Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

October is Apple Month

Apples are nutrition powerhouses. An apple a day, may really help keep the doctor away. Research links eating apples with reduction of complications or prevention of various diseases, including Alzheimer’s, asthma, cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes. The fiber in apples helps to control blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol levels. Apples are low in calories and high in fiber.  One medium apple contains only about 80 calories and 5 grams of fiber.  

According to the University of Nebraska Extension (, there are around 100 varieties of apples grown commercially in the United States, but only about 15 make up the majority of apple productions. Each variety is unique. The U.S. Apple Association has a useful guide to apple varieties.

Check it out at

Join us on October 19th in the WMHS cafeteria to celebrate Food Day Apple Crunch Day 2017. Stop by the cafeteria between 11:30 and 1 pm and bite into a juicy apple and show your commitment to eat well for better health.

This season, try making your own apple chips. Preheat oven to 200-225 degrees F. Slice apples very thinly (mandolin works well, but not mandatory) and place in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour, flip over and bake for another hour. Turn off oven and let cool in oven. Cooking times may vary depending on oven, so watch carefully towards the end.

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Family Meals Rate for Better Health

September is right around the corner and has been named National Family Meals Month by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). This educational program of the FMI underscores the benefits of family meals - and there are many! Studies provide significant, scientific proof about the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals.

According to author Miriam Weinstein in her book, The Surprising Power of Family Meals, “Family meals are like a magic bullet – something that improves the quality of your daily life, your children’s chances of success in the world, and your family’s health. Something that is inexpensive, simple to produce, and within the reach of pretty much everyone.”

Here are some of the powerful benefits of eating together as a family from the FMI’s family meal website:
Regular family meals are linked to higher grades and self-esteem and delayed sexual activity.
Children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness, and respect.
With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide, less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away, and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts.
Kids and teens who share meals with their family three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders.
Kids who cook are more likely to eat and enjoy the food they prepare.  And cooking reinforces skills such as math and science. As the new school year begins, remember the family that eats together, stays healthy together. As FMI points out, family meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members.

For more nutrition information, recipes and more, visit these websites:
FMI Family Meals website -
Kids Cook Monday website -
Kids Eat Right website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics –

For more information about upcoming programs at WMHS, visit or call Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, FAND, Outpatient Community Dietitian at 240-964-8416.

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