Carolyn O'Neil - BSA 1116

by Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RDN

The food and drink you consume on the days following surgery and even the days leading up to an operation can make or break the body’s ability to heal. Many carefully plan an elective surgery, evaluating the best surgeons and most effective procedures to meet their personal cosmetic or medical goals; but, few prospective patients think about how changes in diet will impact the healing process. Downtime often leads to easy, but not healthy, pizza delivery, take-out or whatever comfort food snacks are on hand in the home pantry.

“Unfortunately, after surgery, many patients can’t drive and rely on fast food or food a friend brings by to eat, which might not be very healthy,” says Mimi Bean, chef and founder of Meals That Heal You, a catering company specializing in prepared meals for post-surgical patients in Atlanta. “The wrong food can slow down healing and increase swelling, which is not good.” Foods too high in salt can cause swelling and that greasy pizza might trigger indigestion, disturbing the sleep needed for recovery.

Snack with Caution

Bean started her home meal delivery service at the request of Atlanta plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Codner.  She says, “I decided to prepare healthy meals for my best friend, who works for Dr. Codner. He was so impressed with her rapid recovery that he asked me to offer post-surgery catering to all of his patients.”

A win-win for health and beauty was born! Meals That Heal You provides foods and beverages for three to five days, depending on type of surgery and doctor’s recommendations. Sample meals include salmon and avocado, rich in healthy fats, whole grains and legumes for dietary fiber and hydrating fresh fruits that are naturally high in vitamins and minerals.

Quote - BSA 1116

Healing from the Inside Out

Skin, bone, muscle and all body tissues need nutrients to build and repair on a daily basis. When wounds are healing, the body requires even greater focus on good nutrition to fight off infection and regain strength. All nutrients—from vitamin A to the mineral zinc—play key roles in supporting cellular recovery. It’s protein, healthy fats and antioxidant-rich foods that star as a dream team after surgery.

“We know that surgery and anesthesia cause stress, which puts the body in a negative protein balance,” says Stuart Phillips, professor of kinesiology at McMaster University and fellow of the American College of Nutrition. “So ideally patients should make sure to consume adequate protein before surgery, too.” Chicken, beef, eggs and fish contain the high-quality protein that the body craves to repair cells. Phillips suggests consuming at least 25 grams of protein per meal. One egg, for example, contains six grams of high-quality protein. Three ounces of beef contains 22 grams of protein.

Vegetables - BSA 1116Don’t Forget Fluid and Fiber

After surgery, the periods of inactivity and pain medications can lead to constipation and dehydration. Make sure to drink lots of water and snack on high-fluid foods, such as watermelon, cantaloupe and even cucumbers. Rather than using a juicer (which removes the fiber in fruits and vegetables), enjoy blender smoothies of fresh or frozen fruit combined with Greek yogurt (higher in protein than regular yogurt) that deliver fiber, protein and antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin C. Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are a good source of fiber. So are whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta.

Shake the Salt Habit

Cut down on sodium by discovering the natural flavors in fresh foods seasoned with herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, paprika and cumin. “Letting someone taste eggs scrambled with the natural tang of fresh dill is a good starter to introduce something with no salt that they normally salt heavily,” says Bean. “I use tons of fresh herbs and peppers in all my food to maximize flavor.” Even if it’s just for a few days post-surgery, Bean says one of the happiest side effects is discovering the delicious taste of creatively prepared healthy meals, “They tell me, ’Wow, I can’t believe how good that made me feel’ and they want to continue eating these foods. You know, it’s the way we are meant to eat.”


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Harley Anti-Aging Institute


Harley Anti-Aging Institute

Founded by Sharon Bent-Harley, MD, the Institute offers Pellet therapy, a form of bio-identical hormone-replacement therapy for women and men which releases a steady and controlled dose of natural hormone into the system and yields excellent results. Most recently the Institute began offering ThermiVa®, the first non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatment. 

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jessica shops

Just in time for the holidays, Gardner Dermatology and Med Spa are offering a “Flawless Face” injectables package to help you look your best this holiday season. This deal includes three areas of Botox®, two syringes of VOLUMA®, one syringe of Juvéderm® and one 30-minute facial for $3000—for a total savings of $770! Plus, mention JessicaShops and receive 10 complimentary units of Botox to be used at a later date.

Details: 2550 Windy Hill Rd. SE, Marietta;

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Dr. Anderson



Anderson Center for Hair

Led by esteemed hair-restoration specialist Dr. Ken Anderson, the Anderson Center for Hair is the only practice in the state of Georgia to offer ARTAS robot-assisted hair-restoration surgery, during which Anderson and his team employ the non-invasive Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method to remove and place hairs for permanent restoration. 

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Dr. Kalish - BSA


Dr. Louis B. Kalish, Atlanta Allergy & Asthma

Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Kalish joined Atlanta Allergy & Asthma in 1997 and specializes in the management of pediatric asthma and food allergies.

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Historic Banning Mills - BSA 1116

Feel the wind on your face as you race down 10 miles of zip line at Historic Banning Mills, just 45 minutes west of Atlanta. Recent studies indicate that spending time outdoors can help reduce blood pressure, improve concentration and boost the immune system. Get a healthy dose of natural thrills on this course, surrounded by 300 acres of wooded areas and one of the longest continuous eco-canopy zip line tours in the world.  And, it’s quite a workout—when put to the FitBit test, zipliners burned around 300 calories a day! The Banning Mills outdoor adventure resort also features a series of hiking trails, aerial challenge course, world’s tallest freestanding climbing wall and treehouse rooms perched above a rushing gorge.

Details: 205 Horseshoe Dam Rd., Banning;

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Shawn Shepard of Triple S. Shots - BSA 1116Take the guesswork out of shopping for the men in your life this upcoming holiday season with a little help from A Gentleman’s Trove. This new Atlanta-based company offers a selection of six gift boxes with products handpicked by creator Stephen Lloyd Thomas himself. Choose from themed boxes like The Whiskey Enthusiast, The Bearded Gent or The Techie for a holiday, birthday or groomsman gift that is sure to please.


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Richie Arpino - BSA 1116Arpino Salon has a new look and a new location. After watching the reconstruction of Buckhead happen right before his eyes, Richie Arpino decided it was time for his salon to join in on the change. The salon’s modern new high-rise home also includes a Pilates studio, massage therapy studio, Thai restaurant and gym. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of Buckhead and amenities like a doorman, valet and balconies for breezy lunches and wine dates before or after hair appointments.

Details: 550 Pharr Rd., Atlanta;

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Washington Farms - BSA 1116Head just outside of the city to Washington Farms for some festive fall fun. During the day, wander through their pumpkin patch to find just the right selection for carving or making pies.

Once the sun sets, put your directional skills to the test during the challenging “Flashlight Nights” and make your way through their 8.5-acre corn maze. With plenty of corny jokes and clues, you’re sure to be entertained the whole way.

Daytime explorers can try the Farms’ newest maze, inspired by the Peanuts gang. Afterwards dig into fan-favorite concessions, like caramel apples, BBQ and kettle corn or snuggle up with a hot chocolate and freshly made s’mores.

Details: 5691 Hog Mountain Rd., Bogart;

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“Be the change you wish to see in the world” might be one of Mahatma Gandhi’s most famous quotes of all time. And one Atlanta-based nonprofit is helping high-school students do more than just remember those words, GivingPoint is helping young people put them into action.

Jesse Lavender - BSA 1116

Derek Smith launched the organization in 2009 after gathering a group of ChoicePoint employee volunteers to discover ways to empower young people to create an impact on the causes that mattered most to them. During their research, they found that a number of young people expressed interest in getting involved with social causes, but lacked the tools to do so.

Utilizing its online platform, GivingPoint connects organizations and volunteers, allows students to track volunteer hours and more. The organization’s reach extends beyond computer screens, too. The GivingPoint Institute offers a 10-month-long workshop that ultimately equips 15 to 25 local high-school students with the building blocks to create their own nonprofits.

Now, over 9,000 nonprofits, volunteers and donors seek out GivingPoint’s resources. Whether you’re a teacher, counselor, student or charitable organization, GivingPoint can help you be the change you wish to see in the world.


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