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.

Vinyasa Yoga

Dani Banks

The Vinyasa style is one style of yoga that uses breath in sync with movement, creating a FLOW. It’s another way to deepen your practice and nourish your whole self.

Mind, body, and spirit connected, what does that really mean anyway? When you inhale deeply, you not only inhale oxygen which heals and nourishes you physically from within, you calm your heart rate, which begins to regulate hormone function, effecting mood. You inhale peace. Mind, body, and spirit are working in sync. When you exhale slowly, you not only rid yourself from carbon dioxide and other toxins, but you are releasing tension and stress, and calming down. As you continue to focus on your breath, and it’s rhythm in sync with your movement, that mindfulness gives your mind a chance to focus on this basic healing function, and a chance to rest. It is a break from the 1 million thoughts that go through your head in a day and can sometimes wear you down, especially those inner critic thoughts that tell you what you should be, and what you should be doing, instead of being present and appreciating what and where you are at that moment. Yes, you are on your mat to take care of your physical body, but you are more than just your body. Yoga nourishes all of you. You deserve that moment to appreciate your breath, your body, your strength, and your soul.

Written by 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

 

Danny Kavadlo Calisthenics Workshop 2019

Quest Fitness is welcoming Danny Kavadlo back to Grand Rapids October, 5th 2019 for a one day seminar. The doors will open at 8 a.m. and the class will start at 8:30 and run until 4:30. Admission to this event is only $150! Register here.

Danny Kavadlo is one of the world’s leading authorities on calisthenics and personal training. Mr. Kavadlo has authored several best selling books, including #1 Amazon best-sellers GET STRONG and STRENGTH RULES, and has been translated into a dozen different languages. Kavadlo has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, Men’s Health and the Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor to bodybuilding.com and TRAIN magazine. When not training one-on-one in his hometown New York City, Danny travels the world as a Master Trainer for Dragon Door’s acclaimed Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC). He keeps the dream alive.

Here is a Workshop Description:
Confuscious has been credited as saying: “Tell me and I’ll forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I’ll understand.”
The Danny Kavadlo Calisthenics Experience embodies this principle of “involvement” in a one day interactive exercise workshop. We will be covering all the bodyweight basics like squats, push-ups and pull-ups, as well as the “money” moves like the muscle-up, pistol squat and even human flag! Plus programming, strength training principles and much more! All fitness levels, from the beginner to the most advanced are welcome!
More info:
As for the workshop itself, I intend to keep it a similar flow to last year, but also explore some aspects we did not touch on (plyometrics for example)
Have questions? Contact us.

Chen Bing Seminar 2019

As any martial artist can tell you, one can only progress in their training if they are actually training!  However, seminars such as the Chen Taiji Seminar led by Master Chen Bing can be quite vital to one’s progression.  Master Zhichao Ling owner and head teacher of Master Ling’s Oriental Martial Arts (based in Noblesville, IN) hosts this event each year.  They are in their year of putting on these events, and as a student who has been to each of these events, I can honestly tell you that my appreciation of taiji (and Chen form in particular) has grown exponentially afterwards.  However, my understanding and martial arts growth only happens when I actually train in these lessons upon my return.

I write this to note that you only get out what you put into any seminar.  And in this seminar there is a wealth of knowledge.  Students who are interested in taiji for the martial arts applications, meditation, flexibility, strength, and form can get what they seek from the seminar.  This recent event (May 17 – 19) was three days of training.  Friday was training with swords.  Saturday was Chen form.  We learned the He Xie form.  The following day was martial arts application.  

I came to tai chi roughly 9 years ago from an external background.  I had trained in Karate, Ninpo Taijutsu, and Judo.  I took tai chi to gain more experience in an internal martial art, plus I knew it was a good way to calm the mind (which I really needed at that point in my life).  With my sifu, Ray Shonk, I was able to learn more about moving from within to explodingoutward.  I was able to strengthen my balance and, probably best of all, I was able to manage my vertigo issues that I have been battling for years.  So, after nine years, I wasn’t a novice to tai chi, but no matter whether one is a novice or a veteran of tai chi, there was something for everyone to study and practice.    

Most of Saturday was spent training in the He Xie form.  Roughly six hours of standing on one’s feet and moving, only to restart all over again allowed for us to focus on how our body was moving.  Concept such as “being heavy” and “keeping the joints open” were focused on and we learned how our bodies felt while we were in an “open” state or a “closed” state.  After being on one’s feet for that long, and holding postures for minutes on end while Master Chen Bing corrected how we stood, really took a toll on our feet, but this was (in my opinion) one of the most rewarding parts of the seminar.  

Sunday was martial application day!  This day was probably one of the most fun simply because the group that I went with (Quest Fitness, of course) is all about application.  Learning how to use the He Xie form to defend against punches, how to parry, and ward off were all interesting since our training is a little different from this.  

All in all, direct transmission from a descendant of the famed Chen family was an honor.  With this being my third time attending these seminars I knew that the energy from these events come from the practitioners who are learning.  Every time I go to Master Ling’s Oriental Martial Arts, I feel like I am coming to a second home.  The people there are so welcoming and the conversations are enriching.  These are the times where I learn that tai chi means different things to different people.  This is something that Master Chen Bing knows all too well, and it is evident in the structure of the seminar.  

So to anyone interested, I would wholeheartedly recommend this event.  For as long as Dr. Ling and Master Chen Bing put these seminars on, you will see me there.  I hope to see you there, as well.

By Gerald Browning