About admin

Hi, my name is Owen Staples. Thank you for visiting my website! I am a Wellness activist, who adores the natural world (naturalist) with an emphasis on plants, background in horticulture with the natural world outlook, (botanist.) I am one who actually reads plant encyclopedias in libraries on my leisure time! Early in my research, when I realized that taking care of my own health, is also helping to heal the earth, I was absolutely fascinated. I have invested a lot of time and energy into education from this standpoint. I work at a small specialty store that services and sells tropical plants. I have a detailed background with mental health. I teach for NAMI, Utah , B.R.I.D.G.E.S courses. My own approach to wellness emphasizes the need for time outside, the connection between the spirit, mind and body, the importance of the nourishment, nurture and care of each, and the importance of knowing oneself as an individual. I share this that I have learned with others also. Asserting one's needs, and filling one's glass are some fundamentals of what I teach. I am a naturalist, wellness activist, plant guy. I have a background in horticulture. I have found that botany and horticulture and the two complement one another very nicely. I emphasize both indoor well-being and time outside, plant-based nutrition, balance, and asserting one's needs as an effective route to wellness. Current interests include: Xeriscaping, interior-scaping, bio-active substrate in terrariums, nature's methods of correcting imbalances, and wild, edible plants. I enjoy observing weather, trees, insects, birds, fish, and reptiles in nature, and as seen throughout the globe. I also enjoy music, Chess, Medieval history, (particularly the almost unknown pursuit of the study of plants and herbs of the time,) laughter and life. I live in Utah. Thank you for reading.

Have You Thanked a Vegan Lately?



The word automatically causes an emotional response. This may be positive; it may be negative, but opinions stir and churn from both sides of the spectrum and everything in between. Fantastic it is to see how many ‘suitable for vegans’ options are now available.

While it may be true that a self-righteous, ‘in your face’ mindset is a less-effective way to educate others, and there should be less of that, people do seem to need reminders to open their eyes and to see clearly beyond their own backyard of fluorescent green (unnatural) lawns. Still, respect, politeness and emotional maturity should be at the forefront, not being nasty or vindictive. This goes for everyone. Sure, we vegans have work to do also. From that standpoint, maybe it is fair that people feel like they’re walking on egg shells (forgive the pun) around us. However, it seems like we are still the ones that people ‘love to hate’ and love to bash. Much of what is said about vegans from an outside perspective is often something unfavorable about how eating like that is unhealthy, etc.

At this time, how about a change in perspective: Have you thanked a vegan lately???

First… Maybe it is true that concerning human health, being a strict vegan is not for everyone. However, eating a Whole foods plant-based diet is… Your small intestine is the same length as mine etc, a very different length than a tiger, or a true carnivore, all that stuff I’ve said before so I won’t repeat it now. I dislike the fighting and the defense and self-righteous swings also. This is one reason why I use the vegan word selectively although I have adopted the lifestyle.

But there is more to eating consciously than perfect health and your own taste buds. Naturally, the aspects of environment and ethics is at front and center now. If the mainstream of humanity would change their eating habits to eating meat sparingly, (say a couple times per week is all), the state of the earth’s and human health would improve significantly.

Eat meat sparingly

What about all the good that vegans do for the planet, animals and human health? Merely by existing, our carbon footprint is much lower than that of the average person living in America. This is not said with attitude, but with an invitation to look, think differently and consider fairly. Every movement has examples of extremes, or those that go too far and the vegan movement has its fair share. However, what about the many of us who try to meet others half way? There are plenty of those also doing a lot of good. Sometimes we don’t get the same in return.

Live and let live but when the point is reached where what is called ‘living’ is at the expense of everything else, including the earth where we ‘live’ adaptations have to be made.
Try to see things from our perspective. Pick a social problem that ‘veganism’ (that word that nobody likes, maybe because it sounds like a religion) would not help to solve. Here are a few:

World hunger
Eliminating violence
Environmental destruction
Better treatment of animals
Reducing human disease
Global warming

Not everyone has to go vegan to help. That is the beauty of it, but we are asking you (with a polite ‘please’) to reduce meat and animal product consumption.

“sparingly” Not “moringly” but sparingly.

So next time you see or hear of vegans doing their thing, instead of engaging in the energetic mud-sling, and verbal bashing, we would appreciate a ‘thank you’ for what we do for the earth and the animals. Look at yourself first. Be the good. Be the change. On this earth, where now all hands on deck is required, and every single living person has responsibility to accept and there is no sitting on the fence or burying one’s head in the sand any longer, it is time to choose.
Maybe the time is now to accept and embrace that not everything is an option for everyone. Maybe this is okay… Now is the time to choose while there are choices available. “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

Thank you for reading,


Progress is Good…


Even in the world of health education/promotion there are still topics where experts disagree. It is actually baffling how five people in the same field of health education/promotion, sitting in the same room can agree on such things as the potential dangers of EMF’s, but then they disagree on key topics such as nutrition.

Today’s post is short and sweet, but it’s been a while, so I wanted to say a little something.

It is good news to reach a point where the experts agree on at least a handful of topics. Very few experts disagree with the following: The many wonderful benefits of exercise, the high risk of getting lung cancer from smoking, stress is the cause of many health problems. This is the good news, agreement, on the same page is a good thing.

The not so good news, is that in terms of experts who agree, this is pretty much it.

More on this later.

The Well-Being of People and Planet covers a lot of ground, so it’s time to get started, and it all begins right here.
Start a Wellness diary of your own. Track your moods, cravings, sleep patterns, your outlandish thoughts, your random, funny, notice what makes you happy, your wild ideas and have fun exploring! Where will it take you?

Wherever you are in this world, notice and enjoy the beautiful leaves. If you live in the tropics, they may be bright green right now. If temperate, they are probably bright orange, yellow, red and all sorts of colors as they are here. It is without a doubt a beautiful October.

Another leaf that falls or grows,

Q&A Thought of the Month

Is greed the one who steals a loaf of bread because they were hungry and had not, or is greed the one who obsessively and manipulatively monopolizes the entire set up in order to always increase forever-more?

Both. They are on different ends of the spectrum but both come from a place of lack and insecurity, the belief that there won’t be enough. Greed is fear-based.

Both are part of the global disease of bipolar extreme imbalances. One is obviously easier to justify, but both are part of the disease; so how is the disease cured?

News Stories-Assignment

Should there be more animal products in the diet, or less?


Nutrition Studies/The China Study

Harvard Health/Vegetarians

-Dr. Pam Popper, https://wellnessforumhealth.com/, Dr. Popper’s You Tube Channel with hundreds of informative videos about plant-based health, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

“The problem with ‘moderation in all things’ is that nobody knows what it means.” -Dr. Pam Popper

Alright, let’s face it; scientific studies can be sources of confusion out there, especially regarding health and nutrition. Allow me to get straight to the point with some guidelines. I live in Utah, so here we go.

Here is a book from a local author that I recommend: Discovering the Word of Wisdom Through a Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Perspective by Jane Birch.
Jane Birch’s blog: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com/ The Mormon Word of Wisdom clearly advises people to eat meat sparingly. That is, not ‘moringly’ but sparingly. This was in the 1800’s.

The comparison between poor health choices that everyone knows about such as alcohol and cigarettes and too many animal products in the diet has been examined with recent increasing frequency. Dr. McDougall, author of The Starch Solution, https://www.drmcdougall.com/ has made this comparison and drawn parallels to dietary poor health choices that affect health outcomes on a similarly detrimental magnitude as smoking cigarettes.

While in terms of health being a strict vegan may not be for everyone. These studies do illustrate however, that too many animal products in the diet, particularly ones high in animal protein and saturated fats increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, notes T Colin Campbell, The China Study. Knowing this it is wise for all people to eat meat sparingly, (in the upper limits of around 10% of total calories), eliminate dairy and change to a whole-foods plant-based diet rich in vegetables, legumes, rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, combined with plenty of fresh water and a lifestyle that aims for happiness with plenty of exercise.

Many articles simply conclude that what works for you, may not work for another. This is true only to a certain extent. Since we are all human beings with two arms, two legs, two eyes, small teeth, small intestines of about twenty feet in length that is winding (lions and true carnivores’ intestines are straight and only about five feet in length, designed to digest huge quantities of meat), we can say with decent confidence that what represents good nutrition will not be hugely varied from person to person. Neither could a person say: “Well, smoking gave me lung cancer, but hey, it just might work for you!”

“If a person goes to the doctor for a check-up and is cleared for being in good health, but then develops cancer a few years later, was that really a state of health?” -Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat 2 Live

As part of promoting health, and helping to correct the diseases of western affluence epidemic, one of the best things we can do is eliminating the clutter and the confusion, not only for ourselves but for the next individual/family/locale. Many people who are not in a position to understand, such as conditions of poverty, lack of education etc are hit the hardest by poor health. Many of them don’t know any different.

Thank you for reading.

“Always Into Animals”

For some it is animals. You gotta love dogs! Not only are dogs incentives to get out and exercise, but they are nearly as therapeutic as gardening! Mostly, they’re just part of life, I say. I guess you could say that this is ‘my kid.’ For this post today we’ll go with that term.

Animals teach us a lot. My dog is a treasure. Here is my advice: In life, try to be as good as your dog. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can say that daily I fall short. 🙂 It is part of being human I suppose, but I’m not convinced that I will achieve that goal. Dogs are perfect. I am not.
For this post, I’ll let the photos do the talking, but the adventure continues…

First visit to the plant nursery

Choice-A Big One


I am a communicator and wish to further elaborate about something. If you’ve read my memoir, The Wellness Diaries this concept will be familiar. I learned from a young age that kids of my own were not something that I want. (Don’t get squirmy on me;)I like others’ kids and I can appreciate the miracle of life; but at the time I realized this, being only twenty years old and in Canada for a few years, I have known for a long time that having children of my own was not for me.

Having and raising children is not for everyone; and for those who know that children is not something they want, the person often realizes this quite early. While this is often seen by others as merely a ‘phase,’ ‘something wrong with them’ selfish, or a rebellious streak, the person has their reasons; and these reasons should be given merit and seen as valid. Throughout my life, people have said: “Oh, but if you had your own child, you would love and adore it.” This would undoubtedly be true. However, I choose a different set of priorities in life, and from life, I want other paths. Why is that part of what I tell them automatically disregarded? It is automatically invalidated as if I actually don’t know what I want in my life.

There is nothing wrong with a person realizing that having and raising kids is not for them.

Where I live it is common for recently married couples to be asked the question: “So, when are you having kids?” Whether in jest, or asked seriously, it is based on mere assumption, the assumption that everyone automatically just wants to raise a family.

‘Do I want children?’ It is a fair question that everyone should ask and that everyone is (or should be) entitled to the choice. This seems logical; after all, it is one of life’s big decisions. Having children and raising a family is expensive. It is taxing, stressful, and can be very uncertain at times.

What is noteworthy here is that people who know they want to raise a family usually report it being one of their greatest joys, and one of the most rewarding parts of their lives. On the other side of this then, those who know they want children, should be free to pursue this of course. But any form of coercion for individuals to have children is encouraging something that the individual may not be prepared for, for a myriad of possible reasons: mental illness, poverty, health problems, addiction etc.

Still, I have personally heard it all from people through the years about my feelings on this issue. Isn’t it good though that I knew this young and that I didn’t just blindly obey because it’s ‘just what you do?’ My 15 year roller coaster through and recovery from a biological brain disorder, (mental illness) as partially described in my memoir, The Wellness Diaries would have been impossible. I cannot even imagine.

An equally important consideration is what it is like for the child. An emotionally unstable home environment is detrimental to developing children and youth. Youth are more likely to turn to illicit drugs, unprotected sex and alcohol at a young age when the home environment is one of emotional turmoil, or there is inconsistent or ineffective parenting due to one or both parents who have a mental illness (Substance Abuse and Prevention. 6th ed. Our Sexuality. 2015 Crooks and Baur).

So which is selfish, the parent who has a child with the expectation of that child filling a void, or because it is ‘just what you do?’ Or, the individual who chooses to forego parenthood in this life because they know they are unable (for any and all reasons that only the individual can answer) to provide the quality of life that that child deserves? Maybe they are each selfish in their own way, but very differently.

It is a worthwhile (and refreshing) consideration that children simply may not be everyone’s calling in life. There is nothing wrong with this, and any form of forcing individuals or societies to have kids creates major problems and has global impacts; individual to societal.

Collective humanity is now diverse enough that not everyone is expected to (or should) live the same exact way. Diversity is healthy, it is a very good thing! Diversity is something that we people really do have going for us. Humans, living slightly differently, helping to reduce competition amongst ourselves and in doing so, learning and practicing modes of cooperation is obviously a very good thing. We people number nearly 8 billion. I do not believe that it is automatically the calling of everyone on the planet at this point to continue to ‘multiply and replenish the earth.’

I have many nieces and nephews and I feel that I have helped to raise my share of kids in the world. 🙂 Growing up has been an adventure.

Despite the twenty+ years of comments and the rocky climb, I am glad that I was honest with myself and stayed to my truth about this and that I didn’t just do what everyone else was doing because it was ‘just what you do.’ I made mistakes in other ways following everyone else that made up for them.

Those are my thoughts for the day.
Thank you for reading.


Food is still Food in Europe

First of all, the food in Europe is excellent! Let’s keep it that way…

For my readers in Europe, resist bills that would allow genetically modified foods to taint real food. To start adopting America’s ways is to start adopting America’s problems.

Take it from me: You don’t want them. 

We cannot do just one thing; there is always a ripple effect.

Keep it pure, natural, safe, organic, heirloom, and of high quality as mother nature intended.

Kind regards,