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.

The Gap

Greetings,

As mentioned in two former posts, I returned to finish the degree that I started a long time ago before that big life detour. The gap in years was substantial and leaves one with more questions for every answer given. Now having my degree it is interesting to look and see the changes that took place within that gap of time.

I was glad to see a large institution such as a university doing their part and taking steps toward environmental responsibility. Weber State University has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. My zoology friend and bird-guru told me that they are even way ahead of schedule! While I haven’t heard, I would bet that environmental responsibility is now likely the standard for universities and if so that is great! This blog is about telling it from experience; I have attended no other universities to compare with, so here are a few that stood out to me during my last few years there: Some of you may recall from the memoir, The-Wellness-Diaries many years ago the significance of the experience while on the shuttle bus. Well, there are now several small shuttles. I was impressed to see that these now run on natural gas and that the full size bus is now electric! This helps to reduce Utah’s air pollution problem, and is at least a small step toward correcting the big problem of climate change.

In my estimation, about 98% of assignments are submitted electronically saving trees and paper. Trees help to filter the air, provide habitat for wildlife, including many species of bird and helps to prevent topsoil erosion. Never forget that taking environmental responsibility has benefits for humanity also including cleaner water and air to breathe when you’re cycling, walking with your children, the dog or jogging. You don’t have to be a hippie or ‘granola type’ to do your part and benefit from improved stewardship.

For the few assignments that still used paper, I found this sustainable paper made from hemp: Sustainable Hemp Paper. I have some! It has a nice look and feel. There are different textures and different types. Maybe the average person doesn’t put in this much energy to buying paper, but I was glad to find some, so I am glad to share it with you! As you know, living lightly on the earth as much as is feasible on this current part of my journey brings me joy. I submit that you will find joy in doing what you can there also. Remember that it’s a journey not a destination, but do enjoy it.

During various university travels (man I’m going to miss that free bus/train pass to pretty much anywhere in the state!) I bumped into a few of you on bad air days and you asked about my pollution mask. Here is the link for those:
Order pollution masks


I got this bumper sticker from a block party from a booth of the sustainability department of my university.

Finally, I was very impressed to be introduced to a brand new idea on campus: (Drum roll)… A Monarch butterfly (important pollinator) habitat on campus! Monarch/pollinator education and conservation. Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that these environmental issues are not important or that they don’t apply to or affect us because they absolutley do.

After you’re cycling, walking the dog or jogging session why not have clean air, pure water, a yard free of carcinogens and naturally grown food? You, your children, and your dogs like clean air, food and water, so it is my hope that we will each do what we can.

Thank you again Weber State for the inspiration and some tasty helpings of hope. Well done, well done.

-Owen

College Collage

Ladies Love Cool O; or at least cool dogs

“You look high as a kite dude.”
“Yep, pretty much, not in that way though haha. After all, at these heights the air is pretty thin and the temperatures are smmmokin hot; even if it was snowing.”

Working at the Stress Relief Center, just how all jobs should be-stress free (the only one I’ve ever had) except when there was a huge line and I had to check in the whole campus (“don’t leave me here alone!”) because everyone else was in class. 😀

“Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies. We were working the whole time Dr. Olpin, we promise!”
… Like I said, don’t ask…
Zoology meetups



He loved it; so did we!

Feeding the Caiman lizards (my favorite) at the aquarium. They eat canned snails!

Survived the group presentation in epidemiology! (The class itself and ecology group presentation too for that matter)

Walking

Celebrate!

That’s a wrap.
Thank you participants and Weber State-woooo-hoo!I hope you can continue the path of your dreams too. Wellness while being mindful of the earth is a key ticket.

Cheers,
Owen

Graduation Anthem


Hi Everyone,

Here is a short post to inform you that I have graduated from Weber State University! My degree is in Health Promotion with a minor in Zoology. This was indeed an exciting day! If you have read my memoir, The Wellness Diairies you will know that this is a big deal. As mentioned in the book, I took university classes here and there while trying to recover from illness, but never finished-until now. This was the college culture I was never able to experience until now. It was very much an adventure even if I finished later than most do in their early 20’s. As they say, it is never too late.

Thank you Weber State and to all those who have offered me support in many ways throughout the last few years during what was the most hectic time of my life taking 12-18 credits at a time.

Concerning the well-being of people and planet, I am proud to have graduated from a university that is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050. That is indeed a massive undertaking, but universities have the funds to do it. There are many good things happening such as natural gas vehicles including shuttle buses, local premium bus passes for students and recycling containers everywhere to name a few. This was a boost of hope that I needed to see that large organizations can and do make environmentally responsible decisions.

Thanks for reading. Cheers from here,

O

Gamechangers Film

Greetings,

If you haven’t yet seen the Gamechangers documentary about plant-based athletes, I highly recommend that you watch it on Netflix etc. The film makes some excellent points not only about human health and nutrition, but men’s health, environmental concerns and the environmental benefits of eating less meat and more plant-based.

One of the main points I took from the film is that while these top athletes are extreme examples, men and women breaking records, and setting new standards in cycling, martial arts, power lifting, hiking and football are incredible, anyone adopting a plant-based diet can excel to new heights in their own lives. You don’t have to set world records of lifting 1,224 lbs etc.,(although Kudos to Patrick, was it(?) in the film who did this)!

Eating plant-based, even if not a strict vegan will help you to climb to new heights in your own life.

I could go on and elaborate about my favorite parts of the film, etc and all the parts that stood out to me, (there were many), but I won’t bore you with all that. I’ll let you watch the film for yourself. I highly recommend it, life and world changing food (literally) for thought without a doubt.

Define extreme right? It’s not easy is it. It’s like trying to define normal in a very abnormal world. When I bump into people I know and they ask about the latest in my life, I tell them I’m working nights and taking 18 credits at university this semester, their reply is almost always “you’re crazy.” Well, in their sense of the word in that context, I won’t argue, and I can’t say that I’d recommend 18 credits, and definitely not being this busy for long periods of time. It is a lot at once, but worth it. However, on the other side of that, maybe I’m just a seasoned plant-baser…

If you’re new to this blog, the very foundation of The Wellness Diaries stems from the first book The Wellness Diaries is overcoming what was previously impossible. It is a memoir in which I tell my own part of the story about this and I say that you can do it too, finding your dreams and aspiring to your own new heights, whatever these may be is rewarding, life-giving and fun too. Seems like that was the very message of the film; eat less meat and more vegetables, whole grains, etc. This is the correct diet for humans. Likewise you can climb to new heights, live longer, better, higher and fuller than you ever imagined.

So, with this current schedule, yes I may look hammered some days. It’s not my shop, and I am allowed those hammered-looking days. Thank you to all of you who have hung with me in and out of that. I hope you can hang with me a bit longer and we’ll have some more fun and I will be able to write more often than I have been the past while. Hang tight with me and enjoy the ride. 🙂

After all that, haha enjoy the film!
-Owen

A Sociologist’s Perspective

Greetings,

Understanding world problems is a step toward solving them. I highly recommend the course “Social Problems;” it is very eye-opening. Consulting sociologists in conducting the business of humanity is common sense, but unfortunately this is not so common(Eitzen, D.S., Zinn, B.M., Smith, K.E.,2014.).

Informing yourself is a good practice. Here is an excellent blog: Any Good Thing; A Sociologist’s Perspective

Toward positive change and awareness we go. Remember that “perma-optimism” is at some point a form of denial and complacency. Until humanity reaches that happy and peaceful state, there is plenty to do. Baby steps, and sometimes giant leaps. Neither is the answer to pass the buck and buy into the illusion that you are powerless. Bring the change you wish to see.

Owen

References
(Eitzen, D.S., Zinn, B.M., Smith, K.E.(2014). Social problems, 13th ed.

Beneficial Desert Creatures

Greetings,

Here is to Utah’s only native species of salamander! This group of tiger salamanders was a rare find in the yard and I was delighted to stumble across them. I was glad that the people I was working with promised to watch out for them and help them sustain their moisture and cool temps (in a desert they need all the help they can get) as they water the trees. Remember that all creatures have a place. These guys are beneficial to people because they help to control harmful insects naturally; so be sure to provide a cool and moist retreat for them if you notice some in your area. These were found in a small moist burrow caused by slow and steady drip from the hose.

While you can only see his tail and back, this is a lizard from the area that is also beneficial because it eats lots of locusts!

Thought of the Month

Well it’s a figure of speech. But if it were a quantitative literacy problem it would look like this:

Education

X 50
___________

Or, if you prefer: Education . 50 = R e a l c h a n g e

Live lightly on the earth today. What does that entail?
There’s where the fun begins for you in getting educated about just that!
Enjoy the journey.
-Owen

“Hmmm, I think I’ll go snag me one of them cookies.”


“Can you read this? Of course you can’t; that’s because it’s written in Finnish.”
The vegan Finnish cookies were a hit. As I said, you simply have to try Terhi’s cookies.

homemadevegan@gmail.com.

I understand that she is working on a other special creations, the health-side vegan cookies: non-GMO, sweetened with stevia etc.

While we’re on the topic of Finland, cookies, vegan cookies that originated in Finland, never forget about this interesting tidbit from the health and wellness standpoint: Finland is right up there with Denmark in terms of being among the happiest people on the planet. There are several studies, articles and documentaries about this. Here is the link to an article from Linkedin a few weeks ago:

Unhappy? Try Moving to Finland

In terms of happy people, the Scandanavian countries have some really good things going, from which we can all learn and strive to emulate.

Here’s to a full glass and happy people and planet.

Cheers from here,

Owen