Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 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 / yoga / Personal Training!

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Caprese Bites

Posted by terrepruitt on July 20, 2016

You’ve probably seen these before.  I know I have.  I don’t know where, but I know that when I saw them I wanted to make them.  I was having company over last weekend and I didn’t know what to make because I didn’t know who was eating what and we usually end up with so much food.  I decided I would do these as an appetizer and supply the dessert and the company could bring the rest.  Worked out great!  :-)  As I said I had remembered seeing these before, but didn’t bother to look them up because I thought I could figure them out.  I did, but as I sat down to write this I thought I would give it a quick look-see.  I should have looked before I made them because, of course, there are much better ways to present them shown on the internet.  Mine were ok, and I will probably do it again, but I do like the swishy drizzle.  Not that I could ever accomplish that.  I tried to drizzle and the new thing from Costco that is on the balsamic vinegar, just dripped it all over the plate.  I gave up and used a spoon.  Anyway . . . here is a quick and yummy appetizer.  Caprese salad or as I am calling these Caprese Bites.

_______________________________

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A tub of mozzarella balls
two tubs of grape tomatoes
a bunch of basil
balsamic vinegar
salt

Drain the mozzarella and let it dry out a little bit.  Wash your basil if you desire, then let it dry a bit.  Wash the tomatoes and let them dry.  Then cut the mozzarella balls in half.  Sprinkle the cheese with salt.  Then decide the order.  I had cheese-tomato-basil.  Then stick a tooth pick through the cheese, then the tomato, then a basil leaf.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a little salt.

_______________________________

So, I made these last weekend.  I didn’t take a picture.  I had leftover cheese, so I made them again for this post.  I salted the cheese the second time I made these.  Then I salted the entire “bite” after I drizzled on the balsamic vinegar.  I barely used an salt and half of it rolls off.  But I really think the salt helps bring out the flavor in everything.  Salt is a flavor enhancer.  YUM.

Also the second time, I tried to stick the tomato on one side . . . in other words NOT IN THE MIDDLE.  I tried to pierce it closer to one side of the tomato so it would rest better on the plate.  I did also try doing it with the tomato on the bottom and the toothpick up in the air, I didn’t like that.  It probably would have worked better with the cheese on the bottom.  Or if the tomatoes are cut.

Either way . . . such an easier appetizer.  And so yummy.  I actually assembled it the night before.  But I put the vinegar and salt on right before I served it.  Both kind of make the cheese “melty”.  So it got a little messy.  But it was still good.

I was actually surprised how much I liked them.  I made a lot and I think I ate most of them.  My hubby and I even had a few in the days that followed.

Now we have more.  Yay!  Yum!

Have you made these before?  How do you assemble them?

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

Flow Yoga? Vinyasa Yoga? Vinyasa Flow Yoga?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 18, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitYoga has been around for thousands of years.  There are so many translations of the documents that talk about yoga that there doesn’t seem to be a definitive way to do things.  The poses all seem to have different names, and when you hear a name you’ve heard before it can be done entirely different from what you were taught.  Pronunciation is all over the board.  There just doesn’t seem to be any way to know what you are getting . . . exactly.

I have been taking a few different classes to check things out.  And this is what I have come across.  There is “Flow Yoga”.  That is where the class is done in a flowing manner.  The participants move from pose to pose using the breath.  There might be poses where we stop and stay in it for a few breaths, but basically we are flowing from pose to pose.  Then there is the Vinyasa style.  Now Vinyasa is a flowing class.  It might not be called “Vinyasa Flow”, but that is usually what it is.  With a Vinyasa class participants flow from pose to pose and they are done on the breath.  There might be some stopping and holding, then flow to the next pose . . . but there is also “a Vinyasa”.  You can look it up and you’ll see vinyasa is defined as “arranging something in a special way.”  That can be applied to the class as already mentioned, but it can also be applied to a small sequence of poses.

In a Vinayasa class, in addition to flowing from one pose to the next, you “take a” or you “do a” vinyasa which is a specific set of poses.  It is generally the same, but it might be modified for the level of the class, but “a vinyasa” is typically plank pose, to knees-chest-chin or chaturanga dandasana, to cobra pose or upward facing dog pose, to downward facing dog pose.  The less intense vinyasa would be the one with the knees-chest-chin and cobra pose, whereas the more intense version would include the chaturanga dandasana and upward facing dog pose.  You could also do a combination and do knees-chest-chin with the upward facing dog or the chaturanga dandasana with the cobra pose.

What you also might experience in a class is something that really can’t be defined.  At some venues where they do yoga . . . like at an actual yoga studio . . . they might have classes that are separated into levels.  So a level one flow class will be different, probably less intense than a level two or three.  But at some places every class is expect to be an “all level” class . . . and that is where you will probably experience something that can’t be defined.

In order to allow “all levels” to participate the instructor will modify and change what she can in order to make certain that everyone can participate.  This, to me, is where a lot of the changes in yoga has come from.  So the need to alter it so it is accessible to the general public in combination with the fact that the translations are so varied has resulted in no definitive way of things being done or described.

So, my conclusion and definitions say:  Vinyasa yoga is flow yoga, but flow yoga is not vinyasa flow.  In Vinyasa yoga you do vinyasas.

The BEST way to know what you are getting is to talk to the instructor and/or take a class.  It helps to see for yourself.  You can always tell the teacher that you are taking the class to see if it a fit for you, then do the best you can.  If you like the class return to take it again.  If you don’t like it, you can always let the instructor know it was not what you were looking for.

When attending a class for the first time it is good to keep in mind that you might get a little different than you expected, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy the class for what it is.

What kind of yoga classes do you like?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Easy To Clean, Perhaps Not So Easy To Drink From

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI have written about how my hubby and I feed the hummingbirds. I have written about their tongues. I have written about the sugar we use.  I have shared them being in our yard. In one of those posts I’ve had to have mentioned how difficult it is to clean the feeders. With the hummingbirds putting their tongues in the feeders there is a lot of stuff that grows in there. It pretty much looks like black slime. It is pretty gross. The way the feeders are constructed it is difficult to get in there and clean it out. We have several different brushes and we poke ’em through the little holes and clean the sludge out as best as we can. But it is time consuming – and gross. I have always wondered why someone hasn’t made a feeder that comes apart easily so that it is easier to clean. Easier to make sure all the gunk is gone. Well, I found one. I was so excited. I think I had food made up on the day they were scheduled to arrive so once they got here I could just fill them and put them outside. Well, sadly, I am disappointed in them.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI had found them on Perky Pet. But we had two that were still useable so I was going to wait until we needed one before I bought it. Well, it just happened within days of me finding it, I was washing the ones we had and I broke one. It fell in the sink and broke. Then I found the feeder sold through Amazon and it was Prime so it would get here faster and free. The new ones look the same as our old ones.  With slight differences.

When I got it I filled it and put it outside. The birds didn’t touch it. They used the other feeder. I even put the new one in the spot where the old one was – 1) I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t leak (so I put it over the dirt) 2) I thought that would encourage them to use it.

When I saw a bird at the new feed what I saw was the little hummingbird sitting on it and then having to REACH his neck up really tall in order to get his beak into the “bee guard” flower. The flowers on the new feeders have a little tube that are supposed to keep bees out. But our birds are so tiny they really have to reach to get at the right angle.

I thought I could use the OLD flowers in the new feeder, but of course not. They are not interchangeable. Since I thought the little tube was the problem, I cut them off all of the flowers. But still, the birds were not using it as much as the old feeder.

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The past two nights the old feeder has been empty so we have seen increased activity by the new feeder, but they still don’t seem to be using it as much. Or they try and they can’t get at the water . . . I am not sure. I am not filling the feeders as much, but there seems to be the same amount of birds and activity in the yard. To me if the birds are there in full force the feeders should be empting faster.

We will see. It is REALLY nice to have the feeders come apart. When they are apart I can ensure that I get it clean. There are no nooks and crannies for the slime to hide in. I really like that part. I just want to make sure that the birds can drink out of them.

I am about to fill all three again . . . . we will see how it goes. Perhaps it was just a matter of the birds getting used to using the new one. They might have to use the new feeders differently because they are configured little differently inside.

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wrist Relief

Posted by terrepruitt on July 6, 2016

So this past Monday was a Holiday, it was Fourth of July, on holidays often gyms, yoga studios, and fitness places have different schedules.  Such was the case with the YMCA on Monday.  Some Y’s were closed.  The ones that were open had shortened open hours and adjusted group exercise schedules.  I saw that one of the YMCAs in my area had an adjusted schedule on the Holiday.  It had classes that it normally does not have on Monday.  And not only did they have a class I wanted to take, but it was at the perfect time!  So, I schlepped myself over there to try it out.  I was hoping it was the same teacher that I had taken a class from before and I could ask her if I could post about a technique she had shared in that class.  It was, I did, and she granted me permission.  So this post is about a pain relieving technique for the wrists.

When I took a class with her before I was trying out a new-to-me type of yoga and in that class she did a technique to help relived some discomfort in our wrists because we had done a few poses on them.  She did it again in this class, although a little differently, but we had not been on our wrists as long as we had been in the other class.

She, Cindy Piccoli – a yoga instructor at the YMCA, said that her chiropractor taught her this technique.  She said she had carpal tunnel and did this movement to relieve it.  She said she did this frequently for two years and she no longer suffers from carpal tunnel.*

Since having done it in her class that one day, I do it to relieve aching wrists after doing poses that make my wrists hurt.  I also have had my students do it after we do poses that affect the wrist in class.

It is amazingly simple, perhaps it can help you after those “wrist” poses.

  • Somewhat straighten out one arm palm up.  The elbow can be relaxed.  Then form a “U” with your index finger and thumb of the OTHER hand.
  • Grasp the wrist of the straight arm, right where the palm and the arm meet, and squeeze.  While you are squeezing bring each finger in one at a time on the hand of your straight arm.  I recommend keeping the fingers that are forming the “U” straight as that allows for a strong squeeze.  (My model allowed his fingers to close around the wrist . . . )
  • Start with the pinky, them move onto the ring finger, moving all fingers until you end up with a “closed palm”.  Do that a couple of times.
  • Then draw your fingers toward you allowing your hand to move toward you.  Straighten the fingers out, flexing the hand, then bend the wrist pointing the fingers toward you.  Do that a couple of times.

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https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7409/28143970835_f910de2fde_b.jpg

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If your other wrist is bothering you, don’t forget to do this on the other one.

Give it a try after you have had your weight on your wrists and see what you think.

Do you have any techniques or remedies for sore wrists?

*Keep in mind this site/post makes no claims as to this technique or any others mentioned on this site healing or curing any ailment, affliction, illness.  This post is sharing an a persons individual experience.

Oh, and thank you to my wonderful hand model. 😉

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Home Anniversary

Posted by terrepruitt on July 4, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitMost of you probably know that we have cats.  Right?  I mean, I have posted a least once a month about them.  They are so sweet.  Cats really are.  Cats, just like so many people, get a bad rep from the few that are not nice.  But most cats are very sweet.  They might not respond like dogs and come when you call them, but they are very affectionate.  My last post about the cats (Our Tube Has A Tail) had videos, the one (Happy Cat Guardians) before that a bunch of photos.  This brings me to the point of this post, it has been a year since we brought the cats home.  Last year on Friday, July 3, 2015 we decided to adopt them.  We brought them home on the Fourth of July.

Some of you may know the story . . . we had a cat that died in 2014.  She was phenomenal in the sense that she was a very easy cat.  She didn’t get into things, she had impeccable litter box manners . . . she was so many things the opposite of the reputation of cats.  So when my hubby and I started thinking about getting a kitten, I was so torn.  I mean, I totally wanted a kitten.  The little mews of a kitten are enough to make anyone want one.  And the antics . . . so fun.  But I didn’t want to end up with one of “those” cats.  The ones that give cats a bad reputation.  It didn’t really occur to me to get an older cat.  But once it did I thought, “How do you pick one?”  So I had been looking on websites and “deciding” by looks, which is one of the worst ways, to me, to decide on an animal.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitTurns out my husband’s boss had a friend who opened a cat “cafe” or cat lounge where you can go visit with cats.  I love that idea and decide to volunteer there.  In that same time frame they happened to get a cat that LOOKED so cute that both my hubby and I wanted her.  But after a few visits, I kinda set my sights on another cat.  I just needed to let my husband meet both the cat we originally saw and wanted, and this other one.  I was confident that the moment he met Esmeralda and she exposed her belly for gettin’ he would be convinced she was for us.  The issue was that she was considered part of a bonded pair and that means they want to adopt them out together.  I really didn’t want two cats.  One is enough.  Two is too much.  Plus I hadn’t even seen this other one.  She was holed up in one of the cat spaces and wouldn’t come out.

But when another cat moved into her spot and forced her out and we finally got to see her, we decided we could deal with two cats.  If you are not opposed to adopting a black cat and you ever have to choose between a black on and a not black one . . . please really consider taking the black one.  Because of certain beliefs, black cats are hard to adopt out.  There are some superstitions around black cats so they don’t get adopted as much.

So, it has been a year.  And it was rough in the beginning — no one’s fault.  We had to keep them quarantined and medicate them for the first 30 days and we felt so bad.  Many of you know giving your pet medication is not easy and it is really sad when you bring a new pet home and have to put them through that.  We knew that it would be over one day and the cats would be fine, but it is tough when you are going through it.

But here we are . . . a year later.  And pretty much every day one of us (me to my hubby or he to me) says how much we love having our girls.  They are such great cats.  Very loving.  Very sweet.  Very entertaining.

Happy Fourth of July to you all.  And Happy Home Anniversary to our girls.

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Posted in Cats, Smokey and Esmeralda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kids And Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on July 1, 2016

I teach classes at a city community center.  We are fortunate enough to have a dance studio at the community center.  Even though Nia is non- to very low impact, it is important to dance on dance appropriate flooring.  If you are going to a, let’s say a festival and planning on dancing on the pavement for a few hours one afternoon, that is fine, but if you are planning on going to an exercise class one to three times a week, the floor needs to be appropriate.  We have a nice floor at the community center.  It is in the dance studio which is right off of the front desk.  A lot seems to happen in the rooms past the studio.  I think the preschool or small children’s’ area is past the dance studio.  The dance studio has two doors.  It is so cute the number of small children that walk by and stop to look in at us.  Some stop to watch.  I think children are drawn to dance.

A couple of weeks ago, I looked up to see a small girl looking in at us.  Then I saw a hand reach out to grab hers, and she pulled away because she wanted to stay and watch.  She was mesmerized.  Her eyes were big and she was just standing there completely still watching.  Some kids start to move while they watch.  All of them get wide-eyed when any of us make eye contact with them, but as soon as we say, “Hi!” or wave, the face breaks into a smile.  So many want to join us.

I always want to stop the class to ask them what intrigues them.  Is it just dancing in general?  Is it that we are usually laughing and having fun?  Is that the was are making noises?  Could be they are attracted to the whooping or growling?  Could be my wild tie-dyed shirts?  Or the energy in the room?  I don’t know.  I often wish I could ask.  Especially to that little one who was mesmerized and really did not want to be dragged away.

Sometimes it is really fun because there will be a line of them . . . like a whole class walking by so we get to wave a lot and we get a lot of waves back.  Also, last week, we think a group was in line for the water fountain which is right outside the door.  That was funny.  Because we went, “WHOOO!” then we heard “WHOOO!” from the hall.  So then we went, “WHOOWHOO!” and we got a “WHOOWHOO!” back.  We were able to include them in our class via vocals for a couple of minutes.  It was super funny.

Kids are so drawn to dance.  You know, you’ve seen those videos of the little ones just dancing away to a song they hear in the store or in the car.  They have not yet learned to be self-conscious of their movement or care what other people are thinking.  They just hear the music and they move.  It is so wonderful to witness.  I wish we would never lose that.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Big Hairy Feet

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitMany of you that have cats probably know that each cat’s litter box habits are different.  Well, I am convinced our first cat, Spot, was one of the tidiest cats ever.  I mean she didn’t make a mess in the litter box or out.  She kept her business off of the sides of the box.  In regards to getting out, it was as if she stepped out of the litter box instead of flying out of it with a trail of litter behind her.  She also had very tiny paws.  They weren’t very hairy.  One of our cats, I have written about her huge paws before, has long hair on her feet.  The fur goes past the pads and her feet are just huge.  I feel that her feet are litter trappers.  She goes into the litter box and when she comes out she has a tablespoon of litter trapped in each foot!  Ok, perhaps not that much, but a lot!  It just comes right on out with her.  I do not like stepping on litter.  First of all it is grainy, second of all, it is litter.  EWWWW!  So I was wondering how to try to cut down on the litter that was being tracked all over.  I came across this Cat Litter Trapper on Amazon.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWell, it might not be very pretty like the pretty flower carpet I have the litter box sitting on, but it really does cut down on the amount of litter tracked all over.  It doesn’t stop it entirely because sometimes I see the cats LAUNCH themselves out of the litter box practically missing the mat entirely.  But it does help a lot.  As they jump out or even launch themselves, I hear the litter pelting the mat.  Then, since it has the holes, it falls down into them and is trapped.  Ha.  Just like the name.  It really is better than having it all over.

When I first got it, for some reason, they were enjoying chewing on it.  Their litter box is in the room next to the bedroom so I would go to bed and hear this weird noise.  I would get up and one of them would be digging and chewing on it.  Again, many of you with cats, know that sometimes it is next to impossible to get a cat to stop doing whatever it is they have their mind set on doing.  So, I spritzed it very little with pure citrus.  Not enough to make them want to avoid the litter box, but enough to keep them from scratching and chewing on the mat.  I think that was just a case of “this is new, I must chew” because after a few days they left it alone and as far as I know, they have not dug at it or chewed on it.

Having two cats makes for a lot more litter mess than one cat, but this litter trapper really helps.  If you look at it, you will see that they say it is waterproof so if there are “accidents” it will keep the floor underneath from getting wet . . . I would imagine that is with a pad in between.  We don’t have use for it in that capacity yet, but I thought I would mention that for others that might want something like that.

What do you use for your cats?  Do your cats track as much litter around as mine do?

Update:  July 05, 2016 – I have had to update one of my posts.  I have replaced a picture with a pictures of my cats big hairy paw, click here for that!

Posted in Cats, Smokey and Esmeralda | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Our Tube Has A Tail

Posted by terrepruitt on June 22, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitYeah, that is about it.  These tubes are from our first cat, Spot.  They can be connected to make a longer tube, but currently we have them separated.  Esmeralda, the Tortie, loves them.  One is in the dining area and one is in the living room.  They are somewhat lined up and Esmeralda runs through them.  She gets going very fast.  She runs the length of the house making laps.  One day one of the tubes was turned, but she zigged through it and then ran to the other one.  I have never even tried to record it because she is very fast and I don’t think, neither me nor my iPhone could capture it.    But I did record her playing with the mouse in the tube.

The mouse can be dragged around the floor in front of her for what seems like forever, but the second you touch the tube she will pounce.  The two cats seem to take turns playing.  One will wait patiently for the other to be done.  Sometimes the one waiting will get bored and leave, but sometimes the player leaves so the “waiter” takes over.  Today, Esmeralda was playing, and I caught Smokey drinking.

 


Then Smokey started to play, but just for a second.  Then Esmeralda played for a while.  The Smokey took over.  Esmeralda waited but then when Smoke stopped Esmeralda just sat in her tube looking at the mouse.  Then she walked away so I did too.

These are just short (1.19 minute’s tops) recordings of them playing.  Just cute to watch, well, if you are me, their mom.  Nothing exciting, except Esmeralda really is fast.

Also, I found these recordings on my phone.  They are from Christmas 2015.  My family has a big dog. I love this dog.  I love big dogs.  He is huge.  This dog is so nice and mellow it is amazing.  He is so good around everyone.  On this day he was a little sad because the house was full of people and he couldn’t come in.  He was excited to have some company and play with his toy.  I caught him running and playing with his toy.  The noise is the noise the toy is making as he squeezes it.

 

I love to watch pets play.  They are so funny.  It is so entertaining.  It is also amazing how focused they get.  And how joyful.  Do you like to watch them?

Posted in Cats, Smokey and Esmeralda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2016

You may have read my post about Chai Tea.  A Nia Teacher friend gave me a yummy recipe for chai tea.  I had futzed with it because I wanted it a bit spicier — what?  Me?  I know.  But it is not HOT spice, just more flavorful.  Well, I was excited until I saw the price of cardamom.  And, as is my habit, I posted about how outrageous it was.  As is my friends’ way . . .one of them helped me out.  First of all she GAVE me some Cardamom, then she reminded me of where I live.  I live in one of the most diverse areas in the country – well, I think I do.  But whether that is true or not we have all types of different markets around.  There are Asian Markets, Hispanic Markets, Indian Markets, Spice Markets, Vegetable Markets, Fabric Markets . . . you name it, I bet there is one within 5 miles of me.  Well, Spice Markets have way more affordable spices then grocery stores.  I got a bag of cardamom and I have been using it in my tea.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI was curious as to what benefits cardamom might have.  And also what else I can use it in besides tea.  Here are the results of my “research”.

First of all wiki states:  “It is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.”  Well, that explains the high price at the store.  I did not know that!

Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat many ailments.

According to several websites (Sunwarrior, Organic Facts, Food Facts, and The Health Site), cardamom is good for digestion.  Some compared it to ginger, in that it can aid in digestion. It can help relieve things like nausea, bloating, gas, heartburn, acidity, loss of appetite, and constipation.

It helps eliminate toxins from the body.

It helps with bad breath. And mouth ulcers and throat infections.

It is a diuretic, which could be one way it helps eliminate toxins.

It can act as an anti-depressant.

It can also help prevent colds and flus.

Studies on animals are showing it might help protect against some cancers.

Studies on humans have shown it helps lower blood pressure.

It controls cholesterol according to a study in India done on mice.

Can possibly prevent or aid in the prevention of blood clots, by improving circulation.

It is an antioxidant, an anti inflammatory, and an aphrodisiac.

It’s essential oil can be used in aromatherapy.

Research has been done at the King Saud University concluding that cardamom can be used to control muscle spasms on animals.

Cardamom can help with some respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis.

It can help with sore throats and hiccups.

It is said to cure impotency and a bevy of penis problems.  I occurred to me with better circulation, these types of problems could possibly be helped.  And then if these types of problems are improved upon it could definitely relieve some depression. :-)

In a tablespoon of cardamom there is 80 percent of the recommended value of manganese, which is really important for healthy skin.

Cardamom is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Well, I didn’t quiet get to the part on how to use it other than in tea.  But perhaps you can help.  Do you use cardamom?  How do you use it?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bake Polenta “Fries”

Posted by terrepruitt on June 17, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhen I make burgers I want fries.  Potato “fries”.  Even though, I don’t fry things . . . I bake ’em, I love fries with my burgers.  I do love baked “fries”.  But I also don’t always like to have potatoes because we are having buns.  I don’t do my burgers protein style.  Half the fun of a burger (to me) is the bun.  Often times I will make other types of fries, like Baked Golden Beet “Fries” or Squash Sticks (even though I breaded these).  Now, I don’t really think of corn as a vegetable, I mean, I know it is a vegetable, but I think of it as a starch.  I think of potatoes and corn in the same kinda category.  So, this isn’t really a great replacement for potatoes fries . . . if I am thinking starch, but they were good.  My husband really liked them.  I made polenta fries.

I had purchased a tube of polenta a week or maybe more ago.  The idea for which I bought the polenta changed.  Do you ever do that?  Buy an ingredient for one thing but then change your mind.  Then you are stuck with that ingredient wondering what to do with it.  I turned to Google  looking up how to cook tube polenta.  If you look up polenta it has ideas on how to cook the porridge style polenta.  Usually polenta is corn meal mush.  But if you buy it in a tube it is a solid.  My search led me to Our Everyday Life that gave three different ways to cook polenta from a tube, oven fries was one of them.  I didn’t even read the full recipe because I figured I could do it.

Here is what I did, next time I will use less oil . . . and now that I look at the recipe on the website it calls for no oil, but I want crispy fries so I will continue to use oil, just less.

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Oven Polenta FriesDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

1 tube of polenta
olive oil
garlic salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 450° F.  After cutting the polenta out of the tube cut the tube in half, then cut the polenta into 1/4 of an inch strips.  Try to cut the whole tube into equal sized strips.

Then spread the strips out on the pan.  Sprinkle with a little oil.  Sprinkle with the garlic salt.  Place pan in the oven.  Let the fries bake for 15 minutes.  Then take the pan out of the oven and turn the fries.  Then put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Then check the fries.  If they are done to your liking, take them out and serve.  If you want them cooked more, flip ’em or toss them on the pan, then put it in for 10 (or whatever) minutes.

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Of course ovens vary and people desires of doneness varies so keep an eye on them and cook them to your liking.  Also, try your favorite seasoning.  Mine is garlic salt.  Presently I have garlic salt with parsley in it, so that was good.  Also . . . I used garlic basil polenta.  Again, I didn’t buy the tube for the fries so it was not a plain flavor.  But I might try that next time.

As with many of my food posts, I didn’t plan on blogging about this.  I did snap a few pictures after they had already been baking, but I didn’t document it from the beginning, but really that would have just been the tube of polenta.  I did take a few shots of them on my plate, but I really like my husband’s shots, so I am using his, too!

What do you do with a tube of polenta?  Share, please, I need some ideas!

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »