Thursday, November 10, 2016

Coffee, movement, and change

Have you ever seen a traditional Ethiopian Coffee ceremony?  Last week during our evening church meeting we watched a video that included the wife of one of the local pastors performing the ceremony for the visiting Americans.  It was pretty cool.  Here are two videos from YouTube that show what's involved:

What the second video doesn't show (the first one does briefly) is that once the beans are roasted they are put into a kind of mortar and pestle and smashed to bits until they're finely ground.

Beautiful stuff, no?  These women are stacking their life with movement while making coffee.  Just the fact that they're in this lovely squat the whole time they are doing this routine is amazing to me.  And I bet it's a pretty fabulous tasting cup of coffee too.

Finding out about this came at the right time. My copy of Movement Matters by Katy Bowman came in the mail last week while I was on vacation so I've been eager to start in on it. I've been playing catch up, however, so the book has stood untouched so far, but this morning I thought I'd just open up to a random page and see what I'd find.  And I found this:

"You not only need to move more often than you do right now; you also need to move more of you more often than you do right now."-Katy Bowman

Nothing earth shattering but actually quite profound.  We've outsourced almost all of our movement potential in making a cup of coffee, for instance, so that all we're really moving is one hand to scoop the pre-ground coffee into the pot and one finger to push the button.  Sure that gives us more time to get to the gym for our 30-minute workout. But what if, instead, we took more time to savor the process (and enjoy the unbelievably wonderful aroma) of making a rich cup of coffee the old fashioned way?  And what if we added to that one change many similar changes throughout our day so that we're moving more in general? (ie, making whipped cream by hand like I did last week - here's the link)

So back to coffee, I'll concur that I don't have the set-up necessary to make coffee quite like the folks in Ethiopia do, but I have taken steps to "automate" this process less.  And, I think I'll start making my coffee on the floor. :)

1.  A hand grinder.  I don't always do this but when I do, I love it and the coffee really does taste better when it's ground right before you drink it.  I set my kettle to boil the water and grind the beans while the water is heating.

2.  An Aeorpress coffee maker. This is a fun little individual coffee maker that really makes a nice cup of coffee or espresso.  Easy too. And the travel bag is a nice bonus - I bring this along whenever I travel.


3.  Individual drip cone.  When I'm at home, this is the one I default to, just because I still get lazy and this is the easiest one to clean afterward! :)  That may change, though.

If, per chance, one of you happens to be in Ethiopia in the near future, feel free to bring me one of those fabulous coffee pots and bean crushing thingies, please!

Anyway, my post today is just to start the process of thinking about everything the Movement Matters book will challenge me on.  I tweeted after I listened to Katy and Dani's podcast about it (click here to listen) that you need to get ready to have your mind blown.  What I'm discovering from just glancing at the book is that the thoughts/ideas/challenges presented in these essays are mind-blowing but not really hard things.  It's mostly, from what I can tell anyway, just a huge mindset shift that will take work and boldness.

I'm ready.  Are you?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Movement Matters - random thoughts on vacation

Movement Matters ... random thoughts on movement while on vacation.

I'm on vacation on lovely Hilton Head Island.  It's so beautiful - the weather is perfect and I can hear the ocean waves crashing in the distance from my condo.

While here I'm doing a lot of walking - on the beach, around the resort, just everywhere.  I haven't explored the walk to town yet but that may be on tap for today. The closest store is about 1.5 miles - perfect for a nice walk!

Earlier in the week we had breakfast at a new French Bakery - just yum!  We grabbed a few goodies to bring back to the condo with us - goodies that included two beautiful apricot scones.  But for me, scones definitely need a side of clotted, Devonshire or just plain whipped cream.  I had purchased some heavy cream for my morning coffee but the condo doesn't have a mixer. What's a girl to do?

Go figure- before the days of electricity, people churned their own butter and whipped their heavy cream... BY HAND!  Did you know you can do that?

I did it!  The whisk made it pretty easy, actually, and pretty fast.  In the time it would have taken me to pull out the mixer and attach the beaters at home, I had luscious creamy whipped cream and a bit of a sore arm!

So my challenges for this in the future are to keep going when my arm gets tired (surprisingly quickly ... I should make whipped cream more often!) and to remember to switch to my left hand too.

The left-hand thing - wow... it's amazing how totally uncoordinated I am doing these kinds of things with my left hand. So, my challenge now will be to START with my left hand and switch back to my right hand if/when I need to.

What does this have to do with feet?  Everything, actually.  If you've taken the time to listen to Katy Bowman's podcasts about her new book, Movement Matters (available now! Click to get your copy on Amazon), you'll quickly make the connection (I hope).

This book promises to be mind blowing. I'm so excited to get home and start reading it since it was delivered yesterday while I am away.  But the podcast will give you a good taste of and be a good primer for what you'll be in for with this book. And, like me, you'll quickly click over to your favorite retail site to secure your copy.

Then, after you do that, go for a walk, forage for some food, or whip up some whip cream - by hand!

This blog post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Naked Cookbook - Review

Book Title:  The Naked Cookbook
Author:  Tess Ward

Buy on Amazon (click here)

Buy on Kindle (click here)

My rating:  4.5 stars

My review:
It lays FLAT!  yippee!  A hardcover cookbook that lays flat flat flat!  I love that.  Really. I do.

This is a nice cookbook. It's got some great, unique recipes and all of them are doable and don't require any packaged food, etc.  Really nice.  I'm eager to try a bunch of the recipes, including the nut milks and really different ones like this one:


Doesn't that picture make you just want to eat healthy for the rest of your life?

Anyway, if you're a cookbook lover like me and want something that's just plain focused on eating right with a few fun twists here and there, The Naked Cookbook, will fit the bill nicely.

AND it lies flat on the counter!

I received a free copy of the cookbook in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Road Trip Time!

Summer is coming. I'm staring at my fancy thermometer and it says that it's currently 57 degrees! The grass is green (and full of dandelions) and my friend is piling up our tree trimmings for a bonfire. Yep. It's spring but that means summer is just a few weeks away.

With school breaks and warm weather and just ... habit ... many families decide to take their vacation via road trip.  Which is great!  You can see a lot of the country, save a bundle of money (especially if you camp along the way) and just have fun being together.

But road trips usually mean lots and lots (and LOTS) of sitting in the car.  Usually for too long with each stretch.  Dad will hate this but you should really be stopping at LEAST ever two hours for a leg stretching and movement break.  This can work if you're the type of family that likes to meander their way to a destination. It doesn't work so well if you've got some type A personalities in the car that just want to get to the place already!

But if you can get Mr. or Mrs. Type A to take a break, there are some great things you can do to maximize the time off your rear end.  Rest areas are more conducive to this kind of thing than, say, a truck stop, McDonalds' parking lot or gas station.  Regardless - MOVE!

Below are some tips from my favorite Katy Bowman that will help you stretch, move and increase blood flow to the areas of your body crammed into one set position for most of the drive.  Improvise where you can but if possible, bring along any of the props she mentions to help.

If you do nothing else, take some time do do a couple of calf stretches for your legs and some hanging (or reaching through doorways) for your arms and neck.

Enjoy and happy travels!  Find more great ideas for movement at Katy's Nutritious Movement Site!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Stretches for Super Stiff people

When I sit for a really long time it usually takes me a bit to "unstiffen" my legs and hips in particular.  I realize that for some people, this kind of stiffness is just a normal part of life - all the time.

Today I stumbled on this great video of some stretches for the super stiff, so I thought I'd share it with you:

Take it slow and steady and do these every day for a while and you'll notice a difference!

Here are some other videos you can purchase and download to help:

The Daily Movement Multivitamin by Katy Bowman

Relax the Psoas Alignment Snack

Pain in the Neck Alignment Snack

The Hips Don't Lie, They Sit Alignment Snack

And other classes here

Have any questions?  Feel free to email me!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Resetting your Hormones

I listened to part of a webinar today (can't wait to hear the rest of it!) about optimizing your hormones. You can find out more about the webinar at

Since I didn't hear the entire thing, I can give you a blow by blow but the cliff notes of the section I heard was pretty helpful.  Dr. Sara's suggestions:

1.  Find the root cause of your cortisol levels
2.  Make Targeted lifestyle changes based on step 1, but in particular

  • Reduce or remove all caffeine
  • Reduce or remove all alcohol consumption
  • Get more sleep!
    • Sauna or hot bath before bed but don't get right into bed afterward - let your body cool down
    • Stop all blue backlight use at least 1 hour before bedtime (computers, ipads, phones, etc)
    • Take your supplements (first two below) at bedtime
3.  Herbal Remedies. Her suggestions included
4. Finally Bioidentical hormones - but only as a last resort.

I'll fill in more later!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Why wearing heels makes your body hurt!

So if you've been around this blog or Katy Bowman's site much, you've seen this diagram - a lot:
From Every Woman's Guide To Foot Pain Relief by Katy Bowman

It's pretty telling and pretty amazing how even a wearing a small heeled shoe can force you to contort your body so you stand upright.

Your poor toes ... all that weight now piled right onto them and the ball of your foot, plus they're crammed into narrow toe boxes.  Your poor feet ... happiest when they're flat on the floor, now they are raised up.  Your poor ankles, wobbling and at a strange angle.  Your poor calf muscles ... perpetually shortened because your heels are up off the ground.  Your poor knees, thighs, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head -  all adjusting to make sure you don't fall forward in those shoes!   All because of a little thing called a heel!

If you need more details on heel height and forward pitch and how it affects your body, the video below by Katy Bowman is helpful too:

Stuck wearing heels for your job?  Try these stretches and movements for standing and walking.
Click here for the Walk This Way, Stand This Way downloadable video.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you happen to purchase an item that I've linked here because of clicking on my link, the vendor for that item has kindly offered to kick back a little bit to me as a thank you for referring you to them. Don't worry... the item you're getting won't cost you any more using my link than it does if you buy directly. But it's a nice way for me to keep this blog going and cover just a little bit (a very little bit) of my costs. Thanks in advance.

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