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

Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Nia’

Really, It IS Exercise

Posted by terrepruitt on April 21, 2015

Recently I was visiting with a friend and she was sharing with me her experience in an exercise class that she had attended a few days earlier.  She was sharing that the things they were doing in the class did not qualify as exercise.  She was saying that shimmying and doing the hand-around-your-head-move was not exercise.  She said she didn’t want to do that type of stuff in an exercise class.  I think she forgot who she was talking to.  I mean, she was talking to her friend who she was looking at to support her in the fact that neither the shimmy nor the hand-around-your-head-move was exercise.  But I think she forgot what I do for a job.  I made a comment about how if she didn’t want to use all her muscles, I could see why shimmying would not be something to do.  But she said she DID want to use all of her muscles.  I did not take the opportunity to elaborate on how the shimmy is a great exercise and uses — not all, but many, muscles.  It really was HER moment to share so I just listened.  It was obvious she didn’t want to use her muscles THAT WAY.  It was not my time to defend my craft or dance as an exercise.  It did make me laugh though.  It also reminded me why some people don’t like Nia.  Some people don’t want to dance as exercise.  Some people do not feel that moving to music is exercise.  There are many people who think that the only way to get exercise is to do something the same way — to move in the same way, to move in a linear way — over and over again.  Some people have very specific ideas about what they want to do as exercise.  And that is fine, I am not going to try to get them to a Nia class because they probably wouldn’t be able to participate enough to get a good workout.  But I do get my knickers in a twist when people say it is not exercise.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI think it is more accurate to say, “It is not movement that I like or that I consider exercise.”  But to say it is not exercise.  Not fair.  But, again, very much a common way of thinking.  I have posted about exercise as dance before.  I even mentioned how I liked Dancing with the Stars (even thought I don’t watch it) because I think it helped some people realize that you CAN get a good workout in while dancing.  If nothing else, moving around for an hour is great cardio — if you are moving enough to get your heart rate up.

Some dance exercise classes use jumping movements to get the heart rate up.  Some — like Nia use big movements, fast movements, low movements, high movements, all over body movements.  As, I have said before, it is all there for the participant to use, it is up to each individual to do as much as they want.

Many people don’t care for the shimmying but it really is a great movement that uses upper body muscles.  I have seen many of my regular Nia students go from not being able to do it — for whatever reason — to embracing it.  I think I have mentioned before that there is one song in one of our routines where I like to keep them at doing the shimmy for a bit.  I usually ask, “Are you feeling it?”  I just like for people to experience that the shimmy can be an move that can qualify as “an exercise”.  Their answer – by the way is usually a laugh with a “OHH yeah!”

Some people move differently once they understand that the shimmy is not shaking what is on the front, but moving from the back.  I have a post on that, Shimmy From The Back.

I think there are a lot of dancers at there that would say dance is exercise.  However if you don’t like to dance I understand you might not feel that way.  But, if you ever want to see what I mean about the shimmy or Nia as a good workout, look for a class near you.  There are classes all over the world.  There are several in San Jose, California . . . . I know, because I teach ’em.

What do you consider exercise?  Have you ever TRIED dance-as-exercise?

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

No Work, It’s A Holiday!

Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2015

Sadly there is no Nia Class today, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  The city of San Jose is closed so the San Jose Park and Recreation Community Centers are closed.  It is a State Holiday.  It is Cesar Chavez Day.  It is a Holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.  March 31 is Cesar Chavez’s birthday.  He was born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927.  He was 66 years old when he died in his apartment in a small village near his place of birth, San Luis, Arizona in 1993.  It was in August 2000 that the bill for a holiday to be on his birthday was signed into law, by Governor Gray Davis.  Cesar Chavez Day was to be a holiday starting in 2001.

Before becoming the infamous voice for farm workers and their families, he was in the U.S. Navy in World War II.  He is famous for the formation of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, in 1966.  This committee was created by bringing two groups together, the National Farm Workers Association (which he helped form) and the Filipinos of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. Cesar Chavez was responsible for a huge strike of grape farm workers and a multi-year boycott on grapes.  This resulted in union contracts being accepted by grape growers.  He was a civil rights activist.

He worked for the rights of American Farm workers.  His methods, thought to be aggressive by some, emphasized non-violence.  He protested the use of toxic pesticides on grapes, for higher wages and safe working conditions for farm workers, and to promote the principle of nonviolence in regards to the strikes.  Several of his protests were done by fasting.  One of his protest – a fast – lasted 25 days.  He fought for human rights.

According to the website Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday:

“In 1966 Cesar Chavez led a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento calling on state government to pass laws which would permit farm workers to organize into a union and allow collective bargaining agreements.”

And according to Wiki, while he held office in the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, he was “committed to restricting immigration”.  With workers coming to the United States from Mexico it undermined all of his efforts to better conditions for the American Farm Worker.

President Clinton presented Cesar Chavez’s widow, Helen Chavez with the Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on August 8, 1994.

President Barack Obama’s famous campaign slogan of “Yes, one can,” might sound familiar to some as it was originally the slogan for the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee that Cesar Chavez co-founded.  “Sí, se puede.”

I am sad on this day of celebrating the man who fought for better wages and conditions for workers, I have to miss a day of work.  But I can still dance.  And perhaps raise a toast of wine to Mr. Chavez (in keeping with the grape theme).

His work benefited American Farm Workers not just those in California, Texas, and Colorado.

Do you have any special plans for Cesar Chavez Day?

Many things bear his name in California:

(per Wiki)

Parks–

Plaza de César Chávez (San Jose)
Cesar E. Chavez Plaza (Sacramento)
César E. Chávez Waterfront Park (San Diego)
César E. Chávez Park (Delano)
César Chávez Park (Berkeley)
César E. Chávez Park (Modesto and Colton)
César Chávez Community Center (Riverside) (2060 University Ave, also known as the César Chávez Auditorium)
Cesar E Chavez Park (LongBeach)
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument (Keene)

Major streets–

Avenida Cesar Chavez (Los Angeles) (formerly Brooklyn Avenue, Macy Street and part of Sunset Boulevard)
Calle César Chávez (Santa Barbara) (formerly South Salsipuedes Street)
César Chávez Drive (Oxnard) (newer street planned to commemorate César Chávez)
César E. Chávez Parkway (San Diego) (formerly Crosby Street)
César Chávez Street (Brawley) (formerly North 10th Street)
César Chávez Street (San Francisco) (formerly Army Street)

Libraries–

Maywood César Chávez Library (Maywood)
César E. Chávez Branch Library (Oakland)
Cesár Chávez Public Library (Salinas)
César Chávez Central Library (Stockton)
Cesar Chavez Library (Perris and San Jose)

Schools–

Chávez High School (Delano and Santa Ana)
César Chávez Learning Academies (San Fernando)
Cesar Chavez High School (Stockton)
César E. Chávez School for Social Change (Santa Cruz)
César Chávez Middle School (San Bernardino)
César Chávez Middle School (Hayward)
Cesar Chavez Elementary School (Calexico, Coachella, Corona, Davis, Greenfield, Oxnard, Salinas, San Francisco, and San Jose)
César E. Chávez Elementary School (Norwalk)
César Chávez Elementary School (Oxnard) (formerly Juanita Elementary School)
Cesar E. Chavez Academy (East Palo Alto and Madera)
Cesar Chavez Elementary School (San Diego)
Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School (Bell Gardens)
César Estrada Chávez Dual Language Immersion School (Santa Barbara)
Cesar Chavez Continuation High School (Compton
Cesar E. Chavez Middle School (Planada)

César Chávez Student Center, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley)
César E. Chávez Student Services Center, Southwestern College (Chula Vista)
César Chávez Campus of the Fresno Adult School (Fresno)
UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies (Los Angeles)
César E. Chávez Campus of San Diego Continuing Education (San Diego)
César Chávez Student Center, San Francisco State University (San Francisco)
César Chávez Building (A building), Santa Ana College (Santa Ana)

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At Home Health Information Tests

Posted by terrepruitt on August 28, 2014

One of my Nia students gave me a catalog today after Nia class that had information in it about a new device.  I have been saying for a while we need something like this.  I am not saying this is it, but I am saying this is very interesting.  I think this is really the start of something.  This is something that — if used properly — could really help people be more in control of their health and wellness.  Now, I know a lot of people who can practically do this on their own, without a fancy machine.  But not everyone is THAT in tune with their body.  Not everyone knows what little signs the body gives means.  This is something that fascinates me because it COULD be very helpful.  Unfortunately with everything, I am certain the information will be used as a marketing tool and therefore take away from the good (in my opinion) it could do, but we will see.  I would also imagine different/additional tests to be helpful.  It is very interesting and it is a start.  It is a device called Cue.

Cue is a little cube that takes a biological sample using specific cartridges and processes it into information you can use to make decisions about your diet and what actions you can take to adjust the readings.  It looks as if right now the information it can give feedback on is “Vitamin D”, “Inflammation”, “Influenza”, “Testosterone”, and “Fertility”.

I noticed that on the video, it showed the woman was deficient in Vitamin D.  That makes sense, it can test for that.  The flu virus is another one I understand along with testosterone, the device can detect the virus as it can detect levels of testosterone.  It tests for the luteinizing hormone with the “Fertility” cartridge.  It does not say how they determine the body’s level of inflammation.  I would imagine they are testing for a specific level of protein with a blood test.  But I cannot find information on the site that explains exactly how this thing works and what exactly they are testing for.

I find it very interesting.

I know there are presently at home tests where you can test for fertility, but I think the thing with the Cue would be tracking and documenting.  And possibly even alerting you with reminders and things.  “Hey, don’t forget tonight is the night . . . ”  for the female (who cares to do so) “better shave your legs” and for the male who wants to be romantic “stop at the flower shop”.  Ok, so I am going off of commercials I see regarding other devices . . . but I would bet there are alerts, probably not so detailed, but who knows?

I don’t care for the information being sent wirelessly, but that is because I wouldn’t want my information floating about.  🙂  I am also not crazy about the Flumap . . . again, some of the aspects of this could be abused . . . basically like anything.

The cartridges are all single use and they come in packs of five.  A five pack of ONE test.  So you would get five of the vitamin D test.  And not one of each.  The packs are presently priced at $20.00.  Oh, except the flu, that is a THREE pack for $30.00.  The tests (per the website) are as follows:

For an Inflammation test, Cue requires a droplet of blood.
For a Vitamin D test, Cue requires a droplet of blood.
For an Influenza test, Cue requires cellular material from the nostril.
For a Testosterone test, Cue requires a few droplets of saliva.
For a Fertility test, Cue requires a droplet of blood.

So, what do you think?  Do you think this sounds interesting?  Would you be interesting in use something like this?  Would you be interested in one of the present tests?  What would you like it to test for?

 

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Space Age Image

Posted by terrepruitt on July 17, 2014

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 YogaWhen I was first hired on with the Parks and Recreation Department with the City of San Jose, I was a substitute Group Ex Instructor.  I didn’t have a class of my own.  And we use that term “my class” loosely because we know it is not guaranteed to be a permanent thing and we can be replaced or things can change.  But for the sake of simplicity we call them our classes when we are asked to teach a weekly (or more) class at a specific time on a specific day.  I didn’t have a class at first.  So I was able to fill in as a substitute wherever I could.  I was also really happy to fill in with Nia because I wanted to introduce the community centers in San Jose to Nia.  So I would step up to teach when someone had a cardio class that needed subbing.  There are five different community centers that participate in the Group Exercise program.  Each center has at least two rooms where they might have a cardio class.  Not all rooms have mirrors — and many exercise classes use mirrors.  So when I first saw the portable mirrors at a community center I was so excited.  These “mirrors” are awesome.  It is not like a mirror image it is like a space age image!

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 YogaHave you ever seen these portable mirrors?  They are not really mirrors.  I don’t know what they are.  The material reminds me of the package that toner used to come in.  I am not sure how many of you have worked in an office where you had a big copier or printer that used the cartridges that were sealed in the shiny packages.  But THAT is what this stuff is like.  It is kind of like Mylar.  It is REALLY thin.  And VERY easily torn.  But the reflection when they are new and clean is amazing.

The first time I taught in front of one of these portable mirror things I kept expecting to dance right through to another dimension.  Now that might sound odd to some of you, but my husband is a science fiction buff and we watch a lot of science fiction so that is what I felt like because it seem clearer and cleaner and more crisp than a regular reflection.  It was more like something otherworldly.  It was rather funny because it was so amazing I was distracted a few times.

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 YogaSince these mirrors are not glass they are really lightweight and super easy to move.  They are really great for community centers I think.  Except I really wish they should come with some sort of handle.  There is NO WHERE to hold them without touching the reflective surface.  One could get down and use the “feet” to roll them but that is not very efficient nor a good way to be moving (the body).  I am always surprised that the city doesn’t simply add something to use to roll them around.  It would be so easy to add a strap or SOMETHING so people are not putting their fingers on them or THROUGH them.

The reflective surface really is very thin and sadly I have seen many “mirrors” with tears.  I just did a quick search and some sites are saying their mirrors ARE Mylar, while others are saying they are not.  Either way, they are great lightweight mirrors, but unfortunately they tear easy and I have yet to see any with handles.  But when they are not torn and they are clean, they are really fun to dance in front of because it is almost as if you are dancing with a partner instead of your reflection!

Have you seen these cool portable mirrors?  If you have, do you think they are more clear and crisp than a mirror?

 

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Mirrorless Inward Reflection

Posted by terrepruitt on July 15, 2014

I teach Nia at Community Centers in San Jose.  One of the things about community centers is they are for the community.  During the summer that means that they are kid central.  It is amazing all of the programs they have for kids during the summer.  It is so great to see the centers doing so much to keep the kids learning and active during the summer.  What a full community center sometimes translates to is regularly scheduled classes get shuffled around.  I was given about six months notice for this summer’s shuffle.  So our Nia class was prepared.  I had been telling them since January.  Then I put up a notice in June.  So we were aware.  It is a huge blessing that we just get moved to another room and not to a different time or cancelled altogether.  I am grateful that we still get to have a class while all these summer camps and kid fun is going on.  It is working out to be one week a month.  Last month the room we were moved to had the portable mirrors in the closet so we were able to roll them out and use them.  Today the closet was full of tables and chairs.  The mirrors were nowhere to be found.  The center is on what used to be a high school campus.  So it is very large and spread out.  I wasn’t certain that 25 minutes would be enough time to let someone know about the situation, find the mirrors, and move them all the way across the campus.  So we did Nia without mirrors today, using the opportunity to focus inward.

I have done Nia without mirrors before.  In fact I posted about it in my post Nia In The Mirror when I was teaching in San Carlos.  That is one reason when I started working at the San Jose Community Centers I was so impressed with their portable mirrors.  In fact I thought I did a post about them because they are sooooo cool.  (Well, I don’t see one, so that will probably be my next post!)

In a Nia class the teacher stands with her/his back to the students.  One way we connect with our students is eye contact in the mirror.  A Nia teacher can turn and face the students.  In fact, it is recommended at times to do so to change things up and to connect in another way to the students.  We even practiced it in the Blue Belt Intensive.  So it is up to the teacher to teach facing whichever way s/he wants.  Generally though we face away from the students.

Facing away makes it easier for some people to follow since we are moving the same side of the body and going in the same direction as opposed to the mirror image as was (and possibly still is) done in Jazzercise.  What I find is that I learn the routine SAYING it as if I am teaching with my back towards the students so for me to turn around I would be saying go left as I move left and we would not be dancing in mirror image.  So to turn and face the students while we are doing a dance that moves front or back or laterally is a challenge for me.  Especially when it is a new routine.  And right now, I am somewhat learning a routine.  In a routine there is usually a song or two where we are not moving left or right so we often face each other than.  I was able to do that today, but some I did with my back to them.

I think dancing without a mirror every once in a while is a good thing.  It helps the students dance with themselves.  The moment I found out we didn’t have mirrors I knew our intent and focus.  I set the focus to be the Conscious Personal Trainer, with the intent of being fully aware of and sensing your own body’s movements.  Without the mirror to distract us I thought it would be a great opportunity to focus more on one’s own body.  Without the mirror we don’t see ourselves nor the other people.  Without a mirror the possibility to draw ones attention in and keep it in seems better.

So, of course, I was very happy when one of my students said that dancing without the mirrors made it different.  It did allow her to focus more on her movements.  She said she was less distracted with the other students.  Yay!  I like that it worked for her.  I like that we were able to do it different, but we still danced and had fun.  I am very blessed to have such great students that can just go with the flow and DO Nia!  It is nice to have “no mirrors” give us the opportunity for something different.

When you take a lead-follow exercise class do you prefer the instructor FACE your or face away from you?

 

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

Ocean, Spring, Cat, Flowers

Posted by terrepruitt on March 22, 2014

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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa CruzSometimes I just can’t think of anything to write about.  Sometimes it could be that I want or need a break.  So today — I am just going to post some pictures.  We have been having really beautiful weather in the San Francisco South Bay Area and beyond.  I love it, but I wish we would have rain because we need it.  But . . . it is Spring now . . . so I will enjoy it.

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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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz

The first few pictures are from a trip to Natural Bridges — a state park in the Santa Cruz area of California.  Whenever we go to Santa Cruz for a Nia class we like to stop by the ocean.  Santa Cruz is not that far from San Jose, but I just don’t get over there often.  When I make the drive over I like to at least set my eyes on the ocean.  I remembered my phone has panorama.  The bridge that was natural actually collapsed a while ago, but it is still a very pretty spot.

 

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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz.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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz

 

Then, the next week, I was “over the hill” again.  I was visiting a friend who is moving.  She wanted to get the kids out of the house on such a gorgeous day.  This is a slide at one of the parks.  WOW!

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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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz

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And, of course, I take a million pictures of my cat, so I thought I would share.

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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz

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She likes to be in her outside house but with the door open.  She loves the sun, but doesn’t like to get too hot.

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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there are our roses.  They are in bloom.  They are beautiful.  And, yes, they smell fantastic.

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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to bring the beauty inside.  They make the house smell great!

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 Yoga, Ocean, Santa Cruz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for taking this little Spring Break with me!

Are you enjoying the season?

Posted in Flowers, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Not All Beans Are Created Equal

Posted by terrepruitt on March 6, 2014

You might know from my various posts that I don’t really like beans.  Beans, the legume, the protein-fiber-rich nutrient.  Not my favorite thing.  I like green beans.  And I am ok with garbanzo beans.  I will eat kidney beans but only in two things, the two bean salad (click here for recipe) or my Sausage, Beans, and Rice adaptation (click here for recipe).  But otherwise I don’t eat beans.  You may also know that I bought some dried garbanzo beans in bulk once.  Since I didn’t know what to do with them I turned to the internet for some education.  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 internet said there were two ways to get the beans ready for a recipe: one was a “quick soak” idea, it requires cooking and doesn’t seem quick to me at all.  The other was a soak-over-night way.  I tried them both.  I didn’t really feel there was a different outcome to the two methods, but obviously the methods themselves were different.  I preferred the overnight soak because it doesn’t require any real time that I have to be in the kitchen.  Rinse the beans, fill the bowl with water, let them soak, changing the water a few times as they soak.  Since I haven’t taught a Nia class in the area of San Jose where I bought the last dried beans, I decided to buy some organic dried garbanzo beans online.  To get them ready for cooking I opted for the let-it-set method.  I didn’t time the soak because I had done it before and I know that overnight is good enough.  I know I let them set from one morning, until the next afternoon.  Then I rinsed them and put them on the pan to roast.  Apparently not all beans can just be soaked for about 30 hours.  Apparently some HAVE to be cooked — as in boiled.  These beans did not come out well just soaking.  I didn’t know that until I was already roasting them.

I had a huge bowl soaking so when I did the roasting I had only used about half.  So I figured that if I let the remaining beans soak longer they would be fine.  So I left them soaking until the next day.  Throughout this soaking period I had drained the water and refilled.  I even took them all out of the bowl, rinsed them, then put them back in the bowl with fresh water.  So — again, I figured they had soaked enough they would be fine.  Again, part way through cooking when I had a taste they were NOT good.  I hadn’t tasted before I added all of my other ingredients so dinner was almost going to be REALLY gross.  But I just added water and let them cook and dinner was salvaged.

But now I know.  Apparently these beans HAVE to be cooked in order for them to be edible.  When not cooked they are really HARD and they taste like a green seed.  No good.  Not the creamy mush you expect from a garbanzo bean.  Also . . . these beans, while they have not popped as the other ones I soaked did, they are letting off a very large and stinky amount of gas!  Whew!  Again my kitchen smells of bean gas.  They are gassy beans!  I have yet to cook the rest.

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 YogaSo . . . here I am again, just sharing things I learn.  Maybe I can save someone’s dinner if they are like me and think that all dried beans can just be soaked without the cooking.  I was fortunate in that what I was cooking was ok with me just adding water and letting it all cook a bit longer than I had planned.  But somethings you can’t do that to.  So if you are like me and you like the soaking method, try it on a small batch first to see if that will be sufficient.

Please understand I am not saying there is anything wrong with these beans or the brand.  I am just saying that I learned not all garbanzo beans can JUST be soaked.  Apparently some need to be cooked too!

Do you have a recipe that you use garbanzo beans in?  Care to share?

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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.

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Good Things And Not-So-Good Things

Posted by terrepruitt on February 15, 2014

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 YogaWell, I am not doing a weekly post to check in on your Goodie Jar, but I do hope you are still doing it or some variation there of.  Are you?  Are you taking time to recognize the good in life?  I hope so.  I am.  I believe I mentioned that I wanted to us something else to hold my notes regarding the good things.  I have a lot of beautiful bowls and plates.  I decided to use this beautiful blue bowl shaped like a flower.  I think it will be good for another month or so.  I love having this little gem on the counter.  I started off the year using Christmas wrapping paper scraps.  I have other wrapping paper scraps to use and little pieces of paper.  It all adds to the “goodness of the jar” to me.  So far the year is a good one in which to focus on the good things.  As with life there are good things and not-so-good things and that is why we have a good things jar.

I have been teaching Nia at a studio in San Jose where I rent the space.  I have been renting there since January 2009.  At first I rented an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  But after six months I decided to just rent Mondays and Wednesdays.  Well, after five years, I have decided to just rent Wednesdays.  So it has been five years of teaching on Mondays at the studio.  Monday, February 24, 2014 will be the last one for now.  Mondays are a great day to teach because on Holidays people who work are able to attend, but we don’t have enough holidays.  It could be that something else will come up for Mondays or it could be that one day I start teaching there again on Mondays, but for now, we will not be dancing on Mondays.

The classes at the community center is growing.  I love that more and more people are coming to Nia there.  Also I enjoyed my short time substituting a Nia class at the YMCA in Mountain View.  I am teaching a Gentle Yoga class on Thursday evenings.  And have been asked to teach another Gentle Yoga class on Tuesday mornings.  So while one class ends a new one begins.

We are going to have to move our after-Nia-Class-visits to Wednesday.  We have one more Monday that we are going to meet.  We have been going to Peet’s on the second to the last Monday of the month for about a year now.  So we will have to move it to the second to the last Wednesday.  I love that our little Nia community gathers after class.  I need to get this type of gathering going with the community center Nia group.

So, I am still putting things in my goodie jar.  Still looking for, finding, recognizing, seeing those good things.  I hope that no matter what is going on in your life you are able to find something good.  Something you want to make a note of so that you can read it later on.  I really enjoyed reading my good things at the end of the year.  Much of it was about Nia but not all of it.  Most of it had to do with love.  People showing ME love and that is MORE than a good thing, that is GREAT.  I hope you have a lot of moments of love that you can jot down and put in your jar.

Well . . . . how is it going?

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My Hero, My Valentine

Posted by terrepruitt on February 13, 2014

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. So today in the San Jose Nia Class we danced to a playlist of songs with Love in them.  Our focus was Love.  Self-love.  Love with respect and non-judgment.  We just moved and had fun.  Also, since it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow I thought I would honor my valentine by sharing with you a story of his gallantry and bravery.  This happened a very long time ago.  Before Twitter and Facebook.  It is kind of nice to have stories to be able to tell, huh?  Now-a-days things are shared pretty-much instantly so it cuts down on the story telling.  This is one of my favorites.  If we have ever met in person, you probably have already heard this.  And I really thought that I had posted it, but I cannot find it.  If this happened now there would be pictures because it really could have gone in the The Guinness Book of World Records. My hubby is my hero, even before he was my hubby.  He saved me from the biggest spider I have never seen!

When my husband and I were dating I lived in a small apartment.  The kitchen was tiny.  It was a galley style kitchen, ya know, like a narrow hallway, but it was not a hallway, there was only one in and one out.  If someone was at the stove cooking, someone else could not be at the counter preparing unless both persons stood off center.  The fridge was super small.  The stove was a four burner, but all four burners practically touched each other.  Here is where I practiced deep squats because you could not bend over and look in the lower cupboards.  There was not enough room to fold OVER, you HAD to squat.

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 YogaOne day . . . I don’t even know what I was looking for, I reached into one of the under the counter cupboards and I felt something odd.  Something hairy.  I drew my hand out with it in my hand.  Now here is where it gets kind of fuzzy.  I am not sure what I did with it.  But I do know, I stood up, I shut the cupboard and I thought that it was the biggest spider leg I had ever seen.  I decided to leave it for my boyfriend to take care of for me.  Now . . . as I mentioned . . . it was a very small kitchen.  From that cupboard in the corner to the end of the counter was probably two steps.  I can say that by the time I took the third step out of the kitchen I had forgotten about the fist sized spider in my cupboard.

Did I see it?  No.  How did I know it was fist sized?  Well, from the size of its leg . . . it was AT LEAST the size of my fist.  How did I live in my apartment knowing it was there?  Well, like I said, on my third step, I forgot about it.  I chalk that up to my survival skills because seriously, if I’d have thought of the fact that there was a HUGE spider in my cupboard, I would have not been able to live there.  My boyfriend was not coming over for a couple of days.  I HAD to forget about it and move on!

Now at the time I didn’t know my boyfriend was afraid of spiders.  I mean, really though, unless you LIKE spiders, there is going to be some wanting-to-avoid-them . . . especially if the leg is 3 inches long.  I believe it was a long time after (probably a hundred spiders later) when my husband admitted to being “icked out” by spiders.

I don’t remember if I asked him on the phone if he would help me or if he was there.  I kinda think I completely forgot until he was actually THERE.  I think we were talking and it dawned on me that there was a spider in my cupboard.  I do remember he put on a brave face.  Now remember, my kitchen was SMALL.  There was no way and no WHERE to run or move.  To get the spider he had to get down on all fours — or at least a squat — and put his head practically IN the cupboard.

Being the supportive girlfriend I was, I left the room.  (Don’t judge!  It was the biggest spider leg EVER!!!!!!!!)

Now again, I am not sure exactly what happened next.  If he reads this he might pipe in.  All I know is that he got down on the kitchen floor and attempted to rescue his absent damsel in distress.  I think he might have screamed.  Then it was followed by laughter.  Ok, I don’t remember except there eventually WAS laughter.  He was so brave and kind and gallant.  He rescued me from a petrified potato!  We were both very relieved.  And . . . he was the hero even though it was just a vegetable he saved me from.

He is still my hero.

(Happy Valentine’s Day, Love!)

What stories do you have to share? Any about your Valentine?  Any that make you laugh? 

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