2017 Kia Niro: A New Hybrid Hero

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I’m sure by now most of you have seen the Melissa McCarthy ad spot with Kia’s new hybrid crossover dubbed “Hero’s Journey” where the comedic actress attempts to the save the eco-friendly attributes of the planet while using the vehicle’s key features. Whether you find it amusing or not the underlying theme is that Kia has introduced another green machine to the marketplace for individuals looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With an introductory price of $22,890, fuel economy of 52 city MPG, and a 595-mile range the Niro FE may just be my new hybrid hero! [Read more…]

Daddy and Daughter Holiday Retreat: Hello Fort Lauderdale!

daddy-and-daughter-holiday-getaway_fit-fathers_06

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Well, this is the second of such trips where I split my two girls up for a one-on-one session with their Fit Father to create individual memories and experiences. I leave all work behind while letting them choose the destination and timing, as well as their respective itineraries. It’s all about them. [Read more…]

Ready to Live Health & Wellness Mixtape!

10th_element_HIP_HOP_IS_GREEN_RBG_FIT_RECORDS

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The 10th Element of Hip Hop mixtape “READY TO LIVE” is specifically tuned for my brothers and sisters looking for health promoting Hip Hop aka Fit Hop with the same flow and flavor we have come to love. Why bang in these streets when you can run these streets? Yes, literally run as in three to five miles like myself more than a few times a week. The choice is simple and is poignantly presented to us by way of Hip Hop Is Green and RBG Fit Records.

Executive produced by Stic of dead prez, the mixtapes features Nas, KRS-One, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Styles P, Zayd Malik and many others. Please make sure to become familiar with Coach Nym as he dissects some of your favorite tunes like “Paid In Full” with new age, life-enhancing lyrics. Featured with five lively sets, Nym is as versatile as any rapper I have heard from. He can flow with NY’s state of mind or travel coast to coast with the chill vibrations of Cali cruising. No longer do we have to sit through songs of rappers promoting gun violence, syrup, sex and drug money. Finally, conscious music for my thought provokers has arrived. Lift of your conscience people because it’s a movement. So continue to eat clean, stay active and energize your life! 

For download and videos visit http://www.rbgfitclub.com/rbg-fit-records/.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS: Fit Family Approved

2017_Mercedes-Benz_GLS...24

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

There are not many large, luxury SUVs that are absolutely, positively incredible. Most offer pure opulence but no bravado while others focus only on the macho elements of utilities in a world where only a small percentage of customers take their pride and joys off road. Well, the refreshed and re-dubbed prodigy from Mercedes-Benz proposes the best of three worlds — lavishness, technology and stoutness — in one complete package.

Like a visit to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the contributions of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS including the reinvigorated interior are pretty magical. My experience test-driving the GLS range — including the AMG GLS63 — in Gateway, Colorado was impeccable to say the least. Tagged as the S-Class of the M-B SUV line due to an altered naming convention, the luxurious touring utility is fit for influential families looking for advanced technology, three rows of seating (standard), 4-MATIC AWD (standard) and diverse engines (four in total) to choose from including an economical diesel and the potent, hand-built 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo with 577 runaway horses. With this authoritative AMG variant I doubt parents have to worry about arriving late to the kids’ practices.

2017_Mercedes-Benz_GLS...05

Shortly after landing into Grand Junction Regional Airport an assortment of GLS models were awaiting for evaluative drives in route to the enchanting Gateway Canyons Resort nestled within the enthralling Red Rock Canyons. Life is so pure, simple and beautiful in Western Colorado that it was almost difficult to focus in on the task at hand. Well, until I was handed the key to my German chariot. This is what you call double the pleasure. Obtainable in four models — GLS350d 4MATIC, GLS450 4MATIC, GLS550 4MATIC and the aforementioned AMG GLS63 — Mercedes has positioned itself smartly for the diverse group of core, large-sized SUV buyers. Especially in correlation to pricing which can range from $67,050 for the 255-horsepower (457 lb.-ft. of torque) 3-liter V6 Turbo Diesel to $124,100 for the AMG.

Some of the noticeable differences with the GLS in comparison to the old GL (launched in September 2012) are a bolder front and rear fascia (especially the menacing chin spoiler), the new dash and interior including the 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, a newfangled grille, new bumpers, new LED taillamps, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with wheel-mounted paddle shifters and DYNAMIC SELECT with its assortment of transmission driving modes. The AIRMATIC air suspension with Adaptive Damping System has also been enriched to respond more adeptly to various road conditions. Working in concert with the transmission, DYNAMIC SELECT allows the operator to pre-select the setting most appropriate (up to six settings) for the task at hand whether for sporty driving or tackling snow-covered roads. You can also raise the suspension up to 12.5″ with the Off-Road Engineering package. A bevvy of new light-alloy wheels is also at your disposal. I became fond of the unique 21” spins standard on the GLS550 as well as the stationary and illuminated running boards. Another favorite is the 7,500 towing capacity from the factory available Trailer Hitch ($575). It’s a must for dads such as myself that bike often with the family and occasionally tow small trailers.

2017_Mercedes-Benz_GLS...04

Some may say I was hustling backwards since I began the tour from the airport in the AMG then subsequently dumbed-down my options to the GLS550 and lastly the GLS450. Well, I didn’t mind starting off in greatness. Inclusive in the full price of $131,470, my Lunar Blue Metallic AMG GLS63 was endowed with a Carbon Fiber trim ($1,590), Porcelain/Black Exclusive Nappa Leather, 22” AMG Matte Black rims ($1,750), AMG Sport Suspension, quad pipes, the Power EASY ENTRY ($400) one-button, flip folding seat technology for entering the third row area conveniently and the Rear Entertainment System ($1,950) with 8.3″ screens located on the seat backs of the powered, heated, ventilated, multicontour and massaging front row chairs. With the force of hurricanes powering the 5,754 lb. AMG the vehicle blows from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Honestly, it was challenging keeping it under 60 mph, even when applying light pedal pressure. Imagine that!

Day two would see us cruising to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah then on to Sorrel River Ranch for a healthy lunch. A $99,105 ($93,850 MSRP) Iridium Silver Metallic GLS550 4MATIC would be my ride over and a $78,550 ($68,700 MSRP) GLS450 4MATIC would escort me back to Colorado. Power in the 550’s 4.7-liter V8 Biturbo engine was impressive as the 449-horsepower felt more like 500, even in the higher altitudes. In this vehicle I paid more attention to COMAND’s infotainment and navigation features, the harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround system and Apple CarPlay. Of course I love how the interface of your smartphone is replicated on the 8” color COMAND screen such as music and audiobooks, but keep in mind Apple CarPlay also overrides the vehicle’s own apps and functions so you won’t be able to use any of them except the radio. Lane Keeping Assist is pretty aggressive and feels like a jolt when you drift outside the lane without signaling so stay focused. Although the 9-speed transmission is pretty efficient the mileage on the 4.7-liter is not. Expect only 13 city and 18 highway estimated mpg in the GLS550. This is why I would personally opt for the 362-horsepower 3-liter V6 Biturbo in the GLS450. In this case the GLS achieves approximately 17 city and 22 highway mpg.

2017_Mercedes-Benz_GLS...25

Available now (diesel coming at a later date) the GLS will help fortify Mercedes-Benz’s position in a growing utility market that is eager for grander products which present car-like agility, artificial intelligence and sport utility adventure.

2016 Wings For Life World Run

BFgoodwrich-wings-for-life-world-run

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Another city and another run in less than 15 hours was the highlight of my Mother’s Day Weekend. I began Saturday morning with a family 5K in College Park, Maryland with a group of Fit Fathers and their wives, mothers and sister. Shortly afterward I jumped on a United Airlines flight to LAX to join the BRGoodrich Tires team in conjunction with Red Bull for the 3rd Annual Wings For Life World Run. It was truly an amazing experience.

Funding 114 research projects in the field of spinal cord research and cures, Wings For Life has grown in both popularity and runner participation with a 30% registration increase over last year. Only in its third year, the organizers have ascertained that all proceeds go to the aforementioned research cause which is phenomenal.

I arrived to the Hyatt Regency Valencia in the Santa Clarita Valley at 10pm and went directly to sleep in my running gear. To get ready for the 4am West Coast run I arose at 2:30am to pick up my registration packet at the starting line. To my surprise the main street was packed already and the crowds were overly energetic to run for those who can’t. With Wings For Life there is basically no finish line. You simply run as far as you can and stop when caught. We started promptly at 4am in the cool, dark morning hour. A Catcher Car took off 30 minutes later, initially going just under 10 MPH. Gradually, the catcher car increased speeds throughout the race and pursued runners from behind. Once the catcher car passed an individual, that marked their personal finish line where they proceeded to the nearest shuttle for transportation back to the start area. [Read more…]

Lead By Example So Your Child Becomes The Example!

Kids-Cook-Fit-Fathers-Mikaiya-Rawlins

It’s not accidental that kids start cooking fresh, healthy meals for the family on a daily basis. They watch and emulate everything their parents or peers do. If deep, fried chicken is your thing then that’s what they will reciprocate. However, it won’t give them the tools, education and resources needed to extend their lives. Salads, fruits, cruciferous green veggies and plant-based proteins is our recipe for success.

Kids-Cook-Fit-Fathers-Salad-pasta

With that, this weekend’s family visit from my mother and the crew (various nieces, nephews, sisters and cousins) was culminated by a magnificent vegan dinner prepared by my 12-year old daughter Mikaiya and 9-year old niece Mikayla (which I am proud to have named as well). Using her new vegan cookbook, the two made a whole grain penne pasta with homemade pesto sauce blended in the Vitamix using Arugula, lemon juice, avocado, basil, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, garlic and sea salt. The salad included 7 different veggies and the freshly baked scones tasted like heaven. Hopefully they stick with this passion and elevate to the next level.

Kids-Cook-Fit-Fathers-Fruits

After dinner entertainment came from my youngest Kaiyana who played some of her favorites music notes from the violin. The next morning we all woke up to fresh fruit sliced and diced by the little vegan chefs. What a magnificent few days!

Kimatni D. Rawlins

The Garage Social Workout

Fit-Fathers-GarageSocial-Workout

There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting in a workout in your garage. Actually I prefer them. So this past Sunday I went for a 4-mile run then invited a group of Fit Fathers and my daughter for a garage workout at the crib. Boxing, sprints, spin bike, slam ball and ab work was the recipe for 90 minutes. Everyone had a blast burning calories while communing. We have decided to make this a weekly session and encourage all of our Fit Fathers to do the same with their  network of friends and family. Enjoy!

Kimatni D. Rawlins

How Not To Break Your Fitness Schedule When Traveling

Travel_gear-Travel-Fitness-

Kimatni D. Rawlins

The majority of my health blogs and topics manifest from running usually while I’m on the road traveling. For instance, I recently went on a peaceful 3-mile run along San Antonio’s beautiful River Walk on a clear and sunny day and wondered how many fellow fitness companions were local in comparison to visitors on business or pleasure. I was in town for work but certainly wasn’t going to let that stop me from energizing my physique and strengthening my heart. With that in mind, here are a few ideas or pointers to keep you focused on the go whether it’s a pleasuring vacation or hectic work project.

If you already have an adoration for burning calories, staying trim and glorifying euphoria then exercising on the road is already a part of your daily regimen. For those who find it challenging commingling both, you will simply need to put a bit more thought and energy into the task at hand. Nevertheless, even the most dedicated fitness buff can let go too much and leave home without it. Yes, “it” represents your gear!

First things first, when you begin packing go for the running shoes, fitness shorts, socks and a shirt first. Some may also need their phone sleeve, headband, spandex shorts and gloves like myself. Pack two sets of apparel if you are away for two to three days. Include an additional set if your stay is longer than three days. Make sure to choose dry sweat clothes such as Nike’s Dry-Fit line so you can either wash and dry quickly in the bathroom sink or re-pack them dry opposed to damp. Who wants their dress shirts smelling like a sweaty 5-mile run? Afterwards, pick out your work outfits and dress shoes.

Vacation Fitness

If you are like me and never check in luggage, but simply flow with a rolling carry on, then there may be some concerns regarding room. Well, try the rolling technique for the sports gear which compacts your clothes so more can fit. Also, stuff the socks and briefs in your shoes. I also wear one of my fitness outfits on the plane. This not only offers the ability to travel with additional items, but also keeps me comfortable and psychologically ready to hit the ground running. Literally! I may land at 2pm and have a scheduled 5pm meet-n-greet to attend before a 7pm dinner. After settling down at the hotel I am left with a whopping two hours to run, swim, bike or hit the gym. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes your body and mind will thank you for the activity. Meanwhile, various ideas and strategies are being produced for your time with company executives and colleagues. Some of my most brilliant and sensational concepts and solutions have arisen while I was out running. Plus, your associates will be envious when they ask what you did that afternoon. “Oh, nothing much. I just went for an hour bike ride around the lake.” Trust me, I’ve been in this position hundreds of times!

The other advantages of wearing New Balance, Brooks, Saucony or Asics athletic kicks in the airport is so you can move quicker from terminal to terminal and choose the stairs over escalators. Both Washington Dulles and Las Vegas airports have an impeccable set of steps that are sure to speed up your heart rate, which equates to caloric burn. Sometimes I’m so energized that I sprint to the top with my suitcase in hand. It feels so good and you never know who you may influence. There were many times when I was about to skip the hard work until I saw another traveller taking my prescribed route. So of course that kept me inspired to follow my own guidelines. How about that!

Travel_gear-Travel-Fitness

The next habit you want to strengthen is putting your workout sessions on the itinerary or calendar. This way your plan becomes fail proof. Let’s say breakfast is at 8am, meetings begin at 9:30am, lunch is at 12pm and the event concludes at 4pm. Then you have a 6pm happy hour and 7:30pm dinner. Well, you can either schedule the workout at 6am or at 4:30pm. Either way you are prepping your mind to be on time for physical engagement. At the end of the day it is just as important (more so in my book) than any work assignment. What’s the point in accumulating all that wealth if you do not have perfect health and longevity to enjoy it?

If the travel is for leisure then of course there are no excuses. This is the time to actually put in more fitness work because you have the spare hours. For example, I may be heading to Jamaica, Miami or London with friends, but best believe every day of that trip I’m going to rise with the sun and hit it hard. As I always say, vacation is to relax the mind, not the body.

Travel-Fitness-Fit-Fathers-Jump-Rope-Bose

Lastly, organize a group of work buddies to assemble for a workout opposed to meeting at the bar. Each person will certainly hold themself accountable and surely will not want to be the reason for any team jokes. Remember, stay fit, eat clean and continue to energize your life.

Vitamin C for Breakfast

Oranges-Mangoes-FitFathers

Yes, breakfast can be considered the most important meal of the day, but that doesn’t mean it has to be drawn out into 700 to 900 caloric meals. So, as I sat down and bit into my juicy, organic mango and orange for breakfast I could only smile knowing that my body was ingesting alkalizing purity. Plus those two pieces of fruits were satiating and collectively less than 200 calories.

In comparison to a SAD (Standard American Diet) morning meal — which is slowly killing the population by way of chronic illness such as heart disease — there is absolutely no semblance between health degrading eggs, bacon and biscuits in relation to the promotion of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium. Oh, let’s not forget the cholesterol you avoid when eating foods that grow opposed to those that are born. This nurturing meal provided glucose to kick in my metabolism and delivered enough energy to jumpstart the day, which was all I needed. Especially since the body’s glycogen reserves can be called upon as needed for exercise or an active morning.

Moreover, since only 2% or so of the American population meet the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for fiber, you should include this roughage in every meal whether it’s a fruit, vegetable or whole grains. Like a broom, fiber sweeps your GIT (gastrointestinal tract) clean and helps reduce cholesterol. Plus all this Vitamin C in these oranges and mangoes is purifying to my cells and has strengthened my immune system.

As always, eat clean, stay active and energize your life. It’s a Fit Fathers mantra and way of life.

– Kimatni D. Rawlins –

How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger – Diabetes

How-Not-To-Die-by-Michael-Greger-MD

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Wow, this new plant-based nutritional book by Michael Greger, M.D. with Gene Stone is absolutely breathtaking. The amount of information presented and science to back it up showcases poignantly how much peril Americans are in as it relates to their health. But we can control a large percentage by reducing risk factors through a clean, vegan lifestyle. Yet, you cannot rush through Greger’s pages as if you’re a collegiate student with plans to attend the game afterwards. Each chapter must be visually massaged and detailed methodically to retain the plethora of nutritional knowledge.

Our plight is challenging but simple to resolve. So the journey continues since 1.6 million Americans alone die annually from premature death resulting from the top 15 chronic illnesses with heart disease being number one at 400,000 yearly deaths. According to “How Not To Die” 20 million Americans are diabetic which can lead to amputations, blindness, heart attacks, kidney failure, strokes or death. As it relates to cancer, the three digestive cancers — colorectal, pancreatic and esophageal — kill 100,000 Americans yearly.

I just finished reading chapter six on diabetes and immediately had to disseminate my summary since so many individuals are affected including my friends and family members. More than 20 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes, whereas 5% represents type 1, a predisposed condition where the immune system mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that keeps blood sugar in check and released after every meal to escort glucose into the cells. Without insulin the sugar flows in the blood and can damage blood vessels and nerves which can lead to either lower extremity amputations (75K), blindness (650K), kidney failure (50K), heart attacks, strokes and 75,000 yearly deaths.

With type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) the pancreas can make insulin but it doesn’t work well. Fat inside the cells of the muscles and liver interferes with the action of insulin. Diabetes in kids is most likely caused by overweight or obesity and can lower their life expectancy by 20 years. Keep in mind we don’t grow more fat cells, they just get bigger when weight is put which can spill over into the blood. Plant eaters drop their chances of diabetes by 78% compared to someone who eats meat every day. Yet, monounsaturated fats from nuts and seeds seem to protect opposed to saturated fat from animals which also appears to be toxic to the cells (in the pancreas) that produce insulin. When you eat saturated fat, both insulin action and insulin secretion are impaired within hours. So, the more saturated fat you have in your blood, the higher your risk may be for developing type 2 diabetes.

When measuring blood sugar, doctors are looking for a hemoglobin A1c of under 5.7. Over 6.5 will label you as a diabetic and the prediabetic range is between 5.7 and 6.4. The best solution for most? Become a whole-foods vegan and exercise!