Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Archive for August, 2011

Little Speaker for the iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTouch

Posted by terrepruitt on August 6, 2011

Not too long ago another Nia Teacher and I were practicing Nia in a local park.  She had brought her laptop so that we could look at the DVD and practice the routine.  As you might realize it is very difficult to see a laptop screen outside when you are not right in front of it.  We were dancing to the DVD, so we were not right in front of it.  She also brought a long a little round speaker.  She hooked it up to her laptop to help boost the sound.  When we finally gave up on the laptop she plugged the speaker into my iPhone.  Cool.  It was round and had pretty good sound.  It had a little leather looking case and was it just so cute.  Of course, I wanted one.  It is perfect to carry around “just in case”.  I pretty much always have my iPhone because I have my music on it, but not everyplace I have taught has a sound system so a little round speaker would be GREAT!  It could fit in my purse.

So to Amazon I went.  I am the type that looks at something online for a little while before I decide to buy it.  I have a house FULL of stuff.  I do not need anymore stuff.  I am a stuff collector.  So I tend to hesitate before I buy more stuff.  When I looked online I was seeing a little round speaker for more money than I need to spend on stuff I don’t need.  😉  Right?  I mean, when I am buying something I can live without I tend to have a limit as to how much I will spend.  So I looked around on the website.  I was finding some nice speakers.  I read some reviews.  I looked here and there.

iHome mini speaker, rechargeable speaker for iPad, iPhone, laptop, MP3 playerI spotted a BLUE one (uh-oh, BLUE?).  It was round and cute and it was blue!  It was rechargeable so it doesn’t take batteries.  I really like that.  It also expanded to give you “larger” sound.  But since it was blue, cute, expandable and rechargeable I thought it would be more than the other speakers I was looking at, but lo and behold it was LESS.  And totally in my self-alloted price range.  But I still hesitated because I really don’t need it and even though I thought it was completely affordable I could always use that money for something else.  So, in my normal style I didn’t buy it right then.  I like to “sit on it”.  But then you know what happens?  I think about it all the time.  I end up in situations where, “Oh it would be perfect if I had that (fill in the blank) that I wanted.”

iHome mini speaker, expandable speaker for iPad, iPhone, laptop, MP3 playerWhen I always find myself thinking about the item for a while, I usually give in.  And I am so glad I did.  It is so cute.  And the sound is pretty good for the price and what it is.  The sound is WAY better than the sound that comes out of the iPhone.  A mini-speaker.  Yay!  Does it give GREAT sound?  No.  Is it stereo?  No.  But it give really good sound and I can hear the music much better than on my iPhone.

The description on Amazon says: “Speaker works with any 3.5 mm headphone jack, perfect for laptops, cell phones, portable game devices, MP3 players, etc.”  So you can use it on all of your devices.

It doesn’t come with a nice leather case like my friend’s but it does have its own little bag.  That is good enough for me.  I just like something that fits the device AND its cord.  Something some people might like is that its audio cord does not come apart from its charging cord.  I know we end up having so many cords that it is easy to misplace (or as my friend says, “Put away so well.”) some of the cords.  When you have a cord to charge the device and a separate one to use it sometimes the power cord can get lost because you don’t use it as often.  Well, these two cords do not come apart.  There is a little plastic separator that hold them together, it is the little square below the USB connector and the audio plug, and they are connected near the end too and become one cord.  The cords also have a build in “clip” to keep them neat and tidy.  In this picture it is to the left of the bag, the black plastic square.  Cool.  All built-in!

Blue things make me happy.  Blue things that are cute make me happy.  Blue things that are cute that allow me to hear my Nia music and all music better make me really happy.  And that it was less than $20 makes me so happy I want share!

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

The Easiest Way To Cook Eggplant

Posted by terrepruitt on August 4, 2011

Often I hear people say they would like to cook eggplant but they don’t know how.  I also hear a lot of people say you have to get the water out of eggplant before you cook it.  Well, I would like to try cooking it another way because the only way I know how is to roast it, of course.  Recently I bought some eggplant specifically to cube it and sautee it to see how that would be.  But when I started thinking about how yummy it is roasted, I opted for roasting it.   I have used Japanese eggplant, which it nice because it has less seeds.  It is also nice because it is more evenly shaped so all the slices come out basically the same size so they cook at a more even rate.  I typically use the large pear-ish shaped eggplant.   The last time I bought it, the store clerk said she had always wanted to try it but didn’t know how to cook it (see, I told you people tell me that).  So I decided to share my way of cooking it.  You know I love to roast veggies.  Roasting veggies is so easy because you can put them on and work on cooking the rest of dinner.   I was so busy cooking the rest of dinner I forgot to take pictures of the roasted eggplant.  I remembered to take pictures of it as I sliced it, but I forgot to do it after it was cooked.

I slice at about 3/8 of an inch.  I put olive oil on the pan (I use a cookie sheet), then place the slices on the pan in rows, then I drizzle a little olive oil on the slices.  I sprinkle garlic powder on each slice.  Then I sprinkle salt on each slice.  The salt will help release the water.  Pretty much the same way as sweating the vegetables, but the water will evaporate in the oven.  I usually cook them for about 15 or twenty minutes at 400 degrees.  Then I flip them over.  I usually add more seasoning.  It depend on how much salt I put on before.  I might add more or not.  I put them back in the oven.  How long depends on how they look.  Often times they don’t cook evenly so some will be done where others will not.  So I take the done ones off the pan, then I set the timer for the time I guess that the next ones will be done.  When that time is up I take the done ones off the cookie sheet and put the pan back in the oven.  Depending on how they are cooking, I might flip them.  It is a process.  You have to watch them a bit.  That is why it is good to have other stuff to be cooking in the kitchen.  You also have to decide HOW cooked you like them.  You can cook them just a little until they are still really soft and doughy or you can cook them until they are crispy–almost like potato chips.  I like mine crispy.

A friend on FB said she puts cheese on the slices.  That would be excellent.  I haven’t tried that.  I am sure it is really good.

I don’t squeeze out the water before cooking and I don’t take out the seeds.  I also do not cook it for a set amount of time.  I start with 15 minutes and go from there.  It is best to decide as you go along.

I did not realize that eggplant is a fruit, a berry in fact.  I don’t think in terms of botany.  I just think in terms of eating and cooking.  The information I saw said eggplant is a fruit that is used in cooking like a vegetable.  So yeah, I think of it as a vegetable.

So that is how I cook eggplant 🙂 pretty much how I cook all my vegetables.  What about you?  Do you cook eggplant?  How?  I really would like to try it other ways, but I don’t know how to cook it aside from roasting it.  Did you know it is a fruit?  Did you know it is a berry?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Posted by terrepruitt on August 2, 2011

I think you have probably heard that before.  You might have even said it.  I know that I have.  It doesn’t make sense.  One pound of muscle CANNOT weigh more than one pound of fat, that is impossible.  A pound of something does not weigh more than a pound of something else.  Nope, just not possible.  Doesn’t matter if one pound is feathers and another pound is rocks. As you probably know, it is really about volume or the SPACE that one takes up over the other.  A POUND of fat actually takes up more space than a POUND of muscle, but they still WEIGH the same.  There is really no getting around that weight thing.

Sometimes a scale that measures weight might be a little deceiving in terms of size and health.  It all depends upon your goal.  Right?  I always say that, but it is true.  If your mainly concerned with how much you weigh then that is what you should focus on.  If you want to be smaller then maybe a scale is not the best way to measure that.  If you want to build muscle or be stronger then you might not want to be concerned with the weight because it is difficult to get weight to go down and muscle to go up.  Of course, this is all very general, I am not saying one is good or one is bad, I am really just trying explain the point a bit.

I find, on occasion, one of the best ways to explain something is to use a visual aide.  Here is a picture.

What you see is three pounds of butter with a three pound weight.  What is butter?  Fat.  I am using the weight as a rough sample of muscle.  This is three pounds of fat compared to three pounds of muscle.  Yeah, yeah, I know it is not exact, but it gives us a rough idea right?  You can clearly see that three pounds of fat take up much more room than three pounds of “muscle”.

If you are working out and exercising to “lose weight” your scale might not always tell you the accurate truth. Because first of all usually we are working out and exercising to lose fat and one of the best ways to do that is with strength training.  A muscled body burns more calories than a fatty body, no matter what the body is doing.  So one way to help lose the fat is to gain muscle.  But if you gain muscle the number on your scale might not go down as much as you think it should.  Second, if you are not doing some type of resistance training you would be losing muscle.

If you are doing something in your fitness routine that builds muscle and the scale is not moving down or it is not going down fast enough for you, don’t get discouraged.  Maybe it is time to take out the measure tape.  It could be that you are going down in size but staying the same or even gaining pounds.

Also remember that in order for you to actually build bigger muscles you have to follow a specific training plan so chances are you are not going to get bigger. Women – in general – don’t need to be concerned with that.  That is another great reason to measure because the body will change so it might look different or seem bigger to you, but with a measure of it, you will know.

Not too long before I hurt my foot I thought my scale was broken.  It kept showing me the same weight but my clothes weren’t fitting the same.  I threw my scale away.  Turns out it really wasn’t broken,  I was NOT gaining weight,  I was just losing muscle mass.  So now that my foot is better (better, not the same, but better) I want to get back to having more muscle.  I thought this would be a great way to remind me.  Sometimes I know things, I just need a reminder, what about you?  Do you sometimes need a reminder?  I am sure that you know that muscles DOES NOT weigh more than fat — not possible, but I thought I’d give us a visual to keep in our heads.

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