May motivation

Chicken Quorn Korma

For my korma recipe you will need the following
• 1 pkt of Quorn chicken pieces
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• ¼ tsp ground cardamom
• 1 cup low-fat coconut milk
• ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
• ¼ cup ground almonds
• 2  chopped red peppers
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Fresh coriander for garnish

Words by:
Ian Eassom
Featured in:
May 2024

Personal trainer (and former chef) Ian Eassom looks forward to inspirational sporting performances at this year’s Olympics and Paralympics.

Well, the countdown to the Olympics in Paris (26th July–11th August) immediately followed by the Paralympics (28th August–8th September) has started, so how better to get yourself motivated this month!

My favourite events are powerlifting, gymnastics, cycling and running, where good flexibility and strength is needed, especially in the hip flexors, so this time I want to focus on ways of strengthening them and getting them in tiptop condition for the summer.

It’s not just athletes that rely on good flexors, everyone benefits from working on these regardless of our fitness levels, so whether it’s jumping up and down watching the Olympics or going on a walk, the flexors play a vital part in our mobility.

So what are they? Hip flexors are a group of muscles located in the front of your hip that help flex your hip joint, bringing your thigh toward your abdomen. These muscles play a crucial role in activities like walking, running, and bending at the waist. Regular stretching and other exercises can help maintain their flexibility and strength. Tight flexors are common but also vital to pay attention to. The tighter and shorter the hip flexor, the more range of motion is reduced and the shorter your movement becomes. This inhibits your natural gait and affects your form, also contributing to other pulls and injuries.

Here are some exercises I’ve put together which can help stretch and strengthen tight flexors.

Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help alleviate tightness in the hip flexors, improving our flexibility and strength.

Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on one knee with the other foot in front, then shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Performing a Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward. Engaging your core muscles, keep your chest up and your back straight. Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting into a chair. Keep your knees in line with your toes, Push through your heels to straighten your legs and return to the starting position.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower back down. This exercise engages the glutes while stretching the hip flexors.

Pigeon Pose
From a plank position, bring one knee forward towards your hands and lower your hips toward the ground, keeping the back leg straight. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, and then switch sides.

Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Stand upright and grab one ankle behind you, pulling it toward your buttocks until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch legs.

Food for thought
In the same way that sports and exercise keeps us fit and in shape, so does good food. We often look at foods to improve our physical shape and wellbeing, but don’t always think about foods improving our mental health too.

To boost our mental well-being we need plenty of fruit and vegetables, along with foods rich in Omega-3 such as flaxseed, nuts, chia seeds, lentils, salmon and oily fish. Avocados are also a rich source of Omega and great for the skin too.

If you struggle to sleep, celery is a natural remedy as it contains magnesium, good for calming the body; if we don’t get enough or produce enough magnesium, side-effects can include fatigue and insomnia.

Gut health 
Did you know that good health is linked to mental well-being too?

Researchers have found recently there is a strong connection between intestines and the brain as they are physically linked via the vagus nerve. The gut is able to influence emotional behaviour in the brain and the brain can alter the type of bacteria living in the gut, so fermented foods like kimchi, along with a daily dose of apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, sourdough, cottage cheese, kefir and live yogurt all contribute to a healthy gut.

Chicken Quorn Korma
Staying on the theme of healthy feel-good foods, here is my recipe for vegan Chicken Quorn Korma.

This recipe is so tasty you will forget you are eating healthily and just enjoy the flavour of the dish, whether you are vegan or not.

By the way, did you know Quorn is a mycoprotein derived from fungi and is a great source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair and overall health? 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Stir in the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices are toasted and aromatic.

Add the Quorn chicken pieces to the skillet and cook until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Stir in the finely sliced peppers, ground almonds and Greek yogurt. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Enjoy served with rice, naan bread or a jacket potato for a complete, nutritious meal.

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