2021 Lexus ES 350 F SPORT Black Line Special Edition: Sensory Stimulation

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Launched in the US in 1989, Lexus continues to attract a diverse and extremely loyal consumer base while staying ahead of the curve in the fields of technology and innovation. With its newfangled Black Line Special Edition, Japanese opulence presents itself in every aspect, from the design evolution to distinctive interior materials aimed towards sensory stimulation. My 2021 Lexus ES 350 F SPORT Black Line Special Edition test car arrived in an Obsidian outer hue with an exquisite two-tone white and black offset interior with gray stitching. The Lexus experience was perfect for seven days.

My wife and I were owners of a 6th generation ES (also in black) and loved that sporty sedan. Hence, it is gratifying witnessing the brand’s evolution right before our very eyes. For the ES, Lexus product planners utilized lessons from their flagship LS. They applied some of those techniques, such as utilizing premium materials and attention to detail with the distinctive one-piece spindle grille design. A few critical elements of change between the old and the new include a lowered roofline, a longer wheelbase, an overall longer, lower, wider body, and triple-beam LED headlamps. [Read more…]

2021 GMC Yukon 4WD AT4: Stronger, Bolder, and Smarter

Experienced by Kimatni Rawlins

It was tough deciding between the Onyx Black 4WD Denali and Summit White 4WD AT4 for the at-home launch and test drive of the 2021 GMC Yukon, yet ultimately, Automotive Rhythms went with the adventurous AT4 model. The American SUV’s interior excels with exquisite woods, fine leather, and technology advancements such as a third-row that automatically folds and unfolds from an overhead switch. Additionally, the second and third-row seats can be actuated from the cargo area.

As stated, I went with the very first AT4 model, which is focused on off-roading and venturing into the unknown. Red tow hooks should hint at the model of your premium American SUV. As well, AT4 receives the rugged Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires with economical tread design and all-weather traction to accommodate the stylish 20” aluminum rims outlined by Carbon Grey Metallic accents. You will also recognize the skid plate and hardcore Tonka Truck styled front fascia of the AT4 compared to the Yukon Denali’s blinged out silver grille. Both feature jeweled headlights with impressive shine abilities. AT4 also runs with the Traction Select System with off-road mode and Hill Descent Control.

[Read more…]

Fit Fathers Fall Family Road Trip: Discover Shenandoah National Park

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Virtual learning is back in session for my high school girls, so we wished to journey one last time before full focus took precedence in their busy lives. With the weather dropping and the days becoming shorter, a family road trip was right for the moment. Represented by three generations of family love, we decided to camp in the cabins of Skyland Resort while exploring the various trails of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, just a 90-minute drive from Washington, DC.

Thankfully, Toyota provided Fit Fathers with a 2020 Tundra TRD Pro in Army Green for the fall family getaway. My father joined us to bring back cherished moments when he would head to Shenandoah Valley to camp and meditate with mother nature. The CrewMax cabin was quite sizable with Mika and Aya in the back seat, and the rear windowpane retracts for a wind-gushing ride. The 5.7-liter V8 handled the road with force, and the sports seats kept me and pop comfortable for the trip’s entirety. For individuals arriving in electric vehicles, there are charging stations at Skyland (mile 41.7 and 42.5) and Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51).

[Read more…]

2020 Trail Trek Tour: Tundra TRD Pro Off-Road Family Fun

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Let’s get ready to rumble was an understatement this past weekend in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. I drove down with the family from Silver Spring, MD, in the 2020 Tundra “Nomadic Mission” TRD Pro warrior truck by Fit Fathers for a day of mud sliding, light rock climbing, and slope running. The socially distanced 2020 Trail Trek Tour featured the group’s first Off-Road Family Fun Run and included nine vehicles, 29 participants, and one happy-to-be-in-the-woods dog.

My Tundra TRD Pro was joined by the Army Green Team, consisting of the new Tacoma TRD Pro and 4Runner TRD Pro, which both held their own through deep waters and uphill battles. But of course, big brother Tundra is the family’s king of the mountain and calls the shots. We tackled two trail rides in the National Forest, including Taskers Gap and Peters Mill Run that comprise 36 miles of motorized OHV trails. Though, I was a bit jealous of the dirt bikes and ATVs ripping the trails like the surefooted mountain goat. Experienced host Philip Van der Vossen led our procession of trucks. We took a surgical approach for some good dirty fun with my Fit Fathers crew, daughters, and father Randi Payton who started African American On Wheels magazine over thirty years ago. The collaboration also included buccaneer Leon Brittain of Throttle Life and Auto Sense’s Brian Armstead.

[Read more…]

James and Candice Learn to Spend Their Time Wisely

James and Candice Learn to Spend Their Time Wisely by author Joe Braxton is a children’s book to help kids understand the value of family & friendships & all the changes that occurs as the result of a pandemic.
Children are resilient, and this book helps them with resilience, adaptation, and knowing that their feelings and experiences are valid and normal.
Get a complimentary bookmark and personalized autograph with each order.
Enjoy book #2 in this children’s book series. Stay safe.
Order TODAY! Click link below.

Free Plant-Based Nutrition Classes

Join doctors and community partners for a free online nutrition class! Learn how weight, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions can be treated and prevented with a plant-based diet. Vanita Rahman, MD, Neal Barnard, MD, Jennifer Paul, MPH, and weekly class guests will provide practical tips, meal planning, and interactive Q&A during this 8-week class series!

Topics include:

• Understanding Nutrition Labels
• Emotional Eating
• Meal Planning and Shopping
• And more!

Classes start on Aug. 25 and recordings will be available on-demand for registrants. Register today at PCRM.org/NutritionClass



Sunday Funday Group Bike Ride: Tundra Fit

Welcome, this is Fit Fathers first Sunday Funday bike ride with our new “Toyota Tundra Fit” mobile. We met up for 24 miles along Sligo Creek Trail into Hyattsville, MD. It’s always energizing starting the morning off with a life enhancing activity. The Army Green 2020 Tundra TRD Pro will be with Automotive Rhythms and Fit Fathers for six -months as we utilize the Japanese pickup truck for health events and fitness motivation throughout the Maryland area. Keep moving people!

Vince Goes Vegan: The Journey Begins

Vince Bodiford is ready to make a change and reclaim his health!

On this episode of The Exam Room™ Podcast, Vince and his plant-powered mentor Kimatni Rawlins join “The Weight Loss Champion” Chuck Carroll to talk about the beginning of Vince’s journey into the plant-based world.

Like many of us, Vince had become frustrated by his weight and finally reached a breaking point. In his time of need, he reached out to Kimatni for help. Together they offer an authentic glimpse into the real life experience of someone attempting to break a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits and wean themselves off meat and dairy. Eating a “perfect” vegan diet doesn’t happen overnight for most people, including Vince. But with Kimatni’s help, he is determined to get there!

Follow along as we learn about his first month fueled by plants!

Plus, Chuck and Dr. Vanita Rahman discuss a new law in Mexico that would treat the sale of junk food and chips to minors just like cigarettes. It would be illegal for anyone to buy them until they’re 18 years old!

Plus, Dr. Rahman answers your questions as we open the Doctor’s Mailbag.

  • What foods cause acne?
  • Are low-fat diets beneficial for kidney stones?
  • Is stevia a good replacement for regular sugar?
  • Is eliminating sugar the only way to stop cravings for sweets?

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250: Baby Baller

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The new GLA 250 crossover is quite the showoff in a family full of self-reliant, intelligent, and performance-oriented SUVs. The baby baller is the entry point to Mercedes-Benz’s (M-B) roster of utilities and seemingly fulfills almost every sensory touchpoint required by today’s youthful and digitized customers. It’s positioned for people who live adventurously and utilize their rides as sidekicks for exploits. Whether you’re navigating through or around inner-city obstacles to make appointments or cruising the outer banks, the GLA 250 will undoubtedly make an ideal companion.

GLA is short, compact, and dynamic. However, the heavily contented cabin is spacious and pretty cozy since the proportions are taller, more comprehensive, and longer than the prior model. The Neva Grey and Black MB-Tex with contrasting AMG Line carbon structure trim excited my wife and kids. They are also always fascinated by the 64-color interior ambient lighting in M-Bs, which allows you to select energetic glows such as Glacier Blue and Jungle Green. A Sporty flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters is familiar territory to other family members. It leaves the impression that the GLA is even more capable than its stats suggest. Metal pedals, rear seats with 7-Stage Inclination and forward/backward mobility, and the $1,500 panorama sunroof add more amenities. And the enticing Mountain Grey Magno matte paint fits the GLA motif well. Though the five circular vents for the dual-zone automatic climate control collectively dominate the smaller instrument panel’s fascia, they look and feel better on the interiors of the larger M-Bs such as the E and S-Classes. [Read more…]

2021 Kia K5 EX and GT-Line: The Choice is Yours

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It was an interesting 24-hour period as Kia dropped off both a meditative Sapphire Blue 2021 K5 EX and a mystic 2021 Passion Red K5 GT-Line for me to evaluate side by side. Of course, classic rap group Black Sheep and their timeless hit, The Choice is Yours, came to mind as I kept going back and forth on the color scheme. “You can get with this, or you can get with that. I think you’ll get with this, for this is where it’s at.” So, I jumped into the “Matrix” with both the red and blue pill to put equal time behind the wheel of each.

With a starting price of $27,990 for the EX and $25,390 for the GT-Line ($965 destination fee), think of the mid-sized sedan as the little dude in the crew. It’s like a Kia Stinger before the agility and strength training program kicked off. I even see a mix of Hyundai’s new Sonata in the front. But the Shark skin-inspired mesh grille needs more pompousness to pair with the rest of the athletic body and chin spoiler. I think it’s too thin and narrow and the pattern is strange. Kia says the K5’s roster position is above the Forte and below the Cadenza. [Read more…]