DaVita dietitian Maryann from Virginia says the single most important thing patients can do to improve their health is, “Get involved.” And, since Maryann believes “Good nutrition is key to feeling well,” she’s sharing two sensational recipes to help you get involved with eating well on your dialysis diet. First is Mr. P’s Curried Turkey with Rice, a pleasantly spicy and aromatic Indian dish. Second is Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, sweet and creamy pumpkin deliciousness with a crumb crust.
Prior to joining DaVita, Maryann worked as a hospital dietitian in Fulton, New York where she became a Certified Diabetes Educator. “This expertise is very valuable in working with patients on dialysis, since 40–50% of the people on dialysis have diabetes,” she said. “I find the most challenging aspect of my job the combination of renal and diabetic diets, which can be difficult to understand and manage. I enjoy helping patients fit the diet into their lives.“ Maryann said, adding, “Many of my patients don’t appreciate the fact that complications from diabetes continue even after they have started dialysis. I can help them combine these two diets and still enjoy eating with their families.”
It’s always rewarding for a renal dietitian to see patients start to feel better when they are compliant on the dialysis diet. Maryann says controlling phosphorus can be a challenge for dialysis patients. So when lab results are in line and patients report feeling better, Maryann encourages patients to keep up the good work. Maryann states, “Working in dialysis makes me appreciate how difficult it is to live with a chronic illness.”
Maryann’s DaVita center boasts an international atmosphere. “The patients come from more than 15 different countries,” she said. “They have led such interesting lives and have many stories to tell.” One of her patients, Mr. P, shared his family’s favorite Curried Turkey with Rice recipe that was modified to fit the dialysis diet. Maryann notes, “It is rich in protein, low in sodium and phosphorus. In addition, it has a pleasant spicy aroma because of the garam masala, an Indian spice, used in the preparation.”
Working with her DaVita teammates in Maryann’s center has been a wonderful experience for her. “Although we are small, we are a warm, caring family,” says Maryann, adding, “At my unit I have noticed a true team effort. I am impressed with how well the teammates know all the patients, their diets and their medications. The teammates at my center work so well as a team and demonstrate genuine caring for their patients.”
Try Maryann’s tasty recipes for Mr. P’s Curried Turkey and Rice and, when you want a sweet treat, Pumpkin Cheesecakes Bars. Both recipes will spice up your dialysis diet and help keep you feeling good and healthy.