I dug into the hidden stash of Halloween candy. ‘They’re small,’ I justified as I opened my third Snickers. I was a woman out of control, craving chocolate, needing to appease the screaming demons of P.M.S. Maybe you can relate.

I’m hoping to learn some healthy alternatives to hormone-related binging at the Women’s Wellness Weekend presented by Tahoe Forest Hospital on November 8 and 9. Panel discussions with titles like ‘From Pimples to Hot Flashes’ and ‘From Mindless to MindFULL eating’ are sure to be helpful.

The two-day event, held at The Village at Squaw Valley, features activities, health and wellness workshops, and useful information for women in all stages of life.


Saturday spotlights disease prevention specifically for women: creating balance in your life, stress reduction, mindful eating, natural solutions for mid-life hormonal changes, creativity and healing, skin care, breast health for women, and osteoporosis.

Coincidentally, I asked a past participant, Terri Vihmann, what she was interested in learning about at this year’s Wellness Weekend. ‘Unfortunately, the panel on hormones is a timely topic,’ she said. Vihmann has been to a few of the weekends over the years, and found last year’s nutrition classes particularly helpful to overcome the eating habits she acquired as a child. She uses recipes she learned in Betsy Taylor’s cooking class, ‘Nutritious Easy-to-Prepare Evening Meals,’ to this day and is teaching her four-year-old to enjoy healthy food.

Sunday’s health fair starts out with a guided meditation or group power walk, and then features health screenings specifically for women. Hourly exercise classes include Pilates, Strength Training, Butts n Gutts, Boot Camp, and Nia Dance. There will also be special ‘Girls on the Run’ activities available on Sunday for girls age 6 to 14. Breakout sessions include talks on ‘Tools for Well Being,’ ‘The 5 Best Things Women Should Add to their Diet,’ and ‘Breast Health – What Everyone Woman Needs to Know.’ The cost for the weekend is $40 per person. Register in advance at regonline.com/2008www, 530-587-3769.

Also, October is Breast Health Awareness Month, a national initiative to create awareness of early detection and prevention of breast cancer. Call Tahoe Forest Hospital now for an appointment and take advantage of their special offer to receive a complimentary one-week pass to the Fitness Center at the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance. Tahoe Forest Hospital’s Briner Imaging Center offers state-of-the-art digital mammography, and follow-up care is available through local physicians. A mammogram is a simple procedure performed by certified mammography technologists and interpreted by a board-certified radiologist. Mammograms and monthly self-checks are the most effective methods for early detection of breast cancer. Physician referrals are not necessary to schedule a mammogram, and most insurance plans are accepted. Mention the Breast Health Month offer when you schedule your appointment at 530-582-6510.

But, wait, there’s more…

Nestled between the two days of women, health, and wellness is an incredible evening with chocolate, wine, music and men. On Saturday, November 8, Tahoe Women’s Services (TWS) is celebrating their 20th Annual Chocolate and Wine Festival at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach. In celebration of the big anniversary, TWS is adding new attractions, including a live performance by Mumbo Gumbo and a cash bar of chocolate-inspired cocktails. As usual, guests vote for their favorite chocolate prepared by Tahoe’s finest chefs, but for the first time, guests can vote for their favorite red and white wines from select boutique wineries. ‘It has always been a chocolate festival with wine, but this year we are giving greater recognition to the great contribution of the wineries,’ said Michele Prestowitz, TWS Development Manager.

They will also have newly invigorated silent and live auctions, emcee Ed Miller, and mouth-watering catering by Mountain Magic. Through a collaboration between TWS, the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, and the local chapter of the American Red Cross, childcare is available for only $15 for one child, or $25 per family from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, practically across the street from the event. Children must be at least four years old and potty trained. The kids’ night will feature pizza and dessert, a game room and art projects, movie room, and quiet room for sleepyheads. All staff and babysitters are trained and certified by the American Red Cross. Call to reserve your spot, 530-546-4324.

Ferrari’s Crown Motel, located just down the street from the Conference Center at 8200 North Lake Boulevard, is offering a special deal of $89 for lake-view rooms. Mention ‘Mumbo Gumbo’ and ‘Tahoe Women’s Services’ when booking, 800-645-2260 or 530-546-3388.

TWS is a local non-profit dedicated to reducing the incidence and trauma of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse in our community. The Chocolate and Wine Festival is TWS’s largest fundraiser, and is a celebration of the survivors. Proceeds from this event support vital services such as peer counseling, legal advocacy, children’s programs, and safe shelter, and ensure the continuation of programs. Sponsors include Wells Fargo Wealth Management Group. Advance tickets are available for $50, or $90 for two, $60 at the door if available. Purchase tickets at tahoewomenservices.org, 775-298-0010. Free parking.


  • Kira Catanzaro

    Kira Catanzaro is a writer and renaissance woman deeply committed to connecting with spirit through meditation, creative arts, and the wonders of nature. She wrote for Moonshine Ink from 2006 to 2012.

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