Strawberry Delight by Marilyn from Texas

The foods that make your mouth water are the foods that seem to feel most satisfying. Marilyn, a DaVita renal dietitian from Texas, shares her family’s old-time recipe for mouthwatering Strawberry Delight or as her family calls it, “Preacher’s Delight.” It’s a wonderfully simple recipe that reminds us of small American towns, bake sales and friends bringing dessert over just to be neighborly. Strawberry Delight is easy to make with its crispy crust and creamy, cool filling. It’s so easy; you may want to make two Strawberry Delights — one for your family and the other for a friend.

Growing up in a small town in Texas, Marilyn knows how to please her patients’ appetites. “I live in a rural area,” begins Marilyn, adding, “Most of my patients are not very adventuresome when it comes to trying new foods. This includes even trying different varieties of apples other than Delicious. A few years ago, I had an “Apple Day” so patients could sample a variety of apples (Fuji, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Cortland, etc.).  Patients then got to vote for their favorite variety. Fuji won! I had interesting facts about apples from the Washington State Apple Board and apple recipes. Patients enjoyed tasting the different apples, learning of new varieties to eat and incorporating this information into their daily diet. Patients still like to tell me what variety of apple they are eating when they bring an apple to eat during treatment.”

Having a natural understanding of her patient’s tastes is one of Marilyn’s many strengths. Through her persistence and adventurous educational spirit, she has widened the dietary horizons of her patients.  “My patients love food and recipe samplings. I try to do this once a quarter,” shares Marilyn.

Another of Marilyn’s virtues is her ability to motivate her patients when they are down.  “Most patients are very depressed when starting dialysis. They are actually quite surprised and relieved when they learn how well they can eat on dialysis, and still maintain good renal labs. I focus heavily on what patients can eat, not just what they need to avoid,” states Marilyn.

“Having a positive attitude can really improve a patient’s health,” believes Marilyn. She tries to remember that in her own life too. Marilyn’s sunny outlook not only helps her in stressful situations, but it rubs off on her patients, too. Marilyn says, “I love seeing people enjoy healthy food. It’s so rewarding when patients (and their families) tell me a recipe was delicious and ask for more.”

Working at DaVita for over five years has fine-tuned Marilyn’s approach of positive reinforcement with her patients. “I try to get to know the patient first. I give general diet information and then I refine it over several months. I try never to scold patients, but continually offer support and encouragement because it’s challenging keeping patients motivated to control their phosphorus levels,” explains Marilyn.

Whatever the challenge, Marilyn keeps focused on the big picture. “Food is a major part of most people’s quality of life. I feel I can make a significant contribution to dialysis patients’ quality of life by showing them how to eat healthy and delicious foods, even though they are on dialysis.” 

Being social is another fun quality Marilyn possesses that she brings to her job. “I like the variety of patients I get to work with. No matter who they are or what their background is, I can usually find something I have in common with them, whether it is a favorite TV show, hobby, food preference, book, travel places, etcetera,” shares Marilyn. She has great fondness for her DaVita teammates too, “Our DaVita center is special because we have a very supportive team. I also enjoy networking with other dietitians across the nation,” says Marilyn.

Try a family favorite from Marilyn’s part of the nation. Her recipe for Strawberry Delight is a refreshing, mouthwatering dessert that is fun, easy and filled with creamy goodness. It’s perfect to bring along for barbeques, family gatherings or just a sweet treat at home. Try Marilyn’s recipe and delight your family and friends with Strawberry Delight.


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