Healthy Habits: Moderate workouts, limiting red meat intake key for Dr. Neal Barshes

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. Neal Barshes, associate professor of surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy at Baylor, shares some of his healthy habits with us.

Q: What health decisions start your day?hh-Barshes
A: Eating breakfast consistently. I wouldn’t get far without it.

Q: What is your go-to healthy breakfast?
A: Quaker old-fashioned oatmeal with raisins and some whey protein powder. I also have one cup of Nescafe instant coffee, black.

Q: What is your favorite type of exercise?
A: I use a rower inside or jog outside on a hot summer day, usually once a week for either one.

Q: What keeps you motivated during your workout?
A: Making time for working out has been my main challenge – not motivation. My workouts are moderate in intensity, so it isn’t too challenging for me to complete these.

Q: What activities do you do when you can’t fit in a full workout?
A: I walk from the VA hospital to Baylor (about one mile each way) at least twice a week. It’s a good opportunity to chat with my VA vascular surgery partners while they walk with me!

I also climb the stairs to the fifth floor of our hospital several times per day. Because of the hospital structure, there are 34 steps per flight, which is much more than the typical four flights of stairs would be.

Q: What is your favorite healthful snack?
A: A large grapefruit, when in season. The flesh specifically, pith and peel removed.

Q: Do you take vitamins and if so, which ones?
A: I take a daily multivitamin, one gram of vitamin C, an iron tablet and an antacid tablet for calcium (I eat little red meat and don’t tolerate dairy products).

Q: What do you include in your child’s lunch?
A: My wife does an amazing job of making healthy food using natural or organic ingredients for our 15 month-old daughter. She seems to enjoy veggies!

Q: How do you make an unhealthy recipe healthy (healthy substitutions)?
A: We eat a lot of turkey and chicken as an alternative to beef or pork. My wife has recently been enjoying whole grains, including bulgur! So I have little choice but eat these too.

Q: What is your nighttime skin regimen?
A: I try to remember to put O’Keefe’s “Working Hands” cream on my hands a few times a week. Surgical scrubbing and hand washing takes a toll.

Q: What hobbies do you have to help you relax?
A: Lately, watching my daughter learn to crawl and stand and listening to her form early words.

Q: What is your go-to Houston restaurant for a healthy meal?
A: Chick-fil-A. Healthier than beef, right?

Q: Do you use a pedometer or Fitbit and what is your daily step goal?
A: I don’t own either, but I try to stay in motion.

Q: What is your favorite health tip that you live by?
A: Living by my father’s adage: “Stay hungry.”

Additional Resources

Dr. Jenny Despotovic combines exercise, family time and fun

Cycling, frequent walks help Dr. Kenneth McClain stay active

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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