My Healthy Self: Erika Harris, MD

My Healthy Self: Erika Harris, MD

We’re all on a daily journey for a healthier lifestyle. Whether that means eating healthier, working out or relaxing, taking care of yourself should be a priority. No one knows that better than physicians and health care providers.

Find out what members of our Marshall Health community do in their daily lives and use it as motivation to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Erika Harris, MD, shares some of her healthy habits with us.

What is your go-to healthy breakfast?
My favorite and most frequent breakfast consists of steel cut oats topped with flaxseed, walnuts and fruit. To save time, I cook the oats in advance in the slow cooker and portion it out into containers for easier mornings.

What is your favorite type of exercise?
Running is my favorite exercise. I especially enjoy the challenge and little goals/successes associated with following a training plan. I had never even run a mile until I was in my 30s and already had a career and kids. I wanted an efficient workout that I could do virtually anywhere. A patient actually told me about the Couch to 5K program (found online and through apps), and that’s how I got started.

What keeps you motivated during a workout?
For motivation, I love being able to mark off my specific planned workout for the day. I also enjoy listening to podcasts or music if I’m outside, and I watch Netflix on my iPad if I’m on the treadmill. I’ve been known to exercise longer just to finish an interesting show! I also enjoy catching up with friends while running or walking.

What activities do you do when you can’t fit a full workout in your schedule?
If I can’t fit in a whole workout, I’ll just go for a shorter time or play actively with my kids. We set up obstacle courses, play hopscotch, etc.

What is your favorite healthy snack?
My favorite healthy snacks are red bell pepper slices, sugar snap peas, cashews and popcorn.

What hobbies help you relax?
My greatest stress relievers are exercise, laughter, prayer and adequate sleep. I also enjoy reading, photography and spending time with my family.

What is the #1 health tip you live by?
I don’t know who to credit for this phrase I’ve heard, but “you can’t outrun a bad diet.” Much of the illness I treat on a daily basis stems from poor nutrition. We could each improve our nutrition by reducing processed foods in favor of real food, especially vegetables.


Erika Harris, MD

Dr. Harris is a board-certified family medicine physician and an assistant professor in the department of family & community health at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.