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january 2011

VOL 14 NO 9 COMPLIMENTARY

WOMAN iona wilson

Tech Professional & Belly Dance Teacher

keeping alzheimer’s in mind A Charlotte Woman’s Journey

head, shoulders, knees & toes Head-To-Toe Wellness

wide open spaces One Family Creates A Home In Mooresville

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Actual Unretouched Photos of Dr. Freeman’s Patient

COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CARE

for women.

Where can you receive the MOST ADVANCED TREATMENT for gynecologic cancers in the region? Where can you find PERSONALIZED, TIMELY and INNOVATIVE therapy? Where will you get the MOST EXPERIENCED PHYSICIANS to direct your care?

The Gynecologic Oncology Programs at Blumenthal Cancer Center and Batte Cancer Center offer the highest level of quality cancer care, including: - Nationally-accredited cancer programs - Award-winning physicians – all of our physicians were named to the Best Doctors in America list - Minimally invasive surgical procedures - Most experienced physicians in the region – a combined 112 years of experience - Access to the most innovative clinical trials available - Support services including wellness programs, nutritional and emotional counseling, cancer rehabilitation programs and genetic risk assessment - Quick access to expert care – new patients with a diagnosis of cancer will be seen within a week

1025 Morehead Medical Drive, Suite 600 • Charlotte, NC 28204 www.blumenthalcancercenter.org

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s James B. Hall, MD, FACOG, FACS

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FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT, CALL 704-512-7878. GYN Oncology Ad 2010_7_81x9_583x10.indd 1

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Actual Unretouched Photos of Dr. Freeman’s Patient

A NEW YEAR. A NEW YOU. A NATURAL LOOKING YOUNGER YOU THAT WILL KEEP THEM GUESSING. This year, make a New Year’s Resolution you’ll want to keep—with the most beautifully advanced techniques developed by Dr. Sean Freeman. Deep plane facelift surgery, an approach only a select few plastic surgeons including Dr. Freeman have mastered, gives a youthful appearance without a “pulled” look. For your lower lids, Dr. Freeman has pioneered the SOOF lift blepharoplasty procedure to return your lower lids to the look of youth with a hidden incision. Learn all about Dr. Freeman’s unique approach to facial plastic surgery by visiting www.onlyfaces.com, or by making your appointment today. Make your 2011 a year to remember. Ring in the New Year by ringing Dr. Freeman.

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SURGICAL PROCEDURES: SignatureLift, Facelifts, Rhinoplasty, Lip Augmentations, Endoscopic Browlift Upper/Lower Eye Lids, Cheek/Chin Implants, NON-SURGICAL PROCEDURES: Radiesse, Juvéderm, Botox®, Vitalize Chemical Peels, Facials, Skinmedica, Laser Hair Removal, Laser Skin Treatments

After

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Live fully, love deeply, laugh loudly...

AND SMILE MORE!

M e e t O u r D O c tO r s : DR. DAvID LESANSky University Dental Associates is pleased to announce its association with Dr. David Lesansky at the convenient University Place practice. Dr. Lesansky comes to us from sunny southwest Florida where he was in private practice for 10 years. He has chosen Charlotte for its beautiful weather, dynamic culture and magnificent scenery. As an alumnus of the University of Florida, Dr. Lesansky brings a strong educational background to the University area, which he has expanded upon with numerous intensive continuing education seminars. He prides himself on strong communication skills with his patients, learning from them what their concerns and desires for treatment are. Only in this way can he offer his patients the highest level of care and compassion. We invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Lesansky today to experience quality dental care.

call today to schedule your next visit or service with us. We look forward to serving you and your family! W W W. U DA D E N t I S t R y. c O M

New hours at our SouthPark location: tuesdays & Wednesdays till 7pm

UNIvERSIty

DR. DAvID WOOLStON Dr. David Woolston graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry in 1993. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and served for three years with the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune. He is currently a Navy Reservist with the rank of Commander and serves one weekend a month at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. Throughout his career, Dr. Woolston has had the privilege of practicing dentistry around the world, including locations such as Japan, Spain and proudly served on a humanitarian mission to Thailand. In 1999, he earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He has been a member of the Academy of General Dentistry since 1993 and in 2006 distinguished himself as a Fellow in the Academy. Dr. Woolston enjoys long-distance running and photography. DR. gREg gRIffIN Dr. Greg Griffin is a native of Union County, N.C. He received his DDS degree from UNC Chapel Hill in 1987 and then spent 21 years in solo private practice. Dr. Griffin has many hobbies. He is a private pilot, enjoys motorcycles, an avid fisherman and boater. He recently spent two years living and traveling on his boat along the coast of the U.S., Mexico and Central America. He brings to UDA many years of clinical experience in direct patient care and practice management.

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IS

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S E Rv I N g 4 c h A R L Ot t E L O cAt I O N S ! SouthPark 2901 Coltsgate Rd. Suite 201, Charlotte 704.362.1211

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PERIODONtIcS

IMPLANtS

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Contents January 2011

W 14

52

44 Departments 12 From The Editor The Power Of Words 14 Girl Time Tips, Trends, And Fancies 18 Queen City Jewels Happenings You Don’t Want To Miss

20 Money Talks

44 At Home Wendy Smith’s Mooresville Respite Takes Advantage Of Wide Open Spaces

51 Meet Our Advertisers Time Travel With Help From A Step Back In Time Vintage Boutique

Know What’s In The Cards

22 On The Move Charlotte Women Making Strides 23

Green Corner

Resolutions Good For You And The Earth 42 Beauty Making Up Is Not So Hard To Do 6 TOC0111.indd 6

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52 Health Flash What You Need To Know To Stay Well

56 Meet Our Advertisers Find Total Health With Park Road Chiropractic Health And Wellness 58 Tomorrow’s Charlotte Woman Girls And Young Women Leading The Way

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Caring Dentistry... With a Gentle Touch! We Care About The Person Behind The Smile

General Dentistry Serving Your Entire Family

704-365-2765 Call Today for your FREE Cosmetic Consultation!

Ask us about our

Whitening Special! New Patients Welcome Cotswold Plaza 135 S. Sharon Amity Rd., Suire 204 Charlotte, NC 28211

Drs. Peleaux & Bailey www.peleauxbaileydds.com www.caringsmilesdentistry.com TOC0111.indd 7

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24 Volume XIV, Number 9 January 2011

PUBLISHER

Belva Greenage ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Fern Howerin Editor

Michelle Young Hubacher Assistant Editor

3

Karsen Price ART DIRECTor

Anita O’Hara SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Cara Gracie Craver Sales Executive

Barbara Herd Business Manager

Nikki Wilson WEb Designer

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Cliff McNamara

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

pROFILEs 24 Top Of Mind Diagnosis Takes Laura Mercer From Business Professional To Alzheimer’s Advocate

28 Getting To The Core Iona Wilson Celebrates The Ancient Art Of Belly Dance

FEATUREs 33 Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes Head-To-Toe Wellness

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40 A Weighty Issue The ABCs Of hCG

OnTheCover Belly DAncer Iona wilson.

Jennifer Bradford-Epstein Fiona Harmon Melinda Johnston Courtney McLaughlin Debra Moffitt Karsen Price Lee Rhodes CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Augusto Photography James Brown Brad Forth Scott Stiles 5200 Park Road, Suite 111 Charlotte, NC 28209 704/521-6872 www.todayscharlottewoman.com Today’s Charlotte Woman is published by Today’s Woman Inc., and is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout the greater Charlotte area. Subscription rate is $20 per year for 11 issues plus the TCW Resource Guide. Copyright ©2011 Today’s Woman, Inc. All rights reserved. Copying or reproduction, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited. Today’s Charlotte Woman and Today’s Woman Inc. do not necessarily endorse the views and perceptions of contributors or advertisers.

Photo by scott stiles.

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todayscharlottewoman.com Resolutions

Health

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Jogging Your Memory

Six Ways To Get More Recognition In 2011 Maybe you are considering going back to college. Perhaps you’ve been pondering a job change. No matter what sort of changes you’re contemplating, author Meryl Runion says the biggest obstacle won’t come from within. Instead, the naysayers in your life stand to undermine you. Runion offers six tips for dealing with the wet blankets, gloom-and-doomers, and buzz killers in your little corner of the universe.

Stay Brain Healthy This month, TCW profiled Laura Mercer, who was recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s (see page 24). Many scientists

Money

Lifestyle

Score!

Phoning It In

Raise Those Credit Scores

consider the emerging field of prevention in dementia research to be one of the most exciting recent developments. Preliminary evidence suggests that strategies for general healthy aging may also help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, including managing your

Tips For Mobile Phone Protection An estimated 60 million cell phones are lost, stolen, or damaged each year; and in 2011, a projected 1 in 4 people will suffer some form of cell phone “casualty.” If your phone is suddenly MIA, what should you do? CTIA, an international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, recommends immediately contacting your carrier and telling them to turn off your phone so you’re not responsible for charges. For other tips to prevent your device

Great credit is the envy of many Americans, and for good reason: People with good credit get lower interest rates on credit cards, better car loans, and are even eligible for better TV service packages. In other words, having great credit pays. Need to improve your credit rating? Check out our tips at todayscharlottewoman.com.

weight and consuming certain protective foods. For a list of ways to try to keep your brain tiptop, visit todayscharlottewoman.com.

Follow Us

Get Connected

from being misused if it’s lost or stolen, visit our

Social media outlets enhance relationships, make information gathering easier, and keep us in the loop with just a click. Want to be in the loop with us? Find Today’s Charlotte Woman on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Web site.

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A....

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Stem Cell Facelift Seminar Wednesday - Jan. 19th. ......................... ............................. ................................ ...................

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PHOTO BY AUGUSTO PHOTOGRAPHY

FromTheEditor

The Power Of Words

F

amilies operate in a beautiful, and sometimes very messy, state of grace. It allows each member (and siblings, in particular) to alternately wound or revive one another with their very words. When you’re little: You always cheat at Uno, cheater. The dog likes me better than you. You smell funny. Here, wanna hold this frog I found? When you’re an adolescent: I don’t like your girlfriend. I’m telling Dad you snuck into the house at midnight; your life is mine. Yes, you can borrow that skirt. And, of course, when you are grown: What did you do to your hair? You should’ve known better than to sleep with her. Why the hell are you home-schooling your kids? I love you regardless of any of it.

With a family, you get all of the things listed in rote form during a marriage ceremony: for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health. But, in the case of families, there is no ceremony necessary to remind you of the fact that what affects one affects all. And our words not only frame every moment we share, but impact us in ways we might not even realize until well down the road. I am lucky enough to have a mom who tells me I’m doing just fine as a mother. And, on the days I contemplate moving to Maine and changing my name to Tilda, that encouragement is enough to help me take a deep breath and explain yet again to my youngest daughter, “No, you cannot walk to SouthPark mall just because you want to look in the Juicy Couture 12

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store.” My father was also expressive and told me repeatedly throughout my childhood and, more importantly, my adolescence, that I was beautiful and brilliant (blinded by love, no doubt) and, best of all, worthwhile. Each month, as we work to put a magazine together, we meet fascinating women. And, as we get to know them, we also learn a little bit about the families that sustain them and are sustained by them … often with the power of words. This month, we had the pleasure of meeting two particularly extraordinary females, and both have found strength in the dialogue shared with the families who have cherished them. Laura Mercer was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 47. She’s 51 now, and has chosen, with her husband, Greg, to work tirelessly to help educate others on Alzheimer’s and the impact it has on families. It truly is a disease that takes hold of spouses, children, and close friends. And, by simply sharing their important story, Laura and Greg are finding strength and helping others do the same. Cidney Holliday is a teen who writes — and performs — poetry as a way to process the loss of her father. She says she treasures the conversations they shared, and she moves forward with the gifts he left her. Start this year off with an intention to make what comes out of your mouth worthy of landing on someone’s heart. Tell a co-worker she is doing a great job, that you so enjoy working with her. Tell your mom you love her. Tell your teenage daughter that she is worthwhile. Do it now. And be willing to accept that you may never know just how much what you’ve said has meant to the person who is listening.

C

M

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MY

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CMY

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Happy New Year,

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Smile created by Dr. Ross W. Nash Photo by Don Seidman

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Rebecca Bearden

CM

MY

Mrs. South Carolina America 2009

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CMY

K

Of the nearly 8000 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry members worldwide, there are only 45 who have achieved the exclusive level of Accredited Fellow. In all of North and South Carolina, only one dentist has earned this elite status by illustrating the required level of excellence in the area of cosmetic dentistry: Accredited Fellow Ross W. Nash, DDS.

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in Southpark at the Nash Institute

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in Huntersville

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895-7660

www.Cosmetic Dentistry of the Carolinas.com EdLetter0111.indd 13

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GirlTime t i p s ,

t r e n d s ,

a n d

f a n c i e s

COMPILED BY karsen price

January Trivia Did You Know ...

T

he word January traces its beginnings to Roman mythology; it comes from the Latin word ianua, which means door. So, January basically means “the door to the year.” Important days in January, aside from New Year’s Day of course, include: National Bubble Bath Day, Jan. 8; my personal favorite, Blame Someone Else Day, Jan. 13 (but I didn’t tell you that); and National Hugging Day, Jan. 21. And don’t forget Squirrel Appreciation Day, also celebrated officially on Jan. 21.

IN THE NUMBERS 1 to 2 pounds amount of weight the average person gains from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day

9 out of 10

number of people who choose “losing weight” as a New Year’s resolution each year

one-third

amount of people, according to The New York Times, who won’t make it to the end of January without breaking their New Year’s resolutions. But we here at TCW believe in you! >

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ConfidenCe I n m y d o c t o r. . . i n m y r e s u l t s . . . i n m e .

Julie Player, Dr. Ditesheim patient since 2004

What Dr. Ditesheim did for me was a lot more than cosmetic. I needed more than simple breast augmentation surgery. I needed someone to help renew my self-confidence. From the moment I met Dr. Ditesheim, I was convinced he was the perfect plastic surgeon choice for me. Not only is Dr. Ditesheim board certified, but he took the time to listen and explain all my surgical options. Dr. Ditesheim and his staff treated me like an individual and provided tremendous coaching and support throughout the surgery and recovery.

Jeffrey A. Ditesheim MD, FACS

What Dr. Ditesheim did for me was a lot more than cosmetic. Dr. Ditesheim

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Charlotte, NC 28277

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GirlTime

Speak Easy

Buckle Up

Seat Belt Usage Rises In The Carolinas Drivers in both Carolinas earned an A-plus in 2010 for buckling up, with drivers in both states wearing seat belts at a greater rate than the national average of 83 percent. According to AAA Carolinas, in North Carolina, drivers’ usage of seat belts increased to 89.7 percent. In South Carolina, usage climbed to 85.4 percent — up from 69.7 percent in 2005. Seat belts have been proven to save lives. In 2009, there were 1,012-traffic-related deaths in North Carolina, and 431 of those deaths involved drivers who were not buckled up. “Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers,” says David Weinstein, director of North Carolina’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Need a refresher course on the current ruling regarding seat belts in both states? In North Carolina, front-seat and back-seat passengers are supposed to buckle up; front-seat passengers not wearing a seat belt can be fined $25.50 plus court costs, and back-seat passengers who don’t buckle up can be fined $10. In South Carolina, only persons riding in the front seat must wear a seat belt; failure to do so can earn a $25 fine.

Addressing Anxiety In A Public Forum

I

have a confession: I suffer from glossophobia. (It means a fear of public speaking.) Apparently, I am not alone. Studies show that three out of four individuals suffer from speech anxiety. For 30 years, anxiety expert Jonathan Berent has been helping others learn to trade in their nervousness for calmness and confidence. In Work Makes Me Nervous: Overcome Anxiety and Build the Confidence to Succeed, Berent and co-author Amy Lemley offer the following series of exercises proven to overcome anxiety and reduce the appearance of “noticeable nervousness”:

Relaxation Tips For The Nervous 1.

Do one to two solid minutes of diaphragmatic breathing — pacing each inhale-exhale to 8 to 12 seconds. Focus on deep, steady breaths that are rhythmic, natural, and unforced.

2.

Make a fist with your right hand and hold it for 15 seconds. Then let go and focus on the looseness for 15 seconds. Do the same thing with the left hand.

3.

Say to yourself three times, “My right hand is warm,” pacing your statement to last for 12 to 15 seconds. Repeat with the left hand.

4.

Say to yourself three times, “I feel the blood flowing into my right hand,” pacing your statement to between 14 and 18 seconds. Repeat with the left hand.

5. 6.

Focus only on the rhythm of your diaphragmatic breathing for 30 seconds.

7.

Open your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now, go for it!

Close your eyes and, for 30 seconds, visualize yourself speaking in front of the group, accepting the adrenaline, using its energy for productive, effective speaking. You are organized, passionate, engaging, and natural. You understand your audience and you own the room.

If all else fails, do what I do: Avoid podiums — and the telephone — at all costs. Work Makes Me Nervous is available from amazon.com for $16.47. Visit todayscharlottewoman.com to learn the somewhat bizarre names for other phobias.

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Button Up That Gluttony Quick Fix For A Snug Waistband

E

at a tad too much over the holidays and now can’t button your pants? Never fear, Charlottean Lauren Copeland has created the Belly Button to help your jeans fit until you’ve worked off that extra slice of pecan pie. The nifty little device is basically a button with a tiny loop of elastic, which slips around the existing button on the waistline of your pants and fits into the buttonhole, keeping your pants closed while offering a few pinches of extra room around that (temporary, of course) pooch. The Belly Button is also handy after a big meal; in fact, Copeland

says many of her friends carry an extra Belly Button in the bottom of their purses for emergencies. Interested? A package of three Belly Buttons costs $10; find them at Avalilly’s Boutique in Cornelius, Fresh Boutique in Myers Park, or call 888/789-1037 to order.

Bye-Bye, Bad Breath

Help For Halitosis

When was the last time you raised your hand, stepped in and got involved?

Every year, the members of Assistance League of Charlotte serve the needs of over 10,000 members of the community, and every year we look for more strong, dedicated volunteers like them to join our ranks. We provide programs that feed, clothe, mentor and educate children in our community who are in need. We are the members of Assistance League of Charlotte and now we ask you to join your friends and your neighbors in making a difference.

To find out more about our programs and membership opportunities, call: (704)525-5228 or go to Charlotte.AssistanceLeague.org

An Alternative to Liposuction!

If you struggle with bad breath, try adding a tongue scraper to your daily dental regimen. According to tonguescraper.org, tongue scrapers are very effective at putting a hurting on halitosis. And while many people think that eating the wrong foods causes bad breath, in truth, the main source of bad breath comes from the back part of the tongue, which is covered with small buds called papillae. Inside these buds live small bacteria that are the main cause of bad breath. Regular use of a tongue scraper can get rid of a good percentage of these bacteria, helping your mouth feel, and smell, fresher. Keep in mind, however, that possible health concerns may be causing your halitosis. So, consult a physician if the problem persists. Tongue scrapers are more effective than brushing your tongue with your toothbrush for three reasons:

1. People often fail to reach the back of their tongue, where most of the bad breath bacteria live.

2. The bristles on a toothbrush are too rough and can damage the tongue’s soft tissue.

3. The surface area of a toothbrush isn’t wide enough to cover your tongue. Check out Dr. Tung’s Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner, for $6.99 from Home Naturals Inc., and Tongue Sweeper Model Ti (Titanium), by Biocurv Medical Instruments, for $24.95. TCW

www.t-zonevibration.com

J A N U A R Y

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Q u e e n H app e n i ngs

v C i t y Y o u

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J e w e l s W ant

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Rare Beauty N.C. Piedmont Orchid Society Presents Jewel Box Orchids

O

image courtesy of the mint museum

PHOTO BY SCOTT STILES

ne of Mother Nature’s most captivating, complex, and prolific flower genera will be on full display when the North Carolina Piedmont Orchid Society presents its 2011 Annual Show, “Jewel Box Orchids,” in partnership with Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Hundreds of rare varieties, from the intriguing bulbophyllums to the colorful cattleyas, will be on display in the Garden’s Great Hall during the annual showcase that runs Fri., Jan. 14 through Sun., Jan. 16. “One of the greatest and most thrilling aspects of collecting orchids is the magnificent variety of flowers that are on display at any given time in the greenhouse,” says Jay Sifford,

Madame Masterpiece Rare Cassatt Painting At The Mint

E

xperience an early masterpiece by American painter and printmaker Mary Cassatt — known for her sensitive depictions of the social and private lives of women — at The Mint Museum Randolph, in the Jones Gallery through April 3. The painting, “Madame X Dressed for the Matinée” (1878), comes from the collection of Charlotte and Philip Hanes of WinstonSalem, who have placed it on long-term loan to The Mint. Cassatt (1844-1926) lived much of her adult life in France, where she became the only American artist — and one of only five women — to exhibit alongside the French Impressionists. “Displaying a classic such as this helps people understand the multifaceted nature of American art, one of the Mint’s major

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focus areas,” says executive director Kathleen V. Jameson. “It is tremendously gratifying to make this great painting available for the public to enjoy.” After the exhibition closes, the painting will be integrated into the American art galleries at the new Mint Museum Uptown.

WantToGo? For information, visit mintmuseum.org or call 704/337-2000.

president of the North Carolina Piedmont Orchid Society. “Some of the most respected orchid growers in our state and region will display vibrant and rare flowers from their greenhouses in this show.”

WantToGo? North Carolina Piedmont Orchid Society Annual Orchid Show is open noon to 5 p.m. Fri., Jan. 14, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., Jan. 15 and Sun., Jan. 16, at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Belmont. Visit dsbg.org. For information about the North Carolina Orchid Society, visit ncpiedmontorchid.org.

Have A Heart AHA Celebrates Wear Red Day Show your support for the American Heart Association Feb. 4, by donning your most crimson outfit in honor of Go Red For Women. The AHA launched the Go Red For Women movement in February 2004, during “heart month,” to raise women’s awareness of heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 women each year. The goal of AHA is for this day to remind and empower people everywhere to take action to reduce their personal risk of heart disease. TCW

WantToGo? For information on Heart Month or Go Red For Women, visit heart.org/charlottegoredluncheon or call 704/208-5513.

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Captivating and complex. Exquisite and exotic. Stunning and simply spectacular. Orchids are the jewels of the botanical world and this winter Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is putting on an orchid show to entice the casual guest, educate the novice and entertain the expert. BLAKENEY 9830 REA ROAD 704.541.0030 MON-SAT 10AM - 7PM SUN 12:30 - 5PM

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MoneyTalks

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Know What’s In The Cards T he I ns & O uts O f H o w Y ou r C r edit C a r ds I mpact Y ou r C r edit S co r e The more you know about credit card information, the better you can manage your financial life. “Separating the myths from reality when it comes to credit card use is an important step on your way to ensuring a good credit history and financial security,” says Beverly Ladley, Unsecured Borrowing & Small Business Products executive for Bank of America. Ladley offers the explanations and truths behind five common misconceptions about credit cards: Myth: Applying for a new credit card will not impact your credit score unless you use the card. Reality: There are five key calculations that are combined to generate your credit score. Applying for new credit, even if you don’t use the card, accounts for up to 10 percent of your credit score. Frequently applying for new credit can hurt your credit score, so think twice before applying for a new credit card to be sure that you actually want it. Myth: Paying less than the minimum on your credit card bill does not count as a missed payment. Reality: If you pay less than the minimum payment on your bill, it may be considered a late payment. Frequently paying less than the minimum will hurt your credit score and make it harder for you to qualify for credit. Check your statement

for the required amount due, and always pay it on time to keep your account current. And, remember, paying more than the minimum is a great way to improve your credit profile and pay less interest over time. Myth: A high credit card limit is bad. Reality: If you manage your credit cards wisely, a high credit limit can, in fact, be advantageous. Thirty percent of your credit score is determined by calculating your overall credit card balances as a percentage of your total available credit on all your cards. The lower your debt-tocredit ratio, the better. If you have a high credit limit and you keep your balances low, your debt-to-credit ratio will indeed be low, so a higher credit card limit can help you protect your good credit score. Myth: You must carry a balance on your credit cards to build a credit history. Reality: You must use your credit cards to build a credit history, but that does not mean you must carry an unpaid balance.

In fact, your best strategy is to use your credit cards and pay off the bill in full each month, so you keep your overall debt-tocredit limit low. Myth: The more credit cards you have, the better. Reality: A wallet stuffed with credit cards can make financial institutions nervous that your spending could get out of hand. You don’t need to restrict yourself to just one card, but refrain from opening credit cards — including store cards — frequently. The number of credit cards you carry makes up about 10 percent of your credit score, so having a large number of credit cards may negatively impact your credit score. Your credit card is more than just a convenient way to make purchases and manage your expenses. “By understanding how your credit card behavior affects your credit score, you can take steps to use your card wisely and build your score,” says Ladley.

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UPcomiNg oPeN HoUSeS: January 12th, 2011 - 9:00 am April 14th, 2011 - 9:00 am

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Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti Psychologist January 10th, 2011 • 6:30-7:30pm RSVP: 704-365-5490

Our adult studies program offers a variety of convenient undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education options.

Dr. NiiLampti will speak on racial identity development, over-diagnosing males of color and learning differences with students of varying races and ethnicities.

The Cottages at Trinity Oaks The Comforts of Home without the Hassles

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O n W o m e n

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Job Changes/Promotions Nikki Keith was named director of fund development and communication at Elon Homes and Schools for Children. Morehead Associates has hired Latrina Hurst as a support specialist in survey services, and Sophia Pratt as a reporting specialist in survey services.

Elliott Davis, PLLC, an accounting, tax, and consulting services firm, has named Liz Kalooky director of practice growth, and Sarah Hopfer practice growth coordinator. NC licensed clinical addiction specialist Paulette Hurst has joined Family First Community Services, a CARF accredited provider of mental health and substance abuse services. Griffin Home Health Care has hired Ashly Skinner, RRT, as respiratory therapist.

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Stephanie Lockwood was named administrative manager at the Web site design and development firm, Accrinet (accrinet.com).

New Business/Changes Catherine Browne has opened Charlotte Community Acupuncture at 820 Hamilton Street, Suite B12. Jamie Waller has opened Ring My Neck Inc. in Mount Holly (ringmyneck.com). Amy Aussieker has opened FABO Café, which sells the work of regional artists and serves coffee, tea, and baked goods, at 2820 Selwyn Ave., Suite 180.

Dr. Kristin M. Grasso, Psy.D., has joined Psychological Services of Charlotte Inc. as a clinical psychologist specializing in women’s health and eating disorders.

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Chandra Scott has opened Eclectic Invites, a custom invitation company (EclecticInvites.com). Event Fantasies, owned by Aisha Thomas, is now located at 1208 The Plaza.

Awards/Installations Amy Cousin, owner of Sirius7 Jewelry, was ranked 45th in StartupNation.com’s 2010 Leading Moms in Business Competition. The board of directors of International House has named Denise Cumbee Long the executive director.

s t o r i e s

Presbyterian Healthcare and Novant Health have received the 2010 Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Award for large hospitals and health systems from HealthLeaders Media. Martha Allen, of Union County, was selected by the American National Red Cross to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence. She is one of five people chosen across the nation to receive the award. Cheryl Palmer, Mint Museum director of education, has received a 2010 Excelente Award for Non-Latin Person Most Supportive of the Latino Community from La Noticia, the Spanish language newspaper. Joan Inglis, owner of Lake Wylie Home Staging, was awarded the North Carolina Home Builders Association 2010 Stars Award for Best Special Project — Marketing, for the Good Samaritan House charity home tour benefitting Clover Area Assistance Center. Karla Lee, business support executive with Bank of America, was named one of Working Mother magazine’s 2010 Working Mothers of the Year.

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On The Move editor@todayscharlottewoman.com

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3. Eat less meat. Animal agriculture and the production of meat releases high levels of climate-changing emissions. Reduce your meat intake by dedicating one day a week to meatless meals. Eating less meat means a healthier planet and a healthier you! 4. Remember your reusable shopping bags. Plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down, and many of them end up in our waterways and threaten marine life. Make it a habit to put your empty reusable bags back in the car each time the groceries are unloaded so you don’t forget them on your next trip.

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Top Of Mind Diagnosis Brings Laura Mercer From Working Professional To Alzheimer’s Advocate By Michelle Young Hubacher • PHOTOS BY BRAD FORTH

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n many days, she cannot remember where she put her keys. She might start recounting an event that happened earlier, and, all of a sudden, she can’t find the word she was looking for. She trails off every once in a while mid-

sentence, and, if he’s close by, her husband will prompt her with a verbal nudge.

She’s highly educated, extremely bright, has had a successful career in public relations, and was a newspaper reporter before that. She is, in fact, like many women you know. Maybe she’s just like you — busy with community involvement, helping to manage a household, mothering two children — one grown, the other a college student. But for Laura Mercer, the lapses in memory and seeming breaks in reality that friends and family attributed to the stress of working 50-hour weeks or possibly exhaustion turned out to be something much more. At 47 years old, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Laura, now 51, and her husband, Greg Mercer, have been through a maze of medical testing and misdiagnoses that has placed the couple squarely in a position to make a difference for the many others who are struggling with similar roadblocks. “This has been quite a journey,” Greg says. “And we’ve learned a lot — about the medical world, of course about this disease called Alzheimer’s … and about ourselves.”

In Hindsight Anyone who leads a busy life — high-stress job, parenting teens or young children, running the logistics of a home and busy schedule, managing family finances — knows how easy it is to start dropping balls. Forgetting to pick someone up from practice, losing your purse or wallet, becoming distracted while working on one task

and forgetting to get back to another … it happens to all of us. So, when Laura began showing signs of forgetfulness, Greg and other family members attributed it to work stress. As a partner and vice president of public relations at Price/McNabb and then Eric Mower & Associates, Laura worked long hours in a fast-paced environment — and she was very good at her job. But during one particular business trip that required Laura to direct a media training session for clients, she became acutely aware that something seemed “off.” “I would ask a question of the client, during the training,” Laura explains. “They would answer, and I literally could not hold on to what it was they said. I covered for it by looking to my colleague for backup. I’d say, ‘What do you think about that … ?’ But I knew something was wrong.” When she returned from that trip, her husband says things unraveled quickly. “We went to dinner the night she came home, and she asked the waiter to repeat the specials several times,” he says. The following night, the couple met for dinner again, this time driving separate cars to the restaurant. Greg says that on the way home, he was following Laura as she drove past the entrance to their neighborhood. He pulled up beside her and signaled her to pull off the road, and, when she did, she appeared slightly disoriented. Soon after that incident, she woke up in the middle of the night completely unaware of what was going on around her, and within 24 hours, the couple set off on a convoluted and > J A N U A R Y

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very frustrating path to finding out exactly what was going on with Laura. “It was terrifying,” Greg says. “Seeing her have a complete break from reality like that was such a shock. The smaller incidents of forgetfulness that we could easily pass off as stress-related or a result of her being tired seemed much more significant at that point.” Almost always identified as a disease of the elderly, Alzheimer’s can be particularly difficult to diagnose in someone as young as Laura. Anyone diagnosed with the disease under the age of 65 is, in fact, classified as suffering early-onset Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the 5.3 million Americans with the disease, only 500,000 have early-onset Alzheimer’s. And the disease, like many health issues, manifests differently in different individuals. Laura’s seemingly rapid onset, she says, is fairly unusual.

For Laura, a diagnosis did not come easily. After a series of MRIs, brain scans, and medical exams, it was determined that she had not suffered a stroke, nor did she appear to have any kind of neurological tumor — both conditions that might explain such a dramatic break in cognitive function. After further testing, doctors began discussing with the couple the possibility that Laura was suffering some type of psychological illness, possibly bipolar disorder. This involved a several-month process of trying various psychotic pharmaceuticals, cognitive therapies, and further testing — including a spinal tap and more MRIs. Because of Greg’s persistence that the information they were getting and the treatment options presented seemed inadequate, he pushed their physicians for further testing. “I felt very strongly that something was just not hitting the mark with what they were telling us,” he says. “It was very frustrating. Laura’s symptoms did not seem to match those of individuals with bipolar disorder.” After several trips to Duke University Hospital, and more advanced memory testing, doctors finally landed on a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. “Early in the course of the disease, the forgetfulness is overlooked by family and even primary care physicians,” explains Dr. M. Reza Bolouri, neurologist and founder of the Alzheimer’s Memory Center in Charlotte. “The T o d a y ’ s

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Source: The Alzheimer’s Association.

Warning Signs Things To Watch The Alzheimer’s Association has developed a checklist of common symptoms to help recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. 1. Memory loss 2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks 3. Problems with language

Process Of Elimination

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More women than men have dementia, primarily because women live longer, on average, than men.

4. Disorientation to time and place 5. Poor or decreased judgment 6. Problems with abstract thinking 7. Misplacing things 8. Changes in mood or behavior 9. Changes in personality 10. Loss of initiative Every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, consult a doctor. Early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias is an important step to getting the right treatment, care, and support. Visit todayscharlottewoman.com for strategies to possibly reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

only determinate diagnosis is by brain biopsy or post-mortem brain tissue examination.” Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, and although it is associated with the elderly, it is not an inevitable part of aging. “One of our primary goals is to let people know that Alzheimer’s disease is not necessarily a disease of the elderly,” says Lori Walker, executive director of the Western North Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “While more rare, people in their 50s, 40s, 30s, and even 20s can acquire Alzheimer’s.” Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease of the brain, and is the most common form of demen-

Laura Mercer and her husband, greg, are now active in alzheimer’s education.

tia. “It is a slow, progressive memory and cognitive decline that affects multiple spheres of brain function,” explains Dr. Bolouri, “including memory, language, judgment, and planning.” He says there are currently four drugs on the market to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and the earlier a patient begins taking the drugs, the better off her chances of stalling further dementia and destruction of brain cells.

Living With Alzheimer’s Now that the Mercers are off the rollercoaster ride of confusion surrounding Laura’s medical mystery, Greg Mercer says their lives

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are “all Alzheimer’s, all the time.” The couple is very active in educating the public about the disease, as well as raising funds and awareness across the region and in Washington, D.C. They were honorary chairs of this year’s Alzheimer’s Association Charlotte Memory Walk, which raised over $150,000 for Alzheimer’s support programs and research. Although Laura has been unable to work, she insists her “job” has simply changed focus. “I tell people I am no longer working for pay, but I am a full-time volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association,” Laura says, smiling. “I’m just as busy as I ever was.” In addition to sharing a seat on the board of directors of the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, Laura and Greg are part of a national advisory group for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. They speak to local church groups, businesses, and community organizations about the signs of the disease, the importance of raising money to find a cure, and the imperative issue of providing support for the caregiver. They both say that simply sharing their story has been a powerful experience in relating to others struggling with the disease — both patients and caregivers. The couple has also rearranged family responsibilities. “Laura’s illness has required us to redefine our roles within the family in some fairly dramatic ways,” Greg says. For example, Laura previously handled the family’s finances. Now, Greg has stepped into that role. “It hasn’t been easy taking on the additional responsibilities. But you do your best knowing Laura would have done the same for me,” he says. “Alzheimer’s affects the entire family,” Greg adds. “Laura chose to live with the disease, instead of letting it put an end to how she functioned day to day. No, she cannot work in the job she had before. But she remains very active and focused on new things.” Part of that new focus involves managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and, hopefully, the progression of this aggressive disease. Laura takes almost two dozen pills a day, including pharmaceuticals, herbs, and vitamins — either

prescribed by or overseen by her neurologist. “There are several interesting options for herbal supplements that are showing promise in treatment,” Laura says. Dr. Bolouri agrees, explaining, “Anecdotal reports of vitamin E, B complex, and Omega 3 fish oil have been noted,” in regard to those supplements showing promise in slowing the progression of the disease. Laura also strictly manages her diet. “It’s very similar to a heart-healthy diet,” she explains. “I stay away from sugar. I eat very well.” And, she does water aerobics regularly. Greg says, “It turns out all that stuff your mother told you is true … eat right and exercise.” Laura also participates in activities she hopes will keep her brain activity high — needlepoint, jigsaw puzzles, search-a-word puzzles. “I can’t do crosswords anymore like Greg, but I like the word games in the newspaper,” she says. Rest is an important part of her health regimen, as well. “I always say, ‘It’s tiring being me,’ ” Laura says, with a laugh. Indeed, Dr. Bolouri explains that getting adequate rest is important for Alzheimer’s patients, because it gives them a chance to recharge, organize thoughts, and renew energy. Facing an uncertain future is not something Laura and Greg choose to dwell on. “We don’t let fear of tomorrow get in the way of enjoying the blessing of today,” Greg says simply. But the reality of what lies ahead is not lost on either of them. “In many ways, it’s harder for Laura right now, because she is aware of how the disease is affecting her,” he explains. “It’s not upsetting, just frustrating,” Laura insists. “I do get frustrated from time to time.” Keeping busy with her volunteer work has given Laura a certain peace of mind and a definite purpose. Her active role with the Alzheimer’s Association is central to that purpose. “Very soon after my diagnosis, we walked into the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to get as much information as we could. And we learned just how big this disease is; how many people it impacts,” Laura says with passion. “There are so many people who need our help.” TCW

ToLearnMore The Alzheimer’s Association offers a 24/7 helpline for patients, caregivers, and anyone seeking more information. Call 800/272-3900 or visit alz.org for details. Visit alzwnc.org for information about the Western North Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Getting To The Core Of An

Ancient Art Iona Wilson Celebrates The Joy Of Shimmying With Belly Dance By Debra Moffitt • photos by scott stiles

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hen January rolls around, heading back to the gym to kick-start a renewed commitment to fitness is often accompanied by a sigh of boredom. Not for Iona Wilson. She puts on wide-leg dance pants, a brightly colored hip scarf with gold

fringe, and turns on drum music to accompany a shoulder shimmy. Wilson, a self-

described “geek,” turns her attentions to a more feminine and enticing way to exercise — belly dance. Since she began the practice over eight years ago, she’s progressed from student to performer and, now, instructor. She currently owns and operates Lotus Bellydance, a dance studio in south Charlotte.

During her days as a Premier field engineer for Microsoft, Wilson works in a high-tech, leftbrain, and mostly male environment. But in the evening and on Saturdays, she heads to the Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge to teach women how to belly dance. Her students range in age from 6 to 66, and the funky drum beats and jingling sounds of coin scarves and finger cymbals can be heard throughout the gym as women learn to do the basic Egyptian steps and hip hits.

Crossing Over To The Feminine Side “At work, I’m often one of the only women in a crowd of men,” Wilson says. “Belly dancing allows me time to bring in my feminine side, which my career can’t always provide. While I encourage women to go into tech jobs, dancing helps to bring me back to center and in balance.” She relocated from Indianapolis to Charlotte with Microsoft, and first started belly

dance as a gift to her then-fiancé, Maurice. She kept it a secret for almost a year, until she took him to a dance recital where she performed. “He said, ‘Oh, my God!’ He was excited for me,” she says. “But after the surprise, I’d planned to quit.” Maurice, now her husband, instead encouraged her to keep going. “And I haven’t stopped dancing since,” she says. She was later invited to join the Magic-Hips Dancers, a professional troupe based in Charlotte. She created Lotus Bellydance in 2007, to share her love of the dance by teaching it to others. Wilson teaches a classical Egyptian dance style, but other forms, which she has learned, include American Tribal, fusion, and Turkish. The 35-year-old loves music and played percussion as a child, and belly dance allows her to bring it all together. The use of zills, or finger cymbals, and hand drums, as well as colorful costumes, contributes to the joy of this exercise. >

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iona wilson became a fan of The art — and exercise — of belly dance and now teaches classes, hoping to empower women with this ancient practice. Employing the beaded hip skirts and finger cymbals of the dance add to the experience.

“A lot of people think of pretty as dainty,” belly. It’s feminine, natural, and nourishing. find elsewhere,” she says. Kristen Bowers, one of Wilson’s students, Wilson says. “But, for the community of belly “Belly dance caters to your emotional sense, dancers, getting dressed up is about being a your inner goddess,” Wilson says. She adds says she started taking belly dance as a joke. woman and showing strength.” The dance that some of her students start out as cater- “My cousin thought it would be funny,” Bowers says. “But she quit and I itself, she says, is soft and flustuck with it! It’s fun, and a id. “It’s created for the femigreat way to meet a diverse nine physique, and helps a At work, I’m often one of the only women in a crowd of group of people.” Kirsten Fowlwoman to love her body and men. Belly dancing allows me time to bring in my er, another of Wilson’s stuembrace her curves.” dents, says she started taking feminine side, which my career can’t always provide. lessons about a year-and-a-half Loving Your Center While I encourage women to go into tech jobs, dancing ago, after ballet, modern dance, While belly dance helps helps to bring me back to center and in balance. and hip hop classes. “It’s fun,” women to tone muscles and she says, “and it helps you to stay in shape, it also helps — Iona Wilson embrace your body and what them on a deeper level by creyou have.” She has also attendating within them a sense of self-love, Wilson explains. In a society seem- pillars — closed up and tight — but they soon ed local haflas (belly dance meet-ups), where a ingly obsessed with thinness, belly dance bloom into butterflies. “They gain a sense of community of women come together to share says it’s okay to have hips and to relax your self-confidence and self-esteem that’s hard to their love for the exercise and learn new tech30

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Wilson, who is the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, says many people have misconceptions about the art and exercise of belly dancing, associating it with entertainment for men. But belly dance, in its truest sense, is a way to celebrate women. “It’s for and about women,” she says. This Middle Eastern dance stretches back to ancient times, and is believed to help women with childbirth. The mother and friends of the woman in labor would dance around a woman in childbirth to help her remember the movements that would make giving birth easier, Wilson says. Wilson danced through her eighth month of pregnancy, and feels that it also aided her to quickly restore her abdominal muscles and to rebuild and strengthen the pelvic floor. “Many students who discover belly dancing after pregnancy wish they would have known about it sooner,” she says. She believes it can even help women overcome depression and grief. She describes students who have come in facing difficult problems, and, through the movement and the exuberance, danced away grief, anger, and frustration. Wilson notes that the dance form offers women the possibility to find freedom from the world around them, and gives them a place to focus on themselves instead of their roles as mother, sister, wife, or employee. “If I come here tired from work, I dance and feel better,” Wilson says. “I just feel much better if I can dance.” TCW

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niques. “I realized that my tummy is good,” Fowler says. “And, with belly dance, the smaller you are, the harder you have to work to make the moves seen!” Wilson also touts the power of the dance to boost self-esteem. “I had some self-confidence issues when I started out,” she says. “I was 30 pounds heavier than I am today. But this transformed my life. I loved the dancing, and I finally felt good about myself when I looked in the mirror.” She says the confidence she gained boosted her self-esteem in other areas of her life. In her own Spirit of the Lotus professional dance troupe, she performs on stage throughout the Southeast.

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Smile Satisfaction News from Dr. Chris Bowman

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Could a New Smile Be Your ‘Fountain of Youth’? Veneers, Implants, and even Dentures Offer Solutions for Aging Smiles Let’s face it...over time, everything wears out. Your car, your clothes, and even your smile. Your front and back teeth all get darker and wear down as the years pass, and so does your older dental work. In fact, perhaps the most visible sign of aging is your changing smile. It’s not just your smile that changes. Your entire facial appearance is influenced by the shape, height and position of your teeth and jaws. As your teeth age and wear, the space between your upper and lower jaws gets smaller and your chin gets closer to your nose. As a result, the lower third of your face can look “squished” together:

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W o m a n

12/16/10 10:32 AM


W e l l n e s s F r o m T o p T o B o tt o m

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes By melinda johnston

I

f one of your resolutions is to make 2011 a happier, healthier New Year, then read on. From head

to toe, and many parts in between, we asked local healthcare providers and other professionals for tips on staying well. No matter the body part, each pro’s advice is surprisingly similar: eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, drink plenty of water, and make time for yourself each day. Following is a more detailed description of how to take care of your many important parts. Here’s to a happier, healthier you! > J A N U A R Y

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Wellness From Top To Bottom

Brain Brains benefit from workouts, just like the rest of our bodies. Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center, lists four simple things that can help keep our brains in top condition:

Hair Hair can not only make or break your day (think bad hair day), it can also tell a lot about your health. Karla Kuhlmann, owner and stylist at KM and Company Salon on South Tryon Street, says what you eat not only shows around your waist, but also on your head. Started a crazy diet or switched to fast food? Your hair can become weak, dull, and lifeless. And food isn’t the only culprit. In addition to diet changes, stopping or starting medications, stress, hormone imbalance, gastric bypass surgery, menopause, low iron, and other medical conditions can affect the appearance of your hair and cause hair loss. If that happens to you, head to your doctor to figure out the cause. In the meantime, work with your stylist using the shampoos and conditioners she recommends. Want to keep hair healthy? Kuhlmann says to drink more water and go easy on the heat. “Especially in the winter, keep your hair moisturized. Overuse of blow dryers and flat irons is a big problem,” Kuhlmann says. “Women will crank them up all the way and then wonder why their hair is scorched. I tell my clients that hair is a fiber, just like a fine silk blouse.”

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1.

Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times a week.

2.

Look for simple ways to get out of your intellectual routine. Brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, taking a new route to work, or doing a crossword puzzle all help your brain engage.

3.

Spend 10 to 20 minutes every day playing any game that requires you to play against the clock.

4.

Connect with others in a meaningful way each and every day. Volunteer, go out for dinner with friends, or join a reading group.

Eyes Ears Avoid excessive noise. Dr. Michael T. Falcone, otolaryngologist with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, says subjecting your ears to loud noise is the equivalent of standing outside and staring at the sun — so turn the iPod down! Also, remember that the ears are one of the most susceptible parts of the body to frostbite. Put that new hat or toboggan to work when you are outside in the winter, and in the summertime, sunscreen is a must, since skin cancer of the ear is all too common. Finally, leave the earwax alone, if possible. “Resist the temptation to put anything, including cotton swabs, in your ear,” Dr. Falcone says. “Earwax is healthy for your ear and your ear canals were designed to clean themselves.”

Dry eyes? Dr. Lucy M. Yarbrough, an ophthalmologist with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, says it’s a common problem year-round and affects women of all ages. “Whether the problem is caused by exposure (not blinking enough, which causes the evaporation of your tears) or lack of tear production (common in patients with thyroid disease or in peri-menopausal women), dry eye can cause red, tired eyes, excessive tearing, and irritation,” Yarbrough says. To help with dry eye, Dr. Yarbrough suggests turning the vents away from your head — in the car, and in your home. Use artificial tears, which help keep the surface of your eye lubricated. (She says to avoid drops that claim to “get the red out.”) Take breaks while reading and working at the computer, and don’t forget to blink! If you’re still having problems, see your doctor. You may be in need of prescription medicines, ointments, or procedures that can help you with severe or persistent dry eye.

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Nose Dr. Falcone says the two best ways to stay healthy in the winter are to wash your hands frequently, and to get a flu shot. If you do catch a cold, beware of decongestants. “Be careful using decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin® (Oxymetazoline). These can be habit-forming with prolonged use. Avoid oral decongestants if you have high blood pressure. Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest,” Falcone says. Falcone also says Neti pots and other nasal saline irrigation kits are a great way to treat colds, sinus infections, and allergies. If you follow the directions on the box, they are safe for daily use. But be careful mixing the saline solution — too much or too little salt can be irritating to the nose and cause even more problems.

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Periodontist Dr. Kiya Green Dixie, of Matthews Periodontics, says periodontitis — gum disease — often goes hand in hand with illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. How to prevent it? Brush, floss, and use mouthwash every day. “Your toothbrush only cleans the front and back surfaces of your teeth. Floss cleans between the teeth where bacteria love to hide,” says Dr. Dixie. She also recommends a Sulcabrush and electric toothbrushes. Mouthwash that has some antibacterial properties is also high on her list, but make sure to look for the ADA seal when purchasing products, as not all rinses are germ-fighters or strength-builders. >

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Wellness From Top To Bottom

Breasts Dr. Amy H. Sobel, breast-imaging specialist with Charlotte Radiology, says the key to beating breast cancer is early detection. “Annual mammograms, beginning at age 40, play a central part in early detection because they can detect subtle changes in the breast before they can be felt,” Dr. Sobel says. “And while breast cancer cannot be prevented, there are things all women can do to reduce their risk. Follow the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for early detection, including monthly self-breast exams, regular clinical examinations, and a yearly mammogram. If you exercise regularly, drink alcohol only in moderation, and maintain a healthy body weight, you can also decrease your risk for breast cancer.” Dr. Sobel cautions that if you find a lump or other change in your breast — even if you’ve had a recent normal mammogram — contact your doctor immediately. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include a breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue; spontaneous bloody or clear discharge from the nipple; changes to the skin over the breast such as dimpling, inverted nipple, peeling or flaking of skin, redness, or pitting of the skin over your breast like the skin of an orange.

Feet Wear high heels in moderation, says OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Institute’s Dr. Carroll P. Jones, an orthopedic surgeon. “Fashionable, narrow shoes with an elevated heel cause the weight bearing to shift toward the front part of the foot,” he says. “This uneven distribution of weight, coupled with limited room, leads to problems including bunions, hammertoes (contracted curled toes), and neuromas (nerve impingement). I typically advise women to try and limit high-heels to special occasions like social events or church.” The most common foot complaint he sees is plantar fasciitis — pain on the bottom of the heel, typically with the first steps in the morning, or standing after a long period of sitting. Stretching exercises, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, well-cushioned shoes, and avoidance of impact activity will often cure the problem, although it may take up to six to nine months for complete resolution.

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Heart Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute’s adult cardiologist Dr. Cheryl Russo says each woman needs to have a “heart to heart” discussion with her doctor. “Don’t just know the risk factors for heart disease in women, know your risk factors,” Dr. Russo says. “Sit down with your primary doctor and discuss your numbers. Write them on a piece of paper in one column and the goal numbers in another column so it is very clear. Do this for weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose.” How to cut down on your risk of heart disease? Don’t smoke. If you are having trouble quitting, ask your doctor for help. Eat right. And save some time for yourself. Russo says that even if you work during the day and take care of children or others as well, make sure to carve out 30 minutes each day for physical activity.

Waist “Waist is more important than weight,” say doctors Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, authors of You: On a Diet. Because of its proximity to vital organs, they claim that belly fat is the most dangerous fat you can carry, and that it is one of the strongest predictors of health risks (heart disease, diabetes) associated with obesity. Their recommendation: “Ditch the scale in favor of the tape measure. Measure your waist and aim small — ideal is 32 ½ inches or less for women, and 35 inches or less for men.” >

12/16/10 4:56 PM


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Wellness From Top To Bottom

Knees What’s that creaking all about? Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dana Piasecki, of OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine Center, says creaking and cracking (crepitus) is very common, especially in patients over age 30, but usually isn’t a serious problem. “I counsel patients that the noise, in itself, is not concerning unless you are regularly waking your spouse from sleep at night, as I occasionally do!” Dr. Piasecki says. “You may consider having an orthopedist examine you if the cracking and popping is associated with swelling, pain, or catching.” To keep knees in shape, especially with so many professionals spending most of the day sitting down, Dr. Piasecki recommends basic conditioning with regular periods of rest to prevent overtraining. Regular hamstring stretching and quadricep

38

Colon

strengthening is a must. If you do hurt your knee

Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Some risk factors are beyond our control, but others can be lowered by a change of diet or exercise. Dr. Sanjib Mohanty, of Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology, says several factors increase an individual’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. These include a family history of colorectal cancer, prior colorectal cancer or polyps, increasing age, several inherited conditions, and inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. A diet high in fat and red meat and low in fiber, a sedentary lifestyle, and cigarette smoking can increase your risk, as well. Dr. Mohanty says adults should undergo colon cancer screening beginning at age 50, or earlier, depending on their risks. The goal of the screening is to prevent the development of colorectal cancer by identifying precancerous growths called adenomatous polyps, which can be removed before they become cancerous.

signs of injury inside the joint that can lead to early

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playing sports or working out, he cautions not to push through the swelling or pain. These may be

Soul Two area clergy agree that a daily time-out is necessary for spiritual wellness. “We need to take time each day to reconnect with the source of our being, to connect with God,” says Rev. Dr. Nancy Rankin, senior pastor at Blair Road United Methodist Church. Rabbi Judith Schindler, of Temple Beth El, recommends taking 10 minutes each day for reflection, whether through meditation, yoga, or prayer. “We should live life according to our priorities and live intentionally and with gratitude,” Schindler says.

arthritis if not treated promptly.

Vagina Just like all other parts of the body, the female genital tract needs preventative care to stay healthy. Dr. Lisa Wilson, of Providence Obstetrics & Gynecology, says women of all ages — from teenagers on — should see their physicians on a yearly basis for pap smears to screen for precancerous cervical changes, as well as pelvic exams to help identify fibroids and ovarian masses. Young women age 9 to 26 may also benefit from a vaccine against HPV to help prevent cervical cancer and genital warts. How to keep female organs in top shape? “Maintain a healthy weight,” Dr. Wilson says. “This helps regulate the menstrual cycle and can help women conceive when they want to start a family. Do not smoke. Smoking makes the immune system less able to fight the virus that causes abnormal pap smears and cervical cancer. “Finally, women should strive to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by using condoms with every sexual encounter — especially with new and/or multiple partners.” TCW

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12/16/10 4:57 PM


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39 12/17/10 9:44 AM


weighty issues what’s

e

the

word

on

the

hcg

diet?

by lee rhodes

xercise, eat right, and … take your shots? For some women (and men) trying to lose weight, the hCG diet, which entails injecting yourself with small doses of the hCG hormone over a period of one or more months, is showing promise when traditionally prescribed methods can’t overcome a halt in weight loss. In conjunction with a low calorie diet, hCG, administered under a physician’s care, is showing promise as another tool in taking off the

pounds, especially belly fat.

the abcs of hcg The hormone known as hCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, produced during pregnancy by the placenta. It’s what common pregnancy tests pick up in a woman’s urine to determine a positive result. Richard Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., the director of Doctor’s Weight Loss Center, explains that hCG’s main function during pregnancy is to protect the fetus. “The most important factor in fetal development is energy supply (food),” he says. “To prevent fetal developmental problems due to starvation — which was common to mankind throughout history and still exists today — hCG releases the mother’s stored energy for the fetus to use. Therefore, under the influence of hCG, there should be abundant nutrients flowing in the mother’s blood, including glucose, lipids, etc.” When a non-pregnant person is given hCG, Dr. Cheng says the hormone still releases this stored energy to the bloodstream. “The dieter has to be on a very low calorie diet to allow the body to burn off the released calories,”

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he explains. “This is what I believe is the fundamental mechanism of how hCG helps with weight loss.” Don Nicholas, founder and CEO of Revita AntiAging, and Investor in Revita Medical, PC., explains, “hCG metabolizes calories from fat — up to 4,000 calories per day.” Many patients, he says, experience rapid weight loss of sometimes one to three pounds a day. While losing several pounds per day is not normally considered safe, Nicholas explains that our bodies naturally store fat reserves in case of starvation. hCG treatments mobilize these fat reserves, and the release of the fat deposits mitigates the hunger pangs that would normally be associated with a low-calorie diet. The diet gained momentum in the 1960s, when it was discovered that starving women in Third World countries were, surprisingly, giving birth to healthy babies. Researchers concluded that hCG was metabolizing the extra fat storage in the body. As the use of hCG as a diet aid has grown in

popularity, research backing up its claims has grown, as well. Peter Fotinos, M.D., Revita’s medical director, cites the fact that, in conjunction with a 500-calorie-aday diet, hCG “resets the portion of the brain known as the hypothalamus” that contains the regulatory area for hunger. This reset, he says, allows the hCG to bypass other fat reserves and go straight for the fat typically found in the belly, thighs, and buttocks. In the case of Revita patient Kim Alleva, a self-professed yo-yo dieter who wanted to lose the 20 extra pounds she’d been carrying since gall bladder surgery, the hCG option inspired skepticism at first. “Short of surgery, I’ve done a lot of diets,” she says. Karess Norris, medical coach at Urban Skin Solutions, a Charlotte MedSpa, says women like Alleva, who exercise regularly but still cannot seem to slim down, are ideal hCG patients. She says hCG can also work for people who are obese. And she acknowledges that hCG has proven successful for men as well as women.

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12/16/10 5:00 PM


One such man is Jeff Lynch, a Revita client who visited the practice initially for hormone replacement therapy after chemotherapy. The chemo had left him sluggish and without the motivation to exercise. “My weight was going up, my blood sugar was going up, and my blood pressure was going up,” he recalls. “I said, ‘This better stop, or pretty soon I’ll be going down.’ ” Frustrated that his family physician, whom he calls a great diagnostician, kept prescribing additional medications for his ailments, Lynch decided to try the hCG diet. He was impressed with the research he’d done on hCG, and later, with Dr. Fotinos’ thoroughness. Every hCG patient receives a full lab panel and workup prior to beginning the regimen.

a change in eating habits One of the common responses to the hCG diet is revised eating habits. “A 500-calorie-a-day diet seems pretty austere, but for some reason, when you’re taking the hCG, you’re not that hungry,” Lynch says. Alleva, who tried hCG despite her earlier reservations, agrees. “I’m a pasta/bread person and I come from a traditional Italian family,” she says. “But I really feel my tastes have changed. I don’t even want that kind of food anymore.” Dr. Cheng explains part of the body’s reaction to the hCG and a reduced calorie intake: “hCG releases abnormally stored energy (fat and sugar) into blood circulation,” he says. Dr. Cheng notes that his patients are placed on a 50-gram protein diet with 500 calories or less, along with other recommendations of the system, and will experience an increase in metabolism. “It is estimated that a patient will burn around 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day on our system. The 3,000 to 3,500 calories-

a-day deficit will come from the abnormal energy storage (usually found in the belly area). This is the foundation of weight loss,” he says. The hCG diet generally includes a variety of specific vegetables and fruits, melba toast, and various meat options. Tea is an integral part of the diet as well, as tea is a natural appetite suppressant. “The specific foods we use [on this diet] are good for fat burning and give you essential nutrients that your body needs,” Dr. Fotinos explains. In terms of exercise, participants are encouraged to continue the same level of activity they maintained before beginning the diet. “If people are going to the gym, they should keep doing that,” Nicholas says. But, he adds, the hCG diet may provide motivation for those who have been reluctant or even unable to exercise. Alleva agrees. After her weight crept up, she admits she didn’t have the desire to head back to the gym. “But I knew once I lost some initial weight, I’d get back to it,” she says. Other considerations? “Almost every patient is a little hesitant about doing the injections, which is where I come in to coach and help them,” says Norris. Despite his job as an anesthesiologist, Lynch says he hates needles. However, he notes that the needle is small, and similar to those used by diabetics for insulin. Some practices also offer oral forms of hCG. Side effects are usually mild and may include a slight headache or feelings of hunger as your body adjusts to the diet. And, you can still experience a splurge or two. “If you keep a good diet, you can go to McDonald’s once a month or go to a birthday party and have a piece of cake,” says Dr. Fotinos. Interestingly, his advice aligns with traditional recommendations for weight loss. “If you keep a healthy lifestyle overall,” he says, “you can keep the weight off.” TCW

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beauty

-

Making Up Is Not So Hard To Do Cosmetic Collections Continue To Charm By Fiona Harmon

Still flush from the holidays, makeup manufacturers and big-brand names offer just the right solution to your New Year’s resolution to boost your beauty routine. What better way to try a new shade (or eight new shades!) than to invest in a collection of colors. You’ll have the nail, lip, or lid shades you want, when you want them, with any one of these makeup kits. The Divine Marchesa Collection Backstage Kit JK Jemma Kidd Everything you need to prep and prime, color and contour, and swath your eyelids in color. $35 • Target and Target.com

Napoleon Perdis The collection includes Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation ($49), Dramatic Eye Quad ($35), Black Sapphire matte black nail color ($10), and Ravishing Rose Lip Shine in a black roseshaped compact ($15). ULTA

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After The Referral... he relationship between you and your dentist is a special one. Your dentist may be the first to observe a change in your health. When a periodontal change is noted, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. Left untreated, periodontitis may lead to tooth loss, heart disease, stroke, respiratory issues, and complications with diabetes and pregnancy.

Dr. Kiya Green Dixie, of Matthews Peridontics, is board certified and the only practicing female periodontist in the Charlotte area.

Matthews Periodontics offers patients: Dr. Kiya Green Dixie Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology

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• The only laser FDA approved to treat periodontitis, which means therapy without cutting, sutures, or pain. • Treatment of non-disease periodontal issues, such as frenectomies, gum grafting, correcting gummy smiles, and implant therapy.

• Different levels of sedation, if necessary, including IV sedation, oral sedation, and laughing gas. • Periodontic care for pediatric and orthodontic patients. • A soft touch in a caring atmosphere.

1320 Matthews Township Pkwy., Suite 101, Matthews, NC 28105 • (704) 847-5657 • www.matthewsperio.com

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Wendy Smith created the home of her dreams in Mooresville.

Wide Open Spaces Home Offers Respite For One Busy Family By Courtney McLaughlin • photos by scott stiles

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endy Smith admits that what is now the home of her dreams was not love at first sight. The large, “horse-friendly” lot was a

For Sale By Owner, and Wendy, a real estate agent with Keller

Williams, walked the property with potential buyers — as their

agent — ready to make a sale. “I never thought I’d live in Mooresville,” she says. As more time passed, she began to reconsider. “I spent several Saturday mornings out here, and it was so quiet,” she says. After another showing to a potential buyer, Wendy’s mind was made up. “In my head, I thought, Lady, this lot is sold.”

It took a little under a year for MidAtlantic Custom Builders to construct the 10,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, fivebathroom house — double the space of the Smiths’ previous home in Huntersville. “I wanted it to be comfortable and warm, not something you go into and think you can’t touch anything,” she says.

A Place To Call Home Over the years, Wendy, her husband Brad, and their four children have done

their share of packing and unpacking. As a real estate agent, wanderlust comes with the territory. But this time around, she says with a smile, it’s different. This is the place where she hopes her children will bring their future families home. “We wanted to build a home where everyone will congregate,” she says. The Smiths’ Mooresville home is a place of respite and renewal. For Wendy, who often works 50 hours a week and is never without her phone, and Brad, > J A N U A R Y

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As part of the Mooresville home’s open floor plan, the kitchen includes a large, inviting breakfast room. Wendy Smith’s design aesthetic incorporates comfortable touches that create an atmosphere conducive to entertaining and, more importantly she says, to spending time at home with family.

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a pharmacist in Charlotte, the space is an oasis. “At the end of the day, I need some peace,” Wendy says. The home marries lively entertainment areas with spots that invite you to settle in and sit a spell. Wendy was previously a commercial decorator, and her sense of style and knack for creating comfortable spaces is evident throughout the home, starting at the driveway. There, a whimsical

fountain stands friendly sentry to the stucco, stone, and brick home. Inside, a cozy sitting room — which the family has dubbed “the winter wine-drinking spot” — greets guests and provides a fitting introduction to the home’s comfy vibe. An intimate dining room is situated nearby. The open home office features ample counter space, cabinets, and storage, and a cushioned bench tucked along the hallway. The >

designer style, at a perfect price

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Tired of the Mall? Find something that reflects your personal style!

Come to Charlotte’s Premier Vintage Boutique

A Step Back In Time The screened porch (pictured at left and above) provides beautiful views of the property around the home.

master retreat, complete with a connecting large bathroom featuring his-and-her sinks and a walk-through shower with dual showerheads, is situated on the first floor, as well. The gourmet kitchen and two-story sitting room features a massive stone fireplace — the focal point of the main floor. The marble kitchen island is equally appropriate for a large cocktail party or small family dinner at home. “This is where everyone gathers,” Wendy says. A sunny eat-in breakfast room outfitted with a comfortable mix of upholstered and woven-seat chairs anchors the space. “I wanted it to be all one room,” Wendy says. The kitchen spills out onto one of the most enchanting features of the home: a screenedin porch. This room, which Wendy calls “the nice-weather vino spot,” is furnished with comfortable wicker and swathed with giant drapes that are simply yards of burlap stapled to the upper window frames. The expansive, wooded views remind her why the land enchanted her to begin with. Upstairs are three large bedrooms well lived in by Cody, 17 (hunter, fisherman, racecar fan), Alexis, 12 (the princess sleeps here), and Duncan, age 5 (currently sleeping in the tent he got for his birthday). When Logan, 21, comes home from college, she inhabits the basement bedroom. The long loft space upstairs serves as Alexis’ study and playroom. A game room and additional playroom are also housed on this floor. >

our staff will Be glad to helP you transPort yourself to another time!

The Arboretum • Located inside Karen’s Beautiful Things 704-998-8339 • www.AStepBackInTime.org

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The Smiths have incorporated several enchanting gathering spots on the home’s surrounding five acres. The barn (top) is a favorite outdoor entertaining area.

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Brad and Wendy say the basement — which features stained concrete floors, a wet bar, pool table, video games, a vintage Star Wars movie poster, and space for a future wine cellar — is the most used area in the house. The couple agrees that the room with the most foot traffic is the home theater. With a collection of over 800 movies, two comfortable couches, and plenty of floor space, it begs for family togetherness. “This is where we are every single night,” Brad says. There is also a workout room, storage room, holiday room, and bedroom and bathroom in the basement. A concrete-floored patio off the back will “hopefully” open up by next summer to the new pool, Wendy adds. Throughout the five-acre property surrounding the home, it’s just as easy to find great places to come together as it is to find solitude. Brad recently added a path (complete with foot and ATV bridges and overhead lights) that starts at the house and winds down to an open field, surrounded by a horse farm and two creeks. The flat, grassy area

is anchored by a barn that Brad added soon after the family moved in. The structure blends perfectly with the surroundings, and Wendy’s signature style shines through in the rustic chandeliers and classic outdoor chairs that make it difficult to find a reason to leave this peaceful place. When asked if she has finally found what she’s been looking for, Wendy is quiet for a few seconds. Then she smiles. “Oh, yes,” she says. “I’m not leaving.” TCW

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MeetOurAdvertisers

Time Travel For The Vintage Shopper In You

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By Karsen Price

PHOTO phot o by by de?? bo ??ra ???? h?? ??ip tr ??le ??tt

hen it comes to vintage clothing and accessories, Victoria Ross is more than a purveyor; she’s a historian. And when it comes to her quaint vintage boutique, A Step Back In Time, the name doesn’t offer empty promises: One step inside, and you truly feel transported to another era. The shop, located within Karen’s Beautiful Things in Victoria R oss sells vi accessori es at A St ntage clothing an the Arboretum, is home to a d ep Back In Time. collection of hand-selected items from the 1920s to the 1970s, including a spectacular head,” she says, assortment of accessories and col- laughing. “It got to the point where I was wearing a lot of vinlectible vintage jewelry. “I’m not a jeans and T-shirt tage clothing. A friend of mine type of store,” Ross says. “I’m very said, ‘Why not open your own specific about a unique look. My vintage store?’ ” That friend, Karen Holder, is items are more exclusive than you often find in consignment stores. I owner of Karen’s Beautiful Things. like to offer collectibles, but I like With a little nudging and an offer to share store space with her, Ross to make them affordable.” Items are marked with tags embarked on an adventure into that explain the date of origin the land of retail. Today, Ross is and price, and customers can ask living with stage four cancer, but Ross for insight into the item’s his- she focuses on the positive. “I’m just having a hell of a good time,” tory. Shoppers are also welcome to come in simply to learn about she says. Ross discovers her treasures the past. Ross says, “I think it’s so from a variety of sources, and says fascinating to see what you might some of her most interesting finds have looked like in another era.” Ross, who describes herself as come from her customers. She gregarious, explains that her foray admits that she occasionally has a into retail came on the heels of a hard time letting go of a new find. “I’ll wear it for a day,” she says, cancer diagnosis. “Ten years ago, I had cancer, laughing, “and then I’ll come to my senses and realize I need the and I started wearing vintage money and have to sell it.” TCW hats and scarves to cover my bald

ToLearnMore A Step Back In Time is located in the Arboretum, inside Karen’s Beautiful Things. Call 704/998-8339 or visit www.AStepBackInTime.org.

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HealthFlash W h a t

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Get Moving Another Reason To Exercise

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t’s a new year, and most of us have resolved to exercise more. As if we needed another reason to do so, the Yale School of Public Health released a new study that found women who exercise for at least 150 minutes a week may see a reduced risk of endometrial cancer, regardless of whether or not they are overweight. “This study is consistent with other studies that strongly support the association between physical activity and lower risk of endometrial cancer,” says Hannah Arem, a doctoral student at Yale School of Public Health. The association was more pronounced among active women with a body mass index less than 25, where the reduction in risk was 73 percent compared with inactive women with a BMI more than 25. Although BMI showed a strong association with endometrial cancer, even women who were overweight but still active had a 52 percent lower risk. So get out there, and get moving!

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Scribble Away A Doodle For Your Noodle

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o you scribble, squiggle, and sketch while in a meeting or listening to voice messages? If so, you may find it easier to recall details than your non-doodling counterparts. This finding, published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, is contrary to the common perception that doodling is an activity individuals perform when the mind is wandering. In fact, researchers suspect that doodling helps keep people more alert and reduces the tendency to daydream. In a study of 40 adults, half of the group shaded in a row of shapes and the other half did

nothing while listening to a boring phone message. Later, when asked to remember what they had heard, the doodlers recalled 29 percent more information than the non-doodlers. “This study suggests that in everyday life, doodling may be something we do because it helps to keep us on track with a boring task, rather than being an unnecessary distraction that we should try to resist doing,” says study researcher Jackie Andrade, Ph.D., of the School of Psychology at University of Plymouth in England. In short, mindless doodling helps focus your mind on the task at hand. Doodle on.

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~ Ballantyne Area ~ LaVida Massage of Toringdon Circle 12206 Copper Way, Ste. 120 Charlotte, NC 28277 (980) 207-2815

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Hey, Junk Food Junkie

This Is Your Brain On Bad Food According to a study recently published in Nature Neuroscience, there is a strong similarity between addiction to drugs such as cocaine and nicotine, and those overpowering cravings for salty, sugary, fatty junk food. Yes, researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in Florida are saying that some of us can actually be addicted to Ho Hos, chips, and Oreos. The study found that overconsumption of high-calorie food can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain, turning rats into obese compulsive eaters. Scientists found that frequent junk food binges can actually rewire brain circuitry by decreasing the levels of a specific dopamine receptor. As with drug addicts, junk food junkies then require more and more food for the same “feel-good” effect, leading to a compulsive habit beyond their control. For dieters, it may be better to go “cold turkey” on the foods you crave instead of trying to budget those calories. >

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HealthFlash The Whole-Grain Truth

Browning Up Mealtime

Gout-Ridden Skip The Soda For Better Health

There may be a simple way to reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 16 percent — swapping white rice out for the brown variety. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health encourage women to make the switch, because rates of type-2 diabetes, a top cause of heart problems, have nearly doubled among women in the last three decades. And don’t stop with brown rice; eating other whole grains such as barley, bulgur, or quinoa may cut your risk by a whopping 36 percent, according to research results. Whole grains are full of fiber and other nutrients because they contain every part of the grain and have not been stripped of all their natural goodness, as have heavily processed, refined grains like white rice and white flour. This winter is the perfect time to experiment with different whole grains, as they are a hearty addition to soups and stews!

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out develops when blood becomes saturated with uric acid, a byproduct found in many foods, especially red and organ meats. When uric acid precipitates out into the joints and crystallizes, intense pain develops. Historically, gout has been considered a man’s disease, but more and more post-menopausal women are experiencing this debilitating disease. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that the consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages dramatically exacerbates the risk of developing gout in women. It appears fructose independently triggers the body’s production of uric acid, which, in

women, is kept in check by female hormones until menopause. According to researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, who gathered data from The Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2006), women who regularly consume beverages with high fructose content have a 74 percent higher risk of developing gout, compared to females who drink them once a month or less. The risk was 2.4 times greater for those consuming at least two servings of sugar-laden sodas per day. Upping the consumption of sugary soft drinks to two or more servings a day appeared to have an even bigger effect. No link was found between gout risk and diet sodas.

Sugar Low The Not-So-Sweet Side Of Soda High-fructose corn syrup is the sweetener of choice for non-diet soft drinks. But some soft drinks may contain a higher percentage of fructose than previously thought, according to a new study published online in the journal Obesity. That’s a big deal, says Michael Goran of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, because there is evidence that fructose, when consumed in excess, may have a more pronounced negative impact on metabolic health and weight gain than glucose. Unlike sucrose, or table sugar, which is a 50:50 combination of fructose and glucose, high-fructose corn syrup contains these sugars in a mix dominated by fructose. Goran’s research team collected samples of 23 different sugar-sweetened beverages and found that the drinks, with a few exceptions, had a 58 percent fructose content, and the three most popular soft drinks [Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite] contained 64 to 65 percent fructose. The American Beverage Association disputes the claims and The Center for Science in the Public Interest says further testing is necessary. Meanwhile, the Public Health Advocacy Institute argued that if such findings are confirmed, it could break federal standards preventing false and misleading advertising and labeling. The bottom line, Goran says, is that reducing fructose in the diet — especially its exaggerated use in soft drinks — could do a lot to limit a sweetened beverage’s health risks.

Cold Feet, No Sleep Warm Your Tootsies For Better ZZZs Chilly temperatures during winter’s long nights can make for some frosty feet, but keep those tootsies warm if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Women who complain of cold feet and hands may have a more difficult time falling asleep, according to a Swiss study published in the science journal Nature. Doctors from The Psychiatric University Clinic in Basel, Switzerland, found that increased blood flow to the hands and feet was the best indicator of the body’s readiness for sleep. So, if you are having a bit of trouble drifting off to Dreamville this winter, slide your paws into some comfy socks (and while you’re at it, slather them in lotion for a softer touch), pile on an extra blanket, or use it as an excuse to snuggle up to your honey and fall into a warm, peaceful slumber.

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Do You Heart Your Job?

Work Basics

Work Stress Impacts The Health Of Your Ticker

For Better Health

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hen considering job-related stress, studies have traditionally focused on men, and found that higher job stress raised the risk of heart disease. Now that women make up over half of the work force, it seems we are faced with some unique work-related challenges. Contemporary research presented at the 2010 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions focused on the unique circumstances of women in the workplace, and the impact job stress and strain has on the state of feminine health. Oftentimes, women find themselves in demanding yet unfulfilling positions, with little or no decision-making power or opportunities to think and act independently, which creates high job strain. Women who reported having high job strain had a 40 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, stroke, and the need for invasive heart procedures, compared

to those with low job strain. In our current economic climate, women are also struggling with job insecurity, and those who worry about losing their jobs also suffer with higher blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. “Our study indicates that there are both immediate and long-term clinically documented cardiovascular health effects of job strain in women,” says Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., the study’s senior author and associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. “Your job can positively and negatively affect health, making it important to pay attention to the stresses of your job as part of your total health package,” she adds.

One of the best ways to combat work-related stress is to take care of yourself. You’ve heard the following tips before, and there’s a reason! •

Improve your organization and timemanagement skills.

Smile more, and instead of sweating the small stuff, try finding a little humor in it.

Take deep, cleansing breaths through your nose.

Take regular breaks every 90 minutes or so, and get up and walk around. Go outside for some fresh air if you can.

Avoid working overtime or taking work home with you.

Take care of your body by exercising, eating nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. TCW

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JAMES BR OWN

Tuesday February 1, 2011 5:00pm

here’s something about chiropractic that Dr. Jeremy Hozjan of Park Road Chiropractic Health and Wellness wants you to know: It is not just for back and neck aches. “People don’t realize how many things chiropractic care can help with,” Dr. Hozjan says. “In order for you to be healthy, the pathway between the brain and the body must be free from interference. We make Dr. Jerem yH sure there‘s proper communito wellnes ozjan takes a who le s in his ch iropractic -body approach cation between all the parts of practice. the body.” any specific A Canadian native, Dr. Hozjan graduated from the University of nutrients that might be lacking. Using this information, Saskatchewan with a bachelor’s in kinesiology and education. he makes recommendations that After pursuing his passion for writ- could include a combination of ing and performing music (he’s a whole food supplements, herbs, bass player), he went to Sherman homeopathics, chiropractic care, College of Chiropractic in Spar- and diet and lifestyle modificatanburg, S.C. He says chiropractic tions to get the body back on track. His unique approach to allows him to utilize his background in athletic therapy, reha- whole-body health has helped bilitation, nutrition, and education. clients find relief from everything Physical fitness is an impor- from headaches to hot flashes. tant part of Dr. Hozjan’s life. He “I’ve had people come in who’ve and his wife, Dawn, are members been through the medical route and were told it is all in their head,” of the Charlotte Curling Club, and his resistance and cardiovascular he says. Whether it’s PMS, thyroid training has helped him place in two bodybuilding competitions. dysfunction, irritable bowel, or neck and back pain, Dr. Hozjan His interest in whole-body health care is why he offers clients Nutri- and his staff do all they can to help tion Response Testing, a non-inva- clients feel better fast. “My goal is to get people to wellness as fast as sive body analysis that identifies what organs are under stress and possible,” he says. TCW

photo by

The Holidays are past, the new year has begun, what will we do this year, to reconnect with the woman within?

ToLearnMore Park Road Chiropractic Health and Wellness is located at 4312 Park Road. Visit parkroadchiropractic.com or call 704/523-2367 for information.

W o m a n

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have always said I want to be the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.” A lofty goal for anyone, but this teen, who’s garnered attention for a love of poetry and computers, engineering and volunteering, has proven she has follow-through. Cidney Holliday, a senior at South Mecklenburg High School, is a member of five honor societies. She interns with The Charlotte Post and was recognized with the Youth Diversity Award by Pride Magazine and the Lowe’s Pride Awards. She has a stellar academic record and a passion for writing. Her art of choice? Poetry. And her form of expression: the poetry slam. “It is simply a beautiful way to express yourself and to appreciate someone else’s form of expression,” Cidney says. A poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry, and Cidney participates in Slam Charlotte’s youth division, Speak Up. The art form encourages poets to focus on what they are saying and how they are saying it, making it particularly appealing to Cidney, who spent much of last year recovering from a car accident that took her father’s life. As an honor student with a full schedule of Advanced Placement courses, she says she was overwhelmed by the work that piled up

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while she recovered physically from the accident. Recovering emotionally is something she acknowledges will take much longer. “That day changed the course of my life,” Cidney says. Poetry has helped her sort through the complicated emotions and pain associated with losing her father. One way Cidney remains connected to her dad is through involvement in the National Society of Black Engineers. “My dad was a computer engineer; so, even though I am a poet, I also am really interested in engineering and technology,” she says. Cidney feels strongly that teens can and do make a difference, and her leadership work has involved a proactive stance on issues such as sexism and racism. After a four-day workshop with UNC Wilmington’s Need 2 Lead program, Cidney created PEARLS (Preserving: equality, academics, relationships, loyalty, sisterhood). The group encouraged teen girls at South Meck to meet on a regular basis, forging bonds that allowed them to cross barriers typical for teenagers. “We worked hard to show one another that we could leave our attitudes at the door,” Cidney says. Working with other teens and continuing her pursuit of poetry help define Cidney as a leader. Expressing raw emotion, she says, shows “the true character that can define an individual as someone others would have faith to follow.” TCW

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January 2011  

Today's Charlotte Woman January 2011 Issue

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