Wednesday, 31 July 2019 20:24

Meet 9 Men Changing the City of Atlanta

By Nicole Letts
Photography by Richie Arpino Photography. Photo shoot hosted at O-Ku Atlanta.

Success in any aspect of life takes dedication, passion, and ambition. From health and fitness to entrepreneurship and charitable endeavors, these nine Atlanta men are committed to being the best versions of themselves in all areas of their lives. Here, we learn their secrets to accomplishing personal goals, how they keep themselves and those they love a top priority, and the ways they positively impact the local community.

Jarryd WallaceP1 Jarryd-Wallace
As a professional track athlete, it goes without saying that Jarryd Wallace’s fitness routine looks a little different than your average Atlantan because Wallace is anything but average. He’s the defending 200 meter World Champion in the men’s T64 classification and is currently training to maintain that title and grasp a few others this November at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also has his sights on an even bigger goal: a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. “This will be my third Paralympic Games and my third shot to take home a Paralympic gold medal—currently the only gold medal I have not won from an international event.” Beyond claiming titles, Wallace is also tackling another feat: executive producing and starring in a documentary. “‘Race to Tokyo’ is a film following myself and Ken Endo, an engineer in Japan, as we try to develop the fastest blade in the world heading into the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Through what we learn with this technology, we hope to develop a more cost-effective blade for society and help create opportunities for those with amputations to become active again.”

What’s your life motto?
‘Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.’
—1 Thessalonians 5:24

What would be your walk-out song?
Probably the intro to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana

What are staples in your bathroom?
Every Man Jack shampoo, face lotion, and deodorant

P2 Stevie-Baggs-JrStevie Baggs Jr.
Meet health and wellness ambassador for the City of Atlanta, Stevie Baggs Jr. An actor, author, speaker, former professional athlete and Young Living brand ambassador, Baggs is charged with educating city employees about healthy living, but he doesn’t stop there. He also runs the Creating Empowerment Through Autonomy (CETA) foundation, which he founded with his mother. “I call myself an octopus because I do eight different things, but they all go in the same direction, and they all intersect at the same spot. It’s all connected to my passion and my purpose,” Baggs says. Today, CETA works with 10 centers in Atlanta, like the Rosel Fann Recreation Center, for after-school programming. “We have a curriculum called True Wealth, where we help young people develop their character and leadership, and learn about health, wellness and technology,” Baggs explains. “Essentially, the things they’d never get in the regular education system.”

What’s your favorite way to work out?
Because I played football for so long, there’s a lot of wear and tear on my joints, so one of the hobbies that I’ve taken up and that I really love is road biking. I’m a road bike fanatic.

What are staples in your bathroom?
Shea butter and essential oils. The essential oils, of course, are by Young Living, but the shea butter is made locally by Henry Fitzgerald ‘Gerald’ Jones. His company is called Essentials Of Ma’at, LLC.

P3 Mitchell AndersonMitchell Anderson
When an old Hollywood friend called on Mitchell Anderson to star as Jason in Amazon’s “After Forever” series, which recently won five Daytime Emmy Awards, he knew it was too good of a role to pass up. “It’s an incredibly rangy part with both intense drama/sadness, but also a touch of whimsy and comedy. I had never had that kind of all-encompassing role before,” he says. Once an actor starring in the likes of “Party of Five,” these days Anderson is often found behind the scenes as the founder and owner of Midtown’s popular health-focused eatery, MetroFresh. Since the show wrapped its first season, Anderson has been moving full steam ahead to open his second MetroFresh location, and following his own advice. “It was great to do the show without anything riding on it. I have a big life. I’m happy and fulfilled with what I’ve been doing for 15 years. I believe that’s why the work was so much better. When we allow ourselves to show up without self-judgment, I truly believe we can fly!”

How do you rest and recharge?
When I come home from working in the kitchen, which means I’m up at 4:20 a.m. and on my feet for nine to 10 hours, I get on my bed and open a book. I’m constantly reading. I also do that to fall asleep for a 40-minute nap! It takes me months to finish a book, but that’s how I unwind. Well, that and a nice glass of pinot noir around 5 p.m.

I usually work six days a week, but I try as hard as I can to keep my Sundays free of work. I recharge on Sundays by puttering around the house doing ‘not too strenuous’ chores, going out for a long brunch, and usually, reading the Sunday edition of the New York Times on the couch with my eyes closed. By Monday morning, I’m ready to do it all over again!

Who helps you look and feel your best?
100% my husband, Richie Arpino

P4 Nick-LaMonteNick LaMonte
Nick LaMonte, My Home Improvement magazine’s 2019 Rising Stars of the Home Industry cover winner and 2018 Rookie of the Year for Harry Norman, REALTORS®, says when it comes to fitness and nutrition, it’s all about moderation. “I stay pretty strict when it comes to my diet during the week, and I will prep most lunches and dinners. It’s definitely what works for me with such a busy schedule. I go to the gym to weight train at around 7 in the morning, and I run roughly three to four times a week at night after the craziness of the day is over.” Craziness is one word for it. LaMonte lives an active lifestyle, professionally and personally. He gives back through different ministries at his church and is also a mentor for a student at Woodson Park Academy elementary school. His secret to success? “Staying consistent is key. Whether it is in the gym or for my business, I am consistent—doing the things every day that will make me better, even when I don’t want to.”

What’s your favorite unhealthy indulgence?
Any pastry. I am weakest with doughnuts, so about once a week I will knock out four to five.
How do you recharge?  
Friends and family have always been my best way to recharge. I love to surround myself with people who have the same interests, goals, and love for everything that I do. It allows me to take time to just enjoy life in the moment.
What would be your walk-out song?
That’s a super tough question but it would probably be Frank Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly With Me.’

P5 Shane-LordShane Lord
Serenbe resident Shane Lord says his home plays a significant role in his inspiration for looking and feeling his best. “Serenbe helps people get their vitamin N
(‘N’ for nature). We are surrounded by wooded hills, grassy meadows, streams, ponds and nature trails.
We have an organic farm across the street from our house, horse stables up the street and an animal farm on the far end of the property.” As far as doing good goes, that’s where Lord’s employer comes in. A corporate attorney in the legal department of The Home Depot, Lord says the company emphasizes philanthropy. “Two key values for The Home Depot are ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘giving back.’ We preach and live these values. After joining The Home Depot in 2013, the company asked me to support The Home Depot Foundation, Team Depot, and The Homer Fund, which are the charitable arms of the company. The Home Depot literally pays me to help it do the right thing and give back!”

What’s your favorite way to work out?
I enjoy exercising at The Gym at Serenbe with my 17-year-old son, Koby. He pushes me and we joke and laugh the entire time. As far as routines, my favorite is to do a combination of weight training and CrossFit training, followed by interval training with cardio exercises.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
My mom met my wife, Julie, when we were dating, and she whispered in my ear, ‘don’t blow this one.’ I followed her advice! Julie makes me a better person.

P6 Chef Jamie AdamsJamie Adams
Il Giallo Osteria & Bar’s co-owner and executive chef Jamie Adams (formerly the executive chef at Veni Vidi Vici) might be known for his delectable Italian dishes to Atlanta residents, but to those close to him, he’s also known, ironically, for his heart. Chef Adams underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2000 at 41. Beyond inspiring health and wellness changes, his ticker scare also made him even more invested in his passion for helping others. He’s worked with CURE Childhood Cancer, Moving in the Spirit, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Jewish Family & Career Services, and takes part in the 300-mile Chefs Cycle to fundraise for No Kid Hungry. “I give from my heart as my [Christian] faith directs me. I don’t like the ‘give back’ thing, as I have not taken anything from anybody. My faith teaches to give, save, and then live on the rest. Take yourself out of the center and put others in front.”

How do you stay fit?
W.E.R.C., that is ‘wildly erratic road cycling,’ which translates into grabbing every gap in my schedule to get out on the roads! I aim for 100 miles a week—two shorter rides during the week and longer ones on the weekends. I like to go all the way to Lake Lanier.

What’s your favorite healthy meal?
Healthy is eating clean food that is free of chemicals, genetic tinkering, processing, etcetera. So my favorite go-to meal is a great thin-crust pizza (I love a little kick from a spicy Calabrese salame), a little salad with tasty greens, beets, a simple vinaigrette, and something crunchy like toasted hazelnuts, and a great glass of Barbera!

P7 Eric-PayneEric Payne
Eric Payne describes his fitness routine as a journey. “I began on January 1, 2017, with one pushup, one situp, and one pullup and became disciplined. I added more reps with each passing day. I’m currently participating in an online 90-day fitness challenge, which has me working out on average 60 minutes a day, six days a week.” By day, Payne is a freelance marketing and communications consultant, but his current project is even more intriguing: an interactive digital novel called “Just Between Us,” which readers can purchase one chapter at a time or once the tale is finished. “It’s the story of a 40-something guy who thinks he has it all—great job, beautiful wife and family—then he suddenly loses all of it. I hope it will not only entertain, but give hope and direction to those who find themselves facing unbelievable odds and feel it’s too late to turn things around,” Payne says. Adding, “It’s interactive because it isn’t complete and I have the ability to alter the storyline based on the way the characters evolve or to poll readers to find out how they’d like the story to go and write accordingly.”

What’s your favorite way to work out?
I love jumping rope because you can get creative with crossovers, boxer skips, double unders, etcetera. It’s rhythm. It’s poetry in motion.

Who helps you look and feel your best?
It’s not a who, but a what that inspires me to look and feel my best. Both of my parents are elderly, and unfortunately, haven’t been the best stewards of their health and wellness. Watching them decline rapidly and ultimately having to manage their care has solidified for me that you have to take care of yourself, first and foremost, to the best of your ability before you can take care of anyone else.

P8 Hank StewartHank Stewart
When asked to describe his day job, Hank Stewart says he’s more of an around-the-clock man. “It’s certainly not 9-to-5. I’m a published writer, author and poet. I have won an Emmy. I have two books that were on bestseller lists for Essence, and Congressman Hank Johnson, of the 4th Congressional District, made me the poet laureate of his district,” he explains. Stewart also co-founded The Stewart Foundation with Gwendolyn Mason. “What we saw, particularly in the African-American community, was a lot of our civil rights legends passing away. However, we didn’t see a whole lot of torches being passed. We wanted to develop an organization that was developing leaders and developing young people who were concerned and conscious,” Stewart says.

What is your fitness routine?
I have not gone a single day without working out since Dec. 30, 2016! I don’t care where I am—
St. Croix, Chicago, in D.C. for board meetings. I was just in Vegas. Every single place that I go, I take workout clothes. I might walk that city and get my 10,000 steps in, or if I’m in Atlanta, I have an elliptical in my house.

What is the hardest personal challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Losing my sister to breast cancer taught me to live life to the fullest. Tomorrow is not promised.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Help as many people as you can, give as much as you can, work as hard as you can, and then sit on your can.

What do you consider your life motto?
My motto right now is, ‘It’s my time; it’s my turn, and if I don’t do my part, it’s my fault.’

P9 Kevin PalmerKevin Palmer
As CEO of PalmerHouse Properties, a residential and commercial realty business that has been recognized more than once by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the Best Places to Work in Atlanta, Kevin Palmer knows a thing or two about leadership. “It really isn’t ‘what we do’ that creates our culture but rather, ‘how we treat you.’ Every business decision that is made at PalmerHouse is based on what is best for the agent,” he says. On the success side of things, Palmer notes the benefits of collaboration. “I have had the honor to work with amazing leaders and entrepreneurs. I’ve seen what has worked and what hasn’t, what made me [and the company] successful, and what caused me to fall short of my goals. The common denominator for not being successful is not having a clear goal or not remaining focused on seeing the goal coming forth.” His secret sauce? Meditation. “So many times we look for the answers outside of ourselves. I believe that the answers are always within us.”

How does PalmerHouse Properties give back to the community?

We launched PHP CARES in December 2018. PHP CARES was established to give our agents an easy way to give back to the community. Based on recommendations made by our agents, this year PHP CARES will donate to Team Summer and Englewood Animal Rescue Sanctuary. Team Summer was created by Summer Dale, the daughter of one of our Atlanta agents, Lynne Dale. Diagnosed with cancer at 15, Summer realized kids with cancer were the only ones who could truly understand what she was going through. She began surprising them with special gifts to cheer them up and to connect with them for support. Summer lost her battle in 2012, but her approach to gift giving continues to uplift children fighting cancer. Team Summer raises money to fund the gifts, and all gifts are given from one child with cancer to another child with cancer.

What’s your favorite way to work out?
I enjoy the low impact yoga has on my body while using my own body weight to strengthen my core and tone my muscles.




















Turn to the award-winning providers at Advanced Urology for comprehensive care and specialty solutions for issues like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). At the six Advanced Urology offices, this team uses the latest technology to resolve bladder and prostate issues, and erectile dysfunction. This technology allows patients to experience faster recovery and higher success rates.

At Advanced Urology, doctors pride themselves on providing innovative, cutting-edge care to people with all types of urologic conditions, from life-complicating to life-threatening. Although benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that’s unrelated to prostate cancer, it negatively impacts the quality of life of millions of men every year. Advanced Urology gives patients and referring physicians more advanced options to diagnose and successfully treat conditions such as BPH, without a lifetime of medicine or major surgery.P1 AdvancedUrology

Though an enlarged prostate is not always an appropriate topic of conversation, that doesn’t make it any less important. Over 70% of men in their 60s have symptoms of BPH, a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. It is one of the leading reasons men visit urologists.

BPH rarely produces noticeable symptoms in men under the age of 40, but the likelihood of developing symptoms goes up sharply with age. Men in their 50s have a 50% chance of being affected by BPH, and that likelihood reaches 90% by the time a man reaches the age of 80. Men approaching middle age should be on the lookout for symptoms like:

•Frequent need to urinate (eight or more times per day)
•A sudden urgent need to urinate
•Difficulty or delay in starting urination
•Inconsistent urine stream (starts and stops)
•Excessive dribbling after urination
•Frequent nighttime urination (nocturia)
•A sense that you can’t completely empty your bladder (urinary retention)
•Accidental urination or leaking of urine (urinary incontinence)
•A weak or slow urinary stream
•Pain during or associated with urination
•Urine with an unusual smell or color

P2 AdvancedUrology
If you have any of the symptoms above, you may have BPH.
When asked about the solutions available for treating BPH, Dr. Vishal Bhalani who leads the Advanced Urology Johns Creek clinic notes, “The good news is that there is help available, and our team at Advanced Urology has brought the most cutting-edge BPH treatment to metro Atlanta.” The innovative team at Advanced Urology offers a game-changing procedure for those suffering from BPH called UroLift® . “Healing an enlarged prostate with UroLift® offers long-term results without being tied to costly, and often ineffective prescriptions or invasive surgeries with long recoveries,” says Dr. Bhalani.

The physicians at Advanced Urology focus on optimizing the inside of the body so “we can prepare men for the next part of their lives,” says Dr. Neal Patel of the Sandy Springs office. This results in high success rates earned through advanced comprehensive testing and streamlined treatment plans. The team at Advanced Urology is able to relieve patients of the embarrassing and burdening symptoms of an enlarged prostate unlike ever before and improve quality of life., 404-445-1122. Six convenient locations around Atlanta including, Alpharetta, Decatur, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, and Snellville.
This content for this article is brought to you by Advanced Urology.



UroLift® Changes the Prostate Game

Advanced Urology offers a game-changing procedure called UroLift® to treat an enlarged prostate, evolving the traditional process of medicines, invasive surgery and long recovery into a 10-minute, outpatient procedure with reduced risk, easy recovery and an extremely high success rate. “Patients are back to normal within a few weeks, and some notice an immediate improvement the same day as their surgery,” says Dr. Neal Patel.



Wednesday, 29 May 2019 16:50

My Best Self: Bill Thorn


On July 4, Bill Thorn and thousands of Atlantans will start their day with the same goal in mind—to finish the AJC Peachtree Road Race. The only difference? This will not only be the 50th anniversary of the race, but also Thorn’s 50th time running it.01 BILL-THORN-MIZUNO-5-25-17---151

The 88-year-old has not missed a single race since its inception in 1969.
This grandfather has battled traffic, sprained ankles, prostate cancer and more, but year after year he has shown up and crossed the finish line of the world’s largest 10K. The age-proof athlete gives us his insight about the race and his routine.

What are some of your favorite AJC Peachtree Road Race memories?
I remember all the way back to that first race when there were no T-shirts and
they didn’t even clear the roads. I was running with my two sons, Bill Thorn Jr. and Terry Thorn, who were 10 and 6 years old at the time, in the smog of the passing vehicles! It was a mess, but I am happy that we were part of the original 110 participants who finished.
By the third year, the race had grown and the roads were closed off. We used to race past Rich’s and Davison’s [department stores] and finished down the hill across from the [former] Equitable Life Insurance building on
Peachtree Street where there was a nice fountain in the front. On that hot July day, we would all jump in and cool off—a relaxing end to the race. Nowadays, I just love being a part of the event and crossing the finish line. Longevity has
always been important to me and I have made it my mission to start and finish each year. I am proud to have done that for nearly 50 years now—that’s over 300 miles covered!

What do you like about the Peachtree in particular?
I look forward to the routine. I get up early and do a stretching sequence followed by eating something protein-rich or having a juice drink. The whole family then drives to a MARTA station and we ride the train up to Lenox Square mall before walking to the starting line. The Atlanta Track Club puts me up in the first start wave every year, which is great and I usually get to say a few words on the stage after the race. Then, my family and I head home and have a cookout. My favorite post-victory meal is a hamburger (without the bun) with pickles and onions.

What’s your secret to staying healthy?
I am intentional about working out every day, sticking to my morning routine, and doing the best for my body. When it comes to my diet, I don’t eat anything specifically organic but I also don’t go berserk. I generally stay pretty consistent with what I eat week to week. Each morning, it is either half of a grapefruit and a bowl of cereal with rice milk, or half of a bagel or some type of muffin with coffee or herbal tea. As for dinner, we are big into home-cooked vegetables. At least once a week we will have wild salmon, asparagus, and baked potato. I stick to water or a natural drink, like grape juice. It’s not all healthy though—I love indulging in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups occasionally.

Who helps you be your Best Self?
My family. I have four kids and a wonderful wife, Patty Thorn, whom I have been married to for 64 years. I couldn’t ask for anything more from them. They support me so well, from getting me to the race and cheering me on to doing it with me. My granddaughter, Kenzie Bayman, who has run it with me for 14 years, even helped me cross the finish line a few years ago when I had some problems with my balance. Race attendees were motioning me off the course but my granddaughter knew how important it was to me to finish the race and encouraged me as we completed the last leg together. Without my family, none of this would be possible.

To learn more about the AJC Peachtree Road Race and its 50th anniversary, visit


An Off-The-Grid Getaway

Close to an hour southwest of Atlanta sits the ultimate outdoor escape that is Foxhall Resort. Located on a former horse farm that also housed horses for the 1996 Olympics, the off-the-grid getaway has quickly become a sought-after venue for weddings, corporate events, and beyond. On the property’s 1,100 acres are accommodations for more than 180 guests—ranging from luxury homes that are ideal for an extended family gathering to intimate villas and lakefront suites for romantic retreats.

01 Foxhall--6x10
The Best Self Atlanta team recently had a Team Activity Day (TAD) outing at the locale just outside of the perimeter. More than just a nearby sanctuary from the city, Foxhall Resort is a bona fide outdoor sports lover’s paradise that offers fishing, hunting, swimming, kayaking, tennis, golf, hiking, and so much more. For our group of thrill-seekers, our day was action packed with sporting clays, ATV riding, and archery.
As soon as you enter the grounds, which are also home to 16 lakes, it’s easy to see why Atlantans flock to its beauty. Rolling hills with green grass and lush trees stretch almost as far as the eye can see. Ducks and horses greet you with a glance from afar as you drive along the gravel roads.
Once all 13 of our team members arrived, we kicked off the day by sitting down for lunch at The Paddock. Its menu by executive chef Jeremy Swofford is inspired by the Southern landscape surrounding it—from the new rich smoked collard dip with housemade chips to the BLT featuring corncob smoked bacon, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes on heaping slices of Texas toast.

Once our bellies were full, we headed to the sporting clay area where all of our activities were conveniently located. From there, we separated into three groups and our guides John Murphy and Caleb Carson helped each group get the hang of its activity. For those interested in skeet shooting with shotguns, Caleb took them to a pavilion that overlooked the bottom of a hill. There, five stations were set up for shooters. And although our team varied in experience with gun familiarity, Caleb provided easy-to-understand instructions and safety information that made all feel comfortable. He even helped first-time shooter, art director Dona Halliday, hit a clay on her first try! At the same time, other team members were taking the wheel of ATVs and exploring trails with the guidance of John. From splashing through puddles to maneuvering tight curves and rocky pathways, the roughly 30-minute ride got us up close and personal with some of the site’s 03 Team ATVs
15 miles of ATV trails.

We wrapped up with archery. Along with compound bows and longbows with easy arrow guides, the resort also offers a 3D archery course with
lifelike rabbits, deer, and even bears. After just a few hours of fun at Foxhall Resort, our team was giddy from the excitement of an afternoon filled with adventure. We all cherished a chance to unplug and get outdoors for some grown-up playtime. If you’re in need of your own respite, consider a day trip filled with activites or check-in to one of the property’s cottages to extend the unforgettable experience.

Details: 8000 Capps Ferry Rd., Douglasville;


04 Foxhall--6x10

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 19:47

2019 Over 40 & Fabulous! Winners

Forty and beyond is looking better than ever
thanks to our 2019 Over 40 & Fabulous! contest winners. 
From volunteerism to advocacy, business to broadcast media, 
our winners reflect the energy and enthusiasm that makes this season of life extra special. Meet them all—and the contest’s Advisory Board members—on the following pages.

Go To Fab 5

Go To Inspiration Award

Go To Give Back Award


Tonya Renee Guillory 01 Tonya-Renee-Guillory--9x12

While enduring struggles with infertility, Tonya Renee Guillory never lost hope. The 47-year-old vice president of sales for Georgia for BenchMark and Drayer Physical Therapy brings that inner strength to everything she does. Not one to let any mountain stand in her way, the adventurous mom can also be found shredding the slopes.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?My little girl, Lily. 
My husband, David, and I spent eight long years trying to conceive. Doctors finally diagnoseith the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s, and with the proper medication, I was able to give d me wbirth to our perfect baby at 42.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?Giving back is one of the most important parts of my life. It allows me to show my daughter how important it is to help others. I am on the advisory board of Atlanta Women’s Empowerment, which was created by one of my best friends, Lisa Driggers Milam, to uplift professional women and mentor younger women. Dr. Eric Steenlage and I hold annual events at Union Hill Polo Club that raise thousands of dollars for veteran and animal charities such as Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc. BenchMark and Drayer Physical Therapy are also committed to giving back and we have our own organization called Pillars with Purpose that raises money for various causes. In 2018, we raised $301,000 for the American Heart Association. I have also gotten my co-workers involved with the  Adopt-a-Senior program through Neighbor Love.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?When I was trying to get pregnant, our dogs literally saved me. My work with veterans is inspired by my father’s service as a lieutenant in Vietnam and watching him live with post-traumatic stress disorder. I have a soft spot for the elderly because I took care of my grandparents, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and numerous health issues, for the last four years of their lives. 
It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but one of the most rewarding as well.

What is your favorite way to work out?We have a complete home gym and I work out four to five times a week. My workouts are a stress relief for me.

What is your favorite healthy meal?I love to cook different kinds of fish. Salmon is my favorite.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family, work, and giving back?Learning to achieve and maintain balance in my life is a work in progress. I work hard because I love what I do and want to set the example for our daughter that hard work, dedication, and giving back will be rewarded.

What is your favorite getaway?
Beaver Creek, Colorado is where we can truly unplug. My husband is a lifelong all-mountain skier. I wanted to take up his passion, but skiing never clicked with me. So, at 40 I started snowboarding. In just a few years, I’ve made it to Level 6, with Level 7 being the highest. I love shredding down the mountain. We are even teaching Lily to snowboard!

Who are the experts who help you be your best self? The therapists at BenchMark, Max Sanchez at White Salon and Spa (for updos), and Trenton Witherspoon at Day Makers Salon (the best blowouts). Dr. Suzanne Ferree Turner of Vine Medical keeps me healthy with a holistic approach. I am forever grateful to Dr. Andrew A. Toledo at Reproductive Biology Associates for helping us bring our miracle child into the world.


02 Terri-Ellis-Ewing-6x10Inspiration Award
Terri Ellis-Ewing

After overcoming hearing loss caused by a traumatic head injury, Terri Ellis-Ewing, 54, has made it her mission to get hearing aids and implants into the hands of those who need them. The charming co-founder of Wade Ford car dealerships in Smyrna is an advocate for the Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. What is your favorite way to work out? Three to five times a week, I power walk up to 3 miles with my dogs at the Chattahoochee River or a park while listening to an amazing music playlist. One song I love is "Beginnings" by Chicago. That’s also when I create all of my positive thoughts and aspirations for the week. I also love going to Club Pilates to keep my body aligned, flexible, and strong.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?I am passionate about working as a board member for the Auditory-Verbal Center, Inc. (AVC) because when I was 11 years old I was hit by a car, which damaged my hearing by way of a traumatic head injury, and my hearing has been degenerative each year since the accident. I remember being in school and not being able to hear lectures and conversations and being too embarrassed to let people know that I couldn’t hear them. Once I received my hearing aids, it changed my life tremendously.  Most of the children we work with at AVC are on Medicaid, have no health insurance, or simply cannot afford hearing aids or implants. So our mission is to raise as much money as we can to help these children and young adults have a better quality of life.

Where do you go for “me” time?
I travel twice a year to Miraval in Tucson, Arizona. It is a place to recharge through spa treatments, classes, healthy eating, yoga, meditation, hiking, and much more. I love its program because at the end of your stay, you write a letter to yourself that the staff then mails to you three to four months later to remind you of your goals and the things you learned during your visit.

What is your favorite quote? 'The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.' —Alice Walker. I pride myself on 'never losing my power' by staying healthy, being a great mother, wife, mentor, loyal friend, and always staying true to myself. I believe I should never stop learning, giving back, and bettering myself in every way that I can.   

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?
Club Pilates in Sandy Springs; Life Time Athletic, Sandy Springs; Massage Envy; Massage Heights; Salon NP Hair Design by Nathalie DeLoach; Dr. Chynna Steele Johnson of Steele Dermatology; Makeup By Kimaris; Lush Nails & Spa; Dr. Michael A. Cone of ChiroZone Wellness, Inc.


Give-Back Award03-Bridgitte-Ferraro-Hatfield-6x10
Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield

Service truly is at the core of who Bridgitte Ferraro Hatfield, 44, is. When the wife, mother, and business co-founder felt called to take her giving back up a notch, she launched and has touched thousands of lives ever since.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger?
I have always admired people in their 40s. Their style, demeanor, and attitude are a reflection of the life they have lived. My grandparents were great examples—they were loving, vibrant, stylish, successful, and family oriented.

What is your favorite getaway?Spending time with my husband, six children, and our furry babies at our little mountain house in Blue Ridge enjoying comfort food, music, board games, and sunsets.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?

My favorite way to give back to the community is by working locally, nationally and globally. Locally, I volunteer weekly at public schools. I work in the media center at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School (CCES) and Milton High School. I also organize and implement a monthly themed appreciation event to celebrate the 85 staff members of CCES. I also work with the Junior Beta Club in Roswell and volunteer monthly at the CHRIS 180 group home in Atlanta. I make a homemade dinner—from appetizer to dessert—complete with flowers, table setting items, and a host gift. I spend the afternoon and evening with the girls and staff talking, taking pictures, laughing, and encouraging. Our family is also a licensed foster family and we serve local children from infancy to 12 years old. We currently have two brothers that are under the age of 2.
On a national level, I support and raise money and awareness for Autism Speaks, Best Buddies International, Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, CURE Childhood Cancer, Food Allergy Research & Education®, Feeding America, Atlanta Humane Society, Parkinson’s Foundation, Project Linus, Walk MS®, and Refuse To Do Nothing.
On a global level, in 2018, my husband and I funded and built eight sustainable, clean water wells in Uganda. I also worked with eight schools in the country to provide clean water, latrines, meals, and clothing to students in need. Since 2015, I have made and gathered close to 3,000 pillowcase dresses through Pillowcase Dresses for Missions. I added Britches for Boys this past year with the help of Rachel O’Neill from Little Dresses For Africa. These items have gone to eight countries and have been hand-delivered by myself or someone I know personally. The mission began by helping one girl cover her body to aid in achieving confidence and dignity and has exploded into giving to clinics and shelters for the patients to go home in a clean new dress at discharge. I also make shoe patterns, raise money, provide education about the jiggers parasite, and have been a short-term missionary and am on the board of directors for Sole Hope.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work?I am constantly inspired by others and want to do my part by 'Refusing To Do Nothing' to honor my Biblical stewardship. I want my children to notice that random acts of kindness can be in our own zip code or 6,000 miles away. We do not have to be directly affected to do something. Each act of service that we make locally, nationally, or globally, makes a profound ripple effect toward the greater good.

Name something on your bucket list.
Tandem base jumping at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve® in San Diego.

04 Eileen-Rosencrants-6x10Eileen Rosencrants

Eileen Rosencrants has never been scared to take the road less traveled. The vivacious Keller Williams Atlanta Perimeter realtor, 67, finds joy in lifting up those around her.

Did your parents look and act the way you do when they were over 40?
Not at all. We were a very traditional Irish-Italian Catholic family. Every Sunday, we went to church, had dinner at 1 p.m., and went to visit our grandparents or cousins. That tradition created a strong family bond that still exists today. At the time, I yearned to spread my wings. After college, I did that by being the first person in my family to move away from Massachusetts and come to Atlanta.

What do you love most about this stage of life?
With each decade comes more wisdom, acceptance, and perspective. I don’t take things as personally anymore and realize it’s not about me, but somebody might just be having a bad day.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?
There are many wonderful organizations in Atlanta supporting the arts, and that fight illnesses that affect my family or friends. I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering in various capacities for numerous charities for over 30 years. The Arthritis Foundation has been a primary focus for the past 10 years, from chairing several balls, to being a committee member, or on the Leadership Council.

What is your favorite way to work out?
I start each day at Hard Exercise Works - Roswell. It’s a high-intensity boot camp with amazing people. I also take private ballroom dance lessons with the fabulous Melbin De La Cruz. This feeds my soul and creative expression, which we all need.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?
There is always an opportunity to learn. Keep an open mind for other interests and opportunities to continue to develop. One career path does not mean another won’t come your way.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?
Su So-Longman; Dr. Alissa Marzetti - DPT; Melbin De La Cruz; An Mai of Lovely Nail; Jeffrey Frost of Frost Hair Salon; the coaches of Hard Exercise Works - Roswell.



Michelle Falconer05 Michelle-Falconer-6x10

When it comes to living life after 40 to the fullest, Michelle Falconer serves fabulosity in a major way. The tennis player, 43, who founded Bailey & Hunter Realty, focuses on being an energetic and thoughtful role model for youth and more.

What is your favorite way to work out?I was part of a traveling dance company when I was a teenager and I like working out to be fun. Through tennis, I get to hang out with friends and be active at the same time. I’ve even convinced my husband to come play doubles. #TeamFalconer

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?Raising four beautiful, caring, sweet, and amazing children is by far my best accomplishment. It has been a wild ride but they all make me proud.
What is your favorite way to give back to the community?If there is something I can do with kids, I’m in. The thing I’m most proud of is sponsoring a triage room at Hughes Spalding hospital with my extended family. When my youngest daughter was treated in that room and asked why our name was on it, I was able to explain how a triage room makes a difference for families of sick children. The second thing that stands out as a special giving moment was taking my oldest daughter to Swaziland [Eswatini] twice with an organization called Beyond the Game. This organization provides food to over 1,000 orphans in Swaziland daily! I’m also regularly involved with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. where I work with teens.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?Tracie Edmonds of Tracie Edmonds Signature Salon is my go-to hair and makeup artist. And my dear friend Maja Sly always dresses me out of her closet for my photo shoots.

06 Kristin-Andree--6x10

Kristin Andree

This multifaceted mother, 48, helps business owners and executives take their companies to the next level as a strategist. Not only is Kristin a powerful speaker, author, and podcaster, she also knows how to throw a mean punch.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?As a single mom, raising three independent, strong and beautiful girls will always be my No. 1 accomplishment.

What is your favorite way to work out?I love anything martial arts related. I get quite an adrenaline rush from kicking and punching a bag (or a person!). I hold a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and won the bronze medal in sparring at the ATA World Championships in 2017.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?
I focus my charitable endeavors on organizations that educate and empower women and girls. I am co-president of the Atlanta chapter of Ellevate Network, a global professional women’s network. I am also actively involved in organizations in the financial sector such as Females and Finance, and Women in Insurance & Financial Services.

What is your favorite getaway?
Anywhere with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and the sun shining.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?I credit God (the ultimate expert) for the strengths he has entrusted to me, and my friends and family who keep me motivated, grounded and always feeling loved. Professionally, my podcast producers (Liger Partners) always support me. In terms of feeling and looking my best, Amy Nelson (Style Design, LLC) is a gift! I’ve always loved fashion, and since meeting Amy, I have learned how to best enhance my look. I also rely on the team at Anderson Aesthetics in Alpharetta, and my chiropractor Dr. Michael Zoeller of Synergy Release Sports.


Engle R. Coulter 07 Engle-R-Coulter-6x10

For over two decades, Engle R. Coulter has proudly served in the United States Air Force. The 45-year-old has learned how to turn obstacles into opportunities for growth.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?I have learned that taking ownership when I fail is a good thing. It helps me grow as a wife, mother, employee, and leader.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?I currently serve in an activated reserve status at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. There, I have served as the president of the Dobbins Top 3, which is an organization that mentors rising leaders in the Air Force through an acronym we created called T.E.S.T. (Train, Empower, Support, Trust). We also provide financial assistance when an Airman is in an extremely challenging situation.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Professionally, my greatest accomplishment is obtaining the grade/rank of E-8 (Senior Master Sergeant). I surpassed my father, who was an E-7 (Master Sergeant) when he retired. I remember the proud look on his face when he first saw me in my promoted rank.  

What inspires you to give back to your fellow servicemen?
I watched my dad enjoy his work every day. He enjoyed not just serving his country, but serving others. He thrived on being better and making others better around him. I wanted to be a part of that kind of team atmosphere. He was my first example of how to be a servant leader.

Who helps you be your best self?
My husband, Roy, and kids, Jordyn and Cameron, my mother, Earnestine, my father, Bill, and my sister, Sarah. Plus, my mentors, retired Chief Master Sergeant Suzy Clemons, and Lil Palmer, one of my former rock-solid bosses.



08 Stella-J.-Ringer-6x10





Stella J. Ringer

You could say that Julie Rogers Turner is paws-itively passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. The 55-year-old animal lover and Ivy Lane Boutique owner helps rescue pets and people from hopelessness.

What makes you laugh?I have eight rescue animals and they all make me laugh. In the past, I have rescued about 35 cats and 20 dogs. I am a huge animal lover! Whether they are relaxing or posing for the camera, they are a great comic relief for me every day.

What do you love most about this stage of life?Seeing my three children learn and become independent young adults is by far the most rewarding aspect of my life as a mother. Being able to use my engineering degree from Georgia Tech to pursue a different career path has been an unexpected life surprise. Opening Ivy Lane has allowed me the opportunity to combine and share my passions—fashion and service to others.

What is your favorite way to give back?For the past three years, Ivy lane has hosted charity fashion shows. The shows have raised $23,000 for Sources of Strength (SOS) programs at Lassiter, Pope, Sprayberry and Kell high schools and $13,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. SOS trains teachers and student volunteers on how to identify students at risk for suicide and provide appropriate intervention. It is so exciting to see the great things happening at these schools through this organization.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?My longtime friend Dr. Blaine Minor helps me successfully manage my autoimmune issues. Chiropractic care is essential to my well-being and Dr. Karla Renee Kale De Pena and Dr. Gerald Kraus have been treating me for years. My personal trainers encourage me and help me stay fit. I regularly work out with Tracey Prinzbach at Elite Health & Fitness Tang Soo Do, and Mary Beth O'Reilly at Attitude Fitness. Leslie Brothers, at Health and Beauty Boutique, helps me keep my skin looking its best. I am a firm believer in taking care of your skin!




Julie Rogers Turner 09 Julie-Rogers-Turner 6x10

You could say that Julie Rogers Turner is paws-itively passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. The 55-year-old animal lover and Ivy Lane Boutique owner helps rescue pets and people from hopelessness.

What makes you laugh? I have eight rescue animals and they all make me laugh. In the past, I have rescued about 35 cats and 20 dogs. I am a huge animal lover! Whether they are relaxing or posing for the camera, they are a great comic relief for me every day.

What do you love most about this stage of life? Seeing my three children learn and become independent young adults is by far the most rewarding aspect of my life as a mother. Being able to use my engineering degree from 
Georgia Tech to pursue a different career path has been an unexpected life surprise. Opening Ivy Lane has allowed me the opportunity to combine and share my passions—fashion and service to others.

What is your favorite way to give back? For the past three years, Ivy lane has hosted charity fashion shows. The shows have raised $23,000 for Sources of Strength (SOS) programs at Lassiter, Pope, Sprayberry and Kell high schools and $13,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. SOS trains teachers and student volunteers on how to identify students at risk for suicide and provide appropriate intervention. It is so exciting to see the great things happening at these schools through this organization.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self? My longtime friend Dr. Blaine Minor helps me successfully manage my autoimmune issues. Chiropractic care is essential to my well-being and Dr. Karla Renee Kale De Pena and Dr. Gerald Kraus have been treating me for years. My personal trainers encourage me and help me stay fit. I regularly work out with Tracey Prinzbach at Elite Health & Fitness Tang Soo Do, and Mary Beth O'Reilly at Attitude Fitness. Leslie Brothers, at Health and Beauty Boutique, helps me keep my skin looking its best. I am a firm believer in taking care of your skin!


Portia Bruner10 Portia-Bruner 6x10


After a psychogenic disorder diagnosis flipped her world upside down, Portia Bruner, 45, transformed her life with mindfulness and meditation. Today, the Fox 5 Atlanta anchor/reporter’s mission is to remain in service to God by helping others.

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous?Let go of self-doubt, drop the pity parties, and stop comparing yourself to others. Trust that God really is in control.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?I work with two DeKalb County churches to coordinate “pop-up closets” stocked with free clothing for families in need. I also visit nursing homes with my two young sons to teach them the importance of nurturing our elders. My mother worked in nursing homes and I remember feeling sad for patients who never had visitors. We also clean up parking lots and sidewalks in our south DeKalb neighborhood. It's a humbling way to remind my sons Dr. King went to Memphis to fight for garbage workers and that we must remain humble enough to do whatever God calls us to do in service to others.

Where do you go for “me” time?Stone Mountain’s peak for prayer and meditation, or my sunny arts-and-crafts room where I paint, and thrift stores for retail therapy.

Who are the experts who help you be your best self?Emory Speech pathologist Paula Klingman-Palk helped me get back on track after I was diagnosed with a psychogenic stuttering disorder in 2017. Norma Harris at Atlanta Shambhala Center taught me the value of peace of mind and how to meditate. Nathalie Ellis of ESTEEM Counseling and Consulting Services improved my stress management skills and helped me break through years of depression and 'Pastor Buddy's' sermons carried me through some of the toughest days of my life. Linda Tiger Bell of Tiger Talent Management suggested a great vitamin regimen and maximized the glamour of my natural hair.








11 FAB FIVEVoting results were so close that we wanted to recognize these next in line Fab Five.
They enhance the lives of those in their communities through health, fitness and more.

(L to R): Kristen Marotte, Dr. Tannaz Modaresi, Leta Brooks, Caren Cohen, Kwavi Agbeyegbe.



Leta Brooks12 Leta-Brooks 6x10

Whether carving out her own path while trail running or discovering new opportunities for giving back, blogger and business owner, Leta Brooks, 41, isn’t afraid to go the extra mile.

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?  
I spent my 20s more concerned with what people thought of me and where I was in life. With age, I have realized that none of it matters! I now live my life with more confidence and authenticity than when I was younger.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?My kidney donation to my dad. The gift of life is the greatest gift I could give.

What is your favorite way to work out?I could run all day. Put me on a trail and daily stresses disappear from my mind. The only worry is tripping on roots or sliding in the mud, but that is also part of the fun.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?I use the platform of my store and design firm, Status Home, LLC and Status Design Studio, Inc., to help the community any way I can. Each time there is a national disaster, Status becomes a donation center. We have collected backpacks for the homeless in Atlanta andfilled them with supplies. Last September, we hosted a car show for Eli’s Cruise For A Cure, which raised money for Tay-Sachs disease. I have a dedicated employee at Status whose job is to be on the lookout for any way we can help our community. She works with churches and other nonprofits to make sure they know Status is here to help.

13 Tannaz-Modaresi-DC- 6x10







Tannaz Modaresi, DC

When she’s not calling the shots at her chiropractic office, you can find Tannaz Modaresi, DC, on the basketball court. The volunteer coach, 41, is always up for a good laugh and a new adventure.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I’d have to say becoming a mother to my beautiful twins, Arta and Atousa. And being able to free people from pain through my chiropractic practice, Injury & Wellness Specialists of Georgia, is also one of the most amazing feelings.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?
I enjoy helping others in any way possible. This year, I have volunteered with the Fulton Science Academy Private School by providing them with chiropractic care for their athletic team, helping to keep young growing spines healthy. This season, I have had the privilege of coaching an i9 Sports® basketball team, which I really enjoyed.

What is your favorite way to work out?I love cycling, barre workouts, and dancing.

Who makes you laugh?Iranian-American stand-up comedians Max Amini and Maz Jobrani.

Name something on your bucket list.I want to learn to fly an airplane.


Caren Cohen14 Caren-Cohen- 6x10

Caren Cohen is an avid reader and outdoorswoman. At 47, this youthful yogi and mother of two helps people push past their limitations. Plus, she has a soft spot for aiding families in need.  

What is the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since turning 40?I have learned that happiness is really about how you look at things. I take pleasure in the small things now and I stopped waiting for something big to happen.

What is your favorite way to work out?I love anything that makes me sweat and clears my head. Yoga is one of my favorites, but I also run and work out at F45 Training regularly.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?I like to help families. For the past several years, I have volunteered with Second Helpings Atlanta and Family Promise, which are both organizations that support families in crisis. I also volunteer a lot at my children’s schools. Our schools literally can’t function without parent volunteers. This is one of the most important ways I can give back to my community at this point in my life.

What is your favorite healthy meal?Don’t laugh—but it’s mixed vegetables cooked with tuna and Parmesan cheese. Everyone else thinks it’s gross but I could eat that every day!

What is your favorite book?I love to read. It's hard to narrow it down but a favorite is "Until the End of the World" by Sarah Lyons Fleming.



15 Kristen-Marotte- 6x10Kristen Marotte

Whether inspiring her fitness class attendees at Life Time Athletic, Sandy Springs or her nearly 20,000 Instagram followers to live a healthier lifestyle, Kristen Marotte, 52, is always seeking opportunities to help others flourish.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?I have traveled to nearly 60 countries, and my experiences overseas have done more for my personal development than all the education I have received from books or schools. I’ve had so many meaningful personal accomplishments, but my greatest came when I put more focus on family. I’m super proud of how close we are and of the choices my kids make on a daily basis. That’s worth its weight in gold, and no accomplishment will ever outweigh connection!

What is your favorite healthy meal?Grilled salmon, sautéed veggies, and a fresh caprese salad.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community?For the past 15 years, my husband and I have spent two to three hours every week helping engaged couples build strong foundations for their marriages based on our experiences as a blended family. I also spend a lot of my time motivating others to be fit and active. I teach restorative yoga classes for the high school sports teams, as well as conduct free classes and workshops at local athletic stores to inspire people of all ages to stay active.

What is your favorite quote?'Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.' —Charles R. Swindoll.



Kwavi Agbeyegbe16 Kwavi-Agbeyegbe- 6x10

As a midlife coach, Kwavi Agbeyegbe is passionate about spreading the message that the second half of a woman’s life can be the best half. Human rights issues and competing in marathons are no match for this 51-year-old.

What do you love most about this stage of life?It’s a stage overflowing with an abundance of possibilities. Society, some cultures, and the media sometimes paint an unpleasant picture of midlife for women and I’m determined to change that narrative for the better. My goal is for women to unapologetically live midlife on their own terms.   

What is your favorite way to work out?I ran and completed marathons for years but in 2018, I developed pain in my right knee. I decided to take up racewalking and haven’t looked back. I participated in the 2019 Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K in March and racewalked all the way.

What is your favorite way to give back to the community?I created the Kwavithon 5K walk/run to support various charities locally and worldwide. For the past two years, the Kwavithon 5K has supported the Mirabel Centre. The Mirabel Centre is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) based in Lagos, Nigeria, my country of origin. The Kwavithon 5K event has been a platform to bring awareness of the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in the community and open up the conversation on what can be done to reduce the incidence of rape and sexual assault. The 3rd Annual Kwavithon 5K will take place in Lagos later this year.

 To read the full winner Q&As, visit


For nine years, the Over 40 & Fabulous! contest has been an experience that creates a family-like bond for those who are a part of it. This connection often turns into long-lasting friendships, charitable partnerships, and opportunities for professional collaboration. In honor of this unity, we invited the past Cover, Give-Back, and Inspiration-award winners of this fabulous family to join in the fun for this year’s winner photo shoot at Summerour Studio.



 Over 40 & Fabulous!









(Back row, L to R): Kim Vaughn ('13 Cover winner), Dr. Debra Carlton ('12 Cover winner), Kim Bearden ('11 Cover winner), Lynne McDonald ('18 Cover winner), Lisa Mohager ('18 Inspiration award winner), Michelle Hodgson ('15 Cover winner), Tom Sullivan ('16 Top 10 winner), Tran Bui Smith ('17 Inspiration award winner); (Front row, L to R): Kevin Avery ('16  Cover winner), Steve Hightower ('17 Give-Back award winner).



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to Treating Urine Leakage at Advanced Urology


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ADV U P1Advanced Nervestim™ is a life-changing way to regain control of urine. It is a special and innovative technique developed at Advanced Urology to fix the nerves that result in urinary urgency, frequency, and incontinence. The outpatient procedure simply involves two tiny incisions and is even covered by insurance.



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ADV U P2Patients who choose Advanced Nervestim™ have the best outcomes. This is an amazing way to get your life back.
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Wednesday, 27 March 2019 20:27

The Magic of Matcha

Local Supplement and Matcha Companies
Join Forces to Help Atlantans Live Well

MatchaGi and HiveFit are the perfect blend. Combine this nutrient-packedtea and clean fitness supplement for increased energy, a boost in antioxidants, and help achieving your wellness goals.

By Jennifer Colosimo

You already know about the reported benefits of green tea: weight loss, mental alertness, long-lasting energy, etc. But do you know about matcha, a powdered form of specially grown green tea leaves?

It's an antioxidant powerhouse, packing a high concentration of the natural calorie burner and hunger suppressant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Matcha's combination of caffeine and amino acids improve concentration and energy levels without giving you the jitters, and it boasts much larger amounts of chlorophyll than other green teas to make it a mighty detoxifier.

But here's what's important to note. "While steeping dried green tea leaves reaps about 30 percent (one-third) of the plant's nutrients, matcha is grown differently and the entire leaf is ground into a rich, fine powder that
provides versatility for consumption to unlock nearly 100 percent of the nutrients from the leaf," says Cal Supik, chief operating officer and co-founder of MatchaGi (MA-cha-Gee). Ceremonial grade matcha—the highest grade matcha made from the youngest tea leaves and manufactured by tea sommeliers in Japan—is why Cal Supik and Arya Suprayogi invested in the company in 2016 and flew to Nishio, Japan to begin their own wellness journey with MatchaGi.

P1"Our mission is to educate people on what high-quality ceremonial matcha is," Suprayogi says. "We believe that matcha is a great 'fuel' alternative for your body to avoid caffeine overload, jitters and the crash that you would typically get from coffee and energy drinks. 'Gi' is Japanese for uniform. Just as a samurai wears a 'gi' during training or battle, we realized that every individual wears their own unique 'gi' while pursuing their goals and passions. MatchaGi provides the fuel to help you focus and achieve your goals."

The passion to deliver high-quality products is why they blend well with HiveFit, an Atlanta-based supplement company that is also committed to 100-percent ingredient transparency. HiveFit offers clinical doses of pure supplements made without fillers, genetically modified organisms, added sugars, artificial flavors, hormones or antibiotics.

"I knew their standards aligned with my own business practices, and it's very comparable to what we're doing—trying to provide a better, healthier product for consumers," says Raul Hiteshew, co-founder of HiveFit. "We have the same vision, we're fighting the same things, so we knew we could make a bigger impact if we did something together."
"There is this 'high-end' life, in terms of health, that most people don't understand," Hiteshew explains. "Most people don't know what feeling optimal means. But when we mix these companies' products together and start replacing things like matcha for your coffee, HiveFit protein shakes for your snacks, etcetera, then people can begin to access that next level of health."

"We believe in it because we've been there," says Supik, who hopes to grow MatchaGi grassroots-style in the community. "We know how much better we feel and how we're better versions of ourselves, and we really want to share that with other people."

"Sandy Springs is the ideal spot for us to do that," adds Suprayogi. "There are tons of gyms, natural food stores, and influencers with a general awareness of what it means to be healthy. If we can start here, we know it will radiate outward.

Join the movement at F45 Sandy Springs during various vendor pop-up events where you can try products, including the natural EnerGi drinks (also sold regularly at the gym), and learn how to start making changes. When the MatchaGi and HiveFit guys aren't busy attending events, they're grabbing a bite at Chipotle or Zoës Kitchen nearby.
HiveFit,, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; MatchaGi,, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
The content for this article is brought to you by HiveFit and MatchaGi.

P3Wellness Warrior

With plenty of trendy ways to detox, HiveFit and MatchaGi make it easy to cut through the fat to what makes a positive, lasting impact on your health. Their tasty products deliver increased levels of wellness without the high costs.
Here's proof: Blend this quick and simple smoothie for a powerhouse
pick-me-up whether you require on-the-go nourishment, a low-carb snack or workout recovery drink. Something that goes with everything? Sounds like the best kind of uniform.

• 1 teaspoon MatchaGi
• 1 scoop HiveFit vanilla protein powder
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
• Ice
Blend ingredients until smooth.


Wednesday, 27 March 2019 19:26

Liz Carlile

My Best Self: Liz Carlile

Like so many new mothers, Liz Carlile struggled balancing caring for her family, herself, and her career. As she felt less connected to those around her and ultimately not as happy, she knew something had
to change.

By Alex McCray

In 2017, Liz launched the blog Motherhood Unstressed to share how she gained control of her life and created her own joy. Today, the certified health coach and founder of her own cannabidiol (CBD) supplement company shows her 20,000 monthly blog visitors how they can do the same through self-care and holistic living.

So many mothers struggle with trying to juggle too much and placing unrealistic expectations on themselves. How were you able to let go of that perfectionist mindset?

That is something I definitely struggled with! My emancipation from that way of thinking came when I realized I wasn't living the life I wanted. The majority of my mental space was taken up by resentment and martyrdom while also feeling like I wasn't doing or being enough. I decided that my happiness needed to be the priority in order for me to fully give to my children, my marriage, and my work.

I started to carve out nonnegotiable time for myself for yoga, journaling, running, and meditating. It was a shift that completely changed how I felt about myself, and how I interacted with everyone in my life. I was no longer a victim of my circumstances—I was actively running my life, making joy an everyday occurrence, and providing a positive example of self-love to my family.

Holistic living is a big part of your message. What are some of your favorite holistic living practices that you encourage people to try, and why?

I am a big proponent of setting the tone for the day. Carving out space for yourself to connect with who you really are and to the bigger world around you is crucial in feeling loved, supported and connected. Some of my favorite ways to start the day are by drinking a large glass of lemon water, meditating in front of my Joovv red light, journaling for at least three pages, and doing some gentle stretching. How you start the day is dependent on what works best for you, but the ultimate goal should be that when you're done, you feel strong, happy, and grateful to be alive.


What's your go-to quick and easy healthy meal?

My favorite way to incorporate a ton of nutrition quickly is to blend a smoothie! I can put a ton of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in, plus some of my favorite adaptogens like ashwagandha and reishi mushrooms, and take it with me. And I typically make more than I need so that I can freeze the rest in Popsicle molds for my kids. It's so easy and everyone loves it.

You also have a top-rated podcast that is an extension of your blog and you've featured big names such as Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson. What episode is your favorite and why?

I have had so many amazing guests, and each one has taught me something new and life changing. One of my favorites though was my conversation with Danish actress and author, Marie Tourell Søderberg on the topic of hygge ("hoo-gah"). Hygge is a Danish word for that warm feeling you get when you are comfortable and happy, whether reading a book by the fire with some tea, or having an intimate dinner party with friends. It's about slowing down and focusing on what really matters. That conversation changed how I spend time with my kids and how I create more opportunities for hygge to occur in my own life.

Who helps you be your best self?

My husband, Sam, is a huge partner in my success. I trust his opinion and his strengths complement my weaknesses insanely well. I also have to say that I help myself be my best self. I make the decision every single day to make self-care the priority in my life, so that I can accomplish my goals and dreams from a place of strength and love.

To learn more about Liz Carlile and Motherhood Unstressed, visit


Wednesday, 27 March 2019 18:48


Atlanta Nonprofit Brings Sustainable Farming to African Countries

Development in Gardening co-founder and Grant Park resident Sarah Koch helps African communities harvest crops and so much more.

As a bright-eyed College of Charleston graduate, Sarah Koch didn’t know what she was getting herself into when she applied for the Peace Corps. It was 2004, and she wanted a change of pace and scenery that a more traditional graduate school route couldn’t provide. Koch had two choices in front of her: continue on to a Ph.D. program to pursue her art history endeavors or choose a different path. She opted for the latter. Little did she know, her choice would change her life forever.  

P3In 2005, Koch was sent to Senegal in West Africa to work in rural health education in a village 13 hours from the capital of Dakar. She recalls, “I lived in a village that had no cellphone service, no phone, no electricity, and no running water. I really had to confront a lot of my notions of comfort, and who I was. I had gone into the Peace Corps thinking, ‘This is just going to be a fun experience.’ And I pretty quickly realized that’s not what this is about.”

As she trudged through an unfamiliar landscape and culture, Koch felt herself changing. “As I stayed there, it slowly wore on me—in both good and bad ways—and shifted what I wanted to do. It became an opportunity. It shaped how I was going to move forward with my life and my career.”

Eventually, Koch connected with Steve Bolinger, another Peace Corps volunteer. Bolinger was stationed in Dakar working on urban agriculture. On her rare visits to the city, Koch would find herself lending a hand. “Steve was building this garden for the Infectious Disease ward, which had been experiencing a significant challenge where they couldn’t get their HIV patients to maintain their antiretroviral drugs,” she explains. “Because the drugs are so physically hard on their bodies, nutrition is a critical component to their well-being.” The garden became an integral part of the hospital’s success. Bolinger’s garden flooded the kitchen with fresh, healthy produce, and patients were able to improve their diets and therefore, their ability to absorb their medications.

Something clicked in Bolinger and Koch. The pair realized replicating the garden elsewhere could potentially have long-lasting, far-reaching impacts. Development in Gardening, aptly known as DIG, was born in 2006.

The Atlanta-headquartered nonprofit works with African communities to teach local residents how to produce working, sustainable, income-generating gardens. Koch explains, “We talk about cultivating the land, growing produce for their unique nutritional vulnerability, how they can incorporate that produce into their diet, how that food is affecting their health, the impact it’s having on their bodies, how that food can be used to generate additional income, and how to manage that income for the betterment of their families.”
The idea is that through farming, a practice that is already generationally familiar and ingrained in day-to-day life, the participants will improve their health, their knowledge, and their income. “We’re just trying to help them shift to more sustainable long-term practices,” says Koch. Today, DIG’s mission has expanded beyond a strictly HIV focus to bring other people with nutritional vulnerabilities into its fold. The 37-year-old says, “Nutritional vulnerabilities are defined by people who have a heightened need to maintain a nutrient-dense diet. We work a lot with children who have been diagnosed as malnourished, and we still work a lot with people who are HIV positive.”
DIG has also held projects in nine nations. This year, the group is continuing their mission in Kenya and Uganda, where in 2018 they worked with 760 beneficiaries through 12 demonstration gardens in Kenya and 170 farmers from 16 groups in Uganda.

While Bolinger has since stepped into an advisory role, Koch continues her work with DIG today as the executive director. Her staff, small but mighty, includes two
full-time and two part-time team members in the United States, seven full-time Kenyans in Kenya and six full-time Ugandans in Uganda, and the results of their hard work and dedication are incredible. The organization found that a year after “graduating” from the program, on average, a family who was spending roughly $4 a week on food before DIG programming, cut their spending to 40 cents after it. Further, many more than tripled their income by shifting their farming to grow a variety of unique, nutritious produce instead of simply relying on common, familiar crops like sugarcane. Koch says that impact is all about broadening horizons. “They now know how to grow for the market, access the market, and save and utilize that income to help continue their farm and their farming activities.”

P1Perhaps the biggest impact, however, is DIG’s community cultivation, particularly for people coping with an often stigmatized disease. “We worked with several HIV groups in Senegal who were not at all open about their HIV status,” Koch explains. “And that farm or that garden was the only place in their daily life that they could go and actually talk about what it’s like to live with HIV.”

As DIG grows, Koch, who resides in Grant Park, says she desires to replicate the program in many communities—even right here in Atlanta. “My hope is that we can create a scalable model that can be taken anywhere in the world, and anybody could ask us [about it], and it would make sense. My immediate dream is to have centers of excellence in Kenya, Uganda and Senegal where if you want to see our program in its full, robust quality, you could go there and see that. You could understand what’s possible with our program.” And with DIG, the possibilities of hope and impact are endless.


Wednesday, 27 March 2019 17:24

Today’s Top Treatments for Infertility

The Modern Path to Parenthood

From Brooke Shields to Chrissy Teigen, the topic of infertility is no longer off the table in Hollywood—or at home. With an ever-increasing wealth of information regarding infertility now available, more hopeful parents are having conversations about this hurdle to having a family. Not only has this new level of openness lifted some of the emotional burden associated with fertility issues, it has also helped dispel myths related to this medical issue, as well as shine light on the many treatment options available today.

P1Myths vs. Facts

One of the most prevalent myths swirling around fertility issues is that it’s a woman’s problem. The reality is, infertility affects women and men equally, approximately 40 percent each, with the remaining  20 percent resulting from a combination of male and female factors or just plain unexplained.
Other myths with no footing in reality include whether men wear boxers or briefs, being healthy or having a healthy sex drive means you can’t be infertile, and an orgasm is required to get pregnant.
The simple reality is fertility and infertility issues, like many other medical concerns, don’t play favorites and can affect anyone at any time.

True Causes

Although there are a variety of medical causes of infertility, some health issues are more common with regard to fertility. For instance, dysfunction of the ovulation process quite often disrupts a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may have irregular menstrual cycles or not ovulate.
Endometriosis, when uterine-lining tissue develops outside the uterus, can also vastly impact fertility.
Structural problems with the female reproductive tract, such as fibroids, polyps or scarring, may also negatively impact fertility.
On the male side, low sperm number, low sperm motility and low testosterone all can affect fertility. “When it comes to male fertility, it’s all about the number of healthy sperm—easily demonstrated with a simple lab test,” says Scott D. Miller, MD, of WellStar Urology and WellStar North Fulton Hospital. For both men and women, increased age also plays a pivotal role in fertility, because the older we get, the less fertile we become.
The key to resolving fertility issues is for both partners to get tested. “You can’t predict infertility,” says
Carolyn R. Kaplan, MD, of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Group. “There may be more than one problem.”

Today’s Treatments

While there are many “old wives’ tales” regarding how to improve fertility, for the most part, they have no effect at all. Instead, some of the easiest steps men and women can take to improve their fertility are simple lifestyle changes.
“Do not smoke,” says Natalie Stentz, MD, MSCE, of
Shady Grove Fertility. “The rate of infertility is approximately twice as high in male and female tobacco smokers.” Those who use vaping products are not exempt. “There is ample evidence that cigarette smoke contains carcinogens and has negative effects on sperm motility and function. There is evidence that e-cigarette flavors contain toxicants (or toxic substances) and carcinogens and may damage male fertility,”
Dr. Kaplan says.
Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and reducing stress also will aid in improved fertility.
Of course, there are a number of medical treatments available to treat infertility.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the most common treatments for a number of fertility problems, and involves placing washed sperm (which involves removing dead sperm, white blood cells, and seminal fluid, and concentrating the sperm into a very small volume of fluid so it can be used for intrauterine insemination) directly into the uterus at the time of ovulation. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a more aggressive treatment, and consists of taking eggs and sperm from the female and male partners and combining them in a lab. The fertilized egg is then implanted in the female partner. Success rates with IVF are usually higher than IUI, but cost is much higher. If the woman’s tubes
are blocked or the sperm count is very low, then IVF is the best option.
“IVF has come a very long way,” says Obehi A. Asemota, MD, of Aspire Fertility Atlanta. “It’s a very good way to conceive for the right patient.” She goes on to say the technology involved has improved substantially, leading to very good success rates. “It has become more affordable with the possibilities of grants and discounts of medications that can help alleviate the costs of IVF,” she says.
For some women, hormone treatments can be a viable option as well. “Oral fertility medications work by helping your body increase its own production of the hormones that encourage your ovaries to develop eggs,” Dr. Stentz says. “Injectable fertility medications contain the same hormones that your body makes to develop eggs, but are delivered in concentrated doses. It is important to know that studies have shown that fertility medications do not increase a woman’s risk of cancer.”
On the male side, hormone manipulation also can be effective in treating infertility. “The goal is to get the testicle to maximize production,” says
Ronald E. Anglade, MD, of Georgia Urology P.C. “When they produce more testosterone, that may lead to more effective sperm production.”
Surgery could be another option for men. For instance, they may want to consider vasectomy reversal or need microscopic reconstruction to bypass a blockage.


Because many women and couples are waiting later in life to have children, there are a growing number of women who are freezing their eggs. “This is due to changes in educational and career opportunities for women as well as changes in social norms,” Dr. Stentz says. “As such, more women are freezing their eggs early as insurance against an uncertain future.”
More and more LGBTQ couples also are utilizing
fertility treatments to start their own families. For instance, a female couple will come in for donor insemination; another scenario would be with one partner donating the eggs and the second partner receiving the egg implants, says Dr. Asemota. Male couples are using egg donors and surrogates, she adds.

P2Tough Topics

When faced with the stress and uncertainty of fertility issues, it can be easy to buckle under the pressure, pressure from one another and from family and friends. However, it’s important to stay focused on the goal. “Don’t blame one another,”
Dr. Asemota says. “Infertility is just like any other medical diagnosis. The good news is there are treatment options. For most couples, there is hope.”
In addition, keep in mind this is you and your partner’s private medical business and yours alone. “There are many resources and support groups for those struggling with infertility. That said, you do not owe anyone, even family or close friends, an explanation about your attempts to conceive or struggles with infertility,” Dr. Stentz says.
Overall, it’s important to know two key facts about fertility issues. First, you are not alone, and, two, there are options available. “A lot of infertility patients feel they are the only ones suffering from this. One in eight couples suffer from infertility,” Dr. Asemota says. “There are good treatment options, and they should seek help. They should not suffer alone.”


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