Escape to Blue Ridge Separate Social Media Shout Out

By Best Self publisher Sherri Adair 

Escape to Blue RidgeAt 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 Escape to 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.

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The best fitness advice around town 

Green SmoothieWhat is the best way to refuel after a workout? 

What seems to work for me is a simple green smoothie with some protein in it. Toss in a handful of kale or spinach, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, a teaspoon of honey, some almond mil and a scoop of protein powder. When I want extra protein, I add in a Premier Protein vanilla shake instead of the almond milk and scoop of protein powder.

Shashi Charles, blogger at “RunninSrilankan”

Hit the Books, Then the Gym 

Free WeightsWant to take your passion for fitness to the next level? Share your enthusiasm – and your moves – with others as a group fitness instructor! Kennesaw State University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education offers a certification program that blends classroom and hands-on training in a fitness facility. You’ll learn basic human anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and nutrition, as well as how to plan and prep classes for students at different levels, keep people motivated and more.


View More: Camp – Plus Cardio! 

Summer camp doesn’t always mean cabins and canoeing – with Cardio Kool Kids, summer camp is focused on fitness. During the week of July 13, kids ages 5 to 12 can try fun workouts like kickboxing, hip hop dancing, strength training and more. Each camp session also includes nutritional education so the kids have a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle. The cost is $150  per child, and camp classes are held at Georgia All Stars Gymnastics in Woodstock or Dance It Off in Sandy Springs.


Young woman in white doing yoga pose arm balanceYoga on Ponce 

Alongside a host of fashion retailers such as Anthropologie, Q Clothiers, Lily Rain, Rye 51 and more, Ponce City Market will also welcome a fitness studio. CorePower Yoga, whose Buckhead studio opened last month, will open its second Georgia studio this summer. Try a power yoga, hot yoga or restorative yoga class at any level in their 6,500 square-foot space.

Details: 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. Ne,,

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Eapen, DannyDr. Danny Eapen from Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology shares his best advice on heart disease.

What medical test should men be sure to get? 

All men over 35 must have their fasting cholesterol levels checked via a simple blood draw.

How often should they get this test? 

It can range from semi-annually to every five years, depending on that person’s heart disease risk or whether they are on cholesterol lowering medications. Your primary care doctor or cardiologist will assist you in determining frequency of testing.

What results can they expect to receive? 

A basic cholesterol panel will give you a total cholesterol level (TC), low-density cholesterol (LDL, high-density cholesterol level (HDL) and triglyceride levels (TG). For a man with no heart disease risk factors, optimal cholesterol levels are: less than 200 mg/dl for TC, less than 130 mg/dl for LDL, more than 40 mg/dL for HDL and less than 150 mg/dL for TG.

Is this test typically covered by insurance? 

Yes, nearly all insurance plans will cover basic cholesterol blood tests.

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Sharon Bent-HarleyDr. Sharon Bent-Harley from Harley Anti-Aging shares her best advice on hormones.

What medical test should men be sure to get? 

A blood test for testosterone levels.

How often should they get this test? 

At least once per year if they are in the optimal range. If they are not in the optimal range, then repeat testing after intervention may be needed every three to six months.

What results can they expect to receive? 

Low testosterone, or Low T, is usually associated with symptoms of decreased libido, anxiety, irritability, brain fog, insomnia, difficulty focusing, loss of muscle mass and elevated cholesterol.

Is this test typically covered by insurance? 

The blood tests are usually covered by insurance.

When do men know they need to get this test? 

Any male over the ages 35 to 40 should get this test, or if symptomatic, they may need it before, as testosterone levels in men actually start declining by age 30 and sometimes younger.

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By Denise Romeo, president of Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society

Squash blossomsJuly is peak season for summer squash with their thin and totally edible skins; no peeling necessary. There are many different varieties, including crookneck squash, zuccini, and patty pans that vary in size, shape and color, but they can be used interchangeable in recipes. Look for smooth, blemish-free squashes that are small and tender.

Basic prep: A quite saute is the best way to enjoy fresh summer squashes. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add some garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned. Add sliced squash and cook, tossing occasionally until tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and top with some grated Parmesan. 

Step it up: The flowers of summer squash are not only pretty to look at, but completely edible. Try adding them to a frittata with some goat cheese or feta for a light summer supper.

Find It: Look for squash at the new Westside Farmers Market at Westside Provisions District, every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through September 27.

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By Laura Carson Miller

cocomeSidebySide-1-3.31.15Stick it to Dry Skin!

If you’re like me, you love the moisturizing benefits of coconut oil, but application is, let’s face it, mostly a mess. Say goodbye to all that with the CocoMe Bodystick. It packs pure organic virgin oil coconut oil and a bit of beeswax into a convenient stick that glides across skin, providing both instant and lasting moisture. It’s also available in a lip balm size, perfect for your purse, desk drawer or gym bag.

Details: $15.99 for the full size, $4.99 for the lip balm size,

poppy_picnic_palette 2Easy Summer Makeup 

The Poppy Picnic limited-edition palette from Tarte’s summer collection packs a pretty punch, featuring eye and cheek hues infused with Amazonian clay to nourish and hydrate. Crate custom eye looks with the matte shadows, and you’ll find the peachy pink blush shade is flattering on most skin tones. The cheeky pink flower motif on the outside packaging is also swoon-worthy, and a mirrored top on the inside makes for easy (and portable) glam sessions. Plus, most of Tarte’s products are cruelty-free and vegan.

Details: $38,

Mimi Chatter 1Beauty Talk with Mimi 

Indulge your beauty obsessions on the new website MIMI, from the Time Inc. Style Network. MIMI is chock full of beauty and celeb news, photos, product reviews, tutorials and just aout every other beauty-related topic you can imagine. Sign up and log on to contribute your own voice to the mix of MIMI, too- the editors will hand select their favorite posts to feature on the main site. It’s like getting together with your girlfriends to talk all things beauty, and you can access it anytime you want. I’m a huge fan!


Roosters Men's GroomingProper Grooming for Guys 

For guys looking to bridge the gap between a girl-geared salon and a quickie cut in the strip mall, there’s Roosters Men’s Grooming. With locations in Johns Creek, Northwest Atlanta and just north of Buckhead, Roosters has you covered for haircuts, highlights, blending away gray, taming the eyebrows and, of course, the classic shave. All this happends in an atmosphere of leather, wood, massaging recliners, HD plasma televisions and ice-cold beverages. So guys, next time you need a bit of a spruce up, you know where to go!

Details: 4969 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 963-1953.,

Vincent Longo Chiara Flush Stick, OrombraContour? For Sure! 

Want to try your hand at facial contouring? Or are you already a master of Kardashian proportions? Either way, Vincent Longo’s new Chiara Flush Stick in Orombra will help you get the job done! Enriched with jojoba, shea butter and vitamin E to nourish and hydrate, the stick boasts a matte golden amber shade with a light shimmery gold core, so you can easily pull up a contouring cheat sheet online and draw your way to a runway worthy makeup look.

Details: $34, 

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Jeff Toney Co-Owner of Stellar Bodies

Jeff Toney (Stellar Bodies co-owner), Madison James

This month, a friend invited me to check out Stellar Bodies in Buckhead, which I would describe as a Pilates hybrid class. The star of the hour is a machine called the MegaFormer. This bad boy works multiple muscles at a time – I discovered muscles I never know I had, and you all know I’m no fitness newbie. Even though they’re challenging, the workouts are very low impact and can be modified to fit your current fitness level. Classes are done in small group settings, so you still get one-on-one attention. Your first class is $10, and make sure you bring a friend – it makes it much more fun when you feel the burn.

Details: Locations in Buckhead and Midtown, (404) 467-1060. 

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By Alexandra McCray

kylePEASE (1)

The world’s largest 10K, also known as the Peachtree Road Race, will feature something extra special this year thanks to Infinity Yoga and Lululemon Athletica Shops Around Lenox. The companies are partnering to sponsor The Peachtree Road Race Showdown, an Independence Day philanthropy fundraiser for The Kyle Pease Foundation.

By providing wheelchairs, racing equipment, travel accommodations and more, the Kyle Pease Foundation works to improve the lives of disabled people through sports. “KPF acknowledges that it takes an army to make things happen especially with such debilitating disabilities like cerebral palsy,” says Becky Nickerson, Infinity Yoga founder.

The showdown will feature Team Infinity Yoga represented by Matt Shechtman versus Team Kyle Pease Foundation represented by KPF founder Brent Pease as they race to see which team will finish first. This isn’t your average team race though—both Matt and Brent will be pushing their teammates, Justin Knight and Kyle Pease who suffer from cerebral palsy, as they run the full Peachtree distance.

While Brent and Matt may both share a love for endurance sports, their teammates are just as driven to win as they are. “The real athletes are Justin and Kyle. Those two are competitive, which is actually fun to watch. They have found a place to feed their competitive spirit, and Matt and Brent are along for a FAST ride on race day,” says Becky Nickerson.

Kyle has finished both the Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Florida. Brent already has completed two marathons and won the GA Public Half Marathon in March. The two recently completed the Eagleman Half Ironman together.

“These guys [Justin and Kyle] met at Buffalo Wild Wings in 2011 and have been friends on and off the course since then. They have shared a ton of miles together, and the next 6.2 are going to be thrilling,” says Becky Nickerson.

To support the Kyle Pease Foundation and “bet” on which team you think will win, visit their website.

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Miller, MD, Scott_cred Jonathan HolladaDr. Scott Miller from Georgia Urology is here to share his best advice about prostate cancer.

What medical test should men be sure to get? 

A PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). The DRE Entails a physician briefly placing a finger in the rectum to feel for abnormally firm areas of your prostate.

How often should they get this test? 

Frequency of testing depends on risk factors such as family history, race, age and prior PSA values. Higher-risk patients should undergo yearly testing.

What results can they expect to receive? 

Higher values may indicate the presence of prostate cancer, but your physician can determine what PSA value is normal for you.

Is this test typically covered by insurance? 


When do men know they need to get this test? 

Starting at age 40, every man should learn about their individual risk of prostate cancer. This is a good time to obtain a baseline PSA test, even if only for future comparison.

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jessica shopsI travel a lot, so comfortable shoes are very important to me. However, comfort brands are not always as stylish as I would like, especially dressier versions. Thankfully I found a fashionable, comfortable and high-quality shoe designed by a busy mother of three and ex-orthopedic nurse. Julie Lopez Shoes are made in Italy and feature their unique Flex Innovation Technology, perfect for women who need a comfortable all-day shoe. It’s especially great for women who have wider toe bridges, larger shoe sizes, arthritis or simply can’t wait to remove their shoes at the end of the day. Added padding in the high heel style alleviates painful pressure points, and a wider toe box avoids overcrowding and encourages natural positioning of the toes. They’re a bit pricey at $225 but worth every step you’ll talk in them.

For more info on Jessica, visit

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