Wake up your taste buds with Ceviche Caribe, a kidney-friendly recipe from DaVita dietitian Karon from Florida. Ceviche is a seafood dish widely popular in South America. It first began appearing on Florida menus in the late 1980’s and comes in many variations. When preparing traditional ceviche, raw seafood is mixed with citrus to produce a chemical process that is similar to what happens when seafood is cooked. In Karon’s recipe, shrimp is first cooked in boiling water and then mixed with onion, tomato, yellow banana pepper, fresh cilantro and fresh pineapple, along with lime juice, white vinegar, olive oil and sea salt. The flavorful and versatile result can be served as an appetizer, over a mixture of cooked rice and peas as an entrée, or as a salsa to accompany fish.
Creating tasty, kidney-friendly recipes is just one aspect of a renal dietitian’s job. Educating patients is at the root of all that dietitians do. “I became a dietitian, because I realized there was a need for educated nutrition interventions when my father became seriously ill,” Karon explains. “No other healthcare professional could answer my questions.”
Originally from Michigan, Karon attended the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences. Today, she works at the DaVita center in Key West, Florida. “I chose the renal field, because I was fascinated by the biochemistry of the body and how nutrition can impact it in a positive way,” states Karon.
“The most challenging aspect of my job is empowering patients to be a team member in their own self care,” Karon says. “The most rewarding aspect is the positive results I witness from that empowerment.”
When asked how she makes a difference in patients’ lives, Karon replies, “I help them maintain quality of life.” And what could be more important – or satisfying – than that?
Karon’s approach to working with patients is simple: “I listen to them. I approach interactions with kindness and love. And I offer non-judgmental coaching,” she explains.
Dietitians like Karon know that self-empowerment and education are the keys to good health. “The single most important thing patients can do to improve their health is to participate as a team player in their own self care,” Karon asserts.
At DaVita, creative approaches to educating and supporting clients are always in the works. Karen likes their new program which recognizes patient achievement by rewarding them with beautiful crystal beads.
Karon is a newbie to DaVita, having worked at the Key West center for less than a year. She tells us she enjoys it, because of the quality of the team members. “My co-workers are highly skilled professionals dedicated to patient care,” reports Karon. “They are all so smart and dedicated.”
Since starting with DaVita, she’s been surprised at all that is available for the patients to give them quality of life, including the DaVita management and training programs and the team efforts for staff and patients.
Karon likes the intimate setting where she works. “It is small and comfortable. We can get to know our clients and each other,” she says. “Plus, it’s located in paradise and convenient for residents and visitors.”
If you aren’t able to travel to Florida yourself, you can still enjoy the fabulous taste of fresh shrimp, thanks to our versatile and renal-friendly recipe for Ceviche Caribe from DaVita renal dietitian Karon. However you decide to serve it, it’s sure to be a big hit at your table.