Friday, June 1, 2018



"After grad school I started walking 3 miles a day and changed my diet completely where I drastically reduced intake of breads, soda, sugars and processed foods.  I quickly lost 20 lbs. and was running a mile easily under 15 min.  I had successfully dieted but did not change my actual habits.  As quickly as I lost, I slipped into old routines and gained that 20 lbs.back, plus another 20 lbs. and fell into a rut with little to no exercise and eating habits that were geared more toward convenience than health. 
Before Wellness, approx. March 2017, I began walking during my lunches on warmer days.  I had recently strained my lower back and knew I needed to add physical activity to my life.  The warm weather came with my lower back feeling much better; I was walking a little longer and a little quicker each progressing week.   

Summer approached and my participation in wellness began.  The initial wellness exam revealed I had a slightly elevated diastolic blood pressure, in the range where I would be required to speak with a health coach each month.  At first I was a bit disappointed; not only did I feel slightly embarrassed but it was possible I had a blood pressure issue (which runs in my family along with an entire slew of things!).  That night on Amazon I purchased a blood pressure monitor.
To my surprise not only has the feeling of embarrassment left but I look forward to calls with my coach.  It is nice to share where I’ve come from, where I am now and where I want to be.
I felt motivated to join Hackettstown Strong Together Fitness in October 2017 (a crossfit gym) and after a week pulled my back (while bending over into the dishwasher!). It was the worst my back ever felt; I actually passed out from the pain as it happened and could not physically make it to the office.
Some family and friends told me I needed to quit CrossFit and said “what did you expect for joining a CrossFit gym, you’re not cut out for that”.  I was depressed.  I was trying to do something that should be good for me but I could barely walk and bend over.  A couple weeks later on my monthly call with Cali I recounted what had happened.  She did not advise me to quit or that I was not cut out for it but encouraged me that I could recover; my body was telling me something and I should listen.  Between encouragement from my CrossFit coach and Cali, after a few weeks I returned to the gym.
Fast forward to April 2018.  I am now down 21.6 pounds from October, my blood pressure is normal (at least on my home monitor!)  I have more energy.  I am able to do modified pushups where previously I could not even perform 5 in a row using a bar!  I have gained significant leg muscle through squats and my knees and hips have felt better than ever.  And my lower back?  I’ve been strengthening my core which I’ve learned is key to preventing lower back pain/injury. I still feel a dull ache in my back once in awhile, but now it serves as a reminder to listen, take care of myself and stretch!
I look forward to shedding more lbs, increasing my strength and maintaining good habits that will stick with me."

This is a testimonial from an Orriant wellness program participant. 

Thanks for sharing! 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Orriant.

Friday, September 23, 2016


The recovery phase of our workouts is just as important as the working phase. The same is true with our recovery time between workouts.

Recovery allows our muscles to get stronger. During an exercise session, our muscles fibers actually tear or pull apart. It is during recovery and rest that the fibers rebuild and grow back together.  If we do not allow time for the fibers to grow back together, we prevent strength gains and can increase the risk of overuse injuries.

During the recovery time it's also important to supply the body with sufficient protein to help the muscles rebuild themselves. There are millions of protein supplements, bars etc out there, many of them cost quite a bit. Here are all natural options that won't break the bank and taste good!

Protein ingredients for smoothies:

Cottage cheese, Pumpkin seeds, Tofu, Tahini, Chia Seeds, Oats, Kale, Avocado, Almonds, Hemp Seeds, Greek Yogurt, Nut butters.

Raspberry Almond Smoothie
  • ⅔ c. plain Greek yogurt 
  • ⅔ c. almond milk 
  • ⅔ c. frozen raspberries
  • ¼ c. almonds, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ice if desired

Optional: banana, berries, Orange juice, oats (for a more filling smoothie). 

Combine all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Get your engine revving during and after your workout. This is sure to keep your metabolism going all day long! Whether a walking or running, this is a great workout.

Treadmill/Track interval speed and distance workout. 

1 mile warmup

6 x 200 yard sprints (treadmill .15 = 200 yard run.)
Do 20 squats between each sprint.

4 x 400 yard sprints (about .25 of a mile)
Do 20 push-ups between each sprint.

2 x 800 yard sprints (about .5 of a mile) 
Do 20 squats between each sprint. 

Run 1 mile
Base pace for .25- for last .75 run 1 min, 1 min, 30 sec with speed increases. 
Repeat until mile mark. (Ex. 8, 9, 10mph back to 8.)

1 min Walking lunges

15 incline 1-2mph -walk one min. Repeat 3 times.

20 second side shuffle at 3-3.5mph. 
Repeat 3 times each direction. 

Cool down and stretch.

Monday, August 29, 2016

As the temperature cools and seasons are changing, try this workout either on the track or treadmill. It will scorch some calories, build some muscle, add some endurance, and even help increase your running pace.

5 min warm up walk/jog

Run 1 mile

20 Pushups

Run 1/2 mile

20 jump squats or switch lunges

Run 1/4 mile

20 Burpees

Run 1/4 mile

20 jump squats or switch lunges

Run 1/2 mile

20 pushups

Run 1 mile

5 min cool down walk 

** One cycle= 3 miles. Challenge yourself and repeat the cycle for a 7 mile run and dynamic strength work out.

** Try to increase your pace each running distance. Example: 1 mile 6 mph, 1/2 mile 6.5mph, 1/4 mile 7mph

**Not a "runner"? You can still follow this pattern on a stationary bike or walking.

Monday, April 25, 2016

5 tips for healthier eating

Tips for Healthier Eating

At some point along the road of life, most of us set out to improve our eating. Often getting started is tricky, but most often it's consistency and maintenance that are the challenge. Here are 5 ways to support you in starting a new healthy eating habit and making it stick.

1. Take an inventory:  Make a list of the "healthy" and "not so healthy" eating habits you have. Number the "not so healthy" habits for both a) importance to you in changing it b) confidence you have in yourself to address it. Choose the habit that  a and b most closely align.

2. Keep it simple: Focus on making one healthy change at a time. Complete overhauls rarely work. Don't try to attack all the "not so healthy" habits at once. As your confidence in accomplishing one change grows you'll likely be motivated and have increased confidence to make further changes.

3. Focus on more: Try to work on incorporating more of the "healthy" habits, rather than focusing on cutting out the "not so healthy" habits. For example, don't say "I can't have any soda". Rather, "I will drink 32 oz of water, then if still thirsty I can have soda." When the "healthy" is included, the "not so healthy" often falls by the wayside. You'll find your tastes and cravings change over time.

4. Make a list: When grocery shopping, make a list ( you could even make a meal plan to base your shopping list from). Review the items that you usually buy. Is there one "not so healthy" item you can leave off this week? Then replace it with a healthier option. Again, keep it simple and don't try to make a complete overhaul. This will contribute to more immediate or longer lasting changes. Stick to the list and avoid shopping when hungry.

5.  Make time for a meal: Studies show families who eat together, especially healthy meals, maintain a healthier weight and have better emotional health. Put away the electronics, tv shows, and distractions. Focus on your eating. When distractions are removed, you can more easily focus on cues your body sends regarding hunger and satiety.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

American Heart Month

 February often makes us think of LOVE, HEARTS, Chocolates and Valentine's Day. Did you know that February is also American Heart Month?
In the U.S. the leading cause of death for both men and women is heart disease. However, with just a few lifestyle changes,  you can help control and prevent it.

Here are 5 ways to be kind to your HEART this month.

1. Know your numbers
    Do you know what your numbers are? When was the last time you had your Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Glucose, and weight checked? If you don't know the answer to these questions, make an appointment with your Primary Care doctor. Having increased levels of LDL(bad) Cholesterol, low levels of HDL(good) Cholesterol, High Blood Glucose, and High Blood Pressure (over 134/90) significantly increase your risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, and heart attack. Excess weight, especially around the mid-section(abdominal area) can increase risk as well. By decreasing your weight just 10%, you can significantly decrease your health risks.
If you are unsure about any of these areas, check with your doctor and Orriant Health Coach to help create a lifestyle plan to improve these numbers and your overall health.

2. Get Moving

Your heart is a muscle. Just like your bicep and quadriceps it needs to be exercised to keep it strong and efficient. Ideally work for at least 150 minutes each week of brisk exercise that challenges your muscles and breathing(30 minutes a day). Try something like a brisk walk, bike ride, trips up and down the stairs at home or work, swimming, or an exercise class. Afraid to try it on your own? Invite a friend, co-worker or loved one to join the fun!

3. Eat the rainbow

Filling your plate with colorful fresh fruits and vegetables has been shown to improve heart health. Working towards 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables is ideal. Fruits and Vegetables are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, Cholesterol, and refined sugars. Fruits and vegetables also are high in fiber and antioxidants that can help prevent damage caused by processed foods and environmental factors. While doing your grocery shopping this month, steer your cart clear of the snack food isle and pick a some high fiber, high flavor produce!

4. Read the Labels

Pay attention to harmful ingredients in processed foods. Things such as Trans Fat, Hydrogenated Oils, High Fructose Corn Syrup, high sodium content, and artificial sweeteners can be harmful to the body.  Sodium can increase blood pressure and sugar can pack on the pounds. Choose foods with a short ingredient list with words you can pronounce! Usually the foods with the shortest ingredient list are healthiest.

5.  Eat the "Good" Fat

Try to consume at least 3 servings of healthy fats each day. Foods such as Avocados, Almonds, Walnuts, Flax Seed, and fish have a good amount of healthy fat called Omega 3 fats and unsaturated fats.  Although higher in calories, these foods pack a nutritional punch and can help lower the unhealthy fast in the blood stream. In the end, helping the heart operate at its best.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

These cookies are great way to provide fiber from oats and whole wheat flour to regulate blood sugar, and sneak in the fruits and vegetables for those picky eaters in the house! Great for a grab and go breakfast or afternoon snack.

Healthy Carrot & Apple Breakfast Oat Cookies

(Adapted from Ciara @ My Fussy Eater)

  • 2 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 1 cup – oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon – baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon – cinnamon
  • 1 large – egg
  • 1/3 cup – coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup – honey
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated – carrot
  • 1 cup, grated – apple or pear
  • 1 medium – banana
  • 1/3 cup – chocolate chips, semisweet
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with grease-proof paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl beat the egg. Add the melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract and stir well. Add this mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the grated carrot, grated apple and mashed banana and again stir until everything is well mixed together. If using the chocolate chips, add now.
  5. Roll the cookie dough into 1 inch sized balls. The dough should make approximately 20 balls. Place each on the cookie sheet and press down lightly with a fork.
  6. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.