Jalapeno and banana peppers stuffed with chicken, wrapped in bacon, sizzlin’ on the grill. Smells like heaven, tastes like Texas. This recipe, submitted by Natalie from the great state of Texas, Chicken Pepper Bacon Wraps calls for fresh bacon, chicken and peppers to reduce preservatives and additives. Grilling means no extra fat during cooking, as a fair amount of fat from the bacon drips away during the grilling process.
When Natalie made her decision to become a dietitian, job security was an important factor. She also chose nutrition as a way to learn more about food science. While in school, Natalie did well on renal tests and went on to work on a hospital renal floor. “I spent time in the clinic with renal patients and liked seeing patients over again as opposed to new ones every day,” she says.
Originally from Forth Worth, Natalie attended University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She has been with DaVita for two years and participated in the first Tour DaVita, a 240-mile bicycle ride to raise money for kidney disease education. “I bicycled across Alabama and Tennessee, and I look forward to the second Tour DaVita which is being held in Wisconsin.”
The most challenging part of her role as dietitian is finding a way to raise a patient’s spirits if they become depressed or stressed about their life and family. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is when a patient says, ‘thank you,’ and means it,” says Natalie.
Natalie has failsafe radar for knowing how she’s getting along with patients. “Most of my patients don’t cringe and pretend to be asleep when I walk by. For the most part they like me as a person and understand I have a responsibility to make them aware of their health status. They appreciate my explanations for medicines, how their labs affect their bodies and either help or hinder their disease state. My approach is to listen first, find out what patients already know, want to know and need to know,” explains Natalie.
The importance of staying busy can’t be stressed enough, in Natalie’s opinion. “Once a patient slows down and starts believing they are disabled, they turn into a disabled person. A person who makes it his or her responsibility to keep busy; whether it’s brain activity with crosswords, knitting to keep hands toned or walking to keep the legs moving, is an enabled person,” emphasizes Natalie.
Effectively working with dialysis patients is as simple as, “offering my help every time I see them, reassuring them they are doing well and complementing them on even the smallest improvements in phosphorus, potassium, sodium and other labs. I make a difference in their lives when I send them a smile.”
Natalie loves the job security offered by DaVita and has kind words to say about what makes the center special, “Our dedicated medical director’s goal is to ensure every renal patient receives the best care available. The clinic is spacious, with new equipment and computer hardware.”
Sample a little regional Texas cuisine without leaving your home — assemble a few Chicken Pepper Bacon Wraps and they’ll grill to perfection in minutes. Added bonus: if you’re grilling in the backyard, there are no pots and pans to wash.
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