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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Cupid's Undie Run

It’s not really what you expect to see on a cold February day: hundreds of people running in their underwear. However, scantily-clad participants of Cupid’s Undie Run will be making their way through Midtown’s bar district on Feb. 9 with the goal of raising money for Neurofibromatosis (NF) research and the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).

Two years ago, Cupid Run founders and Lilburn, GA residents Brendan Hanrahan, Chad Leathers and Bobby Gill set off on a mission to raise awareness and donations to the CTF after Chad’s brother Drew was diagnosed with NF. “My friends Brendan Hanrahan and Bobby Gill sent me a funny looking flyer that said “Cupid’s Undie Shuffle” as a fundraiser idea. From there I used my marketing and design background to spruce up a logo and together we started the Cupid’s Undie Run,” Chad says.

Although they estimated having around 30 people at the first run in Washington D.C. in 2010, over 600 participants showed up and ran in six feet of snow. “It is amazing what a team of driven and blissfully ignorant people can accomplish,” Chad recalls.

Today, Cupid’s Undie Run is a nationally recognized non-profit, operated by dozens of volunteers across the country. “My hope is to make Cupid’s Undie Run a household name,” Chad says. “I know if we can do that, we will be one step closer to not only making people aware of NF, but funding its end.”

Get involved: Tell a friend, register to run or volunteer at www.CupidsUndieRun.com

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It seems like February is not only a month to celebrate with your Valentine, but also to indulge in a love of feasting and drinking. There is no shortage of food and wine festivals this month, both locally and in neighboring states. All along the east coast, food and wine connoisseurs can enjoy eating solo, accompanied by friends or with that special someone as they explore these tasty events.

Staying in the Peach State:
Athens Wine Weekend – Feb. 1-3: This event begins with an exclusive V.I.P. reception on Friday night and includes hundreds of wines to sample as well as seminars covering a variety of topics presented by wine experts. Tickets start at $30.
300 N. Thomas St., Athens, GA, (706) 208-0900, www.athenswineweekend.com

Heading South:
Wine Weekend St. Pete 2013 – Feb 8-10: St. Petersburg, Florida hosts great food, great wines, and a stellar auction at this unique event which showcases an international wine auction, special vintner’s bunch and more.

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival – Feb. 21-24:
A kick-off party with Paula Deen, a brunch hosted by Tricia Yearwood, and special events with Chef Curtis Stone, Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri are just a few of the things you can expect at this year’s event. www.sobefest.com

Up North
The BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival – Feb. 28-March 3: This celebration of food, wine and Charleston’s renowned culture includes tasting tents, interactive demonstrations and more.
(843) 722-9998, www.charlestonwineandfood.com

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

One Best Self reader asked: My teenage daughter has psoriasis. She is embarrassed to wear short sleeves and has become very self-conscious. She has started exfoliating in hopes of removing the dry skin, but it seems to be getting worse. Is there a better solution?

Mark Knautz, MD of Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center responds: With stress to the skin being a trigger for psoriasis, using an abrasive product can aggravate the condition and cause further challenges. As we enter cold, dry winter weather, lack of sunlight can also be a trigger. When at home, keep in mind that the skin is sensitive. Stay away from products with heavy perfume and fragrance.
Step One: Try apple cider vinegar (which soothes skin inflammation) diluted with water as a compress.
Step Two: Mix two teaspoons of olive oil into a glass of milk and pour into the bath water as a soak.
Step Three: Eat your green vegetables, which act as an anti-inflammatory. The best tip is to see your physician for suggestions on the ideal treatment for your individual needs.

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Goga Studios is a health and wellness studio where you can experience the unique fitness technique called Whole Body Vibration. A 10 minute session on the Goga Vibration Platform produces an oscillation movement that triggers involuntary muscle contractions. The program is designed to help with weight loss, improve circulation and muscle tone. $49 for a monthly membership.

Details: 3005 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek, GA, (770) 343-6007, www.gogajohnscreek.com

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It’s the muse of countless songs and sonnets, the muscle we all need to keep strong, and it’s at the “heart” of Best Self Atlanta Magazine’s February issue. We gathered information from long-time couples, heart specialists and relationship experts on all the best ways to keep your heart healthy and happy.

No matter what stage of life you are in, keeping your heart strong is not just about fitness and a good diet, but emotional health too. Sometimes finding that partner to work out with can help give you that extra motivational push.
Best Self interviewed six Fit Couples who spoke about how exercising together has made all the difference. Looking to find that special someone? Then make sure to read all about where the singles in Atlanta mingle in our feature, Finding Love Over 40 and Making it Last.

Although primarily thought of as a man’s disease, heart disease is the cause of death in one in three women each year. National Wear Red Day in support of heart disease awareness in women is Feb 1. Do your part by wearing red and reading up on all the latest advances in heart health, treatments and services that Atlanta’s medical institutions are offering.

Whether it’s finding a new flame or fitness routine, remember to always keep your ticker in top shape and pick up a copy of Best Self Atlanta Magazine’s February issue today!

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