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,, 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 | (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 |



By Angella Ocheltree


We’ve all fallen short of a goal at one point in time. Maybe it was the resolution to lose those 10 pounds that have ticked the scale upward or the desire to learn a new hobby? Why can it be so difficult to ingrain new routines that will enrich our lives?

It’s because we are creatures of habit. Our minds naturally follow the path of least resistance. Once a pattern of thought, feeling, or action is “wired” into the mind, our subconscious mind protects that pattern. And this is why making lasting changes seems so hard. But it doesn’t have to be. These simple steps can help you further your personal growth in every aspect of life—once and for all.


SB11. Reassess

Instead of saying, “I want to be a better partner,” how about going to therapy? While everyone else is focusing on fitness and finances (which are both important), why don’t you also prioritize your mental health and well-being? When others set goals to do and achieve more, perhaps you need to slow down, explains Dr. Shatavia Thomas of Dr. Shay Speaks, LLC.


2. Set Goals That Are Right For You

“We often get drawn into a fad diet or a trendy takeaway instead of assessing a goal or strategy’s fit based on our personality and circumstances. The latest meal plan might not be good for your blood type or medical condition. Literature on setting goals reminds us that these objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART),” says Thomas.


3. Figure Out What is Truly Motivating You

It sounds easy, but it’s crucial to ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal and how this change will affect your life.


4. Uncover Why You Failed to Make This Change in the Past

Take stock of how you approached this change previously. Analyze why past approaches didn’t work.

  • Was the goal achievable?
  • What actions did you take?
  • Were you consistent?
  • Did those closest to you encourage you?
  • Did your words support your success or sabotage it?


5. Forgive

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, not condoning bad behavior.

  • Forgive yourself for past failures.
  • Forgive others for hurt, pain, guilt, shame, etc.


6. Create a Mental Image

The mind is a powerful tool. Decide where your life will be in one year and take time to create a detailed vision of what you would like your career, finances, relationships, health, happiness, charity involvement and so on to look like 365 days from now.


7. Make a Plan

Write down a measurable plan for achieving your goals and be sure to include clear instructions and a realistic timeline. Break it down into one year and then divide in half for six months. From there, divide in half again for three months.



  1. The best answer is: C. It’s best to create specific goals that you will actually keep.

  2. The best answer is: C. When you’re making a change, it’s important that the motivation comes from within.

  3. The best answer is: A. You will occasionally slip up. Forgive yourself and move past the setback.

  4. The best answer is: False. Allow yourself time to feel the craving.

  5. The best answer is: B. It is more effective to move toward something, rather than away from something.

  6. The best answer is: A. You have no way of measuring your success.

  7. The best answer is: False. There is never a perfect time to do anything.

  8. The best answer is: C. You’ve already created a success pathway in your brain.

  9. The best answer is: False. Changing your habits and patterns is difficult, so it’s natural that you would feel ambivalent.

  10.  The best answer is: B. You must learn from failure and harness it into success.



10 to 8 correct: You are primed to make some big changes!
7 to 4 correct: You’re ready to change, but things are still holding you back.
3 to 0 correct: You may want to change, but right now you’re going about it in a way that guarantees frustration and failure.

Angella Ocheltree, Right Path Hypnosis,
M.J. Ryan,
Dr. Shatavia Thomas, Dr. Shay Speaks, LLC,

By India Powell


Between children, exes, careers and the various other intricacies of life for many after 40, dating might seem to be a much more complicated undertaking than it is for the 20-something set. While in many ways it is, in other ways it can be vastly simpler.

“At this stage in life, we would rather be alone for the right reasons than be together for the wrong,” says radio personality Bert Weiss, 50, of The Bert Show on Q100. “I enjoy being alone now and enjoy it more than I did when I was younger. And it’s much easier when you get older to identify when you have a connection with someone and when you don’t.”

Elke Koscher, in her 40s, agrees that the assuredness about what she wants at this phase of her life brings the benefit of a certain clarity to the dating process.

“I am not completing anybody, and I don’t need anybody to complete me,” she says. “I am complete in myself. I work on myself to be the best person I can be. I’m attracted to a man who is a whole person, who has his life together, and who I can have a conversation with on many levels.”

Phillip Horge, 58, adds that knowing exactly what is most important to him in a relationship helps him avoid wasting time dating those who are not a match. “I can figure out quickly if we are going any further. I am looking for someone with things in common with me; someone like-minded. I’m looking for more substance than I might have in the past,” he says.

SB1Finding out early on if the other person is dating with the same intentions and goals as her own is key to Natasha Harp, 45. “I’m looking for someone who wants to be in a committed long-term relationship, and I’m very honest with what I’m looking for, although I don’t try to force it. I am looking for someone who wants to share their time and, eventually, their life.”

While the online dating option can seem appealing and convenient, it can quickly lose its luster if those on the other end of the messages have a different end result in mind or are representing themselves in a not-so-accurate manner. Horge says he encountered some off-putting misrepresentation when he tried using Tinder, and he prefers a more straightforward and honest personal approach. “Texting and online stuff doesn’t really appeal to me. I meet people mostly through friends now,” he says. He adds that dining at the bar in a restaurant also opens up opportunities to connect with and get to know people he might not otherwise meet.

Harp says online dating was not a fit for her, and she says she has been enjoying reconnecting with people she knew from college. Exploring the familiarity of the connections while learning about who they have become over the years has been rewarding, she says. 

Weiss says he doesn’t feel the discomfort with dating—online or otherwise—that many seem to. “I’ve always enjoyed going out and getting to know someone,” he says. “Online dating is becoming the new restaurant, the new bar … but there is a generational difference and just ‘hooking up’ doesn’t really fit anymore in your 40s. As you get older, you realize it’s time for connection and not just something physical.”

For many, Weiss points out, juggling the responsibilities of being a parent can add challenges to dating. Flexibility on everyone’s part helps tremendously, he says. “It can be hard to balance between work, trying to stay connected with friends, dating, and being a parent. Most times I just feel mediocre at all of it. You can feel so stretched.”

His advice to anyone taking on the dating scene after 40 is to stay open and avoid setting concrete expectations. “Don’t make judgments on how you’re going to feel about relationships for a while and live by your own truth. Everybody is so different and is coming from different backgrounds, and what’s going to work for me isn’t going to work for the next person,” he says.

Meredith Davis, head of communications for The League dating app, says the average number of messages that users over 40 send before going on a  date is around 24 versus 14 sent by millennials. “They tend to want to get to know each other a bit longer before taking it off the app,” she says.

SB2According to Davis, those who widen the range of ages they will date and distance they will travel to meet up, tend to have greater success finding matches. She also recommends using more than one dating app to broaden your scope and expand your circles. “People get into routines: you go to work, you have your curated communities, and the apps add a new community to your life,” she says.

As a general rule, Davis says, people over 40 take a more “traditional” approach to dating and are looking for a partner with a similar culture and upbringing.

She adds that the fact that many people who are in the second half of their lives have already been married and have kids, which can free them up to now look for a partnership that fulfills them personally. “The person you are looking for in your 40s is probably not the person you were looking for in your 20s. You can most likely forget about the things you thought about when you were starting a family and be a little more greedy about doing what excites you and what you love,” she says.

Jennifer Miotke, president of One on One Matchmaking, however, points out that some people over 40 are in fact looking to start a family. “The ones that already have a family look for different things,” she says. “I think financial stability and being a reliable person is more important to people over 40. The 20s and 30s are oftentimes more focused on looks and if the person is fun.”

“If a man has not had kids and is in his 40s, he typically wants to date a woman 37 and under so he can hopefully have children ... on his timeline. If you are a woman in her 40s with kids, just make sure the man you are dating does not want more kids if you are done,” Miotke adds.

Beth Shapiro Friedman, who with Jenna Leopold Shulman runs juLuv matchmaking service, says being financially independent later in life is important when dating. “Usually, if the person has children, they are looking for someone who has kids in the same age range and someone who is not looking for financial dependence,” she says. “At this stage of life especially, no one wants to take on more financial responsibility.”

While Friedman says many of those who have been through painful divorces are looking for someone who is nothing like their ex, those who have never been married can often be even less flexible and forgiving. “Typically, these individuals have a mental checklist (sometimes an actual checklist!) of certain criteria and they are not willing to make any exceptions,” she says. “For example, any potential date must be a certain height, have a fit physique, an admirable profession, and similar religious beliefs.”

“Those who have been married before are usually willing to overlook certain things and are more flexible when it comes to finding a partner. They have already experienced the ‘perfect’ mate changing, whether it be their physical appearance or attitude/beliefs, so they understand that there are no guarantees or certainties when it comes to the future—if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!”

Friedman says she and Shulman have helped people who have unique challenges, such as alopecia or Asperger’s syndrome, enter the dating arena. “We just try to encourage people to be open and candid about themselves and the issues they are dealing with. Nothing is worse than trying to hide these things from potential dates. My counseling background comes in handy because I really try to understand and help our clients with self-acceptance and being honest about who they are.”

Lisa Lyngos, along with Leisha Murphy, owners of Single Atlanta Matchmakers, says she uses her intuition and understanding of the whole individual when she is matchmaking, helping people understand that the dating process is an exercise in authenticity within oneself. Through full acceptance of self—even the parts we tend to hide—“you find a loving place to be a better soul,” she says, which is a beautiful thing in any relationship.

To anyone feeling like over 40 is “too old” to enjoy dating, Miotke says the truth is quite the opposite. “It’s not old, it’s fabulous! I love this age. I’m 41 and am in better shape than I was in my 20s, feel more confident sexually (40s is a woman’s sexual peak) and have settled into my career,” she says. “It’s a great age, so if you think it is old, or a totally different era, I beg to differ!”

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 16:26

My Best Self: Shaun Robinson


You might recognize Shaun Robinson as a co-host of the entertainment news show “Access Hollywood” or have heard about her many accolades from her career in television news, including an Emmy and a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. But that work is just at the tip of her personal iceberg. What really drives Robinson is her passionate commitment to helping young women who struggle with self-esteem issues. Her S.H.A.U.N. Foundation for Girls supports grassroots charities that focus on the empowerment of girls, including health initiatives in communities of color.


By Stacy Moser

What first inspired you to achieve such a high level of activism in your career?

My parents always taught me, from a young age, that if God gives you a platform, use it to help others. That became my foundation for wanting to give back. Also, I attended Spelman College. The experience of an all-girls school taught me about the importance of sisterhood. When women band together and support each other, we make extraordinary things happen.

Did the experience of living in Atlanta during college motivate you to speak out about health issues in communities of color?

As students, we would regularly walk to the local fast-food restaurants because those were the places that were close. That’s often the case in communities of color—not having an abundance of healthy choices. We created the HEALTH division of my foundation to teach girls about healthy lifestyle habits and the importance of taking care of your body starting at a young age. We recently gave a grant to an amazing organization—Healthy Girls Save the World. They go into underserved school districts and help educate girls on leading healthy lives. We want to find and support more organizations like this.

Tell us more about being on the advisory board of Girl Up, the United Nations’ campaign working to empower adolescent girls around the globe.

Being a part of Girl Up has been extraordinary. These “rock star” girls travel around the world to advocate for girls who don’t have a voice—whether it’s speaking out against child marriage, lack of access to education, genital mutilation and other issues girls in other countries have to deal with. They have direct contact with girls overseas. It works because they are relating to someone their own age.

On Feb. 20, you’ll be at Spelman College to speak about human trafficking. In the past, you’ve said that trafficking is happening under our very noses in our own homes.

Every young lady living in Atlanta is at risk for having her life touched by human trafficking—either directly, through someone she knows, or in her immediate community. That is a fact. Traffickers are getting bolder and smarter about how they approach young women, using tactics that are very hard to detect. Did you know there are girls who live with their parents, go to school, come home, do their homework, and then engage in sex trafficking? I speak at these events to educate girls about those dangers and tell them how they can help someone who they think may be in this lifestyle. We can all help by being a part of the discussion and work to find solutions.

Who helps you be your best self?

My mom is the one who encourages me to do my best. She has always been my cheerleader. She has such great compassion for others and has taught me to reach back and help the less fortunate. God blessed me with an amazing mom!

To find out how you can help, go to


The bodies of today's 50 year olds look nothing like they did back in the 1950s, that's for sure. From toned arms to flat tummies, these 13 Atlantans share their secrets to staying in shape.

A special thank you to Windy Hill Athletic Club for hosting our photo shoot.
Photography by Sawyer Photography


Sonny Gholami  |  51  |  Windy Hill Athletic Club

How much time do you dedicate to staying in shape?
As a personal trainer and fitness coach at Windy Hill Athletic Club for the past 20 years, fitness has always been my priority as a lifestyle, not a trend. There is no magic pill or shortcut. This is the reason I work out six days a week.

How do you maintain your look?
I utilize variety in my training to avoid burnouts and plateaus. Most of my workouts consist of functional movement that demands strength and stability. I believe a workout should be short, but intense, which is why I use high-intensity interval training or Tabata training.





Robert Dothard  |  56  |  Fit Family

How do you maintain your look?
I am the same weight and body-fat percentage that I was 20 years ago when I got married. Being consistent is the key. In other words, exercise and proper eating habits aren’t something I “do,” they “are” simply a part of my personal lifestyle.

What is the secret to being fit over 50?
Start where you are. Improve and never go back to your old eating habits and unhealthy lifestyle! I often have people tell me they don’t have time to work out, but when I ask them about their favorite TV program, they share the last series they just binge-watched.



Kim Saunders  |  55  |  Lift Yoga & Body  

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
I do different styles of yoga including strong vinyasa flows and some yin, or deep stretches. I also like to lift weights, typically dumbbells that are about eight to 10 pounds. It’s all about the combination of strength and stretching—both are equally important.

How do you maintain your overall health?
I eat close to a Mediterranean diet including lean protein and lots of vegetables. For the most part, I choose organic foods and healthy carbs.



Shelly Casady  |  61  |  Life Time Fitness Johns Creek

How much time do you dedicate to staying in shape?
I weight lift four days a week and box one day a week. 

What is the secret to being fit over 50?
It is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes commitment and I commit every week. I always know on Sunday night what my workout plans are for the week. I’ve lived my life like that for over 30 years. I have also learned there are injuries that happen and I have had some. I’ve learned that you can work through them and around them and to not give up.




Orlando Sablon  |  54  |  House of Payne Personal Training

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
I train with weights and body weight five days a week and incorporate one day of calisthenics or high-intensity interval training.

How do you keep your nutrition on track?
I typically eat five meals a day. My meals are usually made up of lean protein, rice, fruits, dark leafy vegetables, and healthy fats along with one to two gallons of water.






Linda Key  |  68  |  House of Payne Personal Training

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
I enjoy working out using resistance bands, they stimulate the muscles. Sumo squats are also one of my favorite workout moves because I can feel it in my buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings and hips using a mind/body connection. Using machines has allowed me to create the beautiful body I never knew I had.

How much time do you dedicate to staying in shape?
I work out five days a week for one hour.



Drew Key  |  60  |  House of Payne Personal Training  

What motivates you to stay in shape?
My objective is to have an ageless body and a timeless mind through healthy aging. I am working to age backward and become more youthful internally.

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
Traditionally with weight resistance, calisthenics, and cardiovascular activity. Weight resistance helps build muscle fibers. Calisthenics helps to tighten, shape, and form your aesthetics so you look good. Finally, cardiovascular moves help to facilitate internal movement on a cellular level. So, in conclusion, I feel great and I look great.



Debra Miller  |  67  |  Stability Pilates & Physical Therapy

How much time do you dedicate to staying in shape?
I do an hour of cardio (StairMaster and/or elliptical) five days a week and about three hours of Pilates a week. As I age, I’m finding it necessary and helpful to stretch for 10 to 20 minutes a day.

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
Working out has always been a priority for me. In my early 30s, I was a single mom working my way up the corporate ladder. I had to squeeze in my daily fitness routine at midnight sometimes. I purchased a StairMaster so that I could work out on my schedule in my home. Exercising at home continues to be my favorite way to work out. I love the flexibility and freedom it affords me.



Nanci Love  |  58  |  Windy Hill Athletic Club  

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
I manage processes and people all day. When I get to the club after a long day, I like to turn my brain off in a sense and focus on the expertise of the trainer to get in a rigorous workout.

How do you maintain your overall health?
I surround myself with people that enjoy a healthy lifestyle and I understand the changes that need to be made in a workout routine and diet as aging occurs. It is very important to eat healthy (i.e., stay away from processed, preservative-heavy, fried, sugary, dairy and caffeine-filled foods).



Sandy Farinella  |  54  |  Concourse Athletic Club  

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
My trainer and I use weights two to three days a week and on two other days, we mix it up with bands, the BOSU® ball, gliders, power moves, a medicine/stability ball—you name it! I love the variety and the fun of working out with other women that have the same goals.

What motivates you to stay in shape?
My desire to have a healthy body and mind for as long as possible! After having my fourth child at age 40, I knew that keeping up with my family was going to require that I build a stronger body.






Mark Street  |  56  |  Blueprint Fitness  

How much time do you dedicate to staying in shape?
I generally work out five days a week with each session lasting about one hour.

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
I prefer a balance of strength training, high-intensity interval training, and traditional cardio/core workouts. Usually, I start with barbell lifting that targets a major muscle group. From there, I complete three to four circuits using kettlebells, TRX bands, body weight moves and dumbbells. For cardio, I prefer jumping rope and battle ropes.




George Amos  |  56  |  Windy Hill Athletic Club  

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
I enjoy playing basketball about two to three days a week and I also do some cycling classes.  Basketball and cycling provide the cardio I need to reduce the health risks of heart disease and high blood pressure, in addition to decreasing stress.

What is the secret to being fit over 50?
Consistency. My philosophy for staying fit—exercise for the rest of your life and find something you enjoy doing!



Dona Halliday  |  52

What are a few of your favorite ways to work out?
Walking, dancing, tennis. My workout has to be fun!

What motivates you to stay in shape?
I want a strong, healthy body for now and the future.

What do you do to maintain your overall health?
I continue to learn. I remain flexible and constantly examine my perspective. Fitness, health, and well being are more than external things. My confidence and my hope come from within and I really believe that reflects externally.













Thursday, 07 December 2017 21:21

The Best of the Best

After tens of thousands of votes, you have chosen this year's best for fitness, beauty, health, fun, and food!

On Nov. 1, Best Self Atlanta hosted a celebratory photo shoot and party to honor our "Best of 2017" contest winners. Winners gathered to mingle and enjoy fantastic food provided by Under the Cork Tree. While there, attendees received hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency before being photographed by Dan Sawyer of Sawyer Photography.




Best Barre Instructor

Izabela Amos

Using the Barre3 formula, Izabela Amos teaches high-energy classes that transform the body and demolish mental barriers.

Best Barre Studio

Barre3-East Cobb

This studio gives burn a whole new meaning. Drop the kiddos off with its convenient childcare staff and then jump into a muscle-melting class.

Best Boxing Workout Facility

BURN Studios

A blend of punches, jabs, kicks, and work with heavy bags will leave you feeling like a true champion after sweating through a 45-minute class.

Best Boot Camp Instructor

Katherine Mason

This former fitness model will whip you into shape in no time with a boot-camp style combination of heart-pumping cardio and full range of motion resistance training moves.

Best Boot Camp

Burn Boot Camp

Along with a butt-kicking workout, this studio also offers nutrition coaching and a strong sense of community to help their clients successfully lead a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.

Best CrossFit Gym

CrossFit Terminus

Home to five-time CrossFit Games athlete, Emily Bridgers, this 5,000-square-foot gym aims to help people become more resilient and healthier through progressive workouts.

Best CrossFit Instructor

Pete Mongeau

"Coach Pete" utilizes years of one-on-one experience to provide personalized training in a small group setting.

Best Cycling Shop

Peachtree Bikes

Beyond carrying popular brands like Specialized and Felt Bicycles, the store's seasoned staff provides quality repairs for a well-tuned ride.

Best Dance Fitness Facility

Dance It Off Sandy Springs

You'll have fun dancing your way into this studio. It features a basketweave-style floor with 3,000 neoprene foam blocks underneath it to protect your knees.

Best Dance Fitness Instructor

Renate Trussell

Renate Trussell encourages everyone in her class, from "Back Row Bettys" to "Front Row Divas," to simply feel the music and melt away the stress of the day.

Best Boxing Workout Instructor

Daniel Spain

Once a boxing competitor himself, Daniel Spain loves sharing his real-world knowledge to help clients reach their goals in a fun, safe atmosphere.

Best Indoor Cycling Instructor

Alex Martinez

Burn 400 to 600 calories as you spin your way through short bursts of sprint intervals or speed and resistance challenges to build endurance in one of Alex Martinez's power-based classes at Torq Cycle ATL.

Best Fitness Apparel Store

Lululemon Athletica

From hoodies and stylish sports bras to its oh-so-popular Align Pant II, this activewear looks good and stays put even during the most intense workouts.

Best Fitness Equipment Store

Fitness Depot

Whether you want to create the ultimate home gym with the Body-Solid Fusion 500, which allows you to do 60 strength-training exercises, or just fit in some cardio while watching TV, Fitness Depot has what you need.

Best Group Fitness Facility


This facility's secret to building lean muscles lies in low-impact but high-intensity workouts utilizing the Megaformer and human-powered Woodway Curve treadmill. Look out for a Sandy Springs location in 2018!

Best Group Fitness Instructor

Megan Armstrong

Megan Armstrong credits her multitasking talents to her ability to make each class feel like a personal training session. Spotting someone using the wrong weight in a class filled with 22 people is a breeze for her.

Best HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Facility

F45 Training Buckhead

New to Atlanta, this Australian workout sensation combines HIIT, circuit, and functional training to lower body fat percentage and tone the physique.

Best HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Instructor

Cedric H. Morris

Utilizing hexagonal trampolines with a bar for stability and safety, Cedric H. Morris, offers a unique way to do low-impact cardio and resistance training at the same time.

Best Indoor Cycling Studio

Flywheel Sports

Using performance tracking technology in an immersive, music-driven stadium-style studio, Flywheel Sports seeks to create a more rewarding workout that will strengthen your mind, body, and spirit.

Best Indoor Sport/Activity

The Painted Pin

With custom chesterfield couches, signature cocktails, and live music, this modern bowling alley is far from average.

Best Large Fitness Facility

Life Time Fitness

Find your workout "fit" at the family-friendly Life Time Fitness. Drop off little ones to the Kids Academy and then choose from exercise classes, weight-loss programming, racquetball and squash courts, pools, spas, and cafés.

Best Martial Arts Training

Atlanta Kick

People of all ages can gain a thing or two from the martial arts experience at Atlanta Kick. Located in Buckhead, each class builds confidence, teaches discipline, and instills focus.

Best Mountain Biking Club/Group

Free-Flite Bicycles

Join in on this cycling shop's Saturday Store Road rides or Sunday Funday Mountain Bike excursions.

Best Outdoor Gear Store

High Country Outfitters

Whether you are hiking the Appalachian Trail or just camping out for the weekend, the knowledgeable staff at High Country Outfitters will offer up solid advice for essentials that will keep you comfortable in the great outdoors.

Best Personal Trainer

Kellyn Henderson

By focusing on corrective exercises, Kellyn Henderson can build a foundation for beginners and elite athletes to enhance their performance.

Best Personal Training Facility*

Bodyfitz Personal Training

Get presurgery ready by strengthening the body or simply focus on injury prevention at Bodyfitz Personal Training. Its new program targeted at preventing torn anterior cruciate ligaments analyzes body mechanics and works to correct form.

House of Payne Personal Training

From small group and on-site training to online coaching or fitness competition preparation, the team here can help you achieve your goals in a variety of ways.

Best Pilates Instructor

Megan Hunter

By combining her background in physical therapy and Pilates training, Megan Hunter promotes overall wellness in her clients while also addressing injuries or limitations.

Best Pilates Studio

Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy

From its one-on-one Pilates sessions to small group classes, an emphasis on correct form, safety, and superior instruction are at the core of this studio.

Best Place for Kids' Fitness

Atlanta Rocks!

With over 12,000 square feet of professionally designed climbing surface, this spot takes team building to new heights.

Best Small/Medium Fitness Facility

Stellar Bodies

This full-body workout utilizes the Megaformer machine to strengthen, tighten, and tone your body quickly and safely. Fifty minutes of intense exercise will engage every muscle without any stress on the joints.

Best Tennis Facility

Windy Hill Athletic Club

Tennis director Trip Baisden has spent three years building an environment where members can advance their skill set with the help of former tennis pros and practice with other players on their same level.

Best Tennis Instructor

Shannon Calder

Shannon Calder ensures his tennis lessons stick by creating custom homework assignments for his students to work on when they aren't playing on the court with him.

Best Esthetician Overall

Heather Davis

More than just a NCEA certified-esthetician, Heather Davis is also a state board licensed assistant laser practitioner and certified medical assistant with more than 19 years of skin-beautifying experience.

Best Yoga Instructor

Leila Taylor Jankowski

Leila Taylor Jankowski says her own journey of emotional and spiritual healing through yoga is what allows her to teach classes that go beyond the physical and offer inner serenity.

Best Yoga Studio

East Cobb Yoga and Mindfulness

The skilled instructors at this studio lead thoughtful classes for the everyday person, along with therapeutic classes for athletes, in rooms heated between 74 to 76 degrees.

Best Weight Loss Center

Atlanta Endocrine Associates

Using endocrinology, hormone dysfunction correction, and the HMR program (ranked the No. 1 fast weight-loss diet by "U.S. News & World Report"), Atlanta Endocrine Associates helps patients lose weight with science as opposed to their own willpower.




Best Butt Lift/Augmentation Plastic Surgery Center/Doctor

Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, PC

Famous for its Brazilian Buttock Lift, here Dr. Stanley Okoro uses the latest technology to strategically transfer fat from other parts of the body to the butt for the ultimate "natural look."

Best Breast Plastic Surgery Center/Doctor

Dr. Patricia Yugueros

As Luna Plastic Surgery's esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr. Patricia Yugueros has a stellar international education and is passionate about helping women regain their confidence.

Best Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Debra Gray King

Known for her antiaging dentistry (aka the Scalpel-less Face-lift), Dr. Debra Gray King's artistic approach is sought-after by Atlantans and celebrities alike, including R&B crooner Usher, and actress Rebel Wilson.

Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practice

Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry

Celebrating 30 years of dentistry, this office creates an experience unlike any other. From its dental spa with a full-time massage therapist to its custom smile designs, expect natural results all while being pampered.

Best Botox

Dr. Leslie C. Gray

The new "Core 4" antiaging skin care plan at Dermatology Center of Atlanta creates flawless skin that complements the doctor's masterful Botox® injections.

Best Dermatology Practice Overall

Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, PC

Eight skilled providers, nine unique specialty centers, and an experienced laser skin treatment facility means you can always get top-notch medical and cosmetic care onsite.

Best Eyebrow Shaping/Maintenance

Alyson Hoag of Authentic Beauty

Recognized as a leader in eyebrow services, Alyson Hoag and her team can help you regain your brows after years of overplucking or waxing gone too far with Brow Rehab.

Best Eyelash Extensions

The Lash Lounge Sandy Springs

Experts here can choose from three types of curls, five densities, and eight lengths to create a custom set of extensions that won't damage your natural lashes.

Best Facial Plastic Surgery Center/Doctor

Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker

Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker has performed over 4,000 face-lifts producing unbelievably natural results. It's no wonder she's nicknamed the Queen of Faces!

Best Facial Treatment/Place Overall

Institut' DERMed

This facility has been a leader in modern medical skin care solutions since 1989. It has introduced Atlanta to the latest treatments like INTRAcel Fractional Radio Frequency Microneedling.

Best Fat Removal/Reduction Treatment/Place

North Atlanta Dermatology

The latest addition to this practice's fat removal repertoire is CoolPetite®. Specifically designed to target that pesky upper arm fat, this treatment will have you saying bye-bye batwings!

Best Hair Extension Expert/Place*

Jutta Blase, LLC

Licensed in both fusion and tape-in extension applications, Jutta Blase can help you achieve the full, luscious locks of your dreams by precisely matching the extensions with your exact hair color.

The Colour Bar Salon

Using DreamCatchers' 100% Human Remy Hair extensions, The Colour Bar Salon makes sure everyone will notice your extra inches, but none will be the wiser.

Best Hair Salon for African-American Hair

Nubiance Salon/Spa

For strong healthy hair, this salon has you covered. From trendy protective styles to pin-straight relaxers and weave extensions, they're the go-to for those natural and not.

Best Fillers

Barbara B. Weber

An expert at charting custom treatment plans, Barbara B. Weber has vast experience performing facial rejuvenation with injectables. The seasoned nurse also teaches her techniques to physicians, physician assistants and fellow nurses.

Best Hair Salon for Blowouts

Cherry Blow Dry Bar Midtown

The new kid on the block, this blow-dry bar opened this past summer and has become an affordable hotspot for sleek styles on all hair textures and lengths.

Best Hair Salon for Color

Van Michael Salon

At this salon's eight Atlanta locations, expect eye-catching results that will give your locks an on-trend look.

Best Hair Salon for Cuts

Bob Steele Salon

Thanks to its powerhouse CEO, Amanda Hair, you can get this salon's stellar 'dos in five metro Atlanta areas, including Smyrna and Alpharetta.

Best Hair Salon for Men

Bob Steele Salon

Many of the talented stylists here begin as cosmetology school graduates and, once they are hired, must complete an extensive internship before servicing clients full time.

Best Makeup Artist

Heather Petty-Harris

Heather Petty-Harris has been working her makeup magic on TV celebrities, brides, models, and more for 25 years. She'll also get your brows Instagram-ready in no time.

Best Hair Stylist for Color

Whitney Jones

On top of creating color that complements a client's skin tone, Whitney Jones is a pro at getting them in and out the door in no time flat.

Best Hair Stylist for Cuts

Richie Arpino

For the past 38 years, elite Atlantans have turned to this guru to transform their tresses.

Best Laser Hair Removal Facility

Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center

As members of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, the team here provides FDA-approved cosmetic laser services.

Best Men's Med Spa

Amachi MedSpa

With the needs of men in mind, this medical spa offers a range of services including laser hair removal, skin tightening, and hair loss treatments.

Best Lip Enhancement

Timeless Aesthetics Medspa of Atlanta

The highly trained team here stays abreast of the latest products and procedures available to help you create the perfect pout.

Best Hair Salon Overall

Vis-à-Vis The Salon

Your crowning glory is always in good hands here, as this salon only hires industry professionals with 10-plus years of experience.

Best Local Skin Care Products

Little Barn Apothecary

The founders of this handcrafted self-care product company have created goods for the body, face, and hair, which are made from organic and wild-harvested ingredients for all to enjoy!

Best Vein Treatment Doctor

Dr. Louis Prevosti

Board certified in cardiovascular surgery and a diplomate of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Louis Prevosti, who is also the medical director of VEINatlanta, knows how to make unsightly veins do a disappearing act.

Best Manicure

Hammond Nails

Hammond Nails sets the bar for luxury salons. With some of the best technicians in the business that excel in nail art, they also aim to exceed expectations in service and cleanliness.

Best Med Spa Overall

A New You Skin & Body Clinic

Get a confidence boost and enhanced sense of well-being at A New You Skin & Body Clinic, where trained technicians use medical practices in a spa-like setting to rejuvenate your appearance.

Best Microblading

Heather Tereso May

In less than two hours, you can walk out with natural-looking semipermanent brows crafted by this microblading whiz. And don't worry, it's virtually painless!

Best Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation

Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa

Using a thorough consultation that accounts for skin texture, tone, and more, the team here uses its complete understanding of facial aging and the loss of facial muscle and collagen to devise a plan to produce optimal results.

Best Pedicure

The Haute Spot Nail Boutique

Prepare to be pampered with the best in pedi services all around. This salon keeps tabs on the latest technology, trends, and sanitation procedures.

Best Permanent Makeup

Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch is a licensed medical aesthetician and certified laser technician. This accomplished makeup artist has been performing permanent makeup procedures since 1995.

Best Skin Care Place/Person

AYA™ Medical Spa

This medical spa offers only the highest quality skin care treatments and services using cutting-edge cosmetic technology performed by licensed providers.

Best Men's Hair Replacement/Restoration

Anderson Center for Hair & Aesthetics

At his new location in Avalon and original location in Sandy Springs, Dr. Ken Anderson uses ARTAS robotic hair restoration and modern treatments to provide life-changing solutions for thinning hair and hair loss.

Best Tummy/Midsection Plastic Surgery Center/Doctor

Dr. Asaf Yalif

Dr. Asaf Yalif tailors all of his recommendations to each patient and takes into account their desired goals, budget, and anatomy, to create a fab—and flat—stomach.

Best Women's Thinning Hair Place/Person

Dr. Ashley R. Curtis

As a doctor at The Griffin Center for Women's Hair Loss, Dr. Ashley R. Curtis knows how to address the unique issues of this escalating problem.

Best Waxing

Brazilian Wax by Andreia

What started as one location in Marietta has now expanded to nearly 20. The chain is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service at an affordable price.

Best Vein Treatment Practice


Since 2002, this privately-owned comprehensive vein center has provided quality care for varicose and spider veins in addition to swollen ankle and leg issues.

Best Wigs Expert/Place

Rebecca Walden Wig Studio

After women and children experience a bout with cancer or other various diseases, Rebecca Walden uses cut, color, and style to create a wig that allows them to recognize themselves in the mirror again.



Best Acupuncture Place/Practitioner

Atlanta Center for Acupuncture and Wellness

This all-women group of highly trained acupuncturists can tackle a range of specialties, including pain management, fertility treatment, and digestive disorders.

Best Addiction Care Facility

Ridgeview Institute

People of all ages can find help at Ridgeview Institute. The team here helps patients manage cravings, find tools for recovery, follow a 12-step program and more.

Best Aging Care Facility Senior Services

North Fulton

This nonprofit provides vital services like transportation to medical appointments for those that are homebound and supplies Meals on Wheels to those who are 60 and above.

Best Allergy Care

Atlanta Allergy & Asthma

With 17 locations throughout metro Atlanta and beyond, this practice is ready to tackle a range of asthma needs and allergy issues (think food to skin and everything in between).

Best Allergy Doctor

Dr. Eugene Hurwitz

As the medical director of Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, this doctor has grown the practice to 10 locations. He is also board certified in allergy and immunology and affiliated with numerous hospitals.

Best Arthritis Care

Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia

For patients with diverse rheumatologic pathology, this practice offers in-house labs, clinical trials, and musculoskeletal ultrasounds.

Best Arthritis Care Doctor

Dr. Paula Tanasa

At Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia, Dr. Paula Tanasa provides quality care to treat rheumatic diseases. She also has a special interest in autoimmune issues.

Best Audiology Practice

Audiological Consultants of Atlanta

Established in 1983, this private practice provides services for the identification, assessment, prevention and treatment of hearing disorders for everyone from newborns to the elderly.

Best Back and Spine Care Doctor

Dr. Keith Osborn

Board certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Keith Osborn of Resurgens Orthopaedics, specializes in adult spinal disorders and total disk arthroplasty.

Best Back and Spine Care Practice/Facility

Resurgens Spine Center

Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from neck and back pain, spine expert doctors here offer both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to help patients reach their goals.

Best Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Michael Williams

Dr. Michael Williams' research interest includes minimally invasive surgery techniques and surgical therapy for morbid obesity. He has also trained surgeons and authored numerous medical journal articles.

Best Bariatric Surgery Hospital/Facility

Northside Hospital Center for Weight Loss

Experts including board-certified surgeons with 35 years of experience, certified bariatric nurse coordinators, weight loss specialists and dietitians all work together to provide patient satisfaction.

Best Body Detox Facility

Warrior Body Spa

Located in Tucker, and now Brookhaven, all the therapies offered here are detox focused to help clients holistically reach their pain relief and wellness goals.

Best Brain Health Treatment

Amen Clinics

For more than 25 years, Amen Clinics has been mapping minds with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging to learn more about naturally balancing and optimizing the brain.

Best Cancer Care Hospital/Facility

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Georgia, precision medicine, immunotherapy treatments, and minimally invasive surgery are all key here.

Best Diabetes Care

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital

It is possible for almost anyone with diabetes to live a longer, fuller life with proper disease management. Piedmont Healthcare provides effective care and a customized approach for each person.

Best Dermatologist

Dr. Anna Paré

At Dermatology Consultants, Dr. Anna Paré offers an all-encompassing approach to your family's health and aesthetic needs. For over 25 years, she's helped patients maintain their dermatological health and is the reason behind their glowing skin.

Best Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT)

The ENT Institute

Take advantage of advanced technologies and cost-effective procedures that The ENT Institute has to offer. The staff here ensures the best results with the least amount of discomfort possible.

Best Diabetes Care Doctor

Dr. Jennifer Gilligan

Feel confident and comfortable under Dr. Jennifer Gilligan's care. Board certified in endocrinology and metabolism, she designs practical regimens for patients as they manage this chronic disease.

Best Eye Care Doctor

Dr. Paul L. Kaufman

A board-certified ophthalmologist and retina specialist at Thomas Eye Group, Dr. Paul L. Kaufman is committed to his vision—keeping eyes healthy.

Best Eye Care Practice

Thomas Eye Group

Thomas Eye Group offers eye exams, glasses, contact lenses, and LASIK surgery, as well as medical, surgical, and cosmetic services for patients ranging in age from infants to seniors.

Best Facility for Stroke Rehabilitation

Shepherd Center

This private nonprofit hospital is focused solely on the medical treatment, research, and rehabilitation of people with neuromuscular conditions.

Best Fertility Specialist Doctor

Dr. Lisa Hasty

Dr. Lisa Hasty and the compassionate physicians and staff at the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine use the latest technology to treat recurrent pregnancy loss, infertility, and more.

Best Fertility Specialist Practice

SGF Atlanta

Formerly known as Georgia Reproductive Specialists, Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) Atlanta has a wealth of options, from surgical procedures to assisted reproductive technologies. Come here to build the family you've longed for.

Best Fibroid Doctor

Dr. John Lipman

Trusted by reality TV stars like Cynthia Bailey and plenty of everyday Atlantans, Dr. John Lipman has extensive experience performing the uterine fibroid embolization procedure.

Best Chiropractic Care Place/Person

Dr. Kevin D. Flythe

A trusted partner of physicians and body care professionals, Dr. Kevin D. Flythe provides comprehensive treatment and makes patient education a top priority.

Best Foot and Ankle Care Facility

Resurgens Foot & Ankle Center

Here, board-certified physicians and fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons treat your foot and ankle disorders. The experts offer surgical and nonsurgical options to get you back on your feet.

Best Gastroenterology Practice

Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates

Here, expect specialized care through the Advanced Center for GI Therapeutics, The Liver Center, and nutrition counseling.

Best Gastroenterologist

Dr. Stephen Rashbaum

Dr. Stephen Rashbaum focuses on symptom relief, diagnosing underlying digestive conditions and finding ways to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Best General/Family Dentist

Dr. Tonique L. Reynolds

Through state-of-the-art procedures, Dr. Tonique L. Reynolds restores and enhances the health and natural beauty of her patients' smiles with long-lasting results.

Best Gynecology Practice

Atlanta Women's Obstetrics & Gynecology

This all female OB-GYN practice in Midtown offers a full range of health care services (preventative medicine, gynecological treatments) for women of all ages.

Best Heart Doctor

Dr. Tara Hrobowski-Blackman

As one of three board certified advanced heart failure and transplantation cardiologists at Piedmont Heart Institute, Dr. Tara Hrobowski-Blackman gives heartfelt advice to her patients and aids them in the healing process.

Best Heart Surgeon

Dr. James R. Kauten

Dr. James R. Kauten has performed over 10,000 open-heart surgeries. His greatest strengths are his wealth of knowledge, extensive experience and superb results.

Best Hormone Therapy Practice

Atlanta Women's Specialty Group

This all-encompassing practice offers annual exams, Pap smears, and mammograms, along with obstetrics and other gynecology services.

Best Hormone Therapy Practitioner

Allison Cochran

With advanced training in hormone therapies and antiaging medicine such as bioidentical hormone therapy and platelet-rich plasma treatments, physician assistant Allison Cochran provides compassionate concierge care.

Best Integrative/Functional Medical Doctor

Sonza Curtis

As one of Georgia's first certified functional medicine practitioners by the Institute for Functional Medicine, physician assistant and naturopath Sonza Curtis focuses on addressing mind, body and spirit.

Best Integrative/Functional Overall Medical Facility

Three D Wellness

By addressing the specific medical needs of the whole family, this full-service practice is dedicated to helping those at every stage of life achieve overall health.

Best Joint Surgery/Replacement Doctor

Dr. Raj Pandya

Dr. Raj Pandya is a surgeon, inventor, entrepreneur, and restaurateur all in one. Specializing in sports medicine, his clients' recoveries are a shining example of his passion for his work.

Best General/Family Dental Practice

Atlanta Smiles and Wellness

Dr. Dina Giesler and Dr. Marianna Kovitch view comprehensive dentistry as a lifelong commitment to your health and self-image. By providing natural aesthetic dentistry, the experienced duo makes sure patients can capitalize on their greatest asset: their smile.

Best Joint Surgery/Replacement Hospital/Facility

Atlanta Orthopedic Institute

Physicians here have extensive training in various joint and sports-related injuries. Their main priority is to help patients recover quickly and return to an active lifestyle.

Best Massage Therapist/Place

Jo Ann Taylor

Through 14 years of experience, Jo Ann Taylor has learned to master the art of massage and anticipate the needs of each client to offer the ultimate relaxation experience.

Best Men's Health Doctor

Dr. Scott D. Miller

An advocate for minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Scott D. Miller devotes most of his practice to laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Starting Jan. 15, his services will be based out of WellStar North Fulton Hospital.

Best Myofascial Release Therapy

Avery Cotton

Three decades of education and certifications in orthopedic bodywork enables Avery Cotton to help clients ease pain, improve range of motion, and enhance posture.

Best Neurologist

Dr. Lisa M. Billars

As the chief of the neurology and sleep medicine departments for The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Dr. Lisa M. Billars understands the effects aging can have on the brain and offers patients ways to stay mentally sharp.

Best Orthodontics Practice

Braces Braces

With convenient locations surrounding Atlanta, along with flexible hours and days, this practice helps families fit comprehensive care including metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign® into their busy schedules.

Best Orthodontist

Dr. Leon Leonard

Dr. Leon Leonard and his well-trained staff help both children and adults achieve beautiful smiles while providing high-quality orthodontic services in a comfortable environment.

Best Pediatric Practice

Children's Healthcare of West Georgia

Personalized medical care is available for children up to 18. Here, expect a focus on cutting-edge pediatric treatment methods and more.

Best Pediatrician

Dr. Terrence Gfroerer

Dr. Terrence Gfroerer and staff at Dunwoody Pediatrics provide a warm-hearted approach to care in an effort to support the growth of happy and healthy children.

Best Orthopedist

Dr. Kenneth Kress

Board certified in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Kenneth Kress uses his 25 years of experience to perform innovative knee and hip reconstructive surgeries and provide comprehensive arthritic care management.

Best Physical Therapy Center

PT 360

For those that want to make the most of their recovery journey, PT 360 is there to provide manual therapy, dry needling, spine and sacroiliac dysfunction treatments, and more.

Best Podiatrist

Village Podiatry Centers

Here, you can feel confident that you'll get the results you seek with the help of some of the most knowledgeable podiatric surgeons in the field.

Best Spa Healthy Getaway (in Atlanta or within driving distance)

Jeju Sauna

With over 35,000 square feet, this traditional Korean public bathhouse is fully loaded with hot tubs, showers, and kiln saunas.

Best Radiology/Imaging Center

OutPatient Imaging

In need of a same-day appointment? OutPatient Imaging has your needs covered. Everything from magnetic resonance imaging and bone density testing to X-rays and mammograms, it's a one-stop-shop.

Best Stress & Anxiety Treatment Facility

Atlanta Center for Wellness

Taking into account the emotional, physical, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences that can impact a person's health and well-being, this center uses a collaborative approach to treatment.

Best Stroke Care Hospital/Facility

Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center, Grady Memorial Hospital

Due to its excellent care, this center was named an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest level of designation awarded by the prestigious accrediting nonprofit, The Joint Commission.

Best Urology Practice

Georgia Urology

Always striving to better serve its patients, the doctors at Georgia Urology use modern technology, including the UroLift® System, to treat those with prostate issues.

Best Women's Health Clinic

Metro Surgical Associates, Inc.

Since 1982, the doctors here have been on a mission to provide optimal breast health care along with educational programs and more.

Best Women's Health/Maternity Hospital/Facility

Northside Hospital

From pregnancy to menopause, women's health care is Northside Hospital's specialty. It is also a leader in groundbreaking procedures and less-invasive treatments for gynecological cancers.

Best Women's Health Doctor

Dr. Kristine Gould

Dr. Kristine Gould's personal approach to care puts people at ease. Passionate about patient education, you can also find her hosting regular seminars regarding women's health and wellness.

Best Active Senior Community

Jim Chapman Communities

This award-winning builder creates homes with style and accessibility that are livable for those age 55 and over.

Best Urgent Care Facility

Piedmont Urgent Care by WellStreet

Feeling under the weather? Stop by one of these 15 urgent care locations for uncompromising service and a speedy recovery.




Best Art Gallery

Wentworth Gallery

The curators behind Wentworth Gallery travel to the far corners of the globe to offer works by heralded artists such as Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Best Ballroom Dance Studio

Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta

Get ready for a special occasion, meet new people or do both at this dance studio that has one-on-one and group lessons for you to cha-cha the night away.

Best Ballroom Dance Instructor

Asiya Khasnutdinova

Budding ballroom dancers turn to Asiya Khasnutdinova for her talented teaching techniques, which are built on 20 years of dance and fitness experience.

Best Bookstore

Little Shop of Stories

Find your child's next great read at this whimsical store. Literary fans of all ages can connect with fellow bookworms at one of its nine monthly book groups.

Best Career Counseling Services


At Thriveworks, counselors can be a trusted partner in your career journey. No matter the dilemma, they are experienced and ready to help you grow professionally.

Best Charity Ball/Gala

The Pink Affair

Save the date (March 24, 2018) for this fabulous fundraiser featuring dinner, drinks, music, and auctions, all to benefit TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation.

Best Charity Race

Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Race for The Cure

Over 8,000 participants completed this 27th annual run/walk in 2017. The more than $1 million raised will go toward providing breast health and cancer services in Atlanta and to fund global research.

Best Comedy Club

Laughing Skull Lounge

In the past five years, you may have seen comedic heavyweights like Robin Williams, Joe Rogan, Ron White, or Amy Schumer grace the stage at this legendary comedy club.

Best Community Garden

Peachtree Hills Community Garden

Neighbors can bond over their passion for gardening by sharing the 24 beautiful plant beds this community garden has to offer.

Best Cooking Classes/School

Sur La Table

Are you a culinary nightmare in the kitchen? Fear not! Hands-on cooking classes here will show you everything you need to know.

Best Doggie Day Care and Boarding

Puppy Haven

Now Fido can leave his daycare session looking even better than when you dropped him off thanks to Puppy Haven's new full grooming services.

Best Financial Planner

Faye Sykes

For in-depth social security planning, turn to the owner of Scarlet Oak Financial Services. She also delivers ongoing educational events and underwriting performed by artificial intelligence.

Best Financial Planning/Services

Harmon Financial Advisors

This independent wealth management firm has specialized in retirement income planning and managing comprehensive wealth and investments for over 40 years.

Best Gardening Classes

Pike Nurseries

There's always something new to learn in the gardening world. Stay informed with monthly classes and events hosted by this nursery with locations inside and outside the perimeter.

Best Groomer

Andrea Richardson

Andrea Richardson provides pet pampering at its finest. Tranquil facial scrubs and massages included with every spa grooming will have your fur baby begging to come back.

Best Hypnotherapist

Amy Head

Amy Head's approach emphasizes changing the process, not the person. She also records hypnosis sessions so patients can receive ongoing benefits.

Best In-town Getaway

Château Élan Winery & Resort

Treat your palate to the first super premium white wine (named Nancy) in the Fingerprint collection series at the most award-winning winery and resort on the East Coast.

Best Life Coach

Dr. Jill Kahn

Using her 30 years of experience, Dr. Jill Kahn created The BioCode System™, designed to reinvent the way you live, lead, and play.

Best Local Festival

Piedmont Park Arts Festival

There's something for everyone at this free two-day festival brimming with works by local artisans, family-friendly activities, music, and food.

Best Marriage and Relationship Counselor/Therapist

Brittany Hewitt

Brittany Hewitt works to resolve couples' issues, help them meet challenges with confidence, and redefine what happiness and wholeness means to them.

Best Matchmakers

Single Atlanta Matchmakers

For 20 years, twin sisters Leisha Murphy and Lisa Lyngos, the brains behind Atlanta's largest matchmaking firm, have successfully paired couples together and gained a national reputation as industry experts.

Best Meditation Program

Lisa Wellstead

Lisa Wellstead is bringing stress management techniques to everyone from corporate leaders to teens. She even pioneered a mindfulness health initiative learning program at Walton High School.

Best Museum

High Museum of Art

Add some culture to your lunch break and visit the High Museum of Art on the third Friday of the month for a special conversation, performance, or tour experience.

Best New Give-Back Initiative

Jewels With A Purpose

A majority of proceeds from this jewelry line are donated to charities locally and nationwide. Since 2005, sales from the Italian-made collection have raised over $700,000.

Best Pet Rescue Organization

Angels Among Us Pet Rescue

Dedicated to saving dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in north Georgia, this nonprofit operates through a network of compassionate volunteers and foster homes.

Best Pet Store

The Whole Dog Market

This premier pet retail go-to carries only the best for your four-legged family member. Pick up handcrafted treats made by local humane farms like White Oak Pastures.

Best Pet Trainer

Susie Aga

Susie Aga is ready to tackle tough pet cases. This certified instructor, and founder of Atlanta Dog Trainer, can handle your animal's aggression, agility, severe phobia issues, and then some.

Best Pet Walker/Sitter Service

CutiePaws Pet Sitting Services

From in-home pet sitting to a potty break while you're stuck at the office, your pet is in trusted hands.

Best Place for Fun Classes/Workshops

Center for Puppetry Arts

Located near the heart of Midtown, this center opened its doors in September 1978 and serves the community through its live performances, museum, and educational programming.

Best Place for Live Music

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

This premier performance venue is a go-to spot for everything from Broadway shows to corporate meetings, wedding receptions, galas, and more.

Best Place to go Dancing

Johnny's Hideaway

The "Cheers"-esque vibe and retro lounge décor and music from the '50s through '90s will have you ready to bust a move at this dance spot.

Best School for Continuing Education for Adults

The College of Continuing and Professional Education at Kennesaw State University

Leap into a new career with one of the 40 professional certificate programs offered here (think Culinary Apprenticeship or Web Design & Development).

Best Sunless Tanning

Opulence Spray Tan Club

This mobile tanning service creates a custom color blend for each client and now has its own line of vegan products that rejuvenate the skin and enhance results.

Best Veterinarian

The Village Vets of Buckhead

The team behind this pet hospital prides itself on providing outstanding preventive care, along with dentistry, surgery, and boarding services.

Best Volunteer Opportunity

Sisters By Choice

This amazing group of women (and men) use the organization's many innovative programs, like a mobile breast clinic in an 18-wheeler, to offer breast cancer education, awareness, and support.

Best Wedding Planner

J. Ladson Weddings

J. Ladson Weddings will make sure your special day isn't even close to cookie cutter. Attention is paid to the tiniest of details to turn your vision into a breathtaking reality.




Best Farm-to-Home Delivery


Now available at Whole Foods, this meal-kit company also features an online marketplace where you can shop a range of local proteins and artisan products.

Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Miller Union

Here, hyperlocal and seasonal ingredients make up the inspired cuisine that marries farm-to-table dishes with traditional Southern influence.

Best Farmers Market

Buford Highway Farmers Market

Along with its abundance of local produce, this farmers market also has a vast selection of ethnic cuisines and international ingredients from the Caribbean, Korea, and beyond.

Best Food Blog

Healthy Eating 101

The creative recipes developed by chef Megan McCarthy on this blog make cooking up real food fun, fast and easy.

Best Food Truck

The Fry Guy

You've probably spotted this food truck at festivals like Grant Park Summer Shade. From bacon to Parmesan truffle, these Fry Guy creations are good to the very last bite.

Best Health Food Store

Sevananda Natural Foods Market

This cooperative market touts that its sourcing policies are stricter than Whole Foods and Trader Joe's! Plus, keeping customers informed so they can make the right choices is always a top priority.

Best Healthy Restaurant

Cafe Sunflower

This family-owned restaurant has been serving up delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes like orzo eggplant lasagna, baked samosas, and squash cakes since 1994.

Best Juice Bar

Kale Me Crazy

Every juice here is cold-pressed daily to retain the blend's health-boosting nutrients and enzymes. Plus, it's never pasteurized or exposed to preservatives.

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Farm Burger

This burger joint prides itself on only using local grass-fed beef and free-range local meats. Here, taste the straight-from-the-pasture difference with family and friends.

Best Nutrition Counseling/Coach

Jacynta Harb

Finally achieve food freedom and overcome emotional eating with the help of Jacynta Harb, wellness coach at Sparkle a New You.

Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant

Park Tavern

Your pup will have a ball with you on the green at this restaurant and special events venue. While your canine plays, you can order from a diverse menu of sushi, burgers, salads, and more.

Best Prepared Healthy Meal Delivery

Fresh 'n Fit Cuisine

Don't want to leave your home? Fresh 'n Fit Cuisine brings healthy, paleo, gluten-free, or vegetarian meal options to you.

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen's rotating seasonal menu has a host of vegetarian options. Currently on the list: Winter Squash Toast, the Inside Out Quinoa Burger, and more, all of which are made with the freshest produce.

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 21:48

My Best Self: Christine Pullara

Christine Pullara has been in front of a camera since she began modeling at 13. So it's no wonder she's an expert at making the guests on her hit weekday talk show, "Atlanta & Company," feel as comfortable onscreen as she does. Pullara's radiant authenticity has translated into a successful media career as an award-winning news anchor, show host, and producer with major networks and channels such as NBC and HGTV. Today, she is just as passionate about sharing the stories of the "Big Peach" and the people that call it home, as she was when she first moved here in 2005.


By India Powell


What advice would you give to a budding journalist? Try to make meaningful connections. Learn every aspect of the business—writing, editing, and videotaping. Show up, work hard, and create a reputation for yourself that will leave people with a positive impression of you so they hire you again and again.

Are there ever days you just feel like pulling the covers up over your head and not going on air? How do you deal with that? All the time! First, I pour myself a cup of coffee, and that helps. Then I remember that I am lucky to be making a living doing what I love. Gratitude is a great motivator.

How do you balance career and family? Do I? Ha! No, honestly. It's really hard! I've been striving to be more present. I want to do impactful work in the community, but I also need to be there for my family. My girls like games and they love being outside. At night, I've started reading the Bible to them. Not the kiddie version, but the real deal and they have lots of questions. It starts great conversations.

You're in amazing shape! What's your workout secret? It ain't easy! I'm into classes or working out with a trainer. I'm not very disciplined on my own and I know that about myself. I turned 48 in April and five pounds have snuck up on me. So, I'm working out with one of my favorite trainers, Lawton Hydrick, at The Forum Athletic Club. He makes me use heavy weights and do cardio spurts.

How do you nurture your inner self and spirituality? I am now in a great women's group that's held at my friend's office. These are fabulous ladies who inspire and motivate me to live my best life but also accept my shortcomings. They are beautiful souls, and I think it's so important to surround yourself with a circle of women you love, respect, and admire as you walk together in faith.

What inspires you? Thoughtfulness, kindness, laughter, and joy. With all that's going on in the world, I especially love it when friends are eating and drinking together, kids are running around laughing, and we're just enjoying one another. I grew up watching my family do that and that's what I hope to create in my own home.

How do you give back? I frequently get asked to emcee events or be on committees. I love to bring fun and excitement to a special moment and help raise as much money as I can for an organization!

Who helps you be your best self? I would have to say my husband, Jim. He really is my best friend and he's a wonderful, caring man. When I'm feeling stressed or frazzled, he's a great problem solver and helps me keep my priorities in perspective. Another person who helps me be my best self is my makeup artist, Nyssa Green. She smooths away the bags and blemishes and makes me feel great.

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 20:51

Peace of Mind

By Katherine Michalak

He'd been growing weaker and we all saw it. In 2008, my father suffered a massive stroke, which left him paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak. He spent the next nine years battling his own body as he tackled various rehab routines and struggled with physiological setbacks. A case of pneumonia put him in the hospital again in May 2017 and slowly his other systems began to falter. A few weeks later, Daddy passed away peacefully with our family surrounding him, bearing witness to his graceful and proud surrender. We stumbled out of the hospital in a sorrowful haze.

The next morning, we found ourselves sitting in the church office with our reverend, attempting to plan a memorial service. Questions circled the room: "We need to have the programs printed up and get everything scheduled. What hymns would you like sung? Are there some favorite Scriptures he'd want read or used for a sermon?" We searched each other's faces for some clue and shook our heads in solemn recognition that in our exhaustion and fog of grief we couldn't recall a single passage or verse, or note of music. And there was no time to discuss the options. We hastily looked through a list the church kept on file, noting recommended readings and songs, selecting ones that seemed appropriate or jogged a memory.

That meeting wrapped, we dashed off in separate directions—my mother to the funeral home, my siblings to coordinate other arrangements, and me to write the obituary before the newspaper's 4 p.m. deadline. One of the most important men in my life and I had 90 minutes to summarize his incredible presence on the planet in less time than it takes for me to get my hair colored. Once again, my mind went blank. I couldn't remember the name of the little town where Daddy was born or his military rank or the many accolades he'd received during his esteemed medical career. Letters and words became a cryptic jumble on the computer screen as my hands shook and tears clouded my eyes.

A few days after the funeral, my mother received a call from one of her credit card companies. Someone had attempted identity fraud using my father's information. We quickly sprang to action and spent several days securing various accounts. The duties, tasks, and errands seemed to mount exponentially, compounding our collective grief with a fearful sense of urgency.

P1My father's death landed a heavy blow on my family, but I am still astounded at how relatively unprepared we were to handle the logistics that followed. His health had been compromised for years, so we obviously knew this was coming. By avoiding focused conversations about "life after Dad," we inadvertently added another layer of stress. Losing a loved one is devastating no matter when or how it happens. But with some basic planning and discussion, perhaps some of the more difficult tasks could be simplified.


We all know how important it is to have a legal will and medical directives, but what about documenting preferences for honoring your life? Even if you think, "Oh, I don't really care, don't make a big fuss." It would be an incredible help to your family, friends, and loved ones to simply write it all down—no heavy details required, just an outline or list of your thoughts, such as:

  • Location and type of burial
  • Form of service or gathering
  • Special flowers
  • Music selections
  • Significant poems, quotes or spiritual readings
  • Charity or organization for memorial donations

This exercise could be completely private or an opportunity for a meaningful family discussion, full of nostalgic anecdotes and touching memories. Once you've made the list, file it with your will or other important paperwork and make sure it's labeled clearly. If it's possible to prearrange some elements, such as purchasing an interment plot or funeral insurance, do so. During such a stressful time, clarity will be appreciated.


Immediately after the passing of a loved one, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of the deceased. Unfortunately, identity fraud plagues our modern society and deceased individuals become prime targets. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, thieves aware of the administrative time lag in processing death records regularly attempt to open accounts using the Social Security numbers and personal information of the departed. Scams most commonly originate from trolling obituaries for details but also include nefarious cons involving hospitals, morgues, and funeral homes. Alerting the SSA, a credit-reporting bureau, and the Department of Motor Vehicles will flag the name of your loved one in order to curtail fraud.


Writing a testimony to the life of a family member or friend presents a daunting task to the author, particularly under duress. However, a full obituary may not be necessary or prudent. Authorities recommend keeping the public obituary brief and free of any specific details, which might give hints for security breach—place of birth, schools, parents' full names, etc. Instead, post a brief public announcement of service times or memorial details. Save the more eloquent biography for exclusive resources such as the funeral program bulletin, alumni magazines, and newsletters for church, clubs or professional organizations.


Upon reporting a death, make sure to request several copies of the official death certificate. Yes, several, maybe even dozens. This may sound morbid, but you will need all of them. For almost every account and policy changed, closed, transferred or canceled, you will be required to submit a valid death certificate supporting your claim.

These include adjustments to:

  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Utilities
  • Insurance policies
  • Travel/mileage points
  • Club memberships
  • Transferring deeds of ownership


Probate procedures vary according to circumstances and the size of estate. Consulting an estate attorney provides important guidance through the process. The state of Georgia does not require a court-supervised legal proceeding if all heirs and beneficiaries are in agreement, if no debt exists (or creditors agree to other arrangements) or in cases where no will is present. However, if an executor has been named, that person is responsible for settling all aspects of the estate—from asset appraisal and accounting, to paying debts and taxes, to selling property and distributing funds to heirs. Finalizing settlements can take months or longer, including time for legal notice to be published in local newspapers. According to Attorney Stephen M. Scriber, of Scriber Law Group, the majority of estate administration issues stem from a lack of understanding of the legal process and poor coordination. Scriber says, "issues finding the accounts, knowing what investments exist and what debts are owed, and finding estate documents all boil down to organization. It is critically important in estate planning to make everything as locatable and straightforward as possible."


Please let people assist you with some tasks. Helping others becomes a healing act and, most of the time, when people offer to do something for you, they really mean it. Even the smallest chore might be a welcome distraction for sympathetic friends or family mourning in their own way. Allow others to pitch in to:

  • Make necessary phone calls and schedule appointments
  • Keep record of condolence cards, gifts, and flowers
  • Manage meals and grocery shopping
  • Handle errands such as pet care, laundry/dry cleaning,
  • yard maintenance
  • Write thank you notes
  • Coordinate childcare and carpools
  • Organize paperwork and files


Don't feel pressured to "go back to normal" after the details are handled. Managing the logistics and administrative duties are as emotionally draining as every other part of grief. In fact, you may have mentally postponed your deeper grieving process in order to stay on track with the to-do list. Therapist Annette Hodgson, LCSW, counsels, "Grief is not linear. It's a different experience for every person. Research has shown that the stages of grief really don't exist. A person is forever changed and a new normal has to be established. Each person should be encouraged to honor his or her own experience of the grief journey ... a journey that has a definite start but no end and no rules." Accept and expect that there will be unforeseen challenges ahead and try to plan accordingly:

  • What are the new routines for spouses or other family members?
  • Who might need some professional grief counseling or support from a church ministry?
  • When and where can a vacation or change of scenery
  • be arranged?
  • How will you handle upcoming milestones, birthdays or holidays?

Talking about death need not be awkward. Attitude is everything and when we face the fear of discussing the inevitable, we can feel more confident in enjoying the time we still have together. Each of us leaves a unique legacy, which impacts our family and community; securing that legacy keeps the individual spirit alive.


American Association of Retired Persons,
Annette Hodgson, East Cobb Center for Therapy,
Social Security Administration,
Stephen M. Scriber, Scriber Law Group,


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