10 Survival Kit Items Every Pet Owner Needs

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10 Survival Kit Items Every Pet Owner Needs

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Your family’s safety may be foremost in your disaster preparedness, but remember that your pet is a family member, too — with a different set of needs.

So, make an emergency kit for your pet. The following items should be at the top of the list:

1. Sufficient supply of water

The importance of having sufficient water on board cannot be overstressed, especially with pets around. Since they do not understand the need for conserving water, and cannot express their needs verbally, they may become cranky when the normal amount of water is not available to them. If you usually keep a bowl of water around for the pet to drink at will, the absence of the same can be unsettling for it. Moreover, it’s always more dangerous to ration the drinking water for animals than for people, because the signs of dehydration are less noticeable in them.

2. Pet food

Whether it is a cat, dog, rabbit, etc., your pet should have a good supply of its regular food in the emergency kit. In addition to the regular food, for pet dogs especially, you should stock up on special treats that are reserved for rewarding good behavior during dog training. It will help them adjust to the new situation faster. Also, have a mix of wet and dry food. Wet foods are particularly useful in case you are running low on water, as they will mitigate dehydration to some extent. If your pet is accustomed to canned food, then you should buy single-serve cans to avoid unnecessary food waste. You may have power disruption, or may not even have access to a refrigerator!

3. Veterinary drugs and first-aid

Many drugs meant for people may be safely given in lower doses to pets in an emergency, but it is far from ideal. There’s a high probability of pets getting hurt when natural disasters strike. You should carry a few common drugs, such as analgesics, for relieving pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation resulting from minor injuries.

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If your pet is on prescription drugs or if it has conditions requiring regular medication, it goes without saying that you should have a 2-4 weeks’ supply of those drugs. Your veterinarian may help you source them for your emergency kit.

4. Restraints and ropes

When animals are faced with disturbing circumstances, their responses are unpredictable. Even when their owners are around, they feel ill at ease in strange surroundings. After being confined to a room or the basement for long periods, they may run out the moment you open the door, quite unmindful of any dangers outside. You may have to keep them restrained at all times until normalcy is restored, or they may go and hide in inaccessible and dangerous places, or get lost. Leashes, halters or collars should be included in the emergency kit along with a long piece of rope.

5. Pet carriers

10 Survival Kit Items Every Pet Owner Needs

Image source: Pixabay.com

Your pets may have to travel with you on different modes of transportation, including air travel, during an emergency evacuation. Having appropriate pet carriers such as crates or boxes at hand will make transfers smooth. In some cases, the pet may have to be taken to a veterinarian by rescue operators or admitted in a hospital for treatment.

6. ID tags and papers

At times of emergencies, we cannot always have our way. Whether you like it or not, your pet may be separated from you. You may be asked to house the pet in a rescue home with a number of other pets.

It is not rare for pets to get lost during an emergency. An ID tag on the dog and papers proving your ownership, including some pictures of you and the dog together, will greatly improve the chance of reuniting with a lost pet.

7. Medical records

Keeping a copy of your pet’s medical records will help it get the right medical treatment. If the dog has to undergo surgical procedures, a record of its health status is invaluable. Sometimes you may have to admit the pet in a shelter which insists on having all its animals vaccinated. Your assurance will not satisfy them, but the proof of vaccination in the pet’s medical records will.

8. Grooming kit

Whether you are cooped up in your basement or housed in a community shelter or a hotel room, your pet will be happier if you continue with the usual grooming routine. It might be feeling out of sorts with all the recent changes, but your attention can calm it and make it feel at home.

9. Sanitary kit

This kit should have the necessary items to keep the pet and the surroundings clean and sterile. All your housebreaking efforts and potty training are put to severe test at times like these. Even the most well-behaved pet can have plenty of accidents in strange surroundings. If your dog or cat has been trained to relieve themselves outside the home, and now they are cooped up indoors, what else can you expect?

Have a good supply of disposable gloves, poop bags and bins to keep the waste.

10. Bowls for food and water

People can eat and drink directly from tins, cans and pouches when necessary, but animals may not be able to do that. Have a set of bowls to serve your pet food and water. You can pack in collapsible dishes to save space, but ensure they are stable. You don’t want more messes to clean up on top of all other troubles.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

6 Reasons To Start Homesteading This Year (No. 3 Could Save America — If Everyone Did It)

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6 Reasons To Start Homesteading This Year (No. 3 Could Save America -- If Everyone Did It)

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Are you thinking of starting a homestead? Does the thought of growing food, tending animals and living independently sound attractive to you? If so, then you are not alone, as each year thousands of Americans discover the joy of the self-sufficient life.

But if you are on the fence, here are six reasons why you may want to get going on your homesteading plans:

1. You want to provide food for your family.

Many people who start a homestead do so because they are sick of being reliant on their local grocery store for food. Food prices are skyrocketing, quality is diminishing, and you never know exactly where your food is coming from. When you start your homestead, you will raise the majority of your own food, ensuring it is healthy and nutritious. Also, once your homestead is up and running, you can build a stockpile of healthy food for times of need.

2. You want to simplify your life.

Living in an urban area can be tough: The hustle and bustle of daily life, the fast food and the reliance on technology all eat away at your mental and physical health. If your desire is for fresh air and a good hard day’s work outside, then it may be time to begin your homestead.

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People who have left their city ways and embraced all homesteading has to offer report feeling and looking better almost immediately. Their stress level drops, they sleep better, they eat better and they have an overall awareness for the world around them that they have never had before. This promotes a great sense of overall well-being.

3. You want your family to be close.

Modern living has shot a bullet through family life. We are so busy with social distractions, work, sports, school, etc., that we have forgotten what it looks like to be a real family. Few families share a meal together even once a week. The family table has become nothing short of a gathering place for mail and other junk — or a place to do homework. If your desire is to gather your flock together and promote teamwork and unity, nothing will do it faster than starting a homestead. That’s because running a homestead efficiently takes teamwork, and lots of it. Your children will learn the true value of physical labor, and you can enjoy shared meals that you have grown yourself and with less access to the hectic life of the past. You will learn again to have fun together as a family.

4. You want to learn new skills.

6 Reasons To Start Homesteading This Year (No. 3 Could Save America -- If Everyone Did It)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Homesteading requires that you learn new skills, and, of course, you need to learn skills to be independent and keep your homestead thriving. There is no better feeling than to be able to manage your own life and property without needing assistance. Learning new skills improves your confidence and also allows you to be a blessing to others in need.

5. You want to be self-sufficient.

Whether you move off grid or even partially off the grid, you will be more self-sufficient than about 90 percent of the population. Think about it: Most people rely daily on everything from the power company to the water company to the grocery store.

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Reducing your independence on these services is the first step to becoming self-sufficient. Homesteading offers the chance to live independently, and this provides a strong sense of security.

6. You want to save money.

For many people, the initial cost of starting a homestead and going off grid can be scary. But over time, you will save money. Becoming less dependent on others by raising your own food, learning new skills, utilizing alternative energy sources, etc., will result in substantial cost savings. Take the time to compare your current budget with a proposed budget about one year into your homestead. You will see, pretty quickly, that you can save quite a bit of money.

Of course, homesteading is not for everyone. Always take the time to do your research before purchasing a property and starting a homestead. If you do decide it is for you, then you will need to do even more research to determine things like location and property size. This will help ensure that your journey into homesteading is a rewarding one.

What would you add to this list? Share your additions in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

The Brilliant No-Till, No-Weeds, Pain-Free Way To Garden

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The Brilliant No-Till, No-Weeds, Pain-Free Way To Garden

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Gardening involves a lot of hard work, from turning the compost pile to deep tilling. If you love gardening but hate all of the chores, then we’ve got your answer.

Lasagna gardening is exactly what the name implies: layering the garden beds with different materials to form the growing medium. It is not only an easy way to grow veggies, but an excellent recycling project. You can dump all sorts of organic material, as you do it in alternating layers.

The beds are built on top of the soil without disturbing the ground in any way. The area is watered and covered in newspaper, on which hay, compost, grass clippings, peat, dry leaves, rotted manure and crushed leaves all go in repeated layers. The beds are kept moist to create the ideal conditions for microbial decomposition. Earthworms do their part, too. Seeds and seedlings go directly into the beds in close plantings.

Getting Started

Choose the site

To start your lasagna garden beds, you should first locate the site. Traditional gardeners always look for ground that previously has been under cultivation. That’s because you get at least a foot or two of loose soil in such areas, which makes deep tilling easier.

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However, no-till gardening is not restricted by such limitations. You can choose any piece of land, whether it is hard as rock or overrun by weeds. It doesn’t matter whether you have clay or sandy soil, or the property is in a rocky area. The only requirement is that the site gets good sunlight.

Direct sunlight is a prerequisite for a successful vegetable garden, be it lasagna garden or not. A few leafy greens may tolerate shade, but most vegetables – such as tomatoes, beans, potatoes, onions and carrots — are sun-loving.

When to start

It is possible to start planting your garden as soon as you make the beds with layers of materials, but then you need to add a few inches of soil or matured compost for planting. But it is best if you can give nature a few months’ time to work her magic on the beds. So, for early spring planting, you can start making the bed in late summer or in fall.

Laying the foundation

The Brilliant No-Till, No-Weeds, Pain-Free Way To Garden

Image source: Pixabay.com

Several layers of newspaper make the bottom part of the beds. There is no need to dig up the sod or remove rocks. If the area is overrun by weeds, you can either cut them down, leaving them where they land, or just stomp them down as you lay the newspaper layers. If it is grassy, then you can mow it down and keep the clippings aside to form a layer above the newspaper layer. If that particular piece of unused land has years of accumulated leaf litter, then you can add some lime to reduce the acidity that rotting leaves generate.

Aim to cover the entire area with four to five layers of newspaper, wetting them with water. Add four inches of straw over it, and cover that layer with two to three inches of compost or aged manure. Water down each layer as you add it. Spread your grass clippings and add a layer of peat over it. Add dry leaves or straw, and cover it with layers of compost and manure. Keep adding alternate layers of green and brown materials and watering in between until the bed is at least two-feet high.

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You don’t have to build the layers in a day or a week. Do that as you come by more materials from your kitchen and your lawn and garden. You can get some from your neighbor’s garden or nearby markets and lumberyards. The leaf litter in fall can be crushed and added, too. If you are not planting immediately, then water the bed well and cover it with a layer of plastic weighed down by stones. The steamy atmosphere created under the plastic will accelerate the breakdown of plant materials.

Carbon-nitrogen balance

You need to have the right balance between carbon-rich dry stuff (brown materials like straw and dry leaves) and nitrogen-rich green stuff (like grass clipping and pruned plant materials, kitchen waste). To get the ideal C:N ratio of 25:1, you can add one part by volume of green material to 2 part by volume of brown materials.

How to plant

You don’t have to dig and turn the lasagna bed to make it uniform. Just make small pockets for your seedlings to go in. Fix them in place with some garden soil or compost. Close planting is recommended. As the plant grows and spreads, there shouldn’t be any space for weeds to grow.

Water the beds as you normally do. You can do top dressing or use organic liquid fertilizers as foliar spray. Mulching can be done, but weeding may not be necessary.

What to grow

You can grow any vegetable in the lasagna garden that you normally grow in regular beds. Tomatoes, potatoes, beans, root vegetables, cabbage-family veggies, greens, all do well in these beds. Harvesting potatoes and other root veggies is extremely easy, since you can just pull them out when ready.

Try this no-till gardening technique and enjoy the benefits and ease with which you can grow a bountiful harvest for your family!

What advice would you add for lasagna gardening? Share your tips in the section below:

Every Spring, Gardeners Make This Avoidable Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

4 All-Natural Disinfectants Just As Potent As Store-Bought Chemical Cleaners

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4 All-Natural Disinfectants Just As Potent As Store-Bought Chemical Cleaners

If you are like most people, you have a vast array of great-smelling cleaning products under your sink that carry with them claims of great efficacy for keeping your home looking and smelling its best.

However, if the truth is told, the majority of these cleaning products are laced with highly dangerous chemicals, many that have little or no safety data available. These chemicals may significantly impact not only your health but also the environment.

The Environmental Working Group researched more than 2,000 common cleaning products and discovered that information about ingredients is hidden from consumers. The result is an unregulated industry and hundreds of potentially harmful cleaning products on store shelves.

Cleaning products are not required by federal law to list ingredients. This means that manufacturers can sneak in harsh cleaning chemicals regardless of their impact on health. Some of these cleaners can trigger skin problems, reproductive problems, hormone disruption, asthma or even cancer. Without full disclosure on the label, consumers have no idea what they are buying.

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Here are a few of the ingredients lurking in your products:

Phthalates: These are found in fragrances and products such as dish soap, toilet paper and air fresheners. These chemicals have been found to cause low sperm counts in men.

Perchloroethylene (PERC): These chemicals are found in spot cleaners, carpet and upholstery cleaners and dry-cleaning solutions. PERC is a known neurotoxin and is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a “possible carcinogen.”

Triclosan: This chemical is found in most dishwashing detergents, some toothpastes and also hand soaps that are labeled “antibacterial.” Research has shown that triclosan can alter hormone regulation in animals, contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and harm the immune system. Even a very small amount of this dangerous compound can be absorbed through the skin.

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2-Butoxyethanol: Window and multipurpose cleaners contain this chemical that is known as powerful “glycol ether.” The Environmental Protection Agency notes that this chemical may cause sore throats while higher levels may cause narcosis, pulmonary edema, liver and kidney damage. You are at particular risk if you clean in an unventilated bathroom or small area.

Natural Disinfectants

If you are looking for a way to clean that is non-toxic but still effective, there is hope! Here are four all-natural cleaners you should try this year:

1. Vinegar. Vinegar is a powerful, natural disinfectant that has antimicrobial properties. Research shows that vinegar, when used in combination with salt or hydrogen peroxide, can even halt the growth of some strains of E. coli. Also, vinegar is a highly effective mold killer and won’t hurt the environment or your lungs like chlorine bleach.

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2. Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known to be a powerful force against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It will kill E. coli, salmonella, shigella and staphylococcus. To make an effective disinfectant, mix two cups of water, half a teaspoon of liquid soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar and 20 drops of tea tree oil.

3. Neem oil. Neem oil, from the seeds of a tree native to India, is a powerful sanitizer, insect repellent and all-over cleaner. To make a potent cleaner, mix a little oil in a vegetable-based liquid soap like Castile. All you need is a few drops of this all-natural cleaner to clean your counters and other solid surface tops.

4. Grapefruit seed extract. Herbal scholar and author Stephen Harrod Buhner states that grapefruit seed extract is a more powerful disinfectant than standard hospital preparations. It can tackle Haemophilus influenza which causes sinusitis, meningitis and ear infections. Create a potent solution by mixing 40 drops of the extract with one quart of water. Shake well before each use.

So, this year, before you throw away your money on toxic brews with powerful claims to leave your home sparkling clean, consider a few of these easy-to-make and inexpensive disinfectant alternatives.

What all-natural cleaners would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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5 Reasons You Gotta Start Beekeeping This Spring

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5 Reasons You Gotta Start Beekeeping This Spring

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Have you been thinking about employing some bees but are still sitting on the fence? Raising bees is a wonderful and practical hobby that has many benefits.

Here are my top five reasons why I can’t wait to raise bees — and a few tips on getting started.

1. Honey

Raw and local honey offers a plethora of health benefits. Honey is known as the oldest sweetener on the planet and here is another amazing fact: It never spoils. What better way to enjoy all it has to offer then to raise your own bees. Also known as liquid gold, honey contains a treasure trove of healing properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial nature, honey is a wonderful remedy for minor burns and wounds. Honey is also a tasty alternative to refined sugar, loaded with antioxidants, mineral and vitamins. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, raw and local honey provides great relief.

2. Pollination

Bees are instrumental in the process of pollination. In fact, this is by far their most important job. Without it, flowers, fruit trees and crops would not grow, and our food supply would dwindle.

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It is estimated that cross-pollination from bees is instrumental in the growth of 30 percent of the world’s food crops and 90 percent of wild plants.

3. Beeswax

5 Reasons You Gotta Start Beekeeping This Spring

Image source: Pixabay.com

This free byproduct of hives offers amazing therapeutic value. Bees have to fly a total of 150,000 miles to produce one pound of wax, and eat about six pounds of honey to secrete the wax. Keep in mind that for every 100 pounds of honey a beekeeper harvests, only one to two pounds of beeswax are produced.

Beeswax is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory, making it a near-perfect addition to creams, salves and balms. The great things about beeswax is that it is incredibly easy to turn into your own products. I love to melt beeswax and mix it with sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil and my favorite essential oils to make a moisturizing cream that keeps my skin soft and supple.

4. It is educational and fun

There is nothing quite so engaging as watching nature at work. If you are in the market for a fun hobby, bees are the answer. It is a wonderful opportunity to teach young and old alike about amazing natural feats.

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Bees are incredible working machines and they deserve an audience. You even can purchase observation hives, which makes the whole project even more interesting.

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5. It’s environmentally responsible

With the modern-day plight of the bees, it is environmentally responsible to help preserve the honeybee population any way we can. Even putting up one hive can help to establish the honeybee population in your area.

Tips for getting started

  • Learn more: Read books and get to know beekeepers in your area. Even take a class.
  • Start small: Don’t get burned out with a huge operation. Start small your first year.
  • Purchase a kit: This is the easiest way to get all that you need to get started.
  • Know the risks: Safety is always first. Be sure you understand all of the potential risks.
  • Join a beekeeping club: Search out a beekeeping club in your area and become a member.

There you have it. It’s time to “bee” amazed with this wonderful gift from God!

What beekeeping tips would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Every Spring, Gardeners Make This Avoidable Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

Old-Fashioned Healing Salves Anyone Can Make At Home

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Old-Fashioned Healing Salves Anyone Can Make At Home

Image source: crunchybetty.com

Healing salves, passed down through the centuries, contain the goodness of medicinal plants to relieve pain and inflammation and promote healing.

Here are five healing salves for common problems that anyone can make at home:

1. Burn-aid salve

If minor burns are a common affair in your household, you need this handy burn salve for immediate pain relief and faster healing of the skin. It is simple, yet often as effective as any ointment your money can buy.

The lavender soothes the skin and the honey works to dry up any blisters and promote skin regeneration. Calendula promotes healing and prevents scarring.

You will need:

  • 2 tsp lavender essential oil
  • 2 tsp calendula essential oil
  • ½ cup honey (Manuka honey with UMF 15+ gives the best results)
  • 1 cup coconut oil

How to make:

  1.   Melt coconut oil by keeping it in a warm place or in a bowl of hot water.
  2.   Add lavender and calendula essential oils.
  3.   Allow the mixture to cool until it starts to solidify, and beat in the honey.
  4.   Store in a wide-mouthed glass jar.

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2. Healing chest rub salve

This decongestant chest rub can bring great relief during the cold and flu season. It is much safer than petroleum-based chest rubs, and a must in households with children.

 

You will need:

  • 2 tsp eucalyptus oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary oil
  • 1 tsp camphor oil
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 tsp lemon oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup beeswax pellets
  • 1 cup cocoa butter
Image source: Inhabitat.com

Image source: Inhabitat.com

How to make:

  1.   Melt the beeswax in a double boiler and add the cocoa butter to it. Mix well until the cocoa butter melts and gets mixed with the melted wax.
  2.   After the waxy mixture has cooled slightly, add the olive oil and all the essential oils to it.
  3.   Pour into small glass or metal tubs and let it cool completely before sealing the containers.

 

3. Healing salve for cuts, bruises and insect bites

Minor cuts and bruises happen all the time. They may usually heal on their own, but secondary infections can complicate things. This healing salve with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties will not only give immediate pain relief, but will prevent infections and help the injured skin heal faster.

You will need:

  • ½ cup calendula petals (or 1 tsp calendula essential oil)
  • ½ cup arnica flowers (or 1 tsp arnica essential oil)
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax pellets

How to make:

  1.   Put the flowers in a glass bowl and pour warm olive oil over them. Keep it in the oven or stove at the lowest setting for six to eight hours.
  2.   Melt beeswax on a double boiler and take off the heat.
  3.   Strain the flower-infused olive oil into the wax, mixing well.
  4.   Add all the remaining essential oils and mix well.
  5.   Pour into glass or metal containers and allow to set before putting on the lids.

 

4. Old bones salve

This one is excellent for all the aches and pains old age brings, but can be used by the young and the athletic with equal effect. It gives lasting relief whether it is arthritis, rheumatism, sprains and strains, or anything else that gives pain in the joints or muscles. The pain relief comes from the warming effect of cayenne and cloves, while the ginger and turmeric reduce inflammation.

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp clove essential oil
  • 1 tsp wintergreen essential oil
  • 1 cup virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax pellets

How to make:

  1. Melt the coconut oil by gently heating it, or keeping it in the sun or in a warm place indoors.
  2. Mix in the cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder and dry ginger powder and leave overnight in a warm place.
  3. Melt the beeswax pellets in a double boiler and let the wax cool slightly.
  4. Strain the coconut oil through a muslin cloth and add it to the melted beeswax, along with the essential oils.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool, stirring several times until it solidifies.

 

 

5. Salve for eczema and damaged skin

Image source: campwander.com

Image source: campwander.com

Skin conditions like eczema require constant care. Instead of depending on commercial products of doubtful composition, you can make a soothing salve that keeps the skin soft and moisturized and helps to relieve any itching and burning.

 

You will need:

  • ½ cup calendula petals
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 tsp German chamomile oil
  • 1 tsp neem oil
  • 1 cup Jojoba oil
  • ½ cup beeswax pellets

How to make:

  1.   Infuse calendula petals in jojoba oil by mixing both. Keep the mixture in the sun or in a warm place for a day. (Gently heating the mixture will accelerate the process.)
  2.   Melt the beeswax in a double boiler and let it cool a bit.
  3.   Strain the jojoba oil and add it to the melted wax along with all the essential oils.
  4.   Pour into glass or metal tubs and allow to set before capping.

 

The beeswax-carrier oil combination determines the texture of the salve. You can always adjust it to your liking by slightly changing their proportions. To get an idea of how the final product will be, take a spoonful of the salve mix while it is still warm and pop it into the freezer for five minutes. Add more oil to the warm mixture to lighten the texture or some melted beeswax to make it thicker.

What advice would you add on making salves? Share your tips in the section below:

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5 Long-Lasting Superfoods To Keep You Healthy All Winter

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5 Long-Lasting Superfoods To Keep You Healthy All Winter

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Consuming seasonal superfoods – that is, foods that are nutrient-rich — strengthens your immune system so you can fight off those nagging colds and be at the top of your game no matter what life throws at you.

Here are five winter superfoods that you should consider adding to your list. Even better, they will store for weeks or months:

1. Root vegetables

Vegetables such as parsnips, celery, carrots, beets and turnips all grow under the ground, where they can take in nutrients from the soil. These high-fiber vegetables are truly versatile and can be added to soups or stews, or stir fried and even made into tasty chips (a great alternative to the potato chips you buy in the store). My whole family enjoys these root chips!

Research has even demonstrated that a compound found in raw carrots may inhibit the formation of breast cancer.

2. Winter squash

Squash and colder weather just sort of go together, don’t they? But rather than just using these beautiful veggies to adorn your front doorstep, why not consider adding them to your diet?

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Antioxidants found in squash can help to reduce inflammation — good news if you suffer from achy joints. Just one serving of butternut squash has 35 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. The high amount of beta-carotene and omega-3 in squash helps keep your skin looking radiant and young all winter long.

3. Cabbage

Both red and green cabbage are loaded with vitamin K and anthocyanins that improve both mental function and concentration. Also, both of these nutrients help to guard against dementia and Alzheimer’s, and they prevent nerve damage. Cabbage is also high in potassium that regulates blood pressure. The vitamin C and sulfur in cabbage helps to get rid of free radicals and uric acid – the main culprits of gout, arthritis, skin conditions and rheumatism.

Cabbage can be eaten raw, juiced, sauteed, roasted or included in soups, salads or stews.

4. Chia seeds

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While you may know that flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are even better. These tiny black seeds are loaded with vitamins A, B, E and D, along with the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, potassium, thiamine, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and zinc.

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Throw some of these potent little seeds into your salads, smoothies, soups and more to enjoy all they have to offer.

5. Citrus fruits

How could I forget the ever popular winter citrus fruits? Citrus is just one of the things that makes me smile — whether it be grapefruits, oranges, limes, tangerines or lemons. Eating citrus in the winter is a great way to keep your immune system strong and your energy high. Not only are citrus fruits high in vitamin C, but they are also rich in thiamin and folate. Research shows that citrus fruit can help protect against heart disease and cancer. Enjoy citrus fruits fresh, in salads or juiced.

What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts

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8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts

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How often do you take electricity for granted? If you are like I once was, it happens quite frequently.

Often, I would shut off lights and unplug things when not in use, but I still never really took the time to think about what it would be like to go without power — that is, until I spent more than two weeks after a hurricane in just that situation.

I didn’t like it at first, but after a while, it was kind of nice to read with a lantern by my bed or work hard while the sun was up and relax once it retired. I figured it must have been kind of like how life had been for my great-grandparents at one time. I eventually did get into a routine, and it was at this time that I realized just how much the availability of electricity set the tone of my life.

Just last year I had the amazing opportunity to spend several months off the grid in a very remote location. Although the home I rented had a well-appointed solar system and a back-up generator, there were still some things that I had to “get used to.” It took some time to develop a good working relationship with the solar system, and I prided myself on using the generator as infrequently as possible.

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Of course, the amazing thing about going solar is that you can make your system as large as you desire. For me, though, there was some adventure to working with the system that was in place and having to adjust to the solar power rather than taking power for granted.

8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts

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For example, vacuuming was something that was reserved for days when there was ample sun and backup power. We did quite a few things differently while we learned to live on fewer watts, and our off-grid experience was richer for the thought we had to put into preserving the free power from the sun.

Here are just a few of the changes that we made to our off-grid lives that helped us use less watts:

  1. We never took a shower before the sun was up.
  2. We never took a shower when the sun was down.
  3. We only did laundry between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and only one load per day.
  4. We went to bed early and got up early (this proved to be most productive).
  5. We used battery-operated lanterns and book lights for evening reading.
  6. We unplugged everything — the coffee pot, the toaster, etc. – when not in use.
  7. We rarely used the microwave.
  8. We never left the TV on, and we used it sparingly.

I think the nicest thing about living on fewer watts is just the lifestyle that it dictates. You become much closer to nature and the rising and setting of the sun and much more aware of your surroundings. The changes that we made did not come naturally, and it did take time to grow accustomed to them. But after a month or so, we were in a pretty good routine and had more than enough power for our day

I am convinced that the time living fully off-grid made me a more resourceful person, and I am anxiously awaiting another opportunity to leave the grid behind again!

How do you use less watts on your solar system? Share your tips in the section below:

Are You Truly Prepared For Blackouts This Year? Read More Here.

What Does The Bible Say About Taking Care Of Our Bodies?

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What Does The Bible Say About Taking Care Of Our Bodies?

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While you may strive daily to look and feel your best, what really motivates you? Is it that size 4 dress you have been wanting to get into for years, your upcoming high school reunion, your brush with a weight-related medical condition or perhaps your desire to feel young again?

There are hundreds if not more reasons that could be noted for taking care of your body. How often, though, do you stop to think about the fact that you’re not your own? That your life was purchased with a price and you, if you are a professing Christian, are to glorify God in all you do – including what you do with your body?

May I suggest to you that before any other reason, this should be the first reason that you take the time and energy to care for your body …

Caring for your body glorifies God, it demonstrates a good testimony to others and it gives you the energy that you need to do God’s will, spreading the Gospel.

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, we are told to do whatever we do to the glory of God. In Isaiah 43:7 we are reminded that we were made by God to glorify Him. That is our primary purpose in life — to glorify God. If you choose to not follow a healthy lifestyle, to not eat in a healthy manner, to not practice self-control, to not exercise, and to not care about your body, you are choosing to not honor God.

The Body Is a Temple

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16

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When Christ went into heaven, He told us that He was leaving something very valuable for us: the Holy Spirit. The third Person of the Trinity resides within us. God’s Holy Spirit lives inside of every believer, making our body a temple. You wouldn’t walk into your church and dump trash all over the place, would you? Think about this as you choose how to eat and in what other ways you can honor the temple by how you live your life.

We Are Called to Do God’s Work

What Does The Bible Say About Taking Care Of Our Bodies?

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We are called to share the Gospel and to be the hands and feet of Christ. We can’t do this very effectively if we are burdened by lifestyle conditions. To be a willing vessel for God is one thing, but to be a healthy willing vessel that God can use is a totally different thing. You never know what God will call you to do and where He will call you to go. Being prepared physically and spiritually for any task the Lord gives you is always best.

We Are a Witness

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” – Acts 1:8.

In Acts, we are reminded that we are to be a witness to others. How we live our lives matters. We are called to be good representatives of the Christian faith. It is imperative that we be mindful of all aspects of our lives, including our health.

God Gives Us Help

Making your health a priority is sometimes difficult. God understands this, and provides us with many Scriptures of encouragement in His Word. Here are just a few:

Isaiah 58:11: “And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”

Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

2 Timothy 1:7: “For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

 

The Clever Off-Grid Way To Make Your Own Dryer Sheets, Detergent And Softener

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The Clever Off-Grid Way To Make Your Own Dryer Sheets, Detergent And Softener

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Conventional laundry detergents and fabric softeners often contain dangerous chemicals that can be harmful to your health and the environment. These chemicals come in the form of fragrances and dyes that often attract us to the detergent in the first place. Who doesn’t want their laundry to smell like falling spring rain or a honeysuckle vine?  However, don’t be fooled. Some of these cool colors and fragrances come at a cost.

Fortunately, you can have clean and fresh smelling laundry without the burden of chemicals. You can feel good about caring for the world around you and also can save money by making your own detergent.

I have been making laundry detergent for years and would not switch back to conventional suds even if someone paid me. I enjoy making it, my laundry is clean, I save a ton of money, and I feel good about what I’m doing for my family.

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You even can make your own dryer sheets and liquid softener.

Let’s get started:

Homemade Dryer Sheets

These fabric dryer sheets can be used over and over and do a great job of making clothes soft.

Ingredients:

  • white vinegar
  • glass container with lid
  • fabric scraps (cotton)
  • essential oils (mixture)
The Clever Off-Grid Way To Make Your Own Dryer Sheets, Detergent And Softener

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Cut some squares of cotton fabric; I like to use old dishcloths and T-shirts. If you are not going to sew the edges, use pinking shears. This will keep the fabric from fraying. If you have a sewing machine, you can do zigzag stitches on the edges. Mix ½ cup of vinegar with 10 drops of essential oils. I like lavender and tea tree. Pour your scented, softening solution into a container that reseals. Add your fabric squares and allow them to soak in the vinegar and essential oil mixture. Flip the container over and mix it up before use.

When it’s time to dry clothes, grab a couple of fabric squares, ring them out, and throw them in the dryer with your clothes. I use four per load. You can reuse the fabric squares over and over again. No need to wash them; just throw them back in the solution.

 

Homemade Liquid Softener

I don’t know about you, but I love my clothes to feel soft with no static cling. Here is a great recipe that leaves your clothes silky soft.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil

Stir the hot water and baking soda together. Slowly add in the vinegar. Beware: It will fizz up and bubble. Once it is all mixed together, store it in a container with a lid and shake before each use. Add about ¼ cup for each wash.

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Detergent Recipe One: The All-Purpose Clothes Cleaner

This recipe is great for everyday clothes:

Ingredients

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap
  • 3 gallons water
  • 5-gallon bucket with a lid

Instructions

  1. The Clever Off-Grid Way To Make Your Own Dryer Sheets, Detergent And Softener

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    Grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap.

  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  3. Lower heat to a simmer and add the grated soap.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the soap dissolves.
  5. Pour 3 gallons of water into a clean, five-gallon bucket.
  6. Pour in baking soda, washing soda and the boiled soap mix.
  7. Stir until dissolved.
  8. Add in 25 drops of your favorite essential oil.
  9. Cover the bucket and let the mixture sit for 24 hours.
  10. Stir the mixture well before using – it will be clumpy.
  11. Use 1 cup for a regular size load. This mixture makes 52 cups.

 

Detergent Recipe Two: Peppermint Wash

I love the way this detergent mixes together, and the aroma is fabulous.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup peppermint Castile Soap
  • ½ cup super washing soda
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • hand mixer

Instructions:

  1. Pour lukewarm to cold water in the bottom of the two-gallon bucket.
  2. Add the dry powders.
  3. Use a hand mixer to combine, adding more water if needed. You want the powder to be fully blended with no clumps.
  4. Fill the bucket almost to the top, with water.
  5. Add the Castile soap and stir with a long wooden spoon.
  6. Use a funnel to pour into containers.
  7. This make enough detergent for about 96 loads.

Have you ever made laundry detergent or dryer sheets? Share your tips in the section below:

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5 Reasons Your Antibacterial Soap Is Doing More Harm Than Good

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5 Reasons Your Antibacterial Soap Is Doing More Harm Than Good

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Washing your hands is a good thing, this is true. However, we have become a culture that is so germaphobic that we may just be causing more harm than good. Everywhere you turn, you see antibacterial soaps, creams and wipes.

While keeping both your home and your body clean is one of the best ways to keep bacteria at bay, our society seems to think that washing regularly with soap just won’t do the job. To fix this, manufacturers have added antibacterial ingredients to just about everything, including lip gloss, soap, cream, sponges, household cleaners and even mattresses.

Amazingly, antibacterial chemicals are found in 75 percent of all liquid soaps and 30 percent of bar soaps.

Here are five reasons why you may want to re-evaluate the effectiveness of antibacterial products:

1. Overuse of antibacterial soaps may breed resistant bacteria.

We are presently in a crisis with overuse of antibiotics in this country, prescribing them when it is not necessary, and using too many of them and for all of the wrong reasons. This has led to superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics — which, in turn, makes a number of highly dangerous bacterial infections harder and harder to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions doctors against overusing antibiotics. Concern about the overuse of antibiotics also has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to limit the amount of antibiotics that can be used in raising livestock.

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Similarly, antibacterial soaps can actually make some bacteria stronger. In fact, there is some evidence that triclosan (in antibacterial soap) helps spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria. According to epidemiologist Allison Aiello from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, “Triclosan has a specific inhibitory target in bacteria similar to some antibiotics.” In a nutshell, when bacteria is exposed to triclosan, genetic mutations can arise.

2. Soap is just as good, without the side effects.

The Food and Drug Administration notes that there is no evidence that people who use products with triclosan are less likely to develop bacterial infections than those who use regular soap and water.

3. Antibacterial soaps don’t kill viruses.

Dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the flu and enterovirus D68 areviral not bacterial. Therefore, just as you would not use an antibiotic drug to treat a viral infection such as a cold or the flu, you should not depend onantibacterial soap to kill a virus.

5 Reasons Your Antibacterial Soap Is Doing More Harm Than Good

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4. Antibacterial soap may harm the environment.

Triclosan has been detected in various waterways, from freshwater to salt. Not only can the chemical disrupt delicate ecosystems, but when subject to sunlight in water it is converted to a highly toxic compound called dioxin.

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In addition, triclosan can also mix with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform, which is a potential carcinogen. Triclosan is also highly toxic to some forms of algae and has been found in high concentrations in earthworms.

5. Antibacterial soap may cause other health problems.

Research on animals suggests that triclosan may interfere with the body’s regulation of thyroid hormone, perhaps impacting fertility and causing obesity, early puberty and other problems. Some research also suggests that long-term exposure to triclosan may cause cancer. In one recent study, triclosan was detected in the urine of 75 percent of people tested. The chemical has also been found in human breast milk.

So, When Should It Be Used?

Antibacterial products do have their place. Millions of people suffer from a compromised immune system, including pregnant women and those who have immunodeficiency diseases. For these people, use of antibacterial products in the home may be appropriate and necessary.

However, for the majority of us, good old-fashioned hand washing with warm water and soap can do the trick — and is a better option. And, whenever purchasing antibacterial soaps, always read the label and ensure it doesn’t contain triclosan.

What reasons would you add to this list for avoiding antibacterial soap? Share your advice in the section below:

Sources:

ScientificAmerican.com

Smithsonian.org

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5 Easy Ways To Make Your Fire Burn Longer (And More Efficiently)

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5 Easy Ways To Make Your Fire Burn Longer (And More Efficiently)

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How do you keep your house warm during winter? If you are like me and millions of other Americans, you use wood. Figures in a recent Census showed that the number of homes heating with wood grew 34 percent between 2000 and 2010 – a faster pace than any other heating fuel.

Heating with wood is certainly not a novel idea, as we have been using it for the majority of human history. But we always can improve how we do it.

If you are considering wood heat or would like to know how you can make your wood heat longer and as efficient as possible, here are a few tips.

Tip One: Know How to Really Build a Fire: While it may seem elementary — toss in some logs, some paper and a match – burning an efficient fire isn’t so simple. The key to a successful fire is to start small and add on. Don’t be in a rush to put too many logs on the fire at one time. Gradually adding logs will help build up a strong and steady heat. Don’t go overboard and build a huge fire at the beginning; it is actually much less efficient, contrary to how it may seem. Always use softwood kindling to start a fire; it makes for easy starting.

Of course, there are some things that should never be burned, including:

  • Plastics
  • Colored magazines
  • Painted wood
  • Foil
  • Household garbage
  • Fabric made out of synthetic materials

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fireplace-933565_640Tip Two: Know Your Wood: You have probably wondered which type of wood provides the most heat. Oak is one of the best woods with which to heat. One cord of oak will burn about 29 million BTUs. Oak is hard and very dense and will burn for a long time compared to other types of wood. A cord of pine will provide about 60 percent of the heat as oak; white cedar will provide 50 percent the amount of heat as oak. But what if you can’t get oak? The top five head-producing woods are:

  • Oak
  • Beech
  • Apple
  • Mulberry
  • Maple

Tip Three: Use Well-Seasoned Wood: When wood is seasoned well, it offers a great deal more heat than that which is green. In fact, seasoned wood offers four times as much heat value as uncured wood. Cut, split and stack wood in early spring and let it sit out in the sun and wind until it is seasoned. It generally takes six months to a year to season wood, depending on the climate and the type of wood you are cutting.

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Tip Four: Keep Everything Clean: If you heat with a wood fireplace insert, be sure that your chimney is inspected and cleaned yearly. Don’t let ash pile up in your stove or fireplace; this gets in the way of its effectiveness. Keep in mind that just one-tenth of an inch of soot inside the fireplace can hamper the heat-transfer efficiency by about 50 percent. The best is to clean it after each use.

Tip Five: Make Sure Your Fire Has Enough Air: Make sure that your fire is always getting enough air. This will ensure that it burns hot and clean. Check the air intake on your heater to be sure that there are no blockages, such as dust or spider webs. If you have a through-floor intake, make sure that the screen is clean and not obstructed. Keeping your air intake open will ensure that your fire burns as efficiently as possible.

Finally, keep your wood cut, split and stacked in a place that is sheltered from the weather. But don’t cover the sides, as this helps to keep air circulating. Be sure to cover your wood with a tarp during a snowstorm. Stack your wood on pallets to keep it off of the ground. Finally, always keep a small supply of wood indoors; this will ensure that you have what you need to get your fire started.

Follow these simple five steps to burning wood efficiently and you will be warm and cozy all winter long!

What advice would you add on keeping wood burning efficiently? Share your tips in the section below:  

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The Ancient Superfood That Lowers Cholesterol, Sheds Pounds And Improves Digestion

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The Ancient Superfood That Lowers Cholesterol, Sheds Pounds And Improves Digestion

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They may be little but they are quite powerful. Flax seeds have been around for thousands of years and are still topping the charts as a delicious and nutritious superfood. Sometimes referred to as linseeds, these little brown gems contain the richest sources of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids (sometimes called alpha-linolenic acid – ALA) on the planet.

The nutritional profile of flax seeds is nothing short of amazing. Here is a snapshot of what 1 ounce (3 tablespoons) of flax seeds contains:

  • 3 mg Omega-3
  • 8g fiber
  • 6g protein
  • 31 percent RDA vitamin B1
  • 35 percent RDA manganese
  • 30 percent RDA magnesium
  • 19 percent RDA phosphorus
  • 10 percent RDA selenium

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider consuming flax seeds daily.

1. Promotes weight loss

Flax seeds are in the same camp as walnuts when it comes to containing healthy fats and fiber. This will help you feel full longer and may lead to weight loss. In addition, the ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation. An inflamed body tends to retain excess weight.

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A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that both flax seeds and walnuts help to reduce obesity. Try sprinkling a couple of teaspoons of ground flax seeds in smoothies, yogurt, salad and soups.

2. Improves digestion

flax-seed-983769_640You may have heard it said that health starts in the gut, and it is true. If your digestive system is out of whack, it is likely causing other health issues. Flax promotes healthy digestion and protects the lining of the digestive tract. People who suffer from Crohn’s disease or other digestive disorders will find that flax helps reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms. In addition, flax is rich in magnesium, which is also beneficial for digestive health. The fiber in ground flax seeds will help cleanse waste from your digestive system and provide food for beneficial bacteria in your gut.

3. Reduces menopausal symptoms

Lignans (antioxidants) found in flax have been shown to reduce symptoms that occur with menopause. They have even been used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. That’s not all; flax has also been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help women maintain cycle regularity. Include one to two tablespoons of flax meal in a breakfast smoothie for all day relief.

4. Reduces cholesterol

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds to your daily diet can reduce cholesterol levels. This is due to the fact that the soluble fiber in the seeds traps the fat and cholesterol in the digestive system and keeps it from being absorbed.

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The soluble fiber also grabs bile, which is made from cholesterol, in the gallbladder. The bile is excreted through the digestive system, which forces the body to make more of it, using extra cholesterol in the blood – which lowers overall cholesterol.

5. Encourages healthy skin and hair

If you want shiny and healthy hair, try adding some flax seeds to your diet. The ALA fats in flax seeds provide essential fats as well as B-vitamins that help to moisturize your hair and scalp. If you suffer from dry skin, dry eye syndrome, eczema or acne, a daily dose of flax seeds can help. You can also add some flax seed oil to your diet; this gives you an even greater concentration of healthy fats than the ground seeds. Besides sprinkling ground flax on your food, mix a little essential oil with some flax oil and use as a moisturizer for radiant skin.

Don’t Forget to Grind Them

Many people ask if they can use flax seeds in their whole form. The issue with this is that when you consume whole flax, the body can’t digest the hard outer casing and break apart all of the goodness inside. Grind whole flax seeds in your blender or coffee grinder, store them in a cool dark place, and enjoy!

Do you eat flax seeds? Have you discovered other benefits? Share your tips in the section below:

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Diseases We Have That Our Ancestors Didn’t

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Diseases We Have That Our Ancestors Didn’t

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We have been blessed with some amazing advances in modern technology which has allowed us comfort that was not possible a mere 100 years or so ago. But despite these advances, we suffer from severe chronic and degenerative diseases that were unknown to our recent ancestors.

We are a sick nation, overburdened by conditions such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease and allergies. Our healthcare system expense hit $3.8 trillion in 2014 — and is still on the rise. Yet we remain 37th out of 190 countries in the effectiveness of our healthcare system. We are plagued with disease, yet we have access to many technological advances that other countries will never be able to imagine, let alone realize.

According to Daniel Lieberman, a professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University:

The fundamental answer to why so many humans are now getting sick from previously rare illnesses is that many of the body’s features were adaptive in the environments for which we evolved but have become maladaptive in the modern environments we have now created.

This would explain why we have seen such a major spike in degenerative diseases such a Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Since the industrial revolution, the production and consumption of processed and fast food has skyrocketed, along with a sedentary lifestyle.

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It is no longer the norm to grow our own food. Instead, we prefer our drive-through lunches and quick microwaveable dinners. The human body was not created to metabolize high volumes of vegetable oil and sugar — the main ingredients found in our industrial food supply. In addition, we were also not built to live such sedentary lives. Yes, things are very different than they once were.

Diseases We Have That Our Ancestors Didn’t

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In 1900, pneumonia was the leading cause of death in America and the life expectancy was only 47. In the early part of the 20th century, doctors were busy treating infectious diseases and inventing drugs to cure pneumonia and tuberculosis. With these advances, people lived longer and – thanks to poor lifestyle choices — began to develop coronary heart disease at startling rates. By the 1930s, heart disease became the leading cause of death.

It was and still is poor lifestyle choices that ultimately result in millions of lives lost each year to heart disease and other lifestyle-related illnesses.

So, while on the one hand, science and technology have allowed us to live longer, “advances” in our food supply and various other “tools” have turned our nation into a “drive-through” people, making us sicker.

We don’t move as much as we used to. We eat too much. We eat the wrong food. We don’t manage stress well, and we generally disrespect what God created and declared good. Children are more obese than ever and battling earlier onset of diabetes and other dangerous conditions.

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So, what did our ancestors get right? That is a simple answer: plenty. Here is a short list of what they did that we no longer do:

  • Grew their own food
  • Cooked with whole foods
  • Rarely snacked
  • Engaged in physical labor
  • Went to bed early
  • Got up early
  • Ate a traditional diet
  • Led a simple life
  • Did not have electronics

The answer to a long, healthy and disease-free life rests in how we treat our body. We succumb to lifestyle-related illnesses today because of the lifestyle that we choose to live. Our ancestors had plenty of threats to their health, but they were mostly external threats and things that they had very little control over.

We have the extreme advantage of being able to live in a world with clean water, advanced emergency medical care and access to tools that make our life very easy compared to our ancestors.

How healthy you are depends a great deal on the daily choices that you make. With a new year, now is as good a time as ever to start making the right ones!

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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4 Reasons Everyone Should Live In The Woods (At Least For A Little While)

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life; living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

4 Reasons Everyone Should Live In The Woods (At Least For A Little While)

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live, just for a little while, in the woods? To become part of the intricate weave of nature, to live simply, eagerly drinking in all of God’s beauty around you? For many people, spending time living in the woods is a life-enriching experience that they won’t soon forget. But for nearly all people, just being in nature for a while has been proven to be highly therapeutic.

Here are just some of the reasons why leaving the hustle and bustle of city life behind for a while may need to be something you put on your “to-do list.”

1. You feel small

Yes, that’s right, I said small. Far too often we think too highly of ourselves and our neat urban lifestyle. A move to the woods where the trees are big, the moon is big, and you are somewhat vulnerable to the natural life teeming around you, makes you feel small. Feeling small helps remind you of your own natural state and be bigness of God. This is a very humbling experience to say the least.

2. You realize what you really need

Do you need your Dish Network with 170 channels to survive? What about your expensive Italian leather sofa or your 12-inch memory foam mattress? Chances are, these are nothing but luxuries that you have become accustomed to, and they certainly are not necessary for you to live a long and happy life.

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What about thinking about just what you need to survive, the essentials? When you spend time living in the woods either in a small cabin or even a yurt or wall tent, you begin to appreciate just how few things you need to live. This is another great wake-up call that keeps you humble.

3. You learn new skills

4 Reasons Everyone Should Live In The Woods (At Least For A Little While)

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If you are not accustomed to anything but city life, moving to the woods will require you to learn some new skills: whether it be building, growing food, hunting, fishing, building a fire, etc. Take time to embrace the opportunity to learn these new things and work with your hands and be creative while you are at it.

4. You de-stress

Many people living in busy urban centers carry with them a great amount of daily living stress. Running here and there, working long hours at work and keeping a busy social schedule leave little time for peace and quiet. A move to the woods demands one to slow down and be still. At first, this may be almost impossible, depending on how stressed you are. However, over time, the peace and perfectness of nature will begin to calm your soul, and you will find yourself more relaxed than you have ever been before.

Often, people recovering from illness retreat to the woods for solace and healing. Spending time apart from your busy life will help to put things into perspective and allow you to value each day for what it really is.

If you aren’t sure where to begin with your in-the-woods venture, be sure to do research before heading out. Perhaps you will rent a small cabin, build your own place or live in a yurt or a tent. The best thing is to be prepared and know at least a little bit about what to expect before you make the move. Then, simply enjoy it all.

What advice would you add? What would you put on the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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