insulin is possible; to survive long may be less so.
Let's start with the sort of diabetes you're familiar with: Type II.
Type II Diabetes and the Apocalypse
When you eat so much junk food, exercise so little, and have such a slow metabolism that your body is constantly secreting insulin to cover the sugar in your bloodstream, you are also constantly storing body fat. And as that fat builds and your metabolism slows and your testosterone drops farther and farther, your body has to increase its insulin production even more.
It doesn't have to be this way--anyone can convert to a ketosis diet, drop the body fat, train your system to use fat--instead of glucose--as an energy source, and still be healthy. Don't let your nutritionist or other health expert fool you: your body can and will produce all the sugar your body HAS to have. Ever notice the recommended daily allowance for carbohydrates listed on labels? No? That's because it doesn't exist. Your liver is designed to respond to the hormone glucagon and make whatever's needed via gluconeogenesis.
You can drastically reduce the amount of meds you need or eliminate the need entirely with proper eating and keeping your body fat at a reasonable level for life on Planet Earth. Once you do, you'll use your own insulin properly, and you'll re-sensitize your cells to it. If you're running from zombies and 20+ pounds overweight, this will happen very quickly or you will be devoured. My recommendation: become a fat-burning machine now, and obviate the need for extra meds.
Type I Diabetes and the Apocalypse
This equation is different. You won't respond better to your own insulin, because you don't make any. The zombies are here, and you're out of insulin. What now?
Insulin alerts your muscle cells to accept a glucose molecule or chain. Inside the cell, GLUT4 recognizes this secret knock, moves to the interior cell wall, and lets sugar in. Get this--exercise and muscle tone also cause the release of GLUT4. They won't release as much as when insulin knocks, but some is 100% better than none. I can't envision a circumstance wherein you're doing burpees 75% of the day to keep your blood sugar in check--that's really no way to live, so you're also going to have to make drastic food changes also.
1st Change: Major Hydration, Sir!
Water is your new best friend. It's now all that you drink, and you drink a lot. As the concentration of sugar in your bloodstream rises, your kidneys try to balance the level by peeing out as much as they can process. That means you're dehydrating, unless you're drinking more than enough to compensate. In case you didn't know it, your blood sugar reading is a measure of the concentration of sugar in the blood. Reduce that concentration with extra water, and think about what electrolytes will also need replacement.
2nd Change: Ketosis, not Ketoacidosis (click & scroll for infographic)
Is a keto diet safe? Good question. Do you think the Vikings asked that question? Do you think Inuits asked that question? Do you think Tibetans worry that perhaps they should move to a warmer, flatter area, clear-cut some forest, and plant some wheat and strawberries? Here's a better question if you firmly believe your body needs whole grains before it can thrive:
Do you honestly think a human needs to plant several acres of grain, wait for it to ripen, harvest it, grind it, then mix it with other ingredients to produce bread or pasta before that person can be healthy?
Or does it make more sense to eat meat and vegetables, which you're designed to use as a fuel source? Here's a news flash: grinding up the heads of vast acres of grain, mixing it with all sorts of chemicals to extract the oils to produce "vegetable oil" is not what your body is waiting for, either.
Look at the picture above and describe what's unhealthy. You're designed to run on meat, chock full of saturated fats, veggies, and fruits if you can get your hands on them. Here's a study of how Type 2 diabetics respond to this sort of diet. Summary: they lost weight, their blood sugars improved, and they either quit needing meds or needed less (i.e., many of them magically quit having Type 2 diabetes just with a diet change).
Don't confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. In ketosis, your body is trained to use fat primarily as an energy source, and you still CAN use glucose for energy, though it's going to get stored as body fat if you overeat. In ketoacidosis, you're unable to accept glucose into the cells, the quantity builds and builds, your blood turns acidic, and you start harvesting muscle for energy, and quickly die. This pretty much only happens if you're a Type I or a severe alcoholic.
Make the Switch Now
If your body fat is above 13% or so, your fat-burning switch is set to "off." So change now! Once all the bread is gone from store shelves, you're going to eat meat and whatever you can grow anyway. There won't be any man-made carbs left.
Might as well develop a taste and metabolism for it now. If you do, you'll be healthier, fitter, and able to outrun not just zombie hoards, but also the average Type II diabetic who is running toward the grocery store to stock up on Ding-Dongs, rather than away from population centers, which is safer.
Do a Google or Bing search on the word "keto" followed by your favorite high-carb snack. You'll find that there isn't actually any compromise. "Keto pancakes." "Keto Chocolates." What you will discover is how emotionally tied to food you are. Your next 2 questions should be, "Why did I ever think I need man-made carbohydrates to be happy or healthy?" and "How can I find happiness in places other than food?"
The Ultimate ZHTF Bug-Out Bike: $3,250
In a ZHTF scenario, you need dependable transportation. And there's nothing more dependable than a KLR. And she's got a little sexy thrown in, too--just enough to make her inviting, but not enough to make your girlfriend jealous.
The Kawasaki KLR is regarded as the perfect motorcycle for a zombie apocalypse, and by more than one author. They're sold by the thousands globally, so no matter where you end up, you'll have parts. Svetlana and I must part, but I've built her up with a survivor in mind.
Your wife won't object, because it's not a crotch rocket, and ultimately, you're buying it for your family's well-being. This dual-sport is just at home on logging roads as it is on the open highway, and it can be loaded down for extended camp trips, as any KLR owner/zombie prepper can attest. See pics above--she camps like a champ.
This 2009 model has a meager 8k miles, which is hardly broken in when it comes to KLR standards. It has Rotopax dual 1-gallon fuel cans mounted to the backs of two Solobox panniers that can hold all the food, tent, sleeping bag, tarps, camp stove, coffee, Spam, and 3 boxes of 9mm ammo you'll need for a week-long gear test.
What's that you say? Your wife insists on bringing an extra AR-15 and a whole case of Spam? No sweat. Strap it to the top of the boxes if they're already full; she can handle it.
It has a GoPro mount on the right front mirror, no body damage, a brand-new battery, great brakes, and grippy new tires. With the 6-gallon fuel tank, you'll still have plenty of fuel long after your riding buddies have run dry, pulled over, and have to defend against zombie hordes.
If you love your family, $3,250 is nothing for this kind of peace of mind.
Forest trail? Gotcha covered.
Highway driving? No prob.
Top of an active volcano? Done it.
Twisty road drive just for funsies? Of course!
Interested in buying Svetlana? Leave a comment if you'd like to keep your family protected during the coming apocalypse.
What to pack, what to pack...
In the event of the zombie apocalypse:
If you're like most sensible people, you've considered the ramifications of a zombie apocalypse. You stay fit, you stay aware, and you're prepared. While prepping is often thought to be something only nuts living in the forest in the 1970s did, it was also what your great grandparents did to get ready for a harsh winter or a long spell of bad harvests. Needless to say, it's an absolute must for surviving the zombie apocalypse.
There are any number of places to go online to find the best ingredients for your prep kit, your go-bag, your bug-out vehicle, etc. If you have a few minutes this weekend, watch the video below and see if your kit is as well-stocked as that guy's. You may not need everything in it, but it's not a bad template to compare yours to.
Even if you don't go to the same lengths, here's a quick list you can put together this weekend for under a hundred bucks:
1) Tactical gloves
3) A bunch of protein bars
4) Several sardine cans (you'll need the healthy fatty acids)
6) Sharp knife
7) Small tool kit
8) Water filtration straw
9) A couple cheap walkie-talkies
10) Cash, or something worth trading
Do This Workout, And Don't Whine
I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Better late than never, though. Running lines in the gym really gets your heart thumping. It's a fantastic way of boosting your VO2 max by running harder, not by running farther. But there aren't that many lines in a basketball court. You know where there ARE a lot of lines? The football field.
Today, I started at the end zone, ran 5 yards, did a pushup, ran back, did a pushup. Then to the 10-yard-line, pushup, then back, pushup. I repeated this until I had performed a pushup at every single line, and had run 2,100 yards, or just over a mile.
I honestly had butterflies before attempting this, wondering how long it would take, why I hadn't done such an awesome thing before, kicking myself for all the years wasted NOT performing this drill. In the end, I forgave myself, and was excited that I had a new exercise I could recommend.
It took just under 11 minutes and left me winded, but not beat. And no, it's not much good for hill training, as you can see from the graphic.
The only elevation gain you'll experience is standing up from the pushups.
Heart rate peaked at 194, and averaged about 165.
Go see what you get.
I never prescribe exercise to a customer unless I've done it myself. This one I can recommend because:
1) It's not on a hard surface, where your joints will take unnecessary punishment;
2) It's better than running a straight mile, because of all the stopping and starting;
3) You'll work more glutes than running a mile on the flat, because getting up and down from pushups forces you to.
4) It's fantastic resource-acquisition training for a ZHTF scenario. Run out, grab some fuel, run back. Run to the neighbor's house, swipe some stew, run back.
Caution: this scenario assumes your neighbor has been zombified or has fled town, and won't shoot you for swiping stew.
So go run approximately 1.2 miles. Stop at the 5-yard line and do a pushup, run back and do a pushup. Stop at the 10-yard-line and do a pushup, run back and do a pushup....
And remember--no whining.
Don't wait--if you postpone fitness until AFTER the apocalypse, you'll be sorry. Or you'll be dead. But if you sign up for the Zombie Apocalypse Boot Camp, you won't have to worry about whether or not you can outrun zombies. You'll have the skills and the VO2 max to:
Wield an axe handily.
Outlast and outfight looters.
Outrun any horde of zombies.
Acquire new physical abilities, regardless of current fitness level.
Look good doing it.
With a graduation date expected just before Halloween and election day, you'll be ready for anything.
Don't wait around like those people behind you in line at Walmart. Prepare now with a group of people in the same shape you're in!
Winter's Here; Gear Up!
If you add the word "tactical" to anything, some zombie prepper sucker is going to want it. I'm here to make sure you don't regret the purchase.
Black Label made this right-sized hatchet, and I've been using it for about a year and a half now, and have been impressed with its heft, the ease of swing, and overall utility.
I haven't had much success in throwing it, but that's largely due to my own in-abilities, rather than a flaw in construction. Here's a video by a 3rd party that may help.
First, its weight. I dislike a wielding tool that's too light. If you're a fitness junkie like I am, you appreciate the damage a weightier tool can do under your command. Too light, and it doesn't feel right when swinging it. Too heavy, and you can't carry it or kill as many zombies. My opinion is that this hatchet is exactly the right weight for my strength, size, and requirements.
The tomahawk typically resides right under my truck seat, but I did try out the holster/hip carrier to see how well it worked. It did okay, but wasn't as comfy or as easy to mount or remove from my belt as I would have liked. The snaps that hold the holster are well-engineered, but it takes some forethought to make sure they're completely snapped shut, otherwise they pop loose and you have to fuss with them. The rotating end piece flips up for easy tilt-out access and removal.
When you're burying the business-end of a hatchet in a chunk of wood or a zombie's skull, you don't want to take time to fuss.
All-in-all, a definitely robust little tool, and easy to pack and carry. And its holster is probably the best way to carry a "tactical" tomahawk, and nothing is going to make that job super easy.
That's all the info you could potentially need to read on a souped-up hatchet. Now go do 25 pushups and check back.
What to do over Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving week. Overeating is a sure thing, because let's face it: you're weak-willed. Or maybe your body fat is too low, in which case you could be missing out on testosterone. Give your body a place to put all that protein, and make sure it burns off all the sugars:
1) Do 10 pushups
2) Do 10 squats, low as you can go
3) Do 10 fast curls with a stretchy band
4) Do 10 situps
Now go through again, doing 9 reps. Then 8 reps....You get the idea, right?
This will ensure you earn your meal, and if you want to actually get ahead of the game, do a post-meal workout like this:
1) Do Band Kickbacks for :45
2) Do Band Lateral Raises for :45
3) Do Butt Kicks for :45
4) Do Burpees for :45
Next time through, do it for :35, then :25, then :15.
Give It Up!
As I have said repeatedly in the past, it is best not to wait until the zombies come to begin practice and preparation.
Your body is a tool that responds to the training you give it. If you tell it to store lots and lots of body fat, it will get really good at doing exactly that, and will continue to do so as long as it receives the necessary stimulus.
If you tell it to build muscle, it will only do so as long as it receives the necessary stimulus. It just so happens that Lent just started for the year.
Give your body exactly what it needs, and nothing more. for the next 40 days plus Sundays, give your body meat, produce, and nothing else.
Give it push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, sit-ups, and hard 3-mile runs.
If you can't do that for the next 40 days, you had better make preparations to be in the first wave that dies after the zombies come.
Lots of goodies to be had, if you're the lucky liker of any number of FB pages. This week, try this one: https://www.facebook.com/crktofficial
Russ Craber, MBA, CSCS, has always been concerned about a post-apocalyptic zombie scenario, and can train you for optimal living after the inevitable occurs. You would be well-advised to heed his advice.