Archive for the ‘Green spaces’ Category

How To Get Animals Out of Our Vegetables

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Davie Maxwell and his mom in the seedling greenhouse of Hidden Oasis farm. Davie starts his leafy green powerhouse crops out from seeds.

Davie Maxwell Pioneers Compassionate Farming for Delicious Leafy Greens

Whole food, plant-based diets and veganic farming are natural partners. Veganic gardeners grow crops without manure, bone or blood meal, or other animal products. While plant-based nutrition is a blossoming trend, raising cruelty-free crops is evolving more slowly.

Using veganic methods, Davie Maxwell grows the world’s healthiest, tastiest leafy greens on his 5-acre Hidden Oasis farm near Vancouver, Washington, a short drive from Portland. I was deeply impressed with (more…)

Green Spaces Aren’t Optional

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Eating for Health with Your Eyes

At 177 foot South Falls, the highest waterfall in Silver Falls State Park, water pounds into a large pool with bone-crushing force and majestic beauty

Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park is a study in green. The forest is thick and welcoming. The sound of water shouts at the park’s ten waterfalls and sings along the steams connecting them. You can smell and feel the freshness in the air, and it’s not because of any canned scent. An amazing hiking trail, with breath-taking scenery at every step, loops around the waterfalls.

Can you feel better simply looking at plants? Thousand of studies show that plant-based nutrition is the healthiest way to eat. But what about just spending time in green spaces, which are open, undeveloped stretches of land with tress and other vegetation? Silver Falls State Park is an excellent example of a green space.

Researchers have found that merely being out in nature, even without exercising, (more…)

Move Over Drugs – Horticulture Therapy is Green Healing

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

A Garden Boosts Both Nutrition and Health

June can’t arrive soon enough for me. I signed up for an introductory permaculture class held June 2nd and 5th at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Permaculture is an approach to growing food that works with nature. Instead of attacking and attempting to overpower nature – always futile and destructive in the long run – permaculture works in harmony with natural law.

Sunflowers combine the cheerful beauty of flowers with a delicious crop

Sunflowers combine the cheerful beauty of flowers with a delicious crop

The result is food for people and habitat for birds and wildlife.

Permaculture seeks to connect people and nature in a seamless web. Horticulture therapy takes advantage of this principle as well, This therapy treats a variety of patients and ailments using gardens and gardening. The lush colors and textures of plants is a welcome respite from a sterile, institutional health care setting.

For example, hospitals may bring patients into the outdoors to tend plants as part of their rehabilitation program. Elderly nursing home residents gain strength planting, weeding, and cutting flowers. Mental health settings can incorporate gardening into group therapy. Even Alzheimers disease patients become less anxious and more focused when engaged with nature.

You don’t need to wait until you are a patient to take advantage of the healing power of gardening. Growing plants is therapeutic for many reasons. First, and most obvious, is the exercise. Gardening may involve walking, lifting, bending, stooping, digging, and other physical tasks. Even tasks that are not strenuous add up when you do them frequently or over a (more…)

My Best Hike of the Year

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Green Spaces are the Healthiest Places to Be

Can you feel better simply looking at plants? Just about everyone knows that plant-based nutrition is the healthiest way to eat. But what about just spending time in green spaces? Scientists have found that merely being out in nature, even without exercising, boosts energy, makes you feel relaxed, and adds to longevity.

When my older daughter Rebecca was visiting last weekend, we dedicated a day to getting away from the city into gorgeous mountain scenery. We decided to hike at Mt. Palomar State Park. A two-hour drive took us back hundreds of years to the time that trees were everywhere and wild animals shared our everyday lives. We saw two large deer and a woodpecker with a spectacular red head diligently pecking at a five-story pine tree.

A fallen tree about five feet across became our delightful playground as we

Mt. Palomar State Park peaceful meadow

Mt. Palomar State Park peaceful meadow

climbed among its branches. A few minutes walk from there, a peaceful open meadow invited us to stay and share its quiet solitude for a timeless century.

Sadly, because of California’s budget crisis, this extraordinary park will be closed for one third of the year: from December 1st through the next April. What a loss for all of us. Many other state parks will also close. Where will people get to rejuvenate in green spaces? How will we maintain our roots in the natural world?

Isn’t this counterproductive, at a time when health care costs are severely straining government budgets at all levels? Parks enhance health, mood, and productivity. How can anyone think we will save money, even in the short-run, by closing them?

If everyone ate a whole foods, plant-based diet, the national health care expenditure would shrink so drastically we could open every park every day with so much money left over! Wouldn’t that be a better choice for all of us? Live free of chronic illness in places that delight the eyes and the soul – simply by making a new choice the next time you are hungry.

Intrigued? Now you can use our Whole Foods Blog Finder to target informative, fun postings on plant-based nutrition. Quick information at no cost!

Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, the smart person’s nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.