Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Archive for February, 2011

Placebo – but it Works

Posted by terrepruitt on February 26, 2011

I believe teaching Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area allows me to be exposed to a lot of different things. Recently I was able to experience or try two different things. Regarding one of them, I was showing a friend after Nia class, a product that a mutual friend sells. I was explaining what it was for and she said, “It’s a placebo.” This past week I asked a question on Twitter about a healing technique and I was told it was a placebo. These instances make me chuckle. I believe that if one is in a medical study and is told that they might receive the actual medicine or they might receive a placebo, that is applicable. When someone purchases a product or a service completely open to the idea that it might work and then they feel it does work, how can it be called a placebo? If it works for them in a positive manner, if they receive the help they were expecting, then how can it be called a placebo or just said to have the placebo effect? Could that not be said for a lot of things?

I once read a blog which has since been marked private so I can’t link to it, but it talked about all the “placebos” in everyday life. The blog stated that the buttons on traffic signals don’t actually work, they are just there to make people feel as if they have some control. The same with elevator call buttons and, if I remember correctly, thermostat controls in hotel rooms. Hmmm, I don’t actually know about the traffic lights and elevators, but I have had temperatures adjust in hotel rooms, so I think he might have been talking about some hotel rooms. Don’t we ALL press the buttons on traffic signals? And we all press elevator buttons? Do we do that because we actually think it does something? Yes. We might never know if it does actually help because eventually the light will change and eventually the elevator is going to come and by pressing the button it actual stops on the floor we are waiting on.

In regards to some products and some services for our bodies where we are left to decide if it works or not for ourselves, do you think that any of it has to do with what we think? Does any of it have to do with what we believe? I am somewhat talking about something that is difficult to measure. If you buy a lotion and you put it on you can somewhat tell if it is helped your skin. But what about a relaxation product?

Did you drink the tea believing it would help relax you and it did? Was that the actual tea or was it you believing that after you drank the tea you would feel relaxed? Did you believe that putting on cold wet socks (with dry wool socks over) would help your cold and you wake up feeling better? Was that really the wet sock treatment or your BELIEVING in the treatment?

If you feel is works is it a “placebo”?

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

Build it Big

Posted by terrepruitt on February 24, 2011

In Nia classes we have the opportunity to experience flexibility AND mobility AND agility AND strength AND stability. Depending on the starting point we can either be increasing or maintaining.   I also believe it is good for people to participate in a weight training program. I believe it is good to use weights to keep strength or build strength. I think having muscle strength in important. Most people do not have to concern themselves about getting big and bulking up. I have heard women say they don’t lift weights because they don’t want to do either of those things.

First of all, as a reminder, weights are not the only way to build strength, any type of resistance can work muscles. Depending on your starting point different things can be used, for example body weight alone without the use of weights is a great place to start. The use of resistance bands or tubing can be a great way to work muscles without having to deal with storing the weights. Working with weights (resistance) is a great way to stave off the aging process.

I think it might help people who are afraid of building big muscles to know how it happens. Basically if you want to build big muscles you have to work really, really, really hard at it. It doesn’t happen from going to the gym two or three times a week doing a few exercises at 8 repetitions each. Hypertrophy (muscles getting bigger) occurs when heavy weights are lifted in a specific way . . . more than the average person is going to lift (75% to 85% of what you can absolutely lift), more exercises than the average person takes time for, and with less rest time than most people take in the gym. It really takes work and concentration. It is very stressful on the body and people often don’t like to be sore. The type of lifting required to cause hypertrophy is not something the average woman is going to do. Doing 8 to 12 repetitions of a few exercise two or three times a week will enable your muscles to stay toned or it might even build some strength, but it will not make the muscles really big. If you want to increase your strength add more resistance or more reps.

What could actually happen if you start working with weights is the shape of the muscle might adjust and it you might think it is bigger because you actually start sensing it. I would recommend you measure your limbs with a flexible tape measure before you start a weight regimen. After a couple of weeks measure again, see if there is actually an increase in size. I’ll be waiting to hear . . . .

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Move and eat for Health

Posted by terrepruitt on February 22, 2011

I believe that movement, like Nia, can help keep our bodies mobile and balanced.  I also believe foods can give us nutrients to help our bodies function better. I believe there are natural ways to help stave off disease. But I do also believe that at anytime our cells can malfunction and cancer can occur. I don’t try to eat healthy with the idea that if I do I won’t get cancer because so many things can contribute to cancer. So many people have it.  I was just remembering the days when I didn’t know anyone that had cancer.  Now I know too many.  There are so many different types. There is no guarantee one will not get cancer. On a commercial recently for a show I saw a doctor asked who gets lung cancer, her response was, “Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.” That is the truth. Anyone can get it. Unfortunately.

What I DO really believe is that a healthy body can fight it better. A lot of the treatments for cancer kill off good stuff in our bodies as well as the cancer. So if we have a strong healthy body it can combat the offending cells and treatment. Healthy people get sick, but they can often recover faster because they have a base of good health. A body can only handle so much. It is not able to fight off everything thrown at it. There is too much now-a-days. So the healthier the start, the better.

I know a lot of foods claim to decrease the risk of cancer but that is usually not what I am thinking about when I eat it.  I am thinking about how the food is thought to assist in the function of the body.  I am thinking about how I believe that the ingredients on my avoid list* interfere with the body’s healthy functions, which could very well result in a decrease risk of cancer, but will definitely result in your body FEELING better.  Plus I believe that when your body feels better you will actually FEEL better emotionally.

None of us want to get cancer so foods thought to decrease the risk are worth consuming, but I think it is unwise to think that we will not get cancer because we are eating foods “proven to fight”/”shown to decrease the risk”.  We should concentrate on eating well to feel well and stay healthy.

*Ingredients I avoid:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Partially hydrogenated Oils, Canola Oil

On somewhat of a side note:  I have joined a Team for the American Cancer’s Society Relay for Life.  The walk is May 14, 2011.  If you would like to contribute, please do.  I am walking in memory of a friend who succumb to cancer and family and friends that are survivors or are in current battles.  Also on April 30, 2011, I’m walking in the San Jose MS Walk:    http://bit.ly/terremswalk

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Strange Facts on a Cold Day

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2011

These are my fingerless gloves, yeah, they’re from Yelp, how’d you know?

I am a Californian, I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area so I am not used to this weather.  We have had snow, rain, sleet, hail, rain, wind, cold, cold, cold, cold.  No, it is not as cold as other parts of the country.  It is not blizzard conditions or in the negative temps, but it is WAY colder than I am used to.  So today, since I didn’t have a Nia class to teach, I spent most of the day under blankets with gloves on and drinking hot water.  So for my post I thought I would just share some strange facts from a list one of my friends sent me.  I am doing a quick post so I can get back under my blankets.  I didn’t check these facts so I don’t know if they are true . . . they are just some of those strange facts you hear about.  Some of them I am sure you can attest to yourself, #2, maybe?  Or #9, or #16?  We’ve all been around that four year old, right?

1–Ketchup was sold in the 1830’s as a medicine.

2–There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.

3–Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to slow a film down so you could see his moves. That’s the opposite of the norm.

4–Mosquito repellents don’t repel… They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there.

5–Dentists recommend that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

6–The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

7–The “pound” (#) key on your keyboard is called an octothorp.

8–The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.

9–It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

10–In Chinese, the KFC slogan “finger lickin’ good” comes out as “eat your fingers off”.

11–A cockroach can live without a head for 10 days.

12–We shed 40 pounds of skin a lifetime.

13–Yo-Yos were once used as weapons in the Philippines

14–Brains are more active sleeping than watching TV.

15–Blue is the favorite color of 80 percent of Americans.

16–The average four year-old child asks over four hundred questions a day.

17–A person will die from a total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur after about 10 days without sleep, while starvation takes a few weeks.

18–Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

19–Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never telephoned his wife or mother because they both were deaf.

So, what do you think?  Have you experienced any of these to be true?  Do you doubt any of them?  Do you believe any of them?

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Fourth Chakra

Posted by terrepruitt on February 17, 2011

The focuses of my Nia classes this week were connected to love.  Since is was Valentine’s Day this week.  Monday’s Nia class the focus was Love with the intent of allowing what was needed.  Whether it was to give love to the community, the world, or oneself or to receive love from the community, the world, or for oneself.  The playlist was LOVEly.  Wednesday the focus was peace.  With somewhat the same intent but with the addition of the peace inviting in calm.  The playlist was the same . . . love, kisses, and hearts.  Tomorrow’s class in Los Gatos the focus will be the fourth chakra, the heart chakra.

The routine I’ve put together allows for the many opportunities to move the upper back, chest and the ribs.  Our intent will be move the physical area where the heart chakra is located in order to open the heart chakra.  Opening this chakra invites feelings of joy.  Joy shares company with calm.  With joy and calmness as companions additional positive feelings, sensations, and states of being are experienced such as compassion, prosperity, and abundance.  This also allows for connections to peace and harmony.

Also with moving our heart chakra we are enhancing our circulation.  Concentration and focus is a powerful tool.  While we might move our upper back, chest, and ribs it will undoubtedly affect our circulation but with the additional focus on the fourth chakra we can bring extra attention to it.  Bringing whatever healing to our heart chakra that might be needed.  This will round out the week of love quite well, I believe.

Posted in Chakras, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rocking Around the Clock

Posted by terrepruitt on February 15, 2011

Nia has a list of 52 moves.  A lot of Nia’s moves are moves that are from different forms of dance.  I knew a lot of them already because of the different dance I have been involved in.  One thing I’ve done before is just rolling around the foot, in Nia we call it Rock Around the Clock.  Normally we actually STEP to or on positions as if we are dancing on clock on the ground, but for this move it is rolling on our feet, as if on positions of a clock.

With your knees relaxed and your upper body loose, rock back onto your heels.  If going “counter-clockwise” you would rock to the right edge of both your feet–at the same time.  Then move to the balls of your feet, rising on your toes.  Then rock and roll 🙂 to the left edge of your feet.  Both at the same time.  The feet roll to 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 12 o’clock, then 9 o’clock.  Rock around the clock.  Don’t forget to rock clock-wise.

This move helps build strength in the ankles and the lower leg.  A strong base is a stable base.  With this move the muscles in the feet can also be exercised.  Since often our feet are encased in shoes that don’t allow them to achieve the movement they are designed for, this move can help with strengthening our feet AND improving flexibility.

Nia’s Rock Around the Clock is a prime example of one of the exercises we do in a Nia class that is easy to do and results in huge benefits.  If at first you find this move a challenge to your balance that’s ok, practice it holding onto a table, a chair, a counter then before you know it you will be able to rock around the clock without any help.
Update-ish:  On January 15, 2015 I posted about another way to practice this move.  Click here to go to Ways To Practice Rock Around The Clock.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I Can’t

Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2011

So, I have been holding my Nia classes even with my injured toe. I limit my movement and coach the participants to move in their own body’s way as is the norm with Nia. So there are movements I can’t do. Even outside of Nia I can’t. I have been limiting all of my activity so that I can “save my foot/toe” for my Nia classes. There have been events and outings I have missed because “I can’t”. There have been goings-on and happenings I’ve skipped because “I can’t.” I can’t. I can’t because I am saving my movement. When I do a lot of normal activity my toe gets “tired” and swells and throbs, so I can’t do a lot of stuff. I have put this limitation on myself so that I can continue to move in my class. I have restricted my movements outside of class so that I can do as much as I can inside of class. I have placed “can” and “can’t” guides on myself.

This past week I was talking to a friend about something and I heard “I can’t” a lot. It occurred to me that I have been saying that a lot too. I can’t go here or there because I have to rest my foot. There it is. I have put restrictions on myself. I want my foot to heal so I won’t allow myself to do certain things so that I can accomplish this other thing.

I can’t.

By saying “I can’t” we put restrictions and limitations our ourselves. We do this to ourselves. So can’t you? Really? Is that word serving you? In the case of my foot, I do believe it is serving me. I really believe by restricting myself from doing too much I am allowing it to heal. The doctors always say “stay off the foot”. So that is what I am doing. But . . . .since I am saying that so much lately it is allowing me to see where I say it in other areas of my life. It is as if I only have so many allowances where I can say that and since I am having to say it for my foot the other times I am saying it, it sticks in my mouth and I think, “Why can’t I?”

Can I not because I have told myself that? Can I not because I have imposed this limitation, this restriction on myself? Is this a “good” I can’t? Or is this an “I can’t” that is squelching my growth? If I were to say “I can” instead would there be an opportunity to learn something? To experience something new? To have an adventure into something different?

Hmmmmm? The POWER of “I can’t” has come to light. I know, I have heard it before the positive thinking versus the negative thinking, but this is not necessarily positive versus negative. Sometimes it could just be laziness or just the I- don’t-know-what-that-will-do-so-I-can’t kind of thing. I believe that “can’t” sometimes is the correct response, but I am evaluating that.  So interesting to me.

What about you? Interesting? What “CAN’T” you do? What “CAN’T” you do that you know will be good for you? What “CAN’T” you do even though you know it will benefit your health? Why “CAN’T” you do something? Is it because you just haven’t before so you can’t possibly now? Hmmmmm? All kinds of questions and ideas, huh?

For me, I am stopping and thinking before I say I can’t. Even if my answer or comment is me saying, “No.” I am going to try my hand at rephrasing it and instead of just saying, “I can’t”, I am going to give a more accurate answers. Because often times, I probably CAN, I just . . . . well, whatever the reason.

This toe thing really has me thinking . . . . a lot.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Poison

Posted by terrepruitt on February 10, 2011

The other day I mentioned something about a particular food being poison, my friend “pishawed” me saying it really WASN’T poison.  So I started thinking that maybe I had been a bit harsh so I looked up the definition of poison.  What came up was wiki and it states, “In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms”.  So now I don’t think I was being harsh.

In the context of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)*, Canola Oil, partially hydrogenated oil, and so many of the CHEMICALS that make up our food, I think it is pretty accurate calling them poisons —- if you are of the belief they disturb our natural healthy body functions.  If you believe that HFCS actually does interfere with the production/the release of leptin which is the agent that helps notify the body it is full; if you believe genetically modifying a rape seed so is has “less” than the normal of the bad acid AND includes a pesticide so the insects won’t eat it; if you believe partially hydrogenated oil aka trans fat increase the LDL** levels and LOWERS the HDL*** levels; then I believe it is perfectly reasonable to say it causes disturbances to organisms or in short is poison.  But that is only IF you believe any of that stuff.

There are a lot of things that we COULD call poison if we want and be accurate; alcohol, antibiotics, medicines, etc.  These things also interfere with our bodies systems, but they are not consumed ALL the time.  If they are . . . there are issues, as you can agree in the case of an alcoholic.  An alcoholic’s body does not function properly and a lot of health issues generally arise.  Too much antibiotics without the proper counter measures can lead to OTHER types of infections or issues.  So it is, we ingest these types of “poisons” with care, caution, and infrequency.  But it is difficult to do that with our food.

There are so many chemicals, our food is sooooo over processed, so much of our food is genetically altered a lot of it can be considered poison . . . in my opinion.  So, was a I being harsh?  No, I don’t think so.  Could be that if we start looking at what our food is doing to us we might see the need to change things.  Food is supposed to be NUTRITION, but ours is not so much any longer.

As I always say, I don’t eat perfect.  I am working hard to reduce my consumption of overly processed foods, things with HFCS, Canola Oil, and partially hydrogenated oils in them.  I believe by reducing my intake of these things cause disturbances to organisms, I am allowing my body to get more out of the food I eat.

What do YOU think?  Was I being harsh by calling something that has HFCS, Canola Oil, AND partially hydrogenated oil in it poison?

*HFCS or the new name “corn sugar”
**LDL = Low-density lipoprotein, commonly thought of as “bad” cholesterol
***HDL = High-density lipoprotein, commonly thought of as “good” cholesterol

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

I love food Allergies

Posted by terrepruitt on February 8, 2011

After my Nia class this past week, I went out to have something to eat with a friend.  I wanted something on the menu without this and with that, and instead of this could I get that on the side?  In the past I have hated going out to eat  because I couldn’t ever find anything I liked.  Well, several things have happened;

1) I eat more variety than I used to eat
2) Almost every restaurant serves a salad and
3) I can now rearrange a menu item and the server doesn’t have a fit.

I think a lot of it is due to food allergies.

Well, not entirely because long before people started discovering they were allergic to gluten restaurants started being more flexible with their menu.  So many things have tomatoes and even though I will eat a tomato, I prefer not to have them IN things.  Now-a-days it seems so many things have a hot, spicy chipotle or something other sauce on it.  So I am ALWAYS at the very least requesting that something listed on the menu as part of the dish be eliminated. I do believe though that so many people are allergic to so many things servers and restaurants are more sensitive to the fact and they just try their best to do what you want.  Sometimes they might feel the need to charge you when you do a lot of rearranging, but they will usually let you know if that is the case.  And you will be able to get what you want.

I used to pour over the menu trying to find the thing that I could eat.  I used to break out in a sweat when it was my turn to order.  My husband used to . . . .no, he still does, roll his eyes.  Now I can pick something and take off a few things or add this.  I once was reminded that if the kitchen isn’t busy and they have all the ingredients for what you want, you can always just ask for it.  Sometimes you get a surprise.  Years ago I was at a hotel and I asked if they could make me a grilled cheese even though it was not on the menu.  When my order came up I was horrified because I didn’t remember ordering two, but there were two sitting there.  The waitress saw my face and laughed explaining that the cook thought it sounded good so he made one for himself.  Whew!  I certainly didn’t want two.

While I don’t really love food allergies because I understand that they can have very serious consequences if the person that is allergic to a particular food happens to consume it.  I also understand that living with a food allergic can be quite a challenge.  I do, however, love that as a result I think restaurants are more accommodating.  I love that most restaurants will have a vegetable option and/or vegetable sides.  Also, if there really isn’t anything on the menu that grabs me, I can usually fall back on a salad.  Since so many things contain gluten that you might not even thing about, I can also rearrange the salad if I want.

What about you?  Do you order straight off the menu?  Or do you rearrange things a bit?

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

It’s Out There

Posted by terrepruitt on February 5, 2011

I teach Nia.  I found Nia while looking on the internet for a workout that was exercise as well as dance.  Dance is exercise and with so many people enjoying dancing I was hoping to find a combination of both that I could teach.   Nia is a non-impact cardio dance.  The “non-impact” often causes people to think that it is low intensity, but with Nia you regulate your own intensity.  Nia was created using The Body’s Way, and designed so that you can practice is in Your Body’s Way.  So participants receive the workout their body needs at that moment.

I believe that is one of the great things about Nia, but it is also one of the things that greatly challenge people.  Some people do not know how to listen to their own bodies and give them what they need.  They are accustomed to being told what they need and what to do.  So Nia might not be for everyone.  But there is something out there that is.

In the Fall 2010 issue of Conscious Dancer, they shared 100 modes of movement.  They highlighted movements from A-Z.  They pointed out AcroYoga, AlivEmotion, BeachDance, Bellyfit, Biodanza, Chakradance, Dancing with Pain, DolphinDance, 5Rhythms, Gyrotonic Expansion System, Hoop Dance, InterPlay, Jazzercise, Laughter Yoga, Nia, Pilates, Shake Your Soul, Soul Motion, SpritisDancing, Trance Dance, Wowzacise, Yoga Booty Ballet, YogaFit, Zumba, and more.

From yoga to yoga dancing, spiritual exercise, water workouts, healing, structured, non-structured, standing, sitting, rolling, running, jumping, bouncing, everything from here to there and anything you can thing of and more.  So what is your excuse?  Maybe there isn’t a Nia class in your area or that is convenient to you or your schedule.  What about a Zumba class?  Get some of your Latin on.  Zumba not your thing?  What about BellyFit?  Maybe there is a class near you and a form of fitness that has a bit of yoga, meditation, and Pilates in it is something you would like?  Laughter Yoga (who doesn’t like to laugh?) is in 60 countries.  Maybe you would like the group type of moving mediation that is 5Rhytms.  Or you wanna take it back to your childhood circling your hips and other body parts in a Hoop Dance.  Have you tried Jazzercise lately?  Even though it has been around since the 60’s it has kept up with the times.  Like Nia, you learn that the joy of dance that is Shake Your Soul can be a healing experience.  What about Wowzacise?  Created by Wowza it is a form of fitness done on different size stability balls. Yoga Booty Ballet is a set of workouts that is yoga, cardio, and ballet and there are DVDs so you don’t even have to go out to do that one.

See?  So as I am often saying there is soooooo much out there.  If you don’t like one thing try another.  Take into consideration your goals and what you really like to do, then go out there and find it.  It has to be there.  Even though Nia is for everyBODY, it really is not for everyone, but please find something that is for you and do it and stick to it!

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »