Movements matter…even the ones in public bathrooms – Podcast Episode #90

In which Katy Bowman tells Stephanie Domet how a chance encounter with a copy of USA Today in a Whole Foods bathroom changed her understanding of movement, and why it matters.


01:23 – Katy telling it like it is in Movement Matters. (Jump to section)

05:47 – Movement Matters – Katy’s plan of action. (Jump to section)

09:14 –  But it IS an exercise book!  (Jump to section)

12:45 –  All about the jaw. (Jump to section)

19:56 – Mastication, headaches, and teeth-grinding.  (Jump to section)

25:04 – Small things = large. (Jump to section)

32:54 – Movement Matters is easy! (Jump to section)

33:45 – Scientific pursuit made possible by sedentarism (Jump to section)

38:15 – Movement Sovereignty (Jump to section)

41:46 – Let’s Move (Jump to Section)

43:16 – Lindsay – Movement Matters in action! (Jump to Section)


Movement Matters

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Rubbish Free New Zealand

Chew Stick Tree List

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Movement Matters Retreat in Oregon

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STEPHANIE: Hey there. Welcome to the Katy Says podcast. This is the tenth in a series of special episodes we call Between the Lines: where Katy Bowman and Stephanie Domet explore the deeper messages in, and connections between Katy’s books.


KATY: I am Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA.



And I am Stephanie Domet, a chronically curious writer and radio journalist.  So, Katy, when last we met, we talked about Nature, as it pertains to Movement Matters: Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology and the Nature of Movement. And I still have so many questions about this book! So I think we should just dive right in. So, you dive right in. You get right down to business in this book. On page one, you drop truth bomb: “Our culturally approved sedentarism is responsible for much of the deforestation of the planet, as well as slavery in other places.” That’s right at the bottom of page one. It’s a big statement.  And so, there might be some people who close the book on page one. There’s no spoonful of sugar helping that medicine go down. Why was it important to state that idea right up front?


KATY: Oh, I think just because I didn’t want anyone to be blasted by it after getting engaged in the book. I would rather state up front what you’re about to read, rather than lure you into something that maybe you’re not ready. Like if you close the book, that’s probably the perfect response for you at that time. So I just wanted to give the biggest picture of the biggest picture that I could say in a sentence, I guess.  You know?  There’s a lot of talk about movement. There’s not a lot of talk about sedentarism.  You know if I were a more technical writer I probably could have written a book called How Sedentary Works.




KATY: Maybe that’ll be a section in some book later on.  But I didn’t go that way. It was called Movement Matters. So I wanted to lay out right off the bat that this book was about why we are able to be sedentary. You know?  In a general way. A ton of solutions. It’s way more solution…




KATY; … oriented than it is problem. There’s just basically one.


STEPHANIE:  It’s a big one.


KATY: You know, we’re not moving. Well, but it’s big only because it’s compounded, right?




KATY: The problem is that I’m not moving to be fully responsible to my… that’s the only problem that I see is my contribution to it.  And so the book was just about that. I think I write it often.  This is really just a statement for me.




KATY: All of this is for me to help me take action.




KATY: And since I had to work through it for me, then I might as well write it down in the case that someone else could benefit from the steps that I had to formulate for myself.


STEPHANIE: Last time we were together you talked about being in a Whole Foods in the bathroom picking up a USA today…


KATY: Yeah.


…and learning about conflict minerals, the highly sought after things that make our phones and batteries and all kinds of stuff work and over which wars are fought and enslaved. And that for you was a kind of a, I guess an eye-opener.  Were there other things like that?  Other things that you began to acknowledge that sort of go into that line that I just read from page one?

KATY:  Yeah. I mean I didn’t put too much in the book. I kind of reduced that sentence to a single sidebar that one could choose to go look at the data if one was ready to go look at the data. I actually asked a lot of people who read that book, and they’re like, “I couldn’t look.”  That that was a big… where I had to look because I was in disbelief when I read it. And then there was actually, I think I shared it probably on my social media, later on, there was an entire book. I had heard about it on NPR.  Someone talking about modern slavery. You know, to me it was always presented in all my schooling as something that was from a long time ago. You know? And again it’s just part of my … my lack of world exposure.  You know?  And just being naive and just you know, looking into the things that I was interested in looking at. And so then I just went, “of course”, like, where can I read more on it and then there was an entire book and then there were the sources for the book and then there was just the government website. So I just picked the government website. My government, US, website, of going here are the industries and the products that are on the shelves and I just, I couldn’t believe it.  What is, what’s the opposite of suspension of disbelief?  I just felt like it was so real. Like more real but I just, I wasn’t prepared for it. So…




KATY: … it was a lot of little things like that. I mean I went through every list.  Every product list. Ever country.  I looked at it all because I was, it doesn’t hurt me to know it. It hurts me more to know that I didn’t know. And I can remedy that right away.





KATY: So I did that and then worked on a plan of action.  So yeah.  Movement Matters might be my plan of action. That I could see.  Not only for that but of course blending it to the things that I was already working on. Because at the end, everything should kind of like weave together. We’re on one planet, one set of universal physical laws. Like, there should be some form to the way that things work is just kind of my personal belief system and filter.  And so it just, I think I talked about it last time, where that conflict minerals – there’s a lot of talking about ancestral human movement.




KATY: First of all, ancestral human movement is often noted to be something that humans used to do. So first I’d like to say the things that you’re describing as ancestral human movement as done by humans on the planet right now, modern humans, that are just really outside of your culture. They’re very far away. You’ve had almost no exposure. They don’t have shows. They’re on the nature shows along with other animals, you know, as kind of like something mystical.  Like something radically different than not people. Like not people who just, you know…


STEPHANIE:  Like somehow mythological.


KATY: It’s the same narrator as the rest of the earth, the other animals on earth series.  I was like, it’s not an animal, it’s a person.  It’s just a person. When you read a lot of research articles and have, you know, when you… That was the kind of stuff I was reading in journals. I did a lot of work on spinal curvature in graduate school and so I was reading a lot of where some of the earlier theories of spinal curvature were coming from and it was, it was very racist in that this curve belonged to this group of people because they behaved more like animals. This was in the peer-reviewed journals and data at the time. So I already had decades of being exposed to the idea that humans, one, were not viewed as animals and two, subsets of humans were viewed as less humans than other animals.




KATY: As part of my scientific training.  Like as part of the journals that I was reading through. So I was used to that.  And I have a history with that kind of, so like when I hear a lot of stuff kind of go down, like what’s ancestral, I try to be a little more like, “no, hunter-gatherers still exist.”  Like they’re modern.  But like, “the furniture free is so radical.” Now we’re not even talking hunter/gatherers. We’re just talking about people who live in full developed very similar nations. They just don’t have furniture. It’s not that big of a difference.” It’s just, we are usually exposed repetitively to what we’re exposed to, so we just, again, perceive what’s normal.




KATY: Those constructs are pretty heavy in our mind.  What was the question?


STEPHANIE:  (laughs).


KATY: Did I answer your question. I was just thinking “oh no”.


STEPHANIE:  I feel like we should rename this, “What was the question?”


KATY: What was the question?


STEPHANIE: With Katy Bowman.


KATY:  I can do that show a lot.



 Yeah!  This book is different from all your others in many ways but most obviously in that it isn’t really an exercise book. There are no moves here per se for strengthening your feet or battling your floppy fin. And as we’ve been discussing in all these Between the Lines episodes, there is a little Movement Matters in every one of your other books. So why did the time feel right to kind of step outside a little bit what you’ve been doing? Present this particular message in this more concentrated way.


KATY: Well, I think I’d already been writing, you know, if you’ve read my blog for a long period of time you could see that I was changing the scale upon which I was writing.  I don’t know if that’s the right word. Like I was just talking about the more complex versions of simpler models and it just, it just is. You know?  Again, like I said, I realize it’s just kind of like art. It came out the way that it did … I certainly didn’t decide to write a book like this. And it’s not an exercise … I mean I’ve written so many exercise books in that traditional sense where the exercises are, you do ten of them, they’re for this part of your body and then this part of your body. And then here’s the stretch and the geometry, the shape of the move.  People are used to those exercises. If you go back and read Movement Matters, and I told you that your job after reading it was to come up with a list of 20 exercises…




KATY: In the sense of, you know, there are all kinds of exercise books. Like if you’re gonna read any non-physical health book. They call them exercises, right?  When they’re “do this.”




KATY: …to exercise. To use your body in a particular way to sort of do some sort of task. Asking you to do something. You could come up with, easily 20 exercises that are in Movement Matters. There’s just not a picture of a body doing it.


STEPHANIE: Yeah. Right.


KATY: So that would be a good assignment. And you’ll see that there are steps. There’s exercise. There’s scales: if it’s too hard -do this.  If it’s too easy do this.


STEPHANIE: That’s right.


KATY: It’s an exercise book. It is an exercise book. It’s just, we are so used to thinking of our body as something that moves alone outside of nature one part at a time that when you talk about this really integrated model of putting your body to work, the exercises change.


STEPHANIE: I’m here for that. I love that.  As you’re saying it I’m thinking running through the book in my mind and thinking yes, you could easily come up with that.


KATY: You’re such a school, such a school person. You’re like, “Yay, homework! I can’t wait.”


STEPHANIE: “You want me to make a list of stuff? I could totally do that.  I’ve thought you’d never ask!”


KATY:  And I’m gonna get it all right!  Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!


STEPHANIE: Give me a sticker!


KATY: I could hear the glee in your voice. That was glee. That was glee right there.


STEPHANIE: I can’t help what I am.


KATY: Me either.


STEPHANIE: I think that’s why we get along.  


KATY: Exactly!


STEPHANIE:  Much of this book is about food and what we do and don’t do to get it and process it. You say that there is benefit to even a need for not always using our tools; our knives, blenders, our mortars and pestles even, if we want to fully nourished.  Can you say a little more about that?


KATY: Yeah, it’s just, again, that all of these moves that you just talked about; that your teeth, your jaw, this is a huge body part. Not only is it a huge body part, it’s a body part that we’ve become so accustomed to needing a tremendous amount of medicine and technology to work.





KATY: That I was like maybe we should open up the book of jaw natural movements and they would be: chewing, and of course chewing is one category and every food is going to be a different amount of chewing. And also using your jaw as a tool, right?




KATY:  So when we talk about early humans we can think of primitive tools but your tools… you would have your fingernails and you would have your jaw and your teeth as tools. This, these are tools for you. And I started adding this in there.  There’s a great, in Hawaii, there’s a cultural center where there’s a video where this Hawaiian is demonstrating … a Hawaiian gentleman is demonstrating … I don’t know if the dehusking is the right term, he’s opening up a coconut with his teeth.




KATY: Like he’s ripping off like one husk at a time and you can see the jaw musculature. You can see the musculature of the face and these bright white shiny teeth, you know, all aligned in a way that my orthodontist could only imagine. And I could hear every parent out there like, “Don’t use your teeth to open that!”  You know and of course, there was something metal or whatever, but yes, they were tools.  And we’ve really focused on mastication as really the only natural movement. But I would add holding things while you walk. Um you know, we just had a big week-long training here.  And we were practicing river crossing with our group.  Oh, and we were actually on a log in a rushing river. It was pretty wide. It was a good foot wide. But it’s in the deep river on the other side, crossing where you had to go around another person crossing on the other way towards you. So I had to carry my stuff in my mouth while I crawled underneath between the legs of someone who kind of like went on one foot and walked over me.  And this to show that it’s a whole extra set of hands, if you will, you know.




KATY: And so many of the processing techniques, so many of the drinks, the beverages, in the various Pacific Islands. You’ve got cava, which is kind of like, they’re ceremonial beverages or maybe we just eat them that way. Coffee is a ceremonial beverage I guess, if you have a ceremony around it every morning. A moment of gratitude.  That it was masticated. It was often a lot of food processing is mastication. Is other people doing lots of processing with their jaw and then putting it into a big community pot that other people would be able to benefit from. And of course, now we can open up microbiome discussions like, “Oh if everyone is sharing what everyone else has isn’t that kind of a way to kind of keep really healthy within your particular group of people. And sharing…  It goes back to those small nature interactions. If you consider that you’re actually looking at a billion other small things or should be. It just keeps… your particular number of people or things that you’re in a relationship with just keeps expanding more and more.


STEPHANIE: It really does.


KATY: So after saying that… It really does.  When I was working, when I was on the panel with Maria Shriver for her Move for Minds, you know, I was looking up a lot of various data where they’re recognizing that chewing, is part of how your hippocampus, which is a particular part of your brain, is receiving its nutrients.




KATY: You know, it’s blood flow, if you will.  Yes!  So I’m going, so you don’t necessarily … that’s how I’m always thinking of. Like I consider a lack of movement to be equivalent to a lack of a particular set of nutrients. Mechanical nutrients.




KATY: Mechanical nutrients – all nutrients are discovered in hindsight. The way that you do that which is, in Movement Matters, which is you are looking for collective symptoms within a group that is all normally eating in a particular way. What are the foods they have? What are the foods that they don’t have? That we know that this other group had and then comparing their particular experiences. And then, of course, you’re always looking for mechanisms. Like here we are we have, like, you don’t think of chewing as doesn’t anything else except either giving you a good flavor for your gum. Or processing your food.




KATY; But what Move Your DNA is about, and also Movement Matters is that there are these functions that nature has stacked. So in Move Your DNA it’s like you don’t need a fin, you don’t need a bone in your fin to keep it upright because the act of swimming through your natural habitat… you don’t need a bone.




KATY: Because you swimming plus your particular tissue works in that environment. And so you don’t need to have your heart… I was kind of making it up there .. you don’t need your heart to work extra hard to push your blood up to your brain, we’ll just pair that particular function or you are chewing because why wouldn’t you be chewing.


STEPHANIE: You gotta eat!


KATY: You have to eat your food. That becomes the distribution system of nutrients that is the most efficient and very successful and then that body type continues.




KATY:  So one of the tips I was like, “you might want to start chewing more food.” Like a green smoothy then doesn’t provide you the same nutrients as masticating all of the pieces that you had in this green smoothie.  And I have this dream – I stopped blogging – but if I could open that thing up in a second I’d do it. Because I have all these creative ideas of just easy ways to highlight.  So I want to take all the ingredients that you would normally put in a green smoothy and challenge someone to just eat through them.




KATY: Exact same volume.  So like put it all there. And then most of that stuff has been processed for you. So I already took all of the arm and the legwork out of all those foods. I’m only gonna let you experience the jaw right now so that you can see that they are not the same full experience. That thing that you just hit three times on a blender reduced some of the natural-ness, the whole-ness of your whole food diet. Right?




KATY: So there’s the whole section on what does Whole Food actually mean? Because it’s not intact anymore. It’s been processed which means that work has been done for you. And then when you go and look at the 15 things and you measure the footprint of that smoothie, and you still have to go to the orthodontist and have all this stuff done for your teeth and jaw.




KATY: You start to see, “Maybe I didn’t save any steps here.”  You know, maybe I just displaced them throughout my life.



So maybe I would stop grinding my teeth at night if I gave them more to do during the day?


KATY: Yeah, for me personally that has been … that has been a thing. So one thing I recognize is that I don’t need coffee in the morning. I need to chew. If I don’t chew I need coffee. And walking too, the vibration of walking is also circulating blood up to your brain. That actually your heel strike, that vibration of you hitting the ground is the free ride of your blood up to your brain.




KATY: You can find all that on my social media. I post about that and in newsletters and I circulated that a lot. I find those pieces, they’re what’s really what’s occupying my jaw and mind this year. I keep meditating on these pieces.  So, a headache is the thing that if I’m going to get anything, it’s going to be a headache. But I realized that the headaches that I get about like, they’re usually when I don’t eat in the morning, if I don’t walk and I don’t eat.




KATY: It’s usually because I’m traveling or because I’m lecturing and it’s usually a situation where I’m by myself on a plane that I would get this headache. But then I realized that I could take chew sticks, which are a thing, and just masticate them in the back of my teeth and the headache would go away or if it was coming on, not come on.  And it got rid of my teeth grinding or clenching.




KATY: Yes. Because it’s … to me it’s a very powerful muscle. I don’t know if power is the right word. Force producing.




KATY: Doesn’t have the speed, power has an element of speed. Which is probably more than you wanted to know.  But they’ll often say it’s one of the strongest muscles in the body. Although that really belongs to the uterus. But as far as force production capability it’s gonna be the jaw. So you have the strongest muscle doing nothing.


STEPHANIE: Right. Just hanging out.


KATY: Just hanging out so that’s been part of my movement. I actually think of it as movement. And I’ll probably put it in the next book as I’m really expanding to these other levels of how to train yourself to this really much more robust understanding of natural movement. But then, I’ve been looking at dental caries.And the research on people with dental caries. So chewing sticks is actually a thing in a lot of places in the world. Places that don’t have toothpaste, fluoride. Who have much better teeth.




KATY: Who don’t have this chronic dental issue and they chew on chew sticks of particular trees that have, of course, within the tree is the antiseptic property or the antimicrobial or whatever it is. So there’s a list of trees and sure enough, two of them are in my backyard.




KATY: I can send you list or we can put it in the show notes.


STEPHANIE: That would be amazing.


KATY: And so they found like people using these chew sticks had fewer carries than people just brushing and flossing.


STEPHANIE:  So are you making your own chew sticks now in the backyard?


KATY: Well I don’t have to make them. You just go and break them off.




KATY:  And now I’m in a relationship with my tree and I think about that tree and I prioritize the need for that tree so it’s just, I don’t know, it was just a very Movement Matters recognition of, “oh, people chew on trees.”




KATY: This has been a thing between people and trees, I don’t know for how long but I know that the decline of the teeth and the jaw is a significant thing in our debate right now with humans. Of going there’s a transition period where the teeth and the jaws have gone in the opposite direction where they had been going and now everyone needs medical attention and in this particular habitat, and that involves everything, this particular group is needing some medicine throughout their life.




KATY: All of the time. I’m talking about major change with like … I went to a panel, a dentistry panel at the ancestral health symposium. To hear all the dentists talking about surgeries to pull out and mechanically transduce through different hardware the forces that would have been on the jaw you know through mastication and nursing. They’re trying to duplicate it through surgeries. Because you get to a certain point and there’s not much that you can do. So we’re glad that we have these technologies. But I’m interested in, well let’s talk about it so that we don’t miss out that we’re deciding, we’re choosing things that have these costs or taxes associated with them rather than to just kind of say that this is the human way.




KATY: This is the human condition. I like to keep the full picture. I don’t want to make that really small picture that I read about in so many things published a hundred years ago. You know, for all that we’re expanding on, I want to make sure that our understanding is expanding as well as the treatments.


STEPHANIE: That is absolutely fascinating.


KATY:  I thought so!  But I am, admittedly biased.



Well there you go. I want to go back to things that grow in the backyard. Because I can grow a few peaches, a handful of blackberries, a dozen tomatoes, some herbs, in my urban backyard. Not enough and not enough variety for a meal.  You in the book talk about in the book going out with your kids to forage for two hours. You also get some food from a neighbors garden. But you’re probably not foraging a chicken or a pound of coffee. So to what degree is an outing like that or my own attempts at gardening kind of extra and to what degree does it actually contribute to feeding the family?


KATY: Well, I don’t think of any of my attempts as diminishing mine or our family’s … strain is a biomechanical word and it doesn’t have a negative context.  Meaning my piece of the food system pie.




KATY: However, I do think of it as gaining a skill set to eventually be able to. That my ability to actually reduce my strain requires many many years. And it might take a few generations of gathering a skill set and again a relationship with people will use the term landscape, but that might even be my backyard or I started with containers years and years ago. My pots. It’s the same as going to minimal footwear.  How much does me going barefoot a few hours reduce the strain of the fact that I need shoes?  This is kind of pulling on some of the things we talked about in one of the shoe episodes where I was trying to highlight the weaker your feet the more often you need to wear shoes. And the more it requires that natural terrain be covered with some sort of protective cement so that you can move on top of it safely. You know what I mean? So in that way you require the hardness of or the covering of the earth for you to be comfortable.  Because comfortable is, we want everyone to be comfortable.  So I don’t think that my particular time, any individual time, is really a noticeable tax – a noticeable reduction..although it is a reduction and at some point, we have to recognize that one … We don’t really do any of the little things.  Right? And I shouldn’t say that. That’s probably not the best way to say it.  What’s the big deal if I just get a plastic water bottle right now.? Or a plastic bag because I forgot. Any one single decision by itself is very small. It’s just that collectively we’re making those decisions all the time, so it’s very large. So it’s just, it both doesn’t matter at all and yet it is also the only step to spot. Right? It’s the only way things get better is by the accumulation of many teeny tiny stops.  So you know, we all, many of us are trying to reduce our plastic intake but if you get to some place and you forgot your water bottle and you’re really thirsty or you want the chai with the thing, you’re just gonna buy it because you just want it. So that goes back to our preference. So I tried for a week. There was “No Plastic July”. And there’s a woman here who will absolutely not. Meaning she will go without if she can’t get it without plastic.  And I just realized that I’m going to have to start going without or taking more responsibility ahead of time to actually change my habit. Just like I do for anything else for my health.  It’s a little harder. Gotta start packings silverware, and dishes, and portable stuff with us wherever we go.


STEPHANIE: You should always have a mason jar in your bag.


KATY: Exactly.  We’re going to Australia and we’re trying to do trash free.




KATY: And there’s a great, I think it’s Rubber Free New Zealand or or whatever where they did a year of no rubbish.  And then you realize, you know, a lot of that talk about it doesn’t contribute much, I think might even be a mechanism to not do any action.


STEPHANIE: Right. We feel like it’s so huge, we can’t change it so you shouldn’t even bother.


KATY: Right. Right. And also to tell other people that what they do doesn’t really matter. It’s all messed up anyway. And I think back to my kids.




KATY:  I think back to my kids and I think back to watching them, like … twist a doorknob or do something that is just so simple in nature and to watch them and go “Wow, that thing is 30 separate steps.”  And every single thing, every single one of those 30 steps was each acquired over two days. You know? And really you could say that there’s larger things that they’re learning to do now that were acquired over years. I just don’t have the sensitivity to see all the tiny steps. So I actually think all those tiny steps of growing our things of whatever you’re doing, is you motioning your intention.  And that you are signaling them…


STEPHANIE: Signaling them. Yeah.


KATY: … to yourself, to other people. Your environment is responding. You are responding because you’re becoming more capable.  I mean, you could double the amount of pots you’re cramming into your backyard. You could say, “You know what?  I’m not going to go buy the apple pie… I’m gonna make this kind of wild berry pie. And I have only half the berries to use. Guess what?  I’m gonna have a smaller wild berry pie.”  Like, you just start to, at least I start to do that over time. And I just recognize that this is what learning how to do something looks like. It looks like you’re not doing it.




KATY: And we would never tell a two year old “You’re never gonna get that. Why are you wasting your time?” You certainly wouldn’t email them or comment on Facebook that for even suggesting it. And you wouldn’t come up with all the reasons that it would be better… but we’re doing that really to ourselves. And I think that that’s part of … that’s part of what is counterculture about this is that the culture, which is, I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it desires to be the same. To perpetuate.  And so it’s a lot of work to go off. So I just think about it as learning.  It’s just learning. This is what learning looks like. It looks like 11 one and two fist-sized pumpkins and 4 ears of corn…




KATY: … one of them that only had 7 kernels grow. But I’m overjoyed. I was like, “I grew corn from seed and no one is getting full, but I’m gonna mill it and I’m gonna dry it and I will grow more corn next year.”  Just because I recognized a couple things that I did wrong.  And I don’t think that I’m saving the world with any of my actions.  Movement Matters isn’t about saving the world or any one particular thing.  This is about –  that these are natural mechanisms at play and you can choose to play with them if you want to.  You can take the steps to learn. It’s like the opposite of rocket science.



Like it’s all there just waiting for you.


KATY: It’s the opposite of rocket science. It is… I was reading this line it’s like, somewhere along the line humans became … started to operate under this assumption that they had to pay to eat and live on the planet earth. And I was like, “Woah.”  Like my mind is broke right there.  So I just kind of go, ok, it’s here. And certainly, it’s in an altered state. And there’s many transitional steps. But I can work within the capacity that I can… I have tremendous distance to travel within my own capacity and take responsibility for. It doesn’t infringe on anyone else and so I’m taking it.  I’m taking my movement sovereignty here.


STEPHANIE: Yeah.  Wow. Can we talk about something from the book that kind of bends my brain?


KATY:  Yeah.



Ok.  “Our scientific pursuits are made possible by sedentarism. We may run out of the natural resources we use to sustain ourselves without moving before science can tell us how to move in order to sustain ourselves.”  Can you say a little more about that?


KATY: No. Did I write that?  Terrible.


STEPHANIE: You sure did.


KATY: Well, it has to do with … it’s kind of along the line of it being unstacked.  So the process of science should be pretty foolproof as you’re going through it to collect the knowledge that you need.  That’s how it’s set up. But you have to do it in so many separate steps over such a long period of time. And because the people doing, the people acquiring knowledge that way are sedentary…




KATY: It takes a tremendous amount of fuel to do it. Like we’re looking at long timelines. And I don’t think that anyone recognizes…  How much data does there have to be to say “Move more” before people would actually come to it.




KATY: I think everyone’s waiting for, “Well just give me all the things to do it and then I’ll do it once I get all the things.”


STEPHANIE: Like once all the science is in.


KATY:  Once it’s all in. And it’s also true because it’s jumping around all the time. Right? It says this and then it’s “oh sorry it does this.” And then “oh sorry…” It just swings like that. As you change models it swings back and forth and eventually, it settles somewhere in the middle. But you’re talking hundreds of years. And I don’t know, I mean not knowing anything about the rate of consumption and what’s left to consume and without really knowing any numbers, I’m not certain. And given the amount of time to find out everything, you know? Or even half of everything. I kind of look back at the process of gathering dietary nutrients and the fact that that was hundreds of years. And then so much of it is like, “Hey but we can,” we’re creating computers to run huge algorithms. But no one is talking about and to run those computers to do those huge algorithms takes tremendous amount of resources.  The carbon footprint. I’ve been like tripping out on the carbon footprint of the internet. It’s blowing my mind. It’s another one of those things that I perceived as “free” and…


STEPHANIE: Yeah. Because it’s invisible.


KATY: Because it’s invisible.  And I knew, it was part of my social media break where I was like, “there’s a lot of people involved in this thing I do every day and I know nothing about it. And I need to take some of this time to learn.” But then once I recognized. Holy cow.  And how much science has done via this energy-sucking machine and that we don’t have any plans for replacing any of it. I was like this looks like a … is capacitance the right way, electrically?  An electrical engineer out there will know. It’s a capacity and a particular way of learning. I don’t know if we can afford continuing to be sedentary in the name of figuring out what the people need when there hasn’t really been a tremendous amount of indication that the people who all have … we have the choice to use information or not … are using it.  So, I think where you’re reading from is the part that says “you might just want to start moving.”  Like you might be hedging your bets by moving.




KATY: I don’t know if you need data to show you that moving more would benefit you and utilize fewer resources. Like I’m not certain that waiting to have that in would be any better for your scenario. Certainly for the fact that you need movement now. Like the movement in the future isn’t going to come back and serve you now.


STEPHANIE: Right.  You can’t defer this.  It’s necessary.


KATY: No. And it’s an infrastructure thing.  I mean it’s just a, it’s a society thing. It’s a society thing. So.



And you talk about taking your movement sovereignty. So what do you think would be possible if we all did that. Or if more of us did that. What are …. are we talking about a revolution here?


KATY: A movement revolution?




KATY: What’s a definition of a revolution? What is that… I mean overthrow your own… I mean all you can overthrow is your own personal sedentarism. I guess that’s… my call is just, is really, again, the call’s to me. This is all about just me going “You have stated you wanted more movement. You have stated you want the things that can be improved with more of your personal movement.” I can’t really find too much of a downside for me personally here in taking more movements. Like I haven’t found it conflict with any of my other mission statement elements.  So I don’t know what’s possible. I don’t know. It’s like it’s the same thing as looking at nutrients. Who knew what would be possible with nutrients hundreds of years ago. The fact that there would be giant stores and websites and knowledge programs dedicated to learning the nutrient lists. I don’t know. I feel like aren’t’ we even less nourished now despite all that information?  Aren’t we less nourished 500 years after gathering all, I mean as a collective group of people, aren’t we less nourished now that we have the knowledge of all that we need to nourish us?


STEPHANIE: Right. Yes. Seems so.


KATY: I mean I don’t think we’ve seen radical… I mean certainly, we’ve been able to eradicate particular diseases.


STEPHANIE: Rickets. We don’t get that anymore.


KATY:  To have medicine. Right yeah. So there’s those. And someone was talking about scurvy and they’re like, “Haven’t we eradicated scurvy”. And I was like, “Yeah, but at the same time you don’t realize how much vitamin C has been supplemented in juices.”  And vitamin d is in milk. There’s been a lot of policy and government change to “nutrition up” the people.




KATY: And then through new technologies we have made it so that you can have calories but not nutrients.




KATY: So now we have another issue that requires more knowledge. So just because you have the data really doesn’t mean that anyone is obligated to take action on it. So I think that that sentence again is totally a KB to KB sentence. Which is, “I don’t know Katy if you need to read any more about movement. Or frankly, write any more about movement. Or do any more podcasts about movement. You just need to move more.”  Like this is the discussion that’s ongoing in my head all the time.  I don’t know if it’s necessary for me to justify my sedentarism anymore. Because that’s … we’re all, we just kind of justify it because the thing that you’re doing is the important thing that you want to be doing. And that you’re making things better over here and over there. So I just … a love letter to me.


STEPHANIE: From you.


KATY: From me. LIke all my love letters. To Katy.



To Katy, love Katy. Katy, I have zillions more questions but you have to go to New Zealand soon. So, for now, we’ll leave it there. But first, give me your ultimate Movement Matters move.


KATY: Oh, Ooh. My ultimate Movement Matters move.


STEPHANIE: That’s right. Boil it down for me. Like elderberry cough syrup.


KATY: You just said boil it down and I was actually thinking mastication.


STEPHANIE: Right on.


KATY: The opposite of boiling it down.  


STEPHANIE: Of boiling it down. Chew it up.


KATY: Find something gnarly to chew.




KATY: Chew something that you would normally … or if you want to practice the non-chewing but tool use?  Don’t use a fork. Don’t use your fork and knife. Just pick it up and rip it off with your teeth.




KATY: See what’s that eye-opener. Now again, like any exercise, go lightly.  Because you can have such a weakened jaw structure that adding ripping and tearing could be enough to dislocate your jaw. So you want to scale it to your particular skill level.  So maybe start with… what is my recommendation?  Chew sticks.




KATY: Dehydrated jerky. Dehydrated mangos. Those are really great chewing program supplements.


STEPHANIE: And I love a chewing program that involves jerky and mango.


KATY: I mean right? Who’s not going to sign up for that?


STEPHANIE: Those are two of my essential food groups basically.


KATY: Or whatever dehydrated fruit is in your own backyard. That was why I had to stop with the mango. It was awful. I love dehydrated mango


STEPHANIE: Right. Over here with all the apples and pears.  Which are fine.



Totally fine. They’re delicious.


STEPHANIE:  I should say that we will have at least one more conversation about Movement Matters, Katy, because we got this email from a woman named Lindsay who was so inspired by Movement Matters that she started looking for ways to take more responsibility for what she consumes and I want to read you just a bit of Lindsay’s email. So Lindsay writes:  “It’s been an eventful 9 months since I got my hands on a copy of Movement Matters. I work full time and am the Mother of three so making time to read books is always an accomplishment. I can’t quote passages from the book, but the thoughts in Movement Matters have changed the way I live my life. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by some of the big ideas so I’ve definitely gone small scale. I just started asking myself “What’s one small thing I can change?”  I started making small changes but when I look back at everything I’ve changed it starts to look like kind of a big deal. I started fishing. We usually buy our fish at Costco but I increasingly started to question the decision to buy fish shipped from Norway and all corners of the earth when I live right on the ocean with a treasure trove of local fish right out my front door. As I followed Katy around the podcast-sphere I ran into Daniel Vitalis and with his encouragement I went and bought a fishing license, got a pole and gear for Christmas and before you know it I had brought home dinner. Don’t get me wrong. I am not some amazing fisherwoman who could sustain her family on fish alone. In the last 9 months, I’ve brought home 5 dinners from the shore and several more when we chartered a boat. And I get skunked A LOT. But when I’m going out there for food AND movement I win every time.”  Katy, she started making her own laundry soap.


KATY: I can’t believe it. She’s fishing.


STEPHANIE: She planted a garden and she’s fishing.  It’s not a big deal, she says.  She just only fishing.


KATY: It’s no big deal.


STEPHANIE: No just catching dinner. She stopped using Clorox wipes. She writes: “I’ve made several purchases from sustainable clothing companies and did back to school shopping at the second-hand store a block away and no one died.”


KATY: I love it. That’s so great.  I think it’s so easy. I just think that it’s … I mean we could discuss like all the technicality but in the end, taking action is so easy. You know. Because you get to pick the action. Because there’s tons of exercises in the Movement Matters book.  There are so many exercises. We said 20 last time.


STEPHANIE: At least 20. We got all excited.


KATY: I bet you there’s 50. She came – I mean that’s a whole list right there. Those aren’t even in the book.  She could see how her movement related, you know, to what she was physically consuming. And she just moved a little bit differently.




KATY: Yeah, that’s beautiful.


STEPHANIE: She looked at each part of her life and made a little adjustment. And so, I think we should have a chat with Lindsay in the future.


KATY; That would be great!


STEPHANIE: Yeah.  So, we’ll have a chat with Lindsay on a future episode of Between the Lines on the Katy Says podcast…such an incredible opportunity to see the ideas in this book really come to life for one reader. So there you go.  So there is so much to unpack in this book. You can find your own copy at, or wherever books are sold or on, you can get an audiobook. Katy, by the time this podcast is posted, you will be ensconced in New Zealand. You’ll be at the Ancestral Health Symposium this month?


KATY: Is this month October.




KATY: Yes. I’m too busy going “What’s ensconced mean?”


STEPHANIE: You’ll find out when you get to New Zealand.


KATY: Exactly. Great.


STEPHANIE:  And in December you’ll be signing books and answering questions at Time Out Book Store in Auckland. And it’s going to be, probably pretty great.


KATY: Oh yeah, I’m very excited. I can’t wait to …  I … No. I can wait to come back and talk about it!  I haven’t even had it yet. So I’m just going to not jump ahead. I’m just gonna go enjoy the time there.


STEPHANIE: Amazing. Katy, thanks for this.


KATY:  Thank you, Stephanie.


STEPHANIE: I’m Stephanie Domet. Thanks for listening to Between the Lines on the Katy Says podcast.


VOICEOVER:  Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful.  But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.


Music fade.


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