Sodexo: Face Your Fears to Find New Opportunities, Passion in Your Career

Originally Published by Sodexo.

My name is Ki Keys, and I am a NYC Sodexo Dietetic Intern. I am based at Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Hospital (HMMS), located in Montclair, NJ and have the best commute among my DI cohort. It’s less than 10 minutes door-to-door!

As a longtime resident of Montclair, it’s rewarding to be helping my neighbors as they face various health conditions.

To date, I have encountered patients with cardiovascular, renal, diabetic, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, bariatric, and pancreatic disorders. I have also worked with those who have more severe complications requiring tube feeding, parenteral nutrition, and mechanical ventilation. It’s remarkable how far I have come in three short months.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I entered the clinical rotations with great trepidation, but I learned that I really enjoy meeting new patients, learning about their challenges, and providing information about how nutrition impacts their conditions. Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying my rotations, especially the advanced one. Diseases requiring inventive solutions that demand complex feeding calculations and beckon me to crank away at the calculator are very exciting!

Do you know what’s even more exciting Transforming food ingredients into a delicious and nutritious dish. As a part of my hospital’s monthly community nutrition event “Harvesting Fall Flavors,” I had an opportunity to create turkey spring rolls using leftover turkey, complete with a cranberry dipping sauce, repurposed leftover condiment spiced with hot chili oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar. An appetizer made of roasted sweet potato disks topped with ricotta cheese, roasted pecans and fall spices was also served, and dark chocolate bites rounded out the menu for dessert.

I believe live demonstrations are a great way to foster healthy cooking and eating. Breaking down cooking to step-by-step instructions can empower individuals to prepare meals using fresh, whole ingredients. I’ve encountered countless patients who fear cooking because they see it as daunting and unconquerable. I look forward to continuing to share my love of food and cooking with as many patients who are willing to listen.

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