Entropy Academy: READING ALOUD #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of easy homeschooling tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!).  These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. You can homeschool too!

Reading Aloud

One cupboard in the kitchen was devoted to puzzles, current read-alouds, and building toys. A jigsaw puzzle would often fill that difficult “arsenic hour” before dinner, while building spatial discrimination and fine motor skills. Building toys of all descriptions were a regular hazard in negotiating safe passage across the floor. As tempting as it was to confine the mess to a computer screen and purchase virtual Lego, I’m glad I didn’t. Manually manipulating real objects in three dimensions plays a vital role in brain development, and besides, it’s a lot more satisfying to show off colorful 3-D creations to an admiring audience when they can be tripped over.

This cupboard was raided at reading-aloud time, which usually happened twice a day and formed the backbone of the children’s education. I tended to gear the books to the eldest, and the younger ones were free to sit in. It was amazing to me how much they understood, even in difficult books. Rather against my better judgment, I found myself reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations when Sheila was only two, and I wondered if the book meant anything to her at all. Right on cue, she removed her nose from her drawing to ask why Pip’s sister was so unkind to him. Apparently she was following the action quite well. Given a steady diet of difficult books, she would undoubtedly have lost interest—but one thrown into the mix here and there seemed to whet her appetite for more. 

The price of finding good books to read aloud was eternal vigilance. Notebook in hand, I scoured books such as Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook, listing unfamiliar authors that looked promising and hoping their output was not marred by the unevenness that seems to plague some writers.

Reading a variety of reviews helped. I tried to select a variety of books, not just fiction. I regret now not having read more biographies—for some inexplicable reason I thought they would be boring. How wrong I was! It is both fascinating and inspiring to read about the hardships and obstacles most great people have had to overcome. We tend to think that life should be easy, and strive to make it so for our children, but the truth is that most famous people have had to struggle, often against overwhelming odds, to become who they are.

I am reminded of a story about a butterfly enthusiast who witnessed a very rare butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis. Only the tip of one wing remained trapped. Seeking to help, the man took a small pair of scissors and carefully snipped the chrysalis to free the wing. The butterfly spread its wings in the sun to dry. To his horror, the man saw that the part of the wing he had freed remained crumpled; it never became strong enough to fly. Apparently, struggle was necessary for the creature to be properly formed. The same seems to be true of humans. I’m not saying we should deprive our children or deliberately cause them hardships—no doubt life will provide them plenty—but by all means read to them about those who have faced difficulties and disappointments and overcome them. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

It seems I was not alone in my suspicion of biographies: when Lorna selected a volume on the life and times of Franz Josef Haydn, she was thrilled to discover she was the first person to check it out in sixty years! The discovery gave her interest in music of the Classical era a considerable boost. I never minded my children being busy while I read to them: listening to books is a predominantly left brain activity, so keeping the right brain occupied actually helps the child concentrate on what she is hearing. She might color, do a puzzle, or build quietly, my only rule being that the noise of her rummaging through the box of Lincoln Logs must not drown out my voice. If she preferred, she could simply daydream—there would be no comprehension test. Indeed, none was necessary: I found each morning that when I reviewed the previous day’s reading before embarking on the next chapter, the children were invariably the ones helping me recall the action, not vice versa.

At some point in their development, all the children—boys included—enjoyed embroidery. I picked up Christmas ornament kits for next to nothing in July, and by late November we had several gems to add to the tree. Knitting too was highly popular. In liking to knit, Evan takes after the English grandfather he never knew, who used to relax by knitting fantastically intricate baby clothes whenever a close friend of the family gave birth. We probably looked like a scene from Little House on the Prairie, knitting and stitching while Mother read, but those were some of our happiest homeschooling times—and although Robin didn’t play the violin like Pa, at least he wasn’t moved to substitute the bagpipes.

I wondered if my tolerance for extraneous activity was hampering the children’s concentration. Seeing Lorna intent on her jigsaw puzzle, seemingly oblivious to the world around her, I asked her if she was able to follow the story. She looked up, surprise written all over her face. “Well of course,” she replied. “Why wouldn’t I?” To her, it was incomprehensible that the puzzle might be considered a distraction. 

As the children grew older, their listening activities included tracing maps of the countries we were reading about, as well as coloring photocopied pages from historically appropriate Dover and Bellerophon coloring books. Tracing maps was the mainstay of their training in geography, apart from the hours spent at the kitchen table admiring the world map.

Over the years, we made salt-and-flour maps of the US, Israel, and Egypt, and once we fashioned the Far East out of mashed potato. I’m not particularly proud of this shortfall in geography education, but it worked for us, and the children’s knowledge of the countries of the world is better than many. At least they’ve never asked if you need a passport for New Mexico, or wondered if you can drive to Hawaii, as did one applicant for the position of receptionist in Robin’s office. And she was a college graduate!

To keep track of the books we read, I drew a rudimentary bookcase on a large piece of poster board, stuck it on the wall, and cut a generous supply of book spines of various heights and thicknesses from construction paper. Every time we finished a book, one of us wrote the title and author on a spine and stuck it on the bookcase. We all enjoyed looking over the books we had read—it gave us quite a sense of accomplishment.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance and available here! Looking for more tips? See “Visual Materials,” “Science in the Kitchen,” and “Bath Time.” An excellent read-aloud option is Doniga Markegard’s young adult memoir Wolf Girl, which can be ordered here.


Entropy Academy: SCIENCE IN THE KITCHEN #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of easy homeschooling tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!).  These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. You can homeschool too!

Science in the Kitchen

All the growing of plants and sprouting of seeds that went on both in and out of the kitchen taught the children worlds about science, as did cooking. Especially bread. I never lacked for an enthusiastic helper when it was time to bake, and each child in turn learned that yeast needs three things to thrive: water, food, and warmth. What do people need to thrive? Water, food, warmth—and love. Studies in Russian orphanages found that even when babies were kept warm and adequately fed, they failed to thrive in the absence of a loving touch. Maybe a little TLC wouldn’t hurt the “yeasties” either: water just the right temperature, a pinch of sugar for food, and being left to rest undisturbed in a warm place (sounded pretty idyllic to me). We chose strong bread flour for its high gluten content, and noticed how stretchy the dough became as our vigorous kneading strengthened the gluten. One year, I ran out of strong flour to bake my traditional huge recipe of Christmas bread. A special trip to the store seemed far too much like hard work, so I made do with what happened to be on hand: low-gluten all-purpose flour. Never again! Even after the dough was kneaded the regulation 150 times, and a half-dozen stiffly beaten egg whites folded in, the yeasties were evidently on strike. The loaves were as sorry a sight coming out of the oven as they had been going in.

The only means of transporting live yeast across the continent during the Westward Expansion was sourdough. As part of a history unit, Fiona and I mixed together a cup of flour, one of water, and a quarter teaspoon of yeast, leaving it to sour for several days, loosely covered, on a counter. A second batch was made without commercial yeast, and left uncovered to be colonized by naturally occurring, “wild” yeast. The image of us lassoing wild yeast, rounding it up, and herding it into our bowl of starter had Fiona and me in stitches.

We baked loaves from both starters, after taking out enough dough to start up the next batch of bread, five days down the trail. I wondered if our family’s appetite for bread could possibly keep pace with two sourdough starters, but the wild yeast batch soon turned rancid, and was summarily discarded.

Quick breads are leavened not by yeast, but by baking powder. This combination of an alkali (usually baking soda) and acid (typically cream of tartar) gives off carbon dioxide when mixed with a liquid. The gas bubbles introduce air into the bread just as the yeast bubbles do, the main difference being that yeast takes some time to work, while baking powder works instantly. “Double-acting” baking powder keeps working longer, but even so, without the strengthened gluten of yeast bread, quick breads are crumbly when cut. To demonstrate how acid and alkali combine in a chemical reaction, I had the children make three small piles of baking soda. To the first we added water, which is neutral. No bubbles. To the second, we added water and a solid acid such as cream of tartar, and noted the resulting fizz. In the third pile, the addition of an acidic liquid—buttermilk or lemon juice—caused an equal exuberance of bubbles. We deduced that if a recipe for biscuits contains buttermilk, some of the acidic baking powder needs to be replaced by alkaline baking soda. We also realized that if, in the course of making buttermilk pancakes, we found we were out of buttermilk, we could “sour” the milk with a little vinegar or lemon juice.

A child who has helped cook chicken at 350°F and at 500°F will not be surprised to learn that heat accelerates rate of change, nor will one who has watched potatoes cook at a hard boil versus a gentle simmer. Those same potatoes can demonstrate osmosis: we left a potato in a bowl of water tinted with food coloring for a few hours, then cut the potato in half to see how the color had been absorbed.

While we had the food coloring out, I put a stick of celery in a jar of red-tinted water. Once the color had tinged the leaves, Evan carefully cut across the stalk and found that the vesicles carrying water up the plant were dyed bright red. One Fourth of July we made a white carnation patriotic by splitting its stem three ways and putting each end in a jar of red, blue, or clear water. Capillary action never looked prettier.

On Tuesdays, we enjoyed a snack that reinforced our knowledge of the Earth’s structure: Earth Balls. A chocolate chip formed the core, and this was surrounded by peanut butter play dough representing the mantle. (To make the play dough we smooshed together one cup of peanut butter, half a cup of dry milk powder, and honey to taste—about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.) Each ball was then rolled in finely crushed graham cracker crumbs, which approximated the Earth’s crust. Looking at a cross section diagram of the Earth, we realized that our “crust” was about one hundred times too thick, but it tasted good, and we never forgot the sequence: core—mantle—crust.

The center of the Earth is both liquid and solid: liquid, because the heat is so extreme that it melts even the hardest rock; and solid, because the pressure is so colossal that matter is super-compressed. How can something be at the same time liquid and solid? We never tired of answering that question with cornstarch and water. Made into a paste that could be thick or runny according to the whim of the moment, the cornstarch feels solid when tapped with a finger; but let that finger rest on the surface awhile, and it sinks into a pure liquid. All five fingers together can pull up an angular chunk, but once that chunk is airborne it will slip between the fingers and pour back into the bowl in a steady, liquid stream.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance and available here! Looking for more tips? See “Bath Time,” “Visual Materials,” and “Reading Aloud!”


Entropy Academy: BATH TIME #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of low-stress schooling-at-home tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!). These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. 

Bath Time

Turning our bathroom into an Automatic Learning Center was as easy as—well, turning on a faucet. I capitalized on the fact that I had, as it were, a captive audience (show me the person who doesn’t spend any time in the loo and I’ll say you have a freak of nature). Up on the walls went my favorite calendars: one invited the children to tackle a daily math problem, with a small financial incentive to be the first with the correct answer, while in a different bathroom, guests were regaled with natural disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning storms. It became quite a talking point.

The pile of books that lay within striking range of the seating area included random books of jokes, puns and oddities, crosswords, anagrams, the always inspirational Book of Heroic Failures: The Official Handbook of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain (currently available, I am thankful to say, through Amazon), and Brush Up Your Shakespeare! by Michael Macrone. The latter offers “an infectious tour through the most famous and quotable words and phrases from the Bard.” Through its pages we became familiar with several plays, as well as phrases that are in (semi-) popular use today, from the well-known “If music be the food of love, play on” (Twelfth Night) to the ever-handy, “Hoist with his own petard” (Hamlet).

But it was in the bathtub itself that things became truly exciting. A set of graduated stacking beakers encouraged the children to discover that a smaller receptacle could never hold as much as a bigger one, no matter how often they tried. Plastic measuring cups informed them that a half-cup measure would always hold two quarter cups. We held air under water using a clear plastic disposable cup, tilted the cup slightly, and laughed at the noise of the bubbles surfacing. Which is heavier, water or air? That’s right, water. Is it always? Yes. What would happen if it weren’t? Where would the ocean go? The rivers? What would happen when we turned on the tap and put a glass underneath to catch the water? 

Bath time was a good time to introduce the children to the three states of water: they’re sitting in the liquid form, they can see the steam (gas), and the freezer usually had some (solid) ice cubes handy. We’d guess which would melt more quickly, an ice cube in the tub or one in a pitcher of cold water. How about if we have another ice cube in a second jug and stir the water? Does the ice cube melt any quicker, or do we just get cold fingers? We noticed that ice always floats, and thought about how disastrous it would be to aquatic life if it sank instead.

Clear plastic tubing was a great discovery, and considerably increased our arsenal of bubble-blowing techniques. We inverted a plastic cup underwater, so it was full of water, then used the plastic tubing to blow the water out, replacing it with air. Now we have air under water; does that mean it has stopped being lighter than water? What happens if we tip the glass just a tiny bit? A tiny bubble comes out! What happens if we tip a glass a big bit? A big bubble comes out!

 A sieve in the bathtub steadfastly refused to hold water. What happens if we line it with a dry washcloth and slowly add 1/4 cup of water? Where does the water go? Into the washcloth! How much water can one washcloth absorb? Let’s find out. Suppose we line the sieve with a plastic bag: how much water goes through? None! It is all still in the sieve; plastic is impermeable to water. Even the tiny water molecules cannot penetrate the plastic. 

Possibilities for educating in the tub are numerous, and as enjoyable as they are manifold. Books with titles like Science in the Tub gave me a much fuller idea of the scientific potential of the evening bath, and these days, Googling “science in the bathtub” reveals a wealth of tricks to try. It’s a softcore way of teaching some hardcore science.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance. Paperback available from Chelsea Green and e-book via Amazon! Looking for more tips? See “Visual Materials,” Science in the Kitchen,” and “Reading Aloud!”


Entropy Academy: VISUAL MATERIALS #homeschool

Are you suddenly homeschooling? Maybe you’ve made the choice to do it long-term. We’re here to make sure it’s a joyful and fun experience—it doesn’t have to be daunting and overwhelming. We’ve created a four-part series of low-stress schooling-at-home tips and inspiration for anyone starting out (and for veterans too!). These tips are from Entropy Academy, a homeschooling parent’s memoir full of guidance and inspiration for anyone educating their kids outside of the institution of public education, temporarily or otherwise. In this memoir, Alison Bernhoft recounts how she discovered that she could train her messy home to do half her teaching, while much of the other half unfolded “entropy style”—in the natural process of everyday life. 

Visual Materials

I began with the kitchen, which was where we spent most of our time, and purchased two large maps: the world map went on the kitchen table, the US map on the wall. I was scandalized to see that the world map cut Asia in half so that America would be in the middle of the map. Fuming quietly (well all right, fuming noisily, as my children will tell you), I cut the map down the International Date Line and stuck Asia back together with Scotch tape. I put it on the table and covered the whole thing with clear contact paper. It wasn’t heatproof, but it lasted a while—somewhere between two and ten years, depending on my tolerance for singed and melted bits on the kitchen table. Over the years we tried out different maps; our favorite was one that showed all the flags of the world at the bottom. Periodically we would turn the table around so everyone got to admire the flags; it amazed me how many the children knew. And that map didn’t cut Asia in half! 

The map was there, undeniably, and the children saw it every day. But there is a world (literally) of difference between seeing and noticing, and I was thrilled to find a game that had them examining the map most carefully: one person takes the first two letters of a country and the last two letters of a neighboring country, makes a four-letter word, and challenges the family to name the countries. For instance, SWeden and NorwAY make SWAY, while BRAY is a “two-fer,” Brazil and either Paraguay or Uruguay. To my knowledge, the word BURE exists solely to draw attention to Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, two small countries of West Africa that might otherwise be eclipsed by their larger neighbors, Mali and Niger.

The map of the States on the wall was primarily for reference, but Iain used it to learn his states by pinging rubber bands at them from across the room: “This one’s for Tennessee…watch out, New Mexico, here I come!” 

As the children grew older, and particularly when they started driving, road maps jockeyed for position on the wall: Washington State, Everett, and the greater Seattle area were all readily available for trip planning or simply browsing. These maps helped us develop a strong sense of “north,” which a reliance on today’s GPS technology does little to cultivate.

Excerpted from Entropy Academy by Alison Bernhoft, full of easy and comforting homeschooling guidance. Paperback available from Chelsea Green and e-book via Amazon! Looking for more tips? See “Bath Time,”Science in the Kitchen,” and “Reading Aloud!”


Our books are now distributed by Chelsea Green!

Starting this month, Propriometrics Press titles will be distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing! We are very excited to work together with Chelsea Green, who shares our commitment to engaging and educational books that promote healthy, sustainable, and nature-focused living.

“We are thrilled to be working with Propriometrics Press and representing their titles,” says Michael Weaver, Trade and Export Sales Manager for Chelsea Green Publishing. “Movement does matter—both for human health and for connecting with the natural world—and Katy Bowman’s books, and Propriometrics’ entire catalog, are a timely and valuable addition to our list. They’ve already taught me personally to see movement in a new way, and I’m excited to share that perspective with as many readers as possible!”
What does this mean for you? All of our titles are still available through all of the usual channels: your local bookstore, Amazon, and wherever you buy our books! You can also find all the Propriometrics Press titles on the Chelsea Green website! Visit it to learn more, and check out their fantastic catalog.

PP’s Holiday Gift Guide 2019

If you’re rushing around this holiday season, trying to find gifts for everyone on your list, we’d like to help you out a bit! There’s no better gift than a book, and at Propriometrics Press we have health, fitness, and nature-focused books that will be a hit with all!

Looking for a gift for…

The new mom? Katy Bowman’s Diastasis Recti focuses on an issue that is common post-pregnancy: diastasis recti. This book will help strengthen your core and explain the underlying habits that are causing abdo

The eco-lover? The collection of essays in Movement Matters, also by Katy Bowman, will pique any eco-lover’s interest as it delves into connections between the body, nature, and your greater community.

The Goldener? Dynamic Aging is a must-have book for those 50+ who are looking to either regain or maintain their mobility and agility throughout their Golden Years.

The goal-setter? Roland and Galina Denzel’s Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well is an actionable guide with 275 “take-action-now” tips and a checklist at the end of every chapter that makes it easy for someone to stick to their New Years resolution to become healthier in 2020.

The wilderness lover? Doniga Markegard’s lyrical memoir Dawn Again will take you along on her journey through the Pacific Northwest and beyond—tracking wolves, herding cattle, and becoming connected to the natural world around her.

The exerciser? Move Your DNA is one of Katy Bowman’s most well-loved books, as it provides corrective exercises, habit modifications, and even simple lifestyle changes that will all help you to become more movement-rich in your day-to-day life.

The scientist? Though you certainly don’t need to be a scientist to read, understand, and enjoy Katy Bowman’s Alignment Matters, her essays on the biomechanics of movement, optical alignment, and “troubleshooting the human machine” will definitely be appreciated by someone with a love of learning about the science of the human body.

The office worker? Is there someone on your list who is worried their 8+ hours a day sitting in front of a computer is wrecking their health and bodies? Get them Katy Bowman’s Don’t Just Sit There, which will show them how they can keep moving throughout the day, even when at the office.


Happy Three Year Anniversary, EAT WELL, MOVE WELL, LIVE WELL! Get a free course from its authors!

This October, the award-winning book Eat Well Move Well Live Well will celebrate three years since its debut! Here’s a message from its authors, Galina and Roland Denzel, who would like to offer you a free online training course to celebrate its anniversary!

We wrote Eat Well Move Well Live Well to give each person whose life it touches a way to do meaningful self-care and heal their body through natural movement, food, and lifestyle. It was our way to say, Here, be your own health coach—you can do this

Whether you already own the book or want to take advantage of our three year anniversary offer, we have created a bonus course that will give you the fundamental skills to feel light, energized, focused, and productive right away!

For anyone who either already owns our book or purchases it in September and October of 2019, we are gifting access to the online Better in a Week course (value $99) which features main skills and habits from the book. Let us lead you through your own health transformation week by week for four weeks. 

All you have to do is either:

1) Send us a picture of you with our book and your email address with which to gain access to the course to Roland@eatmovelive52.com.

2) Send us a copy of your purchase receipt from an online or physical bookstore and your email address with which to gain access to the course to Roland@eatmovelive52.com.

More about the Better in a Week Online Course: Eat Well Move Well Live Well – The First Four Weeks

Despite what you may have heard, the hardest step to take toward good health isn’t always the first. For most people, the hardest step is the one you still need to take when you’re tired, hungry, sad, lonely, stressed, sore, or overworked.

This is a four week, step-by-step, guided course to your real-life health transformation.

This course features four foundational lessons from the book, Eat Well Move Well Live Well, along with engaging videos, course notes, and bonus materials.

We will coach you through common health challenges as you master your new tools and strategies, gain confidence, and enjoy lasting benefits, such as more energy, increased productivity, a lighter and stronger body, and a more positive outlook on life. You will be empowered to overcome everyday obstacles, such as lacking time to prepare food, spending too much time sitting or working at a desk, or feeling like you just can’t live without sugar.

The course is more than just the first four lessons; you’ll learn the skills needed to build any new habits and have them stick with you for life. You’ll also join the Better in Week group—an online community of like-minded people waiting to support you and cheer you on.

After completing this course you will have all the skills you need to continue on your journey of self-discovery and well-being, not only with these first four lessons, but any lesson in the book, plus any other healthy habit you desire in life.

Thanks for supporting us, and we hope you continue to eat well, move well, and live well!

Galina & Roland Denzel


Doniga Markegard’s Fall/Winter 2019 Schedule

Doniga Markegard—regenerative rancher, conservationist, and author of the memoir Dawn Again, has lots of events and appearances planned for the second half of 2019. Join her (and sometimes Katy Bowman, as well!) for these exciting events concerning her book, sustainable farming, food, and movement.

August 10–16, Montana. Doniga will be a guest instructor at a few Women in Ranching Gatherings at various ranches in Montana. These are invite-only events.

August 28, 6:00–8:45 pm, Redwood City, CA. Join Doniga and the San Mateo Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation for a potluck, discussion, and signing of Dawn Again at the Redwood City Library.

September 22, 9:00 am–1:30 pm, Ojai, CA. Doniga and Katy Bowman will do a joint dynamic lecture on “Wilderness Moves: Food and Farming Movements” at Poco Farms. The $100 ticket price includes lunch.

September 22, 5:45–7:30 pm, Ventura, CA. Both Doniga and Katy will give a lecture on “Movement Matters: The Missing Piece from our Sustainability Model” at Patagonia’s flagship store. RSVP here: https://movementmattersthemissingpiece.splashthat.com/

October 3, The Netherlands. Doniga will be a speaker at the Food Inspiration Trendsummit 2019 in The Netherlands for the “Shaping the Future of Food” panel.

October 21, 8:00 am–3:00 pm, Occidental, CA. Doniga will be a speaker at the Bioneers Post-Conference Workshop “Water and Agriculture: Strategies to Create Resilience and Avert a Crisis” at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.

November 29–December 1, Scotts Valley, CA. Join Doniga and co-instructor Laura Fraser for a writing retreat on “Tracking and Writing the Wild” at 1440 Multiversity.


Where are the Denzels?

You might have heard that Roland & Galina Denzel, co-authors of Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well, have recently moved from California to a new home in Colorado. Want to know more about what they’ve been up to? Hear it from Galina herself below.

authors Galina & Roland Denzel in front of a "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign

We’ve been writing together for 11 years and living together as a family for eight. During that time, I had a full-time job as a movement teacher and trauma healing specialist, and Roland worked as a print analyst for a large corporation, with evenings and weekends dedicated to writing and health coaching. We had very full and demanding lives, and we tried to maximize our self-care in the little time we had.

During these eight years together, we took greater and greater strides towards modifying our environment—we were always aware that a real food diet and exercise were not enough to offset the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, a noise-polluted environment, and a nature- and community-deficient life. So we moved from an apartment that had little light and plant growing space, where we literally grew our greens with a grow light, to a larger space with more light and room to teach cooking classes. Then we moved to a townhome with more growing space for veggies and edible flowers and a gathering space for friends that was closer to my studio so I could walk instead of bike, and much closer to wilderness trails than before. We were aware of how changing our living space created more opportunities for movement, for nature, for better food, for connection. We even had a quieter space to record our podcast! Yet, we felt that long workdays indoors, and some of our new dreams—relationship, creative and professional—were asking for yet another change in environment.

In May, we moved from California to Colorado. For me, it was a love at first sight experience, since I grew up next to mountains and have always felt so at home around peaks, trees, and snow-surrounded valleys. Roland, a California native, is still learning that weather is fun—and having four seasons in one day is totally a Colorado experience. Also, hail hurts!!

We’ve been blessed with wonderful friends and community here, as so many of our Nutritious Movement colleagues and friends live close by. We’ve also discovered that three of families we know and love are moving here later this year, independent of each other, and our hearts are so full!

Roland stands in a field with the Rockies as a backdrop.

Of course, not owning my movement studio and working more online with clients has created a whole new flow of the day—we are being conscious of more screen time, and truly dedicated to bookending our days outside in natural light. We’ve also found that gardening and badminton make incredible movement breaks outside! We were lucky to find a neighborhood with established old trees and native plant gardens, so each walk is truly a healing balm for the eyes. We have bunnies, squirrels, and even foxes here in Fox Hill, Longmont. The Rockies are just a short drive away, and there are plenty of people to hike with!

We’re finding that more outdoor time in natural light, more time to be with friends, and a community that supports care for the environment are truly nourishing us. Even something as simple as being able to compost 90% of our trash and dedicating ourselves to be as single-use and plastic-free as possible is making a huge difference in our mood and mental health. People are asking if we miss the ocean—who wouldn’t miss the ocean? Or the friends we have in California?! You have to grow your heart to hold everything you love and everything you are stepping into! We have many sweet memories of it and we know we will visit for long walks and swims soon!

Roland looks out over water.

What are we working on now that we are not in our 10-12 hour day full-time jobs? I am working on bringing new movement courses and workshops, as well as coaching offers, to our online school on eatmovelive52.com, and have been growing a beautiful and compassionate curriculum around emotional eating and conscious eating. In fact, I just finished a new free book called Peace with Self Peace with Food, which will be available for free for a short while, as readers become familiar with a nervous system approach to healing from the pain of emotional eating.

Roland took the big plunge out of the corporate world last year, and if you’ve ever done anything like that you know it’s scary as hell. Yet, he’s been consistent and passionate about helping others and he’s growing a wonderful community of people who are interested in losing weight in a kind and compassionate way through a real food lifestyle. He has a new program coming up, called Weight Loss Now. He’s also leading several Breakthrough coaching groups for people who are serious about making a change in their health trajectory. He’s also working actively on his urban fantasy novel and is helping out writers in his Indestructible author community live healthy and happy lives as they write long hours each day to make their book ideas reality!

Roland & Galina sit outside and eat with friends.

Life has been good to us. We’ve said yes to our vision for a new season of life, and we are so blessed to be supported by beautiful nature, a home that can hold our work and life, and be a base for local learning and retreats, and a community of people who need nature and love it as much as we do. Many of you know that we chose Colorado because I want to go back to school here, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it next time.

For now, from us, the Denzels, happy reading and we hope that the tools, tips, and life we share inspire you to grow your dreams and make them happen wherever you are.


Doniga Markegard with Patagonia

Do you know that Doniga Markegard, author of Dawn Again, was featured in a promotion with Patagonia recently? If you missed it, watch it below now!

Doniga is a regenerative farmer who provides grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, lamb, pork and chicken to their community in Half Moon Bay, California from her and her husband’s ranch, Markegard Family Grass-Fed. Their practices of regenerative farming, holistic planned grazing, and watershed stewardship helps to make their farm as environmentally-friendly as possible! Go, Doniga!