jessica shopsChewable juices are not new to the Atlanta market, but a new local brand caught my eye while I was shopping at While Foods. Harvest Soul Organic Chewable Juices are blended superfood juices with perfectly sized bits of nuts, seeds and berries. The all-organic ingredients include chia, flax, goji berries, spinach, pineapple and more. They are available at Whole Foods for $7.99, but there is a coupon on the Bottle for $1 off. If you buy a full case (six bottles), Whole Foods will ring up the case price, which will save you almost $5. Shake, sip, chew and enjoy! harvestsoul.com 

For more info on Jessica, visit www.jessicashops.com

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Arlene Sinanian

Arlene Sinanian

President of Happy Tails Pet Therapy Arlene Sinanian is here to share her best volunteering advice for pet owners.

What kind of volunteering can pet owners do through Happy Tails Pet Therapy? 

As a team, a human handler and their pet can visit hospitals, nursing homes and more to share the healing comfort and connection of the human-animal bond.

Please share a memory of a volunteer visit with your own dog. 

When leaving a rehab facility, we walked by a young man in a wheelchair wearing a safety helmet. He looked straight at my dog, Aiden, and asked, “Is that a Maltese?” I answered, “Yes, it is! Would you like to see him?” He smiled hugely. His dad took me aside and explained that his son had not spoken at all since his accident three weeks prior. His connection with Aiden seemed to have given him his voice back.

Which animals are best suited for this activity? 

The ones with a calm, relaxed demeanor. Will your dog happily and politely greet the stranger? Will your cat or bunny allow themselves to be put into a stranger’s lap? If so, then you might consider pet therapy.

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Local roots picToo busy to get to the farmers market? Try the new Local Roots app for iPhone. Most recently launched in Brookhaven, and now expanding into Inman Park and Decatur, the app alerts you when farmers will be delivering in your area. You can check out their inventory, place your order and receive your selections right at your door. It doesn’t get more convenient than that!

Details: Available for free in the App Store

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Each month, Best Self publisher Sherri Adair shares her favorite places, people and events from around Atlanta. Here are her picks for the month of June: 

DSCN7040Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta – Last month, the Best Self Atlanta and Atlanta Home Improvement teams decided to take a break and have an afternoon centered on fitness, learning and fun at Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta. The instructors Mat, Lauren and Austin cranked up the music and taught us some great moves to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” For two hours we danced, laughed and really did “shake it off.” It was a great way to relieve stress, and the instructors made us feel like stars!

Details: 887 West Marietta St., Suite J-105, Atlanta, GA, (404) 897-5556, myballroomdanceclub.com

Escape to Blue Ridge Sherri's My Best ListEscape to Blue Ridge - At just a little over an hour from the city and with its natural beauty, Blue Ridge is one of my favorite places. I have enjoyed many “escapes” there over the years, but once I discovered Blue Ridge mountain cabin rentals, I never booked lodging anywhere else. The bed linens, towels, cleanliness and comfort meet standards consistent with high-end resorts, and their cabin home rentals also include stunning views, gourmet kitchens, game rooms, hot tubs and more. You will love it.

Details: (706) 413-5321, escapetoblueridge.com

IMG_1536Sips n Strokes - The concept is simple: you bring your own beverage and paint, and you leave with your very own work of art! An instructor leads you step-by-step through the painting process – you will be surprised at how good you are. I went recently with my daughter, and we enjoyed 2 1/2 hours of stress free mother/daughter bonding and fun. I will definitely go back.

Details: 230 Hammond Drive, Building #402, Sandy Springs, GA, (404) 272-0156, sipsnstrokes.com

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By Sherri Adair, Publisher

Every month, we fill the pages of Best Self Atlanta with great stories about health, beauty and giving back. But there are times when we’re so busy filling those pages that we don’t get to practice what we preach. So we decided to incorporate a Team Activity Day (TAD) each month for all of us here at the magazine to enjoy, learn, laugh, exercise and have some good old-fashioned fun!

We kicked off our first TAD at Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta. The studio manager Mat Krozen, along with instructors Lauren and Austin cranked up the music and taught us some old-style and new moves to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” For two hours we danced, laughed and really did “shake it off.” We shook off the stresses of deadlines and city life and allowed ourselves to truly take a break. The great thing about dancing is that when you are focused on the choreography and enjoying the music, you really don’t think about anything else. So we unplugged from our computers and cell phones and just took it all in. The result? “I left feeling happy. I learned that even a two-hour break can make a huge difference in how I feel and act.” So…when you are feeling like you can’t take it anymore…kick off your shoes and dance. I promise,  you will feel better.

Thank you to Kristine Knipp and the entire team at Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta for this gift of dance.

Details: www.myballroomdanceclub.com, (404) 897-5556

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BSA - May Business News - Kaiser PermanenteCustomer satisfaction isn’t just for restaurants and retail stores – you should be satisfied with your health care, too. In a recent J.D. Power study of American health plans, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia ranked  highest in members satisfaction in the South Atlantic region, scoring 42 points above the region’s average. kp.org

 

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BSA - Le BilboquetLe Bilboquet, one of the restaurants in the new Buckhead Atlanta complex, recently launched a new Bilbo To-Go concept. The restaurant’s new go-to window offers a bistro atmosphere to diners wanting a delicious meal without the time commitment. Try their lattes, parfaits or croissants first thin in the morning, or pick up a croque monsieur or other pressed sandwich for a midday treat. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Details: 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 869-9444, lebilboquetatlanta.com

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This month, enjoy reading these books from local publishers and authors.

BSA - May Best Books 1“Lost Destiny” 

In this month’s new release, local author Alan Axelrod documents Joe Kennedy Jr.’s final WWII mission to London, which ultimately resulted in Kennedy’s death. On May 19 at 6:30 p.m., Axelrod will read excerpts from his work, discuss it and sign copies at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. The event is free to the pubic, and A Cappella Books will provide copies for purchase on site. jimmycarterlibrary.gov, acappellabooks.com

BSA - May Best Books 2“Root to Leaf” 

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union’s executive chef, knows his way around vegetables – every part of them, in fact. He shares his knowledge and simple approach to produce in his new cookbook, which focuses on seasonal, local options and helps you use each part of the plant. With such beautiful photography, the hardback copy can easily be a coffee table book as much as a kitchen tool. Order one from HarperCollins for $45. harpercollins.com

BSA - May Best Books 3

 

“Everything I Never Told You” 

Celeste Ng’s debut novel, which follows a Chinese American family after the disappearance and death of a daughter, was named on of the New York Times’ Notable Books of 2014. Haven’t read it yet? Pick up a copy on May 27 when Ng reads excerpts and signs copies at the historic Ivy Hall (179 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA). The event is free. acappellabooks.com

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By David A. Martin, RN, President/CEO, VeinInnovations

BSA - Venous InsufficiencyMother’s Day inspires a look at the connections between heredity, pregnancy and the pain, heaviness, swelling and restlessness associated with venous insufficiency. While most people think spider and varicose veins are a cosmetic issue, discolored or bulging veins could actually be symptoms of a disease that affects about a third of women and a quarter of men under 40, and almost half of all people over the age of 50.

Venous disease occurs when delicate, one-way valves in leg veins fail. Blood that should be pumped up to the heart and lung for re-oxygenation flows backward, pools and creates pressure, leading to varicose and spider veins. There is a definite genetic component to venous disease, and it can impact the ability or desire to exercise and rest well.

“If your mother or grandmother had varicose or spider veins, you are much more likely to have the disease,” says Dr. Lisa Perez, a venous health expert at VeinInnovations. “We have many mother-daughter patients, and fathers and sons, referring each other for treatment once they see that today’s procedures are fast, effective and require little or no downtime,” she explains.

Becoming a mother is one of the life changes most likely to trigger symptoms of venous insufficiency. “Hormonal changes and increased blood volume can exacerbate varicose veins. If a first pregnancy causes problems and subsequent pregnancies are a year or two away, we recommend treatment between pregnancies, as symptoms are likely to be worse in a second or third pregnancy,” Dr. Perez says.

Whether your vein trouble is hereditary or pregnancy related, it’s important to seek treatment. “Postponing treatment can cause quality of life problems such as poor sleep, a loss of interest in exercise and, ultimately, skin ulcerations that are extremely difficult to treat and heal,” Dr. Perez says. She urges anyone concerned about their legs to schedule an ultrasound screening.

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jessica shopsNatural and organic food connoisseurs have a new 24,000-square-foot grocery playground. Atlanta’s fist Earth Fare store, one of the largest natural retailers in the country, has opened in Peachtree Corners. Boasting strong ingredient standards, they feature healthy and organic offerings, including a made-from-scratch bakery, local and organic fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood, including 100 percent antibiotic-free options. In addition to food, there is a health and wellness section with supplements, natural remedies and natural skin care.

Budget shoppers will appreciate the daily specials such as Real Meal Tuesdays and Sushi Wednesdays, all $5 each. Sign up for their loyalty program and download the mobile app to earn points and view daily deals. 

Details: 5270 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners GA, (770) 242-7568, earthfare.com/peachtreecorners

For more info on Jessica, visit www.jessicashops.com

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