You may remember some of his catch phrases such as “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the good burger, can I take your order?” or, “Who loves orange soda?…” Former Nickelodeon star Kel Mitchell is a nostalgic figure of 90s television, but continues his career not only in entertainment, but by serving in the community and being a mentor to young people. The husband, father, actor, writer, director, producer, philanthropist and man of faith has a lot on his plate these days, but takes time to make sure his life remains in order and maintains a healthy exercise and nutrition regimen. Black Fitness Today was excited to catch up with Kel and learn more about his life, career and staying fit.
Q. When did you start acting? At what point in your life did you realize this was meant for you?
KM: When I was young, I loved to do impersonations and recite lines from my favorite films. But sometimes, I did this at the wrong time like during class, so after many trips to the principle’s office one summer my parents decided to put me into an acting class. My acting teacher was hard-core and was very knowledgeable. I enjoyed the art of acting and the history of acting. I learned about black actors from the past and what they experienced so that I have an opportunity to step on stage. I respected their journey and I knew this was something I wanted to do.
Q. We may be bias, but we think the 90s was the best era for TV and music, and you were such a big part of so many childhoods! What were your best memories as an actor on Nickelodeon and in movies such as Good Burger?
KM: Being on a show like All That provided a ton of great memories! We had so many awesome musical artists and I use to listen to these artists while growing up on the south side of Chicago, never knowing that I would one day be sharing the same stage as them. It was truly a blessing.
Q. According to your website, you have a genuine interest in the youth and mentoring them to be future leaders. You are the spokesperson for several organizations including The Boys & Girls Club, The Black College Expo, your Young, Fly and Saved movement, and more. Why are you so passionate about reaching out to young people?
KM: As a kid growing up in Chicago, I had friends that ended up in jail; one of my good friends was murdered because of gang violence. Today, young people are still dealing with these circumstances, so I support organizations and programs that help teens make positive choices and introduce them to God’s love and teach them how to walk by faith not by sight. Every young person should know that they can do all things through Christ; they do not have to be a product of their environment. I also had friends that made good choices and we need to applaud students and teens that deal with everyday stress and temptation of violence and drugs, but decide to stay focused and make the right moves. They need our support and prayers as well.
Q. After all these years, how do you stay in such great shape? What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
KM: For years I went through a bit of a yo-yo effect when it came to fitness. I would go a full six to eight months living healthy then a full six to eight months not so healthy. I got fed up with having to go hard fixing the not-so-healthy times. I discovered that it was time to change my eating lifestyle. So now, I’m all about consuming foods that are high in nutrients. My wife and I are not vegetarians, but we are close to it. 90% of our daily diet is now comprised of nutrient- rich plant foods and 10% of low nutrient if we so choose that day. This has been very effective for us! We also love eating quinoa! It’s just awesome!!!
To stay focused in the gym, I write down how I trained each muscle each day so I can do better the next training day.
Q. While orange soda isn’t a part of our diets anymore (LOL), we’ll still be fans for life. You even have a page dedicated to all your fans who love orange soda! How cool is that?!
KM: It was a cool idea my team came up with for the fans that watch(ed) the show. I wanted to show them I appreciate them by showcasing them on my site. And no, orange soda is not part of my diet anymore…LOL. I have been thinking about telling the fans to pose with healthier options similar to orange soda like Zevia, which is really good! It’s a zero-calorie soda with no artificial sweeteners. Boom oh yeah!
Q. We’ve seen photos of your various juice concoctions on Instagram and they look great! We look to our NutriBullet to give us lots of nutrition, fast! What do you use for your juices?
KM: We also use the NutriBullet; the preparation is fast and the cleanup is easy which we love. We also use a GE Juicer/Juice Extractor.
Q. Between taking care of your family and the time commitment that comes along with being an actor, director, producer, and philanthropist, how do you achieve a sense of balance when things get stressful?
KM: One of my favorite Bible verses is Habakkuk 2:2 that says to write the vision and make it plain. I use day planners and set goals so I can stay focused. I also fully rely on God in everything I do.
Q. What advice would you give to the Black Fitness Today community about living a healthy lifestyle?
KM: Focus and stick with it to get results. Be consistent. Wake up with determination.
Q. What’s next for you and how can our audience find out more?
KM: You can catch me on the second season of the Nicktoons animated series Wild Grinders as the voice of Jay Jay. You can also catch me guest starring on the television show Love That Girl on TV One as Armando, and in the short dramatic film “Thirst” coming soon. Oh yeah – and you can catch me in the church and in the gym – believe that! Black Fitness Today!!! I’m always working on something so for more information on me check out my website – http://www.kelmitchell.net.