Why Should Parents Let Their Teenage Kids Travel With Friends?

More often than not you will come across parents who’re ready to create a protective wall around their kids – never letting the child behave independently. While protecting your child from whatever things you think aren’t necessary, it is also important to make sure that you child becomes a responsible individual.

Since adolescence is the right age to teach the child a couple of things, including the importance of being responsible for own things and actions. This is also the age is when being over-protective parents might not be the best thing to do – so let your child tie his own shoes, pack his own bag, do his own homework and talk to his friends – even if that means talking over a vacation.

This article summarizes the top reasons why parents should let their teenage kids travel with friends –

It opens the doors of their knowledge – You’ve always taught your child the right things and done almost everything you could to impart knowledge, for once let travel be their parent. When you let your kid travel with his buddies, remember even if it is for a little while but they will talk sense – they’ll impart each other the right information, and this is exactly what your child needs.

It makes them look at things from a different perspective – Until now your child looked at the things the way you made them look, but travelling opens the many doors of varied perspectives. Even if it is a group of ten friends travelling together, each one will have a perspective of his own – which means your child will not only learn to develop perspectives but will also readily accept someone else’s point.

Travelling with friends means better bonding – A child’s mental development is based on how well he can communicate with his peers, and what’s better than travelling with such friends? It’s not only going to be a time for lots of fun activities but also special bonding – and remember the friends who travel together stay together.

Travelling would make your child into a responsible adult – When travelling with friends your child has no choice but to act responsibly – this means that sending him alone with friends will benefit him some way or the other. He’ll turn into a more responsible adult and in the longer run will also be able to take some wise decisions for himself.

He’ll make mistakes, improve and get over – Travelling with friends should be your child’s choice and if it gives him happiness you should certainly allow him to take that trip. Over the years, or maybe over a particular journey your child might make mistakes, but he’ll improve and most of all he’ll learn from them – so let them just travel.

While you might think that your child is too young to travel with friends, remember it will only benefit him in the longer run. Plus, travelling is a way of leading a better life and there is no right age for your child to travel, so make sure you let him make the decisions of his life from a very tender age, even if it concerns travelling with friends.

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Nutrition Tips – The Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Rubidium

Rubidium is quite a rare trace mineral that is not very abundant in the human body. But despite its rarity and low presence in the body, it has some very important functions to perform for your health. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the uses of rubidium.

4 Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Rubidium

1. Helps in the prevention of diabetes: The mineral rubidium plays an essential role in the synthesis of enzymes. One such enzyme that rubidium helps to create is very essential for the proper absorption of glucose in your body.

Without rubidium to help the action of the enzyme, the glucose molecules would not be able to get absorbed efficiently, thus leading to diabetic problems.

Hence, one of the major uses of rubidium is to decrease your chances of getting diabetes.

2. Maintains hormonal balance: Studies have revealed that rubidium enhances the production of many hormones and various enzymes.

The working of the pituitary gland, as well as the salivary and lachrymal glands, is encouraged with the presence of rubidium. Thus rubidium helps to keep your hormone production balanced and also controls the excretion of required fluids from the other glands.

A hormonal imbalance can cause a lot of difficulties including, hair fall, facial hair, weight gain, infertility etc. As rubidium keeps your body’s hormonal activity in check, it can thus help to prevent such health concerns.

3. Aids in the regulation and absorption of iron: Rubidium has been shown to help regulate the flow of iron into the bloodstream, which in turn helps in better absorption of iron. When there is enough iron present in your blood, rubidium acts as a block and stops more iron from being let into the blood.

As a result, your iron level remains optimum and there is no excess iron in your blood, which could cause several health problems including hemosiderosis. When there is just the right amount of iron present in your blood, your body is not overworked and can absorb the iron most effectively.

Thus, adequate rubidium is vital to ensure that you do not get diseases related to overdose of iron.

4. Helps in depression: Initial results of medical studies have shown rubidium to be very useful in the synthesis of serotonin. It also ensures presence of enough serotonin in your body.

Serotonin is a brain chemical, in the absence of which you may suffer from mental imbalances. Serotonin deficiency has been observed in those who are depressed and they are generally given serotonin drugs to counter the depression.

Thus, as rubidium seems to e a natural serotonin booster, it can be of great help in maintaining the health of your brain, and specifically in preventing depression.

Although not much is known about rubidium as it is a rare mineral and the body contains very little of it, the above uses of rubidium make it an imperative mineral for your well being.

Sourcing the Uses of Rubidium

As rubidium is not very abundant in soil (if at all), food sources of rubidium are quite rare. In fact, a lot of the rubidium used in the United States is brought in from other countries.

Thus, the only source of rubidium for your health is rubidium supplements.

How To Choose A Rubidium Supplement

Do not buy any rubidium supplement that has ingredients such as silica, sugar, starch, artificial colors etc. Such ingredients are additives that are harmful for your body and should thus be avoided.

Buy a rubidium supplement that is made as per pharmaceutical GMP standards so as to ensure that you are getting a safe product.

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Home Sweet Home!

He loves to be at home, almost deliriously. Home… sweet home! Some place where you follow the same delicious routine- everyday, day after day. His mother and sisters hovering around him, giving him mouth-watering meals at the appropriate hours-so religiously maintained! Precious moments at every step of the homely existence, sometimes with his father butting in at the most inappropriate ones! And then… the compulsory evening hours before the television set with family, and a lot of nonsense yet fun. This is heaven, he justifies. Nothing can possibly ever make him think of leaving it!

Of course, he reasons, he is no longer a burden on his father’s measly monthly income. Now, he too has a job-a fairly good job considering the fact that he can carry it on royally residing at home. What’s more-he is contributing to the monthly budget in good measure and as a result of that he is getting even more attention from his mother and more pampering from his beloved sisters, he’s almost sure about that! Yes, he had got several other job offers outside his city, but rejected all in an immaculate cost-benefit analysis that he often indulged in. He will get more salary no doubt, but most of that will go to renting flats, cooking for his own sake, transport costs for homecoming and going and other related costs. Therefore, he is ready to give up that extra income in favour of staying at his heaven.

Sometimes he gets bored too, as is natural. The delicious routine becomes a drag if he decides to think of his apparently purposeless existence. But then he reasons even more vehemently. Why-there is lot of purpose in his life, helping his ageing father, giving solid support to his mother, finding ways and means of marrying off his sisters and so on. Besides, home sweet home always has its never-ending store of pleasures. He can lounge out in the portico sofa by the window with a book or have noisy games of cards, ludo, carom, checkers and the lot with family or can join the guests who come almost every day for gossip or can go for a movie.

His heavenly existence was continuing in full bloom till one fateful day. In fact, for many others it would have been a momentous day of great joy and promise. However, for him it was a D-day. He had to take the decision of his life-a choice between his heaven and a future that he did not put much weight on.

He got an unexpected promotion and transfer to a big city. Maybe thanks to his heavenly roots he had been very good in his office job, and just when the employers wanted to reward him for his efforts all hell broke loose for him. He shared this news with his mother and sisters in a very casual manner, not telling about the exact pay package, but only mentioning the additional unnecessary costs. However, one of his sisters got elated at the prospect of traveling to the megacity and staying in her brother’s home. He looked askance at her.

He is more careful breaking the news to his father. He tries to convince him that this promotion does in no way mean a quick climb-up in the hierarchy; rather he’d wait a little longer and get the promotion at his hometown. Or he’d approach some influential person for a settlement where his dad could also help. And the unnecessary expenses that will come inevitably, his cost-benefit analysis in full flow. He is almost sure that his dad is convinced. Any doting father would want his only son near and around only. However, his father’s next action was not at all expected. His father just walked out of home.

It was only half an hour later, but the suspense made it seem much longer. His father comes in with huge packets on his hands. His father calls upon his mother and places all the packets on the dining table. One by one he opens-sweets, cakes, salty delights and all. He just ushers in a big celebration. His heavenly son just looks on.

“Congratulations, my boy! I was really worried about you and your ways. But you proved to be damn good in work, and the way your company is rewarding you is just terrific. Okay… you’ve gorged on home food and comforts for quite long. Enough of your logic and arguments! Now you get a start on your own. And don’t bother about me. Next time I’m coming to have comforts in your home!”

He tries to look pleadingly at his mother. But she is busy, and merrily setting the table. He must celebrate now.

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Comparing Apples to Apples – Hydrated Weight Vs Dehydrated Weight – Home-Dried Vs Store-Bought

In the interest of scientific research into what happens with apples when they are dehydrated, I conducted an experiment.

Actually, it was sheer curiosity that prompted the study–the apples needed drying anyway.

To proceed: 4 apples were cored and weighed before dehydration. Weights ranged from 7 ounces to 7.5 ounces. The apple slices were soaked for about 5-10 minutes in a mixture of lemon juice and water. This pretreatment helped to maintain texture and nutrients, and to prevent oxidation (the discoloration that occurs during the drying process).

Four dehydrator trays were used, with one apple per tray. This ensured a more accurate post-dehydrating apple weight. The trays were placed in the dehydrator according to the order in which the apples were weighed.

  1. Tray 1: 7.25 ounces
  2. Tray 2: 7.50 ounces
  3. Tray 3: 7.00 ounces
  4. Tray 4: 7.50 ounces

The apples were dried at a temperature of 135 degrees for approximately 13 hours. After dehydration, each apple was weighed again. The trays were removed from the dehydrator according to the order in which the apples were weighed the first time.

  1. Tray 1: 1.25 ounces*
  2. Tray 2: 1.25 ounces
  3. Tray 3: 1.00 ounces
  4. Tray 4: 1.25 ounces

*rounded to the nearest.25 ounce; actual weight was slightly less

On average, each apple lost approximately 16.22% of its original weight, with an overall loss of 16.24%. The 4 apples were divided into 9 small bags for easy packing in lunchboxes. They were stored in a crockery canister until needed.

Total cost of the apples at $1.99 per pound, cored: $3.64. The lemon juice added a negligible amount. Total cost of the dried apples: $0.77 per ounce.

How does that compare with store-bought dried apples?

There was only 1 brand to compare–surprising in such a large grocery store chain. A 2.5-ounce bag of apple chips cost $1.99, or $0.80 per ounce–a total of $0.03 less than homemade.

Before you exclaim that the saving is not worth the trouble of doing your own dehydrating, consider what you get for your money.

  1. Both the homemade and the store-bought apples were the Golden Delicious variety.
  2. The homemade apple chips consisted of apples pretreated with lemon juice and water.
  3. The store-bought apple chips consisted of apples; safflower, sunflower, and/or canola oil; corn syrup; sugar; dextrose; citric acid; ascorbic acid; malic acid; and natural flavor.

What’s in your lunchbox?

Disclaimer: Because the subjects used in this study were very limited, any conclusions may be inapplicable to other situations. Results will vary, depending on the amount of juice left in the apples, the brand(s) available for comparison, and the price of apples in your area.

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5 Online Marketing Questions to Answer in the New Year

With the new year here, it is safe to say that you have a lot of hope for the future of your business. While there are sure to be challenges in 2015, if you play your cards right you know you are in position to do big things.

You don’t want to wait any longer to settle on your marketing strategy for the new year. If you are still lagging behind in this area of your business, here are five questions to answer without delay:

  1. What worked for you, in terms of marketing, in 2014? Once you know the answer to this question, you should implement a plan that allows you to take advantage of more of the same in 2015.
  2. What didn’t work for your business last year? It is safe to say that some of your marketing tactics flopped. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the future. You don’t want to continually waste time and money on strategies that don’t generate results.
  3. Do you have any new ideas to experiment with? It is always a good idea to keep an open mind when it comes to the marketing strategy of your company. If you neglected to experiment with new ideas last year, now is the time to change your way of thinking.
  4. Are you taking advantage of social media? This is one of the most powerful ways to market your company and reach a large audience. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are just a few of the many social media services to focus on. You don’t want to neglect this area of online marketing any longer.
  5. Do you need help? Some companies have enough people on staff to handle all marketing related tasks. Others, however, need to reach out for assistance. There are individuals and companies that can help with everything from content creation to social media management and much more.

It may take some time to answer these questions, among others, so there is no reason to be in a rush. As long as you are searching for answers and moving forward, you will eventually end up in a good place.

You have the entire year ahead of you, so now is the time to settle on a marketing plan that you can trust. Answering the questions above will help you move forward in a confident and strong manner.

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Why Business Equipment Finance Makes Sense

If you are starting a new venture, or you are expanding an existing one, then you might be going through a menacing time to set things up. It is a complex undertaking when you have to spend a lot of money for more equipment, or else the new business won’t run. Equipment procurement is an essential part of setting up a business and you don’t have much choice but to buy new gears and paraphernalia to get things started.

First, you have to plan for the equipment needed and it is important that you know how to select the products that would address your needs. After you have determined the equipment needed, you have to create a plan on how you should be paying for the equipment. If you don’t have money to spend for it, then you probably need a business equipment finance company.

What is this company that would supply financing for your equipment purchase? Basically, this is considered a smart thing to do when you are short of funds to buy equipment. Or even when you have money, you can use the equipment loans to pay for practically any kind of business equipment you require. The amount you can borrow would vary and it would depend on the equipment you are procuring, and the state of the equipment such as if it is new or a used equipment.

You would normally need financing if you need a car loan. If you have already tried a car loan, then you have probably known how the financing system works. The equipment will serve as your collateral to the company that gives business equipment finance. The interest rates are fixed which can be from 8% to 30%, depending on the term. These companies also offer a fixed length for terms, and this gives the borrower ease in repayment through having the same amount of amortization every month.

The length of the loan term would also vary, depending on the nature of the equipment and how long it is expected to be useful. There is varying depreciation of different equipment and this is to be considered before the terms can be determined. Some equipment types are given 36 months or 48 months terms. But some terms provide only 12 months for loan to be repaid.

What type of business equipment can qualify for equipment loans? All sorts of equipment would be viable for this such as: IT equipment and computers, heavy machinery, medical equipment, scientific equipment and commercial vehicles.

Thus, you can get a loan for trucks, prime-movers, tractors, tankers, laptops, desktops, servers, factory automation, robotic assembly devices and many more. The list is long and you have to talk with the company’s representative to determine if the equipment you need can be financed.

You may get advised on having a lease on your equipment and not a loan. However, with a lease, you are only renting the equipment and it won’t be yours after the lease term is done. With a loan, you own the equipment once fully paid.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Point-of-Service Health Plans

Point-of-Service (POS) plans are one of the many health insurance options available to you and your family. A unique type of health plan, POS plans can be considered a hybrid of HMO and PPO plans. POS plans contain some characteristics of each of these, which some people may find advantageous. Below is a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of a POS plan compared to other plans.

Advantages of a POS Plan

  • No deductible. One of the most obvious advantages of a POS plan is its lack of deductibles for physicians in your network. This means that you do not have to make any payments towards your medical expenses on your own before your insurance begins to reimburse you. PPOs, on the other hand, have deductibles.
  • Low co-payments. POS plans have lower co-pays than PPOs. When you have a medical expense, you will only have to pay for a small portion of it as a co-pay, and your POS plan will cover the remainder of the cost.
  • More choices and freedom to choose. Unlike HMOs, POS plans provide partial coverage even for doctors that are not within your network. This means that if you are not satisfied with the choices available in your network for a certain medical treatment, you can see a doctor out of network and still have some coverage.

Disadvantages of a POS Plan

  • Under a POS plan, you must choose a primary care provider (PCP). This physician serves as your primary doctor for all medical needs. He or she can refer you to specialists in your network if you have a specific health concern. In order for a doctor’s visit to be covered as an in-network visit, you must go through your PCP to see a specialist.
  • If you visit an out-of-network physician, your only have limited coverage. You must pay a deductible and higher co-payments than you would with in-network physicians.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

If you are happy with the doctors that are in your network and do not mind having one primary care provider that you must go through to receive coverage, then a POS plan may be ideal for you. Often a PCP or the specialists he or she refers you to can cover all common medical needs. However, if you have unique medical conditions that will require you to frequently visit doctors outside of the POS network, you may be better off finding a plan that covers you with those doctors instead.

The greater choice and freedom of doctors, lower co-payments, and zero deductible for in-network physicians make the POS an attractive option that you may want to consider. For more information on POS health insurance plans and other options that are available to you, please visit the website of Texas health insurance company Option 1 Health here.

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How Diet And Lifestyle Can Reduce The Lower Back Risk

Lower back pain can be as a result of accidents and falls. But usually, the pain and issues attacking the lower back are from everyday activities that are done incorrectly. When you twist reaching for something or sit in the same position working on your computer for hours or even carry heavy things you could end up with lower back pain. Apart from the activities, what you eat may be contributing to the pain because there are foods that increase inflammation. Inflammation is one of the major causes of lower back pain so you may need to check your diet as well.

With this in mind, it is clear that you can easily reduce lower back risk by being more diet alert and making a few lifestyle changes. The dietary and lifestyle changes do not only reduce the risks but can also help in alleviating pain that already exists. It is always better to find natural ways of dealing with health issues before turning to medications to enjoy the relief.

Diet

Fresh vegetables and fruits make some of the best diet remedies to reduce risks of lower back pain. Deeply colored vegetables and fruits are especially good anti-inflammatory food and can include cherries, beets, carrots, watermelon, sweet potatoes and berries, kale, broccoli and spinach. They are nutrient loaded and will reduce the pain. You can also consider spices and herbs like garlic, oregano, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, basil and cinnamon as they are rich in anti-inflammatory agents.

Plan a based diet that includes chia and flax seeds is also very good. You can combine with omega-3 from fish like sardines, tuna, herring and salmon among others. Other foods you should include in your diet to beat the pain are pecans, almonds, lean proteins and avocados.

Calcium and Vitamin D are also very important in reducing the risks of the lower back. This is because they maintain bone mass, but they should also be taken in moderation. Natural food sources of calcium include cheese, yoghurt and milk and leafy green vegetables.

Lifestyle

When it comes to lifestyle changes that can help you reduce lower back risks, there is so much you can do. Some of the easiest changes include:

• Modifying daily activities so they do not include heavy lifting

• Improving your posture, especially when sitting on your computer for long periods

• Creating an exercise program that is easy to follow

• Managing weight and losing the excess pounds so you do not end up straining the back too much

• Sleeping sideways to keep stress off your back or using supportive pillows where necessary

• Keeping stress levels down to avoid muscle tension that contributes to the pain

• Quitting smoking as it raises risks of persistent back pain, heart disease and even cancer

If you observe the right diet and make necessary changes to your everyday life, you will be sure to see tremendous changes with your back health. If the changes do not yield the expected results and the pain gets worse or persistent, then it could be time to see a doctor.

Watching your diet and keeping up with an active lifestyle is one of the best ways of keeping health issues at bay. Always try natural remedies before turning to medication.

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Successfully Golfing After a Stroke for Fun and Fitness

There is no denying stroke survivors have a lot to deal with as they go through the rehabilitation process and learn to live with physical limitations. Unfortunately, far too many people treat having a stroke as a sign they can no longer enjoy physical activities. For stroke survivor’s who love to play golf, those so-called physical limitations aren’t as pronounced as one would imagine.

Playing Golf Again is a Real Possibility

Except in the worst of cases, the only thing that keeps most stroke survivors from getting back onto the golf course is the assumption they can’t do it. That assumption is wrong in so many ways. Will their golf game be as proficient as it was before the stroke? Probably not, but everything in life changes after medical trauma. The reality is golf courses aren’t going anywhere and any golfer who wants to golf belongs on the golf course. That includes stoke victims who love the game.

It only takes three things to make it happen. First, the person affected by the stroke has to believe they can do it. Second, they need to accept certain limitations and learn to play within themselves. Finally, the stroke victim needs to minimize expectations and maximize the joy that comes from being out on a golf course instead of laying in a bed feeling disabled.

The Benefits of Golfing for Stroke Survivors

The benefits of being able to return to the golf course will touch almost every aspect of the stroke survivor’s being. From a physical standpoint, they get the health benefits of fresh air and exercise. Doctor’s often encourage stroke victims to exercise their muscles and get the heart beating again. The walking and swinging of a club help to move all the right muscles and bring balance and coordination back.

As far as mental and emotional issues are concerned, there is nothing that revitalizes the spirit and soul more than overcoming impossible odds to achieve something important. If a golfer loves to golf, then learning to do it again under a different set of circumstances is an accomplishment that should bring a great sense of pride to a disabled golfer. In many cases, depression is actually a bigger threat to one’s well-being than another stroke. By going out there on the golf course and proving they are still a player, the afflicted individual won’t feel so afflicted anymore.

Finally, there is great value is participating in a social activity for a stroke survivor who has been hospitalized and/or confined to the home for a period of time. The chance to get out among friends and golfing buddies serves to make the person feel they are still a part of life here on this planet.

Exercises Designed to Make Golfing Easier for the Stroke Victim

While contemplating that first post-stroke round of golf, there are several exercises that can help reestablish stamina, balance and coordination. Walking is a must. Even cart riders will log distance during a round of golf. By getting out each day for a walk, it will improve endurance on the golf course. For balance and coordination, doctors recommend sitting on a stability ball but for those affected by stroke, a physical therapist should be close by unless one has progressed. By doing this exercise for just a few minutes everyday, one’s balance and ability to control their arms and legs will show marked improvement over time. A more sensible exercise at home would involve use of a chair. While the person affected by the stroke stands in a corner of a room, they hold on the back of the chair and practice moving hips forward and back and from side to side. This is also beneficial for strengthening the weakened side. If the survivor also has dropfoot which many stroke victims experience, a brace recommended by the persons doctor for safety. It can help immensely as even if a cart is used, as the walking can tire out the weakened leg quickly at times.

Making Golf Easier for Stroke Survivors

The golfing world is well-aware that some stroke victims love the game of golf. With that in mind, there are plenty of custom equipment designers who are more than happy to help design golf equipment that compliments a golfer’s disabilities. Another way golf is made easier for stroke victims is the process of making them feel normal. Disabled golfers are often reluctant to play golf with healthy people for fear of slowing the group down. First of all, golf is a game of courtesy and golfers tend to be very patient with those who might not be as skilled as the others in the group. That said, there are many golf courses that sponsor groups that have disabilities. By playing golf with other disabled golfers, the individual doesn’t feel it necessary to perform, only to enjoy the outing.

Golf is a great sport and activity. If you or someone you know has suffered a stroke and would still love to hit the links, by all means make it happen. With reasonable expectations, that first round of golf will feel like a rebirth of sorts, prompting the stroke victim to stop feeling like a victim and more as a winning survivor.

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What is Natural Living?

Natural living has a nice ring to it.  There are many organizations, businesses, web sites, articles and people that are into natural living or natural health in one way or another. There are also many ways of practicing  it.

  1. Nutrition:  Consuming it;  Producing it
  2. Health: Alternative medicine;  Herbs;  Antioxidants;  in natural form or supplements
  3. Environment: Eco- consciousness;  Active participation;  Recycling;  Reducing waste
  4. Energy sources: Solar;  Wind
  5. Lifestyle: Family; Consumer
  6. Sharing, writing, working, filming, talking.

There are many ways of looking at natural living depending on the degree of involvement, participation and even creativity.

The interesting thing is that it is a fact of life today because people are aware of it; there is a positive attitude towards nature and our relationship with it; it is an emotionally charged subject; there is fear of “nature’s revenge” if we continue the way we do.

At the same time we have to accept that synthetic development (to coin a phrase) has brought material quality of life and is an economic consideration in our society.

Having said all that, what do we mean by “natural” and by “living”?

  • Natural:  “free from artificiality;” “in accordance with nature;” “relating to or concerning nature;” “functioning or occurring in a normal way;” “existing in or produced by nature;” “not artificial or imitation”; “being unprocessed or manufactured using only simple or minimal processes;”
  • Living:     “pursue a positive and satisfying existence;” “the experience of being alive;” “the course of human events and activities;” “condition of living or staying alive;” “inhabit or live in;” “be an inhabitant of;” “lead a certain kind of life;” “live in a certain style;” “in its natural state and place (not mined or quarried);” “still in existence;”

Natural living would have to take into account these definitions, but above all it must come under the umbrella of “Harmony” and “Balance”.

So after all that, how does natural living sound with this definition?

“Pursuing a positive and satisfying existence, in a style that respects and seeks to achieve harmony and balance with nature, ourselves, and the future”.

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