Brie and Cranberry Chutney is an exciting appetizer that’s sure to please guests and family alike. Jennifer, a DaVita dietitian from Virginia, shares this tasty treat that combines smooth Brie cheese with sweet and tangy Cranberry Chutney. She created this recipe from a family favorite by substituting cranberries for apricots to make it low in phosphorus and potassium for her renal patients. It’s simple, quick to make and promises yummy satisfaction.
Often, the best recipes combine two, very distinct and opposite flavors that compliment each other, just like Brie and Cranberry Chutney. The same is true for successful people, like Jennifer. Her love for scientific facts, mixed with her love for having fun, make Jennifer a successful renal dietitian.
Becoming a dietitian was a natural path for Jennifer. She reminisces, “At Virginia Tech I loved the nutrition courses and was fascinated with science, biology and loved working with people. Dietetics seemed the perfect field and career choice for me to pursue those interests. I became interested in chronic care, and was led into the renal field after working many years in acute care.”
Jennifer shares many of DaVita’s seven Core Values with her patients, but her favorite one is Continuous Improvement. “Incorporating fun and the desire for continuous improvement is a great motivator for patients and teammates.” Jennifer also sees the importance of having her patients understand the facts. She explains, “I have found it effective to explain the science behind why it is important for patients to improve their eating habits. All patients respond very well to ‘the more I know, the more I understand, the more I want to make better choices plan.’”
Jennifer recommends patients take a scientific approach and be investigative about their conditions. “Start asking doctors, nurses and dietitians questions about how you are doing, about diet, medicines and your overall condition. There is no dumb question that you might ask any of your health professionals if it concerns your health,” she reassures.
While doing dialysis treatment is not an exciting time for patients, Jennifer and her teammates bring laughter to their patients. “Many patients fall asleep when they are on dialysis, but it is fun for me and the nurses when we hit the floor and they wake up. I always try to find something fun or funny to share with them, while also educating and motivating them,” shares Jennifer.
Thoughtfully approaching each patient as an individual is one of Jennifer’s many strengths. She says, “I feel rewarded helping patients achieve a healthy lifestyle, while still fitting in their favorite foods so they do not feel deprived or guilty. I help them help themselves to make better choices each day and I enjoy seeing my patients improve their health.” Jennifer knows she’s made a positive impact when patients ask questions about their diet, make realistic changes to their eating habits and grocery shopping purchases and enjoy cooking renal-friendly foods.
Jennifer’s success is based on the respect she holds for her patients and DaVita coworkers. “DaVita is exceptional because of my teammates and their huge and most generous hearts, who work so hard to make many patients feel cared for, accepted and better each day. My teammates have a great attitude about work and what they do for their patients each day. They are hardworking and devoted to make a difference to help others,” states Jennifer.
Jennifer’s Brie and Cranberry Chutney is a lovely treat and crowd pleaser. Give it a try for your next party, family gathering or a special occasion for yourself.