Living Naturally

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About this Blog

"Living Naturally" is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that's good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, and ideas to make your home a healthy, safe haven. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it's re-learning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better healthier lives.

February 22, 2018

Every rural, suburban, or urban household runs into various problems with pests or—to use the broadest possible term—nature.  Indoor and outdoor insect invasions, creatures running around inside the walls, droppings in the cupboards, tunnels in the sills or foundation beams, worms in the broccoli, bats in the attic, chirping in the chimney, mold growing on the moldings, lawn grass turning yellow and slimy, something chewing the bark off trees and shrubs, beavers felling trees and damming a ... more

February 15, 2018

All natural! High-fiber! Multigrain! Only 2 grams of fat per serving! Contains real fruit! Do you know what food labels really mean? Here’s a handy guide to decoding food labels. Food marketers have taken full advantage of Americans’ growing interest in the connection between good nutrition and good health. To make food seem healthy, they pile on words chosen for their emotional appeal. But some of the most common food descriptors don’t carry any real meaning. Others falsely imply health... more

February 12, 2018

Ready for a mind-expanding adventure? From testing the water quality of your local lake to participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count (which takes place February 16 to 19), there’s a citizen science project that fits with any hobby, interest, or curiosity that you may have. Take a look! Science is one important way of exploring and understanding the world we live in through observation, data collection, and various forms of experimentation. What is Citizen Science? With citizen science... more

January 31, 2018

There’s a surprising amount of practical, household uses for old, stale bread! Here are a few of our favorites. I’ve baked my own whole-grain bread for more than 40 years (the kind food writers call “rustic”). I don’t think I’ve ever bought a loaf of bread Yet store-bought white bread somehow occasionally puts in an appearance here, and I will say it serves a number of surprising household uses that don’t involve consuming it. Almost worth keeping a  loaf on hand in the freezer. Household Uses... more

January 24, 2018

Ever had a blizzard or snowstorm cause power outages or emergency conditions? How do you prepare and survive the storm? Here are some tips from a winter weather veteran. Up here in northern New England, we have had our fair share of walloping Nor’easters. One year, blizzard conditions rolled into town at night, and we’d accumulated 10 inches of wet, heavy snow, and lost power within hours. When we lose power, our two wood stoves—one of them a modern cookstove with an oven—keep us warm and well-... more

January 20, 2018

Think of soup as a great way to boost your health by adding herbs. It’s easy way to create your own herbal health booster. For millennia, our ancestors experimented with the leaves, roots, seeds, fungi, lichens, barks and other natural substances around them for healing. Modern medical science owes a lot to their discoveries. More than 27 percent today’s over-the-counter and prescription drugs derived originally from plants. Much of the sophisticated plant wisdom of previous eras has been lost... more

January 18, 2018

Ever experienced muscle twitches, jerks, or involuntary tics? What causes them? Are they serious? Don’t panic—here’s everything you need to know. What are Muscle Twitches and Tics? After recent hip surgery, I began experiencing unsettling twitching, cramping, and wavelike sensations along my affected side. My physical therapist reassured me by saying this was no doubt my tendons and muscles objecting to and gradually accommodating to new positions. He was right. The weird movements slowly... more

January 6, 2018

Coming indoors and going out, the dry winter air causes static hair, parched skin, and—especially—cracked lips. It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own moisturizing lip balm from natural ingredients. You need only two ingredients for the most basic product: a little beeswax and a good-quality oil. The oil and wax together seal in moisture; the beeswax (which contains healing anti-inflammatory and antibiotic compounds) stiffens the product. I add a little raw honey to mine, for its flavor,... more

January 3, 2018

Sometimes, it can be difficult to start exercising—and even more difficult to stick with it! Here are some tips to help you start exercising again, even if you do not have a gym membership. Why Bother Exercising? Let’s start with this thought: If your doctor gave you a prescription that she said would improve your mood, improve energy, keep you mentally sharp, help you manage weight, reduce your risk of disease and injury, improve your sex life, extend your life span, and cost little to nothing... more

January 2, 2018

How can we avoid colds and flu naturally? Both—along with pneumonia, strep, chicken pox, and norovirus infections (“stomach flu”)—rise dramatically during the winter months. We even suffer more (and more damaging) heart attacks and strokes during winter. Why Do People Get Colds and the Flu in the Winter? The answers are complex, elusive, and still evolving. For a long time, experts told us that we catch more colds and flu in winter because we huddle together indoors in poorly ventilated... more

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