I was a mom twice over and I was not feeling like I was "supposed" to feel. Our family schedule had fallen into place, both of my boys were healthy, and my work was back on track. Yet, I couldn't get over the sense that I wasn't doing things correctly. I felt out of sorts. Everything should have been a certain way, and it wasn't. And then my very wise therapist said something that has stuck with me to this day: "You have to stop 'shoulding' all over yourself."


By Amy Meadows


It was an aha moment. The kind Oprah Winfrey has talked about for years. So much of the pressure I felt was self-imposed—yet based on the way I thought I "should" be parenting because of what I saw all around me. And it was difficult to find my way in a sea of messages about what I "should" be doing. So I couldn't find a way to really celebrate the mom I had become. Maybe you can relate? Whether you have small children, teenagers or young adults who are getting ready to leave the nest, it can be challenging to embrace your own parenting style. Fortunately, it can be done.

We've asked moms in the metro area to share their insights about the most challenging parts of this roller-coaster ride called motherhood. Their stories and revelations about some of the most talked-about topics in mother circles today just might help you find your way to championing the mom you are.


Personalize Your Parenting Style

Oftentimes, your parenting style comes from a combination of sources. And in many cases, you find yourself doing the opposite of what you've known or what you expected you would do. The key is to find what works best for you and your family.

SB"I knew what I didn't want to do. And I think that's really valuable. Knowing what you don't want is often more powerful than what you do want because parenting is always going to be this unknown. We're parenting our children for a future that is faster than we can even imagine. We don't really know how to prepare them. We might as well be launching them into space. We have no clue what's coming up [for them], so we have to give them a firm but flexible foundation. If you're too rigid, the second there's a crack, they will tumble." –Katherine Michalak, mom of three boys, ages 17 and 14 (identical twins)

"My pediatrician gave me the best advice: don't read parenting books. A lot of it is in you—use your instincts.

Don't do what everyone else does. Instead, parent by instinct and the reaction of your children. We're more traditional, so for us, rules are standard. But we see the importance of parenting children differently. There are different ways to handle situations for a social child versus a nonsocial child. Whatever you do needs to fit the child, and you adapt that over time." –Melanie Frady, mom of an 8-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son

P1"It's important to remember that all moms have their own individual struggles and are trying to do their best. Be confident in yourself, have faith in your decisions, and trust your gut. You don't have to be perfect to be an amazing mom, you just have to love your family." –Teri Xerogeanes, mom of a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.


Avoid the Comparison Trap

It's very easy to fall into the trap of comparing everything you do as a parent to someone else, thanks in large part to the presence of social media in our lives. Yet, those comparisons can be inaccurate and also detrimental to your psyche.

P2"Everything online is curated. And there are useful and not-so-useful components to comparing ourselves. If the way someone is doing something lines up with your values [and you want to do it too], then that can be viewed as 'useful peer pressure.' But the other side of it just feeds into the sense that we're not doing something right." –Dana Goldman, LPC, NCC, of Stone Cottage Counseling, mom of a 3-year-old daughter

"I would go on playdates, and I just didn't connect. I would come home defeated every time. I would look at people who were doing things like making homemade bread every day, and it felt like such a competition. I cut out mom groups and playdates. As a mom, I had to stop comparing myself to everybody else. It's still hard to this day. But I read a lot of self-help books to help me find my inner strength. I have to look at what makes me and my family strong." –Melanie Frady

Tackle Mom Shaming

The idea of "mom shaming" has come to the forefront in recent years, with the term becoming a very common one as women discuss their parenting choices with others. It's important to know how to deal when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

P3"At first, I did attach myself to a [child-rearing] philosophy, which is very natural and child-led parenting ... But [I found that] any group attached to a certain way of doing things will have a group mentality that says, 'We all do it this way.' You'll contend with judgment. If you're not 'doing it correctly,' someone may reject you or shame you or correct you. I was at a playdate, and [my son] was upset. I wanted to leave, and a mom came to me and said, 'You should stay and allow him to cope.' The way she delivered her message was so undermining to me and my instincts. I knew this [playdate] wasn't crucial. And I immediately knew that I couldn't be part of anything that makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. So I separated myself from that." –India Powell, mom of a 4-year-old son

"I think it's OK to engage someone if it's personal. If someone is speaking in generalities, you can roll your eyes and walk away. But if they look at you directly and say something about you as a parent or about your child, you have—and maybe I'm feisty—an obligation to you and your child to validate your point of view. If it's online, people feel emboldened to say something using a keyboard that they would never say in person. I've found that it lessens the older [your children] get. Moms are more active and vocal in the toddler, elementary, and early middle school years. But
puberty becomes the great equalizer. Nobody makes it through puberty unscathed. We're all in the trenches. People learn slowly but surely to keep their own counsel. If you're online, you'd better be ready. Karma will keep you in check." –Katherine Michalak

Take Care of Yourself

P4Taking care of yourself as a mother can mean so many things, from taking time out for yourself to chasing your own dreams. Whatever it means to you, it's actually a key element of motherhood.

"For many parents, being told to make time for yourself can increase anxiety. You're already feeling behind and there may be real barriers and challenges to making time for yourself. It's easier said than done. But I always think about when you go on a plane with a child, and they say to put your own oxygen mask on first. We have to provide ourselves enough oxygen to be present for our kids. For those parents who feel guilty about making time, remember that tending to our own needs can actually benefit our children." –Dana Goldman, LPC, NCC

"You need to spend 30 minutes a day finding a way to understand yourself. That's one of the most important parts of parenting. And it's whatever that means to you—exercising, journaling, meditation, prayer. Just 30 minutes. You won't solve world problems, but you'll be checking in with yourself. You have to have something for yourself before you can share it with someone else." –Katherine Michalak

"Studies show that the more time working mothers spend taking care of themselves, the better their children are both emotionally and physically. Moms are the motor that keep the family machine running smoothly and that's why it's so important to make time to take care of yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel good—do it! As the saying goes, "When mama's happy, everyone's happy!" –Teri Xerogeanes

Melissa Keane, LACP, NCC, MelissaKeaneCounselor.com
Stone Cottage Counseling, StoneCottageCounseling.com

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bahar Nia is one to watch. As the owner of the state-of-the-art Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, patients come first with her personalized philosophy of care.


By Katherine Michalak


From an early age, Dr. Bahar Nia took a keen interest in her father's dental practice, hovering around him, watching his skilled approach and hoping to follow in his footsteps. Once she turned 18, she decided to pursue her college education and work toward her dental degree. Having family and an affinity for Atlanta, she started taking courses at Georgia State University (GSU) and Georgia Institute of Technology. She and her husband, Frank, met while both students at GSU, but she completed her undergraduate work in Houston, near her sister. The couple were back together again for dental school at the University of Pennsylvania and she followed up studies there with a residency at MD Anderson Cancer Center back in Houston.

SBYet, something about Atlanta kept pulling her back. By 2008, she and Frank settled here and together established a dental practice that would grow into multiple offices throughout the metro area. As the couple started their family, Bahar began to shift her perspective about her career trajectory and committed to opening her own cosmetic dentistry practice. The sole focus of the newly renovated Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is to provide exquisite, concierge level patient care. "I want to create a lasting impression for patients. No one will ever be treated like just a number or name in the appointment book. This practice has the latest technology and a beautiful spa-like aesthetic in a convenient location, but what's most important is connecting with my patients so that I can anticipate their needs."

P1While nurturing her relationships with other seasoned dentists, Bahar is poised to lead the way in creating beautiful smiles through modern cosmetic dentistry. This approach is sure to attract not only families but also the likes of sports superstars and local celebrities.

For Bahar, creating long-term personal relationships with her patients helps her bring them the best possible care. "I have a holistic approach. Treating the whole patient gives insight into a variety of problems with symptoms that show up in the mouth and teeth—grinding, sleep apnea, and nutrition," Bahar says. She feels honored by the trust her patients have in her and respects the challenges that might lead them to her office door. "For me, cosmetic dentistry really isn't just 'cosmetic' at all. These are life-changing improvements, which bring new confidence to people. That's extremely important."
It was key for Bahar's office to be close to her house, the schools her two daughters attend, as well as to be central to the community. "We love this area. We spend a lot of time with the girls at Chastain Park, at the tennis center or amphitheater for concerts and festivals. We are huge fans of Bartaco, Superica, and Rumi's Kitchen."

With one daughter at Da Vinci International School and one at Atlanta International School (AIS), Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry's location also gives her the flexibility to continue actively volunteering at the schools. "The annual gala at AIS is something we really enjoy; every year focuses on a theme from a different country and this year, it's Morocco."


Over-the-Counter or Professional Treatment?

When to choose expert care...

So what does a top cosmetic dentist recommend for everyday care? Turns out, many of the drugstore items work quite well. "I am pro over-the-counter products such as Sensodyne® ProNamel® and I love Philips Sonicare," Dr. Bahar Nia reveals. However, she warns over-the-counter whitening products won't measure up to professional because the formulations are too different and cannot give "the wow factor as most patients wish." She feels the same about night and sports guards, noting "the over-the-counter products are of a one-size-fits-all mentality ... not comparable to one that is custom made by taking a mold of the teeth." For serious problems, such a malocclusion, crowded teeth, heavy staining, or dental trauma, Bahar advises concentrated professional attention by a cosmetic dentist with an artistic eye to give phenomenal results.

BuckheadDentistry.com, 316 Pharr Rd. NE., 404-400-0400.
The content for this article is brought to you by Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. 


When it comes to breast cancer awareness, some worry the intended message about the cause becomes obscured in the "pinkification" of everything from jewelry to shoes. This is one of the reasons Susan G. Komen has unveiled a new name for the annual
Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Race for the Cure, which will now be called the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta More Than Pink Walk. The change reinforces the notion that the movement is not about a color, but a proactive call to do more in the fight against breast cancer.



Go Beyond the Pink
Susan G. Komen's four pillars represent the organization's work
toward its mission to end breast cancer.

At the More Than Pink Walk on May 5, participants will be immersed in the nonprofit's four pillars of emphasis. Funds raised will provide services to those who cannot afford them and support cutting-edge research to advance Komen's goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.

The title is also intended to bring attention to the resources Komen offers and the hands-on work it does. Below, meet five Atlanta women and men who have been directly impacted by Komen's key pillars.



An assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology,
Dr. Susan Thomas develops cancer immunotherapies and explores their potential to combat breast cancer. Immunotherapy is emerging as a powerful new way to treat cancers that are impacted by the immune system, like breast cancer. Susan G. Komen provided a $450,000 grant to
Dr. Thomas and her team to provide the support needed to advance this exciting research and achieve new breakthroughs in breast cancer. The grant was also awarded to develop nanotechnology, which works by aiming the powerful drugs directly to where they are needed so they will work better with fewer side effects. Thanks to Komen and Dr. Thomas, this local research will have a global impact.



In 2014, Delphyne Lomax remembered that it was time for her mammogram. Recently divorced and without insurance, she was lost as to where she could go for this essential check. Fortunately, she went to the Center for Black Women's Wellness and received a free screening through a mobile mammogram clinic funded by Komen Atlanta. A few days later, Delphyne received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. Luckily, it was caught early. This experience drove her to encourage her friends and family to get screened. Her sister listened, got a mammogram and was also diagnosed with breast cancer. They underwent chemotherapy and radiation together and both defeated the disease. Today, Delphyne is a Komen Atlanta advocate among the metro Atlanta African-American community.



Susan and Jim Hannan exemplify the metro Atlanta community spirit as Komen Atlanta supporters, volunteers and advocates. Susan lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 21. In her honor, and to build a better future for their three daughters, Susan and Jim are committed to working toward a world without breast cancer. As an influential business leader in Atlanta, Jim is heavily involved in grassroots and corporate fundraising. Susan is the immediate past president of the Komen Atlanta Board of Directors. Together, Susan and Jim hope to encourage the community to take action and fundraise for a cure.



President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta from 1992 until 2017,
Janice McKenzie-Krayton has always had a passionate, philanthropic drive. When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, she underwent lumpectomy surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Eight years later, Janice was diagnosed again, and in 2013, she received her third breast cancer diagnosis. At this point, Janice decided it was time to become a megaphone to tell her story that cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. She got involved with the Komen Atlanta Board of Directors and immediately found her calling in educating the African-American community. Recently retired, Janice has committed her time to Sisters of Promise, a group of Komen Atlanta volunteers dedicated to lowering breast cancer mortality for African-Americans in metro Atlanta. Janice and the Sisters are taking action every day to educate the community and provide affordable access to breast cancer services.


Thursday, 29 March 2018 15:24

2018 Partners in Health







John F. Arnold, MD, MBA
OutPatient Imaging (OPI)
John F. Arnold, MD, MBA, is a board-certified radiologist specializing in Nuclear Medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the Methodist Hospital. He completed a fellowship in Nuclear Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Arnold is also an MQSA certified Mammographer. Read article here. OutPatientImaging.net



Alpesh D. Patel, M.D.
OutPatient Imaging (OPI)
Alpesh D. Patel, MD, received his medical degree from the Emory University School of Medicine in 1992, followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. In 1998, he completed a fellowship in neuroradiology at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Patel practiced diagnostic radiology with basic interventional radiology in Radford, Virginia before joining Georgia West Imaging in 2001. Dr. Patel currently serves as a committee chairman at Tanner Medical Center. Read article here. outpatientimaging.net


Ho N. Lin., M.D.
OutPatient Imaging (OPI)
Ho N. Lin, M.D. received his medical degree from Medical College of Georgia in 1996, followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Medical College of Georgia, which he completed in 2000. He serves as president of OPI. Read article here. outpatientimaging.net


Marly N. Dows-Martinez, MD
Resurgens Spine Center
Marly N. Dows-Martinez, MD, received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her residency in Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, and she completed her Pain Medicine fellowship at Georgia Regents University in Augusta. Dr. Dows-Martinez is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Read article here. Resurgens.com/Spine



Eugene Hurwitz, MD
Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia
Dr. Eugene Hurwitz is a well-established board-certified allergist and the founder and medical director of the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. Dr. Hurwitz has practiced in metro Atlanta for over two decades and is on the staff of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Wellstar, Piedmont and Tanner Hospital. Dr. Hurwitz sees both children and adults with a variety of allergy, asthma, sinus and immunologic problems. Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Hurwitz was a nationally known researcher at the Centers for Disease Control where he conducted research in the area of viral diseases and asthma. Read article here. CAAGeorgia.com


Scott-D-Miller-MDMen's Health
Scott D. Miller, MD
WellStar North Fulton Hospital
Men's health advocate
Dr. Scott Miller is an innovative surgeon with one of the largest and most diverse experiences in laparoscopic and robotic urology in the Southeast. As one of Georgia's best surgeons, Dr. Scott Miller is guided by one consistent philosophy: focus solely on patients' special needs and perfect the techniques necessary to deliver the best possible care. He believes that when patients have a better understanding of the conditions they are facing and how to improve their overall health, they have a chance to improve their quality of life. Read article here. ScottDMillerMD.com


David Martin, RN
David Martin, RN, is the president and CEO of VeinInnovations, which he founded in 2002. As Atlanta's first dedicated vein care practice, it offers every available minimally invasive technique to treat venous insufficiency and varicose and spider veins. With four locations and five physicians, VeinInnovations is a preferred provider for every major insurance company and is the place to "get your legs done" with little or no downtime. Read article here. VeinInnovations.com
Sandy Springs ~ Midtown ~ Johns Creek Southside


Karen Foley
Windy Hill Athletic Club
As the general manager of Windy Hill Athletic Club, Karen Foley considers it her mission to help members achieve their fitness goals, no matter how big or small. A fitness enthusiast herself, Karen loves to bike, cross-train and play tennis. She encourages members to focus less on sticking to a tedious exercise routine and more on working out in a fun environment however they like to move. With world-class indoor and outdoor tennis courts, swimming pools that rival those of Five-Star hotels, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and social events for the whole family, Windy Hill offers members a place to practice a healthy lifestyle and the coaching team to help them do so. The club's promise is "to inspire you through movement, community, and personal attention," which Karen lives by every day. Read article here. WindyHillClub.com


Grattan-Woodson-MD-and-April-Secen-LMAWOMEN'S HAIR LOSS
Grattan Woodson, MD, and April Secen, LMA
Grattan Woodson, MD, a native Atlantan, focuses his professional efforts on assisting women navigate the rigors of menopause. He has assembled a dedicated team of specialists to assist women regrow lost hair; restore and conserve sun-damaged skin; and reduce excess body fat while restoring lost muscle, joint cartilage, and bone mass. April Secen, LMA is his senior aesthetician responsible for hair and skin restoration and conservation. Secen utilizes advanced imaging technologies to diagnose and monitor diseases affecting hair and skin and uses efficacious topical therapies and microneedling to treat these disorders. Read article here. HairRegen.net


Nirav R. Patel, MD
Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates
Nirav R. Patel, MD, is a board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist with Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates. Dr. Patel sees patients in Alpharetta, Marietta, and Sandy Springs. He evaluates and treats all types of digestive and liver diseases and has a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, chronic constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and eosinophilic esophagitis. A University of Georgia graduate, Dr. Patel completed his medical degree at St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York. He is also fluent in Gujarati. Read article here. AtlantaGastro.com


Patricia Sánchez, M.D.
Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates
Patricia Sánchez, M.D., is a board certified gastroenterologist with Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates and sees patients at the Johns Creek location. She evaluates and treats all types of digestive health and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a disorder that involves chronic inflammation in the digestive tract and includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. A native of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Sánchez completed her medical degree at the INTEC School of Medicine in Santo Domingo, residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida, and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. She speaks Spanish, French, and Italian. Read article here. atlantagastro.com


Jill Golsen, DMD
Golsen Family Dentistry
A native of Florida, Dr. Golsen attended the University of Georgia, and received a Bachelor of Science as well as a DMD from the Medical College School of Dentistry in 1993. Dr. Golsen was a clinical instructor at Perimeter College School of Dental Hygiene and past president of the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She is also an international trainer for Kreativ air abrasion technology, where she trains dentists from all over the world on the technology. Dr. Golsen has been practicing for 24 years in Alpharetta. Dr. Golsen has two sons. One is a first-year Vet Med student at the University of Georgia and the other is a senior in high school. She is also a seven-year breast cancer survivor! Read article here. GolsenDental.com


Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:52

2018 Spring/Summer Good-For-You Getaways


Great Destinations in the Southeast to Rejuvenate, Relax and Have Fun!


By Jennifer Colosimo


Life's busy calendar keeps us occupied, so it's no surprise the vacation bug hits more than once a year. A little time away from everyday life does wonders for the soul. It refreshes you, relaxes you, and helps you refocus on what's important—your health, family and friends.
The Southeast offers plenty of ways to escape within a half-day's drive from Atlanta. Whether unwinding for the weekend or seeking a week of adventure, here's your road map for where to go and what to do when you get there.


P1Live The Lake Life

Perhaps most well visited by Atlantans is the massive Lake Lanier with lake life classics like high-end residences, rentable water sports and wide channels for larger-than-life boats.

Find a bevy of marinas and boat rentals with plenty of parking at Lake Allatoona. Its 12,000 acres of lake offers lots of water fun. For more entertainment, enjoy 14 parks for day trips and camping, family-friendly cabin rentals and restaurants to refuel for more fun in the sun.

Sharing borders with South Carolina, Lake Hartwell has plenty of swimming, fishing and recreation, rivaling perhaps Georgia's best-kept lake secret all the way at the other end of the map. Built in 1925, Lake Blackshear sparkles near the Florida line as a water sport lover's paradise and a freshwater fishing destination.

Just outside of Athens, Georgia and located in historic Greene County, visitors of Lake Oconee can choose to stay in adorable accommodations in town to explore the history still preserved, or book a suite at an upscale resort. The region offers cozy campgrounds, access to plenty of on-the-water activities, a renowned food and wine festival, outdoor concerts and more.

P2Whether jumping off the roof of a boathouse on private, pristine Lake Burton, water skiing between North Carolina and Georgia on blue-green Lake Chatuge, or taking a dip in Lake Rabun, these northern lakes offer postcard-worthy snapshots, and plenty of fun things to do.

Perhaps most picturesque is the crystal clear aquamarine waters of Lake Blue Ridge. This family-friendly area offers access to picnic and campsite accommodations, plus a home base for bike rides, easy shoreline hikes, fishing, kayaking, paddleboards and more. Spend a day hiking, antiquing, visiting wineries and popping into unique eateries.


Take (Us) to The River

The 93-mile Toccoa/Ocoee River runs from Tennessee into North Georgia and boasts roadside rafting headquarters every few miles for experienced (or more adventurous) rafters. The river also provides plenty of can't-miss stops like the swinging bridge along The Benton MacKaye Trail.

P3The rapids of the 25-mile-long Chattooga River begin near the tristate area where Georgia meets both North and South Carolina, and is considered to be one of the best whitewater runs in the world. Another worldly nod is the Niagara of the South, or as locals know it, Tallulah Falls.

North Carolina's Nantahala River offers rafters of all ages and experience levels 8 miles of sparkling water and varying rapids to tackle, as well as exhilarating Jeep tours, hiking, mountain biking and more.

On the mainstream Chattahoochee River, find canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and fly fishing.
In fact, there are several fly fishing schools that offer courses–quite literally–on the fly. Rent cabins on the river or pitch tents in one of the campgrounds along the banks to experience nature as intimately as your party wants.


Toes in the Sand

Head to Georgia and Alabama's southern beaches, Florida's panhandle and northeast coastline or the South Carolina coast.

Alabama's beaches offer small-town charm with entertainment. From Orange Beach and Gulf Shores to Perdido Key, soak up the arts scene, history, adventure parks and white sand beaches. Try stand-up paddleboarding or windsurfing. End your day at the famous Flora-Bama Lounge for beachside cocktails, live music and fun.

P4Along Florida's 30A, you'll find some of the most sought-after residences for blue-green water and white sand beaches. Spots like Destin and Sandestin, Panama City Beach and Grayton Beach, Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach, Seagrove and Seaside are packed with all kinds of family-friendly adventure. Spend your days parasailing, jet skiing and shell collecting on the beach or shopping, golfing and seafood sampling in town, and at night, pack the itinerary with
Putt-Putt, amusement park thrill rides and dinner by sunset along the water.

Go east for Florida's Forgotten Coast. From retro beaches like Carabelle and St. George Island to remote stays on Alligator Point, St. Theresa and more, there's an address to book a stay on what may seem like your own private beach.

P5Nearby Apalachicola—aka the land of friendly people—is world-famous for fresh oysters served any way you can dream up, plus the charm of local shops, galleries and rich maritime history make the ambience as good as the freshly shucked delicacies.

SBAcross the state, South Georgia meets Florida's northeast coastline to offer classic beach destinations with fun, quirky towns like St. Simons and Jekyll Island in Georgia or Fernandina and St. Augustine below the state line. St. Augustine is ripe with history and small town Fernandina serves to-die-for seafood. In St. Simons, rent bikes for hours of exploring before dinner by the pier.

On South Carolina's coastline, play a round of golf on the gorgeous Kiawah Island or take an easy walk across the beach on quiet, wildlife-rich Fripp Island. Opt for adventure and take a banana boat ride or go parasailing at Myrtle Beach. Or take a sunset dolphin river cruise around Hilton Head Island.


Escape to The Mountains

From countless waterfalls to day hikes on the Appalachian Trail, the mountains provide bucket-list-worthy stops to schedule any vacation around.

In this region, bed and breakfasts abound, as do quiet, secluded cabins, family campsites, a handful of luxury resorts and even a casino. You can choose super, small-town vibes in cities like Blairsville, Helen, which has Tray Mountain, and Hiawassee in Georgia, North Carolina's Hayesville, Franklin and more.

Larger map dots, like Blue Ridge boast a bevy of breweries, walkable shops and eateries, plus a drive-in theater and access to plenty of river activities or day hikes. Chattanooga is a classic destination with traditional stops like Lookout Mountain, the Choo Choo, the
Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City and more.

Or visit the tiny Tennessee town of Roan Mountain and walk through its beautiful hardwood forest. In Asheville, fill your itinerary with art museums, eclectic eats, chocolate shops and countless brewery tours before or after your day spent at nearby Biltmore Estate.


Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:09

My Best Self: Jennifer Webb



"Today I will put myself first. At the tippy-top of the list—the kids can get themselves up for school, I will leave the dishwasher unemptied, and the clothes unfolded," says Jennifer Webb, in an excerpt of her book, "Mom's Soul Café." When Webb penned the book in 2016, the realities of motherhood were often much more complicated than the images she saw in the social media postings of her friends. From a messy minivan to surviving summer break, the hilarious and chaotic experiences of the 47-year-old mom left her with the realization that to avoid mommy-burn out, she had to find inner peace.

P1In her book, Webb, who is also a meditation leader at the Atlanta Center for Wellness, shares how the practice of mindfulness has enabled her to be a better mother to her children and a more Zen individual.


By Rachel Miller


What motivated your journey into meditation and mindfulness?

I've always been a very spiritual person, but meditation started after I had my children, Nathan, 12, and Jessie, 10. Honestly, I wasn't taking motherhood very well. I knew I needed to approach things differently. By nature, I'm not a calm person. I'm actually very hyper and excited about life, which is great! I've never wanted to change who I am; I just wanted to become a more centered and mindful individual. I felt it would make me a more patient mother to my children.

What tips do you have for someone who wants to begin to practice mindfulness but doesn't know where to start?

I would recommend going to a guided meditation, if possible. Or listening to a recorded meditation. Find a recording that resonates with you. People say they can't sit for an hour and that is understandable. Do it for 10 minutes or even three minutes. People say they can't quit thinking, but no one said you are not supposed to think. In meditation, you think, but you come back to the breath. Mindfulness is not mystical. You don't feel totally different. You just become more aware of yourself.

In what ways can "Mom's Soul Café" inspire a stay-at-home mom or a working mom?

I've always felt like the working mom is trying to carve out time for her family. However, the stay-at-home mom is always trying to carve out time for herself. There is guilt on both ends, so you really cannot win. It truly is a personal journey because everyone needs spirituality and everyone needs a center. Everyone needs a place they can go for themselves. Sometimes, that can be a spa, but sometimes, it just has to be where you are, right in that moment.

You write about the importance of being present with your children. What is the biggest distraction you work to avoid and how?

Anxiety. Sometimes when I am with my kids for a long time, it seems like it's never enough. They want to play games over and over again. For me, it can be overwhelming and tiring. I think every mother can relate to the fact that there comes a point, when you're ready for "me" time. The reality is that children aren't always ready for that, so that's when I start to feel my anxiety. I've found that by surrendering to the moment, taking a deep breath and staying present when I may not want to be there, I'm able to be more mindful, which lowers my anxiety.

Who helps you be your "Best Self?"

Besides my children, this might sound strange, but it's authors. I love reading books on philosophy because I am living the lessons of these wise teachers. Two of my favorites are Thich Nhat Hanh's book, "You are Here" and "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz.


To find out more about Jennifer and her journey, go to JenniferKWebb.com.


Single Atlanta Matchmakers' queens of matchmaking, Lisa Lyngos and Leisha Murphy, play Cupid to coach and connect you with your perfect mate.


By Katherine Michalak


L ove is in the air at Single Atlanta Matchmakers. The successful concierge matchmaking firm is celebrating its 20th anniversary and it's easy to see why.

Lisa Lyngos and Leisha Murphy, the dynamic duo behind the brand, bring a level of expertise that sets them apart. The two double-handedly have changed the Atlanta dating landscape. Bringing their warm personalities, sense of humor, relatability, and wisdom to the table, Atlantans have come to know and trust these two whole-heartedly.

With a service that has stood the test of time—Lisa and Leisha have encountered every scenario—the identical twin sisters know the players and can guide anyone through the intimidating dating process. Now having reached this commemorative milestone with more work to do, they are looking toward the future.

Born in Michigan, the twins relocated to Texas as young girls and both graduated from Baylor University. "We grew up with both regional influences strongly felt and that plays a part in our success," Leisha notes. Adding, "We were raised with that traditional Midwestern work ethic and also felt the Texas attitude, which says, 'Kick a hole through the sky, anything is possible!'"

P1In 1998, when a job moved Leisha's husband to Atlanta, she became aware of the growing need for a local matchmaking service. "Atlanta's biggest boom period had begun with the 1996 Olympics," Leisha explains. "The city had suddenly exploded with people from all over and they didn't know how to meet each other." Soon, Lisa came onboard, heading to Atlanta, and the two of them immediately saw the advantage of building the business as a team.

Consummate professionals, Lisa and Leisha have become industry leaders in the past two decades, creating the largest matchmaking business in the Southeast with over 19,000 clients. "We have so much fun," Lisa laughs. "This is what we love, and we've put together a great staff who have been with us for more than 10 years. They all have three things—a big brain, a big heart, and a big sense of humor." Leisha continues, "We are both very intuitive and we've surrounded ourselves with people who also have a compassionate nature."

Q1"Everyone is looking for a happy committed relationship. We are the land of second chances for many of our clients. Thousands of couples are together today, who would have never met without us," Lisa says. "Our clients range in age from their mid-20s up to their 80s. They tell us their stories and together we are able to build a profile of the type of person they would like to meet. This is where our experience really counts. ... We know precisely how to successfully guide them through the process."

Single Atlanta Matchmakers commits to building a trusting relationship with each client, conducting phone interviews, followed by face-to-face consultations assessing their needs. After that, they start sending the clients out on dates, one match at a time, with full feedback from both parties after each meetup. "Our amazing track record of matching couples who end up in long-term relationships and/or marriage is not an accident," Leisha reveals. Over the last 20 years, we have created an environment that has changed people's experience with dating in our city for the better. That is our legacy."



P2Get Past the Swipe Hype

Fake profiles, scams, catfishing, staged social media, and scrolling through apps—modern dating may be high tech, but not necessarily high quality. The old-fashioned way might be the most effective. The Single Atlanta Matchmakers team focuses on clients who want true romantic companionship for the long haul, and who are ready to invest targeted energy into the process of finding a mate.

Matchmakers Lisa Lyngos and Leisha Murphy bring experience and confidence to the table for their clients. Their service far surpasses anything possible online. "The dating pools are filled with people that aren't serious, and online dating rapidly exposed itself and its dangers," says Leisha. "We offer something real, no worries about the caliber of people you'll meet." Lisa agrees, "We see that the internet presents the good, the bad, and the ugly. We're far above that. Why try to find a needle in a haystack? We have the needles here!"



SingleAtlanta.com, 750 Hammond Dr. NE., Bldg. 16, Ste. 200,
404-250-9292. The content for this article is brought to you by
Level 2 Introductions.




Wednesday, 28 February 2018 15:00

Whey Protein Powder the Whole Family Can Enjoy

HiveFit's Raul Hiteshew talks ingredient transparency and how to make healthy choices for your family.

By Carrie Whitney

Although you do your best to eat healthy foods and supplement your diet with vitamins or maybe protein powder, without a chemistry degree, it can be a challenge to know whether the ingredients in your shake or capsule are best for your body. In some cases, ingredients may not be beneficial, and in others, they can be downright harmful. Whether it's bloating from hidden lactose in whey powder or a pre-training product that leads to a crash, negative effects may have you eschewing supplements all together or thinking they are only meant for serious body builders.

hiveFit ProductBehind the Label
Considering the issues his clients faced when choosing supplement products, Atlanta-based health and fitness expert, Raul Hiteshew, along with fitness competitor wife, Ashlyn, decided to revolutionize the industry by offering a line of products that are truly healthy and appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. Instead of hiding behind complex ingredients and unrecognizable terms, Raul's HiveFit supplement line displays 100 percent transparent labeling and a commitment to a lot of "nos"—no artificial flavors, no added sugars, no hormones or antibiotics, no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and no fillers.

"When I designed the product, I designed it for everyone—moms, dads, and kids. Families really gravitated toward what we were doing here," Raul says. His goal was to create a high quality yet affordable product for the masses. "Sometimes people think they are healthy because of the way they look, but really, they might be super toxic." Raul's products offer people top-notch ingredients that make them feel good on the inside and look good on the outside.

Consider whey protein powder. Not only do many companies add artificial colors, sweeteners and fillers to their products, they may also claim to have isolate protein, but it may not be 100 percent isolate. By contrast, Raul's Whey Protein Vanilla and Chocolate powders contain 100 percent isolate, which minimizes lactose and maximizes absorption. The powder has no added sugars or binders. In fact, the Vanilla powder contains just three ingredients: 100 percent whey protein isolate, natural vanilla bean flavor, and stevia. Raul has even included the amounts of the ingredients on the labels, which means his formula could be copied, but he would rather see more ethical products on the market than hide anything. His 100 percent transparency labeling campaign is rare. "If you have a good product, you don't need extra flavors or fillers. Anyone could make the products I have; there are no proprietary blends." Raul's HiveFit line ranges from protein powders to Probiotic Digestive Supplements and everything in between.

Background Basics
Born in Venezuela, and known in fitness competition circles as Mr. Venezuela, Raul got his start in the industry more than a decade ago when he joined the team at a supplement company. After gaining experience working with naturopathic doctors, studying science and psychology and earning a variety of competition titles and fitness certifications, he struck out on his own to bring the "Raul Approach" to clients.

"It was just me trying to lose fat because I was tired of roller coasting and trying every diet that came out," he says. "From a competitor's background, you always look to see what is the most effective, what works." When he needed healthful products to provide to clients along with custom nutrition plans, Raul realized he would have to develop his own supplements if he wanted to confidently know they were made to the highest standards.

And now, thanks to Raul's passion and experience, the HiveFit supplement line currently offers nine high-quality nutrition, fitness, and wellness products.


FoundationHiveFit Foundation— Helping the Hungry

While dieting strictly to prepare for a competition, Raul Hiteshew complained to his wife, Ashlyn, that he was "starving." She quickly pointed out that he deprived himself of calories by choice, but there were children around the world who were actually starving. In that moment, the seed of HiveFit Foundation was planted.

HiveFit has committed 25 percent of all profits from HiveFit supplements to the HiveFit Foundation.

The Foundation serves to alleviate hunger in youth populations suffering from famine and malnutrition.

Raul developed special meal replacement formulas that can be easily digested by children with compromised digestive systems.

Together with international and local partners, the HiveFit Foundation provides highly nutritious liquid products to help children regain health in times of starvation.

Raul and the HiveFit Foundation plan to provide on-site distribution of meal replacement products among the populations they serve.


HiveFit, www.HiveFit.com, 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.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018 20:55

6 Tips to Help You Survive the Holiday Season


by: Natalie Logan, RD, LD, Fresh 'N Fit Cuisine


Although it has the tendency to get a little crazy, the holiday season tends to be everyone's favorite time of year. It's always fun to see your relatives but with all of the office parties and family gatherings, it's very easy for your health and nutrition goals to get sabotaged. Here are a few tips that can help you get through the next few weeks.


  1. Is Your Belly Empty? Don't go to a function starving (or skip a meal before getting there) as you're more likely to overeat and eat more of the not-so-healthy stuff. Instead, eat a healthy snack like fresh fruit or vegetables paired with a protein or healthy fat beforehand (i.e. apple with nut butter or veggies with hummus)

  2. Limit or avoid the high calorie or sugary drinks (think eggnog, creamy coffee drinks, hot chocolate). Keep in mind that alcohol adds extra empty calories and also alters your thinking when it comes to choosing junk foods.

  3. At the family feast. Try to fill at least half your plate with the veggie dishes. Then grab a handful of lean protein while the rest of the plate can be your favorite sweet potato dish or mashed potatoes. All in moderation just don't forget the colorful veggies first!

  4. You be the Good Guy. Bring a healthy dish to your function - that way you know when in doubt, just eat what you brought.

  5. Where are you hanging out? If you're hanging out by the appetizers you're probably going to eat the appetizers...hungry or not. A lot of family and friends like to gather in the kitchen even when it's not time to eat. Chances are you'll mindless eat if the food is right there at arms length.

  6. Slow Down! Sit down with you friends and family and enjoy every bite of the homemade dishes and goodies. When you eat fast it will take longer for your body to register it is full and you may already be on your second plate.

At Fresh 'N Fit Cuisine, we want to make it easy for you to eat healthy this holiday season. As Atlanta's premier healthy meal and lifestyle service, we provide everything from meal prep to convenient pickup/delivery to free nutrition coaching and support. Happy Holidays!


FreshnFit PLATES


Atlanta's Premier Healthy Meal Service since 2003
www.freshnfitcuisine.com | (678) 208-0341




By: Teresa Woodruff, LPC, ATR-BC, CPCS


As a parent, you are constantly giving...your time, your attention, and your energy to your children. It's perfectly normal to feel exhausted and drained from all the giving. During the holiday season, added stress may cause you to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Having children home from school places more demands on you, and unstimulated children may act out or display inappropriate attention-seeking behavior. Here are a few tips for maintaining a calm home and keeping your sanity:


  • Remember to take time for yourself: Read a book, go on a walk, color, or journal. Remembering to care for yourself will allow you to be calm and in control of your own emotions, thus setting the tone for the rest of the family.
  • Provide opportunities for downtime while still maintaining structure: Incorporate structured activities into each day and write the day's events on the refrigerator.
  • Reward positive behavior: Children thrive on positive reinforcement and display positive behaviors more frequently when it is acknowledged with a sticker, hug, or simple "good job."
  • Give them attention: 20 minutes of undivided attention in the mornings can shape their behavior for the entire day. Put down your phone and play a game with them, read a book, or color.
  • Stimulate their minds: Print off coloring sheets of their favorite characters, create scavenger hunts around the house, or encourage them to create a story with a handful of objects that you give them.



4300 Paces Ferry Rd, SE,  #357
Atlanta, GA 30339

(770) 726-9589 | www.artitout.com

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