Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Drink Smart and in Moderation

Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2014

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, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe various surprising health benefits of wine

For centuries, people have derived pleasure from drinking many different varieties of wine. Whether it’s a sensuously versatile Pinot Noir or a divine Chardonnay, drinking wine in moderate amounts has proven to be one of the more effective ways to unwind, relax and allow the stresses of the day to just slowly fade away into the ether. Various studies have emerged throughout the years espousing the health benefits of drinking a glass or two of high-quality wine.

Experts from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic have stated that there are certain substances in red wine called phytochemicals (specifically, flavonoids and resveratrol) that may help prevent heart disease and failure by performing two critical functions: increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also known as the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage. It is worth noting that both resveratrol and flavonoids are also recognized as antioxidants (not all phytochemicals are antioxidants, though).

Resveratrol, in particular, is markedly more prevalent in red wine than in white wine; after all, red wine is fermented with grape skins for a longer period of time compared to white wine. Additionally, resveratrol has gotten a lot of attention due to possibly playing an important part in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. Some of the existing research has linked resveratrol to reduced blood vessel damage, prevention of blood clots, and a decreased amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Dr. Eric Crampton, a highly respected University of Canterbury academic, has also opined that based on his interpretation of the current studies available, moderate drinking reduces mortality risk. Furthermore, according to Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet, animal studies have shown that the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver – fatty liver disease that inevitably leads to a scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis) – occur only when it is combined with excessive intake of polyunsaturated fats.

Clearly, judicious consumption of red wine not only calms the senses; it’s also a healthful habit in moderation.

Image courtesy of M&S
_________________________________

This post is a guest post.  The conclusion reached is that of the guest author.  My approach would be more from a “COULD be” healthful.  Many things we eat, drink, and do have the appearance of being healthful, but it always boils down to moderation AND the individual, so to me it is not so clear.

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

Good Nut

Posted by terrepruitt on August 22, 2013

Walnuts are awesome.  As you may have read in some of my other posts, my hubby doesn’t really like walnuts.  I find that fact rather funny because he likes pretty much everything, but he is not fond of walnuts.  One day I had a bag of pecans on the table and I was having some for dessert.  He grabbed a couple and ate them.  As he was eating them he looked at me and said something like, “What?  These are so good.  Why did I not know these are so delicious?  I am amazed!”  I actually laughed at his reaction to them because pecans really are very yummy.  They are rich and slightly sweet and he didn’t know the joy.  Walnuts are different and he doesn’t care for them.  I think walnuts are awesome.  The thing I like about nuts is they can be used in sweet or savory dishes, or even eaten by themselves.  Walnuts are a bit harder than pecans.  Pecans almost feel stale or old because they are kind of soft.  Walnuts are hard and they are not as rich, but they are very good and good for you.

Walnuts have Omega 3 fatty acids in them. You might have heard that Omega 3 fat is the fat that we need to consume.  Research has indicated that we don’t eat enough of it AND that it is a helpful and healthful fat.

My research has uncovered 1 ounce / roughly 28 grams has

190 calories
4 grams of protein
18 grams of total fat (1.5 grams of saturated fat and 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat)

4 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of fiber
28 mg of calcium
.82 mg of iron
125 mg of potassium
11 grams of Linoleic acid
2.5 grams of Linolenic acid

The Linoleic acid is the Omega 3 essential fatty acids.  And it is the Omega 3 that we want.  Omega 3 is considered an anti-inflammatory.  As I have mentioned in numerous other posts, anti-inflammatory foods are a welcome part of a healthy diet.  With more and more research pointing to the association between chronic inflammation in the body and disease, it is a good idea to consume foods with an anti-inflammatory effect.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods site:  Research has shown walnuts to help with cardiovascular health.

They have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease total cholesterol, and increase omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells.  Also decrease the risk of excessive clotting and excessive inflammation.

For me, as I mentioned they can be eaten in savory dishes, like with green beans (click here for a green been recipe) or in sweets.  I like to put walnuts in my banana bread, but I don’t because John doesn’t like them and I primarily make the bread for him.  But I do put them in the Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies (click here for that recipe).  He actually is ok with them in the green beans and the cookies.  I also think they are a great snack or dessert.

Do you like walnuts?  How do you like to eat them?

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

Nutritional Yeast – Follow Up

Posted by terrepruitt on May 22, 2012

Even though I don’t have a Nia class on two of the days I post sometimes it is still a challenge to get my post up.  Other things need to be done.  Anyway . . . .way back in February I posted about Nutritional Yeast.  I can’t remember if I had ordered some at the time of writing that or if I was about too.  I do know that it was in the month of February that I ordered it because I never received it.  One day I heard the delivery person ring the door bell and by the time I got downstairs he was gone.  Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,I also hadn’t heard the “thump” of a package being dropped over the fence, but I looked for a package or a note.  I looked in the bushes in front of the fence.  I looked in the area behind the fence.  I found nothing.  The reason I know that I ordered it in February is because just this past weekend (May) my husband found a package in the bushes.  The delivery person HAD to have HURLED the box over the fence for it to have ended up where it did.  I have never had a package end up that far behind the fence so I never even thought to look behind those bushes.  AND the only reason my husband found it is because he cut the bushes down severely.  So I went looking for the e-mails in regards to the non-delivered package and it was from February.  It is funny too because – just within the past two weeks – I decided to buy some Nutritional Yeast from another source.  I have been using it.  I wanted to give you guys and update on MY experience with Nutritional Yeast.

I have been putting it on a lot of things.  The package says, “Sprinkle some on hot popcorn, garlic bread, add a spoonful to cereals, juices, smoothies, or use as a seasoning for salad, soup, gravy, casseroles, and so much more.”  Well, I kinda see how people think of it as cheesy.  It does taste cheesy to me, so my first thought was, “I don’t want cheese in my juice.”  I still think that is weird, BUT . . . I also have a feeling the flavor might be influenced a little bit by what it is added to, so it might add a rich woody flavor to juice.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,One thing I find interesting is the information on the nutrition labels.  Both have almost the same calories 80 vs. 70.  Both have the same amount of fat.  Both have the same amount of cholesterol.  One has almost half the sodium as the other.  Both have the same amount of potassium.  The difference in carbohydrates is minimal.  Protein is the same.  What is interesting is the serving size.  In one you get 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of protein in 3 tablespoons, in the other it is 1 and a half tablespoons.  HALF the size as the other serving size.  Hmmm.  I guess in this case it is better to judge based off GRAMS and not teaspoons.  Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,

I don’t want to open the one I just received yet.  I think it will last longer if I don’t open it. I would like to know if they taste the same so I am going to wait until I am almost done with the first one before I open the second one.

I have been using it a lot.  At first I barely used any because I didn’t know what it would taste like.  But I rather like the taste to what I have used it in so far.  It adds a cheesy flavor to me.  So I have been using it in things that I have already used cheese in or in things I would like to use cheese in.  I think it makes cheesy things cheesier and helps have the flavor of cheese without the cheese.  For instance I put some one our pita bread pizza the other night with some low fat ricotta.  Ricotta does not really have a flavor, but the Nutritional Yeast added the cheddar type flavor.  I have been putting it on my salads.

I like it.  I would recommend it to people who what to try something new.  I like it because it adds more protein to my diet and I think I need more protein because I am not the biggest meat-eater.

I have a friend who commented on the last post that she does use it.  I have another friend that said she wanted to try it.  What about you?  Have you tried it?  What do you use it in?

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

Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on April 12, 2012

When I wrote the post regarding anti-inflammatory foods, I decided to buy some Turmeric.  At the time I was not able to claim knowing what it tasted like.  I figured since it was used a lot in curries I would be ok with it.  I thought that it would be a good thing to add to our diet.  Since there are so many things that work as an inflammatory, I am always trying to add anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients into our diet.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to use it, but I was wanting to give it a go.  Turmeric has been used in food and as medicine for centuries.  Seems like the West is doing a lot of research to see what health benefits it has.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:  “Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.  Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.”

Remember Curcumin is the phytochemcial that give turmeric its color.

And Eat This! has a list of 20 Health Benefits contributed to Turmeric including;

-When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

-Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

-May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

Well, I’ve had it for a while now and I really like the flavor.  I’ve added it to soups, to veggies, and to meat.  You know my standard ground turkey and whatever veggies I have?  Well, it really makes that taste wonderful.  I had cooked broccoli, mushrooms, and ground turkey for dinner a few nights ago, today I decided to have the leftovers in a tortilla.  Since we have a few cucumbers I decided to use some up by slicing it really thin and putting it in the tortilla with the meat and a bit of parmesan cheese.  WOW!  The turmeric and the cucumbers were a party-in-my-mouth flavor.  It was really good.  So now I am going to serve cucumbers with my turmeric ground turkey.  Many people can describe flavors, I can sometimes, but I cannot describe the flavor or turmeric.  I would say that it is somewhat mellow so it won’t necessary overpower what you are using it with.  It is not hot or bitter.  I think it can be used with anything savory.     
 
Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Wiki says “it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell” but I don’t agree.  Maybe I will give it the mustardy smell, but not off the top of my head.

But there is a problem with turmeric.  It dyes everything yellow!  I now have several bowls and utensils dyed yellow because I used them to stir, serve, or store something with turmeric in it.  It is just as bad as tomato sauce when it comes to dying things!

I am familiar with turmeric in its powdered form, but it is a root like ginger, so if you get it in root form you can use it just as you would ginger.  You could chop it, grate it, cut it up . . . the same as ginger. 

If you like the flavor it seems like a great thing to add to just about everything.   Since it is touted as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, help in the treatment of  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helps treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, improves liver function, prevents some cancers, lowers cholesterol, helps treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, reduces risk of childhood Leukemia among other things — why not add it to things?

Do you cook with Turmeric?  If so what do you add it to?

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

Oats – The Incredible Whole Grain

Posted by terrepruitt on March 24, 2012

Since breakfast is so important I have been looking for an easy and healthy thing to eat before I rush off to teach Nia.  I don’t always have a chance to eat before my Nia class, but I have been looking to try to change that.  Oatmeal is always touted as being one of the best breakfast foods.  I do not like oatmeal.  I recently found a recipe for granola that is basically just oats and I started to wonder if oats cooked that way are as good as oatmeal. Here are some nutritional facts on oats:

The fiber contained in oats is known in studies to have a cholesterol lowering effect. Since high cholesterol is associated with buildup of plaque in the blood vessel walls the lowering of cholesterol helps with heart disease. In addition to oats special fiber that helps lower cholesterol scientists have also found an antioxidant compound in oats that help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have also shown that postmenopausal women can greatly benefit from eating oats at least six times a week.  The study showed that the antioxidant slowed the progression of narrowing the arteries.  In addition oats have been shown to improve or enhance the body’s immune system’s response to infection.  They were mentioned in my post Some Foods Can Boost Your Immune System. Oats also help stabilize blood sugar.
 
You have probably heard a lot of talk about flora in the intestinal track and how important it is to keep the guts healthy.  Oats also contain phytochemical the gets converted to friendly flora and a healthy gut contributes to a healthy digestive system which helps the body in so many ways.  If your digestive system is healthy it allows you to absorb the nutrients you need and eliminates the stuff you don’t need.
 
Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, SF Bay Nia, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, NiaNow.com,Oats are also gluten-free which is very helpful since it is a whole-grain and it can be used as a serial and it can also be used ground as a flour.  So it can be a very healthy substitute for gluten containing cereals and flours.
 
The oats I bought show that 1/2 cup of uncooked oats have:
 
Calories 190
Total Fat 3.5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Protein 7 g
 
Of the Daily Values there is 2% calcuim and 15% iron.
 
A lot of fiber and a lot of protein and the benefits of a whole grain.  I am thinking that I might even just like the oats toasted and eaten as a cereal without adding all the extra stuff as called for in the granola recipe.  Since I have this whole bag I might just try that.  Of course I will also have to use some of this bag for the Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies.
 
Oats do contain tryptophan so if you get sleepy after eating them it could be more than just because you might think of oatmeal as a comfort food.

With the large amount of fiber and protein this is a great food to start the day with, both fiber and protein help keep you full. So you can start the day off energized and satisfied.  Oats are an incredible whole grain!

Are you including this whole grain as part of your breakfast?

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

Recipe Nutrition Information – Online for free

Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in "Recipes", Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Health Benefits Of Coffee

Posted by terrepruitt on July 28, 2009

I love coffee.  I am not a connoisseur, but I love it.  In the August 2009 copy of Self they touted that coffee has some amazing benefits.

The article, well, it is not so much an article as a few pages filled with pictures and facts, has one statement that says that if you want the healthiest coffee you should stick to the home brewed kind because the paper filters catch coffee compounds that can raise cholesterol.

Here are some highlights from that article.  The information suggests that coffee MAY:

  • assist in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • help your teeth with its “antibacterial and antiadhesive powers”
  • reduce the risk of oral cancer by half
  • help in limited cancer cell growth and DNA damage
  • reduce the risk of breast cancer (in premenopausal women that drink 4 cups of regular coffee a day)
  • help prevent gallstones
  • reduce risk of nonmelanoma
  • reduce chances of diabetes for people who drink 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf

Information also states that drinking from 300 mg (3 cups of home brew) to 500 mg (16 oz Starbucks Pike Place Roast) in an hour could possibly make you panicky, increase stress hormones, and raise blood pressure.

Way surprising to me, it says that a shot of espresso “has less caffeine than a cup of drip does.  Plus, one downside of espresso is that it may raise cholesterol.”

It also suggests to eat your cereal and dairy later, after your coffee because coffee might block the absorption of iron from fortified grains and could lower calcium uptake.

The pages reveal, along with a lot of other publications I’ve been seeing recently, that coffee helps you get through your workout.  Not only does it give you a zing, it seems to block your brain from knowing your muscles are tired.
Those are just some highlights that somewhat focus on the health benefits.

Even though I teach my morning Nia classes in Willow Glen not too far from where I live, so I don’t have to get up super early,  I still think I have more energy in the morning when I drink coffee.  I don’t have any before I teach my evening class in San Jose, nor my late afternoon one in Los Gatos.  But I feel like I need that extra “wake-up” in the morning.  Do you drink coffee before your workout?

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