Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Monday, July 31, 2017

Eat More of These Foods for Better Brain Health

The wild, wonderful summer is the season to eat more of the flavors of the farm, garden and farmers’ markets.

The WMHS Food for Thought Book Discussion Group is currently reading a cutting-edge book, The Alzheimer’s Prevention Food Guide, by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and researchers Sue Linja and Dr. SeAnne Safaii-Waite. The book highlights evidence-based research about foods that are good for brain health and may protect against Alzheimer’s.
Many of these foods are found in abundance during this wonderful growing season and include the following, among many others:
  • Leafy greens:  Including arugula, kale, spinach, and watercress
  • Herbs: Including mint, basil, and cilantro
  • Vegetables: Including beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, garlic, and red cabbage
  • Fruit: Including berries, cherries, grapes and melons

Farmers’ Market

The Farmers’ Market is at the WMHS parking garage every Wednesday from 2-5 pm. Stop by and pick up some sensational fresh flavors of the season and eat more of these foods to help improve your brain health.

Upcoming Programs

The next Change to Win session begins on Tuesday, September 5 at 12 noon or 4:30 pm or Wednesday, September 6 at 4:30 pm. This 12-week nutrition and weight loss program focuses on creating healthy habits, not on restrictions.
Besides weight loss, participants report other positive health changes including:
  • 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
  • Decreasing or discontinuing medications, as ordered by PCPs  or specialists

Change to Win Support Group

The Change to Win Support Group, open to anyone who has completed the Change to Win program will meet on Wednesdays at 3:00 pm beginning on September 6th.  

To register for either the Change to Win program or support group, call Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, FAND, Outpatient Community Dietitian and Change to Win instructor, at 240-964-8416 or email

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Food for Thought Book Club 2017

There are currently more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and researchers, Sue Linja and Dr. SeAnne Safaii-Waite experienced the progression of Alzheimer’s in their mothers. They have traveled the world researching longevity diets and have examined all of the evidence-based research on diet and Alzheimer’s in order to offer their simple and practical dietary approach to protecting the brain from Alzheimer’s. In their groundbreaking, newly-released book, they offer a realistic 2-week meal plan, profiles of more than 100 foods for brain health, and an easy-to-understand overview of diets being researched for brain health.

According to Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, “This is not a simple diet book – it’s a food bible that tells you all you need to know to start eating your way to a healthy brain, right now.”

The book discusses the Alzheimer’s-diet connection, brain-boosting diets in perspective, foods that nourish and protect the brain, and tips for a healthy lifestyle.

Join us as we explore the latest evidence-based research on eating for brain health and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

We will meet in the WMHS Willowbrook Office Complex on the second floor, beginning July 11 or 12th and continue until August 15.  Optional days and times are either on Tuesdays at noon or Wednesdays at 4:30.

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Infused Waters Quench Thirst Deliciously

June is national fruit and vegetable month. Infusing water with fruits, veggies, and herbs is a flavorful way to quench thirst and stay hydrated. More than half the weight of the human body is water, so staying hydrated is important for health and feeling our best.
We need water to: 
·       help move food through the digestive tract 
·       carry nutrients and eliminate waste products 
·       maintain body temperature 
·       help prevent kidney stones  

Although many factors influence an individual's fluid needs, including height, weight, sex, health, exercise, and the weather, the Institute of Medicine recommends an adequate intake (AI) of fluids per day to be about 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women.

Infused waters are a great way to meet fluid needs. Cut or slightly crush fruits, veggies, and herbs to release flavors. Add to water for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. You don’t need a special pitcher or bottle with an infuser, but they are nice. Some great combos include:

·      lemon, lime, and mint
·      strawberries, pineapple, and grapes
·      cucumber, ginger, and mint
·      orange and blueberries

Stop by the monthly pay day displays in the WMHS cafeteria to taste a variety refreshing infused waters.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Showers Bring May Delights

As we say good-bye to April and hello to May, it is with great anticipation of the fresh, local flavors that will soon be delighting our senses. My lettuce, onions, and herbs are already growing beautifully and soon the Allegany County Farmers Markets will be in full swing.

Some local, seasonal delights include strawberries, onions, ramps, lettuce and other greens, and asparagus. All support health and provide many nutrients with few calories.

If you’ve considered planting your own garden, now is the time! Gardening is a great form of exercise with healthy dividends.  Gardening provides aerobic, muscle-strengthening and stretching physical activity. Digging, raking, lifting, and squatting all burn calories and depending on the distance covered, gardening can add significant steps to your day.

Would you love to garden, but don’t have the room or knowledge? Consider a plot at one of the WMHS community gardens. This year, WMHS is expanding garden locations to include Fairmont Avenue, Sperry Terrace and Pine Avenue and space is available at no cost! Find more information here:

Individual 5 x 10 feet garden plots will be ready for planting. Tools, water and natural/organic fertilizer will be provided. Some plants will be provided.

For a garden plot application, call 240-964-SOIL (7645) or send an email to and include your name, phone number, mailing address and which garden location you would like.

Even if you don’t plant your own garden, you can still enjoy the fresh flavors of local produce. WMHS will again host a farmers market on the ground level of the parking garage every Wednesday from 2 pm – 5 pm beginning in June. Check out the other Allegany County Farmers Markets to be held in downtown Cumberland on Thursdays, at the Canal Place/Train Station in Cumberland on Saturdays, at Country Club Mall in LaVale on Tuesdays, and at City Place in Frostburg on Fridays. Find out more here:

For more information, contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian at or 240-964-8416.

Friday, March 17, 2017

National Nutrition Month Events and More

We have been celebrating National Nutrition Month (NNM) all month at WMHS and we still have some fun NNM activities ahead.

1. Coloring contest for children ages 2-12. Enter by March 24th Details here:
Download the coloring sheet here:

2. We had a lot of fun at our cooking demo on March 2nd and we still have seats left for our Lunch and Learn Cooking Demo on March 23 at 12:15 in the WMHS Auditorium. To register, call Elizabeth Kauruter, RDN, LDN at  240-964-2312. Click here for more information:

3. We are giving away beautiful National Nutrition Month gift baskets every week until the end of March - enter to win when buying fruits and vegetables at the WMHS cafeteria check-out registers. 
And be sure to visit the Western Maryland Health System's Facebook page to view many nutrition and exercise videos. 

Other upcoming nutrition programs include:

Change to Win – WMHS's 12-week nutrition and weight loss class will be starting April 11 or 12th.

Allegany College of Maryland, along with WMHS, will be hosting a bus trip to Wegman's Grocery Store in Frederick, MD on Saturday, April 29.  Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN will be sharing nutrition information on the drive down and back. Registration is through Allegany College of Maryland’s Continuing Education Department at 301-784-5341.

In addition, the registered dietitian nutritionists of the AHEC West Dietetic Caucus and WMHS are excited to be offering a free downloadable Dietitian Favorites Cookbook, featuring almost 100 recipes, handy cooking tips and more. Download here:
For more WMH health and nutrition programs, click here:

Contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, WMHS Outpatient Community Dietitian, to learn more about any of these nutrition programs or with any nutrition-related questions at 240-964-8416 or at

For more information about National Nutrition Month, including recipes and videos, visit

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Are You Putting Your Best Fork Forward?

March is just around the corner and begins the month-long celebration of National Nutrition Month.  National Nutrition Month (NNM) is an annual nutrition education campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). This year’s theme, Put Your Best Fork Forward, reminds us that every bite counts. At home, at work, or in restaurants, the choices you make influence your health – one bite or one forkful at a time.

Small improvements in food choices add up over time. Progress, not perfection, is what matters most.  Here are some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

1. Eat meals together as a family.

2. Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit.

3. Make at least half of your grain choices whole grain.

4. Talk positively about eating healthy food and try new foods prepared in new

5. Work with a registered dietitian nutritionist to help you establish
     personalized nutrition goals.

For more information, including recipes and videos, visit  

The WMHS Food and Nutrition Department will be celebrating National Nutrition Month with the following special events:
1. Coloring contest for children ages 2-12 (details will be announced)
2. Lunch and Learn Cooking Demos on March 2 and March 23 at 12: 15 in the WMHS Auditoriums. To register, call Elizabeth Kauruter, RDN, LDN at  240-964-2312.
3. Pay Day Display in the WMHS cafeteria, featuring nutrition information, recipes, snack samples, and infused water
4. National Nutrition Month gift baskets  - enter to win when buying fruits and vegetables in the WMHS cafeteria
Visit the Western Maryland Health System's Facebook page to view videos about healthy eating.

Allegany College of MD and the Western Maryland Health System will be hosting a bus trip to Wegman's grocery store in Frederick, MD on April 29.  Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN will be sharing nutrition information on the drive down and back. Registration is through Allegany College of Maryland’s Continuing Education Department at 301-784-5341.

Contact Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, to learn more about any of these nutrition programs, including Change to Win, nutrition and weight loss program beginning in April at 240-964-8416 or

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dietitian Favorites Cookbook

Introducing the Free Dietitian Favorites Cookbook

Every year, the registered dietitian nutritionists of the AHEC (Area Health Education Center) West Dietetic Caucus, celebrate National Nutrition Month with a community nutrition education project. A couple years ago, we began working on a cookbook containing some of our favorite recipes to offer to our clients and the community.

I’m excited to let you know that the Dietitian Favorites Cookbook is now available to download on Click here to download your free copy:

It is also available on the AHEC West website by clicking here:

The cookbook includes almost 100 recipes, including: appetizers, salads, soups, main dishes, vegetarian dishes and desserts. It includes handy kitchen reference guides for common cooking terms, substitutions and tables of equivalents.

It includes mostly healthy recipes to be enjoyed daily and some favorites that are recommended to be enjoyed occasionally or in moderation. All of the recipes include the nutrition analysis so you can evaluate the recipes to see how they fit into your personal meal plans. Throughout the book, you’ll find nutrition tips and healthy substitutes.

Here’s a recipe contributed by Linda Sweitzer, called Greek Yogurt Dip. This flavorful, tangy dill dip gets a nutrient boost by substituting plain Greek yogurt for the usual sour cream to provide protein, calcium, vitamin D and probiotics. This dip is similar to one of my favorite sauces used in Middle Eastern and Greek dishes, tsaziki. Tsaziki includes the same ingredients as this dip, with the addition of garlic and olive oil.

Greek Yogurt Dip

Serves: 4 - ½ cup servings
Submitted by: Linda S. Sweitzer RD LDN


½ cup Plain Greek yogurt
½  Cucumber, grated
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Dill, chopped
2 tsp. Vidalia onion, Chopped


1) Blend all ingredients together
2) Chill overnight
3) Serve with fresh vegetables

Nutrition analysis using fat-free yogurt: Calories 16 kcals  Total Fat 0 g   Sodium 19 mg   Carbohydrates 3.3 g Fiber 0 g Protein 1.2 g

We hope you enjoy trying the recipes in our new dietitian favorites cookbook. Please let us know your favorite recipes that you try from the book.