Anna Kaiser + The Select 7

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MEET | ANNA KAISER

Featured 7.24-7.30.17 | Anna Kaiser is stealth. She’s petite (5’2″), she’s gorgeous (I mean, look at her) and she has a personality that I can only describe as effervescent — making everyone a round her feel downright giddy for being in her presence. And then you take one of her incredible dance-based classes at her revered AKT studio, and you realize you might have been lulled into false sense of security because on the dance floor, she’s more pitbull than puppy. In fact, she’s a master motivator, whose background in dance combined with her studies in kinesiology, sports medicine and anatomy make her not only a pioneer in her field, but a damn good teacher as well, with a program that actually (really) gets results. She has changed bodies across the country, works with some the biggest names in Hollywood and does it all with that infectious smile (look left). So, yeah, Anna Kaiser is no joke, and we should all be grateful that her childhood dreams of becoming an Opera singer fell by the wayside.
Welcome to Anna’s week.


SOCIAL | ALL IN THE FAMILY

For news  I usually check in with The Week app, The Skimm, The NY Times and sometimes I just cannot ignore The Huffington Post headlines.

Wellness:Well + Good
Beauty: Charlotte’s Book + Violet Grey
Guilty Pleasure: Sometimes I just need a good laugh with  @girlwithnojob and @sarcasm_only

Fitness:  I love interacting with the community on AKT On Demand. Whether it’s giving pointers to clients under individual videos, or interacting on our forums, it’s really exciting to be able to interact with clients around the globe and help curate their programs, regardless of where they are. We have become quite a family!


SPACE | COLORING THE AIR

When I think of my favorite home luxuries, I think of fresh flowers and delicious candles. There is nothing that makes me more excited to come home (besides, of course my boys) than the thought of a cozy couch, a warm candle and the beauty and fragrance of fresh flowers. Whether in my office, at my dining room table, or in my bedroom, you’ll find that I always have fresh flowers and a warm candle burning. It grounds me and colors the air of my space.

Favorite Candle: Diptyque’s Mimosa Scent
Favorite Florist:Michael George

anne-kaiser-baby.jpgBut, I have to add that my current favorite place in my home, is my nursery. The delicious smell of my baby and the cozy accents (Restoration Hardware Sheepskin Rug, Monique Lhuiller Wingback Rocker, Hermes Baby Blanket) instantly deliver the essence of home. It’s as though I’m transported to my happy place when I walk through the door. My husband even painted Owl Grey stripes on one wall and my good friend, Tyler Bracken, helped me design the space.


FASHION | SPEED SHOPPING

If I could spend more time walking the streets of NYC on a beautiful sunny day and discovering fashion and new brands, I would. I absolutely love finding the unexpected and mixing pieces that one wouldn’t expect. These days, I sadly ha

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ve to “speed shop” online, and usually only when I need something. Sometimes, though, I just love a little indulgence. My go-to sites are Moda Operandi, Carbon 38, Bandier, Bergdorf Goodman, and Les Pommettes (for summer). Sarah Easley is an incr

edible fashion consultant and she always sends me new brands and inspiration to help me keep it fresh and fun. Because I spend much of my day in the studio, I love mixing fitness with fashion. I get bored easily with fitness apparel and crave the unexpected to help feed my creative flow. Recently, I am loving the cutouts of a Solow top, matched with a Tory Sport, Alala or Under Armour legging and topped with one of

my AKT hats and a customized hoodie. I’ll throw on a Veronica Beard Blazer, T by Alexander Wang top and Dior heels when heading out — they are truly just as comfortable as my workout clothes. I’m loving K/ller Collection jewelry these days and Jet Set Candy to mix it up. And I am also loving my Stella McCartney for Adidas Gold Ultraboost sneakers with a cute silk romper for running weekend errands or as an easy travel “playsuit.”

 


TRAVEL | FROM BARCELONA TO BORA BORA

Okay, so I travel a LOT.  Last year, I logged over 100,000 miles and this year, my 6-month-old son, Brooks, has already traveled with me to 10 different states! Next up, I’m taking him with me to Barcelona in August when I head out to get Shakira ready for tour. I have spent a TON of time there and have a few serious favorites in that amazing city.

RESTAURANT
El Nacional
Passeig de Gràcia, 24 Bis, 08007 Barcelona
+34 935 18 50 53

Right off the main strip on Passeig de Gràcia. There are four restaurants under one roof: a meat, a fish a tapas and rice and a “fast deli,” as well as four bars (beer, wine, cava and cocktails). It’s all AMAZING ambience and food and my suggestion is to make a reservation at the fish restaurant.

LOCAL DISCOVERY
Walk down the Passeig de Gràcia (all the way down!) for the shopping, stop at the historic district to see the old cathedrals and outdoor performances, and DEFINITELY stop at La Boqueria (on La Rambla), the famous outdoor food market, for a snack, a glass of wine, goodies for the hotel room, and amazing local culture and cuisine.

Brooks and I will then continue onto tour Italy with my husband for vacation.  I LOVE travel and find inspiration from all of my adventures. My absolute favorite place so far has been the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora. You arrive via private boat and an unforgettable scene unfolds: blue lagoons, a private lagoon ecosystem, white sand beaches, an insanely beautiful spa, delicious, colorful food, private escapes — honestly, we almost didn’t come back.  I have never felt so relaxed and rejuvenated.  It truly allowed me to bask in the joy of “being” rather than “doing.” If you have the opportunity to experience it, don’t hesitate.

A place I would love to go:  Austria’s Lanserhof Lans (Kochholzweg 153, 6072 Lans, Austria), an insanely decadent health spa.  And Asia.  I have actually NEVER been anywhere in Asia or New Zealand.  I would love to breathe in the fresh air of New Zealand and run free in the fluorescent green fields.

Travel Secret: I’ve found a mix that works really well for my skin. I HAVE to sweat right after I get off the plane to help myself acclimate to the new timezone/climate.  And because I’m usually exhausted, I need extra motivation (yes, even me)!  I’ll turn to my AKT On Demand App and work out with my team in my hotel room!  I then jump right into a hot, steamy shower and apply one of two masks: Drunk Elephant’s TLC Sukari Baby Facial, or (if I’m super tired), I’ll apply the Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask (it takes 3min).  Then, I either head out into a sunny day to explore the new territory, or crash in my towel in crisp, white hotel sheets (the best!).

Favorite Luggage: Rimowa or Raden (charges your devices for long flights)
Favorite Shopping Experience: La Maison Dior (Paris) or visiting House of Alaia (via Sarah Easley)
Never Travel Without: my UE Roll Speaker (It’s waterproof!)
Furthest Destination: Australia (North coast in the fall — it’s gorgeous)
Biggest Adventure: – World Cup – Brazil – discovered the Amazon


W+B | MY EVERYDAY

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#WorkoutWednesday is my #EveryDay, and I LOVE it! The AKT program is a mix of 5 different classes:  HIIT, Circuit Training, Dance Intervals, Toning and Restorative. Every member at the studio is prescribed their “perfect mix.” Mine is 3 Happy Hours, 2 Sweat Dreams, 1 4Play or Tone and 1 Restore. I was tired of traveling to 5 different studios to get everything I needed in a comprehensive program, so I put them all in one place and created the AKTechnique, because I selfishly wanted to stop trekking all over the city to teach all the disciplines I personally loved and needed for my body. I have also found that there is nothing I love more than teaching. I never feel more alive than I do when I’m in front of a class or leading a session with a friend and/or private client. I taught my first dance cardio class in 1997 … um, 20 years ago!! Can you believe it?? I refuse to believe it. I actually still feel that young, outside of the crows feet that are slowly setting in …

Speaking of, there’s something about the reset of an amazing sweat sesh that inspires me to find the best new products to drench my skin in. I feel like my body and skin are extra thirsty and will drink in whatever I apply in an efficient and deep way, so I want to make sure that I am choosing well. Post workout, I immediately spray Sisley’s Botanical Floral Spray Mist on my face and then apply Drunk Elephant C-Firma, enriched with Vitamin C and an antioxidant blend. I follow that with Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum to fight dehydration. The combo of those two gives my skin an instant radiance and tightening that I love. If I’m heading out, I finish my skin off with Drunk Elephant’s Umbra Tinte Daily Defense (tinted, glowy SPF 30 with free radical shield).

Favorite Facial
Sisley Spa at the Carlyle Hotel
35 East 76th Street, 3rd Floor, New York City
+1 212 660 7560

Favorite Dermatologist
Dr Amy Wechsler
45 East 85th Street, NYC
+1 212 396 2505

Favorite At-Home Indulgence
Pursoma Bath Salts after a tough workout

Favorite Nails
Olive and June (LA)
Multiple Locations

Paintbox (NYC)
17 Crosby St, NYC
+1 212 219 2412


TASTE | THE AVOCADO REVOLUTION

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Breakfast
As you may know, we are in the middle of the “Avocado Revolution.” You can find it in almost any form – sweet, savory, chopped, guacamole’d, etc. Loaded with healthy fats, over 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, the big “A” is delicious and nutrient dense. Here’s my spin on a current fave:

COCONUT AVOCADO TOAST  

WHAT YOU NEED
1 slice Ezekiel Bread, toasted
1/3 California avocado (I’m a Cali girl and partial to our avocados)
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp raw Himalayan pink salt crystals
6 sweet cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp flax or chia seeds
red onion (optional)

WHAT YOU DO
Spread the coconut oil on the toast, then top with mashed avocado and sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and seeds.

Post Workout Snack

As a busy CEO, it’s not easy to bring snacks with me. Luckily, I have a Juice Generation right around the corner from both studios. I love their Protein Buzz shake and I add my own Pure Protein Superfood Vanilla Bean Protein Powder. It just launched and I’m obsessed. I keep it in my office for quick pick-me-ups. I had one or two servings a day on the retreat I hosted in Austin in May (post-baby), and my body got crazy lean. It’s non-GMO, plant-based, free of artificial sweeteners, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, omegas, and over 20g of protein. The combination of the two is delicious and helps keep me full and energized until lunch.

HOMEMADE JUICE GENERATION PROTEIN BUZZ SMOOTHIE

WHAT YOU NEED
Unsweetened almond milk
Handful, frozen raspberries
Handful, frozen blueberries
1/2 scoop Pure Protein Superfood Protein in Vanilla Bean
ice

WHAT YOU DO
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth

For some additional healthy and delicious ideas, I’m currently loving the cookbook One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane.

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WHAT YOU NEED
Unsweetened almond milk
Handful, frozen raspberries
Handful, frozen blueberries
1/2 scoop Pure Protein Superfood Protein in Vanilla Bean
ice

WHAT YOU DO
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth

For some additional healthy and delicious ideas, I’m currently loving the cookbook One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane.


MOTIVATION | ANNA KAISER

Recently, some of my close friends and family have been affected by Alzheimer’s, and it’s devastating. I noticed my own memory has been challenged since giving birth, and it scares the s&*t out of me. “Mommy brain” is no joke. In fact, I even had a friend joke that having conversations with me was akin to a game of “madlibs,” so I decided to look into the best ways to stimulate my brain and develop new neural pathways. And guess what? It turns out one of the BEST ways to make ourselves smarter is by DANCING!

A major study added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, much as physical exercise can keep the body fit.  Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages. You may have heard about the New England Journal of Medicine report on the effects of recreational activities on mental acuity in aging.   But i you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell:

The 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity. They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect. Other activities had none.
They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments.  They also studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind. There was one important exception:  the ONLY physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia
Bicycling and swimming – 0%
Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47%
Playing golf – 0%
Dancing frequently – 76%.  

That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical. and then, after digging a little deeper, discovered that Alzheimer’s now accounts for over 25% of all deaths in the US. To think that we can help stave off the effects and strengthen our neural pathways with something as fun and functional as dance, is incredible. I have to say, that during and after birth, dance has never felt better. I am instantly more focused and clear after teaching a class or private session, and, to think that I can use this skill and this passion to help in the fight against Alzheimer’s has motivated me to get behind the cause.

I want to work to find the answer to eradicating this disease for good.

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