Friday, 24 February 2017

Reframing What We Think Exercise Is

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Reframing what exercise is


When my doctor asks me if I regularly exercise, up until now, I've just said no. I don't spend hours in a dark, sweaty gym, pounding my feet on a treadmill. I don't even have a gym membership. I don't lift weights and I don't do pilates. I do yoga though, at home, usually to stretch out any aches and pains when I get them. And I do walk everywhere. But high intensity all the way, busting out my moves in a gym for an hour at the end of each day? 

Nope. 

The doctor usually dismisses my claim that walking must count (always delivered with an eager face), but it occurred to me that it all actually must count. 

For example. 

I walk an hour a day doing the school runs, split over half an hour, twice a day. I walk the dog, sometimes running alongside her with her (in short bursts), for another hour each day. We'll walk through the woods, where there are little mounds we can run up and little valleys we can run down. I probably walk up and down the stairs about 10 times or more in a day. I play with the dog, chasing her in the garden, trying to get her ball off her to throw it. Playing dance games on the Wii with the kids, lifting the bulging laundry basket a few times a week and bringing it downstairs. Whisking up some bicep action while I make home made mayonnaise. Hoovering, dusting and cleaning the bathroom. Dancing about in the kitchen to Queen while I cook dinner, waving spatulas and spoons about. 

It might not seem like it, but it all sounds like exercise to me. 

I prefer to forget the term exercise and use the word 'movement' instead. 

When you realise that exercise doesn't have to be done with a gym card you start to look at it differently. And it suits those of us who don't always have loads of energy, for whatever reason - whether because of chronic illness, lifestyle or generally feeling under the weather for a few days. Getting out and moving gently is a perfect start, and I think when you think like this, there really is no excuse not to get moving, in whatever way you can. Seeing movement as something anyone can do, really at pretty much any time, kind of takes the pressure off. Take the stairs in the shopping centre. Walk 20 minutes to the shops instead of driving for 5. I get it - the gym is really useful for building strength and endurance in certain areas of the body - but what if you're just starting out and want to get fit? Just get moving.

Look at Darryl, founder of Primal Play. He believes in movement. We're animals, after all, and we were born to do much more than run towards nowhere on a treadmill in a dark, musty gym, gazing up at a flat screen TV. He believes in the healing power of exercising outdoors, too. Take the kids to the park and have a go on the monkey bars. Climb the climbing frame. Run along with the dog. Pick up the skipping rope or the hula hoop the kids left out in the garden and have a go. You can move your body naturally, as it was intended, with minimal equipment and still get out of breath and get your heart pumping. And you'll have fun doing it, too. 

Darryl's course uses movement to help build strength and tone in just 30 days

Move like the animal you are, and find movement in every day. 

The way Darryl approaches fitness has honestly changed my whole outlook on exercise and movement. I think it's a great idea. 

Find out more about Darryl's Primal Play 30 Day Animal Moves Challenge here




Photo credit: Clarisse Meyer, Unsplash


How do you incorporate movement into your day? Share your tips with us so we can get some ideas, too! 



Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Buckwheat Libum Cheesecake (Ancient Roman Honey Buns)

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on them and make a purchase, I might receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission that goes back into helping me keep the blog going. Thank you so much for your support. 

Have you ever heard of Libum? 

I hadn't either. 

It's a type of bun, eaten in ancient Roman times at special occasions. And they're really easy to make. They're made using flour, soft cheese and and egg - and then they're soaked in honey. 

Like this. 



Drooling.

I first came across these little beauties in a copy of Amazing Magazine. My daughter loves it. It's a monthly magazine, with a special theme each month, and it's specially designed to support the National Curriculum so it helps her at school. Well, one month, it was Roman month. I love the Romans, because I love history. And so we both got stuck in making these Libum, so we could taste what the Romans tasted. It was all good. 

I decided to adapt the recipe a bit, and make a gluten free version using buckwheat flour. I have no idea if the Romans ever used buckwheat, but there's no reason why they wouldn't, I suppose. These are made with soft cheese though - I used ricotta. I've also used a little less honey. We found it was enough to drizzle a tablespoon of honey over at the end, as you eat, while the bun is still warm. It still soaks in. Oh, and it's flavoured with bay leaves, too, as if you needed another excuse to make them. 

Writing this up, I'm dribbling a bit at the memory of these so I'm off to make a batch now, with the kids. Laters! 



Buckwheat Libum Cheesecake (Ancient Roman Honey Buns)
adapted slightly from a recipe in Amazing Magazine
Makes 4
Ingredients
three quarters of a cup of buckwheat flour
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
4 heaped tablespoons runny honey
4 bay leaves

Method
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5/375ºF. Get out a baking tray and line it with greaseproof paper. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, ricotta cheese and the egg until it forms a soft dough. If you find the mixture too dry, add a trickle of cold water until you get a dough that's a bit like a soft bread dough - it will be soft and sticky but you can just about handle and shape it. 

Lay the bay leaves onto your baking tray and split the dough into four equal balls. Place each ball over the top of a bay leaf and press down slightly. Bake for 35 minutes. 

Once the buns are cooked, turn them over and peel off the bay leaves. The leaves will have left behind a beautiful fragrance in the bun as they cooked. 

Serve the buns warm, with honey on the side for drizzling. 

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