One of the unique qualities of the United States is the mixture of worldwide cultures. It provides an opportunity to discover delicious flavors of other countries and share them with friends. Tahseen, a DaVita renal dietitian from Florida, has lived all over the world and experienced a variety of tasty food. Today she shares her recipes for Chinese Five Spice from China and Garam Masala from India. She even included a recipe for Samosa, a popular snack from India that calls for Garam Masala.
In the past, Tahseen has shared one of her favorite Caribbean dishes, Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas), which contains chicken for additional protein. She also offers the recipe for Sofrito, a flavorful starter for many dishes including her Arroz con Gandules. And lastly, Tahseen provides a yummy recipe for Fruity Smoothie, the perfect protein drink.
Growing up in Pakistan, living in England and eventually settling in the United States, has given Tahseen an amazing view of the world. Her favorite times working at DaVita are finding out about people’s ethnic roots and family recipes. “I enjoy learning about my patient’s different backgrounds and philosophies in life,” says Tahseen.
Giving personal attention and being sensitive helps Tahseenunderstand what her patients are experiencing. “I make the biggest difference in their lives by hearing their struggles and teaching them how to overcome obstacles,” she shares.
Watching her father struggle with health issues guided Tahseen into her career in dietetics. “My father was told by a cardiologist not to eat peanuts and mangoes as they contained cholesterol and triglycerides, at the time I was taking a class in food science. This misinformation inspired me to do some research and thus realize that eating is one of the basic necessities of life not to be left to folklore, but backed by scientific knowledge,” she states.
Tahseen naturally gravitated to the renal field. “While working in the hospital, many times I was consulted about renal diets. It was then I realized there was more to it than just telling patients what to eat.” Tahseen recognized her scientific strength and interpersonal skills created the perfect balance to help renal patients. “The most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of my job are maintaining phosphorus control.”
Her early awareness of her father’s diet helped Tahseen develop her coaching style. “My approach with patients is realistically working with them one step at a time. I also tell them the single most important way to improve their health is compliance with dialysis treatment.”
Following the rules is important to maintain a healthy life, but Tahseen makes eating the dialysis diet fun too. “Playing Phosphorus Bingo is very popular with my patients, as well as using the online meal planning tool, DaVita Diet Helper.”
Educating her patients is fulfilling for Tahseen and working on the DaVita team has led to personal growth. “Being at DaVita has provided excellent resources and dietitian connections. I can’t say enough about the autonomy and respect dietitians are given as members of the health care team,” she says.
One of Tahseen’s many wonderful qualities is her worldly palate. Try her easy and flavorful Chinese Five Spices and Garam Masala seasonings to add flavor to your recipes or make Samosa for a flavor-packed snack.
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