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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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**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:

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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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**John Muir Trail** **No Sugar Week** **Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese**

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Dear Friends,
Today during my run with the PayPal team I had the pleasure of running with an old friend. I met my friend Nal (in the stripped shirt) when I taught a course for REI’s Outdoor School. He was preparing to backpack the entire John Muir Trail and during our time together, I convinced him to try running too! The wonderful PayPal team welcomes anyone to join us for our weekend run. Today, my Boot Camp BFF Tina(her pup Izzy) and Nal joined us.

Message me if you’d like to join us for a future run!

The John Muir Trail is the premier hiking trail in the United States.The trail starts in America’s treasure, Yosemite National Park, and continues 215 MILES through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and ends at the highest peak in continental United States, Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft.

Nal’s trip began on August 9th and he arrived at Mt. Whitney Portal on August 26th. He shared that for the first 7 days he hiked alone! He then met up with some new friends from Israel. Which was a good thing! Nal had plenty of food, but he didn’t really cook, so he was not eating much, which was not a good thing. The team from Israel loved to cook and they helped each other. It was a great morning hearing all the exciting details of his adventure. Who ever said running is boring!?

Week Two Challenge 2016!

The NO SUGAR CHALLENGE!

This week, I’m Challenging you to a: “NO ADDED SUGAR WEEK.”

Here are just a few of the MANY reasons to cap the sugar intake in your diet….
Sugar promotes INFLAMMATION in the body (Inflammation is the ROOT of ALL disease in our bodies.)

Large amounts of added Sugars will SUPPRESS the immune system. (Imagine how your immune systems suffers if you are eating added and processed sugars at ever meal!)

Sugars will suppress the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in the body (and since HGH is imperative in anti-aging in our bodies, we want as much of this as our bodies are able to naturally produce.)

Sugars will raise your insulin levels- which over time can lead to a whole host of diseases.

Short term, added sugars will have a HUGE effect on your energy levels throughout the day.
Added sugars (that don’t occur naturally in the foods you are eating) can be detrimental to your health.

Here are just a few of the MANY reasons to cap the sugar intake in your diet….By taking this challenge it means that you commit to having no ADDED sugars in ANYTHING you eat this week!

Here are the Rules:

1. No Added Sugars of ANY kind: Honey, Molasses, Cane Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Stevia, Agave, Truvia, etc.)

2. Absolutely nothing in the ingredient label that says HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup). Try to stay away from all processed foods in general to make it easier on yourself (though that is another challenge for another week!)

3. Do NOT eat anything that says Sugar-Free. This will almost 100% of the time have artificial sweeteners in them. General Rule of Thumb: If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t be eating it!

Naturally occurring sugars in your food are OK (fruits, veggies, etc.) Try to eat your fruits earlier in the day (not past 3-4pm)

This Week’s Challenge may be a LOT harder than it looks….but you’ll be SHOCKED at how amazing you feel at the end of the week.

You’ll probably also notice you are sleeping better, have more energy, and may even have lost 2-3 pounds!

Are you in??

What’s for Dinner

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Courtesy of Team Beachbody

Sticking to a healthy diet does not have to mean living a life without mac and cheese! We asked our culinary team to create a rich and creamy macaroni and cheese casserole that would taste as good as the original, but wouldn’t wreck your diet…and it had to be something kids would love to eat. What they came up with was even more delicious than we imagined. It has less than 300 calories per serving and 15 grams of protein! The recipe makes 10 servings, so it can feed a hungry family or make several servings for healthy meal prep.

This recipe boasts two types of cheese – yes, real cheese! – sharp cheddar and Gruyere. The secret is using extra-flavorful cheeses, so a little bit goes a long way. They blend with a silky butternut squash puree to create an intensely flavorful sauce. We added peppers, onions, and a sprinkling of parsley to make the dish even more tasty and nutritious.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Total Time: 1 hr. 16 min.

Prep Time: 15 min.

Cooking Time: 61 min.

Yield: 10 servings, about 1½ cups each
Ingredients:

1 lb. dry whole wheat macaroni

1 tsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium red bell peppers, chopped

3 cups cubed butternut squash

1¾ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth

1 cup low-fat (1%) milk

2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt

1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Nonstick cooking spray

Finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside.

5. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

6. Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.

7. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.

8. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.

9. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Tip: Blend small batches of hot liquids in blender or food processor since they expand during the blending process, therefore decreasing the chance of overflowing.

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Have a great week!!

Much Love,

Lori

Lori Beveridge

Owner, Couture Conditioning

Custom Fit Training™

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**Ways To Keep Resolutions** **Breakfast Challenge** **Goat Cheese Scramble**

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Dear Friends,

I love the optimism of a new year. The trail was crowded this morning with happy groups of runners and hikers.
“Losing weight” is the top resolution for the New Year, followed closely by getting healthy, eating better, and exercising more. Although researchers from Anthem Health report that you have a 50 percent chance of your wellness resolution to last through the end of February, there are some simple tips to help you maintain your motivation! I found a great list of 10 on The Beachbody Blog:

ESTABLISH REALISTIC GOALS

MAKE EXERCISE CONVENIENT

BECOME A MORNING PERSON

MAKE EXERCISE MORE SOCIAL

OVERHAUL YOUR DIET THE RIGHT WAY

TEMPT YOURSELF TO SWEAT

FIND THE FUN IN FITNESS

REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES

AVOID AN INJURY

READ BLOGS THAT INSPIRE YOU

You CAN do it and I’m always here to help!!

As promised here is your Challenge for this upcoming week:

Monday January 4, 2016: Challenge of the Week

BREAKFAST Challenge!

Breakfast (as we ALL know) is one of the most important meals of the day.
With all of our hustle and bustle in the morning…..hopefully squeezing in an am workout, getting the kids off to school, getting ready for work…our breakfast sometimes hits the back burner.

Here are a handful of the many reasons you should eat a healthy breakfast:

It’ll improve your ability to focus & concentrate throughout the day

It’ll help you to maintain a healthy body weight

It’ll give you more ENERGY (which most of us need more of!)

It’ll Rev up your metabolism & kick-starts it into gear for the day

It’ll help you to get in your daily requirements for your vitamins & minerals

Your Challenge this week is to Eat A HEALTHY Breakfast EVERY day this week….should you CHOOSE to accept it!

Action Steps:

1. COMMIT to eating a healthy breakfast EVERY day for the rest of the week.

2. Leave a COMMENT below (if you are seeing this on Facebook), or let me know via text or email saying that you ACCEPT this Challenge to hold yourself accountable!

3. PLAN out your breakfasts for the week on paper. Going in with a plan MASSIVELY increases your chances for success.

4. PREPARE. (This is KEY) Make a list of the ingredients that you need to make your healthy breakfasts for the rest of the week. Go to the grocery store and get all of the items needed. When you get back, make anything you are able to in advance when you have free time.

Goat Cheese Tomato and Parsley Scramble sydng5

Goat Cheese, Tomato, and Parsley Scramble

Courtesy: Team Beachbody

This is the real breakfast of champions. Loaded with 33 grams of
muscle-building protein, this recipe will fill you up and fuel your day. Goat cheese, tomato and parsley are a perfect combination in this egg white scramble, but you can get creative and make this recipe your own. Substitute the same amount of feta cheese for the goat cheese if you prefer. Other fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, or chives can be used instead of parsley. Instead of tomatoes, try chopped zucchini, asparagus, or broccoli.

Total Time: 16 min.

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cooking Time: 6 min.

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

8 large egg whites (1 cup)

1 dash sea salt

1 dash ground black pepper

1 tsp. olive oil

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)

2 Tbsp. crumbled soft goat cheese (½ oz.)

Preparation:

1. Combine egg whites, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

3. Add egg mixture; cook slowly, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until eggs are almost set.

4. Add tomato and parsley. Sprinkle with cheese; cook for 1 minute or until eggs are fully cooked.

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Have a great week!!

Much love,

Lori

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**Joy Filled Life** **7 Simple Champagne Cocktails for the New Year**

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Dear Friends,

YES! I’ve already decided 2016 is going to be ridiculously AMAZING! One of my favorite fitness mentors, Autumn Calabrese posted this today and I’m all for it! Happy New Year and warm wishes dear family and friends for the coming year.

This morning I was wrapping gifts for our belated Christmas celebration. My daughters were with their in-laws this year, so it meant an extra long Christmas season for us. As I was getting the house ready, I watched a program that featured Diana Nyad. I was fortunate to hear her speak in person a few years ago at a Beach Body conference and I was inspired again today with her incredible story and her message.

For ten years (1969-1979), Diana Nyad was known as the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world. In 1979, she stroked the then-longest swim in history, making the 102.5-mile journey from the island of Bimini (Bahamas) to Florida. She also broke numerous world records, including what had been a 50-year mark for circling Manhattan Island, setting the new time of 7 hrs 57 min. She is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

At age 60, having not swum a stroke in decades, she began planning for her white whale of distance swims: the 110-mile ocean crossing between Cuba and Florida. She’d tried it once, in her 20s, and severe jellyfish attacks had defeated her then. Boxed jellyfish kill more people every year than sharks! She made another attempt in 2011 and finally succeeded in 2013 in her 5th attempt. It took her 53 hours! If you want to hear her amazing story, check out Diana Nyad: Never, every give up l TED Talk l TED.com.

I especially loved how Diana considers herself to NOW be in the prime of her life! I also love her inspiration to:

1. Never, ever give up!

2. Find a way!!

3. Live a beautiful life filled with JOY!!

As I look back on my year, there were successes, some setbacks, unexpected growth and frustrating failures. It was my BEST year ever! And I can’t wait for tomorrow and what is to come. I can’t wait to continue to build my business and serve others. I hope I can help you feel better and get stronger. I hope I can help you find a way to live your life healthier and happier! I look forward to our friendships and I can’t thank you enough for helping me live my dream and passion!

**For 2016 Couture Conditioning will continue to offer Custom Fit Boot Camp Monday thru Friday.

**Every Monday I will post a free Challenge for the week.

**Every Month I will share a “race” opportunity and free training calendar for runners and walkers, all levels.

**Every Month, or a few times a month, I will offer on-line fitness and weight loss groups with workouts, meal plans and recipes.

**Several times a month, I’ll share my fitness tips, my video’s and recipes on my blog!

CHEERS! TO YOUR HEALTH!! SALUDE!!!

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7 SIMPLE CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS TO HELP YOU RING IN THE NEW YEAR IN STYLE

http://www.jessicagordonryan.com/the-entertaining-house-food-entertaining/2014/12/29/o8tiq7mtnnefnug5eqzcgu5o7xmysl

Much love,

Lori

408-455-2570

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