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Celebrating Sell-Outs

December 2, 2004, Vol. II Issue 25

Dear Friends,

Happy One Year Anniversary to me and to you! This issue marks our first full year of publishing “For Your Well Being.” We wouldn’t be successful without you, our readers! Thank you to so many of you who have written grateful and encouraging words, and especially to those who have inquired and booked speakers you’ve read about here. There’s much more good stuff coming. I’m excited about sharing it
with you.

I have been describing various formats for events, primarily about women’s health, and I hope you are getting as much enjoyment out of reading these descriptions as I have had writing about them. I think it’s fascinating to learn how the events evolve and it’s encouraging to hear that so many of these annual events are sell-outs.

If in the thinking stages of creating an event, you’re in luck! At least that is my intention. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel where others have blazed a trail! In this issue, we’re featuring The Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in their seventh year of their sell-out program, “A Day Just for Women.”

So, a little bit of celebration, some event/speaker ideas, a little holiday cheer, along with the news, which isn’t news to me, that a dog can be not only your best friend, but your weight loss partner as well.

Yours truly,

A Day Just for Women

Seven years ago the leaders at the Community Wellness Center for The Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, decided it was time to create an event featuring women’s health and host a day-long conference for the community. 150 women attended the initial conference where they featured one keynote speaker and several breakout sessions throughout the day.

“A Day Just For Women,” now an annual event, attracted a capacity crowd of over 460 women in October this year. Linda Rush, Director Community Wellness, shared with me some of her conclusions about the elements of success. “For the last few years,” she said, “I feel like we’ve honed in on a formula that works. We bring in two keynote speakers and we have them each speak twice, with variations of their topics in the morning and afternoon. We like to have one to give us specific health and wellness information with motivational inspiration, and the other to bring us humor, motivation, and inspiration for everyday life and positive emotional health.

“Our goal is to give women in the community an opportunity to come together, to hear inspiring messages from quality speakers on both physical and emotional health, to participate in screenings, massages, and to give our hospital services exposure. And our participants get to peruse the goods and services of 40 exhibitors,” she said. Tickets for the day are $35, including continental breakfast and lunch. Corporate tables for 10 at $300 can be reserved and CEU’s are offered for nurses.

This year, the healthy focus speaker was Fern Carness, a breast cancer survivor, health promotion crusader, former cardiac nurse, author, dragon boat paddler, grandmother, and outspoken advocate for women’s health. For her presentations she picked two of her favorite topics, “Ladies, It’s Your Body, Take Charge,” and “Breast Health: What’s New and What You Can Do.”

“Following the conference,” Linda told me, “one participant shared that she too, was a breast cancer survivor who had a mastectomy 8 years ago. She had never had the courage to go to be fitted for a prosthesis until hearing Fern’s presentation. Fern gave her the courage to do this for herself.”

Sandy Queen, who is a teacher, health educator, author and all round very funny lady, brought her sense of humor to the day with her topics, “Lighten Up,” and “Women and Aging: Funny You Should Ask!” What’s unique and special about this event is that Fern and Sandy have known each other for eons (Well, I already did identify Fern as a grandmother, so now you know that Sandy is one, too!) In Bowling Green they met at the local Cracker Barrel restaurant, and, in Cracker Barrel style picked out at least one dust collector doo-dad from the gift shop before dining and settling down to the business of collaborating on their messages for the next day.

“Sandy and I were able to poke fun at each other as I professed to be funny and she declared her ‘content’ was clinically relevant,” Fern said. “All in all, I think the net results are improved when the speakers are familiar with each other’s work. We can play and work together.”

“Much thought is given to speaker selection,” Linda said. “We work directly with speakers or through speaker groups like Barbara offers. We review videos, check references, phone the speakers for interviews, etc, to make sure we have just the right speakers. Our budget limits lead us to being very creative in getting high quality speakers with somewhat limited funds. Barbara understood the parameters in which we were working and went to work finding just the right fit for us. That was a tremendous help to me as the event coordinator. The follow-up throughout the process was excellent. Thank you Barbara!” Thank you, Linda!

The hospital promotes the event through media interviews, press releases, newspaper ads, and a quarterly newsletter that is published by the hospital wellness department. Linda told me that they originally developed and mailed a brochure to the 20,000 plus Women’s Center members. This year a full page ad was placed in the local newspaper instead and they had a sellout crowd (460 attendees with over 80 on a waiting list).

Sandy said that one woman told her that she had just gone through a divorce, a major health emergency and a job relocation, and this day made her feel like she had hope to continue. As Sandy said, “Hearing something like that, it doesn’t get much better than that!”

And that’s why we do what we do, isn’t it? For more information about Fern or Sandy, email me or call 503-699-5031.

Holiday Cheer: Tasty Meals Without Weight Gain!
from Elizabeth Somer, RD

Uh Oh. Here come the Holidays and you know what that brings: sugar-coated desserts, fatty soups, egg nog drowning in heavy cream. Basically enough fat and sugar to block the arteries of every one of Santa’s elves, not to mention the extra calories that cling to your hips, making that little black dress too snug by New Year’s Eve. While the rumor that we gain seven pounds during the holidays is way too high, the one pound we do gain tends to stay put throughout the year, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health. Taken over 20 holidays, that could amount to substantial weight gain. To help you manage the holidays, Elizabeth Somer, Registered Dietitian and author of The Food & Mood Cookbook has some easy tricks of the trade to cut fat, sugar, and calories, without sacrificing one ounce of taste.

“It’s a myth that food must be dripping in fat to taste good,” she says. “You can cut fat and never even miss it. Better yet, it doesn’t take any more time to prepare low-fat foods,” For example, she continues, you may know to remove the skin from chicken be ore cooking, use broth and wine for sautéing instead of oil and use broth instead of butter in your stuffing. But did you know the second trick: to use cornstarch and broth instead of butter and flour for a roux when making creamed sauces.

You also might not know that you can use potatoes instead of cream to make a rich and creamy soup, or that you can use baby-food prunes, applesauce, or apple butter in place of all or part of the fat in baked goods such as breads and muffins. Elizabeth also recommends using kitchen gadgets, such as a fat-separator cup to separate the
fat from the liquid in turkey drippings. Finally, take advantage of the fat-free products on the market, from fat-free half & half, cream cheese, and sour cream to fat-free whipped toppings and evaporated milk.

What about the sugar rush during the holidays? Elizabeth says there
is no reason to cut out sweets, just because you’re cutting back on
sugar. You often can cut sugar in recipes by up to one-third without
altering the taste.

Several of the recipes in her Food & Mood Cookbook fit the bill of being easy to prepare and taste great without the extra fat, sugar, and calories. To order the book, visit Elizabeth’s website,

People + Pets = Weight Loss Success

We knew it all along. Now an official study has confirmed that people  with their pets can succeed together in fighting the obesity epidemic.

This first-ever study, combining people and pets in a weight management study, was done by Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the maker of Science Diet and Prescription Diet brand pet foods. It’s called the People and Pets Exercising Together (P-Pet) study.

With 60% of Americans overweight or obese, and 30 million cats and dogs in the U.S. overweight or obese (25% of the pet population), the people at Hill’s Nutrition saw a parallel; they wondered if the good old buddy system would work with pets.

The study consisted of three groups of overweight participants: a dog/owner group (36 people and their dogs), a dog-only group (53 dogs), and a people-only group (56 people). The purpose of the study was to compare the efficacy of weight loss programs for dog-only and people-only groups to that of a combined dog/owner weight loss program for both weight loss and weight maintenance.

Results of the study show that companion dogs can serve as social support for their owners for weight loss and weight maintenance. The P-PET program has proven to be a safe, effective, and enjoyable way for people and pets to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

To get all the details, go to: Better yet, leash up if you have a dog, or, if you don’t, get one and start walking! The rewards are many, including lots of welcoming barks and licks. Goldfish won’t get the job done.

Shopping Tip: Females for Femail

Have you heard about Femail Creations, a very cool resource for gifts to celebrate and inspire women? I love it when girlfriends share their discoveries with me. So I’m delighted to share this one with you. I looked them up on line and then ordered their paper catalog (can you imagine that? I ordered a catalog!) and I’m having fun simply reading it. It’s brimming with creativity and unique gift ideas.

Lisa Hammond is the energy behind this company that supports and encourages female artists. She wrote a book about her journey, “Dream Big.” The company is also committed to making a difference in the lives of women and children and to leave the planet a better place. In every edition of the catalog, they feature a “Making  Difference” charity and donate a portion of their proceeds to that group.

Check it out at

Until next time, be good to yourself, shop well, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for speakers I know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you along the way.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031

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