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Interview with Dr. Susan Blum | Organic Pharmer

My name is: 

Susan Blum

dr susan blum founder of blum center for health helping people heal from autoimmune disease

I’m a: 

Mindful mother, wife, and doctor, who still practices medicine while also doing service work in communities and offering health and wellness education through various platforms.

My morning routine goes something like this:

Wake up, make my green tea, take it to my dedicated meditation space.  Sit and drink quietly for 5-10 minutes, then meditate for 20 minutes. Next I have my shot of espresso, and on most days (5 days/week) go for a power walk up and down our hilly neighborhood for 45 minutes, with my dog Trixie.  

Come home and make my green smoothie:

  • ½ apple

  •  ½ lemon (peeled, but including the flesh)

  • 2 tbs. hemp seeds

  • 1 tbs. sunflower seeds

  • Sprig of fresh rosemary

  • Handful of baby kale

  • Handful of baby spinach and water.

Then off to work!

Coffee or tea? 


My diet is primarily: 

Gluten and dairy free vegetarian. On occasion, I have a little fish if I am traveling and stuck for what to eat.

In my fridge, I always have: 

Fermented beets, tahini, olives, lemons, mineral water, salad fixings (mixed greens, radicchio, cucumber, celery, peppers, scallions, radishes, fennel) avocado.

Pantry staples are: 

  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds - I sprinkle them on everything, especially my salad!

  • EVOO, coconut oil, coconut milk for cooking, iodized salt

  • Organic millet, quinoa (red and white, brown rice, ramen noodles from Lotus foods, lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans, cannellini beans.

  • Mary’s Gone Crackers

Go-to breakfast: 

Green smoothie (*recipe above)

Lunch is normally:

A big salad: mixed greens, radicchio, cucumber, celery, peppers, scallions, radishes, fennel, avocado, olives, sunflower and pumpkin seeds; chickpeas or other legume that I made for dinner the night before. I just throw a few tbs. on top. Olive oil and lemon salad dressing. I eat this pretty much every day!!

Snacks: take em or leave em? 

I don’t generally snack, but in the office we sometimes pass around the dark chocolate at 4:00!  If I’m home, I might have a few Mary’s Gone Crackers with fresh avocado, or some veggies with tahini dip.  

I’ve been practicing Time Restricted eating for the past year and don’t eat after dinner any more.  This has made a huge difference in my ability to keep my weight stable and have lots of energy! I don’t eat from 7 pm until 11 am every day unless I am traveling or eating out.

Dinner is often: 

I’m very boring, in that we have a schedule that we follow at home to make it easy to shop and plan and not stress about meals.

I always have stir-fry veggies every night.  I love leeks, onions, mushrooms as a base and then rotate different nights, might be bok-choy, one night or broccoli and chard another, or asparagus and peppers.  I am very adventurous!  

On tofu nights, it’s a spicy asian cabbage stir fry! 

For carbs:  Sometimes a ½ purple potato (they are awesome!) or quinoa, or the millet and rice ramen noodles.  Sometimes no carbs.  

For protein:  3 nights/week I have ½ cup legumes:  rotate different beans. 2 nights/week I have a sunny side up egg for dinner, and 1 night/week we have Tofu.  And then, we eat out 1 night/week and I try to stay vegan in the restaurant, but about once/month I will have seafood if there is nothing else to eat on the menu!

My favorite way to get my sweat on is: 

Going for a power walk/jog with my dog Trixie, up and down the hills in my area, sometimes to the neighboring nature preserve. I love heading outside. During the winter, I use our Peloton and take classes because it’s too cold to go outside!

Favorite way to downshift: 

I meditate every morning for 20 minutes. I have been an avid meditation practitioner for 25 years and it is an important part of my life and keeps me grounded and mindful.

Supplements I can’t live without:

  • B complex

  • Vitamin D

  • Magnesium

  • Cod Liver oil

  • CoQ10

On a Friday night, you can find me: 

Having Shabbat dinner at home with my husband and sometimes with family and/or friends, drinking a glass of wine and unwinding from the week.

Words to live by/life philosophy: 

A few favorite quotes:

 “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E Frankl. 

“If you don’t change direction, you will end up where you are heading”  Lao Tsu.

Susan Blum, MD, MPH is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Founder and Director of Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, New York, where she leads a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nutritionists and health coaches to provide cutting edge Functional and Integrative Medicine services. She’s also the author of two books, The Immune System Recovery Plan (Scribner; 2013), and Healing Arthritis (Scribner; 2017).

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