Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 the ‘Just stuff’ Category

Proprioception – Making Life Livable

Posted by terrepruitt on November 8, 2011

We exercise our proprioceptive sense in Nia in every workout.  Generally proprioception is the sense of body parts in relation to the body.  One’s own perception of one’s own body.  You may have also heard kinesthesia which is very closely defined, both definitions debated, as the sense of movement.  But for now I will tell it as I learned it and explain it as I know it.  Proprioception is what we do by knowing where we are in space . . . not outer space, but in space.  Knowing how far to reach for something.  Our body knows or senses how far our arm has to reach.  In our muscles we have proprioceptors that monitor, detect, and inform the rest of the body what needs to be done in order to achieve the goal of reaching the object.  Proprioception makes life so much easier!

When you reach for your coffee/juice cup in the morning you probably look at the cup.  You look, your brain makes a million calculations, your arm reaches out for it, and you grab it.  Then do you look at the mirror to make certain you actually get the cup to your mouth?  Probably not.  You just know where your mouth is and you bring your cup up to you mouth for a sip of liquid.  Yes, there have been times I am sure when we have all “missed our mouth” and poured something down our front, but more often than not we make it to our mouth.  Same with eating and brushing our teeth.  We know where our mouth is so we are able to get our hand to our face with the proper distance for the utensil.

Walking is the same.  We have a sense of where the ground is so we don’t watch every step, we just allow our leg to go out to make contact with the ground and we step.  I bet we have all missed a step or thought the ground was either farther away or closer than it actually was.  So we might have jarred ourselves a bit.  But again, more often than not walking is a smooth habitual action executed with ease.

What about touching your nose or scratching an itch?  The same thing.  We know where our body parts are so our muscles and our proprioceptors know what it will take to get our hand there to scratch.

This is part of the nervous system.  This body function can be trained, it can be practiced, it can be improved.  If you like sports such as golf or baseball, you are practicing with precision movements that allow you to use an object to make contact with a ball.  You learn how and when to swing.  You learn how hard or light to hit in order to get the ball to go not only the distance but where you want it to go.  Practicing a choreography dance is training your muscles and your nervous system.  Learning the steps and being able to place your feet correctly without looking is great practice.  In Nia we use our entire body while dancing so we are able to keep our proprioceptors and our nervous system active.  In many of our routines we actively look up while our feet perform specific moves.  We encourage our students to allow their feet to dance what they know.

It is very important to practice with and train our proprioceptive sense.  Learning new motor skills is a great way to get those muscles and nerves singing.  As we age this sense seems to diminish and it could be just from lack of movement.  I have seen many elder people stop moving and then become very afraid of the world around them.  If we keep our proprioceptive sense then we are aware of where our body is and we are aware of the world around us, this helps us fear less.  So keep moving.  Keep practicing old skills.  Keep learning.  Learn new skills.  Keep dancing.  And keep living.  Exercising our proprioception will help ensure a high quality of live and living!

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

Grief Is a Very Personal Thing

Posted by terrepruitt on November 1, 2011

So how do you handle grief?  Pub med says, “Grief is a reaction to a major loss.”  But then it says, “It is most often an unhappy and painful emotion.”  Wiki states, “While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss.” I guess they mean grief is an EMOTIONAL reaction to a major loss.  In relation to death, I believe that everyone grieves in their own way.  You have probably heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  I believe that these are emotions or feelings that people might go through when they are grieving.  And just because someone identified these stages doesn’t mean everyone goes through each stage.  If people do experience them they might not even be in this stated order.  These were just created to help people understand, to cope, and to connect, knowing that you aren’t the only one who felt angry or were in a state of denial.  Most important grief is very personal.

We all handle grief differently.  We all handle our emotions differently.  I believe that people can feel whatever they feel.  We don’t always have control over what we feel.  Emotions sometimes just pop up.  Sometimes they might even surprise us if we look at them.  Feelings are what they are.  I think it is healthy to let yourself feel whatever comes up.  I don’t think emotions should be pushed aside or ignored.  I don’t think they should be stifled.  Emotions just happen.

Nia Teacher, Oct. 23, 2011, Nia classI do believe that our reaction to our own emotions or the action we take while experiencing feelings might need to be regulated or contained.  For instance if you are grieving and angry it does not help the situation to lash out at those around you.  Others are sad too, and maybe they are angry too, but allowing all that anger to come out in harsh words and temper tantrums does no good at all.  When one is mean because they are angry at the situation, it does more harm than good.  I can understand someone feeling so much pain the first reaction might be to lash out, but for most people saying mean words and forming hurtful sentences is not a habit so in order to be so unkind it takes more effort than just a spur of the moment reaction.  Continuing to be cruel is something I deem unacceptable.

I also believe that as long as you are not harming anyone or causing harm to yourself you should be allowed to grieve in your own way for as long as you need to.  If I were to not get dressed and do nothing for two weeks, I wouldn’t really be harming anyone.  My circumstances would allow me to check out for a couple of weeks.  As long as it didn’t last too long it could be good for me.  But if I were in a situation where I was a caregiver, let’s say I had kids, it would not be acceptable for me to do nothing for two weeks.  Doing nothing for two weeks would cause harm to the children.  So how you act because of the grief really depends on the situation, but since it is so personal it is not easy to say that one’s way of acting is wrong.

I also think that there really is no time limit on sadness.  I think the sorrow will last forever.  I think there are moments of sadness.  But I also think that there is joy, it is ok to be happy.  It is ok to go on living.  I think it is even ok to recall the deceased with happiness.  I always marvel at instances where people’s behavior is deemed unacceptable.  Again, if they are not causing harm, then they should be able to deal with their grief in their own way.   I think it is healthy to allow yourself time and what you need in order to cope.  There are definitely as many ways to deal with loss as there are people. Grief and the way one works through it is a very personal thing.

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Posture Creates Attitude

Posted by terrepruitt on October 29, 2011

Who designed airline seats?  Someone who knew the psychology of crowd control?  Think about it. No better yet let’s do a little exercise.  Sit in your chair.  Sit tall.  Allow your eyes – better yet, set your gaze forward.  Reach the top of your head to the sky, allowing the energy from above to assist in the lengthening of your spine.  Imagine space between each vertebrae.  Establish distance between your shoulders and your ears, creating a long neck.  Pull your shoulders back (shoulder blades in your pants pockets).  Sense your posture.  Sense the placement of your arm bones.  Let your arm bones hang straight down from your shoulders.  Now feel.  How do you feel?  Take a few moments to acknowledge and recognize what you feel and what you sense with your confident posture.

Now imagine you are on an airplane sitting in the typical (coach) airline seat.  I know many of us probably vary in height. But just imagine for a moment that you are seated on a plane.  Let your lower back round out toward the chair.  What happens to the rest of your body?  What do you sense?  How do you feel?  Do you feel subdued?  Do you feel controllable? Maybe just in comparison to the other posture?  When I push my lower back into the seat my postures becomes a slump, my shoulders round, my belly pushes out, and my head goes down.  I have always wondered about airplane seats.  I think they are very uncomfortable.  I could never understand why they were designed to be the opposite of the human spine.  I could never understand why they were designed to be so absolutely uncomfortable.  I think they are very bad for the human body.  I really think they are not designed at all for comfort.  Now after having been on a few planes after not having been on them for a long time, I think I might understand why.  I might actually sense why.  If I am in a state of mind where I feel I need to just comply it is easy for me to just do what I am told.  If my postures is “slumped” my head is already down and my shoulders are rounded, I can’t even take a full and proper breath, why not just sit there and be a blob.  I don’t want to think, I just want to get my free drink and get the ride over with.  I can see why people don’t want to make eye contact and be social.  It is almost as if our will has been sucked out of us.

Airline seats make me feel like a blob.  That is all I truly have room to be.  It just occurred to me on this past trip that this could be the feeling and the mentality that airlines are going after.  It is a lot easier to control 300+ people when they don’t feel very confident or very human for that matter.  I would think that people will just do what they are told when they can’t even take a full breath.  Since it is just for a short while and we “need” to be on the airplane we just put up with it.  With the advent of all the portable electronics it makes it even easier for us to just sit there like blobs all slumped over and compliant.

It is amazing how posture can affect attitude.  So the next time you aren’t feeling as chipper as you would like, check your posture.  Or if you are in a situation where you know you might get a little down, try sitting up or walking taller.  And when you are on a plane try to find a way to sit where your back can be straight, your posture good, and you can breathe fully.  I put my jacket in the small of my back so that I can sit up and not slumped over.  How about you?

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Human Body Fantastic

Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2011

Nia is a body centered practice. Nia came about partly because at that time, in the 80’s, popular exercise classes were very hard on the body and the industry in which the creators of Nia worked produced a lot of injuries. The couple that brought us Nia spent a lot of time examining many different forms of movement which in turn shaped Nia into a body-centered movement practice. Nia is a cardio dance workout that moves the body as it was designed to move. Debbie Rosas-Stewart, one of the creators of Nia, wanted to be a doctor, she has always been interested in the human body. Nia’s training material often refers to the science of the body. The body is fascinating and fantastic. I believe that Debbie’s love of medicine and the human body is evident in Nia. Here are some facts that I found interesting. They are facts easily found on the internet so they might not be new to you. Even if you have heard them before I hope you marvel at the human body as I do.

  • There are 10 human body parts having only three letters.  (Can you name all 10 human body parts having only 3 letters?)
  • Food is moved through the digestive tract by muscular contractions.
  • The pressure created from the human heart can squirt blood 30 feet.
  • Hydrochloric acid found in the stomach can dissolve certain metals.
  • The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court.
  • Half of our taste buds are gone for most of us, by the time we are 60 years old.
  • The human brain is capable of storing everything it is exposed to, but it is the ability to recall the information that might be the challenge.
  • We are shorter at the end of the day due to cartilage being compressed throughout the day.
  • Kneecaps aren’t developed in a human until the child is between 2-6 years old.
  • The longer the finger the faster the nail grows.
  • Hair and nails do not continue to grow after death, but it appears as if they do since the skin shrinks and recedes as the moisture dries up.
  • The skin of a human body contains 45 miles of nerves.
  • The average human will breathe 23,040 times in a 24 hour period.
  • People with dark hair have less hair than blondes.
  • The stomach produces a new layer of mucus every 14 days in order to keep from digesting itself.
  • The “funny bone” is actually the ulnar nerve.
  • About 8% of the human body weight is blood.
  • A human snore can be a loud as a jack hammer.
  • Starvation takes a few weeks, but a total lack of sleep would cause death in roughly 10 days.
  • A human sneeze has been measured to exceed 100 miles per hour, whereas the average cough is only 60 miles per hour.
  • “Veins in the skin appear blue for a variety of reasons only weakly dependent on the color of the blood. Light scattering in the skin, and the visual processing of color play roles as well.” **

The 10 human body parts with only three letters: eye, ear, lip, gum, jaw, arm, rib, hip, leg, and toe.

Aside from what was **copied directly from Wiki, the above information was gleaned from the following sites:

The Nurse Nut, Yes, ICantSeeYouMawlana Faizani International, and ESZlinger.  I have seen many sites contain the same information and more.  I just found these ones particularly fascinating.  I think the body is fantastic.

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

Changing Up my Turbo Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on October 8, 2011

I teach NiaNia is a cardio dance workout done in bare feet.  It is no impact (or very low – I tend to hop a bit because I am having so much fun!) but allows for high intensity.  Impact and intensity are different.  I love Nia, but I also love other types of workouts.  When I do other types of workouts they usually require shoes because often times the workouts get their intensity from impact.  You might already know all of this because I have shared it before.  You might also know — because I have shared this before — that I also love Turbo Jam.  That is the exercise program designed for home use, as in DVDs, by the incredibly cute and bubbly Chalene Johnson.  You have probably read me say before, “No matter how many times I do Chalene’s DVDs she makes me smile.”  Her energy is infectious.  Well, I’ve done the DVDs I have a lot over the years so today I decided to do them a little different.  I decided to combine two things I love.  I wore my MBTs while doing Turbo Jam.

dance exercise, Turbo Jam workout, Nia Teacher, MBTs, Nia Class, Nia workout, Nia San Jose, San Jose NiaBecause of my toe/foot situation I had not been doing Turbo Jam a lot, but I am starting to do it again.  I do it regular tennis shoes, just some cross trainers, and I sometimes have to think a lot to not move my foot in a toe position that hurts.  When you do any type of workout in which you wear shoes you have to think about it a bit more when you are on carpet.  Carpet tends to make it a little more difficult to twist on your toes and things, so sometimes it is better to not do that so much in order to 1) save the carpet and 2) save your knees.  Even though I have always wanted to do a Turbo Jam workout in my MBTs I thought it would be more strenuous on my recovering foot.  But it wasn’t really.  It was fine.  It was fun.  MBTs really have the body using different muscles because the way the sole is engineered.  So it was really fun to do a workout I have done at least a hundred times and have it feel different.

The MBTs really made me concentrate on what I was doing.  When I do my Turbo Jam DVDs I have a tendency to think about other things.  I just follow the moves and think or sing, I am not always concentrating on what I am doing.  The Masai Barefoot Technology footwear really had me thinking about balancing properly and not just throwing my limb out.  When I threw it out too far without being aware then I somewhat got off balance.  Not just off balance in a way that the shoe is designed to make you be unbalanced, but my foot was positioned incorrectly in the MBT so I had to be aware of how I was extending.  It was really nice.  As I said it was nice to experience the workout in a very new way even though I have done it at least a hundred times.  It was nice to have to really think about the muscles that enable balance.  It was nice to have to think about balance in order to make certain my alignment was not off.

Now that my foot is so much better and I have confirmed that using my MBTs to do my cardio workouts that require shoes will not bother my foot, I plan to use them all the time.  That is really one of the reasons I bought them.  But I was not ready until now  because I thought it would challenge my foot too much.  It actually made toe movements easier because of the curve of the sole.  The curve allows for easy almost automatic ball of foot or on the toe movements.

Yay!  Newness in an old-but-beloved workout!  Do you workout to DVDs?  If you do, what is your favorite?  Have you done them enough that you are ready to change ’em up a bit?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Looking for . . . .Love, Purple Puppies, Marilyn Monroe

Posted by terrepruitt on October 6, 2011

Funny, I was about to type that I post mostly about Nia since I am primarily focused on teaching Nia, but right now I looked at my Categories and I have 111 post under Nia and 111 post under Misc. Funny. This post will fall under Misc.  This post is about some of the search terms I see. Sometimes I see people using a question as a search term. I always wish I could contact that person via e-mail to answer their question. I have thought about posting replies, but I haven’t done that. I am often surprised and sometimes shocked at some of the things people search for. I am laughing right now at the most popular search term since I have been blogging. It is funny because WHO thinks of these things? Why would anyone actually be searching for it? I am actually very happy — now that I think about it — that I posted about it because apparently people want to know. Do you? Have you ever wondered about a puppy that is purple? Seriously “purple puppy” is the biggest search on my blog. Hilarious, don’t you think?

dance exercise, Nia classes, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia teacherIt is especially funny since I just happened upon the purple puppy and her pink sister and I thought it was so oddly cute that I decided to post about it  Makes me laugh that other people are curious about purple puppies. Makes me wonder why people are curious about purple puppies.

The next biggest search term is relevé. See, that makes sense to me. I under stand people wanting to know what it is or how to do it. Or just wanting more information about it. There are people who dance that might have heard that term but not being a ballerina, might not know what it is. Or someone wanting to be a ballerina might want some hints and tricks. That one makes sense to me.

The next one is Voss Water. I am somewhat surprised that Voss water isn’t higher on the list. Seems as if for a long time I had been seeing that come up again and again and again. But it is number three.

Number four is Carlos AyaRosas. That is nice. Carlos is the co-creator of Nia. His name was Carlos Rosas, but near the end of his career with Nia he changed it to Carlos AyaRosas. I love that people are searching for information on him. I imagine they are people who love Nia and they are wondering where he is and how he is doing. I believe he is in Texas with his new wife. And I have faith they are doing wonderfully.

I am not sure about you, but I was surprised by number five. Are you ready? Purple puppies. Plural. So not only do people search for purple puppY, they search for purple puppIES. I wonder what they want to know? I wonder if my post gives them any information they want to know. As I scroll through the entire list of search terms I see even more searches for the purple puppies just phrased differently.

The next popular search is optical illusion. That one is big. I see that one comes up a lot with the plural version search and all of the elements of the optical illusion; horses, babies, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein. Funny. That post gets a lot of hits. I can understand that, who doesn’t love an optical illusion. They are so cool. Tricks of the eyes and brain.

Well, I was just looking at the search terms and they often make me laugh, although today there were not any funny searches, but I think the next time there are I will write a post. Maybe you can help me figure out what some of them mean. Or maybe we can just have a chuckle. I am still laughing about the purple puppies.

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

Workout Distractions

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2011

It is difficult for me to do Nia at home.  In Nia we actually move our head.  “Huh?”  You say.  Well next time you are in a cardio workout out class or an exercise class you might notice that you don’t often (or at all) move your head around purposefully.  In Nia we look up, we look around, we look down, we out.  We could just be moving our head to sense the sensation of it, or we could be doing it to allow action to follow intention or . . . well, whatever idea we are using at the moment to move our head, we move our head.  ALL AROUND.  Which, makes it difficult for me to workout at home. When I look up I see spider webs.  When I look around I see dust.  When I look down I see Spot.  When I look out I see squirrels.

We have cathedral ceilings, so there is never a time when we don’t have spider webs or something way up there.  When I see it I start thinking, “I need to get the duster and the ladder and get that.”  Then there is the dust.  The dust never seems to NOT be there even right as I am dusting.  Then there is the cat.  She either wants to go out, or be pet, or  she just chooses to lay right in the middle of my workout floor.  And I have learned that I absolutely have to keep my curtains closed.  I don’t care what the weather is, I don’t care what the temperature is, I have to keep my curtains closed because I get REALLY distracted when I don’t.  Here are two examples of what I see.

First he comes to the door.  Tentative.  Then he will stand that like that for a long time.  I have tried to just keep on going and just let him watch me dance, but after a while I feel bad.  He will just stand there with his paws at his chest and look at me.  He has stood like that for at least an entire song.  I always end up stopping and giving him or, more accurately, them nuts.  When one gets peanuts the others come along.

 

Then this is what they do.  This was taken on a very hot day.  The mat was in the shade and had been for a while so he just plopped down.  I think he was enjoying the shade.  A little snack in the shade.  He just looked at me while he ate his snack.

They have come up to the doors and windows and put both paws on the glass and looked inside.  I imagine I hear, “Hey, you in there!  Where are the peanuts?”  It is rather funny.  I am not certain, but I think it is one in particular that does that.  My hubby named him Brutus.  When he comes up to the door, he will stay there and take a peanut from me.  Sometimes he barely lets me put the peanut out the door.

Yes, one of the things we do in Nia is to not think about things like spider webs, dust, the grocery list, the things we need to do after class and when I am outside of my home I can do that much better.  In my house I get distracted.  There are so many distractions.  So one way I eliminate at least one is I keep the curtains shut.  On the days that I took these pictures I had obviously not done so.

Posted in Just stuff, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Party With No Guests

Posted by terrepruitt on April 16, 2011

All week long I have been thinking about the Nia Class I am having to Benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.  I have been thinking and planning, but I waited until the last minute to DO.  It is late the night before and I am printing, practicing, creating, thinking, writing, but at least I am not worrying.  All week long I felt like the person who plans a party and then worries that no one will show up.  Have you ever had that worry?  I was worried but then I talked to a few people who said they are going to come.  I would like a full house, but I am just glad that I won’t be by myself.

As I was thinking about having a party and having no one show up I remembered something about a party when I was young.  I remembered being invited to a party.  It was a birthday party.  I don’t think I knew the girl well, she was one of those quiet children that hadn’t been around for long.  Sadly I don’t remember her name, nor do I remember when she left.  But I do remember her party.  Well, that isn’t even true.  I remember at one point I didn’t want to go.  I remember hemming and hawing and talking to my mom about not going.  But then I decided to go.

My mom drove me to the place where the party was.  I remember it was a trailer park.  I think it was not far from my house.  I remember the birthday girl in a dress.  I remember us waiting together for more people to show up.  No one else came.  I remember feeling so bad for my friend.  I remembering feeling bad that I almost didn’t even show up myself.  This all came to me in a rush this past week as I was thinking, “What if no one shows up?”  I remember how hurt my friend was.  It made me sad remembering.

As I mentioned, I can’t remember much more of the party.  I don’t remember a lot of the details obviously, but I do remember I was the only one that went.  I don’t think I have ever been to another party where that had happened.  I don’t think I have ever had that happen.  I usually pester a couple of friends into telling me whether they are coming or not because I DON’T want to have a party and have no one show up.  Hosting a party and hosting a class are two different things.  I don’t feel it is as bad pestering people about whether they are attending your party, but I don’t feel right doing that when it comes to having a class.  I am just happy that a few people are coming and so I won’t be dancing by myself and I will at least have a few donations to add to the relay.

It is odd the things you remember.  While I was remembering about my friend from grade school I sent out a little positive thought.  I hope that she is doing well.  Maybe you can send out a positive thought for me too . . . help the benefit for cancer Nia class be a success.  Thanks!

http://bit.ly/terreacsrelay

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MBTs

Posted by terrepruitt on April 14, 2011

One Monday after my Nia Class, I went to a store down the street from the studio in San Jose.  I went to a shoe store in Willow Glen.  I had decided that I was going to buy myself some MBTs.  MBTs have been around since 1996.  I would say since 1997 I have wanted them.  But they were huge, clunky, and EXTREMELY expensive.  I had never even tried any on because I could never bring myself to spend over $200 on tennis shoes.

I am very excited to have FINALLY purchased a pair of MBTs.  I spent almost two hours in the store trying on different styles.  I was fortunate that I liked the ones that were on sale.  Yay!  Even though the price of tennis shoes has probably caught up to the price of MBTs.   I still couldn’t bring myself to spend $200 on tennis shoes.   I figured if they help me walk properly they really are worth it, but I am still glad I saved my Christmas gifts so I could splurge on these “shoes”.

What are MBTs you ask?

MBTs are the “antishoe”.  Their websites states:  “MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) was born in 1996 when we discovered that natural instability can have positive effects on the human body. We made this discovery by observing the wonderfully agile Masai people walking barefoot on natural, uneven ground.”  Because the shoes were designed to allow us to experience walking on uneven ground even as we walk on flat ground the idea is that one needs to give the body time to adjust.  I looked on the site to see if they have a guide as to how to acclimate the body, but I didn’t see anything.

Kind people keep telling me to go slow, but unfortunately I don’t think I will have the opportunity to get to that point where I need to take a break because my legs need a rest.  Ya see, as you might know, I injured my toe about five months ago.  I want it to be completely better and function as it used to, but it is not.  It is MUCH better, but nowhere near where it used to be.  It gets tired.  I still have to rest it.  I still have to pay way too much attention to it.  But that is what I have to do.  My toes are the reason I finally decided to treat myself to my long lusted after MBTs.

The sole of an MBT is curved so the idea is to encourage the wearer to walk heel toe.  Those of you familiar with Nia know that is one of the “body’s way” movements we practice doing.  The ankle was designed to flex and extend and walking heel first, rolling through the foot to the ball/toe is good for the ankle and lower leg.  With my toes as they are, I can’t roll through my foot so I thought the MBTs would be perfect to help me/allow me to do that.

Well, the shoes are great.  They do allow me to walk whole foot and through my whole foot.  It is easier to do that in these shoes than in regular shoes, but my toe still gets tired.  I think my toe gets tired and makes me take my shoes off long before my legs get to the point of being tired.  I think that my toe will be the guide I need to acclimate myself into using these shoes–or shoe I say these “anit-shoes”.  😉

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Experimental Soup

Posted by terrepruitt on April 9, 2011

On the way to teach my Los Gatos Nia Class on Friday I thought that I would be making soup on a warm day.  By the time Nia class was over it was getting cloudy.  I was thinking it might turn into a good day for soup.  I was going to attempt the Green Garlic Spinach Soup.  On the way to class I decided to shop at the store somewhat on the way home from the fitness place.  I had never been there and was hopeful they would have green garlic.  Since it looks like a scallion I was thinking that I had seen it in stores before and I just didn’t know what it was.  Well, some of the produce at the store was less than desirable.  I passed on the collard greens and I couldn’t find the green garlic.  I had my mind made up that I was going to make soup using my emulsion blender.  I decided that I would make baby bok choy and spinach soup.  I am going to share about the soup making process and issues in this post.  My next post (Tuesday) will be the “recipe”.

I bought the basic ingredients I would use.  By the time I left the store it was cold and cloudy.  Perfect day for soup. When I got home I decided to get out the blender to figure out what blade to use and to wash the blade.  I neglected to look at the blade my friend used.  In looking at the instructions I was thinking “blade C” would be the right blade.

Since I’ve never cooked bok choy before and I didn’t really know if it would work, I decided to sauté the bottom portion of the stalk and save the leafy part to add to the soup at the same time as the spinach. I sautéed the veggies.  When I finally added the broth I was thinking this soup was going to be pretty flavorless so I added some of a beer that was open in the fridge.  It was a Hefeweizen.  So it was going to add some heartiness.  I also put in a dash or two of teryiaki.  I let it boil then added the leafy part of the bok choy and the spinach.  I thought my friend had just let it cook long enough to wilt it.

Oh, I didn’t yet mention that I don’t have a stock pot.  Maybe some of you know where this is going.  🙂

The instructions for the blender said that when you use blade C use it in a chopping motion.  Ok.  So I stuck the blender in the pot with one little pulse I thought, “Hmmm . . . . I should cover this.”  With the next “whrrrrr”, I thanked God because I was going to heat some bread in the oven on foil but decided not to and I think that having the piece of foil out already is what kind of made me think to use it.  Even with the foil it made a mess.  I used blade C but it wasn’t getting creamy.  So I added some cream cheese.  Not part of the original soup plan.  I tried blending again.  Still not creamy, I added the rest of the spinach. Still not as creamy as my friend’s soup.

I decided to use a different blade.  Blade B.  I put it on and put the blender in the pot and it did absolutely nothing.  So I decided to go back to blade C.  Now mind you, I was very careful to unplug the blender, and detach the stick from the motor.  So I walk over to the place where I have to blade removal tool and there is no blade.  Well, no wonder it wasn’t doing anything!  So I fished the blade out of the soup.  I put it back on and it still didn’t do anything. So I was going to change back to blade C and guess what?  Blade B was back in the soup.

I tried blade C again.  By now, I am using a portion of a lid and foil (I have this half metal half plastic lid and the plastic always falls out leaving the metal “rim” — so I was using that to help keep the mess down).  There was still green soup dripped all over the sides of the pot and all over the burner.  So I decided to use yet a different blade, the Raw Meat blade.

I never really got ALL the secondary spinach chopped up clean and the soup never got creamy.  But my hubby said over and over again it was good.  He said it was a keeper.  The next day (today) he was still talking about it and said I had to post the recipe on my blog.  I thought that those of you that make soup and those of you that use an immersion blender would enjoy hearing about how I made soup a mess by not using a stock pot or the correct blade.

Do you know which blade I should be using to blend the veggies and have it come out creamy?  Also, tell me how to use the blender.  Do I move it around like a hand mixer or set it at the bottom of the pot, then blend, then pick it up and set it back down, etc.?

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