Tuesday, 28 March 2017 16:54

My Best Self—Jenny Pruitt

Over the past four decades, Jenny Pruitt has built an incredibly strong reputation and record of success as a real estate leader. The CEO and founder of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty attributes her achievements to her indomitable optimism and deep faith.

By India Powell


An extremely active philanthropist, Pruitt is involved with Habitat for Humanity and serves on the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center, as well as the Board of the Directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Buckhead Coalition. Pruitt is particularly passionate about her work with the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.


What are the biggest shifts you have seen in real estate over the years? What has remained constant, if anything?

When I started in the business, we did not have cellphones, Internet or computers so the world today is a very different one. Now, while all of this technology changes how we do business, it has not changed the fact that deals are done between people. Buyers and sellers still very much need to partner with a professional REALTOR® in order to navigate the sometimes bumpy waters of a transaction. The job of the agent is not to just identify the right house for a buyer; it's about solving problems along the way so that the experience for the parties involved is as smooth as possible. It is the constant change and evolution of our industry that energizes me the most about our business and it's why I can't wait to go to work every day.


What is the biggest secret to your success?

I have had a philosophy in my companies [past, Jenny Pruitt & Associates, and present, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty] that if we take care of the people, the bottom line will follow. Happy agents make happy clients and smooth transactions. We endeavor to take the burden off our agents with the support that we provide them allowing them to prosper in the areas of the business they do best. Beneath this philosophy are my strong spiritual beliefs, which have always guided me in my decision-making process. My strong relationship with God is without question the foundation on which my success has been built.


2Why are philanthropy and volunteering important to you and what does it bring to your life?

To whom much is given, much is required. I believe we must pass it on and give back to our community. I operate with an overflowing cup.
What does your work with the Alzheimer's Association mean to you?
According to the Alzheimer's Association, every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease. It is a devastating illness and I am helping to raise money to eradicate this disease. The Dancing Stars of Atlanta event is so awesome! The dancers work so hard with their pros and it is exciting that the audience is made aware of the devastation of this disease.



Monday, 27 March 2017 18:07

5 Nail Salon Safety Tips

1Take an Observation of the Salon. The surrounding areas (shelves, tables, equipment, and floors) should be clear from dust and debris. The pedicure chairs should be sanitize and pedicure bowls should be disinfected with Barbicide after each client. A business license should be visible for customers. Each nail technician should have their license posted at their station.

2Understand How They Disinfect Their Tools. Tools are disinfected through a 15 minutes soaking disinfection or using an autoclave sterilization. Barbicide or MarV-Cide disinfection are used for tools to soak 15 minutes in disinfection. Buffers and files should be single-use only and disposed after each client.

3Take Observation of Nail Technician. A nail technician should wash their hands before every service. They should wear gloves to prevent the spread of bacteria to the client. Nail technicians should wear a mask during pedicures to prevent contact with debris. Make sure the nail technician is not reusing dirty tools on you.

4Chemical Usage. From beginning to the end of service, you should always know what chemical is being used on you. The label should be simple for you to identify (for example, acetone, alcohol, callus reducer).

5Say "NO" to Pain. There should be no sign of redness or pain felt through any service. The sign of RED means STOP!

P-1It's important to understand that safety is vital in the nail salon. Take safety matters into your own hands the next time you visit your nail salon. Communication is key. Always ask questions on matters you don't know. You can have confidence with safety at Waterless MediPedi & Nail Spa, a Certified Safe Salon. Safe Salons use autoclave sterilization and uphold the highest standards of aseptic techniques in their establishments.



Letisha Royster, LNT, ANT-C
Owner of Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa

It was a desire to create a nail salon that could cater to the needs of chronic disease sufferers, as well as the everyday woman or man, that lead Advanced Nail Technician Letisha Royster to open Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa.

By forgoing soaking hands and feet during manicures and pedicures, 12 to 15 gallons of water are saved and the danger of spreading waterborne pathogens is practically eliminated. Waterless Med-Pedi & Nail Spa enhances its efforts to reduce infection risks by using an autoclave sterilization (medical grade sanitation) for all instruments, disposing nail buffers, and files after each client.

Every guest that visits the establishment doesn't simply leave with a fresh coat of polish, but also receives a consultation regarding their health, an evaluation of their hands and feet, and recommendations of services and products to maintain the vitality of their skin and beauty of their nails over time.

Sponsored by:
Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa | 1820 Peachtree Road NE Suite 402 | Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 981-4841 | waterlessmedipedispa.com


Thursday, 23 March 2017 18:02

April / May 2017 Digital Issue

April / May 2017 Digital Issue:

Friday, 27 January 2017 15:51

The Waterless Pedicure Revolution

Nicknamed the wave of the future in the nail industry, waterless pedicures not only create the opportunity for a more luxurious visit, they are also leading the way as one of the most sanitary nail care treatments available.

The absence of water during a pedicure removes the risk of waterborne pathogens, meaning those suffering from diseases such as diabetes, lupus, or cancer can enjoy a pampering pedicure without putting their health at increased risk. The ability to provide extensive, hygienic nail care to guests, beyond that of a traditional salon, is why Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa founder and Advanced Nail Technician, Letisha Royster fosters close relationships with local podiatrists and dermatologists and can refer her clients to seek medical foot care if necessary.

The immune system isn't the only recipient that gets a boost from a lack of water, either. Skipping a soak extends the life of each manicure and pedicure due to the fact that the nails don't have the chance to retain water, which causes them to expand, and the nail polish to shrink. Those with dry skin especially reap the benefits of waterless nail care since water can irritate the skin by dehydrating it further.

While the water might be missing, nearly every aspect of a waterless pedicure remains the same as a traditional one. Customers can still expect to enjoy exfoliation, callus removal, cuticle care, nail trims, warm towel wraps, optional paraffin wax dips, lotion, massage, and nail polish application.

Plus, every Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa guest receives their treatment in a private and peaceful setting, allowing them the chance to truly relax and enjoy their time in a spa-like environment.


P-1Letisha Royster, LNT, ANT-C
Owner of Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa

It was a desire to create a nail salon that could cater to the needs of chronic disease sufferers, as well as the everyday woman or man, that lead Advanced Nail Technician Letisha Royster to open Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa.

By forgoing soaking hands and feet during manicures and pedicures, 12 to 15 gallons of water are saved and the danger of spreading waterborne pathogens is practically eliminated. Waterless Med-Pedi & Nail Spa enhances its efforts to reduce infection risks by using an autoclave sterilization (medical grade sanitation) for all instruments, disposing nail buffers, and files after each client.

Every guest that visits the establishment doesn't simply leave with a fresh coat of polish, but also receives a consultation regarding their health, an evaluation of their hands and feet, and recommendations of services and products to maintain the vitality of their skin and beauty of their nails over time.


Sponsored by: Waterless Medi-Pedi & Nail Spa | 1820 Peachtree Road NE Suite 402 | Atlanta, GA 30309  |  Phone: (404) 981-4841 | www.waterlessmedipedispa.com


A young, vibrant girl sat on an orange chair, tablet in hand, in her own world. Her mother wore an expression of fatigue, yet she smiled and hope shined through her eyes. As I chatted with Mom about her daughter's need for consistency, her extreme sensitivity to textures, her difficulty with interactive play, and her erratic speech occurrences, slowly the tablet drew less attention from the girl's eyes. Her little hands grabbed the stethoscope from my neck pulling me toward her. "Heart check," she exclaimed! With sudden excitement, she placed my hand with the stethoscope on her chest. But when we progressed to looking in her ears, no matter how gentle, she was sensitive and apprehensive. After resisting and then being held, she decisively put on her coat and hat and walked out the door before her mother was done speaking.

During our discussion, her mother explained that she desired for her daughter to gain an outlet of expression for her intelligence. However, she recognized the issues her daughter faced in communication adaptation. This is where many parents and providers share common goals. We desire the best for our youth.

Over my 10 years of pediatric practice, I have realized I must continually strive to further my education and knowledge and reach out to subspecialists, therapists, and counselors. The occupation of a child is discovery through play. As a pediatrician, it is my responsibility to understand this deeply and help families, parents, and children alike, to forge new relationships and conquer fresh frontiers through a team approach. We are so excited to make the idea of total child health a reality through collaboration with therapists, counselors, nutritionists, and teachers. Dare2Care Pediatrics promises to serve as a constant source of communication, coordination, and facilitation for families. Our goal is that every child who enters our medical home leaves a little better off in some way.

P-1That day, many possible diagnoses were introduced into our discussion including autism, sensory processing disorder, and language disorder. We discussed these to some extent, but more importantly, we came up with a practical plan of early intervention. We initiated speech, occupational, play, and music therapy sessions. My colleagues communicate her progress with me, and I regularly meet with Mom to talk about ongoing concerns and celebrate milestones. With each monthly visit, she is gaining confidence. The last time she came in she sat on the table, looked at her tablet briefly, put it down and said to me directly, "Doctor, heart check." When we moved to her ears, she liked the imaginary kisses and tickles and did not pull back. Once we'd finished, she gave me a hug and then said, "Go home." This is a perfect example of why I love coming to work every day. Play is the way!

Dare2Care Pediatrics | 11125 Jones Bridge Road, Suite 100 | Alpharetta, GA 30022
(770) 615-7000 | www.dare2carepediatrics.com

Friday, 27 January 2017 14:23

Sweat with the Best

Atlanta Fitness Classes to Try

By Amelia Pavlik

Barre, spinning, high-intensity interval training—these days, there is a workout class option on every corner from Atlanta to Alpharetta. And deciding which type of class to try and where to try it can be as exhausting as the workout itself.

That's why we're here to make your life a little easier. Best Self has pulled together a list of 17 classes to try at studios and clubs throughout the city. Read on to find out which ones might be a fit for you.


P-1Barre3: Signature Class

This hour-long barre class is inspired by ballet barre, yoga, and Pilates. Whether you're a beginner or an athlete, instructors will guide you through movements that tone all major muscle groups and strengthen your body.

Childcare: Yes

Awesome Amenity: Free parking

Cost: New clients get three classes for $30

Words of Wisdom: "We know trying something new can be intimidating, and our mission is to make each class enjoyable and effective for everyone in the room," says Jessica Walton, Barre3 South Buckhead instructor/client relations manager.

Multiple locations, www.barre3.com



If you're looking to punch and kick your way to better shape, this 45-minute option might be for you.
BURNBox is a high-intensity class consisting of plyometrics and pounding the bag with punches, kicks, elbows and knees. The goal is to make beginners and seasoned professionals sweat equally.

Childcare: Coming soon

Awesome Amenity: Heart rate monitors

Cost: New clients get five classes for $55

Words of Wisdom: "Treat this class like an adult game of Simon Says," says Matthew Callahan, BURNbox program director.

3575 Durden Dr. NE, Brookhaven, (770) 837-0051, www.livetoburn.com


P-2Chaos Conditioning: CHAOS

This one-hour, high-intensity interval training class will take you through stations that range from resistance work on TRX bands to running on a self-propelled treadmill.

Childcare: Yes

Awesome Amenity: Full locker room with showers and sauna

Cost: First class is free

Words of Wisdom: "Don't be intimidated! We try to have as much fun as we can while still making the class challenging and effective," says Jeff Baird, owner. "You will only be competing with yourself, and will always have the support of the group behind you."

The Forum Athletic Club, Lenox Square Mall, 3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, (404) 590-5852, www.chaosconditioning.com


Concourse Athletic Club: Fitness Quest

This one-hour class will keep your body guessing by utilizing a mixture of strength work and aerobic movements as it progresses through all areas of the club, including the outdoor spaces.

Childcare: Yes

Awesome Amenity: Well-lit tennis courts

Cost: First class is free

Words of Wisdom: "Arrive a few minutes early, and let the instructor know this is your first time," says Marianne Baker, group exercise and Pilates director.

8 Concourse Pkwy., Sandy Springs, (770) 698-2000, www.concourseclub.com


P-3CorePower Yoga: Yoga Sculpt

In 60 or 75 minutes, this yoga class incorporates free weights, cardio bursts, and strength training into a vinyasa flow.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: Showers

Cost: New students receive a week of free classes

Words of Wisdom: "Keep an open mind, get ready to sweat, and walk away strong and refreshed," says Alicia Wilson, general manager for the Atlanta locations.

Multiple locations, www.corepoweryoga.com


Cyc Fitness: CYC45

During this 45-minute indoor cycling class, you'll move through endurance intervals and weighted sectors that are inspired by more than 20 different sports movements from boxing to volleyball.

Childcare: Yes

Awesome Amenity: Complimentary shoe rental

Cost: New clients get three rides for $60

Words of Wisdom: "Don't forget to hold your core—or what you might call your 'abs'—in the entire class," says Caroline Seagraves, lead cycologist. "It's always being worked."

3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, (404) 698-4343, www.cycfitness.com


P-4Exhale: Core Fusion Extreme

In this 60-minute, high-intensity workout, you'll move through five power stations (that incorporate tools like TRX bands, weights, and core balls) with mini active breaks in-between. The routine changes monthly so the workout stays fresh.

Childcare: No.

Awesome Amenity: Fitness shop

Cost: First two classes for the price of one ($25)

Words of Wisdom: "Bring sneakers," says Alexandria Stubbs, studio director of the Inman Park location.

Multiple locations, www.exhalespa.com


P-5FORME: Barre Fusion

Combine big movements with small movements for both upper and lower body in this 55-minute, barre-based class.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: Complimentary hair accessories

Cost: $15 per class

Words of Wisdom: "Feel free to take the class at whatever pace you need," says Donna Burke, owner. "We're just here to give you the max number of reps you can get!"

365 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE, Atlanta, (404) 668-1947, www.FORMEstudios.com


Pure Barre: Signature Class

This 55-minute total body workout will lengthen and strengthen your muscles by focusing on your arms, abs, seat, and thighs. And since Pure Barre is low impact and restorative, it's an option for people of all fitness levels.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: Complimentary healthy snacks like apples and KIND bars

Cost: Three-class pack for $30 for new clients

Words of Wisdom: "Don't compare yourself to others—just focus on you," says Katy Bayless Gibson, Pure Barre Virginia-Highland and Pure Barre Decatur owner.

1402 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, (404) 883-3882, www.purebarre.com


SculptHouse: StrengthSculpt

In 50 minutes, the M3 Megaformer will take you through a workout that delivers endurance, cardio, core, balance, and flexibility training.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: Fitness shop

Cost: First class is $15

Words of Wisdom: "Don't be intimidated by the machines," says Katherine Mason, founder and CEO. "Yes, they look scary. Your first class will be challenging, but each class you take will make you more familiar with names of the moves."

3167 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, (470) 553-0080, www.sculpthouse.com


Stellar Bodies: Full Body

Get ready for a 50-minute, full-body workout with a Megaformer machine, which uses springs and pulleys to provide resistance without putting impact on your joints.

Childcare: No—but well-behaved children have been allowed to sit in on a class.

Awesome Amenity: Filtered water

Cost: First class is $10

Words of Wisdom: "Arrive at least 10 minutes early to allow for time to get to know the Megaformer," says Amy Selig, studio co-owner.

Multiple locations, www.stellarbodiesatl.com


The Bar Method: Mixed Level

This one-hour format utilizes the strength, stamina, and flexibility of ballet training, and pairs it with the alignment and physiological principles of physical therapy.

Childcare: At the Lenox location on Mondays and Wednesdays during the 9:45 a.m. class

Awesome Amenity: Varies by location

Cost: $85 for 30 days of unlimited classes

Words of Wisdom: "This is unlike any workout you may have tried before," says Melissa White, owner and master teacher. "It's OK if it doesn't come naturally to you. If you can push through the first 60 minutes, you'll never look back!"

Multiple locations, www.barmethod.com


P-6Thunderbolt Power Yoga: Power Flow

Set to a rocking playlist, this 60-minute signature class aims to connect breath to rhythm, and beat to body in an 85- to 90-degree room.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenities: A cool towel doused in essential oils to end each class

Cost: First class is free

Words of Wisdom: "People often ask me if I have a minute to show them how to hop into a handstand—but I can't teach someone this in a minute or even five," says Carly Grace Hinchman, founder. "So, be sure to check out the Fundamentals of Flying class. It's the foundation class that each yogi needs to incorporate various inversions into her flow."

3872 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, (404) 556-1605, www.thunderboltpoweryoga.com


P-7TruAlliance Fitness: CrossFit

TruAlliance offers CrossFit class sessions, which provide effective and efficient workouts that incorporate compound movements like Olympic lifts and gymnastic exercises. For example, most workouts are short—not more than 30 minutes (not including the warm up or mobility work).

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: A discount at Jeju Sauna

Cost: First class is free

Words of Wisdom: "CrossFit is a high-intensity sport, meaning that it opens athletes up to the risk of injury if certain exercises are not properly executed," says Erick Colindres, owner. "So, work on form and technique first."

3555 Gwinnett Place Dr., Duluth, (678) 916-0610, www.trualliance.com


Vesta Movement: Kickboxing

Vesta Movement offers up a high-intensity cardio kickboxing class where guests can burn up to 1,000 calories over 60 minutes.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: Wrap and glove rental is complimentary for your first class

Cost: First class is free

Words of Wisdom: "Be prepared to sweat—and have a blast," says Missy Mostrom, owner and trainer.

774 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, (404) 281-1121, www.vestaatl.com


West Coast Workout: Bench Interval

This 55-minute cardio and strength-building class uses the custom West Coast Workout benches, which are tools that incorporate the core muscles in a unique way by adding variation and angles.

Childcare: No

Awesome Amenity: Rainfall spa shower with essential oil-infused natural products

Cost: Mention this article and your first class will be free
Words of Wisdom: "Bring a towel—you'll earn every drop of sweat on your body," says Tammy Stokes, founder.

107 West Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, (404) 467-0602, www.westcoastworkout.com


P-8Windy Hill Athletic Club: Battle

Train for strength, speed and power using battle ropes and bodyweight movements in this 30-minute workout. Participants can modify any movement, according to their fitness level.

Childcare: Yes

Awesome Amenity: 50-foot climbing wall

Cost: First class is complimentary with a guest pass

Words of Wisdom: "Be prepared for anything and be ready to work," says Karen Foley, general manager. "This class will elevate your heart rate and strengthen all of your muscle groups."

135 Interstate North Parkway, Atlanta, (770) 953-1100, www.windyhillclub.com


Thursday, 26 January 2017 22:06

The Puzzling Truth


Get the 411 on heart disease, the No. 1 killer of both men and women living in the United States.

By Katie Lambert

"'Doctor, why me?' I get that all the time," says William A. Cooper, MD, author and medical director of cardiovascular surgery at WellStar Health System. "'Why not you?' is oftentimes my answer to that question." Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States—more than all forms of cancer combined. It accounts for about one of every three deaths in the United States.

Heart disease is a term that covers a whole bucket of diseases and conditions. Most often, when we talk about heart disease, we're talking about coronary heart disease (CHD) and its precursor, coronary artery disease (CAD). This occurs when plaque builds up in your arteries until it cuts off blood supply to the heart.

But there are also several types of arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, that can lead to a cardiac arrest and a stroke. Heart valve diseases concern the movement of blood through the heart, while cardiomyopathy indicates a problem with the muscle itself. Some conditions you're born with; others develop over time. Some have noticeable symptoms, while others are harder to spot.

When our heart is working correctly, we take it for granted. It quietly beats and pulses without us noticing. It's only when the flow is disrupted that we're reminded of its power.

S-1It's Different for Women

Although it's the No.1 killer of both women and men, heart disease is still often thought of as a man's disease. "We're trying to change this frame of mind and make women aware that it's their disease as well. We're still not there," says Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD, and department chair of epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Heart disease affects women differently than men. It tends to strike later in life, for one, and even its symptoms may manifest differently. For example, when Sara Barksdale had a massive heart attack at age 33, it didn't feel like one. There was no shooting pain in her arm, no severe chest pain. She felt nausea, pain in her shoulders, tingling and numbness in her fingers—and then sharp pain in her jaw. Google and her husband said it was time to head to Northside Hospital's emergency department, where she was diagnosed with a heart attack.

Ninety percent of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke. And considering that fewer women than men survive their first heart attack, we can't afford not to know them.

Calculating Risk

Sara is hardly what we think of as the poster child for a heart attack. She had no family history of heart disease, she exercised regularly and she maintained a mostly healthy diet. There's still plenty we don't know about who's most at risk and why, but there are also some facts we know for sure.

The higher these numbers, the higher your risk:

  • blood sugar (HbA1c less than 6 percent)
  • blood pressure (below 130/80 mm Hg)
  • blood cholesterol (it depends)
  • body weight (BMI of 18.6 to 24.9 and a waistline smaller than 35 inches)

S-2These risk factors affect both women and men very similarly. But there is one factor that may strike women harder: stress. "Things like depression, early life adversities, low socioeconomic conditions—in general, stress appears to have a more powerful effect on the heart and vascular system of women, and these factors may affect risk very early on," says Dr. Vaccarino.

While most risk factors can be addressed with behavioral changes, family history is not one of them. But knowing about your family's health gives you an advantage.

"These are tough things for families to talk about," says Dr. Cooper. "But take the time to ask, 'Wait a minute, this happened to dad at what age?' You don't want to wait until you're in my hands to find out."

He often tells his own story to illustrate the point. His brother Alvin, who served as the best man at his wedding, died of a massive heart attack at the age of 45. His sister Vicki died at age 41 after surgery to repair issues caused by an earlier heart attack. She went into cardiac arrest and died on September 12, 2001, while Dr. Cooper was stranded in another city and unable to fly home.

"I've got that family history. I've got a big target symbol on my back," he says. "But I often see families scrambling to figure things out when they're already in my hands. We're behind the eight ball at that point. When you're prepared, the consequences of whatever it is that happens to you are going to be more positive."

An Eye on Prevention

Starting early is what we tend not to do when it comes to heart health. "You should be thinking about heart health in your teens," says Dr. Cooper.

Dr. Vaccarino agrees. "Many women have the misconception that as long as they are young, they have other things to worry about. It's important to change this frame of mind. Heart disease is chronic, it starts in youth in both men and women, and it progresses. The earlier we act, the better."

For every age group, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a healthy diet and physical activity. Don't get too caught up in which diet is best. "There is a lot of confusion around diet," says Dr. Vaccarino. "Stick to what we know is proven and really works. Focus on a vegetarian diet as much as possible and eat meat and fish in moderation." Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, like juice and soda, and cut down on sodium.

If you're looking to make a change, Dr. Cooper's first piece of advice is to do a food diary. The next step: gradual elimination or replacement. He once encouraged a friend to swap out his 2-liter bottle of soda per day with half diet and half regular soda. It was the first step on the road to losing more than 200 pounds.

When it comes to physical activity, every little bit counts, but ideally, you should be getting a good mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities—as in, not just cardio. "Put forth some milestones that are achievable so you don't get discouraged," says Dr. Vaccarino. "Small things little by little can achieve bigger goals."

Changing Treatment Landscape

If lifestyle changes aren't enough to keep a patient's numbers in line, a doctor may prescribe medications to control factors like blood pressure, heart rate, or fibrillation. But it's possible that surgery or other procedures will be necessary. Fortunately, advances in cardiovascular technology are changing the patient experience.

S-3When patients get to Dr. Christopher Meduri, MD, MPH, an interventional cardiologist at Marcus Heart Valve Center, they're often scared. "People associate heart procedures with having their chest cracked open, with bad outcomes. But today there are so many minimally invasive, and even noninvasive, options. This is the new frontier not only in the cardiovascular field but in all of medicine: developing new techniques with much less invasive strategies." In these cases, a long recovery and drawn out hospital stay is no longer the norm. Patients can often be walking around in a few hours after surgery and home in a matter of days.

Gail Edwards of Bartow County had already undergone open-heart surgery once, to replace her mitral valve. When her tricuspid valve began leaking, her doctors told her a second open-heart surgery was high risk. Instead, Dr. Meduri and the team at the Marcus Heart Valve Center suggested she join a clinical trial for a new heart procedure. Instead of having her chest opened, she had a tube threaded through her neck and into the heart to repair the valve. She was the very first patient in Georgia to undergo the procedure, and she's doing just fine.
Minimally invasive options aren't appropriate for all patients. Some patients' conditions are better served by traditional surgery. The risks, benefits, and costs of any procedure should be part of a conversation with your doctor.

Dr. Meduri stresses the importance of choosing a hospital with a large volume of the procedure you're having done. "You want to choose a hospital with a team of people who have very specialized training, people who are very focused on just a few things. It results in better outcomes and better care." Especially if you have a complicated condition, look for hospitals that are involved in research and clinical trials; they can provide access to new treatments that aren't yet on the market.

The Road to Recovery

After a heart event or surgery, the doctors still bring it all back to healthy living.
"That discussion starts at the first appointment," says Dr. Meduri. He pushes for patients to start being active as soon as possible after their procedure, to continue with weight loss, to walk frequently and eat healthily. "The choices you're making don't just affect you for one week, or one month. These are decisions about the quality of your whole life going forward," says Dr. Meduri.

For patients struggling with obesity, there are chronic disease management and weight management programs at many hospitals to assist with weight loss. "It's old, archaic medicine to just say, 'Go eat healthy and exercise,'" says Dr. Cooper. He notes that support groups make a big difference to his patients. "The most important thing is to keep encouraging people," he says. "Encourage them always."

And that psychological aspect is important. Heart health isn't just a matter of taking care of your body. It's choosing what you want your life to look like 5, 10, and 20 years from now.

WellStar Health System: www.wellstar.org
Emory University: www.emory.edu
Northside Hospital: www.northside.com
Piedmont Healthcare: www.piedmont.org


Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:45

The Second Time Around!

Tips and Tales About Taking Another Chance on Love and Marriage

By Amy Meadows

Frank Sinatra was really onto something when he crooned the beloved 1960 tune "The Second Time Around." With lyrics like "Love is lovelier the second time around" and "Love's more comfortable the second time you fall," he says what so many people feel when they find love again and feel ready to take another chance on a walk down the aisle. Of course, there's so much to consider before making that kind of commitment, and it's important to know what goes into having a successful second marriage. Here, the experts share their advice for turning a new chance at love into something that lasts a lifetime.

"Second marriages are challenging and face complexity," says Lisa Pope Campbell, MSW, LCSW, owner of Northeast Georgia Counseling. "You've learned that marriage isn't easy, and now you must learn that experience alone won't divorce-proof your marriage." That's why it's key to recognize how a second marriage will be different from a first marriage and take all of those elements into consideration as you move forward. There are certain steps that you will need to take to ensure that you are not only prepared to get married again, but also that you are ready to be a fully engaged spouse. Because according to Shatavia A. Thomas, DMFT, LMFT, owner of Buckhead's Dr. Shay Speaks, LLC, "Second marriages are about learning how to be a better you with someone new."

SB-3Learn from the Past

Moving on is never easy. And moving on from a marriage—whether it lasted a few months or many years—can be quite challenging. However, you can take comfort in the fact that your experience with your first marriage actually can pave the way to a happy and fulfilling second union.

"Just because your first marriage ended doesn't mean it was a failure," observes Crystal Bradshaw, MA, LPC, NCC, Gottman 7 Principles Educator and couples therapist with Synergy Counseling Innovations, LLC. "A lot of marriages create families. Is that a failure? A lot of marriages create friendships and businesses. Are those failures? No." In fact, Campbell believes that people should look at divorce as a sign of personal strength instead of failure, as it takes courage to walk away from a relationship that is not working. It also takes great fortitude to examine the reasons that first relationship fell apart and what can be learned from that experience.

"Some people learn about themselves, including what's negotiable or non-negotiable and their stance on unexpected variables such as friends, in-laws and the preferred balance of individual and couple time," Thomas says of first marriages. In many cases, the issues that contributed to the end of that first relationship—whether they involved a lack of intimacy or sex, financial disagreements, differing parenting styles or diverging values—can't or won't be recognized until after it has ended. But then there is enlightenment about the role each party played in that situation. "People typically can tell you about the red flags they overlooked in their first marriage, what they are not willing to endure the second time around and what kind of partner they want next time. They are better at identifying what they want from a relationship and what qualities they are looking for in a partner. They can use that information as they embark on their next relationship," Bradshaw says. "Learn from your past so you don't repeat it. Recognize how you may have contributed to the deterioration of the relationship, own your part (no matter how small or big) and vow to be an active participant in your next relationship."

SB-1SB-2Take a Time Out

Thinking about "getting out there" again can be both exciting and frightening. That's why experts suggest that an individual take some time before taking the plunge again. "Take time to get to know yourself after a breakup," says Julie Trujillo, MA, LPC, of Northeast Georgia Counseling. "Allow yourself to grieve the losses associated with ending a relationship instead of attempting to avoid the pain. Being able to tolerate uncomfortable feelings is a useful skill that can be developed through practicing mindfulness. By rushing into another relationship, dysfunction is likely to resurface." What's more, by taking that time, you will be able to reflect fully on your first marriage and really find those lessons from the past that will benefit you moving forward as you consider a second marriage.
Gordon Shippey, MA, LPC, of Northeast Georgia Counseling, agrees. "Take time to be a healthy individual before starting a new relationship," he says. "Prioritize functioning well by yourself, then build a social network outside of romantic attraction. Make sure you've extracted all the lessons you can from the previous marriage before trying again."

Find Your Second Time Around

When you are ready to find that special someone, you shouldn't necessarily look for romance immediately. "Instead, look for friendship and shared interests and values," Bradshaw remarks. "Connect with someone on this level and then evaluate if it's a good fit. Do you balance each other? See how it naturally evolves." By focusing on your own hobbies and interests, you will find like-minded individuals who could possibly be Mr. or Ms. Right. "If you enjoy cooking, take cooking classes. If you enjoy a particular activity, then seek out classes or meet-up groups. This is a good way to meet others with similar interests," Bradshaw continues. "The more people you meet, the more opportunities you have of meeting someone who's a good fit."

Of course, there's always that well-meaning friend who wants to set you up. And, as Shippey notes, "Dating has moved online. Most relationships are now found online, and the quality of relationships started online is at least as good as those found offline." When approached cautiously and with great thought, any of these options could be ideal avenues for finding love once again.

Prep for the Plunge

A second marriage is a completely different proposition than a first marriage. That's because there are different factors involved when you are entering a second long-term relationship. "Recognize that remarriage means bigger, more complex challenges than first marriages, such as raising stepchildren, combining finances and households, feeling disappointments yet trying to love again and the aggravation of dealing with ex-spouses," Campbell says. However, she adds, you can use your fear of these issues to be more intentional in your effort to build a stronger bond with your new spouse. You also have to learn how to communicate openly about all of the issues you will face as a new couple.
"I recommend people go to premarital counseling with a therapist who is trained in couple dynamics," Bradshaw reveals. "There are so many issues that couples don't realize they need to dialogue about, assuming their partner shares their beliefs, values, expectations and have the same life-shaping experiences." However, a trained couples counselor can help those entering into a second marriage—or even those who have already married—have open and honest discussions about everything from finances and parenting to sex and fidelity. What's more, Bradshaw suggests that couples take their efforts even deeper by reading about how to have a successful marriage. She recommends The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and Why Marriages Succeed or Fail...and How You Can Make Yours Last by Dr. John M. Gottman, as well as books by Dr. Sue Johnson, Esther Perel and Terry Real.

Again, knowing yourself and how your first marriage has affected you will be a significant factor in the success of your second marriage. "Some people may go into the next relationship with a 'deal breaker' attitude. Similarly, some people may be set in their ways and have a 'me' instead of a 'we' disposition," Thomas warns. Therefore, she says, you have to "explore your personal triggers," as well as the impact your personality and communication and conflict styles will have on your relationship. A couple's therapist can help you and your partner navigate these issues and find the right resolutions.

"If you have concerns, talk them out before tying the knot. Problems that exist before marriage will be the same, if not worse, after marriage. Work on them before committing," Shippey says. "A counselor can help you do these things and give you a clearer perspective on your relationship."

And in the end, be sure that you understand what marriage really involves. "A lot of couples don't realize that a marriage has to be intentional, meaning you have to put in the work daily. And sometimes that may mean having a hard conversation, compromising on something, facing your flaws and taking accountability for your needs, wants and mistakes. It also means respecting and appreciating your spouse," Bradshaw says.

You must be fully invested in making a second marriage work—but the rewards will be worth it. As Campbell concludes, "By resolving to work at this marriage differently and learning from your past, remarriages can be stronger than you ever envisioned."


Lisa Pope Campbell, LCSW, Northeast Georgia Counseling, www.northeastgacounseling.com
Shatavia A. Thomas, LMFT, Dr. Shay Speaks, LLC, www.drshayspeaks.com
Crystal Bradshaw, LPC, NCC, Synergy Counseling Innovations, LLC, www.synergycounselinginnovations.com
Julie Trujillo, LPC, Northeast Georgia Counseling, www.northeastgacounseling.com
Gordon Shippey, MA, LPC, Northeast Georgia Counseling, www.northeastgacounseling.com


Wednesday, 25 January 2017 18:08

February / March 2017 Digital Issue

February-March 2017 Digital Issue:


Friday, 02 December 2016 17:19

Best of 2016

After tens of thousands of votes, you have chosen this year's best!



Fitness & Weight Loss

Best Large Fitness Facility
LA Fitness
State-of-the-art equipment, group fitness classes, a heated indoor lap pool, saunas, racquetball and basketball, personal trainers and more await those who want to get in the best shape of their lives at LA Fitness. www.lafitness.com

Best Small/Medium Fitness Facility
Fit2DMax is a family-friendly personal-training and wellness studio founded by CNN health and wellness expert Maxim Nazaire, CSCS. It provides a safe haven for people to reach their potential through health and wellness, specializing in personal and group training classes that lead to double-digit weight-loss transformations, fat loss and injury rehabilitation. www.roswellgapersonaltraining.com

4Best Running Club or Group
Atlanta Track Club
This famed nonprofit organization, best known for hosting the AJC Peachtree Road Race (the world's largest 10K), is committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta through running and walking. The club is home to 26,000 members, making it the second-largest running organization in the U.S., and offers training programs, group runs, elite team opportunities, volunteer opportunities and more. www.atlantatrackclub.org

1Best Running Trail
Silver Comet Trail
Located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, the 61.5-mile-long trail features a two percent grade, making it an ideal place to run, walk, bike and exercise. The trail, which is a fully paved rail-trail built on an abandoned rail line, begins at the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna and ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line near Cedartown. www.silvercometga.com

Best Workout
A full-service, boutique fitness studio designed to optimize the time and energy you spend toward attaining your health, aesthetic and fitness goals, BLAST blends cardio and strength training to provide an individualized full-body workout that incorporates everything you need in just 60 minutes. www.theblastlife.com

Best Personal Trainer
Michael Church, T3 Wellness Solutions
Church found his passion for health and fitness after his own 120-pound weight-loss journey. Now a certified personal trainer, he works with a wide variety of clients to help them meet their individual goals, offering services that include athletic conditioning and performance enhancement, contest and event prep, weight loss, corrective exercise, post-rehabilitation and more. www.t3wellnesssolutions.com

2Best Boot Camp
1 Rep at a Time Boot Camp
Results can be expected when you participate in this CrossFit endurance-based boot camp, located at CrossFit Zanshin in Peachtree Corners/Norcross. Take advantage of the 12 classes offered each week, most of which are held indoors and all of which take place in a truly motivating environment. www.1repatatime.com

Best CrossFit Instructor
Jake Francis, CrossFit Dwala
A former offensive lineman for the University of Tennessee, Francis now trains individuals and athletes of all ages and experience levels. In May of 2013 Francis opened CrossFit Dwala, a 3,600-square-foot fitness coaching facility in Marietta. www.crossfitdwala.com

Best CrossFit Gym
CrossFit Vesuvio
Offering scalable workouts that suit every fitness level, CrossFit Vesuvio strives to be an alternative to standard big-box gyms by focusing on members' individual needs. The team is led by owner and head coach Cristoforo Romano, who won Best Self's 2015 Best CrossFit Coach award. www.crossfitvesuvio.com

Best Group Fitness Class
Orangetheory Fitness
Sixty-minute workout sessions are split into intervals of cardio and strength training and performed with heart-rate monitors to track intensity and maximize metabolic burn. This nationwide exercise phenomenon will change your body and improve your fitness level. www.orangetheoryfitness.com

Best Barre Studio
Pure Barre
Pure Barre was created to target the areas women struggle with most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. Their low-impact workout combines elements of ballet barre techniques and strength training to tone and lengthen the body during a highly effective workout, which can be done at any of the studio's many metro-area locations. www.purebarre.com

Best Indoor Cycling Instructor
Alex Martinez, Torq Cycle
As both the owner and an instructor at Torq Cycle, this IT executive-turned-fitness entrepreneur shows students how fun and challenging spinning can be with personalized high-intensity, low-impact classes, designed not only to provide an effective workout, but also to bring complete and true enjoyment. www.torqatl.com

3Best Indoor Cycling Studio
Flywheel Sports®
Invigorating music, exceptional equipment and inspiring instructors are the cornerstone of Flywheel Sports, which boasts three locations throughout metro Atlanta. And with complimentary shoes, towels and lockers, your indoor cycling experience will be as welcoming as it is effective. www.flywheelsports.com

Best Yoga Studio
Korsi Yoga
Offering Hot Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Yoga Sequence, Power Yoga, Athletic Yoga, Yin Yoga and more, this Roswell studio provides the safest, most authentic hot yoga experience possible thanks to the same special hot yoga heating system used in hot studios around the world, which controls heat, humidity and oxygen levels in the room. www.korsiyoga.com

Best Yoga Instructor
Claudi Pena, Atmasphere
A committed yoga student since 2011, this beloved instructor provides a guided yoga experience constructed to soothe, balance and repair by connecting breath, movement, stillness, sensation, meditation and self exploration. She teaches four of Atmasphere's most coveted classes: ATMA Flow, ATMA Sweat, ATMA Be and ATMA Hot. www.liveatmasphere.com

5Best Barre Instructor
Mallory Hope Schwartz, Pink Barre Virginia-Highland
A favorite among those who visit Pink Barre's Virginia-Highland location, Mallory Schwartz is dedicated to growing the Atlanta fitness community while raising awareness for physical activity, starting with empowering and inspiring women through this popular ballet-inspired fitness class. www.pink-barre.com

Best Pilates Studio
SculptHouse Fitness Studio
Located in the heart of Buckhead, this high-end group fitness studio and activewear boutique is the world's first studio to combine the Megaformer and the Treadmill, allowing you to sculpt the physique you want using the most sophisticated and low-impact, but high-intensity, human-powered machines on the market. www.sculpthouse.com

6Best Pilates Instructor
Alex Hayes, CORE
A member of CORE's operations team, Hayes found a passion for Pilates in 2002. As a certified instructor, she has spent six years teaching Pilates, helping clients get the most out of this natural form of movement. In addition, she currently is training to teach Redcord suspension exercise classes at CORE. www.coreatl.com

Best Group Fitness Instructor
Carson Simonton, The Bar Method East Cobb
She may have started in sales and services with The Bar Method, but Simonton's palpable passion for health, wellness and nutrition helped her become a certified Bar Method teacher and director of operations for the East Cobb (and Lenox) locations, as well as one of the most celebrated instructors in metro Atlanta. www.atlanta-eastcobb.barmethod.com

Best Dance Fitness Class
Dance Mix at Windy Hill Athletic Club
Get your heart rate up and burn calories while you get down to the beat at Windy Hill Athletic Club, where esteemed instructor Miraya Goretzki teaches the coveted Dance Mix class, which combines modern dance with today's most popular tunes. www.windyhillclub.com

Best Dance Studio
Dance 101
A unique adult dance studio that blends dance and fitness, Dance 101 is designed for students ages 18 and up. This 10,000-square-foot Briarcliff Road facility has become the country's largest dance-for-exercise concept studio, offering everything from ballet and jazz to A-Town Funk and Booty Barre Blast. www.dance101.org

8Best Martial Arts Studio
Atlanta Kick Karate and Kickboxing
Kids and adults alike can improve their lives thanks to martial arts training and fitness at Atlanta Kick. The facility offers karate and CrossFit programs for kids, as well as kickboxing, kettlebell, martial arts, CrossFit, personal-training programs and more for adults. Want to check it out? Try a class for free. www.atlantakick.com

7Best Golf Store
PGA TOUR Superstore
Novices and pros alike turn to this nationwide chain to find everything from golf clubs and bags to apparel and accessories. Two stores in metro Atlanta (Roswell and Kennesaw) carry all of today's top brands. www.pgatoursuperstore.com

Best Place to Buy Running/Walking Gear
Big Peach Running Co.
Sprint over to one of seven metro Atlanta locations for the absolute best in footwear, apparel and accessories for runners and walkers. The entire staff embraces the pedestrian-active lifestyle and can address every aspect of a customer's fitness routine. www.bigpeachrunningco.com

Best Place to Buy Outdoor Gear
High Country Outfitters
Locally owned and operated, this outdoor gear and clothing business has been one of Atlanta's premier shops for outdoor enthusiasts for more than four decades. In addition to carrying most well-known brands, including The North Face, Columbia and Big Green Egg, the store's various locations throughout metro Atlanta host popular events like Stand Up for the Hooch and the Chaco Tour. www.highcountryoutfitters.com

Best Hiking Trail
Kennesaw Mountain
More than 20 miles of trails weave through the forests and meadows of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park; with a variety of terrain available, the trails are perfect for both walking and running—and taking in the view from the summit of the majestic mountain. www.nps.gov/kemo

Best Bicycle Shop
Roswell Bicycles
Opened in Roswell in 1987, this renowned shop is the go-to location for bikes, parts and accessories, clothing, helmets, service, repair and more. And to help grow the sport, Roswell Bicycles sponsors a variety of riders, events and cycling education programs throughout metro Atlanta. www.roswellbicycles.com

9Best Cycling Event
Atlanta Moon Ride
A six-mile nighttime bike ride, this unique event takes cyclists of all ages and levels through some of Atlanta's coolest neighborhoods and gives 100 percent of the proceeds to Bert's Big Adventure, the nonprofit organization that provides an all-expenses-paid Disney vacation to children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families. www.atlantamoonride.com

Best Place for Kids' Fitness
Cardio Kool Kids
A complete wellness program for children in grades pre-K through 5, Cardio Kool Kids combines kickboxing, sports drills, strength training, hip hop dance and health and nutrition journaling. The experience focuses on the whole child and aims to teach kids that healthy living can be fun. www.cardiokoolkids.com

10Best Place for Seniors' Fitness
Roswell Recreation Senior Center
The City of Roswell Recreation and Parks Department places great emphasis on providing outstanding health and wellness programs for seniors. From working with Silver Sneakers Fitness to hosting shallow-water exercise classes to offering yoga, tai chi, line dancing and more, there's something for every interest and fitness level. www.roswellgov.com

Best Tennis Instructor
Rob Carver
A USPTA Elite pro who is a member of the Wilson Tennis Advisory Staff, Carver teaches 190 students per week ages 5 to 75. He also serves as a Special Olympics coach and is an ALTA AA-1 player. He has brought his experience and passion for tennis to Rob Carver Tennis Inc. since 1992. www.facebook.com/rob.carvertennis

Best Tennis Store
Your Serve Tennis
One of the largest and most distinguished tennis specialty retailers in the country, Your Serve Tennis boasts seven locations throughout metro Atlanta, carrying everything from tennis racquets, strings and bags to clothing and accessories for players of all levels. www.yourserve.com

11Best Indoor Sport/Activity
Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center
Learn everything you need to know about rock climbing in either Atlanta or Kennesaw, the two locations of this popular indoor climbing facility. Classes include belay lessons, bouldering basics, technique essentials and lead classes, as well as additional fitness classes that will improve your climbing by strengthening your body and mind. www.ssclimbing.com

These fan favorites also received lots of votes:

Best Barre Instructor
Katy Bayless Gibson
Best Boot Camp
Operation Boot Camp
Best CrossFit Gym
CrossFit Dwala
Best Hiking Trail
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Best Large Fitness Facility
Concourse Athletic Club
Windy Hill Athletic Club
Best Pilates Studio
Stability Pilates & Physical Therapy
Best Place to Buy Outdoor Gear
Mountain High Outfitters
Best Running Club
Big Peach Running Co.
Best Yoga Instructor
Carly Grace Hinchman, Thunderbolt Power Yoga
Leila Taylor Jankowski, Lift Yoga Studio
Best Yoga Studio
Infinity Yoga
Tough Love Yoga


Life Enrichment

Best Active Senior Community
Cresswind at Lake Lanier
Located in Gainesville, this premier, gated, active-adult community from Kolter Homes offers two- and three-bedroom, ranch-style homes and a tremendous lifestyle that includes access to a three-story clubhouse, an on-property boathouse and countless additional amenities. www.kolterhomes.com

Best Aging Care
FirstLight Home Care of Atlanta
Compassionate, professional caregivers coupled with a wide range of services make FirstLight an option for those who require in-home or elderly care for loved ones. Senior-care services include companion, personal, dementia and respite care, among others. www.firstlighthomecare.com

Best Life Coach
Amy Head, New Perspectives for Life, LLC
With the belief that people truly are stronger than they think they are, Head helps people of all ages identify the issues that plague their lives and use their strengths, gifts and talents to deal with them and get to where they want to be. www.newperspectivesforlife.com

12Best Financial Counseling
Julie R. Bates, Delta Community Credit Union
Julie R. Bates, CFP, ChFC, assistant vice president, specializes in comprehensive financial planning, investment management, women's finances, LGBT individuals, couples and more. She uses her 18 years of experience to analyze and find the holes in your financial plan so you can correct them. www.deltacommunitycu.com

Best Hypnotherapist
Angella Ocheltree, Right Path Hypnosis
A nationally certified hypnotist and life and performance coach, Ocheltree uses advanced techniques to access the subconscious mind, helping clients in a wide range of areas; her services include sports hypnosis, hypnosis for weight loss, hypnosis to stop smoking and more. www.rightpathhypnosis.com

Best Doggie Daycare
Puppy Haven
Two locations in metro Atlanta provide the perfect place for pups to either spend the day or the night. This unique doggie daycare haven offers indoor and outdoor play areas for cage-free fun, oversized apartments and suites for overnight stays, controlled socialization, a professionally trained staff, onsite dog bathers, webcams and much more. www.puppyhavenatl.com

13Best Dog Park
Piedmont Dog Park
A haven for dogs and their people, Piedmont Dog Park features a nearly three-acre dog run, separate enclosures for large and small dogs, new trails and landscaping and more. It's one of the only locations in metro Atlanta where dogs can run free in a special off-leash area. www.piedmontpark.org/do/dogpark

Best Pet Store
CityDog Market
A small, independently-owned neighborhood store, CityDog Market welcomes pets (and their people) to find healthy and natural pet food, wholesome and holistic treats and chews, cozy beds, collars and much more. Stop by to pick up something special or use one of the shop's self-serve dog-wash stations to help your pup freshen up before heading home. www.citydogmarket.com

Best Local Vet
WellPet Humane
Dedicated to the care of pets who are owned by people who are financially struggling, this innovative practice offers a wide range of low-cost veterinary medical programs, from wellness and sick/injured exams to parasite testing, dental care, surgeries, spay/neuter services and heartworm and Parvo testing and treatment. www.wellpethumane.com

Best Groomer
Creekside Pet Hotel
Pamper your pooch (or even your feline) with a grooming trip to this esteemed day camp, boarding facility and pet spa in Kennesaw. From bathing, manicures and pedicures to dental care, the staff offers everything you need to help your four-legged friends look their best. www.creeksidepethotel.com

14Best Pet Training
Frogs to Dogs
Only the most knowledgeable individuals in the animal-training industry are welcomed to the staff of this renowned pet-sitting and dog-training company. Offering a unique selection of unlimited group classes and private behavioral training solutions for your four-legged friends, Frogs to Dogs has become one of the go-to pet-training locales for pet owners throughout metro Atlanta. www.frogstodogs.com

Best Pet Walker/Sitter Service
Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish ... you name it, and CutiePaws will care for it! This locally owned and operated pet-sitting service welcomes all kinds of animals and strives to bring comfort to pets and their owners by maintaining each animal's regular routine as best as possible. Services for pets with special needs also are available. www.cutiepawsatl.com

Best Charity Race
Strong Legs Run Benefitting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Held for more than three decades in Atlanta, the highly anticipated annual Associated Credit Union Strong Legs Run/Walk benefitting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta includes a 10K and 5K qualifier for the AJC Peachtree Road Race, a 2K Fun Run and Stroller Roll and a Mascot Trot (for younger participants). www.choa.org/stronglegs

15Best Volunteer Opportunity
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Inc., is a nonprofit volunteer-based organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in North Georgia. Local residents who want to help have an array of options, from providing a foster home and attending adoption events to advocate for the animals to making phone calls, screening applicants and helping plan events and fundraisers. www.angelsrescue.org

Best Charity Ball or Gala
Junior League of Atlanta Centennial Gala
Held at the Atlanta History Center and Swan House in Buckhead on October 1, the historic Centennial Gala served as a kickoff to the League's anniversary celebrations, which mark 100 years of the organization impacting the Atlanta community through voluntarism, leadership and effective action. www.jlatlanta.org

Best Local Festival
Inman Park Festival & Tour of Homes
Held during the last weekend of April each year, this highly anticipated event includes an arts and crafts show and street market, a parade, a dance festival, a variety of bands and entertainment, a Kidzone and a self-conducted tour of Inman Park's most well-known and beloved homes. www.inmanparkfestival.org

Best Escape Game
Ultimate Escape Game
Perfect for corporate teams, tourists, couples and families, the Ultimate Escape Game uses innovative room themes (steal a priceless Fabergé egg, anyone?), cinematic staging and carefully crafted puzzles to create the most exhilarating experience as you try to beat the clock to escape the room. www.ultimateescapegame.com

Best In-Town Getaway
A unique urban village located within the city limits of Chattahoochee Hills, Serenbe allows residents and visitors to connect with nature like never before. Stay at the Inn at Serenbe and take advantage of the entire community's incredible amenities, from shopping and dining options to a wide array of outdoor activities. www.serenbe.com

Best Day Trip
Dahlonega Wine Trail
With the highest concentration of wineries and vineyards in Georgia, the Dahlonega Mountains are recognized as "the Heart of Georgia Wine Country." Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a variety of wines made from European, French hybrid and American wine grapes, all found at the incredible wineries along the 39-mile scenic drive, which takes just over an hour to complete. www.dahlonega.org

Best Cooking Class
The Cook's Warehouse
Learn how to cook everything from seasonal delicacies to traditional stews, casseroles and chicken dinners at The Cook's Warehouse. Offerings include a myriad of classes that include menu recipes, samples of the food and complimentary beverages at three metro-area locations. www.cookswarehouse.com

16Best Place for Fun Classes or Workshops
The Beehive
Get crafty at The Beehive, with its unique and diverse selection of modern workshops, including jewelry making, sewing, bath and body, paper and felt and artisan food offerings. Kids can get in on the action too with Little Crafter workshops. www.thebeehiveatl.com

Best Place to Go Camping
Red Top Mountain State Park
More than 30 campsites dot the landscape of the state park on Red Top Mountain. Campers can enjoy a wide array of activities, including hiking on 15 miles of trails and swimming, water skiing and fishing on Lake Allatoona. Walk-in campsites, cottages and one yurt are also available. www.gastateparks.org/redtopmountain

Best Art Gallery
Westside Cultural Arts Center
Founded by Dr. James L. Chappuis, a proponent of the development of Atlanta's West Midtown, this innovative facility is both a special-event venue and a living gallery, complete with Collective One, a gallery-in-residence curated by Anthony Liggins and featuring a rotating collection of local and regional artists. www.westsideartscenter.com

Best Comedy
Club/Show Dad's Garage
More than 30,000 people visit this innovative theater each year to enjoy traditional and original improv performances that have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The goal of Dad's Garage is to cultivate and inspire artists and audiences by bringing them together for an "undeniably awesome" experience. www.dadsgarage.com

Best Museum
High Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Atlanta, the High Museum serves audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collections (including a permanent collection that includes more than 15,000 artworks across seven collecting areas), a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. www.high.org

Best Bookstore
Little Shop of Stories
Located on Decatur's historic square, this charming independent bookstore helps kids (and their adults) find just the right books for their age, interests and reading level. It also hosts book groups, summer camps, birthday parties and more, making it the perfect spot for book lovers of all ages. www.littleshopofstories.com
17Best Continuing
Education Program Emory University
For more than 60 years, thousands of students have taken advantage of Emory Continuing Education, which offers a wide range of certificate programs and open-enrollment courses for both professional development and personal enrichment, covering everything from information technology and human resources to financial planning and foreign languages. www.ece.emory.edu

Best Music Venue
Tabernacle Atlanta
A one-of-a-kind music experience awaits at this historic locale, which opened in 1910 as The Broughton Tabernacle and is now operated by Live Nation as an eclectic music venue. From indie acts to major recording artists, there's something for everyone. www.tabernacleatl.com

Best Matchmaking Service
Single Atlanta
The largest privately owned matchmaking firm in Atlanta and the Southeast, Single Atlanta takes a personalized approach to the matchmaking process, screening and qualifying candidates before you meet them, working with you one-on-one to find matches and following up with feedback, coaching and advice. www.singleatlanta.com

Best Park
Piedmont Park
Known as downtown Atlanta's "Common Ground" since 1904, Piedmont Park is one of the city's most beloved amenities. The Piedmont Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works with the City of Atlanta, has worked diligently to transform this once-dilapidated park into Atlanta's most visited green space and offers an array of unique programming. www.piedmontpark.org

Best City Attraction
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown is this 30-acre gem, dedicated to developing and maintaining plant collections for display, education, conservation, research and enjoyment. Other highlights include bird gardens, bog gardens, holiday Garden Lights and more. www.atlantabg.org

Best Community Garden
Chastain Park Community Garden
The Chastain Park Conservancy's Farm Chastain, an all-organic urban teaching garden at the Conservancy Barn, hosts free monthly gardening classes for the public from March to October and was created to serve as a healthy-living program for people of all ages. www.chastainparkconservancy.org

These fan favorites also received lots of votes:

Best Aging Care
Caravita Home Care
Best Art Gallery
Mason Fine Art and Events
Best Charity Ball or Gala
Thriving Children Gala
Best Charity Race
Shamrock 'N Roll Road Race
Best Comedy Club/Show
The Punchline
Best Continuing Education Program
Kennesaw State University
Best Doggie Daycare
Best Groomer
Best Escape Room
Urban Escape Games
Best Financial Counseling
Ashford Advisors
Scarlet Oak Financial Services
Best In-Town Getaway
Chateau Elan
Jeju Sauna
Best Local Festival
Music Midtown
Best Local Vet
Ansley Animal Clinic
Brookhaven Animal Hospital


Beauty & Anti-Aging

18Best Hair Salon
Aura Hair & Makeup Salon
From cut, color and style to hair extensions and treatments, the highly trained and experienced team at this renowned salon strives to help every client create an individualized signature look and walk out feeling confident and beautiful. www.aurahm.com

Best Hair Salon for Blowouts
DryBar Buckhead
Located near the St. Regis Hotel, this salon focuses on one thing and one thing only: blowouts (with a wash included). To really up the amazing factor, you can add a 10-minute scalp massage, a braid and even a Bay Breeze Hydrating Shot for an additional fee. www.thedrybar.com

Best Hair Stylist
Moses Krell, Salon Red
A stylist since the age of 22, Krell understands the impact a great haircut or color can make in someone's life. He apprenticed under Salon Red's owner, Jessica Soler, and is truly passionate about the creativity that comes with his beloved profession. www.salonred.com

19Best Hair Colorist
Rebecca Crispin, Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa
An in-demand senior stylist and color specialist, as well as a certified hair extensions artist, Crispin's work has appeared in magazines throughout metro Atlanta and many of the city's fashion shows. www.stevehightower.com

20Best Hair Restoration
Anderson Center for Hair
Led by esteemed hair-restoration specialist Dr. Ken Anderson, the Anderson Center for Hair is the only practice in the state of Georgia to offer ARTAS robot-assisted hair-restoration surgery, during which Anderson and his team employ the non-invasive Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method to remove and place hairs for permanent restoration. www.atlantahairsurgeon.com

Best Waxing
Authentic Brazilian Wax by Andreia
Brazilian-born Andreia Guilmet introduced a new waxing technique to metro Atlanta when she opened her first location in Marietta in 2005. Today, she is at the helm of 18 locations throughout North Georgia, where she imports her own natural, organic wax from Brazil and strives to provide every client—both women and men—with a truly comfortable waxing experience. www.brazilianwax.com

Best Eyebrows
Brows by Milly
Brazilian-born Milly Marques has become metro Atlanta's eyebrow guru thanks to her innovative use of microblading, a manual type of semi-permanent makeup where pigment is applied to the surface of the skin, giving eyebrows a fuller and more-symmetrical appearance. www.browsbymilly.com

Best Eyelash Extensions
Amazing Lash Studio
Exceptionally lightweight synthetic eyelash extensions that provide long, natural-looking, voluminous lashes set this unique studio apart. Solid color and two-tone specialty eyelashes also are available. www.amazinglashstudio.com

21 Best Body Wrap
Pearl's Spa & Apothecary Boutique
Like an indulgent facial for the entire body, the body wrap at Pearl's Spa in Acworth provides relaxation, super-intense hydration for the skin and exfoliation while detoxing the body. It pairs perfectly with the spa's Swedish or deep-tissue massage. www.pearlsspaandboutique.com

Best Laser Hair Removal
Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center
Providing safe laser treatments in Atlanta since 1999, Duluth's Laser Lights is a full-service cosmetic center that provides safe and effective personal laser treatments for women and men using medical-grade, FDA-approved laser equipment. www.atlaserlights.com

Best Facial
Sarah Miller, Dermatology Consultants
A medical aesthetician and laser technician, Miller specializes in medical-grade skin peels, micro-dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, photofacials, skin tightening, laser hair removal and other treatments. www.dermatologyconsultants.org

22Best Chemical Peel
Melissa Tyler, Dermatology Center of Atlanta
As a medical aesthetician for the Dermatology Center of Atlanta, Tyler uses her skill and expertise to custom select the best medical-grade chemical peels for patients, helping them minimize fine wrinkling on the face and neck, even out the skin tone and texture and reduce the appearance of sun damage. www.dermatology-atlanta.com

Best Plastic Surgeon for the Breasts
Asaf Yalif, MD, Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
This renowned plastic surgeon specializes in cosmetic surgery for the face, breast and body. His signature breast procedures include breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, breast implant exchange and the popular mommy makeover. www.yplasticsurgery.com

24Best Plastic Surgeon for the Face
Elizabeth Whitaker, MD, FACS, Atlanta Face & Body Center®
This experienced, double board-certified physician has performed thousands of facial procedures, including more than 4,000 facelifts. Her goal is to help patients look their very best—not like someone else—and help them achieve a natural look with the personalized procedures they choose. www.atlantafaceandbody.com

Best Plastic Surgeon for the Tummy
Patricia Yugueros, MD, Luna Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa
A diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Yugueros offers the full spectrum of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, with special interest in breast surgery, liposuction, buttock enhancement and body contouring, including abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck), which removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens loose abdominal muscles. www.lunaplasticsurgery.com

23Best Plastic Surgeon for Lipo
Ruth Celestin, MD, Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
This award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon offers a wide array of services, including facial rejuvenation, breast reconstruction, breast augmentation and body contouring, as well as a variety of liposuction options, from ultrasonic-assisted liposuction and minimally invasive laser liposuction to weekend liposuction. www.georgiaplastic.com

Best Microdermabrasion
Lidia Nistor-Reteneller, Skin IQ Medspa
The founder of Skin IQ Medspa, Nistor-Reteneller begins every session with a detailed consultation and thorough skin analysis. Her renowned microdermabrasion can be added to any of the spa's organic facials, including Lidia's Signature Facial, the Metrosexual Facial or the Deep Pore Facial. www.skiniqmedspa.com

Best Makeup Artist
Nyssa Green, The Green Room Agency
An Emmy Award winner, this distinguished makeup stylist founded The Green Room Agency in 1998. Her magical services have made her the artist-of-choice for magazines, red carpets, movie sets and production companies throughout the city, including CNN, 11Alive and Jezebel, among many others. www.thegreenroomagency.com

25Best Permanent Cosmetics
Evie Delaney, The Nouveau Clinic
Founder of The Nouveau Clinic, this CDT/paramedical artist has turned her family's experiences (her mother is a two-time burn survivor and she deals with ongoing scalp hair loss) into a calling to help both women and men look and feel fantastic. Her permanent makeup services include 3D eyebrow restoration, permanent lip color, dark skin care and more. www.nouveaufaceandbody.com

26Best Esthetician
Heather Davis, Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery
Through Visage Skin Care Center, a state-of-the-art medical day spa and division of Robinson Facial Plastic Surgery, this highly trained and experienced esthetician and laser practitioner provides effective medical-grade skincare treatments—from Halo and BBL to chemical peels—to patients throughout metro Atlanta. www.robinsonfps.com/heather-davis

27Best Sunless Tanning
Opulence Spray Tan Club
Opulence Spray Tan Club is the premier mobile service provider in metro Atlanta. Using state-of-the-art technology and an eco-certified solution, the company's Tanologists will bring the tan of your Caribbean dreams to life in the comfort of your own home or office. Each client receives a custom blend with a violet base and a reddish undertone, taking out the bronze so your tan always looks natural—never orange. www.opulencespraytan.com

Best Men's Grooming
Seraphim Skin Care
It's not only women who flock to Seraphim Skin Care's Buckhead salon. Men's facials are growing in popularity, thanks to the facility's innovative Seraphim Technique®, which involves the application of revolutionary FDA-approved and clinically proven products. Want quality time with your spouse? Try a couple's facial. www.seraphimskincare.com

Best Manicure/Pedicure
Hammond Nails and Spa
With more than 50 staff members, you won't have a long wait to get one of the most coveted manicures and pedicures in the area, which includes sitting in one of the most comfortable state-of-the-art spa chairs around. www.facebook.com/hammondnailsandspa

Best Med Spa
Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa
The goal of Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa is to address not only your appearance concerns, but also to treat a range of skin conditions (including cysts, eczema, rosacea and skin cancer) and improve your overall health. The practice's comprehensive list of medical dermatology, medical spa and cosmetic services includes everything from acne laser treatment and Botox to microdermabrasion, tattoo removal and brow and lash tinting. www.gardnerdermatology.com

Best Overall Spa
Natural Body Spa and Shop
Guests of Natural Body Spa and Shop are treated not only to a wide array of exceptional day spa services, including body therapies, massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, but also access to a highly successful natural products company. www.naturalbody.com

Best Botox & Filler Injections
Tracey Gregory, FNP-BC, Aesthetic Specialty Centre
Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, this highly educated and experienced nurse practitioner has focused her career on plastic and reconstructive surgery with an emphasis on artistically enhancing and rejuvenating the face with botulinum toxin type A and cosmetic injectable fillers. www.asc-psd.com

Best Non-Invasive Fat Removal
Linda McGee, A New You Skin & Body Clinic
The CoolSculpting Procedure, as administered by Linda McGee, is a non-invasive way to gently and effectively reduce fat in targeted areas of your body, resulting in noticeable, natural-looking fat reduction in the treated areas. No anesthesia or pain meds are needed, and there is no downtime after the procedure. www.anewyouclinic.com

Best Personal Stylist
Kam Thomas Throckmorton, Glam Kam Style
This Atlanta native's goal is to create life-changing looks for her clients, helping everyone from CEOs to soccer moms exude confidence. She believes confident women can change the world and loves cultivating that aplomb in people through one-on-one styling, including closet edits, photo shoots and personal shopping, as well as through public-speaking engagements. www.glamkam.com

Best Custom Bra Fit
LiviRae Lingerie
The staff at LiviRae boasts more than 20 years of experience in the lingerie industry, ensuring that every customer who visits this comfortable and welcoming Kennesaw boutique receives the best possible customized bra fitting. The shop also offers mastectomy bras and prosthetic accessories. www.facebook.com/liviraega

These fan favorites also received lots of votes:

Best Botox and Filler Injections
Kristin Magee, MD
Judith R. McKernan, RN, BSN
Best Dermatology Practice
Goodman Dermatology
Best Esthetician
Dr. Erin Madigan-Fleck, NMD, CDT, LME, LEI
Kimberly Clarke, LE
Best Eyebrows
Alyson Hoag, Authentic Beauty
Best Hair Colorist
Ryan Godfrey, Salon Red
Best Hair Salon
Adore Hair Studio
Akasa Salon
Bob Steele Salon
Steve Hightower Hair and Makeup
Van Michael Salon
Best Laser Hair Removal
Dermatology Center of Atlanta
Best Manicure/Pedicure
Bluegrass Nail Salon
Sugarcoat Nail and Beauty Bar
Best Med Spa
Bella by Alethea


Health & Wellness

28Best Integrative Medical Doctor
Taz Bhatia, MD
The founder and medical director of CentreSpring MD, Bhatia works to get to a patient's core to find the root of their health problems and help them heal and thrive again; she sees patients of all ages and will open an integrative pediatric practice in Johns Creek in 2017. She is also the author of two best-selling books, What Doctors Eat and The 21-Day Belly Fix. www.centrespringmd.com

Best Integrative Medical Facility
Vitality Project
The goal of Vitality Project, located in Roswell and founded by board-certified naturopath Debra MacIntyre, ND, is to get people well again, without the use of drugs, by restoring their vitality and energy. Natural health services include homeopathy, hormone rejuvenation, allergy relief and more. www.nature-heals.com

30Best Physical Therapy Center
The Sports Rehabilitation Center
Helmed by physical therapist and athletic trainer Brian Tovin, The Sports Rehabilitation Center has become one of Atlanta's preferred facilities for orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Through the use of state-of-the-art equipment and a model that emphasizes one-on-one care with a physical therapist, the center provides solutions for patients with a wide range of treatment needs. www.sportsrehabcenter.com

Best Cryotherapy
Icebox Cryotherapy
A leading provider of non-invasive cold therapy focusing on athletic recovery, pain management and overall health, beauty and wellness, this innovative facility will open its third location—the second one in Atlanta—in Midtown in January 2017. www.iceboxtherapy.com

Best Allergist
Dr. Louis B. Kalish, Atlanta Allergy & Asthma
Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Kalish joined Atlanta Allergy & Asthma in 1997 and specializes in the management of pediatric asthma and food allergies. www.atlantaallergy.com

29Best Eye Doctor
Andrew Feinberg, MD, Georgia Eye Partners
A board-certified ophthalmologist, Feinberg is trained in all disciplines of comprehensive ophthalmology and specializes in LASIK and other corneal surgery, using the latest technology and medical techniques to provide the best possible experience for patients from all over Georgia. www.gaeyepartners.com

Best Acupuncture
Atlanta Center for Acupuncture and Wellness
Specializing in women's health and fertility, the team at the Atlanta Center for Acupuncture and Wellness, which is comprised of ABORM-certified practitioners, offers an array of services from acupuncture to naturopathy, which are rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and adapted to the needs of modern living. www.atlanta-acucenter.com

Best Colon Cleansing
Atlanta Colonic & Massage
Offering natural colon cleansing, also known as colon hydrotherapy or colonics, Atlanta Colonic & Massage provides a safe and natural way to eliminate toxins and cleanse the body, putting you in control of your own health and wellness with a 45-minute session by an I-ACT-certified therapist. www.atlantacoloniccenter.com

Best Hormone Therapy
Harley Anti-Aging Institute
Founded by Sharon Bent-Harley, MD, the Institute offers Pellet therapy, a form of bio-identical hormone-replacement therapy for women and men which releases a steady and controlled dose of natural hormone into the system and yields excellent results. Most recently the Institute began offering ThermiVa®, the first non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatment. www.harleyantiaging.com

Best Spine Care
Resurgens Spine Center
With 21 offices throughout metro Atlanta, the physicians at Resurgens Spine Center specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from neck and back pain. Their spine experts offer both non-surgical and surgical treatment options to help patients reach their treatment goals. www.resurgens.com/spine

Best ENT Practice
The ENT Institute
The largest independent ear, nose and throat (ENT) practice of its type in the Southeast, this renowned facility offers cutting-edge procedures at the lowest possible price for patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. The Institute also is a national training center for in-office Balloon Sinuplasty and offers a unique at-home allergy therapy that requires no weekly visits for allergy shots. www.entinstitute.com

Best Dermatology Practice
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta
With five board-certified physicians, eight specialty centers and state-of-the-art technology, DAA offers patients a wide range of skincare treatments, from skin cancer and acne treatments to minimally invasive fat-reduction services like CoolSculpting® and SlimLipoTM®. www.dermatlanta.com

31Best Cosmetic Dentist
Dr. Debra Gray King
Founder of the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry and an accredited fellow with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, King specializes in complex restorative dentistry. In addition to serving patients throughout the metro area, patients routinely travel from afar to seek her services. King has been a featured expert for a variety of national media outlets and she lectures nationwide. www.atlantacenterforcosmeticdentistry.com

Best Foot Care
Stephanie Michael, DPM, Village Podiatry
In addition to handling common foot complaints like bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails and heel pain, Michael specializes in diabetic foot care, including treatment and reconstruction, and wound care. She serves patients of all ages, from pediatric to seniors. www.villagepodiatrycenters.com

32Best Vein Treatment
Drs. Louis Prevosti, James Fonger and Keith Moore work diligently to provide a thorough diagnosis and complete treatment plan for your venous disease, from tiny spider veins to complex varicose veins. They are dedicated to providing personalized treatment and restoring health and youthfulness to your legs. www.veinatlanta.com

Best Massage Therapist
Dayna Walker, Tranquility Massage by Dayna
Located in Roswell, this trained neuromuscular therapist has been practicing for 17 years. Her work incorporates several techniques and modalities of massage targeted to each individual's needs, as well as the use of aromatherapy, light therapy and heat and hydrotherapy combined with the experience of healing hands. www.daynaww.amtamembers.com

Best Women's Health Clinic
Premier Women's Specialists, PC
Offering a unique blend of expertise and patient-centered care for women in all stages of life and health, this esteemed practice uses "today's technology with yesterday's caring." Led by Kevin Michael Daus, MD, Premier Women's Specialists covers a wide range of obstetrics and gynecology services and strives to provide the best healthcare possible. www.kevindausmd.com

Best Weight-Loss Program
Atlanta Endocrine Associates
Atlanta Endocrine Associates has helped people lose weight since 2000 by specializing in hard-to-treat cases and focusing on the disease of obesity as a disorder of hormonal imbalance. www.atlantaendocrine.com

These fan favorites also received lots of votes:

Best Hormone Therapy
Best Acupuncture
Art of Healing
Best Spine Care
Shepherd Center




Best CSA Program
Love Is Love Farm
Offering two main season sessions (spring and summer/fall), this community-supported agriculture organization provides the most diverse and delicious selection of certified organic vegetables and fruit from Gaia Gardens, Evie's Country Gardens and Decimal Place Farm. www.loveislovefarm.com

Best Farmers Market
Decatur Farmers Market
Located at the First Baptist Church of Decatur, the DFM features more than 20 vendors on Wednesdays and Saturdays March through December. Market offerings include organically grown produce, meats, breads, eggs, artisan foods and more. The market also features chefs' demos, kids' activities and picnic areas. www.cfmatl.org/decatur

Best Farm-to-Home Delivery
Nature's Garden Express
Eating healthy is easier than ever with this unique service, which partners with the best organic farms and sustainable food producers to bring high-quality produce, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy and artisan foods right to your doorstep. www.naturesgardenexpress.com

Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant
Table & Main
Executive Chef Woolery "Woody" Back has an extensive background with the Atlanta restaurant scene and has carried his friendships with farmers and belief in responsible sourcing to Table & Main in Roswell, which features "simple, seasonal and Southern" cuisine in what has become a go-to neighborhood spot. www.tableandmain.com

Best Food Truck
The Blaxican
Mexican soul food has come to Atlanta courtesy of the Blaxican Food Truck, which serves such mouthwatering delicacies as Mexy Mac and Cheese and the Collard Greens Quesadilla. In addition to making everyone say "Que Pasa, Y'all," the Blaxican helps feed the less fortunate through tips and donations collected via the truck and its website. www.blaxicanfood.com

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Farm Burger
Kids who love burgers will love the seasonal fare available at this family-friendly restaurant (which has three locations in metro Atlanta)—and they'll also want to dig into the "Lil Farmers" menu, with offerings like grilled cheese sandwiches and fried chicken lollipops with honey mustard. www.farmburger.net
Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant
Lucky's Burgers & Brew
A local watering hole for you and your beloved pooch, Lucky's Burger & Brew, with locations in Roswell, Town Brookhaven and Emory Village, offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a great burger, a cold beer and quality time on the patio with your peeps and your pups. www.luckysburgerandbrew.com
33Best New Restaurant
Whether you dine at Superica in Buckhead or at the Krog Street Market, you'll feel like you've walked right into the Old West, where you can enjoy reinvented Tex-Mex dishes like puffy tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and more. And don't forget to enjoy a cocktail like the Red-Headed Stranger or the Texas Star. www.superica.com

Best Health Food Store
Whole Foods Market
For years, Whole Foods Market has provided customers with access to the finest natural and organic foods available and kept a strict commitment to sustainable agriculture. With numerous locations throughout metro Atlanta, this market leader has ensured that local residents can find whatever they need. www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Best Healthy Chef
Megan McCarthy, Healthy Eating 101
With Healthy Eating 101, McCarthy strives to teach people how to make healthy food and why, providing valuable nutritional information along the way. Her extensive culinary services include everything from personal one-on-one and group cooking classes to corporate "lunch and learns," health and wellness chef demos and corporate team-building cooking classes. www.healthyeating101.com
Best Vegetarian Restaurant
Café Sunflower
Dairy-free, gluten-free and meat-free have never tasted so good. This charming café, a staple on the Atlanta dining scene for two decades, continues to wow diners with its exceptional plant-based menu, which goes beyond salads and sides with truly satisfying fare. www.cafesunflower.com

Best Prepared Healthy Meals
Fresh 'n Fit
Choose from five dietician-approved menus: Healthy Mix, Low Carb, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Paleo. All of the chef-prepared, gourmet, ready-to-eat meals are available for pickup or home and office delivery, ensuring that you will always have a healthy meal when you need one. www.freshnfitcuisine.com

Best Juice Bar
Kale Me Crazy
A superfood café that offers cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads and wraps, this burgeoning business, with eight locations around Atlanta, helps support a healthy lifestyle through the use of fresh, organic and raw foods. www.kalemecrazy.net

Best Atlanta Food Blog
We Like to Cook!
Husband and wife Dom and Denise Romeo share recipes handed down from their mothers and grandmothers, put their own spin on their favorite cookbook recipes, experiment with new ingredients and much more in this foodie-centric blog. www.welike2cook.com

These fan favorites also received lots of votes:

Best CSA Program
Heritage Farms
Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant
Miller Union
Best New Restaurant
Best Prepared Healthy Meals


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