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Orriant Health

  • Go On Vacation And Bring Back Memories, Not LBS.

    (Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:29:00 +0000)


    Summer time is perfect for those family vacations and weekend get-aways with friends. However, these trips can be the culprit of some unwanted weight gain that is avoidable. Try these 5 ways to keep from packing on the LBS and still enjoy your vacation:

    1. Make Smarter Meal Choices- One of the biggest problems vacation-goers stumble upon is eating out every day. In many cases this is unavoidable, but that does not mean you are completely at a loss when it comes to your nutrition. Consider making healthier selections while eating out, such as ordering a side salad, instead of fries. You can also split meals, which will save dollars, as well as calories. If you do have access to a fridge or kitchen, consider having at least one meal per day in your hotel room. Find a convenience store and fill your fridge with nutrient dense foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grain snacks.

    2. Carry Water – If you are being more active (as tourists tend to be), you will want to make sure you always have a water bottle. This will help you stay well hydrated and stave off those hunger pains that are really your body just begging for water. Not only will this help cut down on excess calories, but you will also have more energy to keep up on fun adventures.

    3. Make Alternative Transportation Choices - One great way to get in a lot of extra activity, as well as explore in a way you would not otherwise, is to avoid taking cabs or public transportation. Often times, large cities are pedestrian friendly and many have bicycles available for rent, at hourly fees. Plan your activities for the day based on what is close to one another, so you can easily travel without requiring an automobile.

    4. Take Advantage of Amenities- Many hotels and resorts have on-site exercise rooms with at least a couple of exercise machines. Take advantage of them! Make the time to get in a quick workout before you leave for the day. Just because you are on vacation does not mean you need to skip a beat on your workout regimen.

    5. Plan an Active Vacation- This seems like the simplest answer, right? If you want to make sure you avoid weight gain on vacation, plan accordingly. Design trips that require you to do a lot of walking, offer activities such as hiking, skiing, camping, swimming, or even scuba diving. While relaxing vacations do have their time and place, you can recharge your batteries by planning a vacation that lets you experience activities, not available in your home town.


    Make Summer Treats Tasty And Nutritious

    (Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:28:00 +0000)


    My last post was about how to instill in your kids the importance of eating healthy for health, not appearance. Since it is Summer time, I have a great way to introduce kids to a variety of fruit and vegetable flavors. Help them to see that eating healthy is CREATIVE and FUN!

    You have probably made fruit smoothies as a quick to go breakfast option. Have you ever thought about pouring that into some popsicle molds for a refreshing treat?

    I found my popsicle molds at a discount store, online and in the seasonal aisle at the grocery store. They come in all shapes and sizes. Recently, I discovered some silicone molds that act like "push pops" and reusable BPA free zip pouches (like "Otter Pops").  If you don't want to invest in molds, you can use ice cube trays and insert traditional popsicle sticks.

    I typically just add a little of this, a little of that to our smoothies, including spinach, kale, various fruits, and sometimes a little plain yogurt for a creamier treat. When our produce is just about to turn, or showing signs of "hurry eat me before I'm too old", I'll cut them up and put them in freezer bags. Then, they are ready to toss into the blender.

    My kids have fun pouring the mixture into the molds, then even more excited a couple hours later when they can enjoy the treat. I feel a lot better knowing they are getting quality nutrients versus the high sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients of the store bought popsicles.
    Here is a recipe I found to utilize the fruit and vegetable combination:
    Strawberry Spinach Pops
    Ingredients (Makes 6, five inch long popsicles):
    ·      1 ½  cups of spinach
    ·      1 kiwi
    ·      2 ½ cups of frozen strawberries
    ·      1 frozen ripe banana
    ·      ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
    ·      ½ cup water
    Directions
    Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and let set in the freezer for 3 hours. Insert popsicle sticks into each mold, and let set for an additional 4 hours, or until completely frozen. Take one on the next sunny day, and enjoy this sweet treat!


    Nutritional information, per 1 popsicle:
    55 calories, .4 g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 18 mg sodium, 14g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 1g protein


    "Honey, I'm headed to the gym (aka the living room)."

    (Tue, 24 Jun 2014 23:41:00 +0000)



    Whether you love it or hate it, the gym is a great place to get in a good sweat session and burn some calories. Although, the expense and travel time required to use a gym may be reasons keeping you from getting in your workout.


     Here are 5 fun ways to turn regular household objects into your own personal gym equipment.

    Chairs: These can used to help maintain balance while doing squats, leg swings or lunges. They can also be used to hold onto for tricep dips. Be careful not to dip below a 90 degree angle for joint safety.

    Cans of food, bottles of water, milk/juice jugs: All of these can serve as free weights! The best part is, you most likely have a few of these items already, giving you a range of weights. If you need more of a challenge, try filling an empty bottle or jug with sand for added weight. A gallon jug of sand weighs about 30 lbs.

    Tables/Counters:Depending on the height of the table, these can also be used for tricep dips. Regardless of the height, tables and counters work great for push-ups. Make sure you keep your abdominals tight and your belly button pulled back toward your spine throughout the move.

    Towels: While holding one end of a towel in each hand, put your arms over your head and pull as hard as you can in opposite directions and hold it. Maintain for several seconds and repeat. This will help build muscles in your arms and shoulders. Towels can also be used to help you stretch at the end of your workout - wrap them around your calf, ankle or foot, and pull toward you for a deeper stretch.

    Walls, Stairs and Door Frames: Don’t forget the house itself! You can do wall sits, and walk or hop up and down stairs to work your lower body. Also, try standing in the center of a door frame, place your hands on either side of you, pushing on the frame. Push and hold at intervals for an upper body workout. Make your house work for you!


    Getting in a great workout does not have to be time consuming or expensive. Get creative and look for ways you can turn everyday household items into your new favorite workout equipment. These tips also come in handy if you are traveling and want to get in a workout, without leaving your hotel room.

    The secret of change....

    (Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:15:00 +0000)


    What can youdo to make change a reality?

    - Start Small: The worst thing you can do when trying to make a big change in your life is biting off more than you can chew. This can lead to feelings of failure, disappointment and a lack of motivation to persist.

    - Write Down Your Motivations: If you know why you are making a change, it is a lot easier to do the hard work to see the results. These can also serve as reminders when it gets tough to continue (because it will!) and help you to persevere.

    - Pick Milestones: By picking smaller goals, you can make incremental progress and see how you are moving towards your ultimate achievement. Before you know it, you are well on our way to seeing the big change become a reality.

    - Be Consistent: It is often said it takes 21 days to create a new habit or to break a bad one. Pack Your Persistence! As you power through and dedicate your efforts to making changes, that are important to you, you will find they become habit, even second nature. The longer youare consistent, the easier it will be to sustain.

    - Be Patient with Yourself: Nobody has ever said change is easy, and if they did, they are lying. It is possible making a new change will be something you have to work at, so don’t be hard on yourself when progress does not come at the pace you have envisioned. If you fall short, keep going! As long as you are striving to move forward, progress will happen.

    Change may be difficult, challenging and even scary. However, you have it within you to achieve the impossible. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible.  The word says I’m possible.”

    Your Vitamin Dictionary

    (Wed, 04 Jun 2014 18:32:00 +0000)

    Which vitamins do what? What foods can you eat that have those important nutrients? Here is a breakdown of common vitamins and their food sources:


    Vitamin A: This is essential for healthy eyes, skin and immune system.
    Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, liver, eggs, milk, cantaloupe, peppers, herring, mangoes, broccoli.

    Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin): This assists with converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy sources. B-1 is also necessary for healthy heart and nervous system.
    Sources: Lean meats, whole grains, oysters, green peas, broccoli, soy foods.       

    Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin): This is important for growth development, producing red blood cells, and also breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
    Sources: Meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, dairy products, green veggies - asparagus and spinach.   

    Vitamin B-3 (Niacin): This is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates. Niacin is also needed for healthy skin, creation of red blood cells and some hormones.
    Sources: Meat, poultry and fish.

    Vitamin B-6: This is required for proper brain and nervous system functions. It assists in breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. B-6 helps to break down amino acids - the building blocks of proteins.
    Sources: Potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, pork, oats, whole wheat products.

    Vitamin B-9 (Folate): This is needed to make DNA and produce blood cells. Also, B-9 is essential for healthy pregnancies.
                Sources: Liver, yeast, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, orange juice and legumes.

    Vitamin B-12: This is helpful with processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is also necessary for nervous system health.
    Sources: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, dairy products and eggs.

    Vitamin C: This is well known for being essential for healthy bones, teeth and gums. Also, it helps with the production of collagen in cells, wound healing, brain function and healthy blood vessels.
    Sources: Citrus fruits and juices like oranges, papaya, honeydew, guava, pomelo, and broccoli, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, snow peas, cauliflower, leafy greens such spinach, kai lan, chye sim, bok choy.

    Vitamin D: This assists the body to absorb calcium to create strong bones.
    Sources: Sunlight! Your body is able to manufacture Vitamin D on its own. Food sources include fortified milk, margarine, eggs and butter.

    Vitamin E: This helps to protect the cells and Vitamin A in the body from damage. Also, it is necessary for healthy red blood cells.
    Sources: Vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocados, wheat germ, and  whole grains.

    Vitamin K: Helps to regulate blood clotting.
                Sources: Sunlight, fortified milk, margarine, eggs and butter.

    http://kidshealth.org/teen/misc/vitamin_chart.html
    http://www.nutrition.com.sg/ho/vitamins.asp

    Who is right…TV, Social Media, or Mom?

    (Fri, 30 May 2014 20:37:00 +0000)

     Orriant Mommy Blogger, Emily, talks about communicating with your kids, who are being attacked by society’s mixed messages.


    I have been pondering a lot lately about communication between my children and me. I joke that, as parents, we can't wait for them to talk, then wish they would give a few minutes of silence, then once teenagers, we are back to wishing they would talk to us again.

    Although my children are still young, I worry what messages I send them through my words. Am I encouraging? Do I help them to see their potential and instill confidence? Am I teaching them, not just by words, but by what they see me do? I don't think most parents purposefully say things to hurt a child. We ultimately want what is best for them.

    How do we balance what we say against the influence that society provides? Especially, it's perspective of body image, comparisons, purpose for eating healthy, exercise, or “fad” diets.  Society focuses on size, popularity, so called beauty, and success. But really isn't it about quality of life and taking care of what we are lucky to have? How do you most effectively teach the concept of eating healthy and exercise for health, not size or appearance?

    Childhood obesity has more than tripled in adolescents in the United States, over the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has had a profound effect on children’s health.  Conditions formerly only seen in adults, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, are now being diagnosed in children (Webmd.com).

    My daughter is 8 years old. She is by no means overweight, she is just a tall 8 year old. She is over a head taller than all the girls on her soccer team. Her dad is 6'2” and I am 5'9”, so her tall height is expected. I remember as an 8 year old in ballet class feeling bigger than the other girls, but thankfully my mom helped me to find ways to celebrate it. I could run faster on the soccer field or leap further across the stage. But I still felt the influence from other girls, and emotionally struggled. I felt bigger and often less attractive. During the off season in college, I found myself extreme in my eating and exercise. Not to be fit, but to try to align my skewed image of myself with society’s reality. How easily reality can become distorted. I don't want to pass that sort of conflict on to my children. We come in all shapes and sizes. That's something to be celebrated!

    I want to instill in my children to love their bodies, take pride in their appearance, and keep focused on their abilities. To appreciate what they can do and their potential. I find myself saying, “Make sure you are eating so your body can grow healthy.  Listen to when your body says it's had enough.” Or, “Don't just eat because it tastes good, you can have more later, if you're still hungry.” Tell your children that fruits and vegetables will help them to be healthy and strong, and not connect them with size or weight loss.  For many, this is a new perspective. Growing up I often heard the phrase, “You need to finish the food on your plate. There are starving children in the world who would be grateful for that food.” I even catch myself saying that at times. Why not just put less on their plate to begin with? By clearing our plates, we train our minds to ignore our bodily cues. We lose the ability to recognize the “full” sensation and eat based on emotion, rather than with the purpose of fueling and providing nutrients.

    Dr. Ronald Feinstein, an adolescent medicine specialist at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York said, "We need to focus on healthy lifestyle, and parents need to lead by example.” This includes appropriate meal planning and having healthy food available. "Set an example and avoid putting kids in a position where they have to make poor choices." (Source: Webmd.com)

    It can be hard to find just the right words and ways to teach this message. I don't want my children to feel I'm nagging, or keeping them from “enjoying” life. Leading by example is the most powerful way to influence your children. 

    I've found some creative ways to start and continue our children on a healthy path.  I plan to share my ideas in future weeks, so keep following this blog.

    Dip into the BEST Black Bean and Corn Salsa

    (Fri, 23 May 2014 17:18:00 +0000)

    Orriant Mommy Blogger, Emily, shares her favorite recipe to celebrate your holiday weekend.


    Black Bean and Avocado Salsa
    1 can/soaked black beans rinsed
    1 can/soaked black eyed peas rinsed
    1 can/frozen/fresh corn rinsed
    1 avocado diced
    1 tomato diced
    1/2 green pepper diced
    1/2 yellow pepper diced
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    1/2 red onion diced
    1 Jalapeno seeded and diced

    Dressing:
    Mix the following:
    5 Tbsp olive oil
    2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cumin

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Poor dressing over vegetables and toss until coated. Chill and serve with pita chips or whole grain tortilla chips.

    "The energy in the starting corrals was electric." Orriant Blogger, Ron Fehr, talks about the Boston Marathon 2014.

    (Wed, 07 May 2014 19:42:00 +0000)

    The first day in Boston was spent at the athlete's race expo, picking up gear bags, checking into the race, meeting other racers and enjoying the pre-race, carb-load pasta dinner.  I tried to get as much rest as possible the night before the race, which is difficult to do for a race that is surrounded by so much hype. 

    Race morning was slow moving and essentially stress free, making it to the subway and getting on the buses that had to transport nearly 33,000 runners to the small town of Hopkinton.  Being in the first wave, I made it to the start with plenty of time to rest and get comfortable before the ¾ mile walk to the start. 

    The energy in the starting corrals was electric, with the race director interviewing past race winners and introducing the “elite field” (athletes who have won more than 80 global marathons).  As the clock started ticking closer to 10:00am, you could feel the runners inch forward, and hear the spectators reach a fevered pitch.  I felt very good, but with a little worry due to my heel injury suffered a week before the race. 



    The gun went off, and I was on my way.  The first 2 miles went well and I was right on my goal pace.  However, my heel started to cause me some discomfort, and I had to slightly alter my stride.  Even though the adjustment was miniscule, my muscles were not used to running that way and by mile 8, my leg muscles (all of them) started to hurt tremendously.  Between miles 10-12, I knew that my sub-3 hour goal was shot, and I now had to focus on just finishing the race.  After the half-way point, my joints started to lock up.  I couldn't get my legs to complete a smooth stride, which only continued to cause my leg muscles even more pain. 

    Despite the bodily discomfort, I had an incredible time on the course.  The race is organized very well, and the spectators are beyond description, displaying unlimited enthusiasm.  I received many nicknames during the race due to my hair, but more people called me 'Wheeler', which was great to hear (notice my shirt in the picture).  I don't think I would have been able to run this race without the sponsorship of my company, Wheeler.  I am very grateful for that opportunity. 



    After finishing the race in 3:27:55, I nearly collapsed due to my legs forgetting how to walk.  Fortunately a med-tech was there to catch me.  After finding my way to the water station, I was feeling better and am happy with the result.  It almost seemed surreal that it was over after so much time spent preparing.  Despite not meeting my sub-3 hour goal, I couldn't have asked for a better race day, and experience.  If anyone reading this is a runner, I would recommend putting this race on your bucket list.  It deserves all the hype, and is well worth it. 

    Again, I am grateful to Wheeler for sponsoring me and helping me fulfill this goal.  I am also grateful for Orriant, letting me post my thoughts and supporting me along the way.  The list is long of those who deserve my gratitude, including my lovely wife, family, co-workers, and great friends. 

    My future goals (after taking a few weeks to relax, of course) are the Missoula Marathon in July, and perhaps a triathlon here and there, if I remember how to ride my bike.

    Thank you all so much for the support, I can't tell you how much it helped me train for, and achieve this goal.  Until next time, live health, and happy!


    How to have a "cheat meal" without going overboard

    (Fri, 02 May 2014 17:52:00 +0000)


    Eating a healthy diet does not mean you have to say goodbye to your favorite foods for good. In fact, incorporating your favorite foods is a great way to stay motivated with healthy eating. We often refer to this as a ‘cheat day’ or a ‘cheat meal’: a day or a meal where you indulge in foods that you do not normally eat throughout the week. Many dietary professionals recommend implementing a cheat day or meal, especially if the individual is on a strict eating plan. This can promote a more sustainable and realistic way of eating. It is important to be cautious and not go overboard. Here are a few things to keep in mind on your cheat days:

    Have a plan. It might be tempting to let loose and eat everything in sight on your cheat days. After all, you’ve been so good all week! But adding more structure to your splurging can go a long way to preventing you from overindulging. Planning out what you are going to eat allows you to indulge, without over doing it.

    Eat just your favorite foods. If you are going to “cheat”, then make sure you do it only on your favorite foods. Avoid eating something just because it is there, like a stale cookie at a party you will likely not even enjoy.

    Focus on portion control. Even your cheat days need to have some boundaries. The best way to do this is with portion control. If ice cream is one of your favorite foods, then have one scoop to satisfy that craving, rather than a whole pint.

    Turn off the TV. Studies show we tend to eat greater quantities when we are distracted by the television. Set time aside to mindfully enjoy what you are eating, without distractions.

    Get back on track. If you are more thoughtful about your cheat days, then there should be no feelings of guilt afterward. Accept that you allowed yourself to reasonably indulge, and get right back on track with your healthy eating habits.


    Feeling a little confused about what walking or running shoes to buy?

    (Wed, 30 Apr 2014 16:21:00 +0000)


    Here are some tips that will help you make the right choice:

    ·  Buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen. This will give you a feel for the true fit of the shoe, when you are exercising and your feet swell a bit.

    ·  Wear the same socks you will be using when you are walking or running. That way you already know if the shoes will work with the socks. This is not one area where you want surprises.

    ·  Try on both feet. Believe it or not, many people’s feet are different sizes. If you know one foot is larger than the other, make sure the shoe you select fits comfortably on the larger of the two.

    ·  Consider width and length. Part of making sure you have a good fit is knowing the shoe fits the width of your foot, as well as the length. Shoes come in many different width types, so know if your feet tend to fit better in wide versus narrow shoes.

    ·  Know your arch type. Your choices are high arch, neutral arch, or low arch (also know as flat feet). To figure this out, dip your foot in water, then step on a piece of paper, cardboard, or anything where you will easily see the pattern of your foot. If the middle of the foot is mostly there, you probably have a low arch.  Conversely, if there is little of the middle of your foot in the imprint, you likely have a high arch.

    ·  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many fitness stores (especially those gearedtowards walking, running) have personnel who are able to watch the way you walk or run, and help you choose a shoe that will be best. Utilize their expertise to find the shoe that works right for you.


    Whatever shoe you choose, make sure to keep track of your mileage and buy a new pair of shoes every 300-600 miles. This will help you to stay injury free and avoid any hiccups in your fitness journey. Happy Moving!

    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.