Spinach-Mandarin Salad by Barbara from Oklahoma

Mom said to do it. Popeye swore by it. Eating spinach can be healthy, but the taste can leave you flat. It doesn’t have to be that way, says DaVita dietitian Barbara from Oklahoma, and she proves it with a recipe that packs a crunchy punch—Spinach-Mandarin Salad.

Originally from Tulsa, Barbara attended Oklahoma State University and interned at the University of Alabama Hospitals in Birmingham. Barbara soon realized that few dietitians had knowledge of the renal field, and she found working with the dialysis patient population very rewarding. She developed a firm belief that nutrition was beneficial and essential for good health.

Barbara says the most challenging aspect of her job is working with patients who have never followed any kind of diet, even though they may have been told to do so by health care providers. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is working with patients so they gain more information, understanding and compliance with their diets. I teach them how eating better will help them feel better. I am amazed at how much renal diets have changed and advanced in the last 30 years.”

“I enjoy gaining my patients’ trust and respect. When we have that, communication becomes much more meaningful and positive. My approach with patients has always been honest and factual. And that’s how I prefer to be treated. A positive approach to dealing with disease is the single most important thing a patient can do for their health, in my opinion. This includes taking their diet seriously and being compliant with medications,” shares Barbara.

Truly proud of her center, Barbara points out that it is located in the center of the Native American Creek Indian Nation. According to Barbara, “DaVita management makes every effort to do what they say they are going to do with employees, patients and the physician community. I have come to learn over three-plus years that the company makes patients’ health and their quality of life its primary goal.”

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