With the release of our December/January 2016 issue, “Transitions,” last month, and the New Year upon us, it got me reflecting about change and life stages.

Editor in chief, Kris Costa, references a quote from Heraclitus in this issue’s From the Editor, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change – ” In life change is constant and inevitable. In fact, besides death, change is the only certainty in this life. Change is present in all areas of our life, whether it’s in our relationships, jobs, society, or our character.

I used to be afraid of change, resisting it with every ounce of my mental strength. Every minor possibility of a change in my life would send me into a whirl wind of “what-ifs” that would paralyze me with fear. This year I struggled with the idea of change when it came to aging. I worried over the changes of time and how they have and will continue to affect my appearance. I thought about life transitions and how things won’t always be the same. One day I will be a mom. My body will change, my life will change, and my very dreams will change. Instead of being excited about this idea I found myself fearing it, almost dreading it. Not dreading being a mother, but dreading the changes over time, and how life seems to pass that much more quickly with little ones around. I was dreading that feeling a mother must get when her children grow up and no longer need her the way they once did.

Then I looked around at all my friends who have become mothers. I watched these women grow through our high school years, college, marriage, and now motherhood. These women have changed. They are no longer the same girls I knew in high school. Not once have I looked at their life and thought the changes they went through were negative. Instead, I marvel and admire these women who have morphed through the years into strong, intelligent, kind, capable, and beautiful women (inside and out). It is a beautiful thing to witness a person grow through so many life stages. It’s exciting to see how we will all continue to change and grow (and even age).

Eventually those friends that became mothers will be grandmothers, and I will be a grandmother too.  That thought scared me. I was scared about the changes that will take place in my appearance over the years, and the changes that will take place socially. Will the memories of my younger days make me mourn my youth and want to go back? Will the smile lines on my face fill me with sadness or will they fill me with memories of all the laughter I’ve shared with friends and family throughout life? What about the knowledge, wisdom, and experience I’ll have gained in my life? I don’t think I will want to go back to being naïve or wondering how things will turn out or sweating the small stuff. There are many things that can be gained in the older years. One is being established in both family and experience. Aging means learning what’s truly important in life, and it means you have weathered the storms of growth and change.

This brings me to reflect on the changes I have been through in my life. Every time I sense a change coming I fight it. But why? Every change I’ve made so far has been a blessing. I changed jobs almost 2 years ago. I was very unhappy in my old job but I was still fearful to take a leap of faith into a new job. It was one of the best choices I ever made. Switching jobs, getting married, buying a house, were all changes that have been essential parts of who I am today. Quite honestly, I am so happy I am not the same person I was yesterday, or a couple years ago. I am happy to be the person I am today. I am sure with the growth opportunities before me, I will like future me even more!

Without change, there is no growth. This notion has proved to be true in my life. Sure, there were growing pains along the way. I think growing pains come from trying to hold on to who we were (and how we looked) when we were younger, all the while life is moving forward around us. But where is the beauty is staying stagnant? Isn’t that why life is so beautiful, the inevitable reality that we all change both internally and externally? From innocent bald headed, sweet smelling baby, to wise, warm grandparent, every stage of life is precious. Every stage requires growth that can only happen through changes.

I think it’s time for me, and for you, to see change for what it truly is, an opportunity for growth, and to welcome it with open arms.

~Micha Wilhoite

Wandering Warrior- Qigong


Wandering Warrior- Qigong

By Jill Roth

This month we’ll be entering the amazing world of Qigong with the gentle guidance of Bina Bou. Bina is a certified instructor of Qigong and Tai Chi who enjoys sharing her knowledge with her students in Cave Creek and other locations in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

I began with Bina’s website (, which answers the question “What is Qigong?” Long used in training for the martial arts, Qigong is described by Bina as an exercise “designed to cultivate your Mind,Body, and your Spirit; and revitalize your Chi, the life force energy, by deep breathing and synchronized movements.”Qi or Chi means energy—a resource so essential it is impossible to define or translate Gong or Kung means to cultivate—a practice or methodology.

Qigong, therefore, refers to the exercise of one’s internal energy, and is a path to Mindfulness. Intention – Attention – Repetition – Guidance.

While everyone has Qi, most people don’t know how to tap its potential for healing and stress management. Qigong training allows practitioners to learn to relax and develop their mind-body connection. Through slow and gentle movements, Qigong has the practical benefits of providing balance and enhancing the body’s own natural healing—benefits which are documented in numerous medical publications.

With this background on the Qigong tradition, I attended one of Bina’s classes. To warm up, the group of about 24 gathered together in a large circle. You could feel the effervescent energy rippling around the room. We started with some wonderful, uplifting music and reflexology for the feet. We accomplished this
by walking in a giant circle, first on our toes, then on our heels, followed by the outsides of our feet, and finally on the insides of our feet. Next, we continued to walk while kicking out to the front, and then kicking our tushes, kicking out sideways, and lastly, marching with our knees up high. The room was filled with smiling faces, exuberant walking, and good cheer. Oh, and did I mention that the participants in the class ranged in age from 55–83?

Qigong can be used for its martial, healing, or meditative aspects. Bina says that Qigong is the mother of all martial arts, and that with slight variations it can be used for each of these goals. According to Dr. Jwing-ming Yang, a well-known teacher and author in the field, there are two separate trains of thought in the Qigong schools focused on martial arts. One, Nei Dan, believes that one should build Qi in the body and then have that spread to the limbs to increase their martial effectiveness. The other, Wai Dan, follows the belief that you should build up the Qi in your limbs and then have it flow inward to your internal Qi. This type of Qi can be used to “energize the skin and the muscles, enabling them to resist a blow without injury.” Both schools teach that by harnessing the focus of the mind (Yi), you can send Qi to the muscles and increase your fighting effectiveness. The progression of acupuncture theory also increased the effectiveness of Qigong as a martial art. By gaining a thorough knowledge of the acupuncture meridians, a Qigong practitioner would know the most effective cavities to hit and the necessary depth at which to strike. This combination of knowledge had made for a formidable martial art.

The meditative aspects of Qigong can be as simple as enjoying the focus and stress release of the movements, or as in-depth as the intense Marrow/Brain Washing, a level of training revered and kept secret from all but a handful of practitioners in every generation. To learn more about this area you can read the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic by Da Mo. Da Mo wrote this book about energizing the brain and attaining enlightenment after nine years ofseclusion in a Shaolin Temple.

Bina Bou has focused her practice on the healing properties of Qigong. I was impressed by how her students were brimming with health. Don’t be mistaken— many of her students have faced and overcome health obstacles that would have stopped others in their tracks. Take, for example, Debra, who developed a serious illness and was having difficulty with stamina and balance. Debra had been in a wheelchair before she started working with Bina. After a few months of Qigong practice, Debra was helped to the extent that she is now walking freely. But more on this later; back to the class…

Read the rest of the article and get facts about Qigong on pgs. 40-43

By Jill Roth

Willpower: Practice Makes Perfect

Willpower: Practice Makes Perfect
By Dan Ronin



I remember one night long ago. I was in my back yard practicing Iaido (Japanese sword form) and having difficulty with how the cut ended. No matter how many times I practiced the cut the end was less than satisfactory. My practice finished with me feeling despondent about my ability. It made me question whether or not I had it in me to be a competent Martial artist and if I was wasting time that could be better spent doing something else.

The following nights I continued to practice again and again and again. After doubting myself I decided that it was the practice that made me a martial artist, not my ability. If I continued to practice the only thing that could happen is that I would improve. But why? Why not. Who cares? No one. What difference does it make? Not a thing, except to me.

Ask any athlete, martial artist, artist or anyone who really specializes in something, how they became as good as they are at what they do and you will probably hear, practice. That is generally speaking not what most people want to hear. More than that, it is very difficult to dedicate yourself to regular practice sessions.

You really have to find whatever it is inside of you that will constantly renew and restore your interest in what you are practicing so that you don’t quit. It seems that in today’s world if we can’t become an expert in 20 minutes it isn’t worth it so we give up. Some people are fortunate enough to have a natural ability toward something. The rest of us have to try harder!

One of the most important lessons I have learned is the lesson of perseverance. No matter what happens in life we have the power in ourselves to overcome the hardships and adversities placed before us if we simply carry on. Quitting or giving up is the polar opposite of willpower. Willpower is the well you draw from to help overcome adversity. You are correct in your beliefs no matter what you believe. By that I mean; If you don’t think you can do something, you are right! If you think the task is too hard or the distance too far, it is! However the opposite is not only true but more powerful then most people can imagine. You can never give 110%, the math is bad. You can give 100% though and I challenge you to.

Next time you are doing something you may not be fully into, try giving it 100% and see if it makes a difference. Through the power of your will you can accomplish anything you put yourself 100% into. It starts by setting a goal and seeing yourself accomplishing that goal. Once you set a goal and do something everyday towards that goal you will reach it guaranteed. However there is more than that. Once you learn the strength of your will you can direct it where it is needed. If you truly want to meet someone, go to a certain college or work for a certain company it will happen. Beyond that once you fully understand your potential you will realize that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if you apply yourself. In addition if your will is strong no one can coerce you into doing something you don’t want to! Learn to harness your willpower and your life will change forever!
-Dan Ronin

Dan Ronin has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years. He is a combat veteran who served as a Military Police Investigtor in the Army for 8 1/2 years. Dan offers classes in Counter-Attack self defense for open hands and weaponry, as well as disaster/emergency preparedness.

Contact Dan at or 602-373-9630

The Gift of Hope

The Gift of Hope
By Kris Costa

Thinking about the holidays brings different thoughts to different people. To some, the holidays bring thoughts of festive occasions,family gatherings, warm fuzzy feelings of love, hugs and togetherness amidst the aromas of baking cookies and hearths ablaze. A deeply religious and faith filled experience, the holidays may bring some a chance at a renewed spirit, a reconciliation of the heart, a purification of soul and a humbling to the virtues of life that cannot be bought, boxed, or wrapped at any cost. Then of course, there are the children who excitedly await the long holiday break from school, sleeping late in the morning and receiving gifts in celebration of their faiths.

Then there are others…
Others who miss, others who despair, others who disappear. They live among us, but they are invisible. They see us, but we
often do not see them. They are breathing, but they are ghosts.They are the broken, the disheartened, the suffering, the abused, the confused, the lonely. They exist outside of time, outside of conventional functional reference points, outside of happiness, and outside of an inner light. But they shouldn’t.

I believe every human being who is born possesses a unique energy. Energy is evidenced when a baby is crying, breathing, moving, etc. This comes from somewhere else and exists for a reason. Every human being is also born with a brain and a capacity to learn. For some, even at this early point of human existence, some things may go terribly wrong. For
others, catastrophic and tragic events can occur further along in life, either with singularity, or in a series, and still there are some who suffer a series of hardships that become just too heavy to bear. Crushed under the cruel weight of circumstance, something falls apart within them. There are often times, even the strongest cannot hold on to that blade of grass that sees the sun, and then, they disappear.

Who would you be if you were totally alone? What would you enjoy if you had no one to share it with, would anything even

Not withstanding those whom harm others as a way to feel even a flicker of movement within, I am addressing those who are lonely, those who are abused, those who are poor, those who are suffering or sick, those who are making an effort to serve somehow, or just to survive on their own. They are part of our communities, part of our culture.

However, In a time when independence and distance from family, speediness of technological communications, multi-cultural expression and lifestyle freedoms are becoming more and more accepted in societies around the world, the meaning of “it takes a village” seems at times to be long forgotten. But it does take a village. Shouldn’t acceptance bring villages closer together? Or is it just that “allowance” has increased and not necessarily “acceptance”? Allowance is very different than acceptance. Allowance means permission, but not in my neighborhood. Acceptance is practiced differently.

So how does one practice acceptance? One answer to that question is though service, to each other. Do you live near a
hospital? Become a hugger. It is not a secret that hospitalized babies who are held more get healthier faster, but awareness of infant hugging programs may be elusive. Seek these programs out. In a study published in the 2003 Journal of Pediatric Psychology, results showed that preterm infants who were held and stroked were calmer, gained weight faster and slept better. This was ten years ago. Today, too many hospital nurses are too busy, parents may be absent or ill, and volunteers are a needed and cost effective solution to provide this necessary human contact to infants who are in desperate need. Training and background checks are necessary for volunteers but the time and effort involved seem well worth the investment. Volunteers who help babies heal report that they, themselves, benefit the most.

Read the rest of the article on pages 12-13

Kris Costa
Editor Mindset Self-Defense Magazine
Born and raised an only child in New York City, and exposed to Law Enforcement from an early age, Kris learned the benefits of situational awareness, setting boundaries and enforcing them, as essential components of daily life. During her college career, Kris studied journalism, television production, corporate and criminal law, and frequently was called upon to assist on news gathering assignments throughout the city, either as a reporter or part of the production crew. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, and her desire to protect the beauty of the human spirit, Kris brought her vision to life through Mindset Publications in July 2013. In her spare time, Kris’ enjoys the theatre, and travels extensively, with frequent visits between the west coast and her hometown.

VENUES-Austria-Zell am See, Salzburg, and Innsbruck

AUSTRIA-Zell am See, Salzburg, and Innsbruck

By Micha Wilhoite


Where do I even begin with Austria? Just to preface this article and provide clarity to those who may not have had the most extensive geographical education (sadly, many of us Americans fall into that category), no, I am not talking about the place that says “Goodday Mate” and, “Let’s put a little shrimp on the Barbie.” There are NO kangaroos in Austria. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sound of Music, Edelweiss, German speaking, the alps, Yodeling, Lederhosen, and Dirndls (traditional Austrian dress). There you go,that’s Austria.

Growing up, I spent every other summer in Austria with my family at my grandparent’s house in a cute little ski town called Zell am See. For me, Austria is a home away from homes. That is why it is difficult for me to keep my recollections concise. I went back again recently with my husband, so I will write about the places in Austria we visited during that trip, Zell am See, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. True to the Sound of Music song, “These are a Few of my Favorite Things” about Austria:

Zell am See, Austria literally means city on the lake. It truly is a small town surrounding a lake at the base of a mountain called the Schmittenhöhe, on the eastern edge of the Kitzbühel Alps. There are many charming bed and breakfast type guest homes throughout Zell am See ( it is a very popular tourist destination), but we make my grandparents’ former homestead “Haus Otto” our temporary home. “Haus Otto” is nestled near the bottom of the Schmittenhöhe about a 20-minute walk uphill from the lake and town center. This guest home is the perfect winter ski lodge. Guests can ski down to take the lift to the top of the Schmittenhöhe, ski or snowboard the beautiful slopes to their hearts content, then ski right back to the front door of “Haus Otto” at the end of the day.

While “Haus Otto” is the perfect ski lodge in the winter, it is also the perfect location for avid hikers in the summer. It is almost a sin not to hike while in Zell am See Austria, and just as guests can ski the Schmittenhöhe and Kitzsteinhorn (the glacier) to their hearts content in the winter, so can they hike these beautifully looming mountains in the summer. Hikers can begin on the hiking trail to the Schmittenhöhe right from the front door of “Haus Otto.” From there, hikers will walk through dense forests, vast cow fields, blueberry fields, and sometimes snow at the peak. The hike to the peak of the
Schmittenhöhe take between 4-5 hours (depending on how fast you hike), and to the middle station it takes about 2 hours.

The hiking is certainly beautiful in Zell am See, but you will work up a big appetite while trekking the looming mountains. That’s ok because in Austria they normally have at least one Alm or food lodge at the
top of the mountain (and sometimes at the middle station as well). It is at these alms that food is the most satisfying. The alms serve real traditional Austrian “hiker’s food.”

Two of my favorite Austrian dishes are found normally only after a long hike. The more popular of the two,“Kaisersmarren” is a scrambled up pancake-like dish with raisins, powdered sugar, and plum sauce or apple sauce served on the side. My favorite and the less popular of the two (and harder to find unless you have hiked a mountain) “Germknödel,” is a yeast dough dumpling filled with plum and topped with melted butter, sugar, and poppy seeds. Perhaps it is an acquired taste, but that’s okay because the Alm’s normally have the more traditional Austrian foods like sausages, pork, “Wiener Schnitzel,” potatoes, and bread.


Amongst my favorite activities in Austria is something the Austrians refer to as “Tree Walking.”……
Read the rest of the article on pgs.13-15

-Micha Wilhoite

MCW-Grand Hotel
Micha Wilhoite has her bachelor’s of science in Marketing. Because of her European roots, she spent every other summer traveling though Europe with her family. She is a traveling enthusiast.

Hands On- Think Before you Click

Hands on Preparedness
Youth Safety-Think Before you Click
By Tim Ralston


It is our natural instinct as parents to protect our children and keep them safe at all times. If it were up to us, we would shield them from all of the negativity that takes place in this world in the hopes of keeping them innocent as long as possible. As much as we would like this to be true, it is unrealistic to believe that we can be the sole protectors of our kids. This is evident in the fact that we are not together with them 24/7; they attend school, they have social lives, they explore virtual worlds… meaning
they are guaranteed to have experiences for which we cannot control.

While certain issues of safety may seem uncomfortable to talk about, you will only do your child a disservice by not doing so. In fact, by providing them with the knowledge and tools of how to avoid danger, along with what to do if they come across it, you will help transform their fears into empowerment during the times they need it most.

Online World
The Internet has been both a blessing as well as a curse for us as parents. When used properly, it has opened up doors for our children with its endless possibilities of educational value.Unfortunately though, it is also a gateway into the evil side of
humanity. There are those in our society who hide behind their screens to embark upon immoral acts, such as bullying and sexual inappropriateness. No matter how sheltered you try to keep your child, the second they turn on the screen, they are exposed.

Some parents take action by monitoring social media pages, putting time limits on Internet usage, or even installing specialized computer programs. These are all excellent ways to protect your child online. Ask yourself though, are they really
enough? This generation of kids is tech-savvy beyond belief, and if there is a will, there is a way. Especially if you take these security measures without informing your child of your reasoning, it will only heighten the chances of defiance. I recommend opening up a conversation with your child about the grim realities of the Internet. They should be made aware that you cannot be trusting of all that you read, nor all that you see. In particular, address predators on the chat sites. This is an extremely serious issue, which each year leads to numerous crimes against adolescents. Speak frankly; speak
graphically, whatever it takes to make them realize that Internet communication with strangers is not a game.

Another area I would focus on is the type of material they select to share online. How well do they grasp the fact that what they do and say is forever in print? Talk about how a future career might be affected, or the day they have children. Inform them that it is in their power to control how positive or negatively they are represented. It is all about choices. The main goal is to have your child choose proper Internet behavior not because you say so, but because they understand the importance in doing so. Help them achieve this by giving them ideas for self-protection, such as passwords and who can view their social media pages. Lastly, encourage non technological activities! There is nothing more rewarding in childhood than experiencing it in “real life.”

The Real Real World
Most emergency situations are unpredictable. From natural disasters to acts of violence, there is no telling when a catastrophe could occur. As adults, we are usually the ones who prepare our households for these types of events. Yet, it is just as crucial that your child be prepared as well. I would recommend beginning the conversation with your child by asking questions. (What would you do if the lights were to go out? What items do you think would be helpful?) Make it a game of sorts, praising them for their answers. Kids become very engaged when they are having fun, and also thrive with positive feedback.

Read more of the article on PG.18-19
-Tim Ralston
Tim Ralston
Author Tim Ralston is an international spokesman and recurringfeatured survival expert on National Geographic’s #1 rated program DOOMSDAY PREPPERS. Tim owns the survival brand
Gear Up, exclusive manufacturer and provider of cutting-edge survival gear and apparel. Contact Tim on Twitter:@gearupguy-tim
Gear Up Center: (480) 306-4945

10 Non-Surgical Ways to Take Ten Years off Your Face

10 Non-Surgical Ways to Take Ten Years off Your Face
By Marie Bernat

Spa, Body Wellness

If you are ready to get rid of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin that are adding years to your appearance, but want to do it without evasive surgery, this article is a must read for you. Today’s innovative cosmetic surgery treatments can help you stop the clock without going under the knife. Medical spa procedures with laser technology, dermabrasion techniques and skin tightening treatments can create a dramatic difference within a few weeks. Many non-surgical methods, when they are used regularly, can improve the appearance of the skin. Keep in mind, that no non-surgical face lift methods will remove wrinkles completely. However, non-surgical methods are easier and less expensive and do deliver results. Most non-surgical face lift products and methods will need to be used regularly for there to be lasting result.

You may find that you need to use a combination of the six keys strategies for facial rejuvenation in order to achieve maximum benefits.
The Six Keys include:
1. Exfoliating to remove dead skin and wrinkles
2. Stimulating new collagen to plump wrinkled skin
3. Removing brown spots, and abnormal blood vessels
4. Removing crow’s feet, worry lines and frown lines
5. Filling or camouflaging of the deep facial lines
6. Tightening loose skin on the face and neck

All six steps can be achieved without surgery and with minimal or no down time. There are many minimally-invasive programs that use FDA approved and tested products and treatments that are widely accepted as safe and effective by the medical community. Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of a facelift without the pain? Consider these top ten non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures:

Anti-aging Treatments:
• HydraFacial or Aquabrasion Facial
• Thermage
• Microdermabrasion
• Juvederm
• Laser Skin Resurfacing
• PhotoFacial
• Photodynamic Therapy
• Microcurrent Facelift
• Chemical Peels
• Makeup Application

Read more tips to look 10 years younger and get more spa deals here (pg36-37).

Marie Bernat



Marie Bernat is the owner of Scottsdale Spa and Holistic Massage Therapy. Scottsdale Spa and Holistic


Massage Therapy has two locations. They are located in Fountain Hills and Scottsdale Arizona. To schedule


an appointment please call them at 480-522-1041 or visit


Emergency Preparedness- The Series


Emergency Preparedness-The Series

Part 1-Overview


You probably never heard of Staten Island, the small borough I grew up on in NYC. I never once thought about hurricanes or massive flooding from the ocean that lie just a few feet from where I lived and played. However, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, you now may know where S.I. is. Residents are still recovering, just as others are from Katrina and countless other natural disasters and challenges. Thanks to Dan Ronin for this series, and Tim Ralston’s Preparedness column, for teaching us what we need to learn to be prepared and manage a crisis.

-Kris Costa

Are you ready?

By ready I mean prepared, prepared for most tragedies that might befall you, your family or community. Whether it is a natural or man made disaster there are steps you should take immediately to insure your safety and survival. First your family needs a plan. You all should know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. It is highly
possible the phones will not operate. There is a remote possibility your car won’t or can’t be used. You should have a back up plan for the family members who can’t follow the plan on their own. A disaster can come in many forms. Here are a few examples, I’m sure you can think of many more:Earthquake, Fire, Volcano, Tornado, Tsunami, Hurricane, Flood, Extreme drought, Mudslide, Epidemic, Pandemic, Plague, Nuclear War, Chemical or Biological attack, Rioting, Gas or food shortage, Marshal law, EMP, Financial collapse or Terrorist attack.

For most of man kinds existence it was natural to grow food to eat now and store food for leaner times. Sometime ago people started to label others who were prepared for disaster;
“survivalist”or “prepper” usually with a bad connotation.

Where did we go wrong? Doesn’t it make sense to have emergency preparations? A plan in case the worst happens? I think it makes perfect sense, so let’s look at what you should do.

First of all what do you need? Well it depends on your plan and/or the situation, like whether you are going to stay at your home or have to evacuate. Obviously staying home is
easier, however sometimes it is not an option and you might have to evacuate, maybe in quite a hurry. Here is a list of essential items you would be glad you had in case you needed them.

1. Water
2. Food
3. Shelter
4. Weaponry
5. First-aid
6. Transportation

Let’s Break it down….

Remember you can go several days without food. It won’t be comfortable but you will live. . The same is not true of water, without water you will die. Painfully, in a short period of time. You should store and rotate large water cooler type bottles in your home. I recommend a minimum of 1 per person and they should be replaced every couple of years . There are many alternatives to not having water stored. First of all if you have enough warning you could fill up your bathtubs, sinks and any portable receptacle you might have. If not your water heater is full of fresh water that you can drain. If you have a pool you can filter or treat the water in it. You should have a couple of ways to purify water to drink. Most people have chlorine liquid bleach. A few drops of bleach in a gallon of water will kill most pathogens. Boiling will also work, remember “big bubbles, no troubles”! You can acquire chemical treating tablets that will purify water from most outdoor or camping stores as well as various filtering options. If you go with a method like filtering or chemically treating as opposed to storing then you need to practice using it so you know how to correctly do it when the time comes. Obviously a combination of all options is best.

The easiest way to build an emergency food storage is to buy a little extra each time you go to the store. Things like canned and dry goods have a very long shelf life such as tuna, chicken, vegetables, beans, rice and pasta. Keep all canned and dry goods rotated for maximum freshness. The next option is dehydrated and freeze dried food. You can find a very wide variety of food that has been either dehydrated or freeze dried. Both options are very effective for long term food storage and have the added benefit of being ultra light. If you own a home or rent an apartment there are many ways to have a garden. While it is difficult at best to grow enough food to eat, it is a nice fresh addition to your menu. If allowed you could also keep chickens and reap the benefit of the regular eggs. Hunting, fishing and gathering are last on the list but you have to do what you have to do to survive. So learning to hunt and fish is a good idea as well as becoming confident with what foods grow wild in your area and where to find them. Just as with water, have a
plan, be prepared and use a combination of food sources.

Read more on Shelter, Weaponry, First-aid, and Transportation on page 21-22.

-Dan Ronin
Dan Ronin has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years. He is a
combat veteran who served as a Military Police Investigator in the
Army for 8 1/2 years. Dan offers classes in Counter-Attack self defense
for open hands and weaponry, as well as disaster/emergency
preparedness. Contact Dan at or


Venues-Milan, Italy

Venues-Milan COVER

Venues- Milan, Italy.

by Micha Wilhoite

Milan, Italy, otherwise known as the fashion capital of the world. Many fashion lovers dream of Milan and the treasures they will find there amongst the famous shopping plaza Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The truth is, treasures will be found in Milan, fashion will be found, Italian architecture will be found, the adventure of being in the hustle and bustle of the city will be found, a blend of modern design and historical familiarity will be found, and yes even some really, really good cappuccinos will be found.

Picture this, a busy city. One minute you are riding a crowded tram trying to navigate through heavy traffic It stops for a brief second and you must hurry to get out at your stop or you miss the opportunity. You make your way through the rest of the city by foot, walking fast as is the flow of the city, and try to avoid being hit by a Vespa that’s zooming through busy traffic You dodge the Vespa, turning into a narrow alleyway, and suddenly it’s like you are in a different place at a different time. The atmosphere becomes serene as you look around at the beautiful, looming, traditional,Italian style architecture. The traffic noises become more distant and almost soothing. The sun shines in over the top of the buildings to illuminate the alleyway, birds chirp, and suddenly it hits you, you are in Italy! Charming, romantic, passionate Italy.

At first glance Milan is modern and industrial, but as you make your way through the city to the Galleria, you find that Milan keeps much of its historical charm intact. The famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the cathedral “Duomo” are prime examples of historical Italian architecture within the modern industrialism.

The Galleria itself houses numerous high-end designer shops as well as infamous cafés and restaurants. As a lover of fashion, I made this vast plaza a top priority during my stay in Milan. I was not let down, the atmosphere and architecture in themselves are worth seeing. The galleria is one of the world’s oldest shopping centers, it was built between 1865 and 1877. The atmosphere within the structure is romantic, charming, and historical (with a contradictory modern vibe). The structure itself is made up of two glass arcades that intersects into an octagon, topped with a glass dome and cast iron roof. This central covering to the Galleria covers the streets that connect two other historical structures- The Piazza del Duoma and Piazza Della Scala.

Read the rest of the article along with facts, tips, and a snapshot of Micha’s trip details (on pages 13-15 of the Independence Issue) here.

Micha Wilhoite

Micha Wilhoite grew up traveling throughout Europe. She is a travel enthusiast and enjoys sharing some of her travel experiences in our “Venues” column.

Author Micha Wilhoite enjoying authentic Italian Tiramisu in Milan, Italy
Author Micha Wilhoite enjoying authentic Italian Tiramisu in Milan, Italy

Hands on Preparedness-Campfire in a Can

campfire in a can 3

Improvised Survival Tools- Hands on Preparedness

As an advocate for preparedness, I believe there is nothing more valuable to survival than the knowledge that you possess. If the “it” were to hit the fan, it is crucial that your family be
prepared with the vital essentials. Yet, without really knowing what the “it” may be, it is also of great importance to be educated in ways of resourcefulness!

One reason to prepare is due to the world-wide rise of natural disasters. Unsuspecting cities have been turned to ruble because of storms, etc., leaving families desperate with the
limited supplies available during the aftermath. This is where the benefit of being able to improvise your own survival tools may come into play. Learning how to take the most common objects and turn them into essential and useful emergency items can be a critical lifesaving skill to have in times of devastation.

There are many other motivations behind my efforts in encouraging these do-it-yourself projects. Beside heightening your chances of survival if the “it” were to ever happen, they are also a fun way to bring you back to the basics. There is nothing more gratifying than being able to depend on your own abilities, not only in necessary times of trouble, but during fun family outings as well.

One of my favorite homemade survival tools is the campfire in a can. This project requires very few supplies and is effective in multiple applications. You can use the campfire in a can for warmth, cooking, or illumination, all without the need for fuel. This mini campfire is also portable and easy to extinguish when you are on the move. Cool to the touch, you can quickly cover the can with the lid and be on your way!

Campfire in a Can Supplies Needed:
• Tin with a lid
• Paraffi n wax or old candles.
• Corrugated cardboard

Assembly Instructions:

1. Cut the piece of cardboard ¼ inch shorter than the length of the can.

2. Tightly roll the cardboard and place it inside the can. Be sure to use a piece large enough so that when coiled, it fills the can in its entirety.

3. Melt the wax in a pot and slowly pour into the can until it is filled.

4. Let wax set inside of the can until hardened. There are many other great tools that can be improvised from common household items. Follow my column for more fun and resourceful ideas, which
will allow you to rise to a new level of preparedness whether for fun or survival!

Tim Ralston
Author Tim Ralston is an international spokesman and recurring featured survival expert on National Geographic’s #1 rated program DOOMSDAY PREPPERS. Tim owns the survival brand Gear Up, exclusive manufacturer and provider of cutting-edge survival gear and apparel.
Contact Tim on Twitter: @gearupguytim
Gear Up Center:(480) 306-4945
Scottsdale, AZ.