Friday, February 28, 2014

Emotional Eating and How to Avoid it

You know that feeling when you come home exhausted from work and all you want to do is dive into a bag of chips?
When you’ve had a rough day and all you can think about is the ice cream sitting in your freezer?
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 any emotion--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.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Banana Bread meets Butterscotch

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

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


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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Orriant "Pick me up" Smoothie

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!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to Make a Quick Flu Recovery

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:

Monday, February 17, 2014

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

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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Flu Fighters

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. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ron's Marathon Journal - Training In Bad Weather

"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  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!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Kale Chips

Orriant Health Coach, Caroline, shares her recipe.


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


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!