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Kid literacy seems to be a possibility, thanks to sporting school principals who agree to sit on a school roof or in a dunk tank if students read enough books. But during summer vacation, when there are few authority figures to humiliate, will reading lose ground? The decade-old Summer Quest program aims to keep up the learning curve. Coordinated by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), the gratis Summer Quest ’95 offers books, performances, and reading incentives (e.g., free stickers and Ben & Jerry’s coupons). Of course, because of cutbacks, D.C. libraries won’t be as active as those in the ‘burbs, but will promote films, story hours, and “Hoops Marks,” a reading program sponsored by the Washington Bullets. For more information, call the D.C. Public Libraries, (202) 727-1151, or COG, (202) 962-3200.
Just the Fats “It’s like when you stop smoking,” says D.C. gourmet Lynn Fischer of cutting back on high-fat foods. “Your body is saying, “Please smoke!’ but your body is lying to you.” Her cookbook, Healthy Indulgences (which is published by Heart Books and shares the title of Fischer’s cable-TV cooking show), is all about preparing low-fat meals, and she claims that “the less you eat [fattening foods], the less you crave them.” Low-fat, of course, necessarily means high-something-else, and former medical reporter Fischer admits that many of her recipes are better with the optional salt; however, herbs and spices can also perk up a dull dish. Speaking of putting zing in dinner, the author is also completing her sixth book, The Better Sex Diet, which touts grains, fruits, vegetables, oysters (“because they’re high in zinc”), and coffee (“a stimulant”) for the libido. And while Fischer insists she’s “not anti-meat,” she cautions romantics against eating items like turkey, salmon, or cheese, which contain a sleep-inducing amino acid called triptophane.