Living Naturally


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.

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

February 26, 2016

Plantar warts are a common, frustrating problem, even with children. It’s better to prevent plantar warts or wait them out than try to cure them.  This is how the symptoms start … For a few weeks, I’d been complaining of a growing tenderness on the ball of my left foot. The tenderness gradually became real pain, until every footfall felt as if I were slapping the sore spot down over a small stone. One day after a bruising long run, I pulled off my sock to show my running partner the spot,... more

February 16, 2016

Carrots offer even more health benefits than the Vitamin A you might know about. Plus they’re inexpensive, always available, and easy to grow. Here are some of the ways that carrots are good for you. Carrots Are a Healthy Food They’re nutritious. A single carrot, raw or cooked, will provide more than a day’s worth of Vitamin A. Carrots are also a good source of fiber, and deliver a variety of vitamins and minerals in lesser amounts. Low in calories, carrots also carry a low glycemic load (... more

January 9, 2016

Light deprivation, snow and ice storms, dangerous driving conditions, power outages, frozen pipes, the frenzy of winter holidays, overindulgence, weight gain: winter delivers a load of extra stress to those of us in the colder, darker regions. While we’re powerless to control most of these stress-inducing circumstances, we do have an abundance of choices for responding to stress and lessen its negative effects on our health and well-being. My favorite stress-busters don’t cost anything, require... more

January 7, 2016

What is the best sleeping position? Find out how your sleeping position affects your health and how to sleep better in a healthy sleep position. What position do you find most comfortable for sleeping?  Front, back, right side, left side?  Curled up, straight as a log, one leg over the other, splayed out across the entire bed?  One pillow? Two, three, none? Pillow between legs, under knees, under feet, under stomach? Head and chest elevated, or legs above head? A year ago, I suffered a life... more

January 4, 2016

A growing body of research suggests that sneaking in one or several 10-minute bouts of exercise can deliver impressive health and fitness benefits. That’s good to know, especially in winter, when ice, snow, cold, lack of light, and—face it—low or no motivation encourage us to move less, sit more, and eat holiday goodies for comfort.Consider also Brief workouts help beginning exercisers ease into a more active life. Begin with one 10-minute block and work up to three or more a day. Of course... more

December 19, 2015

Last summer we harvested a bumper crop of Anaheim-type chili peppers, many of which I roasted, peeled, and froze. Mmmm. Nothing gives winter comfort and joy better than a bowl of spicy chili or an aromatic pepper-laced vegetable soup simmered on the woodstove. Humans have been growing and eating hot peppers for at least 7,000 years, and for at least as long, indigenous healers have prescribed them in some form for pretty much everything that ails us, inside and out. Modern research has borne... more

December 5, 2015

It’s winter! In central New Hampshire where I live, snow from the first big storm of the season is falling and ice has covered the pond behind my house. I’ll get a lot of exercise today and tomorrow shoveling pathways, de-icing the driveway, and snowshoeing in the adjacent woods. Snow and ice also have many household uses. If you don’t have any just outside your kitchen door, use cubed or crushed ice from your freezer. Culinary uses Make maple sugar on snow. Growing up in Vermont in a family... more

November 8, 2015

Nothing speaks of fall and winter like the appearance of winter squashes and pumpkins in stores, farmers’ markets, and on our tables. It’s time to turn to the sweet, orange-fleshed hubbards, buttercups, butternuts, and acorns for comfort. Botanists also classify pumpkins among the winter squashes. Native to the New World, all varieties of squash and pumpkins belong to the genus Cucurbita within the large plant family Cucurbitacae. What is Winter Squash “Summer” squashes are varieties of... more

November 7, 2015

Here are a list of restless leg syndrome symptoms and natural remedies for restless leg syndrome relief. What Is Restless Leg Syndrome? They arrive soon after you lie down to sleep: strange sensations creeping through your legs. People variously describe the sensations as tugging, pulling, tingling, stinging, throbbing, itching, or aching; others say it feels as if something is crawling or flowing inside their legs. The sensations produce a near-irresistible urge to get up and move around.... more


Free Beginners Garden Guide

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners!
Your complete guide on how to grow a vegetable garden—from scratch!


You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter