Dr. Blake Shusterman, aka "The Cooking Doc" holds two steak knives

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.


  • Nadya Rousseau

    Entrepreneur | Writer | Producer

    Alter New Media

    A storyteller since childhood, Nadya Rousseau worked as a professional actor, freelance journalist, and multimedia producer before pivoting to digital marketing and business development. To date, Nadya has worked with clients ranging from startups, to nationally recognized law firms, to nonprofits, to entertainers and more. In late 2016, Nadya founded a purpose-forward global digital marketing & PR agency, Alter New Media. The agency has its own influencer board, representing influencers worldwide. Nadya also has a best-selling Instagram growth and management service, Instagram Rockstar, that since its launch on the "Fiverr PRO" platform in late 2017, has serviced over 400 customers. Verticals served range from tech, fashion/beauty, cannabis, consumer, professional services, and many more. Nadya's opinions on business, entrepreneurship, and marketing have been featured in Forbes, American Express Open Forum, Voyage LA, and Honeysuckle Magazine. Nadya has additionally partnered with several influential social media campaigns, including The Nylon Project’s fashion initiative “#Itcanbeyou” to raise awareness about the homelessness epidemic and is highly active with nonprofit organizations via the creation of "purposeful partnerships" via ANM. Alter New Media is an in-kind partner for StartOut, the nation's largest organization serving LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. Through her storytelling-based strategies, Nadya has successfully taken her clients’ social media reach from non-existent to in the thousands, landing them new customers, partnerships, and revenue. Her purpose? To help her clients achieve their business goals while also making a difference in the world. For Thrive, Nadya covers entrepreneurship, identity, and lifestyle.