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6 Reasons to Bundle Up and Get Outside During Winter

6 Reasons to Bundle Up and Get Outside During Winter

Brrr! It is chilly outside, but that's no reason to hibernate. Staying indoors during the colder months won't do anything to improve your mood or your health - in fact, research suggests the opposite is true. #ReadyNutrition #HealthyLiving #Health

Brrrr! Winter is here, and if it is chilly in your neck of the woods, you might be tempted to hunker down and stay indoors until Spring arrives.

Winter can really take a toll on our moods, making even the warmest personalities turn as chilly as the air outside. It’s getting dark at 5 pm now, and you might find yourself making excuses to stay inside, bundled up in cozy blankets in front of the fire.

However, staying indoors during the colder months won’t do anything to improve your mood or your health – in fact, research suggests the opposite is true.

You don’t have to spend hours outside to reap the benefits. Just a few minutes a day has been proven to improve mood and physical health.

So, bundle up and get out there!

Here are six reasons to get outside during winter.

Sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D.

On sunny days, go outside and soak up some of the “Sunshine Vitamin” – Vitamin D. It is unique in that it is a vitamin AND a hormone your body can make with help from the sun. Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D are associated with mood disorders and depression.

Vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon. Because we spend more time indoors during winter, it can be hard to get enough – which is why getting some sunlight is so important during the colder months.

Some vitamin D researchers have found that somewhere between 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis. Indoor light therapy can help, too.

Time outdoors boosts your immune system.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Small Change Increased Bee Populations by 45%

This Small Change Increased Bee Populations by 45%

Scientists in Amsterdam have found ways to help their bee population regain its health. Here's how to implement some of their methods in your community.
For quite some time, scientists across the world have been warning the public about the decline of bees and other pollinators.

We’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate.

Our very existence relies on the tiny buzzing creatures, as we explained in Will the Extinction of Bees Really Mean the End of Humanity?

This is a huge threat to our food supply. One-third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. It also has big implications for our meat supply as well: plants (like alfalfa) that feed animals are pollinated by bees.

The largest international survey of insect pollinators found that just 2 percent of wild bee species now account for 80 percent of global crop pollination.

Put bluntly, if all the bees die, humanity will follow.

There is one place where bee populations are growing and flourishing – Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands.

According to a recent report from NBC News, the diversity of wild bee and honeybee species in the Dutch capital has increased by 45 percent since 2000!

The city of 2.3 million people attributes the success to creating bee-friendly environments like the overgrown, sunburnt patch of shrubs that commuters pass by daily.

The installation of “insect hotels” and a ban on the use of chemical pesticides on public land also appear to have played a role.

Geert Timmermans, an ecologist who works for the city, explained that four years ago, Amsterdam set a goal to convert half of all public green spaces to native plants. He added that residents and local businesses are provided with information on how to avoid using pesticides and the use of alternative treatments:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

25 Hardcore Healthy Foods You Need in Your Emergency Pantry

25 Hardcore Healthy Foods You Need in Your Emergency Pantry

Ready Nutrition - 25 Hardcore Healthy Foods You Need in Your Emergency Pantry
Natural disasters like hurricanes, Nor’easters, and winter storms can cause you to be stuck in your home for days (or even weeks) on end – and stuck eating whatever you currently have stashed in your pantry and freezer.

Normally, enough notice is provided to allow time to run out to purchase items prior to a storm’s arrival. It is tempting to stock up on convenient comfort foods before a disaster, but this isn’t ideal. For example, many freeze-dried foods are notorious for having excessive amounts of sodium – thus causing you to consume more water to make up for it (oops, there goes your stored water supply!). Staying hydrated in winter is especially important – your body needs more water during winter than it does during the warmer months. And, remember – you will need to store enough water for drinking AND for cooking.

Surviving on your favorite junk foods may leave you feeling dehydrated, drained, and stressed, which will make enduring a sustained emergency situation even more difficult.

Building an adequate emergency pantry takes time and planning to make it fully functional. Ideally, you will store nutritious shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes (and enjoys), as well as foods that serve many purposes.

Learn how to build a well-stocked pantry using a layering system: The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals, or The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer.

How to build a pantry stocked with nutritious, energizing foods

When selecting foods to add to your emergency pantry, focus on the most nutrient-dense items you can find that are also shelf-stable, with a focus on macronutrients.

Macronutrients are compounds found in all foods that humans consume in the largest quantities, providing the bulk of our calories (energy) from our diets. The three main categories are protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Immune System-Boosting Nutrients You May Need During Fall and Winter

Immune System-Boosting Nutrients You May Need During Fall and Winter

For many of us, the shorter, colder days of fall and winter mean less sunlight exposure, less exercise, and less access to fresh produce. We tend to get sick more often during fall and winter, but there are things we can do to reduce the risk.
During the darker and colder months of fall and winter, it is tempting to hunker down in our warm homes with big blankets and comfort food. Who doesn’t want to cozy up with a big cup of hot tea, comfy slippers, and a good book?

Hibernating works for bears, bees, and bats, but unfortunately, is not ideal for humans. We require sunlight, year-round physical activity, and a steady supply of seasonal nutrients.

Fall and winter bring with them many joys (no more mosquitoes! the holidays are coming!), but they also bring with them conditions that make staying healthy a bit trickier.

For many of us, the shorter, colder days of fall and winter mean less sunlight exposure, less exercise, and less access to fresh produce.

We tend to get sick more often during fall and winter, but there are things we can do to reduce the risk.

Why do we get ill more often during colder months?

Being cold doesn’t directly cause us to get sick, but cold air may contribute to conditions that lead to illness, according to a report by Healthline. Factors related to colder weather may actually be the culprits. Some viruses prefer the chillier weather, including rhinoviruses (they cause the common cold and replicate better at cooler temperatures) and influenza viruses(they peak in winter). The dry air outside and in homes with central heating may make it easier for viruses to infect dry nasal passages. Low indoor humidity and poor ventilation may also play a role. And, because we tend to spend more time inside with other people during the colder months, we are more likely to share germs.

The “Winter Blues” and Seasonal Affective Disorder can play a role, too. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

19 Foods That Eat the Stress Away

19 Foods That Eat the Stress Away

Instead of stress eating with junk food, try eating these 19 foods and help reduce stress.  
At best, stress can interfere with your happiness and productivity.

At worst, stress can be a slow killer: It can adversely affect your immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and central nervous systems, especially when it is experienced chronically.

Avoiding stress entirely is impossible. Many of the ups and downs of everyday life are simply out of our control.

For many, reaching for comfort foods that are high in sugar or refined carbohydrates during times of stress is instinctual. It is an attempt to self-soothe.

Unfortunately, this approach usually makes the problem worse. You feel guilty for eating “junk food”, which causes more stress. The next thing you know, you are trapped in a vicious cycle of stress and overeating.

But there is a bright side – how we respond to stressful situations IS within our control.

There are many ways you can reduce or manage the stress in your life. Good nutrition is one of them. Believe it or not, there are foods you can eat that have shown to have stress-reducing properties.

Cortisol – your body’s stress hormone

Stressful events (even relatively minor ones) can cause cortisol levels to rise to problematic levels.

Cortisol (a steroid hormone) helps fuel the fight-or-flight response – the psychological loop that fires you up to fight or run for your life when facing danger.

Think of it as your body’s built-in alarm system. When you are faced with immediate danger, increases in cortisol help you respond. The hormone works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.

Cortisol also handles other important bodily tasks, explains WebMD:

  • Manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Regulates your blood pressure

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Study Suggests Glyphosate Can Kill Bees By Damaging Their Microbiomes

New Study Suggests Glyphosate Can Kill Bees By Damaging Their Microbiomes

We already know that glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide – can damage the human gut by killing beneficial bacteria. Now, an alarming new study has revealed that glyphosate can also damage the guts of honey bees.

The research, conducted at The University of Texas at Austin and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on September 24, shows that honey bees exposed to glyphosate lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts. This makes the bees more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.

Scientists believe this is evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to the years-long decline of honey bees and native bees around the world.

In a press release, the researchers explained their findings:

Because glyphosate interferes with an important enzyme found in plants and microorganisms, but not in animals, it has long been assumed to be nontoxic to animals, including humans and bees. But this latest study shows that by altering a bee’s gut microbiome — the ecosystem of bacteria living in the bee’s digestive tract, including those that protect it from harmful bacteria — glyphosate compromises its ability to fight infection.

To conduct the study, the research team took 2,000 honey bees from hives at the University of Texas campus and fed them either a low dose of glyphosate, a high dose, or a glyphosate-free syrup.

It didn’t take long for glyphosate to cause problems for the bees involved in the study: after only three days of exposure at levels known to occur in crop fields, yards, and roadsides, the herbicide significantly reduced healthy gut microbiota. “Of eight dominant species of healthy bacteria in the exposed bees, four were found to be less abundant. The hardest hit bacterial species, Snodgrassella alvi, is a critical microbe that helps bees process food and defends against pathogens,” the researchers reported.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

20 Perishable Foods You Can Freeze For Later

20 Perishable Foods You Can Freeze For Later

 You can freeze more perishable foods than you think! Check out this list of 20 items!
You likely already keep a supply of basics like vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry, and grains in your freezer.

Some items keep better in the freezer than others, as you’ve probably noticed by now.

However, there some items that can be frozen that might surprise you.

Here’s a list of 20 perishable foods you can freeze.

  1. Nuts (and flours made from nuts): Nuts can go rancid very quickly because of their high oil content. To freeze peanuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds (shelled or unshelled) and place in reusable freezer bags. Nuts can also be frozen in glass containers. You can freeze nut butters, too!
  2. Seedless grapes: Wash and dry small clusters and freeze them in bags. Or, remove the grapes from the stems and place them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) in a single layer, and then freeze until firm. Then, transfer the grapes into airtight containers and put them back in the freezer.
  3. Bananas: When they reach your desired level of ripeness, peel bananas and freeze them in bags or freezer-safe containers.
  4. Fresh berries: Place clean berries on a lined cookie sheet first – this way, they are less likely to stick together. Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to freezer bags.
  5. Fresh vegetables: Chop up onions, peppers, and spinach and freeze them flat in bags. Note: Vegetables with high water content (like lettuce, celery, and cucumbers) do not freeze well.
  6. Fresh herbs: Wash and pat your herbs dry, then chop them into desired portions. Spread the chopped herbs on a cookie sheet. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in your freezer. Once the herbs are frozen, remove them from the sheet and put them in freezer bags. Or, finely chop fresh herbs and place them in an ice cube tray with a lid. Freeze, and use the cubes as needed in soups and other recipes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How To Have Zero Waste in Your Kitchen

How To Have Zero Waste in Your Kitchen

Ready Nutrition- How To Have Zero Waste in the Kitchen
How would you like to save a LOT of money, and benefit the environment while you are at it? There are many tricks and tips you can use to do both.

Unfortunately, many of us generate a lot of waste – which damages our bank accounts and the planet. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Just how much waste does America generate?

According to a 2013 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, it is an astonishing amount:

In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.3 percent recycling rate. On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.40 pounds per person per day.

Municipal solid waste (more commonly known as trash or garbage) consists of everyday items we use and then throw away, including product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries. This waste comes from our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.

This is a shame because most of the trash we throw away can be reused, repurposed, or recycled for another use.

Food waste, in particular, is a huge problem and is unnecessary and especially tragic.

According to a study funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and published earlier this year, American consumers waste about one pound of food per day or 225-290 pounds per year. This means US households throw out about 150,000 tons of food each day, total.

Put this into perspective: this means that about 20% of all the food put on our plates is tossed out every year – enough to feed 2 billion extra people annually. It is equivalent to about a third of the calories the average American consumes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

5 Likely Hurricane Aftermath Scenarios To Prepare For

5 Likely Hurricane Aftermath Scenarios To Prepare ForReady Nutrition- Likely Hurricane Scenarios To Prepare For Pin

It is currently hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the United States.

As I write this article, Hurricane Florence is a Category 3 storm with the potential to reach Category 4 status. As of now, the storm has an uncertain path, but East Coast folks – please watch this one closely, as some models suggest it could head right for you.

Helene and Issac could form in the Atlantic later this week. In the Pacific, Hurricanes Olivia and Norman are being watched closely.

Hurricanes are unpredictable, as anyone who has experienced one knows. This makes them challenging to prepare for, but fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your odds of survival, should one head for your region.

It is important to understand that a hurricane need not be a Category 5 to be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage. When Hurricane Isabel hit my Virginia neighborhood in 2003, the storm was barely a Category 1. It was the first (and to date, the only – thankfully) hurricane I’ve experienced personally, and back then I really had no idea how difficult the aftermath would be.

I fully expected the “authorities” to take care of everything after Isabel passed. I thought they’d clean up all the debris and have the roads cleared and power on within a day or two.

I was seriously mistaken.

Isabel had an unusually large wind field (an example of a hurricane doing “unpredictable” things). Thousands of trees were uprooted. Power lines and telephone poles were downed all over. Hundreds of houses were damaged…many beyond repair. Hundreds of roads, including major highways, were blocked by fallen trees and other debris. The heavy rainfall caused inland flooding, which closed roads and damaged homes and businesses.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

5 Likely Hurricane Aftermath Scenarios To Prepare For

5 Likely Hurricane Aftermath Scenarios To Prepare For

Ready Nutrition- Likely Hurricane Scenarios To Prepare For Pin
It is currently hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the United States.

As I write this article, Hurricane Florence is a Category 3 storm with the potential to reach Category 4 status. As of now, the storm has an uncertain path, but East Coast folks – please watch this one closely, as some models suggest it could head right for you.

Helene and Issac could form in the Atlantic later this week. In the Pacific, Hurricanes Olivia and Norman are being watched closely.

Hurricanes are unpredictable, as anyone who has experienced one knows. This makes them challenging to prepare for, but fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your odds of survival, should one head for your region.

It is important to understand that a hurricane need not be a Category 5 to be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage. When Hurricane Isabel hit my Virginia neighborhood in 2003, the storm was barely a Category 1. It was the first (and to date, the only – thankfully) hurricane I’ve experienced personally, and back then I really had no idea how difficult the aftermath would be.

I fully expected the “authorities” to take care of everything after Isabel passed. I thought they’d clean up all the debris and have the roads cleared and power on within a day or two.

I was seriously mistaken.

Isabel had an unusually large wind field (an example of a hurricane doing “unpredictable” things). Thousands of trees were uprooted. Power lines and telephone poles were downed all over. Hundreds of houses were damaged…many beyond repair. Hundreds of roads, including major highways, were blocked by fallen trees and other debris. The heavy rainfall caused inland flooding, which closed roads and damaged homes and businesses.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are We Due for a Pandemic Flu? Here’s How to Prepare Just in Case

Are We Due for a Pandemic Flu? Here’s How to Prepare Just in Case

Ready-Nutrition Pandemic Preparedness
It has been 100 years since the Spanish Flu (also known as the 1918 flu pandemic) spread across the globe, infecting 500 million people and causing the deaths of 50 million – which was three to five percent of the world’s population at the time.

Imagine the catastrophic numbers in today’s time if a similar flu hit – and how quickly it would spread from the ease in transportation modern society allows.

While you can rest easy right now knowing a global pandemic is not currently a threat, it is just a matter of time before the next one arrives.

Although modern medicine has a lot more flu-fighting tricks in its arsenal than it did several decades ago, the risk of a pandemic flu killing many is still very real.

The growing population, ease in global travel, civil conflict, a marked decrease in medical facilities in outbreak regions, and a decrease in CDC resources could all create a perfect storm for an epidemic to rapidly get out of control and become a pandemic.

In The Big One Is Coming, and It’s Going to Be a Flu Pandemic, Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote that when a highly lethal flu pandemic comes, it will affect everyone alive today:

Pandemic flu is apolitical and does not discriminate between rich and poor. Geographical boundaries are meaningless, and it can circle the globe within hours.

Dr. Gupta goes on to explain that when most people hear “flu”, they think of seasonal flu, but pandemic flu is “a different animal, and you should understand the difference.”

Panˈdemik/: pan means “all”; demic (or demographic) means “people.” It is well-named, because pandemic flu spreads easily throughout the world. Unlike seasonal flu, pandemics occur when a completely new or novel virus emerges. This sort of virus can emerge directly from animal reservoirs or be the result of a dramatic series of mutations — so-called reassortment events — in previously circulating viruses.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will the Extinction of Bees Really Mean the End of Humanity?

Will the Extinction of Bees Really Mean the End of Humanity?

Feared at best and considered a useless, disposable nuisance at worst, bees are among the most underappreciated creatures on the planet.

That’s a shame because our very existence relies on the tiny buzzing creatures.

We’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate.

This is a huge threat to our food supply. One-third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. It also has big implications for our meat supply as well: plants (like alfalfa) that feed animals are pollinated by bees.

The largest international survey of insect pollinators found that just 2 percent of wild bee species now account for 80 percent of global crop pollination.

Put bluntly, if all the bees die, humanity will follow.

Worldwide, there are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families. Of those, 4,000 calls the United States home. Bees exist on every continent except Antarctica. Wherever you find insect-pollinated, flowering plants you will find bees.

Native bees come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, but one thing they all have in common is their important role as pollinators.

Here are just some of the fruits and veggies bumble bees help pollinate: Squash, pumpkin, zucchini, alfalfa, cranberries, apples, green beans, scarlet beans, runner beans, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, potatoes, blueberries, cherries, kiwifruit, raspberries, blackberries, plums, and melons.

According to a Cornell University study published in 2012, crops pollinated by honeybees and other insects contributed $29 billion to United States farm income in 2010.

As you can see, bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem. Our food supplies – and essentially, our lives – rely on them.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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