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.

Getting the Most Out of Pull-ups

Dead Hang from pull-up

As stated in the book “The Calisthenic Quest,” “pull-ups may be one of the hardest exercises out there.” There are many varieties and modifications for this mighty vertical movement, but the question remains… “Am I getting the most out of my pull-ups?”


Now to be fair, many people struggle to do pull-ups. Even getting one good one is a mighty feat, never mind completing ten. With this movement so many muscles can be involved at one time, and not just in the back! Let’s start at the bar. No… not the pub, the pull-up bar. Just by gripping the bar the muscles in your forearm (flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profondus and the flexor policus longus) go to work.

Back muscle

Before you start your pull, while in the dead hang roll your shoulders down and try to squeeze your shoulder blades (or scapulae) down. Also try to squeeze your abs. Keep the legs straight and try to avoid bending the knees. This will aid in abdominal activation.


As you pull yourself vertically you will start to engage your biceps and deltoids. As you continue to pull on the bar you should try to drive your elbows down towards your hips; this will engage your trapezius, your latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and other muscles located in your back. As your chin travels over the bar slowly begin lowering yourself back down to full arm extension.
It’s very important to control your movement traveling both up and down to engage the muscles properly. Do your best to not keep your weight up or flail up and down on the bar as this can put unneeded stress on the joints and spine, potentially causing damage. Proper control in the movement will give you the best results for adding muscle growth and strength.

Written by Ray Shonk

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.

Chicken Curry Stew

Chicken Curry Stew

Chicken Curry Stew

3/4-1 lb Chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1 large onion chopped
1 jalapeño chopped (or bell pepper)
8oz fresh mushrooms diced
2 T of basil pesto
1 13 oz can of coconut milk
~1 t ground ginger
~1 heaping T curry powder
~1 T veg oil (I used avocado oil)
salt&pepper

Sauté veggies in oil, pesto, pinch of curry powder, and some of the broth.
Cook chicken breast (or use rotisserie), chop, and combine with sautéd veggies, seasoning, and rest of the broth.
Simmer ~10-15 mins, while stirring in coconut milk.
Add salt, pepper, and/or more curry to taste.
Enjoy!

Complements of Dani Banks.

Peanut Butter Squash Soup

Peanut Butter Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil

4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

1 cup chopped onion

8 cloves finely diced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

1 small can tomato  paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion,garlic, cummin, salt, coriander, sauté til onions soften, cover 15 minutes or until squash begins to soften. Add broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, and pepper, stirring well to combine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until the squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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

Learning the Importance of Corrective Exercise

You may know that Quest Fitness staff have a wide range of certifications and experience in different training specialties. One of the most important methods of training that staff provide is Corrective Exercise training.

Corrective Exercises

What is Corrective Exercise, though? Corrective Exercise responds to the fitness problems of a modern society. Modern society provides a wide array of technology that makes life easier, but also creates a sedentary lifestyle. Contemporary jobs require people to sit in a car for a long period when traveling, then sit at desk jobs for numerous hours staring at a computer, then sit for a long time while commuting home. Afterward, people tend to relax on the couch while watching television or using our smartphones. In our society children spend hours sitting during the school day, and they enjoy less-and-less physical activities as after school activities are eliminated.

Knee Injury

All of these sedentary hours lead to severe muscle imbalances throughout the human body. This lack of muscle development leads people to be prone to injuries as well as being unhealthy. Research shows that musculoskeletal pain is more common now that it was 40 years ago. This research supports the idea that the decrease in physical activity could lead to muscular dysfunction as well as injury. The most common injuries that occur because of these muscular dysfunctions are foot and ankle injuries, low back pain, knee injuries, and shoulder injuries. 

Trainer and Owner Ray Shonk

At Quest Fitness our trainers assess potential problems through our complementary fitness assessment. Our staff can identify these overactive and underactive muscles to develop an intermediate program to correct the issues before proceeding to more intense exercises. What this means for you is a reduced risk of injury during exercise, as well as reducing your chances of injury in everyday activities. Quest trainers develop the proper prescription of exercise to strengthen the underactive muscles, as well as offering appropriate stretching and massage therapy for the overactive muscles.

Come in for a complementary fitness assessment, and see what Quest Fitness can do for you!

Have questions? Contact us.

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.