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For more information about Dr. Nguyen, his clinic and the Ultroid ™ treatment procedure, visit Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions’ website at http://www.donotsufferinsilence.com or call to schedule a free consultation at 813-920-9799.

Hemorrhoids are a condition in which the veins around the anus, or in the anal canal, become swollen when stretched under pressure. They are caused from standing upright, sitting for long periods of time and by poor bowel habits that include diarrhea, constipation and straining to produce stools. Pregnancy has also been known to cause hemorrhoids due to the pressure it puts on the bowels. According to Michael B., he was able to drive home and perform his normal daily activities immediately after the procedure. One of the things that impressed Michael most about Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions was that everyone on the staff went out of their way to make him feel comfortable. The Ultroid™ device is a breakthrough “They are tremendous, highly professional, pleasant and extremely personable.” Michael has recommended Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions to family and friends. “I highly recommend this procedure, why suffer if you don’t have to?”

in painless hemorrhoid treatment that works by causing “electrolysis” to occur beneath the skin. The electrical current works with chemicals that naturally exist in the human body. During the process, water molecules are broken down into hydrogen (H+) and hydroxide (OH-). The hydrogen is released in the form of small gas bubbles and the hydroxide combines with sodium (Na+) in the blood forming sodium hydroxide, which targets the irritated vein and causes it to shrink.

The procedure is a convenient alterna-

If you would like to learn more about Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions, visit their website at www.DoNotSufferInSilence.com or call (813) 920-9799 in Tampa or (727) 209-0214 in Pinellas Park.

tive to surgery that is covered by medical insurance and does not involve any

Why suffer in silence when the solution to alleviating your pain is only a phone call away?

cutting, burning or heat. It is performed as an outpatient procedure and normally takes between 20 and 30 minutes. There is no preparation required on the part of the patient and aside from slight pressure that is felt during the procedure there is no pain. There is no anesthesia needed, no hospital stays are required and nothing for the patient to do after the procedure is performed.

PAGE 2

MARCH | 2009

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Eric Smith High School Health Teacher and Athletic Coach eric.smith@sdhc.k12.fl.us

It’s March! The races are about to begin. Here are a few tips for getting your Track and Field season off to a great start.

#1

Diet, hydration and proper footwear are the key to winning track meets.

Get your diet di t right i ht • Make sure you are eating the right types of foods. You need your energy to last through those long track meets, so carbohydrates are a key nutrient. Carbs should comprise 70 percent of your diet. Eat as many carbs as you can, especially the night before a meet. • Stay away from fatty, greasy foods. They will only slow you down. Avoid saturated fats and high levels of sodium. Choosing to eat leaner meats, like chicken and turkey, will help lower your saturated fat intake. Remember, a proper diet will give you a healthy body, which will give you the best chance at winning.

#2 Hydrate

• If you are dehydrated, your body will not be able to go that extra mile. Proper hydration the key to completing your workouts and meets. Drinking water is best. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. If you weigh 150 lbs. then you should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day. A properly hydrated body will run at optimum levels. Limit sports drinks. Sports drinks contain sodium and sugar that you don’t need. Having a sport drink immediately following your event will help replenish lost energy, but using them as your main source of hydration may work against you.

#3

Wear the right shoes • Be sport specific when you choose a shoe. When running, wear running shoes. When playing basketball, wear basketball shoes. There is a reason these shoes are made for their individual sports. Running shoes are designed for a long period of running in a straight path. They have higher arches, which help reduce pressure on the Achilles tendon, more shock absorption for pounding the pavement, and a larger toe box for extra comfort. • So many track and field athletes start the season wearing the wrong kind of shoes. Shoe types such as basketball, tennis, walking and skating are not going to benefit you after running a mile. They are not designed for running in straight paths for a long period of time. By running in these types of shoes injuries such as shin splints and blisters may occur.

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MARCH | 2009

PAGE 3


ADVERTISEMENT

Dr. Levin believes and emphasizes that healthy feet promote overall orthopedic health. Many patients with foot pain also complain of back, neck, and even headache pain. The feet are the base and foundation that support the weight of our entire body. And, poor foot posture can impede daily activities.

Do you have thick, discolored, crumbly toenails? If so, you may have a fungal infection of the nail. This is a very common problem that affects a significant portion of the population with an increasing prevalence in the aging population. Fungal nails are unattractive and many are embarrassed to wear opentoed shoes.

The fungus that attacks the nail is the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot infections. The three most common species are: T. Rubrum, T. Metagrophytes and E. Floccosum. These organisms live on our skin normally but once an opportunity exists, the fungus takes over and invades the skin or the nail. In fact all fungal nails originate in the skin of the nail bed below the nail plate. It then progresses into the nail itself and causes the discoloration, debris and disfiguration of the nail. The fungus is very resistant to treatment and can survive many years and never leave.

The fungus rarely causes an internal infection, but due to the effect it has on nails, it causes pain and ingrown nails. This can lead to more serious problems if not treated properly.

Again, remember the fungal organism is not a bacteria and thus cannot be treated with an antibacterial medication. Antifungal medications must be used to treat the infected nail. The two most common oral medications used today are Terbinafine (Lamisil) and Itraconazole (Sporonox). However both medications have potential side effects, and a discussion with your physician should be thorough to point out each one as it may relate to your health and other medications you are on. Each medication has a specific dosing regimen but seeing a clear healthy nail will take on average 7-12 months.

it is best to seek an appointment with your doctor to discuss all alternatives for treatment including oral medication, topical medication, manual debridement To make a diagnosis of a fungal nail you must have a proper sample taken and sent to a laboratory for a specific test. The most sensitive test for a fugal nail is the PAS Stain. In some cases, the test may be negative. One must then decide to test again with another sample or discuss the possibility of other nail infections that look like fungal infections. If you think you may have a fungal infected toenail(s), it is best to seek an appointment with your doctor to discuss all alternatives for treatment including oral medication, topical medication, manual debridement (cutting of the nail) and others as it may specifically relate to you and your health.

PAGE 4

MARCH | 2009

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from the publisher

features

As we take a closer look at Dr. Linh Nguyen’s and B. Ngoc Pham’s successful practice featured on this month’s front cover, I can’t help but to praise their outstanding stories each and every month. As personal as some of these procedures may be, Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions has successfully completed over 6,000 procedures through the remarkable Ultroid technology. Each month, Dr. Nguyen has no problem in finding a recent patient to act as his testimonial in the upcoming issue. It is for that reason why this publication exists and continues to be the portal to great local medical successes.

sammy

sammy@realhealthandimage.com

from the editor

.......................................................................................................................

1&2 Advanced Hemorrhoid Solutions: A Gentle Way of Treating A Painful Problem (cover story) 4 Toenail Fungal Infection: Causes and Cures 6 Clarity MedSpa: Not Just Another Med Spa 11 DRX9000: Reduces Patient Pain From a 9 to a 3 14 Spinner Law Firm: Quality, Client Focused Legal Representation ...........................................................................

in every issue

Our pets are like four-legged (or feathered or finned) family members,

3 | Youth Rules Coach Eric’s Tips For Track And Field

and that means we look out for their health just like we watch our own. This month’s nonprofit article highlights St. Francis Animal Rescue Society (a.k.a. Luv-A-Mutt). The good people at this no-kill

5 | Publisher’s and Editor’s Note

shelter are dedicated to fostering dogs and cats until they are

7 | Health Discoveries

adopted, but their first focus is on animal health.

8&9 | Tribute to Non-Profit (Feature Story) St. Francis Society Animal Rescue Starts Where Others Stop

The first thing that happens to a new arrival are updates to all shots

10 | Ask Her Safely Fit

and vaccinations, along with a spay or neuter. It is important for

12 | Everyday Fitness Eat Less, Move More. So What’s The Problem?

private pet owners to spay and neuter as well, to avoid unwanted litters that result in more homeless pets. We applaud the men and women at Luv-A-Mutt and hope this coverage results in many adoptions.

terra

15 | Pet Balance Paws For Though

terra@realhealthandimage.com

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15 | To Dine For Grille 121

MARCH | 2009

PAGE 5


Clarity MedSpa is operated by two board certified physicians. Dr. Danny Abbruzzese and Dr. Khalid Saeed have extensive training in Aesthetic Medicine and nutrition. They combine their love of art and medicine to help you achieve your goals. Treatments are personally performed by our board certified medical directors.

PAGE 6

MARCH | 2009

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Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook

By Betty Alvarodiaz

Open the front cover and the first two pages you see contain the Index of Signs and Symptoms, from Abdomen (painful, swollen, distended, and tucked up) to Weight loss, Wheezing, and Whining (continual). There’s a comprehensive index in back, of course, running the gamut from Abortion to Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis, which is all very useful, but when your pooch is in pain, it’s great to be able to turn, with the minimum of folderol, to the page that says to relax, it’s nothing a bit of extra grooming won’t fix, or alternatively to hightail it over to the vet hospital. It’s a wonderful reference for any dog owner, covering every health dimension a dog owner might want to know more about.

Best for: Improving Your Self-Image

Whole Health for Happy Cats

If it were a simple choice, many people would choose to treat and care for their pets with natural therapies. Unfortunately, most cat care-givers find the expectations and requirements of natural pet health care fairly imposing and outside their reality in regards to cat care. Unlike the other resources on the subject, Whole Health for Happy Cats provides readers with the basic information to enable them to ask the right questions as well as find the right answers for their cat and their lifestyle. Although the book’s approach is organic, it also presents well-documented health facts and research so that cat owners can

Women Fitness www.womenfitness.net What it does: Emphasizes self-improvement for women through comprehensive information and essential tools for lifelong changes. What’s cool about it: Women Fitness has a wide spectrum of health, wellness and beauty topics and tips ranging from nutrition, weight loss and fitness to skin care, fashion and cosmetics. The site immediately catches your attention with scrolling snapshots of images and short articles leaving you wanting to read more. The site also has a beauty section aimed at helping you enhance your best features. If you’re interesting in fitness, there’s an entire section devoted to exercising including weight loss, strength training and even yoga. It also has tools to help you track your fitness program progress. Drawbacks: The site may seem a bit overwhelming when you first navigate through it. There are many different topics, subtopics and articles to read. You should take your time and view one area at a time. It will definitely be worth it! Price: This site is free

make the very best decisions for their cat’s

National Women’s Health Resource Center www.healthywomen.org What it does: Provides women in-depth, objective, physician-approved information on a broad range of women’s health issues. What’s cool about it: NWHRC has more than 100 topics in its health library, including diagnosis, treatment, questions to ask your health care professional, lifestyle tips and more. The site also has a Health Center dedicated to a specific topic such as Living Well & Aging or Pregnancy & Parenting, providing an even greater concentration of information. Publications & Resources allows you to browse and purchase books and other materials related to the health topics you’re interested in. The site has expert advice, current medical information, news, tools and message boards. Drawbacks: The site does not have sharp, colorful images or a very creative layout. However, it is a great source of information if that’s all your looking for. Price: This site is free

lifelong health and well-being.

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Best for: Getting The Right Answers

MARCH | 2009

PAGE 7


By Amy Andersen - RHI

PAGE 8

MARCH | 2009

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“Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” Some of the People The organization works with as many animals as they have volunteers to foster them. They also have space to display the cats and kittens. Cat coordinator Kathy Walvoord is selfless in her protection and caring. She may bottle feed into the wee hours or drive to animal services to rescue an animal. She is aware of every cat in the system and helps coordinate their care and placement at the pet shops for display. She recently adopted Roadie, a happy orange cat who had been left as roadkill one night when he was a kitten. A “repeat offender,” Roadie was adopted but returned to the shelter for unknown reasons. Now he lives happily with this cat lover. MaryJo Maruca (MJ) is the dog care coordinator who facilitates fostering the dogs. Dog fosters play a role with prospective adoptees by either allowing them into their homes or bringing the dog to a mutually agreed upon place for visitation. SFSAR pays veterinary bills that may arise. Jim Martinelli, the adoption center coordinator, is another selfless volunteer who has purchased larger cages for the cats and visits them frequently to check on them and further socialize them.

Volunteer Any volunteer organization has financial needs, but you can help the animals in other ways as well. Fosters are needed for rescued dogs and cats. Every dog or cat is placed with a foster family or individual to see how it gets along and to accustom the animal to indoor family life. Pet Smart and Petco offer their premises for housing cats that are ready for adoption. SFSAR’s primary pet site is the Pet Smart across the street from the Citrus Park Mall. Volunteers help with the kenneling at Pet Smart, keeping the cats comfortable while they wait to be adopted. Other volunteers help dog fosters take the dogs to various events if the foster is unable to show the dog that day or time. Help with working tables or giving out information is also needed. Students also can get community service credits and valuable experience. All animals can be viewed at www.luvamutt.org, and you can arrange to meet a dog that you like.

Sharon Espinola is president and volunteer coordinator for all who work with the organization either kenneling or fostering. Julie Winthrop is a dog foster and fundraising coordinator. Find out more about the board members and volunteers at www.luvamutt.org.

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MARCH | 2009

PAGE 9


Shannon Thigpen is a nationally certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She is the co-founder of Salsa & Soul Fitness, which can be found at www.salsaandsoulfitness.com.

W

hen we thi think ink of of getting gett ge ttin ing g into intt shape we often skip over the fundain weight we need to lose, how many mentals. We focus on how much m faster we can run. There is nothing pounds we can lift, and how much m wrong with these comparisons as a long as we keep them in the right context. Safety should ALWAYS come first. Due to lifestyles D t our sedentary d t lif t l many off us have developed muscular imbalances, weak stabilizing joints, and poor posture. Therefore, any fitness program should include correcting such problems through flexibility training and stabilization training. An extremely essential region affected by these imbalances is our core. Our core consists of our chest, back and pelvic floor region. Just as a tree has a trunk that supports its branches so does our body. Our core is our trunk. We must have a solid foundation to support the limbs we traditionally focus on. With a strong core, we are less likely to get hurt. The core has deep internal muscles that are not very active in movement but function to constantly stabilize the spine as we initiate movement. Take a deep breath from your diaphragm located in your abdominal (stomach) area. Your stomach should expand more than your chest. Now lift up the internal muscles from your pelvic floor, that is, contract all of the muscles below your belly. Next practice lifting and stabilizing the muscles and proper breathing at the same time. Your ribcage and abdominals should be tight. Others should not notice any outward change if you are performing the exercise properly. Practice anywhere since the more you practice, the stronger those internal muscles become. Now that you can properly stabilize your core, you can progressively challenge your body by increasing the difficulty of your workout. For example, sit in a chair and do a set of eight arm curls with a five-pound dumbbell. (A two-liter water bottle will do). To do an arm curl, with your palm facing up, bend your elbow toward your shoulder. Now do a set without resting your back against the chair. Do a third set standing and a final set while standing on one leg. With each progression you must recruit more muscle.

With proper flexibility training and core strengthening, you can improve your posture, as well as your quality of life. Most importantly, you become fit safely.

PAGE 10

MARCH | 2009

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ADVERTISEMENT

Please Direct Any Questions or Comments to Dr. Robert Lupo Clinic Director Physical Medicine Center 14522 University Point Place, Tampa (813) 978-0020 www.mybackinplace.com

The DRX 9000 was created to provide relief of low back pain caused by herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica and facet syndrome. A new case report in Vol. 3, Issue 1 of the 2008 U.S. Musculoskeletal Review shows pre- and post-MRI findings on a 31-year-old male. He had a history of a left disc extrusion of L5/S1 that was compressing the nerve root at S1. In addition he had degenerative disc disease involving L4/5 and L5/S1. The patient reported a pain level of 9 on a scale of 0-10.

The patient underwent a series of 27 treatments over a seven-week period. By his last treatment, the patient reported a pain level of only 3 out of 10, occurring only 30 percent of the time. Follow-up MRI demonstrated a dramatic decrease in the size of the disc lesion along with reduced pressure on the S1 nerve root. The authors conclude, “Clinical and imaging data continue to emerge providing further validation of the safe and effective treatment of disc related low back pain utilizing the DRX9000.”

Treatment for Neck or Back pain from Disc Herniation, Bulging Discs, Facet Syndrome, Burning to the Arms and Sciatica with the DRX 9000 is available at The Physical Medicine Center 14522 University Point Place Tampa 33613.

Please contact Dr. Robert Lupo, DC, at (813) 978-0020 to arrange for a consultation to determine if the DRX 9000 may be used to treat your case.

www.mybackinplace.com “For questions about advertising, call 813-872-4448”

MARCH | 2009

PAGE 11


Lose up to 15 pounds in 6 weeks by taking the Steel Physique Body Challenge with CarolAnn. Contact her at CarolAnn@Steel-Physique.com for more information. Known as the trainers’ trainer, CarolAnn, has become one of the country’s leading fitness educators. Combining a Master’s degree in Exercise Science with fitness certifications/memberships such as ACSM, ACE, AFAA, LMI and AEA, she has been actively involved in the fitness industry for 19 years. While on her downtime from touring as a national fitness presenter, she teaches group fitness and personal trains in the North Tampa area. She is the creator and star of The Steel Physique System DVD now available at www.steelphysique.com. For more information regarding personal training and group fitness classes by CarolAnn, contact her at carolann@steel-physique.com or visit www.StudioGroupX.com.

It’s a simple formula for weight loss: Eat less and move more. However, for most, losing weight and achieving their desired physique is much more complicated. So why is losing weight so difficult? It is what I call “all the other stuff” that sabotages your path toward health and fitness. In order to achieve your aspirations of health and fitness, you need to clear away the clutter and focus on a clearly defined path. Here are a few tools that will help clear the way to a new you.

Set Goals: S

Motivation: M

Behavior Contract: B

E Exercise Adherence: A

You should sset se e clear and defined goals to achieve a healthier body. Applyac a c iing in n the S.M.A.R.T. rule is easy tto o follow. Goals should be Specifi cci i c, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Set R small ssm m goals toward one overall goal. Ensure that you reward go g o yourself when you achieve your yyo o goal. go g o

Make a contract with yourself M tthat th h you will follow specific steps towards your overall goal. Be to o c when you name your sspecifi sp p steps. For example, “I will atsst t tend tte e three group fitness classes a week in order to incorporate more fitness into my lifestyle.” m State a specific date by which S you yyo o will achieve your overall goal. go g o

B Behavior Modification is Forever: c yourself in a program IInvolve In n that th h focuses on lifestyle behavior io o and not a “quick-fix.” Adopt a new ne n e way of living by exercising to five days a week, eating tthree th h healthy, getting plenty of sleep, he h e and an a n reducing stress.

Time Management: T The No. 1 reason why people T drop out of an exercise program d iss a hectic schedule -- which translates to lack of time manttr r agement. It is extremely impora tant tta a to nip this issue in the bud. By cutting out the waste and B prioritizing ruthlessly, you will p increase your productivity and iin n have more time for your health. h

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MARCH | 2009

Many people are not intrinsically motivated to a exercise or to eat healthy and e instead rely on external factors. iin n This is when hiring a personal T trainer or lifestyle fitness coach ttr r iss very beneficial. These experts can cca a assist in tapping into your sspecific motivation.

The inability to maintain an exercise regimen to iss one of the more perplexing problems facing professionals in p various health-related enterprisvva a es. Two-thirds of Americans do e not exercise on a regular basis. n Fifty percent of Americans do not F exercise at all. Only 10 percent e of sedentary adults are likely to o begin a program. Fifty percent b of all who start a fitness camo paign will drop out in six months or less. Choose something you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle. Also, start slowly and gradually work up to more difficult exercises.

S Stress M Management:

Many d do not function well under stress a and turn to food and/or destructtitive iv behavior. Extreme stress may even lead to depression m which in many cases emotionw ally paralyzes an individual from a exercise. Understanding how e to o identify and deal with stress will help you avoid the pitfalls of w eating and gaining weight. sstress st t

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Grove 16 Cinema & 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel 813.948.5444 • www.cobbtheatres.com

COMING SOON!! CinéBistro @ Hyde Park Village

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MARCH | 2009

PAGE 13


ADVERTISEMENT

By: Mary Joye Bexley - RHI

Founder of the Spinner Law Firm in New Tampa, Charles Spinner represents “the little guy” on personal injury and/or wrongful death cases. Now representing people against insurance companies, Spinner’s inside knowledge makes him a tough negotiator. To learn more about Charles Spinner and Spinner Law Firm, visit their website at www.spinnerlawfirm.com, or call their offices at 813-991-5099

I

n the the ev e event ent of an n accident, acci c de dent nt,, who who can can you yo trus tr usst to h hel elp p you you through thro th roug ug gh all all off the the legal leg trust help hurdles? nd h hu rdle rd les? s? Who Who better bet ette terr could te coul co ulld you you fifind n d to t represent repr re pres esen entt you you than than someone ssom omeo eone ne who who o forfo merly merl rly represented repres esen ente ed insurance insu in sura ranc nce compacompa nies? nies e ? Charles Spinner, Esq., brings you u that tha trust and expertise. “Our firm’s co commitment,” Spinner states, comm mittme m nt n ,” S p nn pi nner er s ta ate es “Is approach each s that we ap ppr p oach h eac ch ca case se as as iff it was our only one.” Every client is on a first-name basis with Mr. Spinner and his

The initial steps in an accident are important to Spinner for his clients. “The first phone call should always be to law enforcement after a crash,” Spinner advises. “If medical treatment is needed, get it immediately.” Calling Spinner Law Firm is also on the short list of procedure after an accident. He warns that immediately following an accident, insurance companies are certain to barrage you with telephone calls. They may attempt to secure a recorded statement. It is not advisable to deal directly with insurance companies. “In the event you are contacted directly by an insurance company, politely thank them for calling and tell them you’d like to speak to your attorney first.”

Charles Spinner will speak for you.

staff. You will be greeted by friendly staff at his new office location at Cypress Glen Professional Park. You will receive a thorough attorney consultation providing you with a description of the personal injury process and supplying you straight answers to your concerns and questions. “So often, clients come to our firm after attempting to deal directly with the insurance company to resolve issues they are facing following a motor vehicle accident. I have found that in many instances, insurance companies will attempt to take advantage of unrepresented victims by offering them far less than fair value for their claims,” Spinner relates. “Without the backing and support of an experienced injury attorney, some insurance companies try to get by as cheaply as possible.”

may “We “W e ma m y imme iimmediately mmedi diat atel elyy need need to to secure se ecure cu ure the the accident acc ccid iden id e t scene en scen sc ene e to recreate reccre reat a e what at w at happened wh hap h ap ppe pene ned d att the time time off the the e crash,” cra rash sh,” sh , Spinner Spi S pinn nnerr claim ssays. sa ys. “A ssuccessful ys uccessfu f l clai a m is based based ed d on on your your advocate’s adv a dvoc dv ocat oc ate’ at e’ss knowledge e’ know kn ow owle w edg dge e of the the law law and and how how objective obj bje ec ive ecti v proof o iss presented.” pressen e te ted. d.” Feedback from clients is proof that Spinner Law Firm is flourishing. His associate, Allison Burd, Esq., who celebrated her one-year anniversary with the firm in February, is part of the highly skilled team that also represents clients in Marital and Family Law matters as well as wills, trusts, and estate administration. “Look behind advertisements for attorney qualifications, “Spinner concludes.”They aid people in finding attorneys, but the most effective advertisement for our firm is word-of-mouth. The vast majority of our clients come by referrals by former clients and their family and friends. You can expect to be treated like you matter and to receive competent and aggressive legal representation. That’s our commitment to get the best possible results for our clients. Your legal health and wellness is our firm’s primary objective.”

For example, a client retained Spinner’s firm after coming to a stalemate with an insurance company over the replacement value of their badly damaged vehicle. Spinner was able to successfully recover an additional $1,000.00 to resolve his client’s property damage claim on a vehicle worth under $5,000.00. “It was what the client thought was fair market value,” Spinner states, “and the client was satisfied.”

PAGE 14

MARCH | 2009

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I have been in the back scenes of the restaurant industry for over 12 years. I recently shed thirty pounds and realized I have to be more conscious of what I eat, which is difficult when my world revolve around dining out, be it socially or my career. So I am out to find a low-cal, low-carb alternative in a society that thrives on butter and bread when dining out. Ask me anything at

Jennifer, Cristan and Abe Fadal Wag | 304 E. Davis Blvd. | Davis Islands, Fl www.wagoftampa.com | 813-258-9181 Join us on Saturday, February 14 from 11am-3pm for: Poochie Smoochie! Valentine’s Day Dog Adoptions and Pet Dental Health Expo!

robyn@realhealthandimage.com.

Downtown St. Petersburg is constantly reinventing itself, desperately trying to drop its retirement village reputation for a younger, hipper urban image. Cluttered together are intimate boutiques, holeto in-the-wall bars, and courtyard dining. in Amidst all this local flair is the struggling entertainment complex Baywalk, with

Before there was Facebook

The first Sunday of every month, we host a hap-

and MySpace or the Internet

py hour (or Yappy Hour) event at MacDinton’s in

for that matter…there was

South Tampa. The public is invited to enjoy food

another social medium con-

and drink at MacDinton’s with their dog…and many

necting people from different walks of life….pets! Pets

its array of small shops and restaurants

made it easy for neighbors where business goes on as usual.

to meet, strangers to say

A new restaurant, replacing Dan Marino’s, is Grille 121. The Grille appears to be trying to create a situation in which casual upscale dining seems as common as fast food off the interstate. The décor is simple, letting the visible kitchen and courtyard views speak for themselves. Chef Lawrence Strickland adds his own unique twists to traditional favorites, and incorporates healthy ingredients and fresh herbs into his dishes.

The outdoor patio actually doubles as an herb garden, the fruits of which are used

hello and provided an avenue to bring people together who may not have met in the first place.

other people’s as well! At February’s event, my husband Cristan leaned over and asked me to take a look around….people of every generation were interacting. It is something we see every month, but it really struck us at this event. Everyone, regardless of age, race, or gender was engaged in conversation about their pets.

Pets put everyone at ease in what can often be awkward social situations. One website describes pets as social lubricants. Having a pet gives you something instantly in common with another pet lover. I can’t tell you how many of our Wag customers have met their significant other at the dog park!

daily in the kitchen. The menu contains an equal balance of healthy lite options and rich, comfort foods. We enjoyed the triple appetizer option, hummus, spinach dip, and buffalo bites. The spinach dip had traces of goat cheese, adding a richness and unexpected bite. Then we ordered the Chicken Panini and Tarragon Chicken Salad Wrap. The traces of fresh tarragon and mint alongside the grapes add freshness and texture to what is usually mushy chicken salad. Accompanied by a five bean salad, this was a satisfyingly light lunch. The Chicken Panini was a little more on the decadent side, containing grilled chicken with spinach, sun dried tomato and bacon, a delicious and enormous portion. The food at Grille 121 is tasty and reasonably priced with most selections less than $20. I enjoy having a few drinks, grabbing a bite, and catching a movie with my car still parked in the same spot. Hopefully, Baywalk will take a few tips from St. Petersburg and redefine its image as well.

If you rescued your dog from a shelter or foster group, you know firsthand the good work that volunteers do. Want to volunteer yourself? Give a couple of hours on a Saturday at an adoption event and be a dog “handler” for the afternoon. You will meet a variety of individuals. A few groups to check out are: www.humanesocietytampa.org, www.luvamutt.org, www.lostangelsanimalrescue.org, www. lillapdogrescue.org, and www.great-greyhound.org. If you want to meet other dog owners in social situations, go to www.meetup.com and you can find meet-up groups near your home. Some are breed specific; others are not. If you don’t find what you want, you can start your own! As we move into the third month of 2009, get out there with your pet and make a few new pet lovin’ friends. They come in all shapes, sizes and ages and have a variety of interests. Have a great month and enjoy your pets! Warmest regards,

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MARCH | 2009

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Real Health & Image - March 2009