12 Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu

Fight colds, flu, and other illness naturally with these 12 simple (and mostly FREE) tips!

The key to beating the flu is to not get it in the first place. Easier said than done, right? Here are a few things we try to do all year long, and especially when the flu is going around.

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

This one is pretty obvious and I’m sure you’ve heard it many times, but do you actually take the advice? Sleep is restorative and getting a good amount of sleep at night can make a huge difference in your body’s ability to fight off illness. Research shows that sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or disease.1 Having trouble sleeping? Try using a homemade lavender pillow spray.

2. Stay Hydrated

Another obvious one, I realize, but when you take away the cups of coffee, soda, juice, and milk, how many cups of plain water are you drinking each day? Aim for water to make up at least 50% of your beverages each day to keep your body well-hydrated. Drinking plenty of water daily will help to naturally detoxify your body.2

3. Go Outside

Fresh air and sunshine really make a difference. Spending as little as 20 minutes outside each day can boost your vitamin D levels significantly.3

4. Take Vitamin D3

Deficiencies in vitamin D3 are more common in the winter because we spend less time outside. A study in 2010 showed that children taking vitamin D3 were 42% less likely to get the flu.4 Taking 5,000 – 8,000 IUs (for adults, depending on body weight) of vitamin D3 daily could reduce your risk of catching the flu by almost half!5

5. Reduce Stress

The holidays can be a major source of stress, but it’s important to stay calm. Stress can impair the immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness.6 When you feel stressed, take a few minutes to pray, meditate, exercise, take a bath, go for a walk, or do something you enjoy that will bring down your stress levels. Taking just a few minutes to reduce stress now will save you a lot of sick time (and more stress) later!

6. Avoid Sugar

I know. This one’s probably the most difficult, especially with all the holiday goodies tempting us! However, sugar suppresses the immune system, meaning your body’s ability to fight off illness is weakened.7 Sugar can also inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals!8 Clearly it’s best to avoid sugar as much as possible.

7. Eat Garlic

Fresh garlic is a potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agent. It is also possibly the tastiest item on this list! Studies show that garlic can be effective for preventing common colds and reducing recovery time!9 Eat garlic daily for best results. You can also make a garlic poultice to reduce fevers and ease coughing and congestion.

8. Take Probiotics

Have you heard that your immune system is in your gut? Due in part to the over-prescription of antibiotics, many of us are lacking the good bacteria needed to maintain a healthy gut flora. The good bacteria aid digestion and nutrient absorption and contribute to immune function.10 Probiotics (live bacteria) can be found in many foods like yogurt, kefir, traditionally prepared sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. Since these foods are no longer common in our culture, many people opt to take a probiotic supplement.

9. Take Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO)

I consider Fermented Cod Liver Oil an essential part of our health routine. In addition to being beneficial to your overall health, it is a potent immune system supporter.11 It’s important to choose a high quality FCLO like Green Pasture’s.

10. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are a must-have in our home. Many essential oils can support the body’s natural defenses. Essential oils that I like to keep on hand: Oregano, Frankincense, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, and Eucalyptus. You can read more about how I use these oils as well as where to get them here: Getting Started with Essential Oils.

11. Take Elderberry Syrup

In 2011, researchers at Justus-Liebig University in Geissen, Germany reported that a concentrated liquid extract of black elderberries inhibited the growth of influenza A and B viruses and bacteria associated with upper respiratory tract infections.12 Elderberry syrup is mild-tasting and inexpensive to purchase, or you can easily make your own elderberry syrup!

12. Exercise

Regular exercise may also be helpful for cold and flu prevention, according to a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.13 Researchers aren’t sure yet why it is effective, but it might be because it reduces stress, improves sleep, and typically involves going outdoors (coincidentally all items on this list)! These are the remedies and preventative measures that our family takes to prevent cold and flu.

Do you have any others you would add to the list?

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Sources 1. Links Between Immune Function and Sleep 2. How Drinking Spring or Filtered Water Can Improve Your Health 3. How Much Sunshine Does it Take to Make Enough Vitamin D? 4. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren 5. Study Shows Vitamin D Cuts Flu by Nearly 50% 6. More Evidence That Stress is Major Factor for Infections 7. Eating Sugar Suppresses the Immune System 8. Dietary Fructose Inhibits Intestinal Calcium Absorption and Induces Vitamin D Insufficiency in CKD 9. Preventing the Common Cold with a Garlic Supplement: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Survey 10. Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics 11. FAQs: All About Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Why I Don’t Take Fish Oil 12. New Research On Black Elderberries Shows Activity Against Flu Viruses And Respiratory Tract Bacteria 13. Can exercise and meditation prevent cold and flu?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no extra cost to you), I will receive a commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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40 Chapter Books for Girls

40 great chapter books for girls (ages 7-10)!

After all the work I put into creating my son’s reading list of 40 “boy” books, I figured making my daughter’s list of “girl” books would be a piece of cake. After all, I am a girl and I’ve always enjoyed reading.

Boy, was I wrong! I read plenty of books growing up, but not many classics, and, apparently, not many “girl” books. (When I refer to “girl” books, I merely mean books with a female point of view and/or main character.) So, this list proved to be quite a challenge!

I wanted these books to have a good plot, an inspiring female character, to be wholesome, on my daughter’s reading level, and to be “classics” or have the potential to become a classic. My daughter is an 8 year old advanced reader, so most of these books are for the 7-10 year old age range.

I hope my daughter enjoys her reading list this year and I look forward to introducing my son to several of these classics as well!

40 Chapter Books for Girls

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
A Little Princess
All of a Kind Family
Amelia Bedelia
Anne of Green Gables
Ballet Shoes
Because of Winn-Dixie
Caddie Woodlawn
Charlotte’s Web
Clementine
Ella Enchanted
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Gooney Bird Greene
Half Magic
Heidi
In Grandma’s Attic
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Little House in the Big Woods
Mary Poppins
Matilda
Miracles on Maple Hill
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Pippi Longstocking
Pocahontas and the Strangers
Pollyanna
Roxie and the Hooligans
Sarah, Plain and Tall
Strawberry Girl
The Courage of Sarah Noble
The Doll People
The Hundred Dresses
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Moffats
The Railway Children
The Secret Garden
The Year of Miss Agnes
The Wizard of Oz
Understood Betsy
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Are there any other classic “girl” books you would add to this list?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no extra cost to you), I will receive a commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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A Day in the Life of an Oiler

 Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

If you’re visiting here after reading about Amy’s “day in the life” – welcome; I’m glad you’re here!

I’m so excited to be participating in “A Day in the Life of an Oiler” series along with 19 other bloggers this week! We’re all sharing how we use oils in a typical day and what I love most is that everyone’s day looks very different! It’s all about making essential oils work for you and your family!

If you’re following me on Instagram then you may already have an idea of how my “day in the life” went since I shared quite a few pictures there. I’m so glad I chose the day that I did – it was a perfectly “ordinary” day so you’ll be getting a true glimpse of how we use oils on a daily basis.

My Oily Day in the Life

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

In the mornings I apply  my “perfume” – I rub Valor essential oil on my wrists and a drop of Joy essential oil over my heart. Not only do I absolutely love how these oils smell (Valor is actually my favorite scent of all the oils I’ve tried so far!), but I love how they make me feel. This oil combo really sets me up for a good and joyful start to my day. Sometimes I reapply in the afternoon.

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

I diffuse essential oils pretty much 24/7. Not only do we get to enjoy the health benefits of the various oils, but it makes my house smell divine! For this day, I chose to diffuse Citrus Fresh essential oil. Citrus Fresh is a relaxing, calming blend of citrus oils (orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, and spearmint). It supports the immune system and overall health while bringing about a sense of well-being, creativity, and feelings of joy. It also works as an air purifier! It is definitely one of my favorite oils to diffuse (my kids love it too)! It’s the perfect blend to diffuse while we do our morning school work and I work on my blog.

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

We had to run a quick errand in the afternoon, so brought along my Thieves hand purifier (I always keep it in my purse). It’s a must-have for my kids because they tend to touch everything.

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

For our afternoon chores, I used my Thieves household cleaner. I LOVE this stuff. I was so skeptical of it at first because it seemed really expensive ($22 wholesale for 1 bottle of concentrate), but now that I’ve been using it exclusively for 7 months (and I mean I use it to clean everything) and the bottle is not even halfway empty, I’m starting to think it is actually a really good deal! That works out to less than $2 per month for cleaning products. And it really does work great! I use it to clean everything from kitchen counters to toilets to windows to carpet stains; it cleans well and it smells wonderful!

Plus, since it is non-toxic, I’m comfortable with my kids using it! For our afternoon chores, I used my Thieves cleaner to clean my bathroom as well as the kitchen and my son used it to clean the kid’s bathroom.

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

After dinner it’s bath time! My kids are getting to the age where they prefer showers, but I usually try to get them to take at least one detox bath per week. I just add 1/2 – 1 cup of epsom salts and a few drops of Lavender essential oil to the running bath water and have them soak for about 20 minutes (bonus – they sleep great after this bath).

After baths I rub Thieves essential oil on the bottoms of everyone’s feet before bedtime to help support our immune systems.

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

We also run our diffusers at night. I have diffusers in each of our bedrooms so we can all benefit from the oils while we sleep. That night I diffused Thieves essential oil for additional immune system support.

Day In the life of an Oiler | How I use Young Living essential oils in a typical day.

After I washed my face I applied some of my homemade face cream that contains coconut oil and Frankincense essential oil. I love using Frankincense on my face at night because it helps reduce the appearance of aging.

Well, that’s it! That is what a typical day of oiling looks like for us.

My one complaint – we didn’t have a single ailment! Not so much as a stubbed toe! While I’m certainly thankful for our good health, I was kind of hoping for an opportunity to show you some of the amazing benefits of oils. So, really quick, here are a few of the “typical” ways that we essential oils:

  • I use Lavender for cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  • I use Purification for itchy bug bites.
  • I rub RC (mixed with coconut oil) on chests for coughing and congestion (works better than vapor rub!).
  • I use Peppermint for occasional headaches (I mix with coconut oil and rub it on my temples, forehead, and back of my neck).
  • I rub either the Deep Relief roll-on or Pan-Away (mixed with coconut oil) on my husband’s back (he has a very physically demanding job).
  • My husband rubs the Breathe Again roll-on at night for help with his occasional sinus issues.

I am always thankful to have these oils on hand for the inevitable illness or injury!

Are you ready to jump in to this wonderful world of caring for yourself and your family naturally with essential oils?? The time is now! Click here to learn more about essential oils or contact the person who introduced you to “A Day in the Life of an Oiler” blog series! :)

Next up is Tina @ Essential Oil Lover!

Be sure to check out the other 19 posts In “A Day In the Life of an Oiler” blogger series.

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no extra cost to you), I will receive a commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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40 Chapter Books for Boys

40 great chapter books for boys (ages 9-12)!

Weird. Funny. Exciting. Gross.

That is the criteria for choosing boy books. Well, according to my son, anyway.

As a girl, I grew up reading American Girl and Nancy Drew books and while I definitely think my son appreciates classics like A Little Princess and the Little House series, I am always on the lookout for gross/funny/exciting/weird books that he can enjoy.

So, this year I decided his literature reading list would be compiled entirely of classic “boy” books! In addition to meeting his above criteria, I chose these books because they are told from a boy’s point of view and/or have a boy protagonist.

The books on this list cover a variety of topics, time periods, reading levels, and genres. My son is 10 years old, so most of these books are for the 9-12 year old age range.

I hope my son enjoys his reading list this year and I look forward to introducing my daughter to several of these classics as well!

40 Chapter Books for Boys

Along Came a Dog
Around the World in Eighty Days
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Beowulf: A Hero’s Tale Retold
Call It Courage
Castle Diary
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress
George Muller (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Holes
Homer Price
How to Eat Fried Worms
James and the Giant Peach
MacBeth: For Kids
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
My Side of the Mountain
Peter Pan
Robinson Crusoe
Stuart Little
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Apple and the Arrow
The Borrowers 
The Castle in the Attic

The Door in the Wall
The Dragon of Lonely Island
The Hobbit
The House of Sixty Fathers
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Kite Fighters
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Matchlock Gun
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Tale of Despereaux
The Twenty-One Balloons
Treasure Island
Where the Red Fern Grows

Are there any other classic “boy” books you would add to this list?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no extra cost to you), I will receive a commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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My Favorite Books From 2013

I love to make lofty reading goals every year, even if I rarely meet them. This year I chose 26 books to read. My husband and I have a large collection of books, but I’ve read less than half at the most! So, in 2013 I decided to pick out some that I’d been wanting to read, but kept pushing aside in favor of the “latest and greatest” book that I found at the library, borrowed from a friend, or bought for Kindle.

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

Books I *planned* to read in 2013.

I ended up only reading half of the books I chose, but I still consider it a win! I tackled two very long books, including Nutrition and Physical Degeneration which is a BEAST of a book.

I started out the year at a fast pace – I met my reading goal in number (26) by April! Once summer hit though, my pace slowed to a crawl and by fall I’d pretty much stopped reading altogether. As much as I love to read, we had some pretty significant changes going on in our family that severely limited my free time.

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

Now that we’ve settled into our new routines and the crazy-stressful holidays are over, I’ve resumed my regular daily reading time. It feels good to be back to it! Reading really is a habit – the more you do it, the more you want to do it!

Back to 2013, I decided I’d share a few of my favorite reads from the year. I read a lot of great books (and a lot of not-so-great books…) and I’ve narrowed it down to my top 7!

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

Considering I prescribe to the Weston A. Price way of eating, I figured it was high time I read through his entire book! I’d read bits and pieces before, as well as Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, but never the entire book. I am so glad I finally read this book! It was absolutely fascinating.

Weston A. Price was a dentist who traveled all over the world to investigate the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration. He found that when people groups were eating their native foods, they had straight, healthy teeth and overall good health. When people groups were introduced to modern foods like white flour and sugar, their health declined and cases of dental caries increased.

The book is absolutely jam-packed with information and evidence of how food impacts your health. It is a worthy read for anyone searching for optimal health.

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

I can’t even express how much I loved this book. I’m an introvert who is also painfully shy, though I’m sometimes good at hiding it, and I always thought I was the only one like this. I know it seems crazy, but I really did think I was the only person who felt absolute terror at the thought of speaking to a group of people, or doing presentations at school, or even talking on the phone to a stranger. The main takeaways from this book – I am not alone, there are other people like me, and it’s okay for me to be a shy introvert.

I love how the author explains the differences between extroverts and introverts and how you can be an introvert and not be shy. Her case studies were so interesting – especially the introverted public speaker!

The book helped me to better understand both introverts and extroverts and even to better understand my own feelings. I’d recommend this book for anyone, whether introverted or extroverted.

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

How Your Child Is Smart: A Life-Changing Approach to Learning by Dawna Markova

I was seeking insight into the difference in learning styles in my children and this book came highly recommended. The book is geared toward parents and teachers of school children, but the information is still valuable and relevant for a homeschool parent.

The author identifies six patterns of learning and helps you to determine how your child learns best and how to teach them most effectively. It was truly eye-opening!

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

The Sovereignty Of God by A.W. Pink

In this book, Pink explores the rich biblical doctrine of God’s sovereignty in creation, redemption, and providence. I loved this book. Perhaps I’ve read too many “fluffy” Christian books lately, but this book was a breath of fresh air. It was powerful, concise, dense, and enjoyable. I already want to read it again.

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

I finally got around to reading this classic and it did not disappoint. In Mere Christianity, Lewis makes a compelling and logical argument for the Christian faith. I will leave you with this one truly excellent quote from the book:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George

Margaret George is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes historical fiction about characters that she thinks the public misunderstands – like Henry VIII and Cleopatra. I read The Memoirs of Cleopatra a few years ago and knew it would not be my last Margaret George novel. Her books are very long, but worth it – especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

Cleopatra is still my favorite of the two, but Henry VIII was still a very interesting character.

The top 7 best books I read in 2013!

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Since the movie came out, my husband insisted I read this sci-fi classic and I was very surprised by how much I loved it. It sucked me in right away and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t tell much about the story without giving anything away, but this book would be enjoyable even if you’re not a fan of science fiction.

 You can see all the Books I Read in 2013 on Pinterest.

What was the best book that you read last year?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (at no extra cost to you), I will receive a commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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