anna brones

writer + artist

Posts Tagged ‘outdoors

Can Digging in the Dirt Make You Happy?

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I was thrilled to work on a story for Modern Farmer about the link between dirt and well-being. There’s some very interesting research looking at the benefits of microbes in the environment on human health. Here’s an excerpt:

The psychological benefit of nature has been well documented. When it comes to being happy or not, many studies show that psychiatric problems are more common in urban than in rural communities. That makes Lowry’s and Rook’s research interesting, as it gives us a better understanding of exactly why being outside, in a garden or on a farm, makes us feel good.

“People usually assume that the health benefits of exposure to green space are due to exercise. In fact two large studies now demonstrate that although exercise is definitely good for you, it does not explain the beneficial effect of green space,” says Rook. “Contact with microbial biodiversity is looking like the most probable explanation for the green space effect.”

Just like we’re becoming more and more aware of the benefits of foods with microbes (think: fermented foods with probiotics), being around a lot of different microbes from the earth and animals is good for us too. In other words, sterile environments that are too clean aren’t so great for you.

I was even more excited to see that the piece got picked up and discussed by the New York Times.

Now, on to finding a plot of land to get my hands dirty.

Image: jenny downing

Written by Anna Brones

September 3, 2014 at 09:14

Keep Running

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Yes, yes and yes.

Love this piece my friends at Duct Tape Then Beer did for Arc’teryx. What keeps you running?

Written by Anna Brones

July 8, 2014 at 19:40

In Honor of Fathers (and Daughters)

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I wrote this piece a couple of years ago for EcoSalon, right after my father and I had gone on a road trip together. Just a few weeks ago I was traveling across a well known route between Washington and Utah, headed to Moab for a few days of exploring red rock. Road trips have always been a tradition, and we try to keep it as such. I realize how special trips like these are, and how conscious we are about both making time for them. And that’s what a healthy relationship is: making time for each other.

I reread the essay today in honor of Father’s Day, and figured it was worth reposting. Because the special father daughter bond always deserves appreciation.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 15, 2014 at 13:39

For the Love of Brewing Coffee Outdoors

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I drink coffee outside whenever I can. If there’s sun and a terrace, you can bet that I will be on it. But even better than just drinking coffee outdoors? Brewing coffee outdoors.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 11, 2014 at 09:00

1,000 Miles: Month 5

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Hills and altitude.

If I had to sum up the fifth month of 1,000 Miles, that would be it. Hills and altitude. There were a lot of both of them.

During the last month I was home in the US, so running meant taking on the hills in Forest Park in Portland (a reunion run for the 1,000 Miles trio), a thigh-burn inducing uphill climb by my parents’ house in Washington, and making my best attempt at emulating a mountain goat on trails around Telluride, Colorado.

Realization: I have much more training to do before I become a mountain goat.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 4, 2014 at 15:09

1,000 Miles: Month 4

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Running takes time.

Any passion or project that we have requires time, but that time doesn’t appear out of thin air; we have to make that time. This is no news, but committing to running a certain number of miles a week means carving out space for a daily workout routine.

From the outside perspective this may seem tough. In fact, I have many friends that have said something along the lines of “man, that much take up so much of your time… I couldn’t do that” (note: yes, it does, and yes, yes you could). We’re all busy, and the thought of devoting at least an hour, sometimes two, almost every day is daunting to most. But the beauty of it is that eventually it becomes a habit. Skipping a run feels odd and disconcerting. It simply isn’t an option.

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Written by Anna Brones

May 8, 2014 at 18:16

Friday Photo: The Good Life

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Sometimes cold mountain air does more for a creative work brainstorm than a desk could ever do. Well, all of the time actually.

Written by Anna Brones

January 4, 2013 at 16:28

Reminders for a New Year

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“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ” – Anaïs Nin.

New Year’s certainly shouldn’t be about criticizing oneself, but it does happen to be a good time for reflection on what’s important. That’s what New Year’s resolutions should be: reminders about how to live well and embrace life.

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Written by Anna Brones

January 2, 2013 at 12:28

Friday Photo: Outdoor Autumn Dinner

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Just because it’s colder and darker doesn’t mean we should stop eating outside.

Written by Anna Brones

October 12, 2012 at 10:25

Dirtbag Gourmet: Cooking for Your Date in the Great Outdoors

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It’s good when editors let you pitch the kind of articles that make you laugh. Which is why I am excited about my most recent post on the very respectable outdoor online magazine Adventure Journal, where I took a stab at the topic of food and love in the backcountry. It started as a conversation between friends on how to impress a date on a hike (“make your own trail mix!”) and resulted in this article:

If you can’t cook a decent meal in the backcountry, you’re destined for romantic failure. A way to anyone’s heart is often through his or her stomach, especially if you’re on the tail end of a grueling day outside. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Yeah, that will refuel the person you’re crushing on, but a homemade olive hummus wrap with sea salt? That might be the extra touch you need to turn adventure partner into your partner.

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