Farmer D Organics’ Daron “Farmer D” Joffe is here to give you his best advice about gardening.

Daron Farmer D Joffe

Q: What are the benefits of gardening?

A: The benefits of gardening include physical fitness, nutrition from fresh produce, natural medicine from herbs and connecting with others through the sharing of tips, seeds, plants and stories from the garden.

Q: How should a first-time gardener begin?

A: Pick good quality materials and ask advice from garden experts at your local garden center or university extension to find out what to grow and when.

Q: How can seasoned gardeners revamp their garden this year?

A: Plant something you haven’t grown before, and try extending your season by planting earlier and later than usual.

Q: What are some ideas to get kids involved in gardening?

A: Make it fun. Let them get wet and dirty and grow crops that they are likely to taste like peas, beans, carrots and cherry tomatoes. If you’re ready for more, help start a garden at your child’s school.

Q: What plants are easy to grow? 

A: Radishes will break down the belief that you have a brown thumb. These fast-growing, nutritious little gems are easy to sow directly into the garden in the spring and fall. My favorite varieties are French Breakfast radish and Watermelon Radish.

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Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture’s President and CEO Rashid Numi is here to give you his best advice about how to garden in any amount of space.

Rashid Numi

Q: How should a first-time gardener begin?

A: Pick a sunny location (preferably with southern exposure) with water readily available and soil prepared with compost. Plant crops you will eat and enjoy and that will do well in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 or 8, where Metro Atlanta is located.

Q: How can seasoned gardeners revamp their garden this year? 

A: Restore the soil to its natural health by adding compost and other organic materials. They will provide ongoing nourishment for your plants.

Q: How can someone garden in a small space? 

A: You can grow in a square-foot plot in the ground or in containers on your patio, porch or kitchen window – just grow something. If you only grow some herbs for your kitchen, that’s enough.

Q: What plants are the easiest to use in home cooking? 

A: Let taste be your guide. Most vegetables are delicious in raw salads, lightly steamed or oven-roasted. Try fresh mint leaves and gingers in a glass of green tea, or basil leaved in a salad or tomato sandwich.

Q: What can Atlanta gardeners plant right now?

A: This time of year, you can plant things with seeds – cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, okra, peppers and more. Enjoy Atlanta’s extended growing seasons!

 

 

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Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia’s Dr. Mark Merlin is here to answer a reader’s question about screening for prostate cancer.

Dr. Mark Merlin

Q: When should a man begin screening for prostate cancer?

A: Currently there are multiple opinions regarding who should be screened for prostate cancer. The most common answer is for men to begin having annual digital rectal exams at age 40 and having annual PSA levels drawn at age 50. Men with a strong family history of prostate cancer or African-American men should consider having their PSA levels checked as early as age 40 due to their increased risk of developing this disease.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to editorial@bestselfatlanta.com. 

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Pike Nurseries’ Matt Arnett is here to give you his best advice about how to get your garden to grow.

Matt Arnett

Q: What the the benefits of gardening?

A: Gardening is great exercise, reduces stress, helps people connect with nature and can even bring families together as parents or grandparents teach children.

Q: How should a first-time gardener begin?

A: Tomatoes, peppers, melons and cucumbers are easy to grow and reward beginners with a bountiful harvest.

Q: How can seasoned gardeners revamp their garden this year? 

A: Seasoned gardeners know that part of the enjoyment of gardening is trying new plants. Several new varieties of Echinacea this year are easy to grow, attract butterflies, and make a beautiful cut flower in stunning colors.

Q: How can someone garden in a small space? 

A: Garden vertically. Grow vining vegetables, fruit and flowering plants that climb on arbors or trellises.

Q: What are some ideas to get kids involved in gardening? 

A: Have kids pick out their favorite plants at the nursery – they love choosing from the vast array of colors. Then have them help with the planting process by digging holes or watering flowers.

Q: What plants are easy to grow? 

A: Perennial flowers provide yearly bursts of color without the effort of planting each season. Some easy-to-grow favorites include Gallardia, Scabiosa and Rudbeckia.

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Get ready to be inspired, Atlanta! The first stop on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend tour is right here in Atlanta at Phillips Arena on September 5 and 6. Oprah reinvents the live experience once again with this groundbreaking and empowering event. Fulfilling one of her most deeply felt callings, Oprah will bring thousands together for a weekend experience full of powerful transformation. Oprah The Life You Want Weekend

The event will consist of two days of motivation and empowerment. Oprahweekend.com promises that Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend will “inspire and uplift each person who attends—no matter their age, where they come from, or what they do—to become the best version of themselves.”

On Friday, Oprah takes the stage from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., bringing her personal story and insights to life in an intimate and moving evening, inviting every person there to join her on a bold journey of change.

“All of my life, I have wanted to lead people to an empathy space. To a gratitude space,” said Oprah as to what inspired her to do The Life You Want Weekend. “I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling and summon the courage to live it.”

After hearing Oprah’s story on Friday, we will hear from her “life trailblazers” all day on Saturday. Starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasting until 5:30 p.m., her handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons will regale the crowd with their inspiring tales, with Oprah leading the day, of course.

Oprah's The Life You Want WeekendThese specially selected life trailblazers include the best-selling author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert; one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential people, Rob Bell; Iyanla Vanzant from OWN’s highly acclaimed television series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” and the world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra.

The eight-city arena tour, which includes stops in Miami and Houston, is a collaboration between Harpo Studios, O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and is sponsored by Olay and Toyota.

Tickets went on sale in April and start at $99. There is also a VIP package available for $599 that includes floor seats, a meet and greet with Oprah, VIP concierge and early access to shop the items curated for the event. Get your tickets today at www.oprah.com/tour.

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By Desireé McCarthy-Keith, MD, MPG, FACOG

Before birth, a baby girl’s ovaries contain six to seven million developing eggs. By the time she enters the world, her egg count has dropped to around one million. From birth on, she will have a steady decline in her egg supply until menopause, at which point her egg supply is exhausted and her fertility ends. This is a natural process for all women. cute baby

At the same time that their egg counts are dropping, many women are choosing to put off having children in favor of education, career or personal goals.  For others, unfortunate circumstances like a sudden cancer diagnosis may force them to delay their plans for a family. And then there are women who are still waiting for Mr. Right or wish to maintain their child-free lifestyle a little longer. Women who find themselves in any of these life circumstances may consider freezing their eggs.

No medical therapy can halt natural ovarian aging, but thanks to advances in modern reproductive medicine, women can now freeze their eggs and “preserve” their fertility for later. Oocyte cryopreservation (“egg freezing”) is a medical procedure through which a woman’s eggs can be harvested, frozen, and at a later date, thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos. An egg freezing treatment cycle lasts approximately four to six weeks, and the technique is the same as for in-vitro fertilization. A woman self-administers hormone injections for about 10 to 12 days to stimulate egg growth. Once the eggs are developed, a needle is inserted into the ovary and the eggs are removed. Once eggs are frozen, they can be safely stored for years until the woman is ready for pregnancy.

Due to aging effects on egg number and egg quality, the best time for a woman to freeze her eggs is when she is in her mid-thirties or younger. Laboratory methods for egg freezing have improved considerably in the last 10 years, and pregnancy rates with frozen eggs may be comparable to those with fresh eggs.  Pregnancy rates are not affected by the woman’s age when she returns to use her frozen eggs.

Any woman considering egg freezing should consult with a fertility specialist without delay. A simple ultrasound and blood work can determine if her egg supply is normal and if she would be a good candidate for egg freezing.

 

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By Dalia Kinsey

the Farmhouse at Serenbe

Atlanta is an exceptional food city for a variety of reasons. A bustling international airport that channels fresh ingredients from all over the world into the city on a daily basis, ethnic diversity, along with an abundance of organic produce from gardens in and around the city are just a few of factors contributing to Atlanta’s epic food city status.

The National Restaurant Association consulted with over 1,000 professional chefs to predict the top restaurant trends of 2014. Here are the top five trends, along with Atlanta options for sampling them.

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood The meat they used at Farm Burger and Greenwood’s Restaurant come from local farms who raise grass-fed cows. www.farmburger.net, www.greenwoodsongreenstreet.com

2. Locally grown produce Connect with the farmer and the land at Miller Union, where their menu is based around the farmer’s weekly harvest. www.millerunion.com

3. Gluten-free and allergen sensitive cuisine As awareness about the gravity of food sensitivities spreads, restaurants like Gluten Free Cutie will as well. www.glutenfreecutie.com

4. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens) While several restaurants feature local ingredients, restaurants like The Farmhouse at Serenbe and Horseradish Grill takes the trend one step further by growing ingredients on site. www.serenbefarmhouse.com, www.horseradishgrill.com

5. Educational culinary experiences If you would like to experience some of Atlanta’s rich food culture, a plethora of culinary experts in Atlanta can help you do just that. Chinese Southern Belle (pictures above) is a perfect example of a business offering educational food experiences like food demos and local market tours.  www.chinesesouthernbelle.com

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Halo Salon‘s Liz Anthony is here to give you her best advice on how to get your hair ready for summer!

Liz Anthony

How can people maintain healthy hair in summer?

No matter what the season, healthy hair starts at the scalp. Do scalp treatments to help exfoliate, remove any build-up and restore moisture. Then, after swimming in the pool, use Phyto Plage shampoo to restore hair’s pH.

What should someone avoid overdoing?

The top of the list for overdone is the use of the flat iron. Most individuals have never been trained to use the flat iron properly. It is often abused and used daily without protective sprays.

If someone is looking to revamp her hair, where can she start?

Seek out a stylist that can pair your best features with the latest, trendiest colors and cuts. It’s a win-win.

What are the must-try summer hair trends?

The must-have accessory is lots of scarves. Scarves can be run through braids, wrapped through short, fun haircuts, and can transform the simplest ponytails.

What hair colors will be hot this summer?

Hot colors for the summer are tone-on-tone highlights with bits of corals, pinks and lavenders mixed in the highlights.

 

 

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Close your laptop. Turn off the TV. And now, perhaps the hardest of all, step away from your phone. In this day and age, many of us struggle to set boundaries with technology. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reveals that, as of 2012, “67 percent of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.” What’s more, “44 percent of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages or other updates during the night.”

Suffice it to say that most of us could use a break from the screens. This summer, take advantage of the “Power Down” package at The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens, just outside of Atlanta. This digital detox offers you the chance to stash your electronic devices and, instead, reconnect with nature through a wide variety of unplugged activities. Activity options include watching hundreds of butterflies flutter through the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, perusing the vegetable gardens, or strolling through the art and colorful blooms in the Sibley Horticultural Center. Lodge at Callaway

The highlight of the package is an old-fashioned picnic for two including delicious fare like black-eyed pea hummus and sanwiches with sweet tea marinated chicken. The picnic is packed with a keepsake blanket, and you can enjoy your meal in the gardens. You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy connecting with your partner face-to-face rather than through Facebook. Perhaps when you return, you will notice more opportunities to ditch your devices and prioritize real-life fun. Package rates start at $199 per night and are available now through August.

Details: 5887 GA Highway 354, Pine Mountain, GA, (706) 489-3300, www.callawaylodgeandspa.com

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The holistic restaurant True Food Kitchen opens its first Atlanta location in Lenox Square Mall next month. True Food KitchenFollowing the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, True Food Kitchen’s menu will feature organic produce, sustainably raised meats and ingredients like sea buckthorn, kale and quinoa that pack a healthy punch. The full bar will even offer juice blends like “kale-aid” that blends kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger juice. Eating meals with ingredients like these may help you overcome symptoms of inflammation like fatigue, headache and joint pain. It’s true!

Details: 3393 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta, GA, www.foxrc.com

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