Fellow hikers, does this sound familiar? I have certainly been there.
Usually I love hiking. Being outdoors, observing the plants and animals, pondering the geology and topography – these things just make me happy.
But occasionally I find myself on a hike that I’m not really enjoying in the moment. Maybe the weather is miserable – too cold and rainy or too damned hot. Or maybe it’s just me, whatever is going on in my body or life that prevents me from appreciating the moment.
Consistently, though, I still feel better afterwards. It turns out this isn’t a fluke. In The Nature Fix (previously mentioned here!), Florence Williams says that the research shows that even when we don’t enjoy ourselves in nature, it is still good for us.
So go ahead, go outdoors and have a miserable time, you’ll feel better later!
“One cannot predict what a long-term sustainable future will look like. But we believe it will be rooted in the land. It will come as an organic outgrowth of a rekindled, dynamic relationship between people and their landscape.”
– Darrel Frey in Bioshelter Market Garden
“Potage” is a French word used to describe a soup. While living in France I learned that the term “potage” referred to the type of pureed soup that I’m cooking here. Others call this a “veloute.” Whatever you call it, I find it utterly delicious – showcasing the flavor of whatever vegetable you use – and wonderfully simple to make.
This is my kind of recipe. You don’t have to pay attention to exact quantities Continue reading
“Our nervous systems are built to resonate with set points derived from the natural world.”
– Florence Williams, The Nature Fix
Are you one of those kind souls, too? One who has an undisclosed number of dogs or cats as co-residents of your home? If so then, like me, you probably catch yourself saying, “How can all that hair be on the floor? I just swept yesterday!”
While the floor may be the thing that catches your attention, Continue reading
“Permaculture attempts to find solutions in cultural and ecological systems rather than technology. The environmental adage that technical solutions breed new technological problems has proven true. The converse can be true of ecological solutions.”
– Darrell Frey in Bioshelter Market Garden
Open your windows to let in fresh air and you will get a brain and body boost. This is the easiest thing you can do to immediately improve your indoor air quality and you will notice the effects. This is so convincing, in fact, that even my father (who is a hard sell on some of my other healthy home advice) now tells people to open their windows. Continue reading
“Compared with people who have lousy window views, those who can see trees and grass have been shown to recover faster in hospitals, perform better in school, and even display less violent behavior in neighborhoods where it’s common. Such results jibe with experimental studies of the central nervous system. Measurements of stress hormones, respiration, heart rate, and sweating suggest that short doses of nature—or even pictures of the natural world—can calm people down and sharpen their performance.”
– “Call to the Wild” by , in National Geographic
In her book the Nature Fix, author Florence Williams says that the Finnish recommend being in nature for 5 hours a month to reap health benefits. That seems like a pretty good thing to add to a New Year’s Resolution list – just an hour and fifteen minutes a week spending time outdoors in a non-urban setting. Personally, I think 1.25 hours a day would be a better goal, but start small and dream big! Continue reading