Shane Magee, MD, Internal Medicine, Tanglewood Clinic
Dr. Magee readily admits that his exercise and wellness habits have been hit and miss over the years. But he has found that adhering to a plant-based menu as much as possible helps to keep him healthy. He and his wife are teaching their young children to enjoy eating plant-based foods as well, so maintaining healthy habits has become a family affair.
Did anything prompt you to take control of your health, or have you always tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
It has been intermittent for sure! It comes in spurts. During my residency I lived in Boston. I started running while I lived there because everyone runs in Boston. That is actually how I met my wife – we both ran a half marathon. After having mononucleosis, I had to stop running for a while as I recovered. I got out of the habit and gained some weight. Then we moved to New York and later to Houston where I started working out at a gym in the morning before work. But after having kids, that early morning workout stopped, as it just didn’t work with our schedule.
How did you get back into the habit of exercising after having kids?
I started going to the gym at lunch. I couldn’t make it every day because of my schedule, but at least three days a week I was able to go. Then COVID-19 happened and I stopped going to the gym.
How were you able to exercise during COVID?
My wife and I alternate nights getting the kids to bed. So, on the night that she is getting them in bed, I can go exercise. Generally, I’m able to go running outside. When COVID wasn’t peaking, I could go to the gym and lift weights. But if there was a peak, I didn’t go to the gym and would mainly just go running outside.
Have you made modifications to your diet to improve your health?
Yes, we try to eat a plant-based diet. My lunch invariably consists of one apple and one banana. Fad diets don’t work for me – but I can be healthy through a plant-based diet and by avoiding processed food and unhealthy snacks. We try to set a good example for our kids. Of course, they still eat more chicken nuggets than I’d like, but they are young! Our oldest is 4 years old. But we are modeling these habits for our kids.
What is a favorite meal for your family?
The Instapot is great! We especially like to make Mexican Quinoa. It’s basically quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and other vegetables – whatever we have in the house – and some spices. You put it all in the Instapot and it’s done in 15 or 20 minutes. It’s pretty easy, healthy, and tasty! We eat that at least once a week.
What advice do you have for individuals beginning a health and wellness journey?
Start slow! Modest goals toward a healthy lifestyle are just as good – or better – than something stricter. Once you are in the habit of healthy activities, it is harder to break those habits later on. You start to feel better. There is a point where I feel bad if I don’t get out and run, for instance. I just really have that itch. But it didn’t happen overnight. Little consistent changes are good. Slow and steady – be like the turtle!