Each year the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation helps low income Georgia residents receive eyeglasses, eye surgeries and hearing aids.

They have grown from helping 900 people per year to nearly 6,500 in the last few years. Partnership Director Sarah Epting Gardner answered a few more questions about this important non-profit.

How can people get involved?
We are always in need of office volunteers, as well as volunteers with the clinic program. The organization recently switched to an electronic medical records system, so they are in dire need of volunteers with computer skills.

What are some of the organization’s goals for 2013?
The foundation seeks to serve more people every year, decrease waiting lists, increase volunteer medical providers, increase corporate partnerships and raise community awareness about the gaps in access to vision and hearing care.

The foundation’s annual fundraising event, Night of Spectacles, will take place on April 20. Overall, the event raises funds to provide over 150 eye surgeries.


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Best Self Atlanta Magazine’s Best Pets Contest Winners

Whether playing catch, going for walks or just cuddling, pets add so much joy and laughter to the lives of their owners. We asked and you answered, “what makes your pet so special?”

The response was overwhelming! We wish we could have included every submission – here are the ones that were too cute to resist.

Click here to see all the winners!

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Donna works with a client

Stretching is so important, especially as we age. It can help alleviate muscle stiffness, pain and cramping. It can also improve flexibility, which leads to injury prevention, better muscle coordination and improved circulation.

How would you describe resistance stretching? 
Donna: The basis of this method is that resistance is used throughout a full range of motion. It also considers the idea that we should not look at each muscle group separately. There is a systematic method to becoming more flexible.

What are the main benefits?
Leslie: Resistance stretching helps to strengthen the structure and joints of your body, release toxins and rehydrate your fascia tissue. It is the number one way to take the pain out of stretching while creating cumulative and lasting changes in the connective tissue.

What can a first-timer expect?
Donna: A trainer will take you through a few stretches to assess a good starting point. Each session is unique and evolves based on individual needs.
Leslie: Expect to get to know yourself at a deeper level. You might be surprised at how much work stretching can be and how much fun it is.

—Resistance stretching is part of the integrative wellness program, (404) 252-7550, www.BodyAwarenessStudio.com

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

One Best Self reader asked: What medications, vitamins and supplements should I stop taking before having plastic surgery?

Robert A. Colgrove, Jr., MD of Vinings Surgery Center says: Before undergoing any invasive procedure, patients must stop taking any aspirin or ibuprofen containing products and vitamin E. If a surgical procedure lasts more than an hour, you must also stop taking birth control pills two to four weeks before your procedure. Smoking can severely interfere with healing and good wound formation. I recommend quitting tobacco use at least two weeks before your procedure and for four weeks afterward.

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My Best Events-Mark Your Calendars and Join Us!

March 30 - The”Body & Soul” fundraising dinner hosted by the Akshaya Patra Foundation will feature special keynote speaker holistic health guru, Deepak Chopra. Akshaya Patra Foundation’s mission is to provide freshly prepared school lunches to more than 1.3 million underprivileged children daily in more than 9,000 schools in India. To purchase tickets visit www.foodforeducation.org/event

April 4 - At midnight the voting for our Over 40& Fabulous! contest ends. Go to our Facebook page or email to editorial@bestselfatlanta.com to vote for your favorites.

April 11 - Join us on the deck at Nancy G’s Cafe for our “Best Pets’ contest winner party. Bring your furry and unfurry friends for some food, drink, music and fun. Limited space, rsvp to by April 7.

April 21 - Jillian Michaels’ “ Maximize Your Life” tour at the Fox Theatre at 5pm. The evening promises to be full of inspirational advice and motivational tips. Tickets start at $39. To purchase tickets visit www.FoxAtlTix.com or call (855) 285-8499

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Making a wholesome meal every night doesn’t always fit into everyone’s busy schedule. If you still want delicious tasting food, but don’t have time to cook, then Pre-Made Paleo meals may be the solution.

You don’t have to follow the Paleo Diet to benefit from these yummy, healthy meals like butternut squash soup with curried pork meatballs, coffee braised brisket, rosemary mustard turkey breast or chicken roja with breadfruit pilaf.

This food is prepared using grass-fed meats and local, fresh ingredients. Chef Richard Bradford and his team can mail the pre-made meals to you or you can pick them up at various locations around the city.

Call (678) 995-5772 or visit www.premadepaleo.com

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Grab some friends and hit these local spots for some retail therapy:

Grand Opening of Dress Up Boutique’s New Store
Jessica Shops hosts the special event celebrating the opening of Dress Up Boutique’s new store.  Enjoy refreshments and over $1,000 in giveaways from 6-9p.m. at their new Town Brookhaven location. The best part? Take 20% off any purchase for the night.
Details: 305 Brookhaven Avenue, Building B., Suite 1190, Atlanta, GA, (404) 812-7018, www.shopdressup.com



Beauty Bash at exhale
Exhale spa is celebrating beauty in a big way and you won’t want to miss out on all of the goodies. Beauty Bash participants can expect complimentary mini spa therapy treatments, swag bags, hors d’oeuvres, a trunk show and much more from 6-8 p.m.
Details: Loews Hotel, 7th floor, 1065 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA,  (404) 720-5000, www.exhalespa.com/beautybash


Girl’s Night Out at 3226
Enjoy light bites and libations as you check out the racks at this unique Buckhead store. Enjoy 20% off of Koral LA jeans, Show Me Your MuMu, Inhabit and Elder Statesmen. Plus pineapple martinis, wine, apps and more!  6:30-8:30p.m.
Details: 3226 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA , www.thirtytwotwentysix.com

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The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recently launched Sodium Swap Challenge – think you’re game?

Kick-off your own Sodium Swap Challenge:

  • Track your consumption of breads and rolls as well as cold cuts and cured meats
  • Check food labels and look for lower sodium items
  • Keep a daily log of how much sodium you’ve shaved out of your diet
  • Target your daily consumption to stay within the recommended 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day



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His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual leader and humanitarian, is the inspiration behind the Non-Violence: No Higher Calling movement.

He will be leading a free public talk and guided meditation on April 3, 7 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College. This movement is powered by the Art of Living Foundation, a non-profit organization that carries on Sri Sri’s mission.

830 Westview Drive, Atlanta, GA, www.iahv.org, www.nonvio.org, www.artofliving.org

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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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