Roasted Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables by Sarah from California

There are many stories and legends surrounding rosemary, but one thing is for sure: it makes the perfect addition to baked chicken! DaVita dietitian Sarah from California offers a kidney-friendly recipe for Roasted Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables for you to share with your family or dinner guests. Almost a meal in itself, this dish perfectly combines fresh vegetables and chicken, plus fragrant rosemary and a hint of garlic. It's an easy-to-make entrée that’ll earn the cook rave reviews! 

Sarah became interested in the nutritional properties of food early in life. Growing up in California, she says that her mother always hounded her to eat her vegetables. “The curious child in me wanted to know why?” Sarah remembers.

Her interests in nutrition and helping others led Sarah to study dietetics at the University of California at Berkley. “I was raised in the church with my mother later becoming a pastor,” explains Sarah. “I have a true desire to help people. In college I took my first nutrition course and fell in love with dietetics. I knew this was the way I was going to help others!”

Early on, Sarah identified a desire to work in the renal field. “In my internship, I quickly decided I wanted to do outpatient nutrition where I could build relationships and aid people with true lifestyle changes,” recalls Sarah. “Once I had my renal rotation, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the complexity and impact of nutrition on ESRD, coupled with the true rapport and relationships I get to build with my patients.”

For this DaVita dietitian, the most challenging aspect of her job – finding new ways to teach and motivate her patients – is also the most rewarding.

Sarah makes a difference in the lives of her patients by giving them the tools to improve their health and their lives. “I teach them the skills to take the best care of themselves possible, and hopefully improve their quality of life by showing them a diet that works for them,” she says.

All of Sarah’s hard work pays off when she sees her patients doing well and feeling good. “I most enjoy the smiles! Knowing that I have been blessed to be a part of their lives and,hopefully,help them improve their health and outcomes is what I most enjoy,” declares Sarah. 

Seeing her patients as unique individuals helps Sarah design customized programs for them. “I try to cater the diet to each patient by getting to know the person and their particular challenges, barriers and desires so that I can help them improve the quality of their lives,” Sarah affirms.

The most important thing Sarah tells her patients is not to focus on the word diet. “Don’t think of it as a renal d-i-e-t” she tells them. “Diet is a bad, four-letter word,” she explains. “Instead, the perception of taking medications and eating (or not eating) certain foods is just the lifestyle that you choose to live.”

Always searching for new and effective ways to educate her patients, Sarah gives a thumbs up to low-phosphorus bingo. “Playing low-phosphorus bingo is a hit at our clinic! My patients are always asking when we can play again,” she says with a smile. “Plus, many will ask ‘Oh, I can eat (fill in the blank)? I didn’t know that!’”

Sarah’s been with DaVita for three years now and says that what she likes most about the company is that fun is a core value. “I truly believe that the best learning happens when we are having fun!” she exclaims.  

She says that the Union City, California, center where she works is special because of the people – both teammates and patients. She also likes the beautiful streets she takes to get there, the fact that it’s a large unit and their attractively redone conference room.

The most surprising thing she’s learned since she started working at DaVita is that “knowing the consequences of our labs/conditions doesn’t always, by itself, result in proactive change.”

Sarah feels a connection with her teammates and patients every day, but one holiday really stands out in her memory. “This Christmas we got a huge tree in the lobby, and we ALL got to help decorate it! It was great being there with my teammates and patients putting on the ornaments,” Sarah recalls. “It truly felt like my home away from home! And just to close the deal, we had Christmas carolers at our unit, and I had the pleasure of watching (and singing along with) my patients as they dialyzed. It is my dialysis family!”

Thanks to Sarah, it’s quick and easy to serve up a nutritious, kidney-friendly entrée that’ll please everybody. Her recipe for yummy Roasted Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables smells heavenly and tastes divine!




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