BSA - Jeffrey DurmerDr. Jeffrey Durmer from FusionHealth answers a reader’s question about sleep.

Q: I know I should get more sleep, but does it really affect my overall health? 

Yes. Around two-thirds of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep at night. Aside from restoring energy, quality sleep lowers your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, improves your mood and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Sleeping for less than eight hours per night can alter hormones that affect appetite, leading us to seek higher calorie foods and gain unwanted pounds.


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BSA - May Best BulletinOn May 2, celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at Decatur’s Little Shop of Stories. They’re going all out for this day, since it coincides with the store’s 10th anniversary. In the downtown square, enjoy music from local theater companies, performances from storytellers and even a visit from Judy Schachner, the best-selling author and illustrator of the SkippyJon Jones series. And of course, stop in the store itself to peruse their titles, chat with their expert staff and celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with a few purchases.

Details: 133A East Court Square, Decatur, GA, (404) 37306300,

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This month, the Advisory Board members share their memorable client and patient success stories. 

IMG_6880 high resMadison James | B 98.5 | Fitness/WeightLoss

Enjoy Your Options 

For Madison James, improving your fitness is just the beginning of a long line of benefits you’ll see from getting active. High on that list is the benefit of fashion choices! “Who doesn’t feel better when you go into the store, and your selection has gone from five to 50?” she says. ” I had someone that I was mentoring and working with who had been overweight all her life,” James remembers. “We pulled off 50 pounds, and she was like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that I could wear certain clothes!” That’s what motivates me,” James says. It’s not really about the pounds – it’s about the freedom that health and fitness give everyone.


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BSA - Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers raise the first wall of the Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta home for a deserving family in Mableton. The home build on Valentine’s Day kicked off the 2015 build season for the nonprofit that serves Cobb, Douglas and Paulding Counties.

Home is where the heart is, but it’s also where many Americans’ investments are. Investing in a house has a positive impact on personal wealth and community stability, but buying a home – especially for people supporting a family on a low income – presents many challenges. If your entire paycheck is dedicated to the daily finances of life, it can be next to impossible to save the amount needed for a down payment or qualify for a traditional mortgage, preventing many hardworking adults and parents from making that investment.

Habitat for Humanity is best known for its signature “builds” that bring the community together to build a house for a deserving family. But in addition to actually building the house, Habitat also helps families by making their purchasing requirements more realistic. The Atlanta Habitat for Humanity website details the benefits, such as a no-interest mortgage and low closing costs – nothing more than an $800 “good faith deposit.” Habitat also offers perks such as energy efficient building standards and brand new Whirlpool appliances.

If you’re ready to swing a hammer for your fellow Atlantans, join Habitat for Humanity’s Northwest Metro Atlanta affiliate as they break ground on a new build site on April 2. Volunteering with Habitat requires no specialized experience – onsite training is provided for anyone interested in participating. Check out other Atlanta area affiliates by visiting and typing in your zip code.

Another great way to help is through the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Donate your new or gently used furniture, appliances, cabinets, building materials and more to any ReStore location, which will then sell these items at a fraction of retail price in order to raise money for more builds. A new Habitat ReStore opened in late March in Roswell, and you can find a full list of local ReStore locations at 

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Tantuco, DMD, Kathleen_cred Vernon Woods Dental Care AssociatesDr. Kathleen Tantuco from Vernon Woods Dental Care Associates answers a reader’s question about bleeding gums.

Q: Why do my gums bleed? 

Unlike most diseases that give us early warning signs, gum disease progresses silently, often without pain. Bleeding of the gums is one of the few initial signs and is due to bacterial infection and inflammation. Progression of the disease will result in the loss of bone surrounding the teeth. However, with regular check-ups and proper home care including brushing, flossing and using a mouth rinse, you can significantly decrease your risk.

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Sycks, Janell_cred Richie ArpinoJanell Sycks from Pantry Takeover is here to share her best advice to reduce stress about food.

What is the most common food-related stressor people experience?

Most of my clients struggle with trying to properly plan out their weekly meals. If we do not plan ahead of time, we end up stressed out, in a fast food drive-through and overeating foods that are harmful to us.

How cam people reduce food stress? 

Preparation is key to preventing stressful meal times – never wait until 6 p.m. to determine what you will have for dinner. Instead, every Saturday or Sunday, dedicate time to plan and shop for your meals.

How do you minimize food stress? 

I set aside 20 minutes each Saturday morning to search for new recipes and ideas. I use healthy food blogs, Pinterest and Facebook to inspire me to and show me new ways to use my favorite foods.

What phrase or quote can help people put their eating habits into perspective? 

“You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake!” – Author unknown

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BSA - Kam ThrockmortonKam Throckmorton from GlamKam is here to share her best advice to reduce fashion stress.

What is the most common fashion-related stressor people experience? 

The feeling of having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.

How can people reduce fashion stress? 

Know your body, accept it and embrace it. Be realistic when shopping, and create a wardrobe that works for the body and lifestyle you have today.

What should people avoid doing? 

Don’t overthink it! If something makes you happy and confident, wear it. It’s an outfit, not a tattoo.

What is your personal fashion-related stressor? 

Standing 6’1″ and a size 16, it’s hard to find clothes I love that fit. It is frustrating that, as a stylist, I can always find amazing pieces from my clients by not always for myself.

How do you deal with it? 

I have learned to embrace my body and more importantly, my shape. Dressing well is all about balancing your silhouette. I only buy clothes that work for me. Also, a good tailor makes a huge difference!

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BSA- Crossroads HospiceJust as birth is a special, honored time, the transition of death deserves respect and special care too. At Crossroads Hospice, staff and volunteers provide compassion, support and day-to-day engagement to patients nearing the end of their lives. As a volunteer, you can support patients directly in their homes or assisted living facilities with conversation, puzzles and even bingo. When you sign up, you will undergo volunteer training about the basics of hospice, your role, and certain common health conditions such as dementia. You can also support the organization with administrative volunteer time or bereavement support for families. Call (770) 270-9898 or email to sign up.

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

BSA - April Best Books 1“Simon vs. the HomoSapiens Agenda” 

When 16-year-old Simon Spier begins exchanging emails with a secret admirer, his high school days have a new current of excitement running through them. But when a classmate discovers their messages – and the fact that Simon’s secret admirer is another boy in their high school – their fragile romance gets complicated. This story is full of humor, heart and characters you’ll root for till the last page. On April 11, author Becky Albertalli will visit Little Shop of Stories in Decatur to sign copies of her book, released this month. Visit for more details.

BSA - April Best Books 2“New Rules at the Game”

Susan Packard, a co-founder of HGTV, knows what it takes to be successful in business. She distills her 30 years of experience into this book, which offers gamesmanship strategies for women’s success in the workforce such as playing offense, being a team player and more. Order a copy for $25.95 form Penguin Books at

BSA - April Best Books 3“Lighten Up, Y’all” 

A healthy lifestyle and a Southern diet might seem incompatible, but they aren’t if Virginia Willis has anything to say about it. This Atlanta-based, French-trained chef knows the value of good comfort food, so in her newest cookbook, she gives a healthy overhaul to the classics like mac and cheese and buttermilk pie. Order a copy for $24.99 from Random House at

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BSA - Sushi and SakeLuxury complex Buckhead Atlanta welcomed Doraku Sushi last month. This new restaurant offers family style sushi and a mix of other Asian-fusion dishes for lunch and dinner, including sea urchin and live scallops for the adventurous foodie. They also offer a full bar and an extensive sake menu, so your night out will be delicious from dinner to drinks.

Details: 267 East Paces Ferry Road NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 842-0005.

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