Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!


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Archive for May, 2009

Sustain, Increase, Tweak

Posted by terrepruitt on May 30, 2009

In Nia (TM) our movement is for Joy.  “Joy is not a technique or a choreographic method.  It is an attitude toward the body and toward life.  Joy is not just for when things in like are going well.  It is an open accepting energy that accepts whatever comes its way.” (1)  This is Universal Joy.

So we choose during our workouts to sense Joy and to seek the Joy of Movement.  Throughout our routine we seek to sustain that Universal Joy.  If we are able, we actually increase it.  When we lose it or if we are doing a move that causes it to faulter, we tweak.

I think these can be applied to life.  That is what I love about Nia.  We have all these thoughts and ideas that we apply to our workouts, but they aren’t necessarily new and they can applied to life.

When you are doing something that gives you joy don’t you want to keep doing it?  When you have joy don’t you want to increase it?  When you start to lose it don’t you do something to tweak it and bring it back?

That is what we do throughout our work out.  We are using our bodies to seek the sensation of Joy and if we find it and we can increase it, we do.  If we start to lose it we can tweak it.  Our workouts are about one’s own body and how it feels.  So while you are following the teacher you are also paying close attention to yourself and making sure that you are sensing the Joy of Movement.

This is one of the things that makes Nia such a different workout.  We are actually “sustaining, increasing, and tweaking” the entire time.  Universal Joy.  Allowing our bodies to move for pure pleasure.  Doesn’t that sound like something you want to do?

(I have added an Evening class to my schedule.  Teaching in San Jose (Willow Glen) three times a week; two AM classes and one evening class.  Teaching at a member only club in Los Gatos in the evening once a week.   Check out my Nia Class schedule on my site, HelpYouWell.com)

(1) From The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual  March 2001, V3 page 2-4

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Baby Blue Jay Bath

Posted by terrepruitt on May 28, 2009

This past summer we were lucky enough to be the home to six baby blue jays (maybe more it was difficult to keep track).  It was fun to watch them grow up.  I think most of the six have gone, but I think one is still here.  I think others visit because we put peanuts out for them.   Since we live in San Jose, we have great weather and blue jays are always here.

It was fun to watch their different “personalities” or styles.  One exercised great caution and care when it came to bath time, another one, as you will see below . . . .would get in there and just have a ball.

These are from August 28, 2008.


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Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance Workout

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance Workout

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance Workout


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I actually think this one, is the one that would be very careful.


Posted in Birds | Tagged: , , , | 17 Comments »

Summer Salad “Recipe”

Posted by terrepruitt on May 26, 2009

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutOh, with the Memorial Day weekend behind us we are thinking forward to more barbeques, right?  Especially since we had such spectacular weather in the San Jose Bay Area.  Well, I honestly don’t know where this recipe came from.  I will credit the person that I got it from about 10 years ago.  I worked with this woman named Diana and she brought this salad to a potluck.  I have been making it ever since.

Now, it is an exercise in imagination calling this a recipe, this really isn’t a recipe per se, because I don’t have amounts of ingredients.  You need to decide that for yourself.  I am just sharing the idea and giving you a ball park.

So basically you get some mangos peel then cube them.  Then you cube or slice a peeled cucumber.  Throw it all in a bowl, then you add lemon juice and salt.  So easy.  And so good.  But you have to decide how much mango you want or how much cucumber.  And the lemon and the salt again, all to taste.  What I usually do is I bring a lemon and salt to the event so that people can add more if they like.

I usually start out with three mangos to an English cucumber.  And I chop everything up in tiny little cubes because I like to get a bites of both mango and cucumber.   I am a firm believer in eating the edible skin of my fruits and vegetables, so I don’t always cleanly peel the cucumber, but without the cucumber skin you can taste the mangos better, I think.

Mangos contain the antioxidants C and A.  They also contain fiber.  Even peeled cucumbers have vitamins and minerals that most could benefit from.

This salad is one of those super easy, yet packs-a-tasteful-punch kind of summer salad that I bet you will have on all of your barbeque tables from now on.

“Recipe” for Mango and Cucumber salad

  • Peeled and cubed mangos and cucumbers, salt and lemon juice to taste.

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance Workout

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Henna Tattoos

Posted by terrepruitt on May 23, 2009

I had been thinking about getting some henna decoration around my ankles or on the lower legs.  I was thinking that would be cool since people tend to look at my feet a lot since I am a group exercise instructor teaching Nia.  I had been looking for an artisit in San jose.  But, then I saw pictures from a Yelp Event and there had been a Henna Artist there doing tattoos.  These were the first tattoos I had seen that had sparkles and glitter on them.  Ooooooo, now we are talking!

So I contacted her and started learning a bit about Henna and Henna Tattoos.  First of all when  the henna is applied and it is like puff paint, it is raised and thick and initially wet.  So the glitter is applied when it is wet and I imagine this is done when one is at an event or a party, because then it looks extra pretty.  As the Henna dries it starts to flake off and if you have glitter that will probably flake off too.

As I was looking at Henna and Beyond website I read that it is believed that putting henna on the skin started out as a way to cool people in the desert, “When the desert people of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Gujarat became aware of Henna’s cooling properties, they dipped their hands and feet in a mud or paste made with the crushed leaves of the plant. Even when the mud was scraped off, they noticed, as long as the color remained visible, their body temperatures stayed low.”  This really fascinated me.  I know so many women who, if this is true, might want to try Henna tattoos.  If this works for some people think of how we could save on electricity during heat waves.

I went to Rachna of Henna and Beyond and had some art work done.  One of the things you can do to help achieve a dark stain is to put oil or tiger balm on it.  Well, I tried both—sort of.  I put oil on it, but it was so light that I was afraid that wasn’t helping so I turned to some “hot sauce” that my hubby had made during his Jujitsu days.

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutDance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance Workout

Now I don’t know if the Hot sauce or the henna is making me cold, but it is a perfect temperature in my house and I have socks on and I just drank  tea.  I have not yet washed the hot sauce off, although I am sure there is not much on after sleeping, because I am still in the 24-hours-without-water-period that you wait in order to assist the Henna color to last.  I am really thinking that the Henna does have cooling properties.  It could be that it does for me because I have that in my head, I don’t know, but it is fascinating.



I like my decorations.  I have learned a bit from this first time.  Next time I will get the decoration a little higher and not on the foot.  I want it on areas that move less so the flaking isn’t so bad with every movement.  But hopefully I have weeks before I need to think about that.  The tattoos will hopefully last two weeks.  I invite you to try it and let me know if it cools your body temperature down.  I would love to hear.

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Practice What I Preach About Being True To Myself

Posted by terrepruitt on May 21, 2009

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutThis morning as I was trying to figure out what to write about, it dawned on me that I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching about being true to myself.

I was trying to decide what to write. I want to write stuff that people will read. I am worried about people not reading it. I am worried that they won’t like it. I am worried that I am not following my own self initiated schedule of healthful on Tuesdays and Saturdays with Thursdays less in that realm. Because of all my worries I couldn’t think of what to write, I felt as if my thoughts were twisted like the most twisty Yoga pose. Then it hit me, my real intent of all of this, my blog is somewhat like a mini resume.

When people ask me about their resume or they share that they are confused because they don’t know what to put on it because they hear this and they hear that, I ALWAYS tell them to follow their heart and write a resume they would like. Some of who they are needs to be in that resume because they want to be happy at their new job. The person that is going to hire them and the place where they will fit the best will be the person that likes the resume at the company that accepts it. So if you put a little of yourself in it, then it should all work out.

So with my social media stuff I need to think the same way. I am tweeting so people will see me, and learn from me and want to train and workout with me. When I retweet something, it is something I like, so that is showing a little bit of me. Twitter is different for everyone, we all have different reasons for being there, so if you don’t like the tweets you are seeing don’t follow. I follow to learn and network, so I won’t follow you if I see tweets I don’t like. That is Twitter.

For me Facebook is more personal. I am not “friending” everyone because I like to be less business-y there. Although I do post a lot of stuff about Nia, that is just because I am practicing it and I like the way it makes me feel so I want to share with others. And I am growing my garden of Nia flowers so I tend to repost their information so that others can see what people think about Nia and maybe come try it for themselves.

With my blog I have a few goals. I want to share about events that happen in my areas, Los Gatos, San Jose (Willow Glen, Berryessa) and around, I want to entertain a bit, and I want to help people learn, but I don’t need to be all scientific as I first thought. Every time I go to write a blog with a bunch of interesting facts, I find a bunch of other sites with a bunch of interesting facts. I think that people can go to those sites if they want the science and the statistics. I will keep it simple. And you will either like it or you won’t, but I think if you like it then you will enjoy my classes and enjoy training with me.

My point is that I need to stop worrying and just start doing so that we can get on with it. I need to be me so you can see who I am and then say, “Yeah, I would like to go to her class.” So, whew . . . what a relief, now I just have to remember to actually practice what I preach. You are welcome to remind me.

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

30 Minutes Per Day

Posted by terrepruitt on May 19, 2009

At one point there was information released that stated one could be active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week and the result would be improved health.  I somehow was under a different impression, and I think my impression is better for overall health.

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutI thought that the information had said that the 30 minutes needed to be EVERY DAY and that it was for healthy people to maintain health.  So my conclusion was that if one wanted to actually improve one’s health one needed to be doing a workout OVER and above the recommended 30 minutes of activity a day five days a week.

Maybe I was seeing into the future of recommendations.  Seems like the people that make these recommendations are now saying that more activity IS needed.

What it really boils down to is that everyone is different.  Recommendations that are published are broad, everyone has different goals.  I would think that some people could improve their health in 30 minutes a day five days a week, but there are a lot more people that need more, just to get healthy.  It is estimated that 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure and they don’t even know it.  High blood pressure is not healthy and it possible to lower it with exercise, but it might take more than 30 minutes a day.

I recommend 30 minutes of activity every day.  The 30 minutes can be anything . . . .cleaning house, walking the dog, gardening, shopping, almost anything where you are moving your body and active.  THEN in addition to that 30 minutes every day, there should be an exercise routine.  Everyone is different.  Everyone has different goals.  Everyone has different likes and dislikes.  If you are trying to get healthy, I would suggest you examine your goals, then look at the vast amount of exercise options out there and try some.**

There is so much out there it is amazing.  There is Yoga, there is Zumba, there is Pilates, there is Nia, there is Cycling, there is Weight Training, oh, the list goes on.  Try something.  San Jose, Los Gatos, Cupertino, and San Ramon and all cities around have plenty of gyms, clubs, yoga studios, dance studios, etc., and most of them have a vararity of things to try.

Don’t think that the old recommendation of 30 minutes per day will give you the results you want, try more, get out there .. . . move!

**before starting any exercise program you should clear it with your doctor.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Terre’s Cruising Rule

Posted by terrepruitt on May 16, 2009

Oh my, one of my favorite things to do is go on cruises.  I have talked to several people that are going on cruises in the near future and so it made me think that I could share my rule with you.  I have implemented a rule for myself on cruises.  NEVER take the elevator.  When we first board we take the elevator because there is usually a glass one and we like to see it.  But then that is it.  I never take the elevator again.  The last two cruises we went on our cabin was on the 9th deck.  When we went on excursions we disembarked from the 1st or maybe the 2nd deck.  But we always took the stairs.  I will tell you that this is not easy after walking around all day we usually came back with extra weight in the backpack from all the goodies we bought and the hubby would whimper as we passed the elevator  because sometimes the legs didn’t want to carry all that extra weight  up the nine decks, but we did.

Honestly, I remember once I used my arms to drag me up the last set of stairs, but I did it.  There are way too many extra calories that are consumed on cruises.  That can barely be helped because, for me, even if I didn’t eat more, the food that is served is way different than what I eat at home.

Anyway, I just thought I would share that simple tip with you in case you ever find yourself fortunate enough to be going on a cruise.  I would advise that you make the decision before you go to NEVER use the elevator.  Then tell everyone what your plan is.  Really commit to it.  All of these things will help you stick to it.  It really helps especially if your cabin is very far away from all of the activities.

Oh yeah, and no cheating just because you get lost!  That is even better, you add to the calorie burning equation if you end up on the wrong deck at the wrong end of the ship.  Yay!  Think of it as a blessing in disguise and just get back on the stairs and go to the correct deck!

Safe Travels!

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Nia Free Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on May 14, 2009

In Nia (TM) we have FreeDance.  It is not easy for most people to do.  It is not easy for me to do.  I am still learning.  With Nia the purpose of FreeDance is “to stimulate movement creativity”.  Whoa.  Stimulate movement creativity.

Per an online dictionary:

Stimulate:  to excite to activity or growth or to greater activity

Movement:  the act or process of moving; especially: change of place or position or posture from the same source as above

And creativity:   the quality of being creative or the ability to create

So we FreeDance to excite growth or greater activity in changing our place, position, or postures into new places, positions or postures.  Hmmmm.

I will take this time to remind you that our bodies are built to move.  And they are built to move a certain way.  Our joints allow for certain types and amounts of movement.  Now barring any ailment or disease our bodies should move like they are built.  But we often don’t move that way.  Our way of life keeps us from moving as our bodies were built.  Sometimes social stigma keeps us from moving the way our joints would like.  So in FreeDance you are invited and encouraged to break habits and to move like your body was built.

I have experienced that for some, moving their head is a new thing.  Think of the old way models were trained with a book on the head, some of us were taught to walk and be in that position.  Can’t move your head with a book balanced on it.  So moving your head could be something new in FreeDance you could do and be amazed at the result.  Something as simple as moving your head, breaking that straight neck habit could release oodles of tension.

Same with rigidly straight spines or tight backs.  When you Free Dance you are not dancing like you would in a club, you are pushing the limits, you are moving your body to experiment with it.  You are Stimulated Movement Creativity.

There is so much more to say on this.  This is Nia White Belt Principal number 4.  This principal has 8 stages, so that alone is a lot to talk about, but for now, I will leave it at FreeDance – To Stimulate Movement Creativity.  See if you can add a little FreeDance into your day.  It doesn’t have to be wild, it could be done where no one even notices, just move one move a little different than you normally do, and you will be on your way to FreeDance!

Posted in FreeDance, Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

With Trans Fat 0g Does Not Equal 0.0g

Posted by terrepruitt on May 12, 2009

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutRemember “0g trans fat per serving” does not equal ZERO trans fat per serving. I know, I know, but it is not me, that is the way it is. “0g trans fat per serving” could be 0.49g of transfat per serving. And if you eat a few servings of “’0g trans fat per serving’-could-be-0.49g-of trans-fat-per-serving’ you would be getting 1.47g of trans fat. FDA guidelines are such that if the item has less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving it can be listed as zero on the label.

If you want to get “0g trans fat per serving” you cannot trust the label that advertises such a thing you have to read the ingredients. You are looking for partially hydrogenated oil—any kind of oil that is partially hydrogenated oil. And if you really want to avoid trans fat you might want to skip hydrogentated oils. Although, hydrogenated oil is NOT transfat, the labeling is not strict so the ingredient could read hydrogenated and actually be partially.

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia Campbell, San Jose Nia, Campbell Nia, San Jose Dance Workout, Campbell Dance WorkoutThere are quite a few websites that explain the chemical compounds of fat, so I am not going to do that here. I am just going to give a little overview. Fat has a certain chemical compound and a certain way the chains are formed. When a fat it partially hydrogenated the chemical bond is altered, more hydrogen atoms are added straightening the chain. Allowing for the chains to stack together more tightly and therefore remain solid. This altered state allows the fat to last longer which explains why it is in everything, it allows things to sit on the shelf longer, but rumor has it is sits in your body longer too. Not good.

This altered fat not only hangs around longer it has been proven to INCREASE (not just not help lower, but INCREASE) the “bad” cholesterol and decrease (not just leave alone, but DECREASE) our “good” cholesterol. We need to be eating healthy foods. To me, a food that DECREASES my good stuff and INCREASES my bad stuff, is not good.

So if you are interested in getting truly ZERO transfat, read the ingredients not just the hype on the labels.

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

Gratitude Party

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2009

Everyone is talking about Twitter.  I will say I just recently joined the masses, but I have been on long enough to have participated a few times in the once a month #Gratitude party.  Once a month on the second Sunday of the month LaSara Firefox host an online Twitter “party” where for an hour you tweet things you are grateful for.  I am sure there are some that think this is odd and maybe some even think it is stupid, but I really love it.  It gives me the opportunity to release some of the joy that is always built up in my heart.  I have so many things to be grateful for and it is so wonderful to have a place to just say them out loud where no one is judging.  Since everyone there is just sharing, it is not ever taken as if someone is bragging.  It is just really great.

Some people have heart wrenching stories that they share and they end with a grateful note.  Some people have huge accomplishments that they share.  Some people have little triumphs.  But all are received with open arms.  We lend our hands, we give our shoulders, then we cheer.  It is really amazing that all of this happens on line in tweets.  Then with all of the sharing and everything going on, we can meet new people.  I know that I walk away feeling great, and I think others do too.  I feel great because I was allowed to let people know that I know what I have is amazing and that I am grateful.  I feel great because I hear how others might have had a bad experience but they triumphed through it.  I feel great because I was able to cheer someone who accomplished something.  And I feel great because I was able to connect with all of these people.  It is awesome.

I have met people from San Jose, Istanbul, New York, Los Gatos, Canada, Trieste, all over all .  And I blog about it, in something longer than a tweet, to express my gratitude to LaSara Firefox (yoga_mama) for doing this every month, and so that you can learn about it and participate, if you would like.

This month it is May 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm PST.

Just type #gratitude in your tweet to join.  I can’t wait to see you there.*

I don’t know if gratitude parties are still a thing, but the #gratitude link above was not long working so I tried the # in Twitter and was so happy to see there is still some gratitude going on . . . so now it is a June 02, 2020 link.

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »