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  • Muffin Recipe

    by Columbia Machine | Mar 02, 2016
    muffin-recipe

    TOTAL TIME
    45 m

    Yields: 12 Muffins

    INGREDIENTS
    - coconut oil or butter, for greasing muffin pan
    - 1 tbsp Olive oil
    - 2 cups chopped veggies
    - 12 eggs
    - 2 tsps dried herbs and/or spices, any combo of basil, dill, oregano, chili powder, garlic   -   powder, etc. or 2 tablespoons fresh herbs finely chopped
    - sea salt & pepper to taste
    - 1 cup shredded cheese, optional

    DIRECTIONS
    Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil or butter. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté your choice of veggies in the olive oil until just tender. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with herbs, salt and pepper, and cheese, if using. Divide veggies among muffin cups then fill each muffin cup about ¾ of the way to the top with the egg mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins are set and lightly browned. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for an easy grab-n-go snack or quick breakfast.

  • Baked Parmesan Zucchini

    by Columbia Machine | Sep 18, 2014

    Baked Parmesan Zucchini

    Crisp, tender zucchini sticks oven-roasted to absolute perfection. It's healthy, nutritious and completely addictive!

    Ingredients:

    4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
    In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
    Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the crisp and golden brown.
    Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

  • Taco Pasta Salad

    by Columbia Machine | Mar 07, 2014



    Ingredients

    • 1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • ¾ cup water
    • 1 envelope taco seasoning
    • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 large green pepper, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 medium tomato, chopped
    • 2 cans (2 ¼ ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
    • 1 bottle (16 ounces) Catalina or 16 ounces Western salad dressing

    Directions
    Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, drain. Add water and taco seasoning, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

    Rinse pasta in cold water and drain, place in a large bowl. Add beef mixture, cheese, green pepper, onion, tomato, and olives: mix well. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

    Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  • Some basic tips for making your favorite meals healthier

    by Columbia Machine | Jan 28, 2014
    • Decrease the meat and increase the vegetables called for in stews and casseroles.
    • Choose whole-grain versions of pasta and bread; substitute whole-wheat flour for bleached white flour when you bake.
    • Serve imaginative whole-grain side dishes like bulgur or kasha instead of white rice or pasta. Cook with less fat by using non-stick skillets.
    • Blot all fried meats on paper towels. Or better yet, try baking instead of frying.
    • Avoid cooking with soy or Worcestershire sauce and products that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
    • Use garlic or onion powder instead of garlic or onion salt, and use unsalted or low-salt vegetable broths and products.
    • Buy reduced-fat cheese or use mozzarella, which is naturally lower in fat.
    • In recipes calling for milk or cream, substitute reduced fat versions or try using other “milks” such as rice milk, nut milk, or soy milk. Also use low-fat cream cheese, yogurt, and mayo.
    • Unhealthy fats like certain oils, butter, or margarines can usually be cut by 1/3 to 1/2 in recipes. At first try a small reduction and then use less and less over time; you'll hardly notice the difference.
    • You can also use fat substitutes like applesauce in baked goods.
    • Use fresh-frozen fruit without added sugar if fresh is unavailable.
    • Cut the sugar called for in most recipes by 1/3 to 1/2.
    • Sweeten waffles and quick breads with cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla or almond extracts in order to cut the sugar content.
    • Try salsa on a baked potato or salad rather than high-fat dressing or butter. 
  • Are You Making Your Cold Worse?

    by Columbia Machine | Dec 11, 2013

    A lot of what we believe about the common cold is myth. No, you won’t get a cold because you went outside with a wet head or slept in a drafty room. But here’s what is true, when you’re sick, some common mistakes can make your cold symptoms worse – or prevent you from getting better.

    If you’re feeling crummy and stuffed up, here are 7 things that could make your cold worse.

    1. Pretending you’re not sick. This never works. You can’t ignore a cold. When you get sick, you need to take care of yourself. Your body needs extra energy when it’s fighting an infection. If you try to push through a cold, especially if you have a fever, you’ll exhaust yourself. That could make your cold worse.
    2. Not sleeping enough. Getting enough sleep is key for a healthy immune system. One study found that sleeping less than 7 hours a night almost triples your risk of getting a cold in the first place. If your cold symptoms keep you up at night, try to go to bed earlier or take naps during the day. You need extra rest, however you get it.
    3. Getting stressed. It turns out that stress can make you more likely to get a cold. Over time, high levels of stress hormones can stop your immune system from working normally. The result: more sick days.
    4. Drinking too little. You need to drink a lot of fluid when you’re sick. Why? Fluids will help thin your mucus, making your sinuses drain better. Just about any fluid will help. Water, juice, hot tea, and soup are all good. Contrary to what you’ve heard, milk is OK – the notion that it causes mucus build-up is a myth.
    5. Drinking alcohol. Too much alcohol can leave you dehydrated and worsen cold symptoms such as congestion. It can also suppress your immune system and – potentially – interact with cold medications you’re taking. Until you’re feeling better, it’s best to lay off the booze.
    6. Overusing decongestant sprays. Be careful with nasal decongestant sprays. They may work well at first, but if you use them for more than three days, your stuffy nose will get worse when you stop.
    Smoking. Smokers get more colds than non-smokers. They also get worse colds that last longer. Smoking damages cells in the lungs, making it harder for you to fight off a cold. If you’re sick with a cold, don’t smoke – and don’t let anyone around you smoke either.
  • Hamburger Stew

    by Columbia Machine | Dec 04, 2013

    Hamburger Stew

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
    • 4 cans (14 ½ ounces each) stewed tomatoes
    • 8 medium carrots, thinly sliced
    • 4 celery ribs, thinly slices
    • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 2 cups water
    • ½ cup uncooked long grain rice
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons pepper

    Directions

    Cook beef and onions over medium heat; drain. Add tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, water, rice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes until vegetables and rice are tender. Uncover; simmer 20-30 minutes longer or until thickened. Note: Serve with buttered cornbread.
  • World Stroke Day – October 29, 2013

    by Columbia Machine | Oct 29, 2013

    Stroke is among the five leading causes of death for Americans. According to the World Stroke Organization, 1 in 6 people worldwide will have a stroke during their lifetime.

    One of the best ways to help save lives from stroke it to know what a stroke looks like. Learning about stroke can help you act fast to save a co-worker, friend, or relative. Although stroke risk increases with age, strokes can – and do – occur at any age.

    F.A.S.T is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away.

    F – Face Drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

    A – Arm Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

    S – Speech Difficulty. Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simply sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

    T – Time to call 9-1-1. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

    Practice Healthy Living Habits to Prevent Stroke

    Healthy Eating. Both sodium and alcohol can raise your blood pressure if you have too much of them each day. Smoking cigarettes also raises your blood pressure. Eating foods high in cholesterol can build up fatty deposits, called plaque, on the walls of you blood vessels. These deposits can block the flow of blood to the brain, causing a stroke. To help prevent stroke, prepare meals with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and cholesterol in your meals. To help keep blood pressure in a healthy range, help family members avoid (or stop) smoking, and limit alcohol use to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

    Physical Activity. Being overweight or obese can raise total cholesterol levels, increase blood pressure, and lead to diabetes. But being physically active will help you and your family members maintain a healthy weight and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in a healthy range. The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
  • Sweet Potato Jack-o-Lanterns with Cinnamon Sugar

    by Columbia Machine | Oct 21, 2013

    Ingredients

    -        One 1 ½ to 2 pound sweet potato, in an even cylindrical shape if possible, wide enough for your cookie cutter form to cut out patterns

    -        3 Tbsp. butter, melted (for dipping)

    -        6 Tbsp. white granulated sugar (for dredging)

    -        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Equipment Needed:

    -        Pumpkin shaped cookie cutter (small enough to fit within a slice of sweet potato)

    -        A sharp paring knife

    Directions:

    1. Peel sweet potato. Cut into ¼ inch rounds. Use pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut each round into a pumpkin shape. Use a paring knife to carefully cut out eyes and mouths. (This part is a bit challenging; if you find it too difficult, just skip).
    2. Place the cut sweet potato rounds on a parchment of silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 450° F for 35 minutes (more or less depending on thickness of slice) until lightly browned on both sides and cooked inside. Remove from oven.
    3. Melt butter either on stove or in microwave and place in a small bowl. Mix sugar and cinnamon is a separate bowl.
    4. Dip each sweet potato round into melted butter. Then place the round in the cinnamon sugar to coat the jack-o-lanterns with cinnamon sugar. Place the rounds on a rack over a baking sheet to dry.
    Enjoy!


  • Salt Dough Hand Ornament Instructions

    by Columbia Machine | Oct 16, 2013
  • Flu Shots: What You Need to Know

    by Columbia Machine | Oct 08, 2013

    It’s that time of year – flu shot season. But before you head to your doctor, pharmacy, or clinic to get your annual flu shot, know that this year, flu shots have changes – you now have a choice between the types of vaccine you prefer.

    First, the flu facts. In case you need convincing to get a flu shot: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates deaths associated with the flu to affect anywhere between 3,000 and 49,000 people, annually. Of those deaths, about 90 percent occur in people aged 65 and up. And according to a recent study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the CDC, getting a flu shot reduced the risk of flu-related hospitalization by 71.4 percent for adults and 76.8 percent in people 50+ during the 2011-2012 flu season.

    No matter what vaccine you get, what’s important to remember is that everyone – starting at age 6 months – needs to get some kind of influenza vaccine every year, says Susan J. Rehm, MD, Vice Chair of the Department of Infectious Disease and Executive Director of Physician Health at Cleveland Clinic.

    Vaccine Types Available:

    Standard three-strain (trivalent) vaccine. This is the flu shot we’re all used to, and makes up the bulk of the vaccine supply for the United States. It’s manufactured using a virus grown in eggs and is injected into your muscle (“intramuscular”), usually in the upper arm. The vaccine protects against three strains of flu: two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus. The shot is approved for people ages 6 months and older, with different brands approved for different ages.

    Standard four-strain (quadivalent) vaccine. This year, there’s a vaccine that protects against four, rather than three strains (an extra B strain has been added). “This will potentially give additional protection,” says Dr. Rehm, since some flu is caused by the B strain that is not covered by the traditional trivalent vaccine. But, she says, since this vaccine is new this year, “just how much additional protection can’t be known until after the fact.” Experts predict that all future vaccines will be quadivalent, she says.

    High-dose vaccines. This vaccine (also delivered into the muscle) contains four times more antigen than regular flu shots and can rev up an older person’s immune system after getting the vaccine. Since aging naturally decreases a person’s immune response, explains Dr. Rehr, this is recommended for people 65 and over. It protects against three strains of flu and has a safety profile is similar to that of regular flu vaccines. “New information suggests that protection with this vaccine is 25 percent better coverage compared with the standard dose vaccine,” says Rehr.

    Nasal spray vaccine. If you’re needle-phobic, healthy and between the ages of two and 49 (and not pregnant), this is an option. Called FluMist Quadivalent, it’s squirted into the nasal passages and, for the first time this year, protects against four strains of influenza.

    An ouch-free vaccine. If you’re older than 49 and hate needles, there’s still hope. Approved for people aged 18 through 64, this vaccine, called Fluzone Intradermal, is injects into the skin rather than the muscle and uses a needle that is 90 percent smaller than those used for regular flu shots. This version protects against three strains of influenza.

    Egg-free standard dose trivalent. If you’re among the small population of people allergic to eggs, there’s no need to skip your vaccine. The first egg-free flu vaccine, Flublok, which contains influenza proteins from three flu strains cultured in – of all things – caterpillar cells, is available but is limited to adults between 18 and 49. If you are too old to qualify, you should talk to a health provider experienced in managing egg allergies.

  • 8 Healthy Office Snacks

    by Columbia Machine | Sep 23, 2013

    Whole Wheat Crackers and Peanut Butter: Save your quarters by skipping the vending machines peanut butter crackers and packing your own nutritious snack. For a hunger curbing option, try 10 multigrain wheat crackers (such as Multigrain Wheat Thins) and a tablespoon of peanut butter. This nutrient-rich snack rings in at just 193 calories and offers 2 grams of fiber. The combination of complex carbs and protein help to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you feeling full longer.

    Fruit: Grab an apple, banana, pear, grapes, or other portable fruit as you dash out the door every morning. If you grab a different fruit every day (and change with seasons), you’ll obtain a good variety of nutrients plus fiver, and won’t get bored with the same old snack. The average serving of fruit is around 70 calories so pair with a cup of fat-free milk (about 90 calories) for a protein boost as well as extra calcium and vitamin D. This protein and extra fiber combination will keep you feeling full and prevent mindless eating.

    Popcorn with Parmesan:  Take regular bagged popcorn to the next level by topping with 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese. The nutty flavor of the popcorn pairs well with the rich flavor of Parmesan resulting in a quick, 150-calorie snack. Simply top 3 ½ cups of 94% fat-free popcorn with the cheese and your snack is served. If you don’t have an office fridge to stash your Parm, nosh on just the popcorn for only 100 calories. This salty snack counts as one of your three daily servings of whole grains and helps to increase your energy and mood

    Nuts: Make the swap and choose nuts over chips for a crunchy alternative. Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats but are calorically dense (about 170 calories per ounce) so measure out an ounce (about 24 almonds) and stick to that amount instead of feasting on the entire bag. Stash premeasured baggies of nuts in an office drawer or in your purse to nibble on when the 3pm hunger pains hit. Almonds and other nuts are a naturally high source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium and are rich in protein and fiber.

    Instant Oatmeal: When you’re in a rush at work and want something warm and comforting, heat a packet of plain instant oatmeal (just 110 calories) in the microwave for a quick and satisfying treat. Choose plain oatmeal and add your own flavorings to control the calorie and sugar content. Top with a 42 calorie mini box of raisins for a sweet flavor and added nutrients or sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Doubling as a fiber-rich breakfast or daytime snack, oatmeal helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

    Mini Pitas with Hummus: Use mini pita pockets to scoop up creamy hummus. Whether you make your own hummus or choose a favorite brand at the grocery store, hummus is made from chickpeas, a great source of soluble fiber. This soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Pair one serving of hummus, 2 tablespoons, with 3 mini pita rounds for a 150 calorie snack. If you want a protein boost, fill the mini pita pockets with an ounce of low-sodium deli ham or turkey. The fiber and protein combo gives the snack some staying power to keep you feeling full longer.

    Snack Bars: If you’re having a sweet attack and are looking for a healthy “bar” that isn’t loaded with sugar, reach for one that is all natural. Brands like LaraBar and KIND are good sources of fiber, contain no added sugar, and are made from whole, natural ingredients like dates, almonds, cashews, and cranberries. These bars are rich in fiber, low in sodium, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and run around 200 calories per serving. Pack these convenient bars in a purse or pocket for an instantly sweet and filling snack.

    Veggies with Ranch: Beat the high-fat, high-sodium snacks featured at the convenience store and pack a container of fresh veggies like carrots, celery, and grape tomatoes. Raw veggies fill you up because of their high water and fiber content. If you struggle eating veggies in the buff, try dipping them in 2 tablespoons of low-fat Ranch dressing (80 calories), hummus (70 calories), or salsa (10 calories).

  • Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

    by Columbia Machine | Sep 13, 2013

    Ingredients
    -        2 ½ – 3 lb. pork butt (also known as pork shoulder)
    -        24 oz. (2 cans) Dr. Pepper
    -        1 medium onion, cut into quarters and then again in half
    -        2 garlic cloves, minced
    -        1 ½ tablespoons dry ground mustard
    -        ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    -        Salt and pepper to taste
    -        ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    -        2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    -        Barbecue sauce of choice

    Directions

    1. Place the chopped onions in the bottom of the slow cooker
    2. Place the pork butt on top of the onions and add the garlic, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
    3. Pour the Dr. Pepper on top and cook on high for 4 – 5 hours (or on low for 8 hours)
    4. Very carefully, because the pork will be hot, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board.
    5. Using two forks shred the pork by pulling away from each other; the meat should be very tender at this point.
    6. Place the shredded pork back into the slow cooker and continue to cook for an additional hour.
    Drain the remaining juices and toss the meat and onion mixture into the barbecue sauce of choice. No exact amount, just add a bit at a time until you reach your desired sauciness.


  • Zucchini Muffins

    by Columbia Machine | Sep 04, 2013

    Ingredients

    -        1 ½ cup shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchinis)

    -        2 cups whole-grain pancake or biscuit mix

    -        1 teaspoon cinnamon

    -        1 teaspoon allspice

    -        2 eggs

    -        ¾ cup brown sugar

    -        ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

    -        2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

    -        Powdered sugar (just enough to dust the muffins)

    Directions

    1. Wash zucchini and remove ends.
    2. Shred zucchini using the largest holes on the grater. Wrap grated zucchini in a couple of paper towels and squeeze to remove excess water.
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line muffin tins.
    4. In a large bowl, mix whole-grain pancake mix with spices.
    5. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, applesauce and lemon juice.
    6. Fold the egg-sugar mixture and shredded zucchini into the pancake-spice mixture, do not over mix.
    7. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter.
    8. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
    9. Remove muffins from tins and let cool on a wire rack.
    10. 10.  Sprinkle muffins with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • How to Make Healthy School Lunches for Your Children

    by Columbia Machine | Aug 29, 2013

    Being a parent often requires a non-stop juggling routine that begins with morning carpool and ends with bedtime stories. In the rush to get your children to school, it’s important not to forget the value of preparing them a healthy lunch.

    Switch white bread for whole grain. If sandwiches are a staple in your child’s lunch, the easiest way to make a change is to substitute whole grain bread for white. There are many varieties out there to please even the pickiest eater. Fill them with proteins like turkey slices and cheese. If your child prefers warm food in a thermos, you can fill it with brown rice, whole grain pasta and even oatmeal.

    Pack a rainbow. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of nutrition, make them more interesting! Pack green and purple grapes or colorful berries, dried apricots, mangos, cut red and orange peppers into strips and send them with a fun dipping sauce like hummus or yogurt and send oranges already peeled and sliced. The prettier the presentation, the higher the chances are your child will reach for it.

    Water, water, water. Juice may seem harmless, especially since the labels read things like “packed with fruit.” But juice adds a lot of unnecessary sugar and calories to your child’s diet. Consider rethinking what they drink and send a bottle of water along with, or instead of, the juice box. Not only does drinking water eliminate extra sugar from their diet, but it also keeps children from getting dehydrated throughout the day. Low-fat milk is also a good idea since it provides calcium and protein.

    Think about temperature. Would you eat warm yogurt or cold rice? The temperature inside your child’s lunchbox is just as important as what is inside. Keep hot foods warm by sending them in a thermos, it helps if you first fill it with boiling water for two minutes to retain some heat. Keep cold items like cheese or hardboiled eggs cool by using ice packs. You can also use a refillable water bottle filled with ice cubes to keep things fresh, plus it will provide drinking water at the same time.

    Plan ahead. Making a healthy lunch does take some thought, but the morning rush, when everyone’s trying to get out the door, isn’t the best time to get creative. Try to make a routine of packing some items the night before. Cutting up fruit, pre-making sandwiches, boiling whole grain pasta are all time-saving steps. 

  • Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

    by Columbia Machine | Aug 19, 2013



    Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

    1 lb. thinly sliced sirloin steak (or deli roast beef)

    8 slices provolone cheese

    4 large green bell peppers

    1 medium sweet onion

    1 pound white mushrooms

    3 Tbs. butter

    3 Tbs. olive oil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    1. Slice a thin piece off each pepper lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
    2. Slice onion and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat with butter, olive oil and a little salt and pepper until they are nice and caramelized (about 25 minutes)
    3. Salt and pepper the steak and sauté in a little olive oil until it’s not pink (about 5 minutes).
    4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    5. Add steak to the onion/mushroom mixture and stir to combine.
    6. Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.
    7. Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are overflowing.
    8. Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
    9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.
  • How to Perfect Your Running Form

    by Columbia Machine | Aug 15, 2013

    Running is all about stepping one foot in front of the other. Sounds easy enough, right? But if your running form is incorrect, you’ll end up with aches, strains, and injuries that could prevent you front lacing up your sneakers at all. Make sure to avoid these running-form mistakes the next time you hit the treadmill, trail, or pavement.

    1.     Head: It sometimes feels good to close your eyes and relax your chin toward your chest, but don’t keep your head down (or tilt your head up) for long periods of time. Prevent neck strain and encourage an open throat for easy breathing by keeping your head stacked over your spine. Correct head position also encourages a straight, upright stance, which makes you a more efficient runner.

    2.     Shoulders: Without even realizing it, you may be running with your upper back and shoulders tensed up toward your ears. (And you wonder why you have a pounding headache or aching neck.) Every so often, take a nice deep breath in and as you exhale, relax your upper torso and actively roll your shoulders back and down toward your pelvis. Do a self-check to make sure your shoulders are stacked over the hips. Hunching the upper body forward not only makes it difficult to breathe, it also puts pressure on your lower back.

    3.     Arms: Leave the side-to-side swaying arms for the dance floor. Your arms shouldn’t move across your body when you run: it uses up energy, tires your muscles, and actually prevents your body from propelling forward. To increase your speed and endurance, focus on swaying your arms forward and back, keeping your elbows at 90-degree angles.

    4.     Hands: Clenched fists translate to tense arms and shoulders, which tires your muscles and can cause a dull, achy sensation. Not to mention, it also makes you look like an angry runner! Maintain a sense of relaxation in your torso by running with a slightly open fist, pretending you’re holding an egg in each palm.

    5.     Belly: Many runners complain of lower back pain, and one reason is because they don’t engage their abs. While running, concentrate on drawing your navel in toward your spine to keep your pelvis and lower spine stable.

    6.     Feet: Where your feet strike is a big debate among runners. In order to land with the least amount of jarring pressure on your ankles and knees and have the ability to push off the ground with great force, it’s best to land on the mid-foot – not of the heel. Then roll forward quickly onto the toes, popping off the ground with each step. Landing softly is key – no one should hear you pounding your feet as your run. Think of yourself as a deer, quietly and effortlessly bounding as you move.

  • Skinny Chunky Monkey Cookies

    by Columbia Machine | Aug 09, 2013

    Skinny Chunky Monkey Cookies

    3 ripe bananas

    2 cups oats

    1/4 cup peanut butter

    1/4 cup cocoa powder

    1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

    1 tsp. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas then add the rest of the ingredients and stir and let sit for 20 minutes. Then drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 30 cookies.
  • Rev Up Your Day

    by Columbia Machine | Aug 07, 2013

    What’s the best way to avoid the mid-afternoon energy slump? Many people grab some chocolate, a latte, or a bag of potato chips. But to enjoy a feeling of energy and alertness that lasts, fuel your day with power-packed foods. Use these tips for making high-nutrition choices.

    Vigorous vending. Don’t fall for the quick-fix of sugar. Choose snacks that contain protein – such as trail mix or nuts. Take note of the calories and serving size so you don’t eat more than you need. Many vending machine options offer a short burst of energy followed by a quick dive into a feeling of sluggishness.

    Clever cafeteria dining. Focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. At the salad bar, include a small portion of nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, eggs, or cheese for protein. At the sandwich bar, order a lean meat, poultry, or veggie sandwich on whole grain bread. Even some pizzas, in moderation, can be nutritious, with staying power. Soups are a great choice, but avoid the creamy varieties.

    Smart strategy. You can guarantee that you have healthy food choices by bringing your food from home. Take the time each week to plan and pack your meals and snacks – it’s well worth the effort. You’ll enjoy better health and energy, with the bonus of saving money.

  • Thrive Across America has Begun!

    by Columbia Machine | Jul 23, 2013
  • 7 Minute Workout

    by Columbia Machine | Jul 18, 2013