Eggs, fruit, and fresh green veggies will set a body on the straight and narrow to good nutrition, but what will it taste like? Erin from Illinois answered this question brilliantly with a recipe for Hearty Breakfast Burritos with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa. If you like your japapeno on the mild side, take all the seeds out and use it sparingly. If you’re ready for the firey delights of the hot pepper, leave those seeds in for muy caliente!
Erin wasalways interested in food, and grew up cooking most of the family dinners. She could tell you how many calories were in just about anything. "I just knew that I would be happy in the field of nutrition," she says. "The renal field came to my interest after doing a renal rotation during my internship. The job opportunities just weren’t there in my city, so when I was ready to move and the opportunity for a job in renal nutrition presented itself, I took it."
Originally fromWashington State, Erin grew up in Selah, a small town in central Washington. She attended Central Washington University and has been employed with DaVita for four months. "The most challenging aspect of my job is the language barrier," Erin admits, "but I love seeing things click with patients that result in improved self care. I make a difference in patients' lives by focusing on the small things. I made it my mission to stop focusing on the big picture, trying to conquer the entire army, if you will. I can be more successful problem-solving the little things with each individual patient."
The Chicago-based center where Erin works has a large population of Spanish speaking patients. “It forces me to work with the entire team to make sure the patients are getting what they need,” she adds. “My approach is best described as ‘one patient, one problem at a time’.” The single most important thing patients can do to improve their health, in Erin’s opinion, is to havea positive attitude about taking care of themselves. “I have an approach,” she says, “andit’s not new, but it works. They love prizes! They also Iike that I make rounds every day just to say hello. I truly enjoy the flexibility at DaVita and I’m surprised to find how much Spanish I still need to learn!
Erin’s favorite anecdote about her work experience so far involves a patient who cannot remember a single thing she says, and does not recognize her. Erin is quick to explain that, “She is a sharp lady and doesn’t actually have poor memory; she’s just feisty and doesn’t listen. I kid that it’s like Groundhog Day every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Every time she’s in for treatment we get to start over. She is the sweetest lady and gets so excited when I tell her over and over again all the foods she can eat. Luckily for both of us, her husband is here for every treatment and remembers what we talk about."
The Chicago center that employs Erin is special, she says, because of, "the smallness and family-like staff. I enjoy the diverse population."
Perhaps influenced by her delightful, Spanish-speaking patients, Erin created Hearty Breakfast Burritos with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t have to speak Spanish to enjoy them—they taste and deliver balanced nutrition in any language!