By Iman Naim

If you love a good story and the challenge of hiking at night, then head over to Sweetwater Creek State Park on March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. for their Candlelight Hike.
Discover the historical ruins that will take you back to the days of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill that was burned during the Civil War. This mile-long hike through the state park follows a stream directly to the remains of the mill.

Don’t be put off by the idea of trekking through the darkness; all hikers will be provided with candle lanterns. This is an adult-only adventure, so no children under six years of age or dogs are allowed on the hike. Participants will meet and register at the Interpretive Center. Registration is $5 and parking is $5.

Sweetwater Creek State Park, 1750 Mt. Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, GA, (770) 732-5871,


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Need flawless tanned legs in a hurry? Treat yourself to Sally Hansen Salon Airbrush Legs ($13.99). This water-resistant makeup sprays easily on skin for a streak-free look. You can select from three shades depending on your skin tone.

If you are very pale, I recommend starting with light glow and then adding more color if you need it. This spray formula also contains a conditioning treatment for legs enriched with vitamin K to help soften the appearance of veins, bruises and scars.

The formula dries quickly and does not rub off on your clothing. All you’re left with is flawless looking color. I’m hooked on this new secret weapon! You can find this product in most drugstores or online.

Jessica Dauler
For more info on Jessica visit

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parmigiano reggiano baked eggsThis flavorful dish works for breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time. One of the main ingredients, Swiss chard, packs a powerful nutritional punch delivering vitamins K, A, and C as well as potassium and iron. Garnish the dish with your favorite herb (basil or chives are excellent choices) and serve by itself or on a toasted roll.

Butter for greasing the ramekins
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 cups packed thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves,
all tough stems or ribs removed
3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
1 small tomato, halved, seeds removed, flesh diced, divided
4 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method: Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter 4 (6-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook one minute. Add Swiss chard; cover the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until chard is tender, 8 to 10 minutes; add a few tablespoons of water if the skillet begins to dry out. Remove from the heat and pour off any excess liquid. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano and half the tomato. Spoon the mixture evenly into the ramekins. Break an egg into each ramekin and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pile remaining tomato around eggs and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until egg whites are almost completely set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

—Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market,

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Courtesy of

Beginning on March 11, Oprah’s Lifeclass and The Chopra Center will present a 21-day meditation challenge. Sign up online for free and get ready to begin a challenge that is sure to end in wellness of the mind, body and spirit.

When you sign up for Oprah’s Lifeclass and The Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge you’ll receive daily guided meditations by Deepak Chopra, an online journal to add your personal notes and responses, inspirational messages, images and more.

Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge—Perfect Health will start on Monday, March 11, and the best part is it’s free to participate, all you have to do is log onto the program.

Once the challenge begins, you will receive daily e-mails which will have a link to log into the program. For more information visit

Best Self’s staff will be starting this challenge with you – so make sure to like us on facebook and let us know how your journey with Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge is going!

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Sautéed American Red Snapper with Succotash This red snapper recipe, courtesy of Olmsted restaurant, is not only delicious, but fun to make. Olmsted’s Executive Chef, Bernie McDonough is also making healthy eating easy this year with his monthly chef series cooking classes. Individual classes are $75 and reservations required, (404) 443-8431


  • 4 pieces of 8 oz. red snapper filets
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the snapper over medium heat in olive oil in a heavy skillet for 3-4 minutes. Flip fish and place in oven for an additional 4-8 minutes, depending on size of filet.

Succotash Ingredients:

  • 4 ears local corn (shucked and taken off of the cob)
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • ½ red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 cup French green beans (blanched, cooled and chopped into 1” segments)
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 baby golden beets (roasted, peeled and quartered)
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp. good quality sweet cream butter (olive oil can be substituted)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Method: In a large deep skillet, sautée the peppers and onions with ½ of the butter over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add corn and remaining butter and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Toss in beets and beans and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, toss, and serve.

Serves: 4

—Recipe courtesy of Olmsted Restaurant

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King-Keith House bed and breakfastLooking for a cozy escape in the heart of Atlanta? Look no further than the historic King-Keith House bed and breakfast.
This colorful house offers a homey stay surrounded by elegant antiques and amenities for a cozy experience. There is even a separate cottage on the back of the property for more privacy. Rooms and suites start at $130.

889 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 688-7330,

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Diva Dash AtlantaGrab some of your best girlfriends and head out to Diva Dash on Feb 23! This women’s adventure run takes participants through a 5K full of obstacles sure to challenge your balance, endurance and speed.

You’ll be jumping, swinging and climbing your way to the finish line. The race starts at 9 a.m. and the after party will end at 2 p.m.

For more information visit

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Grab your recipe books and head over to the Atlanta History Center on Feb. 19 to join Bobby Deen at a discussion and book signing for his new cookbook, “From Mama’s Table to Mine.” He took some time out to speak with Best Self about the new book and his favorite recipe.

Why did you decide to remake your mother’s recipes into healthier foods?
I like to live a healthy lifestyle. I love to run, lift, and be really active.  Lightening up these recipes was a natural thing for me to do, because I can still enjoy all the southern food I love, but I’m staying healthy.

What is the most challenging aspect about hosting your own cooking show? The most fun? It’s not challenging! I’m fortunate enough to be doing what I love doing.  If I had to pick a challenge I would say I’m naturally a little bit shy.  The most fun? All of it. I love everyone I work with. The show is unscripted, and we just stand around and laugh all day.  I’m really lucky. 

What is your favorite dish to cook for friends and family?
Low-Country Boil.  I love it because it’s communal.  Everyone gathers around the table and eats together.  Visually, it’s a beautiful dish too.  And fresh seafood is available in Savannah all year around which helps. And it’s so simple to cook!

What is the best piece of advice that you received about cooking and who was it from?
When my mom was teaching me how to cook, she told me that the first time I make something, go with exactly what the recipe says.  After that, change it up! There are no rules when it comes to cooking.

About the event:
On Feb. 19 at 7p.m., Bobby will take part in a discussion moderated by food stylist and photographer Angie Mosier, with a book signing to follow. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by going to the Atlanta History Center website, 



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Looking to meet new people? Then come out to The Mix, a social gathering hosted by Now Elite Productions on Feb. 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Enjoy this opportunity to mingle with local business leaders, meet new clients or make new friends. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Taylor Brawner Hall, 3180 Atlanta Road, Smyrna, GA, (404) 229-5528,

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By Iman Naim

Students can show their city pride by participating in the “My Atlanta”  Poetry Slam Contest. High school students within 75 miles of Phillips Arena can share the places, people, and experiences that make Atlanta special to them in a poem that is 200 or less words or a video recording that is 90 or less seconds.

The poems and videos with a “My Atlanta” theme will be judged by a panel including the Hawks’ guard Lou Williams and AJC reporter Devika Rao.

The submissions are due by Feb. 15 and top 15 finalists will be announced on Feb. 25. After a poetry workshop on March 9, the finalists will perform their piece on March 21.

The top three finalists will win prizes such as Hawks signed merchandise, Hawks tickets, and electronics.

For more information or to submit work, visit

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