Some folks like chicken, and others prefer beef. Either way, DaVita renal dietitian Kristy from Kansas has got you covered. Creamy Crock-pot® Beef and Noodles is a sure-fire hit, thanks to hearty round steak and cooked egg noodles that are topped with a flavorful sauce made from creamy sour cream, beef broth, fresh mushrooms, Dijon mustard and spices. For the chicken lovers in your family, Kristy’s recipe for Pineapple Glazed Crock-pot® Chicken Thighs offers sweet-and-sour goodness thanks to a blend of pineapple juice, black pepper, brown sugar and low-sodium soy sauce.
A native of Kansas, Kristy attended Kansas State University. Her interest in dietetics began when she was still a child. “My parents were building a house when I was 12 years old. They paid me 25 cents for each meal I cooked while they worked on the house,” Kristy remembers. “I enjoyed coming up with something creative, and I loved the look on my parents’ faces when they liked what I cooked. I continued to enjoy working with food. Once I got to college, I knew I wanted to work with people and help them enjoy food. Dietetics was a perfect fit for me (although it took me a little while to be OK with the amount of science I needed to take).”
The renal field appealed to Kristy because of the opportunities to establish on-going relationships with patients. “I worked in a hospital setting for many years,” Kristy explains, “but I was looking for a different setting where I could get to know the patients and their families. That’s what I like most about my job with DaVita.”
Kristy has learned that good communication is at the heart of the dietitian-patient relationship. “I make a difference in patients’ lives by taking the time to just listen,” says Kristy. “I try to remember that what is on my agenda is not always what is on their agenda.”
This renal dietitian always keeps her focus on the positive. “My approach to working with patients is all about encouraging them to come to the conclusion of what they can do to benefit their own health,” Kristy explains.
“The most challenging aspect of my job is setting reasonable goals,” says Kristy. “But it’s so rewarding to see our patients work hard to get to a goal and then celebrating when they make it there!”
A newbie with DaVita, Kristy has been working at the DaVita center in Lawrence, Kansas, for less than a year, but is really enjoying herself. “We try to have fun while we work!” she exclaims. “Although spending time on dialysis is not always something our patients look forward to, we try to make the treatments here a little more pleasant by keeping a smile on our face and laughing with the patients.”
Even if you’re cooking for someone on the renal diet, dinnertime can be fun for everyone, thanks to two delicious and kidney-friendly recipes from renal dietitian Kristy. Turn to Crock-pot® Beef and Noodles or Pineapple Glazed Crock-pot® Chicken Thighs when you’re looking for a slow cooker recipe that makes meal preparation easy and dinnertime totally delicious.