Dr. K is a millennial lifestyle expert. She embodies the passion, fearlessness, and uniqueness that fuels her generation. A Yale graduate and a Doctoral candidate at John Hopkins, Dr. K blends her academic knowledge, creativity, and unconventional philosophy to promote healthy, happy, and free lifestyles. No day is the same for Dr. K, from teaching Public Health at George Washington to leading a yoga class to mentoring entrepreneurs. She is redefining success and helping a fellow millennial create the next big idea! You can visit her online at www.drkristianh.com, IG: @DrKristianH or Twitter: @DrKristianH
Your path to health and fitness evolved during your work at John Hopkins. Did you have a specific moment that fueled your current journey?
Absolutely! In fact, there were several moments that converged and fueled my current journey. I was going through a divorce, I hated my job, and my dad was diagnosed with diabetes. What started off as a physical pursuit, quickly turned into much more. I have found much better balance, learned a lot about myself, and become an overall happier person.
What are your three most important tips (or tricks) to committing to a new health regiment?
Here are three of my tips:
- Having a healthy and balanced diet is almost never about eating less. It is about eating more of the right whole foods – vegetables, fruit, high-quality meats, beans, nuts, and whole grains. A good diet is never about starving yourself.
- Drinking water is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your diet. Even if you change nothing else in your life, but you double your water intake you will lose weight, your skin will be clear, and you will see improvements in your energy levels. If all else fails, drink more water
- Cut out the sugar. Sugar is often the addictive ingredient that keeps you going back for seconds. Not only is sugar addictive, but it is uniquely fattening, primarily due to its high content of fructose. And sugar fructose does not trigger the same sense of fullness as other foods with similar calories, which can lead to a cycle of binge-eating. You wouldn’t give your baby sugary drinks, candy or processed food with added sugar, so don’t give it to yourself. Instead, try a 30-day, no-added-sugar cleanse. Not only will you cut out traditional white sugar, but you will also cut out honey, agave, maple syrup, and any food item that is made with these ingredients. Be careful, sugar is hidden in things you wouldn’t even imagine, like canned vegetables and bread, so make sure you read labels. The good news is that you can still have naturally occurring sugar from fruit. Thirty days is enough time for you to cut your cravings and drop several pounds.
Which common health hurdles do you hear most from your clients?
One of the biggest mistakes is dieting. Dieting, which by definition means to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight, is a big no-no. Why?Because diets aren’t sustainable if they are too restrictive, are frustrating when you are constantly depriving yourself, and they don’t actually teach you how to have a healthy relationship with food. I teach sustainable lifestyle changes, by slowly cutting out bad foods from our diets and learning how to incorporate more real foods. I don’t count points or calories, I just eat real foods.
What are your favorite exercises? Are there any that you haven’t tried but wish to?
I love variety! I am a big advocate of ClassPass, because it gives me the opportunity to try new classes at some of the fitness studios around town. I have tried everything from yoga, to pilates, to cross fit, to cycling. And it is really hard for me to pick a favorite, but if I must, I would have to say yoga. I have enjoyed yoga so much, that I have actually started the process of becoming a certified yoga teacher. I haven’t tried underwater cycling, but it is on my list!