Friday, June 28, 2013

Quinoa Pudding

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Place quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly. Allow to drain, then place quinoa in a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan with lid, lower heat, and allow to simmer until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in apple juice, raisins, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Cover pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes longer. Stir in vanilla extract. Serve warm.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Orriant Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Knowing how to relax your muscles comes from recognizing when they are tense.  This step by step guide goes over a full body muscle relaxation process.  Give it a try!

The Benefits of Bananas

Bananas are easily recognized by their shape and bright yellow color.  However, most people don’t know that they contain more vitamins than an apple and have numerous amounts of health benefits.  Here are some of the things that bananas can do for you:

  • Bananas are packed with natural sugars, which can provide an instant energy boost.  Instead of going for the energy drink, grab a banana instead. 

  • They help prevent high blood pressure.  Bananas are full of potassium, which is an agent that helps reduce blood pressure.

  • Bananas create Tryptophan.  Tryptophan converts into serotonin and causes relaxation.  Eating bananas will literally put you in a better mood.

  • They act as a natural antacid and can help relieve heartburn. 

  • Bananas can help regulate glucose levels and can replace pills that relieve menstrual cramps. 

  • Potassium helps your brain focus more and cause you to be more alert.

  • Bananas…or fruit in general is shown to help maintain healthy vision. 

With so many benefits from one piece of fruit, it’s understandable to see why people are “going bananas” about bananas.  They are easy to take on the go and make a delicious addition to all types of recipes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Activities

Summer is finally here!!  Along with summer comes the opportunity to be more active.  People tend to exercise more in the summer because of the warm and accommodating weather. Here are just a few activities that give you great exercise, without feeling like work. 

  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Gardening
  • Walking
  • Frisbee
  • Dancing
  • Water Skiing
  • Volleyball
  • Rollerblading
  • Running

The great thing about summer activities is that most of them are outdoors and provide great exercise for the whole family.  Be sure to wear lots of sunscreen and enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tips to Prevent Headaches

Tired of dealing with the throbbing and pulsing pain associated with headaches? Usually headaches occur from being tired, stressed or overworked.  Here are some ways to prevent and treat headaches.

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule- This will keep your body in balance, help you feel more rested and keep your head clear.

Drink Water- and lots of it.  Water keeps you hydrated and can prevent the onset of headaches.  Eating food with high water content (such as fruits and vegetables) can also help keep you hydrated.

Avoid Certain Food and Drinks- Caffeine and alcohol commonly result in headaches. Chocolate, nuts and certain cheeses can also act as triggers.  By eliminating or cutting back on these items, you can help diminish the amount of headaches you have.

Don’t Procrastinate- Become a planner.  Having things mapped out can help eliminate a heavy load of stress. Less stress means less pain.

Ditch the Computer- Spend less time staring at screens.  Too much time in front of TV or computer screens can strain your eyes and neck.  If you work at a computer, regular breaks and good posture will help to prevent headaches.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rise to Success - Dixon Baxter

“I tipped the scales at 307 and I said, ‘that’s it!’” Dixon Baxter is making healthy changes with the Orriant program. He is 27 pounds lighter and his blood pressure has dropped to a healthy level. These changes did not come easily. Dixon works for MHC at the Wilmington, NC Dealership (location #74). His typical work day is 15 hours long.  Like most people, Dixon admits he is an emotional eater.  It wasn’t until his first health assessment that Dixon realized how heavy he had become over time.

Dixon is driven to lose weight and get off of his blood pressure medication, which he’s been taking the past 25 years. He has set three specific goals with his Orriant Health Coach: eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, exercise 30 minutes 3 days a week, and drink 100 ounces of water daily. “I’m really excited about the results I’ve seen so far. If it weren’t for Orriant, I would be back to doing the same old stupid stuff I was doing before. I would have given up on my new year’s resolution weeks ago.”

When Dixon was asked what the best part of Orriant was, he responded, without hesitation, “Kristin. She listens to what I have to say.” Kristin is the Orriant Health Coach who collaborates with Dixon on a monthly basis. “She is so helpful, even my wife gives me questions to ask her.” One of the things he appreciates most about Kristin is how she helps make his goals attainable. This allows him to plan ahead and set himself up for success. “I appreciate Kristin. It is nice to have somebody behind me like she is. My attitude is so much better, I just can’t tell you.”

The road to healthy living is a long one. Dixon acknowledges he didn’t gain weight overnight and therefore can’t lose it all overnight. “Kristin puts me in the right frame of mind. I’d love to lose a pound a week – I’m doing it the healthy way.” To date, exercise is Dixon’s biggest challenge. His schedule doesn’t allow for 30-minute workouts at a time, so he generally exercises in 15-minute chunks at home. Dixon shares a story about when he first started to exercise. He found a cardio video lasting only 15-minutes. He thought he would blow through the video but admitted, “I was dying at 7 minutes.” Dixon has slowly built up his aerobic stamina and is finding even longer lasting effects. “My personality is coming back. I haven’t had a ‘peppy’ attitude in years, but I can feel it coming back. I want to keep exercising so I can keep my self-esteem high.”

While it’s challenging to fit exercise into his busy schedule, he has adapted to eating a healthy diet relatively quickly. He went from drinking 5 diet cokes a day to drinking only 1 in 2013.  He has surpassed his goals of eating 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to about 5 or 6 a day. “Before Orriant, eating 2 pieces of fruit in a year was a miracle. Now I eat it every day.” Just the other day he stopped off at the gas station where he normally would have bought soda and crackers. This time he got a bottle of water and 2 apples. “A year ago, the thought of going to 711 and buying water… I would have laughed!”

Dixon is grateful to MHC for offering Orriant and thinks of it as earning a bonus. “I’m getting paid to make myself healthier!” he exclaimed. His family has also been extremely supportive. His wife is cooking healthy meals and his daughters are completely behind him with his healthy decisions. “I got a lot of love in my family. I’m at the age where I have to make these changes.”

Friday, June 14, 2013

Peanut Salmon

The seared salmon topped with julienned cucumbers and presented with a zesty, gingery sauce makes this an utterly satisfying dish.

¼ cup vegetable oil
4 (6-7 ounce) skinless salmon fillets
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
3 cups seeded, julienned hothouse cucumbers, drained.
1/3 cup chopped Asian basil
2/3 cup ginger-lime sauce*
3 Tbls. chopped, roasted peanuts

Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan over moderate heat.  Cook the salmon (2 pieces at a time) until they are just golden.  About 3 to 4 minutes each side depending on the thickness.  About 2 minutes before the salmon is done add the garlic cloves to the pan.  Remove the salmon and garlic and drain on paper towels.
Combine the cucumber with the basil in a small bowl.  Place a small amount on a plate and top with salmon fillets.  Garnish with cucumber mixture and top with the cooked garlic.  Drizzle the fillet with the ginger-lime sauce, top with peanuts and serve immediately. 

*Ginger-Lime Sauce

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3 Thai bird chiles or 1 serrano chile, chopped
3 Tbls. sugar
3 Tbls. minced ginger
3 Tbls. fish sauce
3 Tbls. lime juice
3 Tbls. water
Combine the garlic, chiles, sugar, ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, and water in a small bowl and stir well.  Let the flavors develop by setting the sauce aside for 30 minutes before serving.

Source: Food Network

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Colors of the Rainbow

Eating foods in a variety of colors is just what your diet needs.

We’ve all been told how important it is to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But did you know that variety is just as important as quantity? Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients that our bodies need.

The natural pigments in each fruit and vegetable contain specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help us to fight diseases. For example, fruits rich in the color red - such as strawberries, raspberries and cranberries - are loaded with vitamin C. This powerful vitamin is effective in decreasing your risk of heart disease, arthritis and even cancer. What about taking vitamin or mineral supplements in lieu of eating produce? Research has found that substituting supplements for whole foods is not a beneficial trade off. Eating produce gives your body fiber, which can help fight against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Benefits by Color

Red/Purple/Blue - These pigments provide our bodies with powerful antioxidants that work to fight off free radicals. Free radicals damage our cells and can interfere with our immune system which can eventually lead to disease. Add raspberries, blueberries, or purple grapes to your diet to give your body a healthy boost of antioxidants.

Orange/Yellow - Think oranges, peaches, carrots, and corn. These lively orange and yellow pigment foods are packed with vitamin C. They also contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant which becomes vitamin A in the body and is important in maintaining good vision, healthy skin and decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Other key nutrients found in these foods include potassium and folic acid.

Green leafy greens - such as kale, spinach and lettuce - are considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. These foods are high in vitamin A, vitamin K and are also a great source of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. When it comes to leafy greens, the darker the better. Foods like broccoli, bell peppers, kiwis and pears are also a great source of vitamin C.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Why Not Play a Little?

As a kid, exercise was called “playing playing with friends” and you did it because you wanted to have fun. As adults, we should strive to remember this concept.
Now that spring is here, there is no better time to get out and “play”. If you look around, you will find many different opportunities to do this. Team sports are a great way to play and develop a social network with people who have similar interests. Team sports also provide a sense of camaraderie with your teammates, as you work together to achieve victory. Another benefit to joining a team is you will be committing to a whole season of exercise and physical activity.

Find a sport that is right for you by checking out local community centers or start up a corporate team with your coworkers. If playing a sport isn’t for you, simply finding a buddy to be physically active with is a great alternative too.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quick Mango Salsa


Original recipe makes 8 servings

2 mangoes - peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions-Stir the mango, tomato, onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice together in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tips to Go Green

You can help make the world more environmentally friendly by doing small steps that reduce your personal carbon footprint. 

  • Switch to Compact Fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
  • Shop with reusable grocery bags.  Most stores sell them at low prices.
  • Go paperless- Start doing more things online.  Have stores send you receipts and pay your bills electronically.  Stop getting the newspaper and read online instead.
  • Use cloth dish towels to clean your kitchen instead of paper towels.
  • Shop and eat at local restaurants and stores.  Products are generally delivered locally, saving fuel and energy.  Plus, the food is usually more fresh and delicious.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Take your own mug to coffee shops.  Many shops give discounts for bringing your own cup.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.  It saves on energy it takes to heat the water up.

If everyone made these simple changes, imagine the energy and resources our communities could eventually save. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tips to a Healthier You Part 3

Tips to a Healthier You:

  • Improve your balance by walking on unstable surfaces.
  • Challenge your mind by doing puzzles, crosswords and riddles. 
  • Choose a positive role model; one that embodies the kind of person you want to be.
  • Wake up just 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk.
  • Switch up your cardio routines.  Try a new activity to avoid doing the same thing over and over.

Did you know?

  • Visualizing junk food makes you less likely to consume it.
  • You use up to 200 different muscles taking just one step.
  • Hugging can reduce high blood pressure.