Travis Stork first set hearts a’flutter as the star of the eighth installment of the popular ABC reality show “The Bachelor.” Since then, the charming ER doctor turned TV star has married the woman of his dreams and currently hosts the daytime medical talk show “The Doctors.” Examiner caught up with Stork for an exclusive June 23 interview that touched on a variety of topics, including his involvement with the Kellogg’s #cerealandmilk campaign, being recognized in public, and why unlike other “Bachelor” franchise alums, he won’t do “Dancing with the Stars.”
I wake up, I roll out of bed, I shuffle into the kitchen. What, exactly, should I –and my kids– be eating first thing in the morning?
Stork: Well, the most important thing is just eating breakfast. A lot of people –or their kids– skip breakfast because they just don’t want to deal with it, it’s inconvenient, or they think it’s better for them. But a lot of studies have looked at people who skip breakfast and they’ve seen a propensity to be overweight. Some studies have linked skipping breakfast and heart disease and potentially even diabetes. So the most important thing is to have a healthy breakfast. And it really is one of those individual choices, but for people who are looking for convenience and affordability, that’s one of the reasons why I’ve partnered with Kellogg’s on their Cereal and Milk campaign. With cereal and milk, you can whole grains, which are complex carbohydrates, filled with fiber which can help you feel full and promote GI health, and… after the overnight fast, protein can help rebuild muscles and [help] you feel full.
What’s your favorite cereal?
Stork: You know, I grew up on Kellogg’s Raisin Bran so that’s always been my favorite. But I’m a big fan of bran because I love getting fiber in the morning, so I also love All Bran and I’ll mix in berries and bananas, and I even put a little cinnamon on it. Sometimes I’ll even mix in a little yogurt. So I’m big on the whole variety-thing.
Is there anything that we shouldn’t eat?
Stork: I think the most important thing is in life, it’s all about balance. It’s balance between foods you like and nutrition. I would say that the one thing that people tend to believe is [that there’s a benefit to] banning foods, saying ‘okay, I’m not going to eat any carbs’ or ‘I’m not going to eat any fat’ or ‘I’m just going to eat all protein’. I think the most important thing when you’re planning a meal is… balance. Make sure you’re getting the good complex carbohydrates you can find in whole grains, proteins, good fats, and to the extent that you’re not getting that balance, that’s when people really need to look once again at what they’re eating, why they’re eating it. I always recommend people read nutrition labels so they know, for instance, how much fiber they’re getting. All those things play a role. And after that, it’s just individual taste.
So I’m going to shift gears a little bit. Now I know it probably feels like a lifetime ago, but I deal a lot with reality TV so I have to ask you about your time on “The Bachelor.” What was the single thing that surprised you the most about being the lead?
Stork: What surprised me the most was probably that I’d never been in front of the camera before so… obviously I wasn’t used to that. But also the power of television. When you’re a doctor and you spend most of your life in a hospital, you honestly don’t get to watch as much television as you think you might, and the power of television is enormous. That’s something I learned on “The Bachelor,” that’s something I continue to learn nowadays hosting “The Doctors.” It’s a powerful medium and a lot of people watch. I wasn’t used to people recognizing me walking down the street, I can tell you that.
I missed your season because a couple of my kids were really young at the time, but a few of my friends watched and named you as their favorite Bachelor ever. In fact, one of them said that you made her feel “thankful that there were still good men available.” What do you think made you so lovable to the ladies?
Stork: [Laughs] I can’t really comment on that other than to say that I always just tried to be myself. This is who I am, whether it was on that show or “The Doctors,” whatever it may be. I think the most important thing that I’ve learned through all of it –because I never intended to be on TV, I never intended to be talking to you right now– was to be myself. Hopefully that’s a likable person.
Looking at “The Doctors,” have you touched on a topic or discussion that’s been particularly salient to you?
Stork: In some ways, I would say that every day there’s something we talk about that’s salient. Obviously, the one thing I think we’ve hopefully been able to address is the idea that if you prevent problems from occurring in the first place, then it’s so much better than treating a problem after it arises. So my big mantra nowadays is ‘food is medicine,’ so I really love being able to talk about how you can make food your medicine, how you can make food be the thing that hopefully allows you to live a longer, happier, healthier life, and so those are salient moments, when I can say ‘hey, it’s part of my doctor’s orders: make sure you eat breakfast every day and make sure you’re eating the rainbow of fruits and vegetables and make sure you’re getting protein and whole grains.’ I know it seems boring to some, but this whole idea of a miracle — the miracle to me is when a viewer approaches me on the street to say ‘hey, because of watching your show, health has become my hobby’… that’s the stuff that means the most to me.
Obviously, you have an amazing career going on and your marriage [to pediatrician Charlotte Brown], but would you ever consider following in the footsteps of some “Bachelor” alums and doing a show like “Dancing with the Stars”?
Stork: I think you have to be a good dancer to that [laughs]. I dance all the time but usually it’s behind closed doors. No, I love what I’m doing right now. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than what I’m doing right now. I absolutely love hosting “The Doctors,” I love what I’m able to do today, talking with you about the importance of breakfast…. I joke that when I’m on TV now, I still feel like I’m being a doctor because I get to talk about all the same things that I may talk to someone about if we were actually in the hospital. So there’s really nothing else I’d rather do on TV than what I’m doing right now.
I like to close out with a random question. Who’s your favorite athlete?
Stork: You know what? In the spirit of the recent NBA playoffs, I would have to say –and I would’ve never said this before but– I’m going to go with Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, because if you can win an NBA title in your late 30s, it means I still have a chance. Even though I’m in my early 40s, I still have a chance, I can still hold onto that dream. That and he went to my wife’s college, so… [laughs].