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

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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

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

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Posts Tagged ‘health benefits’

Coconut Oil Passes Muster

Posted by terrepruitt on October 27, 2015

For years I have been hearing about how great coconut oil is.  The claims are numerous.  You’ve probably heard them, too, right? Things like the information found on Medical News Today:  Coconut oil may increase level of HDL (“good cholesterol”).  It may also help improve glucose tolerance and reduce body fat accumulation.  May help decrease waist size. Coconut oil’s fat structure is more difficult for bodies to convert to stored fat and is easier to burn off. Well, I DO NOT like the taste of coconut at all, I don’t even like the smell.  I am not the one that enjoys all that suntan lotion and all those products that smell like coconut.  So I have never bothered to try coconut oil.  I didn’t want to buy it to try it then end up not liking it.  But, I finally decided to try it.  It does not taste or even smell like coconut.

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 TechniqueI was relieved, even presently surprised that this oil has no odor at all. I also cannot detect any flavor.  And it seems to work just like other oil.  The issue I am having though is I don’t yet know how much to use.  I don’t measure so I am not yet used to eyeing the semi-solid oil.  I used it to roast some butternut squash, and I just dropped some clumps of oil on the cut up squash, and it turned out to be a bit much.  Tonight I rubbed some on the eggplant I was roasting and I could have used more.  I have only used it three times, so I will get better at it.  I will, probably break down and start measuring until I can eye it from there.

Wiki has the following to say about coconut oil:

“Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). It has various applications as food or in cosmetics. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C (75 °F) without spoiling.

Many health organizations advise against regular consumption of coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat (similar to that of animal fat) having potential to increase risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Also the chart on Wiki shows that coconut oil is only beat out by hydrogenated cottonseed oil when it comes to saturated fat.

So, like everything, if you are interested, you have to do the research and then decide for yourself if it is something you care to add to your diet.  Since coconut oil does not smell nor taste coconutty like I thought it would, I might continue to add it to our diet.  I will at least finish off this container.  We use oil olive which seems to have more health benefits than coconut oil, but as I said, we will at least use up this container.

Do you use coconut oil?  Do you use it for all of your cooking or just certain kind?  What do you use it for?

 

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

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
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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 »

For The Love Of Onions

Posted by terrepruitt on August 29, 2013

Since I recently posted a recipe with Green Beans, Walnuts, and Onions, I have been posting about the three main ingredients separately, for Green Beans click here and for Walnuts click here.  I like onions.  I like sweet onions, red onions, white onions, yellow onions, and green onions.  I have actually grown to like them more as I get older.  When I was younger I liked the flavor, but not the onion itself.  I would pick them out of anything and off of anything.  And I used to never eat them raw.  I still don’t like to eat a lot of cooked onions and will often leave them on my plate if they are cut large enough and it is easy to move them out of the food I am eating, but I do actually eat them now.  Also I will include raw onions in my salad.  It all depends.  When I eat them raw they have to be so teeny tiny you would probably laugh.  Onions, however, are more than just for flavoring.

Onions contain flavonoids.  Flavonoids are what give the plant its pigment and have been linked to terms such as “cancer-fighting” and a lot of “anti-s” – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-biotic, anti-allergic, anti-microbial, and anti-diarrheal activities.  Onions store the flavonoids primarily in their skin.  So the less you peel off the better.  There is the red in a red onion (to me it is actually purple, but whatever) and the yellow in a yellow onion.  The white has flavonoids too, but not as many as the red.

According to PubMed, study was done that concluded the consumption of onions had a “beneficial effect on bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-Hispanic white women 50 years and older.”  Wow.  So it could be that eating onions helps with bone density . . . who would have thought.

Onions should not be refrigerated, except for the green ones (scallions).  We keep our onions in the fridge.  I should change that.

To me, onions are good in pretty much any type of savory dish.  I don’t think onions go to well with sweet things, but sometimes it works, but usually the onion needs to be a sweet onion or a red onion.  My husband does not mind onions with his sweet.

The following nutritional information is from the National Onion Association’s website:

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 YogaOnion Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup (160g)  The Percent (%) is for the Daily Values*

*Percent (%) Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.  Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Calories    64    3%
Total Carbs    14.9 g    5%
Total Fat    0    0%
Cholesterol    0    0%
Dietary Fiber    2.7 g    11%
Sugars            6.8 g
Protein         4.9 g
Vitamin A    3.2 IU    0%
Vitamin C    11.8 mg    20%
Vitamin B6    0.2 mg    10%
Folate     30.4 mcg    8%
Calcium   36.8 mg    4%
Iron           .3 mg    2%
Magnesium    16 mg    4%
Phosphorus    46.4 mg    5%
Potassium    234 mg    7%
Sodium    6.4    0%

Many people have strong feelings about onions.  They either LOVE them or HATE them.  Where do you stand?  Do you love them?  Do you hate them?  Do you like them cooked?  Do you like them raw?  Did you know they had such great health benefits?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Accidental Lunchtime Zing

Posted by terrepruitt on April 16, 2013

One day I was having my Chai Tea Latte (you can check out that recipe I got from a fellow Nia Teacher here:  Venting Gets Me Good).  Even though the tea needs to be stirred constantly, the spoon I was using to stir the tea ended up on my plate with my turkey sandwich.  Some of the ginger from the tea came off the spoon and I ended up taking a bite of sandwich with ginger on it.  “Oooooo!”  I thought.  That was good.  So I got up and sprinkled more ginger on my sandwich.  Right now the lunch meat we have is sliced turkey breast from Costco and it is a sweet flavor so it was nice to have the little bit of spicy from the ginger.  I don’t know if other sandwich meats would taste as good.

Since then I have been making our sandwiches with ginger on them.  I don’t know if my hubby has even noticed . . . .well, in all fairness, I have not been doing it on his everyday lunch sandwiches.  Just on the weekend sandwiches.  I know the poor guy eats a sandwich every day for lunch and then on the weekend I make him yet ANOTHER sandwich.  Ahh, but yes, thank you for the reminder (I heard your future thoughts, he COULD make something for himself).  But since I am making a sandwich I just make two so we can each have one.   With each sandwich I make I get a little more bold and add more ginger.  So far I have not made it too hot or spicy for me.

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, ZumbaI really like the little drama that the ginger adds to the sandwich.  This is really funny to me because two years  (maybe about that long) ago if you would have asked me if I like ginger I would have said no.  But then again, I always thought of that pink slimy stuff that comes on a sushi and sashimi plate as ginger.  I mean, it IS ginger, but it is PICKLED ginger.  I hadn’t known that fresh ginger or even powdered ginger can add just enough of a zing to food to make it a nice change of pace.

Like many things I post, some people might be reading this and wondering why I am doing an entire post on adding ginger to my sandwich and it is for the others saying, “Oh, I would have never thought of that.  I bet it IS good.  I’m gonna give it a try.”  I can’t take for granted and/or assume that everything I know other people know.  That is ridiculous.  And just because it is simple doesn’t mean that it is not worth sharing.

And here is a picture of my lovely half eaten sandwich.  There is turkey, cheese, mayo, bell peppers, and ginger on the sandwich!  Pretty good.
Remember that ginger is a digestive aide and can help relieve nausea. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory root/herb/spice.  So in addition to adding a little zip to your sandwich ginger could add some health benefits!

Are you a ginger fan?  What do you put it in?  Have you tried it on a sandwich?

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

Cinnamon

Posted by terrepruitt on October 28, 2010

Today I wanted a little different flavor in my coffee so I put some cinnamon in it.  As I was doing sprinkling some into my coffee I remembered cinnamon is thought to be a spice that has health benefits.

There is information stating that studies have shown cinnamon to do all kinds of good things.  One thing is helping regulate blood sugar levels.  It helps slow digestion so it can help with spikes in the blood sugar.  It is considered an anti-inflammatory food, which is good to add to any diet because so many other foods are inflammatory foods.  Cinnamon also has been shown to help with yeast overgrowth.  It also helps stop the growth of bacteria on food–like a preservative.

As little as 1/2 teaspoon a day was shown in some studies, to lower LDL cholesterol.

I also read somewhere that is helps keep blood from clotting.

I have not seen this qualified as a super food, but I am thinking it should be.  Other studies have shown that just smelling it can help improve brain function.

Another great thing about it is that it can be added to sweet foods or savory foods.

Recently I was at a party and someone had grilled pineapple and sprinkled cinnamon on it after.  It was really good.  It gave it just enough of a different flavor.  It was nice.

I am not so good about using it in savory dishes.  Do you have any ideas or recipes in which cinnamon can be added to help get some of these benefits?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 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 »