Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:06

Flu season is upon us

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu
  • More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu complications
  • About 36,000 people die from the flu

Some people, such as seniors, young children, and people with certain health complications, are at higher risk for serious flu complications.

Complications of the flu

Complications of the flu include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, and diabetes.

How flu spreads

Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person when someone with influenza coughs or sneezes. Sometimes people become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouths or noses. Apparently healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick.

Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

The flu shot: an inactivated vaccine (killed virus) is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.

Symptoms of the flu

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (can be extreme)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common in children than adults)

Diagnosing the flu

It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other infections on the basis of symptoms alone. A doctor's exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed the flu or a complication of the flu.

If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if you are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult your healthcare provider. Those at high risk for complications include people 65 years or older, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and young children.

 

Dr. Robinson and Dr. Rekaby

Concentra Primary Care

Edgewood Primary Care
1220 Caroline St. NE, Ste. A230
Atlanta, GA 30307

Sandy Springs Primary Care
6334 Roswell Rd. NE, Ste. B
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

www.ConcentraPrimaryCare.com/Atlanta

Concentra Primary Care offers a comprehensive approach to healthcare that begins with a family doctor and care coordinator who work together to care for patients' full health and coordinate any additional care needed from other supporting providers.  By creating an ongoing relationship with patients, Concentra providers help to manage chronic and costly healthcare conditions, including care for seniors.  With flexible scheduling, longer appointment times, and experienced providers, Concentra Primary Care connects the dots that form a larger picture of health. It's healthcare with a focus on getting well and living well today and in the years ahead.

With the growing cost of health care and health insurance in today's environment, many employers are choosing to offer health insurance with higher deductibles and attaching optional contribution accounts, known as Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Medical Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). I have found the education on the optimal use of these accounts is lacking. The following are some facts you need to know about your HSA/FSA before the end of the year and before selecting your benefits next year:

  • HSAs are medical savings accounts available to taxpayers who are enrolled in an HSA-qualified high-deductible health plan. In contrast, FSAs are available to all employees, if an employer elects to offer one.
  • Both cover pay for qualified medical expenses, and both are not subject to any payroll taxes.
  • FSAs will be lost if not used by the end of the year. If not used, the FSA money is forfeited to the employer.
  • HSA account balances will roll over to the next year.

When looking at your open enrollment this year, remember:

  • All money you plan to contribute to your FSA is available at the start of the plan year and does not have to be reimbursed if you leave the company.
  • HSA contributions are available only after the money is deducted from payroll.
  • As of January 1, 2011, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandated that drugs must be prescribed to be reimbursable.
  • Eligible medical expenses for your HSA and FSA include many complementary and alternative services, not just co-pays and deductibles.

Although many integrative medicine services are cash-based, you may use your contribution accounts for reimbursement. Most importantly, integrative doctors who are MDs who may prescribe conventional medicines and alternative therapies that would then be covered under your HSA/FSA. Remember, when choosing an integrative doctor, reimbursement claims must be submitted by the last day of the plan, so act fast. Don't forget to always consult your tax advisor should you require tax advice, and remember to speak with your human resources department to learn more about your HSA/FSA.

 

Avicenna Integrative Medicine
1000 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite E200
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 977-9300  |  www.avicennamd.com

Carrie Whittington has a BBA from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and is the Executive Business Director of Physicians Group of Georgia and Avicenna MD, which encompass Avicenna Integrative Medicine and Avicenna Allergy and Asthma. She has been inspired by the new approach to medicine presented by Maziar Rezvani, MD, owner of Avicenna, and is an integral part of his new practice and new approach to medicine both in his office and through corporate wellness.

 

Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:27

The Lost Art of Cleansing

Constipation is the top gastrointestinal complaint in North America resulting in over 2 million doctor visits each year.

When one becomes constipated waste is not promptly eliminated from the body and ferments in the bowel producing poisonous toxins, chemicals and bad bacteria. There are more bacteria in the colon than cells in the body. The colon lining has a network of blood vessels which absorb toxins into the bloodstream causing a condition called autointoxication or self-poisoning. In the bloodstream these toxins can put a strain on the body particularly the liver, the body's major organ of detoxification. Once autointoxication occurs and settles into the tissues it can be a contributing factor to autoimmune disorders. This creates an even higher level of toxicity in the body all stemming from the frequent problem of constipation. Almost everyone has a toxic colon due to poor diet, lack of fiber and poor elimination.

Colon Hydrotherapy, reported to be used by the Egyptians, is a "Lost Art of Cleansing". Every tissue in the body is fed by the bloodstream, which is supplied by the bowel. When the bowel is dirty the blood is dirty and so are the organs and tissues. It must be the bowel that is cared for first. Colonics are a safe, effective way to balance body chemistry, eliminate waste, and restore proper tissue and organ function.

 

 

 

Atlanta Colonic & Massage
6710 Jamestown Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30005
770-558-6900  |  www.atlantacoloniccenter.com

 A Mother-Daughter team, Teresa Ducoffe and Candace Layer are Certified Colon Hydrotherapists at Atlanta Colonic & Massage. Atlanta Colonic & Massage is to provide the best in preventative health care and detoxification, as well as unparalleled client care and service.

Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:13

Robotic Hair Restoration Arrives in Atlanta

Millions of Americans suffer from hair loss. Today, there are many more options for treatment of balding and thinning hair than ever before. Long gone is the "pluggy" or "doll's hair" look, as modern hair transplantation is performed one single follicle at a time for the most natural look possible.

The Anderson Hair Sciences and Research Center is a new, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to providing the most natural, permanent hair restoration results to both men and women, with an emphasis on artistic concepts, patient comfort, and natural, permanent results.

Dr. Ken Anderson, MD, is the first and only hair restoration surgeon in Georgia to offer the very latest in cutting edge surgical robotic devices. The ARTAS Robotic Hair Restoration Surgery System performs a type of hair restoration surgery called "follicular unit extraction," or "FUE" – a technique Dr. Anderson has been performing for over 10 years. With the revolutionary ARTAS System Dr. Anderson is able to transplant hair without any linear or noticeable scarring, using no scalpels, no stitches, with a dramatically shorter recovery period than for patients who undergo a traditional linear strip method hair restoration procedure. With the sole exception of the ARTAS system, all FUE methods, using any device, are performed by hand, with all the associated variability and inherent human error.

ARTASHow Does It Work?

Using high-tech stereoscopic cameras, and updating its coordinates 5,000 times per second, the ARTAS System's image-guided robotics harvests hair follicles for transplant with micron-level precision, one at a time.  As there is no linear incision required with an ARTAS procedure, healing time is short, and you can usually go back to your daily activities after a day or two. Call for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Anderson to discuss your options, or visit us online.

 

The Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center

The Medical Quarters
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Ste. 135
Atlanta, GA 30342  |  (404) 256-4247  |  www.AtlantaHairSurgeon.com


Dr. Anderson is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon who has confined his practice solely to hair restoration for over a decade. After 7 years of surgery training in facial plastic surgery, in 2003 he entered the field of hair restoration in Beverly Hills, California.  He opened the Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center in Atlanta in 2011.  He has appeared on CBS Atlanta, and is an internationally recognized expert on the FUE technique of hair restoration.

Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:13

Robotic Hair Restoration Arrives in Atlanta

Millions of Americans suffer from hair loss. Today, there are many more options for treatment of balding and thinning hair than ever before. Long gone is the "pluggy" or "doll's hair" look, as modern hair transplantation is performed one single follicle at a time for the most natural look possible.

The Anderson Hair Sciences and Research Center is a new, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to providing the most natural, permanent hair restoration results to both men and women, with an emphasis on artistic concepts, patient comfort, and natural, permanent results.

Dr. Ken Anderson, MD, is the first and only hair restoration surgeon in Georgia to offer the very latest in cutting edge surgical robotic devices. The ARTAS Robotic Hair Restoration Surgery System performs a type of hair restoration surgery called "follicular unit extraction," or "FUE" – a technique Dr. Anderson has been performing for over 10 years. With the revolutionary ARTAS System Dr. Anderson is able to transplant hair without any linear or noticeable scarring, using no scalpels, no stitches, with a dramatically shorter recovery period than for patients who undergo a traditional linear strip method hair restoration procedure. With the sole exception of the ARTAS system, all FUE methods, using any device, are performed by hand, with all the associated variability and inherent human error.

ARTASHow Does It Work?

Using high-tech stereoscopic cameras, and updating its coordinates 5,000 times per second, the ARTAS System's image-guided robotics harvests hair follicles for transplant with micron-level precision, one at a time.  As there is no linear incision required with an ARTAS procedure, healing time is short, and you can usually go back to your daily activities after a day or two. Call for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Anderson to discuss your options, or visit us online.

 

The Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center

The Medical Quarters
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Ste. 135
Atlanta, GA 30342  |  (404) 256-4247  |  www.AtlantaHairSurgeon.com


Dr. Anderson is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon who has confined his practice solely to hair restoration for over a decade. After 7 years of surgery training in facial plastic surgery, in 2003 he entered the field of hair restoration in Beverly Hills, California.  He opened the Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center in Atlanta in 2011.  He has appeared on CBS Atlanta, and is an internationally recognized expert on the FUE technique of hair restoration.

Thursday, 24 October 2013 17:40

Atlantans Who Feel Good, Look Good & Do Good

tammy-stokesTammy Stokes

Tammy has spent over 20 years in the fitness industry developing a unique, dynamic method of shaping attitudes, designing bodies and changing lives. Her background includes spokeswoman for a leading international sportswear company, author, educator, director of fitness for a multi-million dollar agency, lifestyle and fitness consultant, and fashion designer. She is the owner of West Coast Workout, which has several locations around the city.

Describe your everyday style:

My everyday style is sporty due to the time spent in my two Atlanta studios. When I am running around the town, I wear what many refer to as "California casual." And on the few occasions that I dress up, I go for "sexy chic."

Describe your holiday style:

Because I am most often dressed down, I enjoy going for a bit of bling during the holidays. I am attracted to shine and shimmer. Things that sparkle look good in photographs.

Where do you go in Atlanta for:

Hair care: Bobby V. He is amazing for blondes.

Skin care: Sweet Samba. I love that they use natural, botanical products.

Makeup: My secret weapon is Honeybee Gardens Pressed Powder Geisha for quick fixes on the go. Another beauty staple is Bill's Bees Chapstick from the LA farmers market. I buy it by the dozen when I am there.

Nails: Sugar Coat.

Fitness: West Coast Workout, of course.

Relaxation: The private rooftop terrace of my home.

Fashion: I like a one-stop shop experience. I can always find what I need at Neiman Marcus at Lenox Mall and DEKA if I am looking for sportswear.

How do you stay fit and healthy over the holidays?

West Coast Workouts, my healthy immune-boosting soups and eight hours of beauty sleep. The sleep keeps my moods and emotions in balance, the food keeps me nourished and energized, and the workouts shape my body without overbuilding it.

Most memorable holiday moment?

Twenty years ago when my husband proposed to me on Christmas.

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

Each year in October and November, West Coast Workout does two donation-based candlelight yoga events. This month's event on November 20 is dedicated to Hosea Feed The Hungry. Guests bring canned goods to donate to Hosea.

 

doug-gradyDoug Grady

Doug is a professional speaker, musician and president of High Achievers. He has been studying and teaching the pathways to personal potential for over 20 years and is the author of "The Ripple Effect." Doug gives a significant portion of his time and money to local and global causes. He has been on several mission trips, including to Ecuador where he was part of a 12-man team building homes for the poor.

Describe your everyday style:

This past year my mantra was "More jeans, less suits!"

Describe your holiday style:

I grow a beard and grow my hair longer for the arctic sub-50 degree Atlanta winter.

What is the one staple in your bathroom?

One comb.

Where do you go in Atlanta for:

Hair care: My friend Jill Holcombe.

Fitness: YourDay Playground.

How do you stay fit and healthy over the holidays?

I do Muddervation Boot Camp every Tuesday night, and twice a week workouts with the YourDay trainers. I play the "YourDay Balance Game," and do daily stretching and conditioning. Every day I eat salad and drink a gallon of alkaline water.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

My father reading from St. Luke 2.

Most memorable holiday moment?

My girlfriend Allison cooking her first turkey last year.

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

For the last four years I have been contributing time and money to mission work in Ecuador through Peachtree Ironmen and Hogar de Cristo. Even though I was not physically there last year, proceeds from my book, "The Ripple Effect," paid for a home in which a family is currently living.

 

randi-layneRandi Layne

Randi has a multifaceted career as an actress, model, choreographer, correspondent, fashion coordinator, spokeswoman and philanthropist. She is the owner of Catwalk Productions, one of the nation's largest fashion production companies. She has also served on the board of directors of The Screen Actors Guild, ANZACC and serves as the president of The Chelko Foundation.

Describe your everyday style:

Eclectic, Haute Hippie, Pucci, ETRO, Helmut Lang. Brands that are less traditional work best for me.

Describe your holiday style:

I use brighter lip colors and deepen the eye makeup for a little drama.  Fabrics with shine or beading make for a more festive holiday statement.  Adding the unexpected scarf, statement jewelry or pair of boots for a twist on the traditional is the way I like it!

Where do you go in Atlanta for:

Hair care: Carter Barnes.

Skin care: Buckhead Facial Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Affiliates. My beauty staple is Epicuren skincare.

Nails: Jazmin Spa.

Fitness: Urban Body.

Relaxation: Blue MedSpa for a great massage.

Fashion: Tootsies.

How do you stay fit and healthy over the holidays?

I exercise daily, limit cocktails at parties and stay away from the dessert table!

Most memorable holiday moment?

When I think of the holidays, I am reminded of my dad, his generous spirit and willingness to give of his time and resources. Many Christmas mornings were spent delivering gifts to families in need. Those are the bittersweet moments that will live in my heart forever.

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

I have a deeply rooted desire to help young women become a more powerful voice in the world. Working through The Chelko Foundation, I see firsthand how the commitment of an organization can truly change the circumstances in which women find themselves. The Foundation is a platform that creates opportunities to amplify my cause. Through it, I am serving as a mentor for the junior company at Moving In the Spirit, enabling young girls to see themselves as beings in charge of their own bodies and destiny. Additionally, The Chelko Foundation funds an endowment at SCAD, partners with Eve Ensler to end violence against women and girls, as well as contributes to The Human Rights Campaign in an effort to end gender bias. Furthermore, the Foundation makes numerous humanitarian and artist grants throughout the year.

 

David-LeonardDavid Leonard

David currently serves as the associate publisher of NCI's Atlanta Home Improvement magazine. He and his partner have been together for over nine years and are looking forward to getting officially married in the next several months. They have a beautiful four-year-old daughter who just started at Drew Charter School where David enjoys volunteering with the PTA. When David is not working or volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his family and their newest addition – a rescue puppy, Jasper.

Describe your everyday style:

Casual chic.

Describe your holiday style:

I add velvet and I love the plaid. I just wish I could wear my fur hat more often, but it needs to be colder.

What is the one staple in your bathroom?

Cologne. My favorites are Allure Sport by CC and AMBER by Prada.

Where do you go in Atlanta for:

Hair care: Adore Hair Studio in Decatur.

Skin care: Aveda.

Fitness:  Kick in the Fit and Sweet Life Yoga Studio.

Relaxation:  The dog park, walking and yoga.

Fashion:  I range from Banana Republic to Sq Feet in Decatur.

How do you stay fit and healthy over the holidays?

Limit those carbs and work out indoors doing yoga and Crossfit Rx.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Getting the house all set up for the holidays. My partner loves to go all out, and it is so much fun to watch him turn into Mr. Christmas.  Also watching "A Christmas Story" on Christmas Eve and all the other classic cartoons throughout the holidays.

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

I love working and playing with dogs and look for ways to give to such groups as Animal Action Rescue and New Spirit 4 Aussie Rescue. This year, however, I'll be donating to The Nicky Fund for Canine Cancer Research at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine because of the institution's stellar work with my family this year.

 

Ellen Ector

Ellen, the owner of Gymnetics Fitness and The Bodi-Guard, has been a fitness expert for over 20 years. She started her own business in Ohio and, in 2000, brought her talents to Atlanta. One of her proudest moments is being honored by the state of Georgia for creating a walking program for adults with disabilities that resulted in an overall group weight loss. Ellen is currently continuing her work in the effort to end childhood obesity and training children in track. She also enjoys the success of Gymnetics Fitness along with her partner and daughter, Lana.

Describe your everyday style:

My style is very athletic since I'm usually working most days. Nowadays, it's become very common for people to wear fitness gear all day long.

Describe your holiday style:

[I turn to] my daughter, Leah Taylor. She is a fabulous stylist and my go-to girl for the holidays.

ellen-ectorWhat is the one staple in your makeup bag?

I don't wear lots of makeup, but eyeliner is my one staple piece in my makeup bag.

Where do you go in Atlanta for:

Hair care: Jazz Stockman for my funky looks and Krissy Kimble for my more conservative styles.

Skin care: Water, water and more water is great for healthy, radiant skin. Dr. Stephen Kraus is an excellent dermatologist.

Makeup: We use Javetta White.

Fitness: I love any place where I can run, swim or bike.

Relaxation: Amelia Island in Florida always relaxes me. There's nothing like watching the sun come up on the beach.

Fashion: I'm currently wearing clothes from my daughter's fitness line, Gem Wear. Lana's designs are chic and very comfortable.

How do you stay fit and healthy over the holidays?

By staying fit all year. The holidays are my time to cheat, so I work hard the rest of year so I can indulge a bit during the holidays.

Most memorable holiday moment?

When I worked with adults with disabilities, watching their smiles as they opened their Christmas gifts really brought me joy and warmed my heart.

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

I love to run road races that are in tribute to different charities and organizations like Susan G. Komen and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. It's a fun way to participate and give back at the same time.

 

Lana Ector

Lana is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and group training. She fell in love with her mom's dream to open up a private fitness studio for women in Atlanta. She has competed in over 30 road races and is currently training to compete in her first marathon. She serves as Gymnetics' co-owner and in-house nutritionist.

Describe your everyday style:

My style varies. I can go sporty, casual or chic.

Describe your holiday style:

Garments that shimmer usually put me in the holiday spirit. I like to incorporate those types of clothing items in my wardrobe during the holiday season.

What is the one staple in your makeup bag?

My St. Germain lip gloss by MAC Cosmetics is one product that I keep on me at all times.

Where do you go in Atlanta for:

Hair care: Tamme Lemieux of The Firm.

Skin care: Dr. Stephen Kraus.

Makeup: We use Javetta White. She is an amazing makeup artist.

Nails: Nouvelle Nail Salon.

Fitness: Our private women's gym, Gymnetics Fitness Studio, of course!

Relaxation: JeJu Spa.

Fashion: Bill Hallman Boutique is one of my favorite places to shop.

How do you stay fit and healthy over the holidays?

I stay committed to my workout regimen because I know summer is always right around the corner!

Most memorable holiday moment?

My most memorable holiday moment was making cookies for Santa and waking up to see the presents under the tree.

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

I think it's important to strengthen our communities, so I focus my attention on giving back to those that are less fortunate right here in the city of Atlanta. One of the places I volunteer is the Atlanta Food Bank.

 

Thursday, 24 October 2013 17:23

The Pros and Cons of Detoxing Methods

Detoxing, cleansing, fasting: it seems like everybody’s doing it. Although the term “detox” is most commonly associated with substance abuse, it is also linked to weight loss or dieting. In its most basic form, it means the elimination of negative elements that affect the body such as chemicals, additives in food or pollutants that can cause health issues. Detoxing can be done in a variety of ways from footbaths to juices to colonics and enemas. All of these detoxes promise to cleanse our body systems and keep us healthy, but do they really work? More importantly, are they safe?

 

Why Detox?

You may find yourself wanting to try a detox because you’re looking to lose weight, decrease toxin levels or simply improve your overall health and well-being.  However, make sure you do your research first. The outcome of any detox program can vary per person, so first ask yourself a few questions about what your expectations are.
If you’re expecting to get more energy from a detox, you might be in luck. “Having a lot of toxins in your body can decrease your energy levels,” explains Saira Gillani, ND, naturopathic doctor with Natural Health Atlanta. “You may feel so tired all the time that you don’t feel like doing anything. If you do a detox, your energy levels are typically restored, making you feel brand new with the energy.”

If you are looking for increased energy, though, you might need more than just a “quick fix” detox. The way to really cleanse your body and maintain any benefits you may see from a short detox is to cut out harmful foods and practices and replace them with healthy ones. Changing your eating behavior is a tried and true way to get the benefits that detoxes usually promise. “The benefits of eating clean are that it helps your liver, kidneys and colon function properly, can increase energy, decrease irritability and help you sleep better. Not to mention if you are eating clean foods to help you detox, you often lose weight,” says Shayna Komar, RD, LD, dietician with Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Healthcare.

 

celeryDebunking Detox

So if a detox method does not require healthy eating, it is probably not going to help you on your path to a healthier lifestyle. There are a lot of “quick fix” detoxes out there, so it is important to do your homework and be realistic about your expectations. For example, an ionic footbath is said to rebalance your cells’ electrical charge by pulling toxins from the body into the water. It consists of putting the feet into a bath of water and salt containing submerged electrodes that give off a small charge. Some people claim to have experienced benefits from these baths. According to Dr. Karen Tedeschi, chiropractor and owner of  Tedeschi Wellness Center, ionic footbaths have helped her patients who are going through menopause. “During menopause, footbaths will aid in the successful passage of excess hormones, relieving symptomatic discomfort.” She also notes that ionic footbaths are a way to flush the lymphatic system and support the body’s major organs. However, some research studies have shown that there have been no increased toxins found in the water after a footbath. Scientists who conducted some of these tests also state that the skin makes too strong of a barrier for large amounts of toxins to be pulled through it. Because of that, some people believe it’s unlikely that a footbath detox will have many long-term effects. Since everyone’s outcome from a treatment or service can be different, use your best judgment.
Another popular form of detoxing includes enemas or colonics given as often as every two hours to remove “toxic build-up” in the bowels. Despite claims of improved digestive health, colon cleansing does not really improve digestion or increase absorption of nutrients into the large intestine because most digestion and absorption occurs before the large intestine – actually in the small intestine, according to Alice Schuler, RD, LD with The Cancer Center at DeKalb Medical. What colon cleansing can provide, though, is relief from constipation, according to certified colon hydrotherapists Teresa Ducoffe and Candace Layer. So you might see some short-term benefits, “but the weight will come right back on if you do not exercise and start eating healthy,” Komar says.

Other types of digestive tract cleansing with laxatives, herbal or chemical, and vitamin overloads also do not provide health benefits, and sometimes    they can even remove necessary substances like digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics. “The use of laxatives and diuretics, even if considered herbal or natural, can lead to cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting,” says Jennifer Baker Lachnicht, RD, LD, CNSC in the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Department at Northside Hospital.

 

Detoxing Myths and Dangers

While some detoxing methods might be a waste of time, they’re relatively harmless. Don’t be fooled, though: Others can be downright dangerous.
Some colon detoxification methods “may cause fluid and electrolyte imbalances that can lead to symptoms such as dehydration, weakness, headaches, altered mental status, diarrhea and constipation,” Schuler says.

It can also be dangerous to go too far in the other direction – instead of removing toxins, trying to add in too much of the good stuff can be harmful. “I encourage everyone to look critically at invasive procedures,” says Maziar Rezvani, MD, medical director at Avicenna Integrative Medicine and Avicenna Allergy and Asthma. “Harm comes when invasive therapies of mega doses of vitamins, herbs or minerals are introduced into the body.”

You also have to avoid the danger of treating a detox as a catch-all cure, because that might prevent you from getting effective treatment. “The belief that removing toxins can cure cancer has delayed some people with cancer from receiving conventional treatments that have been known to cure,” Schuler says.
Finally, detoxes are dangerous to the wrong groups of people. “Certain types of people should never use a detox diet. They include children of all ages, pregnant women and individuals with diabetes,” Lachnicht says.

 

Detox_mainDetoxing the Right Way

Among all the misinformation circulating about detoxes, Lachnicht says, “The biggest myth about detox diets is that they work! Your body is perfectly equipped to detoxify itself from everyday environmental toxins.” Basically, this means you shouldn’t rely on a detox as a necessary practice for proper health. Instead, redefine your understanding of what “detox” means. Many experts believe it should be more about detoxing our diet rather than quickly stripping toxins from our bodies.
“A person does not function well with lots of chemicals and preservatives in their food,” Komar says. “Therefore, eating clean, incorporating more whole foods, spices, herbs, fresh fruit and veggies is a great way to detox in a healthy way.”

For many people, turning to juicing has been a good way to kick-start a healthy eating plan. Brent Rodgers, owner of Roots Pressed Juices in Buckhead, incorporated juices into his regular diet and lost 30 pounds. “Enzymes are the key to pressed juices, and digesting food and keeping  energy levels high,” he says. Adding fresh vegetable and fruit juices to the diet can be a painless way to begin incorporating more healthy foods. You may even choose to begin with a three- to seven-day juice cleanse, but don’t think of it as starvation. “It’s about giving your digestive system a rest. And if you find yourself getting hungry during a juice cleanse, you can always nibble on some raw veggies.” The result of a juice cleanse should be that you start on a new path to healthier eating. “It really is a reset for your brain, so by the end of your detox, you crave the foods that are in the juice.” That means craving beets and carrots instead of potato chips and sugary snacks, which is definitely a good thing.

juices“There are countless pros to changing to an organic, plant-based diet,” says Shannon Sliger, owner of Dtox Organic Juice and Junk in Buckhead. “I cured myself of allergies and migraines by changing the way I eat. I lost those pesky 10 to 15 [pounds] I never could on a high protein, high calcium diet by changing the way I eat.”
The way to cleanse your body and maintain any benefits you may see from a detox is to cut out harmful practices and replace them with healthy ones.
While juicing can provide a quick shot of vitamins and nutrients, it should not be a substitute for a well-balanced diet. Make sure you work with a licensed nutritionist or your primary care physician to see if your diet plan is on the right track.

“The best advice is to clean up your diet,” Lachnicht says. “Choose meals that have more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Instead of trying yet another short-term extreme fad diet, try to make healthful, long-term changes in your life.”

Whether you’re considering a long-term detox such as cutting out a certain food group or a short-term detox such as a 24-hour juice fast, make sure you know what your body can tolerate. While some cleanses and detoxing methods can have a positive effect on your health if followed properly and under the guidance of a qualified health professional, keep in mind that there’s no real substitute for clean, healthy eating and living.

 

Editorial Resources
Saira Gillani, ND - Natural Health Atlanta, www.naturalhealthatlanta.com
Shayna Komar, RD, LD - Piedmont Healthcare, www.piedmont.org
Jennifer Baker Lachnicht, RD - Northside Hospital, www.northside.com
Candace Layer, Teresa Ducoffe - Atlanta Colonic & Massage, www.atlantacoloniccenter.com
Maziar Rezvani, MD, FAAAAI - Avicenna Integrative Medicine/Avicenna Allergy and Asthma, www.avicennamd.com
Brent Rodgers - Roots Pressed Juices, www.rootspressedjuices.com
Alice Schuler, RD, LD - DeKalb Medical, www.dekalbmedical.org
Shannon Sliger - Dtox Organic Juice and Junk, www.dtoxjuice.com
Karen Tedeschi, DC - Tedeschi Wellness Center, www.tedeschiwellness.com

Lee Haney's training and nutritional philosophy is simple. "Train to stimulate, not to annihilate," says the former American International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness (IFBB) bodybuilder and eight-time Mr. Olympia.

"You are what you eat and the company you keep. Both of these health proverbs help keep my body and mind balanced."

In addition to earning multiple bodybuilding titles, the devout Christian has served as a consultant with some of the biggest nutritional supplement companies in the world, as well as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He has trained a number of professional athletes and celebrities including Steve Harvey, and he shared his knowledge of exercise and nutrition on his show called "TotaLee Fit with Lee Haney" on the Trinity Broadcast Network.

 

Community-Minded

After retiring from professional bodybuilding, Haney wanted to give back to the community. In 1993 he and his wife Shirley purchased a 40-acre farm near their Fairburn home and created the Haney Harvest House, a non-profit mentoring program for boys. "We often hear people say, 'somebody needs to do something,'" he says. "We chose to be two of those somebodys. The mission of the Haney's Harvest House is to help establish mentoring programs through organizations within surrounding neighborhoods. Learning the values of hard work, integrity, perseverance, humility and believing in God should be present in the life of every young man."

In order to be a part of the mentoring program, boys must come from a single-parent household that is absent of a father, and they cannot have a criminal record. Haney and his volunteer staff are cheerleaders for each boy who enters the program, though some inevitably stand out. "All of the young men coming through the program are special and possess great promise. However, one of them took the meaning of perseverance to another level," Haney says. "When his mom enrolled him in the program, [Larry Heath] was shy and a little overweight. His mother did the best she could in trying to raise him and his sister with limited financial support from the government." Heath went on to graduate from Stockbridge High, and then graduated with a political science degree from Georgia State University. "He is currently enlisted in the United States Army with a little over a year left to complete his Master's degree in educational psychology," Haney says. "We are so proud of him."

 

lee-haney-and-jeffContinuing Education

Haney continues to share his joy of teaching and inspiring others, and in June 2010, he developed the International Association of Fitness Science (IAFS), a training program focused on educating trainers on how to use the science of what he calls "functional training." "Trainers are taught how to create exercise programs to enhance strength, core strength, cardiovascular conditioning and flexibility," Haney explains. "All of the things needed to manage age and maintain functional physical mobility. Functional Training exercises include a series of movements: pushing, pulling, squatting, pressing, curling, extending, twisting, core movements and controlled cardio drills."

Through IAFS, Haney aims to create an exercise and nutritional model that can be used to impact the health of people and communities everywhere. "It's a model that's simple yet effective," he says. "The IAFS offers three different training certifications: Functional Training (for the general population), the Minister of Fitness (designed for churches) and Ultimate Bodybuilding (for competitive bodybuilders)."

 

On the Horizon

Next up for Haney is his Ultimate Sports and Fitness Challenge on April 19, 2014 in Tyrone, GA. "[The Challenge] was created to serve a dual purpose," he says. "It's to showcase fitness in a way that's fun and inclusive of the different age groups: children, teens and adults. The Challenge is also the official fundraiser for Haney's Harvest House Boy's Mentoring Program."

The event will consist of a Kid's Challenge for children ages 8 to 12, a Teen Challenge for children ages 13 to 17 and an Ultimate Fitness Challenge for adults 18 and up. Each one features physical obstacles and challenges that test resilience, strength and stamina, followed by a grand finale that includes a life seminar and an awards ceremony.

harvest-houseWhether he is promoting the importance of exercise, helping clients to reach their fitness goals or mentoring young boys at Harvest House, Haney remains focused on educating others. "The best part of my life today is seeing the harvest of hard work and the lives of the people I have tried to impact," he says. "Starting first with my family, that includes my wife of 30 years and my two children, Joshua (a 2008 Citadel graduate) and Olympia (a 2012 Savannah College of Arts and Design graduate). The mentoring program means a great deal to my legacy."

In the end, his life's work is a badge of both physical and spiritual growth. "The greatest measure of a man's life is summed up in the lives he impacts during his journey here on earth,"he says. "My best self is realized by giving the proper nourishment to my spirit through praying and reading the Bible and taking care of the one and only body God has given me."

 

For more information on Lee Haney's Ultimate Fitness Challenge 2014, visit www.leehaney.com/fitnesschallenge

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:30

The “New” Healthcare: Consumer Choices

How does it feel to be an empowered consumer? Now that you've read our article, The "New" Healthcare: Part 1 in our September issue, you're well on your way to being exactly that when it comes to healthcare. You've learned that October 1 is the first day of open enrollment for healthcare coverage, and the law requires you to have an active policy beginning January 1, 2014. You've learned that healthcare coverage can no longer be denied if you have a pre-existing condition, and instead, coverage is based on community rating. You've learned that you may be eligible for a government subsidy through the Health Insurance Marketplace, which is good because premiums may be going up for some consumers. Armed with all this information, where do you go from here? Michael Parker, CFP and senior consultant at Thrive Advisory Group, who contributed to The "New" Healthcare: Part 1, explains what your next steps might be.

If you currently have coverage through your employer, your first step is to find out from your company how that coverage might be changing. Parker explains, "Possible consequences of the law could be companies shifting more of the cost impact to employees, cutting back benefits, or in the case of some businesses, completely eliminating their employer-sponsored health plan." This complete elimination of a health plan offering might happen for several reasons. Companies with fewer than 50 employees can, in fact, eliminate their employer-sponsored health plan without incurring a penalty, so they may choose to do so in order to save themselves money. If a company has more than 50 employees, they would incur a penalty for eliminating their health plan, but the penalty might cost less than the premiums they would have to pay for their employees. If your company makes changes like these, you may need to consider seeking coverage through a different plan. Parker points out that individuals will still be able to seek out health insurance through various channels just like before, through "brokers, agents, direct to provider, and now through the exchanges" on the Marketplace. To make your decision, you'll just need to evaluate each available plan based on whatever factors are most important to you, like price or access to certain physicians and facilities.

If you are currently self-insured or uninsured, you have the same options as the ones listed above – insurance brokers, agents, insurance companies themselves, or the Marketplace can all provide you with information you need to select the most appropriate plan for you and your family. Thanks to government grants, organizations across the country are paying for Navigators, who help individuals sign up for coverage through the Marketplace exchange. These Navigators will help you sort through the variety of options out there. If you are under 30, Parker says, one of your options is "catastrophic plan designs with much higher deductibles." Your choices also include HSA qualified plans. Taking advantage of the Navigator resource or talking with an insurance broker or agent will help you look at your options and make the best decision for you.

If you are looking for a local or alternative option, you might consider seeking coverage through the insurance company created by WellStar and Piedmont hospitals. Their goal is to deliver higher quality treatment at a lower cost, and working directly with their patients on all aspects of care and reimbursement (instead of involving third-party insurers) will help them do that. Ideally, introducing this new insurance option will promote competition and drive down costs, but Parker admits, "Lower premiums due to this are yet to be seen."

Parker also mentions the alternative of concierge medicine, where "doctors have opted to go direct to patients with service packages." For example, a doctor may charge a set rate for unlimited use of their services. Parker explains, "Doctors are able to shed internal overhead cost due to spending less time and resources processing insurance claims." Not only that, but doctors practicing concierge medicine can spend more time with their patients, give them better treatment, and still make more money than by treating patients with traditional private insurance. Parker points out, "The drawback is that this type of arrangement is not accounted for in the healthcare law. Concierge medicine is not considered as having insurance." So if you choose this route for your medical care, you'll still need to pair it with some sort of traditional insurance plan.

At the end of the day, Parker says, "Individuals will be forced to become better shoppers of their healthcare." Managing costs and finding policies that contain the providers you want may prove a challenge, he cautions, but some of the old challenges (like denial based on pre-existing conditions and copays for well visits) are things of the past. No matter what route you take toward coverage, it's up to you to do your research and find what works best for you.

 

Where to go for more answers to your questions

For questions about the Marketplace, call (800) 318-2596

For questions about the SHOP, call (800) 706-7893

The Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation and University of Georgia (College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension Service) both received grants to run Navigator programs in the state of Georgia. For more information about finding a Navigator, go to their websites: www.seedco.org/about-us/georgianavigator or www.fcs.uga.edu


FOR MORE INFORMATION: Click on the link below to Watch
The
"New" Healthcare Panel Discussion Event that was held on September 25, 2013.

http://youtu.be/gL0ZM5mO-Ic

NewHealthcarePANEL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" star Lori Allen finds strength in sharing her story
By Flannery Winchester

In her own words, Lori Allen is "always the strong girl." In her wedding gown retail store Bridals by Lori, featured on the TLC show, "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta," Allen is the problem solver who clients and bridal consultants alike run to for help. She's not afraid to look an ornery bridesmaid square in the eyes and remind her, "This is the bride's day," nor does she shy away from the hard work necessary to make her 33-year business a success. She's the self-described captain of the ship — but what happens when the captain is out of commission?

LORRI_MAINOn April 13, 2012, Allen found out that a routine mammogram had shown some atypical cells in her breasts: cancer. Remembering that day, she recalls, "I have never been more shocked, because I consider myself super healthy." She ate well, exercised regularly, stayed current with her check-ups, and cancer did not run in her family, so she was "absolutely flabbergasted" when she received the news from her doctor. Struggling to make sense of the diagnosis, she describes the emotional rollercoaster that ensued. "You're crying, and you're feeling so sorry for yourself, and then you get mad, and then you're angry with God, and you're like, 'Why me?'" As we speak with her, Allen gets a little choked up at these memories, saying, "It's hard for me to say, still. It's still fresh — it's just been a year!" But true to form, she's quickly back to her upbeat self, a moment later laughing as she says, "Well, why not me?"

Why not her, indeed. Thanks to her show on TLC, Allen knew she had a huge platform of female fans who could benefit from seeing her journey through treatment. After considering it only very briefly — two days after her diagnosis, in fact — she decided, "I've got to do something good with this. I'm not going to hide it, I'm not going to be ashamed about it and I'm going to tell the world I've got breast cancer." Since she was already filming "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" and "Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" at the time, to Allen it was only logical for TLC to film her cancer journey as well. In her trademark Southern accent, she said to her friend and Say Yes Executive Producer Jennifer Holbach, "I think I want y'all to film this." TLC gave it the green light in a day, and the October 2012 special "Say Yes to the Cure" was born.

Unlike the "Say Yes to the Dress" shows, this special was not filmed with "a whole big crew following me to my doctor's appointments," Allen laughs. The entire special was filmed by "just Jen [Holbach]. That's it." The camera shows her decision-making process and aftermath of two lumpectomies and, eventually, her double mastectomy on July 3, 2012. Allen held nothing back, revealing all the emotions and vulnerability that come along with treatment, which she admits was "very, very difficult for me to do." Thankfully, she was surrounded by support. Not only did she have her friend Jennifer behind the camera, but also her loving husband, two children and 80-year-old mother were with her every step of the way. Allen's coworker Monte Durham, who is also featured on "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta," helped keep her spirits up too. "He sent me a card every single day. One day it would be like 'I miss you, I love you with all my heart,' and the next day it would be like 'Get your ass back in the store!'" Allen remembers with a laugh.

lorri-allen-monte-durhamAllen also found strength and support from local Atlanta resources like TurningPoint, a non-profit breast cancer rehabilitation center. Both her surgeon and her plastic surgeon recommended TurningPoint, which offers breast cancer patients everything from physical therapy after surgery to counseling and nutritional guidance. Allen worked with Jill Binkley, the executive director who is a breast cancer survivor herself. Allen says, "I could ask her anything I wanted to," and her therapy "helped me mentally, emotionally, and physically." Convinced of TurningPoint's benefits, Allen emphasizes, "If I had just gotten a double mastectomy and then just not gone to therapy, I think it would have taken me a lot longer to recover from this. I do."

Though her battle with breast cancer and the simultaneous filming were exhausting for Allen, she says, "I felt like I was doing something good out of something bad, so I just kept plugging away." And she certainly was doing something good—since the special aired last year, she has received thousands of letters from women who now know that breast cancer is nothing to be ashamed of. Many are now getting their routine breast exams, seeking treatment and drawing strength from Allen's example. Because of this profound impact on women's lives, "Say Yes to the Cure" received the 2013 Reelscreen Award in the category of Best Health & Well-Being Programming. The celebration of Allen's story continues this year on October 4, when TLC will air an updated version of the special that will show just how far Allen has come.

Today, Allen feels better than ever, getting stronger physically and emotionally every day. She still eats healthily and exercises, though she admits with a laugh, "I don't really like sweating," so she prefers swimming in her backyard pool and going on long walks with her Bichon Frise. She's also been seized by the desire to completely redo her house. "We've been through a really traumatic year and we want things fresh and new. It's a new beginning."

LORRIwedAllen is also back to work in her store, her love for bridal consulting not dampened in the slightest. She tells us that buying a wedding dress is "not like going and buying a pocketbook," because it is really about "everybody giving you the nod of approval that the next step in your life is okay. And the nod of approval is everybody agreeing on this dress." After speaking with Allen and hearing her enthusiastic spirit and zest for life even after the frightening, uncertain journey of breast cancer, we think Allen deserves the biggest nod of approval of all.

 

Lori's Wedding Day

We couldn't let Lori go without asking her about her own wedding dress. She wore a long-sleeve organza House of Bianchi gown with a natural waist and a scooped neckline, paired with a cathedral veil. She admits that "It was very seventies when you look back at the pictures," but she says she loves her dress to this day.