Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Archive for the ‘Just stuff’ Category

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.?

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

Placebo – but it Works

Posted by terrepruitt on February 26, 2011

I believe teaching Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area allows me to be exposed to a lot of different things. Recently I was able to experience or try two different things. Regarding one of them, I was showing a friend after Nia class, a product that a mutual friend sells. I was explaining what it was for and she said, “It’s a placebo.” This past week I asked a question on Twitter about a healing technique and I was told it was a placebo. These instances make me chuckle. I believe that if one is in a medical study and is told that they might receive the actual medicine or they might receive a placebo, that is applicable. When someone purchases a product or a service completely open to the idea that it might work and then they feel it does work, how can it be called a placebo? If it works for them in a positive manner, if they receive the help they were expecting, then how can it be called a placebo or just said to have the placebo effect? Could that not be said for a lot of things?

I once read a blog which has since been marked private so I can’t link to it, but it talked about all the “placebos” in everyday life. The blog stated that the buttons on traffic signals don’t actually work, they are just there to make people feel as if they have some control. The same with elevator call buttons and, if I remember correctly, thermostat controls in hotel rooms. Hmmm, I don’t actually know about the traffic lights and elevators, but I have had temperatures adjust in hotel rooms, so I think he might have been talking about some hotel rooms. Don’t we ALL press the buttons on traffic signals? And we all press elevator buttons? Do we do that because we actually think it does something? Yes. We might never know if it does actually help because eventually the light will change and eventually the elevator is going to come and by pressing the button it actual stops on the floor we are waiting on.

In regards to some products and some services for our bodies where we are left to decide if it works or not for ourselves, do you think that any of it has to do with what we think? Does any of it have to do with what we believe? I am somewhat talking about something that is difficult to measure. If you buy a lotion and you put it on you can somewhat tell if it is helped your skin. But what about a relaxation product?

Did you drink the tea believing it would help relax you and it did? Was that the actual tea or was it you believing that after you drank the tea you would feel relaxed? Did you believe that putting on cold wet socks (with dry wool socks over) would help your cold and you wake up feeling better? Was that really the wet sock treatment or your BELIEVING in the treatment?

If you feel is works is it a “placebo”?

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Broccoli Mess

Posted by terrepruitt on December 9, 2010

I have to save up most of my “vertical” for my Nia classes right now. Even though I have injured/broke my toe I am still teaching my classes because Nia really is about the individual moving in his or her own way. But I still need to rest it as much as possible. Even though I am “letting go” of doing a few things this season, I am still trying to make it look “Christmasy” in the house. Since I was moving a lot today I was trying to come up with an easy dinner. Also, since I need to rest my foot my hubby has been cleaning the kitchen every night. So needing a quick easy dinner AND trying to use as few dishes that need hand washing as possible, AND trying not make a mess I was not thrilled with the thought of the mess that preparing broccoli makes.

I am going to admit that I have been making less broccoli than I think we should eat because I do not like to deal with the mess it makes. I usually just cut it in the sink so I can just rinse all the little particles down the drain, but I didn’t even want to stand that long. So I realized that I could just cut it while it was in the bag. YAY!!! No broccoli mess. No little particles all over the place.

Ok, I know this is a silly thing, but I thought it was a good idea. Saved me a lot of time. Since I am short on time that I can be ‘doing’, both this quick post and the quick tip are part of doing what I have to do in order to get to resting my foot in order to be ready for my Nia class in Los Gatos tomorrow.

Do you have any quick tips about dealing with broccoli?

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

Letting Go

Posted by terrepruitt on December 7, 2010

In my most recent Nia class, I decided that I wanted to help people focus on the good of the season.  I think that sometimes there is a lot of negative emotions around the Holiday season.  By negative emotions I mean the way people actually feel during this time of year.  There is always the ever present I-don’t-believe-in-Christ-so-I-don’t-agree-with-any-of-it, the it-makes-me-sad-so-therefore-I-am-going-to-be-sad, the WHAT?-ITS-CHRISTMAS!  The feelings of inadequacy; there is not enough money, goals for the year were not accomplished, baking isn’t getting done, cards aren’t being sent, house isn’t getting cleaned, nothing is enough, there is too much . . . . .oh my the pressure!  I was thinking all of this is negative stuff.  So in class the focus was pushing away the negative, somewhat rejecting it, with the intent of bringing in the positive.

Both the “negative” and the “positive” is different for everyone so that was a very individualized point.  We didn’t discuss anything that I mentioned above, so everyone could rid themselves of whatever they needed and attract whatever they wanted. It was very nice.  It is a focus and an intent that can be used any time, I just thought we’d give it a spin this season.

As with all focuses and intents we use in a Nia class they can be carried into one’s day and/or daily living.  This is where the thought of “letting go” keeps popping into my head.  I love this season.  I love cleaning my house, getting it all ready to put up the decorations.  Then I love spending days . . . at least two or three days decorating the tree and the house.  I always laugh because sometimes I can’t remember where I “normally” put something and it might end up in a new spot.  Then I spend the season either saying, “Yes, that’s good.” or  “No, that really doesn’t work.”

I sometimes feel very foolish for the sheer joy I feel when I look at a silly Christmas decoration that I cherish.  But I do.  I feel joy at the beauty and the sparkle of Christmas.  This year since I am a bit limited in my movements I am having to really draw on that joy.  I am going to have to strategically place things so that I can see “Christmas” everywhere yet not have as many decorations out and up.

Things tend to work in concert.  We ended up with a much, much smaller tree than usual.  Cool, since my hubby had to handle it without my help.  Since it is smaller it will require less ornaments which will allow me to stay off my foot.  Also a small tree requires less maintenance and the couches didn’t have to be moved.  See?  It is all gonna work out fine, I just need to let it go.  Reject the negative when I start to feel a pout coming on.  It’s ok that it is my favorite time of year and I can’t run around.  Oh well.  I can walk.  My toe/foot IS healing.  It is all good.  For heaven’s sake its Christmastime.  Let the negative go, embrace the season, embrace the unity.

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

A Carbohydrate Reminder

Posted by terrepruitt on November 18, 2010

Sometimes we need to be reminded about things . . . at least I do.  This is a brief stripped down reminder.

Carbs equal sugar in the body

Excess sugar equals excess insulin

Excess carbs equal excess insulin

Excess insulin equals increased appetite and a spike in dopamine

Dopamine is the pleasure hormone.

When you get a rush of pleasure with what you eat it tends to encourage you to eat more for more pleasure.  To get that rush.

This type of situation can cause cravings for simple carbs.  This could be an addiction to simple carbs.

So carbohydrates are not unhealthy it is the simple ones that are the culprits.  When there is too many they rush into the body’s system and cause all the excess.  Then it becomes a vicious cycle.

Excess insulin also signals the body to store the excess carbs as fat.

Exercise helps burn off calories.  Nia is a great exercise to burn off the calories.  🙂

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Inflammation

Posted by terrepruitt on October 30, 2010

Inflammation is a good thing . . . . normally, when it is acute.  When it happens in response to an injury, or bacteria, or when it is fighting an infection.  When it does its job and helps the body heal it is amazing.  But chronic inflammation is not a good thing.  When the immune system is a little off and there is constant inflammation in the body it is not good.  The body should not be in this state of “fight” for prolong periods.  It should fight the issue and then go back to a normal state, but it does not always do this. 

Constant or chronic inflammation is the cause of conditions such as arthritis, and it is being linked to many illnesses/diseases including; autoimmune diseases, obesity, hay fever, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, wrinkling skin, and even depression . . . to name a few.  It is as if our immune system is working overtime and not allowing our body or body’s system to be in balance. 

Some things thought to contribute to inflammation:  our diet, our habits, and our environment.  Trans fat, saturated fats, omega 6 fat, refined sugar, and simple carbohydrates are things contained in our diets and could be pushing our immune systems into an unhealthy state of being.  Even eating more protein, carbohydrates, and fat than we need is suggested to contribute to inflammation.  Lack of exercise is a contributing factor, along with smoking, and stress.  The toxins in our homes and work places, in all of our lives could be additional factors.  When you add all of that up we are literally assaulted daily.  It is no wonder our bodies can’t fight off all of the diseases and the diseases are on the rise.  It is no wonder that more and more people are being diagnosed with autoimmune diseases–our bodies are fighting themselves.

To me, its something to think about.

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

TweetUps

Posted by terrepruitt on October 21, 2010

Tonight I went to a TweetUp, I love to be able to talk to people in person about Nia.  In our area there is a group of fabulous people (Michael Brito, Jennifer Leggio, and Gabriel Carrejo) that put together the SVTweetups.  Tonight it was in San Jose — I like them when they are super close.  I wrote about the Halloween event last year.  I posted a picture of my favorite costume of the night–last year.  Tonight there was not that many costumes.  Someone said he thought it was because Halloween was too far away.  But since so many people dressed up last year, both my husband and I dressed up this year, I was thinking that more people would dress up.  I was not original at all.  I had a meeting right before the event, so I wore some scrubs and went as a Medical Professional.  I figured that people at my meeting wouldn’t know if that was a costume or it was real. My hubby, bought a costume but came up with another one and pulled it off with ease.

He was Keith Stone.  You know that guy from the commercial that sells the beer?  Well, it was good.  Did I get a picture?  No, but I got a picture of his prize.  See the TweetUps–the Silicon Valley Tweetups, while they are social events, they are also networking events, and charity events.

So while we paid an entrance fee it was really a donation to the San Jose Family Shelter.  Which is a great shelter that helps families in need.  If a family is going through a rough patch they can live at the shelter for a bit and they help to get them on their feet.  Then there is usually a company that sponsors the event and tonight it was Plantronics.  Ya know the company that specializes in headsets.  I’ve always had a plantronics at my corporate jobs.  And now they are making Bluetooth devices too!  They were the costume contest sponsors and my hubby’s costume really was great and he won a prize.

Then there is the social aspect where I get to meet the people with whom I tweet.  It is awesome.  I have met more people at tweetups and I have a great time.

Here I am—just sharing again.  Do you tweet?  If you do what is your handle?  I want to follow you.  You can follow me if you want.  I’m @HelpYouWell on Twitter!

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

If You Want Something Done Right

Posted by terrepruitt on September 25, 2010

I think of Nia as something to help me learn things and sometimes adjust patterns, both patterns of movements and patterns of thinking.   Like sayings that we might have heard most of our lives, as in the one I posted about previously “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” you have probably heard, “if you want something done right do it yourself”.  Wow.  Really?  If. You. Want. Something. Done. RIGHT. Do. It. Yourself.  I actually wish I was that good, that everything I did, I did right.  That everything I did no one else could do.  Well, that is not the case.  I realized a long time ago this was not true.  I realized when I had a boyfriend that could do a lot of things.  But it was as if his brain worked opposite of everyone else.  He never approached anything like anyone else.  But then the end project would be pretty cool.  So I realized that he could do something right, it just wasn’t done my way.

Same thing goes with my husband.  He can do a lot of things and he can do them well, but he rarely does anything like I would do it.  Sometimes there are times when he is helping me and it needs to be done a certain way, say cutting a vegetable that is going into a recipe, so I will tell him that it needs to be chopped and not sliced—or whatever.  But sometimes I just need to walk away while he does something.  If he offers to do something or I ask him to do something, sometimes I just need it to get done and it doesn’t really matter HOW it gets done, I let it go, but I often need to walk away.  Not because he can’t do it right, but because he won’t do it my way.

So, this is just another one of those sayings that I don’t subscribe to.  What do you think?  Are you the only one that can do things right or are you the only one that can do it YOUR way?

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

Sleep Is Important

Posted by terrepruitt on September 7, 2010

Ever since I started teaching Nia I think that I have gotten more sleep than when I had a job with a large company.  Do you get enough sleep?  But what is “enough” sleep?  I think some people think it is like a badge of honor if they can “get by” with a few hours sleep at night.  I think we might forget that sleep is when our bodies do their repair work.

While we sleep our bodies rebuild and repair.  Our brains, while they are busy performing these tasks actually gets its rests and gets ready for the next day.  It is believed that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night.  Some sources say that getting even just one less hour a night can possibly affect our ability to think properly.  Also it could affect your cardiovascular health and ability to fight infections in an adverse way.  Your energy level and ability to concentrate might be less than desirable due to an inefficient amount of rest.

More and more studies are starting to point to sleep and the lack of it affecting our appetite.  There are hormones involved that are produced while we sleep and their production is reduced when we don’t get enough sleep. These hormones control the feelings of hunger and of being full.  So when we don’t get enough sleep it could result in being constantly hungry and not feeling satisfied.

Our mood is also connected to the sleep we get.  Many people feel irritable and short tempered when they do not get enough sleep.

As previously stated research has concluded that a healthy adult needs between 7 and 9 hours sleep in order to function at their optimum, but everyone is different and the exact amount varies.  Researchers at a California university found that a there is a rare gene in less than 3% of the population that allows for those people to get by on less than 6 hours sleep.  The kind of says that probably 97% of the population is not getting the sleep that their bodies require to function properly.  It is believed that most of the population survive on less than 6 hours sleep a night.

So, if you think sleeping less is something to boast about or if you think that sleep is a waste of time maybe you can try getting more sleep and see how you feel.  Then maybe all these studies that are out there will be viewed in a different brighter light, through less sleepy eyes.

How much sleep, on average do you get a night?

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »