Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Friday, August 29, 2014

Favorite Dietitian Snacks

Thinking snacking is a bad thing? Think again. While snacking on the wrong things or eating too much can add unwanted calories and pounds, healthy snacking can be a great way to meet your daily nutrient needs and give you the boost you need to get through the day or help you unwind at the end of the day.

Here are some of the WMHS and area dietitians’ favorite snacks:
Allison Lutz : Vanilla low fat yogurt with frozen blueberries or a chocolate chip Fiber One bar (140 calories, 4 gm fat, 9 gm fiber , 2 gm protein) with a layer of peanut butter spread on top!

Tonya Sherrill-Kuhn: Low Fat or Fat Free Cottage Cheese with canned pineapple or Low Fat Cheese cubes with Low Fat Crackers

Brenda Ridgway: Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream  (100 calories, 2.5 gm fat, 19 gm CHO, 3 gm fiber, 3 gm protein); Light and Fit Raspberry Chocolate Greek Yogurt (80 calories, 0 gm fat, 8 gm CHO, 12 gm protein) and Sunsweet Cherry Essence or Orange Essence prunes 3 pack (100 calories, 16 gm CHO, 2 gm fiber, 1 gm protein, O gm fat)

Hana Smith: graham crackers with cream cheese and strawberries on top (like a mini cheesecake) or Popcorn with melted peanut butter drizzled over it

Liz Kauruter: Cottage Cheese, cinnamon, and peaches; Low Fat Milk and cookies; Popsicles

Theresa Stahl: Nut butter (peanut or almond) - 1 Tbsp. (90 calories)  on whole grain gluten-free crackers such as Mary’s Gone Crackers Original  or Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers – 6 crackers ( about 70 calories) or a Kind Bar (180 calories) or Greek Activia yogurt – ½ cup ( 60-70 calories) with ¼ cup fresh fruit (30 calories) or 6-12  almonds (45-90 calories) or Yonanas frozen fruit ice cream substitute – ½ cup (60-100 calories)

Meredythe Barrick: Almonds with a glass of chocolate skim milk and also an apple with peanut butter, sometimes with a couple of chocolate chips sprinkled on top. I don't have actual serving sizes, but probably an 8 oz glass of milk, a serving of almonds, a small apple with 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
Jennifer Perrin: Dark chocolate flavored strawberries or bananas.

Linda Sweitzer: Jolly Time 100 Calorie Healthy Pop Butter Popcorn (3 weight watcher points - 2 gms Fat, 25 gms CHO, 5 gms Fiber)

Kristin Wilkins: Low fat chocolate milk or beef jerky

Alice Corle: Chocolate covered pretzels and Kettle Corn

-Theresa Stahl, RDN/LDN

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coming Soon … Smoothie & Juice Bar

Many people fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Smoothies offer a refreshing way to quench thirst and boost nutrition. Soon, you’ll be able to purchase healthy smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices in the WMHS cafeteria at the Smoothie & Juice Bar.

The WMHS Smoothie & Juice Bar will offer a variety of healthy smoothies including:

Power Smoothie - spinach and mixed fruit
Twisted Berry – 3 kinds of berries and Greek yogurt
Blueberry Burst – a blend of blueberries and Greek yogurt
Simply Strawberry – a blend of strawberries and Greek yogurt

You may choose to substitute green tea or water instead of yogurt and add chia or flax seeds or protein powder. In addition to the smoothies, fresh juices will be made right at the bar, including orange, apple, pear and carrot.

Look for the new Smoothie and Juice Bar and stop by for a refreshing way to eat more fruits and veggies.

Try this “green machine” smoothie, taken from It’s easy to make – 3 simple ingredients (honeydew, spinach and Greek yogurt) and a blender – and is refreshingly delicious!

To make this delicious and healthy smoothie combine in blender:
1 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves
1 ½ cups of fresh honeydew melon
1/3 cup of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

Blend until smooth. 162 calories, Source:

Honeydew is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium and has only 60 calories per cup. Spinach, also nutrient rich, provides only 7 calories per cup raw, and is especially high in vitamin A and other carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lutein, which are great for healthy eyes. It is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin K, folate, iron and other phytonutrients that help reduce risk of diseases such as cancer. Greek yogurt has about twice as much protein as regular yogurt, and is lower in lactose and carbohydrates. It has a rich and creamy texture that is great for smoothies and for freezing. It is an excellent source of calcium, potassium and is considered a probiotic if it contains live and active cultures. Probiotics help improve immune function, enhance intestinal tract health, decrease symptoms of lactose intolerance and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

I recommend refrigerating the honeydew to get it good and cold prior to making the smoothie for better flavor. Enjoy!

-Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN

Monday, June 30, 2014

Farmers' Market at WMHS

Now’s the time to savor the flavor of fresh fruits and veggies!  Even if you don’t grow your own garden, you can enjoy produce fresh from the farm to your table by shopping at local farmers’ markets.
And beginning July 9, the Allegany County “Mountain Fresh” farmers’ market will be at WMHS between 2 pm – 5 pm every Wednesday. Local farmers will set up in the parking garage across from the Medical Arts Center entrance.  Employees will be provided with zip lock bags so the produce can be brought into WMHS buildings.
Eating fresh locally grown produce helps YOU:
• Save money – fresh, seasonal foods are less expensive
• Save energy – less gas used to move the food
• Support local growers – buying at local farmers markets
• Be healthy – fresh, seasonal foods are more flavorful, encouraging increased intake of fresh  fruits and veggies, which increases your intake of healthy vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that fight disease and promote health

Other local farmers’ markets include:

Tuesdays: 9:30 am – 2 pm at the Country Club Mall (center court), LaVale
Thursdays: 10 am – 1 pm at the Downtown Cumberland Pedestrian Mall
Fridays: 9:30 am – 2 pm at City Place in Frostburg
Saturdays: 10 am – 1 pm at Canal Place in Cumberland
To find farmers’ markets in your area, visit  or

Here’s a neat map to find out what’s in season in your area:

- Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Here Comes the Sun … are You Ready for a Change to Win?

Spring is in the air, summer’s on the way, and now’s a great time to focus on healthy eating and exercise. Yes, it’s been a long, long, long winter and it feels great to get outside to work in the yard, plant a garden, go for a walk, or whatever else you like to do outside.
If you would like to learn more about nutrition or lose weight, now is a perfect time to sign up for Change to Win. The next Change to Win session starts June 17 or 18. This low cost,10-week nutrition and weight loss program is all about creating healthy habits, not restrictions. Change to Win is a non-diet approach to healthy eating that focuses on building nutrition skills to help you lose weight and keep it off.  
And this approach works. In addition to weight loss, participants have also reported:
·        Lower blood pressure
·        Lower blood sugars
·        Lower Hemoglobin A1C levels
·        Lower total and LDL cholesterol levels                        
·        Decreases in waist circumference        
·         Less knee and joint pain
·        Improved energy
·         Improved physical exercise skills
·        Improved mood

Participants pay $10 for the program materials and $50 for the class.  Participants can earn the whole $50 back by attending 8 of the 10 sessions and losing 10 pounds in 10 weeks or having a BMI within the healthy range. If one loses 5 pounds in the 10 weeks, $25 is earned back. 
Topics covered in each 30-40 minute session include nutrition basics, label reading, grocery shopping, heart healthy habits, fiber, portion control, nutrient dense verses calorie dense foods, dining out tips, and food safety.

To register, call instructor Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, Outpatient Community Dietitian at 240-964-8416 or email Theresa at Space is limited, so call soon to reserve your spot! What do you have to lose?  Just unwanted pounds and unhealthy habits!

-Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Got bananas? Try Yonanas!

During National Nutrition Month last month, WMHS dietitians shared nutrition information in the cafeteria to promote healthy eating.  My focus was on weight management.

During lunch, we made a non-dairy dessert simply from frozen bananas and strawberries, using Yonanas machines. It was a big hit!

The dessert tastes creamy and refreshing like ice cream, but was made with frozen fruit – in minutes. This is great for people with lactose intolerance, those decreasing fat and sugar, such as those with heart disease or diabetes, and anyone trying to increase their fruit intake.  The Yonanas machine is reasonably priced – $49.95 – from a variety of places online – and is easy to use and simple to clean. And talk about healthy! 
Simply freeze fruit, including a banana, and thaw slightly (5 minutes is enough) and feed into the chute and out comes a frozen dessert, much like soft serve ice cream but made with pure frozen fruit. The secret to the creaminess is the banana. It’s a great way to use bananas that are getting too ripe. Just peel them and place in a container in the freezer for later use. 
Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber and low in sodium. Potassium-rich diets may reduce risk of developing high blood pressure and stoke. And any other frozen fruit blends well with the banana.
So with spring here and summer on the way, now’s the time to go bananas for Yonanas!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Celebrating Taste in Style

Last month, dietitians from the Western MD Area Health Education Center celebrated National Nutrition Month (NNM) and national Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day at Allegany College of Maryland’s Culinary Café. 
Dietitians joined Debra Frank, RDN, LDN, Director of ACM’s Hospitality Management program in preparing a variety of recipes that featured unique ingredients, herbs and spices, and/or alternative cooking methods that support a journey to health. Dietitians were given recipes to make in the beautiful kitchen of the Culinary Café (see photo) and then enjoyed eating them together. 

I cooked with Liz Kauruter, RDN, LDN, clinical dietitian at the WMHS.  We made Spicy Rice, Bean and Lentil Casserole. I’ve had numerous requests for the recipe, so here it is:
Spicy Rice, Bean, and Lentil Casserole
Yield: 4 servings
2 tsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup chopped green pepper
3 + ¾ cup vegetable stock
¾ cup brown rice
½ cup green or red lentils
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. chili powder
1 – 19 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup mild or hot salsa 

In a nonstick pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.
Add garlic, onions and green pepper. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
Sir in stock, brown rice, lentils, basil, and chili powder.  Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until rice and lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed. 
Stir in beans, corn and salsa.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.  
Here’s another recipe made that day.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Yield: 4-6 servings
1/3 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 tsp olive oil
4 tsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. coriander
1 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro
2 Tbsp. minced scallions
1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced bell pepper
2 tsp. minced jalapenos
Salt and pepper to taste 
Cook quinoa in water, as per package directions. Allow to cool slightly
In a large bowl, combine the oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cilantro and scallions.
Stir in the beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and chilies.
Add cooled quinoa.
Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Hope everyone enjoys the taste of eating right this month and all year round!  Special thanks to Debra Frank and her students, Taylor and Allison, for hosting such a wonderful event. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

March is National Nutrition Month

Even though I often hear people joke, “If it tastes good, it can’t be good for you,” I believe that healthy and tasty DO go together.  March is National Nutrition Month, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and this year’s theme is, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”  See below for some our exciting upcoming events.
Taste rules when it comes to food choices. If it doesn’t taste good, you won’t eat it, even if it’s nutritious. So, try experimenting with new flavors and new tasty combinations of healthy foods. Preparing healthy foods in ways that promote their best flavor is of the utmost importance. Some tips to help maximize both flavor and nutrition include:
1. Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Produce purchased in season is less expensive and more flavorful. Visit for a list of what’s in season.

2. Roast vegetables. Roasting brings out the sweet and smoky flavors of vegetables. Toss in a very small amount of olive oil and roast in a 350-450 degree F oven for 20-45 minutes.

3. Season foods with fresh herbs to add maximum fresh flavor. Start now to plan your herb garden. There’s nothing like picking fresh herbs straight from your own garden. If you don’t have garden space, that’s no problem.  Fresh herbs are easily grown in containers. And most grocery stores now sell fresh herbs in the produce section.

4. Experiment with spices, such as fresh ginger, for lively sauces. And expand your taste palate by adding healthy curry powder to poultry and soups.

5. Finish off a dish with freshly-squeezed citrus, such as lemon, lime and orange. Grate fresh citrus peel to add vitality and flavor. A microplane is a handy tool for easily grating citrus peels.

6. Experiment with different vinegars, such as balsamic, rice and raspberry. These add flavor without a lot of calories.

7. When roasting or cooking meat in a crock pot, sear on all sides in a skillet first to intensify flavors.
There are many ways to bring out the best flavors of fresh, healthy foods.  For more information, including recipes and videos, visit  For more about National Nutrition Month, visit  To contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, about nutrition programs to help you stay healthy, call 240-964-8416 or email at
Please join us for some of our upcoming events:
1. Weight Management Support Group – meets Tuesdays March 11 and 25th.  On Tuesday, March 11 the topic is food addiction 101 with guest speaker, Crystal Condry, therapist at the WMHS Behavioral Health Department. For questions, call Carey Moffatt, MS, Certified Health and Wellness Coach at 240-964-8418.

2. National Nutrition Month Event - Join WMHS Dietitians on Wednesday, March 12 at the LaVale Martin’s from 10:00 am – 12 noon for lots of nutrition information, recipes, and coupons.  Tour the store at 10 am.  Please call 240-964-2303 to register for the tour.

3. Grocery Store Tour - Join a WMHS RD for a grocery store tour at the Cresaptown Food Lion on March 20 at 7 pm.  Call the above number to register.

4. WMHS Cafeteria National Nutrition Month Promotion – Purchase fruits or vegetables in the WMHS cafeteria all month and enter to win one of four weekly healthy basket give-aways!  Join WMHS Registered Dietitians the week of March 17-21 for a weekly focus on how a registered dietitian can help you.  Every day, we will focus on a different area, so come by daily for nutrition information, tastings and healthy give-aways.
5. Bariatric Support Group – meets March 27at 5:30. Contact Kay Leigh, RDN. LDN at 240-964-8617

6. Change to Win Nutrition and Weight Loss Program – 10 week session begins Tuesday, April 1 at 12 noon or Wednesday, April 2 at 4:30.  Call Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, Outpatient Community Dietitian, at 240-964-8416 for more information or to register. Class size is limited, so register now.