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How To Get More Vitamin D In The Winter

How To Get More Vitamin D In The Winter

As winter approaches, we find ourselves cooped up indoors more enjoying those hot cups of coffee or cocoa, and dismissing the idea of venturing out in the cold.  However, our bodies need sunlight and vitamin D, especially in the winter when the days shorten.

How To Get More Vitamin D In The Winter

As winter approaches, we find ourselves cooped up indoors more enjoying those hot cups of coffee or cocoa, and dismissing the idea of venturing out in the cold.  However, our bodies need sunlight and vitamin D, especially in the winter when the days shorten.

It’s difficult to get enough vitamin D in the winter. The days are shorter and the weather is cold and gloomy and the dreaded cold and flu season is in full swing.  But you definitely should venture outside some, because so many studies show that vitamin D helps reduce the risk of colds and flu, giving your immune system a huge boost. The Vitamin D Council recommends vitamin D to help prevent colds and flu (URI or upper respiratory infections) based on the findings of two large meta-analyses (the strongest proof in medicine) published in respected medical journals. The best dose to use is unknown (as all of us are different with different body compositions), but the Vitamin D Council recommends that adults take 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day, depending on body weight. Children should take at least 100 IU/kg/day.

It isn’t just about immunities either

Vitamin D supports essential bodily functions like immunity, but it also helps maintain brain, heart, and bone health. Because vitamin D is essential to cognitive function, it’s important to make it a top priority. Unfortunately, up to 77% of people in the United States may not be getting enough of this important vitamin.

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Be Energy Efficient This Winter. This is the Best Wood To Heat Your Home

Be Energy Efficient This Winter. This is the Best Wood To Heat Your Home

Those who choose to heat their home with wood are becoming fewer and fewer. However, with more interested in a self-sustaining lifestyle and going off the grid, those numbers may begin to rise again.  If you decided to heat your home with wood, there are simply some types of wood that are better to burn in your home.

Those who choose to heat their home with wood are becoming fewer and fewer. However, with more interested in a self-sustaining lifestyle and going off the grid, those numbers may begin to rise again.  If you decided to heat your home with wood, there are simply some types of wood that are better to burn in your home.

Those who choose to heat their home with wood are becoming fewer and fewer. However, with more interested in a self-sustaining lifestyle and going off the grid, those numbers may begin to rise again.  If you decided to heat your home with wood, there are simply some types of wood that are better to burn in your home.

There is nothing quite like a roaring fire to stand next to while listening to the crackles and pops on a subzero winter day while there’s a raging snowstorm blowing through. If you live in an area where those days are common in the winter, you probably know the benefits of having a wood burning stove firsthand.  The heat is immediate and fills the space quickly as opposed to waiting for propane or electric heat to keep up. It’s also oddly comforting.

When talking about burning wood inside for heat, it is important to first talk about the quality of your wood burning stove. Using wood as the main heat source in your home is not for everyone.  It’s actually lifestyle choice.  Many summer days will be spent cutting and splitting wood to be used during the winter months and if you choose to buy firewood, the cost may not outweigh the benefits. 

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5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Immune System Naturally During Cold And Flu Season

5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Immune System Naturally During Cold And Flu Season

Not everyone is on board with the flu shot once winter rolls around. If you are one of those who doesn't want to get the shot, this guide is for you! It is possible to boost your immune system naturally and give your body the extra edge this cold and flu season without getting the controversial shot. #ReadyNutrition #HealthyLiving #Flu

Not everyone is on board with the flu shot once winter rolls around. If you are one of those who doesn’t want to get the shot, this guide is for you! It is possible to boost your immune system naturally and give your body the extra edge this cold and flu season without getting the controversial shot.

1. Cut Back On The Booze And Smoking

The first thing to do to get your body ready to fight off all those germs is to cut back on alcoholic drinks. Excessive consumption of alcohol impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections. Consider cutting back or quitting smoking too if you enjoy this indulgence.  Tobacco smoke undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone including in those around you who breathe in the second-hand smoke.  It’s been known to aggravate and increase the likelihood of middle ear infections in kids.

2. Eat More Citrus Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, and Seeds

You can also begin eating healthier.  Even if dieting is not your thing, having a well-balanced and vitamin and mineral rich diet will benefit your body in several ways, including that much needed immune system boost. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and try to get in healthier fats, such as seeds and nuts. On top of feeling better in general, add citrus fruits specifically.  Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons have high vitamin C content, and that’s one of the most powerful vitamins to boost when feeling ill.

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Simple Ways To Help You Get Enough Leafy Greens During Winter

Simple Ways To Help You Get Enough Leafy Greens During Winter

Getting your daily dose of greens seems difficult for most people on a sunny day in the summer when they have those vegetable readily available. But come winter time, some all but stop eating those nutritious veggies that help keep the body running in tip-top condition. Because of that, we've come up with this helpful guide to show you how easy it is to still get your veggies in even when that blizzard rolls through! #ReadyNutrition #HealthyLiving

Getting your daily dose of greens seems difficult for most people on a sunny day in the summer when they have those vegetable readily available. But come winter time, some all but stop eating those nutritious veggies that help keep the body running in tip-top condition. Because of that, we’ve come up with this helpful guide to show you how easy it is to still get your veggies in even when that blizzard rolls through!

Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or swiss chard are one of the items missing out of winter diets and can easily be grown indoors, but are often put on the wayside. That is unfortunate because those veggies are packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients. The United States Dietary Association (USDA) food guide also underscores this necessity.  The food pyramid states that most adults need only 3 cups (servings) of leafy greens per day, but nutrition and health experts say that number is actually 5-9 cups per day, depending on your size. But that number is daunting to so many – even when conditions are ripe to consume that amount of leafy greens.

But the easiest way to make sure you’ve got enough is to simply eat a big salad for either lunch or dinner taking care of your leafy greens for the day.  Of course, feel free to add any other vegetables you may like so the salad is flavored to your taste. After all, you’ll be trying to eat the entire thing in one sitting.  Also, you should consider eating some healthy fat with the salad. You can try drizzling olive oil on it.

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Colorado Declares A Disaster Emergency Over A Lack Of Propane

Colorado Declares A Disaster Emergency Over A Lack Of Propane

An emergency declaration was made in Colorado on Christmas Eve.  The state was suffering from a lack of propane. A series of problems led to the emergency declaration, but even minimal prepping could have helped those who were among the allegedly affected.

The propane supplies are now on the rise after the shortage prompted the state’s governor, John Hickenlooper to declare a disaster emergency over the Christmas holiday. Many are crediting the governor for his quick action (signing a piece of paper declaring an emergency is allegedly “helping”) to avert a crisis. While the shortage could have left thousands without heat in Colorado during winter, it seems like if you live in a colder climate, you’d have a backup source of heat anyway.  The governor’s “action” was likely nothing more than simple fear mongering brainwashing the public to believe they cannot survive without the government on their own.

There have even been some reports claiming there never was a shortage, adding even more evidence that the disaster declaration is nothing more than a confusing bit of fear mongering. Officials say the shortage stems from in-state production issues, which have forced propane suppliers to turn to out-of-state resources. But many in the industry don’t know where these so-called officials have gotten their information. As part of his declaration, Hickenlooper relaxed his own restrictions on how many hours drivers can work, allowing more propane to be delivered. But this would have all been useless propaganda and immediately labeled as nothing more than fear mongering had those affected by the disaster declaration been adequately prepared and not subjugated by the fear of a shortage that may never have existed, to begin with.

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

How To Prevent And Naturally Treat The Dreaded Stomach Flu This Winter

How To Prevent And Naturally Treat The Dreaded Stomach Flu This Winter

It always seems like this time of year brings the stomach flu along with all of the other viruses floating around in public.  But there are simple things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick, and there are natural and healthy ways to ensure you feel better faster if you do come down with this nasty bug.

It always seems like this time of year brings the stomach flu along with all of the other viruses floating around in public.  But there are simple things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick, and there are natural and healthy ways to ensure you feel better faster if you do come down with this nasty bug.

What is the stomach flu?

The stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, is an infection of the intestines. The viruses responsible for this illness are often the norovirus and the rotavirus. The symptoms of the stomach flu include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, a low-grade fever, and abdominal pain.  Usually, these symptoms subside in less than two days or even 24 hours in some cases. The Mayo Clinic suggests contacting a doctor if vomiting has persisted for more than two days, there’s bloody diarrhea, you have vomited blood, or have a fever about 104. All of these can be signs of a more severe infection, one not caused by the norovirus or rotavirus.

Noroviruses: Both children and adults are affected by noroviruses, the most common cause of foodborne illness worldwide. Norovirus infection can sweep through families and communities. It’s especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission also is possible.

Rotavirus: Worldwide, this is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the virus into their mouths. The infection is most severe in infants and young children. Adults infected with rotavirus may not have symptoms, but can still spread the illness — of particular concern in institutional settings because infected adults unknowingly can pass the virus to others.

-The Mayo Clinic

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Layering Clothes Effectively To Stay Warm Outside In Winter

Layering Clothes Effectively To Stay Warm Outside In Winter

Layering your clothing is one of the best ways to stay warm.  Anyone who works outside or has chores around the house to take care of in the winter months understands the importance of keeping the body warm so it can operate at optimal levels.

Layering your clothing comes with many benefits, including the ability to remove one or two items of clothing if you begin to feel a bit warm and overdressed. This makes you more prepared for any possible weather outcome, writes Mountain Warehouse. When you’re doing a combination of activities such as standing, walking, sitting, going outside and inside and back outside again, your body regulates its temperature very differently. This is ideal for people who do a lot of their chores outdoors! Layering allows you to be comfortable throughout the day as your body temperature and activity level change.

But just how does this technique work to keep a person warm? Layering clothing works by trapping warm air created by your own body heat in between the many layers of clothing. That trapped warm air acts like a layer of insulation for your body. Especially in winter, because that’s when it’s much colder, keeping your core warm is a key to good health, because this is the area that generates heat for your vital organs. Those organs need your body heat to function properly.

The University of Health Services in Madison Wisconsin writes that the basics of layering include four layers.

  • Base: a thin layer that fits your body. It works to wick away any sweat and moisture that would otherwise suck up your body heat.
  • Mid: your normal outfit, whether that’s a long sleeved shirt or sweater.

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5 Easy And Natural Ways To Beat Stress During The Holidays

5 Easy And Natural Ways To Beat Stress During The Holidays

The joyous time of the holiday season brings with it several factors that can cause stress to become out of control.  But there a few simple and all natural ways that work wonders for combating that extra pressure this season!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? But we’ve all been there; the stress can be intense! Many times it’s as simple as forgetting a Christmas gift and realizing you only have $4 in your bank account.  Maybe it’s the extra pressure of spending money and wrapping gifts, decorating your home perfectly, attending all the church events in a timely and punctual manner while making sure you didn’t forget one thing for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve done that! One year shortly after my husband and I first got married, I realized I had no poultry seasoning for the small turkey we’d just bought.  Everything was closed in the teeny rural town where we lived at the time and I had to make due with salt and pepper.  To this day, every year, I buy poultry seasoning when I make my holiday dinner shopping trip.  We now have 10 (possibly more) unopened jars of the stuff hanging out in our spice cabinet because I’m afraid it’ll happen to me again!

But this happens to the best of us.  Sometimes it is just too much and we need to de-stress.  So here are a few simple and all natural ways to help you combat the stress the holidays can place on us.

Diffuse Essential Oils

One of the most calming things we can do is ignite our sense of smell.  Using essential oil aromatherapy, this form of stress-relief can trigger the different senses in the brain through smell. Certain oils produce scents that can trigger positive feelings and thoughts in the brain.

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How To Protect Your Skin From Wind, Cold, And Sun During Winter

How To Protect Your Skin From Wind, Cold, And Sun During Winter

These crisp cool winter months are beautiful. The fresh snow lingers on the ground as you wake up to a lovely frost coating what used to be vibrantly colored trees just a few weeks ago. But now that winter is here, many still have to be outside to care for animals or land, and because of that, we’ve designed this helpful guide with natural alternatives to help keep your skin perfectly beautiful and healthy even in the icy cold and dry winter wind.

Winter presents some seriously interesting problems for those with already problematic skin.  Have no worries! There are some things that can be done to minimize the effects of the harsh cold and dry weather on your skin. Here they are:

DRINK MORE WATER

During winter months, the body is going to need more water. According to a previous Ready Nutrition article by Jerimiah Johnson, getting enough water could even end up being crucial to your own survival. As Johnson puts it:

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuelnever forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water. –Ready Nutrition

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Technology Detox: The Health Benefits of Unplugging & Unwinding

Technology Detox: The Health Benefits of Unplugging & Unwinding

Recent studies have shown that 90% of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours each day and the average American spends more time a day on high-tech devices than they do sleeping: 8 hours and 21 minutes to be exact.  If you’ve ever considered attempting a “digital detox”, there are some health benefits to making that change and a few tips to make things a little easier on yourself.

Many Americans are on their phones rather than playing with their children or spending quality family time together.  Some people give up technology, or certain aspects of it, such as social media for varying reasons, and there are some shockingly terrific health benefits that come along with that type of a detox from technology.  In fact, more and more health experts and medical professionals are suggesting a periodic digital detox; an extended period without those technology gadgets. Studies continue to show that a digital detox, has proven to be beneficial for relationships, productivity, physical health, and mental health. If you find yourself overly stressed or unproductive or generally disengaged from those closest to you, it might be time to unplug.

DIGITAL ADDICTION RESOLUTION

It may go unnoticed but there are many who are actually addicted to their smartphones or tablet. It could be social media or YouTube videos, but these are the people who never step away.  They are the ones with their face in their phone while out to dinner with their family. They can’t have a quiet dinner without their phone on the table. We’ve seen them at the grocery store aimlessly pushing around a cart while ignoring their children and scrolling on their phone.

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How To Beat ‘Cabin Fever’ During The Winter With Vitamin D

How To Beat ‘Cabin Fever’ During The Winter With Vitamin D

Reduce cabin fever with these healthy options!
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and one that can be synthesized by our body when sunlight hits our skin. But during the winter when we are curled up by a warm fire sipping hot cocoa, it can be hard to get enough vitamin D to keep the body running in tip-top shape.

Vitamin D is a precursor hormone and has multiple roles in the human body. It helps to maintain the health of bones and teeth, support the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system. It also helps regulate insulin levels and aid in diabetes management. Vitamin D also supports lung function and cardiovascular health while influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development.

Researchers in clinical studies had tested fifty-five adults between 18 and 65 with artificial light sources containing ultraviolet radiation or UV rays. The adults participating in this study were told to sit under a heat lamp or UV light in their underwear for up to 10 minutes.  Researchers noticed that their vitamin D levels increased afterward. Of course, buying UV lights or heat lamps and sitting around under those lights in your underwear might not be the best or easiest solution for most people.

It is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows most people to produce sufficient vitamin D, but vitamin D breaks down quite quickly, meaning that stores can run low, especially in winter. In fact, recent studies have suggested that a substantial percentage of the global population is vitamin D deficient partially because of this.

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The Medicinal Power Of Nettles

The Medicinal Power Of Nettles

Nettles have many medicinal uses. The is a great primer to start learning!
Deemed a useless plant by many, nettle is often avoided and weeded out of yards because it can be annoying and irritating.  But after being the subject of several studies, nettle has begun to prove its worth. While you may curse the plant for the temporary discomfort, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is actually a beneficial perennial that treats several conditions.

History

Stinging nettle is a perennial flowering plant that has been used medicinally for ages, dating back as far as Ancient Greece. Today, it can be found all over the world, but its origins are in the colder regions of Europe and Asia.

The first historically documented use of this beneficial herb was when Roman soldiers battled the cold by rubbing the leaves on their arms to induce inflammation and irritation, according to Mercola. The plant’s popularity has now spread across the world and has been used by medical practitioners since the 19th century because of its abundance of chemicals and compounds that can help the body function optimally.

How To Identify Nettle

Nettle plants can be differentiated from other plants through their leaves. The nettle leaf has an ovate shape with deeply serrated edges. These leaves also have long stinging hairs that inject chemicals into the skin when you accidentally touch or brush past them. These hairs often cause pain and inflammation in the affected area.

The stems of the leaves often have hairs on them and neither the male or female flowers have petals. The flowers form in string-like clusters at the leaf axis. The plant usually grows between two to four feet high and blooms from June to September. Nettle grows best in nitrogen-rich soil, has heart-shaped leaves, and produces yellow or pink flowers.

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City Size & Structure Can Influence Influenza Epidemics, Scientists Say

City Size & Structure Can Influence Influenza Epidemics, Scientists Say

Ready Nutrition - City Size & Structure Can Influence Influenza Epidemics, Scientists Say
New research is suggesting that the size and structure of the city you live in has the possibility of influencing epidemics.  With flu season upon us, and everyone lining up to get the flu shot, researchers are saying an outbreak may be less in our control than we originally thought.

But just how does your city’s structure impact an epidemic?

Regardless of whether flu cases rise to a wintertime peak or plateau from fall to spring, new research suggests that the size of a city itself influences the contours of its flu season according to Science News.  Larger cities with higher levels of crowding were associated with a steady accumulation of influenza cases throughout a flu season. Smaller cities with less crowding tended to have a flu season with a more intense surge in winter, researchers report in the October 5 publication.

“Understanding how the size and structure of cities impact disease spread may help us to predict and control epidemics,” study co-author and population biologist Benjamin Dalziel of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, said October 2 at a news conference.

In the United States, “flu season” occurs during fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). –Ready Nutrition

After the 2017 horrific flu season, many are wondering if in fact the CDC is prepared for this year's flu season. Hear the CDC's concerns, know the facts, and learn how to improve your immune system naturally to fight the dreaded flu season.Flu cases generally peak during the winter in most areas of the United States because the air is quite a bit drier.

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9 Ways You Can Save BIG On Energy Costs This Winter

9 Ways You Can Save BIG On Energy Costs This Winter

Heating your home during the winter can be costly and many don’t have the extra money to pay for the uptick in energy costs.  But we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to help you save your money on energy and use more sustainable ways to heat your home.

Not only can a reduction in the amount of energy you use lower your impact on the Earth, but it lowers the impact on your wallet, freeing up some funds for emergencies or for other uses. In a 2013 survey, 10 percent of renters who participated in a Rent.com poll said that utilities are their biggest monthly expense, coming in third after monthly rent and groceries. And just heating your living spaces accounts for about 48 percent of your home’s total energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

None of the things listed below will require a big investment, but they should help you notice a little relief when your next energy bill comes.

1. Use the sun for free heat: That burning bright orb in the sky should be the focus of temperature control in your residence throughout the year, even in summer. However, once winter rolls around, open the curtains on your south-facing windows during the winter days to bring free heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat locked inside.

2. Use a programmable thermostat: Save up to 10 percent on your heating costs per year by setting your thermostat 7 degrees to 10 degrees lower for eight hours a day, says Energy.gov. Set it and forget it by using a programmable thermostat.  This works especially well if you are at work during the day.

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5 (More) Foods That Last Forever

5 (More) Foods That Last Forever

When planning and storing food for emergencies or survival situations, we have long advocated incorporating foods that will last forever (or at least longer than you will). By doing so, this does double duty by boosting your emergency supplies. panties, and your bartering power, as well as ensuring you are purchasing foods as frugally as possible.

Ready Nutrition - Bestselling The Prepper's CookbookIn The Prepper’s Cookbook, 25 must-have foods were explored in this best-selling book. These 25 foods are the foundation of your prepper pantry and used to make an array of foods. 11 of those 25 foods were what is considered “forever foods.”

Today, we are going to explore five more foods to add to your forever food pantries, and if stored properly, they will last forever. Best of all, many of them will serve multiple purposes beyond human consumption and this could give you a hand up should the SHTF!

5 (More) Forever Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

1. Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is actually not made by distillation at all, but made by the fermentation of the natural sugars found in either grains or fruit.  Those sugars are converted to alcohol and the alcohol is then fermented a second time and it turns into vinegar by the production of acetic acid after the fermentation of ethanol, sugars, or acetic acid bacteria. Vinegar typically contains anywhere between 5 and 20% acetic acid by volume and is currently mainly used as a cooking ingredient, or in pickling. The mainstays of the category include white distilled, cider, wine, and malt have now been joined by balsamic, rice, rice wine, raspberry, pineapple, Chardonnay, flavored and seasoned vinegar and more.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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