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, 2011

Teaching What You Sense

Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2011

Nia White Belts focus on the body.  The body is what we can use to teach.  It is fascinating.  By the time we teach a routine in front of a class we should know the music and the choreography so well we don’t have to think about it.  I know I have shared before about how there is a point where I can’t learn any more without taking it to the class.  That is not necessarily the way we were trained to do it, but that is how I do it.  I have worked on learning a routine, got as far as I felt I could go, taken it to class and only done it for one class before I go back and work on learning it some more.  With that one class I was able to get past the learning plateau.  But for the most part we know the music and the routine well by the time we share it with our Nia students.  This allows us to concentrate on what we are sensing.  This is White Belt Principle #13, Teaching What You Sense.

One of the Nia White Belt Manuals says:

While Nia impacts every aspect of our lives, it is first and foremost a somatic practice rooted in physical sensation.

© 2010 Nia Technique, Inc. | NiaNow.com Principle 13 Lesson Plan | 1

Teaching what we sense, what we are experiencing in our own bodies allows us to connect with what is going on in our students’ bodies.  When I feel the stretch in my side, I can say, “Everybody sense your side.”  This allows each participant, each individual body to sense what is going on in his or her own body.  It could be a stretch.  It could be a twinge which might be a signal to tweak the movement.  Whatever is sensed belongs to the individual.  I am not saying, “You SHOULD feel . . ”  I don’t know exactly what they should sense.  Each person is different.  Nia teachers invite Nia students to SENSE parts of the body so each person can get the workout their body needs.

While we are dancing the moves we are showing the Nia students the Nia choreography, we are also guiding them with our words.  In addition to guiding them through the Nia routine’s choreography we are guiding them through a somatic workout.  A workout that is rooted in the Body’s Way.  By teaching what my body is sensing participants learn what THEIR bodies are sensing and in turn we all learn our our own individual’s body’s way.

Learning all of this in a cardio dance workout class might seem like a lot, but it is something that happens over time.  It might also sound different than other exercise classes, and that is because it is different.  It is unique.  Each class brings new awareness.  When students desire to they can take what we touch upon in class out into their lives.  Being aware of the body’s sensation as we live and go about our everyday chores and pleasures.  We could call it “Noticing what we sense.”  But for me, as a Nia teacher/student I am encouraged to teach what I sense and it makes a world of difference in the workout you receive.

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Stock, Broth, Bouillon Cubes

Posted by terrepruitt on September 27, 2011

I have posted a lot about soup because a friend showed me how to use the stick blender to make soups.  I fell in love with blended vegetable soups.  Recently I posted about soup that my friend had made me.  In addition to sharing that wonderful recipe with me she also shared a broth secret.  I used to buy the bouillon cubes.  They are so convenient because they are always there when you need them.  Then due to the ingredients (partially hydrogenated oil) I started buying the boxes of broth.  But those are somewhat very inconvenient because what I have experienced is that the box is one measurement and I usually need a different measurement to make the soup.  So basically I often need only a portion of the box for soup.  It is unfortunate to have a half used box of broth in the fridge.  When I was at my friend’s house she asked me if I knew about “Better Than Bouillon”.  I had not.

Nia class, Nia teacher, Nia workout, Nia dance, Nia cardio dance workoutIt is a jar of bouillon concentrate.  Just like juice concentrate you mix it with water.  It is brilliant because you can make as much as you need.  I was so happy to learn of this.  I know, I know, I am probably late in this lesson, but I didn’t know.  I purchased the chicken base which has:

Chicken Meat with Natural Juices, Salt, Organic, Cane Juice Solids, Maltodextrin (from corn), Chicken Fat, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Dried Onion, Potato Flour, Spice Extractives, and Turmeric .

I know a lot of these ingredients would not be found in fresh homemade chicken stock, but stock is not one thing that I am inclined to make.  I know it is easy and I know many people do make it, but I’m not one of them.  Maybe eventually if I continue to make a lot of soup I will start making my own stock, but not at this point in time.

I was happy to see “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base has turmeric in it.  Remember turmeric one of the anti-inflammatory foods.

I do still like the box broth so I will continue to buy it and use it.  But now I can use a combination of stocks and broths which will enable me to keep my fridge empty of a half used box of stock.  With the jar of bouillon, one teaspoon combined with 8 ounces water equals 8 ounces of liquid broth or one cube (which is added to 8 ounces of water also).

My husband and I have been waiting for the cold weather to come so that we can have soup.  When I first met him his thought was, “Soup is not food.”  But I once made a really hearty potato cheese soup that made him change his mind.  He also likes all the other soups that I have been making even though they are pureed vegetables.  I am fortunate that he is so kind to let me experiment with different veggies and combinations.  So far he has eaten them all.  So, c’mon cold weather, get here so we can eat soup!

Did you know about this jar of bouillon?  I am really excited about it.  You know by now when I learn something and I get excited about it, I have to post about it!

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

Time In a Pressure Cooker

Posted by terrepruitt on September 24, 2011

There is a song about saving time in a bottle.  If we could bottle time and take it out when we needed it that would be a wonderful thing.  But then again, maybe just learning to manage our time would be a wonderful thing.  I am one that could use to learn a few things about time management.  Although as I look around me I see little things transpiring that I can use as time-helpers.  One thing is the new Facebook.  I believe that I get caught up in reading and commenting on Facebook a lot, but with this new change I find myself signing on then signing off quickly instead of staying on to look around.  So that is a little “time-helper” for me.  The new format is helping me by making me want to spend less time on it.   Spending a little less time on Facebook is one thing that would allow me more time.  For some they pack their schedules so tight they don’t have breathing room.  There is no time to just “BE”.  No time to just enjoy the moment.  No time to decompress and de-stress.  It is as if pressure is on all the time.

A Nia student of mine and I were talking about having breathing room.  She is one of those people who packs her schedule really tight.  She was sharing with me that she had wanted to go to a Nia event very badly but trying to squeeze it into her schedule was causing a lot of stress.  Even though the event was something she really wanted to do the idea of trying to fit it in a jammed packed schedule was causing stress.  Nia is joyful and is the opposite of stress.  The fact that trying to fit this Nia class into her schedule was causing her stress and was negating the joy.  Reluctantly she decided not to go, she told me that with releasing that commitment she had a great feeling of relief.  She no longer had to figure out driving time, class time, and scheduling all her other work around that.  As much as she missed not going to the Nia class it was necessary to take it off of her schedule in order to allow her less stress.  And it worked.  The moment she decided to not go, there was a release of pressure.

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia cardio dance, Nia like Zumba, Nia is fun exerciseIn our society we are programmed to go-go-go and do-do-do.  Some people don’t say no to things because “they could squeeze it in between this and that”.  People sometimes feel it is wrong or bad to say no.  If they have a spare hour they feel it would be wrong to not accept the invitation or the task.  For some having nothing to do for an afternoon is unheard of and even more so . . . . a waste of time.  And they have no time to just be.  Some can’t enjoy the moment.  They aren’t taking the time to decompress and de-stress.  They live under constant pressure.

At my next Nia class my student shared with me that after our conversation she had went home looked at her calendar and decided a few things needed to be crossed off the schedule so she could just be.  She wanted to bring the sensation and the experience of just having time to relax into her everyday life.  She had said that she was able to accomplish that on vacation but she wanted to work on having more time in her life.  She was so excited to have done this and that our conversation had reminded her of the importance of saying, “No.”  That it is ok to say no and actually have nothing to do.  It is ok to say no and to keep that time free to be.

Then a few days later she sent me an e-mail she had received with this quote from Martha Beck.

We laughed at how the quote came at such a perfect time.  We had been talking about “emptying our time” and then bam . . . there is it another reminder, or confirmation in fact, of exactly what we had been talking about.

Amazing how sometimes things in life just keep telling us the same thing over and over.  Sometimes it is when we most need it to.  I know that I am not always good at recognizing it.  I know I could adjust my time a bit.  I feel I have a good amount of time to be, but there could easily be some modifications in my time management to make things less stressful.  What about you?  Are there things you could say no to?  Are there things you could adjust?  Do you have “empty time” in which you can just be/de-stress/decompress/reflect?  If you feel you have a lot of stress maybe you could start with little increments and see how that feels and then go from there.  You might be surprised how great it feels to relieve some of that pressure and give yourself some time.

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

RDA Is Not For Everyone

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2011

The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is part of old guidelines that were first brought about by concern for our country.  The government wanted to make certain that military personnel were receiving the nutrients they needed to remain healthy.  The standards would be used for more than just the military, but the military was the initial thought.  Over the years the RDA has been modified and revised.  The modifications and revisions can be results of new scientific information or as new foods become available.  Eventually the recommend dietary allowance became part of the RDI, Recommended Daily Intake, which has four separate values to consider.  This post is just a quick reminder of the RDA.

The RDA is actually for healthy people . . . .if you are the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high blood pressure, or the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high cholesterol, or one in the large percentage of Americans that doesn’t exercise regularly and/or eat a diet of fast food and/or have a high stress job and/or are overweight/obese/morbidly obese then these guidelines are not necessarily for you.  The recommended dietary allowance is for healthy people.  The estimated Daily Values that are disclosed on nutrition labels are for healthy people and the people eating a 2000 calorie a day diet.

As you can see the D in RDA stands for dietary, not daily, because we don’t need to eat each recommended amount daily.  But I didn’t see the information that explained how that is supposed to average out.  But even so, the amounts are based on averages and people who are healthy so it is kind of no wonder that Americans as a whole are not getting healthier.  If what we have to follow doesn’t even apply to 1 in three of us.  The recommendations really should be taken as very loose guidelines.  If you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol and you are on medication that brings you back into the normal ranges, then it could be that the RDA might work for you.  But it could also be that if you weren’t concerned with the RDA (which remember is meant for healthy people) and you actually ate to be healthy then it could be that a proper diet could make the medication no longer needed.

A great example to point out proof of this is diabetes.  You probably know someone who has it.  You know they don’t follow the RDA.  If they are concerned with controlling it they have a very different diet to follow.  You might even know someone who HAD diabetes and they were able to control it and get off the medications with a change in their diet.  I have heard a lot of testimony of exactly that happening.

Guidelines for healthy people also applies to the 30 minutes of exercise a day.  That 30 minutes is to MAINTAIN health.  Again . . . if you are unhealthy and want to improve your health exercising just 30 minutes a day might not do it.  More than likely you’re going to need more.

So this is just to help you remember that the dietary guidelines are just there to advise or guide on how one does not become deficient in a nutrient.  That is why they are really actually explaining how to stay healthy because they were created for healthy people.  And the recommended 30 minutes a day is to maintain health.  So for the people with health issues that actually want to use diet and exercise to improve their health they shouldn’t stick to the recommendations.  They are only guidelines and they do not apply to us all.  We all are individuals and we need to find out what works best for us.  There are doctors, nutritionist, personal trainers, dietitians, and a whole group of people who can help.  Don’t necessarily rely on the government recommendations to GET you healthy.  It is really up to you.

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

Ginger, the Root

Posted by terrepruitt on September 20, 2011

Whenever I think of ginger I think of that thin pale pink wet looking stuff that is put on the plate next to the wasabi when sushi and sashimi is served.  I have never been draw to that pale-watery-skin-looking pile.  In fact I thought I didn’t like ginger because of that stuff.  I believe that is pickled ginger.  It is a bit on the spicy side.  I don’t like spicy heat at all.  I don’t even use pepper.  Not too long ago I visited a friend and she said she was going to make soup.  This was her first time making this particular soup.  It has ginger in it.  She asked if I like ginger and I think I told her I was ok with it.  Well, it turns out I really liked the soup.  I believe that one of the reasons I like the soup was because of the ginger.  It gave it a great flavor.  I have been waiting for it to get cold here in the Bay Area so I could make the soup because I have been craving it.  It cooled down one day so I thought that was the start of our cool weather so I decided to make the soup.  But I had to wait a few days because dinner plans were already made a few days out.  So, of course the day I decide to make it the temperatures are in the high 80s maybe even the 90s, but I was determined.  I made it, it came out really good.  My hubby loved it.  So now we have another dish to add to our dinner menus.  And it is something we can eat ginger in.

Of course, while I was cutting up the ginger I began to wonder about it.  What is its nutritional value if any?

According to WHFoods  1 oz has less than 5% of the RDA of potassium, magnesium, copper, maganeses, vitamin B6.

Even without a lot of nutrients it is a very effective digestive aid.  Some material I read even suggested that as one of the reason it is served with raw fish.  It has been used for over 2,000 years to treat stomach related issues.

I had heard a long time ago that it is good to help relieve nausea. It can help both the motion sick such as car sickness, air and sea sickness.  It also aids in relieving the morning sickness.  Some studies have shown that a little as a gram of ginger helps relieve vomiting associated with morning sickness.  There are even recent studies that suggest ginger relieves some of the sickness associated with chemotherapy.

Since ginger is considered an anti-inflammatory, it is not surprising to hear that it is thought to help people with inflammatory issues, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.  Both the pain and the swelling have been documented as being less when ginger is included in the diet.

Some studies also show that ginger may help in stopping the growth of cancer cells.  Which isn’t surprising when at the same time it is thought that a state of constant/chronic inflammation helps contribute to the growth of cancer cells.  It seems more and more things that are found to help “fight”/”prevent”/”disable” cancer are the ones that also help with inflammation.  Inflammation is the body’s immune response it should not be a chronic state in the body.

Even more studies hint at ginger being an immune booster.  So really what have you got to lose with adding it to your diet?

Do you like fresh ginger?  If so, how do you use it?  Please share as I am just learning how to eat this amazing root.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Baby Bok Choy – Oh Joy!

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2011

I am in love. I first mentioned bok choy on my blog when I was talking about foods that Dr. Oz thinks will help prevent cancer.  When I first mentioned it I thought I had never had it, but some commentors pointed out that I more than likely had it in Chinese food. Yeah, they, of course, were correct.  I really like baby bok choy in my soup.  I thought it would make a good substitution for green garlic. I thought it was more like an onion.  The other day I decided to buy some and add it to a chicken dish I had made. Oh my.

The baby bok choy added such a great flavor I wondered if I would like it sautéed by itself. So I cooked some up last night. I had faith I would like it. So much faith that I made my hubby collard greens, which he loves, so I wouldn’t have to share my baby bok choy. Oh my. It taste like butter. As I was eating it I kept thinking “butter”. So I wanted to verify that. So I sacrificed a bite to hubby. I said, “Does that taste like butter?” He agreed. I told him I didn’t put any butter in it and he said if he didn’t know better he would have said I was lying.

To cook it, I cut the ends off the top green portion and chopped them up, then after they are cooked tender I throw in the chopped green portion and cook them a bit. My cooking method is to saute it in garlic olive oil, with some onions and garlic salt – yeah, my norm.

I am convinced that boy choy does not taste the same although I have not tried it I just have experienced baby versions of veggies are different than “adult” versions. So I am sticking to the baby bok choy.

I forgot it was considered a cabbage.  I was just reminded that I had heard that because I wrote it in my Dr. Oz post.  But I don’t understand the classifications of fruits and veggies, so I am not surprised that I didn’t know it was considered a cabbage and then forgot it was considered a cabbage shortly after I learned it.   I do not think of cabbage as “stalky”.  I think of cabbage as a round head.  But . . . bok choy is considered a cabbage.  According to The Cook’s Thesaurus:

“bok choy = Chinese chard = Chinese white cabbage = Chinese cabbage = Chinese
mustard cabbage = pak choy = pak choi = baak choi = white mustard cabbage =
white celery mustard = taisai = bai cai”  and “bok choy sum = Canton bok choy”

I could not find specific nutrition information on BABY bok choy but WebMD said:

Per 1 cup:  Bok Choy Cooked

Calories                   20
Fiber                         3
Vitamin A              62%
Vitamin B-2           10%
Vitamin B-6           22%
Vitamin C               59%
Folic Acid               17%
Magnesium              6%
Potassium              18%
Omega-3s         100 mg

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, helpyouwell.com

It is a cruciferous vegetable.  Which family “takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing”) from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross,” according to Wiki.  Cruciferous vegetables have a lot of phytochemicals which are thought to have anti-cancer properties.  Could be that they also contain a lot of vitamins and minerals and are not short on delivering dietary fiber.  All of which I think contribute to health.

I really believe that baby bok choy is a vegetable that people who do not like vegetables could use as a “gateway vegetable”.  🙂  They could eat it allowing them to get used to the idea of vegetables and it could help start them on the path of eating vegetables.

What about you, do you like bok choy?  Have you tried baby bok choy?  I have a feeling that you will see more post about baby bok choy as I experiment with cooking it and eating it.

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

Open Stance In Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2011

Nia is a cardio dance workout (it is really much more, but on the surface, that is what I call it).  As with many cardio workouts done to music there are a lot of moves.  Since Nia is basically a dance workout there are a lot of common dance steps and movements that many of us were taught in different forms of dance.  Some are even from different forms of martial arts or other exercise classes and modalities.  Nia has a base of 52 moves.  We call them the 52 Nia Moves.  What Nia has done is put them into categories to allow you to see what areas of the body are most associated with the move.  One of the most common moves we use in Nia classes is the Open Stance.  I have been familiar with the open stance for as long as I can remember.  I took ballet and tap when I was young.  I have done Jazzercise and other types of dance exercise classes.  Many of these types of things have an open stance.  From the first time I can remember being taught the open stance it was taught as “feet hip width apart”.  Some of you might be familiar with that.  Well, I don’t know if other modalities meant it actually that way or if I had been misled, but in Nia the open stance is actually hip JOINT width apart.

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia San Jose, Nia Los Gatos, Nia cardio dance workout, So you might be saying, “What?”  Well, go ahead, if you can . . . . stand up and into open stance.  I’m going to guess most of you don’t have a mirror in front of you . . . so look at your feet.  What do you see?  A somewhat wide stance?  Are your feet hip WIDTH apart?  Probably, because I believe that is the common instruction for “open stance”.  Stay there.  Touch your hips and thighs.  Sense how that stance feels.  Make note of the sensation of your leg muscles.  Picture your leg bones.  Are they at a slight angle?

dance exercise, Nia, Nia practice, Nia 52 moves, Terre Pruitt Nia teacherNow bring your feet closer together.  Picture your stance being hip JOINT width apart.  Most of us have hips that are larger than where our legs meet our hip socket.  Try this:  Imagine someone gently lifting you off of your feet by you head, imagine your legs are just hanging down from your hip JOINTS.  Then the huge hand that lifted you sets you gently down.  Your legs exactly in the same position as when you were hanging.  Your leg bones come straight out from your hip joints.  That is what Nia open stance is.

For me, it is much more narrow than I was taught open stance was.

My pictures are showing the difference between what I thought was open (the first one) and what I now think of as open (the second one).  I stood on the rug so the pattern would help show the difference.  Please keep in mind that everyone, everyBODY is different so the width of your feet will differ from mine, but if you keep in mind that open is not really hip WIDTH apart, but hip JOINT width apart then you too, might have an adjustment in your “open stance”.

Well, did you?  Were you taught open is hip width apart?  If you stand hip width apart is there a noticeable difference when you stand hip JOINT width apart?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Roasted Chickpeas – A Great and Easy Snack

Posted by terrepruitt on September 13, 2011

I saw a recipe for roasted chickpeas and I thought it would be good. I can’t remember where I saw it, but I know that I wanted to do it. Then I was reminded of them when I saw it mentioned on ONMYWAYTOHEALTH. She has a link to another blog with the recipe with step by step pictures. All the recipes I have seen are basically the same.

A can of chickpeas
between 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
garlic powder*

While the oven is preheating to 450F, drain the can of chickpeas, also know as garbanzo beans.

Rinse the beans off. I heard the better you rinse beans the less they might cause heartburn and/or gas. So rinse them well.

Then most recipes say to dry the beans off, the instructions suggest using paper towel.

In a bowl mix the beans, oil, salt, and garlic. Then spread the beans on a baking sheet and cook for about 40 minutes. Most recipes say to watch them so they don’t burn.

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia classes, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, Los Gatos Nia, Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area, Terre Pruitt


Well, ok, so are you ready for my version or at least what happened when I did it? TWO cans of chickpeas. I used two 12 ounce cans because one can is not that many. I didn’t dry them off very well, which might explain the way they cooked, but first, I think that drying them off is to help them roast and I figured they would get dry in the oven. So I drained and rinsed and sort of dried. I put them on the pan then sprayed olive oil on them. I don’t think it is really necessary to use a bowl, but that is personal preference. I used garlic salt, garlic powder, and season salt.

*I have seen so many recipes for them so basically use what you want. Use what spices you like. You can make them hot and spicy, or just really flavorful. You can add herbs. You can make them sweet. They can be flavored with whatever you’d like so go hog wild. I am going to try all different types of spices.

I would advise you to check on them while they are cooking because mine popped. Some of them popped off the pan onto the bottom of the oven. A couple landed near the element and I don’t know if it would have started a fire, but it sure start to stink. It was not a nice smell so I opened up the oven door to see what was going on and one popped off the pan. I was kind of afraid they were going to continue to do that. I didn’t see anything about that in any recipe.

Also . . . now this is where the drying might really be key, I don’t know because my oven does not cook evenly, but some of them cooked perfect and some did not. All the recipes I saw warned against burning so I was a little paranoid so when I saw the ones on the edge getting really crispy I figured they were all done since it had been 40 minutes.  Well, the crispy ones are really good. My husband kept saying, “CornNuts!” And I kept saying, “Yeah, good comparison. Awesome. I love CornNuts.” He would say, “CornNuts.” And then I would say, “I know, right? Cool.” He finally said he is not really a CornNuts fan. Ha, ha. I am. So the crunchy ones are really, really good and they do taste somewhat like CornNuts. But the ones that aren’t crunchy are kind of odd. They are kind of like a stale cracker or something. Not quiet soft, but not crunchy. I obviously need to work on the cooking of them. I had them in as long as the recipe said to cook them, but that was not enough for some of them. Increase the time because of two cans? I might just have to scoop off the ones on the edge.

I really love CornNuts, but they have ingredients in them that I am avoiding so I don’t buy them. This is a great alternative. And just like CornNuts they can be made with any flavor. I can’t wait to make more. So what should I do next? What about you? What will you do? Try it, they are a great snack. Beans are good for you!

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

The Bad, the Ugly, the Good

Posted by terrepruitt on September 10, 2011

Wow!  I learned something today and you know me when I learn something I get excited.  Some of the things I learn might be common knowledge to others, but when I learn it or sometimes re-learn or remember it, I love to share it.  I have found that often what I am learning/re-learning/being reminded of is new to at least one other person.  I am really amazed at what I just learned today . . . . right now in fact, via an e-mail.  If any of you are members of Meetup you probably got the e-mail too.  The bad is the horrific murders that happened on September 11, 2001.  The ugly, of course, is that there are people living with us on this beautiful planet that want to cause chaos, destruction, and are filled with such hate.  The ugly is also, of course, the loss of life, freedom, and so many other things that were taken away that day and the days that have followed.  But the good is Meetup.

Did you know that Meetup was born of 9/11?  One of the founders of Meetup sent out an e-mail today that said he was living not too far from the Twin Towers and wasn’t involved in local community.  After the planes crashed into the towers he felt as if the people around him changed in that they started saying hello to neighbors and helping each other.  Questions arose about whether the internet could be used to bring communities together.  A small group of people got together and launched Meetup 9 months later.  (As I am typing this, I just realized that it was NINE months later . . . as in the typical human birth gestation.)

This idea born of something awful is almost 10 years old and is 10 million people strong.  With 100,000 Meetup Groups a lot is happening.  Ten million people reaching out to one another and connecting.  Heck ya, that is good.

His e-mail goes onto say, “Meetups aren’t about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it weren’t for 9/11.”

I am really amazed, I didn’t know this.  I don’t even remember when I was told about Meetup, but I had heard about it and knew it had been around for a while and I never would have imagined it came about because of 9/11.

I feel 9/11 is a very emotional thing.  Everyone was affected differently.  I believe it is different for those who look out at the skyline every day and see sky where the towers used to be.  I believe it is different for those who knew people who died. I believe it is different for those who whose health was affected by the debris from the towers.

My friends and I have busy schedules and when we looked at our calendars we found that the only day we were all available to meet for the September birthday was a Sunday, 9/11.  It wasn’t until a few days later that it dawned on me that it was 9/11 AND the 10th anniversary.  I sent an e-mail mentioning that it really wasn’t a day that I felt it was appropriate to be celebrating.  I was thinking that people would frown at us and wag their fingers if they were to see us in a restaurant being jovial.  So many sorrows came from that day.  I somewhat felt we would be disrespectful if we were to be out having a good time.  One of my friends replied, “I say we toast those who lost and risked their lives on that horrific day.  They should make it a national holiday.  That way people would begin to celebrate the lives of those who died, with BBQs and such, instead of forever focusing on the bad terrorists.  I feel like they win – if we keep remembering the bad terrorists.”  I liked that idea.  I think we should focus on the good that came out of that day.  By celebrating the good we are NOT dishonoring the lives that were taken.  Nor are we belittle the fact that some people were directly affected.  All Americans, and almost everyone that has any dealings with America were affected.  We lost lives, freedoms, and much more.  BUT . . . focusing on the negative of the event just gives it more power.

We could give POSITIVE power by focusing on it, on the POSITIVE stuff.  Meetup was born.  I wonder how many wonderful things, how many positives were born from Meetup?  How many businesses got help from belonging to a business Meetup?  How many parents learned about parenting from parenting Meetup groups?  How many lives were saved because someone got; happy, healthy, noticed, recognized, informed, or felt as if they belonged to something?

I was really surprised and amazed to learn that Meetup was started because of 9/11. Again to quote the e-mail from Scott Heiferman, “The towers fell, but we rise up. And we’re just getting started with these Meetups.”  There is nothing we can do to change what happened that day.  All I can do is respectfully hold space for those that died and for everyone else who was affected.  I am NOT saying that I am glad it happened because that allowed Meetup to come in to existence.  I am saying, I can focus on the positive not the negative. I believe focusing on the positive to be a better use of energy and a better way of honoring the memory of victims of 9/11.

This was respectfully written and posted . . . .

Posted in Misc | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

Easy Dinner – Yes, Please!

Posted by terrepruitt on September 8, 2011

After I taught my Nia Class in Willow Glen I had some shopping to do.  After shopping I rushed home because I was going to meet a friend in the afternoon back the way of my class, but I thought would shower so as not to offend her.  It was pretty warm here.  As is normal for a hot day, the late afternoon early evening is the hottest.  So as I was driving home from my visit I was not looking forward to cooking dinner.  I had chicken thawed in the fridge, but what else to cook?  I ended up visiting longer than I had planned and getting stuck in traffic on the way home so I didn’t want to stop to get anything to add to dinner because it was already late.  All the way home I was wondering what to cook.  When I got home it was really hot.  I thought it would be best not to turn on the oven or the stove.  I had an idea that maybe using my electric skillet would be cooler.  I do believe it was.  Although this is a common dish cooked in a crock pot or the oven.  When you have limited ingredients sometimes dinner is really easy.  I have found that with limited ingredients I come up with come pretty good meals.  Some end up being regularly cooked meals.

Ingredients:dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, one pot dinner, easy dinner, healthy dinner, meat veggies rice dinner

-A little over a cup of rice
-32 oz broth
-1/2 cup of sherry
-1 tablespoon of worchestire sauce
-1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
-1 tablespoon marjoram
-1/2 tablespoon powdered garlic
-two large chicken breast (skinless, boneless)
-bag of green beans
-salt and pepper to taste**

I put the rice in the skillet with about half of the broth and turn the skillet on to its highest setting.  I started to cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.  When most of the broth boiled off, I added the rest of the broth, the sherry, the worchestire sauce, the soy sauce and stirred, then I added the marjoram.  I turned the heat down to the lowest setting.  I finished cutting up the chicken, then put it in with the rice I sprinkled the garlic on the chicken with some salt.  I turned it to the middle setting.  I let the chicken cook until it was almost done, then I added the green beans.  I stirred them into the dish and let it cook until they were done.

If you know me, you know I don’t like pepper — at all.  But my friend gave me some smoked pepper, which seems very different than regular black pepper.  It helped finish the dish off perfectly!  I brought the grinder to the table though so we could pepper our food separately.  My husband loves pepper.

I wasn’t planning on posting about this so I wasn’t keeping track of the time, but I think it all took about 30 to 40 minutes.  That is what I will plan on in the future, but I will keep an eye on it to see.  I am looking forward to using different veggies.  Frozen green beans is all that I had.

The last time I cooked an all in one dish I used the oven and I used brown rice and canned soup.  The rice was a bit crunchy still but I didn’t want to cook it longer because the chicken was done.  So that is why with this one I started the rice first, although this time I used white rice and it could have been less done.

I am working my way away from using canned soup so that is why I used broth and it came out great.  With the oven cooked dish I used broccoli.  I am looking forward to trying different veggies in the skillet.

I had forgotten about the electric skillet even though my parents use theirs all the time.  I am glad it was hot and I was at a loss of how to cook dinner because now I am going to start using my electric skillet more often.

Do you have an electric skillet?  If you do, what do you cook in it?  Do you have any favorite one pot recipes?

**09/10/11 — This actually made quite so we ate it a second night. On the third night it seemed as if all that was left was rice and green beans so I sauteed some baby bok choy and a can of chicken then put the left over rice and green beans in the pan and heated it up. Wow! I think I am a fan of baby bok choy!!!

09/12/11 — I didn’t take a picture while I was cooking it because I didn’t think of posting about it.  So the next night when we were having it for dinner I decided to at least take a picture of the food and the electric skillet, even though the food is on my dinner plate.  🙂

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