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

March 2016


The Big

How to Be Fabulous

Over 40


Let Our 2016 Advisory Board Inspire You p. 30

Best Cause

Lost-n-Found Youth: Hope and Help p. 51

Making the Milestone Memorable p. 39

Give-Back Guide

Gluten Got You Stuck?

Spring into Community Action p. 53

Simple Answers to Gluten-Free Questions p. 16

Best Fun

Unlock the Fun with Escape Room Games p. 18

EXPERT CONNECT Urinary Incontinence

By Assia Stepanian, MD, FACOG p. 48 TO SEARCH FOR 100s OF POPULAR TOPICS

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Living g n i v i G AND


Turns Heartbreak Into Hope p. 23

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Best Self Atlanta magazine uses soy-based ink and is printed on 100 percent recyclable paper. Our print partner, Newpoint Media Group, recycles all excess paper, printing plates and any other recyclable materials used in the printing process.

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 MARCH 2016

The Big


Making the Milestone Memorable p. 39

Living Giving

How to Be Fabulous Over 40 Let Our 2016 Advisory Board Inspire You



Jen Hidinger

Turns Heartbreak Into Hope


08 From the Publisher

20 Best Family

10 Note to Self

36 Best Fitness

Better Than Ever!

Thoughts from the Editor

13 Best Bulletin

New Ideas and Activities

14 Best Health & Beauty

Tips to Keep You Feeling Great

16 Best Bites

Going Gluten-Free?

18 Best Fun

Escape Games and Crafty Creativity

19 Fun Calendar

Enjoy Our Great City


MARCH 2016

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Live Your Best Life Together Cirque Du Soleil Stretches the Limits

51 Best Cause

Lost-n-Found Youth: Hope and Help

53 Give-Back Guide

Volunteer Opportunities

54 Business News News to Know

56 Reader Resources Complete Guide to Our Advertising Partners

Photo by Brian Reeves of Perfect Day Photos (top left), Leslie Plesser (bottom right).

In every issue

EXPERT CONNECT Urinary Incontinence By Assia Stepanian, MD, FACOG p. 48


On the cover

Featured on the cover: Jen Hidinger photographed at Staplehouse Photography by: Brian Reeves of Perfect Day Photos

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Family History of

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from the publisher

Free eBook!

Better Than Ever! Have you noticed certain people, maybe some you haven’t seen in a while, who look better now than they did 10 or even 20 years ago? We hear that “40 is the new 30” and so on and so on ... but really, that is absolutely true. Maybe we’ve finally found that mythical fountain of youth—or, at least, the trickle of a little stream. Thanks to modern treatments and techniques for skin, hair, face and body, as well as better education about health, fitness and nutrition, we’re all learning to increase our quality of living in ways that seem to turn back the clock. But what I notice most about the people who I think look better now than they did years ago is a quiet confidence and a strong sense of self. These are qualities earned from conscious living and heeding life lessons that grant selfassurance and inner peace. This month, we start the voting portion of our 6th Annual Over 40 & Fabulous! contest. Our nominees defy age, shining with health and a well-being gained from their commitment to others. We have some truly inspiring people in our community and we are excited to read the submissions sent to us. Learn how you can be the best ever—at any age—with tips and advice from this year’s Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board. These pros know how to help you be your Best Self EVER!

Sherri Adair, Publisher

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

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!),

It’s Time to Vote! OVER 40 & FABULOUS! VOTING BEGINS ON MARCH 15th  and ends MARCH 31st at midnight Vote via email to

• 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

OR on our Facebook page

Coming in April Hormone Health: What’s Important to Know as We Age Fat Removal: Get the Skinny on the Latest Techniques Beauty Report: Eyewear for Fashion and Function Give-Back Guide: Support Community Volunteer Opportunities and Charity Events.

• Countless more insider tips! To download this free eBook, just visit AtlantaCenterforCosmetic or scan the code below with your smart phone.

Plus, more from our Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board For more of everything, go to


MARCH 2016

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Hormone Health for Men and Women: What’s Important to Know As We Age

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drkin Best

WHY DO PEOPLE TRAVEL THOUSANDS OF MILES FOR ONE OF OUR SMILES? THE ATLANTA CENTER FOR COSMETIC DENTISTRY, founded by Dr. Debra Gray King in 1987, is one-of-a-kind haven for your smile transformation. World-renowned for enhancing the smiles of many celebrities, it has also transformed the lives of thousands of people from all walks of life, from doctors, to soccer moms, to business executives and beauty queens. The transformation process here is performed quickly, with lots of pampering, and minimally invasive techniques. Your smile and oral health are very important. If you have been thinking of enhancing your smile, you owe it to your self to seek out the best. After all, your smile is not the place for on-the-job training. To get optimal results, it takes a well-trained, experienced doctorartist. Dr. King is one of only a few dentists in the world to be an Accredited Fellow, which is the highest level of competence in the prestigious American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She also has been extensively sought out as an expert on dental trends in the media, including CBS, CNN, Fox News, The Doctors, Extreme Makeover, Entertainment Tonight, The Wall Street Journal, Time, InStyle, Vogue, Glamour, and USA Today. To arrange a consultation, or for more information, please visit our website or call. You will love your new smile!

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note to self I hope this year has both questions and answers for me! My birthday falls on February 28, which means that March 1 is my personal New Year’s Day. I’ve alway felt that to be more of a cause to sing “Auld Lang Syne” than when the ball drops and fireworks explode. This is the time I reflect on the past year and fully consider the lessons learned.

Got Allergies? We can help!

Growing older feels exciting to me; I’m more prepared (less scared) to accept big challenges and eager to use my life experience. However, while growing older intrigues me, aging stinks. Now at age

There are YEARS that ASK QUESTIONS and YEARS that ANSWER. — Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

JeNeen Ridgeway, DC Debra MacIntyre, ND, Founder “Allergy treatments allowed me to mow my lawn with no symptoms for the first time in 20 years!” JA

45, I’m right in the middle of my own personal quest to be Over 40 & Fabulous!, which means I’m paying close attention to the input of our Advisory Board (p.30) and considering every tip and treatment shared. Much like those featured in our Big 5-0 article (p.39), I want to reach that milestone with a stronger body and renewed sense of purpose. I’m overwhelmed with admiration for our profile subject (p.23), Jen Hidinger, who, in her 30s, triumphed over tragedy and now celebrates new ways to make her dreams come true.

“After allergy treatments, I have energy again! I feel good and I have my life back!!!” BC “There are multitudes of people out there stoically suffering from allergies- because they are unaware of effective treatments. I urge you to come to this office and get relief!” CE

March on,

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Katherine Michalak, Managing Editor Editorial Correction On page 16 of our February issue, we incorrectly referenced the credentials of Eric Crane. Mr. Crane is currently an Advanced Sommelier and continuing his study with The Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

Photos courtesy of Sawyer Photography

We’re never too young or too old to dream a new dream or find new answers to long-held questions. Maybe I should make some birthday resolutions, take notes on what I want this year to teach me, and commit to doing the homework.


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Photos courtesy of Sara Hanna Photography (bottom left), Leslie Plesser (top left), Atlanta Dogwood Festival and Raftermen Photography (top right), Cirque Du Soleil (bottom right)

Dental Care on Demand

In an age when you can get a subscription box for just about everything, it’s about time your teeth got in on the action too. Boka box brings dental health to your doorstep by delivering high-quality toothbrushes, natural toothpastes and floss right to your home. Every three months, you receive a fresh new brush to keep those pearly whites strong and bright. Customize your box to fit your family so the kids get more excited about brushing when they start getting mail for their mouths. And for every Boka brush purchased, the company donates a toothbrush to those in need through their partnership with the nonprofit Surge, which brings water and sanitation solutions to global communities in need. Details:

Shamrockin’ Good Fun

80 Years of Festival Fun The Atlanta Dogwood Festival plans to make this, its 80th year, its best yet. From April 8 through 10, the festival kickstarts spring by welcoming thousands of visitors to browse creations from nearly 300 fine artists, take part in the Atlanta Dogwood Festival Mimosa 5K, enjoy entertainment from around the world on the International Stage, explore everyday green living techniques at the eco village and more. The popular Disc Dog Southern Nationals competition returns as well, featuring joyfully jumping canines inspiring a playful spirit in all of us. Details:

Get your Irish up and help raise some “green” to support the efforts of The Junior League of Atlanta at the 12th Annual Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race. On March 6, take to the streets of Atlantic Station at this family-friendly Peachtree qualifier -- add to the fun with festive leprechaun attire for a blarney-good time!

Pick of the Month Cirque Du Soleil Returns To Atlanta


Doughnut Decadence When the owners of Bon Glaze noticed a lack of whimsy in the world of doughnut making, they decided they would be the ones to right that wrong. And oh, how they have made it right. Cotton Candy, Orange Fanta with Pastry Crème, Bacon Butterscotch and Campfire are just a few of the flavors rolled out of their happy ovens. Don’t wait a second longer to enjoy this “hole-y” experience; visit their first Atlanta location in Brookhaven and watch for updates on the opening of the Buckhead location soon.

Cirque Du Soleil Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities will unravel this March 3- May 8 under the signature blue and yellow big top at Atlantic Station. Step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed and the world is literally turned upside down. Use the link below for discount tickets to Kurious: Cabinet of Curiosities and get two tickets for as low as $99.

This offer is valid on select show dates and times while supplies last. Jessica Dauler


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MARCH 2016


2/23/16 12:20 PM

besthealth&beauty Chew On This


Knock, Knock, Relaxation Calling Your massage dreams have just come true. Soothe, a massage-on-demand service, has launched in Atlanta. Take your pick of a Swedish, sports, couples or pre-natal massage; with the tap of a finger on your iOS or Android device, welcome a licensed, certified massage therapist to your door—at home or at work. Treatment lengths include 60, 90 and 120 minutes and are available from 8 a.m. to midnight, with as little as 60 minutes of advance notice. Starting at $99, the fixed fees also include tax and gratuity, taking the stress out of the payment process as well. Details:

Snooze Tunes It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your health, but sometimes slipping into our nightly slumber can be harder than we anticipate. Now you can drift off to the sounds of your favorite soothing tunes with The 1 Voice Bluetooth Sleep Headphones ($49). Featuring a velvet eye mask with built-in headphones, the 1 Voice allows you to stream music via Bluetooth from your smartphone or MP3 player. An extra layer of memory foam means you’ll never feel the headphones, even if you choose to sleep on your side. Details:

Monitor your fluid intake during the day to stay hydrated. Hydration 2.0

Breast Care Brought to You This year, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. alone. Thousands more will be unable to receive screenings or treatments simply due to a lack of resources in their area. Peach State Health Plan, in conjunction with Atlanta nonprofit Sisters by Choice, is hitting the road to bring breast care to the medically underserved areas of Georgia. The new free Mobile Breast Clinic will be equipped with the latest technology for breast cancer detection and treatment and specialists to provide more than 3,000 screenings this year.

Taking into account your age, gender, height, weight, activity level, sleep patterns and more, the Pryme Vessyl ($99) takes staying hydrated to a whole new level. This “smart” mug monitors your liquid consumption and sends drink reminders to your smartphone or watch to keep you on track. Once you have reached your “pryme” levels of hydration, you’re ready to take on the world…or at least the day. Details:

Details: mobileclinic.


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Photos courtesy of Simply Gum (top left), Soothe (middle left), Sisters by Choice (bottom left), 1 Voice (top right), Pryme Vessyl (bottom right)

Ever take a look at the ingredient label on your chewing gum? Made you look, didn’t we? There you’ll find artificial flavors, preservatives, plastic and aspartame. Maybe not the best way to freshen your breath. With only six natural ingredients, Simply Gum ($2.19) offers a healthy chewing option for gum lovers in flavors such as mint, cinnamon, maple and ginger. Plus this gum is biodegradable! Just imagine a city without old gum dotting the sidewalk!

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bestbites Getting to the Bottom of Gluten IS GLUTEN-FREE JUST ANOTHER HEALTH BUZZWORD OR IS IT AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION FOR YOUR DIET? Anna Longacre, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist with Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates, gets to the bottom of gluten for us. WHAT IS GLUTEN? Gluten is a term for a variety of proteins found naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. These proteins help foods maintain their shape. WHO ACTUALLY NEEDS TO BE EATING A GLUTEN-FREE DIET? For individuals with celiac disease—an autoimmune condition in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine—eating a gluten-free diet is essential to manage digestive symptoms and avoid long-term complications. Celiac disease often goes undiagnosed and is actually quite common. Some individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive-related conditions may also benefit from a gluten-free diet. Individuals with gluten sensitivity can experience a variety of symptoms, including bloating, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, “brain fog” and depression. If you are having symptoms, it’s important to talk with a gastroenterologist about being tested. HOW DO I DETERMINE IF I SHOULD ELIMINATE GLUTEN? Some individuals feel better on a gluten-free diet and choose to eliminate gluten purely for this reason. Only your physician can order the diagnostic testing to see if a gluten-free diet needed for you.

CAN ELIMINATING GLUTEN HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT? For some individuals, switching to a gluten-free diet removes from the menu many of the food choices that make weight loss challenging—specifically processed foods and higher carbohydrate foods. In this regard, a gluten-free diet may promote weight loss. That said, not all individuals, particularly those with celiac disease, lose weight when they go gluten-free. WHICH FOODS USUALLY CONTAIN GLUTEN? Gluten most often appears in foods containing wheat, barley and rye. Other foods containing gluten include malt, brewer’s yeast and unprocessed wheat starch. Many common foods contain gluten— such as pastas, breads, cereals, baked goods, crackers, beer and even many sauces. Fortunately, food labeling now includes the gluten-free designation, assuring consumers that gluten is absent from the product or has been processed to remove the gluten.

Gluten Free Grub around Town ALMA COCINA

Details: TRUE FOOD KITCHEN True Food Kitchen presents an entire menu of healthy cuisine with gluten-free options getting


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some gourmet flair. Start with the roasted vegetable board or a chopped salad and try decadent entrees like Moroccan chicken or turkey lasagna—yes, gluten-free lasagna! Details: BLUE MOON PIZZA Pizza cravings cramped by the content of regular crust? Blue Moon Pizza tosses your troubles with their gluten-free menu, bringing pizza, cheesy bread and bruschetta back to your plate. Details:

Photos courtesy of AGA, LLC (top)

Enjoy a fiesta of Mexican delicacies that won’t fire up your stomach at Alma Cocina. Choose appetizers like butternut squash guacamole and pork pibil tamales, then indulge in main dishes such as masafried shrimp tacos with pear and plum salsa, chile morita mayo, shrimp chorizo and avocado mousse.

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bestfun Can You Get Out? — Urban Escape Games The clock is ticking, literally. A screen mounted on the wall flashes a five-minute countdown as half of our Best Self Atlanta/ Atlanta Best Media team scrambles to find the last code that opens the latch to free us. An alarm blares and a voice echoes over an intercom, informing us that we did not escape in time to avoid being contaminated by the virus leak—the imaginary virus of the fictional CDC lab into which we’d been locked an hour before to start our game. The CDC Lockdown is just one of the themed rooms at the Urban Escape Games venue in Alpharetta. The first company in Georgia to present simulated escape games, Urban Escape has been setting up brainteasers and trap doors since February of 2015. Each room unravels a different story with special clues to decipher in order to solve a mystery and “escape.” Our team tried the CDC game and the Jewel Heist but weren’t able to unlock either. Now, we all want to head back to see if we can handle Buckstars Murder Mystery or Mr. Magic’s Magician room. The games and clues change regularly, offering fans the opportunity to keep playing repeatedly for new challenges. Photos courtesy of Urban Escape Games (top), American Craft Show Council (bottom)

Whether you’re bonding with co-workers, looking for a clever date night or hanging out with neighborhood friends, Urban Escape Games sparks curiosity and encourages you to perceive your surroundings differently. You will pull, push, lift, look, count and code your way out—these games are tough. Many of the rooms have under a 50 percent escape rate because, as Marketing Director Ellis Edwards says, “It wouldn’t be fun if it was easy!” Up to the task? Details: 20 Mansell Ct E #275, Alpharetta, GA 30076,

A Crafty Display Creativity, passion and dedication—that’s what you will find at the American Craft Show Atlanta from March 11 through 13. More than 200 of the country’s top artists and creators will showcase cutting-edge designs in jewelry, clothing, furniture, home décor and more. This year’s show debuts the new Style Slam program, which includes professional styling advice for handmade clothing pieces, opportunities for guests to ask questions of featured makers and a chance for show visitors to take part in the hands-on process of creating art themselves. Details: Tickets start at $14; 2 Galleria Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA 30339,


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fun Events


For more events visit Atlanta Brunch Festival

March 5 Atlantans love to brunch and love to party. It was only a matter of time before someone thought to combine the two. The inaugural Atlanta Brunch Festival serves up brunch food classics along with Bloody Marys, Mimosas and more in the Historic 4th Ward Park.

Shamrock ’N Roll Road Race


March 6 Support the Junior League of Atlanta at this 12th Annual event “greening” through the streets of Atlantic Station for this Peachtree qualifier and funrun.

Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade March 12 Gather your friends and littlest leprechauns to watch floats, bands, bagpipers, drum corps, dancers and drill teams as they parade down Peachtree Street in Midtown in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Family Festival at the Woodruff Arts Center March 13 Explore the magnificent possibilities in the world of art at this festival for the whole family. Ignite an inner creativity sparked from presentations by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Alliance Theatre.

On Being Human Manifestation Yoga Workshop March 19 This non-traditional yoga workshop focuses less on poses and more on encouraging participants to ask themselves what they would do if they were not afraid. Join Jen Pastiloff at FORM Yoga for the workshop, which uses singing, writing, dancing and laughing to release fear and anxiety.

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March 25 - 26 Relax under the stars during a guided tour of Lake Rutledge. Sounds of nature fill the night as you learn about the history of Hard Labor Creek State Park.

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Kinky Boots March 29 - April 3 As part of the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta series, the classic musical Kinky Boots, featuring tunes by Grammy winner Cyndi Lauper, will strut its stuff at The Fox Theatre.

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bestfamily The book, My Forgotten Self: A Story about a Girl, A Powerful Encounter and A Universal Message, follows Tiev, a playful young girl who embarks on a journey to find out what it really means to follow your dreams. After Tiev’s well-intentioned family dismisses her lofty ambitions, she meets a being called “I am,” who helps her discover her true self. Written by Family psychologist Lynyetta G. Willis, PhD, My Forgotten Self reminds parents that children surrounded by hope, love and encouragement are empowered to reach their full potential. Details:

Into the Woods Written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods answers the age old question, “What happens after happily ever after?” This Tony Award-winning musical comes to life on the Aurora Theatre stage March 10 through April 17. Storybook favorites like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood band together to save their village. Details:

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Science in the City The Atlanta Science Festival encourages little ones to explore the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) world through hands-on activities and demonstrations. From March 19 through 26, join the celebration honoring achievements and advances in science and technology within the local community. The festival’s grand finale presents the Exploration Expo on March 26, including more than 100 interactive exhibits and a variety of science-centered performances.

Every pet parent fears the possibility of their furry friend going missing one day. Gibi, a lightweight and waterproof device attached to your dog’s collar or harness, allows you to set up virtual fences for your dog to explore in. If your dog leaves the designated safe play space, you will immediately be notified via text or email. In conjunction with Google Maps, Gibi provides you with information regarding their exact location, and—Voila!—Fido has been found! Details:



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Photos courtesy of Inner Pathways Publishing (top and middle left); Atlanta Science Festival (bottom left); Colleen Massey (top right); Gibi Technologies. Inc., (bottom right)

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hen you are young and in love and have your entire lives ahead of you, you don’t expect your marriage vows—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—to be tested for a very long time. Fate was not so kind to Jen Hidinger and her husband, Ryan. On December 21, 2012—the day ancient Mayans predicted the world would end—he was delivered a diagnosis that was the end of their world as they knew it. The diagnosis? Gallbladder cancer. Stage 4. Ryan was 35. Jen? Only 30. The couple had been married seven years and together since Jen was 17. BEST SELF ATLANTA

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At the time, Ryan served as chef at Muss & Turner’s after stints at local restaurants like Bacchanalia and Floataway Café. He and Jen ran a popular supper club (with an almost cult-like following) called Staplehouse out of their Grant Park home and dreamt of opening their own restaurant one day. Ryan had recently returned from a trip to New York City and had come down with the stomach flu. He recovered, but stomach pain and cramping lingered in his abdomen for ten days. He scheduled an ultrasound with his family physician.

Photo courtesy of Jen Hidinger

“I just vividly remember the placement of the chairs, the pale yellow walls of this small doctor’s office, these old vinyl countertops and a black Dell computer screen sitting to our right. Ryan and I were holding hands waiting for the doctor to give us some information. We were not even remotely prepared for the information that we got,” Jen recalls.

about for so long, since I was a senior in high school, and they were just right out of arm’s reach at that point.” Those dreams were immediately put on hold as the couple turned their attention to Ryan’s treatment and care. He went through several rounds of chemo, and the couple radically changed their eating habits, following a mostly Paleo diet—unusual for a chef, especially one known for his fondness for chicken wings and gummy bears. “Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where Ryan was treated, is huge on selfhealing and the reduction of the risk of cancer-treatment drugs on the body,”

couple. It was really a profound moment of responsibility, to take that support for what it’s worth, accept it and let it flood over you. Because it’s healing, and it can push you forward. More than just the financial support ... the people that were cheering us on were completely inspiring and motivating to us. And because of that selfless desire to flood our lives with good, we wanted it to flood someone else’s life.”

An Outpouring of Love That flood of generosity has washed over 365 lives and counting. That’s the number of lives The Giving Kitchen (TGK) has impacted in the two years since Ryan’s passing.

Overwhelmed and grateful for the peace of mind given to them by the community in their time of need, Ryan and Jen co-founded TGK, a nonprofit organization that supports Atlanta restaurant workers in times of unanticipated crisis. With an average grant of $1,500 to qualified Shock and Fear applicants who Ryan and Jen Hidinger faced the unthinkable when Ryan, at age 35, received a need assistance The diagnosis of cancer diagnosis that would leave Jen widowed a little over a year later. with everything stage 4 cancer was from basic living devastating, and expenses after an accident or house fire to the prognosis was even more chilling. explained Jen. “We used a lot of natural care-related expenses for their own illness The cancer had spread to 90 percent of remedies like Melatonin and Vitamin C. or that of a loved one, TGK has donated Ryan’s liver and a portion of his lungs. Ryan rarely wanted pain medications.” He was given less than a five percent Meanwhile, the community rallied around more than $600,000 to Atlanta restaurant workers. The initial transformative chance of survival and only six months the Hidingers, organizing a fundraiser Team Hidi event has become an annual to live. called Team Hidi shortly after Ryan’s celebration of life, now in its fourth year “I didn’t really even take it in, at least not diagnosis and raising over $250,000 for and raising nearly $1 million so far in in its full reality, until after he passed away the couple’s financial needs in a single support of one couple helped in their time [in January 2014]. I was only 30, and night. Jen still feels humbled about that in need. I had my entire life ready and planned night, saying, “I remember standing out with him. We were going to open up this restaurant, and it was going to be our first child, and then we were going to have babies and raise them around the restaurant. These were things we talked

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on that stage [at King Plow] during the event and being surrounding by almost 1,000 people who were there just for us, cheering for us, donating money to us, just out of selfless love and devotion to a

While not involved in the day-to-day operations of TGK, Jen serves as its spokesperson, sharing her story across the country. “Sharing my story has really helped me heal,” she professes. “For a friend or a BEST SELF ATLANTA

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think about the unthinkable? “I once read something while Ryan was going through treatment about just getting out of bed and making the bed. If you can do that one simple thing, that one step, you can keep adding other steps. It really resonated. I deemed it my year of ‘yes.’ I basically said ‘yes’ to anything. And my only disclaimer to very close friends was that my answer to going out will be ‘yes’, but if I cancel because I can’t physically get out of bed, just be okay with that.”

Photo courtesy of Jen Hidinger

A family affair: The Hidingers’ restaurant dream became a reality when Staplehouse opened in fall 2015 with Ryan’s sister, Kara, as general manager and her husband, Ryan Smith, as chef.

stranger to be able to relate to my story, to be able to be more open about death or cancer or whatever struggles, it has really kept me evolving and progressing and growing and learning and has done leaps and bounds for my own mental well-being.”

A New Purpose Jen has found new understanding of her life and purpose by evaluating the lessons of this journey upon which she was so suddenly

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placed. “I’ve learned more about myself after Ryan died than I ever had before—ever. We were together for such a long time and at such a young age and such developmental years, throughout our 20s. That was a majority of what I knew. And I was in love with it. And to learn who I am, and am becoming still, after [his death] was and is dark and really difficult.” How did she get through it and begin to

Waking Up Again Those baby steps toward healing slowly gained momentum. She found her stride. She picked up the pace and quite literally started running. “I remember getting out of bed in early 2013 and going for a walk. I sobbed the entire way, just releasing the emotions, and I got a pull to move my feet faster,” she says. “I walked some, jogged some, walked again, and then it eventually turned into less walk and more run. I didn’t force it. I didn’t put myself on a schedule. I didn’t do


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it for any reason other than I am going to get up. And then it became, ‘I want to get up, I want to go for a run.’” Jen ran her first 5K in August of 2014, crossing the finish line at a neighborhood race in just under 33 minutes—running the whole time. “One of my biggest victories of 2014 was being able to run that first 5K and to finish it strong. I can’t even describe what that challenge and victory felt like for me, this individual who has been through hell and back.”

A Dream Comes True And that dream of a restaurant? It became a reality in September 2015, when Staplehouse opened its doors on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward. The restaurant is a true family affair, with Jen as business manager; Ryan’s sister, Kara Hidinger, as general manager; and Kara’s husband, Ryan Smith, formerly of Empire State South, cooking in the kitchen—and to rave reviews. With a stunning design from renowned local firm Square Feet Studio, the dining room features 40 seats

"When you really just allow yourself to be open ... you appreciate the beauty of love so much better."

passing, and is the beneficiary of dozens of local events ranging from Atlanta Eats Live to the Atlanta Cheese Festival.

An Open Heart As for Jen, she’s still running—and running the restaurant, while also being a doting aunt to Kara and Ryan Smith’s daughter and mom to three dogs and counting. “I would have 237 dogs if I could. I’m rather a large sap when it comes to dogs—and Publix commercials.”

at mostly communal tables, a cozy bar and a covered patio overlooking a small pond and secondary backyard kitchen. With seasonal a la carte and five-course chef ’s tasting menus, Staplehouse is the casual neighborhood restaurant Ryan wanted, and it also provides a unique funding model for his other legacy, The Giving Kitchen.

She finds joy in her community and in meaningful relationships with those in it.

Staplehouse is actually a for-profit subsidiary of TGK—all after-tax profits from the restaurant benefit the nonprofit, keeping the cycle going—serving sustenance far beyond the tables of the restaurant and supporting the culinary community-at-large for years to come. In addition to Team Hidi, TGK partners with Sweetwater Brewing Company for the annual release of “Second Helping,” a beer Ryan helped to develop before his

“When you really just allow yourself to be open to people, places, hobbies, running … to life—sickness, health and even devastation—you appreciate the beauty of love so much better. I truly believe that the more you understand what the pain and heartache feel like, the more you appreciate the other side of it.” And, perhaps, serve up a little more of the peace for which we all seem to hunger.

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bestself 2016 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board

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Dr. Candance KimbroughGreen, of Dermatology Consultants, speaks about areas of concern she sees among most aging women in her practice. “Many patients who come to my office for cosmetic concerns are interested in the disappearance of minor fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin—just not

Dr. David Whiteman notes that, over the years, many of the clients who walked through the doors of Southern Plastic Surgery have devoted so much time to family, friends, work and charitable organizations, that they have been unable to carve out time to work toward their personal improvement goals. Dr. Whiteman loves nothing more than helping his patients build the dream body they have always wanted, on their terms—when the time is right for them and their lifestyle. He points out that surgical options to make someone feel young and vibrant are more affordable and accessible than people think. “We actually see a number of women who come into the office considering tummy tucks. Sometimes they combine those with breast procedures; some people will call those kind of procedures a ‘mommy makeover.’ These patients have had kids, they’re working and now they want to do something for themselves.” Double board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Whiteman has performed an extensive range of breast, facial and body procedures for over two decades. With a focus marked by a dedication to patient education and awareness, he wants every patient to be comfortable and confident in their goals and his abilities as their surgeon.

Dr. Candance Kimbrough-Green Dermatology Consultants Dermatology and Skin Care

feeling as good as they did about their appearance during their 30s, particularly about their face.” When asked why signs of aging often make an appearance in the eye area first, Dr. Kimbrough-Green explains, “People look at you in your eyes—that’s where you express yourself. I equate the problem to pumping iron. You’re constantly using those muscles to frown or raise your brow. Some people have those lines between their brows because they use those muscles so much that they are ingrained with wrinkles. They end up looking angry even though they are at rest.” Dr. Kimbrough-Green says that there is an easy solution. “Most women do not need any major procedures done; we use Botox in the upper face to relax those muscles. It makes the patient look and feel so much more pleasant and rested.” Dr. Candance Kimbrough-Green is a board-certified dermatologist and has been practicing for over two decades. After her undergraduate studies at Yale University, she returned home to the University of Michigan for her medical and dermatology training. Dr. Green is a partner at Dermatology Consultants in Metro Atlanta. She is designated as an Expert Injector, ranking in the top 1% of lead injectors nationally.


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ulous Over 40

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Dr. Debra Gray King Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Debra Gray King and her team at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry believe in the power of a great smile. A wide grin instantly brightens the face and shows the world your spirit. Giving people their smile back is one of the most rewarding facets of Dr. King’s career. “Just being able to make people love their smiles and feel confident— so many people hide their smile or don’t smile in family photos. They have teeth that aren’t very white or have old dentistry. One of the services we provide is anti-aging dentistry. So frequently when you get to be our age [over 40], you’ve had dentistry done over the years, so it doesn’t all match. We call that ‘middle-aged mouth,’ and it can actually make you look older. When we do smile designs, we take the approach of giving you beautiful, healthy and natural looking teeth. Because your smile can really take years and years off of your whole aging process!” Dr. Debra Gray King is regarded by many as one of the nation’s leading female cosmetic dentists and is recognized by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry as one of 47 Accredited Fellows worldwide. She has been featured on The Doctors and Extreme Makeover, as well as in The Wall Street Journal and various news media outlets. With over 100 years of combined experience and thousands of smiles transformed, the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry attracts patients from all over the nation and all walks of life. The Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry is a distinguished dental practice known for world-class smile transformations, with an emphasis on porcelain restorations. They strive to deliver the highest standard dental care in their one-of-a-kind, world-renowned dental spa.

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Dr. Diane Alexander, co-founder of Artisan Plastic Surgery, an all-women-physician practice, views plastic surgery as an intimate art form—one she uses to help patients enhance their beauty and restore their self-esteem. “One of the first signs of aging that we see is around our eyes. Patients in their 40s are concerned about looking old, tired, angry or sad. I love doing the eyelid surgery because there’s very little pain involved, the scars heal beautifully and we do it in a natural way that refreshes the face! It doesn’t change how the face looks or the shape of the eyes. The patient is rejuvenated, but doesn’t have to explain anything to anyone because they still look like themselves, just better and more youthful.” She advises people in their 40s to start thinking about aging and health. “In addition to surgical procedures and injections, I emphasize the health of your skin in my practice, because healthy skin is youthful and beautiful. We encourage lifestyle changes for our patients that will enhance your beauty from the inside out.” Read more about Dr. Alexander on page 44. Atlanta plastic surgeon Diane Z. Alexander, MD, FACS, specializes in cosmetic facial surgery, body contouring, breast rejuvenation, mommymakeovers and breast-cancer reconstruction. In September 2000, she co-founded the first all-women-physician plastic surgery practice in Atlanta, Artisan Plastic Surgery. The practice now has four plastic surgeons and 25 staff in two offices. Artisan is the largest all-femalephysician plastic surgery practice in the United States.

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bestself 2016 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board When BeltLine Ambassador and Multimedia Personality Madison James became heavily involved with nonprofits close to her heart, like the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta and AID Atlanta, one of the most rewarding discoveries she made was that her work inspired others to get involved and give back to organizations in their communities. When advising 40-somethings on ways to find inspiration and meaning in their lives, she suggests starting with what’s around them— look to your children’s school, your place of worship, or research an issue that has impacted your life or the lives of those you care about. “Volunteer! If you want to get connected, maybe do it just for yourself or get the kids involved. Teach kids that life isn’t just about them. If you’re single, get your friends involved. Maybe you weren’t directly affected by a cause, but maybe you have friends who were. By the time you’re 40, so many things have happened to you or others around you—your experiences should inspire you to get involved and make a difference.”

Karen Foley Windy Hill Athletic Club Fitness

General manager of Windy Hill Athletic Club Karen Foley considers her number-one mission to be helping members achieve their fitness goals, no matter how big or small. She explains that fitting exercise into daily life is a challenge at any age, but for those who are over 40 it can be especially daunting. She encourages members to create an exercise regime that’s right for them and their lifestyle. Foley’s philosophy is to focus less on asking them to stick to a tedious routine and more to push them to simply keep moving. Foley says there’s been a big shift in the fitness industry toward working out to feel comfortable in your own skin. “My job in general is to inspire, lead and coach my team of managers, coaches (Pilates, Group, Personal Trainers, Massage Therapists, Tennis, Aquatic), hospitality associates, Kidtown associates, café staff and membership advisors to inspire and create the right environment for all of our members to move in any way that they want. Our promise to the members is that WE INSPIRE YOU THROUGH MOVEMENT, COMMUNITY and PERSONAL ATTENTION. We call our clients ‘members’ because they are part of our family and community.”

Madison James is a Multimedia Personality and Lifestyle Enthusiast. Madison hosts the top-rated afternoon-drive radio show on B98.5/Atlanta, is a featured reporter for the syndicated entertainment magazine “Hot Topics” and hosts WSB-TV’s “460”. Madison is the Ambassador for the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the country’s largest urban development projects. She is also deeply involved with Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta.

Madison James Atlanta Beltline Project/B98.5 Community Action

Karen Foley has been the General Manager at Windy Hill Athletic Club for the past four years. Prior to Windy Hill, she worked for 12 years at Athletic Club Northeast. A fitness enthusiast, Karen loves to bike, cross-train and play tennis. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and hiking.

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MARCH 2016


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bestself 2016 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board When Dr. Tara Hrobowski of Piedmont Heart Institute worked in a research lab after college, she realized that, although she loved the science involved, she craved a more personal interaction with patients. Now, as an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, she finds the biggest reward in her job is that she gets to give people a second chance. “In the appropriate candidates, we are able to provide access to cardiac assist devices and transplantation, each of which can give a patient a new lease on life. I have seen patients come to us at Piedmont, have advanced heart failure therapies, whether medical or surgical, and a few months later be back to enjoying the things that they love. That’s amazing.” And she treasures the relationships she develops with the families of her patients. Her advice to someone in their 40s is, “Make sure your loved ones know how you feel about them every single day. It’s the little things that you do for people that lets them know you love them.” She counsels her patients to take action. “I tell my patients that we are partners on their journey to good health. They have to be held accountable in order for healing to take place.”

Dr. Tara N. Hrobowski Piedmont Healthcare Hospital and Healthcare Services

Tara N. Hrobowski, MD, is an advanced heart failure and heart transplant cardiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute. She is board-certified in internal medicine, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Hrobowski is a member of the American Heart Association, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Heart Failure Society of America and the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT).

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bestself 2016 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board Every day, Dr. Tara Frix sees patients who suffer from joint pain, whether it’s caused by injury or age-related problems like osteoarthritis. She describes the impact of those problems, noting that “most patients are just looking to be happy and able to live their lives again without being miserable or depressed from their pain. My job allows me to see a patient begin to feel better and live a happier life—I love that I can change people’s lives.” Her practice, Total Healthcare, offers patients a diagnosis from a team of specialists all under one roof—like osteopathic doctors, medical doctors, chiropractors and physiotherapists. The team seeks to identify the root cause of a patient’s pain and eliminate it with a non-surgical approach, avoiding the use of painkillers and steroids and instead using a combination of bio-therapeutic injections and therapy. When asked what advice Dr. Frix would give a 40-something who comes to her about spine or joint pain, she says, “It always surprises me to learn how quickly surgery has been recommended. We focus our effort on avoiding surgery if at all possible and, a lot of times, it is!” Tara Frix, DC, completed her undergraduate, earning a BS in Nutrition and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Life University. Her postgraduate studies include extremity adjustment technique and modalities, making her well-versed in treatment protocols for the entire body. Dr. Frix is originally from South Carolina and enjoys studying new languages in her spare time.

Steve Hightower Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa Hair and Makeup

Steve Hightower, owner of the award-winning Steve Hightower Hair Salon, has dedicated his life to building his salon business, studying and working as a stylist in New York, Chicago, Dallas and Paris. He explains his philosophy, “If you look good, you’re going to feel good.” He begins with the premise that your hair is your crown of glory. “I cut your hair according to your features—your body type, lifestyle, facial features. I want you to feel glamorous, but I try to make it realistic. It’s important to feel self-confident when you do your hair at home.” He explains that his clients who are over 40 are concerned about thinning hair and assume they should go lighter to camouflage and blend in any gray. “That’s just not true. Hair needs to match skin tones, not age. Hair needs to have depth to it. If it’s been bleached to death, it isn’t going to style well or have shine. Most thinning hair is fine and cannot take a lot of lightening without breaking. If you tone it down, it’ll look thicker and won’t accentuate things we don’t like to see, like crow’s feet. Light reflects light. It’s the integrity of the hair that’s important.” Steve Hightower is recognized as one of the finest hairdressers in Atlanta. Steve never went to beauty school. His mother taught him hair in their kitchen. For nearly three decades Steve has been an Atlanta salon owner and fine and thinning hair specialist. Steve sculpt cuts hair to the shape of the face and density of the hair. Steve assists celebrities and everyday people achieve their personal best look.

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MARCH 2016


2/23/16 7:46 PM

bestfitness They fly through the air with the greatest of ease … Cirque Du Soleil acrobats take circus arts to the highest level with daring feats and exquisite choreography. As their Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities show sets up in town, we asked Cirque performers about the physical demands of their job. Their natural-born talent, intense training and constant practice gets them under the tent, but they depend on a support crew of pros dedicated to helping them maintain their strength and flexibility throughout the show season. Performance medical therapist Chad Fraser works with performers to keep them showready at all times. As a therapist in sports medicine at the university level for many years, Fraser studied the movement of circus artists, ultimately landing him a position with the elite Cirque squad. Fraser remarks that a major difference between motions of athletes on sports fields and those under the big top is an element of control. A player’s motions in a game are reactions to opponents’ actions. But circus performers must repeat precise motions, often in tandem with others. The choreography of a routine is rehearsed until it’s automatic, “I must know [the routine] better than they do to catch an injury before it starts. We want to heal a little thing before it becomes a big thing,” he says. He anticipates each move a performer makes and notes even the slightest shift so it can be treated before the artist notices its physical impact.

Photos courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil. Photography by Martin Girard/; Costumes by Phillippe Guillotel

Due to his constant attention to detail, he (thankfully) rarely sees serious injuries on the tour. Instead, he sees chronic injury from repetitive motions. He partners with coaches to develop modifications to regular choreography that allows injuries to heal. Each day brings a cycle of training and treatment blocks, practice and evaluation.

One of the performers he watches is Nathan Dennis, who works with the newest Cirque du Soleil feature, the acronet. Dennis describes this trampoline/net as a giant slingshot and his routines require focus and incredible strength. He feels secure knowing that team members like Fraser will notice any possible problems before he even gets off stage. What can we all learn from the lifestyle of Cirque performers? Fraser comments that without regular movement, the body gets stiff and starts to hurt. He urges us to take a cue from his job and pay attention to the body, catching small physical changes early, before they become big problems. Catch the whole troupe from March 3 to May 8 at Atlantic Station! Details:


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Embracing the

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By Amy Meadows


ifty years. Five decades. A semicentennial. A half-century. If it sounds like a lot of time, that’s because it is. (It’s actually 18,250 days.) But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there’s a reason the fiftieth year is often called the Jubilee Year. Because it’s amazing! Just ask these local quinquagenarians, who have found that turning 50—and being in their 50s—brings a kind of peace and completeness that only comes with this special time of life. What’s more, they not only look and feel their best right now, but they also have found a distinctive perspective that seems to accompany this incredible milestone birthday. Their outlooks are inspiring and uplifting, and they’ll undoubtedly make you look forward to the day when your own cake holds 50 (or more) candles.

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She’ll Always Have Paris Lisa Lyngos

When Lisa Lyngos turned 50, she made a very important declaration. “I have made a conscious decision to add more experiences to my life now,” she begins. “We know that, as we age, our body breaks down, and we are not able to do all the things we were able to do when we were younger. But I feel very fit and healthy. So with this recognition, new excitement and confidence, I don’t want to wait until I’m older and retired [for my] ‘future to-do list.’ I want to do them now!”

She also encourages others—and particularly women—to enjoy every aspect of being in their 50s. “My biggest surprise has been how comfortable and confident I am,” she reveals. “I feel like so many women struggle all their life [questioning]: Are we pretty enough? Are we thin enough? Can we be successful in our career and still be

good mothers and wives? The usual list. These are real concerns of everyday women.” However, by focusing on the experiences she has ahead of her, Lyngos has been able to get out of that headspace and appreciate what 50 and beyond has to offer. “The journey has so much possibility because of life experience and wisdom,” she says. “Approach new challenges with less fear.” Actually, Lyngos didn’t face 50 with fear at all. She embraced it—and she doesn’t regret a moment of it. “I was delighted,” she concludes. “It just seemed crazy that I was turning the big 5-OH! Now, my number-one goal is to experience life more fully.”

A Balancing Act Scott Yates

Scott Yates had a very straightforward way of looking at turning 50, which he did in July of 2015. “It is just another year in your life,” he observes. After going on a celebratory fishing trip with three college friends, he planned to continue pursuing balance. “When you turn 50, you should strive for appropriate balance, just as you would in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 60s. The only difference is that the priorities in that balance change over time.” As a young adult, Yates’ priorities focused primarily on his career, first as an officer in the U.S. Navy and then as an entrepreneur in the management and consulting space. When he married his wife, Elizabeth, in 2003 and they began a family—which now consists of three beautiful children, ages 11, 10 and 8—his priorities began to shift. “I was seeking a new kind of balance that wasn’t just for 40

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Photos courtesy of Scott Yates (bottom left), Lisa Lyngos (top left and top right)

Lyngos, now 53, who founded premier matchmaking service Single Atlanta with her twin sister, Leisha Murphy, has crafted her lifestyle to allow for more adventures than she ever thought possible. In fact, when they turned 50, the sisters celebrated by spending a month in Europe, wandering through France, jet-setting to Barcelona and spending 10 days in Paris to drink champagne and toast their shared golden year. “Celebrate this time,” she advises. “Get excited about life because you’ve earned it.”

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me. It was for my family,” he says. So Yates, who has found success as a shareholder with GGG Partners, LLC, worked to create a more flexible schedule in order to spend time with his children. He also found a deeper connection with his spirituality—something that led him to find ways to give back to his community. Nearly two years ago, he helped establish Atlanta Classical Academy, a K-12, open-enrollment, tuitionfree public charter school that currently serves more than 500 students. He muses, “It’s the best unpaid job I’ve ever had.” Moving seamlessly into his fifth decade, he recognizes the challenge and choices necessary to keep centered and focused. And he has the wisdom, appreciation, patience and perspective to do just that. “Balance simply means different things in different phases of your life,” he notes. “I will always focus on continuous improvement and learning in general, but the goals of such are more aligned with visions of future conversations with grandchildren than on net worth,” he concludes. “I cannot say there was anything magical about turning 50 in my thoughts and perceptions. I just know that I love being a husband and a father, and I look forward to trying new things, learning more and doing things that are good for society.”

HollyBeth Anderson

By the time HollyBeth Anderson turned 50, she had traveled to more than 50 countries around the world. She worked in mergers and acquisitions, and her high-profile career had her jetting across the globe. But things changed unexpectedly when she reached her milestone birthday. Within that year, her international contract was not renewed and she faced personal issues with her parents’ health. She received an offer to teach at a prestigious university, but instead decided to do something that she always had in the back of her mind: start her own business. “I decided to take my hobby and start a business,” Anderson says of HollyBeth Organics, a company that began with the eye cream she personally developed and has then expanded into a full line of 42

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While focusing on growing her business, which she hopes to turn into a global brand, Anderson ultimately found herself changing and discovered things that she never would have appreciated during her 40s, particularly in terms of her appearance. She explains, “I always used to be dressed to the hilt. I wore so much jewelry, and I was so into brand names. I dress much more comfortably now. And I don’t need all the accoutrements. It’s just a matter of being okay with yourself.” Anderson also reflects on the exciting life she had lived up until the age of 50. “I like to think of myself as a pioneer. I did things like live and work in South America, doing things that [at the time] only men would have done,” she says. Of course, when her international career ended, she came to a realization. “I woke up and thought, ‘I’m 50. I’m not married, and I’m not a grandmother.’ I didn’t think I’d be where I was. People do a lot of planning and think they’ll do certain things by this or that date. But I realized that when you turn 50, you just become much more comfortable with yourself. Everything happens for a reason.” For Anderson, the challenges she faced after reaching the half-century mark all led to the creation of her now burgeoning business. And she’s reveling in the fact that she has so much ahead of her. “I’m 58, and this is going to be my year,” she says. “I’m now capable of being more self confident. I learned that you have to follow your gut. It has never failed me. And life really does begin at 50.”

Photos courtesy of HollyBeth Organics (bottom left), Scott Yates (top right)

Everything Happens for a Reason

organic, effective, plant-based skincare products. Even though when she set out many of her colleagues in the industry were younger than she, Anderson quickly realized that she had a great advantage. “There are more people over 50 starting businesses—more than any other group. We do have this entrepreneurial spirit,” she reveals. “And this has become a very interesting time of life for me.”

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Wind It Up

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Her perspective makes sense, as the well-known cosmetic surgeon, now 55, has never considered herself to be “a number person.” Over the years, she built a highly successful career, including co-founding Artisan Plastic Surgery, the first all-woman-physician plastic surgery practice in Atlanta. She also has a wonderful marriage and two beautiful daughters, ages 23 and 22. So when 50 came around, she was just too busy to worry about it. “There are a lot of societal thoughts and pressure about turning 50, but I don’t really invest much time in thinking about things like that,”

she notes. “I understand it. For many women, it’s the first time you start seeing yourself age and your body changing. It can be scary. We’ve spent four decades creating who we are. We’ve established our careers and our relationships with our significant others, our children and our communities. Then all of a sudden we turn 50, and we’re confronted with [asking] if that’s who you want to be.” For Alexander, the answer is a resounding yes—especially when seeing that her 50s gave her unexpected independence. With her children grown, she was able to focus more on herself, including her physical health. In her late 40s, she began to exercise regularly, starting with yoga, then adding personal training and spin classes. By her early 50s, she was doing triathlons and half marathons. “I’ve kicked it up a lot. And I didn’t know I could feel this good,” she says. “I’m eternally optimistic for me to be stronger, fitter and better. I’m not slowing down. The 50s are great. It’s actually my favorite decade. And it makes me sad to see the crisis that so many women feel about this age.” Alexander enjoys serving as a role model of sorts for her patients by showing them that being in your 50s can be incredible. “The 50s don’t suck,” she muses. “Don’t listen to what’s being said out there. It’s a great decade. So listen to your heart and pursue your dreams. Go out there and get them. Now you get to take some time for yourself. You can keep growing and building. And that is really amazing.”

Photos courtesy of Artisan Plastic Surgery (top left), Adam Komich for Brookhaven Fitness Studio (bottom right)

While some people may think that turning 50 means life has to slow down, Diane Alexander has the opposite opinion. “Your life is not over at 50,” she says with a laugh. “This is the time to wind up, not down! It’s time to look forward, not backward.”

50 Is the New 30

Rachel and Mauro Moncayo

When Rachel and Mauro Moncayo think about the pictures they’ve seen of their grandparents at age 50, they don’t relate to them at all. “They looked and acted like grandparents before they even had married children,” they say. “But people from our generation have the opportunity, the knowledge and the tools to take care of our bodies proactively.” That’s what Rachel, 53, and Mauro, 56, have done since they were actually in their 30s. Together, they made a choice to live consciously and truly take care of their bodies. “Somewhat to our surprise, in many ways, we feel younger and more vibrant since we turned 50 than when we actually were at 30,” Rachel notes. “We’ve actually gotten stronger and better mentally and physically. We’ve always kept our minds and hearts young 44

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while working proactively to maintain strong, active bodies. So hitting the '50 milestone' didn’t end up feeling milestonelike at all. Mauro always reminds us that 50 is the new 30.”

passion and purpose in life, without us being concerned about

The husband-and-wife team clearly practice what they preach. When Mauro reached 50 (and Rachel was approaching 50), they left their 25-year corporate careers and reinvented themselves by opening Brookhaven Fitness Studio, which features the customized Move-Nourish-Mind® program for health and wellness. They have dedicated themselves to helping others along on their own fitness and wellness journeys, all while continuing to care for themselves and pursue their passions.

couple to gain some powerful insight: “If you live purposefully

“One of the sexiest things that came with 50 for us was newfound confidence to try new things that would engage our

the wisdom and perspective gained with the years, is the best

what others might think. Instead, we focused on enriching our own lives,” they remark. Following that path has allowed the and passionately and honor your body, then 50 will be another year of experience to honor and be grateful.” The Moncayos are rather poetic about the aging experience. “We think of it [50] as a fine bottle of wine,” they conclude. “We’ve developed much depth and complexity but show up in the world with a vibrant punch of fresh flavor. Having bodies that look and feel and move vibrantly, coupled with scenario we could wish for. And we have it!”

50 Is Fit and Fabulous For Marianne Baker, 50 and fitness go handin-hand. As the 56-yearold director of group exercise for the Concourse Athletic Club, she knows of what she speaks. “Turning 50 helped me understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle both inside and out,” Baker says. “Fitness and nutrition are the key to a healthy body. If your body is healthy on the inside, it will show on the outside. It’s never too late to begin a healthy journey.” Baker once believed that her fifth decade would be about slowing down and eventually retiring. However, she could not have been more wrong. In fact, she is busier than ever, as she not only maintains her position with the Concourse Athletic Club, but also works as a certified exercise leader, personal trainer and choreographer. She also spends time on philanthropic interests, 46

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such as raising awareness for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and a variety of other groups and events. “I have no intention of winding down. My children are grown, and now is my time to achieve and grow,” she states. “I feel more confident, more satisfied and fitter than ever. At 50, you have a better understanding of yourself and what you want. In your 50s, personal growth is at its best.” Today, Baker wants to help others in their 50s to embrace their age—not fear or dread it. She does it by being a fit and healthy role model while helping people of all ages reach their own fitness goals. “Turning 50 is not a game changer. Enjoy it, embrace it and defy what society says about it,” she advises. “Age, for the most part, is between your ears. Love who you are today, and if there is something you want to change, do it! Don’t use your age as an excuse. Now is your time!"

Photos courtesy of Marianne Baker (bottom left) and Brian Reeves of Perfect Day Photos (bottom right)

Marianne Baker

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It can happen when you laugh, or sneeze, or cough. It can occur when you wait too long to use the lady’s room. Urinary incontinence causes anxiety and embarrassment for millions of women. WHAT CAUSES URINARY INCONTINENCE?

Some women are genetically predisposed to this condition. Others might have medical conditions that can cause the problem. Pregnancy, heavy lifting, incorrect performance of pelvic floor exercises, use of medications that result in higher urinary production, and poor urinary habits are also among the possible causes. CAN INCONTINENCE BE CORRECTED WITHOUT SURGERY?

Absolutely, depending on the cause of the condition. Pelvic floor exercises and medications can be extremely effective either alone or in combination with other forms of treatment. In fact, a relatively new device, called “InTone” can help patients experience exceptional results. WHAT IS “INTONE,” AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

I discovered InTone for our patients approximately three years ago. InTone is an FDAapproved device that is placed vaginally at home by the patient for 12 minutes a day. We program the devices in the office, setting them precisely for each individual patient, then teach patients how to use them. Within these 12 minutes at home, patients perform biofeedback-guided contractions and experience muscular stimulation by the device, which engages pelvic floor musculature, tones it, and helps patients recognize the correct muscles to contract. 4 10 8


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Many of our patients see improvement within just two weeks. Out of over 100 patients that have undergone non-surgical pelvic floor rehabilitation with InTone in our practice, surgery for urinary incontinence was needed for only 3 patients. Each of them improved, including women with previous pelvic floor reconstructive surgery. What’s more, the device is 100% covered by Medicare and some other insurers, and guaranteed by the manufacturer. Again, no medication or surgery is required in a vast majority of cases. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU VISIT MY OFFICE FOR TREATMENT OF URINARY INCONTINENCE?

You can expect loving attention and care, extensive knowledge of gynecologic pathology, diligence, and thorough investigation by examination, followed by careful selection and implementation of the best strategy to correct the condition. With much love, Assia Stepanian

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Lost-n-Found Youth: Hope and Help



hen Steve Hightower came out to his family, he, like many of his fellow LGBTQ community members, was nervous—very nervous. He had no idea how his family would handle the news. “My family, from the day I told them, accepted me with open arms. My grandfather, at 92, told me, ‘It’s not my place to judge you. It’s the Lord’s, and I love you no matter what.’ My grandmother just stood up, hugged me, winked at me and said, ‘I knew,’” says Steve.

Photos courtesy of Lost-n-Found (top) and Steve Hightower (bottom)

Unfortunately, many area youth don’t share a similarly happy story. All too often, these young people are disowned by their families and kicked out of the home. After being approached for help by one such gay youth, Hightower learned about the nonprofit Lost-n-Found Youth and immediately became an avid supporter. An Atlanta-based nonprofit, Lost-n-Found Youth champions the mission to take lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who are living on the street after being rejected by their loved ones and forced into homelessness. Currently the only nonprofit of its kind in Atlanta, Lost-n-

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Found offers LGBTQ youth assistance with counseling, medical care, hot meals, clothing, job placement and, when available, securing housing. As Lost-n-Found works to acquire a house in Midtown to expand this ability to shelter, Hightower supports the effort by using the funds raised at his Thriving Children Gala. Taking place at the Fox Theatre on April 29, this year’s 7th Annual Thriving Children Gala presents a night of glitz and glamour for a good cause. Guests are invited to peruse the silent auction while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served by 10 of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Entertainment for the evening includes big band era music by The Sentimental Journey Orchestra, a special performance from the awardwinning Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and a featured act by Cher-impersonator Chad Michaels, as well as a live auction featuring everything from jewelry to furniture, a fashion show and a hair show featuring Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa and Jyl Craven Studio. Tickets start at $75. Details:


MARCH 2016


2/23/16 1:14 PM



I was lucky. “I was busy – working, traveling, enjoying life. I was overdue for a Pap test to check for cervical cancer. By the time I was tested, we thought I might have cervical cancer. After worrying and worrying, I finally got good results. I was so relieved – no cancer!


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thegive-back guide




Featured events



A healthy jog helps provide a healthy smile at this certified Peachtree Road Race qualifier, benefitting Dentistry for the Developmentally Disabled and its programs, which offer comprehensive dental treatment to patients with special needs.

March 10 A CHARM’ING EVENING The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, or CHaRM, is giving away a BMW i3 at its inaugural fundraiser this month. Tickets can be purchased prior to and during the event. So, step right up to try your hand at winning this completely electric car.

For more events, visit

March 12

March 19



Party in the PINK with plenty of bubbly and bites, dancing and both a live and silent auction—all while raising funds for TurningPoint’s financial assistance program and services supporting breast cancer patients.

WE’RE ON A ROLL CASINO NIGHT Place your bets on a better future at this casino night sponsored by the Laona M. Kitchen Foundation. Funds raised assist those caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s/dementia.

March 13 HUNGER WALK/RUN Thousands of locals come together to race (or walk) through downtown Atlanta at this yearly event raising awareness about hunger in our city and funds to help end the problem.


The Annual White Coat Gala supports the needs of Grady as one of the nation’s leading public academic healthcare systems. Raising over $6 million since 2011, this year’s gala event will again recognize four honorees as Senior Sage, Inspiring Mentor, Next Generation Healer and the Ada Lee and Pete Correll Healthcare Legacy Award.

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED GALA Join the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance for a first-class evening of dining, dancing and celebration at the Delta Flight Museum. All proceeds benefit the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance education and community outreach programs.

Ruffle some feathers at this official Peachtree qualifier, featuring a 5K run/walk, onemile run/walk and tot trot to raise funds for Sweetwater Mission. The Mission works to get basic necessities such as food, clothing, family services and education to the underprivileged.

March 26 ATLANTA WOMEN’S 5K CHASTAIN Women and girls age 8 and older are encouraged to celebrate girl power at the Atlanta Women’s 5K. The race will benefit Back on My Feet, a nonprofit that strives to empower the homeless to see themselves as their own agent of life change.

Look for this icon to find out where you can volunteer.

It’s Time to Vote! Stay tuned: Exciting changes coming in March!

2016 Over 40 & Fabulous! CONTEST


• Women’s Health • Family Medicine • Pediatrics • Prevention, Wellness & Anti-Aging • Nutrition • Weight Loss | 404.814.9808 1401 Dresden Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319

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2/22/16 12:29 5 PM3 MARCH 2016

2/23/16 8:45 PM

businessnews Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) and JAMA Neurology have recently released promising data on a new Lou Gehrigâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (ALS) Disease treatment. Developed by BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics and using an innovative stem cell therapy infusion, the treatment showed no major adverse effects, and nearly 90 percent of patients showed slower progression of the ALS disease.

Are you ready for REAL RESULTS?

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The Meet College Park marketing group has added East Point to its focus and become ATL Airport District. The organization will continue to help these communities better brand 10:53 AM themselves for tourism, conventions, dining and shopping. The first of these efforts will be the inaugural ATL Airport District Restaurant Week from March 12 to 20. The Partridge Inn unveils its multi-million dollar renovation just in time for the Masters Tournament. The hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new design blends its historical architecture with a contemporary interior, refreshing all 144 guest rooms, verandahs and balconies, as well as the lobby and restaurant space. Located just four miles from the Augusta National Golf Club, it is an ideal locale for those traveling to see the live competition for the most coveted jacket in sports. Patrick Battey, MD, has been appointed CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Battey is the first doctor to serve as CEO since the hospital opened in 1905. In his new position, he will work towards realizing a vision to provide patient-centered care that is anchored in the respected quality for which Piedmont is known.

Patrick Battey, MD

Photos courtesy of (top - bottom) Hadassah, Georgia International Convention Center, The Partridge Inn, Piedmont Healthcare.

Left to Right: Dr. Rachel Schonberger, Hadassah HMO Chair; Dr. Dimitrios Karussis, MD, PhD, Senior Neurologist, HMO, JAMA Neurology Study Principal Investigator; Chaim Lebovits, President & CEO, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics


2/23/16 6:57 PM

PURELY INSPIRED FIT MODELS. SHAPING BODIES, IT’S WHAT WE DO. Fit Lifestyle Competition Prep & Posing Fitness Modeling Small Group Weight Training

Jessica Thomas Wife, Mom District Mgr., Toys R Us 43 years old Markell Thomas Husband, Father IT Professional 43 years old

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Steve & Rachel talk about Fitness Modeling in their video message at

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678.336.7414 | Across from Wild Bills Visit www.jejusauna. com for more information and more photos of our facility

1/13/16 12:25 PM


JeJu Sauna


for Healing, Relaxation & Increased Energy

• Meditate on Heated Jade Floors • Breathe in Gem Stone Steam Saunas • Bask in Dry Saunas (Salt, Clay, Jade, Charcoal) • Swim in the Jade Marble Jr. Olympic Size Pool • Soak in the Jade Marble Hot Tub • Warm & Cold Pools • Dine in the Authentic Korean Restaurant

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reader resources BARIATRICS


Bariatric Innovations ...............................21



Midtown Neurology.................................45

Meadows Surgical Arts ...........................41


Southern Plastic Surgery .........................11

Atlanta Onocology Associates...............12

Vinings Surgery Center ...........................47

GA Urology...............................................22



Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry .....9 Atlanta Smiles and Wellness ...................15 Golsen Dentistry ......................................29 Kimball Bridge Dental Commons ...........41 Lemons Dental ........................................17

DERMATOLOGY Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa...........5 North Atlanta Dermatology ....................49

EVENTS Alive Expo ................................................50 Tour De Cure ............................................50 Wigwam Fest ...........................................56


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House of Payne Personal Training ..........55

PHOTOGRAPHY Sawyer Photography ...............................52

REPRODUCTION Reproductive Surgical Specialists ..........11

RESTAURANTS Southern Proper Hospitality.....................52


DDP Yoga Performance Center ................2

Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa...........5

The Exercise Coach ................................24

Institut’ DERMed .......................................26

TruAlliance Fitness ...................................57

Harley Anti Aging Institute .......................19


Jeju Sauna ..............................................55

Academia Women’s Health....................48

Nerium .....................................................54


Nirvana Med Spa & Laser Center ..........21

Bye Bye Hair .............................................34

Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa................................................38



Anderson Hair Sciences Center ...............4

Medpost ..................................................32



Carter Barnes Hair Artisans .....................49

GA Urology...............................................22

Richie Alpino ............................................57


Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa ..38

Vein Atlanta .............................................59


VeinInnovations .........................................7

Body Symmetry........................................28


Harley Anti Aging Institute .......................19

Bariatric Innovations ...............................21


Body Symmetry........................................28


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DDP Yoga Performance Center ................2

Dermani Med Spa...................................28

Northside Hospital ..............................11,21

MARCH 2016

PERSONAL TRAINING Concourse Athletic Club ........................36

Concourse Athletic Club ........................37

The Arches Threading and Laser ..............3


Total Healthcare ......................................58

DDP Yoga Performance Center ................2 Flash Fat Loss ...........................................43

Atlanta Center for Holistic & Integrative Medicine..................................................53

Harley Anti Aging Institute .......................19

Vitality Project ..........................................10

The Exercise Coach ................................24



Life Purpose Institute................................54

Kaiser Permanente ..................................60



Fresh N Fit .................................................17

ThunderBolt Yoga ....................................32

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MONTH TO MONTH MEMBERSHIPS GET IN TIP TOP SHAPE - TRY THIS PROGRAM FOR FREE FOR 7 DAYS! REAL RIDER SPIN CLASS - Easy as riding a bike, but with a twist-or shall we say, with a tilt! LADIES BUTT & LEGS CLASS - Lose the pounds, tighten & tone!


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PICTURE PERFECT Come in and let Arpino give you some new tips on hair color, haircuts and make up this season.

Let your natural beauty glow at Richie Arpino Salon Buckhead

Celebrating 35 years! (404) 231-5092

New... Richie Arpino for Blue Midtown (404) 275-2759 (ask about our Friday afternoon Sip n Style at Blue Med)

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Regenerative Injection Therapy ....Breathing New Life into An Aging Knee Let us rejuvenate your joints with regenerative medicine! Our genetic code is a powerful database of “life-giving” instructions for cells. These codes facilitate a programmed response when the cells are exposed to certain stimuli. These responses can be triggered by RIT techniques, forcing the treated area to regenerate healthy tissue & cartilage, resulting in stronger joints.

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6690 Roswell Rd. NE, Ste 510 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Tel: 678-999-8531 CALL TODAY FOR APPOINTMENT


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Pain Consultation & Pre-Exam


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MARCH 2016


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We all want to make healthy choices. At Kaiser Permanente, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get a wide selection of doctors to choose from. So you can find the one with the experience and the personality that best fits you and your needs. And if you ever change your needs or your mind, you can change your doctor at any time. Visit today because together we thrive. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Nine Piedmont Center 3495 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 364-7000


MARCH 2016

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9/16/15 6:05 2/22/16 1:30 PM

Best Self Atlanta 0316  

Best Self Atlanta magazine is your resource for health, fitness, beauty and giving back to your community. The March issue shares how Jen Hi...

Best Self Atlanta 0316  

Best Self Atlanta magazine is your resource for health, fitness, beauty and giving back to your community. The March issue shares how Jen Hi...