The Ethiopian Experience: Trekking the Highlands of Lalibela

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Selam, and welcome to “the origin,” the African nation that has never been colonized by Europeans. Look up The Battle of Adwa where King Menelik II defeated the Italians in an epic sequence of historical consequence. So finally, after years of research, readings, teachings and listening to roots reggae rhythms epitomizing The Promised Land, I finally took the requisite steps needed for a transformative Ethiopian experience as part of my 6th Annual Nomadic Journey in Addis Ababa and Lalibela.

I ventured to Ethiopia for its strength, Abyssinian culture, veggie injera meals, traditional Eskista shoulder dance up close and to breathe with deep spirit from the highlands of Lalibela. I began the excursion upon landing into Addis Ababa, the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, while enjoying many of the historic sites including the National Museum of Ethiopia, Ethiopian National Theatre, Ethnological Museum, the Red Terror Martyr’s Museum, Menelik Palace in the Entoto Hills and the Historic Kidist Selassie Cathedral which is the highest-ranking Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the city. Sarcastically, I was also also looking for freedom fighting singer Teddy Afro, the Bob Marley of Ethiopia. Listen to any one of his classics and you will be become an instant devotee. Trust me! [Read more…]

Fit Fathers 6th Annual Nomadic Journey: Kenya’s Maasai Mara & the Balance of Nature

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Jambo! It’s the Swahili greeting I heard and repeated regularly throughout my 2-week journey in the Motherland to experience the beauty of nature in its purest and most divine form. The 6th Nomadic Journey — where I venture solo like a rover to rediscover life, disconnect from addictive American culture and explore deeper consciousness and spiritual freedom — brought me to the lands of Africa to spend time with the wild in their natural habitat within the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Southwest Kenya.

Majestic, serene and spiritual scenes left me in awe for the entirety of the trip and ultimately fulfilled some of my profoundest, transcendental aspirations. I began the long excursion from Washington, DC and traveled on United Airlines to Frankfurt and then Lufthansa to Nairobi. As a frequent traveler I always fly with the same airline alliance to earn miles, upgrades, respectable customer services, etc. After traveling almost 3-million miles with the Star Alliance I’ve earned a prestigious position for exceptional treatment. Arrival to Nairobi took place on Jamhuri Day which is a national holiday celebrated December 12th to commemorate Kenya’s attaining of independence. As you can imagine people were rejoicing with adulation across the country. [Read more…]

Healthy Culinary Experiences in Africa

Here are some of the amazing and traditional vegan foods we enjoyed in Kenya, Egypt and Ethiopia during the 6th Annual Nomadic Journey. Keep in mind that the staple food for mostly every indigenous culture is a legume (bean) or grain.

Our favorite culinary experiences included the Ethiopian veggie injera dish with lentils and cabbage and Egypt’s Koshari national dish which was divine. Koshari is a super meal made from macaroni noodles, lentils, rice, chickpeas and spiced tomato sauce. In Nairobi, Kenya make sure to pay a visit to the LMS Adventist Guest House for their magnificent $2.70 all vegan medley. [Read more…]

Vacation Fitness in Paradise: Experience The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to “The Island of Gods” in the magnificent Republic of Indonesia for an immersive vacation to focus on deeper spiritual awareness and living in the presence of Mother Nature’s serenity. Located between Lombak and Java, Bali is a majestic land consisting of volcanic mountains, mesmerizing topography, stunning flora and heartwarming people. The tropical climate — commingled with deep ravines, hillside rice fields, enchanting waterfalls and delectable Balinese fare — has created an indelible imprint that will remain with me indefinitely.

The lifelong dream of visiting Bali was shared by my wife Misa so we decided to manifest our intentions and make reality come true. Deciding on accommodations, whether it’s a resort, condo or villa, is always pivotal. Since Misa is a Platinum member with SPG we zeroed in on The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali which is conveniently located 10 kilometers from the Ngurah Rai International Airport (resembles an ancient temple) and close to the capital city of Denpasar, the main gateway to the island. The luxuriant 5-star family resort is nestled on white sandy beaches with beautiful vistas of the Indian Ocean. The Westin was perfect for enhancing our constellation of wedding commemorations. [Read more…]

Travel Fitness: Austin, Texas

After traveling all day from Washington, DC we had a choice to check emails for a few hours or go outside and enjoy the sun around Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas  before our plant-based media dinner. Well, if you know Fit Fathers then you know we chose the latter for 3 miles while absorbing Vitamin D and vibing with fellow runners. Now we’re energized, refreshed and burned 450 calories. Fyi, the emails aren’t going anywhere. Continue to make life enhancing choices people. Your body and mind deserves it.

 

 

Sesame Quinoa Salad

Fit Fathers and family please try this Sesame Quinoa Salad from www.TheCheeseTrap.org. #CheeseTrap #DairyFree

Makes scant 3 cups (2 main-dish servings)

2 cups cooled cooked quinoa

1/2 cup thawed frozen green peas or steamed sliced snow peas

1/2 cup grated carrot (standard grate, not fine) or store-bought shredded carrot

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon chopped green onion (green portion)

[Read more…]

No Hot Dogs or Bacon Please!

Cancer_Processed_Meats_WHO

We’re sure everyone has seen the World Health Organization’s (WHO) findings yesterday on Cancer causation from processed meats like hot dogs and bacon. Well, it’s not new information to Fit Fathers whatsoever but now we have concrete research and findings to corroborate the truth. So hopefully this will help parents make better nutritional decisions when it comes to feeding their kids foods that heal and enliven opposed to those that destroy and degrade. Lead by example so your child becomes the example!

A Plant-Based Diet Boosts Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being, According to New GEICO Study

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Workplace Wellness Program Alleviates Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue

18-week plant-based dietary intervention program boosts employee productivity, while alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion. Researchers with the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine placed GEICO employees with a BMI of 25 or above, or who were previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, on a low-fat, low-glycemic, high-fiber vegan diet.

Study participants experienced overall productivity and measurable improvements in anxiety, depression, fatigue, and general health, according to the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI).Study participants also lost an average of 10 pounds, lowered LDL cholesterol by 13 points, and improved blood sugar control, if they had type 2 diabetes.

Healthful vegan options, including vegetable hummus sandwiches, seasonal leafy green salads, and black bean chili, were available in employee cafeterias. Because the four-month menu featured a variety of fruits and vegetables, it was rich in vitamins and minerals. Study participants favored healthful carbohydrate-rich foods, including brown rice, steel cut oats, and rye bread, which help regulate serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin helps control mood. Weekly “lunch-and-learn” sessions enabled employees to acquire new cooking skills and learn about disease-fighting foods.

“The same foods that curb the risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, may help boost overall mood,” notes study author Neal Barnard, M.D. “In the evolving landscape of neurological research, a plant-based diet may help in treating symptoms of anxiety and depression.” The study authors also hypothesize that when individuals improve their physical health, they may become more physically and socially active, increasing their mood and overall quality of life. “Helping employees improve their health through a plant-based dietary intervention is a win-win situation for employees and the company,” notes Dr. Barnard. “Who doesn’t want to feel great, increase energy, and maximize productivity in the process?”

The study comes at a time when obesity affects 35 percent of U.S. adults, resulting in annual health care costs that are $1,429 higher per person than those of a normal weight. Lost productivity costs for obesity are $73 billion each year. Depression also has a major impact, affecting 9.5 percent of the adult population, accounting for $83 billion in lost productivity each year.

For an interview with Dr. Barnard or with Dr. Agarwal, please contact Jessica Frost at jfrost@pcrm.org or 202-527-7342.

About Neal Barnard, M.D.:

Neal Barnard, M.D., is a clinical researcher, author, president and founder of the Physicians Committee, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Barnard develops dietary components for several workplace wellness programs, including GEICO, PEPCO, Capitol One, and Whole Foods Health Starts Here.

About Ulka Agarwal, M.D.:

Ulka Agarwal, M.D., is the lead physician and psychiatrist at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Agarwal is the former chief medical officer for the Physicians Committee and a graduate of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Fellowship through the University of Arizona.

All Vegan LA Vacation at Hotel Palomar

Picnic Basket on BikeWords by BY SHERYLL ALEXANDER

Need to stay in the city of angels but worried about maintaining your exercise and healthy-eating programs? No problem, Fit Fathers has the ultimate solution. On an all-green visit to LA recently we drove a zero emissions 2013 Nissan Leaf to Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar to discover the property’s new free PUBLIC bikes and the Westwood’s best vegan eateries. [Read more…]

Meatless Monday Vegan Pizza

Looking for vegan pizza and steaks in Philly? Make sure to stop off at Blackbird! You won’t be disappointed. Look them up using the Happy Cow app.

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