Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia! FOUR group classes a week!

    Tues, Wed, and Thurs at 9 am

    Friday 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia and/or Personal Training!

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Mr. Bones Helps Demonstrate Compression

Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueRecently I watched a DVD that wonderfully demonstrated why not everyone can do the poses exactly like the person pictured in Yoga Journal or on a trendy yoga website.  The DVD was from Paul Greeley and it addressed compression.  While Paul focuses on compression of bone, you will be able to easily conclude there are other types of compression.  Compression in mechanics according to Wiki is:  “the application of balanced inward (“pushing”) forces to different points on a material or structure . . . .”  We are going to say compression occurs when movement of material or structure is to a point where it can no longer move.  The movement is stopped because of compression.  The DVD’s main point was bones.  A bone can only move so far before it contacts another bone.  Compression will stop something from moving.

One of the most obvious points of compression is the shoulder.  The acromion or acromion process is the bony ridge that is part of the scapula.  It extends up and out over the top of the humerus.  Or it does on Mr. Bones.  You can see the acromion process sticking out and stopping almost halfway over the upper arm bone.  But it is not that way in everyone.  In some people it could be shorter.  In some people it could be longer . . . perhaps extending PAST the humerus.  Mr. Bones’ acromion is straight, in some people it could point up or point down.  Some people might have an acromion process that twists.  Whatever the case may be, the size, length, and projection point of this bony ridge can affect your movement.

SDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Techniqueee how when Mr. Bones’ arm is lifted his humerus comes in contact with his acromion process?  That is the compression we are talking about.  If the acromion process on Mr. Bones’ was shorter or perhaps pointing upward, his arm could probably be lifted higher up.  If the process was longer or pointing down, his humerus would hit it sooner.

To put this into a pose example let’s talk downward facing dog.  Arms are straight up from the shoulders and hands are above the head.  If the acromion were, as in our examples long or pointing down, one would not be able to place their arms above their head while keeping their elbows straight.  They might need to bend their elbows to allow the humerus to go around the acromion process so that the arms can be placed above the head.

Another point of compression that is easy to see on Mr. Bones is in his hip area.  See how his femur can contact the lower portion of his pelvic girdle?  If his femur were set differently the compression would happen at a different angle.  The way the long leg bone is set and connected to the hip affects the bend that can be done.  The angle of a bend depends on that connection.

ADance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Techniquelso, don’t forget, Mr. Bones is JUST bones.  He has no muscles, fat, skin, tendons, or anything to get in the way.  All that other stuff can add to the compression.  Any one of those things that is in the way of the closing an angle would be considered compression.

Compression is always going to stop the movement, but sometimes compression can be pushed a little.  Let’s say there is fat or muscles that is keeping you from going further, sometimes, if it feels right to you, it can be squished a bit.  But something like a baby bump should not be squished.  Bones might benefit from a little compression, but caution should be used.  Sometimes the floor could even play a role in compression.  Say you were in a Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend) /and you are able to get your head all the way to the floor, but you can’t go any further because of the floor, that could be considered compression.

Paul Greeley’s DVD can be purchased through his site or through Amazon.  It really is one of those things that you know, you understand, but sometimes it helps solidify it to see examples.  He goes through several poses with his students.  The average seemed to be three students per pose so it was very clear as to the different body types and body structures.  With the different body types demonstrating, it was clear that not being able to do a pose was not always a case of lacking . . . it wasn’t that they were not strong enough or flexible enough, it could be that their structure affected a pose because of compression.  I would highly recommend this DVD to my students.

Does this make sense to you?  Did I explain it so that you could understand?  When you are practicing yoga are you aware of compression in some poses?

Posted in PiYo/Pilates/Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cat Cafe In San Jose

Posted by terrepruitt on June 27, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueYou may have heard of cat cafes, that is where someone can go, for a small fee, and visit with cats.  According to Wiki, the first Cat Cafe was open in 1998 in Taiwan but they didn’t really become popular until 2004 when one opened in Japan.  For those that have room for pets and have pets, a place where you pay to visit with a cat might sound weird.  But when you think about it, it is not really any different from a petting zoo.  And for some reason people think of petting zoos as completely normal.  Again . . . think about it . . .it is much more “normal” to pet a cat than to pet a pig or a goat.  So cat cafes make a lot of sense.  They can be great for people who enjoy the company of a cat, but don’t have room.  Or perhaps their present living situation is temporary and so they are not wanting to get a forever pet.  It could be that they love cats, but live with someone who is allergic to them.  There are many reasons a place that has cats you can visit is a good idea.  There are Cat Cafes in Japan, Canada, Europe, and the United States.  So . . . if you are inclined you might be able to find one near you.  If you are near me, I can point one out to you.  The Dancing Cat is in San Jose and is open for your pleasure.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueFor those of you that read my blog and/or know me . . . you probably picked up on how the name is very attractive to me.  I mean the DANCING Cat.

I don’t know about the OTHER cat cafes, but The Dancing Cat is a temporary home to cats that are up for adoption.  Every cat you see can be adopted.  It is my thinking that visiting a cat in a nice relaxed atmosphere gives you a better chance to see the cat you are actually getting.  I know some kitties might not act different from their true selves in a shelter or store, but I imagine most do.  They might be scared or even just a little more cautious or reserved.  Whereas in a little shop where they have run of the place you possibly get to see their actual personality.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueAt this writing the Dancing Cat plans to stay open only until August.  I quizzed one of the co-owners on what it would take to keep it open longer and I think they are still working on what exactly they would need.  But in the meantime they could use people visiting the cafe and paying the small fee of $10.00 per hour.  They could use volunteers to help with the duties that come along with keeping a home for cats.  As with most places they also accept flat out donations.  So, if you are interested and able to do any of those things, please don’t hesitate.  As I said, it it only around for a couple of months.  Perhaps with support they will be able to make it a more permanent adventure.

This past Thursday was the year anniversary of our cat’s death.  I am sure I am not alone in feeling that it is difficult to get a new pet – a new child.  Spot was such a good kitty.  Yesterday I went to visit the Dancing Cat and got so much good cat ju-ju.  Cats are amazing animals.  For over an hour I played with six cats.  Not all six for the entire time, but I was able to interact with each one at least once.  Cats are so fun to watch.  Cats are so amazing with their concentration and their acrobatics.  There were more than six at the facility, but four were off sleeping for most of the time.  Two of the “sleepers” were actually awake, but in the quiet area of the cafe.  When I went to peek in on them they were more than willing to present a belly for rubs.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueThe facility is so super cute.  The two women running the show really did a nice job of making it a comfortable place for the cats and their admirers. They have free coffee and tea available.  They even have a few snacks that you can purchase.  They have a few items of merchandise you might be interested in.  And they have cats.  They definitely have cats.  As I mentioned, there were 10 cats there, ranging from 10 months to 4 1/2 years (I believe).  The cats DO get adopted so that information could change by the time you read this.  So far they have adopted out 21 cats.  Can you imagine what they could do as word gets out?  They could end up pairing off dozens of cats with cat lovers.

Ann, one of the women who opened the shop, excitedly told me that the adoptions that have happened so far were perfect pairings.  The cats and the people/families matched up well.  This is a very important thing when adopting out or adopting a pet.  It needs to work.  Personalities need to be mesh-able.  So, that is why I think a Cat Cafe is awesome.  Cats and people get to meet and get to know each other a bit before committing

I really enjoyed my visit and that is the reason I am posting this.  I asked if I could write a post to share what is going on and that is what I am doing.  I hope, if cats are something that interest you, that you will go visit and socialize with the wonderful cats and wonderful people who are there!

What do you think of Cat Cafes?  Would you visit a cafe if there was one near you?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Puzzle And Two Websites

Posted by terrepruitt on June 25, 2015

I am venturing a declaration, that we have all heard that exercising the brain helps it.  Whether it helps stave off memory loss, helps keep our memory sharp, or just helps keep our brain sharp, I bet we have all heard “exercising” it helps.  I bet one of the “exercises” you’ve heard suggested is puzzles.  Brain puzzles, as an example and as suggested in my last post.  Well, as I was trying to come up with a picture for the post, I was thinking I wanted to have a Nia puzzle.  I came across a cool website where you can create a word search puzzle.  I quickly decided NOT to use the puzzle I made as a picture because I wanted to make it a blog post!  I decided to make a picture for that last post, so I turned to another website that I have been using lately to create collages.  So this post is like a “Three-fer”, a puzzle, the website where you can create your own puzzle, and the website where you can create collages.

And, yes, you can Google all of this for yourself, but you know me, I like to share.  I know that I learn things from blogs I read.  I learn things that are common knowledge to a lot of people, but are new to me, so I like to share because I have faith that sometimes I am sharing something new to someone!

So, here is the Nia Word Search Puzzle.  The words all have to do with Nia:Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

 

Aikido – one of the nine movement forms
Awareness – a goal of Nia, to bring awareness to your body, awareness to your movements
Cardio – what Nia is, it is a cardio dance workout
Chakras – energy points danced in Nia
Crawling – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Creeping – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Dance – what Nia is
Embryonic – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Exercise – what Nia is
Fitness – what Nia encourages
Flexibility – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
FreeDance – a technique/practice used in Nia
Jazz – one of the nine movement forms
Joyful – what Nia can help you feel
Mindfulness – a goal of Nia, to bring mindfulness to your movements, mindfulness to your body
Mobility – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Movement – something we do in a Nia class
Nia – the Technique, the form of cardio dance
RAW – a technique/practice used by Nia teachers when learning a Nia routine/music
Stability – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Strength – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Technique – Nia Technique
Workout – what Nia is, it is a cardio dance workout
Yoga – one of the nine movement forms

The website to make your own is: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/code/BuildWordSearch.asp

The collages are super easy to make, you just drag the photos you want to your browser.  You can pick a background if you want.  You can turn the photos, you can resize them, you can bring them to the front or the back.  All basic things.  I have several of these types of applications on my iPhone, but I didn’t have anything, but MS Word on my computer.  So this website is a great help to me.  Easy, quick, and free.  And I am not loading my photos onto their site. Website for the collages is:  http://www.photocollage.net/

Yay!  Exercise your brain!  Go create stuff!

 

The solution is at on my website (click here).

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Seven Possibly Memory Helpers

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2015

I think that with our busy life styles and the fact that there are multiple ways to communicate and multiple devices that which can draw our attention we might feel very forgetful at times.  But really how can we forget what we never really (REALLY) paid attention to?  Sometimes I am on autopilot . . . my muscles can do things while I am not even paying much attention to the task.  While I am brushing my teeth I might be thinking about what I am going to wear.  While I am gathering my clothes, I could be thinking about the next task.  While I am getting dressed I could be thinking about the Nia routine I am going to teach.  I grab my phone and put it in my purse while I am thinking about something else.  Then I step outside and wonder, “Do I have my phone?”  Then I blame it on my memory.  I FORGOT I grabbed it and stuck it in my purse.  But I don’t always believe it is memory, I think it is more that I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that I put my phone in my purse.  I really believe that so much multi-tasking makes us believe we have bad memories.  Or the fact that we have so much on our minds already, makes us think we have bad memories.  But whatever the case, I know that I don’t mind doing things thought to help our brains remember.  There is advice out there on ways to improve your memory or prevent memory loss.

The  Mayo Clinic has a list of seven things to help the memory.  I bet you have heard them before, but . . . I also bet it doesn’t hurt to be reminded:

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo1-Stimulate your brain and memory by staying mentally active.

Reading, doing brain puzzles, driving a different route to a familiar place, or learning how to play a musical instrument are ways to keep that brain active.  The idea would not necessarily be for you to play a concert or a recital, but the act of learning keeps that brain stimulated.

2-Being social not only helps your brain, but it can help stave off depression and stress.  If you are lucky enough to be social with close friends then it is a huge benefit to your well-being.

3-Being organized is a great way to help keep the “I forget everything” feeling at bay.  If you have a calendar to keep track of appointments and social events that helps you stay on track.  Also if yourliving space is organized you won’t find yourself misplacing things.  Certain things you use often or need on your way out should have a place; keys and wallet, for example.  If you always put them in one spot you won’t wonder where they are when you are about to walk out the door.

Being organized can also help you focus as you will not be wondering around looking for your keys you will know exactly where they are and be able to be aware.

4-Getting enough good quality sleep.  I believe sleep is good for so many things.  This is the time that our body gets to rest from the go-go-go of the day.  It is also a time where our mind, emotions, and self get to rest.  We are bombarded all day long with so many things . . . it is nice to let our bodies rest.

5-Eating healthy food.  Our bodies need nutrients to run properly so a healthy diet will help our brain function.

6-Exercising is also thought to help keep memory loss at bay.  This is due to the fact that exercise helps so many systems.  If your body is healthy this could contribute to a healthy brain/memory.  If the physical activity you do is something that requires skill, then you are putting your brain to work and that could be a double whammy.  If the exercise you do is something that you really like, then that could contribute to your mental well-being and that could be one way that exercise helps.

7-“Manage chronic conditions

Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as depression or kidney or thyroid problems. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.”

As you probably know, the brain is still a large mystery.  Science learns more everyday, but the cause of memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s are still unknown.  So they come up with a list of things we can do that they think might help.

And Yup, heard them before, right?  But . . . how many of them do you do?  Do you think that these things can perhaps help your memory?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Knowledge Is Pawer

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2015

You may have read my blog post about us not having cable.  Well, we have never subscribed to a cable package that contains Animal Planet, so when I get the chance to watch it I am thrilled. Today I was watching a show, My Cat From Hell, where the owners can no longer tolerate their pet’s behavior.  It usually ends up where the people need the training.  The people are the ones that need the education.  The people are the ones that need to learn how to live with the cat.  One thing that came up that is important for people to know – important in my opinion – is that when a cat is declawed a portion of the toe is amputated.  The claw is not removed as if a person loses a fingernail.  If a person loses a nail that is all that happens, the nail can just fall off.  With a cat, their nails, the claws, are much more integrated into the toes, so claw removal is much more involved.  A portion of the cat’s toe is removed when the claw is removed.

The woman in the show was horrified to hear what declawing was. She didn’t know. I remember I was horrified when I heard it. I have never been a believer in this type of operation. When I learned what it actually involved, I really didn’t like it.

It is good to be educated and know what the details are before you have a procedure done to your pet.  There are two methods, one where they cut off the claw and the bone it grows from.  The blade they use slices between the joints, guillotine-style, cutting through the pad of the foot.  In the more difficult, less common procedure, there is a special blade used that carves out the claw and a portion of the bone, leaving the pad of the cat’s foot intact.  The first one is easier to perform, but harder on the cat, the second one is more difficult to perform, but less difficult on the cat.

You probably want to know which method will be used on your pet before you decide to have it done.  Since the first method leaves the animal’s foot damaged, they have pain when they walk so extra time is needed for convalescence.  Might take some extra planning on your part.  With the lesser used method, the cat heals faster because a portion of the foot, the pad, is not cut off.

There are other things to do to keep your furniture and yourself safe from cat scratches before you resort to having surgery performed on your pet.

There are those claw caps.  Have you ever seen them?  They are these little plastics sheaths that go over the cat’s claws.  There is cutting the claws.  There is also training.  But all of these things take time and commitment.  And cats are not always cooperative.  So you really have to do what is best for you, your family, and your cat.  Just know what is involved in whatever decision you make.  As a loving cat parent you’ll make the best decision.

What do you think about declawing?  Did you know the method used? Do you have a helpful method for keeping your cat from scratching up furniture?

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Squash Sticks – Breaded And Baked

Posted by terrepruitt on June 18, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI like fries with my burgers, do you?  I like fries with my beef sandwiches, do you?  I don’t fry things.  I don’t want to deal with the mess and all that oil and . . . just, no.  I have a friend who can make french fries that are not fried, but really can fool you.  But she is a chef and I am not going to go through all that trouble because I can just eat a potato and be happy.  But I was thinking I didn’t want to have a potato AND a bun, but I wanted “fries”.  I also remembered that I had squash in the refrigerator that we needed to eat.  So I thought why not make squash fries.  Or breaded squash sticks to be more accurate.  So I had bread (for my sandwich) and bread (on the squash).  :-)

I cannot bread things.  The crumbs never stay on.  I usually end up putting the food item on the pan than putting the bread crumbs on top and pressing down.  Then I hope that the crumbs will stay on as it bakes in the oven.  Sometimes they do, but they rarely survive a flipping.  Ha.  So I don’t know why I think I can make breaded squash sticks.

First of all, I made WAY TOO much by way of bread crumbs (I adjusted the recipe so you wouldn’t).  Then I got the idea to let the squash dry a bit before I breaded it, but then at the last minute decided to salt it to sweat some of the moisture out.  (Eyes rolling.)

Whatever.  What I ended up with tasted good.  And didn’t even really look THAT bad in person (the picture – meh, not so much) . . . but it tasted good, if you like bread and squash.  And I do, so – yay!

Anyway . . . here is what I did:

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoSquash Sticks – Breaded And Baked

2 small squash
3 small slices of cracked sourdough bread
olive oil
salt
garlic powder

Oven at 425° F for a total of (roughly) 30 minutes.

I cut the squash into big match stick, between a batonnet (I looked it up on Wiki) and a julienne.  Cut them a head of time so that they can dry out a bit.  Salt them at this time so they will sweat.  Make the bread crumbs with your blender or food processor.  When you are ready to make the “fries” pat the cut squash dry with a paper towel.  Then toss them with the bread crumbs that were seasoned with salt and garlic powder and a little bit of olive oil (perhaps about 1/2 teaspoon).  Put them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, that has been sprinkled with olive oil.

Put the pan of squash fries in the oven. After 15 minutes check on them.  If you want flip them over or stir them up.  For me, I needed to move the bread around so it would not burn.  Bake for about 15 more minutes.  As usual, I recommend baking to your liking.  Ovens are different, tastes are different, so cook them to how you like them.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

 

 

I had spread them out as much as possible.  While I was placing them on the cookie sheet a lot of crumbs came with them . . . that was ok.  The squash didn’t hold the breading so well, but the breading on the cookie sheet baked and held the squash.  So it turned out, instead of having individual fries, they were like little bread crumb patties with squash.  (As you can see.)  It was pretty good.

Do you bread and bake any veggies?  What is your favorite?  Do you egg-dip the veggies to help the bread crumbs stay?  How do you get your bread crumbs to stay?

 

Posted in "Recipes", Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Failed Stovetop Pizza

Posted by terrepruitt on June 16, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoIf you haven’t seen this and you are interested in making pizza on your stovetop in 20 minutes, I suggest you go check out the video.  It looks pretty cool.  It looks fast.  It looks easy.  It looks yummy.  It looks like you must have a pan you can vent.  It also REALLY looks like the pan should be non-stick.  I really wanted to try this because I would much rather eat pizza with dough that I make than other pizza.  But I am not really good with pizza dough.  Yes, I know it is easy, you know why?  Because people TELL me it is, not because it ACTUALLY IS.  I cannot make a pizza that is round for nothing.  I cannot make the pizza come out even/level.  One side tends to rise more than the other.  My pizza tastes good, but it pretty much always LOOKS like a reject pizza.  And then there is the dough and it so sticky and messy, so you might realize the HUGE appeal this pizza had (notice tense) to me.  I thought I had a vented lid.  I do!  I thought it would fit one of my non-stick pans.  It does not.  It thought I could make it in a pan that does not have that non-stick coating.  I am not convinced I can.  But I made a HUGE error – aside from the pan.  So I can’t say for certain (can you?) that the regular pan won’t work.  I tried this stovetop pizza and here is the result.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoFirst of all notice the difference between my pizza dough/crust and the one in the video.  This SHOULD have been a HUGE sign to me, but it was not.  I also should NOT have been attempting this really late at night.  Since it is a 20 minute pizza I thought I could do it in 30 minutes or so.  My plan was to do it earlier, but sometimes the day just escapes me.  So I was starting this new thing for dinner at 8:30 pm.  NOT A GOOD IDEA!  So in my rush I forgot — prepare to giggle — the yeast.  Yup.  I measured it out and everything, but then I forgot to put it in the darn pan.  And of course I realized that the SECOND I put ALL of the other ingredients on the pizza.  I looked at the little bowl full of measured out yeast and —- GRRR!

I used red sauce, mushrooms, turkey sausage, and cheese for toppings.

The recipe doesn’t say medium heat but somewhere in the comments that is revealed, but I didn’t read the whole sentence!  (Eyes rolling).  It is medium heat while the vent is closed, then when you open the vents, turn it to low heat.  So I cooked it at medium the entire time and the dough would not come out of the pan.  I bet it might have, if I would have lowered the temperature.  So you obviously understand I am not saying this recipe does not work.  I am saying, “Hello, here is my complete and utter failure at attempting this recipe.”  And I should say “recipe” because I left out a key ingredient and cooked it at the wrong temperature!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI am just sharing because I told a friend I would write a blog post, plus I am hoping that someone who has tried it will let me know and give me some tips.  Do you think if I use the correct temperature (medium THEN LOW) It will work in a regular pan?  One that is not non-stick?  My lid doesn’t fit any of my non-stick pans.

So, SNAP!  What does one feed herself and her hungry hubby at 9:00 pm when the planned dinner totally fails?  I made pizza rice.  Yup, sounds ridiculous and I never would have done it if I hadn’t been at a loss.

I just scraped the ingredients off of the stuck-to-the-pan-dough (a bit of dough came up with it) and put it over some leftover rice that we had.  Yup, I put a bit of dough on the rice with the sauce, mushrooms, meat, and cheese.  And that was our entrée.  It didn’t taste bad at all.  It was rice instead of dough, but it was kinda odd.  My hubby liked it.  But he loves rice.  He likes rice better than pasta.  He likes rice better than bread.  So he enjoyed the “pizza” on the rice.  I might have liked it better if it wasn’t a huge blaring symbol of my failed meal.  :-)  Also, I was afraid that I had totally ruined my pan.  But I let it soak overnight and the stuck on crust came off.

So . . . have you tried this pizza?  Can it be made in a regular (not non-stick) pan?  Are you going to try it?  Let us know how it comes out!  I will attempt this again – correctly.

Posted in Entertainment, Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Re-visiting Our Yard

Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2015

I love our yard.  It is very small, but often very full of activity.  This year we have new visitors to our yard.  I know that we have had one once or twice, that I have seen, in the past.  But this year they are regular visitors.  They might have been regular visitors for some years now, but they are very shy so perhaps we just didn’t see them before.  I’ve only seen them twice in years past, as I said.  Since they are shy I don’t have any good pictures of them.  The second we approach any window they are gone.  But our hummingbirds are very brave this year.  I can walk right up to the window where the feeder hangs about six inches away and the birds will just sit there.  They seem fearless.  And we have one that is the largest one I have ever seen visit our yard.  This past week we had a little bit of rain. First it started off here as a mist, then the drops came, but it was a very gentle rain.  Oh my, you should have heard and seen the yard.  There were so many birds it in.  They seemed so happy.  They were just jumping around from place to place.  It was a nice sight to see.  I love that we have so much entertainment in our yard.

The new visitors are orioles.  There seems to be at least four.  There are two brightly colored ones and to “dingy” ones.  They barely look yellow.  One of the dingy ones has a bad leg.  I say that because as she perches on anything there is something that hangs down.  And she doesn’t perch well.  She rocks on the feeders unless she is situated just right.  When she is on one of our towers she hunkers down on it.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoAt first they knocked the yellow flower out of the hummingbird feeder.  But once we saw them feeding on the hummingbird feeders we removed a flower from each feeder.

I think the new birds might be affecting our hummingbird population in regards to how many we get visiting the feeders in our yard.  But that is ok.  They need to eat too.

This is why I recently posted Outside Yoga – Easier Said Than Done  because we have so much bird activity.  I get distracted.  Birds are fascinating.  The blue jays rarely just pick a nut.  They will land and pick up a nut, then put it down.  Then pick up another nut, then put it down.  It looks sometimes as if they are shaking it, but I am not sure.  Then they will pick up another one and put it down.  I’ve seen one bird do that a dozen times.  I am so curious as to why.  I have my ideas as to why, but I would love so much for them to be able to tell me.

The collage with the orioles makes me squint because of the out of focus, faded pictures where the oriole has his back to the camera.  They are that way because I was taking it far from a way and through a dirty window and through a screen.  The orioles are very skittish.  The blurry photo where his coloring is bright was from very far away and as soon as he noticed me he was gone.  The one of the oriole in the tree, that is the less-than-brightly-colored female.

The mourning dove has been trying to get to that feeder for days now.  And I say “trying to get” because I have never seen it IN the feeder.  It flies up to the top of it and that is as far as we have seen it get.  But perhaps when we are not looking it actually makes it to the bottom to get the seed.  Tonight my husband and I watched its progress.  The mourning doves are skittish, too, but I think her having won such a hard battle she was not going to just fly away.

Our yard is small, but we are blessed with visiting birds.  What’s in your yard?  Do you have a flower garden?  Do you have a vegetable garden?  Do you have birds that visit?

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Refreshing Apple Salad

Posted by terrepruitt on June 11, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI came across a recipe for apple slaw.  I thought that sounded interesting.  Nice and refreshing.  But I did my usual skimming of the recipe and I thought there was apple cider vinegar in it.  I bought the apples and didn’t buy any apple cider vinegar because I thought I had some.  I didn’t have any.  I went to the store a couple of times but didn’t have apple cider vinegar on my list so of course, I didn’t get any.  I finally remember to get some.  I planned on making it on a night that I was subbing an evening class after teaching Nia in the morning.  The class I had to sub was early so I had planned on making the slaw before class.  This was my plan when I bought the vinegar.  Between purchase and the actual day, I forgot that I was going to make this.  So my day is going on and I begin to prepare dinner to start cooking while I am gone, then I remember I wanted to make this slaw.  And even though it is slaw, I was thinking the apples were to be sliced really thin.  Like mandolin-sliced.  I don’t have a mandolin, but I figure I can slice them thin.  So I run up to my computer to get the recipe and, “Oh yeah.  SLAW – grated.  Well, I am going to slice them AND leave the skin on.”  That was my thought process.  Also included in that thinking was, “No apple cider vinegar?  I must have not copy and pasted properly.  I could have sworn it had apple cider vinegar.”  I also usually copy and paste the website where I got the recipe into my document.  Since I didn’t see that I KNEW that I copied the recipe wrong.  But I couldn’t remember where I got the recipe.  So I had to look around and think.  Then I remembered.  I went to the site . . . nope, I didn’t copy it wrong.  I still don’t know where I got the idea that the recipe called for apple cider vinegar.  But I decided since I bought the stuff I was going to use it.  So MY recipe for apple slaw turned into more of an apple salad.  And I loved it.  Hope you like it too.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoApple Salad

2 large Granny Smith apples
1 lemon
4 tsp olive oil
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt
feta cheese

Peel* the Granny Smith apples and then slice them very thin.  Mix the juice from 1/2 of  the lemon, the oil, and the vinegar in a bowl.  Toss with the apple slices.  Add the salt.  Just a couple of sprinkles.  Then squeeze a little more lemon juice on top of the apples (from the other half of the lemon).  Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours.

If you are able, you can toss the mixture during the cooling period so that all the apples have a chance to sit in the juice mixture.

Once you are ready to serve, move the apples into your individual dish and sprinkle with a little feta and serve.  You might feel it needs a little more salt, but that is up to you, the feta sometimes adds just the right amount of saltiness.

The apples I used were HUGE so it will be about 4 to 6 servings.

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*You might have noticed that in my introduction I said I wanted to leave the skin on the apples.  And I did on parts of it, but those parts were so difficult to slice thin.  Granny Smith has some thick skin I’d say and I was in way too much of a hurry to try to force it.  So I peeled the other apple entirely.  Much, much easier to slice.

This would also be fine without the feta.  Or maybe even good with a nice shredded cheddar?  Either way, I really like it.  It is easy and refreshing.  A nice summer salad.  One of these days I will actually try making the SLAW!

 

 

What do you think?  Have you had apple slaw before?  How about this, anyone up for apple salad?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Bringing Focus Back

Posted by terrepruitt on June 9, 2015

About a month ago I was in a yoga class and afterwards there were a few people who were telling the person that was a couple of mats away from me how great her poses were.  They were going on about how beautiful she looked.  I felt bad.  I felt like an awful person for not even noticing how wonderful this fellow student was.  She was so wonderful that a few people came over to tell her.  Every class I have taken since then has me questioning that.  I started thinking I should be looking around and paying attention to other people’s poses.  I realized that I am really focused on myself when I am in a yoga class.  Sometimes I open my eyes and I am surprised there are other people in the class.  The last few classes I took I started looking around.  I started noticing what other people were doing.  I was thinking that I needed to be more attentive to the other students so I could pat them on the back when they did well.  But then I realized that looking around and watching what other people are doing is what I do when I teach.  When I take a class it is perfectly fine for me to let the students fade into the background.  When I am in a yoga class I NEED to be focused on me.

When I am instructing a class I am demonstrating a pose.  I am IN the pose, but I am not really DOING the pose.  I am not focused on the pose, I am focused on looking at the class.  I am focused on seeing if they are doing the pose.  I am thinking about how to gently guide them into the proper alignment.  I am thinking about what to say that will allow them to sense what they are doing.  Everyone says they want to be instructed on how to do it right, but no one wants to be the sole recipient of all the instruction.  So sometimes, general instructions is best.  I am thinking about all of that while I am in the poses.

At times I will step out of a pose to walk around the class to see the students posture from different angles.  I walk around to see if they are in alignment and to help someone with the pose.  So I am not really doing yoga.  I am not focusing on me, I am not focusing on my breath, I am not paying strict attention to sensation in the poses.

So when I am in a yoga class, I don’t look around.  I soften my gaze so I don’t really see my fellow classmates.  I allow myself to be the student and not look at others’ alignment.

I have been thinking about this for about a month now.  I was trying to figure out a post for today, when I came across “No Peeking!” and it reminded me of peeking around in a yoga class.  When I look around and pay too much attention to others when I am a student, I sometimes lose sense of what I am doing.  It could be that I see the person three over from me doing the pose “better than” me, so I try to go deeper (or higher . . . whatever the case may be) and then I am not listening to my body and what it needs at that moment.  No Peeking was about competitive swimming and how when you look around to see where you are in the race you move your head, which changes your body position, which changes the outcome of the race.  While yoga is not a race, when I look around whether the movement changes my pose or my thought process changes the pose, the outcome is adjusted.

Hmm.  I am going to keep that in mind.  And get back to my focus.  If I don’t complement your beautiful poses when we are in a yoga class, don’t take offense.  Now, Nia is entirely different.  While dancing you are tuned into your body, but there is also a sense of sharing and sometimes even stealing.  If you see someone doing something you want to try, have at it.

Are you completely focused in your yoga class?  Do you get motivated by looking at others?  Does looking at others distract you?

Posted in PiYo/Pilates/Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »