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Couture Conditioning offers a custom fit, one on one and group, personalized fitness evaluation and training regimen. The intention of Couture Conditioning is to assist clients in the development of physical and mental well-being: a truly priceless health advantage.

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**Back on Track** **Slow Cooked Pull Apart Chicken**

Dear Friends,

An early morning run a few days ago on the beach with my daughter was just right! We started out nice and slow and maintained an easy pace for a beautiful run. We are both getting back on track with our endurance training, and we both realize it’s better to train smart. Fast and furious isn’t always the key to success. Slow progression and knowing when to push it is generally best, and is always best for me. It’s also a lot more fun! Together is better and a good conversation is guaranteed.

I’m feeling refreshed after a perfect vacation. I hope to see you tomorrow!!

Custom Fit Boot Camp is back and raring to go! New workouts, fresh nutritional guidelines and new challenges! Fun friendships and a great way to begin living a healthy lifestyle, get back in shape or improve your fitness level for your athletic pursuits. You will feel better and get stronger! You will see results!!

This season we will be bringing back our 6:00AM class every Tuesday and Thursday.

7:00AM class will meet on Monday.

9:00AM class will meet every day, Monday through Friday.

For more details or questions email me at lori@coutureconditioning.com or call me at 408-455-2570.

What’s for Dinner:

Thank you Shen for this recipe!

Slow Cooked Pull Apart Chicken

This is when fast is always good for me. I love a recipe that is easy to prepare, quick to prep, nutritious and delicious! “Fast Food” can be good for you!

Ingredients:

2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tub of organic salsa (or a little more if preferred)

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

Set on high for 4 hours, or low heat for 8 hours. Serve on greens or brown rice. Top with fresh avocado.

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Lori

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**Powerful Self Defense for Women** **End of Summer Tomato Salsa Salad**

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Dear Friends,

For many this is the last weekend of summer before school begins. I still get butterflies in my stomach this time of year remembering how I felt as a student, then parent and now mostly thinking of you and what you are feeling as summer ends. I can still remember the nerves, excitement and tears as I watched my children walk away from me and into a new year of learning and adventure. This year my son will be leaving soon for a semester at the American School of Paris. I still see him as a Kindergartner walking away from me with his blue book bag. If he had a good day he’d come home with a Happy Gram. My thoughts and prayers for you are that you end each day with a Happy Gram too! While we mourn the end of summer nights, mid-day happy hours, and lazy beach days, there’s something exciting about the approach of Fall. September brings a new year, a fresh start. You can reinvent yourself, make new friends, sign up for a race (had to slip that in) or elevate your career. So here’s to sweet summer memories and New Beginnings!

COUTURE CONDITIONING is going strong, and offering new opportunities too!

There will be no classes the week of August 22nd. My daughter Erin and I will be on the Los Gatos Creek trail most mornings, if you’d like to join us for an easy fun walk/run and strength workout! :)

FALL SCHEDULE:

*6:00AM Custom Fit Boot Camp is BACK! Beginning September 6th and every Tuesday and Thursday.

*9:00AM Custom Fit Boot Camp will continue to be offered Monday through Friday.

*For Private Sessions, Training Calendars (free), help with Special Events or coffee (my treat), call or message me anytime! :)

*Run Club. Free training run every Wednesday evening at 6:30PM. All levels welcome. Core work and Yoga included.

*On-line Fitness & Nutrition training and challenges every month.

*Team races every month for the new and experienced runner.

SAFETY TIPS for runners!

As you may have heard police in Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts are investigating three deaths of female runners over the course of nine days. None of the cases have been solved, though officials currently state they believe the killings are unrelated. The women were running during the day on familiar running trails. Tragic events like these remind us we live in an uncertain world and anything can happen at any time. As a runner, and a mom of two daughters who run, this hits close to home. For any female I’m sure it hits close to home. As I have been talking about this with my classes and friends, I was amazed that almost every woman had a story of feeling uncomfortable or threatened on a walk or run. Many of us, including me have experienced the creepy guy on the road or trail who caused us concern and some degree of fear. I do love to run with others, but I also love to run alone. Here are some safety tips, self-defense products and a video from a crime prevention officer from basic self defense moves, to knowing how to properly use pepper spray.

Reminders of what we should do, not because we are frail and helpless, but because we are sensible and we want to be running at a nice old age:

1. Try not to run alone. If you do run alone, let others know where you are going.

2. Run with pepper spray and a whistle. Be prepared to alert others and attack if you can’t run away from a dangerous situation. I don’t carry pepper spray for every run, but if I am in secluded areas that might contain wildlife, lone individuals or hiding places, I take it along. Yesterday, my friend Barb showed me her whistle which I also think is a great idea. In addition to a whistle, she has an alarm app on her phone. I found some great products on Amazon for pepper spray, whistles and small alarms.

3. Avoid running with ear buds. I realize some of you love to run with music and occasionally I do too. But not very often. Remember there are certain times and places where you need ALL of your senses to be alert in order to stay safe.

4. Run with your phone. But be careful if you are walking and talking on your phone. The bad guys look for distracted females.

5. Change up your daily routine. This one is hard for me. I am a creature of habit and I like my favorite routes. This can also be dangerous because it gives anyone who might be seeking a victim a way to know where you’re going to be alone on a given day. Tweak your route and time of day you run occasionally.

6. Go with your gut! Trust that feeling that says you are in danger!

Powerful self-defense tips: There are 4 key self-defense moves. The goal is to get the attacker off-balance or disabled so you can run away.
(courtesy of www.runladylike.com)

1. Heel of the Palm. With the hand slightly cupped, use the heel of the palm in an upward motion to hit the chin to the nose and follow through, or to strike the side of the face below the ears on the neck. Your whole body should come forward as you strike. Shout “NO!” while doing this.

2. Elbow Strike. Using the front of the forearm and upper arm, you can strike an attacker in the face, sternum, ribs or groin using your full body force. This move can also be helpful if you are ever grabbed from behind.

3. Knee Strike. The most powerful of all the physical techniques because our legs are 5 times stronger than our upper body. Using the force of your entire body, you drive your knee (patella strike) into the groin or ribs of an attacker. Brace your stance so you don’t fall backwards.

Runner’s World Video, tips from Officer Thomas DeFrank:
http://www.runnersworld.com/fea…/how-to-stay-safe-on-the-run

Although the odds are very low that you will ever be attacked or assaulted, the stakes are very high. Strong, independent women runners are also safe runners. Smile every mile, and do it safely! :)

What’s for Dinner:

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TOMATO SALSA SALAD

(by Sara Kate Gillingham)

The garden is bursting with tomatoes! I never get tired of a good Caprese Salad, and I’m always looking for new fresh tomato salad ideas!

Serves 6

1-1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 4-5 medium)

1/2 small red onion

2 small cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded if desired and finely chopped (use half in the dressing and toss the rest into the salad itself)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or chili oil

2-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, to taste

Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Slice the tomatoes into bite-size pieces and set in a colander over a bowl to drain.

Peel and slice the onion into slivers. Submerge the slivers in a bowl of ice water and set aside, stirring once or twice, for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, bash together the garlic and salt until they form a paste. Add half the minced jalapeño and smash into the garlic paste. Stir in the lime juice and oil.

Drain the onions. In a mixing bowl, toss the onions with the tomatoes, remaining chili peppers, and cilantro. Pour over the dressing and toss well.

Place on a serving platter or individual serving plates and top with black pepper.

Calories 82

Fat7 g (10.7%)

Saturated1 g (4.8%)

Carbs 4.9 g (1.6%)

Fiber 1.3 g (5.2%)

Sugars 2.8 g

Protein 1 g (2%)

Sodium 199.8 mg (8.3%)

Have a wonderful week and I hope to see you soon!!

Much Love,

Lori

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**Power Naps** **Flow Yoga THIS WEEK** **Grilled Balsamic Steak**

Difficult roads

DEAR FRIENDS AND YOGI’S! SUMMER YOGA CLASSES START ON JULY 12TH!

Join Lisa Kellert every Tuesday & Thursday from 8:00AM – 9:00AM at the Los Gatos Lodge. This flow class is designed for beginners or regular practitioners, all ages, all sizes, all bodies!

FIRST TWO CLASSES ARE FREE!! The cost for your future classes is the same great deal as our Custom Fit Boot Camp. Only $15 dollars a class for 12 sessions that can be used at any time!

Meet under the large, tented area. Mats and blocks provided or bring your own.
It’s with great pleasure I’m introducing my friend Lisa as our new and amazing Yoga instructor. I trained Lisa for her first marathon and we’ve been great friends ever since. The last few years she has been living and teaching in Hawaii. This month she is moving back to California and we can’t wait to have her back. Lisa’s first love is Yoga!

Upon taking her first official yoga class in 2004, Lisa fell in love! She immediately enrolled in a yoga teacher training and was hired by her local gym. Less than a year later, Lisa moved to Santa Cruz, immersing herself as a yoga student, learning more about the practice, philosophy, and history of yoga. After over a decade of practicing regularly, traveling around the world, and giving up her career as a high school counselor, Lisa took the plunge to live a life of yoga. She completed a 200 hour teacher training and is enrolled in a 500 hour program at Breathe Studio in Los Gatos. She hopes to connect with others by empowering and enriching lives through the joy of yoga.

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POWER NAPS. WHY YOU NEED THEM!

My favorite time to exercise, and my favorite time of day is the early morning. No matter what happened the day before, a new day promises a new opportunity, a new beginning or a fresh start. The challenge to being an early riser is getting adequate sleep after a busy long day. This morning during my team run, one of the topics of conversation were naps. For many years I thought taking a nap would only slow me down. Cutting-edge, productive people don’t take naps, do they?

Actually, they do.

It turns out that a nap is exactly what you need in the afternoons when drowsiness takes over your body and mind. I read a few years ago that Olympic athlete’s take naps every day. From N.B.A. players to Google employees, high-achieving people are turning to naps to recharge.

Sleep experts have discovered that naps can improve stamina and motor skills, and enhance creativity. In fact, Dr. Sara C. Medick, author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life and Assistant Professor of Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside says,

“…without a midday rest, we are not able to perform at optimal levels throughout the day. In fact, our performance falls apart. Napping maintains and even boost our skills.”

When you are running on empty and slugging through your projects, wouldn’t it be great to have a fresh burst of creativity and energy? That is what a power nap can provide. No, a Snickers bar will not help you! :)

There are measurable physical benefits from napping as well. The risk of dying from a heart-related complication decreases in nap-takers (37% for those who nap at least 3 times per week!), and the release of growth hormone aids in weight loss.

How to power nap:
15-30 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for the best power nap. Berkley biology students report that naps must be short in order to be most effective. When naps exceed 45 minutes, the benefits begin to disappear. Just a 30-minute snooze can improve cognitive faculties by about 40%, according to NASA researchers.

Many people naturally wake up after 15-30 minutes of napping. But if you tend to be a longer nap-taker, set an alarm to awaken you so you do not over sleep. Keeping your nap at 30 minutes or less will also prevent you from being overly groggy upon waking.

Here are some tips to have a successful power nap:
Try to be consistent. The best time for napping is between 1 and 3 in the afternoon, or approximately 8 hours after waking in the morning.
Darken the room. Darkness causes your body to produce melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. If you can’t be home, even resting your head on your desk or sitting in your car, parked in the shade, can work.
Control noise. If noise bothers you while you sleep, turn on a a fan or white noise machine. A friend also told me about the iPhone App Mind Tuner. It’s great for napping, waking up, enhancing creativity and increasing focus!

Sources:
1 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/sports/basketball/07naps.html?_r=4

2 http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/google-uses-high-tech-nap-pods-to-keep-employees-energized-20100618/

3 http://www.saramednick.com/

What’s for Dinner?

Grilled Balsamic Steak with Tomatoes

Grilled Balsamic Steak With Tomatoes And Arugula
This recipe was adapted from the Malibu Farm Cookbook & Skinnytaste.com.

Flank steak is a family favorite and this grilled balsamic flank steak with tomatoes and arugula from my garden is an easy weeknight dinner solution. Marinate the steak overnight with balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs, then fire up the girl and serve with a simple tossed arugula-tomato salad, on the table in less than 20 minutes!

INGREDIENTS:

1- 1/2 lb flank steak

1 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE MARINADE:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, grated

1 tablespoon fresh mixed herbs (rosemary, basil, sage)

FOR THE SALAD:

1 -1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 bunch (6 cups) baby arugula

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small clove minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl or blender and pour over the steak. Marinate overnight.

Combine the cherry tomatoes with salt. Stir in the vinegar, garlic and olive oil.
Heat the grill over high heat, spray the grates and grill a few minutes on each side, until cooked to your taste. Let it rest a few minutes before slicing.
Toss the arugula with the tomato mixture.
Slice the grilled skirt steak into thin slices and place on a platter, scatter the arugula-tomato salad over the steak and serve right away.
Nutrition facts take into account most of the marinade gets tossed.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 3 oz steak,

Amount Per Serving:

Smart Points: 5

Points +: 6

Calories: 215

Total Fat: 12g

Saturated Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 57mg

Sodium: 327mg

Carbohydrates: 3g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 0.5g

Protein: 24g

Have a great week and I hope to see you soon!

Much Love,

Lori

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**I’m With You Kid!** **Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri**

Dear Friends,

Today just happened to be one of those super productive days. I completed the majority of my to-do list. I put together several weeks of new workouts. I need full body strength and a super strong core for my upcoming race season if I want to do my best and prevent injury. My boot campers and clients know, when I am on a mission and have a goal, I enthusiastically bring you all along for the ride. smile emoticon Fitness together is more fun!

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I’m with you kid, let’s go.” Maya Angelou

If you’d like to join me for one of my group classes, we are meeting every day this week at The Los Gatos Lodge @7AM & 9AM. Custom Fit Boot Camp is not just for runners. My workouts are designed for the “out of shape” just starting out, to the experienced athlete. It is an interval/circuit workout that combines body weight exercises, cardiovascular training, resistance training, and sports conditioning training that is physically challenging for your fitness level, uplifting, and fun. If this seems out of your comfort zone, trust me and give it try. I promise you will feel glad you did.

Step OUT of Your Comfort Zone. I know that is easier said than done. The other thing I did today was to go back and forth on whether I should attend an upcoming course for speakers, writer’s and coaches.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Life begins one step outside of your Comfort Zone?”
To accomplish something worthwhile, it will most likely require you to push yourself into areas where you are unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
Usually, the more uncomfortable it makes you, the bigger the payoff.
The funny thing is, that MOST people have the same EXACT fears as you do.
BUT…it’s always the people that challenge themselves BEYOND their fear that become successful.

Instead of looking at fear as a huge obstacle that gets in your way, embrace it.
Whatever it is in your life that is holding you back, no matter how big or small it may seem, challenge yourself to break through the imaginary walls of your comfort zone.
Don’t let life just “happen” to you.

You HAVE the ability to CREATE your life the way you want it.
Taking on new challenges and pushing yourself to reach new levels has EVERYTHING to do with your confidence in yourself and your abilities.
When you’re feeling good, you want to take on the world.

If you’re not eating a relatively healthy diet and exercising regularly, then this would be step #1.
To be able to feel good and have the energy to live the life that YOU want to live, then these two things are non-negotiable.

To let ANYTHING get in the way of stopping you from living the life you want is truly a shame.
Whether it’s speaking in front of a group, making a phone call you’ve been wanting to make, repairing a relationship, or starting a new career, no matter how big or how small it may be…..

You only live once- let’s step it up and step OUT of your comfort zone.

And…there is NO better time to start than NOW.

Your challenge this week is to do something EVERY DAY this week that is outside of your comfort zone (no matter how large or small it may be!)
I GUARANTEE you will be glad you did it.

I am going to sign up for that course and go for it! “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell

Let me know if you are committed to this challenge!

What’s for Dinner:

GrilledFlankSteakwithChimichurri 550x825

Yesterday I ran a very happy 18 miles. I usually do not have a steak the night before a long run, but on Friday night I enjoyed a big steak. I believe I will do the same for my next long run and see how it goes.

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri

Skinnytaste.com

Servings: 6 • Size: 3 oz steak w/ 4 tsp sauce • Points+: 6 pt • Smart Points: 5
Calories: 232 • Fat: 14 g • Carb: 1 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 24 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 343 mg • Cholesterol: 77 mg

Flank steak is a great lean beef option for grilling, I make a quick rub and slice it thin across the grain just before eating. If you want to make the chimichurri sauce a day ahead, leave it refrigerated, then before serving bring it back to room temperature.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds flank steak

1 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

fresh ground pepper

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the Chimichurri Sauce:

2 packed tbsp parsley, finely chopped (no stems)

2 packed tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp water

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp fresh black pepper

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Directions:

Using sharp knife, lightly score the steak about 1/8 inch deep on both sides in a crisscross pattern at 1/2-inch intervals. In a small bowl combine the cumin, garlic powder, oregano, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt. Season both sides of the steak with season spices.

For the chimichurri, combine the red onion, vinegar, salt and olive oil and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix all ingredients together.
Prepare the grill on high heat. Grill the steaks to desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning steaks 1/4 turn after 1 1/2 minutes to form crisscross grill marks, if desired. Transfer steaks to cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks across grain. Transfer to platter and top with chimichurri sauce.

Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Lori

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**Racing Hearts** **Scottish English** **10X Once a Day**

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Dear Friends,

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Great Expectations

It is the first day of Spring and today I had expected to run an easy casual pace for Stanford’s Racing Hearts 5K/10K race benefiting Stanford Heart Research. I ran the 10K. The day before, I completed a more grueling almost 15 mile run up the mountain at Rancho San Antonio. Today it was a beautiful and sunny day on campus and I felt better than I expected. A slow start, but then I began to pass one person and then the next. The air was cool and felt like it was under my feet and at my back. I don’t listen to music when I run, but the song Cake by the Ocean was stuck in my head. A perfect tempo, and I decided cake by the ocean sounds like a great plan for when my daughters come to visit later this week! :) I finished faster than I expected with a second place finish in my age group, and a brisk 8:19 minute per mile pace.

I felt good. Then my heart began to race again, and I felt really great and a little overcome with emotion. A Cardiologist stepped up to the podium to thank the participants and say a few words. I immediately recognized his Scottish accent. Dr. Euan Ashley was the initial specialist to care for Erin when she arrived at Stanford. He was her physician for the first few extremely frightening days. Every doctor was amazing, and I hadn’t seen Dr. Ashley since those couple of days before Christmas in 2012. Today my heart was overflowing with gratitude and happiness! We exchanged emails and I was able to send him a few photo’s of him as he cared for Erin, and a picture of a healthy vibrant Erin today.

Euan A. Ashley

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE (CARDIOVASCULAR), OF GENETICS AND, BY COURTESY, OF PATHOLOGY AT THE STANFORD UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine

Born and raised in Scotland, Euan Ashley graduated with 1st class Honors in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Glasgow. He completed medical residency and a PhD in molecular physiology at the University of Oxford before moving to Stanford University where he trained in cardiology and advanced heart failure, joining the faculty in 2006. His group is focused on precision medicine. In 2010, he led the team that carried out the first clinical interpretation of a human genome. The paper published in the Lancet was the focus of over 300 news stories, became one of the most cited articles in clinical medicine that year, and was featured in the Genome Exhibition at the Smithsonian in DC. The team extended the approach in 2011 to a family of four and now routinely applies genome sequencing to the diagnosis of patients at Stanford hospital where Dr Ashley directs the Clinical Genome Service and the Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease. In 2013, Dr Ashley was recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for his contributions to Personalized Medicine. In 2014, Dr Ashley became co-chair of the steering committee of the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Network. Dr Ashley is co-Principal Investigator of the MyHeartCounts study, launched in collaboration with Apple in 2015. Dr Ashley is a recipient of the National Innovation Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. He is a peer reviewer for the NIH and the AHA as well as multiple scientific and medical journals. He is Senior Associate Editor of Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics and a member of the Editorial board of Molecular Case Studies. He is co-founder of Personalis Inc, a genome scale genetic diagnostics company founded in 2012 operating now in more than 10 countries around the world. Father to three young Americans, in his ‘spare’ time, he tries to understand American football, plays the saxophone, and conducts research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.

Our Challenge for this week!!

Exercise Every Single Day

We have all probably heard of the quote by Edward Stanley, “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
My challenge for you is to do your favorite form of exercise every single day this week. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout everyday. In fact, I believe you should space your hard effort with recovery days. But, you should still do some form of exercise every single day; even if it’s just a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood. If you would like help on what to do this week, feel free to join me for a workout or give me call! Here is a quick heart healthy cardio workout you can do anywhere! Even a hotel room! You can do the ladder or just complete the 10 reps of the following 5 exercises, plus the 30 second plank.
Let me know if you are in!

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Food for Thought:

My family loves deviled eggs, especially for Easter brunch. Our original recipe includes adding beer to the yoke! For a healthier version enjoy this recipe courtesy of To Simply Inspire.

Deviled-Avocado-Eggs

Ingredients

3 hard boiled eggs, cut in half

1 large avocado

2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp cilantro

Pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper

Paprika, optional

Directions

Remove the cooked yolks from the hard boiled eggs into a bowl.

Add the avocado to the bowl next.

Then add the remaining ingredients and mash together well with a fork.

Add the mixture to the egg halves.

Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

Have a wonderful week!!

Much love,

Lori

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**Sitting Rising Test** **Avoid This 1 Thing** **Sumo Sweet Oranges**

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Dear Friends,
This week I was discussing an assessment test with one of my colleagues at Stanford. A test that predicts how long you will live. It is a simple sitting test. As I have shared many times in my blog and classes, flexibility, balance and muscle strength are key indicators of longevity and quality of life. It’s no secret I LOVE to run, but I am a better happier healthier runner because of the exercises and workouts I do and share in my boot camp and classes. If you try this test and don’t do well, don’t be discouraged. Never stop believing you can feel better and get stronger!

Here is an article from USA Today that gives a quick summary of the Sitting Rising Test:

No time for exercise? Too busy to eat right? What kind of a toll is it all taking on your health?

There’s a simple test you can do just about anywhere that’s been proven to predict how long you’ll live. A doctor in Brazil invented the Sitting Rising Test or SRT, and he’s proven it can predict your risk of dying in the next five years.

When it comes to figuring out how healthy you are, and long you might live, a cardiac stress test is often considered the gold-standard for giving doctors very specific information.

“What we’re doing from a stress test standpoint is what we call risk stratifying somebody for their risk for a heart attack, and dying from a heart attack in the next one, three, or five years,” says Dr. Michael Lim, director of the Division of Cardiology at Saint Louis University Hospital.

But what if you could predict your longevity quickly, easily and without even leaving your home? Scientific studies over the past 15 years have proven if you have trouble getting down and getting back off the floor, it’s nothing to laugh at.

Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD, a specialist in exercise and sports medicine, also works with cardiac patients at Clínica de Medicina do Exercício – Clinimex, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, and invented SRT to easily measure non-aerobic physical fitness.

In an interview via Skype from his home in Rio, he said the idea for SRT came from observing his older, sedentary patients who could pass basic aerobic tests.
“Many of them are able to bike or to run on a treadmill,” said Dr. Araujo, “but if you asked them could you tie your shoes, it’s pretty difficult to do that. We realized not only aerobic fitness is important. You also need other things for your life: strength, flexibility, balance.”

The goal is to get down and back up from a sitting position with minimal support. It can be used in all age groups, and results are based on a scale of one to 10. Score three or less and your risk of dying is five times greater over the next five years.
It may look and sound easy, but here’s how it’s done. You cross your feet, and go into a seated position. That’s five points. Coming back up is another 5. But you can lose points really fast.

You lose a point for each hand, arm or knee you need for support. Take off a half-point when you lose your balance at any time, either on the way down or coming back up.
Total them all for your final score. If you have bad knees or hips, don’t try this alone.
“Have a friend, have a spouse, have a friend with us when we do this,” said Dr. Lim.
Be sure to take your shoes off, and wear comfortable clothes.

But for every point you get, there’s a 21% decrease in mortality from all causes. Dr. Lim, says it makes sense.
“The more active we are the better we can accommodate stressors the more likely we are to handle something bad that happens down the road,” said Dr. Lim.

Dr. Araujo’s data has been published in American and European medical journals. By the way, he says if you’re over 50 and score a perfect 10, you should be proud, because not many people in the age group can do it.

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Our Challenge for this week!
Avoid This #1 THING!

It’s time to ——–>

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Do you REALLY know how much sugar is in the soda and juices that you are drinking?
It’s CRAZY how many calories you can actually consume in such a short period of time when you have a drink.
Did you know that sugary soft drinks are the #1 source of calories in the average American Diet!?!?
One Soda a day can increase your risk of a heart attack EVEN if you are not gaining weight?

56% of 8-year-olds down soft drinks daily, & 1/3 of teenage boys drink at LEAST 3 cans of soda per day!

Needless to say, soda is one of the leading contributors to the explosion in our rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a whole host of other problems.
So…. if you are a soda drinker, your challenge of the week is NO SODA!!

Not only are there ZERO nutritional benefits in these sugary drinks, but they are absolutely harmful to your health.
Here Are Your Acceptable Alternatives to Soda:

Water (flavor with strawberries, cucumber, lemon, lime, etc. Switch it up to make it fun!)
If you need the caffeine buzz (especially because it’s Monday) go with Green Tea (has anti-oxidants) or Un-sweetened Tea.
Or…..coffee. If you HAVE to sweeten it, find some coconut sugar. It’s got a low glycemic load (won’t raise your blood sugar too much) and it tastes great.
Are you Up for this challenge this week?

My Favorite Snack:

IMG 3068

I have been kind of obsessed with the Sumo Orange this winter. This is a good picture. They are actually kind of scary looking. But they are in season, delicious and probably the sweetest citrus you can eat! The Sumo Orange is grown in the California Central Valley and combines the best of the easy-to-peel Japanese Satsuma with the big, juicy, sweet oranges from California. Yum!

Have a great week!

Much love,

Lori

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**De-Stress Your Life** **Racing Hearts Stanford Event** **Healthy Burgers**

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Dear Friends,

I know for many of you last week was a week of kids off from school and family vacations. Getting geared up for the grind again is never easy. Sunday evenings can be stressful trying to get ready for the week ahead. Some of us never take time off or relax, even when we get away. So, my challenge this week is to:

De-Stress Your Life for the Week….

Many of us are CHRONICALLY STRESSED OUT. CHRONIC STRESS = FAT STORING MODE

You could be doing EVERYTHING right with your diet and exercise, but if you are still holding on to a few extra pounds (especially in your belly), then there’s a very good chance it could be because of your stress levels.

We all have a hormone in our body called Cortisol. Cortisol is our body’s natural “fight-or-flight” hormone and is dubbed our “stress hormone.”
When we’re being attacked by a bear in the woods, Cortisol and Adrenaline (Epinephrine) in our bodies shoot up, allowing us to be able to have clear focus on the situation and giving us the energy to sprint as fast as we can away from the bear.
The main problem is, we are NOT sprinting away from a bear. We are stressed out at work, sitting in traffic, or dealing with personal situations that are causing us CHRONIC levels of increased cortisol.

Now…..all of that sugar has been released into our bloodstream for sprinting in the woods, except we’re not sprinting anywhere…..so it’s all getting STORED AS BELLY FAT.

Cortisol also reduces your immune system.

So when you’re chronically exposed to stress, your immune system is chronically compromised.
Chronic Stress is one of the main contributors to weight gain and obesity, getting sick, having less energy, and depression.

The GOOD NEWS is that stress levels CAN BE MANAGED with a little persistence and dedication to the process.

Here are a few Ways to Decrease Your Stress:

Exercise (this will DEFINITELY HELP) – If you love to be outdoors, and this week is going to be beautiful, join me at my Custom Fit Boot Camp, join me for a fun run, or call me for a personal session!

Reduce your Sugar Intake (in fact, try to eliminate all HFCS)

Try Meditation or Yoga – I’m coaching a Meditation 10-Day accountability group through a FREE app beginning February 29th!!

Start taking Omega 3′s (fish oil)

Disconnect: Turn OFF your Computer & Cell for at least an hour during the day

Try to find at LEAST 10-15 min a day of peace and quiet

Find 10-15 minutes to be outside in the sunshine

Get a Massage!

So….this week’s Challenge of the Week is to Focus on DE-STRESSING Your Life.
I challenge you to spend at least 30-60 minutes EVERY day this week, focused on relaxing, resting, and de-stressing. It will be difficult if you just came back from vacation, but it will make you happier, and it will make getting back to a full schedule of life and responsibilities easier!

Sometimes taking time for yourself is the hardest thing to do- but by taking care of yourself, you are able to handle everything and everyone that comes along more easily.

ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!?

Couture Conditioning Run/Walk Event for March:

I will be providing training tips, advice on injury prevention and complimentary training calendars for several upcoming local races. Our current target event is the Racing Hearts 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run benefiting Stanford Heart Research and the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease on March 20th. This is an event for all levels of fitness for walkers and runners. https://raceroster.com/events/2016/6100/racing-hearts-5k10k

Food for Thought:

Salmon Quinoa Kale Burgers with Arugula

After my half marathon race last Sunday I was craving a burger. So on my way home I stopped by our local burger place, Super Duper Burger, and indulged! It was delicious, no regrets! Here’s a healthier option for every day thanks to one of my favorite sources, Skinnytaste.com:

Healthy Salmon Quinoa Burgers

Wild salmon, quinoa, and kale – these burgers are not only super healthy, loaded with good-for-you omegas and tons of protein (21-1/2 grams of protein) they also taste delicious and are easy to make. Serve them on a simple arugula salad with grapefruit, with a mustard-shallot vinaigrette.

Salmon Quinoa Burgers

Skinnytaste.com

Servings: 5 • Size: 1 pattie • Points+: 4 pt • Smart Points: 4
Calories: 183 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 21 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 327 mg (without salt) • Cholest: 105 mg

Salmon Burgers with Salad:

Servings: 5 • Size: 1 burger with salad • Points+: 8 pt • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 277 • Fat: 13 g • Carb: 17 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 23 g • Sugar: 5 g
Sodium: 338 mg (without salt) • Cholest: 105 mg
Ingredients:

16 oz wild salmon fillet, skin removed

1 tsp olive oil

1/3 cup diced shallots

1 cup kale, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3/4 cup cooked quinoa

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Old Bay

1 large egg, beaten

For the salad:

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 1/2 tbsp champagne vinegar

2 tbsp minced shallots

1 1/ 4 tsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper, to taste

10 loose cups baby arugula

1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and diced

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, dijon, salt and pepper.
Cut about a 4 oz piece off or the salmon and place in a food processor or chopper to finely chop. This will help hold the burgers together. With a knife finely chop the remaining salmon, transfer to a large work bowl.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the oil and saute shallots and kale. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until wilted and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer to the bowl with salmon along with quinoa, Dijon, Old Bay and egg. Mix to combine, then form into 5 patties, about 1/2 cup each.

Lightly heat a nonstick grill pan or skillet over medium heat, when hot spray with oil and add the salmon patties. Cook the 4 to 5 minutes, then gently turn and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

Toss the dressing with the arugula and grapefruit; divide on four plates. Top each salad with a salmon burger.

Have a wonderful week!!

Much Love,

Lori

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**Bees & Bitty** **Fruits & Vegetables** **Baked Fennel & Potatoes**

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Dear Friends,

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! One of the many things I love about my boot camp is the amazing people I get to know. I always enjoy the opportunity to share what they do, and how we can support our local community.

Alison Dacher is a busy mom, talented artist, in great shape and involved in various non-profits. She is also the owner of a custom invitation and letterpress studio Bees & Bitty.

Unnamed

Here is a little blurb about Bees & Bitty:

Bees & Bitty is a custom invitation and letterpress studio located in Los Gatos.
We bring creative vision to your event invitations. Visit beesandbitty.com to learn more or contact us at ali@beesandbitty.com.

Alison Dacher

Bees + Bitty Printworks

beesandbitty.com

letterpressfactory.com

I use her greeting cards, and I’ve seen beautiful custom invitations that she has done for several friends. If you have a celebration or event coming up, you will love working with Ali!!!

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Our Challenge for this coming week:

Have a Fruit or Vegetable at EVERY Meal! This coming week is Winter Break for many of our local schools. This is an easy one if you are out of town or eating out more often this week.

We all know that eating fresh fruits and vegetables are CRITICAL to a healthy and balanced diet.

Yet…all too often, we’re sitting down to eat cereal with milk, meat and potatoes, or a sandwich with processed lunch meat and cheese with a colorless slice of tomato on it.

Here’s the REAL Deal: DAIRY and MEAT are both ACIDIC in the body.

Fruit & Vegetables = Alkaline

Since most of the foods we typically eat (as Americans) are acidic: milk, meat, breads, etc… our pH is chronically acidic.

The more acidic your blood, the more tired you get, the more your immune system lowers, and the more susceptible you are to developing colds, flus, and much more serious diseases.

Your body spends all it’s energy and time “fixing” the problem rather than spending its energy and time on “optimizing” your body.

Something you probably didn’t know:

Foods that you THINK are acidic to your body like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons actually have an alkalizing effect in your body.

So…even though they are acidic BEFORE you eat them, doesn’t mean they have that affect on your body.

So….this week, I Challenge YOU to eat a Veggie at EVERY meal. (you can sub 1-2 veggies for a piece of fruit!)

You will find you have SO much more energy through the day- and who doesn’t need that!?

***On a side note, you want to focus on eating your fruits earlier in the day because of the sugar content.

Let me know if you are in!!

What’s for Dinner:

Baked Fennel and Potatoes 3

Baked Fennel and Potatoes (Dairy Free)

Recipe by: Gutsy By Nature

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 Mins

Cook time: 60 mins

Total time: 1 hour 10 mins

Dairy-free baked fennel and potatoes – delicious and easy!

Ingredients:

grassfed ghee or coconut oil to grease pan

1 medium fennel bulb

1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled

Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

¼ cup full fat coconut milk

¼ cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a small casserole or baking dish with ghee or coconut oil.

Thinly slice the fennel and potatoes (about ⅛ inch).

Layer one third of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Spread half the fennel on top of the bottom layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then layer another third of the potatoes, the rest of the fennel, salt and pepper, and then the rest of the papers and more salt and pepper.
Pour coconut milk and broth over the potatoes and fennel.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until you can insert a knife into the potatoes and the top is beginning to brown.
Have a great week!

Much Love,

Lori

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**Goal Digger** **NO Bread** **Target Practice**

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Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe we are beginning the last week of January. Just a few weeks ago we committed to resolutions. How is it going? Has our crazy busy schedules, El Niño or a record blizzard sidetracked us from our promise to ourselves? If so, here is a tip to get back on target…

What Are You Aiming at?

Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” And each of us knows from our own experience that he is right. The general flow of human life tends to be toward ease and comfort. One day flows into the next, and many of us never quite get around to turning our good intentions into reality.

Those ‘good intentions,’ while not doubt admirable, tend to remain unrealized mainly because they are too vague. Vague ideas are impossible to focus on and aim for; they are moving targets.

Do you have moving targets in your life? Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the winter weight that has crept upon you. Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and stick with it this time.
The keys to your success are two-fold: steady the target and create momentum.
How to stop a moving target

Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target. He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left. Will he ever hit that target? Not likely.

Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target. You would like to lose some weight, feel a little better, make a change in your diet–but without clearly defined goals and methods, you can’t focus and make it happen.

The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to define your goals and write them down:

· How much weight do you want to lose?

· What kind of changes do you want to make in your diet?

· How many days per week do you want to exercise?

· Which article of clothing do you wish would fit your body again?

· How much weight would you like to lift while strength training?

Once you know where you want to end up, you are much more likely to get there.
But you have to start moving toward your goals. That is where momentum comes in.
Create momentum to reach your goals

In his book, Eat that Frog, Brian Tracy discusses the Momentum Principle of Success. In Tracy’s words:

“This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.”1

There is much wisdom in his words. Sometimes, the hardest part of reaching a goal is just getting started. That first day of doing things differently or the first experience of bypassing an unhealthy treat in favor of a food that will give you more energy can be daunting. It isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t fun.

So how do you get that momentum? How do you start moving? Accountability is the answer. Having someone else involved in your efforts can be the most important factor in your success.

It is hard to change lifelong habits on your own. You need radical motivation that comes from involving others in your efforts. Setting deadlines, making commitments and entering contests all provide an external motivation that will carry you through even the toughest temptations.

And once you get started, you will find that the momentum principle kicks in and it becomes easier and easier to keep going.

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Start NOW

You can make that moving target come to a screeching halt and blast the bull’s eye right out of it by taking a few minutes to write down what you want. Don’t make it your goals too broad; be specific. And then begin brainstorming ways to get others involved with you; that will provide your momentum. Success is within your reach. You can do this!

Oh, and remember, I’m here to help you the entire way! :)

Source:
1Tracy, Brian (2007-01-01). Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (p. 107). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Challenge of the Week: NO BREAD!

This week’s challenge will be a small step to show you just how AMAZING you will feel when you cut out BREAD & Pastas from your diet!
Many people have some level of intolerance to gluten (the protein that is found in bread, pasta, etc.) Even if you don’t show any symptoms, at a cellular level, it causes INFLAMMATION in many people without our knowledge.
Something You Should Know….

Since wheat grows free and open in the field as a plant, it has a natural protective mechanism build in called LECTINS. Lectins are the plants natural protection against insects and other pests in order to not get eaten by them.
When we eat bread, we are ingesting these lectins, and they can cause crazy amounts of inflammation in our bodies.
In addition, lectins can cause something called “leaky Gut” which let the “bad” things in through the intestinal wall and not allow your body to absorb the “good” things like nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Lectins = NO GOOD!

Bread includes: Bread, Pastas, Cookies, Cakes, Bagels, Muffins, etc!
You will not only feel AMAZING come Sunday, but you might have even notices that you dropped a couple of pounds! :)
So…Are you READY to accept this week’s Challenge!?

Make sure to let me know if you will be participating!

Food For Thought

Cloud Bread

This is NOT bread…and won’t pass for it in a blind taste-test!! But as a “holder” for all sorts of fixings, this works great.

(this recipe adapted from cleochatra)

3 eggs, separated

3 ounces reduced-fat/fat-free cream cheese OR 3 tablespoons sour cream or ricotta cheese or cottage cheese or thick yogurt

1/2 dropper of liquid stevia (or one packet stevia or 1 teaspoon honey)

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt
.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, with very clean beaters, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar for 3-4 minutes – or until very stiff peaks form and they are almost turning dry. Set aside.

With the same beaters, in a large bowl beat the cold cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, stevia or honey, and salt for 2 minutes until light yellow.

Gently fold one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten. Fold in the remaining whites until all fluffs disappear, but be careful not to deflate them.

Mound into desired sizes on the prepared baking sheet (or in a pizza pan, or muffin tins, or a mini loaf pan…whatever shape and size you want). Bake for 30 minutes – depending on size. They should be a deep golden brown and crispy to the touch.

Immediately loosen with a pancake turner and allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

These are the stats for the WHOLE recipe. Divide by how many servings you prefer.
Total Recipe: 474 Calories; 28 g Protein; 36 g Tot Fat; 7 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 533 mg Sodium

Have a wonderful week!!

Much Love,

Lori

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**Valentines Fun Run/Walk** **SLEEP** **Creamy Potato and Leek Soup**

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“I run so I do not lose the me I was yesterday and the me I might become tomorrow.”
— Dr. George Sheehan

Our Couture Team race for February is the Campbell Valentine Fun Run/Walk, 10K & 5K on Saturday, February 6th. Here’s a healthy way to kick off Super Bowl weekend. I have run this family focus race, and it is a low key flat run along the Campbell creek trail. Message me if I can help you with a training plan for this race, or any future event on your bucket list!

http://www.cityofcampbell.com/270/Valentine-Fun-Run

Custom Fit Boot Camp will be meeting at 9AM at the Los Gatos Lodge for the week of 1/18 – 1/22. Be motivated to reach your highest potential in a fun, team environment. Boot camp is a combination of strength, cardio, muscle endurance, flexibility, core, and functional movement patterns. Challenging, yet designed to be safe and effective, each member gets an efficient workout that builds muscle and boosts metabolism. With variety in the routine, you’ll avoid “plateau” and continue to improve. YES, we are having class on Monday, and kids are welcome! Our early morning classes will not be meeting this week while I am spending some quality time with my Stanford athletes. I miss my early crew and look forward to seeing you soon!

Challenge of the Week: SLEEP!

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This Week, I’m Challenging YOU to Get Your ZZZ’s! Rest, Recovery, and Sleep are EQUALLY as important as exercise. In fact, if you are not getting the proper recovery, some of your hard work will be wasted efforts.

We ALL know how important a good night’s sleep is, so why is it then, that we always put off going to bed until we do that “one last thing”, or “click on just one more interesting internet tab, social media or Pinterest pic”?

We have so much to do each day, but the truth is, we would be SO much more productive if we all actually got enough sleep!

There are a TON of reasons why getting enough sleep is so important. Here are just a few….

1. Did you know that around 80% of your HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is released while you are sleeping? HGH is a VERY important hormone in maintaining a healthy body weight because it controls metabolism, cell growth and repair, and regulates your lean body mass to fat ratio.

2. Lack of sleep will also cause an increase in a hormone called CORTISOL, which will not only prevent you from LOSING weight, but it can also cause you to GAIN WEIGHT! Not something any of us want.

3. When you sleep, your body is repairing and restoring itself. Cutting this time short will not only delay this process, but cause you to be lethargic, irritable, and emotional.

4. Lack of sleep is also associated with impaired memory, slowed speech, lack of ambition, lack of focus and a host of other lovely things.

Because over 40% of us suffer from a chronic lack of sleep, this week’s challenge is for you to ”Get Your ZZZ’s!”

Your Challenge: To get 7-8 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep EVERY NIGHT this week.
Here are a few things that will help:

1. Set a bedtime for yourself and STICK to it- even if you are NOT tired.

2. Turn off all electronics (TV’s, phones, iPads, etc) at least 30-60 minutes before you go to bed.

3. Stay away from caffeine after around 3 pm.

4. Make sure you have complete darkness in your bedroom.

5. Write your To-Do List DOWN at night. Write down a list of EVERYTHING you need to get done the next day before you go to sleep at night. This way, you won’t have to think about it because it’s down on paper, and you can get to sleep knowing that it’s on your list and you won’t forget it.

6. Make it a Priority! (if you do- you will be AMAZED at how great you will feel at the end of the week!)

Make sure to let me know if you ACCEPT this Challenge!!! Good luck & get some rest!

What’s for Dinner?

140309 creamy potato and leek soup title

Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

Author: Courtney of Family Gone Healthy

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Total time: 55 mins

Ingredients

• 3 celery stalks diced

• ½ leek stalk minced

• 7 large yukon potatoes

• 4 carrots peeled and diced

• 2 cups of frozen corn

• ½ vidalia or sweet onion diced

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

• 6 tablespoons butter

• 2 32 oz containers of low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

• salt and pepper to taste

• ½ teaspoon dill

• ½ teaspoon marjoram

• 1 (or more) cups of water

Instructions

1. Cut 5 of the yukon potatoes up into large chunks and place in a large soup pot. Cut up the other two potatoes into smaller chunks and set aside to add later. Cover with chicken broth and put on medium-high. Cook until soft (about 15 minutes). Use the immersion blender to break up the potatoes into a thick cream.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, cut up the rest of the vegetables. In a large skillet add half the butter and all of the olive oil and heat on
medium until melted. Add all the vegetables and herbs and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add the cooked vegetables to the cream of potatoes in the soup pot. Stir in the extra two potatoes you cut, the frozen corn, the rest of the
butter and a cup of water. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes. Make sure to stir frequently to avoid the
creaminess of the soup sticking to the bottom and burning. Also, add more water if the soup gets too thick. The key is getting it to the right
consistency. Serve and enjoy!

Have a wonderful week and sweet dreams!

Much love,

Lori

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