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The woman behind the recipes

Have you ever wondered who chooses the mouthwatering recipes for NephroCare for me? Nicole Voigt, 37, puts her heart and soul into her work for our patient magazine. Nicole studied home economics, specialising in nutrition and household management, and joined Fresenius Medical Care in 2003. As a nutritional expert, her responsibilities include the development of kidney-friendly recipes. Nicole also works on the NephroCare for me editorial team. We asked her to tell you a little bit about herself.

Nicole, how do you choose your recipes?

"A focal point of my work is looking for recipes that fit the articles in NephroCare for me, either thematically or seasonally. That is quite a challenge, actually, as I have to think about wintertime recipes in the summer months and summertime recipes in the winter months. Once I’ve found the suitable dishes, I have to recalculate the ingredients to adapt them to the requirements of haemodialysis patients. I may also have to substitute certain ingredients or make adjustments to the preparation. I do that for our patient magazine and also for the online nutrition section on the NephroCare website. For the holiday season, for example, I like to choose something festive and traditional. For my Easter selection this year, I came across a Polish Easter cake. As you can imagine, the original recipe contained a lot of chocolate. I had to change that and still make it taste yummy. It is fun, but a challenge at the same time."

What do you like best about your work?

"Nutrition and the right diet are very important to me. I have always been fascinated by the huge influence food has on our bodies, and, of course, by the accompanying economic and global factors. This applies all the more to people with a chronic disease like kidney failure. I really like the idea of my thoughts and choices of recipes being read all over the world, and that the patients like what I suggest. I hope that I can also contribute to improving their diet by making a difference in the food they choose, the recipes they cook, and how they experiment with new dishes. When I get positive feedback or suggestions for future topics from colleagues or readers in different countries, it really makes my day."

What is your preferred dish? And what things don’t end up on your table?

"Well, in my profession, I should of course say that I only prefer fruit and vegetables (laughs). But to be absolutely honest, I love nibbles, cakes and ice cream. Thank God for my voice of reason inside! It makes sweets an exception, fruit and vegetables a constant, and cereals with oat milk my choice for breakfast. I don’t like liquorice or anything with aniseed, but apart from that I eat almost everything. I try to make sure that my food comes from regional sources and sustainable, organic cultivation. I avoid convenience food wherever possible. I eat the odd burger or a pizza, but prepare most of my meals using fresh ingredients."

Tell us something about your hobbies. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

"I spend a lot of time outside with my dog or hiking, because I enjoy walking in the open air. I also love travelling and was lucky that my parents took me to several different countries and continents when I was a child. I feel comfortable in many different places. Although I don’t have a preference for just one country, in the last couple of years I have really enjoyed spending time in Denmark. We, my partner and I, like the dune and coastal landscape there, and walking at the seaside with our dog.

My second home is Sardinia, where I spend a lot of time pursuing my other hobby of parachuting. I do formation skydiving and train students. It is a wonderful feeling when you plan a dive with your team and all the jump configurations work out. I came across parachuting several years ago because of my fear of heights. I am a big fan of confrontation therapy and always try to climb up a tower if I see one. My fear isn’t completely gone yet, but it is much better."

Is there anything you would like to particularly recommend to our readers?

"Yes: an adapted and sensible diet can have a big impact on your wellbeing. Even minor changes can make a difference. This is also true of other areas. I like to encourage our readers to get on their feet as often as possible, and to spend time out and about in the fresh air. It does a world of good and keeps the spirit healthy, even if it’s only a few steps. It is also a good idea to really think about your diet and approach the clinical staff if you have any questions or doubts. It is worth the effort!"

Explore kidney-friendly recipes in our good food recipe library.