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Orriant Health

  • 5 Easy Tricks to Jazz Up Your Water

    (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:29:00 +0000)



    Boring! No Flavor! Flat! All these are words some use to describe water.  Even the Wall Street Journal reported that 20% of Americans do not like the flavor of plain water.  Yet, we know guzzling plenty of H20 is important.  Here are 5 recommendations to jazz up your water:

    1 – Fruits and Veggies: Adding some berries, lemon, cucumber slices or even pineapple are great ways to add some flavor, without adding lots of calories. You can let them soak overnight or even freeze them inside ice cubes for a quick way to add a kick to your water.

    2 – Herbal leaves: Another great way to add zest to your water, without breaking the calorie bank, is by adding herb leaves, such as basil or mint. These will add a nice, fresh flavor, making your water that much more refreshing.

    3 – Single Serving Flavoring Packets: If you decide to recruit help from non-organic sources, opt for those that are zero calorie and aren’t packed with lots of artificial sweeteners. There are many option for these on the market, giving you a variety of flavors. They are also convenient to pack, so you can flavor your water anywhere.

    4 – Liquid Flavoring: These are similar to flavoring packets, however the amount you are adding is in your hands. While some of these are already zero calories, be wary of adding too much sweetener to your water. Moderation is key to a healthy diet.

    5 - Sparkling: Sparkling water is another creative way to break the monotony of plain water. Make sure you go for the “no sodium” option. Owning your own carbonator is a great way to monitor this.

    Now that you have some more ideas, what are you waiting for? Go fill up on some H20!

    (Source - http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324715704578481342673512264?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887324715704578481342673512264.html)


    Let's Talk About Chocolate

    (Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:54:00 +0000)


    Easter is just a few days away and most people have been indulging in their favorite chocolate treats. Whether it is shaped like bunnies or eggs, store shelves are bursting with these popular holiday delights. So, let’s talk about chocolate!

    Is Chocolate Really Good For You?

    Chocolate lovers rejoiced when studies showed that dark chocolate offers some health benefits. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, contains flavonoids which makes it a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidant properties are important because they fight against free radicals that may cause damage to our cells. The greater the cocoa content (or the darker the chocolate) the greater the benefits for heart health.  This could lead to reducing blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and even diabetes.

    How Much Chocolate Should You Eat?


    While it is true that dark chocolate has benefits, it is still a high-sugar and high-fat food that should be eaten in moderation. This means, instead of eating an entire candy bar, opt for just a square or two. Try to avoid chocolate with any kind of filling, such as cream, caramel, or peanut butter.  These add to the sugar and fat content. Indulge in dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or more.  Remember, the darker the chocolate, the better for your health. 

    Mommy Blog - Reach Any Goal!

    (Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:24:00 +0000)


    How many times do we list reasons why we haven't done something, then say, “I know they're just excuses, but.....”

    Well, my challenge to myself, and you, is to choose one “excuse” that you have, no matter what area of your life, and rewrite your story.

    What does that mean? To me it means that I have to wipe that excuse out of my vocabulary. It is no longer an option to use it as a reason why I didn't accomplish a task or move forward towards a goal. You take control. Take what you can control and if the outcome is really a priority for you, you can make it happen.

    For example, you might say, “I work long hours so I can't find time for exercise”. Rewrite the story: “Even with my long hours, I can make time to exercise, by getting up just 15 minutes earlier each day.” The positive change here IS bigger than the “excuse”. Try to visualize about the present, not the future, in a positive way. For example, “I am or can do this,” not “I don’t want to be that”, or “I can't do that.”

    The more we share an excuse, I believe we really internalize it. Often it starts out as a small hurdle. As we keep using that excuse more, that hurdle appears to become taller and taller. When in reality, it's our perception that has become skewed.

    I am going to “rewrite my story” as to why I don't accomplish my personal study each day. No longer will I say, “I haven't done it because I am too tired after my workouts, and the baby wakes up to eat.” My new story is, “I will do my personal study by reading, while feeding the baby.” I have to do it while everyone is asleep or it doesn't happen.

    Ok, now it's your turn. Overall health and wellness is not just eating and exercise, it's spiritual, mental, and emotional as well. So what excuse do you need to wipe from your vocabulary? How are you going to rewrite your story?

    And just for fun... a play on words... no more “egg-scuses”. Here is how to boil the perfect egg, no gray around the edges, and easy to peel:

    How to boil the perfect egg

    1. Place your eggs in a pot of cold water and cover completely. Add a pinch of salt and a tsp. of oil (this will help when peeling your eggs).

    2. Bring water to a boil, and boil for ten minutes.

    3. Remove pot from heat, dump out hot water, and fill with cold water. Let sit for a few minutes.

    4. Shell your eggs.





    Spring Cleaning Leads to Healthier Eating

    (Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:59:00 +0000)

    Giving your home a deep cleaning is a great way to start fresh and ring in the warmer weather. While you are scrubbing floors and clearing out the dust bunnies, don’t forget one very important area in your home: the pantry. There may be food in your pantry, or refrigerator that should have been tossed long ago.  Here are some tips on how to give your pantry a thorough cleaning:

    1. Check Expiration Dates.
    Take the time to look at every item and toss everything that has expired. You will be surprised how often your pantry is cluttered with items that have passed their expiration date. The same is true for items in your fridge.

    2. Get Rid of Junk Food.
    Spring cleaning is not only a great time to clean your home, but it is also a great time to take stock of your health. Getting the junk food out of your home removes the temptation to eat these foods as often. Consider throwing out all sodas and sugary beverages that offer little to no nutritional value.

    3. Clean!
    It is important that the spaces where you keep your food are sanitary. Remove all food items from your pantry and fridge and give them a deep clean. Be cautious about what kind of cleaners you use. Avoid strong chemical cleaners and opt for more natural cleaners that will not be harmful to your food.

    4. Restock.
    Now that you have gotten rid of all the expired items and junk foods, it is time to restock your pantry with new and healthy foods. Take time to consider what meals you would like to prepare in the near future, and make a grocery list for the items required. Stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, or even leave them out in a fruit bowl where you can see them.

    5. Organize.
    To keep your pantry or fridge from becoming cluttered again, designate areas for certain groups of foods (such as canned foods, cereals, spices, etc).  Try using the “first in, first out” method, when possible, to reduce food waste. Organize your items in a way that will allow easy access to the foods you use most often.

    Ron's Marathon Journal - Slowing Down and Eating Clean

    (Thu, 03 Apr 2014 15:52:00 +0000)

    The last few weeks have gone well, with a lot of miles run, and some crazy, unpredictable weather to run in. I ran the Canyonlands Half Marathon a couple weeks ago, and paced one of my good friends to help him get his personal best time.

    With just a few weeks left before Boston, my training focus has shifted to speed work. This entails finding a high school track, and running 1 mile repeats, then following that by running the bleachers. I've also included hill sprints, and 800 meter repeats in my training. In one week I will start my 'taper' for Boston, meaning I will lessen the miles I run and decrease the intensity. This will allow my body to heal and get rested up for the marathon.

    I've attached a short video where I talk about my training diet. It's also been a great diet to maintain while I'm not training (although there are variations of meals from what is in the video) to help keep healthy.

    I'll try and post one more blog before I head to Bean Town. Live healthy and happy!



    The BEST Fish Tacos You Will Ever Eat

    (Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:22:00 +0000)

    Orriant Mommy Blogger, Emily, shares her recipe for Grilled Chili-Lime Fish Tacos with Sour Cream Cabbage Slaw.

     
        Tacos
        1 pound tilapia or other white fish
        1 tablespoon olive oil
        3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
        2 teaspoons honey
        2 garlic cloves, finely minced
        1 tablespoon chili powder
        1 teaspoon cumin
        1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper(omit if you don't like heat)
        salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season


        Slaw
        2 cups shredded red or napa cabbage
        2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
        1/4 cup low fat sour cream
        1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
        salt and pepper, to taste
        1 ripe mango, diced
        1 avocado, diced
        8 small corn tortillas or flour
        avocado and extra cilantro, to garnish

    Instructions 
    Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in large ziploc bag and add olive oil, lime juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Close bag and massage seasonings into fish. Let marinade for 20 minutes.

    Prepare slaw: In a medium bowl combine cabbage, cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator.

    Remove fish from marinade and place on hot grill. Grill fish for 3-5 minutes each side, it will vary depending on the temperature of your grill. Typically the second side will take less time. Remove fish to hot plate.


    Grill tortillas for 10-20 seconds each side. Divide fish equally into tortillas, add slaw, and mango and avocado. Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. Makes 8 tacos total; 2 tacos each.


    All About Growing and Enjoying Your Fruits and Vegetables

    (Thu, 27 Mar 2014 17:38:00 +0000)

    Spring is here at last! It has been a tough winter for some of us, but spring ushers in sunshine and warmth. One of the great benefits of this time of year is the increased variety of fruits and vegetables in season. Not only can you find more produce in grocery stores, but it is also a great time to start planting your own.


    There are many benefits to growing your own fruits and vegetables, such as:

         Fresher Produce. It can take several weeks for produce to arrive from the farm to the grocery store, and then to your table. Every day that passes after that fruit or vegetable is picked, it loses some of its freshness and nutrients. Picking fruits and vegetables from your own garden ensures you are enjoying them when they are most fresh and flavorful.

         You know exactly what you are eating. It is hard to know exactly where our grocery store produce comes from and how it was produced. Concerns about pesticide-use or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are eliminated when you are growing the produce yourself.

         Kids will be more inclined to eat fruits and vegetables. Kids gain a sense of accomplishment and excitement when they participate in growing the food they eat. They will be more interested in eating a food, if they were involved in its creation.

         It can help to decrease stress. Gardening can be a relaxing hobby that helps you de-stress after a long day. Being outdoors and focusing on the simple task of gardening is a great break from work deadlines, family responsibilities, etc.

         “Get More Satisfaction!” When you put time and energy into something, then see the results, you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The same applies for planting and growing your own fruit and vegetable garden.

    Now that you are excited about having your own garden, where do you begin? It can be broken down into 3 important steps: Plan, Prepare, and Plant.

    1. Plan: You need to consider what will grow well in your location and what space is available. For example, if you live in an apartment and the only outdoor space you have is a balcony, then planting squash or peas may not work since they need room to spread. Tomatoes and green peppers, on the other hand, do not require much space and would grow just fine on a balcony or patio. It is also important to consider where you plant certain fruits or vegetables, as some require more shade or more sunshine than others.

    2. Prepare: Whether you will be planting seeds in a pot or in the ground, it is essential to prepare the soil. You do this by loosening the soil (with a rake or a shovel) and dampening it. You then apply organic material (such as manure) and mix it in with the soil.

    3. Plant:Now you are ready to plant your seeds! Typically you plant the seeds just beneath the surface of the soil.  Although, some seeds may have specific instructions for how deep and far apart they should be placed. 

    As Easy As Mac and Cheese!

    (Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:16:00 +0000)

    Orriant Mommy Blogger, Emily, gives tips to keep moms and kids happy and well fed.


    Today's post is about nutrition for moms and kids. I mentioned in my last post about needing to have healthier protein snacks available. I don't know about you, but on busy days I am lucky sometimes to have a “meal”, and can just grab what is within reach. Quite often they aren't the best of choices. I would not say I am grabbing cookies and a slice of white bread, but more that the snacks are not balanced (ex. a protein and a fiber). So I have included a recipe at the end of the post that I really like as a “go to” snack. Let protein be your friend in controlling hunger, cravings, and that afternoon crash. An average size female should take in 50-70 grams per day.

    We had a family over for dinner last night. I made a roast, asparagus, arugula salad, grapes, and some parmesan roasted red potatoes. Delish! My kids were scarfing the asparagus and asking for more salad. I will admit I “splurged” and fed them hot dogs, a “treat” when other children come over. The other mother was surprised that not only were my kids staying at the table long enough to eat, but they were eating what was prepared. She said “George only likes kid foods like cereal and bread.” That got me thinking... why are certain foods called “kid foods”? Who decided that hot dogs, jello, peanut butter and jelly, artificially colored yogurts and cereals were what kids should eat? If we were to give whole wheat bread, cucumbers, and brussel sprouts only to kids, would they be known as “kid food”?

    I don't want to jump on a soap box here, my intention is to focus on teaching our kids to eat healthy foods they can enjoy. However, “kid food” is whatever you choose. Media tries to tell us differently, but I challenge you to make a choice today to cut out a typical “kid food” from your house, or make that “kid food” more healthy (as I did below with my mac and cheese recipe). I see a difference in my kids on days they eat regularly and healthy versus days they consume more sugar or processed foods. If we can get them started on good habits at home, they can make wise choices outside the home.

    Here's an interesting article about how the sugars, processed foods, dairy, and artificial sugars can affect the attitudes and actions of children - especially those with ADHD: http://www.livestrong.com/article/344679-foods-that-trigger-adhd/

    And foods that can improve behavior here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/287759-foods-to-calm-adhd-children/

    Various health groups are petitioning to get the artificial colors out of things like macaroni and cereals. They are a BROWN grain, why do they need Red 40 in there? How have you gotten your children involved in healthy eating?

    Below is my recipe for mac and cheese. My kids won't touch the boxed stuff....

    All Natural Mac and Cheese
    1 box whole grain pasta
    ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
    ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
    ¼ tsp. pepper (optional)
    1/8 tsp. garlic powder (optional)

    Cook noodles according to directions. Drain noodles and return to pan. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until melted, serve and enjoy!

    Oatmeal Protein Balls
    1 cup almond, sunflower, or peanut butter
    1/4 cup honey
    2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
    1 cup oats
    1/4 cup ground flax seeds
    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or dried berries (I love blueberries and cranberries)

    Mix all the ingredients together, form into (1" to 1 1/2") balls and refrigerate for 2 hours before enjoying. Yields about 22 balls. Can be refrigerated or frozen for future use.

    (Craisins: 133 cal. 9.9 carbs 5 g protein, Choc chips: 122 cal., 10 carbs 5.2 g protein)

    Ron's Marathon Journal - Feeling Closer to Race Ready

    (Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:01:00 +0000)

    Wheeler Machinery employee and Orriant participant, Ron Fehr, gives you a peek into his training and progress as the Boston Marathon gets closer.

    February has been a great month of training and I’m beginning to feel close to marathon shape.  In March, I’ll be running the Canyonland’s Half Marathon, which will be a great training run to see where my fitness level is for Boston.  I am excited and am loving the great Spring running days the past week or so.  I’ve been running twice a day, on my lunch break and when I get home from work.  It is the best way for me to log more miles.  From here on out, I will be spending more time working on increasing my speed by interval training, mile repeats, hill sprints, and tempo runs.  I hope everyone is living healthy and happy!  

    Emotional Eating and How to Avoid it

    (Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:55:00 +0000)



    You know that feeling when you come home exhausted from work and all you want to do is dive into a bag of chips?
    or
    When you’ve had a rough day and all you can think about is the ice cream sitting in your freezer?
    or
    When you go to the movies and the aroma of buttered popcorn makes it impossible to skip the concession stand?

    These are all examples of emotional eating. ‘Emotional eating’ can be defined as eating due to an emotion rather than hunger. Many think that emotional eating only occurs when someone is feeling sad, but it can actually be associated with anyemotion--such as joy, anger, boredom, frustration, excitement, etc. We may also associate certain activities with eating, such as popcorn at the movies, even if we are not necessarily hungry.

    What is the big deal?

    Treating yourself after an accomplishment or to celebrate a special occasion is not necessarily a bad thing. Food is a huge part of our culture and has the potential to contribute to the happiness we experience in our lives. The issue is when it becomes our main emotional coping mechanism. Throughout our lives, we have learned that food has the ability to provide a sense of comfort, so it tends to be our go-to source when we feel lonely, sad, anxious, angry, or stressed. This comfort is short-lived, however, and the emotions we were struggling with do not go away when we finish that last spoonful of ice cream.  In fact, it might lead to even worse feelings of guilt or defeat. Ultimately, the issue is that emotional eating keeps us from discovering other healthier and more productive ways to cope with our feelings.

    What can I do?

    The first thing to do is identify your own personal emotional eating triggers. This may be difficult to do in the beginning, but it is necessary to distinguish between emotional hunger versus physical hunger. It takes practice to distinguish between the two, but remember that physical hunger comes on gradually and stops when you are full. Emotional eating, on the other hand, can occur suddenly and continues on even after you are full.

    Tips to help you stop emotional eating:

           Keep a food journal or use a smartphone tracking app (Watch for Orriant’s app coming soon). By taking the time to write things down, it can help you be more conscious about your food intake.
           Go for a walk outside. The fresh air and exercise can help to improve your mood.
           Clean the house or do yard work. Busy work like this allows you time to think and sort through emotions.
           Talk to family members or a friend. Talking things through with someone else can give you a new perspective.
           Listen to music, play a game, take a bubble bath, or do any other activity that brings you joy. These activities can develop into your new emotional coping mechanisms.



    Banana Bread meets Butterscotch

    (Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:34:00 +0000)

    Orriant Health Coach, Alyssa, shares a recipe for her favorite sweet snack.


    Ingredients
    2 ripe bananas, mashed
    1 cup oats
    1/4 cup butterscotch chips
    1/3 cup slivered almonds (good protein source!)
    1/2 cup shredded coconut

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    2. Combine all ingredients together and thoroughly stir until everything is combined.

    3. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Make dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet. The dough will be moist and sticky, but it should hold its shape when formed into balls.

    4. Cook 15 – 18 minutes.

    (Recipe adapted from www.pbfingers.com)

    Orriant "Pick me up" Smoothie

    (Mon, 24 Feb 2014 16:52:00 +0000)

    1 banana
    1 sliced/cored green apple
    Berries to taste, if desired
    I heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder
    1 cup ish of vanilla almond milk (more or less for desired consistency)
    Handful of ice

    Blend and Enjoy!

    How to Make a Quick Flu Recovery

    (Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:19:00 +0000)




    The Center of Disease Control estimates that approximately 5-20% of US residents contract the flu each year with symptoms lasting up to two weeks. If you happen to be among that percentage, do not lose hope. There are things you can do to promote a more speedy recovery. Here are 3 tips to help you make a quick flu recovery or at least ease the symptoms:

    1. Take a warm shower. The warm water can provide relief for aching muscles, while the steam helps to open airways and moisten the thin mucus in your sinuses. You can also add therapeutic ointments, such as eucalyptus, to the steaming water to help open up bronchial tubes for more ease of breathing.
    2. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water--at least 8 cups a day--is important to keep your respiratory system well hydrated. Liquids such as coffee, caffeinated tea or alcoholic beverages should be avoided as they may cause dehydration.

    3. Try nasal saline irrigation. Nasal irrigation has been found to help ease a stuffy nose. As the saline solution flows from one nostril to the other, it washes out mucus and allergens, and clears the nasal cavity. Follow this step by step guide for more detailed instructions: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-nasal-irrigation.

    Mommy Blog - We reach our goal....but not always.

    (Mon, 17 Feb 2014 18:31:00 +0000)

    It is February!  How did the 3 days a week of exercise commitment turn out for you? What challenges did you face? What successes did you accomplish? What did you learn? I'd love to hear comment below.

    I met the goal, some weeks by the skin of my teeth, but I made it. Here's what I discovered:

    1. I still haven't learned that arguing with myself about exercising or staying in bed is not productive. Just get up already and stop wasting time!

    2. I have let the busy schedule of my day keep me from eating well. I need to have more quick on the go, healthy proteins available.

    3. I have to be flexible, but at the same time keep firm to my commitment. Life happened and my plans for exercise didn't always happen as I planned. If I let myself get stressed or aggravated over it, it ruined my day and I was likely less productive. So, I must be committed to my exercise, but flexible in which day and what type. Always have a plan B.

    So this month I'd like to focus on Plan B.

    Here's an idea for Plan B. “Hit the Deck” workout (should take 15-20 min. if doing multiple rounds).
    Try doing it just before you hop in the shower or even let the kids join in. It's short, intense, and productive!

    This workout uses a deck of cards. You can choose a deck of Face cards, Uno cards, Rook cards.... etc.
    Assign one exercise to each color/suit. Then you will perform repetitions of the exercise represented by the number on the card (if using face cards, all royalty are 10.). As soon as you complete one card, flip over the next so that you are going through the exercises one right after another. Shuffle the deck and let the fun begin! Try to make it through the cards once. Then as you get stronger you can try 2, 3 rounds etc. You can also change the exercises that you do for each round. 

    Here's an example:

    Round 1:(repeat or go to round 2)

    Hearts: squats

    Spades: Push ups

    Clubs: Tricep dips (use a chair, stair, or foot board)

    Diamonds: bicep curls (If you don't have dumbells, use exercise bands, book, gallon of milk, canned food, a child :))

    Round 2:

    Hearts: burpees (Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. Stand up from the squat position.) 

    Spades: switch lunges (Bring one leg behind you.  Lower the front knee to a 90 degree angle. Stand up.  Switch legs).

    Clubs: sit ups

    Diamonds: thrusters (holding dumbells at shoulder level, squat down as far as comfortable.  Stand up tall.  Then press dumbells overheard with straight arms.)

    Finish up with a plank (get in push up position with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes.). Try holding for at least 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 6 times.

    If you want to focus in on a certain muscle group, and don't know an exercise, comment below and I'll get back to you with an option. Also, if you need a modification for a certain exercise, I can provide that too.





    Flu Fighters

    (Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:03:00 +0000)





    Well, it is that time of year again: flu season. It happens every year whether we like it or not. It may seem unavoidable when you are surrounded by sick family members or coworkers, but there are actually several ways to protect yourself. Here are five everyday actions you can take to help you become a flu fighter:

    1. Wash your hands. Soap and water are the best options, but you can also use an alcohol-based hand rub. There are small hand sanitizers that are easy to carry in a purse, backpack or a pocket, when you are on the go.
    2. Take care of your body. Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising and eating a healthy diet are all important ways to ensure that your immune system is functioning optimally and is ready to combat disease.
    3. Clean and disinfect surfaces. We touch hundreds of objects throughout the day, from our office desk to exercise equipment at the gym. These objects may be contaminated with germs and should be disinfected before using them.
    4. Avoid touching your face. Germs spread when we touch our eyes, nose and mouth. It is important to be aware of this, and try to keep your hands away from your face or use a tissue when necessary.

    5. Limit contact with sick people. This can be difficult when sick people are in your home or your work, but try to avoid close contact as much as possible. 

    Ron's Marathon Journal - Training In Bad Weather

    (Mon, 10 Feb 2014 21:09:00 +0000)

    "The inversion in the air made running difficult, especially being forced to log many, many miles on a treadmill."

    Wheeler Machinery employee and Orriant participant, Ron Fehr, won't let anything derail his training for the Boston Marathon. Ron shares how he kept his workout schedule on track regardless of the weather forecast.

    The past 2 weeks of training have been excellent, and last week I exceeded my personal best in total mileage for a week by running over 90 miles.  The inversion in the air made running difficult, especially being forced to log many, many miles on a treadmill.  That being said, long mileage on a treadmill is actually great mental training as it forces a person to be strong and fight through the boredom.  I do not listen to music when I run, so it can be even more challenging.  


    As far as the inversion goes, if you’re going to be exercising outside and live in Utah, I highly recommend keeping an eye on http://www.airquality.utah.gov.  They do a great job updating the air pollutants hourly and offer a simple color pattern to determine whether or not you should be participating in strenuous activities outdoors.  They even have apps for Android and iOS mobile devices so you can check if you’re away from a computer.  I check it multiple times per day to plan my outdoor running schedule.  That’s it for now, live healthy and happy!


    Kale Chips

    (Sat, 01 Feb 2014 22:14:00 +0000)

    Orriant Health Coach, Caroline, shares her recipe.



    Ingredients:

    Bushel of Kale
    2 Table spoons of olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon of salt

    Instructions:

    Tear kale into small pieces, then rinse. Make sure the kale is bone dry, then put it on a cookie sheet. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil on to the kale. Bake at 350 for approximately 5 minutes.  Make sure kale is crispy. If the kale is soggy put in oven for an extra minute. Watch carefully, this is easy to burn. Take out of oven and pour salt over kale. Then enjoy!


    "Not-Yo" Normal Cheese Dip

    (Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:45:00 +0000)

    Orriant Health Coach, Corene, shares her recipe.




    "Not-Yo" Normal Cheese Dip Recipe

    1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight
    2 cups beef broth
    2 tablespoons miso*
    2 teaspoons cornstarch

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, diced
    1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced (keep seeds if you want more heat)
    3 cloves garlic

    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast **
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric ***

    Drain the cashews. In a blender or food processor, puree them with broth, miso, and cornstarch until very smooth. This could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on your blender.  Rub between your fingers to test; slight graininess is ok, but try to get it as smooth as possible. 

    In the meantime, preheat a sauce pan over medium heat.  Saute onion, pepper, and jalapeno in oil with a pinch of salt until soft, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute about a minute more. 

    Transfer vegetables to the blender where the cashew mixture is.  Add cumin, chili powder, nutritional yeast, and salt.  Blend again until very smooth. 

    Transfer mixture back into the pot.  Whisking often, turn heat up to medium until the sauce comes to a slow rolling boil.  Lower the heat so that it doesn't burn and cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Whisk often and check to see that it's thickening.  If not, then turn heat up a bit.  It should become nicely thickened but still pourable and velvetta-ish.  

    Stir in the lemon juice and turmeric at the end.  If the sauce seems too think, drizzle in a little water and whisk to desired consistency.  Serve hot!

    *  Miso is a soybean paste.  If you can't find it in your grocery store, you can easily find it in an Asian grocery market.  
    ** You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk bins at some grocery stores and most health food stores.  This can easily be omitted from the recipe, as well. 
    ***This is used to deepen the yellow color of the sauce and can be omitted if you don't have it on hand. 


    Note: the sauce will thicken as it cools.  Stir in a bit of water and re-heat. 

    (Recipe adapted from Post Punk Kitchen Recipe)


    Ron's Marathon Journal - Fighting Through Setbacks

    (Mon, 20 Jan 2014 23:26:00 +0000)

    Wheeler Machinery employee and Orriant participant, Ron Fehr, won't let anything derail his training for the Boston Marathon. Ron shares how he made it through the last few weeks.

    December wasn't the best month for my training. The first 3 weeks were incredible and I was even ahead of my goals. I then suffered a shin bruise which made it impossible to run, and nearly impossible to walk. On top of that, I was put down with flu-like symptoms for 3 weeks. Needless to say, it was rough. My mileage goals and speedwork goals were not met, but that's okay. It happens every now and then. I have finally been able to run again without pain in my leg and am excited to have a great January!


    Spaghetti with Garlic Scape Pesto with Tomatoes

    (Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:06:00 +0000)


    If you can't find garlic scapes, you can make the pesto by substituting 2-3 cloves of garlic and an additional cup of basil.

    Spaghetti with Garlic Scape Pesto and Tomatoes

    Ingredients:
    ·                     14 oz high fiber spaghetti (I like Ronzoni SmartTaste)
    ·                     5 tbsp garlic scape basil pesto
    ·                     2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
    ·                     kosher salt and fresh pepper

    Directions: 


    Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain pasta and toss with pesto and tomatoes. Top with fresh cracked pepper and grated cheese on the side.

    Mommy Blog - When 'Life Happens'

    (Mon, 13 Jan 2014 14:00:00 +0000)

    Since my last post, I have had child #4. I was feeling pretty confident leading up to his birth that I could keep the early morning exercise going. I had it all planned out that I would go to workout classes on certain days and times... THEN LIFE HAPPENS!

    I will be the first to admit, it's been harder to get a routine going this time around. I am really blessed that I could return to normal activity so soon after childbirth. I started walking with the kids on day 2, and went back to the gym on day 10. While I want to get my body back in good physical condition again, it ultimately comes down to sanity. That 1.5 hours is my time! It’s the one time I am able to do my own thing without interruptions; like a little one tugging on my shirt or settling arguments. Let’s just say everyone is happier when I get my exercise.

    Emily with husband Darin, and their children
    Madelynn, Owen, Isabelle, and Garett.
    Even though I know how much exercise helps my sanity, still, it's been a struggle this time around. I am sure we can all ramble off reasons why our exercise is not as intense or regular as it should be, but I am still determined. I have chosen at least 3 days a week that I will get up and go to the gym by 4:30am. It might be following a restless night, but is one more hour of sleep really going to take away that fatigue? I have also equipped my computer with 4-5 different exercise videos that I can do on other days. Oh yes, the videos can also be used on days when I might successfully talk myself out of waking up early… it has been known to happen.

    So, who's with me? I am not suggesting you have to get up at 4:30 am, that is just what works best for me and my schedule. What I am asking is that you pick at least 3 days a week, with a specific time, and write them on your calendar or in your phone. For the remainder of January, commit that you will stick to it every week. Then come February, we will re-evaluate and keep it going. If you need ideas of what to do, speak with your Orriant Health Coach℠ or check out our awesome Tabata workouts. Recruiting an exercise buddy is always a good idea too.

    In closing, New Year's resolutions are not something we vocalize, do for a month, then feel guilty because we “failed”. They are goals that we set, write down, and revisit on a regular basis. Make sure you feel confident and excited about what they will do for you. Envision the change! Until February, here's to making a routine happen.

    Top 10 Workout Songs of 2013

    (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 21:30:00 +0000)

    Here it is!  Orriant’s Top 10 Workout Songs of 2013…which one is your favorite?

    1. Katy Perry- Roar
    2. Alicia Keys- Girl on Fire
    3. Imagine Dragons- Radioactive
    4. Avicii- Wake Me Up!
    5. P!nk- Try
    6. Taylor Swift- Knew You Were Trouble
    7. Selena Gomez- Come & Get It
    8. Icona Pop- I Love It
    9. Maroon 5- Somebody
    10. Neon Tress- Everybody Talks

      Ron's Marathon Journal - How Ron Fehr Got Started

      (Tue, 07 Jan 2014 00:13:00 +0000)

      “When people ask me about running, I tell them that I was not a runner when I began this journey.  A half marathon or full marathon seemed absolutely crazy.”

      Wheeler Machinery employee and Orriant participant, Ron Fehr, shares his transformation from overweight to athlete.

      In 2005, a friend snapped a photo of me while we were fishing.  It was hot, and I’d removed my shirt to cool off.  After he showed me the pic, I was startled into action.  After being active most of my life, I’d let myself slip and weighed in at 230 pounds.  At 29 years old, I decided to make some health goals, and my first goal was to complete a sprint triathlon.  Not being a swimmer (at all), this was a daunting task.  After a year of training, I lost 50 pounds and completed the St. George, Utah Triathlon.  After that, I began cycling and running not only for fitness, but because I had begun loving it.

      Since then I have completed a dozen triathlons including the St. George Ironman, at least a dozen half marathons, 5 marathons, a 50K trail race, a 50 mile trail race, LOTOJA twice (a 206 mile bike race), and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance trail run the last two years.  Although I went to Boston in 2012 and finished the race, it was more of a leisurely jog than a race due to a previous injury.

      In 2013, I decided I wanted to run Boston again. My employer, Wheeler Machinery, has been generous enough to sponsor me. I set a goal to qualify for Boston by running the Missoula, Montana Marathon under 3 hours.  My training was intense for 7 months, but when race day came, I was able to push myself across the finish line in 2:58.  My new goal is not only to run hard (and injury free) in Boston, but to finish in under 3 hours. 

      My preparation for Boston began in October 2013.  I have been working with my Orriant Health Coach℠ to both lower my cholesterol and discuss my training regimen, which includes two-a-day runs.  My current goals involve speed work, intervals, and hill training.  My diet goals were a little lax due to the quantity of calories I burn, but I buckled down in December, cutting back on sweets and all the holiday goodies. 

      When people ask me about running, I tell them that I was not a runner when I began this journey.  I did not enjoy running, nor did I have any desire to run more than a 5K or maybe a 10K.  A half marathon or full marathon seemed absolutely crazy, and an ultra-trail race seemed certifiably bonkers.  Running didn’t come easily to me.  It took thousands of miles, countless hours, a monitored diet, and immeasurable support from friends, family, co-workers, and my Orriant coach to be where I am today.  The joy I feel from running is something I try to share with others through my enthusiasm.  It wasn’t easy at first, but it gets easier and is something that I believe most people will enjoy, if they let themselves. 

      That’s it for now.  Three and a half months until race day! In the meantime, live happy and healthy!

      Watch Orriant social media sites as Ron will continue to update readers as he prepares for the Boston Marathon.

      Rise to Success - Matt Geiger

      (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 19:27:00 +0000)

      “It’s like a cloud over your head, almost a level of depression,” recalls Matt Geiger. At least, that is how he used to feel before exercising on a regular basis. “I don’t have stress looming over my head from not working out. Now that I am exercising, I don’t feel guilty anymore.”  When Matt’s employer, Benchmark Brands, implemented Orriant’s Corporate Wellness Program he thought it “seemed silly at first”.  During his initial Orriant Health Assessment℠, he discovered he weighed a little more than he expected. Shortly after, he quickly gained an additional 10 pounds during the Christmas holiday season. Matt realized if he was going to change, he needed to start now.

      “Since January, my weight is down 23 pounds,” said Matt with a grin. “It’s not just about dropping weight; it’s about toning your body. I’ve put on muscle and my clothes are fitting better. I’m happy and my wife is happy.” Matt is the father of 4 children and is far more active with them today than he was a year ago. “I’m playing with my kids a lot more and I’m feeling better about myself.”

      Not long ago, Matt switched job locations which cut down on his daily commute time.  “I thought, ‘I have no excuse anymore. Let’s see what happens.’” Matt decided to dedicate 60 minutes a day to exercise, 2/3 of the time he gained back from his shortened commute. “Exercising in the mornings means I get the blood going and I’m wide awake when I get to work. I’m happier at work and I’m healthier,” says Matt, “It’s made a real positive impact.”

      Calling his Orriant Health Coach℠ seemed like a silly thing at first too, but “ultimately, it’s been a good thing for me. I hold myself accountable in the end.” Matt appreciates the one-on-one interaction he has with his coach, Rachel. “I feel like she has a genuine concern for my progress. Rachel gives me ideas, tips and tricks. It is encouraging.” One such tip was inspired by Matt’s nightly routine of watching TV after his kids are in bed. While Matt watched his favorite shows, he found himself mindlessly snacking on junk food. Rachel suggested he keep his hands preoccupied by using free weights instead of eating. “I grab those free weights and do curls, tricep extensions, whatever,” says Matt with a chuckle, “I look like a fool doing it, but it’s better than eating a bag of Cheetos!”

      Matt has plans to hike different parts of the Appalachian Trail throughout the upcoming year.  His goal is to hike 10-20 miles on any given weekend.  To help make this goal a reality, he trained for and completed his first 5k. “Before, I couldn’t run 50 yards. Now, I can run a mile without stopping.”

      Joining Orriant’s Corporate Wellness Program has made a lasting influence. “I’ve always been active, but I wasn’t doing it consciously. I was only doing the fun part, instead of making an effort to be healthy.” Matt continues, “Now, I actually enjoy kayaking instead of suffering through it. I am hiking and enjoying it again. I’m looking around at the scenery instead of sucking wind. Not only do I enjoy it, but I look forward to it.”

      Tips to Sticking With Your New Years Resolutions

      (Thu, 02 Jan 2014 22:08:00 +0000)

      A new year brings new resolutions! Many people find themselves in a gym attempting to lose a few pounds, or cutting back on junk food.  No matter what your goal is, there are steps you can take to ensure success with your goals.  We have compiled a list in order to make your life a little easier in 2014. 

      Set Specific Goals: Outline exactly what you want to achieve.  If your goal is to exercise more, plan on 4 set times a week.  Limit yourself to one or two unhealthy snacks a week, rather than just saying you’ll cut back.  Specify what you really want to achieve, and you’ll be more likely to do it. 

      Find Yourself a Support Group:  Enlist the help of family and friends who have similar goals to yours.  Motivate each other to achieve them.  Telling people you have a goal in mind will also make it more likely that you will accomplish them. 

      Be Realistic: Do not create outrageous goals that seem overwhelming to achieve.  40 pounds is a massive weight loss goal; why not try for 10?  You are more likely to meet your goal and continue trying.

      Do NOT Overload: Do not set so many goals that there is no way you can focus on all of them.  Pick one or two and really set your focus on those ones. 

      Make a Plan: If your goal will take a long period of time, split it up into smaller goals.  Reward yourself once you reach each new marker. 

      New Years Resolutions can be difficult to stick to.  Find the right goals and the motivation to last through the year.