Spicy cucumber salsa really dresses up broiled fish. Fresh cilantro, lime juice and garlic are just some of the zesty ingredients Sarah, a DaVita renal dietitian from New York, uses to transform plain fish fillets into an incredibly delicious dish, Broiled Haddock with Cucumber Salsa.
Sarah from New York originally hailed from Connecticut. She attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island for Culinary-Arts and Culinary-Nutrition. “I went to a culinary school and when cooking abroad in Europe, I got the chance to work with the dietitian of England’s World Cup Soccer Team. I knew leaving there that my career path would be nutrition,” shares Sarah.
Sarah’s culinary training led her to start creating kidney-friendly recipes. She says, “During my internship, I was determined to be able to help dialysis patients understand the components of the renal diet. I also wanted patients to feel that there were food options available, and that the diet could be quite palatable. I followed up my internship with a renal fellowship and started creating recipes.”
Maintaining a friendly and caring disposition is how Sarah says she tries to make a difference in her patients’ lives. She tells, “I take time to listen to their concerns, even if they are not nutrition-related, and then follow through in providing responses to their concerns. I also maintain confidentiality during all discussions.” While working with patients, Sarah says “I try to watch their body language to gage their comfort level in the discussion. I give them time to develop that trust in me. I also take the time and try to explain their treatments, labs and dietary restrictions in terms they will understand and can learn from.”
She loves the diversity of her center and all the unique personalities of her patients. Although, Sarah admits, “The most challenging aspect of my job is molding the diet to a variety of cultural backgrounds.”
“I’ve worked at DaVita for one year and enjoy the patient and teammate interaction. Our hemodialysis unit is two floors high, with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the George Washington Bridge on the Hudson River. Our center has been through some challenging changes over the past year, but what impresses me is that all the teammates maintain strong working friendships and continue to support each other throughout all obstacles.”
Sarah offers this advice to her patients, “The most important thing you can do to improve your health is to be open-minded to try new foods.” Take Sarah’s advice and try her fantastic recipe for Broiled Haddock with Cucumber Salsa. This culinary-trained, renal dietitian knows what tastes good and what’s good for you.