Berries Napoleon by Marie from Colorado  

The only thing better than a delicious dessert, is one that’s actually good for you. Marie, a DaVita renal dietitian from Colorado, shares her secret to guilt-free treats with Berries Napoleon, a kidney-friendly slice of heaven. Inspired by a recipe from Food Network’s Chef Robin Miller, Marie makes this dessert her own by adapting it to the needs of those on a kidney diet. By substituting Splenda™ for sugar, and light, nondairy, whipped topping for regular whipped cream, she slashes the calorie and phosphorus content without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. Mouthwatering, kidney friendly and simple to prepare, Berries Napoleon is a double berry delight suitable for an emperor.

Raised in a Southern California family devoted to the joys of creating tasty food, Marie came by her interest in nutrition honestly. “I love food and cooking,” she says. “My family owned an Italian restaurant growing up.” She channeled her gourmet background into dietetics by studying at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo because she “wanted to help people by working within the medical field.”

Now a registered dietitian, Marie has been with DaVita working with dialysis patients for just over a year, and works at not one, but two DaVita clinics in Colorado. She treasures the opportunity this gives her to work more closely with kidney patients. “I enjoy the relationship you get to build due to seeing dialysis patients every week,” she says. “I try to make a difference in my patients’ lives with positive social interactions, working with them to improve their labs through diet, and printing monthly kidney-friendly recipes for them.”

Marie uses the DaVita website as a regular resource for kidney-friendly recipes, and encourages her dialysis patients to do the same. “It’s helpful to cook an item from the DaVita website and give patients the recipe to go with it,” she notes.

An active participant in her patients’ wellness, Marie has many recommendations to aid them in improving lab results. “Small portions and moderation are key for avoidance items,” she counsels. She also underlines the importance of diet for people with kidney disease. “Eat a balanced meal following the renal diet and adhere to medication prescriptions,” she advises.

Marie appreciates the intimacy and care at her clinics. “They are very small and very family-like.” She adds that she especially enjoys the team effort at the company. “My dialysis unit’s a tight ship because we work as a team,” she says. “Every month, I make a spreadsheet for my teammates on the patients, their labs and hints for helping them improve. Our numbers are excellent since everyone is able to help.”

One of Marie’s favorite memories working at DaVita reflects the camaraderie that extends back from the patients. “There was a patient here who really contributed to the unit,” she remembers. “She would cook for everyone once a month because she loved giving so much.”

Working at two dialysis centers in a challenging field can seem like a lot, but Marie relishes the rewards of her career. “I love seeing improved outcomes and quality of life in my dialysis patients,” she says.

Marie’s adaptation of Berries Napoleon is sure to improve the quality of everyone’s life. This dessert is delicious and chock full of fresh berries, which are naturally sweet and bursting with juicy antioxidants. A snap to prepare in 10 minutes, Berries Napoleon is a guilt-free indulgence that is suitable for the kidney diet and will be enjoyed by everyone.

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