Healthy Habits: Good sleeping habits, low-sugar meals help Dr. Maryam Shafaee stay active

Taking care of your health is a priority and nobody knows that more than physicians and healthcare providers.

It can sometimes be difficult to find ways to stay healthy, so we’ve asked members of our Baylor College of Medicine community to share what they do in their daily lives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Maryam Shafaee, instructor in medicine–breast oncology in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor, shares some of her healthy habits with us.

Q: What health decisions start your day?
A: A good Monday usually starts with a full night’s sleep on Sunday night. I try to get a good start on Mondays with a cardio workout in the early morning to set the stage for a busy week ahead.

Q: What is your go-to healthy breakfast?
A: bowl of plain yogurt (either 2 percent or full milk fat), almonds, some kind of berries and a little honey.

Q: What is your favorite type of exercise?hh-shafaee-image
Biking and spinning.

Q: What keeps you motivated during your workout?
A: It is always hard to start exercising after several weeks or months of inactivity. I usually make sure I have had a good night’s sleep the day before I plan to exercise and I try not eat heavy meals. Exercising in a group and committing to showing up persistently also builds up motivation to continue.

Q: What activities do you do when you can’t fit in a full workout?
A: If I can’t fit in a full workout, I’ll do a few yoga poses and stretches with sit ups.

Q: What is your favorite healthful snack?
A: Raw pistachios, almonds, walnuts and dried figs.

Q: How do you make an unhealthy recipe healthy (healthy substitutions)?
I usually cut down on sugar (I won’t add sugar to banana bread, for example), and I almost never use canned vegetables if the recipe asks for it – I always opt for fresh. I have a slow cooker, which does all the work for me while I am away at work!

Q: What is your nighttime skin regimen?
A: Nothing in particular.

Q: What hobbies do you have to help you relax?
A: Cooking and yoga.

Q: What is your go-to Houston restaurant for a healthy meal?
A: True Food Kitchen and Fadi’s. Their salads and side dishes are usually good.

Q: Do you use a pedometer or Fitbit and what is your daily step goal?
A: No, I’ve never used a pedometer or FitBit, but I do a lot of walking during the day while seeing patients.

Q: What is your favorite health tip that you live by?
A: Coffee cannot fix poor sleep and cumulative fatigue. The importance of good sleeping habits cannot be over emphasized. Patients deserve our full undivided attention at all times, and to live up to our commitment to them, making healthy life style choices and staying organized are so important.

Additional Resources

Dr. Dorit Donoviel enjoys fruit salad, podcasts and plenty of rest

Yoga, family time help keep Dr. Angela Catic motivated

See how Baylor stays fit with more healthy habits from members of our community

See how Baylor promotes a culture of healthy living and wellness

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