The recipe for a Warrior Goddess today? Take one part keen intelligence, one part playful curiosity, one part heart, one part compassion, one part dedication, one part sweat—and many parts fierce. Grooving in front of a full room of dancing ladies, all sweating, smiling and entranced by the powerful and inviting presence of their leader, fitness instructor and guru Katherine Greiner cuts the shape of just such a WG (not to be confused with an Old G). Her background in performance led her to fitness, and she trained alongside many of the greats (including Tracy Anderson) before leaping out on her own and forming KGBody. Now, she’s having a blast at the helm of a business that includes private clients, MOVE (a dance cardio fitness class with 30 minutes of high-fun cardio, and 30 minutes of weight-free toning) sessions at The Movement and beyond in NYC, as well as a blossoming lifestyle brand and website, Klean Green Body.
The through-line? A thoughtful approach to wellness that aims to integrate mind and body in practices that are attainable and sustainable, as well as grounded in research and careful investigation of best practices.
When she didn’t understand why she was struggling with her body or why her family did the same, she dug into studying nutrition and health before one more fad diet misled her. When she wasn’t fully pleased with the intimidating, negative dance cardio classes she was taking, she built a better, invigorating one where everyone can have a blast. When she lost sight of her purpose in fitness, she dug in, reaffirmed her desire to empower and educate—with joy. Warrior goddess, indeed.
NOW, SHE OFFERS THE SBS CLAN HER FAVORITE FITNESS (AND LIFE) KLEAN GREEN KEEPERS:
1. What are the biggest mistakes people make surrounding their fitness routine?
- Think: Attainable and sustainable. If you want results, small changes implemented over the course of a few weeks have the most lasting effects.
- Don’t start off with a drastic, huge change like cutting carbs out entirely or setting an insane goal! You’re setting yourself up for rebounding and mental trauma.
2. What are the best small changes you can make now?
- Get 30 more minutes (or even 15 more minutes) of sleep! Sleep is a huge factor in fitness and weight loss.
- Schedule an hour a week that’s just for restorative self-care, whether that’s enjoying a facial or watching a movie.
- Be mindful of the carbs you eat, and focus on quality and quantity versus deprivation.
- Choose organic and in season whenever possible.
- Get yourself to the gym… no matter what! Put your shoes on and get yourself out the door and to the studio…even if you don’t work out fully. Focus on getting there, and don’t worry about the rest of it. If you start thinking in a forward pattern, you might talk yourself out of it. Don’t give yourself that opportunity. Get there first.
3. How can you enjoy alcohol without derailing your fitness plan?
- Focus on hydrating as much as you dehydrate. For every drink, have a glass of water or club soda. And remember, it’s ok to imbibe: Small amounts of alcohol serve to calm anxiety. In these cases, you’re often better off having a glass of red wine with dinner instead of driving yourself crazy. Simply make sure every time you go out or have alcohol is not a “big night.” Save it for a birthday or celebration! And make sure you have a few nights a week sans alcohol, so your body can fully detox.
4. What’s the best new trend in fitness?
- Fitness has become social again! Instead of going to dinner or staying out late, meet for spin class and go to a healthy brunch. So many people are getting involved in this way, and the extra mental benefit of socializing adds to the endorphins exercise already gives you.
5. What do you advise clients to always do now?
- Take the five or 10 minutes at the end of class to really stretch or meditate. Recently, we’ve started putting emphasis back on restorative practices, and it’s a huge, necessary pivot from the go-go-go mentality of about six years ago. We have to bring the yin back to the yang. Working hard is great, working smart is better—and self-care is always best.
6. What are your favorite food hacks?
- Thin out hummus with water and lemon juice to create a tasty, healthy salad dressing or sauce. Do the same thing with avocado (an anti-inflammatory that will help de-bloat), with cilantro, water and lime juice.
- For a breakfast change-up, puree pumpkin and butternut squash with fruit and granola. You can find the purees in cans at places like Trader Joe’s.
7. Clients often look freaked out in dance cardio classes. Help?!
- Keep in mind, there’s no test at the end! Go in to have fun and learn a new way to move your body. By trying different patterns, you make yourself more creative and smarter simply by stimulating your brain. Learn, and let it go. It’s a safe place to explore and investigate, like a body lab!
- On the logistical end, be prepared with proper footwear. You wouldn’t run a marathon without the proper shoes, so with cardio, make sure you have well fitting, supportive sneakers.
8. What’s your dance cardio hack?
- I love wearing my grippy socks inside of my sneakers for more traction when I dance. The Sticky Be Socks always make me happy because I can choose my intention for that day. I look down, and even if I’m tired, I’m reminded of goal for the session. It amps me up.
9. What can we look forward to on the new KleanGreenBody site?
- KleanGreenBody is the total realization of what I set out to do. I first created KGBody as the empowering fitness branch. While I’ve been building that, I’ve also been investigating and testing different food theories, realistic meditation practices and different fitness products. Now, I’m ready to share all of it with you!
- It will include everything from recipes and the food hacks people ask me about, with an emphasis on cooking seasonably and affordably—while still being tasty! There will be products that will be good for you inside and out, cleaning products, clothing, and, of course, plenty of fitness, all with a focus on being attainable, sustainable—and fun!