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besttself 2017 Resolution Planner p. 55 December 2016 / January 2017


of Stars on the Rise The legendary “Mama Jan,” Erik Lingvall and Tara Simon shine a light on Atlanta’s new talent p. 47

EXPERT CONNECT By Elizabeth Whitaker, MD, FACS, p. 69

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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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Stars on the Rise


The legendary “Mama Jan,” Erik Lingvall (pictured right) and Tara Simon (pictured middle right) shine a light on Atlanta’s new talent

Meet the businesses and people your votes chose as this year’s best! p. 16

In every issue 8

From the Publisher

67 Fun Calendar

Celebrate All Season Long

2017, Here We Come!

10 From the Editor

72 Best Cause

12 Partners in Health

73 Give-Back Guide

Choosing a Charity

Starry Eyed

Charity Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Expert Information

15 Best Bulletin

New on the Scene

66 Best Fun

Old-Fashioned Fun



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On the cover

Featured on the cover: “Best of 2016” contest winners Photography: See p.16-34 BEST SELF ATLANTA

2017 Resolution Planner Best year. Best you. p. 55

Photos courtesy of Erik Lingvall (left middle), Josh Norris Photography (middle right), Lisa Robinson (top).

Best of 2016

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Before I got my done... ”


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from the publisher 2017, Here We Come!

guide for health,

September 2016



Lash Out!

Scattered Understanding ADHD p. 59

What’s the Flutter Eyelash Trends? on p. 25


Best Cause

Meet the 2016 Masters of Makeover

From Hungry to Healthy: Wholesome Wave Georgia p. 72

Give-Back Guide

From Mommy Makeovers to Amazing Fitness Transformations p. 31

Community Volunteer

Opportunities p. 73

Best Bites

Healthy Eats and Treats p. 18

Going back to the farm

EXPERT CONNECT Prostate Cancer Stay Informed, Stay Healthy

By Mark W. McCord, MD p. 69

The Truth About the Flu

bestself By Scott Cutro, MD p. 71

Mary Black happy living! mon Shine , beauty and Spotl ight on Farmers p. s a 52


Atlanta’s “go-to”

guide for health

October 2016


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Best Fun

Saddle Up at Chastain p. 20 Horse Park!

Give-Back Guide Volunteer All Fall p. 63

centers and nutrition stores, in

2017 Best Self Atlanta will be mailed to 120,000 homes throughout Metro Atlanta. We will be printed bi-monthly and distributed

Breast Cause

Show Your Sips Support at and Stilettos and The Pink Agenda Gala p. 53


Pink rs inCancer Partne for Breast Expert Care

Integrative for Medical Care By Breast Cancer

ink my Beyond the P Dana Neacsu, MD,

p. 47

A Coordinated Approach to Cancer Care By Pierson Gladney,

MD, p. 49

Menopause Q&A

By Assia Stepanian, MD, FACOG, p. 50

Battling Breast Cancer By Leslie Holmes, p. 51



monthly—look for us in all your favorite places and, if you want the convenience of receiving each issue in your mailbox, just let us know by sending an email to We can also be found supporting events throughout the year, like our own Over 40 & Fabulous! party and photo shoot, the Healthy Living Expo, the Face & Body Expo, Strong Legs Run supporting Children’s Healthcare and many more events.

beauty and happy


ss cer Awarene27 Breast CanPers onal p. Gets

PM 9/23/16 5:16






Pull Out and Save!





Winter Fun Calendar

A Candelight Home Tour, Battle of the Bands, Arts Festiva l and More p. 16-17

Dr. Debra Gray King is the founder of the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry (ACCD) and a pioneer in cosmetic dentistry. She is one of less than 50 dentists worldwide to be an Accredited Fellow, which is the highest level of competence recognized by the prestigious American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). She has been featured on The Doctors, Extreme Makeover, the Wall Street Journal, and various news media outlets.

Date Night Ideas, Food Faves and Ways to Give Back

Meet Your Neighbors

A Yoga Innova tor, Renovators and Sister-Duo a Food Bank Crusad er

my Johns Creek

P lus

My Home & Garden 001-cover_MYINTO

We are proud to be Atlanta’s go-to guide for inspiration and information to help you live your best life. As our city grows, we look forward to reaching more of you than ever in 2017.


• My Health & Happine

ss • Doing Good


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Macon, GA Permit #43

Best Self Atlanta has big plans for 2017. As we move into our eighth year, we celebrate with an enhanced design and format that you will be able to check out in our February/March issue. Each bi-monthly issue will have more ... more content, more resources and will reach more of you every single month. In addition to our vast distribution network, which includes Whole Foods, Publix, medical offices, med spas, hair salons, nail salons, fitness


bestself Atlanta’s “go-to”

in the ’Hood


SELF 11/30/16 12:54 PM

Pull Out and Save!

Winter ndar Fun gCale Classes, Cookin Pops Concerts, Hikes Wilderness Night and More p. 16-17

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Meet Yours Neighbor n& A Ballerina, a Surgeo n Brighte a Philanthropist Community the Johns Creek

Sherri Adair, Publisher

P lus

My Home & Garden

19 ss • Doing Good

• My Health & Happine

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P.S. Look for more My Neighborhood magazines coming in 2017.

Coming in February/March

Dr. Charlie Cooper is an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He has transformed thousands of smiles and his cosmetic cases are used in lectures nationwide. Dr. Cooper studied at the world famous Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He is a regular participant in the “Give Back A Smile” Program in which he and the ACCD donate their time and skills to help battered women achieve a new smile.

The Heart + Love Issue Features: National Heart Health: Women Go Red Features: Finding Love Over 40 and Celebrating Second Weddings

Special Section: Best Body Makeovers for 2017-weight loss, fat loss, meal plans, tummy tucks, bariatrics and more!



Photo courtesy of Sawyer Photography.

Features: Sweat With the Best: 20 Fitness Classes to Kick Off Your New Year’s Resolutions

Dr. Brett C. Reeve studied Dentistry at the University of Southern California where he earned a membership to the Honor Dental Society “Omicron Kappa Upsilon.” He is a Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. In 2015, Dr. Reeve earned the Hero in Healthcare award for his constant service in the community and outstanding dental work.

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“I’m a surgeon who became the patient. I’m an expert and I trust the care of my smile to Dr. King.” Dr. Jeff Gallups

SMILE MORE, Age Less Artistic Smile Designs with Unparalleled Results

Dr. Debra Gray King


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ini just arrived to The CooroalM F ll your skin care needs

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Photography by Sarah Diller’s Photographs.

North Atlanta

Recently, I had the chance to see “Cabaret” at the Fox Theatre. It was a stunning production in a venue that is about to become even more beautiful than it already is. An increasing number of Broadway shows are making their way to The Big Peach and I’m not complaining! Atlanta is not only drawing more creative talent down South, it is also producing quite a bit of its own. One of the features in this issue,“Star Light, Star Bright,” p. 47, shines a light on local entertainment experts, such as the renowned star-maker “Mama Jan” and sought-after Erik Lingvall; both of whom are helping cultivate the talents of the city’s brightest stars. This issue also celebrates the people, places and businesses that are the stars of your everyday life—the “Best of 2016” winners! Best Self Atlanta readers voted on their favorite professionals in over 100 categories. Whether you are in search of a pet sitter for the holidays or a personal trainer to help tackle New Year’s resolutions, these are the pros your fellow readers felt stood out from the crowd and helped them live their best life in 2016. I hope they will help you shine a little brighter in 2017!


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HAIR LOSS TREATMENT & SURGERY Georgia Reproductive Specialists

Since 2000, Georgia Reproductive Specialists has Anne Brawner Namnoum, MD, Mark Perloe, MD, been honored to & Desireé McCarthy-Keith, MD help countless couples navigate the often complicated journey of infertility and ultimately realize their dream of parenthood. It is the goal of our physicians and IVF laboratory team to provide you with the latest healthcare innovations, in four convenient locations: Atlanta, Decatur, Buckhead and Alpharetta. Read more on page 71. 404-843-2229 |

The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research Diagnosing and treating all forms of hair loss for 40 years, board-certified dermatologists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis combine the latest FUE and FUG (strip) technology and medical advancements with the most sophisticated surgical and non-surgical hair restoration Ashley R. Curtis, MD Edmond I. Griffin, MD techniques to provide both men and women with fully customized treatment plans that achieve artistic, natural-looking results. Read more on page 70. 404-256-4369 |


Marietta Eye Clinic

Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Dr. Dublin believes communication is key to providing quality care and the ability to connect with patients is why she chose to become a doctor. “That’s one of the things that drew me to specializing in glaucoma – even though Allison Dublin, MD it’s something you can never cure – you see your patients every four months. You get to know them as people and what will work for them as individuals with individualized treatment,” explains Dr. Dublin. Dr. Dublin’s professional affiliations include membership in the American Glaucoma Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Medical Association.

Dr.Yalif is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon. His sub-specialty in breast surgery has given him the privilege of being part of many women’s and men’s journeys to restore or attain a healthy self-image. Additionally, Dr.Yalif provides excellence in cosmetic surgery of the face and body, as well as restorative hand surgery. His personalized care Asaf Yalif, MD, FACS and expertise also extends to rejuvenation with fillers, Botox,ThermiSmooth and ThermiVa. Dr.Yalif looks forward to welcoming you to his Atlanta practice. Read more on page 68.

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David Martin, RN, is the president and CEO of VeinInnovations, which he founded in 2002 as Atlanta’s first dedicated vein care practice offering every available minimally invasive technique to treat venous insufficiency and varicose and spider veins. With four locations and five physicians, VeinInnovations is a preferred provider for every major insurance company and is the place to “get your legs done” with little or no downtime.

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Dr. Johnson joined Marietta Eye Clinic in 2006 with a mission to hold herself and her staff to the highest standards of care. Understanding the challenges many of her patients face and witnessing the consequences of limited access to healthcare, she Dr. Denise Johnson, MD goes to great lengths to advise her patients about their surgical options and how to maintain vision health. Dr. Johnson specializes in cataracts, dry eye syndrome, BOTOX®, JUVÉDERM® and LATISSE®. She is also a proud member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

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Photos courtesy of Peloton (top left), Golda Kombucha (bottom left), Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry (middle left), The Fox Theatre (top right), VeinInnovations (bottom right).

Spin From Home

Skip the traffic and have the spin class brought to you with the help of Peloton Cycle® indoor bikes. Their sleek and sturdy bikes offer near-silent riding, convenient two-pound dumbbells in the back and an interactive touchscreen. Access a variety of live and on-demand classes and keep track of your ride metrics at home. Take a test ride at the new Peloton showroom in Lenox Square Mall. Starting at $1,995. Details: 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE., Atlanta;

Do-Good Dentists Each year hundreds of dentists across the country professionally whiten teeth to raise money for underprivileged children around the world as part of Smiles for Life. Every participating practice has the option to donate half of the funds raised to a local charity partner of their choosing. The Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry donated $10,000 to Zac Brown Band’s charity, Camp Southern Ground, as part of their Smiles for Life partnership. The camp offers children of all abilities the chance to experience the joy of summer camp.

Rooftop Views For the first time since 1929, the Fox Theatre is undergoing a major renovation. The new Marquee Club’s rooftop terrace will offer access to the theatre’s roof for the first time in nearly 50 years. Annual Marquee Club members can say good-bye to those long lines during intermission, because one of the club’s best amenities just might be the ability to pre-order drinks, dessert and coffee. Memberships will be available for purchase beginning in January 2017. Details:

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Filled with vitamins and live and active cultures to help aid digestion and energize the body, Golda Kombucha’s line of fermented teas offers a gut rescue. The Atlantabased company has released a new Holiday Brew with cinnamon, clove, orange and cranberry. The company has also brought back its DIY kombucha kits if you want to give making your own a try.

VeinInnovations and local beauty brand Sally B’s Skin Yummies have partnered to create a new and natural way to moisturize and improve your legs’ appearance. VIrx ($35) cream is rich in healing ingredients such as coconut oil, organic shea butter and organic argan oil, along with plantbased ingredients. Originally designed for recovering venous treatment patients, VIrx can be used by all skin types to promote softer skin, improve scar appearance and reduce bruising.



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11/30/16 4:29 PM

BEST of 2016 After tens of thousands of votes, you have chosen this year’s best!

Winners Fitness & Weight Loss Best Large Fitness Facility LA Fitness

Best Small/Medium Fitness Facility Fit2DMax

Fit2DMax is a family-friendly personal-training and wellness studio founded by CNN health and wellness expert Maxim Nazaire, CSCS. It provides a safe haven for people to reach their potential through health and wellness, specializing in personal and group training classes that lead to double-digit weight-loss transformations, fat loss and injury rehabilitation. ___________________________________________

Fit2DMax / Best Small/Medium Fitness Facility

Best Running Trail Silver Comet Trail

Located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, the 61.5-mile-long trail features a two percent grade, making it an ideal place to run, walk, bike and exercise. The trail, which is a fully paved rail-trail built on an abandoned rail line, begins at the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna and ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line near Cedartown.

Photo courtesy of Fit2DMax (top right).

State-of-the-art equipment, group fitness classes, a heated indoor lap pool, saunas, racquetball and basketball, personal trainers and more await those who want to get in the best shape of their lives at LA Fitness. ___________________________________________

Best Running Club or Group Atlanta Track Club

This famed nonprofit organization, best known for hosting the AJC Peachtree Road Race (the world’s largest 10K), is committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta through running and walking. The club is home to 26,000 members, making it the second-largest running organization in the U.S., and offers training programs, group runs, elite team opportunities, volunteer opportunities and more.



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BEST of 2016

Best Workout

Best Indoor Cycling Instructor


Alex Martinez, Torq Cycle

A full-service, boutique fitness studio designed to optimize the time and energy you spend toward attaining your health, aesthetic and fitness goals, BLAST blends cardio and strength training to provide an individualized full-body workout that incorporates everything you need in just 60 minutes. ___________________________________________

As both the owner and an instructor at Torq Cycle, this IT executive-turned-fitness entrepreneur shows students how fun and challenging spinning can be with personalized high-intensity, low-impact classes, designed not only to provide an effective workout, but also to bring complete and true enjoyment. ___________________________________________

Best Indoor Cycling Studio

Best Personal Trainer

Flywheel Sports®

Photos courtesy of Sawyer Photography (middle), Matt Stephens (bottom right).

Michael Church, T3 Wellness Solutions

Invigorating music, exceptional equipment and inspiring instructors are the cornerstone of Flywheel Sports, which boasts three locations throughout metro Atlanta. And with complimentary shoes, towels and lockers, your indoor cycling experience will be as welcoming as it is effective. ___________________________________________

Church found his passion for health and fitness after his own 120-pound weight-loss journey. Now a certified personal trainer, he works with a wide variety of clients to help them meet their individual goals, offering services that include athletic conditioning and performance enhancement, contest and event prep, weight loss, corrective exercise, post-rehabilitation and more. _________________________________________

Best Yoga Studio Korsi Yoga

Offering Hot Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Yoga Sequence, Power Yoga, Athletic Yoga, Yin Yoga and more, this Roswell studio provides the safest, most authentic hot yoga experience possible thanks to the same special hot yoga heating system used in hot studios around the world, which controls heat, humidity and oxygen levels in the room. __________________________________

Best Boot Camp

1 Rep at a Time Boot Camp Results can be expected when you participate in this CrossFit endurancebased boot camp, located at CrossFit Zanshin in Peachtree Corners/ Norcross. Take advantage of the 12 classes offered each week, most of which are held indoors and all of which take place in a truly motivating environment. ___________________________________________

Best CrossFit Instructor Jake Francis, CrossFit Dwala

A former offensive lineman for the University of Tennessee, Francis now trains individuals and athletes of all ages and experience levels. In May of 2013 Francis opened CrossFit Dwala, a 3,600-square-foot fitness coaching facility in Marietta. _______________________________________

Best CrossFit Gym

Best Yoga Instructor

Ahoo Sarab Korsi Yoga / Best Yoga Studio

Claudi Pena, Atmasphere

Best Group Fitness Class Orangetheory Fitness

Sixty-minute workout sessions are split into intervals of cardio and strength training and performed with heart-rate monitors to track intensity and maximize metabolic burn. This nationwide exercise phenomenon will change your body and improve your fitness level. ___________________________________________

CrossFit Vesuvio

Best Barre Studio

Offering scalable workouts that suit every fitness level, CrossFit Vesuvio strives to be an alternative to standard big-box gyms by focusing on members’ individual needs. The team is led by owner and head coach Cristoforo Romano, who won Best Self’s 2015 Best CrossFit Coach award.

Pure Barre was created to target the areas women struggle with most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. Their low-impact workout combines elements of ballet barre techniques and strength training to tone and lengthen the body during a highly effective workout, which can be done at any of the studio’s many metroarea locations.

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A committed yoga student since 2011, this beloved instructor provides a guided yoga experience constructed to soothe, balance and repair by connecting breath, movement, stillness, sensation, meditation and self exploration. She teaches four of Atmasphere’s most coveted classes: ATMA Flow, ATMA Sweat, ATMA Be and ATMA Hot.

Pure Barre

Atlanta Track Club / Best Running Club or Group




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11/29/16 12:14 PM

Andrew S. Feinberg, M.D.

Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgeon NORTHSIDE | 1100 Johnson Ferry Road, NE | Building: 1, Suite 108 | Atlanta, GA 30342 | 404.531.9988 EMORY MIDTOWN | 550 Peachtree Street, NE | Suite 1500 | Atlanta, GA 30308 | 404.897.6810 JOHNS CREEK | 10080 Medlock Bridge Road | Duluth, GA 30097 | 770.623.3931 WOODSTOCK | 900 Towne Lake Parkway. | Suite 312 | Woodstock, GA 30189 | 404.953.4044 1 18GeorgiaEyePartners_HH.indd DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017

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BEST of 2016

Best Pilates Instructor Alex Hayes, CORE

A member of CORE’s operations team, Hayes found a passion for Pilates in 2002. As a certified instructor, she has spent six years teaching Pilates, helping clients get the most out of this natural form of movement. In addition, she currently is training to teach Redcord suspension exercise classes at CORE. ________________________________

Best Group Fitness Instructor

Carson Simonton, The Bar Method East Cobb

Mallory Hope Schwartz Pink Barre Virginia-Highland / Best Barre Instructor

Best Barre Instructor

She may have started in sales and services with The Bar Method, but Simonton’s palpable passion for health, wellness and nutrition helped her become a certified Bar Method teacher and director of operations for the East Cobb (and Lenox) locations, as well as one of the most celebrated instructors in metro Atlanta. ___________________________________________

Mallory Hope Schwartz, Pink Barre Virginia-Highland

Best Dance Fitness Class

A favorite among those who visit Pink Barre’s Virginia-Highland location, Mallory Schwartz is dedicated to growing the Atlanta fitness community while raising awareness for physical activity, starting with empowering and inspiring women through this popular ballet-inspired fitness class. ___________________________________________

Get your heart rate up and burn calories while you get down to the beat at Windy Hill Athletic Club, where esteemed instructor Miraya Goretzki teaches the coveted Dance Mix class, which combines modern dance with today’s most popular tunes. ___________________________________________

Dance Mix at Windy Hill Athletic Club

Best Dance Studio

Best Golf Store

PGA TOUR Superstore Novices and pros alike turn to this nationwide chain to find everything from golf clubs and bags to apparel and accessories. Two stores in metro Atlanta (Roswell and Kennesaw) carry all of today’s top brands. ___________________________________________

Best Place to Buy Running/ Walking Gear Big Peach Running Co.

Sprint over to one of seven metro Atlanta locations for the absolute best in footwear, apparel and accessories for runners and walkers. The entire staff embraces the pedestrian-active lifestyle and can address every aspect of a customer’s fitness routine. ___________________________________________

Photos courtesy of Clark Hamilton (bottom left), Cam Williams (top left).

Dance 101

Sculpthouse / Best Pilates Studio

A unique adult dance studio that blends dance and fitness, Dance 101 is designed for students ages 18 and up. This 10,000-square-foot Briarcliff Road facility has become the country’s largest dance-for-exercise concept studio, offering everything from ballet and jazz to A-Town Funk and Booty Barre Blast. ___________________________________________

Best Martial Arts Studio Best Pilates Studio

SculptHouse Fitness Studio Located in the heart of Buckhead, this high-end group fitness studio and activewear boutique is the world’s first studio to combine the Megaformer and the Treadmill, allowing you to sculpt the physique you want using the most sophisticated and low-impact, but high-intensity, human-powered machines on the market.

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Atlanta Kick Karate and Kickboxing Kids and adults alike can improve their lives thanks to martial arts training and fitness at Atlanta Kick. The facility offers karate and CrossFit programs for kids, as well as kickboxing, kettlebell, martial arts, CrossFit, personal-training programs and more for adults. Want to check it out? Try a class for free. BEST SELF ATLANTA



11/30/16 3:16 PM

Atlanta’s Premier Matchmaking Service Have you tried online dating and everything else, but still don’t have the love you want? We have your solution! Our proven approach to matchmaking is fun, personal... and will change your experience with dating in Atlanta. Meet Leisha and Lisa, founders of Single Atlanta. Since 1998, they have worked together to establish Atlanta’s largest matchmaking service, and have helped over 18,000 singles find love.

What Our Client’s Are Saying



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Single Atlanta 750 Hammond Dr. Building 16, Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30328

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BEST of 2016

Best Place to Buy Outdoor Gear

Best Indoor Sport/Activity

High Country Outfitters

Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center

Locally owned and operated, this outdoor gear and clothing business has been one of Atlanta’s premier shops for outdoor enthusiasts for more than four decades. In addition to carrying most well-known brands, including The North Face, Columbia and Big Green Egg, the store’s various locations throughout metro Atlanta host popular events like Stand Up for the Hooch and the Chaco Tour. ___________________________________________

Best Hiking Trail Kennesaw Mountain

More than 20 miles of trails weave through the forests and meadows of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park; with a variety of terrain available, the trails are perfect for both walking and running—and taking in the view from the summit of the majestic mountain. ___________________________________________

Best Bicycle Shop Roswell Bicycles

Photography courtesy of Alex the Photo Guy (bottom left), Rob Carver (top middle).

Opened in Roswell in 1987, this renowned shop is the go-to location for bikes, parts and accessories, clothing, helmets, service, repair and more. And to help grow the sport, Roswell Bicycles sponsors a variety of riders, events and cycling education programs throughout metro Atlanta. ___________________________________________

Learn everything you need to know about rock climbing in either Atlanta or Kennesaw, the two locations of this popular indoor climbing facility. Classes include belay lessons, bouldering basics, technique essentials and lead classes, as well as additional fitness classes that will improve your climbing by strengthening your body and mind.

Rob Carver Rob Carver Tennis Inc. / Best Tennis Instructor


Best Place for Kids’ Fitness Cardio Kool Kids

A complete wellness program for children in grades pre-K through 5, Cardio Kool Kids combines kickboxing, sports drills, strength training, hip hop dance and health and nutrition journaling. The experience focuses on the whole child and aims to teach kids that healthy living can be fun. ___________________________________________

Best Place for Seniors’ Fitness Roswell Recreation Senior Center

Best Cycling Event Atlanta Moon Ride

A six-mile nighttime bike ride, this unique event takes cyclists of all ages and levels through some of Atlanta’s coolest neighborhoods and gives 100 percent of the proceeds to Bert’s Big Adventure, the nonprofit organization that provides an all-expenses-paid Disney vacation to children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families.

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These fan favorites also received lots of votes: Best Barre Instructor Katy Bayless Gibson

Best Boot Camp

The City of Roswell Recreation and Parks Department places great emphasis on providing outstanding health and wellness programs for seniors. From working with Silver Sneakers Fitness to hosting shallow-water exercise classes to offering yoga, tai chi, line dancing and more, there’s something for every interest and fitness level. ___________________________________________

Operation Boot Camp

Best Tennis Instructor

Concourse Athletic Club Windy Hill Athletic Club

A USPTA Elite pro who is a member of the Wilson Tennis Advisory Staff, Carver teaches 190 students per week ages 5 to 75. He also serves as a Special Olympics coach and is an ALTA AA-1 player. He has brought his experience and passion for tennis to Rob Carver Tennis Inc. since 1992. ___________________________________________

Best Pilates Studio

Rob Carver

Atlanta Moon Ride / Best Cycling Event

Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center / Best Indoor Sport/Activity

Best CrossFit Gym CrossFit Dwala

Best Hiking Trail

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Best Large Fitness Facility

Stability Pilates & Physical Therapy

Best Place to Buy Outdoor Gear Mountain High Outfitters

Best Running Club Big Peach Running Co.

Best Tennis Store Your Serve Tennis

Best Yoga Instructor

One of the largest and most distinguished tennis specialty retailers in the country, Your Serve Tennis boasts seven locations throughout metro Atlanta, carrying everything from tennis racquets, strings and bags to clothing and accessories for players of all levels.

Best Yoga Studio

Carly Grace Hinchman, Thunderbolt Power Yoga Leila Taylor Jankowski, Lift Yoga Studio Infinity Yoga Tough Love Yoga




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BEST of 2016

Best Hypnotherapist

Angella Ocheltree, Right Path Hypnosis A nationally certified hypnotist and life and performance coach, Ocheltree uses advanced techniques to access the subconscious mind, helping clients in a wide range of areas; her services include sports hypnosis, hypnosis for weight loss, hypnosis to stop smoking and more. _____________________________________

Winners Market welcomes pets (and their people) to find healthy and natural pet food, wholesome and holistic treats and chews, cozy beds, collars and much more. Stop by to pick up something special or use one of the shop’s self-serve dog-wash stations to help your pup freshen up before heading home. ___________________________________________

Best Local Vet WellPet Humane

Best Doggie Daycare Puppy Haven

Life Enrichment Best Active Senior Community Cresswind at Lake Lanier

Located in Gainesville, this premier, gated, active-adult community from Kolter Homes offers two- and three-bedroom, ranch-style homes and a tremendous lifestyle that includes access to a three-story clubhouse, an onproperty boathouse and countless additional amenities. ___________________________________________

Two locations in metro Atlanta provide the perfect place for pups to either spend the day or the night. This unique doggie daycare haven offers indoor and outdoor play areas for cage-free fun, oversized apartments and suites for overnight stays, controlled socialization, a professionally trained staff, onsite dog bathers, webcams and much more. ___________________________________________

FirstLight Home Care of Atlanta

Best Groomer

Creekside Pet Hotel

Best Dog Park

Piedmont Dog Park A haven for dogs and their people, Piedmont Dog Park features a nearly three-acre dog run, separate enclosures for large and small dogs,

Best Aging Care

Dedicated to the care of pets who are owned by people who are financially struggling, this innovative practice offers a wide range of lowcost veterinary medical programs, from wellness and sick/injured exams to parasite testing, dental care, surgeries, spay/neuter services and heartworm and Parvo testing and treatment. ___________________________________________

Compassionate, professional caregivers coupled with a wide range of services make FirstLight an option for those who require in-home or elderly care for loved ones. Senior-care services include companion, personal, dementia and respite care, among others. ___________________________________________

Pamper your pooch (or even your feline) with a grooming trip to this esteemed day camp, boarding facility and pet spa in Kennesaw. From bathing, manicures and pedicures to dental care, the staff offers everything you need to help your four-legged friends look their best. ___________________________________________

Best Pet Training Frogs to Dogs

Only the most knowledgeable individuals in the animal-training industry are welcomed to the staff of this renowned pet-sitting and dog-training company. Offering a unique

Best Life Coach

With the belief that people truly are stronger than they think they are, Head helps people of all ages identify the issues that plague their lives and use their strengths, gifts and talents to deal with them and get to where they want to be. ___________________________________________

Best Financial Counseling Julie R. Bates, Delta Community Credit Union

Julie R. Bates, CFP, ChFC, assistant vice president, specializes in comprehensive financial planning, investment management, women’s finances, LGBT individuals, couples and more. She uses her 18 years of experience to analyze and find the holes in your financial plan so you can correct them.



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Photo courtesy of Piedmont Park Conservancy (middle).

Amy Head, New Perspectives for Life, LLC

Piedmont Dog Park / Best Dog Park

new trails and landscaping and more. It’s one of the only locations in metro Atlanta where dogs can run free in a special off-leash area. ____________________________________

Best Pet Store CityDog Market

A small, independentlyowned neighborhood store, CityDog


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Contest selection of unlimited group classes and private behavioral training solutions for your fourlegged friends, Frogs to Dogs has become one of the go-to pet-training locales for pet owners throughout metro Atlanta. ___________________________________________

Best Pet Walker/Sitter Service CutiePaws

Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish … you name it, and CutiePaws will care for it! This locally owned and operated pet-sitting service welcomes all kinds of animals and strives to bring comfort to pets and their owners by maintaining each animal’s regular routine as best as possible. Services for pets with special needs also are available. ___________________________________________

Best Charity Race

Strong Legs Run Benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Held for more than three decades in Atlanta, the highly anticipated annual Associated Credit Union Strong Legs Run/Walk benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta includes a 10K and 5K qualifier for the AJC Peachtree Road Race, a 2K Fun Run and Stroller Roll and a Mascot Trot (for younger participants). ___________________________________________

Best Volunteer Opportunity Angels Among Us Pet Rescue

Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc., is a nonprofit volunteer-based organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in North Georgia. Local residents who want to help have an array of options, from providing a foster home and attending adoption events to advocate for the animals to making phone calls, screening applicants and helping plan events and fundraisers.

BEST of 2016


Best Charity Ball or Gala

Junior League of Atlanta Centennial Gala Held at the Atlanta History Center and Swan House in Buckhead on October 1, the historic Centennial Gala served as a kickoff to the League’s anniversary celebrations, which mark 100 years of the organization impacting the Atlanta community through voluntarism, leadership and effective action. _____________________________

Best Local Festival

Inman Park Festival & Tour of Homes Held during the last weekend of April each year, this highly anticipated event includes an arts and crafts show and street market, a parade, a dance festival, a variety of bands and entertainment, a Kidzone and a self-conducted tour of Inman Park’s most well-known and beloved homes. ___________________________________________

Best Escape Game Ultimate Escape Game

Perfect for corporate teams, tourists, couples and families, the Ultimate Escape Game uses innovative room themes (steal a priceless Fabergé egg, anyone?), cinematic staging and carefully crafted puzzles to create the most exhilarating experience as you try to beat the clock to escape the room. ___________________________________________

Best In-Town Getaway Serenbe

A unique urban village located within the city limits of Chattahoochee Hills, Serenbe allows residents and visitors to connect with nature like never before. Stay at the Inn at Serenbe and take advantage of the entire community’s incredible amenities, from shopping and dining options to a wide array of outdoor activities.


Best Day Trip

Dahlonega Wine Trail With the highest concentration of wineries and vineyards in Georgia, the Dahlonega Mountains are recognized as “the Heart of Georgia Wine Country.” Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a variety of wines made from European, French hybrid and American wine grapes, all found at the incredible wineries along the 39-mile scenic drive, which takes just over an hour to complete. ___________________________________________

Best Cooking Class The Cook’s Warehouse

Learn how to cook everything from seasonal delicacies to traditional stews, casseroles and chicken dinners at The Cook’s Warehouse. Offerings include a myriad of classes that include menu recipes, samples of the food and complimentary beverages at three metro-area locations. ___________________________________________

Best Place for Fun Classes or Workshops The Beehive

Get crafty at The Beehive, with its unique and diverse selection of modern workshops, including jewelry making, sewing, bath and body, paper and felt and artisan food offerings. Kids can get in on the action too with Little Crafter workshops. ___________________________________________

Best Place to Go Camping Red Top Mountain State Park

More than 30 campsites dot the landscape of the state park on Red Top Mountain. Campers can enjoy a wide array of activities, including hiking on 15 miles of trails and swimming, water skiing and fishing on Lake Allatoona. Walk-in campsites, cottages and one yurt are also available.



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Be the most beautiful for the upcoming holidays and in the New Year!

Specializing in f ine and thinning hair


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Best Art Gallery

Westside Cultural Arts Center Founded by Dr. James L. Chappuis, a proponent of the development of Atlanta’s West Midtown, this innovative facility is both a special-event venue and a living gallery, complete with Collective One, a gallery-in-residence curated by Anthony Liggins and featuring a rotating collection of local and regional artists. ___________________________________________

Best Comedy Club/Show Dad’s Garage

More than 30,000 people visit this innovative theater each year to enjoy traditional and original improv performances that have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The goal of Dad’s Garage is to cultivate and inspire artists and audiences by bringing them together for an “undeniably awesome” experience. __________________________

Continuing Education, which offers a wide range of certificate programs and open-enrollment courses for both professional development and personal enrichment, covering everything from information technology and human resources to financial planning and foreign languages. ___________________________________________

Best Music Venue Tabernacle Atlanta

A one-of-a-kind music experience awaits at this historic locale, which opened in 1910 as The Broughton Tabernacle and is now operated by Live Nation as an eclectic music venue. From indie acts to major recording artists, there’s something for everyone. ____________________

Best Matchmaking Service

Best Museum

Single Atlanta

High Museum of Art

The largest privately owned matchmaking firm in Atlanta and the Southeast, Single Atlanta takes a personalized approach to the matchmaking process, screening and qualifying candidates before you meet them, working with you one-onone to find matches and following up with feedback, coaching and advice. ______________________

Located in the heart of Atlanta, the High Museum serves audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collections (including a permanent collection that includes more than 15,000 artworks across seven collecting areas), a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. _______________________________

Best Bookstore

Little Shop of Stories Located on Decatur’s historic square, this charming independent bookstore helps kids (and their adults) find just the right books for their age, interests and reading level. It also hosts book groups, summer camps, birthday parties and more, making it the perfect spot for book lovers of all ages. _____________________________________

Best Park

Piedmont Park

Best Continuing Education Program Emory University

For more than 60 years, thousands of students have taken advantage of Emory



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Leisha Murphy & Lisa Lyngos Single Atlanta / Best Matchmaking Service BEST SELF ATLANTA

Known as downtown Atlanta’s “Common Ground” since 1904, Piedmont Park is one of the city’s most beloved amenities. The Piedmont Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works with the City of Atlanta, has worked diligently to transform this once-dilapidated park into

Winners Atlanta’s most visited green space and offers an array of unique programming. ___________________________________________

Best City Attraction Atlanta Botanical Garden

Adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown is this 30-acre gem, dedicated to developing and maintaining plant collections for display, education, conservation, research and enjoyment. Other highlights include bird gardens, bog gardens, holiday Garden Lights and more. ___________________________________________

Best Community Garden

Chastain Park Community Garden The Chastain Park Conservancy’s Farm Chastain, an all-organic urban teaching garden at the Conservancy Barn, hosts free monthly gardening classes for the public from March to October and was created to serve as a healthy-living program for people of all ages. ___________________________________________

These fan favorites also received lots of votes: Best Aging Care Caravita Home Care

Best Art Gallery

Mason Fine Art and Events

Best Charity Ball or Gala Thriving Children Gala

Best Charity Race

Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race

Best Comedy Club/Show The Punchline

Best Continuing Education Program Kennesaw State University

Photo courtesy of Sawyer Photography (middle).


BEST of 2016

Best Doggie Daycare Dogphoria

Best Groomer Pup-N-Cuts

Best Escape Room Urban Escape Games

Best Financial Counseling Ashford Advisors Scarlet Oak Financial Services

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Contest Best In-Town Getaway Chateau Elan Jeju Sauna

Best Local Festival Music Midtown

Best Local Vet

Ansley Animal Clinic Brookhaven Animal Hospital ___________________________________

Beauty & Anti-Aging Best Hair Salon Aura Hair & Makeup Salon

Photos courtesy of Saywer Photography (bottom left and top right), Dr. Ken Anderson (bottom right).

From cut, color and style to hair extensions and treatments, the highly trained and experienced team at this renowned salon strives to help every client create an individualized signature look and walk out feeling confident and beautiful. ___________________________________________

Best Hair Salon for Blowouts DryBar Buckhead

Located near the St. Regis Hotel, this salon focuses on one thing and one thing only: blowouts (with a wash included). To really up the amazing factor, you can add a 10-minute scalp massage, a braid and even a Bay Breeze Hydrating Shot for an additional fee. ___________________________________________

Best Hair Stylist

Moses Krell, Salon Red A stylist since the age of 22, Krell understands the impact a great haircut or color can make in someone’s life. He apprenticed under Salon Red’s owner, Jessica Soler, and is truly passionate about the creativity that comes with his beloved profession.

Moses Krell Salon Red / Best Hair Stylist

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BEST of 2016

Best Hair Colorist

Best Eyelash Extensions

Rebecca Crispin, Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa

Amazing Lash Studio

An in-demand senior stylist and color specialist, as well as a certified hair extensions artist, Crispin’s work has appeared in magazines throughout metro Atlanta and many of the city’s fashion shows. ____________________

Exceptionally lightweight synthetic eyelash extensions that provide long, naturallooking, voluminous lashes set this unique studio apart. Solid color and two-tone specialty eyelashes also are available. __________________

Best Hair Restoration

Best Body Wrap

Pearl’s Spa & Apothecary Boutique

Anderson Center for Hair

Like an indulgent facial Led by esteemed hairfor the entire body, the restoration specialist body wrap at Pearl’s Dr. Ken Anderson, the Spa in Acworth provides Anderson Center for Hair relaxation, super-intense is the only practice in the hydration for the skin and state of Georgia to offer ARTAS exfoliation while detoxing robot-assisted hair-restoration the body. It pairs perfectly surgery, during which Anderson with the spa’s Swedish and his team employ the or deep-tissue massage. Steve Hightower & Rebecca Crispin non-invasive Follicular Unit Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa / Extraction (FUE) method __________________________ Best Hair Colorist to remove and place hairs for permanent restoration. Best Laser Hair Removal ___________________________________________ Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center Providing safe laser treatments in Atlanta since 1999, Duluth’s Laser Lights is a full-service Best Waxing cosmetic center that provides safe and Authentic Brazilian Wax by Andreia effective personal laser treatments for women Brazilian-born Andreia Guilmet introduced a and men using medical-grade, FDA-approved laser new waxing technique to metro Atlanta when equipment. she opened her first location in Marietta in 2005. Today, she is at the helm of 18 locations throughout North Georgia, where she imports her own natural, organic wax from Brazil and strives to provide every client—both women and men—with a truly comfortable waxing experience. ___________________________________________

Best Eyebrows Brows by Milly

Brazilian-born Milly Marques has become metro Atlanta’s eyebrow guru thanks to her innovative use of microblading, a manual type of semi-permanent makeup where pigment is applied to the surface of the skin, giving eyebrows a fuller and moresymmetrical appearance.

Dr. Ken Anderson Anderson Center for Hair / Best Hair Restoration




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2045 Peachtree Rd. NE

1519 Johnson Ferry Rd

Suite 200

Suite 100

Atlanta, GA 30309

Marietta, GA 30062



28 DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017

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Covington 4151 Hospital Drive Covington, GA 30014



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Contest Best Facial

Sarah Miller, Dermatology Consultants A medical aesthetician and laser technician, Miller specializes in medical-grade skin peels, micro-dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, photofacials, skin tightening, laser hair removal and other treatments.


BEST of 2016

Best Plastic Surgeon for the Face

Elizabeth Whitaker, MD, FACS, Atlanta Face & Body Center® This experienced, double board-certified physician has performed thousands of facial procedures, including more than 4,000 facelifts. Her goal is to help patients look their very best—not like someone else—and help them achieve a natural look with the personalized procedures they choose. ___________________________________________

Best Plastic Surgeon for the Tummy Sarah Miller Dermatology Consultants / Best Facial

Photos courtesy of Marvelous Impressions Photography (bottom left), Greg Newington (top left), Sawyer Photography (bottom middle), Carlos Maldonado (middle right).

Best Chemical Peel

Melissa Tyler, Dermatology Center of Atlanta As a medical aesthetician for the Dermatology Center of Atlanta, Tyler uses her skill and expertise to custom select the best medical-grade chemical peels for patients, helping them minimize fine wrinkling on the face and neck, even out the skin tone and texture and reduce the appearance of sun damage. ___________________________________________

Best Plastic Surgeon for the Breasts

Asaf Yalif, MD, Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery This renowned plastic surgeon specializes in cosmetic surgery for the face, breast and body. His signature breast procedures include breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast Dr. Asaf Yalif reduction, Y Plastic & breast implant Reconstructive Surgery/ exchange and Best Plastic Surgeon the popular for the Breasts mommy makeover.

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Patricia Yugueros, MD, Luna Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa A diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Yugueros offers the full spectrum of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, with special interest in breast surgery, liposuction, buttock enhancement and body contouring, including abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck), which removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens loose abdominal muscles. ___________________________________________

Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker Atlanta Face and Body Center / Best Plastic Surgeon for the Face

Best Plastic Surgeon for Lipo Ruth Celestin, MD, Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery This award-winning, boardcertified plastic surgeon offers a wide array of services, including facial rejuvenation, breast reconstruction, breast augmentation and body contouring, as well as a variety of liposuction options, from ultrasonic-assisted liposuction and minimally invasive laser liposuction to weekend liposuction.

Best Microdermabrasion

Lidia Nistor-Reteneller, Skin IQ Medspa The founder of Skin IQ Medspa, NistorReteneller begins every session with a detailed consultation and thorough skin analysis. Her renowned microdermabrasion can be added to any of the spa’s organic facials, including Lidia’s Signature Facial, the Metrosexual Facial or the Deep Pore Facial. __________________________________

Best Makeup Artist Nyssa Green, The Green Room Agency

Dr. Ruth Celestin Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery / Best Plastic Surgeon for Lipo BEST SELF ATLANTA

An Emmy Award winner, this distinguished makeup stylist founded The Green Room Agency in 1998. Her magical services have made her the artist-of-choice for magazines, red carpets, movie sets and production companies throughout the city, including CNN, 11Alive and Jezebel, among many others.



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BEST of 2016


Best Sunless Tanning Opulence Spray Tan Club

Opulence Spray Tan Club is the premier mobile service provider in metro Atlanta. Using stateof-the-art technology and an eco-certified solution, the company’s Tanologists will bring the tan of your Caribbean dreams to life in the comfort of your own home or office. Each client receives a custom blend with a violet base and a reddish undertone, taking out the bronze so your tan always looks natural—never orange. ___________________________________________

Evie Delaney and Saechelle Bisson The Nouveau Clinic / Best Permanent Cosmetics

Best Men’s Grooming Seraphim Skin Care

Evie Delaney, The Nouveau Clinic

Founder of The Nouveau Clinic, this CDT/ paramedical artist has turned her family’s experiences (her mother is a two-time burn survivor and she deals with ongoing scalp hair loss) into a calling to help both women and men look and feel fantastic. Her permanent makeup services include 3D eyebrow restoration, permanent lip color, dark skin care and more. ___________________________________________

Best Esthetician

Heather Davis, Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery Through Visage Skin Care Center, a state-of-theart medical day spa and division of Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery, this highly trained and experienced esthetician and laser practitioner provides effective medical-grade skincare treatments—from Halo and BBL to chemical peels—to patients throughout metro Atlanta.

It’s not only women who flock to Seraphim Skin Care’s Buckhead salon. Men’s facials are growing in popularity, thanks to the facility’s innovative Seraphim Technique®, which involves the application of revolutionary FDA-approved and clinically proven products. Want quality time with your spouse? Try a couple’s facial. _________________________________________

Best Manicure/Pedicure Hammond Nails and Spa

With more than 50 staff members, you won’t have a long wait to get one of the most coveted manicures and pedicures in the area, which includes sitting in one of the most comfortable state-of-the-art spa chairs around. ___________________________________________

Best Med Spa

Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa The goal of Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa is to address not only your appearance concerns, but also to treat a range of skin conditions (including cysts, eczema, rosacea and skin cancer) and improve your overall health. The practice’s comprehensive list of medical dermatology, medical spa and cosmetic services includes everything from acne laser treatment and Botox to microdermabrasion, tattoo removal and brow and lash tinting. ___________________________________________

Best Overall Spa

Natural Body Spa and Shop

Heather Davis Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery / Best Esthetician



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Guests of Natural Body Spa and Shop are treated not only to a wide array of exceptional day spa services, including body therapies, massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, but also access to a highly successful natural products company. BEST SELF ATLANTA

Maggie Teall Opulence Spray Tan Club / Best Sunless Tanning


Best Botox & Filler Injections Tracey Gregory, FNP-BC, Aesthetic Specialty Centre

Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, this highly educated and experienced nurse practitioner has focused her career on plastic and reconstructive surgery with an emphasis on artistically enhancing and rejuvenating the face with botulinum toxin type A and cosmetic injectable fillers. ___________________________________________

Best Non-Invasive Fat Removal Linda McGee, A New You Skin & Body Clinic

The CoolSculpting Procedure, as administered by Linda McGee, is a non-invasive way to gently and effectively reduce fat in targeted areas of your body, resulting in noticeable, natural-looking fat reduction in the treated areas. No anesthesia or pain meds are needed, and there is no downtime after the procedure. ___________________________________________

Best Personal Stylist

Kam Thomas Throckmorton, Glam Kam Style This Atlanta native’s goal is to create life-changing looks for her clients, helping everyone from CEOs to soccer moms exude confidence. She believes confident women can change the world and loves cultivating that aplomb in people through one-onone styling, including closet edits, photo shoots and personal shopping, as well as through publicspeaking engagements.

Photos courtesy of Jamie Maciuszek Photography (bottom left), Hilary Hobbs, Jump! (top left), Sawyer Photography (top right).

Best Permanent Cosmetics

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BEST of 2016

Best Custom Bra Fit

specializes in the management of pediatric asthma and food allergies. ___________________________________________

LiviRae Lingerie

The staff at LiviRae boasts more than 20 years of experience in the lingerie industry, ensuring that every customer who visits this comfortable and welcoming Kennesaw boutique receives the best possible customized bra fitting. The shop also offers mastectomy bras and prosthetic accessories. ___________________________________________

These fan favorites also received lots of votes: Best Botox and Filler Injections Kristin Magee, MD Judith R. McKernan, RN, BSN

Best Dermatology Practice Photos courtesy of CentreSpringMD (top middle), Sawyer Photography (bottom right), Karen Benedikt; photography by Cass Lievsay (top right).

Goodman Dermatology

Best Esthetician

Best Eye Doctor

Andrew Feinberg, MD, Georgia Eye Partners A board-certified ophthalmologist, Feinberg is trained in all disciplines of comprehensive ophthalmology and specializes in LASIK and other corneal surgery, using the latest technology and medical techniques to provide the best possible experience for patients from all over Georgia. ___________________________________________

Dr. Taz Bhatia CentreSpringMD / Best Integrative Medical Doctor

Johns Creek in 2017. She is also the author of two best-selling books, What Doctors Eat and The 21-Day Belly Fix. ___________________________________________

Best Integrative Medical Facility Vitality Project

Best Hair Colorist

The goal of Vitality Project, located in Roswell and founded by board-certified naturopath Debra MacIntyre, ND, is to get people well again, without the use of drugs, by restoring their vitality and energy. Natural health services include homeopathy, hormone rejuvenation, allergy relief and more. ___________________________________________

Best Hair Salon

Best Physical Therapy Center

Dr. Erin Madigan-Fleck, NMD, CDT, LME, LEI Kimberly Clarke, LE

Best Eyebrows

Alyson Hoag, Authentic Beauty Ryan Godfrey, Salon Red Adore Hair Studio Akasa Salon Bob Steele Salon Steve Hightower Hair and Makeup Van Michael Salon

Best Laser Hair Removal Dermatology Center of Atlanta

Best Manicure/Pedicure Bluegrass Nail Salon Sugarcoat Nail and Beauty Bar

Best Med Spa Bella by Alethea


Health & Wellness Best Integrative Medical Doctor Taz Bhatia, MD

The founder and medical director of CentreSpring MD, Bhatia works to get to a patient’s core to find the root of their health problems and help them heal and thrive again; she sees patients of all ages and will open an integrative pediatric practice in

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The Sports Rehabilitation Center

Helmed by physical therapist and athletic trainer Brian Tovin, The Sports Rehabilitation Center has become one of Atlanta’s preferred facilities for orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Through the use of stateof-the-art equipment and a model that emphasizes one-on-one care with a physical therapist, the center provides solutions for patients with a wide range of treatment needs. ___________________________________________

Andrew Feinberg Georgia Eye Partners / Best Eye Doctor

Best Acupuncture

Atlanta Center for Acupuncture and Wellness Specializing in women’s health and fertility, the team at the Atlanta Center for Acupuncture and Wellness, which is comprised of ABORM-certified practitioners, offers an array of services from acupuncture to naturopathy, which are rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and adapted to the needs of modern living.

Best Cryotherapy Icebox Cryotherapy

A leading provider of non-invasive cold therapy focusing on athletic recovery, pain management and overall health, beauty and wellness, this innovative facility will open its third location— the second one in Atlanta—in Midtown in January 2017. ___________________________________________

Best Allergist

Dr. Louis B. Kalish, Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Kalish joined Atlanta Allergy & Asthma in 1997 and BEST SELF ATLANTA

Dr. Louis B. Kalish Atlanta Allergy & Asthma / Best Allergist



11/30/16 3:18 PM



BEST of 2016

Best Colon Cleansing

Best Massage Therapist

Dayna Walker, Tranquility Massage by Dayna

Offering natural colon cleansing, also known as colon hydrotherapy or colonics, Atlanta Colonic & Massage provides a safe and natural way to eliminate toxins and cleanse the body, putting you in control of your own health and wellness with a 45-minute session by an I-ACT-certified therapist. ___________________________________________

Located in Roswell, this trained neuromuscular therapist has been practicing for 17 years. Her work incorporates several techniques and modalities of massage targeted to each individual’s needs, as well as the use of aromatherapy, light therapy and heat and hydrotherapy combined with the experience of healing hands. ___________________________________________

Best Hormone Therapy

Best Women’s Health Clinic

Harley Anti-Aging Institute

Founded by Sharon Bent-Harley, MD, the Institute offers Pellet therapy, a form of bioidentical hormone-replacement therapy for women and men which releases a steady and controlled dose of natural hormone into the system and yields excellent results. Most recently the Institute began offering ThermiVa®, the first non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatment. ___________________________________________

Best Spine Care

Resurgens Spine Center With 21 offices throughout metro Atlanta, the physicians at Resurgens Spine Center specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from neck and back pain. Their spine experts offer both non-surgical and surgical treatment options to help patients reach their treatment goals. ___________________________________________

Best ENT Practice The ENT Institute

The largest independent ear, nose and throat (ENT) practice of its type in the Southeast, this renowned facility offers cutting-edge procedures at the lowest possible price for patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. The Institute also is a national training center for in-office Balloon Sinuplasty and offers a unique at-home allergy therapy that requires no weekly visits for allergy shots. ___________________________________________

Best Dermatology Practice Dermatology Associates of Atlanta

With five board-certified physicians, eight specialty centers and state-of-the-art technology, DAA offers patients a wide range of skincare treatments, from skin cancer and acne treatments to minimally invasive fat-reduction services like CoolSculpting® and SlimLipoTM®.



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Dr. Debra Gray King Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry / Best Cosmetic Dentist

Best Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Debra Gray King

Founder of the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry and an accredited fellow with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, King specializes in complex restorative dentistry. In addition to serving patients throughout the metro area, patients routinely travel from afar to seek her services. King has been a featured expert for a variety of national media outlets and she lectures nationwide. ___________________________________________

Best Foot Care

Stephanie Michael, DPM, Village Podiatry In addition to handling common foot complaints like bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails and heel pain, Michael specializes in diabetic foot care, including treatment and reconstruction, and wound care. She serves patients of all ages, from pediatric to seniors. ___________________________________________

Premier Women’s Specialists, PC

Offering a unique blend of expertise and patientcentered care for women in all stages of life and health, this esteemed practice uses “today’s technology with yesterday’s caring.” Led by Kevin Michael Daus, MD, Premier Women’s Specialists covers a wide range of obstetrics and gynecology services and strives to provide the best healthcare possible. ___________________________________________

Best Weight-Loss Program Atlanta Endocrine Associates

Atlanta Endocrine Associates has helped people lose weight since 2000 by specializing in hard-to-treat cases and focusing on the disease of obesity as a disorder of hormonal imbalance. ___________________________________________

These fan favorites also received lots of votes: Best Hormone Therapy BodyLogicMD

Best Acupuncture Art of Healing

Best Spine Care

Best Vein Treatment

Shepherd Center


Drs. Louis Prevosti, James Fonger and Keith Moore work diligently to provide a thorough diagnosis and complete treatment plan for your venous disease, from tiny spider veins to complex varicose veins. They are dedicated to providing personalized treatment and restoring health and youthfulness to your legs.


Photos courtesy of Mary Jane Starke (top middle), VEINAtlanta (bottom right).

Atlanta Colonic & Massage

(left to right) Dr. James D. Fonger, Dr. Louis Prevosti and Dr. Keith Moore VEINAtlanta / Best Vein Treatment

11/30/16 4:44 PM

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Contest Nutrition

BEST of 2016

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant Farm Burger

Best CSA Program Love Is Love Farm

Offering two main season sessions (spring and summer/fall), this community-supported agriculture organization provides the most diverse and delicious selection of certified organic vegetables and fruit from Gaia Gardens, Evie’s Country Gardens and Decimal Place Farm. ___________________________________________

Best Farmers Market Decatur Farmers Market

Located at the First Baptist Church of Decatur, the DFM features more than 20 vendors on Wednesdays and Saturdays March through December. Market offerings include organically grown produce, meats, breads, eggs, artisan foods and more. The market also features chefs’ demos, kids’ activities and picnic areas. ______________________________________

Kids who love burgers will love the seasonal fare available at this family-friendly restaurant (which has three locations in metro Atlanta)—and they’ll also want to dig into the “Lil Farmers” menu, with offerings like grilled cheese sandwiches and fried chicken lollipops with honey mustard. ___________________________________________

Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant Lucky’s Burgers & Brew

A local watering hole for you and your beloved pooch, Lucky’s Burger & Brew, with locations in Roswell, Town Brookhaven and Emory Village, offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a great burger, a cold beer and quality time on the patio with your peeps and your pups. _________________________________________

Eating healthy is easier than ever with this unique service, which partners with the best organic farms and sustainable food producers to bring high-quality produce, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy and artisan foods right to your doorstep. ___________________________________________

Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant Table & Main

Executive Chef Woolery “Woody” Back has an extensive background with the Atlanta restaurant scene and has carried his friendships with farmers and belief in responsible sourcing to Table & Main in Roswell, which features “simple, seasonal and Southern” cuisine in what has become a go-to neighborhood spot. ___________________________________________

Best Food Truck

Best New Restaurant Superica

Whether you dine at Superica in Buckhead or at the Krog Street Market, you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into the Old West, where you can enjoy reinvented Tex-Mex dishes like puffy tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and more. And don’t forget to enjoy a cocktail like the Red-Headed Stranger or the Texas Star. ___________________________________________

Best Health Food Store Whole Foods Market

For years, Whole Foods Market has provided customers with access to the finest natural and organic foods available and kept a strict commitment to sustainable agriculture. With numerous locations throughout metro Atlanta, this market leader has ensured that local residents can find whatever they need. ___________________________________________

The Blaxican

Mexican soul food has come to Atlanta courtesy of the Blaxican Food Truck, which serves such mouthwatering delicacies as Mexy Mac and Cheese and the Collard Greens Quesadilla. In addition to making everyone say “Que Pasa, Y’all,” the Blaxican helps feed the less fortunate through tips and donations collected via the truck and its website.

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Best Vegetarian Restaurant Café Sunflower

Dairy-free, gluten-free and meat-free have never tasted so good. This charming café, a staple on the Atlanta dining scene for two decades, continues to wow diners with its exceptional plant-based menu, which goes beyond salads and sides with truly satisfying fare. ___________________________________________

Best Prepared Healthy Meals Fresh ‘n Fit

Choose from five dietician-approved menus: Healthy Mix, Low Carb, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Paleo. All of the chef-prepared, gourmet, ready-to-eat meals are available for pickup or home and office delivery, ensuring that you will always have a healthy meal when you need one. _________________________________

Kale Me Crazy

Nature’s Garden Express


corporate “lunch and learns,” health and wellness chef demos and corporate team-building cooking classes. ___________________________________________

Best Juice Bar

Best Farm-to-Home Delivery



A superfood café that offers cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads and wraps, this burgeoning business, with eight locations around Atlanta, helps support a healthy lifestyle through the use of fresh, organic and raw foods. ___________________________________________

Best Atlanta Food Blog We Like to Cook!

Husband and wife Dom and Denise Romeo share recipes handed down from their mothers and grandmothers, put their own spin on their favorite cookbook recipes, experiment with new ingredients and much more in this foodiecentric blog. ___________________________________________

These fan favorites also received lots of votes: Best CSA Program Heritage Farms

Best Healthy Chef

Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Megan McCarthy, Healthy Eating 101

Miller Union

With Healthy Eating 101, McCarthy strives to teach people how to make healthy food and why, providing valuable nutritional information along the way. Her extensive culinary services include everything from personal one-on-one and group cooking classes to

Best New Restaurant



Best Prepared Healthy Meals PeachDish

11/30/16 3:19 PM


An offer so special it should come with a bow.

Unwrap your active lifestyle when you join by December 20.

:: Studio-style training. :: Aquatics year-round. :: Court sports. :: Social events.

Call 770.698.2000 or visit 8 Concourse Parkway | Sandy Springs, GA 30328 EASY ACCESS Exit 4C off GA400 *Restrictions may apply. Must be local resident, age 18 and over with a valid photo ID. First time guests only. One pass per person. Can not be combined with another offer. Expires December 20, 2016.

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11/30/16 10/31/16 3:19 9:27 PM AM

Atlanta's Choice for the Non-Surgical treament of Uterine Fibroids, Migraine Headaches, and Feminine Rejuvenation

Listen up, Ladies! Undergoing a complete or partial hysterectomy to relieve uterine fibroid symptoms is an unnecessary surgery. Say hello to Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a non-surgical outpatient procedure that has been expertly performed for over 20 years by Dr. John Lipman, an Interventional Radiologist. Atlanta Interventional Institute was founded by Dr. Lipman as one of the leading fibroid treatment centers. Fibroid patients have traveled from all over the world to seek advice and expertise from Dr. Lipman, who received his medical degree from Georgetown, and advanced training at Harvard and Yale Medical Centers. Know your options! Many women never hear about UFE as a treatment option, and are advised only of surgical choices, such as myomectomy and hysterectomy, both of which are major surgeries. Seek a second opinion from Dr. Lipman to understand ALL your options. Nearly 100% of fibroid patients are candidates for UFE, and the procedure is covered by insurance!

John Lipman, MD, FSIR

UFE is a Win-Win for Women! • Relief from unbearable fibroid symptoms: heavy menses, pelvic pain, and frequent urination • Convenient outpatient experience, and back to work in a week (far right) John Lipman, MD, FSIR , (middle) Model and Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) star Cynthia Bailey (UFE patient), (far left) Ian Smith, MD.

• Allows women to keep their uterus, which is important even after childbearing is completed • Dr Lipman has performed more UFE procedures than any other physician in the U.S.

3670 Highlands Parkway SE | Smyrna, GA 30082 | | (770) 629-9960



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11/30/16 10/26/16 2:22 9:44 PM AM

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• Save on 1 hour Gift Cards • From Nov 21st to Dec 31st

Finally, a gift card that's actually personal. Tis the season to be stressed. Give the gift of a wonderfully handcrafted massage experience and make this a truly blissful holiday for someone you love.

Enjoy our lowest prices of the year!

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Buckhead 404.254.4050 4285 Roswell Road Suite 4 Chastain Square Shopping Center Massage session includes time for consultation and dressing. Each Elements Massage™ studio is independently owned and operated.

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Where concerned couples become confident parents. We can take the guesswork out of becoming a parent. As the Southeast’s largest private practice urology group, Georgia Urology strives to provide the most comprehensive urological care. The experienced physicians at Georgia Urology offer innovative services and excellent care for the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the genitourinary system in men, women, adolescents, and children.

TO LEARN MORE PLEASE VISIT or call 404.256.1844



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11/30/16 3:00 PM


Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s 8 Providers & 9 Specialty Centers: Skin care from head to toe for nearly 40 years.

Our Services: •Vein Reduction •Medical Spa Treatments •Hair Restoration Treatments (Surgical & Non-Surgical for Men & Women)

•Skin Lesions & Cancer Treatment •Fat Reduction (Surgical & Non-Surgical) •Tattoo Removal & Other Laser Procedures •Psoriasis & Other Skin Disease Treatments

See our special offer in the Holiday Gift & Glow Guide in this issue!

Edmond I. Griffin, MD · D. Scott Karempelis, MD · Stephen J. Kraus, MD · Joseph R. Payne, MD Ashley R. Curtis, MD · Delmer L. Henderson, PA-C · Mara P. Grosswald, PA-C · Kathryn S. Filipek, PA-C

The Medical Quarters | 5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Suite 190 | Atlanta, GA 30342 Phone: (404) 256-4457 | Toll-Free: (800) 233-0706

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11/21/16 11/30/16 12:36 2:22 PM PM


A Gift to You from DAA: $100 off Botox® or Dysport® treatment. FEBRUARY SPECIAL

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*Must present certificate at time of treatment for discount. May not be combined with any other offers.


All Hospital Fees Included with a round silicone breast implant.

*Special is valid for a scheduled surgery in February 2017 only!

6335 Hospital Pkwy #216 Johns Creek, GA 30097 | (678) 892-7820

5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE Suite 190 · Atlanta, GA 30342

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Dr. Yugueros specializes in Abdominoplasty, Breast Augmentation, Mastopexy, Liposuction, Breast Reduction and Reconstruction, Buttock Augmentation, Facelift, and Blepharoplasty. She is currently the Chief of Plasticfamily Surgeryand at EJCH and has been for the past five1years. Give-n-Glow_1-4v.indd 1 11/29/16 Dermatology_Associates_GG.indd 11:45 AM For those hard-to-buy-for friends...

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all or an A oint ent oday - 3 - 31 nou eau a eand ody o

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Holiday Give & Glow Guide Congratulations Rebecca Crispin Atlanta's Best Hair Colorist of 2016!



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Dr. Louis Kalish Named “Best Allergist” in Best Self’s Magazine’s “Best of 2016.” SEEING PATIENTS IN OUR EAST COBB & KENNESTONE OFFICES

18 allergy specialists at 18 area locations. Treating allergies in Atlanta since 1972.

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6335 Hospital Pkwy #216 | Johns Creek, GA 30097 | (678) 892-7820 Dr. Yugueros specializes in Abdominoplasty, Breast Augmentation, Mastopexy, Liposuction, Breast Reduction and Reconstruction, Buttock Augmentation, Facelift, and Blepharoplasty. She is currently the Chief of Plastic Surgery at EJCH and has been for the past five years. Dr. Yugueros is a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and is member of many local and national scientific societies, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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Atlanta's Top Hair Stylist Salon Red Candler Park (404) 373-2868 Salon Red Brookhaven (404) 373-2003 42


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11/30/16 2:23 PM


“Atlanta’s 2016 Best Breast Surgeon” Has Arrived in Alpharetta! Visit Y Plastic, Reconstructive, & Hand Surgery’s Beautiful, New Home Office next to Avalon.

Trust a Breast Surgeon. Dr. Yalif’s sub-specialty in breast surgery (enlargement, reduction, implant exchange, male gynecomastia and reconstruction after cancer surgery) is one of the most rewarding aspects of his practice.

Experience Dr. Yalif (Dr. Y) was born in Israel but grew up in New Jersey. He completed a prestigious Joint Bachelors and Medical degree program at Rutgers University. He did his residency and served as Chief Resident at Beth Israel Medical Center. Dr. Yalif is the past chairman of surgery at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital and regularly travels the world as a sought-after lecturer.

Specialties Excellence and a natural look in cosmetic surgery of the face and body, as well as delicate, restorative hand surgery. Dr. Yalif’s expertise and personalized care also extends to rejuvenation with fillers, Botox, ThermiSmooth & ThermiVa.

Offices in Alpharetta, Roswell and Woodstock, GA

404.822.4402 VISIT OUR WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA TO SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR SPECIALS AND YOUR INVITATION TO OUR GALA GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION. *American Board of Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery Additional Qualification in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery

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Krystal Chambers, MD

Anita Cone-Sullivan, MD

Roderica Cottrell, MD

Robin Dennis, MD

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Scott Kelly, MD

Julie Levine, DO

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11/30/16 2:23 PM

Thank you Atlanta for Voting our Physicians The Best Spine Care of 2016


STAFF Tapan Daftari, MD

Thomas Dopson, MD

Maurice Goins, MD

Robert Greenfield, MD

Bennett Grimm, MD

Peter Harvey, MD

Paul Jeffords, MD

Howard McMahan, MD

E. Scott Middlebrooks, MD

Ali Mortazavi, DO

Keith Osborn, MD

Jason Velez, DO

Lori Ellwood, RN, ONC Spine Center Director

Robert Medcalf, PT, Dip MDT Director of Spine Rehabilitation


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11/30/16 2:23 PM



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9:48 PM AM 11/30/16 3:01

:48 AM

Star Light, Star Bright.. Talent coaches “Mama Jan,” Erik Lingvall and Tara Simon shine a light on Atlanta’s new artists Jan Smith pictured in her studio.

By Katherine Michalak


ysterious street signs show arrows and cryptic abbreviations; odd traffic detours

Photography by Shari Beshers.

randomly pop up with no correlation to construction. A parking lot, empty last week, transforms into a small village of trailers. Social media flickers with photos of superstar sightings—action heroes enjoying top restaurants, marquis

heartthrobs biking the BeltLine, SNL comic geniuses at the grocery store. You’ve heard the buzz. It’s happening. Really happening. LaLaLand-types are sipping sweet tea and leaving behind the Sunset Strip to cruise roads labeled Peachtree. Atlanta’s moved right into the spotlight and the cameras keep rolling.

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BEST SELF ATLANTA 8/25/16 12:47 PM Maloney-Center_HV.indd 1

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Economic incentives and tax breaks might have lured Hollywood here, but Atlanta’s charm keeps the industry heavy hitters clamoring for more time in the Big Peach. Large studios, such as Tyler Perry’s and Pinewood’s, have staked their claim— Perry breathing new life into the old Fort MacPherson and Pinewood taking it one step further, recently announcing plans for the Pinewood Forrest live-work development adjacent to the studio complex. The increase in production activity also boosts the attention and resources for the already-booming Atlanta music scene, as well as our incredible theater and dance talent. So, what do the local pros make of the increasingly luminous twinkle of what some refer to as “Yallywood”?

Photo courtesy of Angie Lynn Carter; photography by Alexandra Knott Photography.

JAN SMITH Jan Smith Studios “Atlanta has been pregnant with this for a long time,” proclaims Jan Smith, aka Mama Jan. She should know. She’s practically been a midwife during this labor. Known throughout the world as a premier vocal coach—cultivating talents such as Rob Thomas, Usher, Justin Bieber, The Band Perry and many more— Smith holds a true reverence for the artistry of music. “Historically, there’s always been a very rich culture of music here. Artists have come up from this soil or traveled here to hone their craft.” Smith started out herself as one of those homegrown talents, raised in suburbs south of Atlanta. Born with a musical gift, Smith cut her first record at age 15, embracing the influence of singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and the soulful sounds of gospel and blues. She

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sang her brand of Southern rock in various bands, the most regionally well known being the Jan Smith Band, and always knew that music was her lifeline. She graduated college with a degree in psychology and practiced as a therapist for years while also playing in bands and recording at home. In fact, it was shopping for gear for some of that recording that moved her career in a completely different direction.

She purchased some used equipment from a rock guitar instructor and he asked if she could help a client of his that was losing his voice. “I took that one client for once a week,” Smith explains. “This artist got stronger, sang better, and was able to move his band forward. Then there were other singers—the rock singers, the urban singers, the rappers. The classical singers and the Broadway people had always been

Rising Star Angie Lynn Carter Praised for her voice since her childhood in Arab, Alabama, Carter grew up singing in church and pageants, but didn’t seriously consider pursuing a music career. “I wanted to be a performer, but I never took that leap,” Carter says. “I got married, raised my children, owned a small business, went through a divorce. … I never had the opportunity.”

Seven years ago, she met her husband, Ryder Sanders, a talented musician in his own right. “In the ’80s he traveled with Christian rock bands, working every aspect of the business,” Carter explains. “When we met, he played at a church I attended and I was asked to sing. Eventually, we wrote some Christian songs for our praise group. Then, we tried writing some country songs.” The two kept getting feedback encouraging them to consider putting together an act. So they did. That was two years ago. Since then, they’ve put out a CD, had a song on a secondary country chart and performed live continually. “It’s amazing where we are right now. People heard our music and we got calls for festival gigs. Then we got to open for Marty Stuart,” Carter exclaims. “When we married [in 2010], we went up to Nashville for a honeymoon weekend and saw him playing at the Grand Ole Opry. Now, here we are opening for him! The minute we put that gig on our calendar, all these people started calling us—opening for Atlanta Rhythm Section, Travis Tritt, Restless Heart, dates lined up for next year.” Carter’s been nominated as a Georgia Country Music Artist of the Year twice and she says that, even though most of her competition is much younger, “they haven’t experienced anything yet. Sometimes I think our age makes us better songwriters. I’ve heard comments from producers asking ‘Why’s she waited until now?’ and I think now I have perspective. I may not have enjoyed it as much before. I have beautiful children and I was there while they grew up. I’ve lived a nice, comfortable life and now I get to do this, too. Dreams can come true at any age, and we are having a blast!” BEST SELF ATLANTA



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Jan Smith and her team see about 200 people a week in the studio and have a list of over 400 waiting to get an appointment. Her legacy is one of truth and excellence at all levels. “I live in an industry of smoke and mirrors. Because of that, I think the truth is paramount,” Smith proclaims. “I don’t make people stars, I work with a lot of them and I keep some of them there. But that’s not my intention. I would treat anyone the same way that I treat Justin Bieber or Jill Scott or India Arie. I’m going to honestly assess and evaluate what they want to achieve and their skill set. When I am sitting with someone who wants to sing better in their church choir or a kid trying out for a part, that’s just as important to me as someone standing on the stage at Madison Square Garden. It’s brokering people’s dreams. That’s a holy thing and I don’t take that lightly.” Smith applauds the way her beloved hometown of Atlanta has become a place where more artists have an opportunity to make performance dreams come true. Just as with so many other facets of the entertainment industry, she views Atlanta’s “big break” as a matter of timing. “There’s a season for all things and there’s been a concerted effort by people that have worked in this community for a long time,” says Smith. “Our politics and arts have never held hands and walked together the way we are attempting to do now. That changes the landscape of what can happen. I think the South is rich in that culture and has never stood up to claim that. I think that’s what’s beginning to happen now.” 50


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Jan Smith Studios’ Rising Stars Haley & Alexis Atlanta natives and identical twins Haley & Alexis are naturalborn entertainers. Working side-by-side, these two singersongwriters bring their own brand of Southern soul and rock onto every stage. While they may look alike, their personalities and offstage interests are extremely different. Yet, once the music starts, the two come together in yin-yang synergy. Haley became enchanted with singing in childhood, thrilled at any opportunity to learn and perform. Alexis, while supportive of her twin’s talents, showed little interest herself; instead, she embraced competitive sports, playing seriously throughout school and hoping for scholarship options. However, when an injury derailed her training, Alexis found solace in music and formed a new kind of “team” with her sister, creating an energetic music duo that fulfills and challenges both of them. Following the success of their first EP release, “the girls” have been consistently booked throughout the Southeast, opening for national acts, such as Chase Rice, Parmalee, Mark Chesnutt, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch and Danielle Bradberry. Currently working with Mama Jan and Lee Davis of Maysville Music, Haley & Alexis are recording new material slated for release this winter.

Photography by Michael Valentine (top left), Kimberly Bertrand (bottom right).

catered to, but not these salt-of-the-earth artists. I understood their needs.” Soon, Smith went part-time as a psychologist to serve all the new vocal clients and then it became her primary business. “Now, 30 years later, I have the largest roster of charting artists of any vocal facility. It’s been a process of continuing to help other artists. I perform now when I want to and I am always an artist first, even in production.”

Elijah Ensor This 16-year-old singer and guitar player wants to make an impact on the world with the positive energy and uplifting spirit of his music. A consummate entertainer, Ensor hopes to follow in the footsteps of his heroes Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, taking the world by storm at a young age. Jan Smith recognized Ensor’s potential on a YouTube clip and now she works along with Package Deal Entertainment, producer P2J and writer Ari Pensmith to nurture Ensor’s talent. Smith says of him, “One of the most precious and attractive things about Eli is how much his heart shines through his voice. From the inside out, he has the uncanny ability to make listeners feel as though he’s singing just for them.” Supported by his loving family, committed coaching team and strong faith, Ensor is ready to introduce his music to the world.

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Catapult Acting’s Rising Stars

Photos courtesy of Tracy Page Photography (top), Lisa Robinson; photography by Lime Pictures, Tracy Page (bottom).

Forrest Deal A self-professed “country boy” raised in small-town Alabama, Forrest Deal decided to try an acting class a few years ago and became instantly hooked. Eventually, Deal traveled to Atlanta for workshops with Catapult Acting and private coaching with Erik Lingvall. Within a year of beginning study, Deal was cast in the popular 2015 television movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” and will go on to reprise his role in an upcoming holiday sequel. Deal says he’s learned “auditioning has a lot more ‘No thanks’ than ‘YES, you got the part.’ Erik taught me to enjoy the journey and celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how little it is.”

Navia Robinson Performing in her first national talent competition in 2011, Navia Robinson garnered the professional attention that led to runway modeling and national commercial spots. Robinson’s television career began with a recurring role on BET’s “Being Mary Jane” and she’s currently working on a new Netflix original series due for release in spring 2017. Through her work with Catapult, Robinson has connected with coaches that value her perspective and help her advance her skills. She feels that one of the most important things Erik Lingvall has taught her is that there are no mistakes—only moments that can be turned into valuable lessons.

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ERIK LINGVALL Catapult Acting Studios A California native, Erik Lingvall moved to L.A. by age 21 to start working as an actor. “At first, I made every mistake in the book,” Lingvall confesses. “But, luckily, I started to surround myself with a good team. I got a reputable agent, was auditioning every single day and working. Then I transitioned to the other side of the camera and dabbled in everything from casting to production. Eventually, I started producing workshops and showcases, discovering that I really loved working with people who were just starting to get into the business.” When Lingvall first relocated to Atlanta, he wasn’t sure about the opportunities available in the entertainment business. “Once I got settled in here, I realized that things are happening in Atlanta, but I also saw that there are major voids,” Lingvall notes. He saw the local industry growing faster than the existing infrastructure could handle—much like Atlanta traffic. “The difference in my industry, versus traffic, is that in traffic you just get a traffic jam,” Lingvall clarifies. “In [entertainment], they hire everyone from elsewhere. We need to train people. There is so much work in so many facets of the industry.” Catapult Acting Studios grew from Lingvall’s goal to serve that industry growth through education. Lingvall says he got out of acting when he stopped enjoying the overall process. “I was getting too much in my head,” he confesses. I think that’s one of the biggest problems actors have when they go into the audition. It’s something few acting coaches teach. It’s good to prepare the script, but it’s really about expressing a part of yourself through a character. Our program centers around embracing authenticity. I don’t teach people to be actors, I teach people how to be better at who they are. We try to get BEST SELF ATLANTA



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was a musical prodigy and his parents had not been able to find the right teacher to work with him. Simon decided to accept the challenge, marveling at the complex piano pieces he picked up at warp speed and vowing to push him to achieve. “He changed my heart. There was purpose and a high calling,” she reveals. “I realized that if I could make that kind of difference in someone’s life I could really do something meaningful. That’s what was missing [from performing].”

Tara Simon Studios’ Rising Star Alex Huff A middle-school student in Peachtree City, Alex Huff began studying music and performance at age six, soon landing parts in professional productions of “The Music Man” and “Mary Poppins.” Huff was awarded first place in the Musical Theatre category of the 2016 Carnegie Hall American Protégé International Vocal Competition. Huff has also enjoyed several film roles, including co-starring with Paul Rudd in the 2016 release “The Fundamentals of Caring.” For the last three years, Huff has studied with vocal coach Heather Statham at Tara Simon Studios.

students to understand that fear is a choice and you can remove that fear, instead focusing on faith. When you start to make that shift, other things happen because you have a new perspective.”

Photography by Graceology.

Lingvall goes on to say, “Our goal with Catapult is to be a creative hub with nonstop programming, to find as many amazing coaches and programs as possible. What makes things great is collaboration. Atlanta’s such a melting pot of all these different types of people. Creatives are pouring into the city with progressive ideas. We have the busiest and most convenient airport in the world, the climate is very good for this industry and it’s not as expensive as NYC or L.A.” But beyond the logistics and statistics about Atlanta, Lingvall taps into the local spirit that he feels elevates the city. “The biggest thing is that there’s a sense of community in Atlanta. I’ve never felt that before,” Lingvall praises. “In Atlanta, we are all rooting for each other. Community creates movement!”

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When Simon and her husband relocated to Atlanta in 2011, she focused on her coaching program. She went from teaching out of her home to using space in a local church to, finally, two years ago, converting an old house in Smyrna into a beautiful studio facility. Now, she and her professional staff are able to accommodate all their students and offer a full range of performance coaching.

TARA SIMON Tara Simon Studios Raised in South Florida, Tara Simon graduated high school from the prestigious Dreyfoos School of Arts and then headed to Broadway. Landing a lead in the musical “Fame,” Simon toured Europe with the production and returned to the States feeling as though she wanted to use her talent differently. “All those years of training—and I was missing the mark somehow,” Simon explains. She returned to Florida, completed her bachelor’s degree in music performance, married and moved to South Carolina, where she gave vocal lessons out of her home. “Throughout my entire career, I’d get the question, ‘Do you teach? Can you coach my kid?’” Simon explains. “Since the life of a performer is at night, during the day I’d teach and that’s how it got started. For a long time, I didn’t take it seriously, but then [in South Carolina] Peter came along.” Peter, a young boy with Down Syndrome,

Simon and her team impart a pragmatic perspective: “It’s called the music business and the entertainment industry,” points out Simon. “You are a small business person before anything else. You are not a starving artist, you are an entrepreneur.” She encourages learning all aspects of the business and considering all avenues. Simon gives the example of a student heading to college planning to major in vocal performance but also considering a companion study in business or entertainment law. “I don’t buy into the idea that you need an outside skill that is totally unrelated,” Simon affirms. “I believe that if you do what you love that you never work a day in your life.” Details: Catapult Acting Studios: Georgia Film and TV Production: entertainment Jan Smith Studios: Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment: Pinewood Forrest: Tara Simon Studios: Tyler Perry Studios:




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My Best Self My Best Self

2010 Personal Planner

2017 Resolution Planner We at Best Self Atlanta want to help you begin your journey to becoming your best self—whatever that may mean for you. With the My Best Self 2017 Resolution Planner, you’ll learn how to care for and strengthen your mind, body and spirit. The guidance provided by local experts in the fields of medicine, fitness, beauty and life coaching will give you the information you need to look at yourself from the inside out and ultimately take steps toward becoming the best possible you.



INTO REALITY by Amy Meadows

my action plan starts here 56 Personal Fitness Goal Setter 58 Healthy Meal Planner 60 Health-Screening Checklist

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62 Beauty Boosters 64 Inner-Beauty Pledge 65 Volunteer Action Guide BEST SELF ATLANTA



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My Best Self

2017 Resolution Planner

my fitness personal fitness goal setter

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time—pills or stairs.” —Joan Welsh Without a doubt, getting in shape—or staying in shape—is at the top of almost everyone’s New Year’s resolutions list. Of course, if you persevere this year, it won’t be on your list at all in 2018. So consider the answers to the following questions, provided by a few local fitness experts, and finally make good on the promise you have made to yourself so many times in the past.

How do I get started?

“The best way to begin setting fitness goals is one small step at a time. Goal setting is a process—it can be overwhelming for anybody. Start by writing down what you want in general, then get more specific. Next, qualify it with a deadline. Evaluate what it will take to achieve that goal within your budget and time constraints and establish a plan. Finally, execute that plan and you will be on your way toward your fitness goal.” —Rachel Payne, owner, master certified personal trainer, House of Payne Personal Training

How do I create a plan to fit my personal needs?

First, consider how active you currently are and design a plan that matches your fitness level. According to Paul Rodgers, C.S.C.S., CEO, IQ Fitness and Wellness:

If you are sedentary:

You will need to build up your muscles and endurance again. Start off slowly and then build each time you work out. Start off with a walk for 15–20 minutes. After that, you can push the walk to 30 minutes and add some hills. Before you know it, you will be able to increase your time, distance and intensity. Next, you could add some resistance training; seek guidance from a professional fitness trainer to ensure you approach this new element correctly.

If you are somewhat active:

You want to be realistic in terms of your fitness goals. Keep your workouts fun and interesting. Make a schedule and stick to it in order to stay on

track with your new workout plan. Schedule three days on, one day off. Try scheduling specific workouts for each day. Look online for functional workout routines. Build intensity and endurance with each session.

If you are very active:

When we reach the level of “very active,” we often push too hard or take too many chances. Form and function at this high level of performance become much more critical. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM),, outlines a very specific program that can help decrease chances of injury and increase performance. Find a fitness professional to help you assess your routine.

What’s the best way to keep track of my progress or measure my success?

S. SPECIFIC. The goal must specifically state what is to be accomplished and leave no room for interpretation. For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds.”

M. MEASURABLE. The goal must be measurable so that there is a clear understanding of whether or not you have achieved it. This can be done objectively, subjectively, or both. For example, you can track your body weight using a scale, but also note how your pants fit. A. ATTAINABLE. The goal must not be too

easy or too difficult. If the goal is too easy, then the importance is diminished and motivation is lost. If the goal is too difficult, then it can become frustrating and provoke feelings of failure.

“Journal everything. Write down your workouts, nutritional intake and how you feel each day. That way you can see your progress even if it doesn’t always show on the scale. Remember, your body is always changing in different ways! Success is measured in various ways: how you feel, how strong you are, how your clothes fit, how much you weigh, what your measurements are or even if you made good choices for one whole day. Transforming your body is a process and so is success!” —Rachel Payne

Is there a simple way for me to put a tangible plan into action? Get S.M.A.R.T

by pulling you to it. You are much more likely to make the goal a part of your routine and review your progress more frequently if you ensure that you design a SMART goal.

R. RELEVANT. The goal must be important

to you and be based around your interests, needs and abilities. It should be something that you want or need to achieve and something that you have the time and resources to work toward.

T. TIMEBOUND. The goal should be

bound by specific deadlines. These should be both short-term and long-term deadlines to help you stay focused and on track.

Michael Church, B.S., CPT, CHC, of T3 Wellness Solutions explains how a welldesigned goal is compelling and motivates you

5 ways I will get more fit in 2017:

my action plan

1 2 3 4 5

*Consider re-evaluating your progress every 3 months to stay on target.



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My Best Self

2017 Resolution Planner

my diet healthy meal recipes Hello 2017! For the New Year, Chef Megan McCarthy has created a few easy recipes that put a spring in your every step. McCarthy is the Edible Garden Chef at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and creates recipes focusing on simple, fast and fresh ways to enjoy the local and seasonal edible abundance. Along with her healthy cooking classes, she also conducts Lunch & Learns teaching about food and focusing on health and wellness for employees in a corporate environment.

Breakfast Avocado Egg Salad on Toast 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped ½ avocado 1 teaspoon mayonnaise Pinch of sea salt 2 slices bread, toasted 10 fresh baby spinach leaves Combine ingredients in small bowl. Gently mix with fork until combined. Place fresh baby spinach leaves on toasted bread and top with avocado egg salad for open faced sandwich. Garnish with fresh basil to serve.

Lunch Petite French Lentil Soup 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ sweet onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped ½ cup chopped carrots 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock 1 cup petite French green lentils, rinsed 4 sprigs fresh thyme ¼ teaspoon sea salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, rinsed lentils and thyme and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for about 25 minutes until lentils are tender. Once lentils are cooked, place ½ of soup mixture in blender and puree. Add puree back into remaining unblended soup and stir. Heat and serve.

Dinner Cedar Salmon 2 five-ounce pieces of fresh salmon filet 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper 2 cedar papers* with string

Wilted Kale Salad with Pickled Beets and Goat Cheese 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 bunch fresh kale with stems removed and leaves chopped Pinch of sea salt ½ cup sliced pickled beets ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese ¼ cup toasted pine nuts In large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add kale leaves and pinch of sea salt. Cook and stir leaves for about 3 minutes until kale turns brighter green and is slightly wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to serving plate. Top with pickled beets, crumbled goat cheese and toasted pine nuts to serve.

Soak the cedar paper and string in water for 10 minutes. Place fresh salmon on cedar paper and brush with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Fold wet cedar paper around fish and tie up with string. Place salmon on hot grill or grill pan for 5 minutes on each side until cooked. Cut and remove string to serve. *Find cedar papers at your local grocery store or online at:

my action plan 5 ways I will eat healthier in 2017:

1 2 3 4 5

*Consider re-evaluating your progress every 3 months to stay on target.



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My Best Self

2017 Resolution Planner

my health screening checklist “In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.” —Henri Frederic Amiel It’s been said that health is not defined as simply the absence of illness. In fact, being healthy requires you to be as proactive as you are active, paying regular visits to particular healthcare professionals at various points in your life for proper evaluation. Consider these tips to help you make sure you’re taking care of your body by getting the right health screenings for your age.

Your Skin


Your Skin

❍ Monthly mole self exam ❍ Skin exam by a physician every 3 years (if you have lots of freckles or moles, consider getting checked every year)

Heart ❍ Blood pressure check every 2 years ❍ Cholesterol check every 3–5 years Monthly breast self exam Annual clinical breast exam PAP and pelvic exam every 3 years Annual STD screening (if sexually active with new or multiple partners)

For men ❍ Monthly testicular self exam ❍ Annual testicular-cancer screening ❍ Annual STD screening (if sexually active with new or multiple partners)

Eyes, Ears, Teeth, General ❍ At least two eye exams between the ages of 30 and 39 ❍ Hearing test at least once every 10 years ❍ Monthly teeth and gum self exam ❍ Dental exam twice a year ❍ Routine physical every 2–3 years, including weight and BMI check ❍ Thyroid screen every 5 years

Immunizations ❍ Tetanus booster every 10 years ❍ Optional annual influenza vaccine

Your Skin


❍ Monthly mole self exam ❍ Annual exam by a physician

❍ Monthly mole self exam ❍ Annual exam by a physician



❍ Blood pressure check every 2 years ❍ Cholesterol check every 3–5 years

❍ Blood pressure check every 1–3 years ❍ Cholesterol check at least every 1–3 years ❍ At least one stress test if you have multiple risk factors for heart disease ❍ At least one screening for silent cardiac or carotid vascular disease ❍ Diabetes screening during annual physical

For women

For women ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍


Monthly breast self exam Annual clinical breast exam PAP and pelvic exam every 3 years Screening mammogram every 1–2 years Screening breast MRI for women at higher risk for breast cancer (greater than 20 percent lifetime risk) ❍ Annual STD screening (if sexually active with new or multiple partners) ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

For men ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Monthly testicular self exam Annual testicular-cancer screening Annual digital rectal exam (optional) Annual STD screening (if sexually active with new or multiple partners)

Eyes, Ears, Teeth, General Eye exam every 2–4 years Hearing test at least once every 10 years Monthly teeth and gum self exam Dental exam twice a year Routine physical every 1–2 years, including weight and BMI check ❍ Thyroid screen every 5 years ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Immunizations: ❍ Tetanus booster every 10 years ❍ Optional annual influenza vaccine

For women ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Monthly breast self exam Annual clinical breast exam PAP and pelvic exam every 3 years Annual screening mammogram Screening breast MRI for women at higher risk for breast cancer (greater than 20 percent lifetime risk)

For men ❍ Monthly testicular self exam ❍ Annual testicular-cancer screening ❍ Annual digital rectal exam

Bones ❍ Bone-density screening (for postmenopausal women)

Eyes, Ears, Teeth, General Eye exam every 2–4 years Hearing test at least once every 10 years Monthly teeth and gum self exam Dental exam twice a year Annual routine physical, including weight and BMI check ❍ Thyroid screen every 5 years ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Immunizations ❍ Tetanus booster every 10 years ❍ Optional annual influenza vaccine

Areas of concern:


1 2 3 4


❍ Colorectal scan (colonoscopy) every 10 years beginning at age 50 ❍ At least one electrocardiogram (EKG) ❍ Lung cancer screening (low-dose CT chest scan annually if smoking history)


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My Best Self Your Skin



❍ Monthly mole self exam ❍ Annual exam by a physician

Heart ❍ Blood pressure check every 1–3 years ❍ Cholesterol check at least every 1–3 years ❍ At least one stress test if you have multiple risk factors for heart disease ❍ At least one screening for silent cardiac or carotid vascular disease ❍ Diabetes screening during annual physical

For women ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Monthly breast self exam Annual clinical breast exam PAP and pelvic exam every 3 years Annual screening mammogram Screening breast MRI for women at higher risk for breast cancer (greater than 20 percent lifetime risk)

For men ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Monthly testicular self exam Annual testicular-cancer screening Annual digital rectal exam Abdominal aortic ultrasound age 65–75 (if smoking history)

Bones ❍ Bone-density screening at age 65 (sooner if you have risk factors for osteoporosis)

Eyes, Ears, Teeth, General ❍ Annual eye exam, checking for glaucoma and cataracts ❍ Regular testing for hearing impairment (depending on personal needs) ❍ Monthly teeth and gum self exam ❍ Dental exam twice a year, paying special attention to the gum line for infection, receding gum lines or oral lesions ❍ Annual routine physical, including weight and BMI check ❍ Thyroid screen every 5 years

❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Additional ❍ Colorectal scan (colonoscopy) every 10 years ❍ Fecal occult flood and/or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years ❍ At least one electrocardiogram (EKG) ❍ Lung cancer screening (low-dose CT chest scan annually if smoking history)



❍ Monthly mole self exam ❍ Annual exam by a physician

Heart ❍ Blood-pressure check every 1–2 years ❍ Cholesterol check at least every 1–3 years ❍ At least one stress test if you have multiple risk factors for heart disease ❍ At least one screening for silent cardiac or carotid vascular disease ❍ Diabetes screening during annual physical

For women ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Monthly breast self exam Annual clinical breast exam PAP and pelvic exam every 3 years until 75 Annual screening mammogram Screening breast MRI for women at higher risk for breast cancer (greater than 20 percent lifetime risk)

For men ❍ Monthly testicular self exam ❍ Annual testicular-cancer screening ❍ Annual digital rectal exam

Bones ❍ Annual bone-density screening

my action plan

Screenings scheduled/completed:

1 2 3 4 5

my health

Eyes, Ears, Teeth, General

Tetanus booster every 10 years Annual influenza vaccine High-dose flu vaccine (over the age of 65) Herpes zoster vaccine at age 60 Pneumococcal vaccine (over the age of 65), repeating every 5–6 years if you have chronic lung disease (ideally Prevnar 13 followed by Pneumovaz 23 1 year later)


2017 Resolution Planner

❍ Annual eye exam, checking for glaucoma and cataracts ❍ Regular testing for hearing impairment (depending on personal needs) ❍ Monthly teeth and gum self exam ❍ Dental exam twice a year, paying special attention to loose teeth, gum disease and oral lesions and alerting the dentist if you experience dry mouth ❍ Annual routine physical, including weight and BMI check ❍ Thyroid screen every 5 years

Immunizations Tetanus booster every 10 years Annual influenza vaccine High-dose flu vaccine (over the age of 65) Herpes zoster vaccine (if you did not receive one in your 60s) ❍ Pneumococcal vaccine (over the age of 65), repeating every 5–6 years if you have a chronic lung disease (ideally Prevnar 13 followed by Pneumovaz 23 1 year or less later) ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Additional ❍ Colorectal scan (colonoscopy) every 10 years ❍ Fecal occult flood and/or flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years ❍ At least one electrocardiogram (EKG) ❍ Lung cancer screening (low-dose CT chest scan annually if smoking history) NOTE: There have been changes in recommended screenings since this article was last published in 2010. Frequency of mammogram and pap testing have changed, and PSA test has been removed from standard recommendations. Lung cancer screening has been added. Screening for depression, alcohol/substance abuse, and domestic violence should be performed at intervals as well. Recommendations are made and periodically amended, based on the systematic review of clinical evidence for effectiveness of screening to reduce morbidity and mortality from preventable diseases. Individual recommendations may vary based on risk factors, personal and family history. Compiled using information provided by: Michaele L. Brown, MD, WellStar Family Medicine; Thomas E. Bat, MD, North Atlanta Primary Care PC; Kimberly C. Hutcherson, MD, Gwinnett Medical Center and Alexander S. Voljavec, MD, Cobb Medical Associates.

*Consider re-evaluating your progress every 3 months to stay on target.

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My Best Self

2017 Resolution Planner

my beauty beauty boosters

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” —Edgar Allen Poe

How do you define physical beauty? For some, a natural appearance with very little makeup or fuss is truly beautiful. For others, the glamorous look, with perfectly coiffed hair and professionally applied makeup, is the epitome of attractiveness. Customize your own unique beauty regimen with the following tips from Alison O’Neil of The Beauty Becomes You Foundation, Lyn Ross, L.M.E., founder of Institut’ DERMed, Alyson Hoag, founder of Authentic Beauty, Mileide Marques, founder of Brows by Milly and Richie Arpino, founder of Richie Arpino Salon.



Eyelash Extensions

❍ Wash your hair less frequently as you age. ❍ Cut your hair at least every 6 weeks. Keep it shaped up and looking in style. ❍ Wear a hat when you are in the sun. Hats protect your scalp from sunburn.

❍ Find a skincare routine that you like—if it feels good, you will do it. And if you learn to take care of your skin daily, it will look beautiful for many years to come. ❍ Protect yourself from the sun daily. Wear an SPF of at least 15 and exfoliate weekly with a gentle scrub.

❍ Be prepared for your first appointment to last around 2 to 2½ hours. ❍ Envision the look you want your eyelashes to have—this will help you choose the right set of extensions for you. ❍ Your own lashes will determine the length and weight of extensions they can hold. You can damage your natural lashes if you go too long or too heavy. ❍ After your first initial set, you will want to come in for touch-ups every two to three weeks to keep them nice and full. ❍ Touch ups start at an hour for two weeks out. If you go over four weeks, you may need a new set.

Nails ❍ Keep your hands moisturized so that your nails will benefit as well. ❍ Get regular manicures, as they ensure that your nails are kept clean and healthy. ❍ Do not cut your nails so short that there is no free edge—it is there to protect the finger. ❍ Do not cut cuticles—it can lead to infection. Instead, push them back and, if needed, use an enzyme to reduce the cuticle skin gently. ❍ Use formaldehyde-free nail-polish remover to be safe.

Eyebrows ❍ Avoid overplucking by finding an eyebrow specialist to shape your brows for you. ❍ When filling in your brows, avoid starting the beginning of the brow too far in, which can make the face look wide and asymmetrical. ❍ When your brows are sparse and you can't figure out how to shape them, microblading is a great option. Finding a professional with experience and plenty of pictures is essential.

Anti-aging tips

Makeup ❍ Look through your makeup collection and, just like your closet, if you didn't use a product this year, throw or give it away. ❍ Choose a new signature lip color that will be a fresh start to the new year. ❍ Consider a session with a makeup professional to update your look. If you have not updated your look in 3 years, it is probably time! ❍ Take the time to choose a makeup foundation that is the right color, texture and coverage for your skin.

❍ Get an average night’s sleep of 8 hours regularly. It allows the immune system to heal and rejuvenate both appearance and spirit. ❍ Topical hydration is the fastest way to make skin, hair and other features maintain optimum levels of moisture and appear their healthiest. One of the most popular ingredients to look for in products is hyaluronic acid. ❍ Keep a youthful attitude. It costs nothing and is what you recognize immediately in people you think look younger than they really are.

Enhance your natural beauty Even if you’re generally happy with your outward appearance, a cosmetic procedure can help enhance your natural beauty and boost your confidence exponentially. If you’re not sure what’s available, consider these options: ❍ Varicose or Spider-Vein Removal ❍ Chemical Peel ❍ Botox ❍ Microdermabrasion ❍ Sunless Tan ❍ Cosmetic Dentistry ❍ Instant Orthodontics ❍ Scalpel-less Facelift ❍ Body Sculpting ❍ Teeth Whitening ❍ Liposuction ❍ Breast Augmentation ❍ Laser Hair Removal Please consult with a licensed and qualified professional before having a procedure performed.

my action plan 5 ways I plan to enhance my beauty in 2017:

1 2 3 4 5

*Consider re-evaluating your progress every 3 months to stay on target.



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CONGRATULATIONS! Village Podiatry Centers’ Dr. Stephanie Michael

Best of 2016 contest winner Dr. Stephanie Michael 2016 BEST PODIATRIST

Best foot care-podiatrist

5041 Dallas Highway 101H Powder Springs, GA 30127

(770) 771-6991

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Specializing in the Detection and Treatment of Pediatric Digestive Disorders

Expert GI Care for Your Children At Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates, our Board Certified pediatric gastroenterologists care for infants, children,‘tweens, and teens with any type of digestive or liver condition, including: • Abdominal Pain • Celiac Disease • Eosinophilic Esophagitis • IBS / IBD • Constipation / Diarrhea

• Acid Reflux • Colic • Feeding Difficulties • Lactose Intolerance • Hepatitis / Liver Disease

ALPHARETTA • DULUTH • SANDY SPRINGS For appointments: 404.843.6320 AGA, LLC and its affiliates are participating providers for Medicare, Medicaid and most healthcare plans offered in Georgia. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. AtlantaGastro_HH.indd 1

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11/30/16 2:24 PM

My Best Self

2017 Resolution Planner

my inner beauty inner-beauty pledge “Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” — Sophia Loren Working to improve one’s outer appearance without making inner self-improvements creates an imbalance. Take the time to evaluate your inner self. Discover what fears are holding you back and do the work to improve your inner self to create the kind of beauty that shines from within. Then, and only then, can you become your Best Self. Rate yourself on a scale of 1–10 in these four areas. Be completely honest. This is about you—not what others think about you.

1. Self-Confidence:

Insecure ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Empowered

2. Self-Talk:

Demeaning ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Uplifting

3. Persistence:

Faltering ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Determined

4. Love:

Worthless ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Valuable

1. Self-confidence is belief in your abilities and capabilities. Fear destroys self-confidence. What are your fears? ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Others won’t like you Others won’t value you Making a mistake Being criticized _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________

2. Patterns of thought, or self-talk, that is repeated consistently tends to be realized in our life. Write four negative things you say about yourself, and then rewrite those into empowering self-talk: 1) _______________________ 2) _______________________ 3) _______________________ 4) _______________________ 1) _______________________ 2) _______________________ 3) _______________________ 4) _______________________

Examine your fears and soon you will realize that the dread in your head is much greater than the actual potential harm.

❍ Fear of making mistakes ❍ Fear of success ❍ Fear of failure

Fear of conflict Fear of disappointing Fear of disappointment Fear of change _______________________

Let go of the “what ifs” and fix your sites on your goal. Persistence is a powerful force in your personality that will allow you to move your way through the obstacles.

4. To be loved, one must first learn self-love. You are special and unique—you are worthy of love. Which of these gifts will you give yourself this year?

“Cancel” negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Retrain your brain to be more positive.

3. Persistence is the act of moving forward despite opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc. What is holding you back?

❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

❍ ❍ ❍ ❍ ❍

Patience Tolerance Understanding Compassion Respect

Be consistent and be kind to yourself. Change takes time. Angella Ocheltree is a nationally certified hypnotherapist and life coach in Marietta. She uses hypnotherapy along with the Perfect Enough life coaching system developed by Laura King to help her clients tap into their inner beauty and live meaningful lives.

my action plan 5 ways I will develop my inner self in 2017:

1 2 3 4 5

*Consider re-evaluating your progress every 3 months to stay on target.



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My Best Self

2017 Resolution Planner

my volunteerism volunteer action “We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.” —Winston Churchill One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to do good for others. Incorporate volunteering into your plan for becoming your ultimate best self and you’ll learn how it feels to make a real difference in the world around you.

Ask yourself these questions: What issues have affected me personally or most directly (such as an illness, a challenge, etc.)? __________________________ __________________________ Who do I want to help (e.g., the homeless, the elderly, children, animals)? __________________ __________________________ What unique skills and abilities do I have to offer? ____________ How much time each week or month do I have to devote to a cause? _________________ Where can I find the right fit for my interests? ________________

Check out these websites: ❍ ❍ ❍

And look into these local organizations: To help animals: ❍ Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF) ❍ Furkids Inc. ❍ PAWS Atlanta

❍ Pets Are Loving Support To help children: ❍ Children’s Restoration Network ❍ Metro Atlanta CASA Collaborative ❍ Prissy Tomboy Athletics To help the elderly: ❍ Life Enrichment Services ❍ LIFESPAN Resources Inc. ❍ Senior Connections To help with disaster relief: ❍ American Red Cross, Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter ❍ CARE To help with medical- or illness-related causes: ❍ AID Atlanta Inc. ❍ Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter ❍ Arthritis Foundation— Georgia Chapter ❍ Cystic Fibrosis Foundation— Georgia Chapter ❍ TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation ❍ National MS Society— Georgia Chapter ❍ Shepherd Center For information on these resources, as well as a list of volunteer opportunities, see our Give-Back Guide, on page 73.

my action plan I will give of my time and/or my finances to the following causes:

BUY A GIFT CARD KEEP A PRESENT With every $50 gift card purchase at any of our restaurants you’ll receive a $15 bonus card for yourself! SPEND $1000 OR MORE ON GIFT CARDS


Email for Bulk Orders Gift cards can be redeemed at any of our restaurant locations. Bonus cards must be redeemed at the restaurant where the gift cards were purchased.


1 2 3 4 5

*Consider re-evaluating your progress every 3 months to stay on target.

BEST SELF ATLANTA Southern-Proper1-2v.indd 1

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bestfun With custom chesterfield couches, ambient lighting and elegant statues, the Painted Pin is not the average bowling alley. This boutique bowling alley features 20 full-service lanes, two indoor bocce courts, shuffleboard, ping pong, skee-ball, darts, giant jenga and bimini ring toss. But the real fun begins after 5 p.m., when the alley becomes strictly 21+. Belly up to the full bar to enjoy local and imported brews, wine or signature cocktails, like the Pin’s Cup, which includes Pimm’s, lemon and grilled pineapple. After you’ve finished your games, stick around for live music on the weekends for a rockin’ good time. Details: 737 Miami Circle NE., Atlanta;

Old-Fashioned Fun

Signature Scents

Ponce City Market itself is already a sight to see, but take a trip to the rooftop for even more fun. Created with the idea of an old-fashioned carnival in mind, Skyline Park is a modern mini theme park. Channel your inner child and ride down the Skyline Slide, play a round of mini golf, conquer your fear of heights at the Heege Tower or put your skills to the test with retro boardwalk games. Treats like sweet & sassy popcorn, cotton candy and a walking taco complete the throwback experience. Those looking for something a little more sophisticated can head to the newly opened Nine Mile Station. This modern beer garden is inspired by the Nine Mile Circle streetcar that once carried locals from downtown Atlanta to today’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood pre-1920s. Take in breathtaking views of the city while digging into European-inspired American plates to share, such as crispy stuffed sweet peppers with crab and smoked trout served with pearled barley.

Who says custom perfumes are only reserved for the rich and famous? With the help of BLEND® Custom Parfum, creating your own signature fragrance is as easy as taking a one-hour class. BLEND’S Master Blending Artists, who trained in France, guide you through their 136 worldclass essences to develop your own unique perfume. Bump up to a two-hour class and take home a 50ml bottle of perfume, travel atomizer and a 35ml refill so you can enjoy your new scent even longer.





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Photos courtesy of Jamestown (bottom left), BLEND; photography by photosynthesis (bottom right), With Our Labor of Love, Photgraphy by Heidi Geldhauser (top).

Party at the Pin

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fun Events

For more fun events visit


The Santaland Diaries November 18–December 31 This adult play shares the hilarious shenanigans of a rebel Macy’s Department Store elf.

The first non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatment with NO downtime!

Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra December 9–10 Enjoy Christmas caroles and hymns by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Morehouse College Glee Club and the Gwinnett Young Singers.

Jeff Galloway Race Weekend December 9–11 After a stellar inaugural debut in 2014, this race weekend returns with a half marathon, 5K and a Fit Kids Run Walk.

Also Introducing Thermismooth,

Shoppe Artisan December 9–11 Cross everyone off your list at this one-stop holiday shopping event brimming with beauty and wellness products, jewelry and home and garden accessories.

utilizing the same technology as Thermiva it gives off controlled thermal energy to reduce the effects of aging, gently heating tissues to restore collagen and reverse the effects of aging.

Highland’s Santa Stumble December 17–18 Celebrate the holidays with your merry band of elves while exploring seven of Virginia-Highland’s best bars in holiday attire.

New Year’s Weekend Celebration with Anthony Hamilton December 30 The Fox Theatre’s NYE weekend celebration returns with the smooth, southern R&B sounds of Anthony Hamilton.

New Year’s Eve Shizzazzle December 31 Ring in the New Year with a slew of hilarious improv games and scenes presented by Dad’s Garage’s finest.

Laughter for Wellness January 7 Laugh away your worries with a workout combining laughter and yoga.

2678 Buford Hwy NE (At Lenox) Atlanta, GA 30324

Callanwolde Arts Festival January 20–22 Explore works of art at this indoor festival created for artists by artists.


2017 Honda Battle of the Bands January 28 Performances by historically black college and university marching bands.

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partners in health Breast Reduction Y Plastic Surgery’s breast reduction patients are some of the happiest people we see after surgery! In fact, breast reduction can literally be life-changing, freeing women from years of pain, infection and a poor self-image. Our patients would tell you that large breasts can be painful and bothersome. Problems can include the burden of carrying the weight, which many times etches grooves into shoulders from over-burdened bra straps. Upper-back and neck pain can also develop, and the breasts themselves can become painful. Constant moisture from the breasts resting against the chest and stomach can cause skin infections. Large breasts can also be emotionally taxing, especially when they occur in younger, school-age girls. Many times, women go to great lengths to camouflage their chest or get the support that they need, which makes shopping for clothes or bathing suits quite challenging. Large breasts have a tendency to make women look heavier than they actually are. Large breasts can develop during puberty or at any time. The over-development is often related to hormonal changes and often not responsive to weight loss. Happily, we do have surgical options for patients who are suffering physically and emotionally. The techniques are aimed at removing excess breast tissue and creating a more “physiqueappropriate” breast contour. At the same time, we can relocate the nipple and areola to a more natural position. Surgery is not without risks, but patients are usually able to breastfeed after breast reduction if they wish to. They can also


Asaf Yalif, MD, FACS Y Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery

continue to be screened for breast cancer in a normal fashion with mammograms and do not have a higher cancer risk. We welcome the opportunity to discuss all the surgical options for breast reduction, as well as the risks and benefits, with you in a complimentary consultation. Y Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery, 404.822.4402,

Photo courtesy of Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.


Actual Patient

Sponsored by: Y Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery Alpharetta: 3330 Preston Ridge Road, Suite 340 | Alpharetta, GA 30005 | Roswell: 2500 Hospital Blvd., Suite 410 | Roswell, GA 30076 Woodstock: 145 Towne Lake Pkwy, Suite 101 | Woodstock, GA 30188 | (404) 822-4402 |



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All About Injectables

DR. ELIZABETH WHITAKER Atlanta Face & Body Center Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker brings to her patients the benefits of a world-class education combined with unparalleled experience. After receiving her Doctorate of Medicine from Duke University, she was the first woman to complete her specialty residency training program at Emory University. Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker elected an additional year of advanced fellowship training focused exclusively on cosmetic surgery of the face at Tulane University. These exclusive and competitive fellowships are offered to only 38 candidates internationally each year, and only a handful of surgeons in Atlanta have this specialized training. Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker is Double Board Certified and a Fellow of both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Having performed thousands of facial procedures, including 4000 facelifts alone, she is one of the most experienced Facial Plastic Surgeons, not just in Atlanta, but the entire country.


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WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR SOMEONE WANTING FULLER LIPS? A fuller lip has always been desirable, but is particularly popular right now. Lips can be contoured, given more volume and perioral lines softened with injectable fillers. A natural look can be maintained with conservative injection, preserving the natural contours of the lip. The most commonly used fillers in the lip are composed of synthetic hyaluronic acid (such as Restylane® and Juvederm®), a naturally occurring substance in the skin. Volbella® is a new hyaluronic acid product designed specifically for a soft, natural feel in the lips (with less swelling after treatment) and that lasts 12 months. It costs approximately $400 per tube. It is my new favorite product for the lips! HOW DO YOU BEST ADDRESS FACIAL LINES AND FOLDS? If lines are produced by muscle action, so-called dynamic lines (such as frown lines or crow’s feet), they are best addressed with neurotoxin injections like Botox® or Dysport®. Deeper folds, such as nasolabial folds or marionette lines, can be softened with filler injections like Restylane®, Juvederm® or Radiesse®. My current favorite approach is a combination of an injectable in the cheek, such as Voluma®, to restore volume, followed by

Juvederm® to soften the nasolabial folds or marionette lines. More than in any other area of the face, in my opinion, there is a definite art to cheek injections. I constantly hear patients express fear of big cheeks that look unnatural with smiling. However, when they see a natural look that is more lifted and sculpted, they are thrilled to have their cheekbones back! ARE INJECTABLES JUST FOR THE FACE? An area often overlooked is the hands, which also reflect our aging. Skin becomes thinner and we lose volume in the hands as well as the face. Injectables such as Radiesse® (which is FDA approved for use in the hands), are a great way to replace that volume and soften the look of aging hands. This combines beautifully with laser treatments to reduce pigment and spots on the back of the hands—improving the appearance of the skin. SO, WITH THE HOLIDAYS AROUND THE CORNER, IS THERE ENOUGH RECOVERY TIME WITH INJECTABLES? Absolutely. There is no significant downtime with any injectables. That being said, there can be occasional swelling and bruising, depending on the area being injected, so don’t wait until the last minute before your events!

by: Atlanta Face & Body Center | 3200 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Suite 205 |BEST Atlanta, GA 30339 AUGUST 2014 6 9 SELF ATLANTA 1 Phone: (678) 888-FACE (3223) | 11/30/16 11/15/16 2:25 4:06 PM

partners in health Many Different Treatments for Hair Loss There are an estimated 56 million men and women currently

any of these treatments to further optimize the results. Deciding

suffering from hair loss in the United States and, unfortunately,

what is the best way to address your specific form of hair loss

the majority of those afflicted never even bother to seek

is best done during a thorough consultation with experienced

treatment. Many simply accept that hair loss is unavoidable—

hair restoration specialists Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis.

the result of bad genetic “luck”—while others valiantly attempt

Together, we can precisely diagnose the causes of your hair loss

to hold it at bay but believe that there are only a few limited

and discuss your individual health considerations in order to put

options available. These beliefs could not be further from the

together a treatment plan that is right for you.

truth. At The Griffin Center for Hair Restoration and Research, we have been treating the many different forms of hair loss for more than 40 years. We have found that there are actually several different treatment options that can be used, either separately or in combination, to address a number of different causes of hair loss and individual patient requirements. Topical Minoxidil (Rogaine®): Applied directly to the scalp, minoxidil increases the size of shrunken hair follicles and can keep them in the growth phase longer. Oral Finasteride (Propecia®/Proscar®): A daily oral dose of finasteride inhibits the production of specific enzymes that have been found to trigger common genetic-pattern hair loss. Custom Blended Prescription Medications: After a thorough diagnosis, our hair-loss specialists can determine the exact concentration of various active ingredients that will achieve the Photos courtesy of The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research

best possible results with the least possible side effects. Red Light Laser Therapy: Focused, red-spectrum light, applied directly to the scalp, increases energy production around the hair follicles, waking cells from dormancy into an active growth phase. Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: A highly concentrated solution of the patient’s own blood platelets, injected into the scalp, stimulates the natural healing process to accelerate the regeneration of damaged hair follicles. Hair Transplantation Surgery: Using the most advanced follicular unit grafting (FUG) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) techniques, we remove healthy hair follicles from the back or sides of the scalp and place them into areas that have begun to thin, giving your hair a thicker, more full appearance. Finally, there are also several specialized haircare products and vitamin supplements that can be used in combination with

Ashley R. Curtis, MD and Edmond I. Griffin, MD

Sponsored by: The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research (404) 256-4369 | 70 DECEMBER 2016 / JANUARY 2017

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partners in health Georgia Reproductive Specialists Tips for Managing Holiday Stress The holiday season can be stressful for everyone, but for those struggling with infertility, this may be an especially difficult time. Experiment with these stress relieving activities, and find a few that work best. 1. Get outside for a walk, preferably near trees, a park, or by a lake, stream, or river. Spending time in nature has been shown to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, strengthen the immune system, and increase the levels of the “feel good “ neurotransmitters. 2. Make a playlist of music that helps you relax or lifts your mood. Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on your mind and body, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing levels of stress hormones. 3. Get (or give) a massage. Gentle touch can increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps with relaxation, and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that increases a sense of well-being. 4. Get together with friends who are supportive, and avoid (when possible) being around those who leave you feeling drained or more stressed. 5. Watch a funny movie, video, or television show. Laughter helps relax the body and mind. (Check out a video on “laughter yoga.”) 6. Sleep! Sleep deprivation adds to stress and raises cortisol levels… and also causes carbohydrate cravings. 7. Stay active. Get some form of regular exercise on most days. This does not necessarily mean going to the gym; go for a walk, dance, try a yoga class, bike, or find an activity that you find enjoyable. Exercise is a great stress reliever. 8. Practice saying no to activities or invitations that drain your energy or make you feel more stressed, especially around the holidays. It is OK to disappoint others if it helps protect you from difficult situations. 9. Write a gratitude letter. Take a moment to think back and remember an instance when someone did something for you for which you are extremely grateful. Write a letter to this person describing why you are grateful or how this individual has affected your life, and deliver it in person if possible. This activity has been shown to increase levels of positive emotions for the writer as well as the receiver.

Photo by Brian Reeves, Perfect Day Photos

10. Ask for professional help if you feel persistently anxious or depressed, or if you find these feelings are interfering with your ability to sleep or carry out your normal activities.

Dr. Namnoum is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. A native of Atlanta, she received her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Johns Hopkins as well. Dr. Namnoum has also pursued her strong interest in Integrative Medicine, which combines the best of conventional medicine with complementary approaches and a “whole person” focus, including attention to nutrition, lifestyle, and stress management. She believes that education, advocacy and encouragement are important parts of the physician-patient relationship. Sponsored by: Georgia Reproductive Specialists Atlanta/Northside | Decatur | Alpharetta | Buckhead/Piedmont | Phone: (404) 843-BABY |

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Choosing a Charity: A Checklist for Giving



uring the holiday season, it’s easy to become filled with the giving spirit. Before you write that check, drop off that gift or schedule that volunteer day, be sure to take the time to vet the nonprofit of your choosing. We’ve compiled tips on how to find worthy nonprofits to help you make the most of your generosity.

Find an Organization That Supports Your Mission

Take time to think about what causes really matter to you. What issues tug at your heartstrings? Use those feelings and instincts as a guide to narrow down a few deserving nonprofits.

Set Your Standards

Once you’ve found a couple of charities whose mission aligns with yours, think about criteria that are important to you. Is it important that the nonprofit keeps overhead costs as low as possible and uses the majority of donations to directly further its mission? Do you care less about overhead and more about statistics explaining the direct level of impact the organization makes?

Do Your Homework

Head to websites like to look into the nitty-gritty of the organizations of your choosing. GuideStar offers records from 1.8 million nonprofits. You can even access an organization’s Form 990 (the basic IRS filing document for nonprofits) to assess the charity’s income, spending, mission and executive salaries. Its role is not to act as a charity evaluator, but merely as an unbiased source to find facts.

Charity Navigator, on the other hand, does act as an evaluator. This website rates nonprofits based on a variety of criteria, including whether or not they properly registered as a 501(c)3 (nonprofit entity), length of existence, level of public support and more.



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Look for Red Flags

Decide How You Want to Give









If you decide to research a charity yourself, take note of red flags. Does the organization withhold information about their programs or finances? Do they use pressure tactics to garner donations?

Once you’ve vetted and chosen a nonprofit, decide on what type of giving suits you. Do you want to have a hands-on experience and volunteer time? Do you want to donate physical items? Do you want to make a one-time monetary donation? No matter what route you take, your efforts will help an organization you believe in do more good and support a cause that matters to you.

Sources: Charity Navigator, GuideStar,

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thegive-back guide Featured events

December 1–31



Just a few hours of your day throughout the month could make a huge difference for a child in Africa. Help Books For Africa sort and pack books for shipments at their warehouse. volunteer/georgia

December 6–8 GIRLS INC. OF GREATER ATLANTA HOMEWORK HELP Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta is on a mission to empower girls to break through gender, economic and social barriers. Do your part by volunteering to be a homework helper.

For more events, visit

December 10 JINGLE BELL RUN Join the Arthritis Foundation and get moving at this holiday-themed race. Jog your way to the finish line solo or walk the whole way with your team—either way you’ll raise awareness for America’s number-one cause of disability.

ENABLE OF GEORGIA 2016 BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT Help enAble of Georgia beautify one of their 20 group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Lend a hand with wall painting, window cleaning, landscaping and more.

GRANT PARK CANDLELIGHT TOUR OF HOMES Tour historic Grant Park homes while being enchanted by the

warm glow of candles and festive holiday lights. Explore a diverse mixture of orginal Victorian, Queen Anne and Craftsman style homes that were built between 1885-1910. candlelighttourofhomes.

Lift Up Atlanta distribute toys at their annual Christmas party.

December 17

Volunteer to provide free house maintenance and repair work for senior Decatur residents. In January 2016, more than 1,300 volunteers contributed 10,000 hours to help 41 senior and low-income households.

FOOD PANTRY ASSISTANCE AT CLARKSTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Help the Clarkston Community Center provide low-income families basic living needs by assisting with foodpantry inventory, assembly of food boxes and more.

December 24 LIFT UP ATLANTA CHRISTMAS PARTY Brighten the holidays for children in need by helping


January 28 HANDS ON ATLANTA DISCOVERY PROGRAM Spend a morning volunteering to help struggling elementaryschool students reach their reading or math milestones.

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



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Best Self Atlanta 1216-0117  

Best Self Atlanta magazine is your resource for health, fitness, beauty and giving back to your community. The December/January issue celebr...

Best Self Atlanta 1216-0117  

Best Self Atlanta magazine is your resource for health, fitness, beauty and giving back to your community. The December/January issue celebr...