Interview with Celebrity TV Host & Fitness Expert: Allison Hagendorf

Allison Hagendorf, long-time TV personality and music journalist, has found her stride in the bustling world of Hollywood. You may have seen her hosting the famous Times Square New Year’s Eve – introducing celebrities and marking the transition into a new year – or maybe as the face of the CW Network’s music talent competition show, “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.”

As a Sony executive, Allison has worked with countless artists, creatively promoting musicians like Train and David Bowie, while scouting out new, unsigned talent from around the globe. She’s got a Grammy nomination for the Lamb of God single “Redneck,” and now reigns as Global Head of Rock at Spotify.

But Allison isn’t all Hollywood; she’s got grit. A lifelong athlete hailing from New York, Allison has also made her mark on the world of fitness. She’s a Nationally Accredited Health Coach and has just released a new smartphone app for the masses: “Ab Cuts: Time to Tone.” You can find it here.

In the midst of all the constant, busy glamour of her media-centric world, Allison remains a steadfast role model for all who wish to live a grounded, healthy, badass life. Dive into this interview for Allison’s advice on how to stay fit while on-the-go, what it means to eat like a “locavore,” and the importance of starting each day with gratitude.

Let’s get to know her!


You are a fierce woman of many talents, from Sony Records executive to host of The CrossFit Games. How did you get your start in the world of wellness and fitness?

I was one of those people who was always active. Even as a little girl, I just loved being physical and playing outside, playing kickball with the boys of the neighborhood. I loved moving my body and I learned very early on that it was cool to be athletic, and that boys like that too!

Sports came very natural to me, so it was a wonderful platform for socializing. I grew up playing field hockey and lacrosse, progressing to all-county. I was an athlete my whole life. So when I graduated college as an individual who was no longer playing on sports teams, I thought,“How can I continue this? How can I challenge myself?”

Since then, I’ve run the New York City Marathon twice, and picked up snowboarding and pole dancing. I just liked to keep challenging myself both physically and mentally because I find it to be completely empowering and invigorating.

I think you become better as a person when you get outside your comfort zone, because it’s outside your comfort zone that you’ll see real results.

How do you stay healthy in the midst of such a crazy schedule?

My schedule is so erratic, I don’t even have a routine…I’m on a plane traveling literally all the time. So when people ask me, “How do you stay fit with such an unpredictable lifestyle?” I usually tell them this: You have to keep fitness consistent and cultivate mindfulness about your body within yourself.

If you can start your day in tune with your body, moving or exercising, you’re going to start that day with a sense of physical accomplishment, get that rush of endorphins, and then ultimately make better choices for the rest of the day.

Exercise is not an all-or-nothing mindset, but more a way of life.

How do you start your day with that positivity and mindfulness?

Literally the second I open my eyes – before I grab for my phone and look at Instagram and check email – I start my day with gratitude. I actually name three things, out loud, for which I’m grateful. And I don’t just rattle it off…I think about it: maybe specific people or situations for which I’m grateful. Then, once I’ve done that, I drink a ton of water and I start my day!

You’ve just released a new fitness app called “Ab Cuts: Time to Tone.” Could you tell me about the program and what makes it unique?

The “Time to Tone” program is the perfect jumpstart for someone who can’t seem to establish a fitness routine. This program is something you can absolutely handle doing consistently.

You perform the program for three weeks to help you get back into the mindset of working out. After that, you can move on to a different program or elevate the workouts we have included, repeating some of the workouts but faster or with more reps. It’s very simple and very flexible.

This program is about getting your mindset in place – it’s almost like a physical and mental reset – so that you continue to make better choices, even beyond those three weeks.

I love the app because all of the workouts are for people like me who just don’t have time. It is for people of all levels and it requires no equipment, which is great! Most of the workouts are ten to twelve minutes, so you don’t have to worry about fitting in an hour-long workout session.

Talk more about your diet. Do you feel like you fall into the “whole foods” or “clean eating” trend?

I’m a firm believer in: “let food be thy medicine.”

The way I eat is not a trend; it’s actually primal. It’s how our ancestors ate before there were food trends at all! I basically subscribe to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle where I eat plants, animals, nuts and seeds. I “treat a treat like a treat” which basically means: when you want a treat, have exactly what you want no matter what it is, have a blast, and have it once in awhile. There’s no guilt associated with that mentality.

I eat clean, nutrient-dense, whole foods as a way of life.


What are some of your personal favorite ingredients?

I tend to call myself a locavore, which means I eat whatever is local to where I am and what’s seasonal. So, for example, because it is seasonal, I’ll turn to butternut squash a lot these days.

I start my day – every single day – with organic eggs. I just love starting my day with that perfect protein because it energizes me in the morning. I also love cold brewed iced coffee pre-workout.

I use a lot of coconut oil; it’s my go to oil for cooking. I really enjoy wild caught salmon and greens, greens and more greens. I love Brussels sprouts and cruciferous plants…I also love pickled foods like sauerkraut. I just try to eat as many plants and organic proteins as possible! It’s really that simple.

I’m such a dork…I can’t wait to eat a delicious wild caught salmon with Brussels sprouts and root vegetables. Like, that’s my idea of delicious.

You’ve been participating in a new series by Refinery29 called #BeABadass where you overcome physical and mental challenges. Which have been some of your favorite episodes so far?

I think the Stunt Woman episode was my favorite; it was definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I’m pretty confident in my physical prowess…I’m strong and I feel very comfortable in physical challenges, but so many of those falls and other stunts require such complete mental fortitude, which can be very tricky when you’ve never done anything like that. It’s so opposite your primal instincts to just let yourself fall or leap for your life! So that was my favorite episode because I was the most uncomfortable and legitimately scared. I felt so accomplished after.


Expand a little bit on that mental fortitude. How do you push through the pain? What advice do you have for someone who’s new to physical fitness and needs a jumpstart?

I think it comes down to this: we all deserve to be our best. For me, this knowledge starts with a gratitude mindset, where you’re legitimately grateful for everything you have. You’re happier that way! And you’re more positive and optimistic. Second, when you’re feeling your best, you are your best to everyone else around you.

But you have to get moving.

Face your challenges from a position of gratitude and just get started; take the pressure off. Believe that you deserve the best and know that you can achieve it.

Have you ever felt inadequate? How did you overcome?

Oh all the time…It’s part of being an athlete; it’s part of being human. You won’t always be on your a-game and that’s okay. Not only is it okay, but it’s just the way it is!

I do CrossFit and it’s very, very challenging. If I can’t do a certain lift of course I get angry! But I give myself credit for even being there; I give myself credit that I’m even challenging myself. That makes a huge difference.

Tell me what being a strong woman means to you.

For me, being a strong woman means feeling great in my own skin and wanting everyone else to feel great in theirs. It’s about being confident, loving that feeling and wanting everyone else to feel that too…lifting people up and giving to others.

Do you have any personal mentors or heroes who have done that for you?

I am very fortunate to have two older sisters and my mother – all three very strong, independent, autonomous women. I never grew up thinking of myself as “just a girl.” I just thought of myself as a human! I’m a human who just happens to be female. I just want to be the best individual I can be and help others to be their best as well.

What activities make you feel like you’re really “in the zone?”

I’m very influenced by and immersed in music. I’m the Global Head of Rock at Spotify so music is a massive part of my life. I like to go for a 5K run to just kind of let go and feel primal and human…Going for a run and listening to music is very natural for me.

And I also love to do the type of workouts that I created for this “Time to Tone” app. They’re quick and efficient, so I turn up my tunes and get into the workout, knowing that in twelve minutes I’ll be done. I’m really able to lose myself in that.

It’s sort of like how some people do yoga or meditation…This is my meditation: just zoning out and banging out some squats and burpees. For me, it’s the ultimate release!

Looking forward, what is your greatest wish for the New Year?

My wish for the New Year is to continue to be in the moment. I think gratitude is the most important virtue and that we can all practice it more deeply. I think of myself as a “student of life,” meaning, I’m always learning, challenging myself and pushing myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Continuing in that way makes me feel alive.

I don’t know where it comes from, but my core mentality is that “it’s all good.” Every experience is an opportunity to learn and it’s all part of the adventure.


You can learn more about Allison Hagendorf on her website or visit her blog, Fit to Feast, for more tips on staying fit and eating healthy. You can also follow her on Instagram at @allihagendorf. 



Jack Y
Jack Y5 months ago


Jack Y
Jack Y5 months ago


John J
John J5 months ago

thanks for sharing

John J
John J5 months ago

thanks for sharing

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 years ago

Thank you.

Ron B.
Ron B2 years ago

Huh? Oh, THAT celebrity Allison Hagendorf! (?)

Marc P.
Marc P2 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

william Miller
william Miller2 years ago