Donate pet supplies to the Helping Hounds ClubIf local shelter dogs could talk, they would be saying “thank you!” to Michelle Osborne from Pope High School for founding the Helping Hounds Club. She founded the Helping Hounds Club at her school in East Cobb, and the group’s mission is to promote awareness of the plight of these homeless animals. Michelle and 73 of her classmates do so by volunteering their time and energy cleaning shelters, collecting and distributing much-needed pet supplies, and participating in pet adoption days.

To make a donation to the Helping Hounds Club, contact the club sponsor Megan Smith at megan.smith@cobbk12.org. The group is also accepting pet supplies like food and treats, gently used collars, leashes, bowls, toys, towels and blankets.

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Dr. Jeffrey Gallups of The ENT InstituteIn this Best Health article, Dr. Jeffrey Gallups from The ENT Institute encourages you to learn about silent reflux before resorting to surgical measures to treat sinusitis.

When patient Beverly R. suffered through her twentieth bout of sinusitis, her primary care doctor recommended surgery to fix the problem. Unfortunately, it was after the pain, expense and downtime of the surgery that Beverly discovered the source of her continuing sinus infections wasn’t blocked sinuses. It was her diet and silent reflux.

Often overlooked and misdiagnosed, acid reflux affects 40 percent of Americans. The backflow of stomach acid can not only irritate your esophagus, but your ears, nose, throat, vocal cords, sinuses, mouth and lungs. American diets have become very acidic. Bottled and canned food, carbonated sodas and fried food all contain high amounts of acid and contribute to the reflux epidemic.

There is a wide range of common silent reflux symptoms, including hoarseness, cough, sinusitis, burning throat, trouble swallowing, snoring and apnea, asthma and shortness of breath. Sadly, most physicians don’t test for reflux because they don’t know it can be the root of all these problems.

Through a series of diagnostic tests, including sinus scans, esophageal and lung screenings, physicians can determine whether the patient may be treated through medical therapy and lifestyle changes, or if surgery is required. A Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication tightens the valve between the stomach and esophagus, preventing acid from refluxing up into the esophagus and sensitive areas of the throat, nose, lungs and sinuses. Luckily for Beverly R., her silent reflux is under control with medication and diet. She now tells her friends with sinus issues to visit an ENT before a visit to the surgery center. Today, four out of five patients don’t have asthma; they have reflux. The good news is, with the right medication, diet and guidance from your doctor, you can get silent reflux under control.

 

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Synergy HomecareAround the holidays, seniors may struggle to set up decorations the way they used to. Thankfully, Synergy HomeCare is here to help! As seen in this clip from CBS Atlanta, the employees of Synergy HomeCare call themselves Elder Elves, and they set up Christmas trees and other holiday decorations for their clients to bring them joy this time of year. They also help them with their holiday shopping, wrapping gifts, sending Christmas cards, and even helping them deliver their gifts to friends and family. If you know of someone who could benefit from this type of care, don’t hesitate to reach out to Synergy HomeCare to ensure their needs are met.

Details: Visit www.synergyhomecare.com, or call their local office at 404-270-9032

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Fresh Produce ClothingWhen you aren’t feeling your best, often the last thing you want to do is go shopping–this is even more true if you’re dealing with or recovering from cancer, various surgeries and other difficult illnesses. But at Fresh Produce Clothing in the Mall of Georgia, shopping might actually be the thing to get you feeling back to normal. Throughout this month, the store is hosting events to support all women with information about breast cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis, heart disease and more. Women can hear experts discuss these topics, take advantage of free health screenings, and even have private styling sessions to help them find clothes that are comfortable, easy to wear, and stylish. Fresh Produce Clothing hopes to make every woman feel her very best, regardless of her physical state. To learn more or to shop online, go to Fresh Produce Clothing’s website: www.freshproduceclothes.com.

 

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Each month, Best Self publisher Sherri Adair shares her favorite places, people and events from around Atlanta. Here are her picks for the month of December:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed

I got this book last Christmas from my dear friend and business associate, Patti. For that friend or family member with a bohemian spirit or love of the outdoors, this is a great holiday gift. I really enjoyed this well-written story of personal survival. It made me laugh and cry…loved it!

Columbia Packed Out Omni-Heat Shoes

These shoes are great around-the-house/take-the-dog-out slipper shoes. They are totally comfy but durable enough to wear outdoors, featuring all-terrain rubber sole combined with cozy insulation for warmth. $55

Details: High Country Outfitters, Buckhead, www.highcountryoutfitters.com

KIND barsKIND bars

With over 22 different bars made from all-natural whole nuts, fruits and whole grains, it’s hard to pick a favorite. These delicious snack bars are gluten free, sugar free, non-GMO, and there are even peanut-free options available.

Details: Whole Foods, www.kindsnacks.com

Nicobella Organics

This company makes vegan, organic dark chocolate truffles from Fair Trade cacao. It’s about as guilt-free and delicious as chocolate can get! They also donate five percent of their sales to non-profits like Noah’s Ark, Mercy for Animals and The Humane Society. $5.95

Details: Savi Market, www.nicobellaorganics.com

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Royal Black Quinoa from Alter Eco FoodsQuinoa, a small grain, is a great substitute for traditional pastas because it’s a complete protein. If you want to try adding this ingredient to your next meal, organic Royal Black Quinoa is a tasty mix. This type of quinoa has fluffier, larger-than-normal seeds, so in centuries past it was reserved for the royals’ plates. These days, it’s responsibly sourced from Bolivia so that you too can eat like a king! $9.99 for a 14 oz. pouch.

Details: www.alterecofoods.com, www.wholefoodsmarket.com

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Winter cooking class at Souper JennyIf you’ve ever wanted to tap into the secrets of a great bowl of soup, then Souper Jenny‘s winter cooking class is the place to go. “The secrets to great soup are lots of love and seasonal ingredients,” explains Chef Jessica, who teaches the classes. She has been cooking at Souper Jenny since 2010 and knows a thing or two about making amazing soup. “Sourcing fresh, local or organic ingredients will have you setting yourself up for success.”

Winter cooking class at Souper JennyShe also believes that when using seasonal vegetables, you are starting with a product that is at the height of its flavor. “It really means less work for you. There’s not much you have to do to a beautiful winter squash right now. A little salt and pepper, onions, maybe some garlic, stock, squash and puree.” Chef Jessica says she likes to teach healthy cooking styles and tap into recipes that are user-friendly. “Incorporating fresh herbs, spices, citrus juices, and of course seasonal ingredients, helps keep calories and fat down while making a delicious end result,” she explains.

On December 10, learn all about the ins and outs of creating a hearty winter stew. First timers can expect to have a good time while also getting some helpful insider tips. “The class is demonstration style, and there is a tasting at the end,” she says. “I try to do five recipes in two hours! It’s a lot but makes for a great class.” The class is $40 per person and are held at Souper Jenny in Buckhead at 7 p.m. Reservations are required.

Details: 56 E. Andrews Drive NW, Atlanta, GA, (404) 237-7687

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Dr. Anita Cone-Sullivan from Resurgens Spine Center answers a reader’s question about recovering from spinal surgery.

Dr. Anita Cone-Sullivan from Resurgens Spine CenterQ: I am having spinal surgery and I’m worried about the recovery time. Are there any short cuts to getting back on my feet?

A: Generally speaking, spinal surgeries vary in recovery time. The keys to a speedy recovery are following your physician’s orders during the post-op period and participating in a rehabilitation program tailored to your specific needs. If you try to take short cuts to getting back on your feet sooner than advised, you may find it to be detrimental in the short and long term, and it could potentially negate the positive effects from the surgery.

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Sleep Number Dual Temp layerInstead of cranking up the thermostat and wasting money on your power or gas bill, try the new DualTemp bedding layer from Sleep Number. Just like customizing the firmness of your mattress, DualTemp allows you to customize the temperature of your bedding without disturbing your partner. It’s a breathable material so it’s more comfortable than piling on extra blankets, and you can set it for automatic shut-off for safety purposes. Go ahead – get cozy!

Details: 3435 Lenox Road NE, Atlanta, GA (404) 467-2454, www.sleepnumber.com

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Global Winter Wonderland AtlantaRunning from November 21 to January 5, Global Winter Wonderland makes its debut in Atlanta. This exciting event lets guests travel the world by seeing larger-than-life lantern designs of famous world landmarks like the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition to these eco-friendly lantern displays (many of which are powered by solar panels), the festival includes carnival rides, games, arts, crafts and international cuisine. Come out to celebrate the holiday traditions of the world’s many and varied cultures. Tickets are $16.99 for children and $24.99 for adults. Season passes available.

Details: Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA, www.globalwonderland.com

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