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 October, 2012

When Good Veggies Go Bad

Posted by terrepruitt on October 30, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaOk, so no criminal acts have been committed, but I do hate when my produce goes bad.  I get a box of organic produce delivered, plus, as I have mentioned there is a fabulous produce department on my way home from my Nia class on Tuesdays so sometimes I end up with a lot of produce.  Since I didn’t go to the store and pick out the produce  that comes in the box sometimes I put the veggies in my vegetable bin and forget what is there.  I know that I have it because I took it out of the box and took a picture of it, but then some might get pushed to the bottom of the drawer.  Or I can even go to the store and buy something and then forget about it.  Especially if it is an ingredient in a recipe and I make the recipe and have left overs of that ingredient.  Sometimes I forget I have an entire bag of, oh let’s say, cilantro.  So it ends up going bad.  I do not like to waste food so to have it just sit and get spoiled in my fridge really is annoying. 

My refrigerator even has see-through drawers which helps, but sometimes they are kinda jammed packed (I say kinda because I try not to JAM my vegetables in so as not to damage them, but they can still get pretty full) and I can’t see all that it is there.  So I think I am going to have to start keeping a list on the fridge.  Silly I know, I can just look in the drawers and see, but I don’t wanna have to rummage around in there every time I am thinking about what to cook for dinner.  Plus if I see the list over and over I will remember I have to cook/eat what is on there.  Sometimes I will remember that I have a vegetable that I should use, but then the day will go on and for some reason I will get the idea to make a different veggie.  Then rushing around to make dinner I forget Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumbaabout my original plan and the vegetable that should be used first and I just grab and go with my last thought.  Then later —- sometimes way too much later — I remember the veggie I should have used.  With the list I will be reminded when I am ready to start cooking and I won’t have to rummage and it will be right there.  And I can cross off the vegetables as they get used.

Also, some of the vegetables from the farmer’s market are too big for the drawers so they are on top on a shelf and sometimes they get pushed to the back.  With the lists it won’t matter because I will know they are there.  Now I need to make sure I keep the lists updated.  I might end up getting one of those shiny plastic coated board things where you can write and erase.  Yeah, because there is not enough “stuff” on my fridge! 

So do you ever forget you have a vegetable in the fridge and it goes bad before you eat it?  Do you have a method to help you keep that from happening?

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

No More High Fructose Corn Syrup

Posted by terrepruitt on October 27, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAwhile back, March 2010, to be more accurate, I posted about one of my favorite condiments.  I use Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce in almost all of my marinades and whenever I cook meat.  Sometimes I even splash it in my vegetables.  I was upset back in March of 2010 when I realized that it had High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in it.  This sweetener is being used in way too many products.  I actually think that people recognize it to be an awful sweetener and so some companies are removing it from their products.  I believe HFCS to be awful because it is made from corn and there is too much corn in too many products.  One of the main problems with corn is that at least 88% of the corn produced in the United States (in 2011) was from Genetically Engineered seed.  So, corn is an altered vegetable.  Next the processing in which the corn has to go through in order to create HFCS involves many additional chemicals making it, in my opinion, a double-whammy of things I don’t want to eat.  So annoyed was I that there was HFCS in the Worcestershire Sauce that I gave feedback on the Lea & Perrins site.  Their response was that HFCS does not cause obesity.  That was very odd to me since I never mentioned weight or fat or anything.  I just asked if they could make their sauce without HFCS.  Well, they are.

I am not saying that it was my doing at all, but I am just here to report that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce does come in versions without High Fructose Corn Syrup.  In my opinion it is only fair of me to report that.  If I complain about something in a Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumbapost on my blog and it gets changed, then it is only right that I post something about it being fixed.  I am very excited that it no longer contains HFCS.

However it does contain “sugar” and the general rule with “sugar” is that if it just says “sugar” and not PURE CANE sugar then it was made from sugar beets.  Sugar beets is another highly genetically engineered food.  Ninety Five percent of sugar beet acres in the US were planted with the genetically engineered seed in 2011.  Sugar Beets are “Round-up ready”.  While sugar from sugar beets is from a genetically engineered food, I believe there is a lot less processing involved.  With less processing the chances are there are less chemicals being used.  So it is a whammy, but not a double-whammy, although it is a BIG whammy!

The less our food is processed with chemicals the better.  The closer to natural it is the better.  But again, when the vegetable has been genetically engineered it probably isn’t close to natural at all.  But again, I for me, I would rather eat sugar beet sugar than High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Anyway . . . Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce now lists sugar as an ingredient instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Now if we could just get them to use Pure Cane Sugar . . . .

Or what I really need to do is try the kind that my Nia friend told me about.  It is organic.  But it doesn’t have anchovies (ewww, I know) and that is what makes worcestershire sauce worcestershire sauce.

Have you tried another brand of Worcestershire Sauce?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling Questionnaire

Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba1. Do you understand that 88% of all corn and 94% of all soybeans produced in the U.S. were grown from Genetically Engineered* seeds in 2011?

2.  Do you understand that with 88% of all corn and 94% of all soybeans produced in the U.S. being from Genetically Engineered seeds that ANYTHING with corn ANYTHING (corn syrup, corn oil, corn, High Fructose Corn Syrup, etc.) or soy ANYTHING (soybean oil, soybean, soy protein concentrate, etc.) is more than likely a Genetically Engineered Food?

3. Do you think Genetically Engineered Foods should be labeled?

4. Do you believe the burden of labeling the Genetically Engineered Foods should fall to the manufacturer?

5. Do you believe the burden of labeling the Genetically Engineered Foods should fall to the retailer?

6. Do you believe that ALL Genetically Engineered Foods should be labeled or just MOST?

7. Do you believe that the Genetically Engineered Food itself should be labeled?Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba

8. Do you believe that if the Genetically Engineered food product is not labeled the retailer should be responsible for doing so on the shelf or where the item is displayed?

9. Do you think that if the Genetically Engineered food product is not labeled (package/shelf/display) the retailer “generally must” be able to document why it is exempt?

10. Do you think an acceptable way to document exemption is to obtain a “sworn statement from the provider of the product indicating that the product has not been intentionally or knowingly genetically engineered”?

11. Do you think that it is acceptable that some food need not be labeled such as food “made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves”?

12. Do you think that processed food that contains “one or more genetically engineered processing aids or enzymes” should be exempt from being labeled a Genetically Engineered Food?

13. Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaDo you think that it is acceptable for there to be percentages of Genetically Engineered Food allowed in products without the product having to be labeled a Genetically Engineered Food?

14. Do you believe that it is acceptable for a governmental department to “adopt any regulations that it determines are necessary for the enforcement and interpretation of” an article?

15. Do you think that an acceptable way of enforcing a labeling law is to allow for lawsuits without demonstrating “any specific damage occurred as a result of the alleged violation”?

*Genetic engineering is the process of changing the genetic material of a living organism to produce some desired change in that organism’s characteristics.

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

The Greens Go Round And Round

Posted by terrepruitt on October 23, 2012

I love the grocery store that is near the facility in San Jose where I teach Nia on Tuesdays.  Right after Nia class I can easily stop by because it is literally on the way home.  It seems so new because it is fresh and clean!  They have a very large produce department.  Today I purchased some dandelions greens.  Yeah, I bought a weed.  You might know that I have mentioned that different plants fall into different botanical families and how we might think of it as a vegetable but it is really a fruit according to the world of botany.  I have shared how I cannot keep track of that.  Well, I am going to have to start at least when it comes to greens.  Apparently when you eat a lot of greens over an extended period of time you risk eat high level of toxin.  It is important to rotate the family of greens.

The science behind it is that plants, what we call greens have a survival mechanism where they contain small levels of toxins.  These toxins are contained in the plant in order to keep the entire crop from being depleted.  The toxins build up in the body and cause reactions.  So that keeps them from being eating in large quantities.  The toxins are specific to a family of greens.  Here are some families and the vegetables/greens that belong to them:

Plant Family:  Brassicaceae/Cruciferae (cruciferous vegetables) – kale, collards, arugula, cabbage, bok choy, radish greens, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, turnip root greens, rutabaga, daikon

Plant Family:  Amaranthaceae/ Chenopodiacea Family (beet family) – beet greens, beet root, spinach, chard, beets

Plant Family:  Asteraceae – Romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, leaf lettuce, escarole

Plant Family:  Apiaceae (carrot family) – carrots, parsley, cilantro, anise, celery, chervil, cumin, dill, fennel, parsnip,

Plant Family:  Poaceae – wheatgrass

I’ve been mixing a bitter green, such as kale, with a mild green, such as baby bok choy or spinach.  Now according to the families it’s ok to mix the kale with the baby bok choy, but if I want to rotate my greens by doing it between the different families then I shouldn’t mix kale and spinach.  For me I think rotating between different families and keeping them separate will be easier than try to track two families then switch to another, but we will see.  I love spinach and baby bok choy so I think it would be better for me to keep them separate so that I can have one or the other more often.

I have yet to try lettuce in a smoothie.  As I mentioned, I just bought my dandelion greens and I have not used them because I have a large amount of spinach I want to try to make a dent in first.  I did read they are bitter so, maybe this will be an opportunity for me to try lettuce in a smoothie.  I feel that mixing a bitter green with a mild green cuts the bitter so that is what I have been doing.  The information I have seen said that spinach is mild and that is what people start with so I was using that as my “mixer”.  But now I will try to use something from the same family in order to keep with my plan of rotating between families.

I don’t know that I am really so concerned about these toxins building up to unsafe levels because I think I do a good job of switching, but this type of information gives me an extra push to really work to get the variety of greens in my smoothies.  I mean aside from wanting to have more greens I do think of my smoothies as a way to get nutrients from greens that I would not normally eat.  As an example, I eat spinach all the time so it is good to for me to “have” to branch out with some of these other greens.  A good variety of fruits and vegetables is how we get the most nutrients out of our food.

Also, having this information is good because if you do start feeling ill/off you could look to this information to see if you are consuming too much of one thing and it may be the cause.

Do you rotate your greens?  How do you do it?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Reasons For Getting A Blendtec

Posted by terrepruitt on October 20, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaPeople ask me about my blender.  Just this week we were talking about super blenders after our Nia class.  A lot of people are interested in making green smoothies.  I was never interested in them because they sound so gross and the ones I had seen looked gross.  I also really like to EAT my fruits and veggies and felt I was eating enough, but I realized I could use more in my diet.  Eating more is sometimes difficult and that is why people have been making and drinking smoothies for so long.  It is a great way to get some additional vegetables in your diet.  I chose the Blendtec for a few reasons.  I started looking at it because it was on sale at Costco.  From there I started looking at prices on the internet.  I found that I could get a Blendtec for less than a Vitamix.  That was a big selling point to me, but not the only one.  I did more research.  The decision will just come down to what you prefer.  In addition to the Blendtec being less expensive I feel the one I got at Costco was a great deal.  At Costco they sell the blender and two containers/jars for less than the price I’ve seen elsewhere for the blend with just one container/jar .

To save you time, nutshell list:

–two jars; WildSide and FourSide
–easy to clean “buttons”
–it fits under most cabinets (Company claim)
–no tamping
–preset buttons/controls
–variable speed buttons/controls
–pulse button/control
–3 HP

If you are looking at buying one of these super blenders you might notice that not only are the blenders different but the containers they sell are different.  They have tall ones, short ones, round ones, square ones . . . all types.  With the Blendtec you can buy the blender with what they call the FourSide Jar or the blender with the WildSide Jar.  Now I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t know if I would want both jars, but when I saw that the jar alone was $100 and that Costco was selling the blender with BOTH containers for less than what I was seeing it cost for the blender with one container, I thought that was a good deal.  (I am now seeing the same deal on Amazon so if you don’t belong to Costco you can get the same deal on Amazon.)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaNow the bummer to me was that this one was only sold in black.  All of my appliances are white and I would have loved to have a white one, but I wasn’t planning on leaving it on my counter anyway so I didn’t want to spend the extra money for white.

The features on the Blendtec that sold me were the “buttons”.  I am an old school girl so I like to be able to control things and I think knobs are better than those electronic squishy “buttons”.  With the knob on the Vitamix I was assuming I could get better control over the speed of the blender.  But then I realized, I don’t need more control.  What I need is not to have a knob that I have to clean under, on, and around.  The Blendtec has been amazing in how easy it is to clean.  I always seem to drip green smoothie all down the front so every time I do I am thankful I don’t have knobs and “real” buttons to clean all around.

The Blendtec is shorter than the Vitamix and will fit under most cabinets.  Even though I was not planning on leaving mine out on the counter, being a shorter blender means it would fit IN the cabinet better.  Being a shorter blender also means it is easier to use because you can add things easier, as in you don’t have to get the step stool to reach the top of the container!  🙂

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaThe real thing that sold me is the information I read which said you don’t need a tamper with the WildSide Jar.  Now, I am not certain, but I think the Blendtec containers don’t need tamping because the lids are vented so I think the air gets in there and that does the job of tamping.  I liked the idea of just turning the blender on and letting it do its thing.

That is another thing, in addition to not tamping, the Blendtec has push-and-go buttons.  You just push the button for what you want and it does it itself.  I decided I didn’t need the control of doing it myself and if I do, the Blendtec has variable speed buttons and a pulse.  So I can turn on the blender to whatever speed I want or pulse it.  So I still have the control if I want.

Also the Blendtec has more horsepower than the Vitamix, that might be another reason a tamper is not required.

Please keep in mind I am comparing base models.  There are a lot of different models that are high-end and professional, but I was just looking at the two comparable models and these are the things that “sold” me on the Blendtec.

I would love to learn more about the Vitamix  if you have one and you would like to share?  Any of you out there wanting to get a super blender?  Do any of these things sound like features you’d like?

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

It’s Nice To Hear Someone Agree With Agility

Posted by terrepruitt on October 18, 2012

I teach a Nia Class for the city of San Jose.  The city has it set up pretty cool in that instructors can have a day and a time at a specific community center that we can call “my” class and we can also teach other people’s classes as a substitute.  We have this forum where we post requests and needs.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaMany instructors have full time jobs and kids so they have other responsibilities that call them away from their regularly schedule class.  Plus there is always a cold, a serious illness, or a bump/bruise or strain.  This network of teachers allows us to live our lives and take care of ourselves when necessary.  It also helps expose our community to different types of workouts and different teachers.  I have shared before how at one point I was trying to make Nia be more like whatever it was I was subbing for.  If you haven’t read that post, I am sure you might be able to imagine how that turned out.  It made this Nia teacher very unhappy and I don’t think it was a great service for the attendees either.  One of the reasons I applied for the job with the city was so that I could share Nia with the community.  Recently I taught Nia as a substitute class for Zumba, and my thoughts on Zumba and agility were confirmed.

A few of the student came up afterwards to talk to me about Nia.  Some shared how they like it because it was gentle yet allowed them to work up a sweat and get a great workout.  One woman made me giddy because she said the same thing that I had just decided about Zumba.  It took me a while to get to this conclusion and she jumped to it her very first time.  She said that Nia is more complete.  She said that she loves Zumba, she does it three times a week, but the moves are not completed.  She said it was nice to be able to finish a move.  Nia allows you to move through the entire range of motion, through the entire range of the joint.  I loved that she was able to get that from one class.  I also love and appreciate that she can like both, Nia and Zumba.  They are both cardio dance exercise workouts, but they are different.  Seeming to always have to explain the two together, I am always thinking about it and just recently reached the agility conclusion. I explained in one of my posts how I feel Zumba seems to only move in one sensation.  Well, having gone to a training and experienced the Zumba Fitness Program I believe a Zumba class can move in all five, but it concentrates on agility and touches on the rest.  But they are in there if you know to look for them.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo this student who was talking to me after class picked up on that fact that in Nia we move through all five sensations and Zumba focuses on one.  This is not to say that is bad, this is just again pointing out how they are different.  Also this is me sharing that it is not just other Nia teachers and my Nia students that think that, it is other people who are more familiar with Zumba than Nia.  This is just a happy confirmation post sharing that I felt I got it right when I explained Nia and Zumba in that way.  Yay.

Both Nia and Zumba are great fun.  I encourage you to do whatever it is that will get you up and moving!  If you decide what type of movement you want it can help you decide what you can do to get it.

Do you like to take different types of exercise classes?  Do you like to just stick to one type of class?

Posted in Nia, Zumba | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Dirty Fungus Or Wet Fungus

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2012

I stopped at the grocery store today on the way home from teaching my Tuesday morning Nia class for the City of San Jose and I had to stop myself from buying mushrooms.  I love mushrooms.  It would be nice to enjoy some mushrooms this week, but I have way too many other veggies from both the organic box that was delivered and from my trip to the Berryessa Farmers market.  I need to make sure we eat those vegetables and don’t need to buy more . . . although I did by additional greens. When I went to the Farmers market I went to buy greens, but didn’t see any I wanted to I ended up with other veggies.  I have gone to the store for spinach.  So many greens means we don’t need the mushrooms.  Which is fine because we have had them twice in the past seven days, so we will survive.  We usually have them at least once a week.  I always wash my mushrooms.  If I don’t buy them already cut I wash them.  If I buy them already cut it is too difficult to wash them.  And I’ve learned that sliced mushrooms must be used the day I purchase them or the very next day.  They cannot sit in the fridge for a couple of days.  When I buy whole mushrooms I wash them.  There are many, many, many who say not to wash mushrooms.  Some say there is no need, while others give specific reasons as to why not to wash them.  The reasons I hear for NOT washing them is that they absorb too much water or they will taste woody.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaWell, I have always washed my mushrooms just because I like the thought of getting matter in which they grow off before I eat them.  😉  And a long time ago, about twelve years ago, I saw Alton Brown on Good Eats do an experiment that showed mushrooms really don’t absorb that much water when they are washed.  It was a little, but not enough in his (and my) opinion to affect the mushroom.  If you would like to see the weighing and washing for yourself it is on YouTube.  Good Eats S02E13 The Fungal Gourmet.  Alton starts talking about the waterlog theory about 2:30 into the video and true to the silliness of the show, he doesn’t actually get to the result until 3:50.

Some people still prefer to just use a brush to get the clods of dirt off the mushrooms.  Some people use a damp cloth or a damp paper towel and wipe the mushrooms.  I really like to wash them.  Sometimes as I am working to get the dirt off they start to peel, it is as if they have an outer layer that just peels right off.  When that happens that feels like a REALLY clean mushroom.  It shed its outer skin.  Now that I think about it, I think I am going to start running the sliced ones under water.  Why I haven’t been all along I don’t know.

So what about you?  Do you wash your mushrooms?

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

Still Searching For Creamy

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAfter subbing with Nia for a Zumba class today, I made a quick stop at the Farmers Market in our corner of San Jose.  I wanted to buy some greens and remembered I could get some pita bread for my hummus.  I finally made hummus with my new blender.  I pretty much followed the hummus recipe I have and I like, but I think I put six teaspoons of the “bean juice” because I was thinking more liquid would make it a little creamier.  I enjoy the creaminess of a specific brand that we used to buy.  As I mentioned in my blender post the last few times I made hummus I ended up with whole-bean hummus which isn’t hummus at all, it is just garbanzo beans.  So I was thinking that with a super blender it would make creamier hummus.  Well, it is not creamier.  So the creaminess is not just from blending.  And there were still a few bean pieces, but not whole beans as in my last batch and not as many.  This batch was also not as grainy, in general, as the last batch.  I like making hummus in this blender as opposed to the other blenders or small chopper I have because it is easier to get it out.  I have been told the best way to do it is in a food processor, but I don’t have one of those.  And I think I have enough appliances at the moment, I will make do with my new super blender.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba

I made hummus for my niece once and I was talking about how I wanted it creamier so she jumped on the internet and found a website where a woman claimed that the secret to creamy hummus was taking of the HULLS or whatever that “shell” is on the bean.  Do you know what I am talking about?  That odd ectoskeleton that the beans seem to have?  Well, my thought process is that the hull of the bean is part of what give the bean its fiber so I don’t want to remove it.  That and, who wants to sit there and pull, pick, peel, or just make sure that the hull is off all the beans?  Not me.  I want the fiber AND that is one thing I am not willing to spend time on.  The “uncreamy” hummus is not THAT bad.  I think I will experiment with more liquid.  More oil maybe?  Or maybe more been juice?  Maybe that will help it been more creamy.  I don’t want it more watery, I want it more CREAMY.  But it was a good batch.

I think the WildSide container that came with the blender allows for a lot of air to be whipped into the blends.  I believe that is how this blender does not require a tamper as some blenders do.  But it does whip air into things.  I think it whipped a bit of air into the hummus, which is fine.  Made it a little light and fluffy.

So I have been using my blender and I have been using for what I wanted it for.  I use it almost everyday for smoothies and today, I used it for hummus.  I am satisfied with the way it made the hummus.  I am a little disappointed that it is not as creamy as I was hoping, but I have learned (I believe) that the secret to creamy hummus must be in the ingredients.  If it truly is the peeling of the hulls then creamy hummus will not come out of my kitchen.  Ha!  Well, I guess one day I could experiment to see if that really does make a difference, but it will not become the norm.  I don’t need creamy hummus that badly, my new blender does it just fine!

Besides buying it, what is the key to creamy hummus?

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

Super Lessons Of A Super Blender

Posted by terrepruitt on October 11, 2012

A few things I have learned having a super blender and making smoothies. I really wish I would have had the presence of mind during some of these lessons to have taken pictures because I know that being able to see for yourself would have really helped bring the lesson home for you.

I learned kale is really bitter.

I’ve had kale cooked as part of my meal.  I have had kale in a salad, but for some reason kale in a smoothie is really bitter.  It could be that I used A LOT.

I learned a banana should be peeled before freezing.

One night I decided I wanted to try the frozen banana that everyone was talking about was so wonderful in a smoothie.  So I put a banana in the freezer.  The next day it was frozen solid.  It can’t be peeled.  I left it to defrost on my counter and it couldn’t be peeled after that either.  It kind of just poured from the peel into a container.  I refroze it and used it the next day.

I learned not to use more water and/or soap than the instructions instruct you to use when cleaning the blender.

I decided that I wanted the blender to get the lid clean too, so I put a lot of water in it and a lot of soup.  I am not sure that the lid was even secured because it blew off the blender and the water went straight up in the air then landed all over my counter.  And it was magic water because it seemed as if it doubled in volume.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI learned cucumbers do really mellow out the bitter flavors.

I have not used as much kale as that one time, but I have used it and every time I do I think the smoothie is going to be too bitter, but when there is a cucumber involved it is not.  I really like cucumbers in my smoothies.

I learned protein powder also helps mellow out the flavors.

Protein powder DOES make the smoothie chalky and I have not had the desire to drink a completely chalky smoothie so I have not added a whole scoop.  But even a half makes it chalky.  I always taste the smoothie before I add the powder and yup, it makes it chalky, but I think maybe chalky is a flavor because the bitterness of some vegetables are mellowed with the powder.

I have confirmed (because I heard it before I started making them) that smoothies taste better cold.

I was drinking them without ice, then I remembered I had read that they are better cold and so I added ice.  Yes they are.  Although the other day it was chilly here and the thought of ice in the smoothie made me dread wanting to drink one.  So I didn’t have a smoothie in the morning after my Nia class.  But then as the day wore on it warmed up a bit so I had one later.

So, do you have anything you have learned making smoothies that you can share with me so I don’t have to learn the hard way?  Do you have any things to share about a super blender?

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

First I Went Green, Now I’m Going Blue

Posted by terrepruitt on October 9, 2012

As I have shared with you before, there are four different levels to Nia Training; White, Blue, Brown, Black.  These are trainings anyone can take.  Each level has its own focus, intent, and principles.  You do not have to be interested in teaching.  If you are interested in teaching and hold a current license there is an additional level, Green, that may be taken.  The Green belt does not have its own principles because it focuses on teaching skills.  I have been a White Belt since December 2008.  In November 2012, I am going to be turning blue.  The focus for the Blue Belt is Communication, Relationship and Intimacy with the intent to energize personal connection through self-discovery and communication by following The Body’s Way.  I’m excited to see all that entails.  I do know that when I stepped into my White Belt I had NO IDEA the type of training I would be receiving.  I thought that I would spend 40 hours learning routines and learning how to teach.  But that is not what it was.  The White Belt is currently about (Focus) physical sensation with the intent to embody the foundation of Nia.  Back in 2008 is was (focus) the physical body, the anatomy of the body, the Nia Technique, and the Nia moves.  Which did not equate to learning routines.  I can’t wait to see what the Blue Belt Intensive has in store.

Nia’s training is very intense.  It is very deep.  It is very detailed, well-thought out, well presented, and well documented.  Recently a graduating Green Belt said it was “stellar”.  That is a great description.

Per the main Nia website the description for the Blue Belt states:

Blue Belt, the second level of Nia education, explores how to create healthy relationships through body-centered communication. This intensive introduces the next set of 13 Nia principles, which focus on the mental, emotional and spiritual realms of the body. While the White Belt curriculum focuses entirely on awareness of physical sensation, Blue Belt applies these skills to explore internal sensations as perceived through – but distinct from – physical sensations in the body.

Blue Belt Principle #1: The Joy of Being in Relationship, integrates the sensation of Joy with the awareness that Joy is something outside the self, which we can invite into our physical experience. As a result, we begin to deepen our ability to listen with clarity and sustain awareness of details outside our body.

If you have never been to a Nia Intensive it is impossible to describe, but I know it will be wonderful.  I know I will learn a lot.  I know that it is what I need because it is happening, so I am going to do my best to keep my energy allies present along with having a beginner’s mind so that I am able to get all that I can out of it.  You know that I will be sharing a lot when I get back.  I am so excited to be changing from White to Blue.  Just because I am moving to the next level doesn’t mean there won’t more posts about White Belt things, there is still a lot to share and learn about the White Belt, I will just have that much more to share!

Can I get a, “Woohoo Blue!”

**update:  I forgot to clarify and tie in to my title, silly me!  First I went Green as in drinking green smoothies and now I am going Blue.  I have not yet taken the Nia Green Belt.  I am hoping that there will be one in this area again.  There has only been one.

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