Healthy Habits: Scrapbooking, avoiding the snooze button help Dr. Hoda Badr stay focused

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.

Hoda Badr, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine-epidemiology at Baylor, shares some of her healthy habits with us.

Q: What health decisions start your day?Hoda-Badr-HH
A: I try not to hit the snooze button on my alarm. I get up early and have some coffee for a few minutes in silence before everyone wakes up. This helps me center myself, plan out my day, and set goals so I don’t become stressed or overwhelmed.

The other health decision would be what to make for breakfast.

Q: What is your go-to healthy breakfast?
A: Eggs, almond flour tortilla, salsa, a slice of avocado, and coffee with cream – no sugar.

Q: What is your favorite type of exercise?
A: Orange Theory Fitness.

Q: What keeps you motivated during your workout?
A: Music.

Q: What activities do you do when you can’t fit in a full workout?
A: Right now, I work out four to five days a week, because I know if I don’t make the time, I won’t have another opportunity to really make that activity time up. I find it hardest to fit in the workouts around grant deadlines, but when I do, I find myself more relaxed in handling those deadlines. I do my best to keep to a schedule.

Q: What is your favorite healthful snack?
A: I really try not to snack because my favorite snacks are cookies, cheese and crackers – and once you start on those it’s a slippery slope!

Q: Do you take vitamins and if so, which ones?
A: Not really. The only time I take vitamins is when I feel I am coming down with a cold. Then, I take vitamin C and Zinc.

Q: What do you include in your child’s lunch?
A: My son eats a hot lunch at school. Beyond that, he just eats what we eat. I don’t buy Doritos or Oreos for him very often. We have switched him over to cauliflower-based chips and snacks that are baked, not fried, as much as possible.

Q: How do you make an unhealthy recipe healthy?
A: I use Panko instead of breadcrumbs. I have been experimenting lately with almond and coconut flour instead of regular flour. Also, I never use peanut or canola oil and have minimized vegetable oil. I try instead to use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and ghee – but in moderation, of course! I rarely fry anything – I try to ‘oven fry’ or just bake instead.

Q: What is your nighttime skin regimen?
A: I don’t really have one. If I am wearing make up that day, I wash my face. Sometimes, I put on Neutrogena hydrogel cream, but I am not religious about it.

Q: What hobbies do you have to help you relax?
A: My husband and I have a date night every Sunday. It can be something small like going out for coffee, or seeing a movie, but it helps us to stay connected and talk to each other without distractions.

Working out is also a great stress reliever for me. I like to scrapbook, and when I have the time to devote a weekend to it, I find that to be very relaxing and fulfilling. I also like to get pedicures and have the occasional spa/beauty day because when you look good, you feel good!

Q: What is your go-to Houston restaurant for a healthy meal?
A: I like Ruggles Black because I am on a low-carb diet.

Q: Do you use an activity tracker or Fitbit and what is your daily step goal?
A: Yes. I have an apple watch. I do not have a step goal, but I do have a goal of closing all my activity rings. My move goal is 500 cal and my exercise goal is 30 mins per day. My stand goal is to stand at least once an hour for at least 12 hours. Because I have a “desk job” and I often sit at my desk for hours working on a paper or grant, etc., believe it or not, the stand goal is the hardest one for me to achieve on days when I don’t work out, and that is the one I have to be most conscious about.

I did purchase a foot rest for under my desk that helps to alleviate pressure on my joints when I am working, but I do appreciate the little notifications that it is “time to stand” throughout the day from my watch!

Q: What is your favorite health tip that you live by?
A: I have three: 1) Happiness is a choice. 2) Always get a good night’s sleep. 3) The early bird always catches the worm.

Additional Resources

Dr. S. Julie-Ann Lloyd enjoys swimming, group exercise to stay active

Meal planning, avoiding processed foods help Dr. Lydia Sharp stay fit

Read more healthy habits from members of our community.

Learn how Baylor promotes a culture of healthy living and wellness.

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