By Alexandra McCray

Erica Goss and Alexandra McCray

Erica Goss and Alexandra McCray

I’m starting my 30 Days of Fitness at the barre, Barre3 in South Buckhead that is. Walking into Barre3 I was immediately welcomed by Tara at the front desk, who helped me sign-in for the class I had registered for online. I was then given a tour of the facilities, which includes lockers, a changing room and a children’s play area.

I slipped off my sneakers and socks, locked away my personal gear, then entered the intimate studio — a spacious area outfitted with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and multi-leveled barres attached to the wall. Our instructor, Erica Goss, greeted every new face and asked about their previous barre experience, assessed any physical injuries or concerns and offered equipment suggestions.

Class started with deep breaths and a full-body warm-up. Soon we gripped the barre for pulsating squats, which left me and the majority of the class shaking like leaves. Erica cheered us on reassuring us that this reaction is perfectly normal. I quickly learned that the Barre3 workout focuses on one area of the body at a time, while incorporating multiple muscle groups through the use of small weights and whole body movements. By the end of this one-hour class I had definitely earned my “barre glow,” and learned that small movements can have a big impact on muscles.

To try a class for yourself visit Barre3’s website.

Details: 1745 Peachtree Street NE, Suite K Atlanta, Georgia 30309, barre3.com

Posted in 30 Days of Fitness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

health-fitness-flickr

Happy New Year from all of us at Best Self Atlanta Magazine! A New Year means a fresh start! If you’re anything like us, fitness is at the top of  your New Year’s resolution list. Join us in kick-starting another year through our 30 Days of Fitness blog series.

Beginning January 1, we will travel around town to participate in a variety of fitness classes and activities – one per day. Our Best Self staff will take turns visiting the newest gyms and the tried-and-true workouts, getting a diverse view of the fitness options in the city. As we complete each day of fitness, we’ll blog about it to let you know where to go and what to expect from each gym or workout class.

Our daily blogs will help you stay inspired to achieve your resolutions, and they’ll give you new ideas of ways to change up your workout routine. Be sure to like us on Facebook to catch each update, or bookmark this post, where we’ll update the links as we go through the month.

Below are the links to our posts about each day of fitness. If you’ve tried these workouts as well or have favorites of your own, tell us about them in the comments or on social media with #30DaysofFitness!

Day 1                     Day 11                    Day 21

Day 2                     Day 12                    Day 22

Day 3                     Day 13                    Day 23

Day 4                     Day 14                    Day 24

Day 5                     Day 15                    Day 25

Day 6                     Day 16                    Day 26

Day 7                     Day 17                    Day 27

Day 8                     Day 18                    Day 28

Day 9                     Day 19                    Day 29

Day 10                   Day 20                    Day 30

Posted in 30 Days of Fitness | Tagged | Leave a comment

Makeup brush

The term “strobing” refers to the makeup application technique of highlighting areas of the face where natural light usually reflects. Khadija DeShong, CEO/Co-Owner of Blushbaby Lash & Makeup Studio, explains how to achieve this youthful, dewy glow on your skin.

  1. Make sure your skin is hydrated with an oil-free moisturizer.

  2. Use a cream or powder highlighter that is similar to your skin tone to create a soft sheen.

  3. Blend the highlighter with a brush on desired areas — under the brow bone, at eye corners, cheekbones, down the center of the nose, and right above the cupid’s bow.

  4. Avoid looking oily all over (especially if you have oily/combination skin) by selecting matte products for the rest of your makeup, foundation, blush, powder.

Details: blushbabymakeupstudio.com 

Posted in Best Beauty | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Slavery should no longer be a term associated with today’s society, but for an estimated 10-30 million people, it’s more than a word — it is their reality. Atlanta continually tops the ranking as one of the largest, most active hubs for human trafficking in the country. Conventions, events, population density and our busy airport create fertile ground to root this pervasive problem. Every night, hundreds of children, mostly girls, are sexually exploited in Georgia and each month, thousands more are at risk for human trafficking.

In honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we are highlighting just a few of the many Atlanta charities working to end this cycle of modern bondage.

Halt Human Trafficking

BeLoved Atlanta

Created by Amelia Quinn after she found freedom from her own abuse. BeLoved Atlanta welcomes victims of human trafficking to find solace.  This nonprofit offers a free, two-year residential housing program to provide a safe place for women to break free from prostitution and addiction. Their programming also includes education, employment assistance and continued support through a variety of resources.

The Junior League of Atlanta

The Junior League of Atlanta increases knowledge about the city’s human trafficking problem through community advocacy and by championing preventative legislation. JLA raises the awareness necessary to decrease both the supply and the demand for trafficked children.

Wellspring Living

Wellspring Living strives to guide trafficking victims forward, leaving the world of sexual abuse and exploitation behind them. With resources available to women ages 12 through 30, Wellspring provides education experience, valuable life skills and therapy for survivors, as well as support for those at risk for victimization. Their assessment center assists those seeking immediate relief, and their training institute prepares community organization to join the fight.

Race Across America: Team Sorella

In partnership with Wellspring Living riders Korey Gotoo, Lauren Schrichten, Betty Jean Jordan, and Jennifer Klein created their own Race Across America team, Team Sorella. They ride on a mission to bring lasting change to the lives of women and girls of all backgrounds.

 

Resources: cnn.com, belovedatlanta.org, jlatlanta.org, wellspringliving.org, sorellaraam.net

Posted in Best Cause | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Together_Honey_Pub-Cranberry[1]

The free Honey app puts the latest health tips and expert advice right in the palm of your hand. Updated daily by nutritionists, Honey users can save recipes, ask questions and check out products to help stay slim and trim.

Details: thinkhoney.com

Posted in Best Health | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Excercise for Mobility

As you age, you lose muscle and bone mass, which can lead to joint and back pain, osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. Regular exercise slows the loss of muscle mass, strengthens bones and improves both mobility and balance, which reduces the risk of injury. Resurgens Orthopaedics‘ Lori Ellwood, R.N., O.N.C., advises finding an activity that you enjoy and commit to it for at least 30 minutes a day.

Details: resurgens.com 

Posted in Best Health | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Embarking on a self-directed tour of multiple Atlanta breweries could require some serious logistical planning to arrange visiting times and ensure a safe ride to each location. Enter Southern Beer Tours (SBT), now handling all of those particulars so that curious enthusiasts can merely handle the handle of a cold beer mug. SBT hosts several regular tours — including the Atlanta Brewery Tour, the Baseball & Brewery Tour and the Atlanta Walking Tour — and arrange private or customized tours for any occasion.

Sweetwater tour

A Sweet Start

After noting the SBT experience on CulinaryLocal (the site dedicated to curating a roster of local food and drink events), we opted to try one of their most popular tours, the Atlanta Brewery Tour, comprised of a stop at SweetWater Brewing and a rotation of two other breweries. Our tour route takes us to Red Brick Brewing and Monday Night Brewing. Each tour and tasting experience reflects the unique style of the individual breweries.

SweetWater’s laid back style allows time to enjoy a beer or two and ask bartenders questions before touring the facilities. Marvel at some of the latest equipment  (like oh say…a multi-million dollar machine that required German engineers to be flown in to assemble) learn a little bit of the company’s history and potentially get the scoop on new brews in their classified “Dank Tank.”

Tap Into the Scene

Red Brick presents a more intimate environment with live music by local artists and energetic bartenders eager to make recommendations. Though their brewing facilities are smaller, the space resonates with distinct character.  Antique brewing equipment from the 1900s works alongside special pieces imported from England, and employees are encouraged to create their own small-batch brews in an area designated for that specific purpose.

Monday Night keeps the party time atmosphere alive with ample entertaining spaces inside the building and outside on the patio. Play some corn hole, catch a movie on their projector or just sit and chat with friends. Feel free to bring along your four-legged pals as well; they’ll have plenty of fun chomping on one of Monday Night’s stuffed beer-bottle chew toys.

Whether it’s tasty taps, the live music or the behind-the-scenes look at the thriving local brewery scene, these tours get the fun flowing for beer lovers and all their drinking buddies.

Details: culinarylocal.com, southernbeertours.com, Tours starting at $65

Posted in Best Fun | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pink Lungs

Myth: Lung cancer only affects men

Fact: Lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as any other cancer. In fact, a woman learns she has lung cancer every five minutes in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association, says Dr. Africa Wallace, a thoracic surgeon at Piedmont Hospital.

Details: lung.org 

Posted in Best Health | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

House of Payne Personal Training co-owner, Rachel Payne breaks down the basics of meal prepping for a healthy week ahead.

healthy meal ideas

  • Plan your menu – Write down what you’re going to eat for every meal all week long.

  • Create your grocery list – Once you know your menu for the week, you’re ready to shop efficiently.

  • Prepare as much as possible – Dice veggies, measure out fruit and snacks, grill a bunch of chicken — it’s a snap pulling meals together when you’ve prepped everything in advance.

Sample Menu

Breakfast:

Non-fat Greek yogurt parfait with fruit

1 slice of Ezekiel toast with honey

Egg white omelet  with peppers and onions

Mid-morning Snack:

Turkey meatballs

Apple slices

 

Lunch:

Low carb chicken wrap with veggies

 

Mid-afternoon Snack:

Almonds

Carrots

 

Dinner:

Grilled chicken

Butternut squash

Spinach

Bad dieting

6 Tips for Success

  1.  Always have your food with you. Don’t get stuck somewhere, hungry — you’ll be tempted to make unhealthy choices
  2.  If you need to heat your food when you’re out, stop in at a convenience store and use the microwave.
  3. Pack baggies or tiny containers with quick snacks such as roasted chickpeas, nuts, seaweed or kale chips, race cakes and almond butter.
  4. Do your homework! If you know you’ll be eating out, look up the menu ahead of time to make healthy decisions. Eat half of the portion served and take the rest home for a later meal.
  5. Take control. If you plan and prepare, you’ll be able to achieve your fitness goals.
  6. Educate yourself on the importance of nutrition. Remember, you can never exercise off a bad diet!

Keep it Contained

Rachel prefers the black, microwaveable containers that are frequently used for takeout foods. Made in America, they are BPA-Free, dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe. These rectangular containers are made of polypropylene and accepted by curbside recycling programs for the environmentally conscious consumer. They stack and pack nicely in her ISOBAG™.

Posted in Best Bites | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Allqua Water

Allqua water comes straight from underground springs in Meriwether County, Ga., and contains trace amounts of minerals like iron, sulfur and magnesium, which are believed to increase energy, ease digestion issues, combat headaches and even slow the aging process.

Details: allquawater.com 

Posted in Best Health | Tagged , | Leave a comment