By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann
The Amazing Almond
In August, local farmers began the long process of harvesting one of this valley’s biggest commodities — almonds.
Did you know almonds are the most nutritious of all nuts? This portable little snack boasts huge health benefits. Just one ounce (about 20 nuts) contains 12 percent of your daily allowance for protein, has no cholesterol, and is high in vitamin E, that powerhouse antioxidant with strong cancer-fighting qualities. Almonds are also full of minerals, such as magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. This humble nut is also a great source of calcium and folic acid — perfect for those pregnant. Almonds are also an effective weapon against heart disease, being a good fat.
I have always promoted the almond as a great post-workout snack, during studying or an anytime nutritional snack to carry with you. Keep a small baggie in your car or pack a few in your pocket on a long ride or run. I’m often asked, “How many almonds should I eat per day?” I usually respond with 12 to 15 per day, each day. My almond farmer husband will thank you and so will your body.
Roasting almonds brings forth a delicious nutty, aromatic crunch, perfect in salads.
Line dancing, anyone?
For a different and fun kind of exercise, how about trying your hand (or cowboy boot) at line dancing? The final session for the summer runs from Sept. 5 to 26 on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Bakersfield College. Your instructor will be Bobby Watts, and the cost is $25 for all four sessions.
Register today at bakersfieldparks.us.
Healthy classes for kids
If you have younger children who may enjoy learning how to grow their own food and prepare a healthy meal, consider a couple of classes held at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The Children’s Garden class teaches simple techniques of planting, maintaining and developing the garden. This class operates year-round on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4 to 5 p.m.
The Healthy Cooking for Kids class teaches children how to prepare simple but healthy dishes using fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
This class also operates year round on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 4 p.m. Both are free. Call 322-9874.
Poise Pilates + Barre
Are you looking to shake up your exercise routine? There is a fresh-faced, dynamic duo in town that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Local women Callie Spitzer and Christine Travis have taken their combined and extensive knowledge of Pilates and “Burn at the Barre” and have created a challenging new insight into the workout experience. Their newly opened Poise Pilates + Barre is devoted to the philosophy behind a uniformly developed body. Spitzer and Travis instruct their clients through a regimen that increases mind-body connection, flexibility, strength and balance all the while coaxing your body into leaner and longer proportions. I recently spoke with Spitzer about the benefits of Pilates and the Barre method. It is her fundamental belief that Pilates is for everyone. She says, “Pilates is dedicated to restoring muscular balance, increasing functional strength and flexibility, lubricating and mobilizing joints, improving body alignment and posture, and heightening body control and awareness. It’s not only an exercise; it’s a mind and body experience. Pilates is for everybody — men, women and all levels of fitness.”
Spitzer and Travis are certified “Burn at the Barre” instructors. This class is the newest low-impact way to sculpt your body. Barre class integrates the fat-burning format of interval training with muscle-shaping isometrics to quickly and safely reshape the entire body. All levels are welcome to this class. The Barre class is intense but then again so are the results.
Because I am expecting twins, I have officially been sidelined from my previous exercise routine. Running was the first thing that I had to give up. Though I miss it, I know that in a few months I’ll be getting my mileage back up with Sally. Soon enough, I’ll be back on the trails and in the gym, but I’m also going to sign up for classes at Poise Pilates + Barre in order to get my core back to where it was before twin babies. According to Spitzer, Pilates and the Barre method are perfect training bookends for runners and cyclists alike. She advised me that adding Pilates and Barre to my running would help balance my strength and aid in long distance stamina. If you would like to sign up for classes at Poise, Spitzer and Travis are offering a “Fresh and Fit” special: Your first lesson is free, and you will receive 5 percent off your second lesson.
Poise Pilates + Barre, 1800 21st St., Suite A, 864-7977, poisepilatesbarre.com