Thursday, 01 June 2017 17:25

2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Winners

Photos by Sawyer Photography

Move over millennials, these Over 40 & Fabulous! contest winners steal the spotlight. From business to broadcasting, health care to human rights, and fitness to philanthropy, our winners reflect the energy and enthusiasm that makes 40 and beyond a season of life to celebrate. Meet them all—and the contest's Advisory Board members—on the following pages!



Winner - Lisa M. Washington

After kidney disease nearly stole her life, 46-year-old B'Tyli Wellness and Beauty Co. CEO, Lisa M. Washington, is dedicated to living life on her own terms.

1-LisaHow has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? It hasn't changed a whole lot. I always dreamt of being here. When I was younger, I looked at the women in my life in their 40s and I saw this great freedom of expression and confidence. In my 20s, I would tell my friends I couldn't wait to turn 40. I am so grateful that I had women in my life that epitomized beauty, grace, and power in this era of their lives.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? After battling kidney disease for 35 years, being unconscious in the hospital for three days, being on dialysis for three months, receiving a kidney transplant, and starting a beauty and wellness company, with God, my best accomplishment has been living and dreaming out loud despite it all.

What is your favorite book? Outside of the Bible, it is "The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself" by Michael A. Singer.

What is your favorite way to give back? The biggest way I love to give back is by helping others establish well-being in their body, mind and spirit. I have a long list of organizations I've worked with in the past and work with currently, including HOPE worldwide, Georgia Transplant Foundation, Junior Achievement USA®, Autism Speaks, Youth Villages - Inner Harbour Campus, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign, and Children Helping Children.

What is your favorite way to workout? Yoga, walking and a little strength training.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Baked halibut with lemon, parsley, pistachio pistou and roasted veggies with a side of my quinoa pilaf. For dessert, it's my Vegan Vanilla Bean Green Matcha Panna Cotta with wild blueberries. I am a personal chef, too. I love food.

Who are the experts/professionals who help you be your best self? My chiropractor, Dr. Julie Marie Lord, at Chat Hills Chiropractic located in Serenbe. Emily Hutchinson, L.E., L.M.E., and Paramedical at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center and Southern Plastic Surgery. Meghan Madhavi Burke, founding director of the Healing Arts Centre. Jeju Sauna. Ebb & Flow Yoga and Surf. Life Time Fitness. My hairstylist, Brandi McWilliams at Keri Gold Salon. My massage therapist, Loyale, the owner of The Green Room Massage and Wellness.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Enjoy every decade of your life fully. Live fully where you are. Love fully where you are. Make mistakes fully where you are and learn from them. Forgive others and yourself.



2-TranInspiration Award - Tran Bui Smith

For 45-year-old Tran Bui Smith, her 40s are the culmination of a lifelong path toward self acceptance and self discovery. She couldn't be more grateful for where those revelations have led her.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do? My parents, Thu and Bich Bui, were in their 20s when they had children. They faced huge challenges during that time—fled Vietnam by boat, moved to a new country, learned English, worked multiple jobs and put four children through college. They had worked so hard and accomplished so much by the time they reached 40. That kind of work ethic and drive forces me to step up my game.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? In 2010, I looked around and saw all the things my children had in their lives and came up with the idea for a family volunteer group called Little Helpers. I convinced a couple of friends to join me and today we have chapters in Memphis, Rochester, N.Y., Mooresville and Charlotte, N.C., Denver, Las Vegas, Fairfield, Conn., and Atlanta. We've even taken it to Ireland and Vietnam.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Professionally, my greatest accomplishment was receiving an Emmy Award for a show titled "Traveling with Tots" that I co-created and hosted. It was a labor of love and the best part was that I got to work with my friends and family.

Personally, the nonprofit I co-founded, Little Helpers, has changed my life. When I get frustrated or saddened by what goes on in the world, I am reminded that there is still so much good in it that I am literally brought to tears. There are angels on Earth who give their time and hearts so freely. I am constantly inspired by these volunteers.

Name something on your bucket list. The biggest thing on my bucket list was finally fulfilled last year. I had made so many excuses, but after more than 40 years, I returned to Vietnam. Even though I was only 3 when my family fled during the Fall of Saigon, I had such regret for leaving the rest of our relatives behind. I felt guilty for finding freedom, while they struggled under Communist rule.

I thought our language barrier, experiences and differences would prevent us from connecting with one another, but when I came face-to-face with my uncle, aunts and cousins, the love we felt was instant. There was no judgment, guilt or jealousy. The goodbyes were long. It was a trip of discovery. I am forever grateful for my life, but something was missing and I didn't even know it.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? For most of my young life, I tried to hide from the real me. I wanted a different name, look, and even, history. I wanted to fit in. My advice is to embrace what makes you stand out. The Vietnamese girl who begged to change her name to Jennifer became an award-winning newscaster with a name people didn't forget, then ended up marrying a Smith. I love how life teaches you these beautiful lessons!



3-SteveGive-Back Award - Steve Hightower

Compared to where he is today, Steve Hightower, 52, owner of Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa, came from humble beginnings. It's that background that motivates him to inspire others to reach their full potential.

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? Patience pays off.

What makes you laugh? Life. And shocking people in a fun, harmless way.

What is your favorite way to workout? Walking, stretching at home, gardening, and doing yard work.

What is your favorite healthy meal? I love grilled salmon.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My success in life. I am from a poor family and I am not ashamed of it, but I wanted more from life than what I saw around me. I want to show others that you can be more than where you are from. Where you are from is not who you are.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? The charities I help are small local charities that assist children in need and the disabled. I have supported The Center for Children & Young Adults, Inc., Childkind, FOCUS + Fragile Kids, My Sister's House, Living Room, and National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), just to name a few.
In 2010, I founded my main charity event, the Thriving Children Gala. This gala has always benefited children and youth in need.



4-BrandieBrandie Park
Brandie Park, 41, is as driven in her work as a sales consultant as she is to giving back to the organizations that helped shape her into the woman she is today.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do? My parents have always been very active. At my age, they were avid water-skiers, played volleyball weekly with their friends and were active in the community. I am fortunate to never have had a number in my head that I considered "old."

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I am most dedicated to the large youth development organization, Georgia 4-H Club Foundation, Inc. I have been a trustee on their board for over a decade. I was a 4-H'er growing up and credit that organization with teaching me public speaking skills, how to take initiative, and how to manage others.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? I believe in giving someone a leg up through education and opportunity. Growing up in a rural community, I would have never been exposed to the personal development activities I was able to participate in without organizations like 4-H or "Y" Clubs.

What makes you laugh? My family and my friends. My husband and I are comedy nerds and love to see stand-up comics and improv shows. My son even attends summer camp at the Whole World Improv Theatre every year.



5-ChristineChristine Pullara

"Atlanta & Company," WXIA-TV host Christine Pullara, 48, knows the power of a good story and that abandoning the pursuit of perfection to enjoy life makes for the ultimate tale.

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? I've learned to accept my imperfections in my marriage, my parenting, and my job. I'm really hard on myself. I think it's OK to be forgiving of mistakes or missteps, but of course, I always strive to learn, grow, and figure out how to do better next time.

What is your favorite quote? "This, too, shall pass." I used to only think of it in a context of working through hard times, but now I think of it as a reminder that time is fleeting and every moment counts. So, savor and be grateful for the good ones!

What is your favorite book? "Living, Loving & Learning" by Leo F. Buscaglia, Ph.D. My mom had it when I was growing up and I read it after my parents divorced. His messages of joy and love are timeless.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? There are so many worthy causes that need our attention, but I have a few organizations that are near and dear to my heart such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS), Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance, CURE Childhood Cancer, Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Name something on your bucket list. Going to Paris with my family and having a picnic at the Eiffel Tower! Oh, and I'd love to do a segment with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford!



6-JenniferCurtinJennifer Curtin

Business consultant and med spa owner, Jennifer Curtin, 46, realizes the importance of slowing down and enjoying the ride toward achieving her goals.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My son, Colin, 11, and daughter, Carson, 6.

What is your most embarrassing moment? Showing up to a client meeting with two different shoes on.

What is your favorite way to workout? I like to take classes. My favorites are the Full Body Class at Stellar Bodies and the West Coast Barre and Best of the West classes at West Coast Workout.

What is your favorite book? Right now, I'm reading "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam M. Grant Ph.D., and loving it.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I think it is important for everyone to get involved with their community and help wherever they can. I love the work that Tapestri Inc. and Open Hand are doing. Tapestri supports survivors of human trafficking and helps increase awareness. Open Hand provides nutritious meals to the sick, elderly and underserved. They are always in need of help in the kitchen and with delivering meals. Every September, there is also a fundraising event for Open Hand that everyone can attend called Party in the Kitchen.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Try to enjoy every step of your journey. Sometimes, we are in such a hurry to achieve our goals that we don't enjoy the adventure.



7-RandallRandall K. Smith

Randall K. Smith, 51, owner of RKS COUTURE and The Randall Effect, is a champion for women. The pageant coach, who also serves as the national educational director and distributor of Dudley Beauty Corp, LLC., helps equip women with skills to succeed on and off the stage.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Successfully working with so many pageant contestants and seeing them grow beyond measure. Pageants are not just about outer beauty. It's the beauty from within that allows contestants to set high goals and become doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, educators, models, actors, singers, socialites, and domestic goddesses. They take the lessons learned from their pageant preparation to the boardroom, classroom and the home to succeed and change the lives of others, as well as their own.

What is your favorite book? "Think Like a Winner!" by Dr. Walter Doyle Staples.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I love giving back! The three main organizations I am currently focusing on are Mercy Care, Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation, and Renaissance Kares.

What is your favorite way to workout? I like jogging, walking, and of course, walking while shopping.

What is your favorite healthy meal? I'm gluten free, so my favorite meal includes salmon, asparagus, broccoli, or any other green vegetable.

Name something on your bucket list. When I turned 40, it was to go parasailing. Now, I think I might need to be more grounded. I would love to live abroad, as opposed to visiting, for a few years to experience living outside the United States.



8-JenniferHankeyJennifer Hankey

After a harrowing journey to find a natural way to treat her daughter's life-threatening eczema, Jennifer Hankey, 42, discovered her purpose as "The Green Queen" of nontoxic living.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do? My mom was diving with great white sharks and bungee jumping off Victoria Falls in her 40s. That zest for life and sense of adventure has certainly passed down to me.

What is your favorite way to workout? I like to work up a sweat doing cardio and playing tennis when I have time.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Healing my daughter, Hayden, 5, from her eczema and allergies and helping other moms who are going through health struggles with their children find natural healing.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? I know this sounds cliché, but do what you love. The success will come to you. You spend almost your whole life doing what you do for work. You have to find what you love and love what you do for those eight to 10 hours a day it takes to get the job done.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? At 62, I hope I can look back at a world that was made healthier and less toxic in some way by my efforts as the owner of Green Queen: Nontoxic Services. I hope that we'll see healthier children with less chronic conditions. We can turn the tide on all the toxic chemicals in our environment and become good stewards of the earth and of all the animals and people who live here.



9-KIMKim Steen Langan

For Kim Steen Langan, 42, owner and founder of Intown Tumbling and Yoga for Kids, her 40s have brought her greatest adventure yet—motherhood.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do? Personally, I'm still a little shocked that I'm over 40. Time is a strange thing. At 40, my parents were having a great time! I'm a new mom, so life looks pretty different for me than it was for them. I'm having a great time, too, but in a much different way.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I am involved in the Atlanta Yoga Movement, which is a nonprofit program that brings yoga into metro Atlanta schools. I am also a member of the Morningside-Ansley Friends of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta group.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? I have always been passionate about working with children. When I was a kid, I suffered from self-esteem issues, as a lot of kids do. In my work with children, I really do my best to help each child see what makes them unique. All children should feel cared about.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Don't feel like you have to have it all figured out. You don't. I'm still figuring it out as I go and having a blast seeing where life takes me. I do that by being as present as possible in each moment. Enjoy the ride!



10-RobinRobin Fink

It's said that dogs are drawn to people with good hearts. That must be true for realtor Robin Fink, 42. The dog lover devotes her spare time to helping them find forever homes.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do? After I turned 40, and got into my new decade, I realized 40 is a number and that life is even greater now. The older you get, the more you realize the little stuff doesn't matter and, no matter the challenge, everything works out exactly as it's supposed to.

What makes you laugh? Situations where something funny happens and I am not "supposed" to laugh—those make me laugh the hardest.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I support dog rescue organizations such as You Lucky Dog Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc. and Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. I transport, foster and do home checks. When I am busy and can't donate my time, I then donate my money. When friends and acquaintances in the rescue world send me business, I donate $500 from each closing to a rescue of their choice.

In addition, I support a great organization called BeLoved Atlanta, Inc. that my clients started. BeLoved works to get women out of sexual exploitation situations and into group homes. Through their programs, these women can live a normal life without abuse.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? I love dogs and always have. I started rescuing dogs in college. They always seem to find me. And I thought BeLoved was a great organization because I want everyone to have the opportunity to succeed in life.



Michele Thomas

A development specialist at Morehouse School of Medicine, Michele Thomas, 47, doesn't let lupus hold her back from honoring the legacy of civil rights leaders through her volunteer work.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? As a lupus survivor, I accept the fact that I am beautifully flawed.

What is your favorite book? "One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth" by Iyanla Vanzant.

What is your favorite way to workout? Using a combination of the treadmill, free weights, resistance bands and the balance ball allows me to work my entire body.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? For the past 18 years, I have served as a steering committee member and/or committee co-chair for The King Holiday Observance, commemorating the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the past three years, I have also served as a member of the SCLC/W.O.M.E.N, INC. steering committee for the Drum Major for Justice Awards Gala, commemorating the legacy of Dr. King by providing a forum to recognize today's drum majors who are making outstanding contributions in our community.

What inspired you to do this kind of charity work? The pleasure of working directly with the late, great, Coretta Scott King and Jesse Hill Jr. inspires me to continue my mission of service in their honor.

What makes you laugh? Life! It is full of lessons and laughable moments. I use laughter to replace tears.

What is your most embarrassing moment? I once tripped while walking up a flight of stairs onstage in front of an audience.





Fab Five
Contest Winners

Voting results were so close that we wanted to recognize these next Fab Five winners who enhance the lives of those in their communities, whether through medicine or activism.

Pictured L-R: Kim Dennis, Kim Saunders, Leigh Mallis, Mrs. Stephanie Jester, Dr. Lisa Billars




12-KimSaundersKim Saunders

As the owner of Lift Yoga Studio, this 54-year-old California transplant extends her helping hands across the globe.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I love to teach free yoga classes for our community, wherever and whenever I can. You might find a Lift Yoga Studio class at the library, at local parks, at Avalon or at community centers. In addition, our studio and students donate to Himalayan Children's Charities and have 'adopted' Sita, a child who lost everything in a devastating earthquake two years ago. We just paid for a recent surgery for her and we are optimistic about her education and future.

Name something on your bucket list. I want to see that stunning water in Tahiti. I'd also love to go to Nepal and meet our Himalayan 'orphan.'

Where do you go for "me" time? My back porch. I fell in love with all the trees when I moved to Georgia—their beauty inspires me!



13-DrLisaBillarsDr. Lisa Billars

As a wife, mother and Chief of Departments of Neurology and Sleep Medicine at Kaiser Permanente, this 41-year-old considers her life fabulously full.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Did your parents look and act at 40 the way you do? I thought I would feel more settled in life at this point, which is how my parents appeared to me then. At 41, I have the benefit of abundant life experience, but can still see so much potential in life.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My three great kids, Peter, 9, Jake, 7, and Alexandra, 4. They are a labor of love every single day.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family and work responsibilities, and giving back? Being mindful of how fortunate I am to be busy doing all these wonderful things helps me to refocus when things get overwhelming. I am very fortunate to have an amazing partner in my husband, Dan, as well as a career that is tremendously rewarding.



14-KimDennisKim Dennis

An avid mentor and voice for those without one, Kim Dennis, 46, finds joy in helping others through her nonprofit work with Create Your Dreams. She also makes it a point to not take life too seriously.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Through my relationship with Create Your Dreams, I help provide the vital resources, opportunities, and relationships for children living below the poverty line. It is a privilege to be called a mentor, second mom, and friend by my students and our alumni.

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? I can embrace change. It is never too late for your life to completely change directions.

What is your favorite book? My favorite book is "Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson because we all sometimes need a reminder that we have the power to create our reality and have a little fun!



15-StephanieMrs. Stephanie Jester

This 52-year-old business owner and entrepreneur has enjoyed the fruits of success. But now, she aims her focus on building up those around her as the founder and director of the FreeWishes Foundation.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Introducing my family to the importance of building legacies by starting and practicing good business. I am the founder of INTouch Properties & Management Services and the business/general manager of Freebandz, an entertainment label I started with my son, Future. As one of the world's top talents, I couldn't be more proud of the fact that my son looks to me to make decisions that contribute to the ever-evolving culture of music.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? The FreeWishes Foundation is an organization my daughter and I introduced. Every year, we execute programming in the Kirkwood community that my children grew up in, and at senior centers that foster healthy and happy lifestyles.

What is your favorite book? The book that I find most guidance in is the Bible.



16-LeighLeigh Mallis

After walking out on the corporate world in 2004, Leigh Mallis, 42, found a higher calling by sharing with others the very principles of yoga and meditation that renewed her. She is now a Pranic Soul, yoga and meditation teacher.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Spend less time judging yourself and others.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Following my passion of yoga and meditation as a way to create work-life balance. I have the opportunity to certify students to teach and share the same styles of yoga and meditation that have greatly transformed my life.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? There are several charities that I've had an opportunity to donate yoga classes and private sessions to as a way to raise money for causes. JDRF is close to my heart. My brother-in-law has Type 1 diabetes and started JDRF Rock the Cure, which I participate in each year.



Thursday, 01 June 2017 13:58

Meet the Experts Who Keep Atlanta Young

1aDermatology & Skin Care
Ashley R. Curtis, M.D.
Board-Certified Dermatologist
Dermatology Associates of Atlanta

How did you become interested in your profession?

What originally inspired you to pursue this field? As a child, I actually went to the dermatologist quite often because I had a family history of skin cancer, and because I have a lot of moles, I was at a high risk for developing skin cancer. Over the years, I developed an interest in being a dermatologist myself.

Tell us about your professional background.

My undergraduate degree is actually in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, and I went to medical school at Medical College of Georgia before completing my residency with Wake Forest University's Department of Dermatology. During my residency, I developed a special interest in hair loss, and in my continued experience, I have also gained a passion for other aspects of skin care, such as antiaging treatments, laser procedures, etc.

What were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

I knew that I would enjoy caring for my patients as a dermatologist, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how well I would get to know them. As passionate as I am about the medicine itself, my favorite part of my job is getting to know my patients. In some cases, I watch families grow and I love seeing what my patients do with their lives.My regular patients have become like family to me, and it's so rewarding to see them feel confident in their skin.

Who are your professional/personal mentors and what have they taught you?

My first professional mentor was Dr. Amy McMichael, who I worked with during my residency at Wake Forest University. She is an incredible physician to learn from, as is my other mentor, Dr. Edmond Griffin, whom I now work with at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, and The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research.

1bWhat is your professional philosophy?

My overall philosophy as a physician is to put the interests of my patients first. I've found that the best care comes from a combination of thorough medical knowledge and a genuine concern for every patient, so that is what I strive for.
What keeps you motivated? Being motivated is just a part of my nature. I have a background in efficiency as an industrial engineer, so as much motivation as my patients themselves give me, I also enjoy being busy and efficient.

What are some of your ultimate goals in your line of profession?

Ultimately, it's all about improving quality of life. I love helping patients manage chronic skin conditions as well as find self-esteem that they've lost or, in some cases, that they've never had before.

How do you stay on top of the cutting-edge trends in your industry?

1cMy practice is very active in a variety of medical organizations and in staying on top of all the latest medical advancements. Some of the best learning experiences I've had include meetings for the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology, and other organizations.

Out of all of the other people in your field, why should people turn to you?

What makes you and your practice unique? One piece of feedback I repeatedly hear from patients is that they feel very at ease in our office. Dermatology Associates of Atlanta is a down-to-earth practice where we truly pride ourselves on caring for our patients and giving them a comfortable experience.

What do you want to be known for?

As a doctor, I strive to be someone who goes the extra mile and who always looks for ways to improve my patient's care. And as an everyday person, I hope to be seen as someone who is just a caring and good-hearted person.

Describe yourself in three words.

Motivated, compassionate, and an effective multitasker.

Is there any other information about you and your business you would like to highlight?

Our motto at DAA is "great skin care from head to toe," and that is truly the way we operate. We treat all of our patients' needs for their skin, hair, and nails, to help them both look and feel their best.



2aEar, Nose & Throat
Aaron Fletcher, M.D.
Board-Certified Head and Neck Surgeon
Georgia Center for Ear, Nose & Throat

How did you become interested in ENT? What originally inspired you to pursue this field?

Actually, my background is in English as a writer. My father is a carpenter by trade and my father's father was a barber. I come from a long line of Fletcher men that work with their hands and I wanted to carry on that tradition in some way.

Tell us about your professional background.

When I decided to become a surgeon, I trained all over the country in general surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery, and in plastic surgery. I'm pretty well-rounded.

A lot of my background in English is brought forth in my practice of medicine, especially as it relates to the way I teach patients. I pride myself on my bedside manner and being thorough. I want patients to understand what is going on before we agree to do any type of treatment. I have also written patient education materials and textbooks. I was a teacher in a former life. I used to teach ninth grade biology. I also bring my life experience to the table. People are usually pretty surprised that I am even a doctor. I have to show them my gray hair to prove I have the experience and the training under my belt.

2bWhat were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

We study medicine as a science, but I think it is equal part art as it is science. I have learned a lot about people and the human condition—what people are like, what they feel, what they fear, what they are anxious about, and what they are looking for when they go to the doctor. Every time I am with a patient, I come away feeling that I have learned as much as I have taught.

Who are your professional/personal mentors and what have they taught you?

One of the major ones is Dr. Duane A. Sewell. He is the person who got me interested in ear, nose and throat. He has since passed on, unfortunately, but he was probably the biggest influence on me deciding to have a career in this specialty. He taught me everything I know about professionalism, dedicating yourself to your craft, and perfecting the way you approach patients.
My undergraduate mentor was a man by the name of "Dean" Thomas J. Blocker. He is the one who convinced me to pursue medicine.
My father was a big intellectual who inspired me to push the limits of my knowledge. He encouraged me to layer different life experiences to become more well-rounded.

What is your business philosophy?

Define your own parameters. Don't let anyone tell you what you should do business wise.

2cWhat keeps you motivated?

I constantly want to improve. I recognize my limitations. I am pretty young in practice and I know there is still a lot to learn. The field is always changing and there is a lot of information to wrap your head around. I try to be a resource for people and do the best I can. You can't be a resource unless you are motivated to be your best. The things I don't know probably motivate me
the most.

How do you stay on top of the cutting-edge trends in the industry?

I do a lot of reading. I go to a lot of courses to try to perfect my surgical skills. I search for other doctors in my field that are doing cutting-edge work. I try to find things from other disciplines and things that people aren't doing that I can apply to medicine to make my job easier or better.

What do you want to be known for?

I try to treat every patient like a family member. A lot of patients come in to talk to me about their heart or something not ENT related because they feel so comfortable talking to me. I have put together a staff that shares this family environment philosophy. From the minute you come in the door to the minute you leave, we try to cultivate that experience.



Karen Foley

General Manager
Windy Hill Athletic Club

How long has Windy Hill Athletic Club been in Atlanta?

Although our club was built in 1989, it has been part of the Midtown Athletic Clubs since 2008. The club is formally known as Sporting Club at Windy Hill and Midtown Athletic Club at Windy Hill. Our owners understood the importance of the name change here in Atlanta, and so while we are still a Midtown club, our name changed two years ago to Windy Hill Athletic Club.

3bWhat are some of Windy Hill's ultimate goals in the fitness industry?

We want our members to move in whatever way that works best for them ... and we want them to have fun too. Our goal is to truly inspire through movement, community, and personal attention. We want this location to be a destination and we want our members to feel like they are part of this community. We want to be known for recognizing them not just as members but for who they are as individuals. We hope to capture that essence through our campaign called slash everything.

What keeps your team motivated

Knowing that they make a difference and seeing the results of our members. They love what they do and they are amazing at that. I'm extremely proud of our team at Windy Hill and couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with me every day.

3cHow does Windy Hill stay on top of cutting-edge trends in the industry?

Our company isn't afraid to take a risk to see if something works. Steven Schwartz, our CEO and owner, believes in what our promise is to the members and empowers the teams in the field to make it happen. It's a family-owned business. Our staff is empowered to find what is working in the industry, in our local area and give it a try. For instance, boxing and kickboxing have become huge at our club because we were allowed to create this experience for members by building a small studio, hiring instructors and designing a program.

Out of all of the other fitness clubs out there, why should people turn to Windy Hill?

What makes Windy Hill unique? Our club has it all. Any way that you want to move, we are going to provide that element and do it well. Most importantly, we have the people that are the heart behind it all. Our coaches, staff, and team believe in our members and want to see them succeed. You will be part of a community and part of a family. Plus, we have awesome events and it's always a good time hanging out in our full-service café.

3dAre there any causes, initiatives or philanthropies Windy Hill is a part of?

Windy Hill participates in giving back to the community on many levels. Our most cherished cause is our work with the Special Olympics. We are also involved in charity events throughout the year in the local communities of Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta, and East Cobb. We love to participate with the Angel Tree program, which benefits the Ronald McDonald House during the holidays and provides the best holidays for the families in need. In addition, we also do events in honor of our armed forces and work with the local Army recruiting office, Dobbins Air Reserve Base and the Wounded Warrior Project. For 10 years, Windy Hill was the sole location of the Atlanta Ovarian Cycle ride, which helped support the awareness of ovarian cancer.

Is there any other information about your team or Windy Hill Athletic Club that you would like to highlight?

We are just as much about moving and working out as we are about being social. We offer social events each month for many occasions. We offer themed parties for the holidays, breakfast events for member appreciation, networking functions, tennis socials, family-friendly activities and more.



4aCosmetic Dentistry
Dina J. Giesler, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
Master General and Cosmetic Dentist
Atlanta Smiles & Wellness

How did you become interested in your profession?

I began working at an orthodontic practice in 1980 when I was a 17-year-old senior in high school. Then, I worked as a dental assistant in a multidisciplinary practice before becoming a hygienist. In 1984, I graduated as a hygienist. When I began dental school in 1987, I had worked with over 55 dentists, so I saw many types of practices and specialized dentistry. I knew I wanted to be a cosmetic dentist.

What were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

I was surprised by how much time, dedication and sacrifice it really takes to become a Master Dentist (there are currently only 2,200 in the country). The 10,000-hours concept is true for whatever you do. I never stop learning and evolving. The best dentists are true entrepreneurs who have to be efficient in business as well as clinical dentistry.

Who are your professional/personal mentors and what have they taught you?

There have been so many! In Houston, it's Drs. Roy Bell, Eddie Lee, and Susana Paoloski. In New York, it's Dr. Larry Rosenthal.
What is your business philosophy? I treat my patients the way I would want to be treated. I am honest and forthcoming. I believe in helping others out of a loving heart and doing what is right and ethical.

4bWhat's the most satisfying part of your job? What do you love most about your work?

I love that I'm serving others. I'm not only passionate about helping people achieve the smile of their dreams, but I also enjoy spreading health and nutrition education so people can live a more productive and healthy life.
What keeps you motivated? My family, my business partner—Dr. Marianna Kovitch, my fellow colleagues, my patients, and my soul sisters all keep me motivated.

What are some of your ultimate goals in doing this work?

I want to help as many people as possible achieve their ultimate goals in health and aesthetic dentistry.

What's the most commonly requested service or procedure you perform for clients over the age of 40?

Smile makeovers are very popular. They include teeth whitening, teeth straightening, metal-less crowns and porcelain veneers. Our patients also love receiving Botox® and other fillers. It works out perfectly because they're coming in every six months to have their teeth cleaned anyway.

4cHow do you stay on top of cutting-edge trends in your industry?

I mentor and I teach. I spend a lot of time at New York University giving back and mentoring younger dentists who aspire to be leaders in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Plus, I learn and share with the other instructors.

Out of all of the other people in your field, why should people turn to you? What makes you and your practice unique?

We get to know our patients. We are not a clinic or a corporate office where you have to go to the dentist on your plan. We are a private practice where we become family. We give you many options. We listen to what our patients want and help educate them on doing what's best for them at this time in their lives. We work with the best specialists in Atlanta. We are not pushy. My goal as a cosmetic dentist is to give you a great smile with natural, beautiful teeth.

What do you want to be known for?

I want to be known for inspiring others to be the best they can be while being a faithful servant and doing what God has called me to do. I want to spread education and joy and take care of my fellow man, no matter who they are.

Is there any other information about you and your business you would like to highlight?

We have a domestic violence foundation called the Atlanta Smiles Foundation ( We serve survivors of emotional and domestic abuse recommended to us by law enforcement and staff at local shelters. We help them regain their self-esteem and get back into the workforce.



5aHair Restoration
Ken Anderson, M.D.
Anderson Center for Hair

How did you become interested in your profession? What originally inspired you to pursue this field?

Before I started specializing in hair restoration, I was a facial plastic surgeon. In 2003, I began a private practice in Beverly Hills. When I was in California, what really struck me was how happy the hair restoration patients were when they came back to see me. In 2009, the Emory Facial Center recruited me as a hair restoration specialist. I then went on to continue specializing in hair restoration and opened the Anderson Center for Hair.

Tell us about your professional background.

I'm the only facial plastic surgeon in the world who has exclusively practiced hair restoration surgery for over a decade. My boutique-style practice is 100 percent dedicated to treating hair loss in both men and women. It is one of the most prominent in the Southeast United States.

In 2013, we became the first, and only practice, in Georgia to receive the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System.

What were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

What surprised me most was how much artistic talent it takes to sit in a chair and perform hair transplants. When I am creating hairlines, I am literally drawing on people's foreheads. That is my canvas, if you will. I love it because I feel like I am doing one of my drawings. The results are very heavily dependent on the artistic talent and passion of the surgeon.

What is your business philosophy?

We put patient care and patient outcomes first. The consultations are very relaxed. I like to sit in my office and talk options with patients. Maybe platelet rich plasma (PRP) isn't right for you. Maybe lasers or surgery are a better fit for your situation.

5bWhat's the most satisfying part of your job? What do you love most about your work?

What I love most about the field of hair restoration surgery is how happy and satisfied the patients are when their hair grows in.

What are some of your ultimate goals in doing this work?

People are reluctant to come to a doctor for hair restoration surgery because they're afraid of bad hair transplant jobs. I want to show people that this is not your father's hair surgery. These are not hair plugs. It's a hair-by-hair transplant, and looks completely natural—because it is. During private consultations, I show patients how we apply traditional medical principles and today's technology to hair restoration surgery.

What keeps you motivated?

We have stem cells, lasers and robots. It is so much different now than it was five to 10 years ago. It continues to evolve at a rapid pace. It is really exciting to be on the cutting edge of some of these treatments. I love that I can utilize these new technologies to help people.

Tell us about your new office in Avalon.

5cWe are very excited about it. The Anderson Center for Hair Restoration and Aesthetics is not only going to be the second location for the Anderson Center, but will also be the flagship location of the American Academy of Hair Restoration Surgery.
I founded a physician's academy for doctors that want to learn about hair restoration surgery, not just using the ARTAS® robot, but all aspects—patient selection, patient counseling, how to do the surgery, and how to run a practice. Basically, I am going to give them lessons because years ago, I learned the hard way by doing it.

What would you tell someone dealing with hair loss?

I find that both men and women don't want to go to the doctor because there are tons of products on the market for hair loss. However, topical products are generally not very effective. If you are struggling with hair loss and are looking for answers, you should find a provider you feel comfortable with. Pick someone that fits your needs and that you can trust. Check out their résumé online. Make sure they can perform both the linear strip and the follicular unit extraction (FUE) methods. Honestly, there has never been a better time to have hair loss. So, call a provider and get some help.



6aFacial Plastic Surgery
Elizabeth Whitaker, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Double Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Atlanta Face & Body Center

How did you become interested in your profession? What originally inspired you to pursue this field?

When I went to medical school, I fell in love with surgery. Facial anatomy, as the most complex, was the most interesting to me. Facial plastic surgery for me is a true blend of the artistic and the technical. It channels the creative aspect of my personality into what I do every day, and that's a part of what makes me very good at what I do.

Tell us about your professional background.

I received my medical degree from Duke, did my residency training at Emory, and my facial plastic surgery fellowship at Tulane. I was Chief of Facial Plastic Surgery at Medical College of Georgia before moving back to Atlanta and into private practice. Having performed over 4,000 facelifts, I am one of the most experienced facial plastic surgeons in the field. I have been selected as one of the country's Top Plastic Surgeons by my peers, which is a great honor.

What were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

I was surprised by how significant of an emotional impact a procedure can have. You're trained to focus heavily on the physical change—getting the right placement, the right pull, and all of that. But, it's not just about how somebody looks. It is very related to how they feel.

Who are your professional/personal mentors and what have they taught you?

My fellowship director was a major influence. I was very lucky to train in New Orleans at Tulane University with Dr. Calvin Johnson. He is an internationally known facial plastic surgeon and one of the best technicians I've ever seen.
Locally, I was fortunate enough to work very closely with Dr. William Silver. I would visit his office when I was a resident at Emory. He helped me a lot professionally early in my career. It's wonderful to have those relationships.

6bWhat is your business philosophy?

My biggest focus, and one of the things I think is most important, is that results look natural. I believe the best facial plastic surgery shouldn't advertise itself. You should walk into a room and have everyone say, "How do they continue to look so great?" and not, "Oh, they had something done." That naturalness is what I'm always striving for.

How do you stay on top of cutting-edge trends in your industry?

I spend a lot of time keeping up with journals specific to my profession. Once or twice a year I go to meetings such as the Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, State of the Art in Facial Rejuvenation, or American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery. Some of my favorite meetings involve multiple specialties. I love hearing from surgeons in other specialties and getting the perspective of someone in a different field. I'll think to myself, "That's actually a good idea. I'm going to incorporate that." You want to bring back techniques and information that are going to help patients and enhance their results.

What's the most satisfying part of your job? What do you love most about your work?

In an elective field like mine, I have the time to talk to someone to get to know them and understand what their personal motivations are. That is why most of us are in medicine in the first place—because we like caring for people. Also, as a surgeon, there is the immediate gratification of seeing the physical changes. But, what I really love about what I do is seeing the ongoing positive emotional impact.

6cWhat are some of your ultimate goals in doing this work?

What's so gratifying to me is seeing the difference you've made in how someone feels about themselves and how that translates into making their life better.

Are there specific success stories you can share with us?

One face-lift patient brought in a picture from when she was in her 30s. She was so happy. She said, "I have my jawline back! I have my 30-year-old jawline back!" It was pretty amazing that she felt that degree of transformation.

What is a common misconception about your profession?

People may think they should go see a plastic surgeon only if they want to have a surgical procedure. I would like people to think about it as going to see someone that has the whole toolbox at their disposal—from injectables to noninvasive to surgical. If something in the toolbox isn't the best fit for you, I'm going to be able to offer you something from that toolbox that is.



7aMedia/Community Ambassador
Tom Sullivan

TV Host and Corporate Emcee

How did you become interested in your profession? What originally inspired you to pursue this field?

I've always loved radio starting with the "Gary McKee Morning Show." Gary was my inspiration. My big break came when the same radio station, WQXI, hired me right out of high school to be their station mascot, The Quixie Quacker. I wore webbed feet for 11 years. Duck by day, DJ by night! I worked my way up from overnights on WQXI-AM to full-time and then transitioned over to WQXI-FM (94Q). I made my way to WSTR-FM (Star 94.1), where I eventually became a full-time member of the "Steve & Vikki Morning Show."

Tell us about your professional background.

Thirty years in radio and my gift of adlib helped me easily transition to TV. I also continue my work as a corporate host and emcee ( and growing my love of photography with local professional Scott Reeves.

What were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

When I started in radio, I was surprised by the fact that there was more work to do off the air. It led to a typical eight-hour workday.
In TV, I was surprised to learn how stressful it can be. Unlike radio, you are always on and have to adjust to that fact, which requires more energy. You have to balance producers talking in your ear while you're interviewing guests, looking at the right camera, and dealing with a tighter time clock. In radio, you could drop a song or go a few extra minutes, but TV has a network programming clock built in and timing down to the second. Plus, in radio, I could wear anything and no one listening was the wiser.

Who are your professional/personal mentors and what have they taught you?

I am grateful to Kelly McCoy for mentoring me in radio. I grew up loving Rick Dees and Casey Kasem. Rick was entertaining and filled with personality. Casey was the master of the countdown. In television, it was David Letterman. His fun, engaging personality mirrored my own. I appreciated that he wasn't afraid to knock the very network that hired him. He would always say what others wouldn't and I loved that.

As I grew in radio, I began to show others my craft. In 1992, I received a phone call from a young man attending Dunwoody High School. He told me he did the morning announcements and wanted to learn more about pop culture, see the Star 94.1 station, and learn about radio. I invited him up one Saturday afternoon. We quickly became friends and I began training him in all aspects of radio. Months later on Labor Day weekend, I had been working a long day and called him and said, "Buddy, you want to go on the air for me tonight?" He did. Thus began his amazing radio and TV career. His name? Ryan Seacrest! Oh, the days where he used to get my pizzas!

What's the most satisfying part of your job? What do you love most about your work?

Every day is different. On "Atlanta & Company," the stories I share with our audience and the games we play are always changing. Some of my favorite moments are when I'm interacting with Christine Pullara and Cara Kneer.
When I am hosting a corporate or charity event, it's connecting with people and engaging them with my personality.

7bWhat keeps you motivated?

Life, new opportunities, meeting new people, exploring the world, and taking care of my body are my biggest motivators.

What are some of your ultimate goals in doing this work?

I would love to host a TV show that empowers others. I love giving. The feeling is so incredible. I call it joy rising.

What do you want to be known for?

I want to be known for being myself and making a difference in the life of someone else every day.

Who helps you become your best self?

First and most importantly, God helps me be my best inside and out. The Nouveau Clinic takes care of my face. The Functional Health Institute of Atlanta keeps me healthy. Scott Cameron at Buckhead Elite Training Studio keeps me fit. Cryo Elite Therapy, which involves standing in a nitrogen-filled tank with below zero temperatures, makes me feel great. And Dr. Angie of Esthetic Dental Solutions is on my smile team.



8aHair and Makeup
Nyssa Green
The Green Room Agency

How did you become interested in your profession?

What originally inspired you to pursue this field? I started out as an award-winning hairstylist. Makeup was a natural progression for me. I've loved all things beauty since I was a kid. Thank goodness my parents were supportive because I played with dolls for way too long!

Tell us about your professional background.

I went to vocational school while I was in high school. I was determined to have enough hours to go straight to the Georgia Professional Licensing Board and take the exam to get my professional cosmetology license, which I did. Then, I went to Auburn University for two years. I was doing more hair than going to class! I ended up going home and opening a salon. Once I decided to move on to bigger and better things, I chose Atlanta because I wanted to be close to my parents.

8bWhat were you surprised to learn about your work once you got into it?

I was surprised to learn how unglamorous this industry is. There's so much that goes on behind the scenes that's not glamorous at all.

Who are your professional/personal mentors and what have they taught you?

One of my professional mentors is Gwynnis Mosby. She taught me all the basics of makeup and set etiquette. She continues to guide and mentor me. She now has a makeup school, Gwynnis Mosby Makeup Academy, where my first Emmy Award is displayed. My other mentor is Taffi Dollar. She's one of my pastors and an amazing woman and wife. Both Taffi and Gwynnis are invaluable to
my success.

What is your business philosophy?

Everyone is beautiful. Everyone gets the celebrity treatment. We always work in the spirit of excellence.

What's the most satisfying part of your job? What do you love most about your work?

I love meeting new people. I love showing people the true power of makeup.

What keeps you motivated?

The industry keeps me motivated. In this industry, you must stay current and relevant or you will not work.

How do you stay on top of the cutting-edge trends in your industry?

We stay on top of trends through research, social media, industry journals, and classes.

8cWhat are some of your ultimate goals in doing hair and makeup?

We want to help people update their look, boost their self-esteem, become their best selves, and be made aware of what makeup can do for them.

Out of all of the other people in your field, why should people turn to you? What makes you and your business unique?

People turn to me for the personalized service I provide. I am also known for my top makeup skills and diversity. I can do makeup on anyone and not all artists can confidently say that. I do not believe in segregated artistry. You should be able to do makeup on everyone.

What do you want to be known for?

I want people to know me for my diversity, creativity, and ability to create great makeup looks.

What types of events does The Green Agency provide hair and makeup services for?

We do proms, cotillions, and weddings year round. We also do celebrities, TV, and entertainers.


Wednesday, 31 May 2017 20:03

In My Father’s Footsteps

By Katherine Michalak

When that 1974 folk song, "Cat's in the Cradle," by Harry Chapin starts playing on the radio, it triggers a lump in the throat or misty eyes. Those precious childhood years are fleeting, and all too often, even the most well-intentioned fathers may struggle as life's busyness (think work, school, errands, activities) derails efforts to spend quality time with the kids.

Strengthening those parental bonds to develop a father-son relationship into mentorship is important. Having a dad who shines as a positive example can give boys a solid foundation and reinforce the values that form their core identity. Establishing special father-son traditions provides a consistent outlet for nurturing those values and building confidence in that identity. These little habits and rituals clear some common ground for generations to cultivate camaraderie and connection. And, these local men can attest to the incredible impact their father-son traditions have had on their families.


Patrick Flynn says his father, Frank, started running for exercise long before it was a trend. He remembers his father's runs around their Roswell neighborhood vividly. "Neighbors used to call my mom and ask what Frank was doing or where he was going," Flynn chuckles. "One day I just started running after him, chasing him," Flynn continues, recalling how his own love of running took hold. "It's my favorite form of exercise. I'd rather be outside running, and I think Dad feels the same way. I don't even think about the physical fitness benefits, it's more of a mental boost."

In 1980, the two ran their first AJC Peachtree Road Race together and have continued to do so ever since. "Dad is 81 now and hasn't missed one; I've only missed three. Over the years, other family members and friends have occasionally joined us, but he and I are the ones that established this as our tradition," says Flynn. "He's always trying to beat his age for his time, so this year he'll try to run it in under 81 minutes. He's an inspiration."

The elder Flynn runs, jogs or bikes every day, often riding with a high-mileage group. But, it's the running that bonds father and son. "When I was younger, we trained together. As I grew up [and left home] it became about meeting up for the race," Flynn notes. The two follow each other on the MapMyRun app and often discuss their times, techniques, training or diets. "It's reinforcing positive peer pressure. And, it's my quality time with my dad," he confirms. "No matter what is going on in our lives, we know we are going to meet up at Peachtree and Lenox on the Fourth of July. It's the 'due north' of our relationship."


For professional DJ La Verio (LV) Barnes, learning the definition of a "good dad" has become a part of a larger goal. As founder of the nonprofit Cool Dads Rock (CDR), LV seeks to both motivate and support men in Atlanta as they build a strong foundation with their families and their communities. "I didn't have a father present [in childhood]. I never wanted my child to feel how I felt. Although I had good role models to look up to [uncles, cousins], I wanted my child to have a consistent influence," says Barnes. "I had a friend going through a difficult custody battle some years ago and I posted something on social media with the hashtag #cooldadsrock. Then I realized that I know so many great dads doing stuff with their kids and not always showing it."

P2Others picked up on that hashtag and soon the group had a dedicated Facebook page celebrating fatherhood, which gave a forum for support and empowering fathers. By 2013, that grew into the Cool Dads Rock organization, which encourages fathers to build lasting relationships with their children by facilitating projects and events as well as offering resources for support. "Men tend to sit on stuff for a long time and it takes a certain comfort level to roll out conversations," Barnes concedes.

For Barnes and his son, Anderson, the annual CDR Soapbox Derby gives them a mutual creative endeavor. "We have ownership of the whole project—planning, building, figuring it all out, learning together. The derby is the platform, but it's the whole process leading up to the derby that is what's remembered and a shared experience," Barnes says. The organization's fifth annual Derby will take place on August 5 at Historic Fourth Ward Park. "That's probably our favorite event with the group. But we do other things too, like 'Milkshake Fridays'—every Friday, I pick him up from school, we go get milkshakes and sit down to rehash the week. He knows he has that time with me and he looks forward to it every week. I never had that," Barnes remarks. "It's special for both of us."


David Abes, chief operating officer of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, found a way to turn a health issue into a motivating project. When his son, Mitchell, was diagnosed at age 2 with Type 1 diabetes, the Sandy Springs-based Abes family sought out avenues to get involved with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). "We immediately became active in the One Walk program that October," Abes says, "and it became a tradition. Over the years, family and friends have joined us. We raise funds, make T-shirts, and last year we chaired the walk ... but it's really something that Mitchell and I get behind together."

Abes has observed the way this level of consistent involvement has nurtured the charitable spirit of his son, who is now in high school. "It's shown him the power of giving back in such a direct way," he notes, "and I'm sure he'll carry that with him throughout his life." In fact, his son also focuses volunteer efforts on other health-related issues, particularly working with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to advance local hunger relief.

Abes received similar influence from his own father, Dr. Marshall Abes, a dentist who taught at Emory University and regularly offered up dental care for nonprofit clinics. "He is still very committed to community assistance and volunteers his services at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic," Abes says of his dad. "His example to all of us has always been about sharing your talents and giving back. He's very close with his children and grandchildren, so he has a great bond with Mitchell, too."


Buckhead/Sandy Springs-based radio host Bert Weiss has also found common ground with his sons through their mutual commitment to community action. Both of his sons share his passion for serving others and are fully devoted to the Bert's Big Adventure (BBA) program, turning this mission into a special family tradition.

Since 2002, this nonprofit organization, which was founded by Bert and Stacey Weiss, has arranged spectacular trips to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses. Each year, a new group of deserving kids—and their families—are treated to surprises galore on this adventure of a lifetime; the volunteers that assist on the trip give complete focus to the patients and their families in order to provide a magical journey to the "Happiest Place on Earth." The Weiss boys, Hayden,14, and Hollis,10, have truly grown up along with BBA. "They never miss the opportunity to be involved and over the years have made some great friends within this community," Weiss says. "They aren't quite ready to go on a trip yet. That's something they need to work their way up to but it's exciting to see them both set that goal for themselves. They'll get there."

For Weiss, making conscious efforts to establish family traditions takes powerful resonance. "Growing up, my family didn't really have any traditions. We weren't a tight group and my parents didn't seem to place big value on being together," he admits. When he met his former wife, Stacey, he saw a completely different approach through her close-knit family who treasured spending time together.

That motivated him to develop a new vision for his own children. "I see how important it is, and now there are certain things sacred to all of us—whether it's our holidays or new routines we're starting now. You know with boys, it can be tough to get them talking, tough to get anything out of them. But, when we are doing stuff together, that's when we have conversations. We're going to try cooking together once a week when they are at my house and I'm hoping that will be our next new tradition."


The men of the Singer family look forward to spending more time together each year on their annual post-Thanksgiving fishing trip. "This trip started almost 40 years ago," Ben Singer recalls. "My dad, Bill, and his brother, my uncle Richard, me, and Richard's son, Heath, went fishing down in Apalachicola, Florida and fell in love with the area. The next year a cousin went; then a brother-in-law, then other kids and cousins started going. What started out with three or four people can now be as many as 15. It's grown into a tradition."

A big tradition. Singer resides in Marietta today, but grew up in Thomaston, Georgia and the annual family Thanksgiving feast still takes place down there with over 50 relatives coming in from all over the country. The next day, the men of the family hit the road for two days at Apalachicola's Bay City Lodge fishing camp. "There are some guidelines now. Generally speaking, boys must be at least 9 to go, and they cannot wait to be old enough," Singer says. "Kids realize the importance of the trip and look forward to being included." On each trip, the guys welcome those joining the crew for the first time by presenting them with a gold hook to attach to their fishing hats. It's a mark of honor for newbies, but the best treasure is time spent in the boat and what's pulled up on the lines.

They fish all morning and return back to the docks in the afternoon, cleaning up quickly so they can start watching football. "My dad went to Georgia Tech and uncle Richard went to UGA, so that's always a fun rivalry on Saturday after fishing. Little things make the trip special. Dad and uncle Richard have created an environment where the only expectation for the trip is to have fun, and everybody does," Singer assures. "That time out on the boat becomes a safe, comfortable place to start talking. We always draw names out of a hat to see who goes in which boat, and that mixes up the group. Sitting out in the boat together for hours, chatting to pass the time, telling stories and sharing the hope of catching a fish. We fish for speckled trout, sheepshead, flounder and redfish, which have to be a certain regulated size to keep. The kids all want to catch their first 'keeper' red on the trip. And of course, we all live for the fish stories."


Atlanta Track Club,
Bert's Big Adventure,
Buckhead Life Restaurant Group,
Cool Dads Rock,
JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation),

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 19:31

Back Pain

By Amy Meadows

The commercials make it look so easy. Just take two pills, and back pain will dissipate like magic so you can return to living a carefree life. Of course, if you're like one of the 31 million people who, according to the American Chiropractic Association, experience low back pain, you know that there's much more to dealing with the nagging discomfort associated with back issues. While oral anti-inflammatories (and even external pain relief patches) certainly can help, it's crucial to understand the cause of your back pain so you can weigh the pros and cons of today's available treatment options.

P1The Root of the Problem

"Eighty percent of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives," says Paul R. Jeffords, M.D., a minimally invasive spine surgeon with Resurgens Orthopaedics PC. "It's the price we pay for walking upright on two feet. It's part of being human."

Of course, not all back pain is created equal. In fact, Jeffords notes that there is a range, from a simple pulled or strained muscle to more complicated degenerative conditions that can cause severe or even debilitating pain. Less serious back pain can be the result of overdoing it at the gym, lifting a heavy object incorrectly, sitting for too long at work or leading an overall sedentary lifestyle.

More serious issues can affect either the discs in the back (the cushions or "shock absorbers" along the spine) or the facet joints (where the bones connect to each other). In addition to basic disc degeneration, which derives from general wear and tear as you age, you may also encounter conditions like herniated (bulging) or ruptured discs, pinched nerves, sciatica (compression of the sciatic nerve) or arthritis. A traumatic injury also can wreak havoc on your back, affecting tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Fortunately, according to Shahram Rezaiamiri, M.D., F.A.C.S., a neurosurgeon with AllSpine Laser and Surgery Center, a majority of acute—or short term—back pain cases will resolve spontaneously with time and without the need for major treatment. However, a percentage of those cases will become chronic, lasting 12 weeks or longer and requiring evaluation and possibly medical intervention.

"You don't have to rush to see a doctor every time you have back pain," Jeffords says. "But if you have back pain that fails to improve with rest, or if it's waking you up at night and you can't find relief with any position, there might be something more serious going on that calls for further investigation."

A Team Approach

While back pain may be a prevalent problem, it has many possible causes. And that means there are a variety of professionals available to help you navigate the treatment process. But where do you start? Should you see a chiropractor or a physical therapist? If you have severe pain, should you go straight to a spine surgeon?

Chiropractors, physical therapists and surgeons will each bring their own expertise to your case. Jeffords recommends starting with a medical doctor who can look at your medical history, current medications and any other symptoms you may have—such as red flags like a persistent fever, numbness, tingling or weakness—to rule out an emergency situation. Once you have the all clear, you can consider the other professionals in your arsenal and get recommendations for who might be able to help you tackle your specific issue.

According to Zachary Walston, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, clinical director of PT Solutions, physical therapy can be very effective for back pain. "Physical therapy involves rehabbing someone through education, exercise and manual therapy when appropriate," he says. "When back pain is chronic, there may be several issues going on. The body has to be retrained to move pain free and establish proper motor patterns to fully address the issues resulting from chronic pain." A physical therapist will show you the right exercises and how to do them properly to facilitate the healing process.

P2A chiropractor is another valuable professional to have on hand. With a focus on the spine and how its alignment and health affects the nervous system, chiropractic care can be extremely valuable not only to your back, but also to your overall health. "We address the subluxations, which can affect the nerves and the nervous system," explains Samantha March-Howard, D.C., of 100% Chiropractic. "When we start to address the body from that perspective, it can heal properly and achieve the health you're looking for, whether you have back pain, neck pain or any kind of ailment."

And while the thought of going to a spine surgeon may sound scary, it doesn't have to be, as Jeffords notes that surgery is actually a last resort for most back pain cases. However, it doesn't hurt to be evaluated by someone who specializes in orthopedic care or neurological issues and can identify problems that may not be fixable through noninvasive techniques like physical therapy and chiropractic care alone. When additional treatment is needed, an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon are your next options in your team approach.

With all of these professionals, it is crucial to find someone who is educated and trained in their field. And when it comes to finding a back specialist (particularly a surgeon), Rezaiamiri recommends looking for a professional who has completed a fellowship in spine surgery.

The Phases of Treatment

"It's frustrating when you're looking for a cure. If you have an infection, you can take antibiotics in order to cure the infection. But in cases of spinal arthritis or disc degeneration, the underlying condition causing back pain can't be cured," Jeffords explains. "If the back pain is due to degenerative conditions, the goal of treatment is not to cure. We actually have two goals—to relieve the pain and to improve the patient's function so they can return to an active lifestyle. And we do that by breaking it down into phases of treatment."

The first phase of back pain treatment involves noninvasive options like medications, ice and heat, physical therapy and home exercises. Chiropractic care may be an appropriate adjunct to treatment in certain conditions. "Ninety percent of patients experience improvement with time and the treatments in phase one," Jeffords says.

The next category or phase, Rezaiamiri reveals, includes the use of either steroid or nonsteroid injections. Dr. Tara Frix, case manager of Total HealthCare Medical Centers has seen great success with the use of the nonsteroid Ortho-Biological Injection treatment. "Anti-inflammatory bio-injections decrease pain and help retrain the soft tissues of the body to do what they are supposed to be doing instead of being held in a state of spasm causing joint and muscular pain," says Frix. Epidural steroid injections, facet joint blocks, selective nerve root blocks and other injections can be used sparingly to try and alleviate the pain associated with disc or facet joint issues. "There is a 30 to 70 percent success rate with these injections," Rezaiamiri continues. Jeffords adds, "The goal is not to cure the underlying condition. It's not to shrink the disc. It's to reduce the pain and inflammation to a manageable level. But there is a limit to what it can do." In fact, patients should receive no more than three to four injections over a 12-month period.

P3Surgery comprises the final phase. While most patients do not require surgical options, there are several, from a lumbar microdiscectomy to remove the herniated part of a disc to a laminectomy to relieve symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal). An initial comprehensive evaluation, including an MRI, allows a spine surgeon to identify the area of concern and plan the best surgical strategy. Fortunately, technological and medical advancements have created minimally invasive alternatives to major back surgery. "We use smaller incisions and try to limit the amount of trauma to the body while doing surgery," Jeffords notes. "It allows for less blood loss and faster recovery."

In recent years, some patients have turned to percutaneous laser disc compression (PLDD), a noninvasive procedure in which a laser probe is used to vaporize the center of a disc, thereby shrinking its size, reducing the pressure and relieving pain. Rezaiamiri, who was trained by Daniel Choy, the founder of the Laser Spine Center, reveals that between 50 and 60 percent of patients find the procedure effective. "It's not a large operation. There is no incision," he says, adding that some people find relief immediately while others may experience relief slowly as the disc shrinks over the course of a month. However, while he specializes in PLDD, Rezaiamiri warns that some practices throughout the country purport to offer this specialized laser procedure but actually do not. Therefore, it's important to research any facility thoroughly before agreeing to a procedure.

SB1The Lowdown on Low Back Pain Treatment

As with any kind of medical care or therapy, there are positives and negatives to each phase of back pain treatment. In the earliest phases, physical therapy and chiropractic care can take time. Injections may not last or work at all, depending on the severity of your issue. And surgery always has its drawbacks, from the development of scar tissue and muscle atrophy to the acceleration of degeneration in some instances. Yet, treatment can be very effective when the right plan is implemented. And March-Howard suggests dealing with the issues as soon as possible. "If you feel pain, or if you feel your posture shifting, get corrective work and start to address that," she advises.

And as your team helps you work through the issues you are experiencing, you can rest easy knowing that research is being done to try and find even better ways to treat back pain. "For the future, the focus is on regenerative treatments, such as gene therapy and stem cell therapy," Jeffords says.

In the meantime, there are many options available to you if you are one of the millions of back pain sufferers. It's just important to keep one thing in mind as you set out on your journey. "Don't give up. Don't lose hope. It takes time and effort," Walston concludes. "But it will make you so much healthier in the long run." Remember to thoroughly research your treatment options and do not do anything you are not comfortable with.


100% Chiropractic,
AllSpine Laser and Surgery Center,
American Chiropractic Association,
PT Solutions,
Resurgens Orthopaedics PC,
Total HealthCare Medical Centers,


Thursday, 25 May 2017 17:01

June / July 2017 Digital Issue

June / July 2017 Digital Issue

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 13:37

30 Days of Healthy, Beautiful Skin


over40 2015 FACEBOOK MEN 6

    2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Contest Top 10 and Fab Five Winners

Friday, 31 March 2017 13:29

Healing Waters Colon Hydrotherapy

In 1984, Ilan Irie opened Healing Waters Jamaica, a family-owned and operated business, which he had for nearly 10 years. And although the clean air and water from the Blue Mountains of Port Antonio, Jamaica continue to be an ideal setting for Ilan, his return to Atlanta has been a continual blessing for many here in the states.

During this time, Ilan began a series of colonics to obtain optimum health. Years of supplements, natural food, and fasting increased his health considerably, but he still felt unbalanced. This is when Ilan decided to turn to the practice of inner cleansing.
Although impressed with colon therapy, Ilan felt a need for a personal approach. Two important techniques seemed to be missing: One, each session should begin with reflexology as recommended by Dr. Norman Walker. And two, each colonic session should end with intestinal flora.

Ilan graduated from the Dotola Institute with a Colon Hydrotherapy Hygienist degree. He is a certified reflexologist and is certified by the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy. In addition, he is also a founding member of the International Association for Colon Hydrotherapy.

Having performed over 5,000 colonic procedures, Ilan uses the most advanced equipment available. The PPC-101 Clinical from Clearwater Hydrotherapy is 100 percent disposable, with filtered water, U.V. disinfection, Fluoride free, and ozone purification.

Having a colonic is important because it collects and removes toxic waste from the body, which is a natural breeding ground for bacteria. A compacted or sluggish colon is often responsible for headaches, obesity, insomina, and poor sexual response, to list a few.
Nature's law of preservation and hygiene require and insist that this sewage system be cleansed regularly.

There are three ways to clean the colon with hydrotherapy:

Enema: very useful for many therapies including coffee, wheat grass or probiotic infusions.

Colema: a continual flow enema device where the client releases waste/water through a hole in the table. Colema systems are commonly called "open systems."

Colonics: A "closed-system," which sets it apart from the enema or colema. Colonics clean the entire colon well enough to become an approved method for colonoscopy prep.


Office located at: Progressive Medical Center  |  4646 North Shallowford Rd.  |  Ste. 100  |  Dunwoody

404-374-1924  |


Tuesday, 28 March 2017 19:59

Keeping Atlanta Young


By Alex McCray


The 2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board reveals how their expertise is helping Atlantans look and feel their best at 40 and beyond. From fitness, hair, skin and overall quality of life to serving the community, these experts are leading the way. See how their insight and experience can help you live longer and look better.


DrFLETCHERWhy is ear, nose and throat health important to quality of life and anti-aging?
Dr. Aaron Fletcher of Georgia Center for Ear, Nose & Throat uncovers the potential signs of common ENT issues.

When people arrive at Georgia Center for Ear, Nose & Throat, it is usually because they are ready to put their health first. "A lot of people come in and say, 'I just haven't had the time to focus on my own issues,'" says Aaron Fletcher, M.D.

Once patients get long-standing issues taken care of, the difference can be dramatic. "A lot of what I do is quality of life surgery. I deal with people's breathing, their ability to sleep and also their appearance—if someone is having difficulty breathing through their nose, once I fix that issue, it can be life changing."

For those wondering when to see an ENT specialist, Dr. Fletcher advises paying attention to signs that can be indicative of deeper problems. Weight gain, headaches and voice changes could be tied to the thyroid or lack of sleep could be caused by more than the inability to wind down as in sleep apnea.

With more treatments moving in-office, these common issues can be taken care of conveniently. "I'm excited to be on the cutting edge because a lot of surgery is moving toward being accessible in the office and we are one of the first ones to be on the forefront of that," Fletcher says.


DrWHITAKERYou have done more than 4,000 facelifts. If patients are not quite ready, what options do you recommend?
Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker of Atlanta Face & Body Center reveals the latest options for facial rejuvenation without surgery or downtime.

When Elizabeth Whitaker, M.D. of Atlanta Face & Body Center, says she has experience, she's serious. One can't help but notice the exhaustive credentials lining the walls of her office. It is that knowledge that enables her to work with patients to achieve the natural rejuvenation they are looking for when the time is right with her Signature Lifts.

While face and eye lifts are some of her most popular surgeries with those over 40, "there are so many nonsurgical and minimally invasive offerings now," says Dr. Elizabeth.
"New fillers continue to come on the market such as Juvéderm Volbella® XC for vertical lip lines and subtle plumping. Other fillers can volumize and lift the cheeks and even rejuvenate aging hands.We are the first in our area to incorporate skin boosters, which are huge in Europe. We exclusively offer Babytox to help with pores,"
Dr. Elizabeth says, "and Aqua Glow to infuse moisture and create the perfect dewy glow."

Most of all, she enjoys seeing the impact her work has. "What's so gratifying is seeing the difference in how patients feel about themselves, which ultimately translates into making their lives better. Helping people feel their best is what it's all about for me."



DrGieslerWhat should people over the age of 40 consider when it comes to dental health and aesthetics?
Dr. Dina Giesler, of Atlanta Smiles and Wellness explains the connection between oral hygiene and a beautiful smile.

Over time teeth naturally lose their luster, but that doesn't mean it is a process that can't be combated. "After 40, our teeth begin to show the signs of aging by wear, staining, color changes and bone loss," says Dina Giesler, D.D.S of Atlanta Smiles and Wellness.

She advises her patients to assess the current state of their teeth and how things may have changed over the years. "Teeth begin to move because our jawbones change and previous dental work is typically in need of repair or replacement," Giesler says.

An evaluation of the way the teeth come together (occlusion) can help determine if straightening the teeth would be beneficial. Discussions about veneers, gum grafting, examinations for periodontal disease and increased recare cleaning visits also often take place. "This is a time to really think about prevention,"
Giesler says.

Bite guards are another recommendation she suggests to protect the teeth from further wear. This coupled with good day-to-day practices can help maintain the sparkle of a smile year after year. Giesler's bottom line? "Every day, keep your mouth clean, floss, and don't neglect your teeth, or I promise, they will go away."


DrAndersonIs it really true there has never been a better time to experience hair loss?
Yes, it's true! Dr. Ken Anderson of Anderson Center for Hair reveals what you may not know about modern hair restoration.

You've probably seen work from Anderson Center for Hair and didn't even realize it. And that's the point. "The best hair transplant results in the country can fly right under the radar," says Ken Anderson, M.D. of Anderson Center for Hair.

"It is so much different now than it was five to 10 years ago," Anderson says. Today, the options for hair restoration are extensive. "We have stem cells, we have lasers and robots. It continues to evolve at a rapid pace."

As the only practice in Georgia to provide artistic robotic technology for hair restoration, Dr. Anderson gets to combine his creative talent with his technical skills using the ARTAS™ robot. "When you are creating hair lines, I am literally drawing on people's foreheads—that's my canvas if you will. The surgical part of hair transplants is not very invasive but the results are heavily dependent on the artistic talent and passion of the surgeon."

Dr. Anderson is passionate about modern hair restoration techniques because he has witnessed the emotional impact they can have. "One of the most treasured things that I love about the practice is how happy and satisfied the patients are when the hair grows in.

He encourages anyone thinking about hair restoration to have a consultation and find out what treatment is right for them.


DrCurtisHow can someone over 40 look youthful and refreshed without overdoing it?
Dr. Ashley R. Curtis of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta reveals why injectables and lasers can be a hit when it comes to aging gracefully.

Laser treatments and Botox® have become what some might go so far as to call beauty necessities when it comes to anti-aging. "Hands down, the most popular treatments for patients over 40 are Botox® and laser procedures. So many patients come in after hearing friends or family members raving about their treatments, and both actually live up to the hype," says Ashley R. Curtis, M.D. of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta (DAA).

She has seen Botox® create beautiful results time and time again in men and women of varying ages and ethnicities. "As long as you're going to an experienced and licensed professional like a board-certified dermatologist, you can expect to look like a younger, revitalized version of yourself," Curtis says.

Interestingly enough, the patient can play almost as big a role in the success of Botox® and laser treatments as the professional. "The people who are happiest with their results are those who have realistic expectations to begin with, and the people who actually share the same goal as the treatments they've chosen: to help them look younger and more well-rested, but still make sure they look like themselves."


TomSullivanCan someone really look their best ever over the age of 40?
Here's what past Over 40 & Fabulous! Top 10 winner and media personality, Tom Sullivan, has to say.

Taking care of himself has always been a priority for TV host and corporate emcee Tom Sullivan( And now that he is over 40, he finds himself looking and feeling better than ever.

He gives a lot of that credit to his personal trainer, Scott Cameron of Buckhead Elite Personal Training Studio, who also encouraged him to enter the 2016 Over 40 & Fabulous! contest. "I think the contest really put me in a group of people who celebrate who they are. People who want to continually improve who they are and live a better life just like the mission of the magazine," says Sullivan.

Tom uses Cryo Elite Therapy weekly to reduce inflammation, increase metabolism and rid the body of toxins. He credits his youthful skin to The Nouveau Clinic, and hair to Brad Partridge from The Collective, a salon.

On the inside, Sullivan has found strength through his faith and followed his intuition to pursue his passions even further. He has taken his gift for photography and enhanced it with the help of local professional Scott Reeves and is now working with VT Estate Sales.

Like many Over 40 & Fabulous! participants, giving back is a priority for Tom. "I work with many charities...three mission trips with SERV International...and locally with SafeHouse Outreach, which is now 35 years strong. Helping others nurtures my soul to shine God's light."

His advice to those over 40 looking to live their best life physically, mentally and emotionally? "Celebrate who you are and listen to
your gut!"


KarenFoleyWhy is the community we surround ourselves with so important when it comes to being fit over the age of 40?
Karen Foley of Windy Hill Athletic Club reveals the difference a community can make in getting the most out of a workout routine.

Don't let Windy Hill Athletic Club's 100,000 square feet fool you. This resort-style club is centered around creating an environment that encourages every member to achieve their goals.
Whether it be the facility's barre, boxing, yoga or high-intensity based VOLTAGE class, your success is their priority. "Having a community to surround yourself with is important to achieving your goals, and best of all, they are there to help celebrate your successes," says Karen Foley.

Because of its diverse membership, Windy Hill Athletic Club understands that every member's needs are different. Their experienced team is there to offer guidance with goal setting, coaching and support every step of the way. "Our promise to members is to inspire you through movement, community and personal attention. We understand that everyone likes to move differently and we have that option for them," Foley says.

As part of Windy Hill's ongoing process to meet the individual needs of members, they are constantly adding new classes and programs. Their Tennis in No Time program offered in May and June turns you into a tennis player in just three weeks. Get the hang of the racquet with six lessons and three social parties to get you in the game.

No matter how big or small your goals are, the staff at Windy Hill will be there to do all they can to help you achieve them all while having fun along the way.


NyssaWhat common beauty mistakes do you see people over 40 make?
Nyssa Green, founder of The Green Room Agency, shares how to stay current.

When women sit in the chair of Nyssa Green, founder of The Green Room Agency, it's change that's on their mind. "A lot of clients over 40 ask to update their look. At some point, they realize that they're wearing the same colors, clothing, and hairstyle they've had for years, and it's time for a change."

That openness to experimentation often leads to the most satisfied clients. "The people that are happiest with their results are always the ones that are most open to our suggestions," says Green.

The artistic training of The Green Room Agency artists enables them to create looks that are both current and complementary. Whether clients are re-entering the workforce, getting back into the dating scene or preparing for a reunion, "our work gives people new confidence and an esteem boost that's hard to get from a mall makeover. Oftentimes it's just a matter of seeing yourself from another point of view, and sometimes it's a complete transformation," Green says.

She is still surprised by how many clients come to her wearing the same makeup and hairstyles they've worn since their 20s and 30s. Green advises those over 40 to stay away from most frosted makeup, play with new products, tools, and treatments, and enjoy updating their beauty routine with guidance from a professional.

"My work is all about bringing out the best in everyone we work with. Studies show that how a person looks is directly related to how they feel and we focus on making them look their very best on every level," Green says.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017 17:25

Veggies, grains, nuts … oh my!

There's so much more to good health than focusing on those nagging numbers on the scale. Maintaining a healthy weight is important but for overall well-being, good nutrition is happily more about what we're putting on our plates, not what we're taking away.

More than ever nutrition research points us toward the whole foods we should be adding to our diet to help us feel, perform and look our best. From vitamin A to the mineral zinc, nutrients put the shine in our hair, sparkle in our eyes, glow in our skin and pep in our step! Fortunately for foodies, that includes smart ways to add a touch of salty and sweet to create delicious and nutritious recipes. Here are some tips for happy and healthy mealtime makeovers.

Accessorize Wisely
Use salt, sugar, and fat with care. Good cooks don't overseason. Let the natural flavors of ingredients shine. In Georgia, Vidalia onions can add a touch of sweetness to sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, so there's no need to add a lot of honey to the honey mustard dressing. Find flavor without salt, fat or sugar when you add a squeeze of lemon, dash of hot sauce or sprinkling of minced herbs.

Make Plants the Star
They key is making plant foods the star of the show and that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and pulses such as beans, peas and lentils. For those who eat meats, that's fine too. But beef, pork, chicken and other animal proteins should be the supporting actors, not the lead.


OMG! Don't Forget Omega-3s
The fats in fish oils are in the 'good for you' Omega-3 family associated with supporting our hearts, brains and eyes. Wow, that's three more reasons to go out for sushi!
The current U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend we eat at least two (3.5 ounce) servings of fatty fish per week, such as salmon or tuna. White-fleshed fish such as tilapia and cod are good for you too because they contain lean protein, but are not a good source of Omega-3's. If you don't like fatty fish you can choose eggs and juices with added Omega-3s or take a supplement.
Here's a zingy recipe for Glazed Salmon with Stir-Fried Vegetables to boost your Omega-3s and compliments for being a good cook!


Mindful Mealtimes
There's a pace and grace to living happily that dovetails nicely with nutrition advice to slow down a bit and savor the flavors of foods. Turns out that gobbling and guzzling aren't all that figure friendly.
A study conducted at the University of Rhode Island found that women consumed 70 fewer calories and were more satisfied when they ate a meal at a slower pace. That's more good advice to be happy and healthy. Let's celebrate with a little dessert. Again, fresh produce plays a featured role in Baked Pears with Toasted Oat Topping. All recipes are from Carolyn O'Neil's "The Slim Down South Cookbook: Eating Well and Living Healthy in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon" published by Oxmoor House.


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