Girlfriends group provides time for sharing, learning

HOWLAND -Each month area women of have been gathering for a night out for dinner where they learn about ways to stay healthy, help local charities and recognize local businesses.

Dr. Lana Kontos, a board certified naturopathic doctor trained and certified lifestyle medicine practitioner, said “Dinner with My Girlfriends” started last fall and is a group of women who meet each month and hear about women’s health issues and receive health tips on weight loss, increasing energy, losing weight, breast cancer, menopause symptoms, and balancing hormones.

Kontos said at each event a local business is honored with a local business owner speaking for 10 minuets promoting their services

At the December gathering held at Alberini’s Restaurant in Howland Regina Mitchell of Warren Fabricating and Manufacturing was honored.

Kontos said the group each month also helps an adopted charity which is the backpack program at Howland United Methodist Church which provides food to local elementary school children.

Kontos said the event is held the second Thursday of each month for women age 21 and older and are held at Vernon’s Cafe, Leo’s Restaurant and Alberini’s Restaurant.

The next event Jan. 14 at Leo’s Restaurant with guest speaker, Heidi Davis, owner if Soul Food Mafia Tshirts. The charity to be helped is the Tiger Backpack project for Howland schools.

Kontos said while the group started in October, she unofficially held meetings for a year and half discussing health tips, and recognizing a business person such as yoga instructors, wedding dress maker or flora designer.

She said the guest business person gets to talk about their career and business at the meeting.

Kontos said ”Dinner with My Girlfriends” is part of the larger Operation Healthy Girlfriend program,

Mease said “What attracted me to this was just time out to enjoy yourself. You hear health tips and we get to tell about the need for the backpack program.”

Kontos said the event lets women ”have a break” while enjoying camaraderie and friendship with others.

She said issues of importance to women include weight loss, hormone healthy, improving sleep, menopause, diet and lifestyle.

Regina Mitchell of Warren Fabricating and Machining said it was interesting hearing the heath topic since her father, founder of Warren Manufacturing passed away suddenly from heart disease.

“Having the information on health and wellness available to us is beneficial to people. Lana spoke at a seminar at Warren Fabricating to the employees. This has been a great partnership,”Mitchell said.

Susan Deleo, an event attendee, said when she first met Kontos she learned of her exercise and diet regime noting she followed Kontos’ advice and had gained back her energy.

“It’s nice to combine health tips, a local business and a charity. It is a well-rounded program helping to make a healthy community.. Lana wants everyone to feel good and hear from women who have done well and made the most of their talents,” Deleo said.