**Jingle Bell Run/Walk** **Spiced Artisan Nuts** **Chicken Tortilla Soup**

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Dear Friends,

Well, I just couldn’t wait for my new web site to be completed. I wanted to check-in and say hello and tell you about some wonderful opportunities in our community. I love the quote in the picture above “…Let what you love be what you do. I honestly wake up every morning feeling in love with my job and what I get to do everyday. There are definitely challenges, frustrations and set backs.” I always dreamed of owning my own business and I’m a work in progress. I love the process and the personal growth. I am deeply grateful for my good health and passion for fitness and nutrition. What I love the most are the people in my life that support, encourage and inspire me – my family, my friends and my clients. My dream is also to create a business that is genuine and relational. I consider my clients my friends and I care very deeply for them. It only seems like I’m trying to kill them for an hour of their day. 🙂

As I shared earlier, every month Couture Conditioning will participate and offer free training for a race or event. Last month we ran The Chardonnay Run. This month we will be training for the Turkey Trot. In December there is a very special event that I wanted to highlight now so that you can put it on your calendars. The Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Pacific Grove. The event is on Saturday, December 12 at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. The 5K is the largest holiday race series aimed to fight arthritis. It will be a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! The race also has a special significance for me. One of my first clients and wonderful boot camp friends Margo is fund-raising for VAL’S PRANCER’s AND VIXEN’s TEAM. Val is Margo’s precious daughter Valerie. She is also one of my boot camp clients. 🙂 My favorite mornings are when Margo brings her daughters to class. Valerie is one of my very favorite little girls. I love her! The Arthritis Foundation ran a “spotlight” on Valerie on their home page. I wanted to share it with you here:
Team Spotlight – VAL’s PRANCER’s AND VIXEN’s TEAM



This is the Moore family’s first time participating in JBRW. As of October, they earned over $2300 for their team to meet their $5000 goal!

Valerie loves to dance, bike ride and recently joined a swim team with her big sister, Eloise. She’s got a mean butterfly! But it wasn’t always this way. Five year old Valerie was diagnosed with Psoriatic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis with Uveitis and Granulomatous shortly after her second birthday. When Valerie was two years old, she began crawling around the house. Before long, two of Valerie’s fingers and knees were swollen and she cried when her parents held her hand. Valerie’s pediatrician ordered lab work and they were on their way to finding out what was going on with this brave little girl. Valerie photo

Today, Valerie’s symptoms are managed with medication and infusions. In addition to monthly rheumatology visits, Valerie visits every 6 weeks with her ophthalmologist to keep a close watch on her eyes. Uveitis is an autoimmune disease leading to permanent loss of vision if left untreated.

Like so many other kids with JIA, Valerie seems perfectly healthy from the outside but her daily, weekly and monthly routine of heavy meds, doctors’ appointments and a suppressed immune system are constant reminders of her disease. Her parents, Margo and Dave, are extremely grateful for the outstanding medical care their daughter receives at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and at UCSF.

The Moore Family appreciates the support from the Arthritis Foundation and are happy to offer our support to help raise awareness towards finding a cure. They are looking forward to their first Jingle Bell Run in December!

Join us on December 12th! To register go to Margo (Valerie) Moore’s Personal Page for 2015 Jingle Bell Run/Walk – Pacific Grove:


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On Friday night I attended a lovely cocktail party for a new local business. After a long week it was so good to gather with long time friends. My friend Roxanne is a gourmet cook and has an incredibly delicious recipe for spiced nuts. I always love to support local business and I’m excited for her and for us. Her Spiced Artisan Nuts are amazing! They make a perfect gift and she offers them in a variety of sizes and containers. If you are interested email Roxanne at www.spicedbyroxanne@gmail.com.

What’s for Dinner:

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Certified personal trainer and certified clinical nutritionist and cooking school instructor, Cappie Geis makes it her mission to teach others how to make healthy food taste great. This recipe, from her first cookbook, Healthy Food Gets Fabulous(Cappie Geis 2014), is a comforting dish that’s perfect for a cold winter night. Consider making a batch on Sunday so it’s ready and waiting for a quick reheat on a frenzied weeknight. Makes eight servings.

To find more delicious recipes featuring Cappie’s “swapout” secrets, check out her book at www.cappiefat2fab.com/.

3 T olive oil, divided use

1 large onion, diced

2 jalapeño peppers, diced small

2 cloves of garlic, minced salt, pepper and chili powder to taste

1 full chicken breast and 2 chicken thighs with bone in (about 2 pounds total)

4 C hot water

2 C hot chicken broth/stock

2 C diced ripe tomatoes or 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

3 T olive oil, divided use

2 C chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 C shredded cheddar or Cotija cheese for garnish

2 ripe avocados, sliced

1 dozen corn tortillas

Recipe Key:

T = tablespoon

t = teaspoon

C = cup

oz = ounce

In Dutch oven, sauté onion and jalapeños in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic and heat through.

Remove skin and all fat from chicken. Score thickest part of breast a few times. Season and add chili powder to all pieces, then brown chicken on all sides. Add water and broth and bring to boil (chicken should be covered in liquid; if not, add a little more water). Simmer 45–60 minutes until chicken falls off bones. Remove chicken from broth to a plate.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and 1 cup cilantro to broth, and cook for another 15–20 minutes. After chicken is cool, shred meat into bite-size pieces and add back to broth. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut tortillas in half and cut halves into 1/8-inch slivers. Put in bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Add chili powder to taste, and mix well. Put seasoned tortilla strips onto cookie sheet and bake 10–15 minutes. Stir and bake 5 minutes longer (should be crisp but not burned).

To serve: Spoon soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips, cheese, cilantro and avocado.
Vegetarian option: Omit chicken, and use one can of black beans (or 2 cups of fresh cooked beans) instead. Swap out vegetable broth for chicken broth.
Shortcut: Use 2 cups of leftover cooked and diced chicken, and omit step of preparing chicken for the soup.

Source: Reprinted with permission from Healthy Food Gets Fabulous by Cappie Geis.

Thank you and I hope to see you soon!

Much Love,


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