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 September, 2015

Asana Flashcards

Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2015

I have many yoga books.  I bought them to study and also to use them as material for posts on my blog.  I haven’t quite gotten around to writing about the books.  But I will.  They are all different and they serve different needs.  So sometimes it is nice to know about a book before you buy it.  It does help that most sites have reviews on products now, so you somewhat know what you are getting.  Well, I just purchased yet another yoga product.  It is pretty cool.  They are called Asana Flashcards.  So basically they are flashcards that have yoga poses on them.  And by basically, I mean that is just the lowest most basic description there is about them.  Because they are a lot more than that.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueThere are 108 Flashcards with poses on them.  Now, these are larger than the typical flashcard.  Or larger than I picture the typical flash card.  They are 8 1/2 by 5 1/2, so they are fairly large.  They contain a ton of information.  On one side is a picture of the lovely creator of the cards.  So she not only created them, but she posed for all the poses.  There is a number in the corner so you can easily refer to the cards.  There are symbols on the front in the lower left corner (if the pose is demonstrated horizontally on the card, upper left if the pose is demonstrated vertically on the card).  The symbols are indicative of what part of the body is targeted and what “recognized standard series of movements” it belongs to.  So the symbols might represent that the pose targets the knees and be a part of the Sun Salutation series of movement.

The other side of the card states the name of the pose in Sanskirt and English, the sanskrit pronunciation, and a breakdown of the components of the name.  For example Parivrtta Trikonasana – parivrtta:  revolved and trikona:  three or angle.  It gives a description of how to do the pose, the contra-indications, the modifications, and the benefits.  It also has a small round corner rectangle that is color coded to with the main action of the pose (seated, balancing, standing, etc) and the words inside state the target area or the area in which you will feel the asana the most.

The set comes in a very nice wooden box.  In addition to the asana flashcards there are flashcards with Sun and Moon Salutations, two types of yoga, a card about yoga and heart openers, and cards with information regarding your back, shoulders, knees, core, and hamstrings.  These cards have the names of the poses with the numbers indicating which poses are involved.  So the card with the Sun Salutation has pictures, names, and the numbers listed so you know which cards and poses to use.  The heart opener cards has a list with names and numbers of which poses are considered heart openers.

There are many website and books out there that share a lot of this information.  Some have some of these elements, some have others, some might even have all . . . I don’t know, I have a lot of books about yoga, but I don’t them all.  No books allow me to put the poses on the floor all lined up for a sequence.  None of them have a little harbinger clip so that I can clip my sequence together.

So . . . this an amazing yoga tool.  Plus it is really cool.  The versatility is awesome.  I think this is great for yoga teachers and yoga students.  I have heard that it has taken about two years to complete, and the love and care that went into it is obvious.

As usual, I am just sharing something that I like.  Something that I think some of you may like.  If you are interested in purchasing the product or getting more information about it, please visit:  http://guruqachu.com/

What do you think?  Pretty awesome, huh?

 

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Turkey And Polenta Bake

Posted by terrepruitt on September 24, 2015

On one of the hottest days of the year, I decided to turn on the oven.  Not only that, but I had to turn on the stove first.  Sometimes whatever I am making requires one or the other, but this time, I needed both.  And it was soooo hot.  But this turned out to be pretty good.  I can see myself making it again.  I liked it.

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Turkey and Polenta BakeDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

1/4 onion
olive oil, about 1 tablespoon
1 lb ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning*
1 package polenta
large handful of cherry tomatoes
3 cups shredded cheese

Heat the oven to 350° F.

Heat the olive oil in a pan on the stove.  Then cook the onion. Then put the turkey in the pan.  Let the turkey cook a bit, then add the taco seasoning.  You can follow the directions on the package or just sprinkle it all around and cook the meat like that.  That is what I do.  I don’t add water and all that.  Remember that the meat is going to get some additional cooking time in the oven so you might want to under cook it just a tad.  But you do what makes you feel comfortable.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueWhile the meat is cooking brush some olive oil in a baking dish.  Slice the polenta into rounds.  About 1/4 of an inch thick or so.  Line the bottom of your baking dish with the polenta rounds.  Put the pan in the oven to get the polenta cooking.  You can cook it about 10 or 15 minutes or just as long as it takes for the meat to cook.

Slice the tomatoes in half.

When the turkey is ready to your liking, spread it evenly over the polenta rounds in the baking dish.  Top the meat with the tomatoes.  Just spread them out a bit.  Then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.  Bake until the cheese bubbles, for between 20 and 30 minutes.

I used a really heavy pan when I did this so my cooking times were a bit different and all over the place, but next time I am going to use a less heavy pan and hopefully the polenta will get a little more cooked.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueThis is one of those recipes (well, I guess all recipes are, but this one especially) that you can play with.  You could use ground beef.  You could put in green or red peppers.  Maybe some corn or salsa?  Anything goes, I think.  I am going to add some bell peppers the next time I cook it.

This last picture is to somewhat show you the layer of sliced polenta.

So, I don’t really care for the ingredients in the package seasoning.  And the day after I made this (using a package) a fellow blogger posted a recipe for DYI Taco Seasoning.  I have not tried it yet, but can’t imagine why it would be good.  So, if you don’t want to use the package and you want to try making your own, perhaps give Crafty Coin’s recipes a try.  I was so excited to see a “homemade” taco seasoning I totally didn’t see the “spicy” part.  Of course, you know I will be leaving out the “spicy”.

What do you think?  Do you like polenta?  What do you usually make with it?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Delicious Things In Small Packages

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2015

So last Friday I received an organic produce box.  And I was actually a little surprised because I thought I had selected what I wanted in it, but that must have been the box before.  So I ended up with some things I don’t know that I would have kept in the box.  You might remember I first signed up to receive an organic box of produce as a way to get “stuck” with fruits and vegetables that I would pass by in the store or at a Farmer’s Market.  If I don’t know what it is, I am not likely to buy it and try to deal with it.  But when it is delivered to me then I am “forced” to learn about it . . . .well, at least learn a way to cook it and/or (just) eat it.  This past week we received Kiwi Berries.  I have never heard of Kiwi Berries before.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueMy hubby had kindly left the produce box on the counter and I was able to snap a few pictures then put the produce away then go off to my Nia class on Friday.  I asked a couple of ladies if they had ever heard of them and they had not.  At that point I had not really had a chance to look at them or look them up.  It was receive and leave.  While we were talking I quickly looked it up because there were curious, too.  The pictures showed the Kiwi Berries sliced and they looked just like kiwis (the fruit, not the bird).

These berries actually look like kiwis, but much smaller and not hairy.  And when you cut them open they look exactly like kiwis.  They are great.  So much better . . . to me . . . . than kiwis.  With kiwis you have to peel them and sometimes that hairy stuff gets on the kiwi and . . . . I just don’t like it.  My husband says he doesn’t mind it.  Well, that could be that most of the time when I give him a kiwi I have already peeled it and sliced it.  I like to make it easy for him to eat while he is at work.  So I am the one dealing with hairy skin.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueThe Kiwi berries taste like kiwis except to me, they were a little creamy.  I don’t think of kiwis as creamy, are they?  I don’t actually eat a lot of kiwis so perhaps they are and I missed it.  But the berries had a hint of creaminess to them.  They are totally cool because you can just wash them and then pop them in your mouth like grapes or any other small fruit.

Since they were such an easy to eat fruit, I didn’t even look to see any recipes or anything.  Once I saw the pictures of them looking like kiwis I figured you can just eat them as it and we did.

Wiki says:

“Actinidia arguta (hardy kiwi) is a perennial vine native to Japan, Korea, Northern China, and Russian Siberia. It produces a small fruit resembling the kiwifruit.

The fruit are referred to as Hardy kiwifruit, kiwi berry, arctic kiwi, baby kiwi, dessert kiwi, grape kiwi, northern kiwi, or cocktail kiwi and are edible, berry or grape-sized fruit similar to kiwifruit in taste and appearance . . . . Often sweeter than the kiwifruit, hardy kiwifruit can be eaten whole and need not be peeled.”

I am seeing sites that say the kiwi berries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium.

They are like bite sized dessert.  If you like them, I am sure you can use them like you would use any berry or fruit; in a salad, as a topping for a pie, cake, or dish of ice cream or yogurt.  They can be pack in a lunch or eaten as a snack.  I am happy that I received something new to me in my produce box.  That is one reason why I started getting it.  But now that they allow us to pick what we want, I am not always being adventurous.  Sometimes I forget to check my order.  I am glad I forgot to check this week!

Have you ever heard of Kiwi Berries?  Have you ever had Kiwi Berries?  Do you like kiwis?

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

Talking Body, On The Mat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2015

Do you practice yoga?  Do you have a yoga mat?  Do you have to reposition (either facing the front of the class or the side) yourself on your yoga mat in order to do certain poses?  Do you ever have a portion of your body not on the mat while doing some poses?  I have been thinking about a round yoga mat.  Have you seen them?  An average rectangular yoga mat is 6 feet long and 2 feet wide.  You can find longer ones and a little bit wider ones, but I don’t think the wider ones would accommodate some poses as well as a ROUND one.  The first ones I had seen were Mandala’s and they are six feet in diameter.  Six feet of circular mat.  Not having to turn your body in order for the majority of your body to be on the mat.  Not having to turn your mat so you are facing the correct direction in order to see the instructor.  Not having to have some part of you off the mat.  For me – I’m not tall – all poses could be done without me having to touch the ground on a round mat.  I am intrigued by this circular yoga mat.

If you only do yoga in a yoga studio then the cleanliness of the floor might never be an issue.  There is always going to be feet and sweat, but usually yoga studios have rules about shoes on the floor so that helps keep it a little more clean than some venues that use the floor for everything from daily meals to cycling.

I am not certain that the round mats would fit in a small room with a lot of yoga students.  But if everyone was using round mats it could work, since the mats are six feet in diameter and that alone would be enough room for most people.  So instead of having the normal space between the mats they could all just barely touch and that would be enough room for people to move freely through poses.  So, in other words the space that is normally between mats would just be covered with a mat, but people would have somewhat, the same space.  In theory.  Right?  Am I thinking correctly?  Wouldn’t work in really crowded classes.

Well, I just Googled it again (I started this post a while ago) and I found some that are 4 feet in diameter.  I don’t think that would be big enough.  It is actually labeled as an “Aerobics Mat” but the website says they can be used for yoga.  But I am taller than 4 feet so to me a 4 foot circular mat would be worse than a regular rectangular mat that is 6 feet long.  Oooo!  Perhaps they are getting more popular because when I originally typed up this post all I could find were 6 feet in diameter mats that were about $65.00, now I am finding smaller ones, 5 feet in diameter, on Amazon, that are $40.00.  (Or there are a few on Amazon, there is one for $25.00, but you can see how it is not long enough.)  But again is a round mat that is less than 6 feet better than a 6 foot rectangular mat?

Oh, I found a six foot one on sale for $49.95, but you have to buy at least two.

In looking at the reviews on Amazon in regards to the 5 foot one, it will not really work in a crowded yoga class, just as I thought (and you probably did, too!).  With everyone else having a rectangular mat it doesn’t work for there to be one round one.  But in some classes that are not crowded it would work.  It would be nice to have one for outside because that is another place you might not want to be off the mat.

A round mat would be great for Nia, too, since we often move more than the space of a regular yoga or exercise mat!

I am intrigued.  Any one have one?  What do you think?  Where did you get it?

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

Generosity And Compassion Burns Hotter Than Wildfires

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueSo you may have heard about the fires in California.  It is that time of year.  There are always fires in California.  There is a fire season, just like there is a tornado season and a hurricane season.  It happens.  The problem with this year is that we are in a bad drought.  The fact that we have no water to spare is what makes it so bad.  I did also hear that one of the fires – there are hundreds of fires burning right now, twelve of them are being called major fires – is the worse that we have had in a very long time.  I keep reading stories of people losing their homes and animals.  But I am also reading a lot of really nice stories.  Have you seen any of those?

There is one ranch who has offered to house people.  Of course, I can’t find the original post that I read, but there are others who are making offers.  Here is a picture of one of the others who are offering a place for people to stay.

There is an organization, Safer Sonoma Action For Equine Rescue, that is securing hay donations and a place to store it:

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique“UPDATE: We have a huge warehouse arranged by Brenna Sullivan at the Farm Burearu (no relation…we don’t think) The first semi is arriving mid-morning and will have a squeeze there to unload. We have dispensed over $1000 from the Lakeport stores to folks with multiple horses on their property, just today. We are aiming for long term support here so people are not having to make sad decisions down the road after all the hoop la is over. THANK YOU ONE AND ALL for your participation. Suppose to rain…..

UPDATE Tues 2pm: WE HAVE STAGING. In a few hours we will have the final ok on a main storage area for long term storage of hay donations; secure and in Kelseyville. Then let the trucks roll in!!

UPDATE Tues 15 am: SAFER would like to start a Page on our Website to help those Fire Victims that have lost precious horses, pets and other animals to post their pictures and stories of love and loss. Send your pics and stories to info@saferhorse.com. In this way we can all support, in this small way, our neighbors in the grief that is a part of loving all creatures great and small.

.  . . .

OUR PRAYERS GO OUT THE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS THAT ARE LOSING THEIR HOMES – AND THEIR LIVES in this horrible fire season.”

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueThen there was a group of people who banded together with horse trailers and trucks offering to transport animals in need of relocation.  (The picture above with the trucks.)

One bridal store gifted a wedding dress to a woman whose house burned down.  In addition to a free wedding gown, they called wedding vendors and received donations for everything so she and her groom can proceed with getting married.  Now THAT is a bridal store takes care of their brides – Starlet Bridal and Prom!

There is so much devastation, it is so heartwarming to see so many people jump to the aide of others.

Australia is even sending over 71 Fire Fighters.  WOW!

Animals that have been separated from their families are being reunited.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

It is all so sad.  I am clinging to the good stuff people are doing as my heart goes out to all that have been affected.

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

Clean, Fresh, De-Fungified, And Smelling Good

Posted by terrepruitt on September 10, 2015

So I bet you have seen multiple posts or articles about cleaning with vinegar.  It is a disinfectant, an anti-bacterial, and an anti-fungal.  Some articles say white vinegar is good enough some say you have to use unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar.  You may have also read about our recent situation in which we had an invader in the form of the fungus called ringworm.  Well, a quick summary, we got two one year old kitties who had ringworm.  Thankfully this was suspected the first week they were here so their contamination of the house was kept to a bare minimum.  But I still wanted to disinfect everything I could.  Since animals were involved I wanted to use non-toxic products.  I also employed the use of two other products.  I am going to keep all three of these products in my arsenal of cleaning supplies.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueSo as I said, I used vinegar on many, many, many things.  I really don’t care for the smell, but it is safe for all types of surfaces and can be ingested by cats.

The second product is simply diluted bleach.  One part bleach for ten parts water.  While bleach isn’t something ingestible, it does a great job of cleaning.  I used it on every surface that could tolerate it.  So not as many as the vinegar.  I used the bleach more for things that were on my shelves so they were taken out of the room and the cats didn’t even have access to them.  I also very much like the smell of bleach.  It makes me feel as if things are clean.

In my search for things non-toxic I came across EarthScents.  The product description said:

The product description said:
–Use Terra Firma anti-fungal, natural all purpose cleaner to clean all hard surfaces. No harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
–Aromatherapy scents
–100% natural, earth friendly, bio-degradable, septic safe, and safe for people, pets, and the planet.
–Ideal for those who are allergy prone, sensitive to chemical cleaners, or for those who are concerned about the variety and mixture of harsh chemicals used in their home and around their family.

Its ingredients are:  Purified water, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, glycerin, and rosemary therapeutic essential oil.

It smells great.  I bought the Rosemary scent.  I didn’t use it as much as the vinegar because it says it can’t be used on wood, so I used the vinegar.  But this cleaner is GREAT on mirrors.  I am considering purchasing it just to clean windows and mirrors.  It is great.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueOh and another mention that I discovered during our situation is Pure Citrus.  We had two cats locked in one room for almost 40 days.  During that period there were a couple of hot spells.  So lets just say that it got kind of smelly in there, so I wanted an air freshener that I wouldn’t be afraid of landing on things and being sprayed around the cats.  So I found this product on Amazon.  I really like it.  I purchased “Orange Air Freshener”.  It smells like oranges.  The ingredients listed say, “Pure Citrus contains 100% natural, delightfully fragrant oils found in fresh oranges.”  Since I liked the product so much I took a chance and bought a different scent, the Lavender Air Freshener.  WOW!  I really like it!  So, if you are ever in the market for an air freshener, I would recommend Pure Citrus, the Orange Air Freshener and the Lavender Air Freshener.  I don’t know about any of the other scents.

So, I believe that vinegar, the bleach dilute, and the Spray fresh helped me get our house fungus free.  At least I feel like these products cleaned it up!  And with the air freshener it smells really nice.

What do you use to clean your house?  What do you use to make it smell nice?

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

Cheese Filled Celery

Posted by terrepruitt on September 8, 2015

I had planned to go to a party last Saturday and I was looking for appetizers to bring.  I save recipes to my computer all the time, but I never think to look on my computer when I want to figure out what to make.  This time, though, I remembered.  I did a search for “appetizers” and a list of appetizers came up.  It was a document I saved with a list of different things, I don’t know why I saved it because most of them were fish appetizers.  I clicked on the link that led me to The Little Kitchen’s recipe for cheese filled celery.  I don’t like celery, but the name of the recipe was Greek Salad Celery — and I happened to be going to a party in honor of two newlyweds moving to Greece.  So I decided to try it.  Now, what have I said about doing never-before-made-recipes when I am on my way out?  YIKES!!!  I swear, I thought these things would be quick and easy, but . . . . they are messy to make.  At least for me.  But most people who like celery like cream cheese filled celery, so I might do them again.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Although with all recipes, I make and learn.  Even though this recipes says to pulse the feta, I didn’t do it enough.  They were crumbs but not small enough . . . . so . . . 1)  PULSE feta MORE.  Then, perhaps 2) buying the celery in bags already cut and cleaned is a better idea.  Perhaps those celery stalks are more uniform and easier to fill.  I bought a bunch and some of those stalks are just so narrow.  The were not wide enough for the tomato or olive to sit on!  That is how narrow they were. 3) Also cut smaller.  The recipe said bite size, I was just cutting to the size of the tomato and olive.

Anyway, do check out The Little Kitchen’s recipe for nice pictures as I was making such a mess filling this puppies I only took a picture of the “slivering” and the finished product.

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Greek Salad Celery Appetizer RecipeDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

originally from The Little Kitchen

the below is my experience and what I did

Yield: about 44 appetizers
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:
–3 oz, roughly, crumbled feta cheese, room temperature
–8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
–9 or so celery sticks
–22 sliced Kalamata olives
–22 cherry tomatoes
–pepper

Directions:
Put the room temperature feta in your blender or food processor and pulse.  Pulse until all the big chunks are out.  You want small crumbs.  Add the room temperature cream cheese and blend until smooth and creamy.  Then put in fridge.

Cut the sliced halves of the olives in half.  Cut the tomatoes in half.

If you wash your celery remember to dry it before filling.  The water will make the cheese mixture get a bit runny.  Use a veggie peeler to slice off a thin sliver lengthwise from each celery stalk, from the part that will be the “bottom” sitting on the serving tray.  Then fill the celery with the cheese mixture.  Top with a tomato half and an olive quarter, making a pattern down the stalk.  Tomato, olive, blank space.  Tomato, olive, blank space.  Then cut the stalk at the blank spaces.  Sprinkle pepper.  Serve.

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The Little Kitchen cut the olives and tomatoes smaller.  She also drizzled olive oil on the top of the appetizer.  I didn’t want that extra added mess.

I did tie little bows with the strip of celery that I peeled off the back.

I think this makes a great appetizer.  Unfortunately, due to the strong flavor of feta and the olives, I don’t think this would be a good snack for kids.  But, perhaps your kids like the strong flavor of feta and kalamata olives.

Do you like Greek Salad?  Have you ever been to Greece?

 

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

Equal Breath

Posted by terrepruitt on September 3, 2015

You may be familiar with yoga.  You know those stretching exercises people do?  That is what many people think of as yoga, stretching and bending and making your body a pretzel.  Well, the poses, the postures, the asana are a part of yoga.  That is really only one part of eight.  There are eight limbs of yoga.  Another part is pranayama.  I mentioned one in my post Breath: Quiet and Safe.  In that post I also mentioned why I often compare Nia and yoga.  First of all I believe that Nia has incorporated many things from yoga into Nia, so that is one reason why I talk about yoga and Nia.  But I also talk about them being similar because Nia is a dance exercise and for many people that is all it is.  And since cardio exercise is beneficial I think that is fine, if that is as far as people want to go with it.  The same with yoga.  Yoga is an exercise.  You can just do the moves and, I believe through movement, gain many benefits.  However, if you want to get more out of it, there are these other things that you can practice, and one of them is pranayama.

Now, Iyengar says “attempt pranayama only when the yoga asanas have been mastered.”  Because that is what Patanjali says in the Yoga Sturas.  But for many of us that means we would never do pranayama or if we did it would be years and years AFTER we have been practicing.  Now, I am just starting to learn more about pranayama, so if you want to heed the master, by all means, please do.  I think, however, that pranayama is beneficial so I don’t want to wait until I have mastered the asana, because, quite honestly I might not “MASTER” them at all.

Now some people might hear pranayama and think that is just to woo-woo.  What is that anyway, just a bunch of crossed-legged people breathing?  Well, there are specific pranayamas.  And there are specific ways to do them.  And even specific times.  But let me ask you this:  have you EVER, EVER, just stopped and held your breath?  Perhaps someone said something that made you angry so you stopped and held your breath.  Perhaps someone in a store cut in front of you in line so you stopped and held your breath.  Or have you ever stopped to took a breath?  Perhaps you were just going, going, going and you realized you wanted to slow down so you took a breath?  Perhaps you looked outside your window and realized what a beautiful day it was so you took a breath.  Now, as I said, pranayama is specific so I am not saying THAT or THOSE breaths were pranayama, but I am saying that if you have ever stopped breathing or stopped and taken a breath for any reason you might be able to see how pranayama could be beneficial.

I mentioned the other post I wrote about pranayama, Ujjayi specifically.  Well there is another one that I think of as “easy”.  It is Samavrtti.  Sama means equal so it is a practice of equality in breathing.  But in this type of breath there are FOUR parts.  Typically I think of breathing as TWO parts, inhale and exhale.  Well, with this the other two are retention.  As in holding.  Pausing after the inhale then pausing after the exhale.  The reason I say this is “easy” with quotation marks is sometimes the retention is stress inducing.  Some people don’t like to hold their breath on the inhale and some people don’t like to hold their breath on the exhale.  So while the idea is that anyone can do this at anytime, you want to make sure that this is not something that will cause you anxiety.

With this, the idea is to inhale then hold, exhale then hold.  Keeping the SAMA in mind, the goal is to inhale, hold, exhale, hold equally.  So there are many ways to do it if you are counting as a way of keep track you can inhale 1,2, hold 1,2, exhale 1,2, hold 1,2.  If the holding causes anxiety, it is ok to build up to it.  Perhaps just holding after the inhale.  Or maybe just hold on whichever retention causes less anxiety.  Then perhaps graduating to inhale 1,2, hold 1, exhale 1,2, hold 1.  There are many combinations to do while you work up to EQUAL parts.

Remember that the breaths should be relaxed and even.  So the idea is not to inhale then hold so long that your exhale is a rush of air.  It should all be even and relaxed.

Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar states in his Light On Pranayama to practice in ratios retain only on the inhalation.  Once you achieve his stated ratios THEN move onto the retention after the exhalation.  But he begins that instruction stating you will not be able to retain on the exhale.  So it could be he means to follow the ratios is you really are unable to hold your exhale.  While in general I love to follow the instructions and guidelines of the masters and experts, sometimes if I restrict myself to their instructions I end up not doing it at all.  So . . . my recommendation is to try it and do what is comfortable for you.  Being mindful and cautious.

Some say the samavritt calms the mind and can help to create steadiness and focus even in the most challenging asanas.  And others say it calms the body and focuses the mind.

Do you practice any pranayama?  Do you ever take a deep breath?

 

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Double The Goodness

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2015

What better way to start a month than with a Goodie Jar check in?  Any of you still doing a goodie jar or any version of one?  A Goodie Jar or a Good Things Jar is where you make a note of a good thing and put it in the jar to read later.  That is the basics so how you go about it is up to you.  The possibilities are endless.  You could decide upon guidelines on what is allowed in the jar or just put whatever you want.  My idea is whatever is a “good thing” that makes you smile.  You can assign yourself a schedule as in “you have to do it once a day/week/month”.  Or you can do it whenever you experience something that makes you smile.  When you read them is also something unique to you.  Our Goodie Jar is read on December 31st.  It is kind of nice since we are past the age of going out and getting crazy.  We usually are home all night and so this is a little tradition, a way of celebrating.  Now, many of you, perhaps people who frequently read my blog, already know about this because I think I am on my third year of doing it, but there are many people out there that don’t know about it.  And for a lot of people it is a good way to keep focused on the good things in life.  There is always something good so it is nice to have a way to keep that at the forefront.  So, I am happy to report that I have had to go back to using my first goodie jar.  But that is in addition to the new container I had moved, too.  We now have two “Goodie” locations!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueHow awesome is that?  Our Good Things filled up one container so we had to move it to another one!  That is good stuff.  Granted some of our things are full sized pieces of paper.  John used that as documentation for one or two good things.  Plus we use all types of paper and all types of sizes.  There are also a few tickets in there.  So they take up a lot of space, but still!  A lot of good things.

There are always good things to say about the Nia classes because of the fabulous students that come to class.  In fact, as I type this I was reminded that the attendance I had at this past Nia class on Sunday at the NW YMCA was the largest I have ever had.  So that is going in the good things jar.  That was a good thing!

My yoga classes are a consistent good thing, too.  There seems to be a lot of good revolving around those, too.  Currently, yoga in the park.  So nice to be out in the gorgeous day . . . even when the lawn maintenance people are there.

Our cats are doing well.  We decided to stop the medicine for the little cat.  We had three days left and we decided that she was just getting, too upset and it was just causing too much stress in the household.  So we stopped that.  She has yet to realize that evening time is not “torture” time.  But she will get there.  I even got an exposed belly and purrs today.  The whole situation around us getting the cats and all that mess was really a great time to utilize the goodie jar because that is when I need it.  When a happy situation turns to muck, it helps to have a process in place to help concentrate and focus on the good things.  So we are rolling along.

So, what about you?  Are you doing a Goodie Jar?  Do you have a way to help you stay focused on the Good Things?  How is it going?

 

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »