Fit 5

These 5 health and fitness professionals disclose their secrets on how to achieve a balanced, happy & healthy life.
By Sarah Dunn | Photos by Josue Acosta
Catherine Reyes
Spiritual Life Coach, Clairvoyant, Intuitive Healer and Reiki Practitioner

HER STORY: Catherine studied Business and Marketing at the University of Quito in Ecuador and is a successful entrepreneur. Since her spiritual transformation, she has dedicated herself entirely to the teachings of spirituality and the miracles of healing. For many years, Catherine has helped individuals through her teachings, energy healing sessions and life-coaching. In 2011, Catherine founded The Love of Healing, a non-denominational healing method and life-coaching program.
HAPPY AND HEALTHY ADVICE: In her teachings, Catherine emphasizes awareness that peacefulness and joyfulness are a state of being. “The goal is to be in the moment of the ‘now.’ The ‘now’ is where one starts balancing oneself, so they can connect to the universe in the present moment,” she says. Catherine advises talking to one’s inner-self to find love and understanding. “Listen-ing to that voice is extremely important be-cause it is your power. When people vibrate with their love, positive energy will manifest itself in their lives,” she states. Catherine maintains that most people live in the future or the past, versus more authentically living in the present. “Everyone needs to be more loving, kind, helpful, and at peace to attract positive energy. The effect is cumulative; the more you practice, the more energy will shift around you,”, she concludes.
The Love of Healing, 305.587.8144,
Aurelio Saco Vértiz
Master Trainer for Strong by Zumba (Midtown Athletic Club)
HIS STORY: Aurelio was born in Miami and raised in Peru. He began his soccer career in 2008 in Peru at the age of eighteen and continued playing for nine years. Most recently, he played as a left back for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League. Throughout his career, he played other sports at a competition level including swimming, kickboxing and squash. During his last year of playing soccer, Aurelio decided to become a fitness instructor to empower people and create a positive impact on their lives. He is currently a trainer at Midtown Athletic Club in Weston and a Master Trainer for Strong by Zumba.
HAPPY AND HEALTHY ADVICE: When Aurelio retired from soccer and became a personal trainer, he identified the struggle that many people experience. “They are always looking for ways to look better. The advice I give my clients is to focus on feeling better rather than looking better. This will help you achieve your goals more quickly, make you feel better and make you more confident about your appearance.” Aurelio also suggests that instead of searching for a “magical” diet, people should become educated about the difference between carbohydrates, proteins and fats. “Once you understand what they are and how they benefit your body, you can tailor your daily routine accordingly,” he says. He also emphasizes that every-thing in balance is always going to be beneficial.
Midtown Athletic Club Weston, 954.384.2582,
Meryl Brandwein RD/LDN
Founder and Owner, Brandwein Institute for Nutrition & Wellness

HER STORY: Meryl is a leader in functional and integrative nutrition, with over twenty years of experience. She received her degree from the University of Delaware and holds advanced certifications in a number of specialty areas. She is the founder and owner of the Brandwein Institute for Nutrition & Wellness, with a focus on the integration of whole foods into health and wellness programs and strategies. As an educator and nutritionist, she counsels clients and uses a multidisciplinary team approach.
HAPPY AND HEALTHY ADVICE: Meryl’s health mantra is: Nourish, Balance, Thrive. “Food should taste delicious and be nutritious,” she shares. Brandwein always starts her day with a green drink be-cause it’s important to get a variety of vegetables each day. For Meryl, balance comes from combining gym workouts with yoga. “It’s essential to find time to breathe and take moments to be mindful and find some calm during even the busy days,” she adds. Meryl thrives in her cooking and the joy it brings. “Preparing a delicious meal allows me to express creativity and love.” She insists everyone should cook his or her own meal at least once per week, as making our own food can be the most nourishing way we can feed our mind, body and souls.
Brandwein Institute for Nutrition & Wellness, 954.727.9006,
Kurt Asesor
Owner and Instructor at Premier Martial Arts Weston
HIS STORY: Kurt, a native Floridian, has over twenty years of experience teaching martial arts and has been instructing in the Weston area since 2002. He holds a 5th degree Black Belt and has experience with Krav Maga, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Kali, and Brazilian Jiujitsu.
HAPPY AND HEALTHY ADVICE: Kurt has recently discovered the benefits of fasting, allowing him to savor and enjoy his meals as opposed to calorie counting or eating for just sustenance. This keeps him in a state of constant cleansing, with the added benefit of freeing up time for other activities (not to mention saving money on groceries!) “Habits and mindset are critical to a balanced life. To jump-start each day, I work out in the morn-ing while listening to motivational videos on YouTube,” Asesor offers. He’s found that the combination of diet and exercise plus the de-sire for personal growth through the practice of martial arts keeps him happy and healthy.
Premier Martial Arts Weston, 954.217.6006
Terry Gayle Kirby
Co-Owner of Ultimate Sports Institute & Fitness Center in Weston, Florida
HIS STORY: Terry is a former professional American football player who played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) from 1993 to 2002. A 6’1” running back from the University of Virginia, he is the brother of baseball player Wayne Kirby.
He currently is the Co-Owner of Ultimate Sports Institute & Fitness Center in Weston, Florida and a coach for the Weston Warriors.
HAPPY AND HEALTHY ADVICE: After playing in the NFL for ten years, Terry realized what was truly important to him. While he was in the NFL, working out was what he “had” to do, regardless of how he felt because it was his job. During his career he suffered several injuries including a torn ACL, broken tibia, and broken fibula. When he retired from the NFL, it took some time to accept that he would not be playing football. No longer aggressively working out as a stipulation of his employment, Terry has embraced his new chapter of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a way that benefits him, without the risk of serious injury and the pressure of professional athletics. ”Working out became my transition from my former career, both physically and mentally. The gym is where I can release endorphins and experience the physical achievements reminiscent of my career,” he shares.
Ultimate Sports Institute & Fitness Center, 954.217.2004,

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