Carrot and Jicama Salad by Betty from California

Carrots and jicama are an unbeatable team. Both are crunchy root vegetables, and they balance each other with anti-oxidants, vitamin C, no fat and low potassium and phosphorus. Betty from California tosses grated carrot and jicama together with some white pepper and rice vinegar. The result is a toothsome, colorful salad that clocks in at about 45 calories per cup. Unbeatable! 

The city of Palo Alto, California got its name from a stand of tall redwood trees, in the San Francisco Bay area. The name derives from Spanish. “Palo” means tree, and “alto” means tall. DaVita dietitian Betty from California is originally from the city of Palo Alto which qualifies as a “small town” with under 60,000 residents, even today. Betty’s interest in nutrition led her to college at San Jose State and University of California Irvine. While looking for a change from hospital dietetics, she discovered the renal field. 

DaVita dietitians commonly mention the challenges they face when helping patients understand the dietsolutions they offer as part of their healthcare. Betty is no exception. “Helping patients to understand why controlling certain parts of their diets will enhance their well being, is probably the biggest challenge I face,” she says. The rewards to a career with DaVita are many, and it offers a chance for dietitians to make a difference in patients’ lives. Betty feels the difference she makes at DaVita lies in teaching. “What I enjoy most about working with patients is hearing what they did before ESRD. A gentle approach describes the way I handle working with patients the best,” she adds. 

DaVita patients are exposed to many ways they can take control of their own health. Even small steps or changes in diet can reap big results. In Betty’s opinion, the single most important thing patients can do to improve their healthis to keep active. 

Keeping in mind that Betty emphasizes the importance of teaching, the technique she has found to be effective, helpful and popular, all at the same time, is providingrecipes along with a demonstration of how to prepare, cook and serve a dish. Patients love the variety and interaction, and sometimes they even get to sample! 

For over ten years Betty has worked at DaVita. She truly enjoys the camaraderie, especially with workmates Debbie Benner and Sara Colman. “I am always surprised at how much talent exists in staff,” she enthuses. Betty’s centers are located in Tracy and Stockton, California, about 35 minutes away from each other and linked by the I-5. Betty comments that the teammates there make both centers special. 

Imagine just four ingredients in one healthy salad that calls for a little grating and tossing and you’re done! Carrot and Jicama Salad calls for unseasoned rice vinegar, which is milder and less acidic that the regular North American vinegar. For example, one tablespoon of rice wine vinegar is equal to 1/4 teaspoon of most rice vinegars. Everybody knows that carrots are healthy, but did you know they contain carotene, thatwhen you digest it, becomes Vitamin A? The “A” vitamin is famous for aiding eyesight, and carrots are also helpful for digestion and constipation. White pepper is the last ingredient called for. Why white pepper versus black? Well, white pepper is made of just the seed of the pepper fruit. It has a milder, more refined flavor than black pepper. So there you have it; a unique salad, with some new ingredients that may reveal increased pleasure in eating. Thank you Betty from California! 

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