Chef George Geary, a bestselling cookbook author and former pastry chef for the Walt Disney Co., is bringing his talents to The Cook’s Warehouse later this month. George GearyIf you sign up for his three upcoming classes, you’ll learn how to make homemade sauces and bruschetta, French appetizers and a variety of barbecue dishes. In addition, to all of those skills, Chef Geary says his students will learn how to be more confident in the kitchen. “If you mess up, we can fix it. Just don’t tell who you are cooking for – they didn’t know what you were making in the first place!”

This jovial attitude keeps Chef Geary’s classes light and fun, as well as educational. He encourages budding cooks to get a good set of pans, take classes and try new recipes as much as possible. And if the recipes you try are from his cookbooks, that’s even better. Geary has authored cookbooks on everything from cheesecake to salads to biscuits, and he says, “I love seeing people come back over and over and using my cookbook!”

Sign up for any of his three classes on March 27 in Midtown, March 28 in East Cobb or March 29 in Decatur, and start honing your culinary skills. Classes are $60 to $75.


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When I first started my clean eating journey, I was only working from strictly clean recipes. And while this was great and I loved most of them, it can get a little tiring to only search for clean recipes. That is why this week I took some of my favorite recipes, like lemon chicken and chicken pasta, and either made my own or found a clean version. It is pretty easy to convert a recipe to being clean and it so beneficial to your health; you should give it a try! Below, you will find a small list I complied of good recipe swaps and a chart with a ton of great ideas for recipe swaps.

Clean Eating Swaps

Infographic courtesy of Greatist

My favorite recipe swap so far is for one of my personal favorite dishes, pasta. I have always enjoyed a big bowl of warm pasta with creamy sauce and topped with melted cheese. Spaghetti night was my favorite night of the week growing up and is when I learned that I had the capacity to enjoy an alarmingly large portion of pasta. While in recent years I have tried to switch to only whole-wheat pasta, it just doesn’t have the familiar pasta texture and taste I have grown up loving. And while I can’t totally recreate that fattening and carbo-loaded pasta experience while eating clean, I have found some pretty close alternatives. So far, my favorite recipe swap for pasta has been using spaghetti squash instead of regular noodles. Spaghetti squash is so easy and delicious that it is a perfect fit in almost any pasta dish. If you are working from a recipe that calls for noodles or anything over noodles, just swap in some spaghetti squash. All you have to do to it is throw it in the oven at 375 degrees for around 40 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce the skin. Then you just cut it in half, pick out the seeds and scrape out the insides that resemble little noodles with a fork. If it is hard to get your “noodles” out, stick it back in the oven for a few minutes. This is such a simple way to make a recipe clean and to make sure you are eating enough veggies. I served this Bruschetta Chicken over spaghetti squash and it was delicious. Another pasta alternative that you can use is thin, noodle-like slices of zucchini, like my zucchini pasta with spinach pesto.

Another way that I make sure my recipes are clean is by substituting any canned ingredients for fresh ingredients. For instance, when something calls for canned spicy tomatoes, I will use fresh diced tomatoes and add some cayenne pepper for heat.

Here is a little list of ways you can make normal recipes into clean ones:

  • Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
  • Use honey or agave nectar instead of sugar
  • If a recipe calls for red meat, which I am trying not to eat, sub in chicken if it works with the recipe.
  • Greek yogurt is a great recipe swap for sour cream or mayo.
  • And you can use applesauce, olive oil or bananas in the place of butter in some recipes.

While these recipe swaps might not work for every recipe you try, they will work for most of them! Just use your best judgment and get creative in the kitchen! Check back in this weekend for my second week’s progress report and to see what meals I have planned for next week. As always, feel free to email me with any questions, recipes or general advice you might have at

See you this weekend!

-Lizzy Stroud

And if you want to catch up with my 30 Days of Clean Eating, here is what you’ve missed!

Snack Attack

Week One Progress Report

Pour Some Sugar On Me…Or Not 

Budget Bites

Get Started Eating Clean 

Let’s Eat Clean! 


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The hair experts of Atlanta pick their all-time favorite products for different types of hair.

ReFinish by Arrojo

Re Finish

“I love it because it acts as a dry shampoo, detailing spray and light hairspray. Without leaving a film or residue, it “grits” your hair up while still allowing you to get a brush through it even after using it a few days. It’s great for half up half down, fancy ponytail volume or just a soft to medium hold.” $24- Jodi Schwartz Grieshop, master cosmetologist/ owner, Shear Salon,



“This cream is from our own line, and it is designed for both men and women with fine and thinning hair. It will instantly turn your fine hair into a head full of volume. Just apply a small amount into the palm of your hands, massage into hair, blow dry and voila!” $21 -Richie Arpino, owner/stylist, Richie Arpino Salon, 

Davines-Ol / All in One Milk

Davines-Ol / All in One Milk

“As a multi-functional hair product, it replaces the need for products such as a detangler, moisturizer, frizz control and heat protectant. This leave-in treatment spry is enriched with rouccou oil, derived from the seeds of the achiote trees. Best of all, it is paraben free.” $29.99- Niajee Leigh Smith, stylist, William David Salon & Spa, 

Density by L’Oreal Professionnel Thickening Primer 


“This is one of my favorite products because of its versatility! It adds texture and fullness while maintaining the natural elasticity and softness of your hair. This product is also great to help create longer wear from your curling iron or round brush style.” $23.90- Traci Williams, international stylist, Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique,


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Hi there, everyone! I hope you are having a great week so far! I am thoroughly enjoying this great weather in Atlanta, while it lasts. I think I have come to a milestone in my eating clean journey. I officially no longer crave junk food or candy. I am even able to look at food on Pinterest again without getting hungry or sad that I can’t eat it all. It is a clean eating miracle, and I am so happy about it. While I consider this a lifestyle change rather than a diet, it is the easiest diet-like thing I have ever tried or been able to stick to. Some of that probably has to do with not wanting to disappoint anyone who reads this! Another thing that has made it so much easier is . . . snacks! I don’t know what I would do without them, and this post is going to be all about my favorite clean eating snack foods.


My lovely work almonds

Snacks are great; they keep me energized and full. They can even help to raise your metabolism when you eat them every two to three hours, which I do. In fact, according to research from Georgia State University, people who eat every 2 to 3 hours have less body fat and faster metabolisms than those who eat only 2 or 3 meals per day. If that can’t convince you to start snacking, nothing will.

My all-time favorite hunger busting snack has got to be almonds. Since I started my clean eating, I can pretty much guarantee that I have a bag of almonds somewhere on my person at all times. I eat a handful while I am at work in between breakfast and lunch, I eat some after I work out in the afternoon before dinner, and I eat a few if I ever start to feel hungry or even tired. Almonds are not a very wild or crazy snack food, but they get the job done and are very simple. And for the times when I have had too many almonds (which doesn’t happen often!), walnuts do the trick perfectly.

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted red peppers fresh from the oven

Another one of my snack favorites, which I have already mentioned on this blog, is hummus. I have made the plain, original version and have started experimenting with making different versions of the flavors you can find in the store. The roasted red pepper hummus I made is delicious and filling. It was also pretty fun to make; I had never roasted red peppers before. I like to eat my hummus with some baby carrots or some little grape tomatoes. It makes a great snack and is a good way to make sure you are eating your vegetables. That being said, fresh fruits and veggies also make an excellent snack food. I always have a full supply of apples, oranges, berries, carrots, celery and kale at my house for when I feel the need to snack. My next snack endeavor is going to be a great looking recipe for cauliflower poppers that a Best Self reader sent me this morning! It looks delicious.

Here are a few of the recipes I have tried out this week:

Quinoa Veggie Soup from the Gracious Pantry- I have been eating this for lunch and it keeps me full until my next snack. It even kept my boyfriend full from lunch until dinner, which is impressive!

Bruschetta Chicken from Eat Yourself Skinny- I was going to eat this on Thursday, but I didn’t want my tomatoes to spoil. It was so good, and I served it over spaghetti squash.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from Inspired Taste- As I said above, this is so good!

If you have any clean eating recipes or any other tips, send them my way at Check back in later this week, when I will be talking about how to convert normal recipes to clean recipes. Have a great day!

-Lizzy Stroud

If you want to catch up with 30 Days of Clean Eating, here are my previous posts!


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Zumba is a great way to have fun while you workout, add giving back to your community to the mix and you have a winning combination. You will get the chance to raise money and help fight cancer while enjoying an awesome Zumba workout at the 3rd annual Shake It For A Cure Zumbathon® event. Zumbathon The high-energy and fun Zumba class will be led by certified instructor Sarah Kerr and all proceeds will benefit the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, in memory of Claudie Carrington, a nurse at Northside, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2011. The event takes place on Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m. and will be held in teh St. Pius X Catholic High School Gym. The cost is $10 per person and refreshments will be provided. Donations are always welcome.

For more info or to register online, visit

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The knees and shoulders are two very important and active parts of the body, making them prone to all types of minor ailments. If not treated promptly and properly, minor problems can turn into major ones. Make sure you know when to seek treatment for all levels of knee and shoulder pain and how to take care of these joints.

Have you ever come back from a long walk, developed pain in your knee and wondered what to do? Realizing that your knee hurts is the easy part, but determining whether you need an orthopedic evaluation may not be as straightforward. shoulder painFor most sudden injuries to the knee, the resulting pain can be managed with a short period of anti-inflammatory medication and RICE — rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the knee cannot bear your full weight soon after the injury, a trip to the orthopedist’s office would be advised.

Chronic knee pain, such as from arthritis, can respond well to the treatments outlined above. If it does not, a doctor’s visit with X-rays is in order. Additionally, pain that is worse at night or lasts more than a few weeks without improvement should prompt a visit to the doctor.

Shoulders can be a finicky joint. Because of the many joints, tendons and muscles involved, minor injuries can frequently cause significant pain and disability. Often, shoulder pain will respond well to a short period of anti-inflammatory medication and “shoulder-friendly” activities, such as avoiding reaching about shoulder level or father back than the chest.

If your shoulder pain persists more than a few weeks, wakes you up at night or is accompanied by difficulty lifting your arm overhead, your best bet would be to see your doctor for an evaluation.

By: Evander Fogle, MD

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Plenty of factors convince Americans to take better care of their health: recommendations from doctors and increased awareness about diseases, for example. The motivation that really hits home, though, is family. That’s the driving force for Kristen Ledlow, the Atlanta radio personality and NBA TV host who will chair the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s Ovarian Cycle event on March 22. Ledlow says. “According to current research, about one of every 10 cases of ovarian cancer can be linked to a family member. Because my grandmother was diagnosed with the disease when I was very young, my mother took necessary steps to prevent the diagnosis herself. My own risk increases due to my family’s history with the disease.”

Ovarian Cancer Cycle

Both to honor her grandmother and to help raise awareness about ovarian cancer, Ledlow came on board as the chairperson for OCRF’s Ovarian Cycle event. Participants can register as individuals or as teams for a six-hour stationary bike ride.  Fundraising minimums are $600 for the whole six hours or $400 for less, but ovarian cancer survivors are welcome to ride for free. To get you ready for the event, Midtown Athletic Club offers free training rides on Saturdays through March 15.

This disease is especially crucial to be aware of because, unlike many other cancers, there is currently no ovarian cancer screening program. You must simply know your body and be aware of symptoms  and early signs like bloating, pelvic and abdominal pain and frequent, urgent urination. Ledlow points out, “Many believe that ovarian cancer is only diagnosed in its final stages. However, current research suggests that women actually do experience warning signs early on. the key is recognizing those signs.”

Details: Midtown Athletic Club. 135 Interstate N. Parkway NW, Atlanta, GA, (770) 953-1100,

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Dr. Jeffrey Kovacic from Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Center answers a reader’s question about joint pain.

Dr. Jeffrey Kovacic

Q: Do “natural” joint supplements, such as fish oil, that are advertised and sold in stores actually work to help alleviate joint pain?

A:  Only a few “natural” joint supplements have ever been scientifically investigated. The majority of available data is on chondroitin and glucosamine. Some studies show a reduction of osteoarthritis pain with their use, while other studies show no effect. I recommend a three-month trial of chondroitin and glucosamine to my patients who don’t have certain allergies or other medical conditions.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email your questions to 

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Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and enjoying this fantastic Atlanta weather. Weather that is this nice makes me want to be outside 24/7 and gets me so excited for spring and summer time. These seasons always put me in the mood to eat healthy and fresh foods all the time, which is perfect for my clean eating quest this month.

So this morning I woke up and made my way to Your DeKalb Farmers Market to pick up some super fresh produce. This was my first time to go to this farmers market, or any farmers market for that matter. Let me tell you, this place is awesome. It was overwhelming in the best kind of way. Farmers MarketIt is basically a huge warehouse with rows and rows of fresh fruits and veggies, fresh spices, fresh baked goods (which I managed to stay away from), flowers, baking supplies, coffees, nuts, and anything else you could ever want. The produce is very fresh and less expensive than the average grocery store. I basically fell in love with this place and plan on making it a weekly routine. It was really hard for me to stick to my grocery list, but I was able to stay well within my budget and got all of my produce (which is a lot), a big thing of quinoa, a big thing of lentils and all of the spices I don’t have already for the week. If you love food as much as I do I would definitely suggest checking it out as soon as possible! But my one suggestion is to go during the week; it was a total mad house today which made it a little hard to peruse the great selections of everything they have.

Okay now it is time for my first week of clean eating progress report! So far this experience has been pretty great. Once I got over that two day funk at the start of the week, my energy levels have been way up and I feel really fantastic.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are my new favorite sweet treat

One of the other side effects of eating clean I have experienced is that I am sleeping so much better. It used to take me so long to fall asleep at night (maybe due to my nighttime sweets habit) but this week I feel asleep so much faster after getting into bed. This was not a change I was expecting but I am so happy about it.

Another benefit to eating clean is that I have actually lost a couple of pounds this week. I know that a lot of that has to be from my body detoxing out the processed foods and me starting to exercise more regularly, but it is a side effect I would love to keep happening. It is almost swimsuit season after all! I will keep y’all posted about any other side-effects that might happen this next week.

I also learned a couple of things this week. The first thing I learned is that I can not eat a whole pot of beans in one week. It is not possible. So now I know I don’t need to make nearly as many as I did last week. The second thing I have learned is that soup is the absolute easiest thing to take to work for lunch. I plan on eating a lot of soup for lunch this week, as you can see in my meal plan below. Lastly, I have learned that I can survive without red wine. Which was previously thought to be impossible by many.

Now I am going to get in the kitchen and make some big batches of food to eat throughout this week. Also, my meal plan for the week is looking so delicious, I included it below. I hope you all have a great Sunday and didn’t forget about the time change! And as usual, feel free to shoot me an email at if you have any tips, questions or recipes!




-Lizzy Stroud

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Life Coach and Author Karlicia Lewis is here to give her best advice about toxic relationships.

Karlicia Lewis

How would you define a toxic relationship?

An unhealthy situation that exists between two or more people. It has potential to cause mental, physical, emotional, financial and even sexual harm.

What are the pitfalls of allowing a toxic relationship to continue?

It can cause a decrease in self-esteem, turmoil in other relationships, depression and health problems.

Why do people allow toxic relationships in their lives?

Some people allow toxic relationships for the comfort of having someone around as a quick fix for loneliness. Some have associated toxic behavior with relationships since they were younger, due to being exposed to this behavior from their parents.

What is your advice for removing a toxic relationship from your life?

Make up your mind that you really want out. Then create a plan, including a support system to remove yourself in the safest way possible. Once removed, take the appropriate time to evaluate your past and understand your pattern of choosing the partners you choose so you won’t make the same mistakes in the future.


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