west coast workoutGood old fashioned lunges work wonders from the calves all the way up to the butt. Tammy Stokes of West Coast Workout recommends her Hollywood Lunges, which can be found in her book, “Live Your Healthiest Life: Mind, Body & Soul.”

This workout is comprised of six moves to get your legs looking their best. After creating the shape you desire, Tammy says you can go a few steps further by using body scrubs, dry brushing and hydrating with your favorite leg cream. The book is $21.

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Family is the cornerstone of life, providing a firm foundation of support and love.

Bev O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of Christa’s Connection, created this DNA service to provide an easy and precise way for people to discover biological family members.

1227 N. Peachtree Pkwy., Ste. 126, Peachtree City, GA, (800) 919-FAMILY, www.christasconnection.com

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Atlanta’s doctors provide answers to all your medical questions.

One Best Self reader asked: When should I take my child to his or her first dental appointment?

Brent E. Herrin, DMD of Herrin Pediatric Dentistry says: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first dental appointment by age one or six months after the eruption of the first tooth. There are many reasons why this is a good idea. Seeing children this early decreases the chances of cavities by providing parents with oral hygiene instructions and tips. A cleaning and fluoride treatment helps strengthen the teeth, making them more cavity resistant. The child also becomes more comfortable in the dental setting with earlier visits.

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Scrub up and sugar off at Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio. Treat your legs to the ultimate indulgence with a green tea body scrub, which works to dissolve dead skin cells, leaving legs refreshed and soft.

Follow up this service by sugaring off that unwanted hair. Less painful than waxing, the sugar grains adhere only to the hair, not the skin, leaving behind a smooth surface. Great for bikini areas, Brazilian, legs and arms.

776 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 875-5700, www.sweetpeachwax.com

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Grab your dog and head to Der Biergarten’s “Barks and Beers.” Starting with a kickoff event on March 23 from 4 to 8 p.m., the German restaurant invites you and your four-legged friend over every Saturday to enjoy the beautiful patio.

Five dollar half liters of the beer Weihenstephaner Hefe will be served, and proceeds will benefit the Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GASPCA). The GASPCA will also have dogs available for adoption at the event.

300 Marietta St., NW, Atlanta, GA, (404) 521-2728, www.derbiergarten.com

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50 Cents. Period., founded in 2010 by Atlantan Lorrie King, helps girls in developing countries who miss school each month because of their periods. Just 50 cents buys a month of sanitary supplies for a needy girl, allowing her to stay in school.

Beyond reaching out to countries like Nepal, India and Uganda, they also work on a local level. They have begun a program called “Period at Home” in partnership with World Relief Atlanta, which supplies newly arrived refugee women and girls with a six-month supply of sanitary products.

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By David Martin

By using these last few weeks of cold weather to take charge of having your best legs, you’re sure to have an active, successful spring and summer sports season. You’re also more likely to look, feel and play your best when it’s time to pull out the golf shorts and tennis skirts.

Venous health issues are not just about zapping those embarrassing varicose or spider veins because they make us look older than we are. There are also valid health reasons to have a diagnostic ultrasound, especially for competitive athletes.

Oftentimes people wait until “irregular” veins are causing real pain to take care of them, but we also recommend that they call a venous health expert any time there is concern about:

• Tired legs
• Heavy legs
• Burning, itching or tingling skin on the legs
• Swelling
• Restless legs

Many athletes don’t realize their legs were feeling heavy, or even hurting, until after they have been through the screening process and have had treatment. (Most treatments are covered by insurance.) Without heavy legs dragging them down on the golf course, tennis court, dance floor or hiking trail, many weekend warriors are better able to compete at a higher level, in addition to gaining greater enjoyment of life and the activities they love.

Taking care of vein health now helps make sure you’ll be on your “A” game in warm weather and beyond, so you keep the competitive edge of having great legs for life!

David Martin, CEO/President In 2002, David Martin, RN, CRNFA founded VEININNOVATIONS as the first facility of its kind in Atlanta to offer every available technique for the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose/spider veins. A decade later, they are widely regarded as the leader in office-based treatment of venous disease.

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DON’T rely on pills for nutrition. Pills cannot substitute for a whole food. Foods contain much more than just vitamins and minerals. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring substances found in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains that may offer defenses against cancer.

DO drink water. You might think it is bland compared with soft drinks and coffee, but the cells in your body don’t think so. For added flavor, try adding fresh fruits, cucumber slices or lemon and lime wedges to ice-cold water.

DO eat a “mixed” breakfast. Include foods containing a little carbohydrate, a little protein and a little fat. For example, eggs and a bowl of fruit or a protein shake with soy milk and a banana includes three essential macronutrients, provides energy and tastes good too.

DON’T eat sugary foods in the morning. A burst of refined sugar on an empty stomach will trigger a flood of insulin that suppresses the immune system and feeds any abnormal cells (which exist in everyone’s body).

DO eat less fat. The average American eats the equivalent of a stick of margarine a day, most of which is hidden in processed foods. However, because some fat is necessary, try to increase your consumption of healthier fats such as plant oils (olive oil, canola oil, walnuts and flaxseed).

DON’T eat daily amounts of corn oil and soybean oil, especially if it’s hydrogenated (check food labels). These fats are immune-suppressive, and researchers are linking hydrogenated fats to increased free radicals, which are destructive to cells. For the same reason, butter is a better choice than margarine.

DO increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps maintain the health of your colon. Check food labels for high-quality fiber ingredients such as psyllium seed, psyllium husk, oat bran, mucilages, gums and pectin. Remember to drink more water while increasing fiber intake.

DO eat nutrient-dense foods every day. Try to regularly consume yogurt, orange vegetables (carrots, squash and sweet potatoes), vegetables in the cabbage family, tomatoes, citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. Remember, go for color- the deeper the color of a fruit or vegetable, the more nutrients it provides.

-Courtesy of Crystal Langlois, RD, CSO, LD, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Newnan, GA, www.cancercenter.com

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Atlanta’s doctors provide answers to all your medical questions.

One Best Self reader asked: I have occasional knee pain when I’m active. Should I see a doctor for an evaluation?

Daniel Nicholson, MD of Perimeter Orthopaedics, P.C. says: Knee pain is a very common complaint. The most important symptom to look for is swelling within the knee. An injury to the structures of the knee will lead to fluid accumulation within the joint known as an effusion.

Other important symptoms to look for include mechanical complaints such as popping or clicking, a feeling of instability or a change in range of motion. These symptoms may indicate an injury which could be exacerbated by continued activity and should be evaluated by a physician.

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If you want to learn more about what services would be good for your skin, you may want to try the Image Pro II.

This imaging system looks deep into the layers of the skin to assess treatments that may be appropriate for your skin.

How does it work?

  • Uses 3D Spectral Imaging
  • Targeted Complexion Analysis
  • Triple Light Source Analysis

What is assessed during the imaging process?

  • The condition of the pores
  • The wrinkles on the skin’s surface
  • The skin’s pigmentation and any discoloration
  • The amount of Sebum (oil) the skin produces

—Courtesy of Nirvana Med Spa, www.nirvanalasercentre.com

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