The more colorful a meal is, the more nutrient-rich it is. And, in the case of Sindu’s recipe for Spicy Bell Pepper Medley, the more flavor-rich as well. Sindu, a DaVita renal dietitian from California, shares her exciting kidney-friendly recipe to help dialysis patients add a little spice to their diets.
Flavorful cuisine is a foundation of Sindu’s culture. “My parents are from South India, a state called Kerala. They moved to Kuwait where I was born and raised, and then I moved to California at age 11. I’ve been in California ever since.” Sindu mixes her traditional Indian flavors, knowledge of the dialysis diet and fresh ingredients to create her savory recipe.
Sindu’s warmth and enthusiasm spills over into all the aspects of her life and career, but it all started with nutrition. “I love food! I’m amazed at what it does to the human body, how nutrients in food can promote health, prevent diseases, control certain disease states and enhance the quality of life.”
Finding the joy in life is something Sindu does with ease. She shares her joy with her patients, which inspires them to follow their dialysis diets. According to Sindu, “A patient once asked me if she could keep a picture of me. I thought it was the most touching and the funniest request I’ve had so far; touching because she felt comfortable with me to ask such a sweet thing. Funny because I guess she wasn’t tired of seeing me several times a week.” Sindu’s diligence pays off. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is interacting with my patients. When patients achieve their goals, I become happier than they do. I enjoy seeing their smiling faces more than anything. When they’re happy, I’m happy,” she says.
Making a difference in her patient’s lives is a natural gift for Sindu. She explains, “I try to help patients in any way I can by listening to their needs and offering ideas on how they can improve their nutritional status and overall health. I believe developing strong relationships with patients and paying special attention to their individual preferences and unique situations is the key to making a difference in their lives. I approach them with a positive light; steering them to live in a way where they control the disease, and not the disease controlling them. Of course, diet plays a major role in this.”
According to Sindu, another major contributor to improving health is a good attitude. “Stay positive,” she advises, adding, “Don’t let renal disease hold you back from a vibrant life.”
Sindu recognizes the challenges many patients face following their diet, and says it’s a challenge for her too. “Getting the patients to consistently believe in their diets is hard. Finding innovative ways to add variety to their intake while staying within the renal guidelines can be difficult, but not impossible,” she states.
Sindu admits she didn’t see herself in her current position. “It was actually a bit of a fluke; I happened to see the job opening online one day and thought I’d venture into this field and learn something new. Coming from a background of public health, this was completely new to me.”
Working as a renal dietitian at DaVita allows Sindu to utilize all of her gifts, including her creativity. “Our clinic held an educational fair in the lobby and we had our patients participate in a low-phosphorus grocery shopping activity. The patients learned a lot from the activity and they won prizes for their efforts as well. The event helped the patients and families learn about the diet visually and hands-on as well.”
Sindu appreciates working at DaVita, explaining, “I like DaVita’s seven core values of Service Excellence, Integrity, Team, Continuous Improvement, Accountability, Fulfillment and Fun. I was surprised at how much DaVita values Fun along with working hard. Both are equally important to DaVita.”
Her dialysis center is important to her, too. “Our patients and teammates make it a special place. Above all, we have a great leader (facility administrator) who holds our team together and encourages us to grow professionally and individually,” shares Sindu.
Add Sindu’s Spicy Bell Pepper Medley to your menu. It’s easy and quick to make and can be a tasty side dish or a satisfying main meal when you add beef, chicken, pork or seafood. Remember, variety is the spice of life, and a little Spicy Bell Pepper Medley will bring zing to your table.