Weekly Newsletter

How simple things like dirt, water and heat affect health.

Learn how the latest research and scientific tools can help us lower risk and feel better when we interact with simple things. Plus, inspiring wellness articles from around the web.
A man stands at the top of hill on dirt road looking out through a clearing in the trees at the mountains

The human body is a fascinating thing. The vessel you inhabit breathes without your instruction. It’s got a brain that processes countless internal + external data to help you formulate thoughts, emotions + opinions. And it requires relatively little to survive!

This week, we share the latest on how the simple things in life can affect how your body feels—for better + for worse. But first, enjoy an intentional breath + as you scroll down into…

  • The Checkup: spring + change + growth
  • The Simple Things: water + dirt + heat
  • Healthcare: flu milk + UTI drugs + HIPAA

The Checkup


Closeup photo of a white women's arm as she holds water in her hands from a rocky stream.

According to health experts rounded up in Men’s Health, most humans are either in constant danger of underhydration or so devoted to our Stanley sippers that we’re at risk for hyponatremia—the imbalance of blood sodium + water levels that almost killed Brooke Shields.

In reality, we should avoid both extremes... but it's not that hard to do so.

Generally speaking, we should continually sip liquids throughout the day—never guzzle glasses or gallons. Juice, tea and coffee count. (Nope, coffee doesn’t cause dehydration.) Unless we have a health condition or work up a sweat, we prob don’t need to add electrolytes.

Read the article to learn how eight glasses a day became a thing, when to worry about overhydration and why drinking only to satisfy thirst isn’t always sound advice.


A photograph from above shows the body of young boy sitting in front of a planter of fresh herbs with a pail of dirt and other materials nearby.

Two summers ago, this newsletter shared the healing benefits of stargazing + camping. Plus how to make healthy-ish s’mores+ protect yourself from bugs!

Last year, we covered how to love the outdoors while protecting yourself from ticks.

Now, we want you to get dirty.

As the New York Times shares, people who grow up around dirt (like farmers) have lower rates of asthma, allergies and Crohn's disease because they’re constantly exposed to various microbes. One soil-dwelling bacterium has an anti-inflammatory effect on our brains. And scientists have learned that dirt microbes play a positive role in physical + mental health.

You don’t have to plan a rural excursion to benefit.

Here are a few ways to get your dirt on:

  • Squish + sniff: Squish your bare feet in mud or lift a handful of dirt to your face + take a good sniff. Both sensations awaken your brain’s pleasure sensors.
  • Plant anything: Gardening can reduce anxiety, depression + stress. Get an indoor smart garden (secondhand is great!), start an outdoor planter or go all-in + dig up a patch of land. 
  • Play like a kid: Have a backyard? Make mud pies, build bug hotels or design a fairy garden—enjoy whatever taps into your childlike sense of play.


A young Brazilian man with an athletic appearance rests in the bright sun on the grass after an outdoor sports session.

Remember last summer’s scorchers + wildfire health dangers? (We covered them, too.) This season, a new warning system called Heatrisk will have us better prepared.

Using a color-coded scale from zero to five, it’ll alert us to whether spiking temperatures, humidity + unseasonable shifts are putting kids, older people, those with medical conditions or the general public at risk for heat rashes, cramping, exhaustion + stroke.

Location is factored into warning levels. (85°F means one thing for Floridians used to the heat but another for North Dakotans.)

On top of helping individuals, the service can help schools determine outdoor activity safety + emergency services prepare for an influx of heat-related illnesses.

To learn more, head to NPR.

Healthcare 411

What consumers should know about the milk testing positive for bird flu (NPR). Traces of the bird flu virus have been found in commercial milk samples—but none contain infectious or “live” virus. (Pasteurization kills live viruses.) Pasteurized milk is still entirely safe to drink.

F.D.A. approves antibiotic for increasingly hard-to-treat urinary tract infections (NY Times). UTIs trigger more out-of-hospital antibiotic prescriptions than any other condition + are challenged by antimicrobial resistance. For the first time in 20 years, providers will have a new drug to treat them. Pivmecillinam will be available to females 18+ in 2025. Until then, Dr. B can help you get prescription UTI treatment online with a $15 consultation.

Get same-day UTI care.

Medical records for out-of-state abortions will now be protected by HIPAA (Ms.). Last week, the Biden Administration confirmed that under HIPAA, providers who conduct an abortion on a patient in a state where abortions are legal cannot tell law enforcement about that patient’s abortion—even if the patient is a resident of another state. The rule goes into effect in May, but as of now, it’s unclear as to if it also applies to abortion medications obtained from other states.

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