You can never have too many dessert recipes, and DaVita renal dietitian Dora from Texas offers up two great choices that are sure to please everyone in your house, even those following the kidney diet. Both of Dora’s dessert recipes use simple, everyday ingredients, but the results are anything but ordinary. Dora’s Lemon Icebox Pie has a luscious sweet-yet-tangy lemon flavor enhanced by a crispy graham cracker crust and creamy whipped topping. Her Strawberry-Applesauce Gelatin Dessert has just four ingredients so you can whip it up in minutes. Its sweet strawberry taste is enhanced by the surprise of red hot candy flavor.
A native Texan, Dora attended Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and then went on to pursue a career in dietetics. “I became a dietitian for a couple of reasons,” Dora explains. “I love cooking and knowing about foods and how they are used in the body. I probably would have become a nurse, but my vision is such that I could not do that.”
Dora came to work for DaVita in 2010 and finds that she really enjoys the renal field, because it gives her a chance to get to know her patients and make a continuing impact on their health. “I have worked as a dietitian in a few different settings,” Dora relates. “The main setting was in the hospital. This setting does not allow for much continuity of care, or for getting to know the patients. The renal setting allows for both.”
Although she loves what she does, developing a rapport with her clients can sometimes take special effort on Dora’s part. “The most challenging aspect of my job is getting to know some of my patients. Some of them are very reserved,” Dora says.
To break through that reserve, Dora says the approach she uses with her patients is humor. “I love to joke and cut up with them to break the ice,” says Dora. “I try to find a way to impart humor into the conversation, or I try to reflect with them on a personal note. It could be a compliment or some other personal means to interact with them.”
This DaVita dietitian is always there to support her patients in any way she can. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is being able to be there for support and encouragement on a personal level as well as a nutritional level,” relates Dora.
Dora freely shares with her patients aspects of her own life that have proved challenging. “I hope I make a difference in my patients’ lives by sharing myself with them regarding my visual impairment in showing them that a person can still be productive even though there is a significant barrier or obstacle to overcome,” Dora explains.
This sharing of life experiences is what brings Dora the most job satisfaction. “What I enjoy most about working with my patients is the ability to share our lives and the ability to provide support and tips to improve their everyday lives,” reveals Dora.
While interacting with her patients, Dora stresses self-empowerment. “I think the most important thing patients can do to improve their health is to be proactive in their treatment by taking responsibility and acquiring as much knowledge as they can,” Dora explains. “I feel knowledge is the key to succeeding in any situation. The more a patient knows, the more they can be proactive.”
Although she’s been with DaVita a short time, Dora has already had her eyes opened regarding dialysis. “I guess the most surprising thing I have learned since I started working at DaVita is the number of people who are on dialysis,” says Dora.
The DaVita center where Dora works is one of the largest DaVita centers in the U.S. Even so, the camaraderie of the team members is strong. “I enjoy the friendliness of the other team mates,” states Dora. “I enjoy all of the support that is available.”
The next time you’re looking for a way to indulge without blowing your kidney-friendly eating plan, try one of Dora’s easy-to-make dessert recipes for a special treat that only tastes sinful!