Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Food for Thought Book Club

Have you ever eaten when you weren’t hungry or kept eating when you knew you were full? Have you grabbed a snack on the go and didn’t even realize when you had finished eating it? Or do you grab a bag of chips or pretzels or popcorn and eat without thinking while watching TV? These examples of mindless eating are everyday occurrences for many.

In keeping with the goal of meeting the challenge of healthcare change, the new WMHS Food for Thought Book Club is helping to improve health by giving readers nourishing food for thought. Facilitated by Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian and Melody Lindner, RDN, LDN, Clinical Dietitian, this new book club spent the past six weeks reading, digesting and sharing thoughts regarding Dr. Susan Alber’s book Eating Mindfully, which seeks to decrease mindless eating and help readers enjoy a balanced relationship with food.

This book dives into activities meant to help readers to be more “mindful” about eating.  Being more mindful means really savoring each bite, appreciating each meal, slowing down and taking in each eating experience, noting your hunger cues and listening to your body. Overall, it provides readers a way to be more aware of eating patterns and build self-awareness. These are universal skills that can be used by all as a non-diet approach to healthy eating habits.

Mindful eating and self-awareness activities from the book were completed by the group during each meeting, which allowed participants to experience them first-hand and discuss them with each other.

According to Theresa Stahl, “A book club allows participants time to explore a book with other people that may or may not get the same take-away messages from reading the same information.  Every person has unique life experiences and health situations and this discussion and exploration of various viewpoints is both satisfying and educational.”

The Food for Thought Book Club will continue with another book, Slim by Design by Dr. Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating. According to Slim by Design, Dr. Wansink uses cutting-edge, never-before-seen research from his acclaimed Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University to reveal how innovative and inexpensive design changes can make it mindlessly easy for people to eat healthier. The next book club will begin this summer.

For more information please contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, Outpatient Community Dietitian, Western Maryland Health System at 240-964-8416 or

Blog contributed by JJ Briggs, a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences, who is currently completing an ARAMARK Healthcare Distance Dietetic Internship at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, and Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian.