Here’s a fresh take on veggies, a fruit for dessert, a sandwich spread or cream sauce and even hot cocoa and an ambrosia salad, thanks to DaVita dietitian Lynn from Maryland. Little extras can round out a meal, and that’s what Lynn’s grouping of five kidney-friendly recipes is all about. Mix and match to turn your kidney diet from routine to remarkable. Start the day with Multigrain Hot Cereal, followed at lunch or dinner with the veggie side dish, Vegetable Casserole Delite, and end with baked fruit for dessert, Quick-Baked Cinnamon Apple. Looking for a tasty sauce, salad dressing or sandwich spread? Lynn’s Reduced-Fat Low-Sodium Mayonnaise Spread does the trick. Refreshing Orange Pineapple Ambrosia Salad can be served with the main course or saved for dessert. And, who doesn’t love a steaming hot mug of Fabulous Hot Cocoa?
Lynn hails from Philadelphia. She met a dietitian by chance, when she was in high school. The dietitian spoke so positively about her profession; Lynn was inspired to research it as a career. Lynn attended Immaculata College in Pennsylvania, and while on her first hospital job, had the renal floor as her assignment. “I knew there was so much clinical nutrition needed, and proper diet was so much a part of patient success, that I looked into working at a dialysis center,” reports Lynn.
Being a renal dietitian was a good fit for Lynn who enjoys building relationships with her patients. She says, “I enjoy seeing changes and improvements in patients. The nice thing about an outpatient clinic is seeing the same people and working with them regularly.”
Lynn states that the single most important thing kidney patients can do to improve health is be compliant with their dialysis regimen. In addition to going to dialysis treatments and staying on the full time, she also emphasizes the importance of understanding and adhering to the dialysis diet. Lynn states, “I’ve worked at DaVita for six years now and the most challenging aspect of my job is trying to find the right approach to education that suits a patient’s individual needs. I spend quality time with patients and their families. Through proper education, compassion and caring, patients make a connection with our staff.”
“The most rewarding aspect of being a renal dietitian is helping someone achieve normal lab ranges,” shares Lynn, adding, “Little successes are something to cheer about.” Even when lab results aren’t what they should be, Lynn states, “I try to remain positive, even when there are slip-ups. Everyone has them now and then. I always remind patients they are human, and help them get back on track.”
It helps to share information in fresh, new ways, so Lynn had a chef come to her dialysis clinic and cook a sample meal from a renal cookbook for all of the patients to try. Afterward, each patient received a copy of the cookbook. “This event was extremely well-received by the patients, caregivers and staff,” shares Lynn.
When it comes to working at her DaVita clinic, Lynn says, “My center is special because it’s small and rural, and everyone knows one another. Most of our staff lives here. I enjoy the resources and education made available to clinicians by DaVita.” She also has taken advantage of other opportunities. “I applied for, and received, a DaVita research grant. I was able to perform my own research study in our clinic, and work it through to completion. This was such a rewarding learning experience,” shares Lynn.
Check out one or all five of Lynn’s recipe quintet for some original ideas to bring to your dinner table — Quick-Baked Cinnamon Apple, Vegetable Casserole Delite, Reduced-Fat Low-Sodium Mayonnaise Spread, Fabulous Hot Cocoa and Orange Pineapple Ambrosia Salad.