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 November, 2013

Pumpkin For Dinner

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2013

I received a pumpkin in my organic produce box.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  I was looking at one of the blogs that I read on occasion and I saw a recipe for a stuffed pumpkin.  I saved the recipe so that I could make it.  I looked at the post a couple of times while I was thinking about it.  There was a woman who commented with a link to her version of the stuffed pumpkin.  When I posted the original (to me) posting on FB one of my friends commented, “I just made those.”  Which, when she posted the picture to my wall, I vaguely remembered having seen it when she originally posted it.  But it was before I had received a pumpkin so it didn’t really register.  When I went to make my grocery list off of JJ Begonia’s recipe, I realized it was literally like a stuffed pumpkin as in BREAD stuffing.  Like a turkey.  I didn’t want to just use bread.  Then I remembered my friend said she stuffed hers with sausage.  The first two recipes have bacon in them, but I don’t like to buy a pound of bacon for only a couple of pieces.  So I decided on sausage.  I took ideas from all three people and came up with the below stuffed pumpkin recipe.

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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, PiYo, Gentle YogaStuffed Sugar Pie Pumpkin

1 2 to 3 pound Sugar Pie Pumpkin
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt
Six mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 pound sausage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup cheese (small chunks)
2 tbsp ricotta
1 tbsp sherry
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
handful of spinach
four slices bread – toasted and cubed

Cut the top off of the pumpkin making a little lid.  Scoop out the pumpkin guts.  Then put a little oil and salt in the pumpkin and place it on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes (check it after 20 minutes to see that it is not getting too cooked – after the 45 minutes you want it to be almost cooked, but not cooked so much it can’t stand another HOUR in the oven).

Heat the olive oil in the pan with the 1/2 of the onions.  Once the onions are translucent put the mushrooms in the pan and cook them.  Sprinkle with salt.  As they are cooking mix in one clove of garlic.  Cook the sausage, either after the mushrooms are cooked or use a different pan.  If the sausage has a lot of grease drain it off once the sausage is cooked before you add the sausage to the rest of the ingredients.

Mix the mushrooms and the sausage in a bowl.  Add the rosemary and thyme.  Mix in the remaining two cloves of garlic and the onions.  Mix in the cheese.  Mix in the sherry and most of the cream (save a splash for the inside bottom of pumpkin).  Add the spinach and bread cubes last.  Mix it all carefully.

Pour the remaining splash of cream in the pumpkin.  Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin.  I used the spoon to press it down into the pumpkin.

Put the pumpkin in the oven for 60 minutes.  After about 20 minutes I put the “lid” on.  The pumpkin is done when you can gently pierce its side with a sharp object.  Check to verify the inside it cooked to your liking.  Since the mushrooms and the sausage are already cooked it is just a matter of it heating up and melting the cheese.

Slice and serve.

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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, PiYo, Gentle YogaThis was good, BUT . . . . . I have some adjustments I would make for next time.  I was thinking it would be full of flavor so I hardly used any salt which left it almost flavorless except for the thyme.  Next time I will use LESS thyme and more salt and some pepper.  You will notice I didn’t put any pepper in this.  I don’t use pepper.  But I can when I think that a recipe needs it.  I will salt the inside of the pumpkin more prior to baking and prior to filling.

This was ALL that we had for dinner with a small salad and it was PLENTY!  We were full.  We each had a half.  We did not have a pumpkin each.  🙂

As you can see from just this post there are at least four recipes to make stuffed pumpkin.  I purposefully didn’t say what type of sausage, cheese, or bread I used because I want you to find your own flavor and texture.  So follow one of the recipes or do it your own way.  You have the basics . . . go play!  If you do not follow my recipe . . . . please, please, please, tell us what you did.  I would love to hear of more ways to make a pumpkin dinner!

Happy Fall!

I had not stuffed a pumpkin before.  Have you ever stuffed a pumpkin and baked it? 

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

Moving Into The Back

Posted by terrepruitt on November 9, 2013

In addition to teaching Nia classes for the city of San Jose, I was asked to teach a Gentle Yoga Class.  I have taught three sessions and we have one more before the year is over.  This last session before the holiday break is a short one, it is only four weeks.  In the classes there is a large variety of fitness levels.  Regardless of one’s level of fitness I believe it is very important for the emphasis to be on balance and flexibility.  They also like to practice inner reflection which I believe enables a connection to the body.  The connection is to allow for great stability and ease of movement.  In order to meet the varieties of levels we do a cross between flowing through poses and holding them.  I might have also mentioned before that we include getting up and down as part of our practice.  With this next session we are going to do a progression of backbend poses.  I have not yet decided on the progression of balance poses but I have the backbends progression planned. Since we only have four classes and there are five backbends I would like to progress through we will be doing two in the first class.  As with my Nia classes, my yoga students are continually encouraged to do things in their own bodies way.  Since yoga is a practice they can work into the poses.  For the series of backbends they will be encouraged to stay at the level that is acceptable for their own body.

The first backbend we will do will be the standing backbend.  Then, in the same class, we will progress to the Locust.  The Locust has many modifications some of which can be done with just legs lift or the head and shoulders lifted.

Then in our next class we will move onto the Sphinx.  I’ll probably include the Locust in the routine before moving on to the Sphinx, but the Sphinx will be the next in the progression.  Then the next meeting we will move onto the Cobra.  Excellent for strength, stability, and flexibility.  The last class before the long holiday break will be the Upward Dog.  Even though the idea will be for the students to progress through the backbends the modifications will be presented so each individual can progress only if they are ready.

Some students participate in yoga more than once a week so they are more likely to be able to participate in the progress whereas others will do so to a lesser extent – and modifications meet that need.  This is a great way to work on flexibility.  Everybody is moving in their own natural time through their yoga practice so I am excited to present this progression of backbends.  I will include other flexibility poses and balances poses as in all the classes.  I have been putting the emphasis on one or the other during a class which can still tie into the backbend progressions.

Of course, this is my plan prior to meeting with the class.  It could be that after our first meeting I have to adjust my plan and that will be fine.  I do like to see where the class is at and go from there, but it seems like our group has been pretty consistent.  But I can easily adjust my plan for any new body.

I am very grateful and inspired by the students that come to class every week.  It is very exciting to me to see their progress.  Stay tuned for more on the poses that I have yet to post about.

Do you participate in a yoga class?  How is it structured?  Is it an on-going class or is it a series of classes?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Goodie Jar – Check In #37

Posted by terrepruitt on November 8, 2013

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaOnly seven weeks left until we get to read all the good things in our Goodie Jar!  Yay!  Oh my!  Only SEVEN WEEKS LEFT until 2014.  Time flies! WOW!!!!!!!!!!

So how is your goodie jar going?  Our cat almost made it seven days, but she didn’t so we started our “vomit-free” count down again.  Such is the life of a kitty with IBD.  At the time of this posting we are on 3 days and 21 hours.  Maybe we can make it past seven days this time.  It is really important for her not to throw up because she needs to gain some weight.  What happens is she start to look less skinny, then when she throws up it is like she is back at skinny cat again.  Ok, sorry, my goodie jar posts have turned into vomit reports, but hey, just proving that any good thing can go in that jar.

My jar is almost full.  I could press the papers down and it will probably make it until December 31, 2013, but I don’t want to crush them.  I will probably take some out.  As you can see they are all different shapes and sizes.

I hope you are still adding to your Goodie Jar.  It see some people are posting on Facebook everyday for the month of November about something they are grateful for.  Our Good Things jar kinda has a jump on that . . . .

Well, report in . . . how is your jar coming along?

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Glancing At Two Gastrointestinal Disorders

Posted by terrepruitt on November 7, 2013

As you know I am a Nia teacher not a doctor nor a medical professional, but I would like to share some things with you because it seems the situation is becoming more and more prevalent in the population.  I thought I would point out a few things so we can learn the difference and try to keep it straight.  I am talking about gut problems.  Stomach, intestines, and colon issues.  I talk to more and more people who are having issues.  You might even be aware of the fact that my cat has an issue.  Now, I am not going to get into what might be the cause of the issues because that is very complex and I think it relates to the individual.  Plus you probably already know that I believe much of our food “stuff” is partially responsible for ALL of our health issues.  This post though is just to help shed some light on the terms and letters you might be hearing.  Specifically, IBS and IBD!  What do those letters stand for:  IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome and IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  They are not the same thing.  And I don’t think you want one over the other.  They are just something no one wants.

Keep in mind I am just sharing what I have gleaned off the internet, so yes, the information could be faulty, but you might agree it makes sense.  Also, keep in mind that this post, nor anything you read on the internet–including my blog–should not be used to diagnose a situation.  Go to a medical professional for that.  This article just might help you learn somethings that will allow you to ask the right questions or perhaps point you in the right direction to get a diagnosis (from a professional) and work on the treatment you need.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome/IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Disease/IBD are gastrointestinal disorders.  The symptoms might present the same, but they are not the same . . . although some people think that you can have IBS if you have IBD.  With IBS the doctor might not see anything wrong.  The bowels appear normal, but they are not functioning normal and more than likely are causing pain and discomfort.  With IBD, the intestines do not appear normal they are inflamed and do not function as they should.  With IBD the entire digestive tract could be affected by inflammation.

IBS is considered a “functional disorder”, things look fine, but don’t operate fine.  With IBD there is damage and the damage keeps the body from absorbing the necessary nutrients.  A little like a gluten intolerance might cause pain and discomfort and Celiacs Disease keeps the body from getting what it needs from food.  IBD is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system is on overdrive and ends up doing damage to the very thing (the body) it is supposed to protect.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s website states researchers are leaning away from the idea that stress CAUSES IBS, they now believe it has to do with a “disturbance in the way the brain and the gut interact”.  They think the nerve endings in the gut are overly sensitive and the controlling nerves are over active.

The cause of IBD is unknown.

Both disorders have digestive issues associated with them, and both can also have additional health issues arise in connection with the disorder.  There you have it, a really quick glance at the main difference between Irritable Bowel Syndrome/IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Disease/IBD.  Both have similar symptoms, but IBS does not have inflammation and show signs of damage, whereas the digestive tract with IBD is does.

What do you have to share about IBS/IBD?

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

Practicing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Posted by terrepruitt on November 5, 2013

Nia is a cardio dance workout.  Come to a class, dance, sweat, get a workout.  Nia is also a practice, like yoga is a practice.  Just like yoga you can go to a class, participate, and get a good workout in and go home.  Or you can take some of the ideas and principles with you into your daily life.  If you chose, you can decide to apply some of the body mind “stuff” to your daily life.  All up to you.  Now the reason I explain all that is because – keeping in mind that Nia is a practice (for those that want to take it that far) – there are a lot of things to, well, practice.  And Nia HQ is great about creating and supplying continue education for its members.  Also, it is great about writing articles to help people learn more about the practice of Nia.  One such article that was recently posted is Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone.

It talks about how each individual has different comfort zones so that “moving beyond” would be something different to each individual.  It reminds us that moving beyond the place where we feel comfortable is “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong”. It shares a story and gives examples of comfort zones. I do hope you click the link above and pop over to NiaNow to read it.

Here I am going to share other ways that Nia helps us do “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong” by helping us out of our comfort zone.  One way is dancing to music we don’t like.  I know . . . I can hear a lot of people say, “But WHY?”  Well, that is part of moving out of our comfort zone.  There seems to be some beats that just call to everyone.  That one song that is popular on the radio that gets everyone’s foot tapping and head bobbing.  Those songs are easy to dance to.  The universal dance song.  But the songs that come on that you might find yourself reaching for that tuning knob are great songs to step out of the comfort zone to dance to.  They are the ones that your regular, normal, COMFORTABLE dance moves just might not fit with.  The song that might have you using different muscles than you are used to.  The song that might have you moving in an entirely different way . . . . away and out of your comfort zone.  That is one reason why that Nia routine might have one of THOSE songs in it.

Then there is the song you just love.  The second it begins to play in class you are so ready to just sink into it, then your teacher says to move in a way that is in COMPLETE contradiction to the tone of the song.  “WHAT?  You want me to do a strong block to this sweet, sweet melody?”  Moving in a way that seems opposite from what the music is “telling” you can be WAY out of some people’s comfort zones.  It is a great way to keep the body and brain strong.

Playing with emotions and acting “as if” can be beyond some comfort zones.  Allowing yourself to just let go and dance without caring what you look like or if your “form” is perfect can be a big step away from some people’s comfort zones.  In one of my posts recently, I wrote about “messing up” . . . . . that can be MILES away from some people’s comfort zones.  Sounding can really be a big stretch for some individuals.  Not everyone is used to making noises while they workout.

These are just a few examples of what we do in Nia classes to help us step out of our comfort zones.  As stated, the reason is to work the brain as well as the body.  Moving out of our comfort zone helps mix it up.  Keeps the body and brain moving in different ways.  So the next time you feel resistance, let go and know you are doing something good for your body and brain.

Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone?  

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

Really Easy Pizza

Posted by terrepruitt on November 2, 2013

https://i2.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7303/10639802725_52e4c7e10f_b.jpgI have always wanted to make “pizza” using eggplant.  But I usually don’t have tomato sauce.  The eggplant “pizza” I have always wanted to make is using a slice of eggplant as the “crust”.  Not putting eggplant ON the pizza, nor making the crust with flour and eggplant.  Just a slice of eggplant as the “crust”.  You might be familiar with me not really liking tomatoes.  That lends to me not really liking tomato sauce.  When we have pasta we don’t normally have tomato sauce.  Although lately I have been buying some.  Yes, the jarred kinds.  I know it is silly to buy the jar kind when it is so easy to make, but since I don’t really like it, it is one of those things that I don’t bother making.  If I can buy an organic jar of tomato sauce for a quick dinner every once in a while I do.  Well, the last time I used it I made the My First Tomato Sauce Lasagna.  I didn’t use the whole jar.  Recently I bought an eggplant and it was HUGE.  Normally I slice them in half and roast them, but this one was huge, but I was really looking forward to the roasted kind, so I didn’t want to make pizza out of it all.  So I sliced it in thirds lengthwise.  Planning to use the middle slice for the pizza crust.  I finally had eggplant pizza!

I roasted it first.  Then I piled on my toppings.  I realized I needed to roast it longer.  The eggplant got VERY soggy after all of the toppings were on it.  If you REALLY like eggplant it is no big deal.  I am not sure if the eggplant pizza would ever be a pick-up-and-eat-it-like-regular-pizza type of pizza, but it was really good.

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Eggplant Pizza

One large eggplant, sliced in either rounds or length-wise (about 1/2 inch thick)
olive oil
salt
your favorite pizza/tomato sauce
your favorite pizza toppings

Sprinkle oil on the eggplant and roast at 400° F for about 20 minutes . . . depends on the size of your eggplant and how thick you cut it.  After 20 minutes flip it over sprinkle with oil and salt.  Cook for another 15 or 20 minutes.  Check it and decide how cooked you want it.

Then top with your favorite pizza/tomato sauce and your favorite pizza toppings.  Bake it until your cheese is melted.

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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, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaMine had tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sautéed mushrooms.  It was sooooo good.  Mushrooms are my favorite pizza topping.  When I make pizza, it is usually just with mushrooms.  I prefer to cook the mushrooms first — no matter what crust I am using — to get out most of the moisture and ensure that they are cooked when I eat my pizza.

Anyway . . . this was very good.  So good I made it again but this time I sliced the eggplant in rounds.  I used the same toppings.  This second time the eggplant was a little less soggy, but it was still not something you could pick up like a regular piece of pizza.

I roasted the slices for about 20 minutes on each side. The eggplant adds a nice flavor to the pizza toppings I used (tomato sauce, cheese, and mushrooms).  And as long as your sauce and your toppings are gluten free this is a great pizza to have for those who are avoiding it!

What about you?  Have you ever wanted to try eggplant as your pizza crust?  Have you ever tried eggplant as your pizza crust?

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

Goodie Jar – Check In #36

Posted by terrepruitt on November 1, 2013

Ooooo!  Only TWO months left to fill up the Goodie Jar.  It is never to late to note the good things so if you haven’t started yet, why not start NOW!?!?!  I have a few good things to put into my jar today.

I had a fabulous conversation with a potential Nia student.  I talk to a lot of potential participants, some actually do end up attending one of my Nia classes and some do not, but I have always had wonderful conversations.  While I would love to have everyone I talk to come to one of my Nia classes and I would love to meet them, I still feel fortunate to have been able to talk to them on the phone.  I love sharing about Nia and listening to their stories.  So many are inspirational.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaAlso, I received a wonderful e-mail.  The subject alone made me so happy.  (“Nia rocks my world!”)  How could it not?    The rest of the e-mail made my face hurt (from SMILING)!!!!!!!  I loved it so much, I printed it out and it is going in the goodie jar!

And, as some of you may know, our cat has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which is a chronic condition.  Basically it means that the intestines are not working properly so the body does not absorb the required nutrients.  When the body does not absorb what it needs it does not function the way it should.  And when the intestines are not healthy there are other issues.  So it is a matter of controlling symptoms and getting the body to a comfortable and a close-to-normal state as possible.  It has been about three months since we started treating this and today is a good day.  I think – as with many things – there will be days where she doesn’t feel as good as others.  I think that is just the way it will be.  But today we are half-way through our fifth day without vomit.  When I wrote my post Spot Update we were almost up to a three day vomit-free period, but that was as long as we got.  Now we are on our fifth day.  That is really huge.  Even if she throws up now we still made it almost FIVE DAYS!  I am sure she is as happy about it as I am!  To me four and half days vomit free is a darn good thing.  See there really is no rule as to what you can put in your jar.  THIS is a good thing for me.  THIS makes me happy.

When I read about it on December 31, 2013, I will be happy.

What are you putting in your goodie jar?  Any good things happen yesterday on Halloween?  

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »