Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We Juice for the Gym

That’s right. I said it.  We juice.  We do it every day and our workouts and bodies are improved for it too.  We look good, we feel great and we perform better because of it.  There are different ways to juice and we haven’t figured out what exact concoction we like best, but there’s always the interesting experimental phase.  Now before some of you get your underpants in a wad, I’m talking about vegetable and fruit juicing – NOT steroid use.  Yes, liquefying everything from beets, carrots, and kale to celery, ginger and lemon and drinking it.  It’s fresh and flavorful, healthy as it gets, and the benefits are undeniable. 
It all started with us watching a few food documentaries on Netflix.  The film that greatly sparked our interest was Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  Great title. It was wonderful about introducing juicing and followed a few different characters on their journey through healing themselves by drinking the Kook-Aid, I mean veggie juice.  It shows people losing weight, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, getting rid of migraines, and getting off of many prescription medications.  There were also many claims of increased energy and mental clarity.  We wondered what results it might have on us.  We don’t take any medication and are not overweight so why bother doing this?  We believe that health is wealth and as you know, good health doesn't just happen, you have to work for it.  We eat well, drink only on special occasion, don’t smoke, sleep as much as we can, take our multivitamins and now drink fresh vegetable juice that we make ourselves. 
It’s been about a month since we've been juicing and we couldn't be happier with our results so far.  The first thing I noticed right away was the increase in stamina in the gym.  I've been a long time user of energy boosting pre-workout supplements that are loaded with artificial ingredients and harsh stimulants.  But after drinking the juice in the morning and before my workouts I found I had so much energy.   When I was in the middle of doing a heavy set of squats, I just felt like I could keep going and going without terrible fatigue.  My heart rate wasn't racing from any caffeine but rather I felt strong and powerful and wanted more.  I have also been battling with acne for almost 2 years and everyone that knows me has noticed my face completely clear up and “glow”.  Big K has also noticed similar results to me and we both could not be happier. 
The random batches of juice that come out of our masticating Omega 8006 are different combinations and ratios of beets, carrots, kale, apple, grapefruit, lemon, ginger, tomato, spinach, cucumber, celery, and the list goes on.  The machine chews up the veggies (that have been sliced to fit down the chute), then grinds out the juice and separating it from the rest of the flesh.   We try to buy all organic food and we try to buy more local as well.  There are many reasons for this but that is for another blog.  It is quite a process and a labor of love, but anything worth having is worth working for.  I hear every week how someone doesn't have time for something, then I also hear about how much they love watching their favorite TV shows.  If you want it, you’ll make time for it.  I dare you to drink 2 fresh juices a day for 10 days straight (along with good, clean food).  I’d love to hear your story.  Please let me know what questions you have and what resources you need.  Your success is our success.

Image is of fresh juice I made containing beets, carrots, cranberries, kale, celery, cucumber, lemon, and ginger.  Separation is normal if you let it sit for a few minutes.  Stir it back together and enjoy.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hit the gym on vaca? Not exactly...

As many of you know Big K and I just returned from a very lovely European vacation where we promised each other to “chill out” and “live a little”.  Our clients know us best as the “workout freaks” and “diet police” so there was much encouragement from them to skip the weight room, drink like fish and revisit what bread tastes like.   Since we train hard year-round and keep to a clean diet, we agreed to let ourselves go and not worry about the subtle weight gain that would inevitably occur post-Italy, Spain and France.   Our life on a daily basis never misses a workout, never eats sweets, and doesn't drink, so this complete 180 on vacation for 17 days took some getting used to.  Our “letting go”, enjoying the simple life, and not worrying about “getting fat” was absolutely amazing.  But much to our surprise although we didn't hit up the local gyms or schedule any early morning fasted cardio sessions, we were in fact very physically active on our trip. 
It all started down in Southern Italy in a small town of only five thousand people outside Ostuni.  Staying at a quaint B&B on the outskirts of town, Big K and I were scheduled to meet my friend for dinner one night and there was no car service or shuttle to take us.  It was only about a mile from where we were staying and the B&B had had a couple vintage bicycles outside so we decided to ride in.  When it came time to leave for dinner one of bikes was missing.  With no cell phones (read my earlier blog) and no English speaking people we were left to make it into town with one bike.  This is where my packed sneakers came in handy.  Big K biked and I sucked it up for a one mile run.  I wasn’t expecting to work out or run but it happened and quite frankly I’m happy about it because we ate like it was Christmas dinner that night.
On to Rome.  We rented an apartment in a very chic neighborhood walking distance to many of the “must see” things in the city.  Again, not planning any physical activity we just decided to go by foot everywhere.  This worked out perfectly.  We could have easily taken a cab to all our destinations but instead we gained a better perspective (and appreciation) of the city by walking.  We even calculated that we walked over 7 miles one day!  Again, this made us very happy as we were not holding back on the table bread soaked in olive oil by this time. 
Then came the Basque Country.  My brother lives there and was nice enough to take us on a fabulous scenic drive through the rolling green hills and we stopped at a very old church that was on an island with a 220-step climb to the front door.  You can see where this is going.  Yes, we did start by admiring the church from afar and taking pictures with zoom but seeing the opportunity to be inside the church at the top of the stairs – even better.  So off we ventured to dominate the climb with my brother.  No easy task I’ll say but we made it.  At the top they were selling posters of the church on the island and the beautiful path that led there for only 3 euros.  Didn’t you bring your wallet I asked?  No?  No problem.  We walked back to the car, got 3 euros and hiked all the way back to the top of the church to buy the poster.  We were elated. 
Ah, Paris.  Now that is a beautiful city!  Again we stayed in an apartment with a 10 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower and reasonable walking distance to the other main attractions in the city.  We did not hail any cabs and took pleasure in seeing the sights go from small to big as we neared them.  We even walked all the stairs to the second level to better appreciate the giant structure that needs no introduction.  We may have over indulged in food and alcohol.  We were definitely lazy about getting up and took a siesta almost every day, but we did have somewhat of a balance with the non-prescription physical activity. 
So let a vacation be a vacation and eat, drink, and be merry!  You don’t have to be a complete slug and you can enjoy yourself and the destination spot with your whole being.  A very good friend of mine reminded me to do everything in moderation, including moderation itself so enjoy your life and stop worrying.  The gym will be there when you get home. 
Until next time,
Au revoir, ciao, agur, adéu, and goodbye
Little K

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Texting is Not an Exercise

Texting is Not an Exercise

This city commands your attention.  It demands your best.  It even demands all of your time, money, and energy.  You can be and do anything you want in this place, but you have to be careful how you play your cards because it can swallow you whole without even chewing.  The money says I own you, the fashion screams I dare you, and the talent smirks don’t play unless you came to win. 

Demand for greatness in New York creates a demand for all the right tools to help you succeed.  With technology being where it is, I noticed I’m behind the times as I recently witnessed a three year old navigating an iPad like Beethoven would navigate a piano.  Scary. Everywhere I look I see ears stuffed with noise-canceling headphones, eyes glued to smart phones, and fingers texting on blackberry keyboards faster than I can type on a computer.  One of the biggest shockers for me to see was the, I’m so busy I need two cell phones phenomenon.  As a trainer I’ve even endured some of my own clients holstering their devices during session, responding to e-mails and taking phone calls.  Where do we draw the line?  And what role does this play in our health?

The current issue of The Week magazine covers this topic with an article, “Technology: Is it making addicts of us all?” (http://theweek.com/article/index/231438/technology-is-it-making-addicts-of-us-all).  Did you know that they are now going to be adding “Internet Use Disorder” to the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?  The article states that there are in fact dangers and consequences associated with the non-stop interaction between you and your devices.  One viewpoint in the article states that it’s due to our employers now expecting us to be available every second of every day, which in turn looks like us hailing a cab, writing a text, and talking to someone on the other end of the phone simultaneously.  Oh my, how efficient we are.  But the science behind it, as Tony Dokoupil explains, is that when your device lets you know you have a new text, e-mail, voice mail, etcetera your brain receives a “feel good” shot of dopamine.   What that looks like over an extended period of time is your brain needing instant gratification, and diminished ability to focus, empathize and have self-control.  He noted that brain scans of an Internet Addict are not a far cry from those of cocaine and alcoholic addicts.  The other mild side-effects of the addiction to tech is depression and acute psychosis. 

So my friends, I beg of you, do not work out with your phone.  Give your phone a much needed one-hour break from you.  Texting is not a sport or an exercise, and the world will not explode if you do not write a response e-mail immediately, I promise!  If the thought of being alone in a room without TV, a phone, a computer and music is terrifying, then this message is definitely for you.  I am in a position of responsibility for your health and wellbeing, and I assure you I am on your team.  Health is wealth and if you’re going crazy being a slave to technology, at what point are you going to draw the line for yourself?  I don’t believe there is any amount of money or status from a career that is worth your mental, physical and emotional happiness. 
Big K and I have an open-door policy if you would like any help getting started on your journey to great success with your health. 
Be well,
little k

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ASSet Pt. 2

Recently ESPN.com did an article discussing the most important muscle/part of the athlete's body, http://m.espn.go.com/wireless/story?storyId=8132777, and it came as no surprise to what that muscle is - your Butt!! Besides looking good in jeans, Lulu Lemon pants, workout shorts, bathing suits or your birthday suit, there's no more important muscle to train on your body then your glute max. Your gluteus maximus, or butt, is one of the strongest muscles on your body with a primary function of hip extension, which is the movement you do as you stand up from a chair or jump to high-five your friend. Now, here comes the fun part -training your glutes. You can ask anyone of my clients, in my opinion, the most important exercise you can do in the gym is the squat! Unless you have a goal of looking similar to a flamingo, and I'm not judging if you do, you have to squat. AND SQUAT TO PARALLEL. There have been countless times I have walked into the gym and have seen the squat bar loaded with plates, only to find the individual squatting only going through a quarter range of motion, then complaining about their knees bothering them. What they don't understand is that their knee pain is a direct result of their embarrassing squat reps. If they would let their ego go and drop the weight, they would get stronger and abolish their knee pain. My recommendation for anyone starting out and wanting to learn proper exercise mechanics is to pick up the book, "Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training" by Mark Rippetoe. It's life changing!

Happy Squatting,
Big K

Sunday, August 5, 2012

my best ASSet

My Best ASSet
For most of my life I’ve been very insecure about my legs and butt.  For those of you who know me, I know what you’re probably thinking- she’s batshit crazy.  My legs have lived in pants even in the hottest and sunniest of summer days.  Dresses – oh sure, I own a few but they’ve all been worn probably once.  I’ve been athletic all my life starting in gymnastics when I was very young, then horseback riding  through high school.  I’ve also dabbled in wrestling and track for one season.  I’ve had a gym membership ever since I was 12.  Fitness has always been a part of my life so one might think that I would embrace my athletic lower extremities and proudly share to the world all their strength and power.  Not the case.  Why?  Well first off, I think knees are odd looking and this treacherous thing called cellulite starting making its appearance when I was about 19 years old.  This truly chaps my ass. 
Times change and everything gets older and in my case less concerned.  It hasn’t been until the last few months that I’ve started warming up to the idea of exposed legs on the street in shorts or a dress.  I’ve even started wearing shorts to work out.  I’ve long been a fan of the Lulu Lemon Wonder Under Crop pant as it makes any ass look so tight and dimple free but lately something for me has changed, and for the best.  I’ll have you know I have been squatting for seven years now.  I’ve been crushing leg workouts consistently for seven years!  I work my ass off (or in this case on) in the weight room to get my body just the way I want it.  So what if it’s not perfect.  It’s not supposed to be – this has been my enlightenment.  I know women would kill to have a booty like mine and although it’s not perfect, it really ain’t that bad…  In fact some days I wonder if Big K is with me just because he loves that I do embrace the squat and have a little more horsepower in the caboose.  So what I’ve come to find for myself is that my old insecurity about my butt is now a sense of pride, power and beauty. 
Thank you Big K for squatting heavy with me.  Thank you Dietrich and American Iron for starting the squatting madness.  And thank you everyone that has ever complimented me in regards to my bum, your kind words truly flatter.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Food Thoughts

So, I wanted to start this weekend's blog with what we eat. I think one of our biggest issues in this country deals with quality, not quantity. The quality of food, or lack there of, that we are putting in our bodies is one of the biggest problems that Americans are facing when it comes to obesity and other health related issues. Did you know that the majority of the food Americans buy is highly processed with unnecessary added sugar, fat, and salt?  Have you ever heard someone say, "It's my life, I'll eat what I want, and my food choices aren't hurting anyone"? But in fact what they eat is jeopardizing not only their health, and the health of the planet and everyone else.  Katie and I have recently started to try and eat organic, locally grown and raised vegetables, fruit and meats.  Part of our inspiration for this way of eating has come from a few food documentaries that we have watched and recommend to everyone. And no, this doesn't mean that we have become hippy-yogi-vegans who judge and condemn those who don't share our same views. We still enjoy life and all it's splendor...trust me :) We are just trying to make some responsible, healthy choices to improve our quality of life and the quality of the lives of those around us. Our goal of writing this is only to provide some insight and tools for education. So in saying that, here is a list of food documentaries that we've seen so far and would suggest you view.  They can be found on either Netflix, Hulu or YouTube.

Forks over Knives
Food Matters
Food, Inc.
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Dirt, The Movie

Big K & Lil K

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcome to K&K Fitness

Hello to all who've taken the time to stop by!

I am Katie and the other K is Kyle, my workout buddy, best friend, and man for life.  We met here in New York City during a fitness photo shoot and have been together ever since.   Together we share the lifestyle of personal training, clean eating and healthy living (among other things we love to pack light and travel far).  The birth of this blog is long overdue and I hope that with your interest and support we can get this up and running and let it blossom into something beneficial for all.  Please stay tuned for more to come soon and spread the good word of this blog about training, fitness, health, food, life and yes, love.