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

    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 the ‘Helpful Hints’ Category

Feel Good Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on April 19, 2012

In a Nia class the participants are encouraged to make sounds.  There are many reasons to make sounds while you are working out.  One, is to ensure breathing.  As you are making a sound there is air going out, and in order to repeat it, there has to be air that was inhaled.  So making sounds during an exercise class is a great way to let the teacher know there is breathing going on.  There are also specific sounds related to specific things, but we don’t always have to be so particular.  Sometimes just any sound will do.  I did a post on Sounding in July of 2009.  That is when I was brand new to Nia and new to teaching.  I was still learning to be vocal.  I had no probably being vocal as I was teaching but as a student I didn’t always participate.  So I believe I understand some of the reasons a person might not want to sound and some of those reasons are the very reasons we SHOULD be making noise.  All of these points can easily lead to additional posts, and they just might (a sounding series?), but for this post I am going to share what I found a while ago about healing sounds.

There are sounds associated with the chakras so a while back I was thinking I could bring a list of them to my Nia classes and I could use them to encourage my Nia students to sound.  But I found a different list instead.  Before I share the information with you I want you to play along with me.  Pick one sound from the six below.  Just pick one that appeals to you right now as you are reading it.  Don’t think, just pick one.

SHOO, HAA, HOO, SSS, FOO, and SHEE.

Now keep playing along with me.  Inhale and then say the sound you picked out loud on the exhale.  Now do that six times.  How do you feel?

Well, according to Sales Creators, a business problem solving company, the above sounds are healing sounds related to specific problems or issues.  As I mentioned I had wanted to find some sounds that we could make in my Nia classes that would be fun and associated with chakras.  As I was looking I discovered this information.  At the time I didn’t know it was from a company that helped with business problems, I just discovered that now as I tried to locate the source of my information.  In glancing quickly at the website, it looks pretty interesting.  They actually speak to wellness of the entire person.  What?  REALLY?  On a sales and marketing consulting company’s website?  Yes.

Anyway here is what the information said in summary.

SHOO is a sound that helps alleviate problems associated with a sense of depression.  The information states that you will feel better after having repeated it six times.  The liver and the gall bladder is positively affected by the vibration of this sound.

HAA helps alleviate anger and helps calm the heart and regulate the small intestine.

HOO is a body temperature regulating sound.  It helps one to not become too cold and balances the spleen, pancreas, and stomach.

SSS is a balance sound.  SSS helps to regain equilibrium in the nervous system and the body.  The vibration of this sound cleanses the lungs and regulates the large intestine.

FOO is another body temperature regulating sound but this one helps with a high body temperature.  So to me is sounds as if you are typically hot making this sound will help cool you down.  This sound is said to stabilize the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.

SHEE helps relieve stress, tension, and anxiety.  The instructions say that if you are under stress make this sound 36 times.  It helps with regulating the blood circulatory systems and the central nervous system.

I truly believe that vibrations affect us, so to me it makes sense that certain ones would affect us in certain ways.  I was hoping that without your knowledge, without you thinking about it you would gravitate to one of the sounds that would help you.

So, did the sound you randomly picked match up to what you were feeling?  And now that you know what is associated with each sound are they a few you might want to try out?  What do you think about vibrations and healing sounds?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Small Acts of Kindness

Posted by terrepruitt on March 8, 2012

Have you ever heard about doing a random act of kindness?  We are often encouraged to commit acts of kindness.  The acts can be simple and they could be random.  Pay the toll on the bridge for the person behind you, pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop, help someone whose car is broken down, things like that.  Always for other people.  But how often do you hear about doing small acts of kindness for yourself?  Small acts of kindness for your body?  I’m going to go out on a limb and say not often.  I am not talking about getting a massage or buying something new that will add to our happiness.  I am not talking about the “take time for yourself” kind of kindness.  I am talking about little things that we probably don’t even realize would be a small act of kindness to ourself and to our body.

I was listening to a Nia Continuing Education recording and Debbie Rosas said to do small acts of kindness for ourselves throughout the day.  In this Nia training she briefly mentioned the act being a shift in posture, something having to do with the body.  The reference to an adjustment in the body reminded me of the information in my post about Dance Conditioning Tips.  In reading the tips I thought they were not just for dance and could be applied to everyday living.  The tip was to sense your body while doing a task and see if is in alignment.  Well there are more things than just “off” alignment that could cause discomfort, so I was thinking of things that we could do to be kind to the body.  Maybe some of them are just adjustments in the way we are sitting that can be made.  If your neck is tense is your keyboard to high?  Can it be lowered or can your seat be raised?  Would the small act of sitting straighter be kind to you back?  How about the much talked about and needed break?  Taking just a few minutes away from the desk for a little stretch or shake out.

What about a glass of water?  A small and simple way to be kind to your body. Would you object to closing your eyes for a moment and taking deep breaths?  It’s a great way to show some body kindness.  I bet you could go for taking off your shoes and wiggling your toes and flexing your feet moving your ankles—-I bet your feet would LOVE you for that small kindness.
 
Ok, I have one, it is a big one, and don’t deny you have done it because I would bet we ALL have done it at one time or another . . . . . don’t wait!  Don’t hold it.  Get up and go to the restroom.  I bet more of us have done that than not.  We have to go to the restroom because of that small kindness of a glass of water, but we just want to finish one more thing, then we will go.  Then that one thing turns into another and next thing you realize you are sprinting to the restroom.  Do your bladder a small kindness and don’t “do one more thing”.  Stop what you are doing and go to the restroom. 

These are all little things, so small, you might not even realize how big of an impact they can have until you try one.  The “small” part allows you to do them without much or any interruption to your day.  Just little adjustments or small acts of kindness for yourself to fit in easily to your day.

So what do you think?  Do you think you any of these would be something you can do?  Can you think of a small act of kindness that you can do?  Can you think of a small act of kindness that you can do for your body?  Do tell.

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

A Substitute May Supply What You Need In Place of What You Want

Posted by terrepruitt on March 3, 2012

Not too long ago on Facebook a friend of mine posted a list I found to be very interesting.  It was a list of food people crave (from Naturopathy Works).  The list was an explanation and a counter to the craving..  If you crave this . . . . your body needs that.  I thought it was awesome.  I love the idea.  The food craving or behaviors listed are generally “unhealthy”, the list then shows the thing that is needed; sometimes a vitamin, a mineral, or something along those lines.  Then to be ultimately helpful there is a list of suggestions as to what to eat or do, in order to help with the craving or behavior.  Isn’t that marvelous.  Isn’t it interesting?  I thought so.

If you crave Chocolate, your body needs magnesium so you could substitute a healthy alternative of raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits.  Oh honestly, as I typed this I heard the collective future groan of the chocolate lovers that read this.  I know there are people who believe there is no substitute for chocolate.  And sometimes, there isn’t.  If your heart, head, and mouth are dead set on chocolate, there usually isn’t anything that will suffice, but if you are actually willing to forego it and try something else to satisfy your craving there is a healthy alternative. 

For some of the food cravings there is a list of things you might really need, coffee or tea for instance.  If you are craving coffee or tea the list states you really need phosphorous, sulfur, NaCl (salt), iron.  I would suggest that you then think about your diet and what you have eaten and decide what you might really need.  For me I can honestly say I doubt I EVER need salt.  I think I get quite enough of it in my diet.  So I wouldn’t need to try the substitutions for salt which are: Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad).  I might want to try the chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes for the phosphorous, or the meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries for the iron.  But I don’t think I would need the garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables for the sulfur, but maybe the egg yolks, red peppers, and muscle protein.  If you read my blog you know I get a ton of garlic and onion (my only flavorings!) and cruciferous veggies.  But I am not big on protein, so I am sure that is where I would get the help if I were to look for a substitute.

As I said this list has food cravings and behaviors, as in “General Over Eating” and for that the items needed are silicon with a substitution of nuts and seeds, but a behavior or elimination of avoiding refined starches.  Other things this list states a body might need if it is over eating is tryptophan so try cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach, vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables for tyrosine.

I found this interesting and helpful.  I haven’t had much time to put it to use, but I plan too.  A healthy alternative is often a great way to go.  But then there are times I feel it is ok to give into the craving, but the key is moderation.  Do you find this interesting?  Would you give it a try?  Let us know if any of this helps satisfy a craving.  🙂

Food Cravings, Dance Exercise, Nia Teacher, Nia information, Nia Website, Nia Classes, Nia Schedule, Nia Class Fees

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

Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist

Posted by terrepruitt on February 25, 2012

Are wrist blood pressure monitors accurate?  I was wondering because my blood pressure seems low when I use my wrist blood pressure monitor.  I know meditative body mind practices like Nia can help keep blood pressure down, but it seems really low.  The first thing I looked at on the internet made me laugh.  The question was, “How accurate are wrist blood pressure monitors? Mine consistently shows a lower blood pressure reading than that taken by my doctor.” And a portion of the answer said, “blood pressure measurements taken at the wrist are usually higher and less accurate than those taken at your upper arm.” 

I often think that blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office is higher just due to the stress of being at the doctor’s office.  Even if you don’t have what they call “white coat syndrome” sometimes the stress of getting to the doctor’s office (maybe there is traffic, or you have had to interrupt your busy life to take time to go to the doctor), the stress of WHY you are at the doctor’s (most of us don’t go to the doctor when we are healthy and feeling fine, so the fact that we are there could be stressful), or the stress of having to wait (often times we don’t get called in by our appointment time, or we do and we are stuck sitting on the table) can be causes for higher blood pressure readings than normal.  I think that a blood pressure reading at home is more accurate because you are IN your life.  You are IN your normal stresses.  That is why I was wondering about the wrist cuffs because I think the situation (home monitor) is more ideal then doctor office monitoring.  But with mine showing lower than I would expect I was wondering.  It isn’t actually LOW, it is just lower than I expect.  Because what I usually do is think, “Oh, I should check my blood pressure.” as I am downstairs so I run upstairs and try to sit and wait before taking it, but I end up pressing the button and just seems lower than I would guess because I was just moving around.

The American Heart Association states:

Blood Pressure
Category

 
Systolic mm Hg (upper #)  
  Diastolic mm Hg
(lower #)
Normal     less than 120 

and

less than 80
Prehypertension      120 – 139

or

80 – 89
High Blood Pressure 
(Hypertension) Stage 1 
 
140 – 159

 
or

 
90 – 99
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2 
 
160 or higher 

 
or

 
100 or higher

Just like with all information I found conflicting information.  I found information stating that wrist monitors were good and I found information stating they were not accurate.  The main concern regarding accuracy was arm position.  The common statement was that the readings accuracy is affected by the arm position so if the arm was not properly placed the reading could be wrong.  Makes sense, but I was not truly understand why resting one’s left elbow on a table so that the right and monitor were at heart height would be such a challenge to people using a wrist monitor.  I also found information stating that wrist monitors were more expensive than arm cuffs, but then the monitors that I saw being advertised on the internet were less than the cuff ones.  So, again, a lot of conflicting information.  I did see information stating that wrist monitor quality (meaning reading accuracy) had improved a lot  I personally think that cuff blood pressure monitor, the kind where you put your arm in the cuff and secure it around your upper arm, is more accurate.  However, I also believe they are more expensive, so I bought a wrist monitor.

If you are interesting in having a blood pressure monitor at home, I suggest you buy one from a place that allows you to return it.  Then when you go to the doctor take your monitor and take your blood pressure with it to compare to the doctor’s blood pressure monitor.  If it is not accurate then you can return it to where you bought it. 

There is a technique for ensure your arm is in the correct position when using a wrist monitor that could be easier than the elbow-table method.  Cross you arm over your heart, as if you are holding your right shoulder in your left hand.  This ensures no movement and that the monitor is above the heart/level with the heart.  Don’t hold your shoulder just let your fingers rest on the front of your shoulder.  I thought this was an excellent method.

Are you thinking about owning a blood pressure monitor?  Wrist or arm cuff?  Do you already have a blood pressure monitor at home? Wrist or arm cuff?  Do you get a little “white coat syndrome” at the doctor’s office?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Amazingly Easy and Simply Making Life Easier

Posted by terrepruitt on December 17, 2011

I am so impress I have to share AND comment:

I love the list of 25 clever ideas to make life easier.  So amazing.  Some of the ideas I have seen before, some of them were new to me.  The are all pretty awesome.  I love the straw and strawberry idea.  Kind of funny using a straw to “pit” a strawberry.  Saves you from having to buy a tool for it.  Someone try the walnut on the wood and tell me if it REALLY works.  And for how long?  I mean I am thinking that it is just the oil from the walnut that moisturizes the wood so the scratch is concealed.  I bet you could use any oil to do that.  Regarding the TV, I guess if you HAVE to get crayon marks off a TV or computer screen you would be desperate enough to try WD-40.  Otherwise no way.  I can’t imagine putting WD-40 on a monitor.

I do know how to get crayon or wax off the carpet.  It might even work for other fabric.  Use an iron and a paper bag or any type of rough paper.  Put the paper bag over the crayon/wax and then run the hot iron over it.  The heat from the iron melts the crayon/wax and the paper absorbs it.  If it is a lot of crayon/wax it is not a quick fix, but it works.  I had a melted candle spill onto carpet once and I was able to get it all up with this method.  But it took me a couple of weeks.  I didn’t sit there for long, long periods of time.  I would probably do a bag at a time.  Eventually it all came up.

I love the apple idea.  I can’t wait to try that.  Seems like that would work.  The old, “put lemon (or citrus) on it” doesn’t work for me because it DOES leave a lemon taste.  I don’t care for my apples to taste like lemon.  Wouldn’t it be fabulous to pull out a pillow case full of the entire sheet set?  I like that idea, but my hubby does do the sheets like shown here and he gets them completely flat.  I have mentioned before how I can’t tell the difference between the flat sheet and the fitted sheet.

The bowl does kind of help the volume of the iPhone.  But you may know I have a little blue speaker, so I don’t need a bowl. Ingenious use of a wet-wipe container–storing plastic bags in it, but I just use a plastic bag to store my plastic bags and it works pretty good too!

I really want to hear from you to know if some of these things really work.  Can you really get sand off your skin by using baby powder?  Then how do you get the baby powder off?  Sand?  Or water?  Which you could have just used to get the sand off in the first place, right?

I would imagine that putting a velcro strip on the wall could help store a lot of things besides just soft toys in a child’s room.  Ok, I LOVE the wrapping paper idea.  It is pretty smart to use the ceiling of a closet to store wrapping paper, but my closet ceilings are REALLY high.  I actually have a wrapping paper holder that hangs in my closet.

I have heard of using a nylon over a vacuum cleaner hose to find stuff.  GREAT idea!  I recently heard of cutting Xs in a shirt box to make a cupcake holder.  Another GREAT idea.  I love the magnetic strip for storing bobby pins, but I honestly didn’t realize that other people used bobby pins any longer.  Shoes in a shower cap.  Great idea.  I use plastic bags.  The ones that the newspaper come in.  Or ones that might be around certain product you buy.

Plastic cups in a muffin tin held in place by a magnet as a craft caddy . . . . dare I say it?  That is pretty crafty!  Love the use of bread bag closure things as power cord labels.  That is smart.  But my bread comes with wire twists.  I have seen the ice cream cone cup cake thing before.  Have you ever tried that?  I have a friend that told me about popcorn in a regular paper bag in the microwave.  However I don’t buy paper bags and I have never wanted to put my food in one that I might have gotten from a store purchase.  A tension rod to hold spray bottles is a nice idea, but my cupboards aren’t that tall.  Are yours?  Mine could have hanging bottles AND stuff on the “floor”.

If I made hard boiled eggs, I would so try making them heart shaped.  But I don’t.  I also don’t have such fancy muffin tins.  But I bet it would work with regular muffins tins.  Aloe Vera in ice cube trays.  Oh my.  Will someone remind me of this when I get a sunburn?  This is GREAT.  Think of how wonderful that would feel.  I hear angels singing.  Gutters as planters.  Nice idea.  And it is brilliant to use egg cartons to hold ornaments.  Fantastic!

So that is my take on the list.  What about you?  Have you tried any of these ideas before?  Are you going to?  I really want to know about the walnut and how long that lasts.

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Dance Conditioning Tips — Not Just For Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2011

Almost a year ago one of my Nia students let me borrow a book, Conditioning for Dance.  Even though I had it for a week I didn’t take time to look at it in-depth.  But I like what I saw enough to buy the book.  A year later and I still have not looked at it in-depth, but again, when I pick it up and thumb through it, pausing to read here and there I love what I see.  Eric Franklin’s idea coincide a lot with Nia and many mind body practices.  I touched upon this in my original post Dance Conditioning.

The ideas he has shared in this book are somewhat like the Nia White Belt Principles in that they can be applied to more than just the workout or the technique, they can be applied to life.  In th beginning portion of the book Franklin talks about how sometimes when dancers are unable to perform a step, often the first thought is it is because the dancer is not strong enough.  So the dancer then works to build strength in the muscles required to do the particular step.  But it is not always because they are not strong enough, sometimes it is because they have other issues.  So getting stronger to power through the move will not necessarily allow them to do the move correctly, but it allows the issues to be reinforced.  If you are doing something incorrectly because of other issues continuing to do it without resolving those issues just enforces the issues.

His tips in regards to the above can be applied to life.

-When doing a task sense your body.  Learn to recognize when it is out of alignment or what behavior causes it to be out of alignment then practice doing that same task in a different way that allows your body to stay in alignment.

I know so many people who are in physical pain, it is my belief that many of them are because we do things without thinking and we do things that actually cause our bodies to be out of alignment.  When sitting at your desk at work do a body check.  Are you sitting up or are you slouched over?  Are your legs crossed?  Is your mouse so far away from your hand that you have to lean forward and/or really extend your arm?  These types of things that we do over and over and actually work our bodies into a state of misalignment.  I remember walking into a friend’s cube while she was working and after watching for a second I asked her what she was doing?  She responded that she didn’t know what I was talking about.  I said she was having to practically get out of her chair as she leaned forward to use her mouse.  She looked confused and then shrugged.  I suggested she move her mouse pad closer to her and she shrugged and did.  No, my friend is not stupid, she was just focused on working and never stopped to really think about her body and its alignment.  She just “did” because that was the way it was.  There are probably a lot of things — little things, just like that — we can do to help our body’s alignment.  Just sense your body as you go through your daily tasks.

-Imagine yourself doing the task.  Imagine all that it will require to complete the job then go through it mentally.  While imagining, sense the muscles that are used.

This is an easy one to apply to everyday. Whatever it is that you want to do imagine doing it beforehand and it will help you be aware of your body before you even begin the task. And this could also allow you to think of things that might slow you down if you had not thought of it before had. It will allow you to be better prepared.

-Seek the help of experts.

People that have done what you want to do before are always a great resource in life.

-Think positive.  If there are problems or issues think about them work to find solutions, but don’t dwell on them and allow them to affect your performance.

Thinking positive is a great tool and becoming so much more widely accepted as actually having benefit. Everyone has problems. Thinking positive doesn’t mean you don’t have problems it just means you don’t dwell on them.

-Work on flexibility making sure it the body is balanced.

In life it is good to be flexible, but you also need to have balance. Can’t be so flexible you become wishy-washy.

-Participate in strength training and do exercise that will help you reach your goal.

Strength training has so many benefits in everyday life, it is good for anyone at any age.

-Find ways to increase alignment without causing tension.

Everyone has different ideas on how to be aligned and in balance. But it should become a source of great stress in your life, so try to find ways to be balanced that will add to the ease and relaxation.

In his book Franklin goes into more detail and relates it specifically to dance. Here I was using my own words and trying to “vague it” up a bit so that it would be obvious how dance training tips could be applied directly to anyone’s life.

So amazing.  I am always amazed how our Nia White Belt Principles that we use in our dance practice can be applied to life.  But then, to me, that is what makes it a practice.  So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised .  . . and I really wasn’t, I was excited, that these tips for dance could be applied to more than just dance conditioning.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Flashing Is a Great Course of Action

Posted by terrepruitt on October 11, 2011

I never wanted an iPod or a cell phone until I started teaching Nia.  After I got it, I realized how great it is to be able to create playlists from Nia routine music and not have to burn a CD. Same thing with a cell phone, I have a business so I have a cell phone.  I don’t really need a cell phone, but a business does.  A business needs to have a number to use for business.  Which brings me to . . .  when I first met my husband he was a “Mac” man.  Always had been, always would be . . . . . until, that is, we moved in next door to a guy who gave us a computer that was not a Mac.  Then all of a sudden my hubby had something new to learn.  He decided to learn how to put computer components together to make a personal computer.  He realized that he could buy all the parts and put it together for a lot less than a Mac costs.  PLUS the money spent would allow him a machine that would be faster and more powerful than the least expensive Mac.  So we got rid of our Macs.  Then the iPhone came out.  At about that time I was thinking about getting a cell phone and I would need something to play music AND . . . . it was a new toy for hubby to have.  So we got iPhones and they stoked the burning embers of love for Apple that had never actually gone out in my hubby’s heart.  THEN he started working at a Mac company . . . you know one of those companies whose computers are Macs and not the “other” ones.  Then there is the iPad.  (eyes rolling). Whenever I have a problem with either of my “i-s”, my hubby says, “Well did you flash it?”

When we first got our iPhones, they had a few issues or kinks, whatever you call them it would often not work properly.  My husband being familiar with Macs figured out how to “Flash” the phone.  He said it resets the parameter random access memory.  This is the memory that is stored which allows the for quick start-up.  Since my iPhone frequently went squirrelly back then, I got really used to doing it.  I would do it probably at least once a week without being prompted.  Then with one of the updates it went away.  It either went away and then came back with another update or it changed.  I actually think it went away, then came back different.  The way the device responded when flashed was different so it seemed as if it was not going to actually do it.  Whatever the actual case was, I got out of the habit.  Plus the phone stopped being so buggy.  So not only did it change so I thought the option of Flashing wasn’t there, I didn’t need to do it that often.  So I forget that I can do it and sometimes need to do it.

Have you ever worked for a company that has an IT department?  When you have a computer issue what is the first thing the IT department asks you to do or ask you if you did it?  “Turn it off then turn it back on.”  Right?  And then even once you do that, if they have to come to your work area to work on the computer that is the first thing they will do again.  So we are all used to turning electronics off than on again, right?  That is the FIRST thing we do.  Well, flashing it is not quite turning it off and then turning it on.  It resets the PRAM.

Yesterday I wanted to listen to the music for a Nia routine for class, I plugged my little iHome Speaker into my iPad and it didn’t work.  I rolled my eyes and thought, “Well so much for that.”  I got my iPhone to see if the speaker worked with that. It did.  So I plugged my earbuds into the iPad to see if they worked.  They didn’t. So I just figured I broke it somehow.  I mentioned it to my hubby when he was on his way home from work and he said, “Did you flash it?”  I felt so silly for not having done it that I said, “Well, of course I did because that is always the first thing you ask.”  And then I went on to say that I didn’t and I hung my head like a scolded puppy.

I forgot about it until today and guess what?  Of course.  I flashed the iPad and my speaker works.  I got so caught up in telling my story that I almost forgot the point of this post—to tell you how to flash your phone.  Sometimes the rewritable section of memory get to full or a little messed up so it needs to be reset.  For the iPhone and the iPad, you hold the On/Off button down at the same time as the Home button.  Hold them both down until the screen goes blank AND the Apple logo appears.  Then let go and let the device do its thing.  Then it will be ready to wake up again shortly.  See if that works for you the next time your iPhone or iPad is acting buggy.  I don’t know if works for the other iProducts.  But it has always worked for mine . . . . . when I remember to do it.  🙂

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Resistance Bands for Stretching

Posted by terrepruitt on September 3, 2011

I’ve talked about resistance bands being great for strength training. The other day after having taught a Nia class with a lot of sumo stances in it AND after having done some weighted squats, I really needed to stretch.  I needed a really deep stretch and as I was trying to think of how to get it I remembered I could use my resistance bands for stretching.  The resistance bands I have are long flat sheets of rubber.  I don’t have the ones that are like rubber bands or tubes.  Mine don’t have handles.  Any type of band made for exercising will do.  There are so many ways to stretch using a band.  I will just name a few in this post and maybe do another post at another time.

The first one you probably have done when you pick up a band is just to hold it in each hand and let your arms “fall” to the side.  Obviously your arms don’t actually fall because you are holding the band, but you can feel the stretch in your arms and shoulders.  The great thing about bands is you can make the tension however you need it to be by the way you hold the band.  If you need a really deep stretch make the band really short and either pull or let your arms “fall”.  If you want a gentle stretch then hold the band closer to the ends.

Holding opposite ends of the band and allowing your arms to fall behind your body really allows for a stretch in the upper arms, shoulders, upper back and neck.

You can do side bends with an end of the band in each hand holding your arms above your head.  Again sensing the stretch in your shoulders and upper back, but with this stretch you also get your sides. Using the band for this stretch allows for a much greater stretch than without the band.

For the legs there are a few I want to share.  Sit down on the ground, fold the band in half then put your foot in the band at the fold, hold one side of the band in each hand.  Then lay down, keeping your foot flexed, bring your straight leg with the foot in the band up as far as you can.  Keep your other leg straight out on the floor.  Adjusting the tension of the band gives you the stretch you need.  You can bring your leg straight up and closer to your face for an even greater stretch.  The closer you pull your leg to your face the greater the stretch in the hamstrings and even calf.

Still lying on your back with your leg up and still holding the band let your leg fall ACROSS your body.  This is a further stretch for the hamstrings and gets the outer thigh.  With this stretch – again – using the band to pull your leg closer to your head gives you a bigger stretch. Hold the end of the band in the hand opposite the direction your leg is going, while the hand on the side of where your foot is gently pulls the leg towards your head.  Remember to be mindful of what you are sensing, often a stretch will cause discomfort but the muscles need to be stretched especially after a workout.  But pain is different than discomfort, so be aware of what sensation is present.

Another stretch you can do is from the same position of laying on your back, with your foot through the band, leg in the air, foot flexed, but this time let the straight leg fall away from your body.  With this stretch the hand opposite the side your stretching leg holds the end of the band and the hand on the side of the stretching leg can gently pull the leg towards your head. This stretch allows you to really sense the stretch in the inner thigh.  The closer your leg gets to the floor the more your inner thigh gets stretch.  And at the same time you can gently pull your leg towards your head enable the back of the leg to be stretched too.

Bands are such a great way to get some assisted stretching in without having to have another person there to help you.  It is like proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) by yourself.  As I mentioned before, please be mindful and aware of what your body is saying.  Discomfort at a tolerable level is acceptable but pain is not.

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Recipe Nutrition Information – Online for free

Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2011

Nia teacher teaching Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia uses recipe analyzerI was thinking one day, “there has to be something online that can give calories for a recipe.  And hopefully there is a free version.”  There is.  Cool.  Maybe you had thought about this before, I know I have, but I just rememberd this week.  I usually just kind of tally the ingredients and divide using a calculator, but I realized there has to be something online so I Googled it and came up with a few.

FitWatch Recipe Analyzer lets you label the recipe and then you input the number of servings, then you enter each ingredient separately.  You can enter all the ingredients on its own separate line, then click “Search For All Ingredients” or you can search as you go along after you enter each ingredient.  After you click “search” the program will bring up a list of ingredients from which you can scroll down and select the one you want.  After each selection the screen flashes and then gives you measurement options.  Each time you make a selection the screen flashes.  There are only twelve spaces, so you can only enter up to twelve ingredients.  After you are done it supplies you with amount of calories, water, carbohydrates, protein, total fat, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat, cholesterol, and dietary fibre.  It also gives you a breakdown of vitamins and minerals measurements.  Very nice.  Also gives you the option to print it in a nice format.  But the input is somewhat awkward, because of the constant flashing.  I kept thinking my computer or internet browser was going out or down.  Took me until about the eighth ingredient to get used to it.  Then I skipped an ingredient and I wanted them to be in order because I was not sure what information I would get and I didn’t know the format, so I thought it would be easier to just have it in the same order as the recipe.   Going back and inputting the ingredient again really made the screen flash.

Nia is a fitness and wellness practice, Nia Los Gatos, Nia San JoseCalorie Count has you input the number of servings, then you can copy the entire list of ingredients into one box.  That was so quick and easy and AWESOME!  Then it gives you the calorie break down of each ingredient and gives it a grade.  It allows you to add a new item and edit the recipe.  It gives the option to log a serving and save a recipe, but I am not signed up so I didn’t do either one of those things.  So I am not sure if after having done one of those things if you get an option to print.  The format the nutrition info is presented in does not copy and paste very well.  In addition to the calorie count and grade of each ingredient it gives you the Nutrition facts in the common format that is on many product labels.  Under the “label” it gives you a nutritional analysis such as “Bad points:  •High in saturated fat  •High in sugar  •Contains alcohol” and “Good Points:  •Low in sugar  •High in manganese  •High in niacin  •High in phosphorus  •High in selenium  •High in vitamin B6”.  But it does not give you measurements nor percentages on all of the things mentioned in this analysis.

Nia teacher, Nia classes, NiaSpark People’s recipe analyzer makes you enter each ingredient and then search their data base for the closest match.  Its breakdown of the nutrition in the recipe includes: amount of calories, total fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber and sugars, and protein. This recipe analyzer/calculator gives you a breakdown of vitamins and minerals in percentages.  Its nutrition information is in a printable format like the first one.  This site also allows you to save the recipe if you are a member as with Calorie Count.

Really nifty.  I bet there are even more out there.  This is a different way of checking the nutrition in our diet, instead of inputting it all in a food diary/log/tracker/counter, you can do entire recipes.  I want to remind you even though I say it often, we all have different goals so we certainly have different nutritional needs.  These sites are just more tools that we can use to meet our goals and our nutritional needs.

So, I am curious to know if you were surprised at the information after you entered your favorite recipe?  Well, were you?

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Potholders Really CAN Hold Your Pots and Pans

Posted by terrepruitt on August 9, 2011

Pot holders, Nia teacher, pot protectors, pan holders, pan protectors, I have potholders and oven mitts that I don’t really want to use as potholders.  Ya know, they could be those ones that you received as a gift and they are pretty, but when you use them and realize that they aren’t really as useful as they are pretty because you can still feel the heat/burn through it.  Or you bought them as part of a set of hand towels, so they really are just for show because they are too thin to use.  Why yes, you COULD get rid of them.  But I would NEVER think to do that.  (See my last post where I state I have a house full of stuff.)  There are other uses for potholders.  If they are really pretty but too thin to use to keep the heat away from your hand you can use them for other things.  Or if you accidentally touched the oven element and just one little corner is singed you could use it for something else.  Some times the pretty ones work very well as trivets.  You might want to use them when company is over.  You just set them out and then place the hot dish on them.  Perfect.  The slightly singed one can be used as a trivit too.  It is really the surface that you are setting something hot (or even cold) on that you are trying to protect.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.

Pot and pan separator, Nia Teacher, pot and pan protectorWhat they can also be used for is separating your pots and pans. There are protectors specifically made for that.  I have some of those too (that is what the blue one is on the bottom), but I have a lot of potholders that have come with towel sets that aren’t that great as potholders.  I also have a few that I have connected with the oven element with.  In fact right after I took this picture one of the cat ones suffered that fate.  So I use them to separate my pots and pans.  I have found that along with the dishwasher the pots and pans scratch each other up a bit.  So I put the potholders in between.  I believe this annoys my hubby and I am sorry for that, because it really does help protect the pots and pans.  I think having a glass top stove has made me a little more aware of what is on the bottom of my pans.  A glass top is much easier to clean – to me – than a spiral element stove, but it helps if you start of with a pot/pan with a clean bottom.  Also it shouldn’t have any rough edges or gouges in it that can scratch the glass.  So I just like to use layer of protection between my pots and pans.

With the pots I try to get the pot holder to protect both the bottom of the pot and the handle.  We have some pots with handles coated in a thin layer of plastic and the pot edges scratch it off.  So I try to put the pots in with the potholder sticking over the edge.  Works with big potholders, but not really the small ones.

So if you are like me and you wanna try to keep you pots looking nice and keep them smooth for the stove, you don’t like to throw “perfectly good things away”, and you like to find new/other uses for things this might be one of those things that helps you.

What about you?  Any of you really crafty people have another way potholders can be put to use?

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