Maybe living in the Nevada desert has something to do with DaVita renal dietitian, Elaine’s, fondness for cool dishes. She’s provided two unique recipes that she has modified for the kidney diet so dialysis patients can enjoy a taste of the good life. Nevada’s Best Tangy Coleslaw and Cherry Sweetheart Dessert are two colorful, cool and delicious additions to any meal as well as healthy choices for people on dialysis.
Elaine started experimenting with food combinations at an early age, and says she became a dietitian because, “I enjoyed the chemistry of foods.” Originally from Brookfield, Wisconsin, Elaine was educated at Colorado State University and University of Utah. Before becoming a renal dietitian with DaVita several years ago, Elaine was a dietitian specialist for children with inborn errors of metabolism. “Helping people live better lives is one of the benefits of being a dietitian,” says Elaine.
Elaine believes the most challenging aspect of her job is educating patients and their families about the dialysis diet and how it affects different aspects of their health. For example, phosphorus levels that are too high may cause heart and bone problems for patients over time. By teaching her patients about limiting foods high in phosphorus, Elaine’s dialysis patients may be able avoid some of the health issues caused by high phosphorus levels in the blood. Sometimes patients can lower their intake of phosphorus just by making recipe modifications. Elaine enjoys telling her patients about alternatives they can use such as substituting a nondairy creamer instead of using high-phosphorus milk.
A respectful approach makes all the difference to Elaine as she works with her patients. Spending time with them to explore new ideas on how to enjoy eating and keep lab results at healthy levels is time well spent. Elaine says that her Nevada-based center has an eclectic population and gets many visitors. She enjoys the diverse cultural backgrounds of the patients she comes in contact with during the course of her work.
Take a tip from Elaine and put Nevada’s Best Tangy Coleslaw on your menu — the crunch factor really adds zing to a meal. And, if a creamy, cherry-rich filling tucked into a flaky pie crust sounds yummy to you, consider adding Cherry Sweetheart Dessert to your menu and enjoy two cool recipes from Elaine.