Living Naturally

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About this Blog

Margaret Boyles lives in a wood-heated house in central New Hampshire. She grows vegetables, keeps chickens, swims in a backyard pond in summer, snowshoes in the surrounding woods in winter, and commutes by bike whenever possible.

April 22, 2016

Aside from supplying conventional nutrients, all leafy greens (especially the deeply colored ones) are rich in phytonutrients, plant-manufactured compounds that deliver special health benefits. Leafy Greens Are Power Food All greens are low in calories. And a serving of just about any of the deeply colored ones contains your daily supply of vitamins K and A, most of your daily vitamin C, and a hefty helping of fiber, B vitamins and essential minerals. As a class of food, leafy greens... more

April 22, 2016

Raspberries are a delicious power food prized for the vitamins, fiber, and many health benefits they provide.  Why Raspberries Are Healthy Traditional healers have used not only the berries, but all parts of the plant, including the bark, stems, flowers, leaves, and roots. A few tempting facts about raspberries from modern research: • One cup of raspberries supplies more than 40 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and manganese, and one-third of the fiber you require every day... more

April 22, 2016

Broccoli has many health benefits that make it really good for you and your family, so even if you didn’t like it as a child, you may want to reacquaint yourself with this princely vegetable.  Why Broccoli is Good for You Broccoli is SO nutritious that you just need to embrace it! By conventional nutritional standards, broccoli stands out. It’s low in calories, high in fiber and vitamins C, K, and folate, plus it contains contains significant amounts of several other vitamins and minerals.... more

April 21, 2016

The humble beet, steamed, boiled, roasted, pickled, borscht’ed—but especially served raw—is nutritious and offers many health benefits. Why Beets Are Healthy If you’ve never considered beets for breakfast, snacks, or potluck food, these facts may spark your imagination: Research has demonstrated that eating beets, especially raw, or drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure, and improve both exercise performance and blood flow to the brain—probably because of the high concentration of... more

April 4, 2016

My mother dosed her family with generous amounts of dandelion greens as soon as she discovered their bright leaves poking up through the thatch of the back lawn. One of nine children growing up during the Depression on a Vermont dairy farm, Mom regaled us with many stories of the wild-food foraging that supplemented the self-reliant family diet. Dandelions, the first fresh greens of spring, ranked high on her list of important foraged foods. I inherited my mother’s dandelion fork, a simple... more

March 27, 2016

Think about plants. We can learn from the way they keep themselves healthy, and there are many ways that plants help human health. “Plants are the master chemists,” says Mary Ann Lila, who directs the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. “Because plants can’t move around, they have to manufacture what they need, not merely to grow and reproduce, but to defend, protect, and heal themselves.” To botanists, plants manufacture good stuff called “phytocompounds” (aka... more

March 24, 2016

Why do we crack our joints? Is it harmful?  Maybe you’ve picked up this common habit yourself. If not, most of us know folks who intentionally and constantly crack their knuckles (necks, backs, wrists, etc.), driving everyone around them batty.   Let’s get cracking on some answers …  Why do joints crack? The longstanding biomedical question of what causes knuckle-cracking sounds was only recently solved! The actual cause, scientists say: a phenomenon called tribonucleation, a “process... more

March 21, 2016

I knew I hadn’t failed childrearing entirely the night my young daughter walked into the kitchen and exclaimed, “Oh goody! Kale for supper.” Many years later, she left New Hampshire for Arlington, Virginia, and moved in with a friend while she looked for a job. During our first phone conversation after her arrival there, she announced, “I can’t afford the food here. Broccoli costs $2.50 a head, and I’m not talking organic.” Coming from a home that goes heavy on home-grown vegetables, and... more

March 10, 2016

Flat out of cheap, fast, and healthy menu ideas?  I’ll tell you how to make flatbread recipes. Pita, naan, tortilla, puri, roti, focaccia, lafah, appam, cong yu bing, chapati, dosa, paratha, mana’eesh, lavash, fatir, yufka, injera, blini, socca … Some variety of flatbread appears in nearly every ancient and modern cuisine around the world. It’s easy enough to understand the ubiquity of flatbreads: They use a minimum of ingredients: flour, water, perhaps a pinch of salt. The more elaborate... more

March 5, 2016

Here are some tips for upcycling, reusing, and repurposing old items, with everything from paper towel tubes to toothbrushes and plastic lids. There’s a famous New Yorker cartoon from the early 1990’s about recycling. It shows a long stream of people trudging up the many switchbacks of a flaming ramp to deposit items in an endless string of boxes labeled tea bags, wadded up masking tape, broken ballpoint pens, not blue paper, etc. The cartoon is captioned “Recycling in Hell.” That’s how I feel... more

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