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.
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.
Over-training in its broadest sense is the imbalance between training and recovery; if sufficient rest is not included in a training program then regeneration cannot occur and performance plateaus. The most common symptom is fatigue as well as becoming moody, depressed, losing enthusiasm for training and disrupted sleep patterns.
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.
How can we know what we are capable of achieving if we never move in to the unknown? Our limits are only stretched once we step outside into what is known as the edge. I found it curious that this place is a psychological one as well as a physical one.
Handstands have taught me that to achieve anything requires patience, persistence and determination. Even once upside down, to find that point of balance isn't finding the static point but mastering dynamic equilibrium.
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.
Greater specialisation is necessary to succeed professionally and we pay the price by becoming adapted to narrow and frequent use patterns.
Often people either assume natural movement training is either too easy or too difficult for them; the reality is it's for everyone, no matter if your goal is to climb a tree with your kids or compete in the CrossFit Games; you can start at any age, ability, or fitness level.
Hope you enjoy this showreel I made from my time in Leicester. We've got a Gimbal and plan on getting a drone and a mirrorless camera so the quality is going to go up significantly!