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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks


Why can’t broccoli taste like cake? Why can’t cups of coffee count towards our water intake? Why is it so hard to stay healthy or get healthy naturally? And why do we not want to put any effort in? Have we gotten lazy?

I was talking to a friend of mine, and she brought up her husband. She's frustrated because the doctor said his cholesterol was high, and instead of altering his diet and adding in more exercise, he’s choosing to take a pill. The natural way seems to take too much work.

I’d like to think I’d take the more holistic way, but it’s hard. A lot of things in life are like that. We’ve gotten used to the easier way. It takes more effort to compost or not use chemical pesticides on your lawn. Many people talk about how great it would be to live off the grid, to get back to nature. It’s a lot of work though. I will admit I’m very spoiled. I love popping leftovers in the microwave and they’re hot in less than a minute. If it’s chilly when I wake in the mornings, I love pushing a button and the heat comes on. It’s so much easier.

I’ve heard people my age describe their parents as hippies. Not mine. Mine should have been pioneers, homesteaders. We grew our own food. My parents had a garden that was an acre in size. We canned and froze all the vegetables we would be eating that winter. My father owned the land he grew up on in the mountains, and he raised cattle; he grew and put up the hay that he fed them on. Each summer we would go there for a week, and the men would kill one of the cows and divvy up the meat between the families so we had that to eat as well.

One day my dad brought home a little piglet. I gave him water and fed him every day. I named him. No one told me he wasn’t a pet. I had a rude awakening in that story that I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with, but we’ll leave that for another time.

Our house was heated with wood. The “joke“ my dad always made was unfortunately true. Using wood is the only heating system that warms you twice. The first time is when you’re cutting the trees and hauling the wood, and the second time is when you’re actually burning it.

Thinking back on this, if it weren’t too late, I think I might call DSS myself.

In my last blog I had just returned from a silent retreat. I think I may have mentioned that I went for a hike while we were there. I ended up hiking around 6 miles. It started out as a distraction to help me avoid the temptation of talking to people. But being out in nature, traipsing through the woods, brought me a peace that I only feel when I’m outside.

For several years I’ve been hearing of something called forest bathing, and the benefits provided by walking through the woods. There’s also something called grounding, which has you getting back in touch with the earth through standing barefoot and coming into contact with the soil.

Recently a study came out that stated if you visit nature 3 to 4 times a week you have:

36% lower odds of using blood pressure medicine,

33% lower odds of using mental health medicine and

26% lower odds of using asthma medicine.

The findings seem to be unanimous that we would be healthier and perhaps happier if we spent more time outdoors, and yet the bulk of us seem to find excuse after excuse to remain inside. I think I’ll put it to the test; instead of taking aspirin for my headache right now, I’ll take a stroll outside!

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