Kristin McGee first landed on our radar in Bethenny Frankel’s first workout DVD , and then again last spring when she showed us how “ om meets tone .” In both DVDs, she captured our attention with her solid cuing and for having a personality that is cheerful and pleasant—without being annoyingly perky. In the workout DVD world, that can be a fine and challenging line to walk. But Ms. McGee does it!
After our review of her DVDs, we learned that McGee also regularly donates her time to teach yoga in schools across New York City because “she values community and is truly dedicated to sharing the gifts of yoga, Pilates, fitness and healthy eating.” Rock on! We recently caught up with this half-yogi, half fitness-instructor for what makes her tick, including her workouts, diet and best tips for you!
Interview with Kristin McGee
FBG: How did you first get interested in fitness?
KM: I was always active as a kid growing up in Idaho. I played tennis , hiked , skied, rode mountain bikes and took dance classes. Not until I moved to New York, though, did I experience yoga and Pilates and strength training. I am such a gym girl now! I still love the outdoors and prefer to do my cardio outside or through fun activities….but I love doing yoga , Pilates and working out at the gym, too.
FBG: What’s a typical day like for you?
KM: I wake up very early, usually around 5:30 a.m. I have private clients or classes all morning. I have a break at lunch and often take yoga class, work out or catch up on emails then. In the afternoon, I have more clients and classes, then I’m home for dinner and catching up on more emails, writing blogs and getting everything planned for the next day. I pack a cooler full of snacks usually and run around with them all day long. I occasionally meet a friend for dinner during the week, and on the weekends my husband and I get to catch up. We always do date night on Fridays. Saturday and Sunday we try to plan something fun in or out of the city. I still see a few clients on the weekends, but try and take at least one full day off.
FBG: What’s your weekly workout plan like?
KM: I like to take yoga class two to three times a week and do my own little practice almost every day. I do Pilates once, sometimes twice a week, and I strength train once a week. I walk all around the city, and I’m on my feet all day long, so I feel I already get built-in cardio, but I like to do some interval training, maybe 20 minutes two to three times a week on the moving stairs or I’ll take a jog or bike ride with my husband.
FBG: What’s your diet like?
KM: I love to eat regularly! I have to do six meals a day or I get cranky. I eat when I wake up—often times Greek yogurt , Fiber One, berries and some walnuts or flaxseed and a cup or two of coffee or maybe some eggs or oatmeal. Mid-morning I have a snack, whether it’s hard boiled eggs, nuts, cheese, fruit or a protein bar or shake. Lunch is turkey and avocado on ezekiel bread or peanut or almond butter and fresh fruit jam on ezekiel bread or a big salad with protein and always a crisp apple. Mid-afternoon snack is similar to morning or some cottage cheese or hummus and carrots. Then dinner is fish (I could live on seafood—salmon, scallops, shrimp cocktail, etc.) and vegetables, whole-wheat pasta, brown-rice sushi, lean protein and vegetables (once in a while good red meat) or thin crust pizza or healthy Mexican food. I love a glass of red wine and a piece of dark chocolate or frozen Greek yogurt (I put one in the freezer for an hour) with raspberries or blackberries.
FBG: You’ve filmed a lot of workout DVDs. Do you have a favorite?
KM: Oh my gosh, that is tough to answer. I like them all for different reasons. The MTV ones were awesome to film. I like the learning lesson of producing my own though, and I think Bendigirl is one of my all-time faves. The Pilates and Body By Bethenny for Acacia were also great to do, and I loved working for such wonderful company. Body By Bethenny with Bethenny Frankel was quite an experience and such a great opportunity.
FBG: What’s the one thing that holds people back from being their fittest and healthiest?
KM: I think a lot of if is self-esteem. You have to really feel like you have a tool kit you can use to achieve your best health. The more knowledgeable you are about something, the more confident you feel. So if you keep sharpening your tools, learn as much as you can about health and fitness, experiment with what works for you, go to good people for advice and help, and keep practicing, you will be fit and healthy. I’m still learning new things daily and you’ll notice at different stages in your life, you may use different tools. Just having an arsenal on hand to choose from in every situation is so beneficial.
FBG: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and why?
KM: Everyone falls in life. The goal is to learn how to bounce back—not break. My favorite yoga teacher says this often in class. She constantly talks about being well rounded and well adjusted so when we fall or when life throws us a curve ball, we can manage. Everyone makes mistakes, and as Yogi Berra says, “There are no wrong mistakes.”
FBG: If you could have our readers do one thing today to be healthier and happier, what would it be?
KM: Take a deep breath and smile! I find that a smile is such a beautiful asset and our mood mimics our actions. Laughter and positive attitude will keep us healthy and happy—the rest is just icing on the cake. When we are happy and content with our self, we automatically choose things that keep us healthy because they feel good.
FBG: Any other thoughts or tips for our FBG readers?
KM: I just want them to know that we are all human, and we all are trying our best. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Find activities you like, and think about what you can have in your life not what you can’t have. Nutrition not deprivation, hugs not drugs, working in while working out and finding an inner smile—all of these things go a long, long way. Be kind to yourself and others will sense your kindness and feel good around you. Remind yourself that everything you could possibly ever want or need is right here inside of you!
Namaste, Kristin! We so remember those MTV Yoga DVDs from college…Loved ‘em! Stay tuned to our post tomorrow when we review her Power Yoga workout DVD ! —Jenn