Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Archive for June, 2010

The Scoop on the Poop

Posted by terrepruitt on June 5, 2010

I have a friend and it seems that one out of every three conversations we have we end up talking about cat poop.  Now, for some that might seem odd, but let me point out, if you are a parent, there has been a time when you have talked about your baby’s diaper contents.  I remember one conversation where I was subjected to size, shape, guestimated weight, and yes, above all color.  So, parents talk about their baby’s waste.  Since cats have odd behavior even when they are healthy and “normal” one of the primary ways to detect and keep track of the health of a cat is by their waste.

Things change for cats when there is an adjustment to their diet or whatever and my friend is in the middle of a food transition for her cats.  It just follows that if you talk about what goes in, you end up on what comes out.

Now, I apologize if this is just too gross of a subject for you.  This might not be “appropriate for a health and wellness blog” and it might not a pleasant topic, but the more I looked for information regarding it the more I realized that people at least need to know what the possibilities might be so that they can decide for themselves, so hence, I am posting about cat poop.

I knew that pregnant women should not be in charge of changing a litter box.  The threat comes from handling the cats waste, but . . . just to be safe most women just avoid the process all together.  For most women it is roughly just a nine month vacation from having litter box duty.  But I bet, even though you have a new baby yet to be born to think about you probably are having conversations with the fill in litter-box-changer in regards to the cat habits.  Making sure everything is normal (again . . . that is how we gauge the health of the cats.)  Honestly it is not an examination, but somewhat of an unconscious review as we are scooping and cleaning.

Anyway, what I didn’t know is that you should NOT be flushing your cats poop.  Even without the litter.  So all of the stuff that says you can . . .INCLUDING the EPA information . . . you might want to think twice.  Research is proving that the eggs from the Toxoplasma gondii that causes Toxoplasmosis might survive up to a year even after having gone through water treatment.   This is the disease that can be fatal to infants and why pregnant women shouldn’t deal with the cat’s little box.

The eggs don’t die upon treatment and they get sent out to see where our sea life eats it.  And while I don’t see that this has a direct affect on us as humans the fact that our otter population has gone from 15,000 to 2,500 and a large percentage of dead otters have been found with the parasite in them, just gives you another thing to think about.  Since in the grand view of things it all affects us.

Not ALL cats even have this parasite. I was just surprised by the idea that flushing cats’ waste is not good since I had always thought that flush it was fine it was the LITTER that was the concern, but apparently not.  As with a lot of things it could have just changed since the population of humans has grown so has to populations of house cat.  Flushing is an easy way to dispose so more people might do it than have done it in the past and with all of the products that are out there that say it is fine, it is just interesting to know that it might be affecting our sea life.  Of course putting it in a plastic bag and putting it in the garbage that goes to a landfill is not necessarily the best way to deal with it either, but it is the alternative that was have at the moment.  Now at least you can have a little bit more information and make a choice.

So, since this is my blog, I like to share things I learn.  The things I learn might not always DIRECTLY relate to health and fitness, but I have said, “In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.”  I guess you could say I was inspired.

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

Frozen Vs. Fresh

Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2010

Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious, if not MORE nutritious, than the vegetables you buy in the produce section.  Yup. You read that the right.  It says that you might be getting more nutrients from frozen vegetables than “fresh” vegetables. IF you are able to buy your vegetables from a local farmers market, that is where you most likely will get the most nutrient rich vegetables.  But be aware.  In our area–in and around San Jose–we have farmers markets pretty much every day of the week during the summer and it depends on WHEN the farmer has come to the bay area and when they picked their veggies.

I know that we attended one local market (and we have not been back) that was on a Sunday.  And the farmers claimed to have been in the area since Friday, and we saw them at a market on Saturday, and to tell you honestly it showed.  They vegetables had to be picked before Friday for them to have come up to the Friday market (and they could have even come to the Thursday or Wednesday Farmers Market).  It was the warm season and without refrigeration, the produce was very tired and wilted by Sunday.  As I said, my hubby and I have not actually been back to that particular market because the produce was so unappealing.  The idea of a farmers market is that you are getting FRESH produce, but when some farmers attend all the markets in the area they might not be that fresh.  The items probably were picked at the proper time, but within days they start to lose nutrients and without refrigeration they start to rapidly decay.

With produce from the grocery stores it is often harvested before it even reaches its full nutrient potential, and then once it is picked it might ripen some more but it will not have the full nutrients as it would have had it been picked after it reached its peak.  By the time produce travels to the stores and is ready for purchase it has lost a lot of its nutrient value.

The popular length of time I am seeing articles state is two weeks.  Vegetables can be picked up to two weeks before it reaches the store.  Then . . . it MIGHT not get put out for purchase right away (lets be generous and say it only sits for a day), then often times we buy it and it sits in the fridge for (lets be generous and say it sits for only two days).  That is a long time in which the vegetable is losing nutrients.  It might still LOOK pretty, but it is not a pack full of goodness as we might hope.

With vegetables that get frozen they are pick at the proper ripeness and blanched, frozen, and/or flash frozen right away so their vitamins and minerals as sealed in.  The breakdown of enzymes is halted in the process.  Supposedly in 1998 the Federal Drug Administration found that frozen vegetables have basically the same nutrient as fresh.  I cannot find anything on a government page confirming that but I can find it on a slew of other pages.

So it is quite possible that the veggies in the grocery stores frozen section have more nutrients than the produce section. Read the labels to check if anything has been added like sugar and/or salt because those are not things you would find in “fresh” veggies so you probably want to avoid them in the frozen ones too.

My plan consists of having fresh veggies, however fresh they are from the store or the local market, within the first two maybe three days of having purchased them.  I have frozen veggies in the freezer for when a trip to the store isn’t fitting into the schedule.  But it used to be that those frozen veggies would sit and get freezer burned because I thought they weren’t good enough.  But now I believe they are good, if not better, so I make sure to employ a rotation exercise, and we eat them in a reasonable amount of time.  Ya know when the schedule is tight and getting fresh ones isn’t quiet happening.  Then on the next trip to the store we get “fresh” and frozen vegetables to back into the fridge for when the schedule is tight again.  I would always rather have some sort of veggie than none at all.  And yes, that even means a canned vegetables.

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Naked Feet

Posted by terrepruitt on June 1, 2010

One of my blogger friends (and actually I am lucky enough to know this blogger in person) posted about being barefoot.  In her post she mentioned the barefoot philosophy.  I had never heard of it.  She said it is about “living light, being aware and present, being non-conformist, non-consumerist and, well, naked.”

She used a quote that said being naked in public is scary.  When I read that my whole body got tingly.  In a flash I had an epiphany.  We do Nia barefoot.  What is Nia?  It is a workout that was designed to be done barefoot.  But a lot of people don’t like to participate in exercise without shoes on.  I believe that there are a lot of reasons for that and some of them might be because it is different, and a part of you is exposed, and it is like being naked (this is also part of the previously mentioned quote-but it is more in relation to blogging, whereas I am actually talking about feet).

Some people actually never go barefoot because they hate it that much.  Some people have ideas about being barefoot, for example my dad, he thinks you are not dressed unless you have your shoes on.  Me, I am always surprised when people come to my house and the first thing they say to me is, “Do you want me to take off my shoes?”  I didn’t realize until recently that they probably say that because even if I am having a party and I am dressed up, I don’t usually have shoes on in my home.  To me shoes are for going outside.  They are out-of-the-house-wear.  I usually have socks on to keep my feet warm, but not shoes.  Shoes are constricting.  But my attitude towards shoes has restricted me from being sensitive to those that might actually feel naked without shoes.

As I said, Nia was designed to be done in bare feet.  The feet are part of our base.  The base needs to be strong.  One way to ensure a strong, stable base is to exercise it.  A great way to exercise feet is to allow them to do the work of walking, running, balancing, wiggling, flexing, stretching, and generally moving without the assistance of shoes.  Moving in ways that they cannot while they are confined in a shoe.  Also some shoes actually compensate for feet weaknesses.  All of this is not to say that people cannot do Nia in shoes.  In my classes, if the facility allows shoes (some yoga studios do not allow shoes), people are encouraged to be comfortable above all so if shoes allow people to be comfortable then they are invited to keep their shoes on.

My friend’s post just reminded me that it could be a really deep seated feeling of “uncomfortableness” that might require some people to keep their shoes on.  Nia is about moving the body as it was designed to be moved, that alone sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable because we are taught the exact opposite our entire lives.  We are also taught, for the most part, that shoes are required to exercise.  So moving in different ways and doing it without shoes, might not be easy for people new to Nia.  Ah-ha!  I get it now!  It is not just about a floor being dirty.

Well, I will continue to mop the floor when I get to the studio early enough, but I will also think of bare feet in a larger sense.  Because in Nia being barefoot is about exercising the feet, but it also is about being aware, being present, being open, and being free and some people need to work up to that.  Nia is a journey that allows us to work on more than just having naked feet.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »