Chicken Vegetable Stew

It’s getting colder outside and all you want when you come home is a hot bowl of dinner, this chicken stew is easily made and you can add&exchange ingredients as much as you like.

Boneless chicken breast (you can use leftover turkey from thanksgiving as well)
3 large carrots
2 large yellow onions
4 cups of sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
500ml milk/ dairy free almond or coconut milk
250ml whipping cream/ dairy free cream
2 cups of chicken broth
1 ½ tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp dried parsley/ use fresh parsley if you have it on hand
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives to serve


1. Wash, pat dry chicken breasts and cut into smaller chunks. Then in a big pot warm 2 tbsp of olive oil, brown chicken for about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.





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2. Slice onions finely, and cut mushrooms in half if small, or cut twice for bigger kind. Now add mushrooms and onions to pot and sauté for another 2 minutes.





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3. Now add the milk, whipping cream, chicken broth, garlic powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cover pot and cook for 15 minutes.





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4. Remove lid and stir well, add carrots and parsley and let cook on medium heat for another ten minutes, until carrots have softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.





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5. This recipe serves 6 people easily, you can also add different kinds of vegetables or make it a curry, simply add curry powder or paste. Serve hot, sprinkle with fresh chives.


Walnut and Fig Bars

This weeks recipe is great if you have those afternoon sweet treat cravings. These bars are filled with nutrients that will give you an energy boost.

For the crust:
1 ½ tbsp chia seeds
2 cups of raw walnuts
2 cups of rolled oats
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp of cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

For the filling:
2 cups of dried figs
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground fresh ginger
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
grated zest of 1 organic lemon
pinch of salt

1.Combine chia seeds with 50 ml of water, set aside for 15 minutes to gel. Put 1 cup of the walnuts on baking sheet and put in the oven. Set oven to 350 degrees, toast walnuts while oven heats up, about 10-15 minutes. Let walnuts cool, but leave the oven on.





blog22.In a food processor, process 1 cup of the oats until you have a rough flour. Add the toasted walnuts and blend again. Add chia gel, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla, pulse until smooth.





3.In a medium bowl combine remaining oats, salt and baking powder. Add the processed oat mixture and mix well. Now take ⅔ of the crust mixture and press firmly into a baking pan.






4.Make the filling: roughly chop figs and put them in the food processor, along with the cinnamon, ginger, applesauce, lemon zest and salt. Blend until it’s smooth (you may also leave it a bit chunky if you want). Now spread the filling over the crust.






5.Drop remaining crust mixture in small chunks all over the filling, covering as much of it as possible. Roughly chop a few pecans and sprinkle them over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly golden at the top. Let cool completely before cutting it into squares. Store in fridge up to 5 days.







When You Should Use Ice


ICE. When strength coaches and trainers are asked what their first line of injury treatment is, ice is the most common answer. Few coaches and trainers truly understand how it works. Today at New Edge, we look at the quick and dirty facts on ice.

The main benefit of ice is that it reduces pain by numbing the area. The iced area becomes less able to feel the surroundings. Proprioceptors are sensory receptor cells that convey to the brain where the body is in space. With this feedback the brain creates a set of motor commands that it sends to the muscles in order to execute a movement. With less feedback from the body, the motor control becomes more prone to error. Ice provides a cold stimulus that effectively dampens proprioceptive feedback. If athletic performance is required, ice may not be the best pain treatment beforehand as it may impair agility due to less sensation.

Ice is primarily thought to reduce inflammation. This begs the question as to how we know there is inflammation and if so why we need to prevent/ control this inflammation. Often ice is applied immediately to an acute injury to reduce swelling, which is thought to allow healing to take place faster. Swelling and inflammation however may actually be part of the healing process. When an area is damaged, cell structures need to be taken apart and removed from the cell. This is part of the inflammation that happens upon injury. If cell components are not removed promptly, then healing will be slowed. Ice freezes the area and brings this removal of damaged tissues to a halt. Although there is less inflammation, some researchers suspect that tissue healing suffers as a result. With prolonged ice treatment, tissue metabolism becomes slower and nerve function decreases.

So what is an injured person to do? Pain is not fun to bear, but not at the cost of slower healing. Other recovery methods such as electrical stimulation, epsom salts and heat may be more suitable. If the injury is a bruise or a strain, massage can be used to stimulate the area and reduce pain. This works because pain receptors and movement receptors share the same neural pathway in the spinal cord. By rubbing and massaging an injured area the mechanoreceptors are stimulated, which prevents a pain signal in the spine from going through.

Next week New Edge looks at more recovery methods to get you moving through your workouts faster and with more power. Let’s train well and stay injury free!

Evans, T. A., Ingersoll, C., Knight, K. L., & Worrell, T. (1995). Agility following the application of cold therapy. Journal of athletic training, 30(3), 231.

Merrick, M. A., Knight, K. L., Ingersoll, C. D., & Potteiger, J. A. (1993). The effects of ice and compression wraps on intramuscular temperatures at various depths. Journal of athletic training, 28(3), 236.

Nadler, S. F., Weingand, K., & Kruse, R. J. (2004). The physiologic basis and clinical applications of cryotherapy and thermotherapy for the pain practitioner.Pain physician, 7(3), 395-399.

Swenson, C., Swärd, L., & Karlsson, J. (1996). Cryotherapy in sports medicine.Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 6(4), 193-200.


Colourful Potato Salad

There is nothing better than a good old home made potato salad. Here is my spin that is different and delicious.

500 grams small potatoes (go with your favourite kind)
1 onion (I used yellow kind)
3 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
5 tbsp of white wine vinegar
½ cup of vegetable broth
1 bundle of radishes
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 bundle of asparagus
150 grams creme fraiche (if you can’t find creme fraiche, combine ½ cup of heavy cream with 1 cup of sour cream, let sit overnight in the fridge)
2 tbsp of dijon mustard
lots of chives
½ tbsp of dried parsley (you can also use fresh parsley)
salt & pepper to taste

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1.Wash and peel potatoes (you can leave the skin on if organic). Cook for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Rinse potatoes with cold water after cooking, let cool down for a couple of minutes, then cut into slices. Finely chop onions, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a pot and saute onions for about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, 150 ml of water and vegetable broth, cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine with the last 2 tbsp of olive oil.




2.Pour onion mixture over sliced potatoes and let sit for two hours, so flavours can develop.







3.Wash radishes, celery and chives. Slice radishes thinly, chop celery and chives. Rinse asparagus, cut into three to four pieces per stalk, lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until fork tender.






4.Make the dressing, combine creme fraiche, mustard, chives, parsley and add salt and pepper to taste







5.Combine potato-onion mixture with all vegetables and pour dressing on top, mix well.






6.This recipe serves four easily, serve slightly warm or cold. Goes well with chicken or steak.



New Edge Conditioning at Public Myth

new edge conditioning

Our trainer Robin Ball will be teaching at Public Myth Kitslano on West 4th next week!

When: Wednesday November 18, 2015.
Time: 6:15-7:15pm
Where: 2005 W 4th Ave; Vancouver, BC; V6J 1N3

You ready to kick it New Edge style? You think you can hang? Be sure to RSVP on the Facebook event page. Regardless…she’ll find a way to squeeze you in.

Facebook Event:
Public Myth:

Epsom Salts for Workout Recovery

Muscle soreness after heavy lifting can be very uncomfortable. Going down stairs, sitting down, and lifting up your arms can make you cringe and rethink moving. Among exercise professionals this soreness is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. It begins within 12 hours after training and lasts up to 72 hours. With increased training the resistance to muscle soreness improves. Recovery is as much a part or your training as lifting is.

Delayed onset muscle soreness it thought to result from micro tears occurring in the muscle cells during repetitive contraction. An inflammatory process brings as the body tears down and recycles the damaged proteins. The muscles are temporarily weaker, but once repaired the muscle cells are stronger.

Recently a friend of mine who is an emergency room nurse, told me that a new lifter, unaccustomed to this type of achy muscle soreness came into the emergency room demanding treatment. After hearing that he had just started back at the gym she knew it was nothing serious. A lifter herself, this nurse assured him that his achy muscles were normal after working so hard out of the ordinary. She recommended he take an Epsom salt bath and sent him on his way.

Calcium is released in the muscle cell when an electric impulse from the brain is received at the neuromuscular junction. With repeated contraction, it is theorized that the calcium that is released is not cleared from the cell. As a result muscles will feel tight and as though they are in a perpetual state of contraction.


The above diagram shows the release of calcium in the muscle as a neural impulse is received.

Epsom salts are one of the best recovery tools for reduce muscle inflammation and preventing stiffness in the days following training. As a plus, Epsom salts increase blood levels of magnesium and are great for reducing bloating and water retention. Koinig et al, found that knee surgery patients who were administered magnesium, during and after surgery used fewer pain medications.

Epsom salts are composed of magnesium sulfate, which is absorbed through the skin. Epsom salts have been found to increase blood magnesium levels faster than oral supplements. Athletes tend to have higher magnesium needs than the general population. There is much higher turnover in the body due to more metabolic reactions taking place. The current recommendation for Epsom salts is 300-400g, 2-3 times per week for 10-20 minutes after heavy or high volume training.


Greenfield, B. 26 Top Ways To Recover From Workouts and Injuries with Lightning Speed.

Koinig, H., Wallner, T., Marhofer, P., Andel, H., Horauf, K., & Mayer, N. (1998). Magnesium sulfate reduces intra-and postoperative analgesic requirements.Anesthesia & Analgesia, 87(1), 206-210.

Nica¹, A. S., Caramoci, A., Vasilescu, M., Ionescu, A. M., Paduraru, D., & Mazilu, V. (2015). Magnesium supplementation in top athletes-effects and recommendations. Medicina Sportiva, 11(1), 2482-2494.

Redmon, G. L. (2015). WHEN PAIN MEDICINE AND EXERCISE COLLIDE.Alternative Medicine, (22), 48.

Our trainer, Robin Ball, for STRONGCAMP Ambassador

Our trainer Robin Ball is up to something! STRONG Fitness Magazine brings real women together to empower and inspire one another and their strengths at their STRONGCAMPS.  They are on the hunt for 3 new STRONGCAMP Ambassadors and Robin wants to be one of them.

Watch her athletic performance. Listen to her inspiring words. Feel her honesty and passion for what she does and who she stands for. This is her WHY. What is yours?

Help her achieve another goal to sharing her gift with the universe. Help her to inspire you to discover your why. Like, comment and share how she motivates you. This girl isn’t going fly…she’s going to soar!

Front Squatting Success


Front squats are rarely done well in most mainstream gyms. If attempted at all the arm cross position is used over the front rack. Yes, front squats are uncomfortable and more technical than the leg press, hack squat machine and the goblet squat. But, who said training will always be comfortable. With front squats the payoff is real big. In this post we look at why front squats may be a beneficial addition to your training and how you can turn a difficult exercise into a manageable one.

One of my favorite reasons to program front squats is that they teach core engagement in the squat. In this context, core refers to everything from the shoulder girdle, down to the hips. Front squats will keep you brutally honest when it comes to where you lack mobility. Any shortcoming in mobility will result in compromised form. This will lead you to either only use small weights you can cheat or be unable to complete the lift and drop the bar.

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   Good mobility                                                                      Poor Mobility

The lifter to the left has excellent mobility and has the weight supported by her midsection and legs. The lifter to the right has poor flexibility, likely in her triceps and lats so the weight of the bar is concentrated on her wrists. Not good. Complaints of wrist pain are one of the most common reasons lifters will avoid the front squat. Although it if the elbows drop you will feel it in the wrist, the restriction could be in any of the following areas:


  • Wrist and forearm
  • Tricep
  • Lats
  • Thoracic spine and upper back muscles


Refer to the earlier posts on mobility for some solutions or see reference list. Once a lifter has any mobility obstacles cleared up, proper squatting depth can be easily taught with the front squat. As a bonus, front squats produce less shear forces on the body and demand flawless posture and mechanics. The positioning and movement patterning for front squats carries over to more sports and activities and traditional back squats.

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The front rack position on the left is preferable to the arms crossed position on the right.

The rack position, seen above on the left is the ideal way to hold the back. This position transfers readily to other lifts, such as push press, overhead press, jerks and most calisthenics bar movements. The arms crossed position does not allow effective bar control, which can limit the amount of weight being used. The front rack requires practice, so start with an empty bar, wrap your shoulder blades around and see if you can keep your elbows up!

This week New Edge Fitness challenges you to try a few sets of front squats at the start of your training sessions. Watch as your posture and technique improves in your other lifts. See you all in the gym!



Boyle, Michael (2010). Advances in functional training. Aptos, CA: On Target Publications.

Schoenfeld, B.J. (2010). Squatting kinematics and kinetics and their application to exercise performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24(12), 3497-3506.

Starrett, K., & Cordoza, G. (2013). Becoming a supple leopard: The ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury, and optimizing athletic performance. Las Vegas, NV : Enfield: Victory Belt Pub.