Thursday, 04 June 2015 14:06

Golsen Family Dentistry

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:15

Aging, Depression and Anxiety

We all know that chronic stress can leave the body feeling exhausted and worn out. But what if the truth went one step further? Chronic stress, depression and anxiety can all cause major havoc with our physical wellness and actually speed up the aging process.

Research shows that depression and phobic anxiety accelerate the aging process at the molecular and chromosomal level. Telomeres, the caps at the ends of chromosomes, get smaller every time a cell divides and are markers of aging – those with depression have significantly shorter telomeres than unaffected individuals. Also, depression can cause inflammation and dysregulation in the body's stress and immune responses, leading to more frequent illness and premature aging. The good news is the damage may be reversible once the depression is treated.

Depression can also affect your heart health. New studies from Intermountain Healthcare found that for those with moderate to severe depression, taking antidepressants reduces the risk of heart disease more than taking a cholesterol-lowering drug. By treating depression, individuals can reduce their risk of a heart attack and improve their overall health.

Chronic stress and the resultant inflammation in the brain can contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Some scientists believe that greater stress may be the reason some women's brains age more prematurely than men's. Additionally, the production of the stress hormone adrenaline can lead to temporary vision and hearing loss.

shutterstock 154397297Aside from these changes, when people are depressed or anxious, they don't take care of themselves the way they should; individuals struggling with their emotional health tend to eat poorly, exercise less and self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. These behaviors only accelerate the aging process.

Individuals who believe that their chronic stress may actually be depression or anxiety should seek a diagnostic evaluation from a qualified psychiatrist who can determine if a physical, chemical brain imbalance is affecting their overall health and provide the appropriate treatment. By taking care of your brain health, you can be your best physical self!

About Dr. Sheila Namanworth

Sheila Namanworth, D.M.D, leads business development and community outreach efforts at the Institute for Advanced Medical Research. She is passionate about using innovation, creativity and teamwork to help individuals and organizations reach their highest potential. Committed to mental and physical wellness, Dr. Namanworth enjoys supporting others improve their lives and health in meaningful ways.

Sponsored by: Institute for Advanced Medical Research | 5895 Windward Parkway, Suite 150 | Alpharetta, GA 30005 | Phone: (770) 817-9200 |


Growing older is a gift. Looking older…well, not so much. Here’s the good news: 2015 is an exciting time for facial plastic surgeons and the patients we serve. We have never had such a wide variety of tools and techniques available to help you look your best:

  • Scientifically formulated skin care products
  • Lasers to treat redness, brown spots, unwanted hair and wrinkles
  • Non-surgical tightening techniques
  • Long-lasting fillers to replenish facial volume and return your face to a more youthful shape
  • Minimally invasive surgical procedures that can be done in the office under local anesthesia
  • When necessary, complete surgical facial rejuvenation

shutterstock 124995839These can all take years off your appearance and allow you to look just as good as you feel. But with so many new treatments, patients are often confused. Whom should I see? What should I do? What can I afford? These are all real issues that must be considered.

First, find a surgeon who not only has lots of experience but a genuine interest in your concerns, whose aesthetic you share and judgment you trust. Second, remember to stay within your budget. Be careful when choosing a doctor solely based upon price, as there is truth to the statement, “You get what you pay for.” Aesthetic procedures should make you look naturally more beautiful after treatment. Otherwise, the procedure has not served you well. Understand that it is absolutely necessary for your treating physician to be knowledgeable and skilled, but just as important, they must also have an artist’s eye for detail, proportion and symmetry. Your face is your public persona, so remember, excellent facial aesthetic care goes unnoticed. Be sure to seek out expert care because your face is worth it.

In partnership with Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center, serving the greater Atlanta area since 1970.

Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery

Dr. Seth A. Yellin is founder and director of Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center. As one of Atlanta’s most well-respected and sought after facial plastic surgeons, he has treated thousands of patients for more than 20 years in practice, with the goal of making each and every patient happy. Dr. Yellin is nationally renowned for his expertise in creating a natural look when performing cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery and 3D facial volumization. He was Chief of Facial Plastic Surgery at Emory Healthcare from 1999 to 2011, and he has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox Television News to discuss facial aesthetic procedures.

Sponsored by:  Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center  |  (770) 425-7575  |
Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center  |  (770) 422-1013  |


Thursday, 21 May 2015 20:02

Anti-Aging Defined

By Kathy Kantorski

Aging sucks – we all know it. An entire industry has been built to resist it and try to reverse its effects on the body. Skin care is likely the largest niche of the anti-aging industry, yet surprisingly, it is mostly unregulated. "Most people assume that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates skin care and cosmetic products like it does for food, but the truth is that there are very few regulations imposed on personal-care manufacturers," says Sally Larsen, founder, owner and formulator of Sally B's Skin Yummies. "It is a self-regulated industry."

To note, the FDA does govern pharmaceutical-grade skin care products to ensure the quality of their active ingredients, according to Dr. Erica D. Anderson, a plastic surgeon with the Emory Aesthetic Center. "These ingredients have been rigorously tested to ensure their claims are substantiated by research," she explains. Still, the products many of us purchase to care for our skin are called "anti-aging," but if no one's regulating their effectiveness, how can we know what those products are really doing? The answer: we have to educate ourselves.

Lessons on Aging Skin

To begin, Dr. Leslie Gray, dermatologist and founder of the Dermatology Center of Atlanta and the Advanced SkinCare Center, explains, "There are two types of aging: intrinsic aging, which is how you are genetically preprogrammed to age, and extrinsic aging, which includes external factors that affect the skin, such as sun exposure, stress, illness and smoking. We can only really affect the extrinsic factors, but some products are great at helping to improve the appearance of aging skin."

Further breaking down intrinsic and extrinsic aging, Sara Lamond, founder of Fig & Flower Natural Beauty, points to four factors: moisture, collagen/elastin, inflammation and free radicals. The first two – moisture and collagen/elastin – are affected by intrinsic aging. As we grow older, our bodies produce fewer natural oils, and the collagen and elastin in our skin begins to break down. The second two – inflammation and free radicals – are related to extrinsic aging. High stress, a poor diet, exposure to pollutants and more can cause us to develop chronic, low levels of inflammation. Chronic inflammation displays externally as redness, rosacea, dermatitis and breakouts. Internally, this inflammation leads to the release of cortisol, which, when consistent, slows wound healing and breaks down collagen.

SB1And finally, what is likely the worst enemy of our skin: free radicals, which are technically atoms with unpaired electrons (hence the term "free"), making them highly reactive and unstable. "These little jerks attack vital nutrients for our skin, essentially leading to the loss of moisture, breakdown of collagen and elastin, and inflammation," Lamond says. "Factors that contribute to the creation of free radicals include UV rays, pollution, smoke, a poor diet and stress."

Men's Skin Care

According to Linda Silber, co-owner of Woo Skincare and Cosmetics, "Men's skin care is one of the fastest-growing segments in health and beauty." That said, a
man's skin is different than a woman's. "It is thicker, retains more moisture and loses collagen at a much slower rate," Larsen explains. "But while a man's skin appears to be hydrated and does not age as quickly, skin care is still vital for its health. Dirt, bacteria and other environmental influences affect a man's skin as it does a woman's, so while he might not need collagen-producing ingredients, he should use products with antioxidants. This will keep free radicals at bay, which can lead to the signs of aging or, in a worst case scenario, cancers."

Don't be jealous, ladies. Men don't have it all – their skin's pores are larger than women's. This means men should avoid heavier creams, which can clog their pores. But for anyone interested in anti-aging, some of the same ingredients are best across the board.

The Best in the Bottle

To address the issues related to aging skin, a myriad of products are available – almost too many to navigate effectively. Don't fret – we've polled local experts for their recommendations.

For those of us interested in natural, organic products, HollyBeth Anderson, founder of HollyBeth Organics, says, "Keeping your skin ageless requires ingredients that deliver a balance of nutrients that heal, protect and nourish the cells. These nutrients can be found naturally in organic oils such as camellia, pomegranate and carrot seed, which work to soften the skin while protecting from free radical damage." She adds, "I'm a big fan of camellia seed oil. It has UV protection properties and the ability to soften and diminish wrinkles with the help of polyphenols, antioxidants and vitamins." A tip: Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, so ensure your skin products are rich in these.

SB2Dr. Alan Gardner from Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa also encourages keeping an eye out for antioxidants, adding that a few other key anti-aging ingredients are tretinoin, retinols and sunscreen.
But even if you check out the ingredient label, how can you be sure a product is organic if there are no regulations on cosmetics? Larsen advises, "Look for safety indicators, like the Certified Organic seal or Leaping Bunny certification (no animal testing or cruelty in the formulation process). You can also reference the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database, which provides third-party testing and safety information on products." Anderson also points to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) list as a great resource for researching unknown ingredients.

Silber says a favorite of hers is hyaluronic acid. "It's an oil-free humectant that is like a drink of water for the skin," she says. "It will not only hydrate the skin, but also plump it up to reduce the appearance of wrinkles." She goes on to tout a new ingredient emerging in the market: resveratrol. "When it's formulated properly, it has shown to drastically increase collagen levels in the skin."

SB3The beneficial ingredients don't stop there, though. Julian Reynolds, owner of Julian's Cosmetics and Skincare, recommends hexamidine, explaining that it restores the top layer of skin, thus retaining the skin's moisture. "It's now being used in serums, creams and lotions," he adds. Anita Vadria from Fountain of Youth MD points to the benefits of peptides. "Peptides are proteins that help stimulate cell turnover and production," she explains.
And of course, vitamin C is a time-tested standby. Just keep in mind when purchasing products with high concentrations of vitamin C, these products must be stored in a way that protects them from air and sunlight. Lisa Washington from B'Tyli Natural Skin Therapies says if the product is stored on a shelf in a clear glass or plastic bottle, take caution of its effectiveness. She recommends buying vitamin C products in dark bottles that are not stored under fluorescent lights.

Ingredients to Avoid

In the "buyer beware" category, Larsen says mineral oil tops the list. A common ingredient in skin products, "Mineral oil is a known carcinogen and petroleum byproduct that Johns Hopkins University touts as the number two cause of aging," she says. "It creates a barrier on your skin, which can give the illusion that it is moisturizing (it will block in moisture underneath it); however, it dehydrates the skin and slows the rate of cell reproduction, which ultimately damages collagen, elastin and connective tissues. The barrier it creates can also block pores and the skin's natural respiration, while at the same time trapping dirt and bacteria."

Other common ingredients to avoid include parabens (the word "paraben" appears within a chemical compound) and benzophenone and its derivatives BHA and BHT. Also, avoid products that include retinol mixed with other anti-aging ingredients. "A retinol will 'eat' other active ingredients in the same bottle," Silber says, adding that you're better off purchasing retinol as a separate product and layering the retinol below another anti-aging product.

SB4An Investment for Today

To find a product with all the right elements and none of the wrong ones, you may have to spend a little more. If you can afford it, Silber recommends opting for a higher-end product. "You get what you pay for," she says, noting that there are expensive brands that don't work, but then pointing to the brand SkinCeuticals, which has very stringent testing methods, including testing through ultrasounds and biopsies for significant objective improvement in the skin. "You're not going to get that level of proven efficacy from the products you purchase at discount, grocery and drug stores," she says.

And it's never too early to start making that investment. "Think about anti-aging before you have wrinkles," Larsen says. "You can delay the process by maintaining proper skin health from an early age." The "early and often" recommendation is shared by every skin care expert, yet consumers – specifically women – tend to get impatient. "Too many women give up too quickly on a good skin care program because they don't feel like they are seeing changes fast enough," notes Dr. Gray. "A good anti-aging program doesn't need to be expensive or complicated. It just needs to be done consistently, over time, and it will pay off greatly in the long run."


SB5Editorial Resources

Dr. Erica D. Anderson, Emory Aesthetic Center

HollyBeth Anderson, HollyBeth Organics

Dr. Alan Gardner, Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa

Dr. Leslie Gray, Dermatology Center of Atlanta and the Advanced SkinCare Center

Dr. Alex Gross, Georgia Dermatology Center

Sara Lamond, Fig & Flower Natural Beauty

Sally Larsen, Sally B's Skin Yummies

Julian Reynolds, Julian's Cosmetics + Skincare

Linda Silber, Woo Skincare and Cosmetics

Anita Vadria, Fountain of Youth MD

Lisa Washington, B'Tyli Natural Skin Therapies


Thursday, 21 May 2015 17:57

2015 Over 40 & Fabulous! Contest Winners






During this year's Over 40 & Fabulous! contest, you voted these contestants as the most fabulous of Atlanta's over-40 crowd. They're fitness studio owners, nonprofit CEOs, doctors, moms and more. Meet them all – and the contest's Advisory Board members – on the next pages!






001Michelle Fabulich Hodgson

As the mom of five kids, 42-year-old Michelle Hodgson has full hands and a fuller heart. She's also the CEO and founder of the nonprofit organization Children Helping Children, which she began in honor of her third son, Cole, who passed away in 2007. CHC's ongoing service activities include assembling and donating "Be Well Bears" to support other local children, holding a teen-led service-based festival each October, and encouraging children to identify the ways they can share their unique gifts to help the community. Michelle's loving attitude pervades the organization and the rest of her life, which includes fun family adventures and a focus on the truly important things in life.

"True youth comes from a youthful spirit. I still act like a kid – take risks, learn new things as much as possible and remember the joy of feeling alive."

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? It's more important to be peaceful than right. Ultimately even the most aggressive problems have spiritual and peaceful solutions.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Forty did seem so old when I was young, but true youth comes from a youthful spirit. I still act like a kid, take risks and learn new things as much as possible.

What is your favorite way to work out? Marathon running, surfing and yoga. My workout goal this year is to be half as good at rock climbing as my older son is.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Constantly changing concoction of raw vegetables, fruits and nuts blended in my Vitamix.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Pretty much any organization that supports children, women, education, human and civil rights, animal protection and the environment tugs on my heartstrings. But Children Helping Children definitely gets the lion's share of my attention. Children Helping Children inspires kids to give back to other kids in Atlanta, and our roots are based deeply in diversity and celebrating the uniqueness of each child. We connect children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, religions and abilities and put them in the driver's seat by providing a platform for their ideas that ultimately create service projects that benefit nonprofits in Georgia, such as Kate's Club, Camp Sunshine, Atlanta Mission, Stand Up For Kids, CHOA and Emmaus House to name a few.

What is your favorite getaway? Surfing at the beach, silent retreats, Jeep excursions, camping, hiking and getting lost in nature.

How do you maintain the balance between self-care, family and work responsibilities, and giving back? I can write on and on about multitasking, delegating, exercise, eating right and being organized, but the irony is that all of those things can fill up a day and create their own kind of chaos. There is only one true way for me to find complete balance, and that is connecting to source. If I do that, the rest of the day is in harmony.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Live every day fully in the moment. Pretend like it's your last day on the planet. We come from love, so be love and give love. Love is really all there is.


002Debora Carrier

Not one to stop working when she clocks out, Debora is always striving to realize her next vision. She is the founder and CEO of Twice as Nice Uniforms, a company built on a better concept for medical scrubs, and the co-founder of The CPR Sisters. She’s 55 and doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon!

“I can accomplish anything I set out to do. Life continues to get better and better!”

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My son, Jordan, is by far my best accomplishment. He is an Eagle Scout, graphic designer and a wonderful young man who is wise beyond his years.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Salmon and asparagus with a nice glass of Cabernet.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I have been a leader in CPR/AED education for over 15 years, and I volunteer my time educating the public about the necessity of AED placement in the community and the importance of learning basic life support skills. I have been a volunteer with the Nader Parman Memorial Fund. Nader was a young boy who suffered sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 7 and did not survive. His mother, Sherri, is very active in educating people as to why we need AEDs wherever children play.
Another passion of mine is working with adults with disabilities. In college, I worked to devise toothbrushes that physically handicapped people could use. In the dental practice that I currently work in, I have patients with both physical and mental disabilities, and they are all a true inspiration to me.

What makes you laugh? The funny things my pug Miriam does, fun nights out with friends, and a really smart joke!

What is your favorite quote? “An optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, but more like a cha-cha.”

What advice do you have for someone who isn’t yet over 40 and fabulous? Be mindful of your diet, exercise daily, take very good care of your skin and put your family first. These are very hard things to do when you are younger, but the earlier you learn this, the happier you will be.


003Desireé McCarthy-Keith, MD

This 43-year-old fertility specialist works with Georgia Reproductive Specialists to build families and educate women about their health. She is also helping launch the local chapter of Fertility for Colored Girls this spring to improve fertility education and awareness for women of color. Desireé is also a mom of two who uses creative workouts and plant-focused meals to stay healthy and energized.

"Create your own definition of fabulous, and don't be afraid to show your authentic self."

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? At over 40, I have truly gotten in touch with who I am and what I want out of life. I feel healthier and more beautiful than ever in my life!

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? I am most proud of my two sons. They are smart, funny, polite and compassionate boys who are going to change the world.

What is your favorite book? "Beloved" by Toni Morrison

What is your favorite way to work out? I do 400 reps with my weighted hula hoop a few times a week. It's great for my core. I use a body bar for upper body, choose stairs over elevator and roller skate with my boys every chance I get.

What is your favorite healthy meal? I start my day with a green smoothie of spinach, chard, avocado, flax meal and banana. I love to cook, and I can veganize almost any dish!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I am a huge advocate for women's health education. So many women tell me that they wish they had been educated about their reproductive options at a younger age, and I want to increase that awareness. I devote my time to health fairs and speaking engagements whenever I can, and I am excited to help launch the Atlanta Chapter of Fertility for Colored Girls support group this spring.

Name something on your bucket list. Meet Stevie Wonder, make a guest appearance on Sesame Street, and go on an African safari with my sons.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I will still be working hard in my practice and living each day to the fullest. It is such a privilege to help build families through my work, and I look forward to watching my babies grow up in the coming years.


004Nancy Nusbaum

At age 45, Nancy Nusbaum serves as an assessment coordinator at GIVE Center West Campus, Gwinnett County Public Schools. Outside of school, though, she's an open-water swimmer and a triathlon coach for underprivileged kids.

"You are only as old as you feel. Defy age expectations!"

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? I've learned to stop apologizing. I'm comfortable in my own skin and the way I live my life. Also, you are only as old as you feel. Defy age expectations!

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? Whether counseling and assisting students in being successful or coaching children to compete in their first triathlon, empowering children to realize their full potential is my best accomplishment.

What is your favorite book? "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It reminds me not to discount my journey and that what I seek may have been under my nose the entire time.

What is your favorite way to work out? My favorite workout is open water swimming, preferably in the ocean.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Right now, a heaping salad of organic greens and veggies topped with a salmon is my go-to meal.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? As head swim coach of Tri Kids Atlanta, I have collaborated with the other coaches and conducted the Tri Kids swim workouts the past five years. The organization provides training, equipment and financial support to kids interested in competing in triathlons. I have also volunteered with Urban Perform, chaired the Ovarian Cycle annual fundraising event and worked with Team Legacy Youth Triathlon Camp. I get inspired by seeing others succeed at something they thought was impossible.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida when she was 64 – so the possibilities are endless!


005Michelle Ellis

At age 53, Michelle is a health and fitness coach and a mom to 11-year-old Trey. As a volunteer with multiple organizations, she works hard to share the love and empathy her family instilled in her, and she takes great care of herself along the way.

"I've learned to focus my time and energy on the truly valuable things in life: faith, family and friends."

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? The value of material items pales in comparison to the things that really matter.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment has been giving birth to a healthy son after being told my chances of conceiving after 40 were slim-to-none. He is now a healthy, happy 11-year-old.

What is your favorite way to work out? Kickboxing and weight training three to four times per week.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Grilled fish and veggies with a salad or rice.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I regularly host cooking classes to teach women how to integrate nutrition into their lives. I further pour into the
hearts of women and children through my volunteer service with The Atlanta Women's Foundation, The C5 Foundation, Jack & Jill and AAMO boys (African American Manhood Organization).

What is your favorite quote? "When your desire to change is greater than your desire to stay the same, great things happen."

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Hopefully I can inspire Best Self to create a new competition: "Stunning over 70!"


006Trina Floyd

At 47, Trina works with her husband at Flawless Painting and is a regular volunteer at the Aflac Cancer Center. Inspired by her own mother's cancer journey, she's always on the lookout for ways to support cancer patients and keep herself healthy along the way.

"Life is precious, and every day is a gift!"

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? There are several: I cannot change another human being. I am growing and developing into the best version of myself. Happiness is a choice.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My daughter, Kalea, is my best accomplishment and greatest, gift for sure! I raised her as a single parent 14 out of 22 years – challenging, yet incredibly rewarding.

What is your favorite book? "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown. It encourages each of us to embrace being beautifully imperfect and living wholeheartedly. My copy is all marked up, dog-eared, circled and starred with my favorite parts!

What is your favorite way to work out? With my trainer Julian at SFX Fitness. He reminds me I'm capable of more than I realize.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Grilled fish and my husband's delicious Brussels sprouts.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Every Wednesday since 2006, I volunteer at the Aflac Cancer Center. I give blankets and pillows to the children, play games with them, grab Starbucks for the parents, transport patients in wheelchairs or be a shoulder to lean on – basically whatever needs to be done that day. My philosophy is to treat every family the way I would want to be treated if my daughter was the patient. My daughter and I also created a business called Bead a Blessing, and we donate 10 percent of our sales to help meet the practical needs of families going through cancer.

What inspired you to do this particular kind of charity work? Experiencing my mom's cancer journey forever changed my life and the lives around me. Life is precious, and every day is a gift!


007Julie White

At 55, Julie is the owner of Fit: To Be fitness studio and a supporter of local Urban Perform, which provides fitness programs to underserved children in Atlanta. Her journey of self-acceptance and living life to the fullest has culminated in her own fitness studio and all-around healthy lifestyle.

"I used to be so hard on myself, but the truth is that I'm just fine the way I am."

What is your favorite way to work out? My favorite workout is the one I developed in my backyard – seriously – and what I teach: it is a combination of what I've learned over the last 20 years and what works for me.

What is your favorite healthy meal? A delicious green smoothie makes me feel great.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I donate 100 percent of the proceeds of one Fit: To Be class per month to Urban Perform, which provides fitness programs to help fight obesity in underserved Atlanta neighborhoods. I think it's important to keep it local and to find ways to help people in our own communities.

What makes you laugh? John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Over the last 10 years, the most consistent laughs I've gotten are from those guys. Don't ask me how I feel about John Stewart retiring. OMG.

Who helps you be your best self? My wonderful Fit: To Be colleagues, especially Bryn Chafin, who is my right hand, and Karen Snider, Claudia Marcela, Marshall Harbison and Ashley Marrone, who bring their best and most innovative teaching to my studio. Above all, Kimberly Stewart. Not only is she my best friend and love, she believes in me. She challenges me to go for what I want most in my life. She inspires, loves and supports me, no matter what.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Realize that you are good enough.


008Jackie Madison

At 46, Jackie Madison is a lifestyle and weight management specialist. She provides her services through Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C., and her own business, Glamour Girl Fitness. She's also mom to two kids and an advocate for healthy living at every age.

"Age ain't nothing but a number. Embrace it!"

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My best accomplishment is giving birth to a beautiful baby girl at age 43 after being considered high risk for my age. This inspired me to share my story and start my business/network Glamour Girl Fitness to motivate women particularly of a mature age to improve their overall health and fitness through a lasting lifestyle change.

What is your favorite book? "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy. It provides the tools you need to unlock your mind to obtain the things you desire in life.

What is your favorite way to work out? My favorite way to workout is with my husband doing cardio combined with strength training exercises.

What is your favorite healthy meal? I really love grilled chicken and broccoli.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? My favorite way to give back is participating in health fairs within the community by educating on lifestyle and weight management. I annually support and participate in Relay For Life, volunteer on my son's school council and work with the health and wellness ministry at New Life Church.

What is your most embarrassing moment? When I was supposed to be listening in on a conference call for a meeting, I accidentally unmuted my phone, and the other participants could hear me placing an order for fast food.

Name something on your bucket list. To appear on a nationally syndicated daytime talk show.


009Kara Martin, MD

This 44-year-old doctor is an internist and lead hospitalist for the Kaiser Permanente hospitalist team at Piedmont Hospital. She is also a mom of two and a past pageant winner who gives back through the pageant organizations that gave so much to her.

"There are always ups and downs to every phase of life, and the ups of this age are fantastic!"

What is the best thing you've learned about yourself since turning 40? We all have a purpose, and my purpose has become very clear to me as I have become older, which has led to a sense of happiness and peace.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My family. We have two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, and my hope is to raise them to feel the same unconditional love that I grew up with.

What is your favorite healthy meal? I am particularly fond of breakfast and love starting the day with almond milk, gluten-free waffles and an egg.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I love everything the Miss America Program stands for, and the scholarships I won through competing completely paid for medical school. Since winning Miss Georgia 1993 and placing first runner-up to Miss America, I have prioritized giving back to this fantastic organization whenever I can. I have judged numerous local and state pageants throughout the years. It is quite a time commitment, but I have met so many wonderful people.

What makes you laugh? When my children laugh, I laugh! We enjoy sitting down as a family and watching old "Three's Company" reruns.


010Kat Spivey

Busy as a UXD / Customer Experience Consultant at Slalom Consulting by day, Kat Spivey still makes time to serve on the board of the Mark Carroll and Friends foundation and help organize toy drives and fundraisers each year. At 44, her adventurous spirit keeps life fun and fabulous.

"Being healthy and working hard are important, but so is eating your favorite dessert or staying up way too late with friends. It's all about balance."

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? My favorite way of giving back is during the holidays, helping to provide funds and toys for families in need. It breaks my heart to think of a child waking up Christmas morning without gifts or a family meal. I became a board member of the Mark Carroll and Friends charity the year I turned 40, and it has been some of the most rewarding work I have ever experienced. Last year we raised 2,000 toys and $42,000 dollars that we donated to various organizations to help those families in need. With Mark Carroll's vision, our goal is to double that in 2015.

What makes you laugh? Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres – no one makes me laugh like those two.

Name something on your bucket list. Number one item on my bucket list is to meet and spend time with an elephant. I am intrigued by their high intellect, beauty, grace and the emotional connection they have with people.

Who helps you be your best self? I enjoy Core Fusion classes at exhale Spa and weight training at LA Fitness. Alyson at Vis-à-vis Salon is my amazing hair colorist, and Rachel Jenniges at Coleman Alexander Salon is my fabulous hair stylist. I enjoy facials and skin treatments at Blue Med Spa.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I see myself traveling all over the world with my siblings and my dear friends.



Fabulous Five Contest Winners
This year's nominees were so wonderful and the contest itself so close in votes that we couldn't stop at the top 10. Here are the next fabulous five winners, who teach fitness classes, support Atlanta charities and look great doing it.


011Jocelyn A. McCarthy

As an indoor cycling "Cycologist" at the new Cyc Fitness Buckhead, Jocelyn McCarthy is fit at 47. She's also an independent brand partner at Nerium International, a wife and mom of four who enjoys travel, giving back and staying active.

How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger? Now I realize that with every year I am blessed with, I gain exponentially. Wisdom is a precious gift that only comes with age.

What is your favorite way to work out? My favorite workouts have always involved a combination of intense cardio with focused strength training – and it has to be fun!

What is your favorite healthy meal? Broiled salmon, sautéed asparagus and wild rice. Yum!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Our family is keenly aware of the world around us. Being so incredibly blessed, we are always looking for ways to give back, especially to those less fortunate than ourselves. Together we've served at The Nicholas House (a transitional housing center for the homeless) and Sheltering Arms Early Education & Learning Center, and we regularly donate to nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping those in need such as Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Heifer International, Samaritan's Purse, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Vietnam Veterans of America and Hope House.

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Pay the closest attention to what goes on inside your own mind, heart, body and soul. Most of the answers we seek from others already exist within us.


012Claire Pearson

As a wellness and lifestyle coach and musician at age 40, Claire Pearson is always looking for ways to stay passionate and give back.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? I learned to play the guitar in my 30s as a stress reliever and have since released two albums as Pearson Perry and started a songwriters group, Atlanta Intown Songwriters, that has over 500 members. I'm pretty proud of that!

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I use my passion for music as a way to give back. I regularly perform at no charge or I donate 100 percent of the proceeds to nonprofit causes I believe in, such as Partnership Against Domestic Violence, Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund, Children's Restoration Network and 500 Songs for Kids.

Name something on your bucket list. I'd really like to sing at least one song on stage with the Indigo Girls!


013Collette L. McDonald

At 45, Collette McDonald is a single mom of two boys, a real estate agent, and neighborhood fitness instructor.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? Around the time the recession hit, my neighbor was overweight, had twins at home and couldn't afford to join a gym, so I decided to open up my workouts to a few people in the neighborhood. That is how our Fit Club started, and eight years later, they are still coming. I lead anywhere from 20 to 35 people in a 45-minute workout at 5:45 in the morning in our neighborhood for free. I'm thankful to have these amazing people in my life as workout partners and friends.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Sushi or a Caprese salad – simple and delicious!

What is your favorite quote? "In order to be irresistible, one must always be different." – Coco Chanel



014Hope Knosher

As the founder of Hope's Yoga, Hope Knosher is a yoga teacher, writer, speaker and healthy living enthusiast. At 52, she is also a cancer survivor who finds her inspiration to give back in her own survival story.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? I have two beautiful teenage daughters that I am so proud of. As I made my way through cancer, I found myself in a yoga studio in the hope that it would in some way help me to heal. I felt directly called to teach, write and to share my story about how yoga and mindfulness, along with a healthy diet, can help others to live a more connected and meaningful life. That is when I founded Hope's Yoga and began teaching, speaking and writing. I consider both having my daughters and founding Hope's Yoga as callings from my heart. I am deeply touched and transformed by both.

What is your favorite book? "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? I have had the privilege of working with the 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer for the past few years, and I will be leading a free yoga class on the lawn at Avalon on October 1 to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


015Karen Burns

At age 44, Karen is a commercial photographer and branding specialist. She and her husband are even expanding into filmmaking, with their debut documentary airing this month on PBA30. When she's not busy working, she volunteers as the photographer for Camp Horizon.

What is your favorite way to give back to your community? My husband and I have volunteered for Camp Horizon as camp photographers for 16 years. Through this we learned that nearly 70 percent of children in foster care will be homeless or in prison in their lifetime. In more cases than I would like to believe, the only pictures some of these children have are the images I have taken of them at camp.

What makes you laugh? I love silly comedies like Monty Python.

What is your favorite quote? "Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up."

What advice do you have for someone who isn't yet over 40 and fabulous? Do not worry so much about your age. Life gets richer with every year, awakening you to new experiences and a better self then you were before.




Thank you to everyone who supported this year's Over 40 & Fabulous! contest! From our Advisory Board members and prize package contributors to the people who made the photo shoot and party a success, we couldn't have done it without you.

2015 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board

  • Dr. Dina Giesler, Atlanta Smiles and Wellness
  • Madison James, B98.5
  • Amanda Hair, Bob Steele Salon
  • Diana Hofsommer, Camp Horizon
  • Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Decker,
  • Livi Rae Lingerie
  • Dr. Brian Maloney, Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Dr. Tara Frix, Total HealthCare

Prize package contributors

  • Escape to Blue Ridge
  • Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Livi Rae Lingerie
  • Bob Steele Salon
  • Atlanta Smiles and Wellness
  • Anderson Hair Sciences Center
  • Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Natural Health Solutions
  • Slender Spa Med
  • Dermani Med Spa
  • Elements Massage - Buckhead
  • Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta
  • Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa
  • Midtown Athletic Club
  • Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta
  • 4 Ever Young Aesthetics & Wellness

Photo shoot contributors

  • Host Venue – Le Fais do-do
  • Photographer – Dan Sawyer,
  • Sawyer Photography
  • Stylist – Eboné Smiley, The Smiley Effect
  • Hair and Makeup – Nyssa Green and Brandi Mallory from The Green Room Agency, and Alicia Benton, Noelle Boyd, Ashlenn Hollingsworth, Lauren Simpson and Alex Daniel from Aura Hair & Makeup
  • Catering – Tammie Brooks, The Event Salon

Party contributors

  • Host venue – Le Meridien
  • Master of ceremonies – Madison James,
  • B98.5


According to statistics from the Cleveland Clinic, one in three people over the age of 60 and nearly half of those over the age of 75 have hearing loss. A study by Frank Lin, MD, PhD, reveals that hearing loss may fast-track the shrinkage of brain tissue that occurs as we age. Hearing loss diminishes stimulation of certain areas in the brain, which are linked to other regions of the brain associated with early stages of Alzheimer's. Early hearing loss detection and treatment are imperative to minimize the changes in the brain associated with hearing loss and Alzheimer's.

shutterstock 163452452In the month of May, we focus our attention on better hearing and speech for people of all ages. Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear. It can also affect how you speak. In adults, along with aging, the most common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Exposure to everyday noises. Listening to music at high volumes or using a lawn mower can damage the structures of the inner ear and lead to hearing loss over the years. Sudden loud noises such as explosions can also damage your hearing.
  • Earwax buildup. An object in the ear, injury to the ear or head, ear infection, ruptured eardrum and other conditions can affect the middle or inner ear.

Common symptoms:

  • Muffled hearing – the feeling of having a plugged ear
  • Trouble understanding what people are saying, especially when other people are talking or when there is background noise such as a radio
  • Listening to the TV or radio at a higher volume than in the past
  • Tinnitus – ringing, roaring, hissing or buzzing in the ear
  • Pain, itching or irritation of the ear, or fluid leaking from the ear



FAQ WITH DR. Leslie Beckham

Buckhead ENT

Dr. Leslie Beckham earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from Auburn University in 2002. She went on to complete her Masters of Science degree in Audiology in 2005 at the University of South Alabama, where she was also awarded Outstanding Clinician for Audiology by professors and clinical staff. She completed her internship and clinical fellowship at Premier Medical Group – Ear, Nose and Throat in Mobile, Alabama and subsequently worked with the practice until 2005. Dr. Beckham has also worked at Grady Memorial Hospital as an audiologist. She completed her clinical doctorate at the University of Florida, earning her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree in 2007.

Dr. Beckham is licensed by the state of Georgia as an audiologist and is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She joined Buckhead ENT's practice in July 2007. Dr. Beckham is originally from Brewton, Alabama and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Buckhead, Ear, Nose & Throat, specializes in detecting hearing loss and providing treatment for patients who are experiencing hearing loss with the latest technology available.


Sponsored by: 1800 Peachtree Street NW # 700, Atlanta, GA 30309 | (404) 350-7966 |


Each year, May is designated as American Stroke Month. Why does stroke need its own month? Many people are already aware of stroke, and some know what signs to look for, but did you know that stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. as well as the fifth leading cause of death? This month is a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with stroke so you can better protect yourself and your loved ones.

We know much more about stroke today than we did even a decade ago. In the not so distant past, very little could be done and physicians would just have to wait until the stroke passed before assessing the damage. Physical and occupational therapy could potentially help the victim regain lost function, but much of the damage was permanent, or even fatal. New technologies allow physicians to intervene much earlier and more effectively, reducing these risks significantly.

FAST"Stroke care is evolving," North Fulton Hospital's Stroke Coordinator Edna Kennedy says. "There are so many changes right now with interventional treatment. The goal is to reduce or even prevent disability. Every minute counts. Each minute that passes without intervention, the stroke victim loses 1.9 million neurons."

Certain symptoms are immediately recognizable as a possible stroke. The acronym FAST is a useful, easy-to-remember tool when identifying these symptoms. The first indicator is Face drooping, followed by Arm weakness and Speech difficulty. Once these symptoms begin to appear, it's Time to call 911. These are the most common indicators, however they are not the only ways in which a stroke is present. Other potential symptoms include sudden headache, loss of coordination, dizziness, trouble seeing and numbness in isolated parts of the body.

Should you experience any of these symptoms or see anyone else exhibiting these symptoms, it is imperative that you call 911 as quickly as possible. Once the first responders arrive, they will be able to swiftly transport the patient to the nearest certified primary stroke center, such as the one at North Fulton Hospital.

As Stroke Coordinator, Kennedy spends her days ensuring that the North Fulton primary stroke center exceeds the necessary requirements to maintain its certification, as well as educating the hospital staff and community about recent changes and advancements in stroke care.

"I make sure evidence based practices are being implemented with our patients," Kennedy explains. "The care should align with the national standards of care. Also, we make sure all of those measures are taken in the clinical area and monitor them to provide data to the American Stroke Association, which becomes national data."

Though she has been a registered nurse for more than 35 years, Kennedy confesses that her passion lies in education, making this an ideal position for her. "I provide education through the continuum of care. We provide community education, we educate about early recognition of signs and symptoms and timely activation of the emergency response system. I provide initial and ongoing education to the staff and physicians to make sure those measures are implemented bedside."

Thanks to efforts such as these, North Fulton's Primary Stroke Care Center is on the cutting edge of stroke care. Mortality and disability rates have taken a nosedive in this area, dropping stroke from the fourth leading cause of death to the fifth.

"Care has definitely changed for the better," Kennedy says proudly. "We're really making headway."



Sponsored by: North Fulton Pulmonary Specialists | 2500 Hospital Boulevard, Ste 340 | Roswell, GA 30076  |  Phone: (770) 740-1753 |


Friday, 24 April 2015 18:47


Wednesday, 22 April 2015 17:55

After Stroke: The Road to Recovery


By Amy Meadows

You've been admitted to the hospital with symptoms like weakness on one side of your body, facial drooping and difficulty speaking. A CT scan and an MRI have confirmed what you and your family feared: you've had a stroke. What happens next? While there is ample information available about identifying the symptoms of a stroke, there isn't as much out there about what you can expect after you or a loved one actually suffers a stroke. And there is so much you need to know to help you navigate the days, weeks and months ahead.


The First 48

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain stops, either because of a blockage of the arteries to the brain (an ischemic stroke) or a bursting or leakage of the blood vessels in and around the brain (a hemorrhagic stroke). In either case, the brain is injured, and symptoms appear because brain cells begin to die within moments. The delicate and time-sensitive nature of the condition makes the first hours after a stroke the most critical.

"Whatever type of stroke it is, we have to ensure that the weakness or deficit becomes stable. We have to test to find the cause of the stroke and prevent another stroke from happening," explains Dr. Keith A. Sanders, a board-certified physician with Atlanta Neurology and director of the Stroke Center at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital. "Typically, a patient will become stable within 12 to 24 hours." Once the patient has stabilized, a flurry of activity will begin.


SB1Early Intervention

"We have to get a lot of information fast so we can make the next choices," notes Lisa-Ann Wuermser, MD, Chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Grady Memorial Hospital, home to The Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center. Initially, those choices involve the three types of rehabilitation therapies that the patient may need: physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Physical therapy focuses on gross motor skills, such as walking. Occupational therapy deals with daily living tasks, including grooming and feeding oneself. Speech therapy tackles speaking and swallowing deficits. While some individuals may need all three types of rehabilitation, others may not.

"Every stroke is different. The type of rehab given depends on the location of the stroke in the brain, the extent of the damage and even how long it took to get treatment," says Tiffany LeCroy, a clinical nurse specialist with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center at The Shepherd Center. Therefore, as soon as a stroke is diagnosed, a specialized therapist from each modality visits and evaluates the patient to see which areas need to be addressed. Then, an individualized treatment program is created – and it will begin in the hospital within those first 48 hours.


The Recovery Setting

Comprehensive therapy must get underway as quickly as possible. According to Chika Odioemene, stroke coordinator at DeKalb Medical Center, "When patients are in the hospital, once they are medically stable, our goal is to get them discharged in three days into rehab care."

Rehab care can happen in a variety of settings. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), an inpatient acute care facility, which offers the most intensive therapy, is either freestanding or part of a larger hospital complex. Patients typically spend two to three weeks in this unit receiving rehab "at least three hours a day, five to seven days per week," says Kelly Wright, inpatient center supervisor at DeKalb Medical Center. Less intense therapy over a longer period of time is offered at a sub-acute care nursing facility, in which Wright says patients usually receive therapy for 90 minutes per day over the course of two months or more. Some patients may be able to receive outpatient care, living at home and traveling to a therapy center several times per week for rehab. Elizabeth Wyble, head of physical and occupational therapy at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, notes that home health therapy is an option in some cases, with a therapist traveling to the patient's residence. Ultimately, the rehab setting decision comes down to the patient's safety – if they can safely handle the stairs at home, for instance – and what their insurance will cover. Wuermser observes, "If inpatient rehab is the best thing for you, but your plan doesn't cover it, it is a rude awakening."


Rehab-pic-4,-cred-Shepherd-CenterThe Daily Grind

Once the rehab setting is chosen, the real work begins. Daily therapy can involve any number of activities, from one-on-one sessions with therapists to working on specific exercises alone outside of the assigned therapy sessions. And the exercises and tools used for each type of therapy are designed specifically with the patient in mind. "We are going to work together to get you back to functioning as close as we can to how you were before the stroke," Wright says.

Physical Therapy

The legs and the arms are the primary focus of physical therapy, especially when there is any kind of paralysis involved. Melissa Nalder, stroke coordinator at Eastside Medical Center, says, "Someone who could take care of themselves may have lost the ability to do that. And they now have to relearn gross motor skills." Therefore, a physical therapist will help a patient practice isolated movements, change from one kind of movement to another and rehearse complex movements that require coordination and balance, according to NINDS; the therapist will use techniques like selective sensory stimulation-based tapping or stroking, active and passive range-of-motion exercises and temporary restraint of healthy limbs to encourage the use of impaired limbs. According to Wyble, electrical impulse equipment may be used as well to help get muscles to begin working again. As therapy progresses, she says, "We have even used Wii therapy to help people with balance and to get them to move an arm or a leg."

Additionally, with advancements in technology, many physical therapists now – or soon will – have access to virtual reality and robotic assisted devices. "The robotic assisted devices utilize a robot to direct an upper limb or a lower limb to show how the movement should take place. The robot will correct you so you can learn how to make the movement in the right direction. It helps the brain learn better," Wuermser notes. "It's fascinating. But all of these interventions are used as additional tools with the ongoing one-on-one rehab with the therapist."

Occupational Therapy

"Physical therapy and occupational therapy overlap," Wright observes. Occupational therapy also focuses on a patient's physical ability, but it zeros in on what NINDS calls self-directed activities such as personal grooming, preparing meals, housecleaning and even driving. According to NINDS, occupational therapists also "teach people how to develop compensatory strategies and change elements of their environment that limit activities of daily living." From using Velcro fasteners instead of buttons to installing grab bars in the bathroom, occupational therapists help make a SB2patient's daily living easier.

"We use activity-based therapies. We look at what their goals are and the lifestyle they want to get back to, and we cater the program to that," LeCroy says, noting that while the typical age of a stroke victim is late 60s or older, there has been a shift in recent years. "There has been a surge of younger people having strokes. We may have a young mom who has to cook a meal and care for a young child. There could be a college student whose goal is to be able to socialize and be around friends without feeling different or uncomfortable. We have to look at what their interests are and what exercises we can do that are interesting, fun and engaging. Many times, we have to think outside the box."

For a younger population, that includes using today's technology. "Laptops, iPads – these are tools the younger population uses every day," LeCroy continues. Wyble agrees. "With occupational therapy, we're dealing with fine motor coordination," she says. "Many businesspeople use a laptop, so we have their family members bring it in so they can learn to use it again."

Speech Therapy

Many patients who have had a stroke deal with aphasia, which involves everything from trouble finding words to the inability to speak, read or write. It is a cognitive impairment that has physical ramifications. NINDS reveals that speech therapists use many forms of therapy to improve comprehension, such as a patient repeating the therapist's words, practicing following directions and doing reading and writing exercises for long-term language rehabilitation.

Rehab-pic-3,-cred-Shepherd-CenterOne of the areas people don't often think about, though, is the ability to swallow after a stroke has occurred. "Difficulties with swallowing have many possible causes, including a delayed swallowing reflex, and inability to manipulate food with the tongue or an inability to detect food remaining lodged in the cheeks after swallowing," NINDS notes. Speech therapists will work with patients to identify these issues and use various exercises and techniques, including slowly increasing the texture of food, to strengthen the muscles and improve the ability to swallow. According to Wright, meal groups can be extremely beneficial when offered in a rehab setting. Bringing two to four people together to eat a meal "allows patients to see other patients going through it too," she says. "There is a social aspect that is very helpful. That's why we also bring former patients into these groups. These people are now out living in the community and being active. They come in over lunch and talk to the current patients. They talk about their recovery and show that it can happen."

With all three types of therapy, patience – from everyone involved – is a key factor in recovery. "No stroke is by the book. Everybody is different, and everybody responds to the therapies differently. It can be frustrating if a patient isn't progressing like they should, but that's when we try different things," Wyble says. "And for me, as an occupational therapist by trade, it is so rewarding when somebody performs a daily living skill, like brushing their teeth or putting their shirt on, and they know they're going to be able to do it on their own."

SB3Family Matters

From the moment a stroke occurs and through the rehab process, a patient's family becomes a lifeline. "Patients find great comfort in knowing that a loved one is there," Wuermser says. "It's very frightening. Even if you've lost the ability to speak, you can look around and see concern, you can hear the tone of someone's voice. Knowledge that a loved one is there and understanding it and getting all of the information for you can make all the difference in the world." Nalder adds that stroke patients need practical support as well. "You need someone to take you for follow up appointments, to help you with your meds, to take you to get labs done. Support is truly needed."

Rehab-pic-2,-cred-Shepherd-CenterWuermser adds that being supportive – not taking charge – is the key to successfully helping loved ones through the rehab period. "It's hard to watch a loved one struggle, and that's what therapists are asking the patient to do. But do not step in and try to help," she says. "Learn from the therapist what you can do facilitate the therapy – the therapists can guide you."

That is particularly important when post-stroke depression sets in, stemming from the loss of independence after a stroke. Grief over that loss often turns into depression, and family members can provide support when this occurs. They also must realize that it is common and treatable, which is why a neuropsychologist usually is a member of the team for a stroke patient. Medication can be valuable as well. Wuermser explains, "It's no different than a diabetic who needs insulin." The condition is usually temporary, especially when a patient receives counseling and finds a helpful support group, so as a patient recovers, depression can subside.

The Bottom Line

When a patient follows his or her rehab plan and sticks to it, recovery will occur. That is the most important thing to remember in this type of situation. "If you stay positive, you will recover," Odiomene says. "You will get those skills back." It may take many months or even years, but the recovery will happen. According to Wright, "You can continue to have gains years after you've had a stroke." While there is no guarantee that a stroke survivor will get back to being 100 percent, the improvement can be dramatic, and the activities that brought happiness before can be done again.

"When you're first coming out of a stroke, your life has changed. It's a scary time," Wyble says. "But you have the capability to recover. We see it every day." Wuermser concludes, "Life may never be the same, but there is life after stroke. There is joy to be had."


Robert-Pritchard-WorthyThe Faces of Stroke

Robert Pritchard-Worthy:
Against the Odds

Natalie Pritchard never expected her healthy, active 22-year-old son, Robert A. Pritchard-Worthy, to have a stroke. No one did. A football player and recent college graduate who was about to start graduate school at the University of Central Florida, Robert was the picture of health. But when he went out for an evening on the town with his cousin in July of 2012 and began to have seizures, his life – and his mother's life – was turned upside down. He was diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a rare form of stroke that results in a blood clot on the brain.

"When he was put into acute critical care, the doctor told me that he was the number one priority in the ICU that night," Natalie recalls. "They had to remove part of his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain. They didn't think he would make it through the night. And if he did make it, he would be severely disabled. He was that critical. It was a massive stroke, and he was in an induced coma for more than two weeks." Robert, Natalie's only child, had never been sick in his life. But when he woke up, Robert was completely paralyzed on his left side. He began intensive therapy and rehabilitation at Shepherd Pathways, the Shepherd Center's comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation program.

"When he came home, he was having seizures, so I had to be with him. He had to wear a protective helmet. I had to bathe him. He required 24-hour care. And he wanted to get back to school. My job was to encourage him and do everything I could to get him back there," Natalie says. "I drove him to Shepherd every day at 8 a.m. and stayed until 1:30 p.m. I was able to work while he was in therapy. My company was beyond accommodating." And when she needed help at home, her mother, sister, cousin and aunt were by her side. "Family is so important. And the community as a whole embraced us and carried me," she says.

Today, after months of therapy, Robert is preparing to graduate from UCF with a master's degree in criminal justice. Now 25, he lives on his own in Florida and is preparing for the next chapter of his life. And that is exactly what his mother wanted for him. "When this happens, you feel helpless and hopeless. He was so young. But you can't lose hope," she concludes. "You have to know you can do this. He is proof that you can return to your life."


Green,-Barry cred-himselfBarry Green:
Overcoming the Stigma

Barry Green had a stroke the night before Thanksgiving in 2012. After it happened, he suffered from aphasia and weakness on his right side. "I couldn't talk. I couldn't type. I couldn't sign my name," he recalls. "I would read and try to say the words. But even if I knew what a word was, I couldn't get it out. I couldn't put the words together."

A successful sales and marketing consultant, Green's job "depended on my memory. It was tough in the beginning. I wanted to be back to 100 percent. Four weeks of outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy put the 64-year-old stroke survivor on the long road to recovery. He supplemented his therapy with his own regimen of sit-ups every morning, playing Words with Friends on an iPad and reading. "You have to be self-motivated to get through this," he advises.

But there was one thing he didn't do right away. "I didn't tell my clients about the stroke. Only my closest friends," he says. "For me, there was this stigma. I thought it was a weakness. It took me a while to begin telling people."

Prompted by a major seizure Green experienced five months after his stroke, he finally began sharing his story. He was surprised to find that most people could not even tell. "Other people couldn't see anything wrong," he realized. "They were surprised that I had a stroke and got over it. That helped give me support – now it's much easier. When I meet new people, I tell them right up front. I can say I'm a stroke survivor."


Kagan,-Jeff cred-himselfJeff Kagan:
Time Heals

Jeff Kagan's children thought he was joking when he went into a Starbucks while on vacation and ordered a cheeseburger. "I thought I ordered coffee," he says. "I had no idea that the word 'cheeseburger' is what I said." Several other odd behaviors, like leaving the car in drive and sleeping for hours during the middle of the day, led his family to realize that something was wrong. The then 46-year-old husband, father and well-known technology industry analyst was brought to a hospital in Hilton Head, SC, and diagnosed as having had a stroke.

It was 2004, and while it may sound impossible, Kagan was told that, aside from a pharmaceutical regimen to prevent a future stroke, there was no real treatment for him. "I was told to let time heal," he says. "I could talk, and I could walk. If you didn't know me, you wouldn't know I had a stroke." Yet his memory was greatly impaired, and he had trouble thinking clearly. When he met someone, he would forget their name before their handshake had ended.

He tried his best to find a sense of normalcy as his brain took its own time to heal. "During the first five years, I felt waves of recovery," he remembers. "Every three or four months, I would feel a wave taking over my brain. Suddenly, I could do more things." By year five, he was able to write a book, "Life After Stroke: On the Road to Recovery." Now five years later, he is working full time and busier than ever. He is even working on a second book about stroke recovery.

"Stroke changes your life," Kagan concludes. "In the beginning, it can be like hell. You don't have control over different parts of your life. But you have to keep working day in and day out for years. You'll take two steps forward and one step back, but don't get discouraged. Life will get better. Recovery will happen. Just keep a positive attitude."


Kim-Phuong-NguyenKim Phuong Nguyen:
Getting Past Post-Stroke Depression

When Kim Phuong Nguyen woke up one morning, she got out of bed and fell to the ground. "I couldn't get back up. My body had become jelly," recalls the Emory Healthcare pharmacist and mother of five, who was 52 at the time. "At that moment, I didn't think I had had a stroke. But when I tried to raise my left hand, it just dropped. I couldn't control it."

Quickly, she realized what was happening. Her husband called 911, and the dispatcher told them to get to the emergency room immediately. The diagnosis was a stroke, but it was an unusual case. The stroke had been brought on by Moyamoya Disease, a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain. Without surgery, the disease can be fatal. The problem was that Nguyen had to complete the therapy from her stroke before she could have that important procedure.

She was able to have outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy at the Emory Stroke Center, spending one hour on each modality several days a week. A friend drove her to the facility, where she had to work to recover her ability to do the technical side of her job as a pharmacist. "I would screw and unscrew a bottle for 30 minutes. I did a lot of puzzles. But my hands would hurt," she says. She got tired very quickly and found herself falling into a depression. "I had to put my faith in God," she notes. "I would go to church every day, and we would have a prayer group." That sense of community and connection helped her work through her post-stroke depression. One month after her stroke, she was able to have the surgery. Immediately, she felt a difference. "After the surgery, I functioned like normal. It was like nothing had changed," she says. And while she does still get tired at times, she has learned when to scale back and take breaks. Most importantly, though, she tries to see the experience as a positive one. "You have to look at it as lucky," she concludes. "The stroke happened, but I was still young enough to have the surgery. It was caught at such an early stage that I was able to gain everything back. I'm just so grateful, and I'm so happy."



Editorial Resources
American Stroke Association –
Tiffany LeCroy, MSN, RN, FNP-C, ACNS-BC, CRRN, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center at The Shepherd Center –
Melissa Nalder, RN, BSN, Eastside Medical Center –
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke –
National Stroke Association –
Chika Odioemene, MSN, RN, NP, DeKalb Medical Center –
Keith A. Sanders, MD, Atlanta Neurology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital –,
Kelly Wright, PT, DPT, DeKalb Medical Center –
Lisa-Ann Wuermser, MD, Grady Memorial Hospital –
Elizabeth Wyble, OTR/L, Emory St. Joseph's Hospital –


Wednesday, 22 April 2015 17:32

At the Farmers Market

By Morgan A. McLaughlin McFarland

With water shortages threatening food production in several states and a growing awareness of the potential health risks of some genetically modified food, eating local food has never been more important. Locally produced organic or sustainably farmed food lowers fossil fuel consumption and minimizes pollution from pesticides. And it's not just good for the environment – it's good for the economy too. A University of Georgia study found that if Georgians spent just $10 a week on meat and dairy produced in-state, over $1.9 billion dollars would flow back into the Georgia economy. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring your sustainable Atlanta food options today!


Better For You, Better For The Environment

When it comes to farming, bigger is definitely not always better. Industrial agriculture, which produces the majority of the produce, meat, dairy and eggs consumed in the United States, contributes significantly to pollution of the air, water and soil. Most industrial farms grow only a single variety of any plant that's bred for hardiness and high yield rather than superior flavor or nutrition. The pesticides and herbicides used to maintain these crops also carry health risks. The World Health Organization recently suggested that the herbicide Roundup could be linked to an increase in cancer. Animals kept in inhumane, often unclean, conditions are at a higher risk of passing foodborne illnesses like E. coli and salmonella.

SB1So if you're looking for diverse, tasty food choices that are as healthy as they are delicious, you have a better chance of finding those on small, organic farms close to home. Most organic farms are independently owned and operated family farms of 100 acres or less. Many small farms in Georgia use organic and/or sustainable farming methods to bring healthier produce, eggs, meat and other produce to restaurants and markets across the Atlanta area. Sustainable agriculture relies on environmentally friendly methods, rather than chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and produces more biodiverse crops, including heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Since all products labeled "organic" must be certified by the National Organic Program, consumers know those products they buy have been grown in a sustainable way, without the use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic certification isn't the only way to assure your food is sustainably grown, however. "We always tell folks that the best way to know how your food is produced is to know your farmer," says Brooke Hatfield, Communications Director at Georgia Organics, which has partnered with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to reimburse the full cost of organic certification for all Georgia farmers seeking it for the first time. "Lots of great farmers who use organic practices aren't certified, and they're often happy to show you around their farm and talk about how they grow your food. And when you know your farmer, it's easy to ask them whether they're using synthetic inputs on their farms. As more farms harness social media, that's another way for consumers to get insight."


fruits-and-vegetablesAtlanta's Farmers Markets

Where can Atlanta residents find this sustainably grown or organic local produce? Luckily for the savvy locavore, the Atlanta area offers many farmers markets. Farmers markets provide a one-stop-shopping experience, where vendors from all over the state and Southeast gather in a single location to sell locally grown produce and other locally produced goods. Find the market nearest to you, and make it a weekly part of your routine. After all, the grocery store won't miss your dollars, but your $20, $30 or $50 will mean a lot to your local farmer every week. Try any of these well-established markets to pick up your local fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy and more.


Inside the Perimeter


Brookhaven Farmers Market
April – December
Open Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Brookhaven's market has moved locations since last year and is now at University Baptist Church on Dresden Drive. Plus, check out their online seasonal availability calendar for an idea of what produce to expect each week.

Details: 1375 Fernwood Circle NE, Brookhaven, GA,


Decatur Farmers Market
Open Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
(opens at 10 a.m. January to March)

Stop by this market for seasonal produce any Saturday of the year. They also have a Wednesday market day that runs from the spring through December to accommodate more shoppers' schedules. Just be sure you visit the right location for your pickup day!

Details: On Saturdays, 498 N McDonough St., Decatur, GA. On Wednesdays, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, GA.


Veggies1East Atlanta Village Farmers Market
April – December
Open Thursdays, 4 – 8 p.m.

Swing by this weekday market on the way home from work. It's located across the street from the Midway Pub and is accessible through the MARTA bus routes 34, 74, 107 and 4. They accept cash, credit, debit and double EBT/SNAP. If you just can't get enough of the local food scene, you can even volunteer at the market or at their vendor farms.

Details: 561 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta, GA,


Grant Park Farmers Market
April – December
Open Sundays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This market, which launched in 2011, takes place at the corner of Cherokee Avenue and Miledge Avenue. It's convenient to the Boulevard and Ormewood stop of MARTA bus route 32, and they accept cash, credit, debit and double EBT/SNAP. In addition to providing healthy, local food, this market focuses on nutrition education and even provides a platform for artists and musicians.

Details: 600 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA,


Peachtree Road Farmers Market
April – December
Open Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (opens at 9 a.m. starting in October)

Peachtree Road Farmers Market, a producer-only market, also offers an extensive event list to add to your day at the market. Coming up this month are chef demos, health screenings, kids' activities and even sign-up assistance for EBT benefits. Find the full event list on their website.

Details: Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA,


Veggies2Piedmont Park Green Market
March – December
Open Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

This market, held just inside the 12th Street entrance of Piedmont Park, offers everything from produce to ready-to-eat meals and bath products. Sign up for their weekly newsletter to stay up to date.

Details: Piedmont Park, 12th Street and Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA,


Westside Farmers Market
May – September
Open Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This market is brand new this season, but it's organized by the veterans at Community Farmers Markets, who produce three other in-town markets. Find it in the Westside Provisions
District on Howell Mill Road and
14th Street.



Outside the Perimeter


Alpharetta Farmers Market
April – December
Open Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Running since 2006, this market is sponsored by the Alpharetta Business Association. Free parking is available throughout Historic Downtown Alpharetta.

Details: 21 Milton Ave., Alpharetta, GA,


Heritage Sandy Springs
Farmers Market
April – December
Open Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

This market sits just outside the perimeter and includes more than 45 local vendors, including local jewelers and artists.

Details: 235 Sandy Springs Circle NW, Sandy Springs, GA,


Kennesaw Farmers Market
May – October
Open Tuesdays, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

An average of 30 local farmers and merchants bring local fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other products to this market in Adams Park, now in its 11th season.

Details: 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw, GA,


The Marietta Square
Farmers Market
Open Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
May – October, also open Sundays, 12 – 3 p.m.

Over 65 local vendors attend this market, which offers a wide variety of produce, including heirloom varieties that you may never see at the grocery store. They offer free parking all day Saturday and Sunday in the two county parking decks.

Details: 65 Church St.,
Marietta, GA,


Whistle Stop Farmer's Market
May – August
Open Tuesdays, 4 – 8 p.m.

This market, located in Thrasher Park near Downtown Norcross, brings local food, fun and educational tools to the Norcross community through the market itself and donations to to Norcross Charity Gardens and the Stripling Elementary Garden Club.

Details: 7 Jones St., Norcross, GA,


Veggies3Roswell Farmers Market
Daily, year-round
Tuesdays – Fridays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays, 12 – 5 p.m.

What this market lacks in size, it makes up for in availability. It's open Tuesday through Sunday and specializes in local organic and biodynamic produce.

Details: Founders Square, 555 S. Atlanta St. #B600, Roswell, GA,


Season-Long Support

Another way to support local farmers and enjoy all the benefits of local food is to participate in a CSA program, which stands for community supported agriculture. In a CSA, one or more local farmers offer "shares" of their produce to the public, providing an assortment of locally produced goods on a regular basis. The consumer pays a subscription fee and receives produce, meat or dairy products, eggs, and other goods during the harvesting/producing season. CSAs often provide their goods in the form of a box or basket, which the consumer picks up at one of the listed delivery points, offering an even-more-local alternative. To find active CSA options, including delivery locations in your area, visit or

So whether your top priority is your own well-being, a thriving local economy or a healthy planet, you can't go wrong by heading to the farmers market or joining a CSA. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away – and even better if that apple is from Atlanta's own backyard.


Editorial Resources
Brooke Hatfield, Georgia Organics -
Sustainable Table -
Local Harvest -