Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Archive for September, 2010

Nia’s Three Stages of Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on September 30, 2010

With Nia you get a workout.  It is not necessary to have any experience in any type of dance modality or martial arts, or any type of practice (Yoga, Pilates, etc.).  Any BODY can walk into a class and join in and following their own body’s way get a great workout.

In the Nia practice there are three stages.  So if you want you can take your workout into these areas.  The stages are:

1—Learn the Move
When you learn the move you are learning the name, you are thinking about the move.  The concentration is on placing your feet in the proper place, learning where your limbs are supposed to be.  Maybe trying some of the different intensity levels and the different planes.  This is the stage where you are actually doing a lot of thinking.

2—Move the Move
This is the stage we you move the move.  You are doing a routine and just moving.  Getting the moves into your muscle memory.  Your body is learning the move.  Here is where you are learning the combinations.  This stage is where you let your body lead and you don’t think too much.  The body has an intelligence of its own and if you let it sense it can flow.

3—Energize the Move
This is the stage that you can achieve once your body knows the move.  This stage could be during a song the first time you do it, if you feel comfortable and your body senses the moves you might be able to just put the energy into it from one of the Nine Movement Forms.  Or it could be the stage you get to once you have done the song a few times.  It really depends on the you.  It depends on how you feel and how you sense the music.  But this is where we really get to play with our routines, where we can energize with the energy of T’ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Jazz Dance, or Yoga.

This weekend (10/03/10), in Willow Glen/San Jose I am holding a Nia Playshop where we will Learn the Move.  We are going to play with some of the moves that make up the 52 Moves of Nia.  Then after we are going to have a Nia Class where we Move the Move.  Since we will have spent an hour Learning the Moves I am hoping that some of you will be able to Energize the moves.  See you Sunday!

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

Non-Dairy Creamer

Posted by terrepruitt on September 28, 2010

It has been two weeks since I gave up my non-dairy creamer. I am not talking about liquid, I am talking about that white powered stuff so many people don’t like. Well, SOMEONE must like it because they keep making it. I tried to give it up before but without it my coffee lost its joy. Really it was just a matter of me being used to the taste of coffee with that stuff in it. I have been drinking it that way since I started drinking coffee, so that is how I like it. That creamer is full of all the stuff I don’t like.

I threw away the container before I got a picture but I have a copy of an old label from a nutrition class assignment. The first ingredient is corn syrup solid, the second is partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Yeah, two of the ingredients I try to avoid. One of the reasons I avoided those ingredients like the plague was because of this habit.  I thought, “I am getting enough of that stuff in my coffee, I don’t need to have it in anything else.” Well, it is really hard to avoid—especially if you eat out . . .so many things have them it it. . . HFCS is bread for heaven’s sake so even if I am having a sandwich, I just don’t know. So . . . . I decided to try again to see if I could find joy in my coffee with out my beloved spoonful of chemicals and stuff I can’t pronounce and don’t even know what it is.

I have made it longer than the last time I tried. I am surviving. It is fine. I am using milk. I drink 1% so that is what we have in the fridge, so that is what I am using. Whew. I feel good getting that off my mind. Like I have said before, I am not perfect in my health habits, but I am trying to be healthier and help give others ideas and a place to share. So here’s to better health and better eating.

Have you taken anything out of your diet that you want to share about?

(Ha, I put this in the “food” category but I am not really convinced it is food.  Oh, I also hope to stop by the store tomorrow to see if I can get a picture.)

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

If You Want Something Done Right

Posted by terrepruitt on September 25, 2010

I think of Nia as something to help me learn things and sometimes adjust patterns, both patterns of movements and patterns of thinking.   Like sayings that we might have heard most of our lives, as in the one I posted about previously “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” you have probably heard, “if you want something done right do it yourself”.  Wow.  Really?  If. You. Want. Something. Done. RIGHT. Do. It. Yourself.  I actually wish I was that good, that everything I did, I did right.  That everything I did no one else could do.  Well, that is not the case.  I realized a long time ago this was not true.  I realized when I had a boyfriend that could do a lot of things.  But it was as if his brain worked opposite of everyone else.  He never approached anything like anyone else.  But then the end project would be pretty cool.  So I realized that he could do something right, it just wasn’t done my way.

Same thing goes with my husband.  He can do a lot of things and he can do them well, but he rarely does anything like I would do it.  Sometimes there are times when he is helping me and it needs to be done a certain way, say cutting a vegetable that is going into a recipe, so I will tell him that it needs to be chopped and not sliced—or whatever.  But sometimes I just need to walk away while he does something.  If he offers to do something or I ask him to do something, sometimes I just need it to get done and it doesn’t really matter HOW it gets done, I let it go, but I often need to walk away.  Not because he can’t do it right, but because he won’t do it my way.

So, this is just another one of those sayings that I don’t subscribe to.  What do you think?  Are you the only one that can do things right or are you the only one that can do it YOUR way?

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

Nia is Like That

Posted by terrepruitt on September 23, 2010

(Click here for CURRENT schedule!)

This week I went to San Carlos to teach my Nia Class for the San Carlos Park and Recreation Department.  Only a couple of people had signed up but I was hoping more would show up and sign up.  As with most Park and Rec Departments and community classes, there needs to be a minimum amount of participants.  Well, in this case the people that had thought were going to make it didn’t.  I had just tweeted @JohnPruitt that I was going to be leaving in a few minutes when a woman came in.  She said something about she guessed no one signed up and how that happens with Park and Rec classes.  People don’t sign up and they get cancelled.  She was hoping to just watch the class to see if she wanted to take it.  Ha!  I invited her to BE my class, she was game.

We did the warm up song, then the next one, and part way into the third song she said, “WAHOOOO!  I like this.”  After the song was over she said that was her favorite, she loved it and she could do it all night long.  Made me happy.  Nia is like that.  She loved it.  With only a couple of people signed up though, we cancelled the class, but we will try again when the next six week session starts in November (2nd, 2010).

The enthusiasm of this woman was fun and very contagious.  I am confident that we have a new Nia participant in our midst.  I believe that she will excitedly join in the other Nia events that happen around the San Francisco Bay Area and the South Bay Area.  I love that.  I love that I decided to drive up there from San Jose, to give the people that had signed up for Nia at least one class and explain in person that we need more participants.  I love that even though they didn’t show up I was able to share Nia with a new person.  I love that she loved it.  I loved that even though it was her first time she was not worried about how she was doing—-she was just doing—and loving it.

I really enjoy working with the people in San Carlos Park and Recreation Department.  They are very kind and supportive.  I sense they feel sad when a class has to cancel, no one likes to see classes and programs cancelled.  So maybe we can rally the troops and make the next session on Nia classes in San Carlos a huge success.  I am certain my new student would love to be able to take a class with more people, more energy, more people shouting “Woohoooo!” Because Nia is like that.

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

Google the Problem

Posted by terrepruitt on September 21, 2010

Nia teaches me a lot of things. So does my husband. He is my computer technician. As you probably know with computers when something isn’t working correctly it isn’t always an easy fix. When he suspects what the issue is he can plan for it and figure it out and fix it. But sometimes something comes up that is not familiar. The first thing he asks me is “What have you done?”  The second thing he asks is if I “Googled it”. Two times within the last nine months something has been troubling my computer. The first thing was an “Active Desktop”. The second was a HUGE e-mail. They annoyed me enough I was desperate to find relief. This time I remembered that whenever I have something wrong with my computer my techno-geek asks me if I Googled the problem. So that is what I did.

The Active Desktop “thing” happened when I wanted to save a picture from an e-mail to my computer. It was a Nia e-mail and a Nia promotional picture so I wanted to save it so that I could help in promoting the Bay Area Nia event. When I went to save it my computer asked me if I wanted to make it an active desktop item. I believe I was in so much of a rush I didn’t read the whole question, I saw “desktop” and said yes. I was thinking it was just asking if I wanted to SAVE it to my desktop. When I said yes it caused this “thing” to continue to happen with my computer. Every time I clicked from icon to icon or from document to document or webpage to webpage, my screen would go blank for a second then it would flash back up and continue on with its task. I put up with that for months. Every time my monitor went blank, my stomach would sink because I thought my computer had died. But then it would flash back up. At one point I did “Google” how to fix it, but the directions did not match with what I was seeing in my files. But after feeling sick for months I finally decided that I couldn’t take it any longer and if I broke my computer worse than it was so be it. I looked at the directions again and just kept looking and poking into my system until I found what the instructions were telling me I would find. I fixed it.

Then a month or so ago, I tried to send an e-mail. I didn’t realize it was as big as it was until my e-mail program kept showing something in my outbox. Well, it wouldn’t send it, it wouldn’t delete it, it wouldn’t do anything with that one e-mail but the rest of my e-mail was working fine. So for about a month I just put up with it, thinking there was nothing to do. But . . . I did it a second time. (Eyes rolling). As I was scanning the document I thought, “Remember to check it before you send it.” But as always when I am on my computer I got distracted and by the time I finished typing the e-mail and pressed send I had forgotten to check the size. It was huge and it wouldn’t send. So it was stuck again. Now I had TWO stuck e-mails.

So again I turn to “Google” and I found something that explained what I had to do. Now . . . keep in mind that I am pretty much a chicken when it comes to messing with my computer because I know if I break it I will be without it. So I only do things that I am confident about. The solution to fixing the e-mail was to disconnect it from the internet. I was completely comfortable with doing that because when I had a corporate job I used to do that all the time in order to connect my work laptop. So . . . .I disconnected the internet from my computer. My e-mail program had no way to try to send the e-mail (that was too big to send) so it allowed me to delete it. Yay. No more e-mail that can’t be sent and a message coming up saying “Do you want to exit with an e-mail yet to be sent?”

So . . . my point is there are things in life you can “Google”, especially if it has to do with a computer problem. Did you know that? It took me years to learn that many people post answers to computer issues. Its awesome.

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Check Your Cans

Posted by terrepruitt on September 18, 2010

I posted a recipe for bean salad. I have made the bean salad about three times since I posted it (including that post). One time I used red onion and green peppers. I like both red onion and green peppers but it just wasn’t the same. It lacked the POP. It made it more like the other bean salads I have had. The first time I made it I checked the labels on the cans of beans and decided on the ones with the least sodium. The second time I went to the same store so I didn’t have to check the labels. The third time I was at a different store with different brands and so I had to check the labels again.

I wasn’t thinking about posting about the sodium when I was in the store so I didn’t get the information off of those brands.   I went to the internet to get some of the sodium information. For the red kidney beans I found three different amounts in 1/2 cup. One brand has 340 mg, another has 436 mg, and another touted as 50% lower sodium came in at 220 mg. Don’t get me wrong, I love salt, but I would rather add it myself.

As you can see I got lucky because the brand I bought only has 100 mg per 1/2 cup.

For the garbanzo beans I found that 1/2 cup has 380 mg for one brand, another brand has 500 mg, and another as 460 mg.

The brand I bought of the garbanzo beans only has 100 mg per 1/2 cup, also. Right on!

The point I am trying to get across is that canned beans seem to have a lot of sodium in them so check your cans. Find the ones with the lowest sodium so you don’t turn a healthy dish into something not so healthy.

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

Metal Knobs

Posted by terrepruitt on September 16, 2010

I am turning to the bloggey-sphere for answers.  The corners of our sidewalks were curbs and not ramps. I don’t even know if that is what they are called–ramps.   Not too long ago people came and jack hammered up the corners and put in ramps.  I don’t remember exactly when it was but you can see that the new ramp is still bright and new.  I actually think it has been in the last two years because I think I was teaching Nia when they put in the ramps.  I remember commenting on it because we always see the work trucks and the “don’t park here” signs but we can’t always figure out what work has been done.  With the ramps it was obvious.  The whole corner section was bright cement. 

Well, just this week the jack hammers have been back.  Again they have made cement rubble of the corners.  They did it rather quickly, I think.  They have redone all the corners and they have replaced the ramps they created not too long ago with this metal knobby stuff.

 

I tried to Google it, but what I came up with was how to get a permit in San Jose to work on the sidewalk.  What I want to know is what is the knobby metal for?

I would think things that need the ramp, things with wheels, like wheel chairs, skates, and strollers would not roll well over the knobs.  You might be able to tell in one of the pictures that the knobby plates don’t seem to come together but it actually looks like the plates are already rusting or something.

So . . . . do you know what the knobby metal plates in the sidewalk ramps are?  Also, do you know WHY the knobs are better than the cement? 

I am so curious.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

I’ve Been Here Before

Posted by terrepruitt on September 14, 2010

Presently I live in San Jose and teach Nia Classes in San Jose.  I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life.  When I was growing up I used to tell people I lived in Santa Clara and they had no idea where that was.  So I would say, “San Jose?” and if I still received that look then I would say “San Francisco?” and most of the time I would then see a spark of recognition.

When the dot com boom happened that kind of helped put “Silicon Valley” on the map and is comprised of a few places most notable cities are Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Mountain View.  A lot more people had heard of Santa Clara and San Jose after that.  We weren’t known only in the shadow of San Francisco any longer.  It was nice to not have to go through the entire San Francisco Bay Area to explain where I lived.

Now I find myself in that same exact “place” with Nia.  I tell people I teach Nia and I get a look back.  Most have not hear of it.  So we go through the, “Is it like Zumba?”  and I want to say:

Yes, Nia is EXACTLY LIKE Zumba: we get a workout via dance,we exercise to music, we sweat, we have fun, we work our muscles, we shimmy, shake, and gyrate, oh, except we do it in bare feet, to a variety of music, participants are encouraged to do it as their bodies allow, and there is a body-mind connection.

But most often say:  It is sort of like a Zumba class and sort of like a Jazzercise class in that we move to music.  Nia is a cardio workout with no impact. It is fun and unique because Nia incorporates moves and concepts from nine different movement forms a few being Tai Chi, Jazz Dance, and Yoga.

When they hear that, then they ask, “So it is Yoga?”  🙂

I was just reminded of the explaining-where-I-lived portion of my childhood when I was with a group of Nia Teachers recently.  Made me laugh when I thought about the going through the same type of thing when talking about Nia.  Yay, at least I am in a familiar place.  😮

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Cancer Is in ALL of Us

Posted by terrepruitt on September 11, 2010

Cancer is in all of us.  Could be why we all know someone affected by it.  We all have it in us.  Experts call it “cancer without disease”.  There are microscopic occurrences of cancer in all of us.  Our bodies fight it off, kill it, or just don’t allow it to grow, but it is there.  I watched Dr. Oz and learned some things I want to share.  There is a process in our bodies called angiogenesis, this is a awesome and necessary process, it is when new blood vessels are formed.  This is something that occurs when a wound is healing.  It also occurs as a catalyst for cancer.  When those cancer cells release chemicals causing new blood vessels to form that feed those cancerous cells or tumors that is when cancer becomes a problem.

There are ideas about fighting cancer before it becomes a problem.  Love that idea.  Let’s prevent and not have to deal with the result of the disease once the cells are out of control.  What the talk is about is “starving” the cancer – ANTI angiogenesis.  It is thought that there are foods that will assist with that.

The episode I watched talked about five foods that will help starve the cancer cells that may be/are present before they become an issue that has to be dealt with.  The guest Dr. said, “It’s not about Doctors and drugs, it is about you and what you eat”.  (Love that!)

The video on the site only has what I summed up for you (above), but I was taking notes so I could post it for you:

Five foods to assist with Anti-Angiogenesis:

1) Bok Choy
   A Chinese Cabbage.  (I don’t think I have ever had it.)
Dr. Li said it has brassinin which is believed to help fight cancer.  His advice was to eat 1/2 Cup three times a week.

2) Cooked Tomatoes
(I have heard this before, but I forgot.  I need to put it on my hubby’s plate.)
   Tomatoes have lycopene, but cooking them increases the availability by two times.  So COOKED tomatoes are what they recommend for preventing prostate cancer.  The recommendation is for a 1/2 cup serving 2 to 3 times a week.

3)  Flounder
    (I don’t like fish.)
    This is an omega three rich food and they say a 6 oz serving 3 times a week.

4) Strawberries
   (I don’t like strawberries either, do you know why?  The seeds.  And you know what?  That is where the good stuff is!)
   They indicated on the show that strawberries are believed to be an anti-angiogenesis food in addition to them being high in antioxidants and they said its the seeds.

5) Artichokes
   (I like artichokes, but with mayonnaise (which is not good in the amount needed to eat an artichoke) and I am not a fan of the hearts—and you guessed it that is where the good stuff is.)
   They compared it to milk thistle and said the artichoke is a flower, the show also recommended a “per day” intake of the artichoke, he said 1/2 cup per day.

Some of these suggestions I’ve heard of, some of them are new to me.  I’ve also heard before that cancer is in all of us, but I hadn’t heard about angiogenesis and therefore I hadn’t heard of ANTI-angiogenesis.  It found it interesting.  I wanted to share.  I think I’ll try some Bok Choy next week and make certain that I get tomatoes on our plates.  I’ll hold off on the fish.  What about you?  Do you eat these foods?  Might you start?  How do you cook Bok Choy?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Sweating Is Good Right?

Posted by terrepruitt on September 9, 2010

Whether I am teaching a Nia class or participating in a Nia class I sweat . . . . a lot.  I used to think I sweat too much, then I heard that when you sweat your body is sweating out toxins.  So then I went on thinking that it was good and ok that I sweat a lot because I was ridding my body of toxins.  My plan for the post today was to jump on the computer and find all kinds of information regarding the toxins that are sweated out and to provide information about why we sweat.  The first thing I read said there is no scientific evidence that proves bodies sweat out toxins.  What?  Did you know that?

Sweat is not just water, it does contain other things (minerals, lactate, and urea) but it has not been found to contain toxins or maybe more accurately, it has not been found to contain enough toxins to conclude that we actual sweat toxins out. Sweating is the bodies way of cooling us down.  The mechanisms that produces sweat is not constructed to filter out toxins like, say, the liver or the kidneys.

When our bodies get hot the 2.6 million sweat glands (average person) produce perspiration or sweat.  There are two different types of sweat glands and they produce two different types of sweat.  There is the armpit and genital area type and then the rest-of-your-body type.  Sweat itself does not have an odor, it is mainly made up of water.  It is the bacteria in the areas of the body that mixes with the sweat that sometimes causes odor.  Our bodies constantly sweat, but for some, most of it is absorbed back into the body before it even reaches the outer layer of the skin.  When too much is produced to be reabsorbed that is when it comes out of the body.  When it does come out of the skin some of it is evaporated to help produce a cooling effect.  When there is more perspiration then can be evaporated it rolls or drips off the skin (or soaks into clothing).

Like many, many things there is just not scientific evidence showing that toxins are sweat out.  Many people swear by saunas and bikram or hot yoga to sweat out the toxins.  When you are sick some of us have been taught to sweat it out.  I am just surprised that I have heard it for so long, but when I go to find supporting evidence I can’t.  Maybe I just can’t.  Maybe it is out there, but I am unable to find it.

The only information I found that supported the idea was webpages that had to do with the sale of saunas or one that has to do with a Detoxification Program created by the late L. Ron Hubbard.  What do you think?  Do you believe that we sweat out toxins?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »