Madison James from Mad about Fitness is here to give you her best advice on how to stay fit during the busy holiday season.

James, Madison_cred Ben Robi Photography


How can people get a good workout during the busy holiday season?

Circuits are one of the best and most efficient workouts. A circuit can be as simple as jumping jacks, push-ups and crunches. Do each exercise in a row for 30 seconds, rest for two minutes and repeat for three sets. It’s my favorite workout when I’m short on time.

If people can’t make it to the gym, what workouts can they do outside?

Let nature be your gym. Walking is a great, low-impact exercise that you can do outside. Sprinkle in some strength training like push-ups, step-ups and squats.

What workouts can people do during holiday travel?

Remember to bring your shoes! Simple exercises like lunges, jumping jacks, squats and crunches can be done in your hotel room. Another tip: pack some workout bands. Bands are inexpensive and travel easily. I call them my gym on the go!

What fitness mistakes should people avoid during the holidays?

Not eating in an attempt to save calories does not work! Instead, enjoy  healthy, small snacks like KIND Bars and fresh fruit.

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Dr. Marianna Kovitch from Atlanta Smiles & Wellness answers a reader’s question about children wearing mouthing guards while playing sports.

Kovitch, DMD, Marianna_no cred

Q: Why should my child wear a mouth guard while playing sports, and which is the best one?

A: A mouth guard is a flexible appliance worn while playing sports to prevent injuries such as a split lip, broken teeth and jaw fractures. There are several types of mouth guards, including ones you can get at a drug store, ones that you can “boil and bite” to conform more to your child’s mouth and custom-fitted guards made by your dentist. A custom mouth guard is the best option when it comes to injury prevention as it fits tightly around the teeth, keeping everything in place during impact. A custom mouth guard is also the most comfortable option as it is molded to your child’s teeth, cheeks and lips.


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unnamedWoodfire Grill and GrassRoots Farms have teamed together for their “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” five-course duck dinner on Thursday, November 13 at 7 p.m. The night will include stories about GrassRoots Farms’ history from owner Brandon Chonko, discussions of the night’s dishes from Woodfire Grill’s executive chef Matt Weinstein and owner Nick Quinones, and even a duck-inspired dessert. Chonko has dedicated his life to providing clean poultry to families, while Weinstein and Quinones believe that great food comes first from great ingredients. Seating for this event is $75 per person or $110 with wine pairings. Reservations are required. Be sure to call (404) 347-9055 or email

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Registered dietitian, Kristen Smith from WellStar is here to give you her best advice on healthy eating habits for the holiday season.

Smith, MS, RD, LD, Kristen_cred Kristen Smith

How do people’s eating habits change during this time of year?

Typically people’s schedules are busier, and they are not eating at their normal meal times. They are also confronted with increased food volume at work or social gatherings.

What unhealthy culprits are to blame for holiday weight gain?

Butter-filled desserts or cream-based casseroles are served in abundance during the holiday season.  Often, people are not accustomed to eating these foods year round, so the extra calories can lead to weight gain.

What techniques can help people navigate holiday food choices? 

Do not completely avoid your favorite holiday treats – allow yourself a small portion. You can also contribute a healthier dish to a gathering by bringing a fruit salad or steamed vegetables with parmesan.

How can someone keep eating habits consistent through the holidays? 

Do not focus on just food at holiday gatherings – spend time socializing or dancing. Make sure to limit yourself to only one plate, and try to avoid the habit of grazing.

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The scoop on what’s new around town

Run with the Expert

November Best Bulletin - JG131Olympic runner Jeff Galloway is holding the inaugural Jeff Galloway 13.1 on Sunday, December 14 in Midtown. If a half marathon sounds like too far of a distance for you, think again. Galloway, an author, speaker and runner for more than 40 years, has developed a free training program for those interested in building up their running skills in a safe, effective way. Plus, on the day of the race, you can take your pick of any of the official pace groups that will help you stay motivated and on schedule till the end of the 13.1 miles. Registration is $115 until December 8 and $130 afterward.


No More Earbud Blues

RunPhonesClassicHeadphones come in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are comfortable for everyone. RunPhones takes care of that by combining headphones with another must-have running accessory: a sweatband. These headphones are sewn into a moisture-wicking mesh headband that keeps runners dry and keeps your music at your ears. The headphones are compatible with iPhone and most other music devices, and the headband itself is machine washable. $39.95


Open Up to Yoga

November Best Bulletin Blog Post - Yoga Stock Image

Roswell Yoga Life recently opened in Roswell, offering heated and non-heated yoga, prenatal yoga, and classes specifically geared toward kids and teens. At this 1,600-square-foot studio, students can also purchase healthy retail items such as fruit, nuts, nutrition bars and bottled water, in addition to custom bolsters, eye pillows and nature-inspired jewelry. Owner Gretchen Griffin invites all yogis of all levels to find support at RYL. An unlimited month of classes costs just $49.

Details: 408 South Atlanta St., Suite 157, Roswell, GA,

A Helping Hand

Orange Peppermint Hand Set image

For a burst of summer during this cold season, HollyBeth Organics will soon release their new Orange Peppermint Hand Wash and Hand Lotion Set. The blend of essential oils will cleanse skin without drying it, as well as provide an energizing citrus scent. Plus, HollyBeth Organics is the only USDA certified organic skin care line in Atlanta that is also certified cruelty-free, so both your hands and heart can feel good this holiday season. HollyBeth Organics products available at Atlanta Made or online. $59

Details: 1187 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA,

National Diabetes Month

November Best Bulletin Blog Post - National Diabetes MonthThroughout Atlanta this month, the American Diabetes Association will hold events to educate Atlantans, provide resources and raise money to help put a stop to diabetes. On November 8, lace up your sneakers and head to the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes at Turner Field. Anyone who raises $1,000 or more will be recognized as a Champion to Stop Diabetes. Then on November 22, head to the free Diabetes Expo at Cobb Galleria. There will be a healthy cooking stage, diabetes management seminars and a special appearance by Patti LaBelle.


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On November 1, razors around the world will go on break – at least as it relates to moustache hair. For “Movember” – men’s health awareness month – men will start sprouting moustaches to show their support of the men’s health movement.November Best Health - Older Man Running Blog Picture

In support, I have a special invitation with regard to men and their legs, as leg health plays a fundamental role in a man’s overall health. Take advantage of a free Duplex Doppler Ultrasound screening to rule out venous insufficiency if you are having any symptoms of fatigue, swelling, pain or restlessness in your legs, or if you have varicose or spider veins.

Healthy legs make it easier to both exercise and rest well, and venous health is a critically important part of overall leg health. Leg veins carry blood pumped by the calf muscle up, against gravity, to the heart and lungs to be re-oxygenated. Vein problems – usually caused by the failure of delicate, one-way valves in the veins – impact some 20 to 30 million Americans.

When the valves fail and blood flows backwards, or refluxes, blood pools, pressure builds, and varicose and spider veins may appear. Other symptoms of venous insufficiency may include achiness, swelling, itching, a need to move at night or a sense of having “crawling flesh.”

While the majority of our patients at VeinInnovations are women, we know that men also believe heavy, tired and restless legs are just part of aging. With men more likely to ignore symptoms, and because symptoms build at such a slow rate, many men don’t realize how badly they are hurting. By the time they come for treatment, many have tortured, bulging veins. Some have stopped exercising; many have not slept well in years. The combination of losing exercise and sleep impacts overall quality of life, diminishes health and ages you prematurely. After our minimally invasive treatments, many patients are amazed by just how quickly treatment restored their vitality and ability to rest.

While in Movember men become “walking billboards” for men’s health by growing moustaches, they should also “walk the walk” with healthier legs. Don’t ignore your symptoms anymore – instead, schedule an ultrasound screening and take an important step toward better health.

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During turkey season, what’s a vegetarian to do? Try finding like-minded friends at the Atlanta Veg Fest on November 8, which is in its third year. This day-long event Veg Fest Produce Picturebrings together the plant-based eaters of Atlanta to enjoy engaging talks from vegan dietitians, chefs and hip hop artists. The day also includes displays from vegan vendors, cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities and, of course, plenty of meatless morsels for you to enjoy. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, requests a $5 donation at the door and is a great place to explore your plant-based diet options.

Details: 1630 Metropolitan Parkway SW, Atlanta, GA,

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Elegant Elf MarketplaceAt the fourth annual Elegant Elf Marketplace, held this year on November 15 and 16, more than 75 local and regional vendors will showcase their jewelry, crafts, home and garden decor and more. The event is hosted by The Sandy Springs Society, which donates proceeds to 25 Atlanta nonprofits. The marketplace raises about $80,000 each year and last year helped fund local programs for child literacy, science and math classroom materials, vision screening, senior services and other community support. The event costs $5 to attend, and children 10 and under attend for free.


Details: 5920 Sandy Springs Circle NE, Sandy Springs, GA,

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DaNina Nicole from GlowDry is here to give you her best advice on how to do your eye makeup for the fall!

DaNina Stewart Head Shot


What are the current fall trends for eye makeup?

Metallics, tons of glitter, smoky eyes, deep, dark, and warm earth tones, electric pops of color, and just full-on glam!

What styles of eye makeup are best for women in their 30s? In their 40s? Beyond?

When women in their 30s line their upper lid, they should make sure the line curves up slightly at the outer edges of the eyes—not down. That will lift your eyes, as opposed to making them look droopy.

Women in their 40′s and beyond should go with a matte finish on the lid. This will absorb the light and lend a smoother appearance. Anything frosty or with a shimmer will highlight fine lines around the eyes. Reserve the shimmer for under the brow bone where wrinkles and fine lines aren’t as apparent. Try a soft, smoky eye in a taupe color. Taupe will add definition to the eyes without looking hard.

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when applying eye makeup?

Avoid tugging at the outer corners of your eyes. This can cause skin to crinkle, and your line will not be as smooth. Instead, point your chin up and look down, so your lids are half-closed but you can still see them, and use a liquid or gel liner for a smooth application.

Then take the time to wiggle the wand and work in the mascara. This will help separate the lashes and make them look fuller at the root. If you’re ever pressed for time and have to choose between liner, shadow or mascara, always pick mascara.

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This November, Best Self Atlanta will host our 2nd Annual Moustache Dash! This family-friendly race is the perfect way to raise awareness for men’s health during “Movember.” The entire family is invited to participate in this 5K and one-mile race, which kicks off at New Balance Buckhead on November 16 at 8 a.m.moustache (1)

Participate in our group warm-up and health expo, and be sure to grab one of the free stick-on moustaches or have one painted on! After the race, the whole family can enjoy free food and an awards ceremony.

We hope everyone will have a great time while raising awareness for men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer.

Early bird registration is $25, with prices going to $30 on November 3. Day-of registration will also be available at the race.

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