Friday, 05 October 2018 18:21

Best of 2018 Contest Winners

2015 General RIBBON Thank you to

everyone who voted!

Here are the results

of your votes.

Announcing the

"Best of 2018"

Contest Winners:


Fitness/Weight Loss Section



Best Athletic Club Windy Hill Athletic Club
Best Barre Studio Barre3-East Cobb
Best Boot Camp BodyJump Fitness
Best Boxing Workout Facility Fitbox Training Perimeter
Best CrossFit Gym CrossFit Vesuvio
Best Cycling Shop Outback Bikes
Best Dance Fitness Facility Dance 101
Best Fitness Apparel Store Lululemon Athletica
Best Fitness Equipment Store Play it Again Sports
Best Golf Instruction Jon Veldhuis, Capital City Club
Best Gym SculptHouse
Best HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Facility FIT9
Best Indoor Cycling Studio TURN Studio
Best Kid Fitness Facility Kinetic Sports Elite
Best Martial Arts Training Team Octopus Fitness
Best New Boutique Fitness Studio Bungee
Best Outdoor Gear Store Mountain High Outfitters
Best Outdoor Sports Instruction REI Co-op
Best Personal Trainer Pamela Molinari, Atlanta Fitness Diva
Best Personal Training Facility Stellar Bodies
Best Pilates Studio Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy
Best Rec Sports League Atlanta Flying Disc Club
Best Running/Walking Gear Store Big Peach Running Co.
Best Senior Fitness Facility Family Life Center, Second-Ponce De Leon Baptist Church
Best Tennis Facility Life Time Fitness
Best Water Sports Instruction 20,000 Leagues Scuba and Aquatics
Best Yoga Studio Thunderbolt Power Yoga


Cosmetic/Antiaging/Beauty Section

Best Blowouts Blo Blow Dry Bar
Best Body Sculpting Practice Aesthetic Specialty Centre Plastic Surgery and Dermatology
Best Botox Dermatology Center of Atlanta
Best Brows Sarah Powell, Authentic Beauty
Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practice Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
Best Esthetician Anderson Aesthetics
Best Fillers A New You Skin and Body Clinic
Best Hair Extensions Jutta Blase, Carter Barnes
Best Hair Replacement/Restoration Practice Anderson Center For Hair
Best Hair Salon for African-American Hair Alicia Igess, Urban Tangles
Best Hair Salon for Men Salon Skanda
Best Hair Salon for Women Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa
Best Laser Hair Removal Facility Timeless Aesthetics Medspa of Atlanta
Best Lashes Sweet & Lashful
Best Makeup Artist Leslie Crowell, Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique
Best Manicure and Pedicure Sugarcoat Nail & Beauty Bar
Best Med Spa Amachi MedSpa
Best Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation (Microneedling, Microdermabrasion) Practice Pure Aesthetics & Skin Care
Best Permanent Makeup Janet Wix
Best Plastic Surgery Center for Breasts Dr. Patricia Yugueros, Luna Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa
Best Plastic Surgery Center for Buttocks Dr. Asaf Yalif, Y Plastic Surgery
Best Plastic Surgery Center for Eyes Dr. Burke Robinson, Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery
Best Plastic Surgery Center for Facial Plastic Surgery Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker, Atlanta Face & Body Center
Best Plastic Surgery Center for Nose Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco, DiFrancesco Plastic Surgery
Best Plastic Surgery Center for Tummy/Midsection Dr. Stanley Okoro, Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Best Sunless Tanning Opulence Spray Tan Club
Best Vein Treatment Practice VEINAtlanta
Best Waxing The Waxxpot


Health and Wellness Section

Best Addiction Care Facility Talbott Recovery
Best Allergy Practice Center for Allergy & Asthma
Best Arthritis Practice Arthritis & Rheumatology of Georgia
Best Audiology/ Hear Practice Atlanta Hearing Associates
Best Back and Spine Care Practice Resurgens Spine Center
Best Bariatric Surgery Practice Dr. Christopher Hart, Atlanta Bariatrics
Best Brain Health Treatment Center LearningRx
Best Cancer Care Facility TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Best Chiropractic Care Practice Excel Chiropractic
Best Dermatology Practice Dermatology Consultants
Best Diabetes Care Practice Dr. Rachel Derr, Endocrine Specialists of Atlanta
Best ENT Practice ENT Institute
Best Eye Care Practice EyeSouth Partners
Best Foot and Ankle Care Practice Resurgens Foot & Ankle Center
Best Gastroenterology Practice Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates
Best General/Family Dental Practice Maple Drive Dentistry
Best Healthy Getaway (in Atlanta or within driving distance) The Woodhouse Day Spa
Best Heart Health Facility Piedmont Heart Institute
Best Hormone Therapy Practice New Vitality Medical
Best Integrative/Functional Medicine Practice CentreSpringMD
Best Joint Surgery/Replacement Practice OrthoAtlanta
Best Massage Therapy Practice Warrior Body Spa
Best Maternity Hospital Gwinnett Women's Pavilion
Best Medical Imaging Center OutPatient Imaging
Best Mental Health Care Practice Atlanta Center for Wellness
Best Neurology Practice Douglas Neurology Associates, P.C.
Best OB/GYN Practice North Atlanta Women's Care
Best Orthodontics Practice Braces Braces
Best Pediatric Dentistry Nia Pediatric Dentistry
Best Pediatric Practice Pediatric Orthopaedic Associates
Best Physical Therapy Center PT 360
Best Podiatry Center Village Podiatry Centers
Best Primary Care Practice GMC Primary Care & Speciality Center
Best Reproductive/Fertility Practice Reproductive Biology Associates
Best Senior Care Facility Parc Communities
Best Stroke Rehabilitation Facility Shepherd Center
Best Urgent Care Facility WellStreet Urgent Care
Best Urology Practice Dr. Scott Miller, WellStar Health System
Best Weight Loss Clinic Sparkle Wellness


Life Enrichment Section

Best Active Senior Living Community Village Park Senior Living
Best Animal Clinic Baranik Animal Care
Best Ballroom Dance Studio International Dance Studios
Best Bookstore Phoenix & Dragon
Best Charity Ball/Gala Smiley for Kylie
Best Charity Race Georgia 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer
Best Comedy Club The Basement Theatre
Best Community Garden Oakhurst Community Garden
Best Continuing Education Program for Adults Kennesaw State University
Best Cooking Classes/School The Cook's Warehouse
Best Dance Club MJQ Concourse
Best Doggy Daycare Puppy Haven
Best Financial Planning/Services Faye Sykes, Scarlet Oak Financial Services
Best Gardening Classes Taproot Hydroponics
Best Groomer Swanky Paws Pet Spa
Best Hidden Gem for Live Music MadLife Stage & Studios
Best Life Coach New Perspectives for Life
Best Marriage Counseling/Therapy Practice CURA Couples and Family Therapy Center of Atlanta
Best Museum Waffle House Museum
Best New Give-Back Initiative Fab Women Over 50 Flower Power Calendar
Best Pet Rescue Organization Angels Among Us Pet Rescue
Best Pet Store Hollywood Feed
Best Pet Trainer Peach on a Leash
Best Pet Walker/Sitter Service CutiePaws Pet Sitting
Best Staycation The St. Regis Atlanta
Best Team Building Event Urban Escape Games


Food and Nutrition Section

Best Craft Cocktails Atlas
Best CSA Program Soulful Cafe by Soulful Yoga & SUP
Best Farm-to-Home Delivery Nature's Garden Express
Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant The Mill Kitchen and Bar
Best Farmers Market Your Dekalb Farmers Market
Best Food Festival Taste of Alpharetta
Best Food Truck Vego Bistro
Best Health Food Store Nuts 'n Berries
Best Juice Bar {SAMA} Food for Balance
Best New Healthy Restaurant Flower Child
Best Nutrition Counseling/Coach Chris Romano
Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant Lucky's Burger and Brew
Best Prepared Healthy Meal Delivery Fresh 'N Fit Cuisine
Best Restaurant Patio True Food Kitchen
Best Upscale Healthy Restaurant Upbeet
Best Vegan Restaurant Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine
Best Vegetarian Restaurant Green Love Kitchen

Thursday, 27 September 2018 18:22

Atlanta’s Tooth Fairy

Dr. Azi Nia creates a whimsical wonderland for her
patients at Nia Pediatric Dentistry.

By Katherine Michalak

For Dr. Azi Nia, board-certified pediatric dentist, establishing a practice in the heart of East Cobb was a natural extension of her commitment to serve the families of her beloved community. "This is home for me," Dr. Azi (as her patients call her) says. "Being here makes perfect sense." She moved to East Cobb over 20 years ago. She and her family transitioned easily thanks to the welcoming environment of their new neighborhood. For years, Dr. Azi could be found working part-time at the Parkaire Kroger pharmacy while attending Georgia State University and developing the customer service expertise she'd bring with her as she studied pediatric dentistry and established her own practice.

Dr. Azi attended the Georgia State University, graduating with her undergraduate degree in mathematics and chemistry. She continued on to the Medical College of Georgia where she earned her Doctorate of Dental Medicine. In order to become a specialist in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Azi completed a three-year residency at Children's Hospital Colorado where she also served as chief resident. During these three years, Dr. Azi treated a diverse population of medically compromised patients and people with special healthcare needs and was an active participant with the craniofacial lip and palate team. Shortly thereafter, she received the status of Diplomate by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

P1Dr. Azi is dedicated to providing excellent pediatric dental care and building confidence in her patients. Creating a positive dental experience customized to each young patient is central to Dr. Azi's practice philosophy. She believes in supporting her patients and their families by finding realistic solutions and preventing problems before they arise. Dr. Azi's greatest goal is helping a child overcome their fear and anxiety, getting them to a point where they enjoy their appointments. "We want to change [the typical child's] fear of dentistry." We focus on preventative care using the latest technology and a fun friendly environment that takes that fear away. We want kids to have fun in a relaxing environment. Our goal for our office is to be far from the traditional dental offices." In addition to standard pediatric dental services, Dr. Azi also offers hospital dentistry and laser treatment for lip/tongue ties to help infants with breastfeeding and toddlers with speech issues.

Her mission becomes evident the moment visitors walk through the front door of Nia Pediatric Dentistry and into the whimsical wonderland of Dr. Azi's fully-customized clinic space (or possibly prior to that if they've spotted the hippo-emblazoned vehicle parked outside). More than bright colors or thematic displays, this entire office feels like a giant playroom—life-sized cartoon animal figurines perch throughout, lively murals feature impish creatures to spark the imagination, game and video terminals hover above exam chairs, baskets of toys and books delight curious little ones, and there's even a quiet private work area for parents. Every element of the design incorporates the child's perspective and caters to their needs while boasting the most advanced technology and involving parents in the treatment whenever desired. "A lot of times I think the kids read the fears of their parents," Dr. Azi reveals. "And parents always ask me, 'Where were you when I was growing up?' and 'Can you see me as well?'"

P2The amusement at the office carries over into Dr. Azi's personal life as well. "We have such a haven here in East Cobb. Great schools, true family-focused environment, parents who stay really involved with their children, and a strong community." Dr. Azi and her husband, Dr. Farshid Nia DMD, MSD, who is the clinical director at BB Braces Braces and an advisory board member at North American Dental Group, spend time enjoying a variety of activities that include their two children, Shervin and Leena, and their three family dogs. "We go to East Cobb Park," Dr. Azi says. "And there are so many wonderful places to eat too! We love Camps Kitchen & Bar and Moxie Burger in Paper Mill Village, or Tijuana Joe's for Mexican P3food, or Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar for seafood.", 1111 Johnson Ferry Rd., 770-479-9999. The content for this article is brought to you by Nia Pediatric Dentistry.


Words of Wisdom fromDr. Azi Nia

Dr. Azi (as her patients call her) strives to teach kids superior dental care, and she enlists parents to aid. "Parents should supervise brushing until kids can tie their own shoes and write in cursive," Dr. Azi asserts. Adults should monitor the process to make sure the child brushes at least twice a day for two minutes each time. "Also, floss every day," Dr. Azi instructs. "Rinses are good but they don't replace flossing." And what treats make her naughty list? "Drinking soda and juice constantly is soaking teeth in acid and sugar. Drink water! Kids need to snack on crunchy fruits and vegetables more and sticky candy less!"

Dr. Azi says,"A pediatric dentist is the pediatrician for overall oral health. All kids should see a pediatric dentist by age 1."


Wednesday, 26 September 2018 21:02

whole body health guide A-Z




Fitness & Movement


p19Round 30 Min Kickbox Fitness
2899-B N. Decatur Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033
(404) 343-0286
9Round is the ultimate 30-minute, total-body, kickboxing circuit! We don't waste a minute of your time. It's the END of boring cardio and the first workout is ALWAYS free! 9Round is dedicated to providing a unique, fun and proven workout that guarantees results!


p2Atlanta Fitness Diva
855 Mt. Vernon Hwy. NE., Ste. 200 Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 531-5000
Atlanta Fitness Diva in Sandy Springs is the premier training studio for women. Strength training, sculpting workouts, specialized lower body stations and personal attention to the client is what makes them unique. Owner Pamela Molinari is a 32-year veteran trainer whose achievements include being voted Best Fitness Facility 2018 by My Sandy Springs magazine.




The Center for Integrative Yoga Studies
1924 Clairmont Rd., Ste. 140
Decatur, GA
(404) 217-7453


p3Club Pilates
5968 Roswell Rd.
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 588-2500
We believe Pilates is the best workout in the world, so we're bringing it to the masses! Increase your strength, flexibility, and stamina no matter your fitness level or injury history. Whether you're a fine-tuned pro athlete or you've had 3 ACL surgeries, Pilates is for every body!


Concourse Athletic Club
8 Concourse Pkwy.
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(770) 698-2000


p4F45 Training Sandy Springs
6125 Roswell Rd., Ste. 1000
Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 268-3345
F45 Training, the fastest growing fitness network is now in Sandy Springs! Team-based, functional training workout that places emphasis on motivation, innovation and results. HIIT-style workout using combinations of strength and cardio, the 45-minute sessions are designed to burn upwards of 750 calories. (directly across from Rumi's Kitchen)



p5Giving Tree Yoga
1295 W. Spring St., Ste. 120
Smyrna, GA 30080
(770) 626-1559
Giving Tree Yoga is a mindful studio located in the Smyrna Market Village. Our classes are perfect for both beginner and advanced students. Our teachers will guide you through your practice and offer modifications for all levels of experience. We offer Vinyasa Flow, Gentle Flow, Yoga Basics, Yin/Restorative Yoga classes.


GYMGUYZ of North Alpharetta-West Roswell
(678) 258-7555


Midtown Trainers
2115 Piedmont Rd. NE., Ste. 106
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 348-6377


p6Next Age Fitness
1610 Lavista Rd. NE., Ste. 1
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 998-4432
Next Age Fitness understands busy professionals! We use cutting-edge equipment that challenges specific muscle groups and provides a safe, effective and *efficient* method of strength training. Grow muscle mass and improve bone density with our 20-minute workout. Experience the future of exercise now! Call today for your Free Demo.



3167 Peachtree Rd. NE., Ste. Q
Atlanta, GA 30305
(470) 553-0080


Sculpted Body
1205 Johnson Ferry Rd., Ste. 133
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 971-9999


Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy
5975 Roswell Rd., Ste. C-33
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 303-9153


Thunderbolt Power Yoga
3872 Roswell Rd. NE., Unit C4
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 556-1605


Windy Hill Athletic Club
135 Interstate N. Pkwy. NW.
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1100



Food & Nutrition


Arden's Garden
13 Locations Across Metro Atlanta
(404) 209-1200


Betsy Thurston Registered Dietitian
813 Burning Tree Ct. SE.
Marietta, GA 30067
(404) 295-1415


Bowl Lab
3621 Vinings Slope SE., Ste. 1110
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 371-2695


Cafe Sunflower
2140 Peachtree Rd. NW.
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 352-8859


Your Dekalb Farmers Market
3000 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 377-6400


dtox juice
3850 Roswell Rd. NE., Atlanta, GA 30342
(855) 981-3869


Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe
1994 Hosea L. Williams Dr. NE.
Atlanta, GA 30317
(404) 624-7417


Flower Child
3400 Around Lenox Rd., #207
Atlanta, GA 30326
(678) 668-2271


Fresh 'N Fit Cuisine
6080 Parkway North Dr., Ste. 200
Cumming, GA 30040
(678) 208-0341


p7Good Measure Meals
181 Armour Dr. NE.
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 815-7695
As Atlanta's Local Kitchen on a Mission, Good Measure Meals cooks and delivers fresh, healthy meals across Metro Atlanta and Athens. "With the Good Measure Meals Fuel plan, I've finally found a great balance with protein and carbs. The food is amazing—better than a restaurant!" — Tina T., Atlanta


hCG Weight Loss Atlanta
6667 Vernon Woods Dr., Ste. B-40
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 968-9642


p8HiveFit Supplements
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Truly the purest and healthiest supplements in the market. A science-based company with a holistic approach offers high quality, yet affordable products for the whole family and all fitness levels. This Alpharetta-based company was started after seeing the current supplement industry sacrifice quality for profits. "We are recovering and saving the supplement industry," says owner and formulator, Raul Hiteshew.






Kale Me Crazy
3167 Peachtree Rd., Ste. F
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 975-3487


Loving Hut
220 Hammond Dr., #302
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 941-7992


931 Monroe Dr. NE., Ste. A106
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 724-0151


{SAMA} Food For Balance
56 E. Andrews Dr. NW., Ste. 17
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 500-3550


Sublime Tree
10971 Crabapple Rd., Ste. 1900
Roswell, GA 30075
(678) 373-3518


True Food Kitchen
3393 Peachtree Rd. NE., Ste. 3058B
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 481-2980


1071 Howell Mill Rd., Ste. A
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 347-1071



Wellness & Prevention


Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic & Center for Anti-Aging
4840 Roswell Rd. NE., Bldg. D, Ste. 100 Atlanta, GA 30342
(770) 777-7707


p9Atlanta Smiles & Wellness
4405 Northside Pkwy. NW., #110
Atlanta, GA 30327
(404) 262-7733
At Atlanta Smiles & Wellness, we are committed to your overall health! We are helping save lives by designing oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea patients. The three main factors that impact obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are age, anatomy, and weight. Untreated OSA has been shown to take almost seven years off your life—it is a matter of life and death.


Center For Weight Management At Gwinnett Medical Center
3215 McClure Bridge Rd.
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 312-6200


1401 Dresden Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30319
(404) 814-9808
At CentreSpringMD, our team of eight board-certified providers use an integrative approach to get to the root cause of your symptoms. Led by Dr. Taz Bhatia, MD, our team has brought healing to more than 14,000 adult and pediatric patients. From thyroid to food sensitivity, weight loss to ADHD—our team is committed to helping your whole family thrive.



p11Dermatology Consultants
Covington (770) 784-0343
Buckhead (404) 351-7546
Marietta (770) 971-3376
Although we tend to spend less time outdoors during the winter, the Georgia sun is a constant presence. In fact, by neglecting to apply daily sunscreen during the colder months, our skin is often more susceptible to harmful radiation than it is during the spring and summer. Schedule your yearly skin checks today!


Excel Chiropractic
285 Mt. Vernon Hwy. NE.
Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 743-4393


Medical Creations Integrative Medicine
4840 Roswell Rd. NE., Bldg. A, #200
Atlanta, GA 30342
(678) 732-9065


Medical & Sports Massage
220 Sandy Springs Cir., #157B
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 295-7040


p12Medical Weight Loss by Healthogenics
2286 Peachtree Rd. NW.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Medical Weight Loss by Healthogenics has helped thousands of clients lose millions of pounds with our proven, successful, and guaranteed weight loss programs. We offer customized weight loss programs for children, teens, men, and women, and specialize in helping those that have high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.



p13Medi-Weightloss, Woodstock
12195 GA-92, #144
Woodstock, GA 30188
(678) 540-7827
The Medi-Weightloss® Program is not a diet; it's a lifestyle change! Get off the dieting roller coaster and rejuvenate your life, learning to live healthy and lean for a lifetime. Our trained professionals help make your weight loss journey stress free and uncomplicated. Initial consultation
is FREE! Now accepting insurance.


p14Morrow Family Medicine
Located in Cumming and Milton
(770) 781-8004
Morrow Family Medicine is a technologically advanced "Old-Fashioned" family practice. Are you looking for providers who care? You will find a home with us! We have two locations: Cumming and Milton. Our walk-in hour from 7:30am to 8:30am is very popular. Morrow Family Medicine ... bringing care back to healthcare.




North Atlanta Dermatology
3850 Pleasant Hill Rd.
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 814-8222


Progressive Medical Center
4646 N. Shallowford Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30338
(770) 676-6000


Revive Atlanta MD
2786 N. Decatur Rd., Ste. 230
Decatur, GA 30033
(404) 835-2637


The Saul Clinic of Chiropractic
6667 Vernon Woods Dr. NE.
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 252-0014


Three D Wellness
555 Sun Valley Dr., Ste. C1
Roswell, GA 30076
(678) 621-8100


p15TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
8010 Roswell Rd., Ste. 120
Atlanta, GA 30350
(770) 360-9271
TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation is a unique nonprofit organization that improves quality of life for breast cancer patients by providing, promoting and advocating specialized and evidence-based rehabilitation. Services include physical therapy, massage therapy, counseling, exercise classes, and education programs. TurningPoint is located in a clinic off Roswell Road in Atlanta.


WellStar Kennestone Hospital
677 Church St.
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 793-5000



Relaxation & Clarity


Art It Out Therapy Center
4300 Paces Ferry Rd. SE., Ste. 357
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 989-1300


Clinical & Forensic Psychology Services
2751 Buford Hwy., Ste. #410
Atlanta, GA 30324
(770) 396-2206


Creative Solutions Through Hypnosis
2470 Windy Hill Rd., Ste. #159
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 822-6411


Empower Rehab & Wellness
1708 Peachtree St. NW., #103
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 597-7308


Gedalia Healing Arts
(678) 357-3443


p16Hypnotherapy of North GA
110 Samaritan Dr., #212
Cumming, GA 30040
(678) 353-3243
Hypnotherapy of North Georgia is a provider of hypnotherapy services for the Metro Atlanta area. Hypnotherapist, Raymond Berger helps people struggling with Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Confidence issues, Insomnia and PTSD. Medically, Hypnosis can help clients with: IBS/Crohn's, chronic pain, drug-free childbirth, smoking cessation, permanent weight loss and more.




p17JeJu Sauna & Spa Home of Wellbeing
3555 Gwinnett Pl. Dr. NW.
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 336-7414


Perspire Sauna Studio
322 Pharr Rd. NE.
Atlanta, GA 30305
(678) 718-7732


Presents of Mind Hypnosis
1963 Hosea Williams Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30317
(404) 449-9266


The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta
3376 Peachtree Rd. NE., Fl. 3
Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 995-7526


Warrior Body Spa
2298 Brockett Rd.
Tucker, GA 30084
(404) 994-4498



Life Enrichment


AR Workshop Smyrna
1675 Cumberland Pkwy. SE., Ste. 406
Smyrna, GA 30080
(404) 946-9343


Atlanta Humane Society
981 Howell Mill Rd. NW.
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 875-5331


Atlanta Rocks! Indoor Rock Climbing Gym
1019 Collier Rd. NW., Ste. A
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 351-3009


Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta
Atlanta (404) 897-5556
Duluth (678) 417-7555


2749 Delk Rd., Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 988-8813


Callaway Gardens
17800 US-27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822
(844) 512-3826


p18Château Élan Winery & Resort
100 Rue Charlemagne Dr.
Braselton, GA 30517
(678) 425-0900


Chefs for Seniors
(404) 914-7252



Habitat for Humanity
824 Memorial Dr. SE., Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 223-5180


2778 Cobb Pkwy. SE., Atlanta, GA 30339
(678) 803-4359


Intown Salt Room
563 Memorial Dr. SE., Unit CU-A
Atlanta, GA 30312
(678) 974-7867


Lisa Washington - Health and Wellness Life Coach/Reiki Practitioner
(770) 598-6493


Sips n Strokes
230 Hammond Dr., Bldg. 400
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 272-0156


Treetop Quest
4770 N. Peachtree Rd.
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 365-0356


Urban Explorers of Atlanta
245 N. Highland Ave. NE., Ste. 230-189
Atlanta, GA 30307
(678) 636-9310


Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:45

Better Sex

By India Powell

Sex—and certainly the fun, freeing, and fulfilling kind—is typically thought of as the domain of the young. But once the fog of conditioned limiting perceptions is cleared out of the way, the exciting truth is revealed: Sex actually gets better with age.

Sex—and certainly the fun, freeing, and fulfilling kind—is typically thought of as the domain of the young. But once the fog of conditioned limiting perceptions is cleared out of the way, the exciting truth is revealed: Sex actually gets better with age.

An Upward Trend

Because youth can also come with preoccupations about appearance and the imagined perceptions of others, as well as the complicated layers of still budding emotional and spiritual identities, sex can be less enjoyable before age 40 than after. The saying, "youth is wasted on the young" certainly does not apply in this case, since many of the things that make sex most enjoyable are more easily tapped into with maturity.

Elaine Wilco, MA, LPC, founder of IntimacyAtlanta, is a therapist who helps couples reconnect with each other and their own sexuality. She says couples who are actively enjoying sex in their 70s actually report having greater satisfaction than earlier in life. This is because they learn to enjoy sex beyond the previous mental constraints and beyond the traditional physical perceptions of sex itself.

"They know how to enjoy each other in different ways, and that arousal is not just physical. They have learned to create more sexual pleasure by working together," she says. According to Wilco, there is an entire paradigm shift that can happen later anytime in life around sex. This shift expands the possibilities of how expansively sex can be enjoyed. The perceptions of physicality, self, family, priorities and more change dramatically with the metamorphosis that can happen later in life.

SB1A Very Healthy Sex Life

Urology and urologic laparoscopy specialist Scott D. Miller, MD, of WellStar Health System, explains that allowing declining hormone levels and other factors to detract from your sex life can become a vicious cycle. "While stress and depression can take away the desire to have sex, one of the benefits of an active sex life is that it can reduce stress and depression," Miller says.

Adding, "Sexual activity is healthy. There is no age where it is expected that we become sexually inactive. There are many forms of intimacy, and it is part of who we are as humans and couples."

It's All Sex

For men, Miller says, the drop in testosterone levels that occurs naturally and steadily with time can present challenges. Erectile functionality can become less dependable, which can create anxiety around the idea of having sex. This is especially true if the emphasis is primarily around penis-vagina intercourse.

"The 'performance' concept is a lot of pressure on men," Wilco says. Adding that the pressure to perform can cause men to withdraw from sex into themselves and feel like they have failed their partners, although most don't actually verbalize these feelings. This can lead to the partner feeling hurt or thinking the man no longer finds her attractive.

Another reason it can be important to expand the idea of what constitutes having sex is that women's bodies change physiologically after menopause. The thinning of the vaginal walls and reduced lubrication can lead to tearing and irritation. And because the vagina becomes spongier and extends during arousal, Wilco explains, artificial lubrication is not always enough. "There can be too much emphasis on intercourse and not enough on everything else," Wilco says. "Manual and oral sex are not just 'foreplay;' I call them 'outercourse,' which includes all forms of sex not restricted to intercourse."

SB2Even if there are health conditions that affect one's ability to have intercourse, such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes or hormonal issues, Miller says, adjustments through hormone replacement, oral medications or diet and exercise can help get things back on track. For those struggling with erectile dysfunction, Tariq Hakky, MD, of Advanced Urology suggests adopting healthy lifestyle changes, vacuum erection methods, penile prosthesis and more. When dealing with the aftereffects of a major health event, such as a heart attack, it's important to keep the expectation that sex will return in time, and to explore forms of intimacy beyond intercourse.

The Age Advantage

Miller points out that age can bring one very distinct physical advantage when it comes to sex. "Certain things, physically, we get better at with age. When we're younger, we may be faster and stronger, but when we are older we have lots of endurance," he says. He adds that later in life, certain stressors such as young children and demanding work are less of a concern and it's easier to relax and focus on enjoying the relationship and physical intimacy.

Beyond the Limits

Atlanta-based sex coach Haley Helveston, founder of Holistic Health with Haley, specializes in helping women reconnect with their sexuality. She says that clear communication and a deeper understanding of our own bodies are the keys to sex getting better as we get older.

"Sex and pleasure are limitless," Helveston says. "There is a life force energy in sexuality that many don't tap into. It can be a spiritual awakening and life-changing experience to discover the various types of orgasms that are possible."

Learning about using meditation and breathing techniques before and during sex can greatly deepen the experience, especially since many women require a longer sexual experience in order to have an orgasm. Sex is a sacred experience and much more pleasurable when treated as such. Exploring tantric breathing techniques can help in discovering the depths of the full spirit-body-mind sexual experience.

It is also crucial at any age, Helveston says, that a woman knows her own body very well. "Many women assume the guy is going to know what to do," she says, "but all bodies are different. A woman needs to know how to please herself."

Clearing the Negativity

Wilco says the deeper sense of inner connection within oneself that can happen with age also enhances the potential for a more enjoyable sex life. "So many women deny themselves being comfortable sexually earlier in life because of what they believe they 'should' look like. If a sexual response is based on appearance, then it's going to decline with age," she points out.

As both women and men clear away the subconscious blocks, negativity and "shoulds/shouldn'ts" around sex, it opens up endless possibilities for continued enjoyment and expansion together. "Sex should get better as you get older," Helveston says. "Don't believe the negative perception that it's going to be bad and boring. You get to constantly evolve and grow yourself sexually."

Advanced Urology,
Holistic Health with Haley
WellStar Health System,


Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:39

Rethinking Big Pharma

How questioning the role of prescriptions in medicine can lead to true health



By Jennifer Colosimo


Never before have Americans taken so much medicine. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, in 2014, over one million people took a trip to the emergency room due to adverse drug effects. About 124,000 of them died. Roughly half of those deaths could have been prevented.

P1With American society so conditioned to take a pill for whatever ails us, we've found ourselves in the middle of a serious drug crisis. And we're still not feeling any better. "We're prescribing a lot more medications than we need. When it comes to pain medications, for example, we [the United States] take over 80 percent of some of the world's opioids (like hydrocodone and oxycodone)," says Sanjay Gupta, MD, faculty neurosurgeon at The Emory Clinic and chief medical correspondent for CNN.

The good news is that there's a shift happening right now, inspiring patients to question the prescriptions they're given and explore other options to start taking control of their health. With the right knowledge, it'll require our society to view medicine in a new light, one that asks doctors to combine the best of the conventional methods we've used to get better for years, with natural, practical options that get to the root of the issue—a harmonious alternative to help shape a healthier future ... one that's looking bright.

Why a Pill Isn't a Panacea

SB1We take a lot of medicine. There's a pill for aches and pains, high cholesterol, diabetes, you name it; but it's not enough anymore, as the risks include addiction, vitamin deficiencies, and the obvious fact that we're simply masking what may actually be wrong with our body. Especially for aging patients, the habit is starting to catch up.

In many cases—infections, heart attacks, a stroke, e.g.,—it's warranted, but when 4,468,929,929 prescriptions were filled by Americans in 2016, the necessity gets a little thin.

"Doctors, unfortunately, have a limited amount of time to spend with their patients, so their answer to any ailment is to prescribe a medication," says Dana Neacsu, MD, owner of Medical Creations Integrative Medicine in Sandy Springs. "Not only should you try to understand why you are prescribed a drug but also question the use, especially when it is not accompanied by lifestyle changes meant to address the underlying cause."

P2Other questions to ask your healthcare provider include asking if the drug is known to cause major adverse reactions, if you've been on a medication for too long, if adding another prescription is too many, and if what you're taking puts you in danger of a negative drug interaction.

"We question our kids' schools, we want to know about our grocery stores and things around our lives. We should be treating our body and the things we put into it the same way," says Gupta.

Honing in on Your Healthcare Options

Knowing you can potentially say no to most medications, you can start exploring the other options that exist. And the best alternative isn't cold turkey. In fact, something called integrative medicine takes the best from both worlds to provide patients the best possible outcome.

Tasneem Bhatia (Dr. Taz), MD, founder of CentreSpringMD, explains the growing popularity of this approach. "Patients want more from their healthcare providers in terms of time and substance and functional medicine fills that void and provides solutions that are not always pharmaceutical based." Integrated medicine combines state-of-the-art conventional medical treatments, like medications, surgeries, etc. with other, natural therapies like acupuncture, energy healing SB2techniques, supplement protocols, lifestyle changes, etc. that are carefully selected and shown to be safe and effective. Blending conventional and alternative medicines also utilizes medical technology, but uses the results to create a personalized approach for each patient, a plan based in techniques and choices that appeal to them and work for their lifestyle and personality.

"Integrative medicine is not antimedication, but rather opposed to just Band-Aiding a symptom with drugs. It focuses on the whole human being—the body, mind, spirit and involvement in the community," says Neacsu. In addition, alternative medicine practices can be cheaper for patients, and can prevent significant (read: expensive), chronic diseases in the future. Gupta says, "The fact that we can actually do things that don't require medications, that don't require procedures to improve our health, they're just based on our own knowledge of our body and our own holistic approach to our body can not only make a difference—it can make a huge difference."

"I usually tell this story about one of my patients—a lovely lady in her mid-60s who came to see me searching for a hormone replacement protocol because she was tired, and lots of her girlfriends were on hormone replacement therapy," says Neacsu. "She felt like that was the answer. I sat down with her and we talked about everything going on and it was clear to me from the beginning that this was more than just a hormonal imbalance. In fact, I told her we are going to start with a very conventional approach, testing her hemoglobin levels."

P3The short story was a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia, which worried Neacsu, because at this age that usually indicates something else is wrong.

"I picked up the phone and called her primary doctor who quickly arranged further testing, which showed she had a huge polyp in her stomach and she was losing blood from that," she says. "This was quickly taken care of by a gastroenterologist, and luckily was benign. She came back to me soon after the surgery and we worked together on finding the right supplements for her body, including iron. We worked on balancing her hormonal and adrenal glands, which were taxed after all of these events. We tested her for [other] vitamin deficiencies and discovered some additional problems and we fixed those too."

Neacsu says that together, they are working on preventing other problems like cholesterol imbalance and memory decline from occurring in the future. Today, her patient is doing great and this is still one of Neacsu's favorite stories, because in her opinion, it's the best example of what medicine should be like in this era.

Maximizing Your Medication

When it comes to the role patients have to play in taking their health SB3in their own hands, Gupta says this, "I am one of these doctors who thinks that ultimately, the patient is in charge. The patient is empowered. Nothing that I do is going to work unless the patient actually wants to make these changes themselves." He adds, "A majority, of chronic disease in this country is lifestyle induced. We know that relatively simple changes that don't require you to turn your world upside down can make a huge difference. We often think of the good lifestyle changes such as eating right, exercising, getting enough rest as things that will help you in the future, but the reality is that those things can not only improve your health, but make you feel better right now."

Neacsu notes, "Every patient needs to understand how addressing lifestyle changes will lead to a more sustainable result, although it will not be as quick as with pills. There are so many excuses, but the truth is by not taking care of the current health issue now, one will eventually end up in a worse situation."

P4She reminds patients, "See it as an investment and an education, probably the most important investment of your life."

Adding Cannabidiol (CBD) to Your Healthcare Options

Craig Fabel, president of Green Roads, a company that manufactures and distributes products made with cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals is excited about what he is hearing from their customers. He says, "Over the last 10 years in the U.S., there has been a growing epidemic of abuse and overdoses involving opioid painkillers. Growing sources of research are confirming CBD as an effective natural alternative to prescription painkillers."

CBD can be used to treat chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases, neuropathic pain, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, depression, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, skin allergies, migraines and more. But that's not even the best news. Research shows using CBD can actually be good for you.

SB4"When someone is addicted to opioids, there are measurable changes that have occurred in their brain, the parts of their brain that are responsible for judgment, for learning, and for memory have been affected by that and that's part of what makes it a brain disease," says Gupta. "We know that CBD actually crosses the blood-brain barrier and can help heal those parts of the brain that have been damaged by opioids."

It also helps relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms and it's cutting down on the number of opioids people consume, because they're taking medical marijuana for their pain instead. Less opioids means less opioid prescriptions and fewer overdose deaths—a significant fact when tens of thousands of people die every year from opioid overdose in the U.S.

Changing the CBD Perception to End the Opioid Crisis

Fabel, whose Green RoadsFamily Program supports over 100 families through product sponsorship and various nonprofits says, "It is inspiring every day to come to work and hear stories of relief, from children with epilepsy to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder."

"The biggest misconception about medical marijuana is that [people] don't think of it as a medicine," says Gupta. "They think of it as just a substance that you have to smoke to get high. It's important to know that it's a nonpsychoactive substance and you don't have to inhale it. It does have medicinal properties and we know that not only can it work as a medicine, but it can work oftentimes when nothing else has."

"Recently, we've had the first cannabis-based drug [Epidiolex] approved by the FDA," Gupta adds. "The FDA is saying, 'Hey, there's a cannabis-based drug that we've approved.' At the same time, in this country, they're saying it has no medicinal benefit. You can't say both at the same time, and yet here we are."

Green Roads has taken a leadership role in the industry by supporting research and development, to improve products and gain consistent results for customers. They are partnering with well-respected academic institutions to work with legislation to protect consumers from poor quality products in the marketplace.

"I have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than all of us, to change lives and enable positive change across the world," says Fabel. "Every day at Green Roads we get to help people live longer, stronger, better, healthier lives and we are doing it the right way, the safe way."

Green Roads,
Medical Creations Integrative Medicine,


Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:08

Deeper Than The Diagnosis

The mental, spiritual, and emotional
journey of breast cancer



By Karon Warren


Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating for patients. While there is an almost immediate focus on how severe the cancer is and what treatment options are available to eliminate it, the diagnosis calls for much more than just medicinal treatment. "Being diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer can take a toll on a person: body, mind and spirit," says Emily Beard, women's oncology program coordinator at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute in Atlanta. "In addition to the obvious fear and physical effects of treatment come a lot of other concerns, which vary from person to person."

SB1Stress over finances, worries for family members, effects on body image, and coming face-to-face with one's own mortality are just a few of the many concerns that could and do arise following a breast cancer diagnosis. As a result, patients need much more than just medical treatment; they need palliative care that addresses these other issues. Think mental and emotional support, physical exercise, nutrition, and body image concerns.

When addressing these additional matters as part of the patient's overall treatment plan, the benefits can be immense. "Exercise is medicine, healthy eating can aid in healing, and acknowledging and processing the feelings associated with this journey supports and empowers the survivor to tap into strengths some never knew they had," says Jennifer Kuca Lavoie, director of wellness, worklife and fitness for Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. "This equals control during unsettling times."

In recent years, there has been a shift in the medical community wherein treatment for breast cancer patients now includes these additional aspects of care. In fact, after the initial diagnosis, many facilities and doctors now include an assessment to evaluate a patient's mental and emotional well-being, their nutritional and physical exercise habits, their stress levels, and more in order to better serve the patient.

These evaluations go a long way in assisting medical professionals with addressing patients' other needs beyond just cancer treatment. When a need is identified, patients can be directed to the appropriate services.

Mental and Emotional Assistance

Because a breast cancer diagnosis can spark a wide range of emotions, talking with someone who understands their situation can be a huge comfort for breast cancer patients. "Psychosocial health encompasses the mental, emotional, social and spiritual dimensions of what it means to be healthy," says Cati Diamond Stone, executive director of Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta. "We encourage patients to talk about their feelings with a trusted source, which could be a family member, someone from their faith-based organization or a trained counselor."

While engaging with others in similar situations can be helpful, for some patients it may be best to take it one step further and speak with a psychologist or therapist. "We perform a distress screening at the initial diagnosis or first treatment," says Jennifer Kilkus, PhD, a clinical psychologist with the WellStar Cancer Survivorship & Support Department at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.

If that screening identifies a high level of anxiety, stress or depression, the patient could receive a referral for a psychologist or therapist. However, because every patient is different, therapy may not be necessary. "Some patients may need to see a therapist or psychologist, while others manage well with the help of support groups or by relying on family and friends," Kilkus says. "Our goal is to get patients the right level of care at the right time in their treatment."

SB2Support Groups

Many hospitals, cancer centers and other medical facilities offer various support groups where breast cancer patients can seek out communal interaction with other patients. Some of these groups may be as simple as gathering together to talk out their different situations. Others, though, may take it a step further, involving therapies such as music, the arts or even equine-assisted therapy.

For example, Feel Beautiful Today is a nonprofit that brings free "Arts in Health" programs to cancer patients at treatment centers around the city. "We use the arts as a tool to socially connect and encourage," says Biviana Franco, founder and CEO of Feel Beautiful Today in Roswell. "Artistic tasks help patients understand and express themselves and hopefully lead them to an improved quality of life. We want to remind them of the person they still are despite the cancer diagnosis."

Physical Exercise

Staying active during breast cancer treatment can go a long way in boosting the immune system, reducing stress, improving sleep or increasing emotional well-being. Although breast cancer patients may not be able to exercise at the same level they did prior to their diagnosis, physical activity is possible.

Staying active can be as simple as taking a walk or attending a yoga class. "There is proof [from the American Society of Clinical Oncology] that for women who suffer from depression and anxiety, yoga and meditation are beneficial," says Anita Johnson, MD, FACS, breast surgical oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Atlanta.


When going through chemotherapy and radiation to treat breast cancer, patients may experience a number of diet-related side effects, including loss of appetite, a change in taste buds, and weight loss. To address these potential issues, many medical facilities offer dietitian services.

"For me, this meant meeting with a nutritionist at my doctor's office to learn more about how to eat healthy foods that will support my treatment," says Stone, who is also a breast cancer survivor.

Body Image

One struggle many breast cancer patients face is with their body image. With the possibility of losing their hair, dealing with a gaunt appearance and especially dealing with the aftereffects of a mastectomy, keeping their self-esteem at a high level could be difficult. That's why there are services that address this concern.

For instance, at the Cancer Support Center, housed at the Cancer Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) in Lawrenceville, patients can attend the "Look Good Feel Better" class, a resource from the American Cancer Society.

"We bring patients in, do their makeup through the Look Good Feel Better class, and a patient navigator based at GMC from the American Cancer Society can help them try on free wigs," says Amy McEachin, RN, BSN OCN, oncology support clinic manager at Gwinnett Medical Center Cancer Institute.

At One Journey Together - A Cancer and Healing Boutique in Alpharetta, founder Lisa Gibson, also a breast cancer survivor, has brought together salon and spa services, custom wigs, prosthetics, compression garments and other complementary therapies to help cancer patients address their body image concerns.

For example, many patients are told they should not receive skin and nail treatments at traditional salons and spas because of their compromised immune system. However, at One Journey Together, they are specially trained to assist these patients with these services. "We offer our patients a safe, clean and comfortable environment where they can still receive the services they are used to getting with qualified professionals that understand the unique needs of the cancer patient," says esthetician Caitlyn Smith.

Finding Coverage

Receiving this multitude of services sounds easy given there are so many providers available in the Atlanta area; however, the costs could be prohibitive for many patients. For psychological and mental treatment, it is possible health insurance may cover those appointments if the policy contains a mental or behavioral provision.

In addition, many of the support services like yoga classes, support groups and meetings with dietitians may be free or very low-cost at area medical centers and hospitals. For instance, Lavoie says that Chapman Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Healthcare offers comprehensive programs including exercise programs for women with breast cancer at no charge to the patients and their family members. WellStar also offers many support services for free.

Local nonprofits such as TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation can also be an option for low-cost services and even financial assistance. The main mission of The Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation is to improve the survival rates of lower income breast cancer patients by providing grants for insurance co-pays, prescription costs, transportation to and from treatment, and basic living necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries.

In the last 10 years, there has been a major shift to extend breast cancer treatment beyond just treating the disease, and this shift will continue going forward. "Cancer centers and hospitals are now more fully integrating services like nutrition and fitness counseling, mental health services and other palliative care," Stone says. "It's been a shift in the approach, and it is positively impacting the overall treatment plan and outcomes."

Cancer Treatment Centers of America,
The Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation,
Feel Beautiful Today,
Gwinnett Medical Center Cancer Institute,
Northside Hospital Cancer Institute,
One Journey Together - A Cancer and Healing Boutique
Piedmont Healthcare,
Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta,
TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation,
WellStar Kennestone Hospital,


Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:00

My Best Self: Ashley Lorenzo

Yoga is more than a means of movement for Ashley Lorenzo. It is a chance to connect and center one's self and step back into the world as a more conscious member of society. Her classes are welcoming, inclusive and highly personal.

By Susan Finch

Between field hockey and cross-country running, Ashley Lorenzo was always active growing up. But a class at Five Points Yoga (she still keeps in touch with her first instructor) in Athens, Georgia, nearly a decade ago changed her life in a way no other form of fitness had before. "There was something almost ritualistic about the practice that made me want to live with more integrity and an open heart," Lorenzo says. Today, the E-RYT 200 and 500 HR-certified yoga instructor has over 1,500 hours of instruction under her belt and can be found leading classes at YogaWorks and New Realm Brewing, teaching private 60-minute lessons (Spanx founder Sara Blakely is a fan), and jet-setting to Europe for enchanting yogi retreats.

How did you discover yoga? While I've always been very active and in love with movement, it wasn't until I finally let a good friend drag me to yoga for the first time that I knew it was meant for me. It provided me with a guided sense of discipline and paved the way for a healthier lifestyle. It was the one place where I was able to focus on my breath, become quiet and gain clarity. It helped me to step back into the world from a more centered and authentic place.

How do you use a mix of alignment-based poses, meditation and breath work to help your students cultivate greater awareness in the physical body and beyond? My approach to teaching yoga is to keep things simple, and that always begins with the breath. While alignment is a huge focal point in my teaching, I don't care if people can touch their toes or even get their feet behind their head. My job is to help people pay attention and the yoga practice forces you to expand your awareness to multiple points at one time. This is what is so special and sneaky about the way the practice works. It asks that you are truly present in the moment.

What are your private lessons like? My private lessons are much more intimate. This type of setting provides an opportunity for me to really understand a client and their physiology. Together, we work on gaining greater body awareness so that the practice can become as therapeutic as possible and shapes to fit their needs.

What's your favorite inspirational quote? "You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you." —Dr. Maya Angelou

Tell us one of the funniest things that's ever happened to you. I was mistaken for Shakira at the airport recently and gave her autograph to a small group of girls.

What do you like to do for fun? I love to travel and see live music. When I'm in Atlanta, I spend most of my weekends in my painting studio. If I'm not there, you can find me with my friends or spending time outdoors.

Who helps you be your best self? I'm very mindful of my blessings and am lucky to have such strong support from close friends and family. They are always there for me, hold me accountable, encourage me to share what I love, and above all, just want me to be happy. I also love going to bartaco, grabbing a Grounded smoothie with greens from Kale Me Crazy, and shopping at Ponce City Market.

To find out more about Ashley Lorenzo and her yoga classes, visit


Wednesday, 26 September 2018 19:55

Midtown’s Hidden Gem

In the eyes of this celebrity jewelry designer, beauty can be found in the most unexpected materials.

By Melanie Preis

Mark Edge's obsession with hunting down vintage materials, like 1920s Parisian coins, for his renowned Mark Edge Jewelry line extends to his own, unique collection of art, antiques and objects that evade proper classification. This talented creator recognizes the beauty of the past and celebrates its importance by taking special materials and objects and presenting them in fascinating, new ways.

"The materials that I find sort of dictate what I will be designing," Edge says. Described as "ecovintage," Edge's jewelry focuses on the reclaimed, recycled and reinvented. And his ability to repurpose materials in inventive and exciting ways isn't something that just fell in his lap—he's been honing his skills for more than 30 years.

SB2Edge found his passion for jewelry all the way back in junior high school, in his native Birmingham, Alabama, when his father offered him two options that summer: attend a silversmithing class in a local mall or escort his father to the family's lumber company. The answer was easy.

"For 15 hours over the course of a month, I learned jewelry," Edge says. "By the end of that class, I had the best piece of jewelry [a sterling turquoise ring]. I then started selling to boutiques and I couldn't even drive. I was 'the kid at school with jewelry' and sold it from eighth through 11th grade."

While at the University of Alabama, Edge put the jewelry business on hold. However, in 1994, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch Mark Edge Jewelry.

SB1Today, Edge creates his wearable art, popular with celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Courteney Cox, based on the available materials that dictate the look. Though the materials may change by the season, there usually are some common themes between collections—for example, there are always opposites in his work; perhaps shiny, dressier beads are paired with a dark pendant. He may come across interesting metals or coins at antique shops, estate sales or other random places and then let the pieces permeate his psyche until he's ready to start working.

"Getting started is the hardest part," says Edge. "I'm slow to start but once the ideas happen, they're just pouring out of my head. By the end of the process, I'm like a jet engine and it takes a while for me to stop. It's a bizarre process that becomes really easy and exciting." Edge is a man who values authenticity and integrity at its highest form—both in his work and the art and antiques he collects.

His Midtown residence is filled with more than 100 pieces of art, from mostly local artists, as well as unique knickknacks like antique globes, oddball lamps and midcentury, gothic accessories. Anyone who walks into his eclectic home is greeted by its welcome wagon, which comes in the form of a Chihuahua named Jack.

The friendly dog isn't only Edge's companion, he also helps him be his "best self" by getting him out and about. The two enjoy walking in Piedmont Park and visiting the Atlanta BeltLine. Edge also stays fit by exercising about three times a week at LA Fitness and following a low-carbohydrate, organic diet.

"I used to drink a Coke a day, which is basically toxic," Edge admits. "Sugar is like rust on a steel pipe, so I try to be good." Being "good" involves eating healthy, getting educated on nutrition and asking chefs and waiters what exactly is in a meal he orders. He swears by the book "Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?" by Mark Hyman, MD, for helping him understand and address what food choices to make.

All that healthy eating, which he mostly does at his beloved MetroFresh, as well as at other Midtown hot spots like The Optimist, Better Half, and Farm to Ladle, added to his workout routine help Edge stay healthy and energized for future projects. Oh, all that combined with his secret weapon: weekly 20-minute chair massages at Highland Spa. ("That 20 minutes is amazing and rejuvenating—I can solve all of my problems!")

Creating a vision for his jewelry company isn't on that list of problems, though. "I love what I do for a living," Edge says confidently. "Humans need a purpose and something to get up for every day, even if it's volunteering for a charity that they support." Edge works with Open Hand Atlanta and donates jewelry to numerous charity auctions.

It's hard for him to describe upcoming collections (though Fall/Winter will feature those lovely French coins from the 1920s) because much of his design originates from what he discovers at places like Scott Antique Markets. However, he knows the special quality of something when he comes across it.

"Being picky is almost a burden," says Edge. "The benchmark is set so high for me to like something. I'm an artist. It's all about having love for what you do—I can't imagine having a job I didn't love."


Thursday, 23 August 2018 19:43

"Best of 2018" Category List


Recommendation: Businesses are eligible to win in ONE category. Select A Business Category that best suits your business. You may select multiple categories, however, it can ....


SECTION: Fitness/Weight Loss Section




Best Athletic Club

Best Barre Studio

Best Boot Camp

Best Boxing Workout Facility

Best CrossFit Gym

Best Cycling Shop

Best Dance Fitness Facility

Best Fitness Apparel Store

Best Fitness Equipment Store

Best Golf Instruction

Best Gym

Best HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Facility

Best Indoor Cycling Studio

Best Kids' Fitness Facility

Best Martial Arts Training

Best New Boutique Fitness

Best Outdoor Gear Store

Best Outdoor Sports Instruction

Best Personal Trainer

Best Personal Training Facility

Best Pilates Studio

Best Rec Sports League

Best Running/Walking Gear Store

Best Senior Fitness Facility

Best Tennis Facility

Best Water Sports Instruction

Best Yoga Studio


SECTION: Cosmetic/Antiaging/Beauty Section


Best Blowouts

Best Body Sculpting Practice

Best Botox

Best Brows

Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practice

Best Esthetician

Best Fillers

Best Hair Extensions

Best Hair Replacement/Restoration Practice

Best Hair Salon for African-American Hair

Best Hair Salon for Men

Best Hair Salon for Women

Best Laser Hair Removal Facility

Best Lashes

Best Makeup Artist

Best Manicure and Pedicure

Best Med Spa

Best Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation (Microneedling, Microdermabrasion) Practice

Best Plastic Surgery Center for Breasts

Best Plastic Surgery Center for Buttocks

Best Plastic Surgery Center for Eyes

Best Plastic Surgery Center for Facial Plastic Surgery

Best Plastic Surgery Center for Nose

Best Plastic Surgery Center for Tummy/Midsection

Best Vein Treatment Practice

Best Waxing


SECTION: Health and Wellness Section


Best Addiction Care Facility

Best Allergy Practice

Best Arthritis Practice

Best Audiology/Hearing Practice

Best Back and Spine Care Practice

Best Bariatric Surgery Practice

Best Brain Health Treatment Center

Best Cancer Care Facility

Best Chiropractic Care Practice

Best Dermatology Practice

Best Diabetes Care Practice

Best ENT Practice

Best Eye Care Practice

Best Foot and Ankle Care Practice

Best Gastroenterology Practice

Best General/Family Dental Practice

Best Healthy Getaway (in Atlanta or within driving distance)

Best Heart Health Facility

Best Hormone Therapy Practice

Best Integrative/Functional Medicine Practice

Best Joint Surgery/Replacement Practice

Best Massage Therapy Practice

Best Maternity Hospital

Best Medical Imaging Center

Best Mental Health Care Practice

Best Neurology Practice

Best OB/GYN Practice

Best Orthodontics Practice

Best Pediatric Practice

Best Physical Therapy Center

Best Podiatry Center

Best Primary Care Practice

Best Reproductive/Fertility Practice

Best Senior Care Facility

Best Stroke Rehabilitation Facility

Best Urgent Care Facility

Best Urology Practice

Best Weight Loss Clinic


SECTION: Life Enrichment Section


Best Active Senior Living Community

Best Animal Clinic

Best Ballroom Dance Studio

Best Bookstore

Best Charity Ball/Gala

Best Charity Race

Best Comedy Club

Best Community Garden

Best Continuing Education Program for Adults

Best Cooking Classes/School

Best Dance Club

Best Financial Planning/Services

Best Gardening Classes

Best Groomer

Best Hidden Gem for Live Music

Best Life Coach

Best Marriage Counseling/Therapy Practice

Best Museum

Best New Give-Back Initiative

Best Pet Rescue Organization

Best Pet Store

Best Pet Trainer

Best Pet Walker/Sitter Service

Best Playhouse

Best Staycation


SECTION: Food and Nutrition Section


Best Craft Cocktails

Best CSA Program

Best Farm-to-Home Delivery

Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Best Farmers Market

Best Food Festival

Best Food Truck

Best Health Food Store

Best Juice Bar

Best New Healthy Restaurant

Best Nutrition Counseling/Coach

Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant

Best Prepared Healthy Meal Delivery

Best Restaurant Patio

Best Upscale Healthy Restaurant

Best Vegan Restaurant

Best Vegetarian Restaurant


Friday, 27 July 2018 14:50

Man of the Hour

Chris Hadermann brings excellence to every pursuit. From his many business ventures, personal health and fitness goals to philanthropy that feeds the soul, he is the ultimate entrepreneur.

By Wyndi Kappes
Photography by CatMax Photography

One evening out with the boys changed Chris Hadermann's life in 1996. Tired of the Buckhead party scene, the recent Florida State University grad and friends decided to create East Andrews Café, an upscale yet unpretentious hangout for fellow 20-somethings. With a bachelor's in finance and marketing, Hadermann possessed book smarts, passion, and a natural ability to recognize a glaring gap in Atlanta's social landscape. "East Andrews Café was such an incredibly fun and rewarding springboard for me," he says. "But I eventually realized I was more passionate about creating fun concepts centered around food, wine and conversations than the bar and nightclub industry."

Next up? Hadermann co-founded the popular Southwestern chain Tin Lizzy's Cantina. He then joined forces with Mike Evertsen and John "JP" Piemonte to launch Southern Proper Hospitality Group, an award-winning restaurant firm. Well-known brands such as The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails, The Blind Pig Parlour Bar, The Southern Gentleman Gastropub, Chido + Padre's, and Gypsy Kitchen took the city by storm.

If you have ever been to the Spanish-Moroccan tapas restaurant Gypsy Kitchen, you know it's hard to miss the iconic metal bull at the bar. Much like the bull, Hadermann, 46, is determined in his efforts to not only elevate Atlanta's restaurant scene, but also to stay fit, give back, and constantly strive for what's next.

The self-described serial entrepreneur can always be found exploring new real estate opportunities or brainstorming up-and-coming business concepts. His most recent endeavors include becoming a local franchisee for the California-based hair salon sensation, Drybar, and the owner of the historic Monte Vista Hotel near Asheville. How does he keep up with it all? Not only is Hadermann intentional about his professional moves but he's also deliberate about his fitness and health.

"I get up in the morning to get some fitness activity in. I have a routine that I at least try to go to Flywheel twice a week, do yoga at Thunderbolt Power Yoga once a week, and lift twice a week at The Forum Athletic Club, and that's like the bare minimum just to keep me sane," Hadermann says.

His latest fitness goal? Mastering the art of meditation. "Many successful people meditate and it's just really good for you, spiritually and metaphysically. So I'm trying to quiet my active mind and do more of it whenever I can," he says.

When it comes to nutrition, Hadermann admits that when he's sampling cuisine for new eatery concepts in New York, California, or most recently, in Mexico, calories don't count. Not all of these excursions are filled with decadent meals though. As a matter of fact, a healthy restaurant is up next on his launch list! All of Southern Proper Hospitality Group's restaurants are designed to be "experiential," so it's natural that much of the inspiration for new concepts and existing ones come from Hadermann's own worldly experiences. "Travel has become my favorite hobby. I love exploring new places, meeting interesting people and the conversations that come along with that. And of course, experiencing the local culture through the food and drink from the area," he says. "My friends describe me as fun and adventurous."

But when the enterprising foodie is home, he focuses on eating clean. His meals consist of lean meats or fish and he will often chow down on salads and other nutrient-packed roughage. "Also, once a quarter, I do a bone broth cleanse where all I eat is bone broth for four days," Hadermann says. "The collagen in the bone is really good for your stomach and your gut bacteria. Plus, it is a calorie restriction and helps me reset my system."

Outside of traveling, day-to-day duties, and practicing mindfulness, you can find the laid-back businessman exploring the cuisine along Buford Highway or venturing to Edgewood to check out its quirky bar scene.

The ambitious executive recruits friends, family, and colleagues to join his philanthropic efforts such as the Southern Proper Hospitality Golf Tournament. Hadermann began the annual event as part of his campaign to be the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year in 2016. This year's tournament will take place on Oct. 1 with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Giving back is huge for Hadermann. His advice for budding entrepreneurs? "The hardest part is finding the thing that you're going to do," he says. "Once you hone in on what you are passionate about, then you must find the courage to take that first step and just do it. More often than not when people finally do step out and get started they often look back and say they wish they would have done it earlier."

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