Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Jun

Why You Should Work Outside

We’ve discussed the “nature-deficit disorder” running rampant throughout contemporary society before. Kids are more likely to control characters in video games who explore vast outdoor worlds (and complain about the graphics “not being realistic enough”) rather than get out and explore the real world themselves (which has excellent graphics, a pretty snazzy physics engine, and killer AI). Adults are likely to go entire days without stopping to smell a flower, pluck a leaf, caress a blade of grass, or even see a shred of foliage. We’ve also written about some of the incredible health benefits that occur once people correct that deficit and go forest bathing, or hiking, or commiserating with animals, or even planting a small garden on their property. In other words, a lack of nature seems to cause physical and mental health problems, while an exposure to nature seems to improve physical and mental health.

What’s going on here?

If you look at things through the lens of evolution, you notice that we’re doing things differently than we’ve ever done before. People live in suburbs or urban centers. Rural communities are shrinking, urban sprawl is widening. Green space is disappearing. And we’re suffering. A lack of nature is incredibly unhealthy. Being in and around leaves and trees and sand and bugs and dirt and desert and all the rest is the natural state of the animal known as man. It’s home. It’s in our blood and in our genes. We might have adapted to spending lots of time indoors, but not completely. The evidence is all around us, if you just pay attention:

The young child who runs around the park like a chicken with his head removed just to do it.

The sullen teen, whose parents drag him kicking and screaming to the redwoods for a hike, who has to leave behind his iPhone, who enjoys himself despite his best efforts to the contrary.

That feeling when you walk through the grass with bare feet as the sun dips below the horizon and you’re hit with a flood of purples and pinks, where if you didn’t know better you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was dawn or dusk.

And finally, the office worker who goes on vacation to Costa Rica, does nothing but sit on the beach at the edge of a jungle teeming with howler monkeys and impossibly brightly-colored birds for two weeks, and comes back healthier, happier, stress-free, and down ten pounds.

Yeah, for a great many people, work stinks. Actually, let’s put that a little differently: For a great many people, indoor work stinks. What if it didn’t have to be like that? What if you could work outside, commune with nature as you typed, feel the grass underfoot as you brainstorm, and hear not the drone of the overhead lighting but rather the chirp of the bird, the caw of the crow, and the overpowering stillness of the outdoors? There’s very little direct research dealing with the effect of working outside versus indoors, but I think we can make some predictions based on the considerable evidence for the benefits of being outside in general.

Unfortunately, the benefits of working outdoors aren’t always obvious. What does your boss care if you feel more relaxed when you take your work outside? If it doesn’t translate to improved earnings, the higher-ups generally aren’t going to take it into account. They might care on a personal level, but there is no way to accurately or reliably quantify the benefits to the business. Or if you’re the boss, either of employees or yourself, why should you want to switch everything up and start working outside? What’s in it for you, besides feeling better and some random health benefits? How will it affect a person’s ability to work?

Stress Alleviation

The clear-cut, most obvious problem with work is job-related stress. We’re pushed too hard for too little pay. This can be stressful. We’re doing something we’d rather not, rather than doing something we actually enjoy. This is stressful as well. We’re competing with our workmates for promotions, pay raises, or even just to keep our jobs. Such competition, especially prolonged competition, can be stressful. We’re looking over our shoulders, worrying about layoffs and mergers and fluctuations in other markets that affect our employment. This can be stressful, especially because so much is ultimately out of our immediate control. It’s no wonder, then, that people assume that the stress comes entirely from the actual work. Doing anything for eight hours at a time, especially when you don’t particularly care for it and particularly when you sit down the entire time with nary a break, can be draining and stressful. You toss in a long commute and a boss you hate, and things get even worse.

But I think there’s much more to job-related stress than the job. I think the physical work environment – the office, the cubicle, the indoor lighting, the walls boxing you in, the uniform sameness of it all – also plays a role, perhaps even the primary role. After all, evidence is mounting that nearly all lab animals are perpetually stressed, primarily because their natural habitats are vastly different than the lab habitat. If we’re in a similar position, spending a third of our days in physical environments that are wholly alien to our genes, subject to lighting that’s not as bright as the sun, windows that only some of the UV rays through, walls that keep us penned in, chairs that keep us immobile, and a distinct lack of greenery, dirt, sand, silt, mud, muck, bugs, and trees, increased stress is a likely result.

As to why we should want to improve our experience at work and reduce stress, job-related stress isn’t just unpleasant and, well, stressful. It can also complicate, complement, and exacerbate metabolic syndrome, raising triglycerides, blood pressure, and the risk of renal and heart disease. Pretty hard to get those TPS reports done with a failing kidney. Oh, and happier and less stressed workers are also better workers. Overall, occupational stress is a huge target. If we can reduce that by working outside, we’ll probably have mitigated a big portion of the stress in our lives.

Attention Restoration

For all intents and purposes, humans have two “types” of attention: voluntary, or active attention; and involuntary, or passive attention. When we’re working (or reading, or writing, or watching a TV show, or trying to remember a phone number), we are using voluntary attention. We have chosen to direct our attention toward this task, this task demands our full and sustained attention, and we are actively attending to it. An artist, a craftsman, a teacher, a golfer, an insurance broker, a copywriter – they all use voluntary attention to do their thing. Everyone who does anything does. Of course, voluntary attention takes a lot out of us. It’s tiring. It must be sustained, but it’s not indefinitely sustainable. We need a break from it.

Involuntary attention refers to “soft fascination.” It’s watching two birds in flight, an ant carrying food back to the nest, a leaf fluttering down from the tree, carried by the wind. It’s hearing a child’s cry, a trickling creek, a distant waterfall. It’s a respite from voluntary attention, because it doesn’t really require active engagement. It’s just there, and we’re observing it, almost like we’re “meant” to see this type of stuff on a regular basis without it occupying too much brain power.

If voluntary attention is like an intense workout, involuntary attention is the low-intensity active recovery, the walking, the mobility work, the cool down. We need both to be whole and healthy and attentive. If we spend all our time engaged in voluntary, active attention – like 10 hour days at work, 2 hour commutes, and 2 hours of late night TV – our performance declines, we get mental fatigue, and we’re less able to respond to novel situations and plan ahead. In short, we get overtrained.

Research shows that nature exposure is a way to foster involuntary attention, since walking in the woods doesn’t require us to “be on.” And if we move our work outside, to even just a small sliver of nature like a garden or a park, research shows that we can restore our attentional capacity, our balance between voluntary and involuntary attention. Our voluntary attention is the precious, finite resource that allows us to excel at work-related pursuits, and going into nature can replenish our stores of voluntary attention and, subsequently, our ability to work smarter and better. Why, it’s like using your laptop while it’s plugged in – you can operate at full screen brightness, have three browsers with tons of tabs open, watch videos, render graphics, edit photos, and play music, all at the same time. Okay, so that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it will almost certainly help your performance.

There’s this idea that dallying in nature is wasteful, or that it’s time that could be better spent being productive, making money (especially for someone else!). I’m not buying it. For hundreds of thousands of years, people have been making tools, setting traps, building homes, butchering beasts, discovering math, science, physics, and astronomy, all while living in or near nature. Until recently, the wild was all around most of us. Even if you lived in the city or a village, nature was waiting outside the walls. Still we worked, and worked well. Why not now? Why not today?

As John Muir once said, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” Going outside is “going home.” Now just imagine if you could work from home, too.

That’s the “why.” Next week, I’ll discuss the “how.” In the meantime, go outside, will ya?

Thanks for reading, folks. Thoughts, comments, and concerns are welcome, as always.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. A couple weeks ago I went for a multi-day hike. I pitched my tent next to a tiny stream in the desert. The stream was mostly just muddy rocks and a few tiny clear puddles. I was awakened in the night by the sound of trickling water. Later I was awakened again and I swore it sounded like a babbling brook. In the morning I went to the creek and it was full and flowing! I have hiked thousands of miles and have never witnessed this before. One thing that gets lost in our domesticated lives is that childlike sense of wonder. I was filled with wonder over the beauty of this creek and I lingered over my breakfast that morning watching amazingly beautiful birds enjoy this magical creek with me.

    Diane wrote on June 7th, 2012
  2. I work from home and work outside for at least a few hours whenever the weather permits. Working from home by itself is less stressful, and getting to be outside is just a bonus.

    Chris wrote on June 7th, 2012
  3. I have begun to get up earlier and earlier just to walk a few miles before anyone else in my home is up. It’s wonderful.
    I wasn’t able to walk this morning before I had to go to another town, but once I got there I parked and walked all around to do my errands. I even sat on the edge of a pier on the lake, painted a small watercolour and read a bit of my book. It was all so delightful!
    It didn’t even matter that it was 50*.
    Being outdoors rejuvenates me.
    I am heading over to read the Forest Bathing link smiling. Yesterday my husband and I decided on where in our grove to put my “new” clawfoot tub….

    Kimberly wrote on June 7th, 2012
  4. I agree. Working 8 hours everyday in a cubicle is a horrible way to live. I am lucky I have a window right by my desk and get to go out a few times.

    Otherwise I would go crazy!

    Michael wrote on June 7th, 2012
  5. Down here in Australia, things are getting built up at an alarming rate. We are lucky, we have never had to live where we work, and because my other half works in the maritime industry, he is away for chunks of time. So 25 years ago we bought a small farm, and raised 3 lovely boys in the dirt, grass and bugs. They comment now on how they wouldn’t tolerate working indoors as their upbringing has always been without walls. We know we are privileged and in a way that’s sad, as it seems to me to be a human right rather than a privilege to have some connection with the landscape. The landscape informs my art and the care of our patch and it’s livestock (lambing at the moment), is uppermost in our minds, we wouldn’t be anywhere else.

    Heather wrote on June 7th, 2012
  6. I skipped the gym to go for a hike yesterday. I felt so much better afterwards!

    The Girl in Yoga Pants wrote on June 7th, 2012
  7. I love hiking, there’s a trail I go to nearly every day the weather permits. The trail is approximately 1 mile from the bottom to the top with an elevation change of more than 1000 feet.
    At the top there’s a flat rock that juts out over a small cliff and overlooks the plains where I lay out and catch some rays in privacy while reading a book. Physical activity, therapeutic walk in the forest and no tan lines.

    Ross Walline wrote on June 7th, 2012
  8. I work indoors but I incorporate the outdoors by jogging there when the weather is good. I love exercising outdoors and before work is the best time for it!

    Kate wrote on June 7th, 2012
  9. Good to see a few other primal geologists here! I’m also a geo, who works in central Australia. In a good year I’ll spend up to 3 months working in the field. We are often “out bush” for 2-3 weeks at a time and are completely self-sufficient. I spend my days hiking and my evenings around the campfire. I work in some of the most remote and beautiful places in Australia and feel utterly blessed to have such an amazing job.

    Ellement wrote on June 7th, 2012
  10. I would still like to know how come you have not written a blog entry on how Esselstyn is able to reverse heart disease with a no oil no animal products diet consisting of grains, fruit and veggies. He has the scientific proof of what he has accomplished with his patients. It looks as though this would be at the top of your list to write about unless you cant defend your diet against his.

    nene wrote on June 7th, 2012
  11. I work outside every day. It’s hot, humid and I have weird tan lines. But…at least it’s not a cubicle!

    Kate wrote on June 7th, 2012
  12. I haven’t read all the posts but I suspect I’m the only one who doesn’t want to work outside. I had a job where I sometimes went out with government field biologists. They, of course, had gone into their field so they could be out in nature. Instead, they spent 90+% of their time in meetings and doing paperwork. So they wanted to stay out long after all the work they were there to do was done. To me, it was hot, dusty, buggy, air full of pollen, boring. Working outside . . . pfft!

    Harry Mossman wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Heat, dust, bugs and pollen might be deterents, but “boring”? Every time I am outside, I almost don’t know where to look! Finches flying every which way, flowering blue-eyed grass in the lawn, fiddlehead ferns massing in the woods, hawks soaring over the fields, the dog sniffing everywhere and running for joy, the cats hunting chipmunks and fieldmice… not to mention the smell of lilacs in bloom and fresh-mown hay, the chirps and songs of a couple dozen birds. Boring? Soothing, yes, but boring, never!

      Chica wrote on June 8th, 2012
  13. I’ve been a bike courier since 1992, and I sincerely hope that I never need to get a “grown-up’s” job. Outside in all weather, moderate exercise (small city), friendly chatting all day long with receptionists and bank tellers etc… I used to ironically describe it as “Living… The Dream” due to the comparatively low income, but the ironic aspect has faded over the years :)

    Colin H wrote on June 7th, 2012
  14. The best birthday present I ever gave myself was a season ticket for the tram. I live about 15 min way from it. It takes 15 min to take me up to another world of over 10,000 feet. I spend one to one and a half hours up there 2-3 times a week. I stroll around in the sun gazing at various stones and wild flowers and listening to the wind in the trees and the birds here in NM. I’ve lived here 15 years and wish I had discovered this earlier. I was wearing a tee shirt the other day and tolerated the 25 deg. F temp wind chill very well. I feel like I have a spa in my back yard!

    Terry wrote on June 7th, 2012
  15. It’s depressing how difficult it is to connect with nature these days. My primary goal in life right now is to develop a career in which I can telecommute – primarily to be able to move out of the city!

    TrainerMike wrote on June 7th, 2012
  16. Love this! I completely feel recharged when I exercise outdoors, which is why I go trail running in a nearby forest every weekend. For decades, I worked in a corporate job trapped inside a building, going from one white-walled room to the next all day long. That lifestyle was killing me. So, 2 years ago I left it. Now I work where and when I want, with plenty of time to exercise and cook my own Paleo and Primal meals from fresh ingredients. I lost 40 lbs and feel fantastic. I don’t think that my laptop and I can ever let ourselves be trapped inside the walls of some corporation ever again.

    Thomas wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Awesome!

      Brad wrote on June 7th, 2012
  17. My walk to work and home keep me sane!

    Karen wrote on June 7th, 2012
  18. Doing a little target practice with no shirt on is a good outside activity. A 9lb rifle with no bench to rest it on builds muscle and fine motor control.

    Dave, RN wrote on June 7th, 2012
  19. I’m outside everyday at work – I’m a Police Officer. I’m often asked if I plan on putting in for the detective division. My answer for the last 15 years has been nope, I have no desire to sit at a desk inside. While a lot of my day is sitting and driving, I’m outside and I can control where my office goes for the most part. If I plan things right, I can do some foot patrols.
    Now, if I could manage to swing a lateral transfer to some place like Wyoming…

    FredS wrote on June 7th, 2012
  20. I notice I am much more creative-feeling when I’m outside. I like to write sometimes but my best ideas always come to me when I’m outside. Also, I go hiking at least once a week but when it is a full week between hikes before I get into the forest, I feel close to drunk once I get there. A few days ago, I spent an hour on the trail (it’s only 1.2 miles – I spent some time just sitting at my favorite secluded area) and when I left, I felt like I’d been dreaming the whole time I was in there – like a simple hike was suddenly so surreal. I gotta get out more >.> I was outside for some 3ish hours earlier though… that was nice.

    Emily Mekeel wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Yes, being outdoors seems to invigorate the mind.

      Brad wrote on June 8th, 2012
  21. The necessity of living in healthy ways – which include but are not limited to: eating well, having time to care for my body, being in spaces that nurture me instead of poison me, playing, and being able to expand my intellectual horizons – never ceases to astound me. I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how much I might love my work, I need to find a way to do it that puts the integrity of my life first, not second.

    I’m a teacher – long days walled up in classrooms herding kids around certainly keeps me on my toes, and I am in love with my students, but it’s a rare day I’m not sick of the florescents and linoleum when the last bell rolls around. Things have already started changing – bringing my own lunch, making my desk a standing station, wearing minimalist shoes – but it’s time to take things further.

    How are you going to spend your one and only life? Not in a place that makes me tired just thinking about it. Time for a change.

    Kaly wrote on June 7th, 2012
  22. Thanks for inspiring us and encourage us us so that we can go for outing so as to release our mental tensions .I think this is the best way to have a good and healthy life as it really works.

    lifting gloves wrote on June 8th, 2012
  23. i live in crowded in nj. the preserved open space makes it bearable. if we don’t get invloved politically in trying to preserve openspace or pay attention to zoning laws, there will be no nature to retreat to.

    v wrote on June 8th, 2012
  24. After years of working extended hours in a lab, often labs with no windows (bio-containment, etc.), I became a translator, working from home in a rural area. When I moved here, the first order of business was to get a dog so that, even on days when my own initiative was lacking, I would get outside and move. Twelve years later, I still get outside with her every day. And my office window overlooks our increasingly woodsy yard, hayfields, spruce forests, the St. Lawrence, various islands and the North Shore about 15 miles off. Anytime I get sick of staring at the screen, I just lift my eyes to the window and absorb a nice infusion of nature. When it is warm enough to have the windows open, I am serenaded by constant birdcalls from cheerful visitors to our many birdfeeders.

    Not to put too fine a point on things, but I was treated for depression for two years before escaping lab life. Some of that was due to pretty profound undiagnosed hypothyroidism, but some was certainly due to living without much exposure to sunlight or nature.

    Chica wrote on June 8th, 2012
    • Translation is a really sweet gig. I’ve translated a few books myself, and the “work from anywhere” nature of that business is just wonderful.

      I took a vacation in Costa Rica a few years ago, and took my translation project with me. I did some of it while sitting on a terrace overlooking the lush rainforest, with a sloth hanging upside-down on a nearby tree, keeping me company. It was that experience that helped convince me that self-employment was the only way to go.

      Now I work as a patent attorney (though I do have another translation project going), and that’s another “work from anywhere” gig – I can do my work from home or from anywhere that has an Internet connection. I’m thinking of taking another trip to Costa Rica…

      LM wrote on June 10th, 2012
  25. It’s good to put the ideal situation out there like this article does, and can guide how we shape our lives and have something to move toward even if we can’t all do it and do it right away. I take my portable laptop station called a Zen Office™ to the park in the summer with my laptop, sit in the shade, and can focus because I’m so relaxed.

    patrick clark wrote on June 8th, 2012
  26. LOVING my new little garden…I haven’t had one in years, and we’ve got very little sun, but container gardening works just fine and I’m loving it…

    Cathy Johnson (Kate) wrote on June 8th, 2012
  27. Working outside is attractive in many ways, but I think this says a lot about our buildings and architecture. We can build more friendly work environments. This involves bringing natural light and fresh air in.

    I believe that a large part of the reason people dislike their jobs is a reflection of the poorly designed environment they feel locked up in.

    Sand wrote on June 8th, 2012
  28. For me, this post is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to lifestyle change. I work 60+ hour weeks at a computer under fake lights with no windows in a litigation firm in Seattle. I also have a 4 year old. Between work and life craziness, there are too many days when my outside exposure is my walk from the front door to my car door and back. I hate it. It sucks.

    So, this year I decided my goal for this summer is to obtain naturally tan legs by the end of August. We will see how I do. 😉

    Jordan aka Whitey wrote on June 8th, 2012
  29. Any good anti glare type stuff for the laptops anybody know of?

    Chance Bunger wrote on June 8th, 2012
  30. I am lucky enough to spend most of the year working every summer as a research assistant for ecological research programs. Currently I’m working on small mammal abundance in California’s largest grassland. Every day I feel the sun on my face, move my body, and lift heavy things. More than that, I get to work my brain and contribute to scientific knowledge! Couldn’t agree more with this post, as my job couldn’t ake me happier!

    Camdilla wrote on June 8th, 2012
    • What degree do you need to work in this field? I work in a hospital but long to work outside and have been eyeing a career change (for lots of reasons), and care deeply about preserving biodiversity… what you describe sounds amazing.

      sarah wrote on June 9th, 2012
  31. WOW! I’ve been doing this and not even realizing it! I run in the local park most mornings, and as part of my cool down, I do stretches and a little mediation in the small woodland area. Those “green nature” 10 minutes a day, make all the difference to my day! I get grouchy if I haven’t had my kick about the leaves or listened to the birds on a daily basis!

    Jacqui W wrote on June 9th, 2012
  32. I work in a spacious new lab where we fought hard to get a window after 3 years of being in a dungeon lab with no contact with the outdoors.
    But while most of my co-workers sit all day I am constantly moving, and when they stay inside for lunch I skip eating and head for our local Greenway for a walk or run– I come back refreshed, having exercised and gotten some much needed Vitamin D! Now if I could just move my workstation to the roof!

    Rev. Dave Deppisch wrote on June 9th, 2012
  33. Hi Mark

    I wonder if you could advise me on getting my body back to how it was 18 months ago…?

    I believe I’ve developed hyperthyroidism; thing is, I can’t get a doc over here to take me seriously cos they all blame my diet (which, due to my transient nature, is certainly not primal anymore; I’ve nowhere to cook anything, and I eat FAR TOO MUCH cow juice-based stuff. I try to counter this with egg protein powder and caseinate, and I take MCT oil, but it’s expensive and bulky to cart around). I just want to SCREAM at them “YOU’RE WRONG!!! Just cos you spent 5-7 years at med school, doesn’t make you right!” The last time I attempted to get one to take me seriously (and I won’t lie; for a start I’m autistic, and too honest for my own good sometimes, and second – why the hell should I…?! I’m right, they’re wrong and that’s that! This’ll make you laugh: – when I first attempted to get a diagnosis, last year my GP, who was at least 6 sizes bigger than me, told me she’d just spent nearly £2k on hypnosis in an attempt to shed the 4 stone she wanted to lose (and what did she have in her desk drawer…? Ryvita (rye crackers with all the texture and flavour of cardboard!) granola bars and dried apricots!) I lent her Taubes (Why We Get Fat). She gave it back with the comment “I don’t think I’ll be trying this – and neither should you; you’ll end up diabetic, with CHD and probably die of a stroke!” I told her that by following his advice I cured my type 2, needless to say she didn’t believe me! It’s staggering how little doctors know about basic human physiology! 

    Sorry, I’m rambling again (it’s an autistic thing!). Anyway, I know my thyroid’s gone nuts (I’m textbook) and I’ve lost much of the muscle I built up doing PF. I’m losing my hair, I’ve not had a period for at least 9 months (and I’ve got PCOS, so they were always erratic), my body’s s complete mess. I don’t sleep much, I’ve no energy and I go out even less than I used to because it’s made me agoraphobic (anxiety is one of the symptoms). I used to LOVE going to the Camp (so called cos it was a Roman encampment) to practise ‘Grok sprinting’ (often with a weighted backpack) and to climb the massive hornbeam in the middle. It’s also got plenty of rocks I used for some of the WOW challenges. 

    The very WORST aspect, is the bloating. Using a combo of you and Taubes, I dropped my bf% to around 15 (gods only know what it was before!). These days, I bloat so much I don’t know what size I’m going to wake up (I got down to a 0-2, and most odd my clothes still fit, thank gods but, very often, I can’t wear a bra because my chest becomes too swollen. The fact that I become constipated very quickly doesn’t help (“that’s because you’re not eating whole grains” was my GP’s response – predictable, eh…?) because, as I understand it, hyperthyroidism causes the water to be sucked out of the waste matter very quickly. It also causes a great deal of gas – at my worst, I look 5 months pregnant (I’ve photos of me in that state) and it’s incredibly painful. I have to take 3 pieces of Ex-Lax nightly (do you have that over there? It’s senna in chocolate form; I can’t take senna pills as they become lodged in my throat (they’re uncoated, very rough, and about the size of a dime). I’m thinking that because my thyroid’s enlarged it could be preventing them going down. 

    Now, it’s as much as I can do carry shopping the 0.75 mile from town. Eating makes me so tired I tend to eat as little as possible (and when I say tired, I mean I literally collapse, so I tend to eat only at night). I still eat very low carb, but my O3:O6 ratios must be completely whacked out! Unlike over there, I can’t buy decent supplements here (take O3 for example: – the largest health store chain sells soft gels containing just 300mg O3 each; there’s even a dire warning on the bottle not to exceed 3 gels daily! I reckon to get a decent dose, I’d need to take a bottle a day (a bottle’s only 100 gels) – I don’t have £300pcm to spend on O3 (I’m on welfare). I used to buy from iHerb, but I can no longer afford the customs duty/VAT. The only thing I buy from over there now is stevia, as the dude I buy it from marks it as a gift meaning I don’t pay fees. 

    Can you help me…? I spend  lot of time in tears (especially when I run across photos of me when I was fit). I’m at my folks at the mo, so I’m buying steak again (not grass-fed, though, although I’ve discovered a company which does grass-fed burgers (just beef, onion, herbs, garlic and that’s it! No grainy crap!) £12/$18kg – I just can’t find anywhere which sells them round here!). Think they pass as Primal!) eggs, veggies, EVCO, sardines in EVOO, avocados, olives, macs, berries and 100% cacao choc. 

    I’m attempting to cut down the dairy (I’ve switched to sheep’s yoghurt and goats cream – but it’s 5 times more expensive than cow’s. I want to buy raw milk, but it’s illegal to sell it commercially here. When I was a nipper, we spent our summers on a farm. They had 250 head of Channel Island cows; I drank raw milk and cream every single day. They also made their own butter and clotted cream (clotted cream can’t be raw because it’s cooked). Didn’t do me any harm! They had 4 kids, and they were all raised on it. I can still remember the taste… 

    The only reason I really have the cream now is because I use it to take something with (not sure I can say what as it’s illegal in the US, I think, but not over here) as it masks its bitterness and makes it easier to swallow. Curiously, heavy cows works better than heavy goats cream. It helps with my autisticness. 

    I know this is long, but I hope you can help! If there’s one thing I know about you, Mark, is that you always help if you can…

    Thank you, dude!


    Sarah wrote on June 9th, 2012
  34. A great manifesto for slowing down and going home – to nature.

    Our genome is nature based. It’s only in the last few thousands of years that we ‘evolved’ to be so civilized.

    We all need a place and time to be renewed.

    Owen Marcus wrote on June 9th, 2012
  35. I’ve posted here before about my job as a PE teacher. I love my job August – the end of October & April-Maywhen i can be outdoors the majority of the time. But the rest of the time being stuck in the gym almost kills me! I describe myself as solar- I thrive on sunlight.

    Andi wrote on June 9th, 2012
  36. I saw a presentation on an outdoor education library program at the last state library convention. As soon as I am in a position of leadership as a librarian I plan to institute a similar program at my own library. Building literacy and science skills with a good dose of mother nature? Yes please!

    Amy wrote on June 9th, 2012

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