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Amy Uriostegui Tadeo, Certified Medical Assistant II, Occupational Medicine, Tanglewood Clinic

Houston traffic can be brutal, and every evening Amy spent 90 minutes in the gridlock just trying to get home. One day, while sitting bumper to bumper, she realized Memorial Park was on her route home. So she started stopping there to walk on the walking path to wait out the traffic. That one detour took her down the road of increased health and wellness.

What prompted you to begin this health and fitness journey?
Honestly, my commute after work was taking me roughly an hour to an hour and a half. I decided that instead of wasting time sitting in traffic I would stop by Memorial Park, which is on my way home. After stopping by a few times a week and walking the three mile loop, I decided to add some speed and walked faster. Four months later, I was able to jog the majority of the loop and noticed it was becoming easy to do. I decided to start training for my first marathon. Unfortunately, during my training I hurt my ankle and needed to stop and try out different methods of exercise.

What are your health goals?
My goals are to get in the habit of living a healthy lifestyle at an early age since I’m currently 26. I want to start eating, dieting, and exercising routinely so when I become older this will all be a habit for me already. I’ve recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which can make it hard to lose weight and causes other health issues. With exercise and eating the right foods, I hope to help my body maintain the balance it needs.

Tell me about your diet and exercise routine.
I work out at least four times a week. I meet with a trainer two days out of the week, and the other days I join group exercise classes like spin, step, and boot camp. My workouts consist of weight training, intervals, HIIT, endurance, and strengthening.

What are some ways you’ve changed your daily routine?
I drink a gallon of water a day, and I prefer healthy snacks and fruits. I have a heavy, yet balanced, lunch and go smaller on the other meals. I also drink protein drinks after my work out. Some ways I stay active during my work day is by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking the long way to my destination to add additional steps.

What is your favorite form of exercise?
I really enjoy spin classes – I feel like it’s not a hard impact exercise, unlike running … and it’s easier on my feet and knees. I love the fact spinning also works outs other parts of my body like arms, back, glutes, and hamstring. Spin also helps me burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
I like tofu! In recent years, I’ve noticed tofu has become more popular, and it’s available in a lot of restaurants and cooked in many ways. My top favorite tofu meals are tofu Bahn Mi and tofu Lo Mein; I like them both because of the different vegetables they mix with it and savory taste. I also do portion control, especially when I want to have a cheat day. If I have some pizza or a burger and fries, instead of eating a large amount of it I only eat half or smaller portions.

What hurdles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Lately I’ve noticed I don’t have much energy to go to the gym due to my health issues, but I always talk myself into going because I need to help my body now and for the future.

What is your guilty pleasure/favorite treat?
McDonald’s chicken nuggets! Sometimes after working out I stop by McDonald’s and get some chicken nuggets – but instead of a full meal I get the kids’ size that comes with apple slices!