Travel Fitness in Music City!

I know I know, people visiting Nashville — whether it’s business or pleasure — may not have fitness engagement at the top of their list when there are numerous Honkey Tonks to visit along with the boatload of historic sites and museums. Yet, I always say there are no excuses when it comes to treating your body like a temple!

So fortunately for locals and visitors Nashville is ripe with fitness activities such as running areas like the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge that spans the Cumberland River. Since I Always pack running shoes on business trips I popped up early and jogged from my downtown hotel to Nissan Stadium located on the east bank of the river. The roundtrip exercise was around four miles and gave me enough time to prepare for business meetings. On day two I was pleased to discover CYCLEBAR (The Gulch) which was close to where I was staying. The 7:30am class was packed and the vibe was energetic. I was feeling so refreshed afterwards. Trust me, there is no better way to start your day like an hour of cardio or HIIT.

Of course Nashville is also bustling with hip vegan restaurants so replenishing with organic vegan fuel was not a problem. Positive vibrations, happy people and various channels to release energy created a great equation for my health enhancement. I look forward to a return to Music City!

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Vegan Travel: Broccoli Revolution in Bangkok, Thailand

Oh wow. If you ever make it to Bangkok please go to the most amazing Vegan Restaurant I have ever visited. And I’ve eaten at more than 200 places globally. Not only is the food out of this world, organic and natural, but the eclectic vibe is energizing and features live new artists. After eating noodles all week in Vietnam I was telling my fellow Fit Father Horace Ward that when we get to Thailand I’m going searching for a burger! But a quinoa, broccoli burger on a black whole grain bun found me first. Yep, Broccoli Revolution should definitely go on your plant-based bucket list. [Read more…]

Vegetarian Diets Aid Fitness


Vegetarian diets aid aerobic exercises, according to a study published in Nutrients. Researchers followed the diets of 70 participants and monitored strength and endurance patterns. Athletic performance from those who followed vegetarian diets matched or exceeded those who followed omnivorous diets despite no differences in protein intake as relative to body mass index. These data suggest vegetarian eating patterns provide sufficient cardiorespiratory and oxygen efficiency for athletic activity and may provide advantages over nonvegetarian diets.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe by Neal Barnard

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

These whole-grain pancakes drizzled with pure maple syrup make for a delicious and hearty breakfast. Blueberries add a delicious and healthful touch.

Serves 2 to 4

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup of rice milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1-2 teaspoons safflower oil, to brush the skillet
  • Warmed maple syrup, for drizzling

In a medium bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt. Whisk briefly to blend. Slowly stir in the rice milk and stir just until the lumps disappear. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium heat, then lightly brush with a little of the safflower oil. Add enough batter to form a 4-inch pancake and cook until the edges look dry and bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip the pancake and cook on the other side until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot, with warmed maple syrup.

Per pancake: 82 calories, 2 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g sugar, 1 g total fat, 13% calories from fat, 2 g fiber, 112 mg sodium

Meet Chef Babette Davis from Stuff I Eat


Meet Vegan Pro and Chef Babette Davis! She’s 64 years of age, a mostly raw vegan, restaurant owner of Stuff I Eat in Inglewood, CA, and full of tantalizing life energy. Her goal is the continuation of healthful information to open the eyes of the masses while guiding them to Nutritional Freedom. Especially within inner city communities where the disconnect is the largest. One Love!

Sunday Funday Run


We ate a banana each and ran 6 miles with our fellow Fit Fathers running group at Sligo Creek Park in Silver Spring, MD this morning.  The life enhancement was refreshing & energizing! ‪#‎RunFree‬ ‪#‎FitFathers‬ ‪#‎DadLife‬

Ecopolitan: Raw Foods Gem


Experienced by Kimatni Rawlins

Since I was staying at The Commons Hotel on the University of Minnesota Campus I decided to run 4.5 miles to this organic, vegan, and raw sanctuary. Serving both full meals and shakes and juices, the host instantly popped open a fresh coconut so I could replenish my electrolytes. The menu selections were creative, plentiful, and mouth watering. Have you ever had a Sausage Deluxe Pizza with walnut mushroom protein? I haven’t.

Fit_Fathers_Ecopolitan_HummusThen there is the Falafel Wrap in a collard leaf, the Marinara Pasta, Flaxseed Tostadas, Rawvioli, or the Surprise Entree where the chef creates a special selection with no input form guests. I selected the savory Hummus and Flax Chips for a starter and the earthly Marinara Pasta served over Kale instead of spinach since raw spinach has oxalic acid (I eat it steamed) which interferes with calcium absorption. Both meals were spectacular. Ecopolitan is a bit pricey and serves smaller portions, but this is expected at raw spots. They also sell raw healing foods, juicers, books, and blenders and offer raw cooking classes. As Arnold would say, I’ll be back!

Mi Vida Café: For the Living


Experienced by Kimatni D Rawlins

Our flight to Jamaica was diverted to Miami so only Mi Vida Cafe could have mellowed our mood. The organic foods are prepared to order and the Bohemian vibe is chill and positively elevates your temperament. Serving juices, smoothies, breakfast (who doesn’t love whole grain waffles?) raw foods, homemade foods, and natural desserts, Vida is a safe haven for vegans and vegetarians. We started with the Black Bean Soup and Hummus dish and the Twin Tacos and Canelones de Verdura for the main courses. The Canelones is one of the finest dishes I have ever tasted and certainly didn’t want it to be over. We treated ourselves to the Apple & Chocolate Sweet Crepes for a happy ending to a spectacular meal. Enjoy!




Vegan in Fukuoka: Evah Dining Macrobiotic Café


This quaint and classy vegan cafe is only a 7-minute walk from the Akasaka train station. Of course it’s embedded within the neighborhood scene of Fukuoka so pay attention to where you are heading. The macrobiotic dining is pretty contemporary in comparison to traditional Japanese eateries. Open daily until 10 pm, each day the menu changes with unique and divergent options. My wife Misa and I arrived on a Friday evening and chose a random 5-course set for two replete with:

  •  Chilled tomatoes dipped in a pear and basil purée
  • A soft whole grain roll and a white slice of bread which we turned down
  • Zucchini soup
  • Herb rich Tofu dumplings topped with Bok Choy and radishes smothered in a light tomato     sauce. Amazing!
  • Miso soup and mushroom ginger brown rice
  • Palate cleansing melon sorbet

English is rare at this establishment (at least when we went) and both the menu and website are communicated in Japanese. So expect to be “lost in translation” unless you speak the native tongue like Misa. Our waiter addressed some English but not enough to fully explain the program. Evah’s ambience is set around chill, lounge and jazz music, candle lit decor and a miniature library with travel and culinary books for enjoyment while  patiently awaiting your vegan experience.

Evah charges $30 a person for the 5-set course. There are also some $20 sets with a few less options. However, pricing is based on two so we couldn’t order unique dinners for our $60 meal which was odd. Yes, this is Japanese vegan dining at its finest.


Keep in mind Evah has takeout locations which serve a variety of “Bento Boxes” for roughly $8 to $10. Yet, these meals are well-prepared foods and not the typical fast foods you would expect elsewhere. The location I explored was on floor B2 of the Iwataya Honten department store at Fukuoka station. The other location is nestled at Hakata station. We picked up four meals and chowed down for lunch, dinner and breakfast during our first two days in Fukuoka.


Con- Small portions, pricey

Pros – Pure, delicious, date night environment

2nd Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Whips DMV Dads & Families into Shape


Words & Photos by Adrian McQueen; Additional Photos by Henri Fisher & Leon Brittain

Group exercise routines, dancing, Double Dutch teams, fitness contests, smiles and laughter accurately depicts what took place at the 2nd Annual Fit Fathers Day (FFD) celebration. Typical Father’s Day ideas consist of brunches or cookouts so the Fit Fathers team decided to shake things up a bit. We brought the celebration back to Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring, MD from 10 am to Noon, still leaving time for families to go along with their regularly scheduled plans. Fit Fathers, and Powerful Beyond Measure came together to show fathers the importance of being health conscious and leading by example through positive, nutritional choices. The Fit Fathers Foundation believes health, fitness and nutrition can help fathers live longer and challenges all dads to eat clean, stay active and continuously energize their lives!

2nd_Annual_Fit_Fathers_Day...143An energetic Social Workout was led by Fit Fathers’ founder Kimatni Rawlins, celebrity trainer Michael Bance and 12-year-old fitness guru Jodi Evans, while DJ Blinks mixed sounds behind a stellar Bose audio system to keep everyone entertained. A special 80s and 90s mix was put together for our Terminator Genisys movie workout. Movie posters, premiere tickets and t-shirts were given to the FFD attendees. Fitness contests, family workouts and activities, an inflatable obstacle course, healthy snacks, health screenings, gift bags and demonstrations gave this Father’s Day event something for everyone. Another highlight was the timed fitness course that crowned James Swink Mr. Fit Father 2015. He won four Yokohama tires as the grand prize.

FFD is possible due to Mazda, Volkswagen, Children’s National, Wegmans, The Washington Auto Show, DC Capital Striders and City Sports. The event also highlighted the amazing work of our community and media partners including: African American Health Program, Street Wize Foundation,  National Black Child Development Institute, LoveLife Foundation, 14th Legislative District (Montgomery County), Action for Healthy Kids, Aspire Sports Drink, Automotive Rhythms, Bance Fitness, Creative Edge PR, African American Health Program, Embrace Kids, Fathers Incorporated, Fit For Life, Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars,, Kids Being Fit, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (Dr. Neal Barnard), Men’s Health Network, Mocha Moms, Kids Being Fit, Shoe City, SOULCYCLE, Strive 2 Tri, The Boot Camp Girl, Throttle Life, Vegan Pro, Meatless Monday, Montgomery County, MD Dept. of Police, Center for Nutrition Studies and Washington Sports Club.

Also, NFL players Jason McCourty of the Tennessee Titans and Adrian Coxson of the Green Bay Packers, who attended the celebration, served as Fit Fathers’ National Ambassadors for the momentous occasion.

2nd_Annual_Fit_Fathers_Day...126We thanked attendees for supporting our cause with prizes and giveaways courtesy of Aspire Beverages Baltimore, City Sports, SOULCYCLE, Bose Audio, Under Armor, Shoe City and Mothers car care. Through social media and the use of the hashtag #FitFathersDay appearing across multiple newsfeeds, there is already an air of anticipation for Fit Fathers Day 2016. We greatly appreciate our sponsors and partners who recognized the vision and helped bring FFD to fruition. A very special thank you is in order for all the patrons and volunteers who attended and participated.

Although Fit Fathers Day is a special occasion to recognize Dads during their time of celebration, our mission is to also become active with, Moms, kids and families throughout the year. Stay tuned for more Fit Fathers events as we move forward to engage with different  communities around the country. Enjoy the photo gallery.