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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Archive for June, 2012

Another Zumba and Nia Comparison

Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2012

I teach Nia.  I have been teaching Nia for three and a half years.  Not as many people who I talk to have heard of Nia as have heard of Zumba so I am constantly being asked the difference between Nia and Zumba. Since I am often asked I am often thinking about them and comparing them. First, they are actually the same in that music is played and participants dance to it.  Second, in both the instructor leads the participants through the various dance moves.  Third, participants of both claim they are both fun. One difference is Nia is an experience in five sensations, Zumba seems to concentrate on one.

The experience is such a big part of Nia we actually call them the five sensations of Nia.  I have posted about them before (FAMSS).  They are the sensation of flexibility, of agility, of mobility, of strength, and of stability.  In a Nia class your body will move in a way that allows you to sense the energy moving out and away.  You will bend and stretch to play with flexibility, either retaining what you have or improving upon it.  There are moves in the routines that require the start and the stop.  The movement that is agility could be done with our feet, our arms, our hands, our bodies, our heads or a combination of body parts but we sense the start and the stop.  With every routine there is a lot of mobility, some routines have more than others, but all of them that I have experienced have a lot.  With mobility it is just the same as agility in that it could be a body part that is moving or our whole body.  Whatever the case there is a lot of movement from each joint that helps create a healthy joint by allowing the fluid to move to it and within it.  Then we also play with strength.  We might squeeze our muscles sensing the energy moving in as if the bones are being hugged by the muscles.  We might do squats or sit-ups, punches and/or kicks, but there is time where we play with strength.  I say Nia is very big on balance because we do many moves that requires us to be stable.  Many of our moves are balancing on one leg, could be a kick, could be a stance, but it requires stability.  Moving from one move to the next often requires us to call upon our stability.  In a Nia routine we experience all of these sensations.  I’ve reached the conclusion that Zumba is primarily agility.

In Zumba the moves are always fast.  So it is a constant state of start and stop.  The only sensation I sense while doing Zumba is agility.  Fast start, fast stop . . . .  even when there is a stretch where your muscles are yearning for a second to move to their fullest length, it is a fast stretch that does not allow for the muscle to be fully stretched.  Doing a full hour of agility is not a bad thing at all.  It can be fun and it can produce a lot of sweat.  And many of us are programmed to think that sweat equals a good workout.  I think that if you are adding Zumba to a stretching program that has some balance practice in it that is great.

I am also a believer that there are a lot of things that compliment Nia too.  I actually think that if you like Nia and Zumba and you are able to do both that is a nice combination.  You get two different types of cardio.  One that is a workout in the sensation of agility and one that can move you through more use of the entire body to get that heart pumping.

I really believe that whatever gets you moving is GREAT.  I think that you have to like what you do in order to make it a constant in your life.  So Zumba, Nia, Jazzercise, U-Jam, yoga, kickboxing, bootcamp, weight training, whatever works for you is great.  Do what you will do!  That is the key!

It is that I am always asked about the difference between Zumba and Nia that I am always thinking about it and this was my latest thought after I did a Zumba class.  I think I posted before about how I am left wanting to extend and finish my moves in Zumba and it dawned on me that it is the sensation of agility that is predominant in Zumba.  Some Zumba classes I have attended do take a song to stretch at the end, but not all of them.  So I guess it depends on the instructor.  Nia instructors are encouraged to infuse their classes and the routines with their personalities, so I am sure that every Nia class has a few differences too.

Both Nia and Zumba are great cardio workouts.  It just depends on what you want to do during your workout and what you want to get out of it.  Do what you will do!

So, what is it that you do? 

Posted in Nia, Zumba | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Marketing Things I Have Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2012

I am not a marketing expert or guru or anything, I am just a Nia teacher trying to get the word out about Nia to as many people as possible.  As I go I realize that my past experiences have helped me learn a lot.  Plus I learn a lot as I go.  I have a lot of people who encourage me, and help me learn even more.  Here are a few things that I have learned that maybe you don’t know.  Or maybe you forgot, or maybe, like me, you need encouragement to do/use.

1–When posting a flyer or a poster make certain there is contact information on it.  Make certain the information stands out – whether it be a phone number, an e-mail address, or some other way to communicate.
Recently I received a call from someone wanting to take a different class (not Nia), but she claimed there was no phone number for the instructor she wanted to take a class from.  I took her name and number, looked up the instructor on the internet, called the instructor and gave her the prospective student’s name and number.  When I was able to look at the poster myself I saw the phone number on it, but it was somewhat camouflaged.  It blended in with the other text on the flyer.  Make your contact information stand out.  Make it bold, make it a different color, make it a different font, make it larger than the rest, or circle it.  Something that makes it the first thing people see.  Flash a sample at a friend and see if the contact info is the first thing they see.

2–Send e-mail.
I am hesitant to send out e-mails because I don’t like to “bother” people.  I don’t like to clog their in box with a lot of stuff.  I know we all get a lot of e-mails and I don’t want mine to be the one you don’t read because there is an e-mail from me all the time.  I try to keep my e-mail down to “need-to-know” stuff.  I work to only e-mail once a month.  With this past e-mail I sent out a handful of my students thanked me for the updates.  That made me feel better.  People appreciate being updated.

3–Use the subject line (when e-mailing) to get the info across.
When a fellow Nia teacher told me she sends e-mails reminding people to come to class, I shared I didn’t like sending out too many e-mails.  She gave me a great tip.  She said to put the information in the subject line.  If it is just a quick reminder of one thing then the subject line can hold all the info and the recipient doesn’t even have to open the e-mail.  “See you at class tomorrow.”  I thought that was brilliant.  I have employed that method and I love it.  Otherwise, I use my subject line to announce all the items contained in the e-mail.  As an example my last e-mail subject line was:  “Monday Evenings are cancelled / Subbing classes for City of San Jose / Fourth of July”  I bet you can guess without even having received the e-mail what it was about.  Big important news – class is cancelled.  Then exciting news – I’m subbing classes.  Then a note about Fourth of July.  This gives the recipient a chance to decide if they need to open it right away.  I know that sometimes I don’t have time to read all my e-mail in one sitting so I prioritize.  I usually have a few I have to come back and read.

4–Remind people.
In the e-mail I mentioned above, I did take the time to remind people of my regular class schedule, since I was sending out an e-mail anyway.  People get busy, people forget, people need to be reminded of what is happening.  I can keep track of MY schedule, I can have that in my head, but I can’t have other people’s too.  So when they remind me of what classes they have and when I appreciate it.  The same goes with blogs.  I have a few blogs I read consistently, but sometimes the ones I want to read don’t have consistent postings so I need to be reminded that they are there.  This is another thing I need to work on because, again, I don’t want to “bother” people, but when I DO post a link to my blog on FB people read it and they thank me for reminding them.  It’s ok to remind people.  If it truly bother’s them they will let you know.

5–Send Thank you Notes.
One Nia teacher I know would send out a thank you e-mail every once in a while after class.  Made me happy.  I was thankful to be able to attend her class, but she would send an e-mail thanking us all for attending.  Since it made me so happy, I figured it made others happy too.  Of course, you can also send an actual note via the US Post Office.  So many of us seldom get actual mail a thank you note would be a nice surprise.  I appreciate that my students take the time to come dance with me every week, sometimes twice a week.  So sending a note letting them know is important to me.  I didn’t even think of this as a marketing tool until I was writing this.  People liked to be thanked.  Clients deserved to be thanked.

So this is just a short list.  It is not trail blazing information, you probably already know these things.  It is just a reminder or maybe a little encouragement.  I have learned that I write and post things as much for me as for you.  I will probably stumble across this in the future and say, “Yeah, that’s right, sending an e-mail is not as bothersome as you think.”

So what do you think?  Even if you are not a business owner you are probably a customer on the receiving end of some of these things.  What do you think?  Do you have ideas you can share?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Being Seduced By The Music Stage 2 of Nia FreeDance

Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2012

I have posted before about the 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt.  The fourth principle, FreeDance, has eight stages. I am working my way backwards posting about each stage.  This post is about second stage:  Being Seduced by the Music – The Art of Listening.  In the second stage of Nia FreeDance the exercise we perform is stillness.  We keep our bodies still while we listen to the music.  We allow ourselves to be seduced by the music and practice the art of listening.  When listening to a song that is not familiar or doesn’t have that “get-up-and-dance” beat it is not so difficult, but when the song is one that makes every part of your body want to move, when it is familiar, or one you love it is not easy sitting still.  It is not easy to sit with a tall spine that does not gyrate to the beat.  But when we do practice the art of listening with only our ears we might hear sounds we had not been aware of before.  While we are listening the idea is to name instruments and sounds that you hear.  Sometimes you might not know what you are hearing, either you don’t know the name of the instrument or it isn’t really an instrument at all, so you can give them their own names.  For instance something might sound like rushing water or trash can lids.  I know a Nia teacher whose husband is in a band and she is familiar with a lot of different instruments and the sounds they make.  She is very good at naming them when she hears them.  Me, if you look at my bars you will see a lot of spaceships.  There is a sound that I think of as a spaceship so I use that symbol to signify that sound.  I HEAR a spaceship.

This stage might sound a bit like RAW, where we are Relaxed, Alert, and Waiting while we listen to the music, but it is not.  Our bodies might be in the same position, of a lengthened spine and a relaxed state but in RAW we are just listening without opinion or too much thought.  We have no inner dialogue so there is no naming of sounds.  In RAW we are just waiting to receive.  With Being Seduced by the Music we are practicing the art of listening and naming what we hear.  We are engaged in the music even though we are not moving.

For me this stage of FreeDance might even produce a few pearls.  It could be that I don’t know the instrument so I think of what it sounds like which allows us to move “as if we are sloshing in mud”.  Or it could be that the sound just makes me think of a certain movement such as “throwing your arms in the air with a burst of sound”.  While I might not be purposefully trying to think of pearls with the seduction I just let my mind flow.  If there is a dialog then there is, if not, that is fine.  I just let the music flow and I listen giving names to this sound and that sound.

Listening to the music without giving it dance or without it allowing to move us in dance allows us a deep relationship with it.  We are not imposing our own ideals onto it as we move or we are not interpreting it, we are just letting it in.  We are just listening.  With that we learn about it.  We hear things we might have missed while floating about the space.  It is nice to be able to have that connection with the music.

Stage two of FreeDance, Being Seduced by the Music – The Art of Listening is just another toy in our toy box that Nia has given us to play with to become better teachers and better dancers.

Have you ever been sitting still listening to a song you have heard many times before and heard something you hadn’t heard before?

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

Zucchini Has Antioxidants and Vitamins

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2012

I don’t think I really knew that the zucchini is a hybrid of the cucumber.  I do sometimes have trouble telling them apart when they are cut up in a salad, but I never really thought about their relation.  I guess I figured they were related somehow.  Since zucchini and cucumbers are related that makes zucchini a fruit.  Geez louise.  I would be in so much trouble if my life depended upon knowing the difference between what actually is a fruit and what isn’t.  Most of the vegetables I think of as vegetables are actually fruits.  The culinary world and the world of botany doesn’t always match up.  Wiki describes the zucchini in the following appetizing way:  “swollen ovary of the zucchini flower”.  Yeah thanks, I want to eat swollen ovaries. 🙂 I am mostly familiar with the green zucchini, however, it is called a summer squash.  I call yellow zucchini squash, not zucchini.

You might see recipes calling for courgettes . . . that is zucchini.

In regards to nutrition, zucchini are low in calories.  They are a great source of antioxidants.  In about 100 grams of zucchini there is 17 mg of vitamin C.    It seems the best way to get the most antioxidants out of the fruit is to steam them.  I am not sure I’ve tried them that way.  I like to roast them, but the time involved to get them the way I like them usually keeps me from making them that way.  As I mentioned in my Grated Zhuccini is GREAT post I actually like to grate them and mix them into other foods.  I think they go great with linguine and rice.  Not linquine and rice together, but one or the other.  A comment made on that post was asking if they are stringing when they are grated, but they are not, after it is cooked it has the consistency of cheese.  My last mix was turkey . . . . which is yummy too.  I also like them raw, sliced paper-thin, in green salads.

My mom makes them into cheese boats.  That’s a great way to cook them too.  Kind of like the eggplant I did, but she takes a little out from the middle and then puts cheese in them.  I only did that once.  That was really good.

Zucchini has a few of the B vitamins, as you can see below.

Also since the seeds contain Omega 3, zucchini might be one of those anti-inflammatory foods that can help with the inflammation of the body.  So many other foods (sugar, dairy, foods with transfat, refined grains) ADD to chronic inflammation it is always nice to get the foods into our diet that help combat it.  I say “might” because the information I read had said that studies have yet to prove . . . but if the seeds have Omega 3 the might help in the battle.

According to WHFoods, 1 cup (113 grams) of raw zucchini contains:

vitamin C 32%

molybdenum 18%

vitamin B6 12.5%

manganese 10%

vitamin B2 9.4%

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Niapotassium 8.4%

folate 8.1%

fiber 4.9%

magnesium 4.8%

vitamin A 4.5%

phosphorus 4.2%

vitamin K 4.2%

vitamin B1 3.3%

tryptophan3.1%

copper 3%

vitamin B 32.7%

protein 2.7%

omega-3 fats 2.5%

Calories (18) 1%

Since is it summer time here and they call zucchini a summer squash, it’s a good time to post about it.  Especially since I received some in my organic produce box.

How do you prepare zucchini?  Which color do you use?  Which is your favorite?

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

Grated Zucchini is GREAT

Posted by terrepruitt on June 21, 2012

As a Nia teacher, my schedule changes a bit sometimes.  I had recently added an evening Nia Class to my Nia Class Schedule that just wasn’t getting the attendance I needed in order to keep it going.  So sadly there is no longer Nia in Campbell on Monday evenings.  The end came rather quickly so the announcement time was short, but sometimes it is better to just rip the bandage off and move on.  The opportunity given to cancel the class was wonderfully kind so I took it.  You know how I have to cook on Sunday to be ready for Monday.  Well, that Sunday’s cooking plan got de-railed because of a party so at the party in my head I was planning on spending my Monday afternoon cooking, but in the wee hours on Monday morning the opportunity arrived to cancel the class.  So I actually was able to cook Monday’s dinner on Monday evening.  Thankfully there were leftovers, because I was asked to sub for a class on Tuesday.  I was still working through my vegetables that I had received.  I had received two zucchini.  Since I have been out of cucumber I have been putting the zucchini in our salads.  I like raw zucchini in salads, but I like it sliced REALLY thin.  I had used a half of zucchini for salads.  I don’t often buy zucchini because the only way I know how to cook it is to roast it or cook it in a pan where you lay the rounds out in the pan.  Then you have to flip each little round to make certain they get brown and yummy on each side.  That is a bit too time-consuming for me sometimes.  That is how I usually cook it, because I forget about grating it.  When I remember I am so happy.  Grated zucchini is GREAT!

I don’t remember where I first learned about grating it.  But I know the first thing I did with it was mix it with pasta.  I am not a big tomato fan.  I have never liked tomato based pasta sauces.  When I cook pasta it is usually dressed with a little butter and cheese or olive oil and garlic, but not tomato sauce.  So one time I grated some zucchini then sautéed it.  I tossed it with the cooked pasta and VOILA my husband actually liked it.  He is not a big pasta fan so to have him like it was great.  As I said I don’t remember when I learned about grating zucchini but it was a long time ago.  And I haven’t done it that often since.

Recently I was visiting my mom and she puts slices of zucchini in her salad.  So I came home and bought some to put in our salads, which I did, but then  I remembered about grating it and I added it to rice.  Again, I was reminded of how good that is.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaAs I was wondering what to cook for dinner Monday night, I was thinking I would use my baby bok choy with the ground turkey I had taken out to defrost on Sunday.  But when I took the lone bunch out of the fridge it just seem too lonely to mix with all that turkey.  So I decided to use the zucchinis that I had left.  As usual, as I was cooking I thought I should take a picture because I will probably post about it, but then I thought, “No, I won’t post about it.”  But here I am posting about it because I think that grated zucchini is GREAT (Ok, I like saying that!) and I want to share.  I don’t know many people who grate zucchini and add it to things.

So while I was not really that impressed with the entrée overall, I did love the turkey and zucchini.  I grilled some corn tortillas and lined a 9X13 baking dish with them.  My plan was to cook the turkey and zucchini with my “normal” mix of onions and garlic.  I had forgotten until after that I had originally planned to add a bit of Nutritional Yeast for an extra “cheesy” flavor.  Half way through cooking I decided to see if we had and taco seasoning.  I decided NOT to look at the ingredients on that package and I dumped it in the meat.  Then I added the zucchini.  Then I thought, “Well this is going to be weird.”  Well, I might have ended up being weird, but I liked it.  I put the meat on top of the tortillas then put some cheese on top.  Part way through I remembered the green onions and the Nutritional Yeast so I threw them on top.

I use my blog as a bit of a recipe book and to remind me of things.  With this post about how much I enjoy grated zucchini I am sure that I will remember to use it more often.  I might not mix it with taco flavoring but I do love it with pasta and rice.  Since it is is so good I am going to experiment with it an other things.

Do you ever grate zucchini?  How do you cook it?  What do you add it to?

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

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

What Goodness I Received

Posted by terrepruitt on June 19, 2012

In my last post I shared that I finally went ahead and ordered delivery of organic produce.  I have always thought about doing it but had decided against it, allowing myself to stick to buying, preparing, and eating the same vegetables over and over.  I was excited to see via an internet search a farm (Capay) I am familiar with actually delivers.  The farm offers a variety of types of boxes, sizes, and frequency of delivery.  I decided to go with the small mix to be delivered every other week.  I was sooooo excited to get the first delivery.  Look at all the beautiful produce that came in our first box:

1 avocado, 2 pluots, 1/2 lb of cherries, 1/2 lb. of sweet peppers, 1 lb of baby bok choy, bunch of carrots, 1 lb of zucchini, 1 bunch of lettuce, and 1/4 lb of garlic

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaMy poor hubby never even saw the cherries.   🙂  They were gone immediately after I took the picture.  The night we received the box I made a salad and I don’t know if it is just because I KNOW everything was organic, but it was the best salad I have had in a long time.  I used the garlic in that night’s dinner too and I really think it is stronger than the store garlic I have been buying.  I haven’t tried the peppers yet because I have some that I need to use up first.  But I have to say, so far I am loving this.  Well, I can see me wanting to have delivery every week.  I was wondering if they would deliver a fruit box one week and the mixed the next?

While only the pluots were new to me I am sure I will get stuff in the future that is new.  Pluots are later-generation hybrids between a plum parent and an apricot.  Since you know I LOVE (love, love, love) baby bok choy you know I was excited about having some delivered in my first box.  There is only one bunch left and that is only because the temperatures right now (weather-wise) make it too hot to turn on the stove and/or oven to actually cook.

I am happy that I decided to do this.  I am looking forward to my future boxes.  I hope they continue to be just as great as this first box.  I hope to receive some items that will allow me to learn about new-to-me fruits and vegetables.  I will learn WHAT it is and how to cook it and eat it.  You know that as I get new stuff I will be sharing with you!

The week before the box gets delivered the farm posts a list of what will be in the box.  On the site they also have links to recipes to help you with how to prepare it.  I will be able to use the recipes they have or find something else.

I will probably end up preparing things the same way I always do.  But that is ok at least we will be eating new veggies even if they are prepared that same ol’ way.  🙂

I had to look up pluot.  Did you know what it is?  Are you looking forward to this journey with me?  Wanna learn some new things?

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

Farm Fresh To Me – Delivered Goodness

Posted by terrepruitt on June 16, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I decided to have home delivery of produce.  I had to wait until I was home to get it.  Remember that “stuff” I had posted about before?  The stuff had me traveling out of town that is why I had to move my Nia classes for two weeks.  I scheduled delivery for when I would be home AND I knew that I would have an empty/veggie-less fridge. I have often thought of having home deliver, but I just couldn’t justify it.  I finally decided to do it with the following as justification:

1)  I would have fresh organic produce.

In the grocery store I don’t always by the organic stuff because it is not what I want.  I think I might be 40%/60%.  With the organic fruit and veggies being delivered to me it will probably switch those numbers to 60%/40%.  This will be better for us.

2)  It would be delivered to my door.

I figured with gas prices as expensive as they are having something delivered to my door is very economical.  If they are bringing produce to me, it is keeping me out of the store at least one time a week.  Plus, when I am at the store I sometimes end up spending money on things we might not need to be eating.  I run in to get veggies then I think, “Hmmm?  What else do we ‘need’?”  And most often we don’t “need” anything but the produce I went into buy.

3)  I would get “stuck” with new things.

I am in the habit of buying the same vegetables over and over.  I do the same thing with fruit.  We have a farmers market fairly close to us, but they don’t have a lot of fruit.  The one that is really nice is a bit further and we don’t always get to it.  I have seen questions posted on FB about how to cook what was received in this week’s “box” so I thought that if I ordered produce I would end up with things new to me.   I was thinking that I would get a better variety of veggies if I just took what they were selling.  AND I would learn new stuff along the way.  What do I do with some of the things they send?  I am looking forward to finding out.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaI did a search on the internet and “Farm Fresh To You” came up.  It is always kind of a risk doing stuff like this because you just don’t know.  But I was really happy when I saw a picture on the website that said, “Capay” because they are a farm that sells at one of the farmers markets I go to.  AND they are one of the vendors I frequent because they are all organic.  I like their produce.  So I was happy that I was familiar with the main farm that delivers.

It is cool they way they do it too.  I was talking to a friend who said that she just decided to do something similar, but with the farm she is working with you have to pick up your box and you subscribe for the whole summer.  I think her subscription is more of what you might be familiar with called a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  With the service I went through I just pay per box.  I can start and stop anytime.  There are different types and sizes too.  They have all veggies, all fruit, all “no-cook”, mostly veggies, etc.  It is pretty amazing – to me – what they offer.  They deliver in areas on certain days and the day they deliver in our area works out PERFECT for me.

I know a lot of people who subscribe to a CSA.  Do you?  Don’t you think having produce delivered to you is helpful?

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

Tahini Makes The Hummus

Posted by terrepruitt on June 14, 2012

dance exercise, Nia, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia San JoseI recently tried my hand at making hummus.  I have made it a few times and I keep adjusting the recipe.  The first time it seemed a bit too bitter and sour so I decided the next time I would put in less tahini and lemon.  So I put in less tahini, lemon, and salt and I put in a lot of raw garlic.  Woooeeeee!  That made it kind of spicy and really strong.  Our refrigerator smelled of such strong garlic.  I was thinking that if I cooked the garlic before putting it in the hummus it would make it more mellow.  I was making it in a kitchen other than my own and I forgot my garlic press so I really felt I needed to cook the garlic before putting it in.  This third batch was the best so far.  In addition to the sauteed garlic I was able to use a food processor.  The food processor really made a big difference.  The time before when I used my blender there were many whole beans left.  The blender does not get the beans as well as the food processor.  But I do believe the key ingredient is the tahini.  Despite the fact that it really bitter it has the flavor that makes hummus taste like hummus to me.

dance exercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia teacher, San Jose NiaTahini is ground sesame seeds.  The jar states this tahini is made of roasted then ground sesame seeds.  I am not usually a fan of sesame seeds.  If given a choice I would not eat them, but I do believe they are an important ingredient in hummus.  As I said, I think tahini is the ingredient that gives the hummus that familiar-to-me flavor.dance exercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia Teacher, Nia San Jose

I also think the tahini is the main reason why hummus is a bit high in fat.  The beans themselves have fat, garbanzo beans have 2 grams of fat per half of a cup.  The tahini has 19 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons.  That is a lot of fat.  There is a lot of protein in both the beans and the tahini.  The beans have 7 grams per 1/2 cup and the tahini has 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons.  Hummus is a great source of protein.

There is hardly any sodium in the tahini which I think is a good thing because it allows for control of the sodium content in the hummus.  The first batch I made seemed very salty to me so I was able to adjust it with each successive batch.

The marketing on the jar of tahini states that it is a good source of iron and calcium, but it is only 4% of the recommended daily value.  Combined with the beans I think hummus is a good source of iron, but I don’t feel it is high in calcium.

I like to eat hummus as a dip.  I dip veggies in it.  I also like to eat it with pita bread or even corn chips.  I also like to use it as a mayonnaise replacement.  I put it on sandwiches instead of using mayo.  It helps to add a bit of protein and fiber to a sandwich.  Also having the hummus with the tahini in it really adds an additional layer of flavor to a sandwich.  I really think that the tahini is the key to a flavorful hummus.

Are you familiar with tahini?  Do you make your hummus with or without tahini? 

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HEALthy Food Needed

Posted by terrepruitt on June 12, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaI mentioned in my Stuff Happens In Life As Do Moments that I had to rearrange my Nia class schedule because of “stuff”.  The stuff that was happening required me to be visiting someone in a hospital.  There was surgery involved in the situation and the situation required a “nutrition plan”.  As with all surgeries and most medical situations the patient should be eating healthy food.  The word HEAL is even in the word HEALthy.  One of the “food stuffs” the patient was given to consume was “Health Shake”.  I was curious as to what kind of health could be delivered in a carton.  Well, after reading the ingredients it was confirmed that there is none – at least not in this carton.

The first ingredient is skim milk.  At this point, I will not comment on that.  Skim milk and dairy in general will probably be a topic of separate post, but for now, I am sticking to this “Health Shake”.  The next ingredient is actually a good one: water.

The next five ingredients and/or additives were what caused me to have a conniption fit in the hospital room.  I could not and cannot believe this carton of disgusting stuff is fed to people who are ill and need to receive nutrients to heal their bodies.

This to me is a huge glaring prime example of why so many people are sick in America.  If this is what is consindered healthy and nutritious we are truly doomed.

CORN SYRUP, CORN OIL (WITH BHA/BHT), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOY PROTEIN ISOLSATE!!!!

There isn’t actually any nutritious food in this carton.  I didn’t even look at the “nutritional value” because to me there is none.  NOT ONE IOTA!  Genetically engineered sugar, with genetically engineered oil — that contain preservatives that most counties have banned, with more genetically engineered and further chemically altered sugar, with some genetically engineered protein.Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

The ice cream they served later was much healthier than this “Health Shake”.  I really am completely disgusted with this item.  I am disgusted that they are feeding it to a person who needs nutrients.  I am even more disgusted that it is called a “Health Shake”.  If they called it a chemical shake or liquid crap, I don’t think I would be so upset.

I was even more upset when later on I saw a straw in the carton — meaning the patient actually drank it.  Now, let me remind you that I am not a perfect eater.  I eat processed foods.  I work to avoid food with high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup in them, but I do eat processed foods.  But to say that these ingredients are healthy is shameful.  To feed a body that needs healing a carton of chemicals is sad.

I just saw this statement:

“The U.S. does not have a healthcare system. Rather, it is a ‘Sickness System’ where the system thrives on people being sick. Far more profit is generated by sickness than health.”

And with this “Health Shake” being given to people in the hospital I am thinking it could actually be evidence that the statement is true.

Many of us have different ideas of what we think is healthy, but I am guessing that most people could look at this list of ingredients and agree that this is nothing but a cacophony of chemicals that really have no nutritional value.

Would you choose to drink this?  If you were in a hospital and given this to drink would you think to read the ingredients?  What do you think about this?

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Hmm, I Guess I DO Like Legumes

Posted by terrepruitt on June 9, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaBefore I started teaching Nia, I had always had corporate jobs.  I remember learning about jicama when I worked at my first “real” job. So that had to be between . . . . well, let’s just say it was a long time ago.  I remember being amazed at how it tasted like nothing, but had a little hint of sweet and dryness about it.  I love it.  When I see it on vegetable trays and in salad bars I always get some.  Even though I love it, I have only bought one once.  I don’t know how to pick it out and I always forget that is what the people who work in produce can help you do.  They can help with picking out produce. My dad always has jicama.  My dad always has a container of raw, cut and washed vegetables in the fridge and often jicama is in that container or one of its own.  Next time I go to the store I am going to buy one.  Jicama is considered a root vegetable, but is actually a legume.

It actually looks like root and tastes like a root.  Very plain, but with the slightest hint of sweetness.  I have always eaten it raw.  Cut into pieces and just eaten it raw, but in my quest for nutritional information on it I saw that people do cook with it.  I will have to write another post for that because I have never even thought of cooking it!

One suggestion I saw . . . and if you’ve eaten jicama you will agree . . . said that jicama can replace water chestnuts in recipes.  And, of course, they seem exactly the same!

It is pronounced HEcamuh.  I have always thought it was HICKamuh.  I will work on that!

Some nutritional information on jicama:

-low in calories; 38 calories per 100 grams
-high dietary fiber; 4 grams per 100 grams
-contains the anti-oxidant vitamin C; 33% of the RDA’s Daily Value (DV)
-contains vitamin B
-contains 1 gram of protein per 100 grams -contains 150 mg of Potassium (about 6% of the DV)
-no fat per 100 grams

Additional details (per 100 grams):

Cholesterol 0 mg  /  Sodium 4 mg  /  Total Carbohydrates 9 g

According to WiseGeek:

“When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don’t be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.”

But information on Wiki says to never refrigerate.  So I guess you will have to decide that for yourself.  I guess if you refrigerate your other root veggies you might as well refrigerate this one too.  I think I might not refrigerate it until I cut it.

The outside skin needs to be peeled or cut off, then you can cut up the vegetable anyway you would like to eat it.  I tend to like it in long pieces of about an 1/2 inch around.  Usually you can only get that out of the middle as it is a round veggie so you end up with some odd shaped pieces.

Are you familiar with jicama?  Do you eat it?  Do you cook with it?

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