Healthy Family: Finding the Connection between Health and Nature

repurposed cement raised bed garden

Youngest helping with the first raised bed we created from abandoned cement blocks.

In the six weeks since we’ve taken on this new lifestyle, a sort of transformation has occurred.

The transformation has more to do with us as a family unit than the land beneath our feet.

First off, to be clear, I love tech, gadgets, and social media. I mean I really really love.

This whole homesteading thing for us isn’t about trying to live like it’s the 1800’s. We view it like preserving an art form or culture.

Somewhere along the way many of us lost basic self-sufficiency skills. Skills that not too long ago were part of a normal everyday life.

That thought really became more apparent to me as I watched my kids quickly growing up.

cement block raised bed

8 weeks later

To us as a family, we felt we were about to let something valuable slip away.

We wanted our children to know the joy of watching plants grow, seemingly overnight. I wanted them to pick a tomato they had a hand in nurturing and growing, announcing at dinner “This came from our garden.”

I think having everything made and done for you can cause the loss of child-like wonder.

To me, that’s the stuff a fruitful life is made of.


mockingbird nest with four eggs

A little surprise found while blackberry picking


I’ve seen in my children’s eyes the joy of finding a mockingbird’s nest hidden in a blackberry patch and marveling at the color of the eggs and how perfectly they nestled in that nest.

And the excitement grew this week as I ordered our first baby chicks. The kids have already decided on names for them.


Mind you they still play video games and watch movies, but we wanted to give them something that when touched, had a life force, something that could speak to their hearts and souls.

Hungry mockingbird baby

Hatched! Feed me!

What does this all have to do with health and fitness? It wasn’t too long ago I asked myself that same question. But as the days pass here I’m convinced there’s a huge connection between the two.

This lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It’s dirty and messy and definitely not glamorous. And you have to drive a little further to a Starbucks.

But I’d encourage everyone to make living things a part of their health journey. If not just to see if it adds positive and helps push away negative thoughts and feelings.

I’d love to know what you think!

Do you think there’s a connection between health and nature? Even in the smallest way, how do you make it part of your life?






  1. Hi there! Great thoughts…and I definitely think there’s a link between Health and Nature! There’s something about planting, digging, nurturing, and harvesting food that is way more nourishing to the body and soul than driving to the supermarket and grabbing a tomato off the pile! When I eat food that I know where it came from, I just feel like I’m feeding myself more of the stuff my body needs. It’s a richer experience, and I know I’m doing something good for me and my little family. I love hearing about your homesteading…we’re slowly but surely moving in that direction!

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Thanks Annie! Totally agree – such a richer experience. I look forward to hearing what you guys are up to! 🙂

  2. Crabby McSlacker says:

    Totally agree! I try to combine the best of both worlds, and enjoy as much “cosmopolitan” excitement (and convenience) as I can while still spending as much time as I can where there are trees and critters and waterways and flowers.

    However, no green thumb here, so the whole self-sufficiency piece involves the ability to go to the grocery store all by myself. 🙂

    Great post and glad the move is working out so well!

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Thanks very much. The whole move thing has definitely been enlightening. But I’m sure you can grow something. You can do anything — you’re Crabby! 🙂

  3. Love it! Hoping to expand our gardening efforts next year if the drought is really over with for Oklahoma. We do have some tomatoes, squash, and pumpkins growing. I think I killed the basil and peppers. 🙂

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Bonding with you here @twitter-305868100:disqus – I too am a basil killer!

      Have you had luck with the pumpkins? Would love to grow them.

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    Great post Joyce! I do think there is a connection especially since I really do not have a lot of connection to nature in this very crowded southern CA world.. I like it for certain things BUT it does create a tremendous amount of stress – stress that needs to go somewhere but the gym. I am not once that could do what you do BUT I wold like a yard & a bit more nature AND less people! 🙂

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      The gym is a GREAT stress reliever @5227f9a6cd81fedc6d9c1f60809c53eb:disqus! A great place to adjust an attitude. One day I hope I have the chance to work out with you! I’m sure I can’t keep up!

  5. Amie Hoff says:

    You are my Hero! seriously, I wish more people (including myself) had the ability to live this way. I do so on a much smaller level..and a little hard living in the concrete jungle of NYC, but get out often and yes…definitely feel there is a correlation between nature and health. I know this, because how I think, feel and act changes when I open my eyes and take in the energy of the earth and all its glorious gifts!

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Oh you are too kind @amiehoff:disqus !

      Love when a big city like NYC makes an effort to create green spaces. I think they’re doing a great job.

      I notice that same change in energy and feelings too. Even if we add just one plant to tend, or take walks in parks instead of just a street, I think it can make a big difference. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. saving4someday says:

    You’re absolutely right, Joyce, about kids learning about nature and where our food comes from and how plants and animals aren’t just at some store. Seeing nature first hand gives kids a great perspective on what’s possible. The world is changing so much, but the importance of nature should never be taken for granted.

  7. Yes there is a connection between nature and health. Being out in nature gets us off our butts and makes us active. Movement is essential for supporting health. Being connected to nature also makes us thing more than just ourselves with with good for health. Being connected to nature helps us to reflect upon ourselves and our connection to the world around us.

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