Nephrologists are not typically known for having cooking shows, let alone a growing platform and audience. Then again, many people do not know what a “nephrologist” is. Nephrologists are kidney doctors, and unfortunately in the United States, more than 1 in 7 US adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease.
Dr. Blake Shusterman is a nephrologist on a mission: to get people to fall in love with eating healthy food. “Dr. Blake,” as his patients fondly know him, created his health and wellness platform, The Cooking Doc, to debunk a common myth: healthy food can’t taste good. The Cooking Doc videos not only include healthier alternatives to processed high sodium foods but also informative nutrition videos.
“Can you imagine having your doctor right next to you in the kitchen, telling you what delicious foods you need to try? Well, that’s me.”
Since Dr. Blake launched The Cooking Doc, the platform’s reach has grown in excess of 35,000 between YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. While a large segment of his audience is comprised of people who are simply looking for healthy food tips, many more are suffering from chronic kidney disease or a related issue like diabetes or high blood pressure.
And according to the CDC, 40% of adult Americans are obese, a number that likely would have been inconceivable two decades ago. Dr. Blake, who resides in South Carolina, where there is an extremely high incidence of obesity and related illness, often speaks with patients who not only find healthy eating overwhelming but, a potentially unsavory (pun intended) experience.
When asked why so Americans suffer from poor eating habits, particularly Americans in the South, Dr. Blake says there is no easy or straightforward explanation. Lack of access, local culture, and socioeconomic and racial disparities can all contribute to these issues.
Dr. Blake’s cooking videos, recipes, and no-nonsense advice all connect to his movement #Changeyourbuds, which is also being propelled forward by the American Kidney Fund. American Kidney Fund (AKF) recently partnered with Dr. Blake by way of an exclusive ambassadorship, wherein Dr. Blake will provide recipes and advice to the organization’s recently launched “Kidney Kitchen.”
For Dr. Blake, the partnership is meaningful as AKF has provided tremendous support to his patients throughout the years.
“It’s an honor to be working directly with AKF. By collaborating to expand their sensational Kidney Kitchen, I think we can bring clarity and excitement to the world of healthy and delicious eating for people with kidney disease.”
Dr. Blake wants people to realize that healthy recipes don’t have to default to a bowl steamed broccoli. Many of his recipes are healthier adaptations of favorite comfort foods like muffins, pastas, and stews.
He is not only aiming to inspire people wishing to adopt a lifestyle change. The Cooking Doc also wants other doctors to rethink their approach to medicine: specifically how to better integrate nutritional support into their protocols.
“I am hopeful that I can inspire a new generations of doctors that know how to provide recipes, cooking lessons and practical advice to their patients.”
To learn more about the Cooking Doc so you can also #Changeyourbuds go to his website here.