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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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**Gratitude & Friendship** **Sportissimo** **Chicken and White Bean Chili**

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Dear Friends,

Even when a change is your choice, it’s still hard. Personally, I am resistant to change. I like the comfort of a routine and I enjoy the security of a safe place. Change is also scary. Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than just going for it. Or as Wayne Gretzy said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”

For the past four years The Los Gatos Lodge has served as my venue for my boot camp. I will always be grateful for their staff and the property. I appreciate all they did for Couture Conditioning, and I enjoyed meeting some very interesting guests. I especially appreciate my incredibly wonderful boot camp friends that made those four years so special.

Change is also good! “If you run you stand a chance of losing, but if you don’t run you’ve already lost.” – Barack Obama

I’m excited to announce:

Sportissimo and Couture Conditioning will be working together! Our new location for boot camp will be in and around Sportissimo and King’s Court. We will be conveniently located to our schools, we will have close proximity to Blossom Hill Park; and it’s just a short jog to Vasona Park. When I announced the change to my committed boot camp friends I was a little nervous. I cannot thank them enough for their support! A great friend eased my concerns and lifted my spirits, when she pointed out that she will be able to workout, grab a Peets coffee, and complete her grocery shopping, without ever having to get back in the car! 🙂

Sportissimo is more than just our local running and specialty fitness store. I have known Sergio for many years and have always appreciated the relationship he and his family has with our entire community. His commitment goes beyond providing his customers with great products and superior customer service. It’s also about ‘Giving Back to the Community’. Their community involvement ranges from sponsorship of local events and races to benefit our schools and charities, to hosting fundraising events while promoting wellness and fitness!

For every new 12 class bootcamp package purchase, you will receive a $20 dollar Sportissimo gift card. Every bootcamp participant will also receive a store discount!
We will officially kick off classes at King’s Court on Monday March 20th!! Please join us for a FREE first class.

Bootcamp will start at a NEW time, 8:45AM Monday – Friday. We will continue to have our early 6:00AM class on Tuesday and Thursday.

What’s For Dinner:

Chicken and White Bean Chili Roundup

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Courtesy of BeachBody Recipes & Kirsten Morningstar

This craveable chili recipe is lighter than traditional chili, and not just in color. It features creamy white beans and tender chunks of chicken in a flavorful broth and hints at the fresh flavors of spring with juicy red bell peppers and aromatic cilantro. It’s lightly spiced with cumin and chili powder and mild, roasted green chilies. Instead of high-calorie cheese this Chicken and White Bean Chili is topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Total Time: 1 hr.

Prep Time: 15 min.

Cooking Time: 45 min.

Yield: 6 servings, about 1½ cups each


1 Tbs. olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2¼ cups raw cubed chicken breast (about 12 oz.)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth

2 cans (15-oz. each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

1½ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 (4-oz.) can roasted green chiles

Coarsely chopped cilantro (for garnish; optional)


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Add onions and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

3. Add chicken; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until no longer pink.

4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

5. Add broth, beans, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and chiles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Divide chili into 6 serving bowls; garnish with cilantro if desired.
Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 252

Total Fat: 5 g

Saturated Fat: 1 g

Cholesterol: 36 mg

Sodium: 415 mg

Carbohydrates: 30 g

Fiber: 6 g

Sugars: 3 g

Protein: 23 g

Always great to spend time with you!

Much love,


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**Happy New You** **Think Outside the Gym** **Champagne Etoile**

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Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! 2016 is in the books and it was a doozy! The week following Christmas I have a tendency to think a little too much about everything I failed to accomplish, and I’m in a bit of a panic on all that I didn’t do to prepare for the coming year. I stress about being behind the ball on the latest, like I should be sharing this message on Facebook Live, but I’m just not there yet. Oh well, it just means I have a lot to look forward to, and the best is yet to be! My optimistic nature reminds me to keep smiling, learning and moving forward, a thumbs up and one step at a time.

This year has been an abundance of wonderful good things too! My family is healthy! That means more to me than anything! I had an incredibly fun year of strong running. I crushed some big goals and made some new ones. I credit a clean diet, a cool coach, and my boot camp workouts for some of my best racing. I completed 2 full marathons, a 30K, a 21 miler, 4 half marathons, 4 10K’s and a few 5K’s. I get to run with the most amazing people that I’m honored to call my friends. Couture Conditioning is still my passion and life is good!

I am deeply grateful for all of you and your continued friendship and support. Doing what I do, and striving to help others achieve their health and wellness goals is my ultimate dream come true! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

Boot Camp 2017 kicks off this week! Fresh workouts, new equipment and the same low price since I started. There are so many awesome gyms and options, and I hope to complement the opportunities you have. I want to keep boot camp an easy way to get in an awesome workout, a fun place to feel better and get stronger. I also love leading an outdoor workout! In one study, researches found that exercising outdoors “was associated with greater feeling of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity.” (Peter McCall, MS, CSCS, ACE Certified Personal Trainer)

My Belly Blast Diet is currently undergoing an update and make-over. I look forward to offering this to you later this month!

I don’t always make a New Year’s resolution, but today I came across an article that asked physicians around the country about their New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Resolutions ranged from calling parents more often and listening to their patients better, to seeing more art, or just the simple act of loving the people in their lives every day. Fitting meditation into the day was also a popular intention. And not surprisingly, many are inspired by their patients to live better lives. (CBS Interactive Inc.)

My favorite, “Create a Kinder World” by Dr. Amit Sood, professor of medicine and chair of the Mind-Body initiative with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program; author of “The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living” and “The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness”

“I will make at least one person feel worthy every day. The reason: we are so busy trying to figure out how to live longer, be more connected, have cheaper energy, and faster everything, but if we do not build this around the core of kindness, then none of our success will matter,” Dr. Sood said about his 2017 resolution. He said if people embrace kindness, everything else will follow. “An essential step to create a happier world is to create a kinder world. Our children deserve that.”

I hope to see you soon!

Much love and raise a glass!!


​The Champagne Etoile // adjust accordingly to number of guests

1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup agave)

1 cup water

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Bourbon of your liking

Prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled

Lemons, cut into wedges

First, make the syrup (That’s what the water is for.) Combine the sugar, water, bean and seeds in small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature and discard the bean.
For one cocktail, add a shot of bourbon and two tablespoons vanilla bean syrup to a chilled champagne flute. Fill to the top with Prosecco. Squeeze lemon juice into glass and drop rind in. Serve.

photography by belathée // recipe adapted from bobby flay

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**Superhero Soup** **Rest is Best** **Hip Hop Run**

Dear Friends,

This morning I ran above the clouds and it was exhilarating! Well, at first it was hard, then it was brutal, and finally it was really great. Getting to the top was worth the pain, and running down with my team was fast and fun. My week ended much stronger than it started. For the first time in a very long time I came down with a cold! As much as I wanted to sweat it out with a workout, I knew this was the real deal and I skipped my personal training plans. As much as I wanted to turn a deaf ear, my body was telling me rest is best! I hope you don’t get sick, but if you do come down with a virus, the general guide for exercise and illness is that moderate exercise is usually okay if your symptoms are “above the neck.” With a common cold, those would include a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or minor sore throat. I would recommend a walk and skip the intense run or gym workout. Do not exercise if your symptoms are “below the neck,” such as chest congestion or upset stomach. Do not exercise if you have a fever or total body muscle aches. Take a break, hydrate, get extra sleep and know you will come back stronger!
I was fortunate that my cold only lasted a few days. One of my favorite weapons for a cold virus is homemade chicken soup. With my next few races less than a month away, I wanted to get back to training as soon as possible. I call it my Superhero Soup because it helped me feel better and stronger almost right away! 🙂


If you are looking for a run that is also a party, join me for the HIP HOP RUN on September 24th! This event benefits Make A Wish and Loaves & Fishes. The Hip Hop Run brings entertainment to running in a fun family friendly environment suitable for all ages. Enjoy DJs throughout the course, playing all of the songs you know and love. If you attend any of my classes, you know I love old school hip hop. Participants will have the option to take part in the 10K run, 5K run/walk, or the 5k challenge race. Be entertained after the run with a star-studded lineup of musicians and DJs at their main stage finish line. Be a part of an exciting blend of competitive exercise and stellar music. www.hiphoprun.com


I’m so happy to be back leading 6AM boot camp! We have an awesome group of all fitness levels, and it’s a great way to start the day! Check out any class for FREE!

Tuesday/Thursday 6AM
Monday 7AM
Monday – Friday 9AM



*2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

*2 quarts low sodium chicken broth

*1/2 cup uncooked white rice (optional)

*1 large onion, peeled and chopped

*(Organic Girl Super Spinach blend at Whole Foods)

2 cups baby spinach

2 cups baby bok choy

2 cups sweet baby kale

*2 1/2 cups sliced or diced carrots

*2 cups chopped celery

*5 fresh garlic cloves, minced

*5 tablespoons fresh thinly sliced or grated ginger

*2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

*1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

*1/2 or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

*1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

*Salt and pepper


1. Set a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions, celery, ginger and garlic. Salute for 5 minutes to soften. Add the chicken breasts, broth, rice, carrots, apple cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, turmeric and 1 teaspoon sea salt.

2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20+ minutes, until the chicken breast and rice are cooked through. The chicken can be shredded with 2 forks. Stir in the spinach, bok choy and sweet baby kale.

The following day I added additional broth and 2 cups of diced sweet potatoes.
To your health!!

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

Much Love,


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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!


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,


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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! 🙂


*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:

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:



(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,


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

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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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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!

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!


1- 1/2 lb flank steak

1 teaspoon kosher salt


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, grated

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


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


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.


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,


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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


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.


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


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,


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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

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!


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.



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


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,


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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,


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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….


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.


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


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

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


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,


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