There is something about moving our bodies that brings us back to ourselves. And at the same time that movement helps us expand our view of ourselves and of the world. Most of us know how important it is to get out there and move, but sometimes it can be difficult to make that first step. On the Bumbleroot blog, our friend, Stephanie Burg, a former professional ballet dancer, shares her tips for making exercise a more consistent part of our lives. - Sara Afte
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There is something about moving our bodies that brings us back to ourselves. And at the same time that movement helps us expand our view of ourselves and of the world. Most of us know how important it is to get out there and move, but sometimes it can be difficult to make that first step.
On the Bumbleroot blog, our friend, Stephanie Burg, a former professional ballet dancer, shares her tips for making exercise a more consistent part of our lives.
After years of maintaining a rigid, intense physical activity routine in my career as a professional ballerina–hello, 700 ab exercises + 8-10 hours of dancing daily–I know a thing or two about body movement. Granted, while I was dancing, I tended to get a little extreme with how hard I pushed myself, but my career was my passion, my driving force in life.
Now, as a Board Certified Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, I often hear my clients say that incorporating exercise into their daily schedules is one of the most difficult areas on their wellness journey. Not only does it seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all they desire, but many of my clients note that, truth be told, they don’t always enjoy exercise very much because it feels like just another thing ‘to-do’.
As human beings our bodies are designed to move, yet we don’t have activity built into our days the way we used to. We no longer have to hunt and gather for our food and we have amazing technology to make our lives easier. But a lack of movement is scientifically linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety and lower self-confidence, not to mention weight gain and disease. Rationally, it makes perfect sense for us to move each day, but somehow that’s not enough. Some of us still have trouble making it happen with all we are responsible for in a given day.
Daily movement is important not just so you look great in your skinny jeans–although that’s great– but to help you show up more fully in your life.
If you’re finding it difficult to prioritize daily movement, a simple task to try is to not worry about how you can squeeze movement into your day (i.e. as just another item to check off your to-do list), but how to make the movement you choose, the most enjoyable experience you possibly can, so you look forward to it and are more likely to make it happen consistently.
1. A great playlist. Music helps to positively distract you from your efforts (read: pain and exertion), while a good beat can help you to push harder based on the tempo you choose. Most importantly, movement helps to elevate your mood.
2. Nature. Connecting to fresh air and the world around us is so much more enjoyable than slogging away indoors. Oxygen works wonders for metabolism and time seems to go by much quicker when we aren’t staring at a timer on the treadmill.
3. Switching it up. By choosing activities that require all of your senses, you help to keep yourself engaged in the process. Try to find different types of movement to do throughout the week to avoid boredom and moving on autopilot.
4. Make it FUN. Enough said. Make sure you actually enjoy it! This is so important. If you’re time is limited as it is, or you’re resistant to moving regularly, you’ve got to find something that is pleasurable for you and suits your unique body. Period.
5. Reward yourself afterward. Give yourself something to look forward to by scheduling a fun, restorative or nourishing activity afterward. This allows you to celebrate your efforts and can help you stay consistent if built into part of your movement routine.
The more physically active we are, the sharper our minds, better our digestion, and more fluid our posture. These five tools are easy ways to stay inspired by your body, utilizing movement as the key. When used regularly, I’ve seen these steps transform people who “hate exercise” into body movement enthusiasts, practicing regularly.
Have an amazing week filled with empowered choices and vibrant energy. Here’s to supporting your amazing body-home, one workout at a time.
I invite you to love the body you call home,
P.s. What works for one person, might not work for another. This applies to the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the music we love, the scents that appeal to us, the people we’re attracted to, and so on. Part of our journey in this lifetime is uncovering what actually works for us and no one else. If you’d like a few tools to help you figure out what type of movement works best for your unique body, click HERE for some easy ways to figure it out.
Stephanie Burg was a professional ballerina for over a decade. After years of restrictive, disordered eating and utter disregard for her body, a series of injuries took her from the stage and forced her to reevaluate every facet of her life, starting with her relationship to her body.
Now a Board Certified Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Stephanie is a fierce advocate for the human form, teaching women to return to the innate wisdom and brilliance of their female bodies by shedding outmoded, limiting beliefs and prioritizing excellent nutrition and self-care. Stephanie believes that when a woman loves the body she calls home, she embraces her power to create the life she was born to live
Stephanie’s work has been featured in publications such as ABC News, Colorado Public Radio, Dance Magazine, Mind Body Green, Elephant Journal, Tiny Buddha, and various national and local publications. Stephanie was selected as one of Charleston, SC’s “50 Most Progressive” celebrating the most forward-thinking individuals having an impact on the future of Charleston.
We’re excited to introduce our new blog The Global Table, sharing stories of what and how we eat around the world. Check back here every two weeks for a new dish, a new story, and a new perspective on the world. In many village homes in Zimbabwe and neighboring countries, sadza and the night’s side dish of beans, greens, or chicken stew (if it’s a really special day!) sit over a fire in front of the house in two communal bowls. The village women spend much of the day working to prepare sadza with just the right texture, best described
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We’re excited to introduce our new blog The Global Table, sharing stories of what and how we eat around the world. Check back here every two weeks for a new dish, a new story, and a new perspective on the world.
In many village homes in Zimbabwe and neighboring countries, sadza and the night’s side dish of beans, greens, or chicken stew (if it’s a really special day!) sit over a fire in front of the house in two communal bowls. The village women spend much of the day working to prepare sadza with just the right texture, best described as a thick porridge bordering on dough. Balance is critical: the sadza can’t be too mushy or too thick. When it’s ready, the family and others gather around the fire to scoop some of the sadza between their fingers, using it to grab bites of the other tasty dishes. It’s truly finger food!
Making sadza is a long and labor intensive artform. Beginning with corn still on the cob, the kernels must be removed and ground into cornmeal. In the modern day, much of this work is done in mills, either directly for farmers who grow their own crop or for sale in retail outlets. This flour-like substance is mixed with cold water to form the sadza’s base, which is then added to boiling water and mixed with more cornmeal to achieve the desired consistency, all the while being stirred and kneaded to rid the mix of lumps, a process that demands attention, time, and lots of practice!
Sadza is served with any number of other foods, from red meat and game to native spring greens and cabbage. A thinner version of sadza is eaten for breakfast, often paired with peanut butter to provide a protein complement to the important carbohydrates inherent in the sadza itself.
In addition to being one of the most important meals on the African continent, sadza provides a miniature history lesson about the region. Today most sadza is cornmeal based, although it can also be made with native cereal grains like finger millet or sorghum, as it was for centuries before European settlers arrived. Corn, or maize as it is known in Africa, is actually not native to the continent; it wasn’t even widely grown in Africa until the late 1800s when British colonials began migrating to the area and brought corn with them. The dish represents the blending of influences on the continent. Today, corn is a staple in Africa, especially favored for its ability to grow during drier periods.
For as large a swath of land as it covers, sadza is known by an equally large collection of names: originally derived from the Shona language (native to Zimbabwe), sadza is also know by “isitshwala” in Southern Ndebele (spoken in the Transvaal region), “pap,” “vuswa,” or “bogobe” in South Africa, “nsima” in Malawi, and “ugali” in Eastern Africa. Wherever you go in Southern and Eastern Africa, some version of sadza is sure to be cooking over the fire!
If you’d like to try to make sadza at home, try this recipe that uses Sorghum from the website Pepper and Stew:
Here is what you will need to make this dish:
About 400g ground sorghum
2 tbsp oil
1 large chopped onion
2 ripe chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp peanut butter
Salt and pepper
First take 150g of the sorghum meal and in a medium sized sauce pan, mix with about 150ml of the cold water to make a paste using a wooden spoon.
Add a litre of the boiling water to the paste. Put on the hob on medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken. If it’s too thick add a bit more of the hot water.
The mixture should look like porridge and if it’s the correct consistency should boil without spilling over. (If it’s still watery and spilling over then add a little more sorghum in a cup, about a 1/4 cup, add cold water to create a paste then stir this mixture to the pot, the mixture should start to thicken after stirring continuously)
Cover and leave to cook for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes lower the heat and leave covered for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining sorghum flour gradually taking great care not to get burnt by the spatter.
Keep mixing briskly and to get rid of the lumps grind the mixture against the pot with the wooden spoon, the consistency of the sadza should be the same as mashed potatoes.
Leave on very low heat for another 15 minutes to cook through.
Peanut butter spinach
Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and fry until soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes , season with salt and pepper and cook until soft.
Now add the peanut butter and a little water and stir until the penut butter is mixed in.
Add the spinach and cook for another 10 minutes.
Check for seasoning and serve with hot sadza.
(To give this dish a twist you can add a little birds eye chilli and or bell peppers)