Recipe • Matcha Latte
I consider Aldi a barometer of the times. Last week I was perusing the mythical middle aisle and came across organic, Japanese matcha powder. I’ve been in the health and wellness world for coming up to 20 years and remember a time when it was a struggle to find many ‘superfoods’ in health foods shops, let alone a small supermaket. Then you see it on a Starbucks menu and know it’s reached the big time (though be warned - their sweetened lattes are not for the faint hearted and contain an eye-watering amount of sugar).
Matcha means powdered tea and it refers to a lengthy process that begins before green tea leaves are harvested. The leaves are covered with cloth before being picked, which encourages young stems and these are steamed to stop fermentation, dried and aged in cold storage. They are then stone ground into a fine powder. It is traditionally made by mixing a small amount with hot water and whisked with a special bamboo whisk until it is fully mixed and froths.
Unlike normal green tea where you infuse it, with matcha you’re drinking the actual leaves. This higher potency means you get a bigger caffeine hit which is about half that of a cup of coffee.
All matcha is not created equal. As it’s difficult and expensive to make, there are a lot of teas on the market that call themselves matcha as it’s an unregulated term, so buyer beware. For this reason, it’s crucial to buy your matcha from a reputable source so that you know exactly what is in it and if your budget permits, choose organic as this reduces the risk of exposure to pollutants and contaminants for yourself and the planet.
Many people have been extolling the benefits of matcha and it joins the myriad of other ‘superfoods’ at the back of peoples cupboards. Matcha contains small amounts of minerals and vitamins, but it’s most well-known for being rich in polyphenol compounds called catechins, a type of antioxidant.
I’ve had a packet of matcha sitting in my fridge since it first came onto my radar many years ago and I haven’t wanted to part from it (yes, it was expensive and I feel guilty about not using it). After cleaning out the fridge and moving it for the umpteenth time, I thought I’d revist it, making it for Billy as he’d never tasted it before.
1 cup of milk (whole milk, coconut milk, almond milk, whatever your preference is)
1tsp matcha powder
1tsp vanilla extract
Measure the amount of milk you need by filling up your cup.
Pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend for about 30s until it turns green.
Heat up in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk until it’s hot enough and serve.
i. You can substitute using a blender with a milk frother or, for a more authentic effect, use a bamboo matcha whisk.
ii. You can use cold milk and pour it over ice for a refreshing iced matcha latte.
iii. If you have a sweet tooth, add some honey to the mix when you put everything in the blender.
Our whole culture is underpinned by measured time. Instruments invented to track time have been traced back about 6000 years to the Egyptians yet it was only about 500 years ago that clocks became precise enough to be measured and minutes and seconds became the universal norm. To put this in perspective, if accepted human history spans 24 hours, 43 minutes represents the amount of time since clocks were invented and 3.5 minutes since we began using minutes and seconds.
A stone tray is a great way to reintroduce movement for our feet and requires very little time or effort - maximum gain for minimum effort!
Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and this applies as much to our feet as it does to other aspects of our lives. Convenience has its price and barefoot shoes can only do so much if we’re always walking on level surfaces and this limits restoring foot mobility.
Flexibility isn’t about using physical force to lengthen muscles, it’s about communication; reassuring our nervous system that a particular range of motion is safe to move into.
Functional: To be practical and useful, rather than attractive.
That is the definition of the word Functional, so then why are so many of the functional exercises we see popularized currently so useless. Most functional training fails to replicate anything you would actually do in your everyday life, and that’s what I’m going to look at in this video
When I was 18, I had a friend who was a lot older than me and when I visited her the only furniture in the house was a rocking chair (reserved for her partner) and a futon mattress that was used as her sofa. It never occurred to me to ask her why she’d chosen this living arrangement; I guess I chalked it up to her being ‘alternative’. Fast-forward a good many years later and here I am, in my own furniture-less abode.
Concentrating for long periods of time in a meeting room is hard going; how many of you have felt drowsy and unable to pay attention as the time goes on, reaching for another snack or cup of coffee to keep awake?
When you leave the room you take a few deep breaths, or go and stand outside and feel refreshed, like you’ve woken up.
There’s a sense that offices are benign places, that nothing bad happens in them, yet this veneer of respectability hides another truth.
Stand still. Absolutely still. Oh wait, you can’t.
Pressure mapping has confirmed that we are never 100% still when we’re standing up; there’s a wobble here, a wobble there, constantly readjusting minutely and imperceptibly. Our centre of mass moves one way and then our soft tissues correct it by bringing us back towards the midline so we don’t fall over and can concentrate on other things during the day.
The book was ‘On The Road’, originally published in 1957 and written by Jack Kerouac. It’s become a classic of American literary counterculture and spawned the notion of ‘going away to find yourself’, an idea enthusiastically adopted by hippies which now finds itself clinging on for dear life under the guise of a ‘gap year’.
Whenever we travel for work we add-on a day or two to take in the sights and see a little bit of the world. We were working with a family in Lancaster, so checked the map and saw a huge forest close by and decided to detour back through it on our way home.
The Forest of Bowland is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty according to Google. Here is our experience of it.
I discovered the artist Dylan Louis Monroe and his Deep State Mapping projects earlier this year and have been eagerly awaiting the release of his free pdf ‘Healing Web’ which has finally been released today. His ‘Q-Web’ diagram spread virally across the dark web in 2018, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It was published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the exhibit ‘Everything is Connected’ in September 2018.
It’s all too common to see people proudly filming their torn, bloody calluses and posting them on Instagram as a badge of honour, ‘Hey, look how hard I’ve been working! Now I’ll be out of action for a week but I’m really hardcore. I chose not to nurture my calluses as that wouldn’t make such a great IG post!’. I’m assuming you’re not one of those people, as it’s unlikely you’d be reading this article.
I consider Aldi a barometer of the times. Last week I was perusing the mythical middle aisle and came across organic, Japanese matcha powder. I’ve been in the health and wellness world for coming up to 20 years and remember a time when it was a struggle to find many ‘superfoods’ in health foods shops, let alone a small supermaket. Then you see it on a Starbucks menu and know it’s reached the big time.
If the axiom ‘how you do anything is how you do everything’ is true, then it isn’t a surprise to note how modernity’s love of reductionism has its fingerprints all over the movement world.
All too often I see people training in a compartmentalised way, working parts of their body in one plane of motion, seemingly forgetting that movement takes place in glorious 3-D.
For most of our time here as a species we’ve been mooching around barefoot as our feet are superbly engineered to deal with rough and uneven terrain. The barefoot movement of the last decade has sought to unshackle our feet from the casts of shoes, supported by the resurgence of interest in all things wild and natural.
A reductionist approach to health is symptomatic of an old paradigm, one that is being undermined more and more by research showing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Health isn’t just the absence of disease or infirmity, but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being - defined as such by the World Health Organisation.
As time moves on and more research is done on the subject it becomes increasingly clear that sitting at a desk all day isn't good for us, in either body or mind. The modern office based lifestyle is very different from the lifestyle of our prehistoric hunter gatherer ancestors, and yet our bodies aren't all that different at all, and this is the crux of the problem, our bodies just aren't equipped to deal with long periods of being still, if we were, we would be a tree, perfectly designed to sit in one place of years upon years.
We spend a large chunk of our lives lugging around inherited beliefs and assumptions without ever stopping to take stock of whether we believe them or if they serve us; we’re the product of our environment, the caregivers who shaped us, instilled their values into us. Now we’re all grown up, we reflect it back out into the world and these stories we tell ourselves shape our internal model of reality.
Here at Movementum, we’re wishing you a very happy Christmas and New Year!
Enjoy a few alternative Christmas songs we’ve selected; the perfect accompaniment to a mulled wine and mince pie.
Who among you has sworn off coffee because it doesn’t fit into your clean living regime?
Coffee is one of the first things to be sacrificed on the altar of health and giving it up is a sign you’ve committed to the task of upgrading yourself.
For a lot of people, this marks their off-season of outdoor training, either retreating to the indoor gym or the sanctuary of the sofa. Wind, rain, cold and frost can be seen as signals to bed-in and hibernate because, as humans, we are naturally drawn to comfort and seek it every chance we get.
If we are more stable with a wide base of support, then it follows we are less stable when it is narrow; imagine how you would feel if your own contact with the ground was the size of an ice skate. No doubt with an ice skate sized base of support, your postural setup would be sub-optimal and this adaptation echoes all the way up the body because the foot isn’t languishing alone in the wilderness; it’s connected to everything.
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We decided to create a journal where we’ll share our blogs and videos about the concepts around natural movement and lifestyle, the AiM philosophy around pain & injury as well as some behind the scenes of us when we’re performing and choreographing.
MovNat is a physical education & fitness system based on the full range of natural human movement abilities. These include the locomotive skills of walking, running, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing & swimming. In addition we practice the manipulative skills of lifting, carrying, throwing & catching. How we move is how we train.
To develop physical courage first we need to start with the mind; there are so many obstacles to overcome and many of them are self-created. I think of it sometimes as a form of psychological warfare I engage myself with. Fear is the root of them all and they manifest in so many forms - fear of injury, fear of people watching, fear of judgement, fear of failure.
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In practice Parkour focuses on developing the fundamental attributes required for such movement, which include functional strength and fitness, balance, spatial awareness, agility, coordination, precision, control and creative vision.