Carbs Are Friends.

Often people tell me that “carbs are the devil” and they should be avoided at all costs. That’s a myth I’d like to dispel, though.

Food pyramid

When people discuss carbohydrates they tend to think of pasta, potatoes, bread, and grains— all those things that are at the bottom of the food pyramid. People tend to forget that fruit and vegetables are part of that category.

Weight gain

Another myth is that eating carbs will make you gain weight. But not all carbohydrates are the same. Consider this— some carbs are very rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and those carbs are classified as complex carbohydrates. This is important because our bodies need complex carbs because they provide good nutrition to help us maintain a healthy body.

Simple carbs

The opposite of complex carbs are simple carbohydrates which provide a more direct source of energy. They are easy to digest and the human body burns the energy very quickly. Because your body digests them so quickly it takes longer for you to feel satisfied, making it more likely you will eat too many of them. That over-eating is the cause of undesirable weight gain.

Fruit and vegetables

Moving towards a diet of complex carbohydrates, by focusing on foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar, is the healthy choice. These complex carbs are available in healthy fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. The fiber slows the rate of your digestion so that energy from these carbs is released over a long period of time. Foods with simple carbs are a poor choice because your body processes all of their energy quickly, leading to a possible energy crash.

Now, let’s discuss sugar. One myth is that there is a difference between putting “good sugar” and “bad sugar” into your body—for instance, the idea that eating a sugary piece of fruit is better than eating a cookie because “fruit sugar” is “good sugar.”

The problem is that even though a piece of fruit could be healthier than a cookie, the difference is not because one contains natural sugar and the other contains processed sugar added from a bag.

Take for example one of my favorite pieces of fruit: a banana. When you eat a banana you’re consuming minerals like potassium and magnesium and vitamin C, CB6, and fiber. 

But think about the cookie— there are very few nutrients in a cookie. When you eat cookies your body grabs the sugar and rushes it into your system. The large amount of added sugar adds lots of calories that do not appear in fruit. So when you eat fruit, unless you’re eating apple pie or peach cobbler, you are avoiding a lot of bonus calories and supplementing your body with vitamins and minerals.

But, you really need carbs. Why? Because carbs are a source of fuel for your body. The presence of adequate amounts of carbs can spare the body from needing to break down muscle tissue.

So carbs are not your enemy. The enemy is an excessive amount of calories. If you’re eating more calories than your body will burn during your daily routine then you’re going to begin to put on weight. And, simple carbohydrates tend to make you over eat instead of providing long-term satisfaction like complex carbs. So keep the right carbohydrates in your diet, pay attention to what you eat, and eat in moderation. In other words, eat smart.

Have questions? Contact us.

Easy Two-Bean Baked Wraps

Easy Two-Bean Baked Wraps (with a kid friendly zero spice serving)

Ingredients:

10 Whole Wheat tortillas

1 can fat free refried beans

About 2 ½ cups cooked black beans

2 8oz blocks of Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 packet reduced sodium taco powder

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350

Slice 1 block of cheese into 8 1oz pieces, slice the 2nd block of cheese into 16 ½ oz pieces.

Make the kid friendly portion first:

Place 1 tortilla on a baking sheet. Slather about ¼ C of refried beans over it. Sprinkle about ½ C black beans over the refried beans. Arrange up to 4oz of cheese in ½ oz slices over the beans. Place another tortilla on top. If your delightful small human will only eat warm but not hot food, put this in the oven immediately and remove when the rest are ready to go in (or whenever the melty-crispy factor of the cheese meets your kid’s precise instructions of quality, whichever comes first.)

Make the adult friendly portion next:

Mix the taco seasoning into the remaining black beans with 1-2 T of water. In each of the remaining tortillas layer: ¼ C refried beans, ¼ C spiced black beans, 1 oz cheese. Fold up your wraps and place on another baking sheet. Place ½ oz cheese on top of each wrap. Bake for about 25 minutes.

Servings:

8 Adults (or 4 if you just came from Beast Club)

Children: 1 mini-Hulk, 2 average elementary kids, or 4 standard toddlers

Complements of Margaret Hansen

Tempeh Zucchini Soup

Tempeh Zucchini Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil or butter 

4 garlic cloves minced

2 large onion , chopped 

2 lb zucchinis diced 

4 cups water

6 cubes chicken bouillon 

1 cup heavy  cream

1 cup milk 

8oz Tempeh ( cooked and seasoned to your taste)

2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper

Instructions

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions, and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until they are light golden brown.

Add zucchinis, water bouillon cubes . Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium. 

Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until zucchini is very soft. 

Puree soup in blender and return back to pot

Add heavy cream and milk and simmer for 15 mins

Add Tempeh and cayenne pepper 

Ladle into bowls, swirl over a touch of cream if desired, a pinch of shredded parmesan, and more pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Complements of Daniel Roskamp.

Ground Turkey and Vegetable Soup

Ground Turkey and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

2 T butter

1 C fresh mushrooms

1 medium onion, minced

1-pound ground turkey

1T minced garlic

1t Italian Seasoning blend

1 C chopped carrots

2 stalks celery chopped

1 green pepper chopped

3 beef bouillon cubes

8 oz tomato sauce

3 C water

Instructions:

1. Melt butter in a large soup pot on medium heat.

2. Add the onion, mushrooms, and ground turkey. Cook, stirring often until the turkey is no longer pink and the mushrooms have released all their moisture.

3. Add the minced garlic and Italian Seasoning blend and cook a few minutes more.

4. Add the carrots, celery, and green pepper and stir well. Place the lid on the pot and let steam for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the bouillon cubes, tomato sauce, and water and stir vigorously. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.

6. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the smell overpowers you and you must EAT IT NOW!

7. Serve with crusty bread or buttery biscuits and a light-bodied red wine.

Courtesy of Margaret Hansen

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

¼ C canola oil

½ C applesauce

½ C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 C milk

1/2t salt

1t cinnamon

1T baking powder

3C oats

Optional: top with a light dusting of brown sugar and a handful of slivered almonds

To Prepare:

Lightly grease a 9”x9” baking pan.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, adding the oats last.

Pour mixture into prepared pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight works well)

To Bake:

Uncover and place cold dish in cold oven.

Preheat oven to 350.

After the oven is preheated, bake for about 35 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and enjoy warm. Serves 6.

Courtesy of Margaret Hansen

Quinoa Patties Over Spinach

Quinoa Patties

3/4 Cup cooked quinoa

1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

4 tsp. Flaxseed

Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)

1 large egg white

Nonstick cooking spray

3 cups fresh baby spinach

Combine quinoa, red bell pepper, flaxseed, salt, pepper and the egg white in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Form the mixture into two equal balls. Then press the balls into patties.


Spray a medium pan with the cooking spray and place over medium heat.


Heat both patties for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Then remove from heat but keep warm.

Add the spinach to the pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until wilted.


Place the spinach on a plate and the patties on top and then enjoy.

courtesy of Ray Shonk

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

POTATO LEEK SOUP

2 large leeks
1 large carrot
1 bunch of celery
1 onion
1.5 to 2 lbs of potatoes
1 sm bunch of green onion
1 carton of chicken broth
1/2 cup of garlic/basil pesto
2 cups of whole or 2% milk
2 T of chicken bouillon
Option: 1.5 lbs Turkey sausage or bacon crumbles
2 T of butter or veg oil

Season with: salt, pepper, garlic, poultry seasoning, and/or any blend of your favorite savory herbs and spices to taste.

Chop and toss all ingredients in a crockpot, low heat, for 5.5 hours(ish).
OR:
Chop potatoes and carrot and begin simmering in broth.
Chop and Sauté leeks, onion, celery, and optional sausage in butter or oil.
Add the sautéed veggies, pesto, and seasoning.
Continue simmering until potatoes and carrots are very soft.
Add bouillon and an optional cup or two of water for more broth.
Continue simmering, add milk, and season to taste.
Remove from heat, stir in chopped green onion and optional bacon crumbles.
Let stand for 15-30 mins.
Stir and serve.

Courtesy of Dani Banks.

Have questions? Contact us.

Eating Disorders

Let me begin by saying that I’m not a psychologist or a medical professional. I gathered the information in this article by researching the DSM-5 as well as peer reviewed articles on the subjects of eating disorders. I strongly advise you to seek professional help if you or a loved one displays symptoms of the psychological disorders listed below. 

Not long ago I created a post about controlling eating habits and it turned into a hot issue. This led me to believe that I should provide more information, higher quality information, about this explosive subject. I mean, let’s face it, there are numerous eating disorders representing a very wide spectrum. But no matter what, proper nutrition and regular exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. PROPER nutrition and regular exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle. It would be wrong to eat everything or to starve yourself. Finding the balance may take consultation with one or more professionals. Finding the proper balance of nutrition and exercise is critical. These disorders are very serious and can be life threatening. Seeking proper psychological and medical attention is instrumental in succeeding on your long-term fitness quest. The causes of these disorders are not fully understood, but professionals know a few things. For instance, the greatest risk factors appear in adolescents or during very young adulthood. Professionals are also conducting research to investigate the genetic components of these disorders (Ciccarelli & White 2015).

Consider the most commonly known eating disorder, Anorexia or Anorexia Nervosa. This condition is most often, but not always, found in young females where the person reduces eating to a point where the body weight becomes dangerously low (Weinberg & Gould 2015). 

Common characteristics are:

  • Refusing to eat to maintain a minimal body weight for age and height.
  • Extreme fear of gaining weight or becoming fat despite being under weight
  • Disturbance in how one sees their own body, i.e., saying they are fat when obviously underweight.
  • In females, missing at least 3 consecutive expected menstrual cycles.

We will cover more signs of disorders later. Anorexia can be potentially fatal, leading to starvation, heart disease, loss of muscle tissue, low blood pressure and diarrhea (Ciccarelli & White 2015). Anorexia is a disorder with multiple dimensions, psychological, cognitive, perpetual, and biological (Weinberg & Gould 2015). If you or a family member exhibit these symptoms then speaking with a medical professional is vital.

Another commonly discussed disorder is Bulimia or Bulimia Nervosa. This condition is recognizable for its cycle of binging and purging. A bulimic person may eat large amounts of food in one sitting (binge) then deliberately vomit (purge), use laxatives, or incorporate other methods to avoid weight gain. These purging methods can also include fasting for a day or two after eating or even excessive exercise. Similar to Anorexia, this is most commonly found in young females obsessed with appearance (Ciccarelli & White 2015).  

Common characteristics are:

  • Recurring episodes of binging.
  • Feeling no control overeating behaviors while binging
  • Regularly engaging in self-induced vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, strict dieting or fasting, or vigorous exercise to prevent weight gain.
  • Persistent over-concern with body shape and size.

The binge process can be prompted by anxiety or depression, social stress or feelings about body image, or possibly extreme hunger due to diet attempts (Ciccarelli & White 2015). This disorder can be just as damaging to the person’s health as anorexia. It can lead to extreme tooth decay and erosion of the esophagus due to vomiting, enlarged salivary glands, damage to the intestinal track due to overuse of laxatives, heart problems, fatigue and seizures (Ciccarelli & White 2015). These signs are a strong indication that a person should speak with a medical caregiver like a doctor or nurse, or a professional counselor who is highly qualified.

Here are other signs that you or a loved one should contact a physician.

Physical and Psychological Signs of Eating Disorders (Journal of Applied Sports Science Research).

Physical Signs:

  • Weight is too low
  • Considerable Weight loss
  • Extreme fluctuations in weight
  • Bloating
  • Swollen Salivary Glands
  • Amenorrhea
  • Sores or calluses on knuckles or back of the hands from self-induced vomiting
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach complaints
  • Headaches, dizziness or weakness

Psychological Signs:

  • Excessive dieting
  • Excessive eating without weight gain
  • Excessive exercise that’s not part of a regular training program
  • Guilt about eating
  • Claims of being fat at normal weight despite reassurance from others
  • Preoccupation with food
  • Avoidance of eating in public or denial of hunger
  • Hoarding food
  • Disappearing after meals
  • Frequent weighing
  • Binge eating
  • Use of drugs such as diet pills, laxatives or diuretics

What a few people don’t realize is there is an opposite side of the eating disorder spectrum, and that is Binge Eating Disorder. This disorder is similar to Bulimia’s binge eating, but no purging after (Ciccarelli & White 2015). This disorder was added to the DSM-5 in 2013, making it an official disorder. Characteristics of Binge Eating Disorder are recurring episodes of eating large quantities of food (to the point discomfort), feeling of loss of control during the binge, and expressing shame, guilt or distress after (National Eating Disorder Association 2018). 

Some signs of Binge Eating Disorder include:

Physical Signs:

  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight
  • Stomach cramps, or other gastrointestinal complaints
  • Difficulties concentrating

Psychological Signs:

  • Disappearance of large quantities of food in short periods
  • Discomfort eating around others
  • Constantly trying new fad diets
  • Fear of eating in public or with others
  • Hoards food
  • Frequent diets
  • Shows extreme concern for appearance
  • Has secret recurring episodes of binge eating
  • Feelings of disgust, depression or guilt after overeating
  • Low self-esteem

There are heath concerns related to Binge Eating Disorder other than obesity, although up to two-thirds of people with this disorder are labeled clinically obese. Other concerns are eating to the point of gastrointestinal pain, stomach ruptures, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea (National Eating Disorder Association 2018). This disorder should be taken seriously as the others since it too can be life threatening. 

Don’t forget, it’s ok to talk to a health professional if you feel you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder. It’s better to have reliable information from a health professional than to let a life threatening issue go.

Written by, Ray Shonk

Have questions? Contact us.

References: 

National Eating Disorder Association (2018). https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/health-consequences

Weinberg, R. & Gould, D. (2015). Foundations of Sports and Exercise Psychology

Ciccarelli, S. & White, J. (2015). Psychology. Pearson Publishing

 

Reaching For Your Health And Wellness

Change the Behavior: When you start to consider behaviors that aid in your wellness, such as being physically active and choosing a healthy diet, you may start comparing that with your current behaviors. Like many people, the odds are you are likely have some habits that are healthy and some habits that may place your health at risk. An example would be living a fit and active lifestyle but skipping meals throughout the day. It could even be focusing on your diet but not wearing your seat belt when you’re in the car. To improve your overall wellness, you will need to cultivate your healthy habits and work on overcoming your unhealthy habits. I’m sure many of you already know that changing and unhealthy habit can be much harder than it seems. When you make the decision to take on a lifestyle change, it may seem too hard, at first. When you make progress, your confidence will grow in your ability to make these healthy life changes. As these healthy changes occur, you will notice that you will have more energy, greater vitality and a much greater quality of life than before. You may even seen a curiosity of how far you can go (I know that happened to me). Before you get serious about making your healthy change, you have to know what behaviors are problematic first. To make these positive health changes you also need information about the relevant topics and issues, including what resources are available for you to help you make your change. Take a moment for yourself and ask questions such as “how are my current lifestyle choices affecting my health today” and “how will it be affected in the future?” Think about your current habits and which ones enhance your life and which ones do not. When you’re ready to begin your quest towards your wellness, start with the self-assessment, talk with your friends and family members about what they noticed in your lifestyle. Challenge any unrealistic optimistic ideas you may hold such as, “I don’t need to worry about quitting smoking until I’m over 40” or even “Being overweight won’t put me at risk for diabetes.” Health risks are out there and are significant at all ages, and building is healthy habits are important throughout your entire life. I tell many people I work with that when you start your fitness journey it’s best to start small, by choosing one behavior to change at a time and working on it until you succeed. Your chances of being successful will be far greater with a simple gold to start and this can be as simple as resisting the urge to snack all day or even adding in a little extra exercise. As you move along in your healthy changes you can start making your next goal a little bit more significant and build off of your prior success.

Gathering Your Material: it’s important when you’re looking for health and fitness sources that you do a little bit of research. First off, make sure your source is credible, find out where they gather their information and have a few other professionals are agreeing with the findings. If you’re reading up on studies look to see if there was a large number of people study and who was doing the study. Don’t just look at a single person’s findings because what works for one person may not work for another. When you’re looking through different websites for information check in see how frequently they post as well as the current date of the information. Information in the health and fitness world change rapidly so it is important that that information is up-to-date. Many things you find out there on the Internet or TV or short-term solutions to long-term problems. So when you’re gathering your own information make sure it is up-to-date and fits your needs and goals. It’s OK to be skeptical, because odds are if something seems too good to be true there’s a chance that it is.

Visualize and Self Talk: when you want to boost your confidence and self efficiency one of the best things you can do is visualizing yourself successfully engaging in a new and healthier behavior. Take a moment and imagine yourself hitting that morning work out or that lunchtime run or even giving up smoking. Now, take a moment and picture yourself enjoying all the lifestyle benefits you will gain from this change now take a moment and picture yourself enjoying all the lifestyle benefits you will gain from this change. As crazy as it may sound you can also use self talk that little internal dialogue to increase your confidence in your ability to change. This could counter any self-defeating patterns of thoughts with more positive and realistic thoughts.

Support and Role Models: getting good social support can make a major difference in keeping you motivated and also in your chances of success. It’s possible that you may know a few people that have reached similar goals that you’re striving for. Asking them for help and advice is never a bad way to go. They could potential he have information you may be missing an offer of support that you need to push through. Another great idea to help you reach is healthier goals is to find a fitness partner who wants to make changes similar to yours.  You can then take an active role in each others‘ goals and create a support system. It’s always great to have someone around that can help keep you accountable and motivated to further pursue your goals. You may even want to consider looking at exercise classes, I find these classes to be motivational with all the people around pushing each other to better themselves.

Skills of Change: The moment you decide you are committed to making a positive change it’s time to create a personal plan. Your success could be put together with a well-thought-out plan that sets goals for success and plans for potential problems and even includes possible rewards.

1) Start a journal and monitor your behavior and gather data and keep records of your target behavior. Record this information for a few weeks. Take time to write down each occurrence of your behavior noting the following: what your activities were, as well as when and where it happened and what you were doing.

2) Take time and look over the information and I didn’t fight any possible patterns after you have all the data on the behavior, while looking through it see if you can find any patterns. This could be things like when are you most likely to over eat or even skip a meal? What events trigger this appetite? Perhaps you even over eat when you go to a particular restaurant. Just make sure you note any connections between your feelings and any external cues including time of day situation or even the location.

3) Be “SMART” about setting your goals. If your goals are too challenging you will most likely have trouble making steady progress and will possibly even give up altogether. Remember all of this can take time. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time.

Tips for your healthy future: The person most in charge of your health is you. Every day we make decisions that will have an impact on the quality of our life both now and in the future. By making these positive changes, large and small, you can ensure a lifetime of wellness. Take 15 minutes and go for a walk or have a fresh piece fruit instead of that candy bar. Take a few moments and think about it healthy behavior you would like to add into your life. And then once you have it go after it. Your healthy life will be the best investment you can make.

Are you ready to make your healthy change? Start here.

Have questions? Contact us.

Online Training

Quest Fitness is now offering online training. How does this work? For starters, contact us on the “Contact” page. Once emailed, we will discuss goals and cover your current fitness level. Remember, everyone is different, and, yes, there will be a little bit of paperwork. Then, we will go over a few options based on what equipment is available to you, and don’t worry if you don’t have equipment. We have tons of options for you. The next step is developing the workout and basic nutrition plan. Through the entire process, we will be available for text, email or Facebook IM to help you with questions. There will be multiple payment options as well as different package options. Even though we may never meet in person, we will work with you every step of the way.

Have questions? Contact us.