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 www.hawks.com/education.

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By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree

Whether you’re single and solo, in a relationship, join John Wood, author of “Creating Room to Read: A Story for Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy,” at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum (441 Freedom Pkwy., Atlanta, GA) for the Creating Room to Read book signing and reading. On Thursday, Feb. 14 from 7-9 p.m., Wood will discuss his extraordinary story of turning his world-renowned nonprofit organization Room to Create into a global success in spite of all odds.

There is no better gift of love than the continuous gift of knowledge. On Valentine’s Day you can interact with John Wood, a former Microsoft executive, at the Creating Room to Read book signing and reading and discuss how he succeeded in globally expanding his organization and raised money in a damaged economy. Room to Create builds libraries and schools across the globe and publishes books for children who have no books in their native language. This year, rejoice in what really matters — the love of learning, knowledge and giving.

For more information, contact (404) 865-7100, or visit www.creatingroomtoread.com and www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov.

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Put on your dancing shoes and head out to One Billion Rising Atlanta event on Feb 14. This flash mob will take to the streets in peaceful protest of  the rape and abuse of women.

Dance down Peachtree Street and into Piedmont Park. This campaign, launched early in 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that one in three women will be abused in her lifetime.

At 10 a.m. there will be a gathering at Georgia Capitol with speakers, music and more, and at noon the flash mob starts in Woodruff Park.

(404) 375-3493, email: nikki@vday.org, www.onebillionrising.org

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1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eat fruits and veggies high in antioxidants including oranges, asparagus, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and papaya for the most benefit. In addition to functioning as antioxidants, fruits and vegetables also contain lots of fiber. Fiber binds to estrogen in the digestive tract so that levels in the blood are reduced.

2. Exercise regularly. Research shows that exercise will lower the levels of estrogen produced by the body, thereby reducing the risk of breast cancer.

3. Reduce fat. Some research indicates that a low-fat diet helps prevent breast cancer. Avoid saturated fat found in meat, butter or ghee, foods that contain full-cream milk (whole-milk dairy foods) and fatty acids in margarine.

4. Do not overcook meats. When meats are cooked or baked, they produce carcinogenic compounds. The longer they are cooked, the more the compound is formed. Do not char meats, as the compounds become more harmful.

5. Take antioxidant supplements. Use supplements such as vitamins C, E, and B-complex as well as minerals that have been proven effective in the natural prevention of breast cancer. Chia seeds are shown to add omega 3 and 6 and are a great source in controlling blood sugar levels. Also add herbs such as haldi (turmeric) to purify blood.

-Courtesy of Dr. Saira Gillani, ND, CTN, MBA, Natural Health Atlanta

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This Valentine’s Day, get your heart racing with your loved one at Historic Banning Mills. What is more romantic than an exhilarating day of zipping through the woods, and relaxing with an in-room Jacuzzi, and fire in your own couples cottage?

For $259 you will get a one night stay in either a creek side jacuzzi or cabin room, breakfast for two the next morning, and a romantic dinner for two served in the room. Add on fun activities such as a couples massage ($145), horseback riding ($78), or zipline tours starting at $49 per person. (770) 834-9149, www.historicbanningmills.com

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Everyone needs to relax sometimes, so before starting your busy day, head over to Café Jonah and the Magical Attic for a free meditation class every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m.

Soak in the aromas of coffee, tea and Café Jonah’s cuisine as you calm your mind.

3188 Paces Ferry Place, Atlanta, GA, (404) 343-4107, www.cafejonah.com

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By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree

The heart is at the center of it all. Learn more about keeping your ticker strong by attending Gwinnett Medical Center’s free “Get Heart Smart” heart health expo on Feb. 9 from 8 a.m.-noon.

Learn how fitness, nutrition, stress management and sleep all play a part in maintaining a healthy heart. In celebration of National Hearth Month, “Get Heart Smart” will feature onsite educational and fitness classes led by GMC experts, discounted medical screenings and giveaways, including iPods and local gym memberships.

GMC’s Strickland Heart Center is also sponsoring a heart-healthy cooking contest during the Feb. 9 event. Participants can watch as local firefighters and GMC associates prepare heart-healthy meals to compete for the prize of “best-tasting, heart-smart dish.”

Get started on your journey to health right at the event with a “Get Heart Smart” heart-healthy breakfast to jump start your metabolism, and learn how to make your own heart-healthy meals. Then work off all that grub in a fun fitness class like Pilates, cardio dance, yoga or Zumba.

Registration is required. Also, make sure to make an appointment for a discounted medical screening ($15) prior to the event.

For more information and to register, call (678) 312-5000 or visit www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org

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By Intisar Seraaj-Sabree

Show off your authentic beauty in Authentic Beauty Inc.’s The Image Journey Contest, running through Feb. 11, 2013. The winner will learn to express their authentic image with a makeover at Authentic Beauty Makeup Salon and Hair Studio (4674 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA), and will receive all the makeup and tools used in her transformation.

Natural beauty lies inside, but Authentic Beauty’s The Image Journey Contest will show you how to illuminate your inner beauty and take you. The winner’s makeover will include a luxurious facial, hair service and interactive 90 minute makeup lesson. Hop aboard and take this journey to self-discovery and reaching your full beauty potential.

All applicants must submit her name, phone number and a “before” picture to the email below. Then, complete your Authentic Beauty’s Image Journey Contest Homework via Pinterest, posting classic images of makeup looks that represent your authentic self. The winner will be announced Feb. 11, 2013 on Authentic Beauty’s Facebook page.

For more information, call (404) 849-0443, email info@authenticbeautyllc.com or visit myimagejourney.com.

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By Taylor Arnold

We asked the experts to weigh in on how to find love over 40 – our great panel included Dr. Joyce Morley, Dr. Louis McLeod, Amber Salisbury and Dr. Tiffanie L. Davis Henry.

Whether you are recovering from a divorce or just haven’t yet found the right person, dating over 40 certainly has its challenges, but it is very possible to find love later in life.

Meeting other singles can be intimidating, particularly if you’ve been out of the dating pool for several years. Before you jump into the dating pool, have a clear idea of what you want, and even more important, a strong sense of self. 

Click here to read more about what the experts have to say

 

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Celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. IHOPs across the country will provide guests with a stack of pancakes and any donations will be used to help local charities care for sick and injured children.

National Pancake Day will be celebrated between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Feb. 5 at participating IHOP restaurants. For more information, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com

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