Coconut oil has a multitude of benefits. In addition to being a great hair treatment, it can also be great for your skin, oral hygiene, and makeup remover. This oil offers many other great benefits, but these are the most brag-worthy. My favorite coconut oil to purchase is only $25 at your local supermarket! Just make sure it is virgin, organic, and preferably in the raw form.
Coconut oil is a great overnight moisturizer for your skin. Just grab a spoonful and warm it up between your hands before you apply it on your face. Also, a little bit goes a long way with this! This works wonders when you find yourself having a couple dry patches on your face. They will literally disappear overnight!
Have you ever heard of oil pulling? Well, coconut oil is perfect for that! All you have to do is swish around one teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes! This can make your teeth appear whiter, and also serves as an anti-bacterial agent! I swish coconut oil around in my mouth three times a week and I can definitely attest to its oral benefits. My teeth appeared whiter after only two weeks! However, be sure to spit the oil into a plastic bag so it does not clog your sink drains when it becomes solid again.
My other favorite benefit of coconut oil is that it acts as a wonderful eye makeup remover. You can say goodbye to those makeup wipes that burn your eyes as you take off your face from the day. All you need is a cotton ball, a washcloth, and of course coconut oil. Just grab about a tablespoon of oil from the jar and let the oil sit on your face for about five minutes. Next, take your cotton ball and wipe away all of your mascara, eyeliner, and foundation! Then, you can take your washcloth and with warm water, you can begin to wash your face with your favorite cleanser.
You should definitely add this oil into your everyday beauty regimen and reap the many benefits! It might come off as a little pricey, but the whole jar lasts me about a whole year! To read about more coconut uses, visit www.everydayroots.com/coconut-oil-uses.
Editor, The Bulletin
Starting the Garden
You will want to choose a good spot for your garden that is best for what you are growing. Your plants may want full sun or partial shade. Just be sure to keep that in mind when placing your plants. Once you have the area cleared for your garden, it is a good idea to add some nutrients to the soil. Mixing in a compost will cause the soil to loosen up. Most plants do not like hard soil, so if you cannot add something to make it looser, your best bet may be a raised bed garden. Raised bed gardens are usually small gardens that just sit atop your current yard and have walls that keep the soil together. These are great for those who just want a small garden. If you want even smaller, then container gardens might be right for you. This means one plant in one pot. These are convenient if you have limited yard space and helps if you need to bring in the plants during inclement weather.
What to Grow
Now that you have your soil all ready to go, you need to make a big decision. What do you want to grow? Many a first-time gardener will choose the tomato. They are easy, and there is a wide variety to choose from, grape tomatoes to huge heirloom varieties. Whichever you choose, you will likely do just fine. GARDEN WARNING! Just because the local store sells a particular vegetable or fruit, it does not always mean it is well suited for your area. Look at the labels. Besides telling you how to plant and grow the item, it will also tell you for which zone it is best suited. For even better information, check online to find what types of vegetables grow best in your area.
At most garden centers, you will have the choice of getting a plant that has already started or picking from a multitude of seeds. If you choose the seed route, you may want to get an inexpensive seed starter kit. These include a container that has compressed soil pellets. These are also great for kids as they can learn about where food comes from. Some kits also have packets of seeds to use. These kits are easy to use and fun to watch as your seed sprouts and begins putting out leaves until you transplant it into your garden. However, this also takes more time, and if you did not get started on your garden soon enough, it may be past the best time to start from seeds.
Using the plants that the garden center has already started may be your best choice. It has the benefit of a few weeks of growth already, and it is ready to transplant. You can also do both seeds and starter plants. This will allow you to stagger your garden production rate so that you have more produce throughout the season.
Follow the directions on how to plant your veggies. For example, when transplanting tomato plants, it will tell you to dig a hole deep enough to cover two-thirds of the plant. Trust the instructions. They will help you have the best chance of growing your garden by making sure you do not plant too deep or too close to another plant.
So now, you just throw water on it every day, right? Nope! You can easily drown your garden with good intentions. There are many variables for watering your garden. Different plants need different amounts of water. Your climate can also dictate what how often you water. As a rule of thumb, if you stick your finger into your soil and the top inch is dry, then you can water. If it is moist, your plants are probably still happy. If you have a rain collection system, then your plants will be happiest with that instead of tap water that goes through a process to make it safe for drinking.
Weeks have passed and your garden rewards you with the freshest produce. Be gentle with your plants; do not just pull off the first ripe tomato as that may distress the plant and it may cause damage. Sometimes, it is best to use garden shears to cut the veggies off to limit stress on the plant.
If you take the time to prepare your soil, pick your produce, and water them, you will be rewarded with flavors of fruits and vegetables that are truly amazing. Perhaps next year you will want to expand your garden. Talk with friends that do gardening regularly or check with a local nursery for tips and information about how to make the best garden you can.
AANR Guest Blogger
There are two types of people in the world: People who love taking off their uncomfortable “nice clothes” at the end of a long workday, and liars.
Clothes, especially formal attire, are constricting and can lead to any number of health problems including (but not limited to) heartburn, back pain, breathing problems, and even a condition called Meralgia Paresthetica.
The added stress of public speaking and struggling to be on-point all the way through a nightly awards ceremony is enough to make any celebrity crave that great feeling of letting loose and relaxation that comes from taking a skinny-dip.
Here are four celebrities who we cannot help but love because of their enjoyment of skinny-dipping.
Back in February, Halle Berry took an after-Oscars late-night dip. While our preferred song choice might have been more fun than sexy, we still love Halle for choosing comfort over clothes.
Last year, Justin Bieber took a skinny-dip on his vacation in Hawaii.
Nope, we cannot think of anything more relaxing than that.
But Orlando Bloom did! Around the same time as Justin’s vacation, Orlando Bloom chose to take a vacation of his own to a beautiful Italian beach where for a little while he wore nothing but a hat and pair of sunglasses.
Last but certainly not least is Kit Harington. Our new favorite Game of Thrones star is a self-proclaimed nudist and has been skinny-dipping on multiple occasions. Way to go Kit!
This past week Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett posted a video of their swim after the ACM awards. The boys only get an honorable mention because, while they were not 100 percent skinny-dipping, we forgave them on the premise that they do not know what they are missing. Their prizes – an invitation from us to try out a proper skinny-dip at one of our resorts and have even more fun!
Public Relations Specialist, AANR
According to a 2016 NMI Healthy Aging Database® study sponsored in part by The Stelter Company, most people think that advances in health care will extend their lifespan. Stelter says that “more than three-fourths (76%) of millennials (ages 20-40) totally or somewhat agree that advances in health care will extend their lifespan. Nearly nine in 10 (88%) matures (age 72+) totally or somewhat agree.” 76 percent of Gen-Xers feel the same way, as well as 88 percent of Baby Boomers.
What does this have to do with nudism, you ask? Nudists know of all the health benefits that living clothes-free can bring. For us, nude recreation and living naturally is a type of health care. We discovered this “advance” in our own health care when we finally took the plunge, shed the clothes, and freed ourselves in so many ways. Now, we can ask our generational peers, “You want an advance in health care that might just increase your lifespan? Try wholesome, AANR-style nude recreation!” I can’t guarantee that someone’s lifespan will increase, but I can guarantee a positive change in your overall quality of life. The physical, mental, and spiritual health and freedom that comes from living life uncovered are available to anyone and at no cost. Now that’s “affordable health care!”
Executive Director, AANR
As if nudists and naturists alike need a reason to unclothe as nature intended. Now we get an extra special day that is celebrated around the globe. Days like the 13th annual World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) on May 6 this year. WNGD has become an annual tradition that celebrates gardening in the buff.
The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) encourages you to get out and take advantage of a day just like this. WNGD can be used as a great ice-breaker and opportunity to introduce nudism/naturism to others. Most importantly though is to remember the sunscreen and to have fun while enjoying the sun shining on you and your garden.
Last year AANR promoted this event on social media and the post went viral. The number of comments, likes, and especially shares reached over half a million viewers. What makes this even better is that we did it twice. After our first post was reported by someone as inappropriate and removed, we posted a second time and had just as great of a response. We hope to have an even better response this year. So, if you are participating in WNGD remember to use #WNGD and #AANR on all of your social media postings and follow AANR on Facebook and Twitter.
We plan every aspect of our lives from meetings to appointments to children but when do we actually take time to plan our vacation. Many of us never use our vacation time. We are too caught up working and dealing with the everyday hustle bustle. Some of us never use our vacation time and if we do it’s for a day off here or there. The time off isn’t spent going somewhere and actually enjoying ourselves. Sometimes we just take time off and stay home doing nothing just so we don’t lose our vacation hours. I challenge all of you to take out your calendar and set time aside today to plan your vacation. Now that you have set some time aside to plan your vacation for this year. Let’s decide how, when, and where you will spend your vacation in 2017. Why not plan something you have never done before. Think about a Nakation™. If you truly want a relaxing vacation, minimal packing, and actual downtime from technology visit an AANR affiliated nudist resort. These resorts range from rustic to luxury, with so many amenities and everything you need right there you can unwind and enjoy your vacation.
Click here to see the wonderful resort options AANR has to offer.
Nudism is the best possible antidote to body shame. It is also a great antidote to stress (once you get past the stress of trying it for the first time). Here are just a few things you should know about nudism:
Nudism is natural, safe, and innocent. It is connecting with your own body, nature, and life. It is accepting your body as it is – and letting go of hiding, of pretense, and of shame. It is freeing in a way that is inexplicable – you have to feel it for yourself. You might never want to wear clothes again!
Nudism is NOT sexual, suggestive or a meat market type of atmosphere. On the contrary, nudist resorts and parks have very strict rules about behavior and very clear guidelines about what is expected from nudists in terms of etiquette. Whereas on a public beach or public swimming pool, boys and men often leer openly at girls and women and even harass them, making unwanted sexually suggestive remarks and sometimes even sexual advances – and nobody can do anything meaningful about it or stop it – if that behavior ever happened at a nudist resort, it would be immediately and appropriately handled. Not only would the guilty parties be banned for life from that resort – but also from all other resorts/clubs affiliated with AANR. The word gets out. It is a strongly protective community. People don’t stare at nudists resorts. People don’t make inappropriate comments or laugh at other people. A nudist resort is a safe haven in an often over-sexualized, over-moralized, body-image crushing world. It is a place where you can just be yourself.
At nudist resorts, people are generally very friendly and unpretentious. If you’ve ever gone camping, you know how people are more friendly than usual — outdoors, enjoying nature? It’s a lot like that. Nudism isn’t about sex. I’m stressing that because I know that a lot of people have a really misguided idea of what nudism is like. Nudist resorts are places where bodies aren’t sexualized and commodified to sell things, unlike in the rest of the world – where female bodies are sexualized at alarmingly young ages and used to sell just about anything you can think of. Nudism is the antidote to that sort of thinking – that sort of over-sexualization of the human body. When you’re used to seeing naked bodies everywhere, it is ineffective to try to titillate you into buying something by the suggestion of nudity and/or sex.
People develop a more natural, less hysterical, and less warped relationship with the human body. Who are nudists? Nudists come from every walk of life. Nudists are all ages, from babies to the very elderly. Nudists come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Nudists are normal people. There are fat nudists and thin nudists. There are people with scars, people in wheelchairs, and people who’ve had mastectomies or lost limbs. There are lots of seniors at my favorite nudist resort – they’ve retired and live there. There are families. There are children of all ages for whom nudity is natural. There are some amazingly self-assured teenagers who relate with each other without all of the sexual overtones and anxiety that you often see in teenagers. These are kids who accept their bodies in ways that few non-nudist teenagers are able to do. And kids who have realistic ideas of what normal human bodies look like. I imagine that there are fewer nudists with eating disorders than the rest of the general population. There are very few people at nudist resorts – or in life – who have conventionally “perfect” bodies. In fact, nudism is a great equalizer. We’re all just human.
Nudism is fun and relaxing. Feeling the breeze on your bare body is soothing to the soul. Playing ping-pong in the nude is so much fun! Who doesn’t love swimming naked? It is the most natural thing on earth! My favorite resort (Cypress Cove) has two restaurants, two big swimming pools, a lake, tennis courts, a bicycle rental, two hot tubs, a gym, a massage therapy office, petanque, pickleball, and loads of other activities. You bring a towel and you sit on your towel whenever you sit down – it is all very hygienic and non-scary. Nudism is actually one of the most non-scary interactions that you can have with your body. I have found it to be an incredibly healing force in my life. There are nudist resorts, clubs, beaches, and parks all around the world. If you’re interested, start by getting some information from The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). By visiting their website at www.aanr.com. Try a few different resorts. Different people like different things — and there are places ranging from more developed with many amenities to very rustic. Each community has its own vibe. When you’re at a nudist site and meet people, ask them where their favorite places have been. There’s a great world out there to explore! Have fun! And go nude!
About eight years ago, when my husband first decided to try nude recreation, I had no idea that it would be something that he would develop a passion for–one that would change our whole family. During those years, whenever he would ask me if I would go to a nudist resort with him I would get an uneasy feeling. He would tell me how freeing and fun it was to walk around outside and recreate in the nude, but I just could not understand what the big deal was and why being nude made such a difference. He would tell me of the great health benefits of being nude in the sun and the respect that nudists had for their own and other people’s bodies. Being someone who believes in keeping myself healthy, I really appreciated the idea of the health benefits, but, on the other hand, I just wasn’t ready for something like that. In my mind, there were just too many reasons to decline.
When our older son turned sixteen, my husband took him to a nudist resort for a long weekend. They had a great “father and son” time kayaking, swimming, and hiking together. I was a bit skeptical and nervous, wondering how our son would react to that type of atmosphere. Well, when they came home, my son was so excited that he couldn’t wait to go back. Now, I had both my husband and my son telling me that I needed to try nude recreation.
During those eight years, my husband had become an advocate for nude recreation and naturism, so, you are probably wondering, where did that leave me. I had always been up for challenging myself. After graduating high school, I decided that I wanted to become a musician, so I bought an electric guitar, took lessons, wrote my first song within six months of learning how to play, and was fronting a band within a year. I earned a bachelor’s degree while I home schooled my two sons. I wrote a book that is designed to help people to home school a child who has high-functioning autism. However, nudism was a challenge that was even bigger for me. This challenge didn’t require developing a new skill, or studying and learning a new subject. It required something else: developing the right mental attitude about being naked.
The idea of being nude around strangers made me feel very uncomfortable and a lot of it had to do with our over-sexualized culture in America. I wondered if it was really possible for people to be able to recreate in the nude without “desires” being the focus. My husband would tell me that it is possible and would remind me of how many medical doctors and nurses see people nude on a daily basis and are able to keep sexual desires in check. That reality really helped me to get my thinking on the right track.
As I was warming up to the idea of trying nudism for the first time, my husband applied for and was hired as the executive director for the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). So, while I would have liked to have eased into nudism at a bit of a slower pace, the challenge side of me said, “I can do this,” and the first time I participated in nude recreation was during AANR’s mid-winter board meeting where they voted my husband, Dan Whicker, into his current position.
At the onset, trying nudism for the first time was very scary and different for me, but after I did it, I found out that it really was not as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. Once I saw that I was around people who have a healthy mental attitude about the human body and nudism, it made me feel at ease. I felt a huge sense of freedom being able to walk around in the sunshine with no clothes on, feeling the air hit all parts of my body. It was also very encouraging to see people not concerned over body shapes or imperfections, but who instead were interested in meeting new people and having fun together.
I am grateful for the support that I received from both my family and the AANR family, as I jumped into the nudist lifestyle. I felt so much comfort and encouragement, especially from those who have been involved in nudism for many years. It was an amazing first experience that changed our family, especially me, forever.