Whip up some Ratatouille or Turkey-Vegetable Chili by DaVita dietitian Robin from Connecticut. She says both recipes passed her patients’ taste-test with flying colors. Robin’s vegetable Ratatouille delivers big flavor in well under an hour. You can eat it as a side dish or add pasta (small shells, bow ties or elbows) or make it a complete meal by adding cooked ground turkey, chicken or beef. Use heart-healthy canola or olive oil in the skillet to add calories and healthy fats.
Dietetics attracted Robin as a career option because she was always interested in renal and wanted to learn more about it. “I had been in management for many years, but with small children, the hours and [scheduling] made being a renal dietitian even more attractive.
Robin is originally from the Morris Cove section of New Haven, Connecticut and attended college in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Just last year, she earned her MAED in Curriculum and Instruction. She feels that this has helped her better educate her patients. Now she is pursuing a Masters in Health Administration. She has been with DaVita since 2001. The most challenging aspect of her job is “trying to get patients to comply consistently” . She says, “I would describe my approach as firm, but with humor. You could also call it Tough Love. When I introduce a new recipe to my patients, they ask me to come home and prepare it for them!”
The most rewarding aspect of being a renal dietitian for Robin is, “seeing patients feel better once they realize that they can and do have control over their diets and their lives. I try to get across that compliance will improve how they feel.” The single most important thing patients can do to improve their lives is, as Robin says, “Take control and change behaviors. I try to be repetitive and not overwhelm patients’ with information.”
Robin has been with DaVita for 9 years, and affirms that daily interaction with her patients and teammates is what appeals most. “What I most enjoy about working at DaVita is the team and the entire Village. Our team strives to improve patients’ daily lives, and creativity is used to motivate patients as well as staff. ” Robin also appreciates working for DaVita. “The support given by the company to dietitians is nothing but phenomenal.” She loves the location of her center, which is across from the Thames River. “We can see boats and cruise ships sailing into port from here. We are close to the casinos, mountains, Newport, Rhode Island and other attractions.”
Ratatouille and Turkey-Vegetable Chili are sure to be main attractions on your dinner table. Both are recommended for a kidney diet with a liberal potassium allowance, but they also make a healthy meal to satisfy the whole family. Save some to heat up for lunch the next day too.