My healthy life: Sayeh Minoosepehr

Somehow, medical resident Sayeh Minoosepehr squeezes good health into a 90-hour workweek

My healthy life: Sayeh Minoosepehr

Source: Best Health Magazine, November/December 2008, Photo by John Bonner

Her resumé may be intimidating—an MBA, an MD and national research awards—but her manner is anything but. Dr. Sayeh Minoosepehr is self-deprecating, warm—and tired. As a cardiology resident at the University of Calgary’s internal medicine program, the 32-year-old works 90 to 100 hours a week. “I crave sleep more than I crave chocolate,” she says with a laugh. But she doesn’t take the opportunities she’s had for granted. Minoosepehr’s family left Iran when she was 12. “My parents gave up so much.” Her support network includes her husband, parents, siblings and friends: “It takes a village to get someone through medical training!”

Recharging with exercise

“Working all night makes you feel jet-lagged, and exercise helps reset my system. I’ll get off work, be in bed by noon, and then at 6 p.m., I’ll wake up and go for a run. Then I’ll have a bath and a good meal and go back to bed. The next morning I’m back on schedule.”

Relying on loved ones

Her husband, Dale Zielke, teaches high school and manages the household. “If there are fruits and vegetables in the fridge, it’s because he bought them.”

Carb-and-fat treat

“Edamame beans have the best fat and good carbs, and they’re high in protein—and if I sprinkle them with salt, they satisfy that craving, too.”

Wise concessions

“I don’t think you can keep all of the balls in the air, so you have to give yourself permission to drop a couple. When so much is going on that I can’t concentrate on my eating habits, I consciously choose not to worry about it.”

Romantic runs

“We have so little time together, sometimes I beg my husband to come running with me. But since he’s six foot three and I’m five feet tall, it means that I run and he walks!”

Note to self

“It’s easy to get burned out. I keep a list of the things I’m looking forward to—a trip to Germany for a conference, a friend’s wedding—so I remember that work isn’t the only thing in my life.”

This article was originally titled "My healthy life," in the November/December 2008 issue of Best Health Magazine. Subscribe today and never miss an issue!

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