High cholesterol is often a silent condition in women, but it carries significant risk for heart attack and stroke if left uncontrolled.

cholesterol

Know Your Cholesterol 

It is important to know two kinds of cholesterol: the bad kind (LDL) and the good kind (HDL). Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is commonly known as “bad” cholesterol because over time it causes plaque formation in the arteries, whereas  HDL is considered protective against heart disease. In general, a desirable LDL level falls below 130 mg/dL, while a desirable HDL level stays above 50 mg/dL for women. Another form of cholesterol LP(a), which is a genetic variant of a particularly bad form of cholesterol. In addition to getting cholesterol checked regularly, it may be a good idea to get screened for LP(a) early on to help determine your risk of heart disease.

Dietary Changes

Base your meals around fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains, and keep red meat to a minimum. Also, add things like fish, olive oil, avocado and nuts to your diet to equip your body with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been studied for their heart health benefits. Lastly, drink alcohol in moderation (one drink per day for women) and cut back on salty foods and sugary drinks to help ward off bad cholesterol

Know the Stats

In Georgia, heart disease and stroke account for 28.2 percent of all female deaths, according to the American Heart Association. Some things you can do to minimize your risk from an early age are:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Excercise. Get at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
  • Reduce stress levels. High stress situations may tempt you to overeat high-fat foods, which in turn raise LDL cholesterol.
  • Watch your weight. Weight loss can both raise HDL and lower LDL.
- Dr. Jyoti Sharma 
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Dr. Brian Maloney from The Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery answers a reader’s question about Juvederm Voluma.

Dr. Brian Maloney  Q: I’ve been seeing media coverage on a new filler called Juvederm Voluma. What is it, and am I good candidate for treatment?

A: Juvederm Voluma is the latest FDA-approved power filler from Allergan. Voluma is special because it represents an entirely new level of technology for hyaluronic acid fillers. What this means to the consumer is that we now have a filler that can not only lift tissues better, but can also last up to two years. Results are instantaneous, without surgery. The best candidates for Voluma are those who notice that their cheeks are beginning to droop, giving them a tired look. Older patients with a lot of excess cheek skin are still best treated with a facelift and then Voluma to restore youthful smoothness to the cheek.

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Though commercials and doctors frequently reference arthritis, that term isn’t actually a diagnosis in its own right. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “arthritis”  simply means inflammation of a joint, and it refers to more than 100 different diseases. Taking stock of your symptoms may help you determine which of these common arthritis-related conditions is causing you discomfort.

Arthritis

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Be You Only Better’s Laura Kronen is here to give you her best advice on how to land the job of your dreams!

Laura Kronen

What three questions should you ask yourself?

What is the best environment for my personality? Do the company’s values match my own? If I weren’t getting paid, would I still want to do this?

What is the first step someone should take when trying to find a job they love?

Evaluate your life. Find your passions, what you love doing and what interests you. Once you focus on what makes you happiest, you can start looking for a career that incorporates those qualities.

How can someone stand out to potential employers?

Forget generalities. Really focus on your points of differentiation. Use social media to showcase your expertise.

Where can you go for guidance?

A life coach or mentor. You will focus on passions and strengths and get a clear understanding of what you should be doing. There is no greater investment you can make than an investment in yourself.

Who are the people that help you be your best self?

I love working with clients to rid themselves of self-limiting beliefs and become more confident, motivated and ready to take on the world. It continually reminds me to do the same.

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Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad 

Basil Pasta Salad

Ingredients: 

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked whole wheat fusilli pasta or your favorite type of pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, shredded

Method: 

Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to release juices, 4 to 6 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook pasta according to box directions, and stir to combine with other ingredients. Garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

- Courtesy of registered dietitian, blogger and chef, Ashley Ritchie, Wisdom Kitchen, www.wisdomkitchen.com/blog 

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As you designate your dollars toward a certain charity, it always feels good to know that your contribution will stay local, helping your neighbors and perhaps even your own family. When you donate to Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, that’s exactly what happens. Though the Komen organization is nationally known, few people realize that our local chapter focuses on breast cancer research and awareness in our immediate community.

“At Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, our mission is to enable women in Metro Atlanta to detect and survive breast cancer,” says Cati Diamond Stone, the organization’s new executive director, who is also a breast cancer survivor. “Seventy-five percent of the funds we raise stay right here in Metro Atlanta to proved life-saving breast screenings, mammograms, diagnostic testing, education and treatment support.” The rest of the money funds national research to help find better treatments and, ultimately, a cure. Do you Tutu

Not only does donated money stay predominantly in our community, but it also helps the women who need it most. “We believe a person’s age, race or socio-economic status should never determine whether she survives breast cancer,” says Stone, “so our programs target medically underserved women in need of breast cancer screening, diagnostic and support services.”

And this year, giving back with Komen is more fun than ever. The organization has launched new, fresh initiatives like their “Do You Tutu?” campaign, where people are encouraged to put on a pink tutu, wear it around town and share photos on social media. “We’ll be asking the Metro Atlanta community to tell everyone why they tutu,” explains Stone. So whether you tutu for a family member who battled breast cancer or because you believe every woman deserves quality breast health services, put it on and post a photo. Stone says “Expect to see a lot of pink tutus in Atlanta and on social media beginning mid-April!”

You can even gather with other tutu wearers at this year’s Race for the Cure, which will welcome about 14,000 Atlantans to Lenox Mall on May 10. The 5K begins at 8 a.m., and a one-mile family walk steps off just before, at 7:40 a.m. In addition to the race itself, the event will also include a tutu contest, creative tutu designs from local fashion designers, a petting zoo for the kids, as well as a special recognition of breast cancer survivors. Amidst all this fun, the event will raise approximately $1.4 million, most of which will help our fellow Atlantans enjoy the care they deserve.

To learn more about volunteering, participating and rocking your tutu, visit www.komenatlanta.org.

 

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Utopia Living’s Naya Powell is here to give you her best advice on how to find a job that you love.

Naya Powell

What is the first step someone should take when trying to find a job they love?

Brainstorm a list of everything that makes your spirit come alive, including industries, dream jobs, places activities, colors and things. Second, take an inventory of your strengths, gifts, and areas of passion. From there, begin to take a look at the connection and what industries offer a path to the job love of your life!

What actions can you take to hone your skills?

Internships will allow for experience with a reputable company.  I also suggest volunteering, asking to job shadow someone in your desired field, or asking someone working in an ideal job for a career interview.

What three questions should you ask yourself?

Would I do this job for free? Why do I want to do this job? Does this job give me a sense of purpose and fulfillment?

If you didn’t have your current job, what do you see yourself doing? 

I could see myself being a photographer, fashion stylist, interior designer or college professor. At this time, I play around with the first three in my personal life and have done the latter part-time on occasion in the past.

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Hallie Crawford, Co.‘s own Hallie Crawford is here to give you her best advice on how to find out what your dream job is.

Hallie Crawford

What is the first step someone should take when trying to find a job they love?

Based on past work experiences, make a list of what you liked and disliked. This is the beginning of a Gotta Have list: things you know your ideal job must have. It can be anything from the right work environment, to boss’ management style, to your daily tasks.

How can someone determine what skills are necessary for their ideal job?

Conduct informational interviews and look at the Linkedin profiles of those in your ideal field. Look at their skills, and try to gain those skills through volunteer work, freelancing, free online courses like www.coursera.org or classes at a local college.

Where can you go for guidance?

Go to www.howtochooseacareercoach.com for help finding a coach.

What three questions should you ask yourself?

What activities make me lose track of time? (To identify tasks you truly enjoy.) Ask friends, family or coworkers, what do I do better than anyone else you know? (To determine your best professional skills.) How do I define success? (To determine what you find most fulfilling and rewarding.)

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Years of Living Dangerously is a Showtime® documentary event series exploring the human impacts of climate change on Americans and others around the world.  Years of Living DangerouslyThe series premieres Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. and combines the blockbuster storytelling styles of Hollywood’s top movie makers, including James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub, with the investigative skills of 60 Minutes veterans Joel Bach and David Gelber and a team of leading national news journalists and scientists.

Each  correspondent for the series – including top Hollywood stars recognized for their commitment to spotlighting and acting on the biggest issues of our time – delves into a different impact of climate change. From the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy in the tri-state area to political upheaval caused by droughts in the Middle East to the dangerous level of carbon emissions resulting from deforestation, the series takes the viewer on a journey to understand the current and intensifying effects of climate change through vivid stories of heartbreak, hope and heroism.

Watch the first episode here, www.yearsoflivingdangerously.com.

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The scoop on what’s new around Atlanta.

Teach Your Children Well 

The Be Good Fairy

Teaching kids about sharing, potty training or even behaving well at school can sometimes be a challenge. Author Missy Wallen-Nichols turned these lessons into an inspirational children’s book, “The Be Good Fairy.” This unique book offers kids fun, lesson-based stories and gives parents a tool to teach them about different behavioral issues.

Details: www.thebegoodfairy.com

A Healthy Sense of Style

The Manna Fund

Trends come and go, but health is always stylish. Manna Fund, a local non-profit that works to cover the costs of eating disorder treatments, aims to educate the public about healthy body image for youth. Join their “Be The Model” fashion show event on April 27, which puts everyday health role models on the runway. To walk the runway themselves, teens can submit a short video explaining how they can be a model of health in the community.

Details: Bloomingdale’s at Lenox Square Mall, 3393 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA, www.mannafund.org.

You Golf, Girl!

Judson Golf

Mark your calendar for the Judson Collegiate & Legends Pro-Am Challenge, beginning June 26. This golf tournament includes three events for Atlanta’s golf enthusiasts: a one-day tournament of LPGA Legends golfers, a three-day world-ranking competition for female collegiate golfers, and a pro-am scramble that pairs professional golfers with amateurs for a fun day on the course. New this year is a women’s leadership conference to guide young women in their early careers. The event raises funds for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the JCI Foundation to support young women through positive mentorship, education and sports.

Details: www.judsongolf.com 

Get Clean at The Skin Studio 

Sally B's Skin Yummies

Head to the newly constructed Skin Studio at Sally B’s Skin Yummies for an organic facial. Offering options such as B Clear B Calmed and B Youthful, these facial treatments are as clean as their products: no parabens, mineral oil, artificial fragrances, GMOs or animal products.

Details: 800 Miami Circle, Suite 110, Atlanta, GA, www.sallybskinyummies.com 

 

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The Goldner Group’s Dr. Jane Goldner is here to give you her best advice on how to find your dream job.

Dr. Jane Goldner

What skills are most helpful for a successful job search?

Resume building, networking and interviewing skills. Your resume should be no longer than one page with words that match the job specifications you are searching. Network with everyone. Practice responding to potential interview questions in a clear, concise way.

What is the first step someone should take when trying to find a job they love?

The first step anyone should take is to figure out what “having it all” means to them. There is no universal “it all.” It is important to get clear on your priorities so you can make appropriate choices and tradeoffs.

Where can you go for guidance?

Professional help can come from a career coach, a career center at the college you attended, a mentor or a person in the industry you are pursuing.

What three questions should you ask yourself?

What are my core values, personal mission and vision? How committed am I to being intentional, focused and disciplined in mu search? What am I willing to trade to get that “right” job?

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Dr. Cyril O. Spann, Jr., MD from Atlanta Gynecologic Oncology Specialists answers a reader’s question about cervical cancer screening tests for teens.

Dr. Cyril Spann

Q: My daughter is 19 years old and has become sexually active. When should she get her first Pap cervical cancer screening test?

A: The guidelines for cervix cancer screening have changed dramatically over the last decade because of improvement in Pap screening cytology technology and the advent of HPV (human papilloma virus) co-testing. No longer is the recommendation to get Pap smears yearly starting at age 18. The American Cancer Society now recommends that screening starts at age 21, so her first Pap should be at that age. Between the ages of 21 and 29, it should be every three years, assuming that the test results are negative.

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If you are looking to splurge a little, why not do it with a classic Southern dish like fried chicken and top it off with champagne? The new MAX’s Wine Dine in Atlanta’s 12th & Midtown district specializes in giving comfort food a gourmet twist. MAX's Wine Dive This fun eatery, which will open its doors this spring, also features menu items like the fried egg sandwich with truffle oil or the Max’n cheese with Gruyère, as well as seasonal options and fine wines from around the world. Don’t miss the chance to indulge your taste buds and your fine sensibilities all in one meal.

Details: 77 12th St. NE, Ste. 6B, Atlanta, GA, www.maxswindedive.com 

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The International Association of Fitness Sciences presents Lee Haney’s Sports & Fitness Challenge on April 19 at Sandy Creek High School. This yearly family event and fun competition promotes awareness and the importance of exercise for all through fitness tests and obstacles. Lee HaneyLee Haney, 8-time Mr. Olympia, trainer and former professional bodybuilder, has designed physical obstacles and challenges to test your resilience, strength, stamina, quick decision making skills, and ability to laugh in the face of adversity. The Sports & Fitness Challenge was built to test your fitness to the fullest capacity.

But don’t let that scare you! The challenge has events for all fitness levels and all age groups. There are groups to compete in: The Fit Kid Challenge, The Teen Challenge and The Ultimate Fitness Challenge for adults. Kids ages 8-12 can participate, for free, in a physical obstacle course and age-appropriate challenges to test their fitness. They will get to run, jump, kick, laugh and play, all while having fun and actually getting in some exercise. Olympic-style medals will be given out to recognize the Top 10 finishers.

The teen challenge will include JV and Varsity team divisions that were designed to test the strength of high school students through tire flips, vehicle pushes and bench presses. The teen challenge will also include an Iron Teen challenge for those wishing to compete as individuals.

And while your kids are having fun and getting fit, you can too! The adult competition is divided into three divisions: a 5-k Obstacle Run that will test your endurance, an Agility Course and a Strong Man Competition to test your strength. You can compete in all three events or pick your favorite.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Haney’s Harvest House Mentoring Program, a program for young boys ages 8-17.

Details: www.leehaney.com/fitnesschallenge

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Dr. Travis Jones from Northside Cherokee Orthopedics and Sports Medicine answers a reader’s question about how to treat a sprained ankle.

Dr. Travis Jones

Q: What’s the best method for treatment for a sprained ankle?

A: For a sprained ankle, remember the RICE method. Rest: stay off your feet. Ice: apply ice to the area for 20 minutes every three to four hours for 48 hours. Compress: wrap your ankle with an elastic bandage. Elevate: raise your ankle as much as possible to reduce swelling. Medication such as ibuprofen may be used to help reduce inflammation. If your condition does not improve or you begin to experience increased pain, swelling, bruising and difficulty walking, contact a physician immediately.

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Guest blogger Alexa Lampasona, from the blog Active Tasty Life, (www.activetastylife.com, @ActiveTastyLife) gives us an inside look into what she learned at this week’s ACSM fitness conference—barefoot cardio.

When you decide to do a workout, the first thing you do is pull on a pair of shoes. But how about leaving the laces behind? WillPower & Grace method is a barefoot cardio workout designed to enhance your posture, balance and movement starting from the ground up. With 33 muscles in our feet, barefoot cardio challenges you to consciously think about putting your best foot forward. I attended the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Summit this past week, where I took a barefoot cardio class taught by founder Stacey Lei Krauss. Here, she shares her insight.

What inspired you to create the WillPower & Grace method?

I grew up as a modern dancer, and I frequently took group exercise classes barefoot, but I always wore shoes when I taught my own classes. One class I forgot my shoes, so I taught the class barefoot. A few of my students decided to take the class barefoot too, and I realized most people don’t know how to move their feet. I just heard a lot of foot slapping. So as a fitness professional, I used that as a teaching opportunity and created barefoot cardio.

Barefoot Cardio Q&A with Stacey Lei Krauss

You started teaching barefoot cardio more than 10 years ago, but why is it just now beginning to trend?

It was an uphill battle at first. But then the barefoot running book “Born to Run” came out, and now this movement is finally mainstream. There is no equipment involved, so it is cost-effective for people.

Why do we need to exercise our feet?

Our feet have both intrinsic muscles (deeper in the muscle tissue) that stabilize the body, and extrinsic muscles (that start in the lower leg and insert in the foot) that help us move. When your foot is in a shoe, your body uses primarily extrinsic muscles, so those intrinsic muscles don’t fire the way they should because they have added support and cushioning. When your feet slap down while walking, you lose range of motion and your joints don’t work properly.

Being barefoot creates a tactile sense to the workout. Why is that important?

As humans, we have primal senses. Just think of all the information we get from the skin when we touch it. Yet we never train our skin in a workout. Harnessing the tactile feelings brings about sensory integration and stimulates your skin. You learn to bring neural awareness to your feet.

Talk about how barefoot cardio creates mindfulness in your workout routine.

It’s a smart workout because we work in three planes of motion and there’s a sport psychology element to it. We teach you to use your body through the discipline of Pilates and the self awareness of yoga, but we also add a cardio element that many mind/body practices don’t have.

Benefits of Barefoot Cardio

  • Better balance, which gives you a wider base of support and better push-off
  • More efficient movement confidence
  • Reduced risk of injury by training from the ground up
  • Stabilized knees and hips
  • Increased flexibility

Krauss suggests doing the WillPower & Grace barefoot cardio method one to two times a week in addition to other activities like running or cycling. For athletes, she has noticed a decrease in knee and hip injuries. You can get started with workout videos. Let’s hope Atlanta picks up on the trend soon so more classes become available.

 

 

 

 

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We’re not perfect. That’s a scary thought to some, but let it comfort you—we’re not perfect because we don’t have to be. This goes for every area of life, but one of the areas it can be the most freeing is the area of your food choices. What we put in our bodies every day can either weigh us down (literally!) and make us sick, or it can help us get healthier and happier with every bite. If you are sticking with those “healthier and happier” food choices, you may still eat a few meals here and there that aren’t the best. Instead of beating yourself up about it, recognize that it’s okay not to be perfect—there’s a little wiggle room in everything.

Dr. Jamie Noll, co-author of The 95% Vegan Diet

Dr. Jamie Noll, co-author of The 95% Vegan Diet

This is the philosophy behind The 95% Vegan Diet. Co-written by Dr. Jamie Noll and her daughter Caitlin Herndon, this book is less of a strict diet and more of a lifestyle eating plan, and it includes the wiggle room you need to be successful. It’s not an all-or-nothing vegan diet plan. As the name states, if you follow the diet outlined in the book, you can still enjoy five percent of your calories from animal sources. The 95 percent approach gives you the flexibility to eat almost entirely plant-based without forcing you to give up your dash of real creamer in your morning coffee or the occasional cheese pizza with friends. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it?

To help you implement a healthier eating strategy, Jamie and Caitlin hold regular workshops to introduce firsthand the deliciousness of vegan cooking, educate you about the proven, research-based benefits of a plant-based diet, and walk you through making your own mostly vegan diet plan. I had the pleasure of attending their first workshop on April 2 at JavaVino, and it was inspiring. 95 Percent Vegan DietBefore any discussion of dietary choices begins, the workshop started with a meal. Jamie and Caitlin had graciously prepared dish after dish of phenomenal vegan comfort food: macaroni and cheese, braised greens, pesto and mushroom pasta, bean dips, smoothies, muffins and scones. As the other workshoppers and I dug into our plates, the food proved to us all that vegan food can be satisfying, diverse, delicious, and definitely not just a plate of raw veggies.

After the meal, Jamie launched into her in-depth presentation on the science behind a plant-based diet, right down to the types of protein that your body needs and where you can get them. As a dietitian, doctor of pharmacy, and Certified Diabetes Educator, Jamie knows the value of research, so her presentation is full of research-based information about how diet impacts your health. By the end of the night, you will have covered the basics (for those of you wondering “What does ‘vegan’ even mean?”), the science behind this approach to healthy eating, and ways to implement changes in your own diet to achieve that 95 percent for optimal health. Plus, you’ll have a belly full of delicious food, your own copy of the book and a five-year workbook to take home to use as a tool in your healthy eating journey. To sign up for the next workshop, which takes place on Wednesday, April 9 and costs $129 per person, visit www.95percentvegan.com.

95 Percent Vegan Diet

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The FDA and other sources rate contamination of chemicals and pesticides in produce from highest to lowest. Among the highest are apples, peaches, bell peppers, celery, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, peas, spinach and potatoes. The lowest are broccoli, eggplant, cabbage, asparagus, banana, mango, avocado and onions.

But if you  have to choose between buying organic vegetables or organic animal products, the most important foods to purchase organically would be animal products first, then vegetable foods. organic eggsNon-organic meats will have up to five times more pesticides than non-organic vegetables, and butter can have up to 20 times more. Also, it is now common knowledge that non-organic dairy comes from cows treated with bovine growth hormones and antibiotics, all of which end up in their milk.

Furthermore, organic eggs from pastured chickens are far less likely to contain bacteria like salmonella, and the nutrients are significantly higher than in non-organic eggs.

Although buying organic foods can be costly, it is important to consider the payoff of good health versus a health care bill to treat the physical or mental dysfunctions that can result from eating contaminated foods for a lifetime.

- Marcia Williams, ND, CTN, MA

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Jessica Shops Pick of the Month

I discovered Frownies Skin Care years ago when I was looking for a natural, non-invasive anti-wrinkle treatment. Frownies are designed to reduce wrinkles on your forehead, crow’s feet, eye wrinkles and marionette lines. Frownies These wrinkle patches work by holding the skin smooth and flat overnight, allowing the skin to relax and not repeat the movements that cause creases. It’s a temporary fix that works, and priced less than $20 per box, worth a try. The only downside is they are not invisible.

Pick them up at Whole Foods, Steinmart or Bed, Bath and Beyond stores. www.frownies.com 

 

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Each year, more than 20,000 consumers with food allergies or gluten sensitivities gather at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo to sample food and products that meet their specialized gluten freeneeds. Sponsored by Earth Balance, GF Harvest, Nature’s Path Organic, Udi’s Gluten Free and many others, this event offers you the chance to explore new products and attend educational sessions to learn about your options. This year’s expo comes to the Cobb Galleria Center from May 17 to 18, and daily ticket prices range from $5 for kids to $20 for adults.

Details: Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA, (770) 955-8000, www.gfaexpo.com/locations/atlanta

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I made it! My 30 Days of Clean Eating have come to a close! I survived on clean foods for an entire month, and I really enjoyed it. It was not the hardest thing I have ever done, but there were challenges I had to overcome and lifestyle changes I had to make. There were times when I really just felt like eating a cupcake or Chik Fil-A, but I was able to resist! Surviving without added sugar or highly processed foods has left me feeling energetic and happy. I truly think that this way of eating could work for anyone looking to clean up their lives or even lose some unwanted pounds.

Eat Clean

Throughout my 30 days, I learned several lessons. Here are my top 5 lessons learned:

  1. Always be prepared. I can’t stress this enough. If it weren’t for my weekly meal planning sessions, trips the grocery store and farmers market and always having snack food with me, I am pretty sure I would not have made it through this experience. So my biggest piece of advice would be to plan your meals. Knowing what you are going to be cooking for lunch and dinner every day makes sticking to the clean eating plan so much easier. Meal planning is one aspect of clean eating I plan on sticking to.
  2. Fruit makes a great dessert. As I have said countless times before, I have a massive sweet tooth. Discovering what most people probably already know, that fruit makes a great dessert, was big deal for me. And switching from ice cream and Nutella to apple sauce and oranges has been great for my health and energy levels. So be sure to keep your fruit bowl stocked! With that said…
  3. Eating healthy = better sleep. I know this has to be because I stopped eating sugar before bed, but I have been falling asleep so much faster than normal during my 30 days. It used to take me forever to fall asleep; I would just toss and turn for at least an hour before falling asleep. Not anymore! This is probably my favorite benefit of my clean eating.
  4. Snacking is important and encouraged. With a clean eating diet, being a snacker is a positive thing. There is no shame in eating every couple of hours. In fact, it is good for you and your metabolism. And it keeps you full throughout the day so you are less likely to get so hungry you make some unhealthy eating decisions. You just have to make sure you are making smart decisions about what you are snacking on, like eating heart healthy nuts instead of salty potato chips.
  5. Finding foods you love that are healthy makes clean eating easy and fun. Experimenting with foods I don’t normally eat has been another fun part for this experience. There are some foods I have rediscovered and fallen in love with, like sweet potatoes and almonds. I even ate brussels sprouts a time or two, which was a surprise even to me! So if you are thinking about eating clean, make sure to find foods you love to eat so your lifestyle change is that much easier to maintain.

With all of those lessons learned, I really loved my 30 Days of Clean Eating! It is a way of eating and living that I plan on trying to keep up with as much as possible. I am thinking of doing something where I eat clean during the week and have a little wiggle room on the weekends. After all, no one is perfect, and enjoying a cupcake or a few french fries every once in a while is not the end of the world.

Thanks to those who followed along with me! I hope my journey helped to shed a little light on clean eating and maybe inspired a few of you to give it a try. Now I am going to treat myself to a glass of wine and something sweet, but it is back to eating clean tomorrow!

Thanks again!

Lizzy Stroud

 

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Dr. Christopher D. Killingsworth from Atlanta Aesthetics answers a reader’s question about breast lifts versus breast augmentations.

Christopher Killingsworth

Q: Do I need a breast lift or an augmentation?

A: If you want to achieve or restore the fullness in the upper part of the breast, then breast augmentation can be used to address this problem. Breast augmentation provides the fuller appearance many women ask for. Correction of breast ptosis, or sagging, can also be part of your breast enhancement goals. A breast lift can be used to restore shape and provide a more “uplifted” appearance.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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When you select wine at a restaurant, do you find yourself pointing at the print instead of attempting to pronounce the foreign names? Do you pick your wines based simply on price, or maybe a vague notion that you like reds more than whites? It’s time to stop guessing and start having some fun with your drink order.   Wine

Pop the Cork- Ease into things with a social group like the d’Vine Wine Club at d’Vine Bar & Shop in Dunwoody. Members and non-members meet monthly to taste seven carefully selected wines and cheeses. In addition to the fun atmosphere, members receive discounts on bottles, so you can take them home and impress your friends with the information you’ve learned.

Vintage Education- For a more structured wine education, visit a place like Atlanta Wine School, which offers novice classes for those who want to begin with the basics. Their “For Beginners Only” class held at Vino Venue will teach you about key flavors of various wines, help you learn to distinguish and describe what you’re tasting, and will include seven fine wines along with cheeses, meats, nuts and crackers.

Master the Merlot- Once you’ve got the basics and have sampled a variety of wines, you can take your wine education to the next level by becoming one of the experts. Atlanta Wine School can help you become a Certified Specialist of Wine in their comprehensive course. Registration includes four seven-hour instruction days, a 300-page study guide from the Society of Wine Educators, and of course, plenty of tastings and activities to learn the subject matter firsthand. After completing these courses, or even after a few friendly wine group meetings, you’ll soon be able to select each sip with confidence.

Details: www.atlantawinebar.com, www.atlantawineschool.com

 

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Ladies, prepare for things to get a little messy! The Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run and Obstacle Course hits Lake Lanier Resort on Saturday, April 12. Perfect for women of all fitness levels, the Dirty Girl Mud Run encourages ladies to have a great time with their friends and let go of the everyday worries of life.

Since getting it’s start in 2011, the run has become the premier women’s only mud run event and is held in over 25 cities in the U.S. Dirty Girl events hope to inspire ladies to run, walk, climb, jump and laugh their way, hand in muddy hand, to an unabashed sense of accomplishment. They even let teenage girls in on the fun, the minimum age to participate is 14.

Dirty Girl Mud RunAnd if you are worried about the obstacle course aspect, don’t be. Dirty Girl assures it’s participants that all of the obstacles are manageable for most fitness levels. But if you simply do not want to do one, you don’t have to! The run is not about competing with other women, it is non-timed and strictly about bonding with your friends and having a great time. You can participate as an individual or as part of a team with all of your pals.

Dirty Girl is also about giving back. Dirty Girl events has partnered with Bright Pink, an organization whose mission is to encourage and educate women to understand the signs, symptoms and risk factors of breast and ovarian cancer. Together, Bright Pink and Dirty Girl focus on empowering women to lead healthier, happier lives. So far, Dirty Girl has donated over $400,000 to Bright Pink, and they hope to surpass that number this year. Not only does Dirty Girl raise money for Bright Pink, but they also support and encourage cancer survivors. At each Dirty Girl event, up to 300 complimentary registrations are available to cancer survivors.

The registration fee is $85 but rises to $100 on April 2, so register today!

Details: www.godirtygirl.com, www.brightpink.com 

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Last week, Best Self staffers attended the city of Smyrna’s Community Day of Action for Ready Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! The Day of Action included a city-wide tornado drill and a full scale exercise at Emory-Adventist Hospital. At noon Friday, the city activated its outdoor warning sirens to simulate the tornado warning. The city has strategically placed 10 sirens throughout the city to notify citizens of approaching severe weather threats. EAH also practiced the evacuation of patients due to damage from a tornado. Smyrna PrepareAthon!

This is Smyrna’s first community-wide test in their PrepareAthon! campaign, which was launched in September. It is part of the nationwide campaign, America’s PrepareAthon! which strives to increase emergency preparedness, increase understanding of disasters and to teach citizens how to be safe and mitigate damage in the face of a disaster.

This was also the first test for the City of Smyrna and Emory-Adventist Hospital’s Joint Emergency Operations Center. Located on the EAH campus, the JEOC was developed in the fall of 2013 to serve as a single point of command for disasters and emergency management for the city and the hospital.   During Friday’s drill the JEOC was staffed by EAH Incident Command, City of Smyrna Fire and Police departments, Cobb-Douglas Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Metro Ambulance.

Smyrna is home to over 52,650 residents from all walks of life and Ready Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! aims to help them take steps towards personal preparedness, to increase their ability to survive a disaster and reduce economic devastation following a major crisis. According to a national survey conducted by FEMA in 2012, 54 percent of the U.S. population does not believe their community will experience a natural disaster. Only 39 percent have discussed a plan with their family members and almost 50 percent do not have supplies set aside in their home for use in a disaster.  Hopefully by making people aware of community alerts and warning systems, both the national and  Ready Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! can help change those numbers and teach people to be prepared in the case of an emergency, weather related or not. Smyrna PrepareAthon!

Not only is Smyrna one of two cities in Georgia with their own Emergency Management Agency, they are the first community in Georgia to launch a preparedness and emergency alert app for their residents. The app is currently available for Android users and will be available for ITunes users in April.

“The first step in being prepared is being informed,” said Smyrna Deputy Fire Chief Roy Acree. “By simply downloading this free App, the users will be notified of emergencies including severe weather.”

For more information about Ready Smyrna’s PrepareAthon!, visit www.readysmyrna.com.

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Hello all! Is everyone having a good week? This week has flown by for me. And I have a confession to make: my no wheat or dairy attempt lasted a day! I woke up late Monday morning—shocking—and the fastest breakfast option was to toast some Ezekiel bread and eat it on the way to work. Then I realized I was out of green tea yesterday and was in desperate need of an afternoon caffeine boost, so coffee with some milk was a must. But hey, I gave it a shot! Now I know that to stick to a diet with dairy or wheat, you definitely have to be prepared! If I would have had the time or the dairy-free and wheat-free resources maybe I would have stuck to it. I will let you know if I ever give it another shot!

Coffee

Guilty as charged.

With that said, I think there is a misconception out there about a clean eating diet. Before I decided to do this and did a fair amount of research on it, I assumed it was just some crazy diet where you were deprived of the foods you love, which sounded terrible to me; that turned out not to be the case at all. Clean eating is not about depriving yourself, it is about finding delicious and healthy foods you love. It is about substituting the good for the bad, whether it is applesauce for dessert instead of a bowl of ice cream or olive oil instead of canola oil or butter.  There are so many healthy and clean alternatives to unhealthy foods out there; there is no reason to ever feel deprived while eating clean.

I have already talked about clean eating substitutions when cooking, but for this post I have compiled some of my favorite clean eating food swaps.

Chick Peas

Put out a bowl of chickpeas instead of a bowl of chips!

First up . . . the potato chip! I have always been a huge fan of the potato chip. With its satisfying crunch and salt-covered exterior, the chip has always been one my favorite snacks. I even like to put them in my sandwich for a wonderful added crunch. While those days may be over, I can still get my salty, crunchy fix. During my 30 Days of Clean Eating, I have taken to eating baked sweet potato fries, popcorn, chickpeas or my trusty almonds (of course) when I am craving something salty.

Another smart and easy clean eating swap is to eat quinoa instead of rice. Not only is quinoa one of the most protein- and fiber-rich “grains” you can eat, it is also great for when you want something crunchy and filling. It is my favorite new side dish for dinner and also an easy and transportable lunch to take to work. And even though it is often called the “super grain of the future,” quinoa isn’t a grain at all. It is actually a seed from a spinach or Swiss chard like vegetable.

Almond Butter

Now back to my huge fail when it came to not eating dairy or wheat: my daily morning toast. I used to be a strict buttered toast girl, and I still am. But now it is almond butter instead of dairy butter. I can’t say enough about how filling and perfect a slice of whole wheat toast with almond butter in the morning is. It keeps me full for hours and can be eaten in the car, which is where I usually eat mine. Almond butter is also a great alternative to peanut butter. They are about the same calorie wise, but with almond butter you get all those “super food” health benefits you would get from eating raw almonds. Just make sure you get all-natural almond butter and not full of crazy ingredients. Make sure the ingredients list is limited to raw almonds.

I have never really been a big fan of mayonnaise, but sometimes it is nice to add a little something to your sandwich. For those times, try mashing up an avocado instead of using mayo. Avocado will add the familiar texture of mayo plus all of the great and healthy benefits that avocados bring to the table. Another cool food swap idea is to make avocado chicken salad. In place of mayo in any chicken salad recipe, use mashed avocado and Greek yogurt. Another great use for Greek yogurt is to use it instead of sour cream. It is as simple as that to eat a little cleaner in your everyday life!

So those are a few of my tips about how to easily add a little more clean eating to your lives. As always, feel free to email me with any questions recipes or advice you might have at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Check back in later this week for a new post! Have a great day!

-Lizzy Stroud

And to catch up on 30 Days of Clean Eating, here is what you have missed! How to Eat Out and Clean! Let’s Eat Clean!  Get Started Eating Clean  Budget Bites  Pour Some Sugar On Me…Or Not  Week One Progress Report  Snack Attack  Out with the Bad, In with the Good  Week Two Progress Report  Super Foods to the Rescue!

 

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Certified associate pranic healer and licensed minister Ursula Lentine is here to give you her best advice about toxic relationships.

Ursula Lentine

How would you define a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship is usually about a controller and a controllee. There is likely an unequal power dynamic that makes one party feel trapped.

What are the pitfalls of allowing a toxic relationship to continue?

The pitfalls of staying in a toxic relationship is that there is a daily wearing away of the soul.

Why do people allow toxic relationships in their lives?

When we are in the pattern, we can’t see the pattern. It’s a familiar way of existing.

What is your advice for removing a toxic relationship from your life?

Identifying the level of toxicity is the first step to removing a toxic relationship from your life. Are you afraid of this person? Do you lie? Does addressing an issue become a war? Is the relationship “my way or the highway”? Do you not have many friends? Does this person bring out your best self?

Where can people go for support?

The work I do can help you get clear and empower yourself to break free. The answer lies within.

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Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you are all having a great weekend and enjoying the first few days of spring! This post marks my last week of eating clean and I have really enjoyed this experience. I have learned so much about clean food and my health and plan on sticking to a lot of the practices I have learned.How to Eat Out and Clean!

Whole Roasted Chicken

My first whole roasted chicken was a success!

In order to gain the full clean eating experience, I have decided to cut out wheat and dairy from my final week of clean eating. Wheat and dairy are processed foods, but, if you eat the right kind, don’t contain a ton of unknown ingredients. I have cut down on both a lot already, but I love having Greek yogurt or whole wheat toast for a quick breakfast. It is just going to take a little more planning, and getting up a little earlier, on my part, but I think I can do it. I see a lot of egg whites and fresh fruit in my future. And I also think it will be really good for me to get the full clean eating experience. With that said, I know there are people out there who love to cook but have that one night where cooking is the last thing they want to do. Even while eating clean and having my meals planned, this has definitely happened to me over the last few weeks. And I also want people to know that just because you are on a clean diet doesn’t mean that eating out is not an option. You just have to be smart and prepared about it! Here are my tips for how to eat out while eating clean! 1. First of all, like I said before, be prepared! Check out the restaurant’s menu online before you go. This way you can get a feel for the options you will have and go ahead and pick the cleanest item on the menu. Today with all of the gluten-free and vegan eaters out there, some restaurants have started to specify those items on their menu, which is a nice place to start. 2. Secondly, modify your order to be clean. If you order a salad, ask for the dressing on the side and if you order a meal that usually comes with fries get veggies or fruit instead. One of the local restaurants I have gone to while eating clean is Farm Burger. It was easy to eat clean there with their great veggie burgers and  gluten-free buns. 3. I also suggest anticipating the items that some restaurants bring to your table automatically. For example, if you go to a Mexican restaurant, ask your server to not bring you a basket of chips and salsa. Or if you are know you are at a restaurant where they bring you bread, pass on that. But if you are eating with a group of friends who want chips or bread, just use your self-control. But let’s be honest, not having the offending chips or bread there to tempt you is a lot easier than resisting them when they are right in front of you! 4. My final tip is to enjoy your night off of cooking and try to find something clean on the menu that you actually want to eat. Another favorite clean eating spot of mine is Zoe’s. They have a ton of chicken entrees that you can tailor to be clean. I love getting their chicken kabobs with a Greek salad on the side. I hope those tips will help you out the next time you just don’t feel like cooking! And for when you do feel like cooking, here are a few of my favorite recipes I made this week!

Spag. Squash Primavera

This Spaghetti Squash recipe is a must try!

Sweet Potato Oven Fries – You all know I love these; this is my favorite way to prepare them. Abbie’s White Chicken Chili – A friendly blog reader sent me this yummy and healthy chicken chili recipe. This recipe makes enough to last a week, so your lunches are covered! Spaghetti Squash Primavera – This is one of the most delicious spaghetti alternative recipes I have tried yet! Ina Garten’s Whole Roasted Chicken– I am a huge Barefoot Contessa fan. I made this last Sunday night. Then I used the leftover chicken in the White Chicken Chili and made chicken broth from the bones.     And here is my dairy free and wheat free menu for my last week of clean eating! Y’all have a great day and come back in a few days for my favorite clean eating food swaps. See you soon!

Menu

- Lizzy Stroud And to catch up on 30 Days of Clean Eating, here is what you have missed! Let’s Eat Clean!  Get Started Eating Clean  Budget Bites  Pour Some Sugar On Me…Or Not  Week One Progress Report  Snack Attack  Out with the Bad, In with the Good  Week Two Progress Report  Super Foods to the Rescue!

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Sweet Potato Oven Fries: 

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into “fries”
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cumin to taste

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and cumin.
  4. Spread in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Don’t crowd them or they won’t be crispy.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes. Take them out and turn them over.
  6. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy.
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Abbie’s White Chicken Chili 

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 15 ounces white beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • Diced avocado to top
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Soak beans over night.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook until tender, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cumin, cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the broth, salsa verde, chicken, beans, quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred, return to soup along with lime juice and celery.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  7. Serve with diced avocado on top.
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Jessica Shops Pick of the Month

I recently had the privilege of visiting our hometown tea company, Teavana, and the tasting room inside their Buckhead headquarters where I spent the afternoon learning about and tasting tea. teavana

Tea is a delicious and healthy beverage, but if you aren’t sure it’s for you, stop by any Teavana store and ample their loose tea. The multitude of tea leaf flavors and combinations offer endless choices. I recommend the Silver Needle White Tea for its smooth flavor. Also, CocoCaramel Sea Salt Herbal is the perfect no-calorie treat that will satisfy a sweet tooth and is my personal favorite.

As the newest member of the Starbucks family, Teavana plans to reinvent the way we enjoy tea. It is rumored that tea will soon rival coffee and tea bars will be as popular as coffee shops. If you collect star rewards on your Starbucks card, you’ll be happy to know the card is now accepted at Teavana stores.

Details: www.teavana.com 

For more info on Jessica visit www.jessicashops.com 

 

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Single Atlanta‘s Lisa Lyngos is here to give you her best advice about toxic relationships.

Lisa Lyngos

How would you define a toxic relationship?

Toxic relationships are draining, stressful and inauthentic. These are relationships that do not allow people to be truly open and honest. They sadly rob you of the freedom to be yourself.

What are the pitfalls of allowing a toxic relationship to continue?

By allowing a dysfunctional relationship to continue, you set yourself up to endure an ongoing series of emotionally painful experiences.

What is your advice for removing a toxic relationship from your life?

Begin my admitting that you are participating in a toxic relationship to yourself and to other you trust. Admitting it is the first step in taking the power away from the relationship and separating yourself from it. The next step is to create a positive plan for moving forward.

Where can people go for support?

Seek the help of neutral professionals like counselors, life coaches, matchmakers and clergy. Experts who do not know you intimately are able to give honest and objective advice about your situation as well as the tools necessary for change.

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Healthcare workers usually have incredibly stressful lives, and caring for ourselves often takes the back burner. I know because I am a nurse and have been in healthcare for more than 35 years. Nurses and physicians are on our feet a lot. Best HealthWe work strange hours, especially emergency room, on-call and night shift nurses and physicians. Irregular sleep patterns make it more challenging for some of us to exercise and make the best food choices.

A surgeon associate of mine said it best: “Just because I am a surgeon does not mean I am immune to health problems.” As he neared the age of 50, this avid runner noticed his running times were off and his legs felt heavy. He wisely chose to be tested for venous reflux disease, the condition wherein delicate one-way valves in the legs fail, allowing blood to flow backward and pool in the veins.

A simple ultrasound scan showed significant reflux. A series of in-office procedures soon had him enjoying his races again and gave him new insights into how easily healthcare professionals can ignore or diminish the importance of our own symptoms.

As a takeaway, whether you’re a healthcare professional or a busy parent, please make time to notice how you’re feeling. Know the warning signs of stroke, heart attack and cancer, and pay attention to them for yourself as well as your loved ones and patients. You can’t be a great caregiver if you don’t first take care of yourself.

By: David Martin, RN, CRNFA

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Dr. Mike Majmundar from Northside Facial Cosmetic Surgery answers a reader’s question about stretched earlobes.

Dr. Mike Majmundar

Q: How do you fix stretched earlobes?

A: Decreasing the risk of stretched earlobes begins with proper piercing height. A low piercing will stretch the earlobe over time. However, a properly placed piercing with a heavy earring will also cause stretching. Tight earrings can contribute to decreased earlobe volume (there is a fat pad in the earlobe), and the earlobe stretches naturally as aging occurs. Treatment options include filler injection with Restylane or Juvederm, re-piercing higher, or an earlobe reduction procedure also known as an earlobe lift. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia where the earlobe is re positioned and a small amount of extra skin is removed.

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Hey y’all! I hope you are all having a great week so far! Lately, there has been a lot of talk about “super foods.” They are supposed to have amazing benefits like making your stomach flatter, your cholesterol lower, your skin clearer, your hair shinier and even your eyesight better (I’m looking at you, carrots). While I don’t know how super these super foods are, over my 30 Days of Clean Eating, I have developed my own list of personal super foods and, after some research, I have found out that most of them have some pretty awesome health benefits. Some of them are on the super foods lists I have seen, but they are the foods that I have loved throughout my clean eating journey.

almondsMy first super food is almonds, and as you know from my snack attack post, I love them so. I really like them because they keep me full in between meals, but they have some pretty great health benefits as well. Studies have shown that almonds can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and can even reduce your risk of heart disease. They are also full of potassium, magnesium and can also help decrease after-meal blood sugar surges. All of that from a handful of almonds every day? I’ll take it!

Another one of my super foods has been avocados. I usually eat half of an avocado every day on my salad with dinner. While I really like the taste, avocados also pack a pretty big punch when it comes to your health. avocadoThey contain a higher level of fat than other fruits (which avocados are considered due to their seed)but the fat is anti-inflammatory and commonly considered to be the good kind of fat.  Research also shows that people who eat avocados have a lower weight and BMI than those who don’t eat them. Avocados have a whole range of other health benefits that include promoting heart health, regulating blood sugar, being full of healthy antioxidants and even possible anti-cancer benefits. I suggest dicing up half an avocado and putting it over some spinach with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. It makes a super healthy and delicious side salad to have with dinner.

olive oilWith that said, olive oil is my next super food. Like avocados, olive oil is high in fat, but the good kind! It is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is considered a healthy dietary fat. Olive oil has been shown to be heart healthy and to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels and possibly help to normalize blood clots. I use olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil when cooking and use a small amount on my salads.

My next super food takes a sweeter turn . . . blueberries! I did a little research, and blueberries are the second most popular berries in America, behind only the strawberry. It is that popular for good reason. blueberriesBlueberries contain a bunch of antioxidants that can help combat free radicals in your body that could damage cell structure and DNA. New studies show that blueberries can even help improve memory, which never hurts when you are as forgetful as I am! These yummy berries have also been shown to improve eyesight, be heart healthy, help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels and to possibly have anti-cancer benefits. Grab a handful of these little wonders with your almonds and you have a perfect and healthy snack!

The last super food I will mention is something I have multiple times a day: green tea. I have been a coffee drinker my entire life; just ask my mom, and she will tell you that drinking a little cup of coffee when I was little was one of my favorite things to do.green tea I can tolerate plain, black coffee, but I really love it when it is sweet and creamy, so for the purpose of eating clean, I gave it up. Green tea has been a fantastic substitute for me. With about half of the amount of caffeine, I can drink a glass without feeling jittery like coffee makes me feel. Not to mention the super health benefits that drinking green tea can give you. It has been shown to slow the rate of tumor growth, lower your risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, reduce stress and even improve arthritis. I drink green tea with pomegranate at least twice a day, sometimes more.

Do you have any of your own super food favorites? I would love to hear about them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ! Have a great Tuesday and check back in later this week for my post on how to eat out while eating clean!

- Lizzy Stroud

And if you want to catch up with 30 Days of Clean Eating, here is what you’ve missed!

Let’s Eat Clean! 

Get Started Eating Clean 

Budget Bites 

Pour Some Sugar On Me…Or Not 

Week One Progress Report 

Snack Attack 

Out with the Bad, In with the Good 

Week Two Progress Report 

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Dr. Eugene Hurwitz, from The Center For Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, answers questions about allergy symptoms and treatments.

Best Health Allergies

What key symptoms indicate an allergy?

Allergies can affect the body in many ways, but a key symptom is itching. For those with respiratory allergies, they may have watery, itchy eyes and nose, as well as congestion, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Allergies can cause eczema and hives as well.

Why is Atlanta a hotbed for allergy sufferers?

Atlanta’s climate is ideal for plants that trigger allergies, including trees in the spring, weeds in the fall and grasses in the summer. In addition, dust mites thrive in humidity, as does mold. Atlanta and the Southeast are always among the leading allergy areas in the country.

How have treatments evolved in the last five years? 

Allergy shots are highly effective for treating allergies. More recently, allergy drops have become available, which can be given at home and are more convenient. There will soon be allergy tablets available for grass allergies; however, most people in Atlanta have multiple allergic triggers, and the tablets may not control their allergies.

What preventative steps can you take?

Avoidance of indoor allergies may include dust mite control measures, washing bedding in hot water, using dust mite-proof covers for the pillows and mattress and minimizing dust-collecting items in the bedroom. Controlling mold and keeping animals out of the bedroom (or the house) may be helpful. It is difficult to avoid exposure to outdoor allergens.

What foods or vitamins can you add to your diet to strengthen your sinuses? 

A good diet may be helpful. There is recent evidence that people with vitamin D deficiency may have more problems with allergies.

How do you choose a qualified doctor? What credentials should they have? 

If you are undertaking a treatment plan for allergies, it is important to see a board-certified allergist. They are the only specialists who are trained specifically in allergy care.

How can symptoms be managed?

Allergy shots administered by board-certified allergists can reduce symptoms by 80 to 90 percent and give patients long-term relief.

- Eugene S. Hurwitz, MD, FAAAAI

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Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great weekend. I am going to keep this post short and sweet; I know everyone is busy enjoying St. Patrick’s Day celebrations! Today marks the halfway point of my 30 days of Clean Eating. I have had so much fun getting creative with my meals in the kitchen and trying new and healthy foods. I have really enjoyed this whole experience; it is so much easier than I ever thought it would be. Not to mention eating clean has been super beneficial to my many aspects of my life. For instance, my skin looks clearer, my energy level is way up, I am sleeping so much better at night (I still have a hard time waking up in the morning, but some things never change), I have dropped a few pounds I needed to and even my hair is looking better. It has also been the easiest healthy eating plan I have ever stuck to. The ritual of planning my meals out for the week every Sunday with a warm cup of green tea has turned into something I look forward to and enjoy. Overall, the process has just been an awesome one and one I would suggest to any of my friends or family!

With that said, my meal plan for the week is included below.  One of the new recipes I am trying is to make my own version of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread for breakfast. I will let you know how it turns out! Have a great weekend and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Meal Plan

 

– Lizzy Stroud

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If you live in Smyrna, don’t be alarmed when you hear the weather alert siren sounding next Friday, March 21; It is just part of a citywide tornado drill. The drill is one part of ReadySmyrna’s PrepareAthon to get residents and businesses prepared in the case emergencies or disasters. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will be conducting a full scale emergency preparedness exercise for the March 21 tornado drill. The hospital is home to a Joint Emergency Operation Center with the City of Smyrna’s Emergency Management Agency. The exercise will involve Emory-Adventist Hospital staff, City of Smyrna Fire and Police departments, Cobb-Douglas Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Metro Ambulance. The drill will follow protocols developed by Homeland Security through FEMA and will be evaluated by both GEMA and FEMA.

“The City of Smyrna and Emory-Adventist Hospital both strive for the highest level of citizen care and attention. This is especially evident in our approach to emergencies and disasters that impact our citizens, patients, employees, and staff. We are proud to be one of only two cities in the state of Georgia that has its own Emergency Management Agency,” says Bob Crowe, MSN, RN, assistant vice president of EAH.

The hospital will remain open the day of the drill and patient care will not be interrupted or affected.

Citizens and businesses are encouraged to conduct their own disaster drills when they hear the emergency siren sounding. Visit ReadySmyrna.com for more information.

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Psychotherapist Dr. Janet Page is here to give you her best advice about how to get out of a toxic relationship.

Janet Page

How would you define a toxic relationship?

Any relationship in which you feel increasingly bad about yourself. I define it in terms of personal perception rather than behavior because toxicity can be delivered in passive aggressive doses and is hard to recognize as destructive.

Why do people allow toxic relationships in their lives?

Masochism (having expectations that are pathologically low) is major one and is frequently accompanied by the misguided and delusional belief that toxic people, if sufficiency pleased, will become loving and accepting.

What is your advice for removing a toxic relationship from your life?

Cessation of contact: the exit review, if held at all, is best if brief and kept to statement of fact. Accusing will fall on emotionally deaf ears and leave you feeling less good. Ask for change, but if it doesn’t occur, exit rapidly.

Where can people go for support?

Seek out healthy people around you who have seen the relationship in action. Spiritual and therapeutic support are also good choices, as well as reading every book you can find on building self-worth.

 

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Chef George Geary, a bestselling cookbook author and former pastry chef for the Walt Disney Co., is bringing his talents to The Cook’s Warehouse later this month. George GearyIf you sign up for his three upcoming classes, you’ll learn how to make homemade sauces and bruschetta, French appetizers and a variety of barbecue dishes. In addition, to all of those skills, Chef Geary says his students will learn how to be more confident in the kitchen. “If you mess up, we can fix it. Just don’t tell who you are cooking for – they didn’t know what you were making in the first place!”

This jovial attitude keeps Chef Geary’s classes light and fun, as well as educational. He encourages budding cooks to get a good set of pans, take classes and try new recipes as much as possible. And if the recipes you try are from his cookbooks, that’s even better. Geary has authored cookbooks on everything from cheesecake to salads to biscuits, and he says, “I love seeing people come back over and over and using my cookbook!”

Sign up for any of his three classes on March 27 in Midtown, March 28 in East Cobb or March 29 in Decatur, and start honing your culinary skills. Classes are $60 to $75.

Details: www.cookswarehouse.com, www.georgegeary.com 

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