Sterling Silver Shining Brightly Tami
Shining Brightly We all carry a light inside of us. Some people seem to have a constant glow while others flicker brightly here or there depending on what they’re doing or who they’re with. But for another select group, the light they embody is closer to a sunrise, illuminating and embracing everything and everyone it touches. Do you think that’s a bit heavy-handed or just a writer’s poetic exaggeration? Well, that’s because you haven’t met this issue’s featured Sterling Silver Club member, Tami, yet. But that’s about to change… This Little Light of Mine As an infant, Tami’s adoptive parents were drawn to her light, even though the couple had come to an orphanage in Washington state hoping to find an older child to add to their family. “My parents always said that after seeing and holding me, they had to take me home,” Tami remembers and then smiles. “They also liked to tell the story of how they sold their prize baby bull, Johnny Apollo, to pay my adoption fees!” Tami has fond memories of making mud pies and climbing trees as a child and feels privileged to have been raised by older parents. “They both lived through the Great Depression and my dad proudly served in the U.S. Navy in World War ll,” says Tami. “I certainly attribute learning to love and give unconditionally through their humble ways. I had the honor of taking care of them both for about 10 years before their passing. When asked who my heroes are, though I have several, they are at the top of that list for sure.” Today, Tami is married to her high school sweetheart, Richard. They’ve been together for 43 years and have five children – and 10 grandchildren – of their own. Helping Others Through Darkness Tami started a highway construction business with her family in 2000, but focused 18 years of her career around her love of teaching, with seven years spent as Vice Principal of Academics at Reno Christian Academy. One of her greatest joys during that time was implementing Prime Time, a program that set aside special time for students who had experienced recent traumatic events. “I used puppets, sewing, crafts – any activity the students would respond to,” explains Tami. “But mostly, I listened.” And when one of her students shared, “I just want someone to listen to me for an hour today” – that’s what she did. “We sat on the sidewalk and ate Fudgsicles and giggled at the silliest things,” Tami recalls with some emotion. “And when we both left smiling, I was reminded that the most beautiful moments are when we are simply present with an open heart.”
Type 2 Diabetes: What You Should Know
Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, is on the rise for adults and children in the United States. Although genetics play a role, you can take steps today to lower your risk of developing this life-altering condition. Michael Raymund Gonzales, MD with Renown Endocrinology answered our questions about Type 2 diabetes and gave us some useful tips for prevention. What effect does diabetes have on the body? And who’s most at risk? First, it’s important to know the difference between the two most common types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to make insulin, which is a hormone your body needs to be able to use sugar, or glucose, for energy. Type 1 is not preventable, and people who have it were either born with it or they developed it later in life due to an autoimmune process that attacked the pancreas that went unrecognized. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body makes the insulin hormone, but it might not make enough or work well enough for the body to use sugar for energy. This is called insulin resistance. This condition usually develops later in life but is preventable with proper diet, exercise and weight loss. However, due to the obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes is occurring more often in younger individuals. Diabetes hurts the body’s ability to break down glucose, so rather than it being used for energy, glucose stays in the bloodstream, which can cause problems. But with early detection and the help of your doctor, diabetes can be managed so that complications are avoided. Left unmanaged, however, diabetes can affect major organs and lead to heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, skin conditions and more. Type 2 diabetes also results from risk factors that you can’t control, including your family history, race and age. However, there are a few risk factors that you can watch out for, such as being overweight, inactivity, diet choices, having high blood pressure and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Sterling Silver Club Member Masterpiece
A Gallery-Worthy Member Artistry usually refers to a person’s ability to express their unique creativity in powerful and surprising ways. But there is also an art to living your life in ways that celebrate who you are, your limitless potential, the people you love and the community you care about. So imagine our delight to discover a Sterling Silver Club member and artist whose artistry of life reaches far beyond gallery walls. An Early Love of Art Born in Chicago, Illinois, Debbie arrived as the last of her parents’ three children and has two older siblings, Cynthia and Henry (a.k.a. Skip). As is usually the case, school played an important role in their shared childhood and Debbie remembers being drawn to art assignments in class from an early age. “When I was a young girl, I loved working on various art projects at school,” she recalls. “I always found myself learning something new and then teaching it to everyone I knew.” Later, Debbie would play violin in the school orchestra, join the swim team, and to continue to learn about art and its broader influence. “I remember taking a class and learning about color theory,” recounts Debbie. “I was so impressed with how colors relate to one another and also discovered how primary and secondary colors can be used together to make everything from products and advertising to what we wear more pleasing to the eye.” Expression-ism. “Art allows you to express yourself,” says Debbie. “And I’ve always been quite happy being expressive.” Though Debbie’s affinity for art was obvious, it wasn’t destined to be her career… at least initially. After earning degrees in marketing and public relations at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and George Williams College of Aurora University in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, respectively, Debbie began what turned out to be a career in technology. In the Chicago area, she held positions as a systems analyst and computer programmer and a role in marketing and public relations for a computer software company. Then it was off to Los Angeles, California with her new husband, David, where she worked in sales and education for another software company. The couple returned to Elmhurst, Illinois to start their family but eventually moved to and settled in Minden, Nevada where David had an insurance business for 23 years and their children grew to become the adults their grandparents dreamed of. “My mom and dad would be most proud of our children,” beams Debbie. “They (her parents) always hoped for the best for them and would be over the moon that they are doing what they want to do, two of them in the field of medicine.” Debbie and David now live in Carson City, Nevada and their three children have established lives of their own. Jeffrey, the oldest, is a pastor and holds two master’s degrees. Rachael is an OB/GYN provider in Southern California and a graduate of University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med). And their youngest, John-Henry, is finishing up his medical training and will soon be a trauma surgeon. Furry Family Members Debbie’s other “kids” are of the four-legged variety. “Mercedes and Bentley are really our luxury pugs,” she admits. “But are named after famous characters from books, not luxury cars.” She also says they are goofy, much-loved and simply melt the hearts of everyone they meet – “always!”
This Couple Rocks
Renown’s Sterling Silver Club is honored to feature members of our club each season. We thank Mary and Dave for sharing their fun-loving story and all of our members for leading healthy, happy lives that inspire us all. Rock On! Rhyolite almost sounds like a rock band, but it’s not (at least not one that we are aware of). It is a ghost town near the eastern boundary of Death Valley National Park, the most silica-rich of volcanic rock – and the magma-based spark for what has become a very special relationship of our featured Sterling Silver Club member couple, Mary and Dave. “May I carry those for you?” Mary and Dave first met back in January of 2015 when they sat near each other at a financial seminar in Reno. Though friendly banter was exchanged at the time, contact information was not. It wasn’t until later that year in July when “rock karma” intervened. The two reunited unexpectedly when they joined friends on an excursion to Wonder Mountain near Fallon, Nevada to gather… Rhyolite! “I remember I enjoyed meeting Mary at the seminar and thought she was pretty, but didn’t get her phone number,” recalls Dave. “But that day in the desert, Dave asked if he could carry my rocks,” Mary smiles, “and we got each other’s numbers and began dating after that.” Since then, they’ve gone “rockhounding” all over the state. Smokey quartz brought them to Mt. Peterson, north of Reno. Daisy agates were worth a trip to Austin, Nevada. They’ve hunted for Larsonite, a rare, petrified bog wood found only in McDermott, and also venture out with the Comstock Gold Prospectors Club in search of that precious metal. Hiking, exploring and searching for interesting and colorful “finds” together make rock hunting one of the couple’s favorite hobbies. “I’m especially fascinated with petrified wood that’s been lying in the desert for millions of years until I dig it up,” says Dave. “Pretty cool!” The Pre-Rock Years Mary and her four siblings are first generation Chinese Americans. Her parents who emigrated from Malaysia to the U.S. by way of Canada after World War II and raised the family in Northern Virginia. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, our Mary started a career in software training and project management. Now retired, she occasionally goes to work helping friends and family with travel reservations. Dave and his three siblings were born and raised in Southern California. He remembers his parents taking the family camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains a couple times a year and trips out to the sand dunes in San Filipe, Mexico where they’d stay for weeks at a time. Dave began his career in the restaurant industry right out of high school and was eventually recruited to run a developer’s hotel restaurant and be his personal chef. Dave wrapped up his career in 2012 when he stepped down as executive chef at Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino. More recently on the non-work front, Dave’s son, Cameron, and his wife, Rebecca, have blessed grandpa Dave with a granddaughter, Madison – and there’s a grandson on the way! Getting to Know You Mary and Dave also use their time to collect travel experiences that have allowed their relationship to deepen and their appreciation of each other to grow. They’ve camped at Death Valley and locations throughout the Nevada desert and admit to more civilized stays in hotels and resorts in Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United States. They also spend a week every fall paddling their canoe along the shores of Lake Tahoe, which they call the most beautiful place in the world. Well, when you travel that much with someone, you really get to know them. “Mary has the clever wit to keep things interesting,” says Dave. “Plus she has the patience to put up with my little quirks and idiosyncrasies, and the gumption to keep me out of trouble!” And Dave’s cooking skills have found a fan in Mary, who’s a bit of a cook herself. “My favorite dish of his is roast duck,” says Mary. “I offered a little coaching and showed him the traditional way of serving it with steamed rice pancakes, hoisin sauce and spring onions.” Mary also enjoys spending time bulldog spotting, restoring her 1992 Mazda Miata, playing the ukulele, crocheting and knitting – and she’s teaching herself Spanish! Member-to-Member Advice Mary and Dave enjoy socializing with other Sterling Silver Club members and learning how to better care for their health at different club events. As for their advice to other members? That’s simple: “Live the best life you can by taking care of yourself and your family and friends.” The Sterling Silver Club thanks Mary and Dave for giving us a glimpse inside their ROCKIN’ relationship and appreciates all of our members for being passionate about living their best lives.
Tasty Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing
Looking for a main course or premade lunch recipe? We’re serving up the most delicious cold salad, perfect for when you’re craving a flavorful, crunchy, pea-nutty dish. Best of all, it’s versatile! This salad can be easily made with protein, or as vegan, and/or gluten-free. Add diced chicken or edamame beans to this refreshing dish if you need that extra protein kick. This slaw is dietitian-approved, with it having more vegetables than noodles and heart-healthy ingredients to keep you going.
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Healthy Side Dish Cauliflower Rice
Finding the perfect cauliflower rice side dish can be challenging. Let's face it, not too many of us love the taste of cauliflower. However, this low-carb side dish is perfectly paired with chicken, rounding out a healthy meal. This recipe can also go well as a base to build a healthy and balanced protein bowl. Cauliflower Rice How-to Guide You can buy frozen riced cauliflower at just about any store, making it easy to throw into your recipes. However, if you want to make cauliflower rice yourself, here are some helpful tips to get you started. Registered dietitian Caitlin Bus hopes you'll give cauliflower rice a try as an alternative to traditional rice, allowing you to add more servings of vegetables into your diet!
Club Member with a Grand Tale
Renown’s Sterling Silver Club is honored to feature one of our more than 9,000 members each season. We thank Judith for sharing her inspirational story and all of our members for leading healthy, happy lives that inspire us all. Mother, grandmother and eventually great-grandmother is the expected title progression as families grow and babies have babies. “Grand” and “great” usually imply roles and responsibilities have shifted from daily child-rearing duties to those of a doting grandparent – that is, unless you decide to do it all over again. At the age of 61, that’s exactly what featured Sterling Silver Club member, Judith, decided to do when she adopted four of her great-grandchildren. At the time, Alicia, Adrianna and Joey were all under five and Giancarlo, the youngest, was just a baby. “At the adoption hearing, the judge was concerned how stressful it would be for me to raise four children in my late 70s and early 80s,” recalls Judith. “But I told him I had raised my own four children and then three grandchildren for a number of years and that it would be far more stressful for me to have my great-grandchildren separated from each other and me, possibly forever. I knew I could handle the stress of raising them no matter my age, but I couldn’t survive the stress of losing them.” “That was when Giancarlo started getting fidgety,” she continues. “So I raised up his little shirt and blew a raspberry on his tummy which made him giggle and settle down. Seeing that, the judge told the recorder to “put that move in the record” and agreed I was capable of caring for my little ones.” Years later, Judith has come to realize that her great-grandchildren also want to be there to care for her. “Giancarlo always makes me smile,” says Judith. “Once during a stay in the hospital, I was awoken at 3 a.m. for blood work and found him sitting next to my bed watching the oxygen count – he was 10 years old at the time.” “The nurse asked him why he was awake and he said he heard her say the count shouldn’t go below 88, so he was watching to save me if it did,” Judith explains. “The nurse reassured him that she was also watching the count at her desk and he didn’t need to worry. Then Giancarlo looked her square in the eye and told her if it went below 88 to wake him up because he loved me and didn’t want to lose me.” “He is still my sunshine,” Judith smiles. “And I have never regretted my decision.” Work & Play For 20 years, Judith worked at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC), first as an administrative assistant for the police academy before moving to a position in the president’s office. There she worked with the TMCC Foundation and on TMCC projects to raise capital funds for new buildings, off-site campuses, scholarships, college programs and more. “It felt wonderful to be able to notify a student that they had received a scholarship or tell a department that they had received the funds to purchase needed equipment for their program,” recalls Judith. For fun these days, Judith still enjoys doing something she did as a teenager: playing pool. “My mother taught me to play pool in my dad’s pool room/teen hangout space in my early 20s and I’m just getting back into the game by taking lessons to help remind me what I was taught,” says Judith. “I grew up in a small, country town on the Ohio River and my mother could beat almost all of the boys in the county. I would love to be able to emulate her ability in the game.” Judith also enjoys reading, watching Hallmark movies or Warriors basketball games, walking in nature, playing “competitive” shuffleboard with friends, all genres of music – and dancing! In fact, she’s currently taking dance lessons to learn a few new steps. Always Good for a Laugh “My great-grandchildren and I laugh a lot when I try to teach them the stroll, twist, mashed potato and old-fashioned, rock-‘n’-roll dancing,” admits Judith. “But we laugh even harder when they try to teach me their dance moves!” Faith in What Matters Faith is something Judith celebrates and embraces for herself and others. “I truly believe that we are placed on earth exactly where God feels we are needed and that we are here to help each other through life, not to accumulate material goods for ourselves,” says Judith. “I feel deep satisfaction when I can help others either through just listening to them, advising them, helping them with specific needs or simply giving a smile to a stranger. To me, giving a smile or a helping hand to someone is like skipping a rock across the water – the ripples go on and on.” Then she adds, “And raising my great-grandchildren to be able to have wonderful lives full of love and happiness and closeness to God is the greatest gift I could give them.” Club Talk So what does Judith appreciate most about being a member of the Sterling Silver Club? She says it’s the opportunity to just – talk. “I fully enjoyed my initial interaction with the club and other club members at the Roaring Twenties dinner dance event,” remembers Judith. “I sat at a table with the nicest ladies and had great conversations with adults and danced with one of the instructors. When you are raising four teenagers who sometimes seem to speak an entirely different language, it’s refreshing to meet and speak with others your own age.” Pictures of some of the popular Sterling Silver Club events are featured here. Judith finds club events that bring her joy. “I also like the cooking classes and recently went on a walking tour of Oxbow Park, which was very peaceful.” What advice does Judith have to help other members live their best and fullest lives? “On a wet December morning 50 years ago,” Judith begins, “a truck coming around a curve on a country road slid into me and that split second could have made all the difference in the world to me. But God was with me and I survived, which no one expected.” “You never know when that one second that could change everything might happen, so make the most of all of your seconds,” she advises. “Do what you love with those you love. My family means the world to me and I try to think about how my decisions will reflect on the memory I will leave behind for them.” Then Judith thoughtfully adds, “I want them to remember that I truly loved them and always did my best to let them know that.”
Wholesome Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
There is no shortage of sweet treats during the holiday season, making it hard to keep our health on track. With all of the delicious aromas mixed into holiday cookies -- vanilla, peppermint, molasses, ginger, pecans and chocolate --the dessert table could use a healthy makeover that doesn’t compromise flavor. We challenged Caitlin Bus, Registered Dietitian with Renown Healthy Heart Program, to come up with a healthier cookie recipe to share with your family and friends this holiday season. These vegan thumbprint cookies are soft, slightly chewy, nutty and sweet, made with almond flour, a hint of maple flavor and topped with raspberry jam (or the jam of your choice). Even better, these holiday cookies require just eight simple, healthy ingredients and are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free and optionally sugar-free too!
Tasty Turkey and Veggie Chili with Kale
Meet your new go-to healthy chili recipe for fall. Made to share or freeze the leftovers for an easy lunch or dinner. There’s nothing like homemade chili to warm you up on those cold winter nights. With just the right amount of comforting flavors and garden-fresh veggies, this crowd-pleasing favorite could prove to be your go-to healthy comfort meal.
What is Care Coordination for Senior Care Plus Members?
Cost-saving isn’t the only reason to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. One of the main reasons Medicare beneficiaries in Nevada join a Senior Care Plus Medicare Advantage Plan is for the care coordination services. The Senior Care Plus Care Coordination team helps members navigate what can be a complex healthcare system. Care coordination is a popular and extremely important service for members because keeping members healthy is the number one goal. One way they help reach this goal is to encourage members to participate in a no-cost, comprehensive health assessment. At this Quick Start Health Assessment, members meet with a geriatric specialist – a provider who specializes in the care of seniors – to discuss the 4 Ms: Mentation – Thinking, memory and mental health Medications – Understanding your medication Mobility – Staying physically active What Matters to You – Let your provider know what is important to you – examples could be family, health and independence The results of this detailed visit are then shared with the member’s primary care provider, so a customized care plan can be developed. This is a free service for Senior Care Plus members, along with an annual wellness visit and an annual physical exam. Care Team Approach – Laying the Foundation to Improve Health Health assessments and annual visits are offered so Renown Health providers can build relationships to improve care. This approach, also known as the Building Relationships to Improve Care or BRIC Model, is the care model used across Renown Health. “What’s special about this care model is that it really puts our patients at the center of their care,” says Savannah Gonsalves, a registered nurse with Senior Care Plus. “Members have their providers and nurses, Senior Care Plus personal assistants, case managers, and within the BRIC Model, they’re all talking to one another and putting the focus on the patient to meet needs.” Personal Assistants – A Unique Connection to Each Member A team of personal assistants is available to help members coordinate care by: Scheduling a member’s appointments Answering a member’s benefits questions Helping navigate care – these are experts in both health insurance and healthcare Answering questions about medications Working with providers to coordinate a member’s care The Senior Care Plus personal assistants are one of the most popular services that the Medicare Advantage plan offers. Each personal assistant has a direct phone line so members can call them to ask questions. “After my hip surgery my personal assistant, Megan checked in on me every day,” recalls Janelle, a Senior Care Plus member. “She made sure that I was doing alright and that I didn’t need anything. She just let me know that she was there for me.” To Learn More Senior Care Plus is the largest Medicare Advantage Plan in northern Nevada. They offer $0 plans with low co-pays with access to Renown Health and Teladoc Virtual Visits that cover you nationwide. To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans and to see if you qualify, visit SeniorCarePlus.com or call 775-982-3158 to speak to an enrollment specialist.
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Oat Flour Pumpkin Bread
Who knew that pumpkin bread can be nutritious and delicious? Caitlin Bus, Registered Dietitian with the Renown Healthy Heart Program shares her expertise on how to make a healthy and hearty pumpkin bread with homemade oat flour and natural substitutes for sugar. Give it a try!
A Tale of Life Done Right
Once upon a time … in Incline This issue’s featured member began writing the latest chapter of her life story by retiring on Lake Tahoe’s north shore in Incline Village, NV. “I had several criteria when selecting a place to retire,” says MaryBeth. “And a healthy lifestyle was number one. The people who have settled in Incline are very active with both their minds and their bodies. It’s not a stagnant population, it is unusually robust. I’ve made wonderful friendships here and we really watch out for each other, which means the world to me.” “I also wanted four seasons a year,” she continues. “And most importantly, I wanted a place that my son, Addison, would love to visit and share with me – and world-class skiing just minutes away scored extra points with both of us!” Zürich and Beyond Skiing was something MaryBeth and Addison took to with a passion while living in Zürich, Switzerland. A business move to the land of the Alps (and Swiss chocolate) provided the perfect opportunity for an international education for her son and a culturally eye-opening experience for the family. “I was unprepared for what it was going to be like living in a foreign place, and I learned a lot about empathy as a non-native and the kindness of strangers, or not. Our seven years there gave us many easily available travel adventures on the other side of the globe, and the friendships I made with people around the world have been lifelong.” “Divas” of the Garden “Tall and showy” is how MaryBeth lovingly describes the “Divas” of her garden, aka the delphiniums. Located in the sunny part of her yard, the plants explode in a variety of colors that accentuate her home’s landscaping and are a well-earned reward for her mountain gardening challenges. “The very first thing you must do when creating a new garden is amend the soil,” explains MaryBeth. “It’s not sexy, but it’s necessary! And that’s when you learn that every shovelful of “mountain” dirt is loaded with rocks of every size – it’s fantastic exercise!” And her neighbors appreciate the hard work. “I’ve made so many friends of all ages in the neighborhood while working outside in my garden,” shares MaryBeth. “They stop, chat, inquire about the plants and take photos all the time.” Then with a smile, she adds, “You could call it my art.” Aging-In to Life with Medicare At 64 and on the cusp of Medicare eligibility, MaryBeth recently tasked herself with learning what she could about the plans and options that would soon be available to her and was overwhelmed. “I made the mistake of entering my phone number on a Medicare website for “wanting more information” and had no less than 15 calls a day from health insurance brokers – from all over the country!” she exclaims. “What one person would tell me would then be questioned by the next. I eventually quit answering the phone.” However, finding a Medicare plan that meets all of her needs is still a priority. “First and foremost, since I am a traveler (at least before the pandemic) I want to have a healthcare plan that will cover me in any state,” MaryBeth explains. “I would also like a policy that allows for alternative treatments, such as acupuncture – which I’ve had great success with in the past. I know that getting a good Rx plan now will save me money down the line, and I also want to be able to see a specialist without seeing a provider first for a referral.”