Just What The Doctor Ordered With Dr. Lamia Katbi

AL 65 | Optimal Health


People should start being more curious about their health and wellness. Living a happy life is more than just having a good diet and exercise.

Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health is the culmination of Dr. Lamia Katbi’s personal and professional life. Dr. Katbi details how she discovered the path to lifelong change after her own struggles and what led her to long-term change. Dr. Katbi details what happened when she became a victim of what is now known as “job burnout,” a term now more commonplace since the pandemic. Moreover, this “burnout affects many of us, no matter our professions, pandemic or not.

In Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health, Dr. Katbi details how practicing the five pillars of optimal health reversed the burnout and brought about real change in her and how you, too, can practice the five pillars of optimal health every day.

Join Alicia Dunams as she talks to Dr. Lamia Katbi about her book and why emotional health is so important in someone’s every day life. Get her book and start living the five pillars today.

Listen to the podcast here


Just What The Doctor Ordered With Dr. Lamia Katbi

Welcome to another episode of the show where we interview authors on why they wrote a book and why they are sharing their life stories and their lessons learned. We’re taking lessons from the pages into real life. We are interviewing Dr. Lamia Katbi, the author of Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health.

Lamia, it’s so great to have you here.

It’s so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

I’m super excited about this book. We started it together and did the process that I’ve been helping people for a long time for almost seventeen years to go from idea to author. That’s what I’m going to begin and ask you with. Why did you write a book?

First of all, thank you very much for having me on and for helping me with my idea to go from an idea to a book. This is great. I’m forever grateful for you and what you have done for me thus far.

Thank you so much. I know when you came to me that you are a doctor specializing in pediatrics. You have had so many lessons from being out in the field, and that’s what your book is about. Share that with us.

Living a happy life is more than just diet and exercise. It's how you sleep, eat, move, and have emotional health. Click To Tweet

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be an author. Instead, I became a pediatrician. That dream never left me. It always was on the back burner. It came screaming at me a few years ago and saying, “I need you to come to life. You have this idea and this rich life that you have lived thus far.” I believe everyone has a story to tell, and it was time for me to tell my story. It’s my story about being not just a pediatrician. It’s part of my story about being a human being and the progress and improvement that I have gained over the years.

This book does jump into that. It’s the lessons learned from you being a doctor and a pediatrician, but also your human experience as well. That’s what doctors are. They’re humans. I know one thing that you have learned is that you stand by the medicine. That is what you’re trained in. You also very much stand for mindfulness, the ability to regulate emotions and stress, and being able to lean on mindfulness tools such as meditation, etc., to put that together with being a doctor. This is your own personal journey and your own personal experiences. What I’d love for you to share is what are some of the life lessons that you have shared in your book, Just What the Doctor Ordered?

I love science. My background is in science. I believe in science, but at the same time, I do not believe just diet and exercise will make me live a happily ever after life as what we, doctors, promote. I found through my own personal journey and dealing, treating, and guiding hundreds and thousands of people that it is more than diet and exercise. It is how we sleep, eat, and move. It is way more than diet and exercise.

I felt that I always ate healthily, but at the same time, I was not feeling healthy. I exercised a lot, but I was not feeling healthy. I had my own personal issues with illness and I suffered greatly. I saw how my patients are suffering greatly as well. Throughout my journey, I discovered and applied those rules I felt were more than diet and exercise such as sleep. The most important, probably for me, is emotional health.

AL 65 | Optimal Health
Optimal Health: Emotional health is very different from mental health. Emotional health is about taking care of your everyday feelings. Addressing them and not suppressing them.


That’s what your book addresses. I’m reading from the back cover of your book. Most of us have complicated relationships with our doctors. We fear them, worship them, and some of us downright don’t trust them. You changed that. You’re a board-certified pediatrician. You’ve been practicing medicine for over 25 years, helping families learn more about their children’s health, well-being, and the healing power of awareness.

In addition to your extensive medical training, you have faced your own health and emotional challenges. You discovered these five pillars of optimal health. This is what you share in the book. It’s this beautiful story of your own personal life. That’s why you bring not only the medical experience but what is important to our overall well-being is emotional health as well.

I do agree 100%. I would love for everyone to eat healthily and move. Emotional health is different than mental health or mental illness. Mental illness is there. It is an entity. I’m not disregarding mental illness, but there is a difference between emotional health and mental illness. Emotional health is taking care of our everyday feelings, addressing them, and not suppressing them.

To address them is to value ourselves as a human and to take care of our feelings when we’re feeling sad, happy, embarrassed, frustrated, or resentful. Those are all feelings. It’s okay to address them. It’s okay to feel them and address them in a safe way and safe place. I’m not saying, “Go and share your feelings everywhere.” In my book, I try to teach about sharing your feelings and emotional health in a healthy way, which we can talk about later if time permits.

If you do not sleep, you are not able to be fully present in your daily life. Click To Tweet

With your book, I know that you have lessons, which are The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health. We’ll share a few of them during this episode. You also have a beautiful meditation, which I had the opportunity to listen to. You can go to your website, DrLamiaKatbi.com to get access to this beautiful meditation on physical and emotional health. What I’d love for you to share is to give us 1 or 2 of the pillars of optimal health.

My first one is sleep. Sleep is number one in my book. If you do not sleep, you are not able to concentrate fully. You are not able to be fully present in your daily life. I don’t think you are able to function at your 100%. Your anxiety may become more anxious because you do not have enough sleep. In my book, when I talk about sleep, it is about how many hours of sleep you think you need.

We all have this misconception that we can function on 5 or 6 hours of sleep because we are all go-getters, and at some point, can pull an all-nighter. Sleep to me is number one. Also, lack of sleep can lead to lots of health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s. There are some cancers even related to lack of sleep and sleep disturbances. Sleep is so essential to our being and our health. That, to me, comes before diet and exercise.

The importance of sleep, I know you talk about that in your book. Would you like to share maybe another of the optimal pillars of health?

AL 65 | Optimal Health
Optimal Health: Mindful eating is eating without distraction. It’s about eating with family or loved ones around the table without screens or looking at social media.


We already discussed and talked about emotional health. Everyone knows how passionate I am about emotional health and emotional well-being. I talk about mindful eating in the book. Diet is great. Eating healthy is great, but what is mindful eating? Mindful eating, simply put, is looking at your food and chewing your food. You’re eating without distraction, without screen time, and without looking at your social media. It’s having food with loved ones sitting around the table. Use your senses when you are eating.

We’re going to go a lot more in the book about how to shop and how to choose the food you are consuming. Shop the periphery of the store, for example. That is one of the things we talk about. Also, what are the four macros? Lots of people talk about, “What should I eat?” I say, “The four macros.” The four macros are what we put in our bodies every day. It’s like protein, fat, carbs, and fiber. It’s a simple fat, but they are there for us to be curious about and explore more.

I don’t follow any diet. I believe in the Rule of 80/20. I believe in moderation, not deprivation in all aspects of life. When it comes to eating, I am okay. I tell patients all the time, “80% of the time, I eat healthily. 20%, I treat myself.” I don’t use the word cheating because cheating has that negative meaning to it that makes you feel guilty. I am not about to make people feel guilty. I want them to feel good about themselves. I want them to be curious. I want them to explore more, like, “Is this healthy for me?” What is healthy? There are lots of things out there on social media and the internet. I’m pro that. At the same time, I’m like, “What can I take from those social media sites or my book, for example, and apply it to my own life to make me feel better about how I eat mindfully?”

That’s what I love about your book. It’s accessible and relatable. The 80/20 rule, for example, is not to say, “Get rid of everything.” It’s 80% to eat healthily and then you can have a treat. In that way, it doesn’t feel like, “I have to change my whole lifestyle,” because then, no one will change. That’s why I love Just What the Doctor Ordered because you introduce concepts that sometimes aren’t talked about with doctors.

It is important for people to be curious, seek knowledge, have awareness, and make changes. Click To Tweet

There’s this whole concept of Eastern medicine versus Western medicine or the highly pharmaceutical versus the natural way of being. You bring a beautiful marriage of science and the importance of emotional health, mindfulness, eating healthy, and sleep. Those are things that we can access and do for ourselves. This is why you create such a beautiful relationship between a patient and their doctor in this book. Please tell us where people at home can find out more about you and purchase your book.

I am on Instagram. That’s probably my favorite site. My Instagram is @DrLamiaKatbi. The website is DrLamiaKatbi.com. There is the free meditation that you mentioned, which talks about The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health. It ends with nice and relaxing breathing exercises. Everyone will enjoy it.

AL 65 | Optimal Health
Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health

Run, don’t walk to go to DrLamiaKatbi.com. I was impressed by that meditation. It was such a wonderful gift. You can go there and find out more about Dr. Lamia and her book, Just What the Doctor Ordered. We’re going to jump into what I call the Rapid Round. I will ask you questions and you will share what’s the first thing that comes to mind. We’ll get started here. What is your legacy?

In my work as a pediatrician, I believe I made a difference in the patients and the families I treated. I honor and love what I do.

What’s your favorite book?

The Four Agreements.

Who is your favorite author?

Dr. Wayne Dyer.

AL 65 | Optimal Health
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom

I know that he’s quoted in the book. What are you reading next? What book is on your bookshelf?

Still, it is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I keep reading it and re-reading it. I love it. I would recommend it to everyone who wants to build habits. It’s an awesome book.

I have that on my audiobook selection. It’s a very good book. With that, I’d love for you to share with our audience at home what is one thing that you want to leave with our audience, like words of advice.

Curiosity. I want to encourage people and guide people to be curious about their health and wellness. I want them to continue to seek improvement and knowledge and have awareness about how we can do things differently and what we can improve in our daily life. I believe it is important for people to be curious, seek knowledge, have awareness, and make changes.

AL 65 | Optimal Health
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

I love that. That’s what is shared in your book. It’s the power of curiosity in addition to the five pillars of health in Just What the Doctor Ordered. You can go to Amazon.com and purchase it or you can go to DrLamiaKatbi.com to find out more information about the book. Purchase it and download a free meditation. With that, I want you to leave one more piece of advice to our audience at home.

If you use The Five Pillars Of Optimal Health, it is going to work for you. I know it worked for me. I worked hard all my life and my health was affected by it. I was sick for many years. With medication and the help of many professionals, I was fine again. At the same time, I was not fit and healthy the way I am now. I am 58 years old. I am fit. I am healthy. I am mindful. I believe by practicing the five pillars of optimal health, you can change your life the way I changed mine.

Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health is available on Amazon.com. Go purchase it and access the tools that Dr. Lamia has used to change her own health and her own happiness. With that, I want to acknowledge everyone. Thank you for being here for another episode of the show. We will see you next time. Be well.

Thank you.


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About Dr. Lamia Katbi

AL 65 | Optimal HealthLamia Katbi, MD, is a well-known pediatrician in Northwest Indiana who has been helping and guiding countless families raising their children from birth into young adulthood.
Dr. Katbi is an educator and healer who loves guiding families to understand a healthy and mindful lifestyle. This love of healing has led her to write her upcoming book, Just What The Doctor Ordered: The Five Pillars of Optimal Health.
Born and raised in the small Mediterranean city of Latakia, Syria, she attended medical school and finished top of her class. She emigrated to the United States to become American Board certified in Pediatrics.
Additionally, she trained at the prestigious University of Chicago, Illinois, where she completed her residency and served another year as chief resident. Dr. Katbi has three children, and in her downtime, she practices her five pillars teachings through her hobbies, including gardening, nature walks, biking, reading, yoga, and writing.


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