Diet Warriors: Lunch with microbiome expert Dr. David Suskind

He is a research pioneer, a beloved pediatric gastroenterologist, a professor who authored two popular books, a busy creator and innovator in his field, and a dedicated family man…  One must wonder how he finds the time to eat and sleep at all ?  Turns out that like many other high achievers, Dr. Suskind is adhering to a thoughtful and precise diet that fuels his energy and enables him to thrive in all his areas of interest.

He is leading a national effort to integrate nutritional therapy into clinical care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease and studying the effect of dietary therapy in inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Suskind created the site Nimbal,  to help healthcare providers and patients integrate dietary therapy as treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The site includes helpful videos, basic guidelines and practical advice to help navigate the challenges of dietary therapy, and is commonly used as reference when new patients embark on the diet.

In 2015 he published the book Nutrition in Immune Balance (NIMBAL) Therapy , a practical guide for patients and their families. Copies of the book were sent to every pediatric gastroenterologist in the United States.

In efforts to educate young patients around the world Dr. Suskind also wrote a comic book Professor Nimbal: Explorations in Crohn’s and Colitis, to teach about IBD, the microbiome and healthy nutrition. The comic book is also available as a free download in multiple languages.

Q: Dr. Suskind, we know that most successful people chose to adhere to a diet that helps them achieve peak performance. How can diet effect performance in your own field?Can you be a better doctor when adhering to a healthy diet?

This is such a great question.  We all know that diet affects the way we perform, how we use our brains and body and how we feel about ourselves.  The right diet, one that is balanced, filled with whole food and fruits and vegetables is going to help you, me and everyone else be the best they can be. 

Q: What personal dietary style or dietary restrictions do you chose to follow, based on your own body needs?

I focus on a whole foods diet with an emphasis on salads and vegetables with low simple carbohydrates.  I find that this dietary practice makes me feel good, gives me the energy I need to accomplish all my tasks.  Most importantly, this helps keep my diabetes under control.

Q: Do you take your own food to work?

I do bring lunch to work every day which usually is leftovers from dinner or giant salad with some type of protein on top.

Q: Do you like to cook or bake? What food do you enjoy preparing?

I don’t cook or bake much however; I have a wife and daughter who love to cook and I LOVE eating my wife’s breakfast muffins which are delicious and SCD approved.

Q: What are your favorite vegetables? How do you like them prepared?

I love all vegetables.  I do not think I have a favorite but I do love getting a variety dependent on the season.  Arugula during the spring, cucumbers in the summer, acorn squash in the fall, Kale in the winter… and carrots all the time!

 Q: Do you enjoy visiting farmer markets, gardening, or any other food related activities?

During the spring and summer, I go with my family almost every weekend to our local farmers markets.  I love to see all the different varieties of fruits and vegetables, sample the local farmers delicacies and talk with the local farmers about their love of foods and cooking.

Q: What other helpful lifestyle choices do you choose to follow in order to ‘show up’ at peak performance in your personal and professional life?  

Getting enough sleep every night is so important for optimal performance.  So is hugging those people close to you and laughing, a lot, every day.   

Q: How can we empower people, young and old, to learn about the power of good food and adhere to a diet that works best for each individual?

I think by challenging folks to try a healthy diet for just a month and letting them experience the feelings of wellbeing and great health is the best way to pitch this lifestyle.  Its hard to go back to eating processed foods and feeling crummy after that!

Dr. Suskind’s Gut healthy Muffins

 These muffins are made with almond flour squash and bananas. The recipe was created for me by my wife Rebecca Davis-Suskind. I fell in love with these muffins when I initially trialed the SCD and still eat them for breakfast. We make a large batch on most Sundays’

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 cup cooked fresh squash
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Approximately 1 ½ cup FROZEN Blueberries

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Combine almond meal, salt, baking soda in bowel
  • In separate bowl beat eggs
  • Combine bananas, squash and oil in food processor then stir in eggs
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients
  • Stir in FROZEN blueberries
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes

More about Dr. Suskind:

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