Healthy Habits: Dr. Eric Deal competes in triathlons to stay in shape

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. Eric Deal, endocrinologist and assistant professor in the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine, shares some of his healthy habits with us.

Question: What health decisions start your day?

Answer: I start every morning by taking 20 minutes to have a cup of coffee and listen to music or a podcast before the daily grind starts.

Q: What is your go-to healthy breakfast?

A: Greek yogurt with a handful of raspberries or strawberries. I prefer a light breakfast to get my day going.

Q: What is your favorite type of exercise?

A: I compete in triathlons when time allows, so my workouts are mostly intermediate/long distance cardio. I love the variety of cycling on the bayou trails, hot afternoons swimming laps at the pool and running various neighborhood routes.

Q: What keeps you motivated during your workout?

A: Exercise gives me the opportunity to push my body and relieve stress. I want to use the limited time I have to optimize those benefits.

Q: What activities do you do when you can’t fit in a full workout?

A: I trade distance for higher – mostly short runs at the highest intensity I can handle.

Q: What is your favorite healthful snack?

A: Hummus with vegetables or pita chips.

Q: How do you make an unhealthy recipe healthy (healthy substitutions)?

A: Whenever possible, I substitute starchy foods for low carbohydrate alternatives. For example, we cook with tofu noodles or spaghetti squash rather than pasta. Cauliflower rice and pizza crusts are also great alternatives.

Q: What hobbies do you have to help you relax?

A: Cooking, reading, watching sports and stretching.

Q: What is your go-to Houston restaurant for a healthy meal?

A: Local Foods and Bellagreen are our favorites.

Q: Do you use an activity tracker or Fitbit and what is your daily step goal?

A: I use an Apple Watch with a daily goal of 900 calories. Although long days at work can make it challenging to reach my goals, I use my “failed” days as motivation to catch up when time allows.

Q: What is your favorite health tip that you live by?

A: Everyone has different goals and preferences – find what works best for you and is sustainable.

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