Happy birthday, Movement Matters!

It’s not often we mark the anniversary of the publication dates of our books, but Movement Matters stands out for me. It feels like more than a book. It’s trite, I guess, to say it’s not just a book, it’s a way of life…but then, it kind of is a way of life, isn’t it?

From the launch party last fall (entirely unlike any book launch party I’ve ever been to—and as a writer/editor/journalist/publishing person, I’ve been to lots) at which humans and cows hung out together on a beautiful, holistically managed ranch, pitching it to help prepare locally grown and foraged foods and sharing a meal around long tables in a field as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, to the feedback we’ve heard from readers about the changes they’ve made to render their lives a little less convenient and a little more movement-rich, Movement Matters is the kind of book that easily invites you to take what’s between its covers out for a spin in the world. And that spin has a way of changing the world. Again, it feels like we are creeping dangerously close to the kind of breezy inspirational talk you might find on a motivational poster featuring a couple of unlikely animals cuddled up together, say, a fox and a duck. But really, in order for the world to change, all that has to change is one person. Or the way one person approaches one aspect of their life. Like using a hand-grinder to grind coffee beans. Or doing the back to school shopping at a second hand store. Or walking to the post office instead of driving. Game changers, all three. And absolutely achievable by just about anyone—if not those specific acts, then others just like them.

So, yeah, here I am wishing a book Happy Birthday. If you haven’t had a chance to acquaint yourself with Movement Matters, there is no time like the present. It’s available in three formats—paperback, ebook, and audiobook. And Katy Bowman and I have had a number of chats about it on the Katy Says podcast series called Between the Lines, in which we discussed in detail all the books she’s written, so if you learn better by listening to a couple of nerds talk about books, you should check them out. You can get a look at the launch party here—it’s the next best thing to being there! And we’d love to hear what you think of the book—which, by the way, is a gold medal winner of Best Essays of the Year at the Foreword Indies, how could I have neglected to mention that till now! How have you changed the world in the last year? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know!


By the Book: Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well

It’s October, and here on the eastern edge of the continent, that means changing leaves, frosty mornings, and earlier nights. The urge to cocoon is strong—but the season also offers amazing opportunities to be outside, a literal farmers’ market’s-worth of fresh, amazing produce, a deep desire to batch-cook soups and sauces, and, if we’re being honest, a to-do list as long as my arm.

We’re readying new books for publication this fall, getting our spring list in order, and dreaming of future projects to share with you, too. It can make for long days in the Propriometrics Press office—and it’s work that we love, so it’s easy to lose track of everything else while our noses are to the grindstone.

Which is why I’ve been making a few minutes every day to really think about the wisdom contained in one of the books we’re bringing out this fall. We published Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well on October 1, and authors Galina and Roland Denzel will hold a launch party for the book on October 15 in Orange County. We’re pretty excited about that. We worked hard on this book all year, and we’re pumped that it’s available now in stores and online. That part is all great. But one of the true perqs of this job is getting to dive deep into inspiring material every day. With Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well, it’s the four key chapters identified by the Denzels as the ones readers should start with: The Sunday Food Ritual, Tame Your Sugar Monster, Walk More Today, The Dynamic Office.

It’s fitting this book is published in October, a perfect time to fully explore what these lessons have to offer. That Sunday Food Ritual chapter is about finding the time—making the time—to commit to setting yourself up for healthy food success all week by spending an afternoon or evening doing some batch cooking. img_2701In the example the Denzels give, you make a simple slow cooker pork pot roast with vegetables, which gives you enough for Sunday night’s supper, and two more suppers later in the week. Just the words slow cooker pork pot roast make me want to hit the kitchen—and thinking about having three suppers done and dusted in one go fills me with glee. Chilly October nights seem like a perfect time to get into this habit.

And I’m ever mindful that the holidays are approaching, with all their sugary delights, so October also seems like a good time to find a way to tame my sugar monster. There’s an abundance of fresh fruit to be had—plums, peaches, apples, pears, there are even still strawberries in my farmers’ market most Saturdays, though I’m sure there can’t be many strawberry Saturdays left. img_2705I’ve been savoring that fresh fruit as it comes in, and doing my best to can and preserve as much as I am able for the long winter nights to come. And with the cooler temperatures here, both day and night, Galina’s advice to sip a sweet-tasting herbal tea like licorice or rooibos feels like exactly the right thing to do while I contemplate my relationship with sugar, and why I want to be in charge, rather than letting sugar run the show.

And then there is the glorious exhortation to Walk More Today. It is the constant entry on my to-do list. No matter how much I walk, I can always walk more. This morning I kept my regular weekly appointment with a couple other writers at the central branch of the public library, downtown. Then I walked part-way home with one of the writers, stopping in at our local bookstore on the way, and chatting about our work as we went. We split off in different directions and I loped along, drinking in the impossibly clear, impossibly blue October sky, the heartbreaking reds and yellows and oranges of autumn leaves, the feeling of the sunshine on my skin, the expressions on the faces of the people I passed as I walked, and the company of my own thoughts. img_3457I concentrated on my gait as best I could, and then I just let my attention wander. I thought about the project I’m writing, and about the work awaiting me in the Propriometrics Press office. I returned to my desk feeling refreshed and nourished by my time outside, spent walking.

Speaking of my desk! I loved Roland’s chapter on The Dynamic Office. When I had a full-time media job, I sat for years and years, until finally one day I rebelled against the sit-down culture and made my own stand-up desk. Then I stood for years and years. Then I quit that job, and came to work for Propriometrics and started doing my work sitting on the floor, or lying on the floor, or while walking to the store, or standing in the kitchen, or—well, you get the idea. I’d do my work wherever I could, in as many different positions as I could. But not everyone has that kind of flexibility (if you will). Maybe you have to sit at a desk, and if that’s the case, Roland offers ideas and advice to make your desk time more dynamic, and, importantly, to make your non-desk time more dynamic to counteract all that undynamic desk time! fullsizerenderHis advice to keep a log of your daily time spent sitting was also world-rocking. I thought I was pretty dynamic—but there are always more ways to move.

And on that note, it’s time for me to get up, stretch a little, maybe get a cup of licorice tea, and walk to the store to get some supplies for supper for tonight and beyond. Sometimes the Sunday Ritual is really the Wednesday ritual. But as the book says, it doesn’t matter when you do it, so long as you get it done!