Dr. Sudhir R. Belagaje from Pinnacle Orthopaedics answers a reader’s question about bunions. Sudhir R. Belagaje, M.D.

Q: What is a bunion and what causes them?

A: A bunion (or hallux valgus deformity) is when the big toe joint is no longer aligned with the rest of the toes and begins to angle to the outside border of the foot. Most research has shown that family history and shoe wear are the two main causes. Narrow toe box shoes, which tend to push the big tow joint to the outside, have been shown to be a cause of the problem. However, not everyone who regularly wears these types of shoes develops bunions. Therefore, genetics play an important role as well. If patients have pain or problems with a bunion, it is recommended that a foot and ankle specialist be seen so that options can be discussed and a treatment plan made.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email your questions toeditorial@bestselfatlanta.com

Posted in Best RX | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Serenbe’s farms manager Ashley Rodgers is here to give you her best advice about enjoying your downtime. Ashley Rodgers

Q: What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

A: On days off I really enjoy taking a Bikram yoga class. It helps realign and stretch my body from the previous week of farming and gets me energized for the week ahead.

Q: How do you make more time for yourself?

A: The best way to accomplish this is through organization. It is planning ahead, staying productive and finishing tasks that helps me secure free time.

 Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to have more “me” time?

A: Make it a priority. Schedule it in if you have to. Sometimes it is a necessity to put aside everything else.

Q: Who do you like to spend your free time with?

A: Catching up on sleep is a large part of my free time, and my crew of cats and one dog love to snuggle. I also enjoy getting out of town to Savannah and visiting with my friend Jess.

Q: What makes you laugh?

A: I am a sucker for good one-liners. I love intelligent, witty, sarcastic humor when it’s neatly slipped into conversation.

Q: Who are the people that help you be your best self?

A: My mother continues to provide me with encouragement and support. It is the 24/7 sounding board I have in her that has always helped me be my best self. Also, my fellow farmer friends.

Posted in Best Advice | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soothe and beautify your hands this winter with our best finds.

Sally B's Skin Yummies Cuticles can suffer in colder weather, becoming dry or brittle. Keeping them well hydrated can really help. Try using Sally B’s Natural Buff Cuticle Bar, which is infused with natural oils and butters to prevent hangnails and keep cuticles moisturized. This compact bar is easy to keep in your purse for use whenever you need it. $18

Details: Sally B’s Skin Yummies, 800 Miami Cir., Ste. 110, Atlanta, GA, www.sallybskinyummies.com

The BeehiveDuring cold season it’s recommend to wash your hands several times a day. You may be warding off germs, but you might also be drying out or irritating your skin. Try using soap with natural ingredients to keep hands smooth and supple. Locally made Honeysuckle Soap uses high quality oils such olive, coconut, palm, sweet almond, castor, shea butter and avocado to make their bars. Honey and all- natural vitamin E are also added in to help moisturize. $6.25

Details: The Beehive, 1250 Caroline St., Atlanta, GA, www.honeysucklesoap.com

HandsIf you want to turn back the hands of time, consider a hand rejuvenation treatment. Services can range from paraffin wax treatments to plump skin, laser peels to make sunspots fade or dermal filler injections to reduce wrinkles. Many treatments can reduce signs of aging on hands, but make sure to see a certified professional to find out which one is best for your needs.

Details: Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center, www.atlaserlights.com

HollyBeth Organics Moisturizer is key for keeping skin soft and supple, so make sure you keep a hand cream nearby. It doesn’t hurt if it also contains natural, organic ingredients. The Lavender Hand Cream by HollyBeth Organics offers a sweet smelling fragrance and the moisturizing properties of vitamin E, camellia, jojoba and sweet almond oils. $25

Details: www.hollybethorganics.com

Spa IntercontinentalWhen your hands need extra pampering, head over to the Spa InterContinental for a Renewing Hand Treatment. This service spoils your hands with warm compresses, gentle exfoliation and a balancing mask, then tops it all off with Amala’s certified organic hand cream that nourishes dry skin. 15 minutes, $35

Details: Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta, 3315 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA, www.intercontinental.combuckhead

Posted in Best Finds | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith from Georgia Reproductive Specialists answers a readers question about testosterone replacements.

Dr. Desiree McCarthy- Keith 2

Q: My doctor started me on testosterone replacement after he found that my levels were low. Could this affect my fertility?

A: Testosterone is being increasingly prescribed to men who have low energy or decreased libido. While this treatment can raise a man’s testosterone level and improve these symptoms, it can severely decrease sperm counts and lower fertility. It is important to have a thorough medical evaluation and to discuss your plans for future fertility before starting testosterone therapy. You should also consider evaluation by a urologist or fertility specialist if you have noticed a change in libido or sexual function.

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

Posted in Best RX | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

If you are looking for new, healthy recipes to try out, Cooking channel star and author Bobby Deen has a few you might like in his new cookbook coming out this month, “Bobby Deen’s Everyday Eats: 120 All New Recipes, All Under 350 Calories, All Under 30 Minutes.” Bobby Deen This book provides tasty, healthy meals you can prepare in no time. Get your book signed and meet the man himself at Barnes & Noble in Buckhead on February 13 at 7 p.m.

Details: 2900 Peachtree Road NE #310, Atlanta, GA, www.thedeenbros.com

Posted in Best Bulletin | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 29 of Fitness – Rock Climbing at Atlanta Rocks!

Best Self graphic designer: Miguel

For Day 29 of our 30 Days of Fitness, Best Self’s graphic designer Miguel headed to Atlanta Rocks! for a 2-hour climbing session. This indoor rock climbing gym offers more than 12,000 square feet of professionally designed climbing surface, and the price of each two-hour class includes everything you need: instruction, climbing time, shoes, harness and belay device. Here’s what Miguel had to say about the experience:

Miguel Velazquez, Cristina Villafane, Jim Wise, Diane Wise, Gabriel Paraliticci (Instructor), Joan Thomas and Pilar Osorio

Miguel Velazquez, Cristina Villafane, Jim Wise, Diane Wise, Gabriel Paraliticci (Instructor), Joan Thomas and Pilar Osorio

This is my third time indoor rock climbing but the first time at Atlanta Rocks! The instructors and friendly environment made all the difference. I took Technique 1, the class geared at new climbers who need to learn balance and climbing movements. The workout was great, and it is as physically challenging as you want to make it—I really felt it the next day. They have many options for all skill levels, and all necessary equipment is included. Gabriel Paraliticci, my instructor, was very knowledgeable and offered great technique tips. He was very friendly, and even though sometimes it was hard to mentally psych myself up to complete each climb, Gabriel helped keep me and the rest of the group motivated. I really enjoyed reaching the top of each climb and slapping the number sign of the climb. Overall, it was a great experience.

If you want to try your hand (and feet!) at rock climbing, Atlanta Rocks! has a variety of classes and climbing programs to participate in—everything from family climbs to ladies nights to discounted partner climb nights. Check out all their options here, and as soon as you can get back on the road, head to Atlanta Rocks!

Details: www.atlantarocks.com, 1019 Collier Rd NW, Ste A, Atlanta, GA, (404) 351-3009

Posted in 30 Days of Fitness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Combat these common symptoms of aging eyes with these tips.

Best Beauty Eyes

Under-eye bags. Puffiness under your eyes can be caused by a lack of sleep or an excess of sodium and alcohol. Turn in a little earlier and make sure to drink plenty of water to soothe this symptom. You can also apply an eye cream like Intensive Eye Repair from Sally B’s Skin Yummies. It contains vitamins and coffeine to reduce puffiness. $40. www.sallybskinyummies.com.

Crow’s Feet. Fine wrinkles appear in the delicate skin around your eyes as you age. To reduce their appearance, try an Anti-Aging Pulse Light Therapy treatment at Gallery Spa of Historic Roswell. This light-based facial treatment aims to boost natural collagen production without surgery. $100, www.gallerysparoswell.com.

Sparse Eyelashes. To regain fullness in your natural lashes, ask your dermatologist for a prescription eyelash treatment like Latisse. For a quicker fix, book an appointment at Luxury Lash Lounge or Atlanta Lash Addict for lash extensions. www.luxurylashlounge.com, www.atlantalashaddict.com.

Thinner eyebrows. Aging causes hair to thin, and your brows are no exception. In addition to age-related thinning, you may have been heavy handed with the tweezers over the years. Authentic Beauty’s Image Journey can help you determine the proper shape, shade and style for a youthful look. www.myimagejourney.com.

Dry eyes. A diet rich in omega-3s can help keep the moisture levels in your eyes high, so try to include more salmon, chia seeds, and even greens like spinach and basil on your plate. Or try adding a daily fish oil supplement like New Chapter’s Wholemega capsules, available at your local Whole Foods Market. $19, www.wholefoodsmarket.com.


Posted in Best Beauty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This brightly flavored savory salad works well as an appetizer or a main dish. Traditionally made with pork, this recipe calls for chicken, as well as a handful of other ingredients that you likely already have in the kitchen.


Nam Sod Thai Style Chicken Salad


  • 1 qt. water
  •  5 fresh cilantro stalks, chopped
  • 1 thin sliced shallot
  • 1 thin sliced green onion stalk
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted whole peanuts
  • 1 oz. fresh ginger, julienned
  • 10 oz. ground chicken
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (optional)

Yum Sauce (yields 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup thin soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Combine and mix. Keep for later use.


Bring water to a boil and add the ground chicken until fully cooked. Strain the chicken into a mixing bowl. Keep the romaine lettuce and cabbage to the side for plate setup. Add all other ingredients to the chicken and gently mix. You may place the salad over a bed of chopped romaine lettuce with a wedge of cabbage, or make lettuce wraps with Bibb lettuce. Drizzle on the Yum dressing.

- Courtesy of Fuji Hana & Thai Peppers 


Posted in Best Bites | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

VeinInnovations supporting nurses and The Drake HouseVeinInnovations Johns Creek and mediUSA are collecting gently worn women’s clothing and accessories from Atlanta nurses to donate to The Drake House, a North Fulton County nonprofit that helps single homeless mothers find jobs and stable housing. Not only will this event help the women of The Drake House get back on their feet, but it will also help the nurses who donate. For participating nurses, VeinInnovations will offer free cosmetic scans for venous reflux, and mediUSA will give away pairs of their new mediActive compression stockings.

The drive will last through February and will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. To make your appointment, email contact@veininnovations.com or call (678) 731-9815.

Posted in Give Back | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The BADASS Dash, a 7K obstacle race coming to Atlanta on March 15, reminds runners “If you risk nothing, you gain nothing.” Thankfully, the only risk involved here is the risk of an ungraceful wipeout—the fun is guaranteed!

Badass DashThis race offers four divisions to accommodate runners of all ages and fitness levels. The Elite Division is targeted at well-trained individuals who can overcome the obstacles and still race hard to the finish line. The Recreation Division is for all fitness levels who may not be trained in adventure races like these but still want to have a great time and make it to the end. If you want to get your four-legged friends involved, the K9 Companion Divison is for you. Anyone who is 14 and up, with a dog who’s at least one year old, can run a modified course designed specifically for your mixed-species team. Kids younger than 14 can stick to the Kids Dash Division, which is open to children four to 13 years old and features a mixture of adult and kids obstacles.

If none of these divisions feels right to you and you just want to watch, that’s encouraged too. Spectators can travel the course alongside the racers and cheer them on, as well as join in the post-race festival that features entertainment, a pet expo, a beer garden, an awards ceremony and other prize giveaways. You can also volunteer at the race, during either the morning or afternoon shifts, and you’ll receive snacks, drinks, and a BADASS Dash T-shirt and lunch or dinner depending on your shift.

Badass DashThe BADASS Dash in Atlanta expects around 2,000 runners this year, due to the huge success of its Atlanta debut last year. People will no doubt return to tackle their favorite obstacles like the Crazy Cargo Climb, Human Car Wash and the Raucus Rock Pile, which is the finish line constructed of stones from Stone Mountain itself. All told, the course contains 34 obstacles that, once you overcome them, will give you serious bragging rights.

In addition to bragging rights, it will also give you some perspective on a prevalent condition many Americans face: autism. The race’s charity partner is the organization Autism Speaks, and race director Brian Sharenow feels this partnership is a perfect fit. He explains, “Individuals within the autism spectrum often experience the daily stress of feeling like a square pegs trying to live in a world of round holes.” He likens that struggle to the struggle of overcoming the obstacles of the BADASS Dash. Sharenow says, “Although part of the thrill and excitement of the race is working toward conquering those obstacles, there’s a certain amount of relief that comes from knowing there’s a finish line. There’s an immense feeling of satisfaction knowing you completed that last obstacle and are headed toward the coveted finish line to celebrate. However, for individuals within the autism spectrum, the obstacles never end – there’s always one more. The focus of these events is to hopefully one day provide those with autism their finish line.”

Badass DashSo whether you run to support this worthy charity partner or just to have some fun with your friends, family or pets, take advantage of early registration and sign up for the BADASS Dash today!

Details: www.badassdash.com, www.facebook.com/thebadassdash

Posted in Events, Give Back | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment