Know Your Heroes: Sarah Martel

Name: Sarah Martel
Title: Registered Dietitian (Hemodialysis & Peritoneal Dialysis)
Number of years working in health care: 3
I was born and raised in: Barrie

I decided to get into health care because I wanted to make a difference and help people. It’s cliché, but true. I always enjoyed science, baking/cooking and I LOVED talking. Becoming a dietitian just made sense because I get to help people apply nutrition science in their day-to-day lives and I get to talk about food as much as I want!

My role here at UHN is in the outpatient hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis units. I see patients who have end stage kidney disease, assess their nutritional status and then provide appropriate nutrition counselling. My patients have many dietary restrictions because their kidneys can’t filter out certain nutrients like phosphorus and potassium. So I help them incorporate these necessary restrictions to keep them safe, but in way where they can still enjoy their favourite foods and maintain quality of life.

The thing I love the most about my job is getting to connect with people from all walks of life, and helping them make healthy eating easier regardless of what specialized diet they are on. There are so many misconceptions about dietitians and nutrition in general, so I love helping patients realize nutrition doesn’t have to be over complicated and that balance is key to an enjoyable sustainable diet.

The most incredible thing I’ve seen at work is the endless time, patience and knowledge UHN staff and employees put into the care of our patients. It’s incredible to watch patients have complete 180s in their condition/health and I’m just glad to be a part of it.

One of my personal heroes is my mom who has shown me the true meaning of courage and resilience in her battles with mental health. She has always been the first person to pick me up when I was down, even when feeling down herself. I am forever grateful for her love and endless support.

I’m sometimes worried about burnout, and it happening at too young of an age.

I’ve found joy recently from creating approachable nutrition content on social media, and connecting with people in my community and beyond. I’ve had so much sharing affordable grocery hauls, nutrition tips & tricks, and debunking nutrition misinformation. I feel great knowing I can help make healthy eating easier for people beyond my day to day practice. Follow along @savourwithsarah

My favourite movie is Bridesmaids, because it doesn’t stop being funny no matter how many times I watch it!

My ideal day off starts with a workout class or run, followed by checking out a new coffee shop or brunch restaurant in the city. In the afternoon I’d be hanging in the park with some friends or family before cooking a new recipe with my partner!

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