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    River Creek & Lansdowne
    River Creek residents Stephanie Manning and Anne Flam have become heavily involved in promoting proper nutrition, namely a sugar free diet.

    Manning says she had always liked to cook, but she had stomach problems that eventually convinced her that our food intake had much to do with our overall health.

    She has gone into partnership with Flam who has identical concerns primarily because of an experience she had with her young son who had “an upset stomach after ingesting artificial colors at a birthday party involving processed food.”

    As a result they have been able to recruit like-minded people as Manning says: “We have started a group called Food for Thought and now have 56 members in River Creek.”

    They recently showed a documentary at the clubhouse called “Fed Up” by Laurie David who produced “An Inconvenient Truth” that is narrated by Katie Couric whose husband died of colon cancer. The film espouses a concern about how food labels can be misleading; how sugar content can be ‘hidden.’

    What’s the danger in eating sugar? Manning explains, “Sugar causes the creation of fat cells that can lead to obesity.” She goes on to say that in their research they have discovered that, “Sugar is more addictive than cocaine and that they predict one-third of the population will have diabetes by 2050.”

    Flam explains that while the American Heart Association stipulates that men should eat no more than 150 calories per day equivalent to 9 teaspoons or 37.5 grams and women 100 calories a day: 25 grams or 6 teaspoons. Yet the “average adult consumes 22 teaspoons per day.”

    They have been working with school officials as part of their mission statement to encourage proper dietary restrictions – mainly getting away from processed foods and replacing those with natural food. Examples, according to Manning, include fruit, hummus, yoghurt, vegetables, whole grain tortillas, organic roast turkey and beef.

    She says, “The road to healthy eating involves making small changes in dietary habits and that will eventually lead to healthy eating and the more you move away from sugar the less the desire.”

    Both Manning and Flam agree that can be as much or more enjoyable than unhealthy eating.

    They hope to spread their message and give society a healthier lifestyle.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: The annual art show
    Kristi Nimmo, the founder and organizer of the annual River Creek Art Show. Photo Courtesy/Kristi Nimmo
    Kristi Nimmo, the founder and organizer of the annual River Creek Art Show, discussed the coming congregation of River Creek artists scheduled for Friday, Nov, 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. at the River Creek Clubhouse. This will be the 12th annual show open to Club members and their guests. There is an art form on display to suit anyone’s taste: paintings, jewelry, photos, paper, and new this year – assemblage art – 3-D collages.

    Nimmo showed me samples: match boxes with crafted makeovers putting them into the field of art.

    She said, “Most River Creek artists are interested in ‘beauty’: landscapes, flowers and still lifes.” In essence taking nature’s offerings and putting them on canvas or through the eye of a camera.

    As an astute observer, Nimmo talked about the reactions of folks attending these shows. She says that sometimes they pause at a piece of art and have what she describes as, “A moment of awe. It lowers the cycokine levels, a measure of inflammatory response, so lowering levels is a good thing. In an awe moment, people are kinder, more generous and feel less self-entitled and it increases intellectual curiosity.”

    River Creek artists include: Mary Ann Glueckert, Joka Strasser, Gilda Montel, Marty McArthur, Paul Pulver, Ed Munoz, Rudy Wiggins, Robert Felter, Patti Koreski, Kristi Nimmo, Susanne Addy, Katherine Daniels, Bob Ehinger, Bea Snyder and Leiann Quesnel.

    So come and experience that ‘moment of awe.’

    Dialogues of Discovery

    Another in the lecture series sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will take place at its Janelia Research Campus on Wednesday, Nov. 19, beginning at 7 p.m. with refreshments available at 6:30 p.m. The lecture, entitled “Taking Action: How Small Brains Make Big Choices,” will be given by Janelia Group Leader Gwyneth Card. She will discuss: “How scientists combine the latest technologies for recording and manipulating neural activity in behaving animals to uncover the mysteries behind how such a tiny brain can accomplish these feats and what this might mean for how our own brains make critical life decisions.”

    Having attended previous lectures, I can vouch for the excellence of the subject matter and how they are presented; the venue has no equal with excellent acoustics and visual aspects. The building that houses 200 scientists is an architectural masterpiece. For reservations, call Margaret Oriot at 571-209-4332. Admission is free.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Pink Friday finale
    Gina Degaetano, center first row and a portion of her Pink Team. Times-Mirror/Joe Motheral
    All last month Belmont Ridge Middle School has been engaged in a program to answer the call for donations toward cancer research. As previously mentioned, every Friday students and faculty wore pink; pumpkins were decorated pink; ribbons of pink graced the hallways and Gina Degaetano, in charge of the program and a special education teacher, gave the students the privilege of decorating the doorway to their favorite classrooms; in pink, of course.

    Altogether, the program had the knack of mixing fun with a serious and valued cause. This seems to have given the students the proper motivation. But more than that, all the funds generated during the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Belmont Ridge Middle School were in the name of Rae Comparin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had been for some time on the staff in the front office at the school. Now working at Stone Bridge High School, she came last Friday to her old school and was her usual cheerful self.

    She said, “It means the world to me; it’s very humbling and inspiring with all the love and support.”

    When I asked her how she was doing, she sounded positive as usual. “I’ve finished chemotherapy and have started radiation and have been able to go back to work,” she said.

    It was good news. All the while her many colleagues and friends came to greet her warmly.

    The focal point of this day’s activity was the courtyard that displayed pinkkins – pumpkins that had been painted with designs in pink. One that was donated by a teacher weighed several pounds. They all were for sale and as we sat in the courtyard, Degaetano had a centrifuge going making cotton candy – naturally pink, and students were pouring in for $2 each to partake. Tim Miller, Degaetano and Kristen Ash had strings of cotton candy on them as they twisted the strands into edible form.

    Other innovations included having pink donuts for sale one Friday. And they had been selling pink sweatshirts. For males the inscription read: “Real Men Rock Pink.” For females: “I fight like a girl!”

    Degaetano said they should bring in about $2,000, all to be donated through Walk for Life for Comparin’s choice of not just breast cancer but cancer in general.

    Dedicated to Rae Comparin, a true champion.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Autumn, Halloween and evolution
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Belmont Ridge goes pink
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Nobel Prize visits Janelia
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Book clubs in River Creek
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Station 22 Open House
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: The Gettysburg Address
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Remembering 9/11
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Dialogues of Discovery
    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: The dog’s day of summer
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