I love pedometers. The first time I had I pedometer I was working in the career services office as an associate to pay for grad school. The university distributed pedometers to all the offices on campus in an attempt to convince us all to stop sitting like slugs for eight hours straight. I was the only one who took it very, very seriously.
I wore my pedometer every day, everywhere. I went for walks in the morning. Walked at lunch. Made excuses to walk to my car (which was parked a mile away because I refused to pay for parking) to get things I “forgot”. I got addicted to seeing the little number go up.
Eventually I lost my beloved pedometer–probably to the wash–and with it the desire to move. At all.
Working from home is a weird thing. What I thought would be all freedom and free time (in my underwear) quickly turned into being chained to my laptop 12 hours a day (in my underwear). My only social interaction is with cats and my longest commute is down four flights of stairs to get free coffee in the lobby. It’s a glamorous life.
Last weekend I got another free pedometer from one of the sponsors at the Healthy Living Summit. I geeked out, strapped it on, and hoofed it 7 miles (SEVEN MILES) around Minneapolis (most of it in airports in MPLS, DC and Charlotte). Seeing how much walking it took to reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day was a jarring reminder of how slug-like I am now that I work from home.
And that’s what I love about pedometers. They don’t really tell you anything you don’t already know; it’s not news to me that I sit around all day, moving only for caffeine. But having that friendly (in my case plastic heart-shaped) reminder on my hip that I haven’t taken a step in a while is all the motivation I need to get up and move.
I was sharing this (abbreviated) story with my yoga class last night and told them a regular yoga class can replace the little heart-shaped reminder on their hips. The sensations you feel when you first step on to the mat–the tightness in your hamstrings, the tension in your neck, the spinning of your head–are all physical reminders of things that are not news to you but that you’ve probably gotten into a habit of ignoring: maybe that you sat motionless for eight hours all day, that you ran 12 miles to train for a marathon, that you haven’t been getting enough sleep.
These are all things you’re probably aware of but that maybe you don’t pay attention to until those little reminders, the dull aches and pains that welcome you when you first roll out your mat, come to your attention.
So in much the same way my silly free pedometer reminds me to get my ass up and walk around like the evolved biped that I am, my yoga practice reminds me to keep coming back to the mat day after day like the ever-evolving human that I am.
Let’s celebrate with cookies.
Lemon Chia Coconut Flour Cookies
I’m trying to learn how to bake with coconut flour. My first attempt was an adaptation of the original Nestle Tollhouse cookie recipe, which resulted in these carob chip cookies. Seeing that the end product was a denser, more shortbread-like cookie, I decided to give it a go in a lemon variety. These cookies are vegan, gluten-free and grain-free.
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- juice of two lemons
- zest of two lemons
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons warm water + 1/2 teaspoon cornstach (replaces 1 egg)
- In a small bowl, combine chia seeds, water and cornstarch and set aside to form chia “egg”
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine coconut flour, baking soda and salt
- In a separate bowl mix together coconut oil, sugar vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and chia “egg”
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine
- You will end up with a dry, crumbly dough. Pour it onto a floured or grease surface and form into a ball with your hands
- Roll the ball out to about 1/4 in thickness. (I did this between two sheets of greased aluminum foil to avoid sticking.)
- Cut into desired shape using cookie cutters
- Arrange cookies on a greased or parchment line baking sheet
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes