Best Self Atlanta 0114

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Atlanta’s “go-to” guide for health, beauty and happy living!

January 2014


Weighing Your Options Is bariatric surgery right for you? Information and resources to help you decide p. 43



in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Perimeter for health, beauty & more p.40

Best Beauty

Keep hands youthful with advice from the experts p. 24



New Year’s Resolutions

U.S. Obesity Rate Climbing in 2013

Robotic Hair Restoration Arrives in Atlanta by Ken Anderson, MD


Best Health

Find a therapist, stop smoking and tips to start the year right

My Best Self Local trainer Sandi Porter helps hundreds lose weight p. 66

Best Rx

Atlanta doctors answer your health questions p. 22

Give-Back Guide

Lots of great opportunities for you to volunteer p. 63

by Laura K. Schilling, JD, CPA, CFP(r), CSA

by Teresa Ducoffe & Candace Layer, CCH


Best Advice

How to keep those New Year’s resolutions p. 15

Those Aren’t Love Letters from the IRS

by James L. Robertson, EA



What’s Hot for 2014 p. 29 10 Atlanta bloggers give us the inside scoop on top fitness trends to try this year

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Did You Know? Testosterone deficiency, known as “Low T,” is a very common medical condition which affects approximately 1 in 500 males.This condition occurs when the sex glands fail to produce enough of the hormone testosterone. Did testosterone You Know? In males, plays an important role in the maintenance of sex drive, fertility, and bone health. More than 2 million men in the United Stated been diagnosed with prostate cancer “Low T” may result from a disorder of the sex glands or who of thehave pituitary gland (a small organ located below the at some point are still alive today. Each year, almost 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate brain). It may be congenital (present at birth) or acquired as the result of aging, disease, drugs, or other factors. cancer and more than 30,000 men die of the disease. Symptoms of “Low T” include erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual desire, fatigue and weakness, depression, Early loss detection critical theand success of prostate cancer thereare areused no early infertility, of bodyisand facialtohair, osteoporosis. A blood test treatments. and review ofOften symptoms to symptoms. A yearly PSA screening blood test remains the best option to help men assess their diagnosis “Low T.” Testosterone replacement therapy is available in many forms to treat “Low T.” Men receiving risk. Georgia Urology follows the American Urological Association’s recommendation for yearly treatment often experience an increase in energy, sex drive, and sense of well-being. screening in males beginning at age 40.

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Your self-improvement journey starts here.

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Best Self Atlanta magazine is distributed and monitored monthly by Network Communications Inc. Inquiries and submissions regarding advertising and editorial should be directed to the address above. Best Self Atlanta does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does Publisher assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Readers are encouraged to notify Publisher when they suspect false advertising. Best Self Atlanta reserves the right to edit editorial for clarity and space availability. No content i.e. articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from Publisher.

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contents January 2014

Weighing Your Options

Exploring bariatric surgery – is it right for you? p. 43

Atlanta Bloggers Share Their Picks for 2014

Insider tips on how to stay fit and feel your best this year!


In every issue 8


From the Publisher

Learn how to choose a therapist, quit smoking and the signs of DVT

10 From the Editor

56 Best Business

Clean Slate

Meet businesses dedicated to a better you

15 Best Advice

Ways to keep those resolutions The scoop on what’s new around town

18 Best Bites

Voices Embodied Ensemble & Camp To Belong Georgia

20 Best Fun


63 Give-Back Guide

Our ideas for enjoying life

Charity events and volunteer opportunities

Atlanta doctors answer your health questions Keep hands youthful with advice from the experts

The latest from the business community

62 Best Cause

Healthy and tasty ideas to nourish your body

24 Best Beauty

in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Perimeter for health, beauty & more p. 40

57 Business News

17 Best Bulletin

22 Best Rx


27 Best Health

30 Days of Fitness


65 Reader Resources

Health advocate Sandi Porter

by Laura K. Schilling, JD, CPA, CFP(r), CSA

U.S. Obesity Rate Climbing in 2013 by Teresa Ducoffe & Candace Layer, CCH

A complete guide to our advertisers by business category

66 My Best Self

New Year’s Resolutions


Robotic Hair Restoration Arrives in Atlanta

on the cover:

Featured on the cover: Atlanta bloggers Madison James, Donna Burke and Kristin Gilbert Photography by: Sawyer Photography, Hair and makeup by: Jessica Miller, Julia Thaiese (Authentic Beauty, www., Brandy Telford (Shear Salon,, Niajee Smith (William David Salon,



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Those Aren’t Love Letters from the IRS

by James L. Robertson, EA



Photo by Sawyer Photography

by Ken Anderson, MD

12/20/13 9:35 AM


heavy, tired, restless


LEGS? veins?

varicose or spider Get your legs back in the game.

Photo by Sawyer Photography


Johns Creek

Call today for your complimentary cosmetic screening.


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Free eBook!

from the publisher Happy New Year from Best Self Join us for 30 Days of Fitness!

All of us at Best Self Atlanta Magazine wish you a very happy New Year! We are here to help you jumpstart the new year with 30 Days of Fitness! Beginning January 1, we will travel around town to participate in a variety of fitness classes and activities – one each day for the whole month.

Photo by Willett Photography, Inc.

Selecting the right cosmetic dentist can be a difficult and confusing process,

Pictured L-R: Sherri Adair, Flannery Winchester Keck, Jeyme Colodne, Patti Stephens, Miguel Velazquez, Aubrey Campbell, Sandy Henson, Carmen Koehler

Our Best Self staff will take turns visiting the newest gyms and the tried-and-true workouts, getting a diverse view of the fitness options in the city. As we complete each day of fitness, we’ll blog about it to let you know about our experience and what you might expect from each gym or workout class. Be sure to like us on Facebook, where we’ll be posting the recaps of each day of fitness. Our daily blogs will help you stay inspired to achieve your resolutions, and they’ll give you new ideas of ways to change up your workout routine. If you have a suggestion for a class we should take, or if you’re launching your own fitness regimen for the new year, be sure to tell us about it on our Facebook wall or email us at Whether your goal for 2014 is improving your fitness or changing careers, remember the words of Walt Disney, “All of our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

but choosing the right one is a crucial decision with ramifications on your looks and self-confidence that could last a lifetime. In this eBook you will find key topics covered such as: How to understand a doctor’s credentials (a MUST if you want a dream smile!), Things you need to know in order to make an informed decision, Before and After pictures of Do’s and Don’ts with explanations and analysis, and Countless more insider tips! To download this free eBook, just visit AtlantaCenterforCosmetic or scan the code below with your smart phone.

Happy New Year! Make this your best year yet!

Sherri Adair, Publisher



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Discover why people travel from all over the world to have their smile designed at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Hi, I’m Dr. Debra King and for more than 20 years I have devoted my entire practice to cosmetic dentistry and helping my patients achieve the smile they always dreamed of! Our goal is to design a smile that avoids detection and looks natural and beautiful. From students and soccer moms to business men and women, professional athletes, politicians, and celebrities we are honored to be able to work with so many people from all walks of life. Our focus on excellent dental care in a pleasant and pampering environment is one reason why our patients travel to Atlanta from all over the world. We consistently deliver artistic results quickly and in a comfortable environment and our full time massage therapist will make you forget that you are at a dental office! Our team of talented professionals makes you feel genuinely cared for during the entire process of designing your new smile. Changing your smile is a significant decision that affects your appearance, well-being, and confidence for years to come. Trust your smile to someone who performs smile designs every day. Our new website at has photos of hundreds of personalized smile designs that can help you visualize what your smile could look like! You may be surprised to learn of the dramatic results that cosmetic dentistry can provide for virtually any smile needing improvement. We provide options from whitening a yellow smile to designing porcelain restorations that look healthy and natural and many of our patients feel their new smile makes them look ten years younger!

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from the editor Clean Slate

There is something so exciting about embarking on a brand new year. It’s like the beginning of a big adventure where anything seems possible. Whether you believe in making New Year’s resolutions or not, everyone has at least one goal they want to accomplish each year. Mine is to continue to make time to stay fit and active, no matter how busy my schedule gets. If you need some inspiration to stick to your goals, make sure to check out our Best Advice column this month (p.15) for tips from the experts. With the variety of classes, gyms and trainers in the city, it may seem overwhelming to find the one that works for you. We thought so too, so we asked local fitness and health bloggers to share their personal picks and trends to help you stay active throughout the year (p. 29). Staying fit is not just about exercise, but also where you are mentally with your life choices. In this issue, we give you a range of helpful tools and tips that you may be able to apply in your own life. After all, that’s what being your best self is all about – finding what works for you. Happy New Year & Happy Reading!

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Best Cause: One Billion Rising Best Health: Learn about compounding pharmacies and controlling your blood pressure Best Anti-Aging: Hair replacement options Best Beauty: Tips for youthful-looking eyes

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contributors Sawyer Photography is made up of Dan and Gail Sawyer. After attending classes at Brooks Institute of Photography and Pasadena Art Center College of Design, they opened their first studio in Burbank, CA. Their work has appeared in many major magazines, on album covers and in corporate reports. In 1994, the Sawyers moved to Marietta to open their full-service custom studio, Sawyer Photography. See their work on this month’s cover and in the feature article, Atlanta Bloggers Share Top Trends for 2014! on p. 29.

Niajee Smith (William David Salon), Jessica Miller, Julie Thaiese (Authentic Beauty), and Brandy Telford (Shear Salon) are the talented hair and makeup experts whose work is featured on this month’s cover and in the feature article, Atlanta Bloggers Share Top Trends for 2014! on p. 29.

Rabia Vaughns MMS, PA-C is a physician assistant at Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. She worked as a public health educator for several years before completing her physician assistant certification and her master’s in medical science. For the past six years, Rabia has worked as a physician assistant concentrating in family practice and women’s health. Read her article, Quit Smoking This Year, on p. 55.

Taylor Arnold is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.A. in illustration and a M.F.A. in professional writing. Her work has appeared in a number of Atlanta-based publications including Atlanta’s Finest, Points North, Jezebel, Atlanta InTown and Atlanta Woman. Today she serves as copy editor for Best Self Atlanta and is a regular contributor to the magazine. In her spare time, she illustrates custom greeting cards, save-the-dates and invitations. Read her article Weighing Your Options: is bariatric surgery right for you? on p. 43.

David Martin, CEO/ President, RN, CRNFA founded VeinInnovations in 2002 as the first facility of its kind in Atlanta to offer every available technique for the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose and spider veins. They have four board-certified surgeons, two locations and the latest RFA and laser equipment available. Read his article, The Dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis, on p. 53.

Angela Buttimer, MS, RYT, LPC is a psychotherapist and yoga and meditation teacher in private practice in Atlanta. She also is a facilitator and mindbody program developer for Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Healthcare and the author of “CALM: Choosing to Live Mindfully” and “Mindfulness and Yoga: Clinical Interventions for Stress, Anxiety and Depression.” Read her article, Find the Right Therapist, on p. 54.

Jessica Dauler is the founder of She has been one of Atlanta’s top experts on deals, steals and trends since 2001. Her valuable information on where to shop, dine and how to save can be found online at Jessica can be heard weekly on Star 94 Radio and seen weekly on CBS Better Mornings. She also writes a weekly column in The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Deal Spotter. Her monthly columns appear in Best Self Atlanta and Southern Journal Magazine. This month, Jessica joins the Atlanta bloggers to give us her fitness pick of the month on p. 39.

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For all your skin care need • Diagnosis & Treatment of Skin Cancer • Treatment of Skin, Hair Loss, Nail Diseases, Acne, Warts, Moles, Psoriasis, Eczema Etc. • Vbeam Vascular Laser for Rosacea and Treatment of Leg & Facial Veins • Laser Hair Removal (All Skin Types) • Sclerotherapy for Fine Leg Veins • Botox, Dysport, Latisse, Restylane, Radiesse, Juvederm, Sculptra & Chemical Peels


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1 14NorthAtlantaDermatology_halfh0114.indd JANUARY 2014 BEST SELF ATLANTA

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bestadvice How to keep those resolutions

Photos courtesy of (left to right) Allison Shirreffs, Intimate Details, LLC, Andrew Clark, Viveca Ljung, Kaiser Permanente

DREW SISSELMAN Image Consulting





Orangetheory Fitness






What resolution did you make this year? I will publish at least one book this year. I plan to do that by writing every day, and if I’m stuck, I’ll do a creativity exercise to stimulate material. What is a common resolution that you hear from people? That they want to update or transform their style or image and reorganize their closet. Others are “I will meet my soul mate” or “I will change careers.” Why do you think people fail to keep their resolutions? They’re too focused on the word “resolution” (its inherent pressure or fear of failure) and lose sight of why they are making their resolution, like, “I want to look more fashionable,” or “I’m frustrated trying to figure out what style works for me.” What is one action a person can take to stick to their resolution? Commit to a fulfillment structure like a coach or specialist in that area to help you realize your goal. Keep something present as a visual inspiration or verbal affirmation. What advice would you give someone who is struggling? Ask yourself, “What would I feel like if I accomplished that goal?” or more importantly, “How much suffering and frustration have I already endured by not achieving it?”

What resolution did you make this year? My goal this year is to look for ways to be of service to others. What is a common resolution that you hear from people? In terms of the clients that I see in my practice, it’s certainly to have sex more or to be more sexually adventurous. Why do you think people fail to keep their resolutions? I think that people set goals that are unrealistic and aren’t attainable. For couples in a sexless marriage, it makes very little sense to set a goal to have sex three times per week. A more realistic goal might be to have sex just once per month. You can always work toward greater, but I never want my clients to feel like they’ve failed before they’ve even gotten started. What is one action a person can take to stick to their resolution? Make one change, not a drastic change. Be realistic in your resolve, and don’t set a goal that will be too hard to attain or maintain. What advice would you give someone who is struggling? Rather than thinking about what you want to stop doing, focus on what you want to start doing. When your focus is on being healthier, you’ll find that the unhealthy habits will begin to dwindle away.

What resolution did you make this year? I plan to improve my health, and a great way to do so is by strengthening and improving my friendships and other special relationships. What is a common resolution you hear from people? The most common resolution I hear is women tell me they will be placing greater emphasis on their friendships by making them a priority and simply spending more time with friends. Why do you think people fail to keep their resolutions? When results aren’t immediate, it’s easy to lose sight of long-term goals. What is one action a person can take to stick to their resolution? One action someone could take would be setting smaller, more immediate goals to make staying on course easier. So perhaps lunch with friends this week, and a dinner party next month. What is an inspirational quote you can tell someone who is struggling? “After all, tomorrow is another day.” - Scarlett O’Hara

What resolution did you make this year? I will eat cleaner. I will focus on only indulging in my favorite things a couple of times a week. The key is to create an obtainable goal. What is a common resolution you hear from people? Everyone is different, but I’ve heard a lot of “I want to lose this many pounds,” or “I want to run a marathon in this many months.” Why do you think people fail to keep their resolutions? Fitness requires dedication day after day. Whether you roll out of bed excited or tired, you’ve got to show up and do your work. It also requires patience. What is one action a person can take to stick to their resolution? Find a motivating trainer to assist in creating a schedule for you. This will build up a normalcy in your fitness regimen, making it easier to follow and commit to seeing results. What advice would you give someone who is struggling? I love what Tom Hanks says in “A League of Their Own.” “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Staying fit and healthy is tough stuff - you have to get into the gym and work hard to see the results. But when you do see those results, it’s the greatest feeling!

What resolution did you make this year? I plan to limit my family’s consumption of fast foods. I keep The Calorie King Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter in the car and my kids and I make it a game to find and choose the healthiest options available. What is a common resolution that you hear from people? People often vow to stop eating carbohydrates to lose weight. Carbohydrates are actually your body’s preferred source of energy and should be included with most meals for optimal health. Try choosing healthier ones, such as whole grains and fresh fruit. Why do you think people fail to keep their resolutions? They go to the extreme and try to implement changes that are too difficult to maintain. What is one action a person can take to stick to their resolution? Be realistic. Small changes can yield lasting results. Instead of going vegetarian cold turkey, try implementing meatless Mondays for the first month. What advice would you give someone who is struggling? Allow yourself some flexibility. You can maintain a healthy diet and still enjoy an occasional treat. It’s what and how much you consume the majority of the time that is going to affect your overall health.

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Intimate Details, LLC

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The scoop on what’s new around town Cooking on the Road Celebrity chef Alton Brown returns to Atlanta on February 28 with The Edible Inevitable Tour. Spanning every genre, this national tour includes food experimentation, standup comedy and even live music from Alton himself. Come prepared for fun at this family-friendly event, but be careful of the seats in the designated “poncho zone,” where Alton’s cooking demonstrations might get messy. Tickets are available through the Fox Theatre or Whole Foods. Details:

Photos courtesy of Willett Photography (top left), House of Payne (bottom right)

Hydrate for Health After overindulging during the holidays, a long flight or a nasty cold, you may need a pick-me-up. The new HydroClinic in Buckhead, led by internal medicine physician Dr. Robert Kaufmann, can assess your needs and then administer a minimally invasive hydration treatment through an IV. The treatments last about 30 minutes, and you can enjoy a spa-like environment as you revitalize. Treatments start at $29.

Don’t Sweat It No time to get to the gym? No problem. With Zero Sweat fitness videos, you can exercise right at your desk without even having to break a sweat. This digital download will alert you every hour on the hour and show you exactly what moves to do to burn an extra 300 to 800 calories a day. Details:

Challenge Yourself The DDP Yoga Challenge and Diamond Dallas Page are working to transform people’s bodies and minds through yoga, strength training and online blogging. One goal is to lose weight and get fit, but another goal is to blog about the motivation and dedication that carry you through the weight loss process. The most inspirational bloggers will receive a reward of $5,000. One winner will be announced in June. Details:

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A New Online Look

Model Ready!

Local med spa Institut’ DERMed launched a newly designed and expanded website last month, now offering detailed treatment information, how-to videos and the ability to book appointments online. The new site also includes easier and more interactive online shopping options, such as a drag-anddrop shopping cart, large product photos and search options based on type of product or skin condition.

Get your fitness model career started by learning from the experts. On January 18, House of Payne Personal Training will host The Fitness Model Experience, a unique event that will show you how to pose, train and more. Hear from guest speakers including special guest Adam Silver, founder of Silver Model Management in New York. Also, learn more from professional fitness models and hear their success stories. $47 per person.

Details: 3726 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA, (404) 261-5199,

Details: 4565 Lawrenceville Hwy., Lilburn, GA, (678) 641-9188,

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Healthy and tasty ideas to nourish your body

Healthy Eating Made Easy All too often, getting food delivered to your house means you’re diving into some greasy takeout, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Plenty of local home delivery options can provide healthy food that’s just as convenient as that pizza you were eyeing. Whether you cook from scratch or just want to warm something up, there’s a healthy home delivery option for you. • Warm it: Companies like Good Measure Meals and Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine deliver prepared meals that are much healthier than the typical TV dinner. Both of these companies offer wholesome, customizable meals that are delivered fresh, not frozen, so they only take a few minutes to prepare. Details:,

Photos courtesy of Raw Noble (bottom left), Thrive Farmers (bottom right)

• Make it: If you need a recipe to feel confident with your healthy cooking, then Garnish & Gather or PeachDish may be the option for you. Garnish & Gather provides you with seasonal recipes from their chefs and all the ingredients you need to make a delicious dish. All that’s left to do is put it together and enjoy. PeachDish works the same way, but they keep their menus a surprise each week, so your cooking is always an adventure. Details:, • Create it: For those of you who need nothing more than raw ingredients, try a delivery option like Fresh Harvest. Online, you can customize a bin filled with organic vegetables and fruits sourced from local farmers. Then, let your imagination take over as you create healthy meals from scratch. Details:

Raw Dessert

Conscientious Coffee

If you have special dietary needs but still need to feed that sweet tooth, local Decatur business Raw Noble may have a solution. They offer 100 percent whole, raw and nutritious mousse pies made of cashews and almonds. These pies are also naturally free of gluten, dairy and soy. Try one or all of the six flavors including vanilla bean, key lime, chocolate, sweet potato, lemon and coconut. All six flavors are high in protein, low in harmful fats, nutrient rich and great for parties or a fun treat. Details: Your local Whole Foods, Sevananda and Return to Eden,

Thrive Farmers Coffee runs on a business model that offers coffee farmers a sustainable income. By connecting the farmer directly to the consumer, Thrive keeps costs low while improving quality and yield, resulting in family coffee farms that can comfortably make ends meet. Thrive represents more than 600 coffee farmers and has sourced 328,000 pounds of coffee from their Roswell headquarters. Find this coffee at local spots around the city.



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Details: Octane Coffee Bar and Lounge,,

12/20/13 10:08 AM

Congratulations for being honored as Best Integrative Medical Doctor in Atlanta

Dr. Maziar Rezvani Dr. Rezvani serves as director of Avicenna Integrative Medicine and Avicenna Allergy and Asthma. His interests include the role of inflammation in various disease states, diet and nutrition, and botanical medicine.

Avicenna Integrative Medicine 1000 Johnson Ferry Road • Suite E200 • Marietta, GA 30068 • 770-977-9300

Join the Celebration. Call Today to schedule your initial evaluation and receive a Complimentary Package including a free biometric evaluation, and either a free environmental allergy screening or free personalized drug interaction report as well as discounts on future services. At Avicenna MD, we always: • Work with you to determine your best health management plan. • Provide you effective lifestyle changes to increase your quality of life. • Prescribe alternative and traditional therapies. • Works with you to optimize your health contribution plans (HSA/FSA).

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12/18/2013 12/18/13 1:21:04 PMPM JANUARY 20144:53

12/20/13 10:08 AM


Explore new ways to get more out of life

Flying Fitness By Flannery Winchester Keck Do you have what it takes to join the Cirque du Soleil? After taking classes at Sky Gym, you might! This gym instructs students in the aerial arts, which are exactly what they sound like: artistic movements in the air like the ones you see at the circus performed on hoops, trapezes and fabric suspended from the ceiling. Amber Monson opened Sky Gym in 2009 after completing teacher training classes with Cirque du Soleil aerialists themselves. She has since passed her expertise on to a handful of other instructors who are there to help you fly your way to fitness. At the beginner level, however, you won’t be flying quite yet. A beginner class starts with students sitting on the ground to hear a serious talk about safety and correct body positioning when performing aerial movements. The beginner class also contains an explanation of the various equipment in the gym: a hoop called a lyra, a trapeze and durable fabric strips called aerial silks. After this introductory information, the fun really begins. Class participants partner up with a spotter to practice positions such as a “lay back” and a “side press-out” on the various pieces of equipment. These positions may look easy – especially when you’re only a few feet off the ground – but they require lots of core and upper body strength. If you don’t feel like you have much of either, don’t let that stop you. Sky Gym welcomes students of all body types and skill levels, and the spotters and instructors are there to help you get into each position and start building your strength. By the end of the class, you may get to try an inverted pose where you flip upside down in the silks. After you conquer that pose, you’ll be ready for Cirque du Soleil before you know it. Drop in to an introductory class today for just $19.

Color Me Happy

Get Your Green On

Through February 22, Jackson Fine Art will be showcasing acclaimed photographer and Atlanta native Tierney Gearon’s COLORSHAPE series at their Buckhead studio. These imaginative and powerful images revolve around handmade, vibrantly colored plexiglass structures in picturesque landscapes, snow-topped mountains, urban streets and neighborhoods. Gearon’s work has been exhibited at many prominent galleries around the globe.

Don’t let the colder weather stop you from enjoying a little gardening. With a GARDEN terrarium kit, you can easily move flora and fauna inside. Matthew Klyn, GARDEN’s founder and owner, explains that the idea behind these kits is to make growing something beautiful accessible to everyone, no matter what the temperature is outside. The kit includes a 100 percent recycled glass terrarium, charcoal, orchid mix, terrarium soil, moss, gravel, stones, decorative accents and instructions. $12 Details: 1080 Brady Ave. NW, Atlanta, GA, (404) 941-9154,

Details: 3115 East Shadowlawn Avenue Atlanta, GA, (404) 233-3739,



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Photo courtesy of Brave PR (bottom right)

Details: 6780 Roswell Road, Ste. D100, Sandy Springs, GA, (404) 309-9696,

12/20/13 10:05 AM

Photo courtesy of Brave PR (bottom right)

fun Events

Join Best Self Atlanta at these events

2014 Resolution Run 5K/10K Jan. 1 This event offers something for the whole family, including a One Mile Fun Run and Kilometer Kids Dash. 1990 Vaughn Road, Kennesaw, GA,

New Year’s Day 5K/10K Jan. 1 Start the year off right with some exercise at this race down Johnson Ferry Road.

Northside Facial Cosmetic Surgery offers Juvederm Voluma XC. The First Volume Filler to Last 2 Years!

Career Training Expo at KSU Jan. 9 Attend this free career training expo to learn about more than 45 professional certificates adult learners can obtain from Kennesaw State University.

Atlanta Boat Show Jan. 9-12 Shop the latest boats, nautical gear and gadgets at Georgia’s biggest boating event. Tickets are $12, children under 15 attend free.

“All My Friends” Concert Jan. 10 Celebrate singer, songwriter and musician Gregg Allman at this star-studded, one-night-only tribute concert at the Fox Theatre.

Art in Bloom

Offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell & Cumming


Jan. 10-12 Eye-catching floral art, floral demonstrations and a garden club tea are included in this three-day event at the High Museum.

Georgia Entertainment Gala Jan. 11 This Roaring ’20s-themed event will honor Georgia’s film, TV and music industry professionals with live entertainment and hors d’oeuvres.

Georgia Roots Music Festival Jan. 18 This free festival celebrates Georgia’s musical heritage with a variety of different performers showcasing their talent at the Woodruff Arts Center.

Pirate Day! Jan. 18 Pirate-themed activities include a “walk the plank” balance game and a scavenger hunt at Fernbank Museum.

The Original Boutique Warehouse Sale Jan. 24-25 Save up to 70 percent on designer brands from your favorite local boutiques like Sandpiper, Meringue, Tulipano and more.

Callanwolde Arts Festival

Want a Longer Lasting Filler and a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon? Dr. Majmundar, a double board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, was chosen by Allergan, maker of Juvederm Voluma XC™ to inject Voluma XC™, which was approved by the FDA in October, for treatment of volume loss in the cheek area. With optimal treatment, the results can last up to two years. Dr. Majmundar specializes exclusively in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head and neck and has extensive knowledge of not only beauty and form, but also function.

Jan. 25-26 This two-day indoor festival will have demonstrations, live music, food trucks and 150 featured artists.

The Book of Mormon Jan. 28-Feb. 9 Don’t miss the show Entertainment Weekly has called “the funniest musical of all time.” Get your tickets at

Hot Chocolate 15/5K Jan. 26 This sugary sweet race includes hot chocolate and chocolate fondue in their post-race party.

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Mike Majmundar, MD Double Board Certified Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Atlanta’s Top Doctor for past 3 years Top Botox® Doctor Top Doctor by Atlanta Magazine

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Atlanta doctors provide answers to your questions



Do I have to be a certain weight before I can have liposuction or a tummy tuck?

I remind my patients that plastic surgery should not be a “quick fix,” but rather should help them reach aesthetic goals, as liposuction and a tummy tuck only enhance the body’s contours. Prior to cosmetic surgery, it’s important to be near your weight goals and to maintain realistic expectations. To prolong long-lasting results after surgery, patients must adopt a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Call 770.993.0058

Ellie Campbell, MD

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North Fulton Women’s Specialist


Jay Faber, MD Amen Clinics


Sheila Garnica, MD, FACOG


Unfortunately there is a lot of misunderstanding about hormones. Using bio-identical hormones simply means restoring a patient’s hormone balance by using chemicals that are structurally, chemically identical to the ones our bodies should be making. A physical exam, symptom assessment and lab tests are used to determine deficiency, and then hormones are replaced to a more normal level using nature’s own hormones as replacement.

Amen Clinics Atlanta provides Brain SPECT Imaging for patients concerned with brain health issues, including ADD, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety. With SPECT imaging, their board-certified psychiatrists can identify blood flow patterns and make targeted treatment recommendations to optimize a patient’s specific brain.


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Celebrating 25 amazing years in service with a $25 AVEDA Haircut.

David Whiteman, MD

Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C.

My primary care physician told me I have vaginal dryness. Do I need to do anything about it?

The only reason to treat vaginal dryness is if the symptoms are bothersome. Many women think the only symptom of vaginal dryness is painful intercourse, but other symptoms include itching or stinging around the vaginal opening, recurrent urinary tract infections and light bleeding with intercourse. If you have one or more of these symptoms, you should address them with your gynecologist. This is an important opportunity to have your gynecologist perform an exam to make sure that the dryness is not due to another problem.

Is it true that lasers can be used to treat chronic skin conditions like psoriasis and skin cancer?

Today’s laser technology is highly specialized, with many types of FDA-approved lasers being used to treat common and rare skin conditions alike. At DAA’s Laser Institute of Georgia, the PHAROS EX-308 Excimer is the newest FDAapproved laser for psoriasis, using UV light to treat even the most difficult areas like the hands, feet, knees, elbows and scalp. In addition to cosmetic issues such as wrinkles, the CO2 Ultrapulse laser can be used to destroy abnormal cells in some forms of skin cancer or precancerous growths.

Scott Karempelis, MD

Dermatology Associates of Atlanta


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Expert Tips to Keep Hands Youthful Yellow Nails Using dark polish can cause some discoloration. Yellow nails may also indicate a fungal infection. Advice: To prevent yellowing of nails from polish, use a good base coat before painting nails, because nails are porous. Also, don’t leave polish on for a long time as it can penetrate through base coats and cause discoloration to nails. If it’s from fungus, there are new laser treatments that are very effective as well as prescription medication. - Jill Barron, cosmetic consultant, licensed esthetician, Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa

Thin Skin You lose fat under your skin as you age, which can make the skin look papery, wrinkly and thin. Advice: Fillers such as Radiesse and a person’s own fat may be injected in the back of the hands to replace volume and provide a more rejuvenated appearance. - Dr. Brian P. Maloney, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, The Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery

Brown Spots Sun exposure over time can exacerbate brown spots, sometimes called liver spots, on the skin. Advice: This is the best season to treat those unsightly brown spots with Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatments, as great results are seen with just one session if you apply a cream with ChromaBright nightly and sun protection daily. - Lyn Ross, president of Institut’ DERMed, master esthetician and aesthetic instructor

Dry Skin Exposure to harsh soaps and, surprisingly, air and water pollution can dry out your skin. Advice: Carry a good hand cream and apply to your hands each time you wash or use hand sanitizer to help keep skin from drying out. Also, keep a sunscreen in your car that blocks UVA and UVB rays and apply it to your hands each time you get into your car. - Dr. Gabrielle Sabini, board-certified dermatologist, North Atlanta Dermatology

Prominent Veins Losing volume in your skin means your veins appear more prominent. Advice: Hand sclerotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for these veins. This involves a series of injections of a solution into the veins that causes the vein walls to collapse. The veins are then absorbed naturally by the body over a period of weeks. - Dr. Lisa Perez, board-certified vein specialist, Circulatory Centers



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12/20/13 1:52 PM

Juvederm Ultra $400

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North Fulton Eye Center & Cumming Eye Clinic, where your eye sight is our vision! We specialize in….

Cataracts & Cataract/lens implant surgeries LASIK & PRK/Surface Ablation surgery Glaucoma, including Glaucoma laser procedures Treatment of Corneal conditions Your Total Eye Health Dr. Richard E. Pare, Dr. Susanne M. Hewitt & Dr. Mark Dunbar are the BEST Eye Doctors!

Call 770-475-0123 to schedule your appointment with our BEST Eye Doctors, Dr. Pare, Hewitt and Dunbar.

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Atlanta’s Foot Care Professionals

• Corrective Surgery for Bunions & Other Foot Deformities • State of the Art Surgical Center • Podiatric & Diabetic Clinic • Physical Therapy Department • Sports Injuries

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besthealth Testing Your Thyroid Health

There are many different symptoms that could be linked to your thyroid not functioning at the optimal level. Some of these include fatigue, weight changes, depression and anxiety, bowel problems or changes in your hair or skin. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to have your thyroid checked. Some of the most common thyroid function tests include: Blood tests measure the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood, which helps determine thyroid function. High levels of the hormone indicate an underactive thyroid. Ultrasound exams detect signs of growth and other irregularities. An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs. Thyroid scans use radioactive iodine or technetium (a radioactive metallic element) to reveal any physical abnormalities of the thyroid. Functional stimulation tests help differentiate whether the problem lies with the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus or the thyroid gland. One such test includes injecting thyrotropin-releasing hormone and measuring the pituitary’s response.

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Bloggers Talk Trends for 2014! Insider ideas on how to stay fit, eat better and feel your best this year Photo by Sawyer Photography

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e reached out to 10 of the city’s top fitness and health bloggers to find out what’s hot for the new year. Each of them weighed in on the current trends they use to stay healthy and active. These women are not only bloggers, but also distance runners, mothers, vegans, dietitians and yoga instructors. Thousands of readers and fans follow these bloggers’ daily advice about new activities to try and ways to stay healthy around the city, and now you can too. BEST SELF ATLANTA



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The Fitness Model Experience

Saturday, January 18, 2014

10am-12noon • $47 per person Hear stories from successful fitness models – how they did it!

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Adam Silver

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• What makes a great model? • Training and nutrition to get in top model shape • How to live “Photo-shoot Ready” • Model poses & fun shots Go to to register online. Contact or 678.641.9188 for more info.



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Trends for 2014

Madison James Fitness advocate

“When I was approached by the AJC with the opportunity to share my lifestyle message, I jumped at the chance. As a NPC National Figure Competitor and former Division I Collegiate athlete, I wanted to take my workout to the next level and get ahead of the curve early. I want to challenge people, no matter what their level is. The main focus is to set a goal and keep working till you finish. I hope to share my daily life as a message of a lifestyle, not a diet. If I reach one person, then it is all worth it.”

The Blog: Atlanta’s Mad About Fitness –

Trending: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – As a former athlete, I find this is an effective way to train in a small amount of time and burn lots of calories. This involves short bursts of activity (like running or doing squats), followed by a short period of rest or recovery. A great workout in 30 minutes! HIIT can be done anywhere, that’s the cool thing about it. My favorite place is Piedmont Park. The beautiful view of the city is a great distraction when I get tired doing hill sprints. Functional fitness – Great workout that uses real-life activities like climbing stairs to build strength, balance and flexibility. I call it thinking out of the box. And it’s great for older adults getting into fitness, too. For functional fitness I see the gym as my playground! You will catch me at L.A. Fitness in Buckhead.

Ashley Evans Registered dietitian

Photos by Sawyer Photography (top), Christina DeVictor of Someplace Wild (bottom)

“I was inspired to start my blog as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family and to talk about exercise and nutrition. Little did I know that I would find my true passion. After the wonderful feedback and furthered interest, I decided to return to school to become a registered dietitian so I could not only write about what interested me but also so I could practice in the field as a credible source. On my site, I hope to deliver information that will help keep my readers healthy physically, mentally and spiritually.”

The Blog: The Gypsy Dietitian – Trending: Tabata Bootcamp – This high-intensity interval training only takes four minutes to complete (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeated for a total of eight sets) and provides more cardiovascular benefits than jogging for one hour. Yoga – Yoga offers various forms of mind and body connection, and it releases stress while increasing flexibility, posture, mental focus and mood. AMRAP (As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible) – As many reps of a particular exercise (or rounds of many exercises) are completed until muscle failure. I tend to lift weights more these days and am a member at Anytime Fitness so that I can squeeze in a workout no matter what town I might be in.

Top Fitness Trends for 2014

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12/20/13 10:53 AM

CrossFit Atlanta CrossFit Atlanta is the oldest CrossFit™ licensed gym in Georgia. We brought CrossFit to Atlanta. We have the best trainers and a great community of people. We are the coolest treehouse in town, and we beat everyone around in CrossFit competitions. Please check out our webpage,, read what’s at the link, Getting Started, and contact us to set up a free personal training session. You will learn what we do, why, be taught some movements we use, and you’ll get a workout.

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Alexa Lampasona

Trends for 2014

Competitive distance runner

“I started blogging about food and fitness in college when I learned to cook for myself and raced in our triathlon club. I am a competitive distance runner and love to share my running adventures, healthy eating recipes and tips for an active lifestyle.”

The Blog: Life with Lampasona


Trending: Group runs – These are a great way to build accountability and meet active friends. I never notice how far we’ve run until I look at my watch and see it’s been five miles! My favorites are Highland Runners off Highland Avenue and Phidippides in Ansley Mall. A plus is their monthly raffles – one time I won a free pair of shoes. Hot yoga – I am one of those people who needs to break a sweat to feel like I’ve gotten a workout, and hot yoga does the trick! I go to Red Hot Yoga Studios on Miami Circle. The high temperatures really stretch out your muscles, and after the amount you sweat, you feel cleansed. Home workout videos – My roommate and I do P90X and Insanity. After doing the same video so much, I mute the sound and watch television while doing the workout so it feels like I’m changing up my routine.

Haley Chura

Professional triathlete

“My triathlon coach, Matthew Rose, inspired me to start blogging as a way to chronicle my triathlon adventures. Hopefully my stories inspire people to try the sport or maybe just provide an occasional laugh!”

The Blog: Haley Chura – Trending: Dynamo Masters Swimming – My top fitness trend pick is definitely Dynamo Masters Swimming. The zero-impact, total body workout is great for all ages and abilities. And the camaraderie is hard to beat! (For details see

Latrina M. Patrick

Photos by Sawyer Photography

Certified holistic health coach

“My blog promotes the benefits of following a plant-based diet. In particular, how plant food Reduces the Onset of Cancer and Kills Sickness (ROCKS). I started the blog because I’m a vegan and wholeheartedly believe in the Hippocrates statement, ‘Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.’ By reading my blog, people will learn how to achieve a lifestyle of optimal health from a holistic approach. I focus on the mind, body and spirit. Most importantly, I emphasize how to make living a healthy life practical.”

The Blog: Plant Food Rocks – Trending: Tabata Bootcamp – This high-intensity interval training boot camp focuses on quality, not quantity. In as little as six minutes a day, you can burn five times more calories after your workout.

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Survey says...


Trends for 2014

The American College of Sports Medicine surveyed more than 3,800 fitness professionals to identify the top fitness trends worldwide for 2014. The lead author of the survey Walter R. Thompson, PhD, FACSM is the Regents’ Professor of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University. He compiled the survey’s results, and even provided a pick of his own.

Kristin Gilbert

Fitness instructor at exhale spa

“My best friend, Scottie (a.k.a. Kim), and I (a.k.a. Bella) decided to write our blog together to help raise awareness about cleaner ways of living to help prevent disease, illness, behavioral problems and overall maintain good health. We post reviews of nontoxic products, give easy, healthy recipes as well as fit tips and have guest bloggers and occasional events. We love helping others find ways around all the junk out there that’s harmful to our health.”

Here are the top 10:

2) Body Weight Training. Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness. 3) Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. It’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, such as those offered by ACSM. 4) Strength Training. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program for all physical activity levels. 5) Exercise and Weight Loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. 6) Personal Training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the fitness facilities that employ them. 7) Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some have more discretionary money. Therefore, many fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs. 8) Functional Fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living.

Photos by Sawyer Photography

Photo by Sawyer Photography

1) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

The Blog: Pure Health Girls – Trending: Core Fusion – I love barre classes, specifically Core Fusion! It builds long, lean muscles and core strength. You can repair and prevent injuries with this type of strengthening. It combines ballet, Pilates and yoga to build a supple, youthful body for years to come.

Donna Burke Fitness advocate

“I studied exercise science, concentrating in athletic training and learned a lot about sports injuries and how the body works. I’m a science nerd with a fashion side, hence the name Yoga In Heels. My blog is a fitness fashion blog that helps you dress your body type so you look good, feel good and use the extra confidence to work harder toward your goals.”

The Blog: Yoga in Heels – Trending:

9) Group Personal Training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering more group training options.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Short bursts of high intensity burn more calories and build more muscle. I love this because I can cover the same distance as a three-mile run, but in five to 10 minutes less time.

10) Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation.

Barre – Low-impact, but intense with small muscle movements. It changes your body entirely! Svelte in Brookhaven will be the go-to studio in the new year.

Dr. Thompson’s fitness pick: “I personally enjoy outdoor activities. My almost daily routine includes an early morning outdoor run. You will rarely see me indoors, even in bad

15K races – Longer than your average race, but completely doable for anyone who isn’t an avid runner. I see this distance getting very popular, especially with the Hot Chocolate Race this month.


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From November 29th through December or24th, share aswill a concentrating stocking stuffer for a with friend! you receive free class for NOVEMBER 15th! In just 55 minutes you will achieve a full-body workout on theone areas women struggle the most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. The Pure Barre technique is low-impact, protecting your joints by avoiding any bouncing or jumping. Each strength each package purchase from one Stop in tostretching the Dunwoody on our 3-yearwithout anniversary section of the workout is followed by a section you in orderstudio to create long, lean muscles bulk.of The technique works to defy Dunwoody Studio 3 year anniversary on gravity by tapering everythingto in and lifting it up! take advantage of specials, prizes and giveaways! Askstudios. for additional details inclass studio. our three Use the yourself The concentration involved while taking Pure Barre allows you to block "life" out for the hour, creating the mental benefits similarly oboror meditation. share a stocking stuffer for a friend! tained by the practice of yoga Aas transformed body and a clear head in just one hour—it doesn't get much better than this. NOVEMBER 15th! Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body.

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Whitney Carlson & Tiffany Staples Online coach and personal trainer

for 2014

ACE-certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor

“We were inspired to begin blogging about eating clean after changing our lifestyles. It’s easy to say you are going to do something but hard to stick with it. We wanted to inspire anyone looking to make a change in their life to do so with the help of their partner and to, of course, consider eating clean. We post recipes, educational articles, workouts and tips for making living the clean eating lifestyle accessible to all those who want it!”

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The Blog: He & She Eat Clean – Trending: Surf Set Fitness – Get that beach body even if you don’t live at the beach! It’s an amazing functional core strength and full body workout you can do at home that continues to challenge you and you don’t get tired of. The Weighted Hula Hoop – This is a throwback to your childhood. The weighted hula hoop whittles your waist but also can challenge your arms and legs depending on the exercises you do with it.

Dalia Kinsey

ACE-certified health coach and nutritionist “When I completed my studies in nutrition and started my coaching service, I noticed that an overwhelming number of people believe that eating healthy is out of their reach because of time constraints. My focus is helping busy people find a way to make balanced nutrition an effortless part of their lives. My blog is a great resource for anyone who has found that success in other areas of life has started to crowd out wellness practices like eating balanced, plant-focused meals and exercising.”

The Blog: Eating Beautiful – Trending: Mind-body weight management – Traditional diets tend to fail a large segment of the population. Practices that encourage tuning in to the body are more likely to bring long-term success. Plant-focused nutrition – Eating large amounts of minimally processed high fiber foods takes the complexity out of trimming down. Meditation and yoga – These classes help to increase your awareness of your own body, making it easier to read hunger signals and feed your body appropriately. I practice Vipassana meditation and also attended a 10-day silent retreat in Jesup, GA to study the method. I also use Kundalini Yoga DVDs at home, and Kashi Atlanta is my favorite Atlanta resource for both yoga and meditation workshops.

Fitness Pick of the Month I was recently invited to try Orangetheory Fitness when they launched in Atlanta, and even better for me, in Sandy Springs. My friends in New York and Los Angeles love this place, and even though the classes sounded tough and competitive, I was up for the challenge to reach the “Orange Zone.” The class structure is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training

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workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training, burning up to 500 to1,000 calories in a 60-minute session. What makes this workout different and highly motivating is each person wears a heart monitor so he/she can follow their heart rates on TV screens throughout the session, with the target goal of reaching the “Orange Zone,” resulting in the Orange Effect — a.k.a. maximum fat burning for up to 36 hours post-workout! Grab your free first class pass on their website, Jessica Dauler For more info visit For more info on Jessica visit BEST SELF ATLANTA



12/20/13 2:52 PM


in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Perimeter


Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is an integrated care delivery system that goes above and beyond. Its doctors believe in providing coordinated care and helping patients thrive—mentally, physically and spiritually. Increased fitness, a healthy diet and emotional wellness are all integral to total health, and Kaiser Permanente’s free healthy living classes offered throughout metro Atlanta ensure that you have access to the resources you need to succeed. See ad pg. 68


Put your best face forward by working with Dr. Brian Maloney, the double board-certified facial plastic surgeon at The Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. His practice is dedicated solely to procedures to beautify your face and neck. Dr. Maloney specializes in facelifts, nose surgery, eyelid surgery, neck lifts, laser resurfacing, Botox and injectables like the brand new Juvederm Voluma. He trains doctors from all over the world and uses computer imaging to help you visualize your own personalized results.. See ad pg. 27



With hair replacement surgery, you should be in the hands of a qualified, experienced professional. Luckily, one of the most dedicated surgeons is right in your neighborhood. Dr. Ken Anderson at the Anderson Hair Sciences Center is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who has focused exclusively on treating hair loss for over 10 years. His practice is the first and only in Georgia to offer patients the advanced ARTAS Robotic Hair Restoration Surgery System, which leaves no noticeable scarring, offering the quickest recovery time and most natural results.See results. ad pg. 61

If you’d rather thrive than survive, then discover a doctor/ patient relationship that focuses on the patient’s lifestyle, on healing-oriented medicine and believes that the most important member of any medical team is the patient. At Avicenna Integrative Medicine, each patient receives a personalized plan that combines traditional medicine and holistic therapies. New patients receive a baseline biometric evaluation and allergy screening, if appropriate. Like us on Facebook to receive daily wellness inspiration and $50 off your initial consultation. See ad pg. 19

Weight Loss


Concourse Athletic Club is the premier athletic and tennis club in Sandy Springs. With 5-star service, state-of-theart equipment, indoor and outdoor saline pools and unlimited group fitness classes, this family-friendly health club has it all and then some. Break a sweat with Spinning, basketball, racquetball and Pilates, or push yourself through High Intensity Training (H.I.T.) with a certified personal trainer. No matter your fitness preference, unwind afterward with a relaxing massage. See ad pg. 58

Good Measure Meals can deliver fresh, local, portioncontrolled and calorie-controlled meals right to your door. They provide four different meal plan options, including variations like vegetarian and diabeticfriendly meals that are all balanced and complete. And it doesn’t stop there! Good Measure Meals’ registered dietitians are available for comprehensive nutrition consultations, body composition analysis and even visits to the grocery store with you. 100 percent of net proceeds go to support Atlanta nonprofit Open Hand. See ad pg. 19

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At the Center for Weight Management at Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth, this isn’t just a surgery—this is a lifelong commitment to changing your health. And what makes our patients so successful in reaching their weight loss goals is how we pair the latest treatments in bariatric surgery with the area’s most expansive post-surgery program. To watch our FREE online seminar, visit

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Exploring bariatric surgery– is it right for you?



ost of us know that a healthy diet and regular exercise can decrease our risk of developing obesity-related conditions like heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, but for a select group of people, bariatric surgery is the only way they feel they can combat their extreme obesity. And while some may view these procedures as “the easy way out,” most clinicians agree that bariatric surgery is anything but simple. It is major abdominal surgery, and its success depends on a complete lifestyle change and a commitment for life.

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Your Surgical Options - Learn the Differences “Bariatric surgery is a blanket statement for many different operations,” explains Dr. Kevin McGill, a bariatric surgeon with North Atlanta Surgical Associates. “Now there are several operations that we do – some make the stomach smaller, and some change the way your body absorbs food.”

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Other common types of weight loss surgery include adjustable gastric banding, or “Lap-Banding.” For this procedure, the surgeon places a silicone ring around the upper stomach, and the ring’s tightness can be adjusted by injecting saline to fill up the band or removing saline to loosen it. Another procedure, called sleeve gastrectomy, reduces the stomach to about 25 percent of its original size, leaving a “sleeve,” or tubeshaped stomach. As with any procedure, it’s important to discuss with your surgeon which option is right for you. “For Type 2 diabetics, gastric bypass is generally the best option because you get significant control of diabetes,” says Dr. Scott Steinberg, bariatric medical director at DeKalb Medical Center. “The second choice is usually sleeve gastrectomy. The Lap-Band was popular for a while, but it’s fallen out of favor because of long-term side effects like reflux, and it drives maladaptive eating behavior – patients tend to favor starches, sweets and soft foods that go down easily. We see much better long-term results with gastric bypass and sleeve.” The average cost for a gastric bypass procedure can range from $18,000 to $35,000, while the average cost for adjustable gastric banding ranges from $17,000 to $30,000. Health insurance providers including Medicare and, in some states, Medicaid, are beginning to cover some or all of the costs of surgery if medical necessity is established by your doctor and if you meet the National Institutes of Health requirements.

Who Does Bariatric Surgery Benefit?



The most common bariatric procedure is gastric bypass because it generally poses fewer complications than other weight loss surgeries. This involves the creation of a small stomach pouch through a process called “stomach stapling.” The new, smaller stomach pouch is then disconnected from the first part of the small intestine and reconnected to a lower part of the intestine. As a result, food passes directly from the stomach to the lower part of the intestine, bypassing the small intestine, so fewer calories are absorbed.

“Bariatric surgery benefits a very select group of people,” Dr. McGill says. “We’re taking care of people who are at least 100 pounds overweight. All of my patients are professional dieters. The problem is they gain it back, and the likelihood that they keep off more than 10 percent of their weight is miniscule.” According to Dr. Michael Williams, president of the Laparoscopic & Endoscopic Surgery Institute in Alpharetta, there are very strict guidelines for bariatric surgery candidates, and patients go through a multidisciplinary assessment prior to any procedure. “People who have a body mass index of 35 with associated illness, or body mass index of 40 without any associated illness may be good candidates,” he says. “People with severe medical problems which place them at a high risk of death from general anesthesia and


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individuals with severe cognitive limitations or psychiatric conditions that limit their ability to follow a post-operative program should not have the procedure.”

What To Expect “There is no way to sugarcoat this,” Dr. McGill says. “This is major abdominal surgery.” Dr. Steinberg says that patients are on a liquid diet for the first two weeks after the procedure, and then they move on to soft food. In addition to a challenging post-op period, like any surgical procedure, this one has associated risks. Nearly 10 percent of patients have complications such as wound infections and bleeding after surgery, though according to Dr. Steinberg, the most common side effects postop are nausea, bloating and constipation. Northside Hospital bariatric specialist and nurse Debbi Spamer points out, “Since most of the surgeries are done laparoscopically, the recovery period is short.” For most people, any post-surgical pain is minimal. “Most patients are walking within a few hours of surgery.” Patients may even be back to work in as little as one to six weeks, though she cautions, “It usually takes about three months before the patient learns to deal with a smaller stomach and what they can and cannot eat.” Regular check-ups are also required for every patient. “Each patient who commits to this operation is committing to a lifetime of follow-up with us,” Dr. McGill says. “We see them every three months for the first two years, then annually for the rest of their lives.”

surgery and have all the necessary equipment,” Dr. Steinberg says. “We’ve been using the da Vinci Robot because it has enhanced control – in the right hands, it’s a very effective tool.” Dr. McGill also recommends finding a surgeon who has been fellowship trained and is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Barring any complications, most bariatric procedures today are done in two hours or less with just five small incisions, but the real work begins once the patient leaves the hospital. “Over 90 percent of patients keep the excess weight off,” Dr. Steinberg says. “Ten to 15 percent will gain weight after surgery due to diet non-compliance. But for most patients, this is a highly effective treatment. Your body’s normal function is to perceive hunger, but the surgery alters your hunger cycle, so it’s much more effective.” The majority of a patient’s weight loss typically occurs in the first 10 months post-surgery, and often their obesity-related health issues disappear too. “Many co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and sleep apnea either go away or improve,” Spamer says. “This is not about looking better – it is about improving one’s health.” Dr. McGill agrees. “What gets me excited is taking care of diabetic patients and seeing their diabetes go away,” he says.

Featured Resource: Center for Weight Management at Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth With a 12,000-square-foot facility and a board-certified, Harvard-trained surgeon, the Center for Weight Management offers bariatric patients support before and after surgery. They are an American College of Surgeons Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center committed to helping their patients achieve long-term success. See ad p. 42

The Best Possible Outcome The best outcome with bariatric surgery begins with finding the right surgeon. “The hospital should be a Center of Excellence in bariatric

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Tina Tait Decatur resident Tina Tait, 43, considers herself a “fat-thlete.” She’s always been active, running in marathons and 5Ks, but has never managed to keep off the weight until now. Since she had bariatric surgery in January 2013, she’s lost over 112 pounds. “I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which is a relatively new procedure where 85 percent of my stomach was removed,” she explains. “Unlike gastric bypass, the sleeve leaves the intestines intact. It was done laparoscopically, and I had five tiny incisions that were visible.” Tait’s surgery was performed by Dr. Charlie Procter at Piedmont Hospital, and she was fortunate to have no complications during her recovery. “I have only 13 pounds to my doctor’s goal weight for me of 125 pounds, which puts me at a normal BMI,” she says. “Because I have a much higher activity level than most, Dr. Procter thinks I might even get to my ideal body weight, which is 110. (I’m only 5 feet tall).”

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To keep herself in check, Tait tracks everything she eats in My Fitness Pal. “I eat around 800 calories a day – sometimes as much as 1,000 – mostly protein and then vegetables or carbs if I have room,” she says. “I drink most of my vegetables in a green smoothie, which is the easiest way for me to get them in. I weigh and measure everything, even though my stomach tells me when it’s time to stop.” Today she says her life no longer revolves around food, and she’s become

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the athlete she’s wanted to be her whole life. “I’m no longer carrying an extra person with me, and it’s opened up a whole new world,” she says. “I train[ed] for the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day half marathon, and I even joined the Atlanta Track Club!”

Sylvie Hamel Sylvie Hamel was overweight from the time she was 13, but it was witnessing her mother’s struggle with weight and subsequent loss of mobility that motivated her to make a change in her own life. “I knew I would be in that position in 15 years if I didn’t act soon,” she says. “I hadn’t developed diabetes yet, but I was on cholesterol and high blood pressure medicine. I weighed 283 pounds before surgery.”

“My surgery was performed five weeks prior to my retirement from UPS,” she says. “The first day of my retirement was the first day I could exercise, and after that I was in the pool every day for six weeks. I gave my metabolism and weight loss a boost, not only because I was losing fat, but because I was exercising at the same time. I lost 120 pounds over 12 months. I’ve since regained about 12, so I’m working with a nutritionist now to get back on track. But I’m nowhere near as morbidly obese as I was before.” Since her surgery, Hamel says her life has undergone a complete reinvention. “I take salsa lessons, I shop for clothes (and enjoy it!) and I date, which I didn’t do for a long time,” she says. “A lot of people see the surgery as the easy way out, but it’s not. You’ve got to do the work. It’s a tool, but it’s not a miracle. With work and dedication, it’s the only way I could have achieved this. It saved my life.”

Diana Oates



At 267 pounds, Diana Oates was a self-proclaimed food addict. “Food and the couch were my best friends,” she says. “My body began to break down. My husband began to shake me throughout the night, saying I stopped breathing in my sleep.” During a visit to her primary care physician, Oates was referred to a sleep study. “I stopped breathing many times,” she says. “After returning to my primary care physician for the full results of the test, his words were very clear: You need to do something about your health.”

After meeting Dr. Kevin McGill, Hamel knew she was in good hands with him and the staff at Piedmont Hospital for her gastric bypass surgery in May 2010.


Since her surgery, Oates weighs in at 133 pounds. “I went from not exercising at all to now having a love for it,” she says. “I now exercise six days a week,



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and I’m also a certified personal trainer. I love working with others and showing them the road of this journey. So many people have no idea what weight loss

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surgery can do. I am the face of weight loss surgery. I took back my life, and I can enjoy all that life has to give.”

Harold L. Harris, Sr. For the last eight years of his 21-year run in the Air Force, Harold Harris was on the weight management program. He was spending as many as four hours a day in the gym but could not lose the necessary weight. Then in 1993, he had the first of three heart attacks. “My doctor told me that my weight was a problem,” he says. “I was put on weight loss medication with no success, so I started discussing surgery with my doctors.”


Harris was 276 pounds when he was admitted to Atlanta Medical Center for gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Miguel del Mazo in June of 2012. “Today my weight is consistently between 170 and 178, dependent on my exercise program, which has started to level out at four times a week,” he says. “Medically, the improvements are beyond my every expectation. My [Type 2] diabetes is now being controlled by diet and exercise and has been that way from the time I woke up in the hospital. My blood pressure medications have been cut twice since the surgery, as well as my cholesterol medication being cut in half. I no longer suffer from sleep apnea or acid reflux. My heart has shown vast improvement.” Harris even jokes that at his last stress test, his physical stamina was so high that his doctor simply stopped the test, which shows just how far he has come.


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The final straw came in 2012 when his car broke down and two of his grandsons were walking him home. “After only a few feet up the hill, I fell back down, hurting only my pride in the process,” Harris says. “I knew then if I wanted to spend some quality time with my grandchildren, I would have to do something to improve my health.”



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Find the Right Therapist By Angela Buttimer, MS, RYT, LPC

What’s your

When looking for a therapist, where should I start?


There are many ways to begin your search for a therapist. I have observed that referrals by those who know us (and that we trust) can be the most effective starting point. The next step (and if you don’t have a personal referral) is to find the therapist’s website to learn more. You can Google “counseling in Atlanta” to begin a web search of experienced therapists in your area. If what you read seems appealing to you, make the call to have a live conversation. During this conversation, you will get a feel for the personhood of this professional as well as get some pragmatic questions answered.

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Should my therapist have personal experience with the issues I want to work on? This is not necessary. They are trained professionals. However, it is important that they have professional experience in working with issues and goals similar to yours. So be sure to ask them about their experience and success with these issues.

How is therapy better than talking with my friends? A good therapist will be more objective, professionally trained, and will put aside their needs to focus their complete attention on supporting you.


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Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health. Unfortunately, stopping smoking is tough. But if you are ready to quit, it’s time to follow an integrated approach to give yourself the best chance for success.

Create a plan. List your reasons for quitting. Analyze your smoking triggers and then find alternatives (chewing gum, exercising). Set a “quit date” and stick to it. Tell your friends and family about your plan to quit. Even if you relapse, keep quitting!

Eat Clean. Fruits and vegetables have been found to make cigarettes taste less appealing, so loading up on plant-based foods before your quit date can be helpful. Also avoid meats, coffee and alcohol.

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Moderate to vigorous exercise can help prevent smoking relapses, cravings and moodiness in those trying to kick the habit.

Consider acupuncture. Book a treatment the day you quit or within the first 72 hours to support serotonin production, which can become depleted during smoking cessation.

Try homeopathics. Stop-it Smoking is a combination homeopathic smoking cessation remedy designed to reduce tobacco cravings, nervous tension and irritability related to nicotine withdrawal.

Practice meditation. Spending 20 minutes meditating upon waking and before bed has been shown to help smokers quit. Tai chi can also be a helpful practice.

Download an app. There are many different apps that can help you structure your cessation efforts. Examples include Smoke Out, Quitter and Livestrong MyQuit Coach.

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Esthetician Teri Eastin, who operates Atlanta Acne Specialists, has opened a new office at 465 Winn Way, Decatur, GA. Eastin provides a range of medical grade skin care services and products. Teri Eastin Dyer & Posta Salon has relocated to a new salon space in Kennesaw. This new space offers double the square footage and the number of chairs as the previous salon. Local entrepreneurs Gary and Elspeth England are the owners of the newly opened Elements Massage. The new Buckhead massage studio is open seven days a week, welcomes walk-ins and offers a flexible membership program that allows clients to receive regular, discounted massage therapy. Tracey Lamb, PhD, from Emory University School of Medicine has received an NIH New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health. Lamb received this award based on her innovative work with vaccines, through which she has developed an oral delivery system for vaccines that previously had to be administered through a shot. Heat Lounge Blowout and Makeup Bar, a one-stop beauty destination specializing in hair blowouts, styling and beauty treatments, opened in early December 2013. Other services include eyelash extensions, sunless tanning, bridal packages and more. 6355 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs, GA, Dr. Lee Padove, a U.S. News & World Report “Top Doctor,” has joined Northside Hospital Cardiovascular Care in Sandy Springs. He received his Doctorate of Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia, and his special interests include cardiac evaluation and treatment during pregnancy. TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation recently moved to a new location with the capacity to support an additional 300 breast cancer patients annually. The non-profit moved from Johns Creek to 8010 Roswell Road, Ste. 120, Atlanta, GA.

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U.S. Obesity Rate Climbing in 2013

New Year’s Resolutions Most of us make them and break them. For 2014 make a financial checklist and set deadlines. Then ask someone close to you to check in on you monthly and make sure you hit those deadlines. What should be some of your financial resolutions? Here is a top ten list: 1) Review your Last Will and Testament, Financial Power of Attorney, and Advance Directive for Health Care or contact an estate planning attorney if you do not have them. Complete an important list to give to your family and friends with information on who to contact, where your assets are held, and your digital media passwords (or where to find them).

Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Instead of extreme detox plans to shed those extra pounds in the New Year try a few simple detox therapies. The average American is walking around with 5-15 pounds of impacted fecal matter in the colon. Colon Hydrotherapy can result in substantial weight loss and jump-start your metabolism, due to the fact that the body will take on fat weight to store toxins. A Far Infrared Sauna session can burn upwards of 600 calories while you relax! As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories. Ionic Foot Baths excrete toxins through the pores in the body reducing cellulite and rejuvenating the metabolism Massage helps to break up adipose tissue, increase circulation, and move the lymph. All massages are done on the Bio-Mat, a state of the art medical device emitting infrared rays which burns calories and controls weight. The hCG Diet tells the body to release and mobilize abnormal fat to allow it to be consumed as an energy source resulting in extreme rapid weight loss, an average of 1/2 a pound to a pound a day. hCG also helps reset the hypothalamic fat set point allowing you to maintain your weight loss.

2) Review your home, auto, and umbrella insurance policies. Do you have ordinance coverage? Do you have replacement coverage? Do you have an umbrella policy? Contact your agent and review the policies in detail and also contact a competitor and compare rates and coverage. 3) Review your investments. Contact your investment advisor to go over your financial goals and investments. 4) Start preparing your income tax return so that is off of the “to do” checklist. 5) Find your “number.” What is your financial independence (retirement) figure? How much do you need to achieve your goals and how are you going to achieve them? 6) Organize yourself personally and financially. The more organized you are, the more efficient you will be and that means more time for fun! 7) Set out savings goals for your financial year and set it up so that the savings are automatic. Pay off your debts, build your rainy day fund, and then save for financial independence. 8) Review your life, long-term disability, and long-term care insurance with your agent. 9) Cash flow. Words that will help you achieve financial independence. Keep it positive! 10) Balance. Find a healthy balance with money. Saving can be fun!! Wishing you a very healthy and prosperous 2014!!

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Laura Schilling isn’t your typical Financial Planner. She is also a world traveler who has been to Asia, Africa, Europe, and Israel. Laura is an active member in the community, a mother of two, and a champion for each of the working mothers she employs. As principal and founder of Financial Innovations, LLC, she staffs her firm with stay-at-home moms who work from where they can meet the needs of their clients around the globe.

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Those Aren’t Love Letters from the IRS

Robotic Hair Restoration Arrives in Atlanta

James L. Robertson, EA As Enrolled Agent, I routinely receive letters from the IRS about continuing education, certification, and client issues. Even though I have been receiving them for over twelve years the palms still get sweaty and the heart speeds up. But, it’s not love. So, I can imagine the panic created when you get a letter from the IRS or a state department of revenue. The IRS is getting more proficient and quicker at matching information reported about you with the information reported by you on your tax return. Your employer, bank, mortgage company, brokerage company, and now even your customers, vendors, and credit card processors are reporting tax related information to the IRS as well as you. Also, with the identity theft issues of the past few years, the IRS is scrutinizing suspicious returns much quicker than before. Scamming is more prevalent now, so to make sure you aren’t being scammed please realize that the IRS never emails taxpayers, rarely calls, but is very proficient at writing letters. So, if you are contacted by other than a letter, be suspicious and do not respond directly. The IRS already has all the identifying information they need about you so don’t respond with your Social Security number, date of birth, or banking information. If you do receive that dreaded letter what do you do? Take a deep breath and contact your tax consultant that is why you pay them. If you prepared the return yourself and want to handle it yourself, read through the letter carefully to make sure you understand why the IRS is contacting you. Gather the information needed to respond and follow the instructions on the letter. Calling the IRS or state department of revenue is also helpful in gaining a better understanding of the issues. Be patient, you will most likely have to wait on hold before you can speak with someone that can help you. You can also contact us, your local H&R Block office (see locations below). We offer a free initial review of the letter you received which can help you determine how to respond or decide you need our help. We are open year round and are staffed with Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and tax accountants with at least 10 years experience.

For more information about tax planning and retirement, contact our article contributor James L. Robertson, EA or any H&R Block tax professional at one of our offices below.

Millions of Americans suffer from hair loss. Today, there are many more options for treatment of balding and thinning hair than ever before. Long gone is the “pluggy” or “doll’s hair” look, as modern hair transplantation is performed one single follicle at a time for the most natural look possible. The Anderson Hair Sciences and research center is a new, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to providing the most natural, permanent hair restoration results to both men and women, with an emphasis on artistic concepts, patient comfort, and natural, permanent results. Dr. Ken Anderson, MD, is the first and only hair restoration surgeon in Georgia to offer the very latest in cutting edge surgical robotic devices. the ArtAS robotic Hair restoration Surgery System performs a type of hair restoration surgery called “follicular unit extraction,” or “FUe” – a technique Dr. Anderson has been performing for over 10 years. With the revolutionary ArtAS System Dr. Anderson is able to transplant hair without any linear or noticeable scarring, using no scalpels, no stitches, with a dramatically shorter recovery period than for patients who undergo a traditional linear strip method hair restoration procedure. With the sole exception of the ArtAS system, all FUe methods, using any device, are performed by hand, with all the associated variability and inherent human error. How Does It Work? Using high-tech stereoscopic cameras, and updating its coordinates 5,000 times per second, the ArtAS System’s image-guided robotics harvests hair follicles for transplant with micron-level precision, one at a time. As there is no linear incision required with an ArtAS procedure, healing time is short, and you can usually go back to your daily activities after a day or two. call for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Anderson to discuss your options, or visit us online.

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Satellite Blvd 770-921-2200 3360 Satellite Blvd, Ste 13, Duluth, GA 30096 Dunwoody 770-396-9218 4768 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Ste 200, Dunwoody, GA 30338 Merchants Walk 770-509-1820 4235 Merchants Walk Drive, Ste 150, Marietta, GA 30068 Buckhead 404-237-2355 2900 Peachtree Rd NW, Ste 204, Atlanta, GA 30305 Northpoint 678-277-9465 7855 North Point Parkway, Ste 302, Alpharetta, GA 30022 This article is brought to you by H&R Block For information on other topics from Atlanta’s experts go to

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5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Ste. 135 Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 256-4247 | Dr. Anderson is a double-board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who has confined his practice solely to hair restoration for over a decade. After 7 years of surgery training in facial plastic surgery, in 2003 he entered the field of hair restoration in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Anderson is the first and only hair restoration surgeon in Georgia to offer the very latest in cutting edge surgical robotic device, the ARTAS Robotic Hair Restoration Surgery System. This article is brought to you by The Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center For information on other topics from Atlanta’s experts go to BEST SELF ATLANTA



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Pay for college without going broke!


Free local workshops help parents save thousands! Woodstock, Ga—Metro Atlanta parents planning on sending a child to college in the next few years, but who aren’t quite sure how to pay for it can now rest a little easier. Jason Flurry, CFP® founder of the National Center For College Planning and Legacy partners Financial Group has been educating parents about what to do if they haven’t saved enough for college and retirement. ‘It’s really sad, but most parents we talk to have done really well financially, but never found the time to save for college, and now they’re facing a bill of $18,000-$50,000 a year. They don’t know who to turn to for help,’ he says. ‘Furthermore, most of the time, all they hear is to not even bother applying for any aid because they make too much money. However, most of the time, that is simply not true…even if they make a good six-figure income.’ Jason would know, because he’s worked with over 1000 families in the last 16 years ranging from single moms to corporate CEO’s, and he swears he can help anyone get through the process and save a bundle….no matter how good of a student they have or how much money they make. ‘Simply put, we show parents the truth that they aren’t hearing anywhere else about how the college process really works, and how they



The group currently has three singers, and they hope to grow to about nine to 12 members. VEE held their kick-off showcase in November. The ensemble performed some contemporary songs as well as classic songs from a variety of genres. Come out to future concerts and help VEE gain the attention it needs to achieve one of their long-term goals: to be invited to perform at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil. VEE’s next casting call is January 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Shepherd Center. 10:03 If AMyou or someone you know is interested in auditioning, email Details:

can get their child into a top school easily, help that student pick a career that will suit them and pay them well, and save thousands of dollars in the process.” North Metro parents will have several opportunities to hear Jason speak. He is teaching his free class ‘How to Give Your Kid a 4-Year College Education…Without Going Broke!’ throughout the year. ‘We’ll discuss everything from the greatest myths about the college process, to how to send your student to a fancy private school for less than the cost of a junior college…it’ll be like learning how to get a brand new Lexus for the price of a used pick up truck,’ he grins. Topics will also include why private scholarships and 529 plans are a waste of time, how to double or even triple the amount of free money you receive from each school, and how to avoid the one mistake that will kill your chances of getting any money at all that almost every other parent will make this year, and much, much more. “The class is totally free, but seats usually fill up quickly. We have to turn people away or add them to a waiting list pretty often,” Flurry says. You can reserve a seat or get more info by calling (678) 388-2233 or online at www.YourCollegePlanners. com.

Camping Time Currently, more than 7,000 children live in foster care in Georgia, and about half of those children are separated from at least one sibling. To help this problem, Camp To Belong Georgia brings siblings back together for events that encourage connection, social maturation and positivity. At the camp, siblings have the opportunity to experience traditional camp activities like horseback riding, swimming and rock climbing, as well as hear motivational speakers and receive support for their unique situations. Registration for the 2014 summer camp begins this month. Details:


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This singing group hopes to use music and art to do what Paralympians do through sports: focus on the abilities and not the challenges of talented people. VEE has the enthusiastic support of local and national organizations like the Shepherd Center, Disability Link, Full Radius Dance Company, People First of Atlanta and Southeast ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), as well as the disability departments of the Smithsonian and National Endowment of the Arts.

Photo by Jeffrey Tucker

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VEE member Katharine Burnette

Watch out, Glee! Atlanta has its own show choir on the scene: Voices Embodied Ensemble (VEE). Featuring talented singers who have physical disabilities and awesome voices, VEE officially began in June 2013 as one of the newest projects from the non-profit group Abel 2.

11/26/13 9:33 AM 12/20/13 2:25 PM

FIGHT FOR AIR RUN/WALK Raise awareness and funds for issues like asthma, secondhand smoke inhalation, lung cancer and emphysema. The run benefits American Lung Association.

Jan. 17 THE 12TH ANNUAL TOTES 2 TOTS SUITCASE DRIVE Sponsored by Georgia Cancer Specialists and Northside Hospital, this event will collect backpacks and kid-sized suitcases to give to foster children. For a list of participating offices, visit

Jan. 18

ANNUAL PAINT THE TOWN EVENT Mark and Layla Gunn, owners of The Melting Pot Atlanta-area restaurants and founders of Pure Imagination, will bring Napa Valley to the Vinings Gallery for this annual charity event benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Pure Imagination Charity.

2014 SALUTE TO GREATNESS AWARDS DINNER This event recognizes individuals and organizations in their efforts toward building Dr. King’s Beloved Community. This year’s honorees include Muhammad Ali and Eve Ensler, among others.

Jan. 19 LIVVY’S LOVE BUTTERFLY BALL The night includes live entertainment, dinner, drinks and dancing. Proceeds from this event fund grants, scholarships and community activities for Atlanta’s youth.

Jan. 20 LET FREEDOM RUN – MLK DAY 5K This 5K uses fitness to celebrate




unity. You can register an organization of your choice to receive proceeds.


Jan. 4

“Honey, they’re having fun over there!” Don’t be shy. See for yourself.

Jan. 23 A CELEBRATION OF DOGS The Atlanta Humane Society invites art aficionados to this auction of fine paintings and sculptures featuring dogs. Pets are welcome to attend.

Don’t be shy, call The Renaissance on Peachtree Retirement Community now to schedule your tour. Next thing you know, you’ll be saying, “Honey, we should’ve moved in years ago!”

Jan. 25 24TH ANNUAL TORCH GALA Benefiting The Georgia Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, this event will include a dinner, dance and silent auction held at the RitzCarlton Buckhead.

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Jan. 26 FROSTY FUN 5K Bundle up for this family fun run through Brookhaven benefiting Kindred Spirit.

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Feb. 1 15TH ANNUAL ART PAPERS ART AUCTION This event showcases artists from around the world. This is ART PAPERS’ largest fundraiser with all proceeds going to support its programs.

Feb. 1 HOPE AND WILL BALL This annual gala is one of the largest yearly fundraisers for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and includes dinner, live music and an auction.

TASTE OF LOVE GALA Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Taste of Love black-tie gala, a yearly fundraiser for The Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia.

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CHIROPRACTORS Sweat Institute .........................................65 Tedeschi Wellness ....................................46

COLON HYDROTHERAPY Atlanta Colonic & Massage ...................59 Clear Path Wellness .................................65

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DANCE Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta ..........16

DENTISTRY Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry .....9 Atlanta Smiles & Wellness .......................23 Kimball Bridge Dental Commons ...........50 Valerie Fuller Dentistry .............................53

DERMATOLOGY Dermatology Center of Atlanta ..............54 Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa...........5 North Atlanta Dermatology ....................14

EYE HEALTH North Fulton Eye Center ..........................25

FINANCIAL COUNSELING Financial Innovations ..............................59 National Center for College Planning ...62

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HAIR RESTORATION Anderson Hair Sciences & Research 40,61

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MASSAGE THERAPY Elements Massage..................................14 Facelogic .................................................53

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PERSONAL TRAINING House of Payne Personal Training ..........30

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WAXING European Wax Center .............................28

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65 11/26/13 9:29 AM 12/20/13 12:49 PM

Sandi Porter


t s e B f sel

Losing weight and being healthy was more than just a personal goal for Sandi Porter. “After I lost weight 12 years ago, I knew I wanted to help others,” she says. So Porter decided to parlay her love of everything fitness and health-related into a career as a trainer, though soon it wasn’t enough. “I realized I didn’t want to just be a trainer. I wanted to change lives, so I began my own company, Start With The Inside.” Beyond her expertise as a trainer, Porter rounded out her education by going back to school and studying sports nutrition and physical therapy. “These certifications gave me the tools to work with my clients and their needs.” In addition to Start With The Inside, Porter also started Gwinnett’s Losing It! program, a 12-week weight loss program in a team format. “I don’t want someone to lose pounds and then gain it back,” she explains. “I want to get to the nitty gritty of what the real issue is and how that affects your ability to lose weight and live healthy.”

What was the inspiration behind starting Start With The Inside? My inspiration started with my coach from 12 years ago, David Greenwalt of Leanness Lifestyle. He taught me so much about healthy living and how to make these changes a part of my lifestyle, not just for 12 weeks. I added the emotional aspect of this program because of the emotional struggles that I see my clients go through in trying to lose weight and live healthy.

How did you start Gwinnett’s Losing It! program? The first season of Gwinnett’s Losing It! began in January 2011. I had been teaching corporate workshops and working with clients on an individual basis and wanted to find a way to reach more people and also provide accountability for those people. Participants meet with me once every four weeks for a progress report, meet as a team every four weeks and participate in a weekly conference call and weigh-in. During the 12 weeks, the team has lessons on nutrition, weight training and cardio, emotional obstacles, and dealing with trigger foods, family and work situations.

What has been the best part about starting these two weight loss programs? The best part is seeing peoples’ lives change, the amazing changes in their health, getting off medications, losing inches and becoming more confident. Our worst setback was the economy, when people could not afford the program but needed to do it. Our fee is $249 for 12 weeks, and that was an investment for people. When I wanted to give up, I didn’t because people would ask me to continue.

Who inspired you professionally? I love older fitness pros who did so much for this industry – Charles Atlas and Jack LaLanne. I met Robert Kennedy and Tosca Reno, and they were a huge inspiration to me.

What was your first job in the fitness arena? Believe it or not, I taught aerobics in the 80s. [I wore] a headband, spandex and all. I taught part time at local YMCA while I went to college. I loved those classes!

Best advice for weight loss? Go to a professional. Start with small changes. Educate yourself and learn how to make permanent changes, not temporary fixes. Learn to listen to your inside voice. Photos courtesy of

Best way to balance home life and work? Planning is key. I take my rest days seriously. I plan workouts and meals so that eliminates stress. My family is key. I make time for them, and my schedule revolves around them. I invest in monthly massages and weekly Epsom salt baths to take care of my body.

Who are the people who help you be your best self? My husband of 22 years, my kids who inspire me every day, my clients who motivate me to never give up and my wonderful massage therapist!



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