Dr. Jonathan Kim from Emory Cardiovascular Specialists at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital answers a reader’s question about how running a marathon can affect your heart.



Q: Is running a marathon dangerous for my heart? 

A: Currently, there is no definitive data that implicates marathon running as dangerous for your heart. In fact, for those healthy enough to train for and run a marathon, there are clearly both mental and physical benefits. If you are interested in running a marathon, first consult your doctor or sports cardiologist to ensure you are physically fit enough to embark on a training regimen, and then go out and enjoy your long runs.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to editorial@bestselfatlanta.com 

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Janell Sycks from Pantry Takeover is here to give you her best advice about how to change the way you buy food once you are an empty nester.

Janell Sycks


Q: What are some tips for cooking healthy meals for fewer people?

A: Cooking for less people mean buying less food. Keep that in mind while grocery shopping and buy accordingly or else you will end up wasting food and money.

Q: How can parents maximize their time in the kitchen?

A: Meal planning is crucial whether you are cooking for one person or 10 people. Save time by preparing part of your meals on the weekend: make small individual salads for each day of the week, marinate meats ahead of time and bake some healthy granola bars or muffins for a quick grab-and-go breakfast.

Q: How can parents break out of old meal routines?

A: Try new recipes that you once steered away from because “the children would not like it.” Explore new foods and seasonings. And don’t rush – there are no school or sporting events that you have to run off to after dinner.

Q: How can parents throw a fun, healthy, adults-only dinner party?

A: Invite every guest to bring a dish using a seasonal vegetable they have never cooked before, and pair it with a fresh juiced cocktail. This encourages everyone to try new recipes and foods.


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Dr. Alex Park from VeinInnovations answers a reader’s question about vein problems for men.

alex park


Q: Do men have vein problems too?

A: Yes, men have vein problems and are notorious for waiting until they are in a great deal pf pain before seeking treatment. When the pain hurts their golf game or their ability to rest, men come for help. We urge our female patients to get their husbands in as soon as possible, as earlier treatment ensures a higher quality of life for many years, helping patients maintain a healthier program for exercise and sleep.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to editorial@bestselfatlanta.com. 

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Mastin Kipp, who heads The Daily Love online community, is in the business of inspiration. He has lifted himself out of addiction and crisis to a life doing what he loves and digging deep into spirituality. Now, he has written his amazing story in the book “Daily Love: Growing Into Grace.”mastin kipp

The writing process, Kipp admits, was somewhat less than graceful. “I love having written, but the writing process itself is excruciating.” He laughs and adds, “It’s like working out.” Not only did writing take him back to some challenging times in his life, but it resulted in him gaining significant weight during the process, which he is still working to lose. Even then, his publisher told him the first draft wasn’t publishable. “It was basically a 70,000-word blog,” he jokes. But after two more drafts, Kipp and his publisher had a manuscript that told his story effectively. “It was humbling, and I think I really grew as a writer in the process,” Kipp says.

This week, “Daily Love: Growing Into Grace” was released, telling the full story of his early struggles and his turn toward a happier, more spiritually fulfilling life. Kipp hopes the book helps others along that path as well, moving out of crisis and into happiness. He says, “I’ve seen so many folks give up, or give in to fear, but my hope is that after reading the book, you are inspired to actually take action and do the things you love. That’s ultimately what’s going to make you happiest.”

To order the book and learn more about Kipp, visit www.growingintograce.com. To see him in person, mark your calendars for September 16, when Kipp’s Growing Into Grace tour will bring him to Atlanta’s own Piedmont Park.

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Atlanta artist Cynthia Perryman and former Atlanta resident Jessie Mackay will showcase their art and the art of their students at The Art School in Sandy Springs this month. art school in sandy springsWhile traveling to France this summer, the group created paintings of the French countryside and towns for this exhibit titled “Dreams of France: Old and New.” The show will include their paintings, photos and drawings for vieiwng and purchase, as well as the works of other local artists Wanda Hopkins and Jane Scott. The show begins on September 20 with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. and is open through September 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. each day.

Details: 330 Sandy Springs Circle, Atlanta, GA, www.theartschoolinsandysprings.com 

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Each year as flu season looms, doctors and nurses remind the public to get their flu shots. This month Penny Conner, a nurse consultant for the immunization program at the Georgia Department of Public Health, recaps the latest updates from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Woman with tissue and hot drink

“The ACIP met in June,” Conner says, “and they are recommending that healthy children get the nasal spray flu vaccine as opposed to the shot.” Typically the ACIP does not recommend a specific type of flu vaccine, she says, but recent studies suggest that the nasal spray offers better protection than the shot. It’s important that it only be administered to healthy recipients, though, because the spray is a live vaccine.

Conner also points out that, whether you choose the shot or the spray, “Since 2010, we have suggested that everyone over six months of age get a flu vaccine with very few exceptions.”

Another development Conner mentions is a flu vaccine developed without eggs. Some flu vaccines are created using chicken eggs, but if you are allergic or live a vegan lifestyle, opt for the egg-free version that became available last fall.

To learn more, Conner recommends visiting the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health Online.


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OK, so maybe you didn’t shed any extra pounds this summer. Not to worry ladies – Shapeez is a bra and shapewear solution in one. Shapeez_Sportee_Black_FrontShapeez takes care of trouble spots, especially those visible bra lines and back fat with a variety of styles: the Ultimate, the Shortee, the Tankee and the Lacee.

The Ultimate is a bra, camisole and torso trimmer all in one garment The Shortee makes a great alternative to the traditional sports bra, without lines under your tightly fitting workout tops. The Tankee is perfect under sleeveless tops and makes a great T-shirt bra. The Lacee is an elegant bra and body shaper with added lace, making it the ultimate all-in-one fashion layering piece. Visit Shappeez online to view the entire collection and see before and after photos. To ensure a perfect fit, use their handy guide before you order.

Details: www.unbelievabra.com, www.jessicashops.com 

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Stop by Best Self’s Healthy Living Expo at the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk on Thursday, September 11. We have a great group of exhibitors ready to help you be the best you can be! Get to the run/walk early so you can go through the Expo tent to hear from health experts, nutrition experts and wellness experts, all while enjoying music, prizes and fitness demonstrations! You will have the chance to post it all on social media from the TapSnap photo booth. See the full list of this year’s exhibitors below and we will see you on September 11!

680 The Fan

AIIRX Weight Loss


The Art of Living

Atlanta Track Club

Atlanta Center for Holistic Health

Atlanta Community Food Bank

Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine

Atlanta School of Wellness

Back On My Feet


Brighter Tomorrow Hypnotherapy

Best Self Atlanta

Dermani Med Spa

Flöt Spa

Go Energy Drinks

Good Measure Meals

House of Payne Personal Training

Joffe MediCenter

LA Fitness

The Lasik Vision Institute

Nature’s Garden Express

Nerium SkinCare

North Atlanta Hair Restoration

Official Apparels & Build a Trainer

Orangetheory Fitness

Power Home Remodeling

Roc House Women’s Fitness Spa

Sally B’s Skin Yummies

Single Atlanta


Vein Clinics of America

Village Podiatry

Vinings Aesthetics

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By Rebecca Guinn, CEO and founder of LifeLine Animal Project

September is National Preparedness Month, which reminds us how important it is to prepare for a disaster, whether natural or man-made. However, the care and well-being of pets is often an overlooked aspect. When planning for you and your family, it’s a good time to factor in the needs of your companion animals. Here are several tips to prepare your pet for an emergency or disaster.

Prepare to Take Shelter

The first step is ensuring your safe haven is pet-friendly. If staying at home, keep pets with you in a protected part of your house. Distressed pets often retreat to familiar places, so take note of your pet’s favorite hiding spots, both inside and outside the home. This will help you get them quickly inside or ready to evacuate. Even after dangerous weather has passed, keep pets leashed so they aren’t harmed by debris.dv1909054

In case you have to leave your home, identify shelters in advance that accept pets, like pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities and vet offices near your evacuation location or even a friend or relative’s home.

Ensure Pets are Licensed and Microchipped

The key to readying for an emergency is planning before it happens and that includes preparing in case your pet is separated from you.

One low-cost resource that directly improves owner return rates is pet licensing. In DeKalb County and Fulton County, the registration process is simple and can be completed by mail or on the websites for Fulton County Animal Services or DeKalb County Animal Services. Once licensed, pets are provided a unique ID number on a tag that attaches to their collars. Fulton and DeKalb County’s online licensing sites allow anyone to search for an ID number.

Licensing, along with microchipping, is an important safeguard in case of emergencies, and it’s also a best practice for pet owners in general. Make sure your contact information with the licensing and/or microchipping company, county and veterinarian is up-to-date. For more information, visit fultonanimalservices.com and dekalbanimalservices.com.

Create an Emergency Pet Care Kit

Just like a family’s emergency kit, owners should make a kit for their pets. Tailor the content to meet the individual needs of your pet, but we recommend several essentials like copies of all medical and licensing records, a list of emergency contacts, proof of pet ownership and a photo of you with your pet.

Include at least three days’ worth of food – and don’t forget a can opener and water and food bowls. When buying bottled water, make sure to buy enough for your family and your pet. Stock your kit with sanitation supplies – like kitty litter and boxes or newspapers – as well as leashes, harnesses and carriers in case you need to transport pets.   Keep a first aid kit and extra supplies of pet medications, as well as the rest of these items, in a portable, waterproof container. It’s also a good idea to include a few comfort items and toys.DogKit

As manager of Fulton County and DeKalb County Animal Services, we know that despite all of this planning, pets sometimes are separated from their owners. If your pet is lost, immediately visit the county shelter in your area and then follow up every three or four days. Be resourceful and get the word out in a three to five mile radius around your home by hanging brightly colored signs with large lettering, a photo and key information.

Disaster preparedness affects you and your pets, so the best practice for responsible pet ownership is to take the initiative to create a plan and assess the resources available.

Rebecca Guinn is the CEO and founder of LifeLine Animal Project, a leading metro-Atlanta animal nonprofit promoting lifesaving animal welfare solutions through its programs and management of Fulton County Animal Services and DeKalb County Animal Services. 

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September often brings with it s case of the sniffles, or worse, the flu. It’s hard to do much for a sick kid off at college or a friend in another state, but Spoonful of Comfort is making it easier. spoonful of comfort This service allows you to order and send a jar of homemade chicken noddle soup right to your loved one’s door. The classic get-well dish includes chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, onion, sage, parsley and sea salt, and it is prepared in small batches without preservatives, just as you would make it at home. You can also customize your care package to include a handwritten note, made-from-scratch rolls, chamomile tea and even a cozy pair of socks. Package prices rang from $24.99 to $89.99.

Details: www.spoonfulofcomfort.com 

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