Zesty Taco Soup by Grace from Oklahoma

Pork ribs are a favorite for summer cookouts, and with Bob's Oven-Baked Pork Ribs, you can enjoy their spicy goodness all year-round. Renal dietitian Grace from Oklahoma took her brother-in-law's recipe for pork ribs and made it kidney-friendly without losing any of the spicy flavors that made it a favorite with her family. 

Mexican food has a distinctive flavor of spices, beans, corn and other savory ingredients that make you want to have it again and again. Grace’s Zesty Taco Soup has this effect, and it’s super easy to make in the crock-pot. There are 10 servings in her recipe so you can freeze some for later. 

Grace grew up learning to prepare and appreciate food, thanks to her family's restaurant business. She decided to become a dietitian so she could help people make healthier decisions about food and exercise. Grace says, “I was interested in a healthy lifestyle and teaching that to others.” 

A native of Missouri, Grace attended Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. During an internship, she spent three weeks on a renal rotation in the hospital. "I really enjoyed working with the outpatient dialysis patients," she remembers. Grace went on to work in hospitals until a position opened for a renal dietitian in an outpatient dialysis center. Her career as a renal dietitian now spans more than 16 years. 

Today, Grace finds the most challenging aspect of her job is tailoring her message so that patients understand its importance. "I'm always trying to find different ways to teach the points—saying the same message but in a different way in order for them to understand," explains Grace. It’s a pleasure for Grace to work with patients and their families to make a difference. Grace states, “I take a practical approach by finding out favorite foods and seeing how they can be added to the kidney diet while maintaining good phosphorus and potassium levels. 

Grace brings a sunny disposition to her work in the DaVita dialysis center. "I like to smile and tell a joke or say something funny. My mom has always encouraged me to smile and treat others how I would like to be treated. We all need something to smile about," declares Grace.   

One tool that Graces turns to for help supporting her patients is DaVita.com. "I like to use recipes from DaVita.com and show my patients how easy it is to make the recipe, plus I provide the cost per serving so they know how affordable it is," Grace reports. 

Grace has been with DaVita for six years and says she’s always reminded that teamwork is very important. “It really takes a team, getting everybody involved to be able to do our best for the patents and have the best outcomes possible. Grace has also had the chance to learn about bone management at DaVita. "In my previous job, I was not involved in managing vitamin D changes. I had always wanted to be involved with a team in patient care,” states Grace. 

The environment and camaraderie at the DaVita center where Grace works are two things contributing to her job satisfaction. For example, for the past three years her dialysis center has held a fall picnic for teammates, patients and their families. “We had a great turnout, perfect weather and used many DaVita.com recipes for the first one," Grace remembers. "The picnic has turned into an annual event, as everyone looks forward to the cookout, the fellowship and the bingo!” 

The next time you're looking for a hearty main dish that's a real winner, try Bob's Oven-Baked Pork Ribs. And for a soup that really satisfies, make Grace’s Zesty Taco Soup. You'll agree with Grace that her dishes don’t hold back on the spices and that cranks up the flavor. Grace has reduced the sodium, potassium and phosphorus in her recipes, so you can dig in and still stay on track with your renal diet.



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