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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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Easy To Clean, Perhaps Not So Easy To Drink From

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI have written about how my hubby and I feed the hummingbirds. I have written about their tongues. I have written about the sugar we use.  I have shared them being in our yard. In one of those posts I’ve had to have mentioned how difficult it is to clean the feeders. With the hummingbirds putting their tongues in the feeders there is a lot of stuff that grows in there. It pretty much looks like black slime. It is pretty gross. The way the feeders are constructed it is difficult to get in there and clean it out. We have several different brushes and we poke ’em through the little holes and clean the sludge out as best as we can. But it is time consuming – and gross. I have always wondered why someone hasn’t made a feeder that comes apart easily so that it is easier to clean. Easier to make sure all the gunk is gone. Well, I found one. I was so excited. I think I had food made up on the day they were scheduled to arrive so once they got here I could just fill them and put them outside. Well, sadly, I am disappointed in them.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI had found them on Perky Pet. But we had two that were still useable so I was going to wait until we needed one before I bought it. Well, it just happened within days of me finding it, I was washing the ones we had and I broke one. It fell in the sink and broke. Then I found the feeder sold through Amazon and it was Prime so it would get here faster and free. The new ones look the same as our old ones.  With slight differences.

When I got it I filled it and put it outside. The birds didn’t touch it. They used the other feeder. I even put the new one in the spot where the old one was – 1) I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t leak (so I put it over the dirt) 2) I thought that would encourage them to use it.

When I saw a bird at the new feed what I saw was the little hummingbird sitting on it and then having to REACH his neck up really tall in order to get his beak into the “bee guard” flower. The flowers on the new feeders have a little tube that are supposed to keep bees out. But our birds are so tiny they really have to reach to get at the right angle.

I thought I could use the OLD flowers in the new feeder, but of course not. They are not interchangeable. Since I thought the little tube was the problem, I cut them off all of the flowers. But still, the birds were not using it as much as the old feeder.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI am not sure what the issue is. I THINK that the nectar doesn’t flow freely from the bottle into the reservoirs. So what I do is go outside every once in awhile and jiggle the feeder. When I jiggle it, bubbles blurp in the bottle and then I can actually see the sugar water at the holes of the flowers. So I know they can get at it.

The past two nights the old feeder has been empty so we have seen increased activity by the new feeder, but they still don’t seem to be using it as much. Or they try and they can’t get at the water . . . I am not sure. I am not filling the feeders as much, but there seems to be the same amount of birds and activity in the yard. To me if the birds are there in full force the feeders should be empting faster.

We will see. It is REALLY nice to have the feeders come apart. When they are apart I can ensure that I get it clean. There are no nooks and crannies for the slime to hide in. I really like that part. I just want to make sure that the birds can drink out of them.

I am about to fill all three again . . . . we will see how it goes. Perhaps it was just a matter of the birds getting used to using the new one. They might have to use the new feeders differently because they are configured little differently inside.

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeds: Sesame and Nigella

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2016

My favorite recipe as of late called for white sesame seeds and Nigella seeds.  Now I know what sesame seeds are, but I didn’t know there were black/brown ones.  I didn’t know what Nigella seeds were and the recipe even noted that they might be hard to find so black sesame, black cumin, or onion seeds could be used as a substitute.  But I found them easy enough on Amazon, but they were listed under several different names.  And when I googled them, even more names came up.  I love this recipe enough I can see myself using all the seeds just for this, but if not I was curious what else I could use them in.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI know that sesame seeds are used in a lot of dishes, but I don’t normally use them.  According to Nutrition and You they have been used in “traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties and are an important source of phyto-nutritents.”  Sesame seeds are high in protein, and like all seeds and nuts they are also high in fat.  But it is thought that this fat is actually one of the better ones in that it has been shown to lower the LDL cholesterol and raise the HDL cholesterol.  The USDA National Nutrient data base has the pictured information listed for “Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried”.

You are probably familiar with sesame seeds because they are used in many things.  For one they are famous a top a bun, yes?  They are also what makes up Tahini which is an ingredient in humus.  They are used in so many things it is almost as if they go unnoticed.

Now this nigella seed, what it up with that?  Well, Wiki helps a bit with the names by stating “In English, Nigella sativa and its seed are variously called black-caraway, black-cumin, fennel-flower, nigella, nutmeg-flower, Roman-coriander, and kalonji (from Hindi).”  As I mentioned the recipe I made said you could us black cumin as a substitute, but according to what I have seen on the internet (included Wiki) black cumin is just another NAME for nigella seeds.  It seems that this seed just has a lot of names.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitJust like the sesame seed, there are claims that the nigella seed helps lower LDL.  Claims also include they help to lower blood pressure, have anti-asthmatic effects, relieve viral sore throats, protect the brain against radiation damage, help reduce the possibility of morphine addiction, reduce symptoms of chemical weapons exposure, helps prevent post-surgical scars of the  a thin, delicate sheet that lines the inside wall of the abdomen and covers the uterus and extends over the bladder and rectum (the  peritoneum), protect neurons, slow the spread of cervical cancer, and, as a topical, helps with psoriasis.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitInternet information refer to it as the “cure all for everything but death”.  And it sure sounds like it with all of the aforementioned information that was found on NaturalSociety from a post from 2013.  I hadn’t even mentioned the info on the first part of the post stating that is it thought to help people with Type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, colon cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, and oral cancer.  AND . . . (yes there is more) help protect against damage to the heart from heart attacks, and also treat MRSA!  Wow.  And to think I had never even heard of the stuff.

This is the type of seed that can be added to many dishes.  The recipe I made called for it to be sprinkled on the pan so it stuck to the outside of the cake while baking.  But I really liked the flavor of both the seeds so I plan on putting some on top, if not inside.  I think inside the cake they would not get the same toastiness that they did on the outside of the pan.  But I can see adding them to other things.  I will add it to vegetables as I cook them and then on top when I serve them.  I might put some on my sandwiches.  They will probably add a nice extra layer of flavor.  Oooo.  I can’t wait to try that.

Seems like the benefits thought to be held in those little seeds are worth adding them to everything.

Do you cook with nigella seeds?  What about sesame seeds?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lateral Travel

Posted by terrepruitt on February 11, 2014

In Nia we have a base of 52 Moves. Not surprising they are called The 52 Moves of Nia. As I have stated before they are not unique to Nia. You have probably done some of them at one point in your life. If you have taken dance or you participate in a group exercise class that is dance oriented then you more than likely have done some of them. They are just gathered into a group for Nia because of their benefits and fun. So they are included in the Nia Routines. Not all of them are in every routine, but a good portion appear in each routine. Plus whenever there is Free Dance they might make an appearance. One of the base moves . . . . moves we do primarily with the base of our body . . . is Lateral Traveling.

Lateral Traveling is specific and different from Traveling In Directions. Traveling in Directions is a move done in all directions . . . . Lateral Traveling is done to the side. The Nia Technique (have you gotten your copy yet? Click here to go to Amazon to order your copy.) describes Lateral Travel as a step together step or a grapevine. The specifics are to start in a closed stance, then take one step to the side, then place your feet together (moving the other leg to the first leg that stepped), then take one step to the side, then move the leg toward the other one, but instead of placing it next to your leg cross it back.

A grapevine is where you step one leg to the side then the next step is BEHIND, then step to the side, where the next step goes depends. Sometimes you can land on the heel or behind or with the knee up. Grapevines are a nice replacement for four point turns. There are many reasons why people don’t turn so using this lateral move, the grapevine, is perfect.

With both methods the instructions say to use your hands to lead you. Have them out in the direction you are going. The instructions also say, “When you step behind, step onto the back ball of the foot and keep your knees spring loaded and your spine vertical.” For clarification, the “back ball of the foot” is the foot that is in the back or behind.

This is a “two side” move. To practice you do to one side then the other. To the left, then to the right. (Or to the right, then the left.)

So this is the specific Lateral Travel: Step together step or grapevine. I have found my self using the phrase “travel laterally” at times when I am leading my San Jose Nia class (or any Nia class for that matter) and I am not instructing them to do the specific Lateral Travel. But I guess that is the difference. There is “travel laterally” and do the “Lateral Travel” move.

Many moves in Nia are good for the coordination. This is one. Step together step is not necessarily a difficult move but depending on the speed and what comes before it and after it, it can call upon your coordination. Although, I would say this is one of the easier 52 Moves of Nia.

Varying the speed and adding some movement to the body can change it up a bit and perhaps add a some challenge to it.

So there you have it another move in Nia’s 52 Moves.

You probably find yourself doing this one often, huh? Even when you are not on the dance floor?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I Smell Something

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2013

I have mentioned that I have been using essential oils for aromatherapy. I put a few drops of the oil in an unscented tealight and let it burn. While I believe that is not the best way to diffuse the oil, that is one way I do it. One of the popular brands of essential oils that I am familiar with sells diffusers, but they are – in my opinion – very expensive and at this point, way out of my budget. I believe that diffusing them in the air via steam is the best way. So I had been looking for one that was affordable. I found a decent one on Amazon.

After reading the reviews on some diffusers I decided it was important to have one that indicated when the water was low. Also I wanted one that held a good amount of water and could diffuse for hours.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe reviews on the one I ended up getting were mixed, as often in the case. A few people said it was cheaply made, well, it was a very inexpensive product compared to some that I had been seeing. But even a cheaply made product should work, or why bother? Reviews are funny aren’t they? There are usually people who LOVE the product and ones who HATE it. Well, this product was no exception. There was one review that kept me from buying it, but, then when I thought about how much oil I was wasting burning it in candles that same review actually made me take a chance.

The person had said they had bought three. Two worked and one didn’t. So I figured it was kind of a crap shoot. I figured the people who said it didn’t work probably got one that didn’t work or they didn’t use it correctly. I figured my chances were good of getting a good one. And I was going to be very careful and use it correctly.

Some people had said it didn’t diffuse the aroma in a large room. Well, I was planning on using it in a small room. What I find is that it works great in the small room and that the fragrance actually travels into the big room. There are two settings for different sized rooms. I usually use the “small room” setting, but that still gets the scent around. But I find that the “large room” setting works good in the big room too!

I am happy with my purchase. I think it does a great job with diffusing scent of the oils.  It acts as a humidifier.  It even has a light that rotates through several colors.  You might be able to see the steam rising out of it in this picture.

One new oil I bought was Bergamot.  Even though Bergamot is a type of an orange, it does not smell like an orange at all, to me.  That could be the brand I purchased.  This essential oils is associated with the throat chakra and the sacral chakra.  According to Wiki, Bergamot is a common top note** in perfumes.  Multiple internet sources say that bergamot oil is an analgesic, an antidepressant, an antiseptic, an antibiotic, an anti-spasmodic, a stimulant, a relaxant, a sedative, stomachic, calmative, cicatrisant, deodorant, digestive, febrifuge, vermifuge and vulnerary.

And can be used to treat depression, stress, tension, fear, hysteria, infection (all types including skin), anorexia, psoriasis, eczema and general convalescence.

At this point I am still only using my oils as aromatherapy – as in using their scent in the air.  I do not usually (except once) put them on my skin.  And I do not ingest them.  I strongly recommend that if you plan on using them on your skin and/or ingesting them you enlist the aid of an experienced Aromatherapist.

I thought I would give you a heads up on an affordable diffuser.

**Top notes are the most volatile and will evaporate first on your skin.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 27, 2013

Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is certainly not unique to Nia.  Many dance modalities incorporate this move.  In fact this move is incorporated into every day life.  How often are you moving forward only have to stop and move back?  You could be in line at the store or anywhere when the person in front of you moves back towards you so you take a step back.  While you might not “hang” out on the ball of your foot as we do in Nia you more than likely don’t take a step backwards heel first.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo, yes, Nia has taken moves that might be done in other dance practices, martial arts, and even everyday life and put them in their list of Nia’s 52 Moves.  Nia then weaves the moves into the Nia Routine choreography.  This move Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is part of our Base Moves.  It is done with the feet and legs and they are a part of the base.

This move is described on page 123 of the Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas and you can purchase it from Amazon.

As I have said many times there is a proper way to do all moves and while you are practicing them and learning them you do it the proper way.  Then as you come across it in a Nia class while doing a Nia routines your body will know the proper way yet be able to adapt to the choreography that you are dancing at the moment.

So to practice this move you can start in Open Stance.  Then with one leg step back onto the ball of foot.  When stepping back pull the leg straight behind not to either side.  Keep the foot parallel to the stationary foot, don’t turn the heel.  As is indicated step back onto the ball of the foot.  Keep the spine up and the heel high off of the earth.  Then shift your weight onto the foot of which you just stepped back on and take the other foot off the ground.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaYour torso is upright, pelvis, chest, shoulders, chin, eyes facing forward.  Do the same movement with the other foot.  You don’t necessarily always have to start in open stance.

After you are comfortable with the stationary start, walk around and stop and step into the move.

This move helps with the mobility and flexibility in the foot.  It also helps create or improve stability in the ankle.  It helps with balance, especially if you hang out for a measured amount of time on the ball of your foot!

At the moment I can think of one routine in which we step back onto the ball of foot as a large portion of one of the dances.  I know we step back all the time, but in this routine I think of one of the songs as “showcasing” this move.  The choreography calls for lifting the leg of the foot that is off the ground.  Or doing a knee lift.  So that is a good example of the variations that Nia choreography uses with its 52 Moves.

Well, what do you think about this move?  Can you see how it helps with mobility and flexibility in the foot?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nia Stance Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013

There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia.  I even have a separate category for it.  See over there to the left under categories, under Nia?  Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class.  Sounding is great for many reasons.  Sounding is a release.  It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”.  Sounding is fun.  Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso.  Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit.  Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound.  I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out.  I “woo” a lot.  But sometimes other sounds comes out.  Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out.  I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt.  I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out.  Sometimes I do think of the sound.  Sounding can be purposeful.  The noise can have a purpose.  I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras.  This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaThe picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances.  Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different.  The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way.  The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances.  At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.

In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”.  The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.

In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”.  Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance.  The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.

The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”.  You say it on an exhale.  Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.

Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound.  Say “ha!”  To me this helps with stabilization.

The bow stance has a sound of “u”.  The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.

The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it.  This is done on the exhale.  This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.

So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun.  It is just fun to make noise.  To me it adds to the experience.  In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want.  I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.

Do you attend a dance exercise class  or exercise that encourages you to make noise?

Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas).  The book can be purchased from Amazon.

Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Reasons For Getting A Blendtec

Posted by terrepruitt on October 20, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaPeople ask me about my blender.  Just this week we were talking about super blenders after our Nia class.  A lot of people are interested in making green smoothies.  I was never interested in them because they sound so gross and the ones I had seen looked gross.  I also really like to EAT my fruits and veggies and felt I was eating enough, but I realized I could use more in my diet.  Eating more is sometimes difficult and that is why people have been making and drinking smoothies for so long.  It is a great way to get some additional vegetables in your diet.  I chose the Blendtec for a few reasons.  I started looking at it because it was on sale at Costco.  From there I started looking at prices on the internet.  I found that I could get a Blendtec for less than a Vitamix.  That was a big selling point to me, but not the only one.  I did more research.  The decision will just come down to what you prefer.  In addition to the Blendtec being less expensive I feel the one I got at Costco was a great deal.  At Costco they sell the blender and two containers/jars for less than the price I’ve seen elsewhere for the blend with just one container/jar .

To save you time, nutshell list:

–two jars; WildSide and FourSide
–easy to clean “buttons”
–it fits under most cabinets (Company claim)
–no tamping
–preset buttons/controls
–variable speed buttons/controls
–pulse button/control
–3 HP

If you are looking at buying one of these super blenders you might notice that not only are the blenders different but the containers they sell are different.  They have tall ones, short ones, round ones, square ones . . . all types.  With the Blendtec you can buy the blender with what they call the FourSide Jar or the blender with the WildSide Jar.  Now I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t know if I would want both jars, but when I saw that the jar alone was $100 and that Costco was selling the blender with BOTH containers for less than what I was seeing it cost for the blender with one container, I thought that was a good deal.  (I am now seeing the same deal on Amazon so if you don’t belong to Costco you can get the same deal on Amazon.)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaNow the bummer to me was that this one was only sold in black.  All of my appliances are white and I would have loved to have a white one, but I wasn’t planning on leaving it on my counter anyway so I didn’t want to spend the extra money for white.

The features on the Blendtec that sold me were the “buttons”.  I am an old school girl so I like to be able to control things and I think knobs are better than those electronic squishy “buttons”.  With the knob on the Vitamix I was assuming I could get better control over the speed of the blender.  But then I realized, I don’t need more control.  What I need is not to have a knob that I have to clean under, on, and around.  The Blendtec has been amazing in how easy it is to clean.  I always seem to drip green smoothie all down the front so every time I do I am thankful I don’t have knobs and “real” buttons to clean all around.

The Blendtec is shorter than the Vitamix and will fit under most cabinets.  Even though I was not planning on leaving mine out on the counter, being a shorter blender means it would fit IN the cabinet better.  Being a shorter blender also means it is easier to use because you can add things easier, as in you don’t have to get the step stool to reach the top of the container! :-)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaThe real thing that sold me is the information I read which said you don’t need a tamper with the WildSide Jar.  Now, I am not certain, but I think the Blendtec containers don’t need tamping because the lids are vented so I think the air gets in there and that does the job of tamping.  I liked the idea of just turning the blender on and letting it do its thing.

That is another thing, in addition to not tamping, the Blendtec has push-and-go buttons.  You just push the button for what you want and it does it itself.  I decided I didn’t need the control of doing it myself and if I do, the Blendtec has variable speed buttons and a pulse.  So I can turn on the blender to whatever speed I want or pulse it.  So I still have the control if I want.

Also the Blendtec has more horsepower than the Vitamix, that might be another reason a tamper is not required.

Please keep in mind I am comparing base models.  There are a lot of different models that are high-end and professional, but I was just looking at the two comparable models and these are the things that “sold” me on the Blendtec.

I would love to learn more about the Vitamix  if you have one and you would like to share?  Any of you out there wanting to get a super blender?  Do any of these things sound like features you’d like?

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

Too Bitter To Swallow

Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2012

I have a friend on FB who works really hard to feed her family healthy things.  I think there are food allergies and intolerances involved so she has to be very particular with what she feeds her family.  Often times she posts some pretty creative cooking ideas.  One thing she is always asking about is greens.  How do you cook your greens?  She usually states which green she is working with but she always comes back with, “It is so bitter.”  Now some of the greens she says are bitter taste a little bitter to me, but with olive oil, salt, garlic, and onion the flavor is masked.  Some of them she claims are bitter aren’t bitter to me.  I really think that the bitter taste has less to do with which vegetable than with our genes.

Back in 1931 a chemist (Arthur Fox) was pouring a powdered chemical (PTC) and some of its dust got in the air.  His assistant said the dust tasted bitter, while he couldn’t taste anything.  The chemist proceeded to experiment with PTC and the taste on his friends and family.  Some could taste a strong bitter taste, while some could taste a mild bitter taste, while some could taste nothing at all.  Seventy-two years later in 2003 the gene that is responsible for this was discovered.  They call it the PTC gene or TAS2R38.  This gene has seven forms, five of which are rare, and two of which are common.  The two common forms are the ones that allow for tasting bitter and one that does not.  Since all genes come in pairs we can end up with both being the tasting gene, or both being the non-tasting gene, or one of each.

If an individual ends up with both of the genes that allow for them to taste PTC then they will be able to taste bitter things more strongly than others.  If an individual has the genes that are the “non-tasting” genes then they don’t taste bitter.  Then there are the individuals that have one of each. It has been found that there is a familial link, if some family members can taste the PTC than other can too.

I would imagine that if an individual has a set of bitter-taste genes then it would be almost impossible to cover up the bitter taste of many vegetables.  I am thinking that my friend and her family must have a set of those genes because she says she has cooked some veggies a multitude of ways and her comment is still, “It is so bitter.”  Probably the only way to deal with the bitter is to cover it up entirely in a sauce but then that would somewhat defeat the purpose of trying to eat a nice green healthy vegetable.  Plus I would bet that most of the sauces contain ingredients she is trying to avoid.  She is determined though.  She knows that the bitter vegetables have really good stuff in them so she keeps trying.  In the meantime her family is still getting the nutrients even though it is bitter and doesn’t taste good.

There are test strips that can be purchased to see which gene you have.  I found some on Amazon.  Interesting, huh?

Do you have a good sense of taste?  Do you taste bitter really strongly?

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Little Speaker for the iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTouch

Posted by terrepruitt on August 6, 2011

Not too long ago another Nia Teacher and I were practicing Nia in a local park.  She had brought her laptop so that we could look at the DVD and practice the routine.  As you might realize it is very difficult to see a laptop screen outside when you are not right in front of it.  We were dancing to the DVD, so we were not right in front of it.  She also brought a long a little round speaker.  She hooked it up to her laptop to help boost the sound.  When we finally gave up on the laptop she plugged the speaker into my iPhone.  Cool.  It was round and had pretty good sound.  It had a little leather looking case and was it just so cute.  Of course, I wanted one.  It is perfect to carry around “just in case”.  I pretty much always have my iPhone because I have my music on it, but not everyplace I have taught has a sound system so a little round speaker would be GREAT!  It could fit in my purse.

So to Amazon I went.  I am the type that looks at something online for a little while before I decide to buy it.  I have a house FULL of stuff.  I do not need anymore stuff.  I am a stuff collector.  So I tend to hesitate before I buy more stuff.  When I looked online I was seeing a little round speaker for more money than I need to spend on stuff I don’t need.  ;-)  Right?  I mean, when I am buying something I can live without I tend to have a limit as to how much I will spend.  So I looked around on the website.  I was finding some nice speakers.  I read some reviews.  I looked here and there.

iHome mini speaker, rechargeable speaker for iPad, iPhone, laptop, MP3 playerI spotted a BLUE one (uh-oh, BLUE?).  It was round and cute and it was blue!  It was rechargeable so it doesn’t take batteries.  I really like that.  It also expanded to give you “larger” sound.  But since it was blue, cute, expandable and rechargeable I thought it would be more than the other speakers I was looking at, but lo and behold it was LESS.  And totally in my self-alloted price range.  But I still hesitated because I really don’t need it and even though I thought it was completely affordable I could always use that money for something else.  So, in my normal style I didn’t buy it right then.  I like to “sit on it”.  But then you know what happens?  I think about it all the time.  I end up in situations where, “Oh it would be perfect if I had that (fill in the blank) that I wanted.”

iHome mini speaker, expandable speaker for iPad, iPhone, laptop, MP3 playerWhen I always find myself thinking about the item for a while, I usually give in.  And I am so glad I did.  It is so cute.  And the sound is pretty good for the price and what it is.  The sound is WAY better than the sound that comes out of the iPhone.  A mini-speaker.  Yay!  Does it give GREAT sound?  No.  Is it stereo?  No.  But it give really good sound and I can hear the music much better than on my iPhone.

The description on Amazon says: “Speaker works with any 3.5 mm headphone jack, perfect for laptops, cell phones, portable game devices, MP3 players, etc.”  So you can use it on all of your devices.

It doesn’t come with a nice leather case like my friend’s but it does have its own little bag.  That is good enough for me.  I just like something that fits the device AND its cord.  Something some people might like is that its audio cord does not come apart from its charging cord.  I know we end up having so many cords that it is easy to misplace (or as my friend says, “Put away so well.”) some of the cords.  When you have a cord to charge the device and a separate one to use it sometimes the power cord can get lost because you don’t use it as often.  Well, these two cords do not come apart.  There is a little plastic separator that hold them together, it is the little square below the USB connector and the audio plug, and they are connected near the end too and become one cord.  The cords also have a build in “clip” to keep them neat and tidy.  In this picture it is to the left of the bag, the black plastic square.  Cool.  All built-in!

Blue things make me happy.  Blue things that are cute make me happy.  Blue things that are cute that allow me to hear my Nia music and all music better make me really happy.  And that it was less than $20 makes me so happy I want share!

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Its All About Love

Posted by terrepruitt on October 14, 2010

As you know, I wanted to share Nia with the world. There are a lot of people, students, teachers, trainers, and participants that share my desire.  For me the easiest and quickest thing to do was to join the plethora of Social Networking.  So I joined Twitter and when I did I looked for people who were tweeting about Nia.  In doing so I ran across Lissa Rankin.  She lives North of the San Francisco Bay Area.

She recently wrote a book that I had no intention of buying because I just didn’t think I needed it.  Then during her book tour she did an in person launch but she was across the country.  So for us on the west coast she did a live online launch.  She read from her book and that is what had me jumping on Amazon to buy it.  Her book is not so much NEW information as it is more like confirmation for me.  I am not even half way through the book so I can’t say that I won’t learn something I never knew.

I can say that I love the way it is written.  Lissa is down to earth and lovable.  While she is an Medical Doctor not all of her answers are “go see a doctor”.  This last section I read had me jumping up to the laptop because I have been trying to find a post topic and the feeling I felt made me think, “Ah-ha!”

The feeling I am getting from this book thus far is health and well-being.  Every topic she touches upon has the same message . . . “its your body . . . . be aware of what is a healthy state and a not healthy state . . . love and take care of your body . . . above all be safe.”

It is a book — so far — I would recommend women of all ages read and men read too.  It could serve as a great learning tool for men and women a like.  I am sure when I am done reading it I will have more to say, but so far, I just wanted to put it out there that even though this book is about “What’s Up Down There?” its underlying message is be healthy and safe and love yourself and your body.

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