Jill, a DaVita renal dietitian from California, shares three simple, exciting and delicious recipes that combine new flavors and create wholesome meals. Fruited Curry Chicken Salad has savory flavors mixed with a delightful crunch. This dish has a hint of eastern spice and combines apples and grapes both excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Crispy Eggplant French Fries are an innovative substitute to the high-potassium potato and provide an excellent source of fiber, an important part of any meal plan. Lastly, you’ll have to try the mouthwatering Feta Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus. These recipes, like great art, can inspire, delight and spark good conversation.
Watching a great film, seeing a beautiful piece of artwork or getting healthy from great medical care have a common thread. Every scenic movie, lush painting and helpful medical treatment was created by someone with great vision. Jill has the same clarity when it comes to helping her patients achieve better health and learning about nutritious food. “I make the biggest difference by maintaining a positive attitude when I talk to patients and try to empower them to take small steps to improve their nutritional status and diet,” she says.
Keeping her eye on the big picture is Jill’s specialty. “I approach the patient and communicate on a level that matches their stage of change. For most patients, small amounts of information at frequent intervals works better,” reveals Jill.
Keeping patients on track for sustained health is a top goal. Jill shares, “I like talking with my patients often which gives me a clearer understanding of the barriers they have in their lives. I can see positive change over several months rather than one or two visits.” Jill also emphasizes how diet works with the dialysis treatment to keep patients healthy. “The most important thing patients can do to improve their health is attend hemodialysis treatments as prescribed and do the time that is prescribed. I can’t help patients if they don’t come to the clinic,” she states.
Maintaining a kidney-friendly lifestyle guarantees the need for change and often it overwhelms patients. Jill’s expertise and caring personality helps make the transition smoother. “The most challenging aspect of my job is facilitating behavior change in patients especially with controlling phosphorus levels. On the other hand, the most rewarding aspects of my job are seeing clinic outcome scores improve and receiving DaVita awards.”
There are plenty of awards for everyone at Jill’s DaVita dialysis center. She has innovative ways to educate and inspire her patients. Jill says, “I have a contest where patients receive tickets for normal phosphorus and albumin levels. Tickets can be used to buy DaVita pillows, blankets, lunch bags, umbrellas, t-shirts, etc.”
Jill sees the big picture for herself too. “I was pre-med/nutritional science in college and was always interested in health and fitness. I continued onto graduate school after my bachelor’s degree to decide whether to apply to medical school or a dietetic internship. I decided after seven years of college that nutrition was a better fit for me and my lifestyle,” shares Jill.
DaVita and Jill have the same purpose, keeping patients happy and healthy. “I feel that DaVita wants to do the right thing for the patients and I appreciate DaVita’s Core Values,” she says.
Jill hopes at least one of her kidney-friendly recipes will make you happy and keep you healthy. She features the flavors of India in Fruited Curry Chicken Salad; a new dialysis diet spin on the French/American potato favorite with Crispy Eggplant French Fries; and she brings the best of Italy and Greece in Feta Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus.