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Living with diabetes can be challenging, not only for the person diagnosed with the condition but also for their loved ones. As a supportive friend or family member, understanding how to provide assistance and create a positive environment is crucial. By educating yourself about diabetes, adopting healthy habits together, and offering emotional support, you can help them navigate their diabetes journey with confidence and improved well-being.

One of the first steps in supporting a loved one with diabetes is to educate yourself about the condition. Learn about the different types of diabetes, their symptoms, treatment options, and the importance of blood sugar (glucose) management. Familiarize yourself with common terms like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) to better understand their experiences and potential complications. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and offer helpful guidance.

Encouraging healthy habits is another key aspect of supporting your loved one. Promote a nutritious diet by planning and preparing balanced meals together. Focus on incorporating whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables while minimizing sugary and processed foods.  Try to role-model portion control and mindful eating. Regular physical activity is vital for managing diabetes. Find activities you can enjoy together, such as walking, swimming, or dancing. Joining them in their activities motivates them and strengthens your bond.

Assisting your loved one with their medication and monitoring routine is also helpful. Encourage them to  take their prescribed medications on time and help them organize their supplies, such as insulin, test strips, and glucose monitors. Offer reminders and support, especially if they need to regularly check their blood sugar levels.

Social situations can present unique challenges for individuals with diabetes. When attending events or gatherings, offer support by making healthy food choices choices together. Encourage them to communicate their dietary needs with the host in advance or bring a dish that aligns with their dietary needs. Show understanding and avoid judgment if they need to decline certain foods or drinks.

Living with diabetes can sometimes be emotionally draining. Be an empathetic listener and provide a safe space for your loved one to express their concerns, frustrations, or fears about their condition. Offer encouragement and remind them of their strengths. If necessary, help them find a diabetes support group or connect with others who understand their challenges.

Stay involved in their care by showing genuine interest and participation in their diabetes management. Accompany them to medical appointments and take notes to help them remember important information. Stay updated on the latest advancements in diabetes care and share relevant news or research that might be helpful to them.

It is important to recognize signs of distress in your loved one. Keep an eye out for diabetes-related distress, such as burnout, anxiety, or depression. Encourage self-care activities, such as relaxation techniques, hobbies, or taking breaks when needed. If you notice persistent signs of distress, gently suggest seeking professional help from a healthcare provider or mental health specialist.

Supporting a loved one with diabetes requires a combination of knowledge, empathy, and practical assistance. You can positively impact their well-being by educating yourself about the condition, encouraging healthy habits, providing emotional support, and actively participating in their care. Remember, your support plays a vital role in helping them manage their diabetes effectively while living a fulfilling life.

Mount Nittany Health's diabetes team offers a full range of clinical, nutritional and educational services to provide patients the highest level of care. Call 814.689.3156 to schedule an appointment with one of our Endocrinology specialists or visit mountnittany.org/diabetes-care for more information.

The excitement is building as the spookiest day of the year approaches! It's the perfect time to gather your family and friends in the kitchen for some frighteningly fun culinary treats. Check out these easy-to-follow recipes you and the kids can make together, all with five ingredients or less. From mummy popsicles to Monster mix, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Vampire Bites Apple Snack


  • 4 medium apples (any variety will work but red apples resemble a mouth the best)
  • Creamy almond butter, peanut butter, or whatever nut butter you enjoy
  • Raw sliced almonds
  • Lemon juice


  1. Quarter and core the apples.
  2. Cut out a wedge length-wise on the skin side of the apple quarters to create the “mouth”.
  3. Brush the cut sides of each apple with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  4. Fill each wedge with your nut butter of choice.
  5. Place some almond slices in the almond butter-filled wedges to create the teeth.

Recipe adapted from paleoleap.com.


Monster Munch Snack Mix


  • 1- 1lb. package of vanilla almond bark
  • 12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
  • 1-11oz. package of candy corn
  • 1 cup of dry roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 cup of Reese’s Pieces


  1. Pop popcorn and place in a HUGE mixing bowl. The biggest you have. You’ll need it and it’s much easier to mix if you aren’t struggling to keep it in the bowl.
  2. Mix in peanuts, candy corn and Reese’s pieces.
  3. Put the almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and melt according to directions on the package. Be careful not to go too long without stirring it or it will get hard and not mix.
  4. Pour the melted almond bark over the snack mix and stir until everything is well coated. Spread out on waxed paper. Let sit until completely dry and then break into clumps.
  5. Store in airtight container to share and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from julieseatsandtreats.com


Ghost and Mummy Banana Popsicles


  • 4 large fresh bananas not overly ripe, or the bananas may be too soft
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for eyes
  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter


  1. For the Banana Popsicle Ghosts: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel 2 bananas and slice each in half, cross-wise. Slice each half in half again the “long” way, so that you have 4 long, narrow pieces total. Carefully insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of each, then place on the baking sheet.
  2. For the Banana Popsicle Mummies: Cut the pointy tips off of the 2 remaining bananas, then slice the bananas crosswise into 3 equal round “logs.” Insert a popsicle stick into one end of each, then place on the baking sheet. Freeze all banana pops for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and powdered sugar. Once the bananas are frozen, dip them into the yogurt mixture, then return them to the lined baking sheet. Place 2 mini chocolate chips on each of the ghosts for eyes. Do not place the eyes on the mummies yet. Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour to allow the yogurt to set.
  4. For the mummies, place the peanut butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl, then heat until smooth and creamy, about 30-45 seconds, stirring as needed. With a small spoon, drizzle on top of the banana mummies to make “bandages.” Place mini chocolate chips for eyes. Return to the freezer until the peanut butter is firm, about 30 additional minutes. When ready to serve, let the banana popsicles soften at room temperature for a few minutes.
  5. Enjoy immediately, or place in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

 Recipe adapted from wellplated.com.

Chili is a great choice for a healthy meal that can easily be adapted to suit any taste! Packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like lean protein from beans or lean meat, chili offers a good source of essential amino acids for muscle health. Additionally, vegetables like tomatoes and peppers provide a wealth of vitamins and antioxidants that support overall well-being. Like to heat things up? The spicy nature of chili peppers can boost metabolism and may have anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to a healthy digestive system and potentially aiding in weight management.

Try the recipes below and enjoy a few twists on this classic comfort food – Tasty Turkey Chili, Hearty Beef, or the vegetarian option, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.


Tasty Turkey Chili


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) meatless pasta sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Don’t forget the toppings! Add some Sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese, or anything you like!


  1. In a large skillet, cook and crumble turkey with celery, onion and green pepper over medium-high heat until turkey is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in seasonings, tomatoes, pasta sauce, chili beans, water and corn.
  2. Cook, covered, on high 1 hour. Reduce setting to low; cook, covered, 5-6 hours or until flavors are blended.
  3. Stir in kidney and pinto beans; cook, covered, on low 30 minutes longer. If desired, serve with sour cream, avocado and jalapeno.

Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com.


Hearty Beef Chili


  • 2 pounds 96% ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice (29-ounce)
  • 1 can tomato purée (15-ounce)
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained (15-ounce)
  • 1 can pinto beans drained (15-ounce)
  • 1 medium-large onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoon chili powder use 1/4 cup to make it spicy
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.
  2. Drain off the fat (if any).
  3. While the beef is cooking, turn the crockpot to low to begin warming it up and start adding the remaining ingredients.
  4. See note at muydelish.com for cooking it on stovetop.
  5. Cover the slow-cooker with lid and let the chili simmer for 4 hours on low.

Recipe adapted from muydelish.com.


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Recipe adapted from eatingwell.com.


Have questions about weight management strategies or healthy eating tips? Explore our services at mountnittany.org/weightmanagement.




National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to emphasize the importance of vaccination and raise awareness about the benefits of immunization across the United States. This month-long campaign, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners, seeks to highlight the crucial role vaccinations play in safeguarding individuals and communities from preventable diseases.

Immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions in human history. Vaccines have significantly reduced the burden of numerous infectious diseases, saving countless lives and preventing severe complications. Throughout history, vaccines have successfully eradicated or substantially reduced the prevalence of devastating diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and more.

NIAM serves as an opportunity to remind people of all ages to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, promoting better health for individuals and fostering herd immunity for entire communities. It aims to combat vaccine misinformation and misconceptions by providing accurate information about vaccine safety and efficacy, debunking common myths that may deter some individuals from getting vaccinated.

 The campaign also stresses the importance of timely immunization for children and adolescents. Vaccination schedules recommended by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are designed to ensure children are protected from infectious diseases during their most vulnerable years. By following these schedules, parents can provide their children with a strong foundation of immunity, enhancing their overall health and well-being.

 NIAM also emphasizes the significance of adult vaccinations. Vaccination is not solely a childhood endeavor; adults need to stay current with their immunizations as well. Vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, and others can help protect adults from potentially serious illnesses and complications, particularly those with weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions.

 National Immunization Awareness Month plays a vital role in advocating for vaccination as a cornerstone of public health. By promoting vaccination across all age groups, it strengthens herd immunity and protects those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Through increased awareness and education, NIAM strives to create healthier communities, safeguarding lives and reducing the burden of preventable diseases. Let us all take part in this important campaign, raising awareness about the benefits of immunization and working together to build a safer, healthier future for everyone.

To speak with your doctor about your vaccinations, schedule an appointment at mymountnittanyhealth.com.

Join us in recognizing the importance of cord blood stem cells and their potential to save lives! Cord blood is blood found in the umbilical cord that contains valuable stem cells that can be used in treating various diseases and conditions. When babies are born parents have the option to store or donate this blood. From leukemia to genetic disorders, these powerful cells have the potential to make a significant impact on someone's life.

Cord blood stem cells have been successfully used in transplants for over 80 different conditions, including cancers, blood disorders, and immune system disorders. They offer hope for patients who may not find a suitable donor elsewhere.

As parents, you have the opportunity to make a life-saving decision by choosing to donate your baby's cord blood or storing it privately for your family's future needs. Mount Nittany Medical Center offers a cord blood donation program through the Dan Berger Cord Blood Program. Check out mountnittany.org/maternity for more information.

Let's spread awareness about cord blood stem cells. Help us educate others about the incredible potential and benefits they hold. Together, we can make a difference and give more people a chance at a healthier future.

As the school sports season quickly approaches, student-athletes are eagerly preparing to hit the field, court, or track. Before they lace up their sneakers though, it's crucial to prioritize their health by scheduling a sports physical. Sports physicals can help optimize student-athletes’ performance and keep them safe from potential injuries. They are also required for most sports and appointments fill up quickly.   

Students benefit from these exams in many ways. Here are just a few:

  • Assess Overall Health: Identify any underlying medical conditions that may affect performance on the field.
  • Prevent Injuries: Assess strength, flexibility, and joint stability. Detecting any weaknesses or imbalances early on can help prevent injuries and optimize performance.
  • Review Medical History: Discussing medical history with a healthcare professional helps identify any pre-existing conditions or risk factors that may require special attention.
  • Keep Up with Regulations: Many sports leagues and organizations require athletes to undergo a sports physical before participating.

 Schedule a sports physical with Mount Nittany Health pediatrics department today to be ready for the upcoming season and avoid last-minute delays: https://www.mountnittany.org/pediatrics

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and knowing the risk factors associated with it is crucial for maintaining good heart health. Understanding the risks and taking proactive steps to manage them can help reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease, leading to a longer and healthier life.

8 Things to Know About Heart Disease Risks

  1. Know your family history: If someone in your immediate family has heart disease, you may be at increased risk. Knowing your family history is an important step in understanding your own risk factors.
  2. Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Regular monitoring and management of your blood pressure can help lower your risk.
  3. Keep your cholesterol levels in check: High cholesterol levels can contribute to the development of heart disease. Monitoring your cholesterol levels and making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
  6. Manage stress: Stress can contribute to the development of heart disease. Learning stress management techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help you manage stress and reduce your risk.
  7. Get enough sleep: Poor sleep habits can increase your risk of heart disease. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to reduce your risk.
  8. Stay active: Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week to help keep your heart healthy.


Mount Nittany Health encourages everyone to take care of their heart! Visit mountnittany.org for more health tips or to find a provider. 


To our team, you're more than just a number. We see you. And we're committed to you. Our experienced providers are here and ready to get you the care you need.