Meredith Holt is a features/business reporter for The Forum who covers topics in health, mental health, social issues, women's issues, arts and entertainment, food and more. She also writes a column on health and wellness, body image and media representation. She was a copy editor/page designer for six years prior to joining the features team in March 2012.
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FARGO — Over their long nursing careers, friends Melody Larson and Jane Roggensack have treated thousands of patients, but not all of them were of the human variety. In addition to their years of service at Sanford Health, Larson, now retired, and Roggensack, director of medical and student education, donate their time as volunteers for Medical Mission Ecuador and at CATS Cradle Shelter here, where they help keep four-legged patients happy and healthy, too.
FARGO — With a little help from Pinterest and a can of spray paint, in three weeks Miranda Dietrich transformed the patio in the backyard of her south Fargo home into a backyard oasis. After quitting her full-time job as a day care provider, she decided she wanted to get her "adult space" back.
FARGO — Carol Brooks has never walked a day in her life, but that hasn't stopped her from reaching people from all walks of life. She recently received Church Women United's Valiant Woman award. Donna Sell and Kay Johnson, who nominated her for the award, call her a "missionary from a wheelchair."
Three years ago, I publicly declared my intentions to quit drinking Diet Coke. And I did. I put down the can (everyone knows Diet Coke tastes best from a can). For a long time, I stuck to water, coffee and tea. It took a while for my cravings to subside. Once they did, I started occasionally allowing myself to have a little. I could sip it with my popcorn at the movies, but I couldn't bring a 12-pack home, I told myself. After all, my mouth still twitched at the sound of a soda can opening 20 feet away. But then something happened.
WEST FARGO — Ajay and Harrsha Bhora want kids' health messaging to go beyond "Eat your vegetables." They want them to understand why it's important to eat their vegetables. "Despite all the literature out there, people still aren't getting why they should live a healthy lifestyle," says Ajay Bhora, an internal medicine hospitalist at Sanford Health.
FARGO — Anna Palmer has had the makings of a reporter since the second grade. She read the newspaper as a farm kid growing up a half-mile from Kindred, N.D., and says she was "a pretty precocious kid." "I liked to ask questions and wasn't afraid to go up to people and talk to them," she says. "Being curious, I think, is one of the strongest components of a good reporter."
FARGO — Lisa Borgen has "a long history of change," especially in her professional life. Before serving as a judge and Clay County attorney, she worked as a nurse, she worked at Dayton's department store, she got a criminal justice degree, she went to law school, and she opened her own law firm. "One motto that I've always had is you should quit what you're doing when you're on top, when people would say, 'Oh my gosh, we wish you wouldn't leave, we're really going to miss you,' " she told the audience of the May Women Connect event at the Avalon Events Center.
FARGO — Melanie Carvell says only about 20 percent of Americans have gym memberships, and of that 20 percent, most don't use them. But, as she told the audience of the 2016 Women's Health Conference here on Monday, you don't have to go to the gym to get exercise. There are two kinds of exercise, explained Carvell, a physical therapist, triathlete, author and motivational speaker based in Bismarck.
FARGO — Burlap, a new home-decor boutique just off of South University Drive here, is more than a place to shop. Co-owners Mary Sue Ohlhauser and Paula Otto say it's also "a place to visit and get ideas." They, along with manager Heidi Vetter, have made it inviting for anyone who stops in. There's lemon water and a free coffee bar, and staff are willing to offer suggestions. DIY classes are in the works, too. "We want people to feel at home here," Vetter says.
BISMARCK – Lacey Kuhn wrote her first check to buy a subscription to a bridal magazine. The 34-year-old Bismarck woman says she's been obsessed with weddings since she was a little girl. In high school, she told her guidance counselor she wanted to be a wedding planner. So when the opportunity to buy a local decorating business came along, she took it.