Archive for January, 2011
Posted by terrepruitt on January 29, 2011
It is the end of January and like every year I end up with a Christmas Tree Ornament separate from the Christmas stuff. I think it began the Christmas of 2000. My husband’s sister gave us a Christmas Tree ornament for Christmas. It was a Lenox ornament. It is a snow flake made of gold metal and china. The china is on top of the metal.
At the time of this posting I don’t have a picture of it because it IS put up with the Christmas stuff and I didn’t know I was going to be posting about my ornaments. I might be able to find a picture eventually. (01.31.11, I found a picture with the first ornament in it. It is not a great shot because it was of the entire tree. I cropped it.) Anyway, this ornament started my love of Lenox ornaments. I went online and discovered they have a lot of Christmas Tree ornaments. They even have a club that you can join and you receive an annual Snow Flake.
I always admire my snowflakes. Every time I put them out I grab one and I say, “Oh, this year is my favorite.” Then I pick up another one and say, “No, THIS is my favorite.” Then I pick up the next one . . . and well, you can see where this is going.
The annual ornament is delivered after the first of the year and it never fails no matter how late into January that we pack up our Christmas stuff the ornament arrives after all the boxes are up. So I always end up with at least that one waiting around all year to be put with the other Christmas stuff. One year I forgot about it entirely and it didn’t make it on the tree OR even up with the Christmas stuff until the follow year.
This year when I received my ornament I opened it with all the excitement one has when receiving a gift and I was disappointed. The shape is nice and the sparkles on it are red and green, which is fine. But the gold painted on the ornaments is haphazard and careless. It states that it has been hand painted. I thought the reason for advertising something was hand painted was to explain the care that went into the product and to astonish people with the beautiful skill, not be an excuse for a job poorly done. I am saddened. Here I normally love the quality that comes from Lenox and this is very sub par. I am disappointed.
This latest snowflake has me wondering . . . . if this is the direction the product is headed it might be the last year I accept it. It is one of those clubs where they send you a product and you can send it back. You don’t have to keep it. Even though it is not that great I am going to keep it, because it is part of the collection. When I told my husband about it, the first thing he asked was, “Are you going to keep it?” When I said yes, he looked at my as if to say “then why are you wasting my time telling me about it?”
I have been buying the annual ornament for ten years, I will give them next year. If the same poor quality comes out then I will cancel. My hubby said there was also no point in contacting the company to explain my dis-satisfaction. I am not entirely convinced that is true, but he caused me to think it would be a waste of time. So, I am just sharing it here. As I often do.
Do you have a club that you belong to where you receive a product? Have you belonged to a club where you have seen the quality of the product decline? It is a bummer.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree Ornament, declining quailty, Lenox, Lenox Christmas Tree Ornaments, Lenox ornaments | 5 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 27, 2011
There are dogs in my neighborhood that bark all the time. I always think that the people who own the dogs should give the dogs some attention or tell the dogs to be quiet. It just dawned on me today that they probably aren’t even home. Then upon further reflection I realized that the dog that barks all day long is advertising that no one is home. It is like a big neon sign telling people no one is home.
We always had a dog. I love dogs. Our dogs were our pets. They came in the house. We played with the dogs. We actually only had one at a time. We took her camping. We walked the dog. The dog had a huge house out in the corner of a covered deck. She always went outside at night. Every once in a while we would let her stay in, but sometimes even when it was raining she would rather go outside. It was her job. She was a guard dog. When she barked we listened. When she barked we would go look to see what she was barking at. When we saw nothing we told her she was a good girl, but that was enough. She was not allowed just to bark for no reason. None of our dogs were.
Our neighbors knew that our dogs didn’t just bark. If the dog was barking our neighbors would investigate if we were not home, because our dogs did not just bark to bark. So it had me thinking today that if the people are home they are neglecting the dog. And, if they are not home, which is probably the case, their dog is letting everyone know that no one is home.
Since the dog barks all the time, I would never even think to wonder if something is going on at the house. It could be that someone is trying to break in the house, but I would never even think of that because the dog doesn’t stop barking . . . so it wouldn’t occur to me. Even worse the occupants of the house could have fallen and not be able to get up and no one would ever know to check because the dog barking constantly is a normal thing.
There is a dog in our neighborhood that only barks when something is going on. When that dog barks I grab my phone and go look. The dog’s owners have trained that dog and trained him well. I forget he is even there. One time I was near his property and I was talking to someone and we were there for a few minutes then all of a sudden “WOOF!” Scared me, because, as I said, I forgot they had a dog. It was as if he was ok with us being right outside his fence, but after a few minutes he decided to remind us that he was there and we had better move along. To me, that dog protects that house and is a good watch dog for the entire neighborhood. He lets his owners and neighbors know if something is going on. As I said, when that dog barks, I pay attention. If that dog barked non-stop I would know something was wrong.
The dog that barks all the time though, it could be putting its house and the neighbor’s houses at risk. I mean if that dog barks because no one is home then it really is like a big flashing neon sign that the house is empty. Can’t believe I just thought of that today. Hmmm.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: barking dog, constant barking dog, empty house, flashing neon sign, guard dog, neighborhood dog, neon sign, non-stop barking, trained dog, watch dog, well trained dog | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 25, 2011
It was late Sunday night (January 23, 2011), when I learned Jack LaLanne died. I was sad. I am often sad when celebrities die. They often represent a lot to us, whether it be a generation of music, an idea, a movement, whatever . . . .their celebrity makes them larger than life. I think Jack was one of those larger than life type of people. He was amazing. He was an inspiration.
He was a junk food junkie. Granted he changed his ways when he was 15, still he changed. Also, I still maintain that the “junk food” back then was a lot different then what it is today. Today it is more full of chemicals and it is way overprocessed.
Jack was born in San Francisco in 1914. He opened his first gym in 1936 in Oakland. And according to his website; he “designed the world’s first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and weight selectors”. Jack believed in fitness, whole body wellness. He originally went to school pre-med, but then decided he wanted to help PREVENT illness instead of treat illnesses. Our entire medical structure is based on treatment of illness. I believe the fitness industry is based on the prevention of illness.
His ideas were so advance for what was known at the time regarding health, fitness, and entire body/mind wellness. He felt that working out with weights was good for everyone. He felt exercise was good for both the body and the mind. He was a pioneer.
He also managed some amazing feats.
He swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater, while he was 40 years old. It was 1954 and he was carrying 140s of equipment. He also set a record by doing 1,033 pushups. He did it in 23 minutes, he was 42. He towed a 2,500 pound cabin cruiser while swimming the Golden Gate Channel when he was 43. The SECOND time he swam the length of the Golden Gate he was towing a 1,000 pound boat AND he was handcuffed.
He also received many recognitions and awards. Some called him to the godfather of fitness. He was an innovator. He was 96 when he died. He died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. I would like to say, thank you to Mr. LaLanne for bringing fitness, health and the tools for wellness to so many people.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: body mind wellness, fitness pioneer, Jack LaLanne, pneumonia, preventative exercises, whole body wellness, world records | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2011
So, I have been teaching my Nia classes with my injured toe. I love it! It is such an awesome lesson, an amazing reminder. I have very good balance. I have such good balance I am always shocked that there are times when I get off balance. At those times — when I am standing on a BOSU using dumbbells, or doing squats — I am reminded that there is always room for improvement. Because I DO understand there is always room for improvement I always try to work on my balance. Nia is so, so, so, so good for balance. With the challenge of my injured toe I am reminded what a great job Nia does in allowing for balance practice.
While walking around the room if you engage your arms in a constant dance of movement you can sense how your full foot is used. Lower leg muscles can be sensed. Walking on the balls of your feet, moving fast then slow, moving your arms requires you to engage your core. All of the movements in Nia help to increase your balance and also require you to use so much of your body that we don’t always exercise throughout our day. All the movements also serve to remind you that your entire body is connected. Such as I mentioned before – walking and moving your arms you can sense your entire foot working to balance your body.
It is amazing to add the extra challenge of balance by moving your arms or moving fast then slow, or walking on a different part of the foot, or standing taller or moving lower. I am thinking that I have said this or something similar in previous posts, but since I am being challenged with my balance lately it is coming up again. I am using my whole left foot, but only the inside of my right foot. With this unstable base every action of my arms requires a great test of balance. It is a great reminder to me. Nia is a great way to practice balance and since it is a dance and we are moving so much, it never feels like work.
Even though I would love for you to join me in one of my Nia classes, I know that is it not possible for some. But it is possible for you to work on your own balance while going about your day. Easy things you can do; stand on one foot while cooking/taking a shower/vacuuming/whatever, move your arms about while you walk around, walk on the balls of your feet, hop on one leg, what else? What can you come up with to help practice your balance?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: balance practice, dance class, dumbbells, exercise class, Nia, Nia balance, Nia Classes, Nia Dance, Nia exercise, Nia Lesson, Nia Movement, Nia Practice, squats for balance | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 20, 2011
Look what my parents bought me for Christmas. Yup, I asked for dumbbells, but I did it at the last minute so then gave me cash instead—WAIT! I just realized that. Hmmm? Maybe I’m onto something . . . . Sorry, I digress. Anyway . . .they gifted me more than plain dumbbells cost so I got a weighted bar too! Yay! I just got it and I can’t wait until my toe is COMPLETELY healed so I can really use the bar.
A weighted bar can be used in so many ways. It can be used as you would use dumbbells. You can use it for bicep curls, bent over rows, dead lifts, lunges, triceps extensions . . . . pretty much like dumbbells. The length adds to the effort of having to keep it stable. So, I can use it now, sitting down, but since it does add an additional balance element to it, I need to wait until my toe is healed (and I can actually balance my foot) before I start adding that extra weight.
One reason wanted this was so that I could do Good Mornings, because that is one exercise that needs a bar. Holding the bar over your shoulders just makes more sense.
For now I am able to still do Nia in my classes, but I am limited until my toe heals. I am not doing much with weights at the time being. I am very excited to really get to work with my bar, though. So stay tuned.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: balance exercise, bent over rows, bicep curls, Christmas, dead lifts, dumbbells, lunges, Nia, Nia balance, Nia Classes, Nia exercise, triceps extensions, weight bar, weighted bar | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 18, 2011
The Prime Rib potluck had purple potatoes. The hostess made purple potatoes or maybe they were blue. She roasted yellow and purple fingerling potatoes. I have seen purple potatoes in the store, but not purple fingerlings. I have never had a purple potato. The way they were cooked was incredible—they were perfect. The seasoning was perfect and they way they were cooked was perfect. The purple ones did not taste different from the regular ones. But they were so pretty. I was mesmerized by the deep purple color. There is an idea out there that it is important to eat the color of the rainbow. There is a lot of nutrients in the different colors of fruits and vegetables. Research is proving that there are antioxidants found in the different colors.
Anthocyanin is responsible for the purple and blue colors of fruits and vegetables. This particular flavonoid is proving to have anti-cancer and heart-protective effects. Research is also discovering this antioxidant has benefits shown to boost the immune system and protect against age-related memory loss.
Potatoes with the darkest color are proving to have almost four times the amount of antioxidants . . . AND they hold up to 75% of their nutrients after being cooked. As you know a lot of vegetables lose a large amount of their nutrients when cooked.
According to the USDA’s website: “All potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron.” So with the purple variety you would be getting all of that plus the added benefits of antioxidants. PLUS . . . you can’t overlook the beautiful color they add to any plate!
Have you had a purple potato?
Posted in Food | Tagged: anthocyanin, anti cancer, antioxidant, complex carbohydrates, folic acid, immune system, iron, Potassium, potluck, Prime Rib, purple potatoes, roasted potatoes, vitamin C, yellow potatoes | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 15, 2011
Just a short follow-up on the Horseradish root. The root is basically odorless and flavorless until it is grated or crushed. As part of the mustard family it has a bite or heat to it. The grated or crushed root is mixed with vinegar to make the condiment. Other ingredient and spices can be added to make it creamy or more flavorful, but the vinegar helps keep it from turning dark.
There is a lot of medicinal uses for horseradish. It is thought to aid in digestion when mixed with vinegar. Which is great because that is what is contained in most of the prepared versions, and most often eaten with meat. Since it aides in digestion that could be why it is sometimes considered a laxative.
It is also thought to help with circulation. It is also on record as an antiseptic and a diuretic.
Horseradish is a good source of Vitamin C. There is a site on horseradish that has some great information about processing horseradish. It says that if you cry when cutting onions process your horseradish outside.
One website states that milk infused with horseradish can actually help with skin clearness and color. I have to remember this site because it also says that a horseradish eaten throughout the day can help get rid of a cough following the flu.
I don’t eat horseradish but after reading some of the benefits I think I should start . . . or at least use it to improve my skin color. I would consider learning how to prepare it since the “hot” versions of prepared horseradish I found contain High Fructuose Corn Sryup. I think if my hubs is going to eat Prime Rib HFCS is something that could be avoided.
Do you eat horseradish? How do you eat it? What do you eat it with?
Posted in Food | Tagged: clear skin, HFCS, High Fructose Corn Syrup, horseradish, hot horseradish, prepared horseradish, Prime Rib, process horseradish, root, spicy horseradish | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 13, 2011
Prime Rib. That is what I think of when I think of horseradish. When I think of Prime Rib I think first of my hubby because he loves the stuff then I think of horseradish because that is what he eats with it. He likes it really strong. He doesn’t care for the kind that taste more like sour cream (or whatever is used). Well, we are attending a pot luck type of Prime Rib dinner and no one mentioned having horseradish so I asked. I should know better, right? I was assigned to bring horseradish. I wanted to go to a specialty store and see if I could find some fancy kind. But that just didn’t fit in with the present situation. So I just went to the grocery store to buy . . . ? What? I didn’t even know how it is packaged. All this time I am thinking of “prepared horseradish”. Anyway, I ended up with three choices of horseradish. One regular, I guess, and two different brands of extra hot.
So I decided to see what is in these bottles of prepared horseradish. What do you think I found? Why was I surprised? Well, I was surprised because it was the two bottles of extra hot that contained High Fructose Corn Syrup. Yeah, HFCS — what they are now changing the name of – Corn Sugar. (Eyes rolling.) I know that my hubby likes extra spicy and I know that he would be really disappointed if we didn’t have horseradish for prime rib, so I actually bought one of the bottles that had HFCS in it. I bought the one that looked less fancy, but the HFCS was much lower on the list of ingredients. And if what they say is true — the ingredients are listed in the order of amount in the product — then the one I bought has less than the other one. But still, yes, I am hanging my head in shame. Especially since, now that I have had some time to think about it, I could have just bought the root, right?
Our hostess said something about mixing it with something, but I was thinking that is not what you need to do because it is already mixed, but she was probably thinking I would just buy the root?
Well, you know what this means don’t you? It means that even though I don’t eat horseradish I am feeling the need for educating myself on it. So . . . .there will be another post about horseradish the root.
Also it means if you are really interested in removing or cutting down on certain ingredients then you need to remember to read the labels. I look at everything now. Even products that I have been buying for years, because some of these ingredients haven’t been around as long as I have been buying the products. The ingredients I am trying to avoid (HFCS, Canola Oil, transfat/partially hydrogenated oil) might have been “snuck” in on me. So . . . check your labels. Why hot prepared horseradish requires HFCS, I don’t know.
Posted in Food | Tagged: Canola Oil, corn sugar, HFCS, High Fructose Corn Syrup, horseradish, hot horseradish, hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, potluck, Prime Rib, root, spicy horseradish, Trans fat, transfat | 7 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 11, 2011
As I was putting Christmas Ornaments away (yes, I am still putting “Christmas” away) I was reminded of Nia. My thoughts then morphed to working out and exercise. Ya see, I was trying to put an ornament in its box. I have trouble with this ornament every year. Do you have any of those ornaments where you store them in the box they came in? I have a lot of those ornaments and every year there are some that give me trouble. I try putting it in this way, then I have to take it out and turn it, then try again, and try again, and after a few tries finally get it in the right way with a resulting “Ahhh . . . . . .”
That is what made me think of Nia. Nia is made for everyBODY. The exercises we perform, the movements we do, the entire workout is designed around the design of the body. Often times people are not accustomed to moving their body in the way it was designed. Some people don’t turn their heads which can loosen the spine and muscles in the back or gyrate their hips which can loosen the hips and possible allow you to stand up taller. It might not be for everyONE, because in Nia participants are not told exactly how to move. It IS one of those things that you have to ACTUALLY try. It also helps to try it more than once. Try going to classes when they have different routines. Try it with different teachers. Try treating it differently; treat it as a cardio workout, treat it like an exercise, or treat it like a dance. Try all different ways. If you don’t love it instantly, then don’t give up, try again. You could find that when you keep trying and do it a different way you’ll be saying, “Ahhhh . . . “
If not, Nia, there are so many other things that you can try. Find something you like. Keep trying. Don’t give up and think you don’t like exercise or working out because it comes in so many different forms, I am sure you can find something you would like. You can always contact me and we can talk about it.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: cardio dance class, cardio exercise, cardio workout, Christmas Ornaments, dance class, exercise, exercise class, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia dance class, Nia exercise, Nia Moves, Nia particpants, Nia teachers, Nia workout, Working Out, workout class | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 8, 2011
On Wednesday after my Nia Class in San Jose I was talking to one of my students. Some how we ended up on a subject that had her telling me about a friend of hers who is blind but has no issue navigating the step that is not too far from her front entry way inside her home. She was explaining that people have no problem with it on the way in, but on the way out they forget about it and usually stumble on it when leaving the house. This led to many other tangents in our conversation but one thing it had me thinking about was sight/seeing and our focus.
I was thinking that the sighted people were focusing on the door on the way out of the house. For me, I imagined myself leaving her house, part of my focus on her and saying our goodbyes, then another part on the door—–but with the door a multitude of other things would come into my mind and into my focus. I would see the door and begin to think about my car, which would make me think about my drive, which would lead me to think about what I need to do on the way home, which (depending upon the hour of the day) might have me thinking about what to cook for dinner and if I needed to stop at the store on the way home—-all of which would make me trip. I would not be focused at all on my feet and on the step and I am sure that I would stumble into the door.
With that in mind I had a focus and an intent for my next Nia class which was the one in Los Gatos. The focus was Awareness, the intent was to connect to one’s body. While I have used awareness as a focus before, and I have probably even used the same intent before, and I have even invited the participants to close their eyes, this time I did it more frequently. With this routine there is a song where we are completely stationary so closing one’s eyes to allow for complete focus on one’s body is perfect. There is also a song where we turn and face different walls (in line dancing it would be called a four-wall dance). When we turn it often takes me and other people out of the line of sight which can often lead to one “having” to be aware of one’s own body.
To me one of the fundamentals of Nia is being in one’s body and dancing in your own body’s way, but I think that we often get distracted by the things we see. I know that while I teach sometimes I will get distracted because I see my hair sticking up or I see something else I should not be concentrating on. So I think that having Awareness, with the intent of connecting to the body and adding “eyes closed” to be a great tool. We did not dance the entire routine with our eyes closed, just when it was safe to do so, when our movements were not far from our spot and there was no chance of bumping into someone. Also, it was just an invitation to assist with the focus and intent it is not something that was required.
As the teacher I do not close my eyes as much as I would if I were the student because I am teaching and making certain that all is well in the class, but I know that the few times I did I was able to really embrace the focus and the intent.
What do you think? Do you think that if you close your eyes you can focus more on your body?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: body's way, dance class, focus and intent, four wall dance, fundamentals of Nia, line dancing, Los Gatos Nia, Nia, Nia class, Nia dancing, Nia fundamentals, Nia Los Gatos, Nia participant, Nia San Jose, Nia student, San Jose line dancing, San Jose Nia | 6 Comments »