Category Archives: Health

CountyCare a New No Cost Health Insurance Program

 To celebrate Pride Week, Cook County Health and Hospital Systems and Howard Brown Health Center
demonstrated their unique collaboration to provide medical and
behavioral care for the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ allies by encouraging
Howard Brown patients to apply for CountyCare, a new, no-cost health
insurance program. 

On Thursday, June 27, Dr. Robert Weinstein, Chief
Operating Officer of the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and Chairman of
the Department of Internal Medicine at Cook County Health and Hospitals
System, and Karma Israelsen, interim President and Chief Executive
Officer of Howard Brown, welcomed visitors to the center and offered a
tour of their facilities that serve the community.  


                        Cook County residents interested in applying should call 312-864-8200 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., or Saturday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. To learn more about CountyCare, visit

CountyCare is a new Illinois Medicaid program. Patients choose a primary care site from
participating local hospitals and healthcare sites throughout the
county, including Cook County Health and Hospitals System  locations.
The patient is assigned a doctor, nurse, social worker and medical assistant to manage their health care through a new Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model.


CountyCare program was approved under the federal government’s 1115
Medicaid Waiver, which permits CCHHS to early-enroll 115,000 individuals
who will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 through the Affordable Care


Illinois’ subsidized high risk health insurance pool IPXP to stop accepting applications March 2nd, 2013


 The federal office charged with implementing health
care reform announced this past Friday that the subsidized  plans that
are currently insuring more than 100,000 individuals nationwide, will be
closing their doors to new enrollees months before other coverage is
available on the new insurance exchanges.

most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act do not become
effective until January 1, 2014, the law set up interim plans, called
“Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans” for people who could not buy
health insurance on the private market because of serious health
conditions, including HIV.  In Illinois, the state opened the Illinois
Pre-Existing Insurance Plan (“IPXP”) in August 2010.  Approximately 3000
people now have insurance though IPXP.  Although those people currently
enrolled in those plans will continue to have coverage until January 1,
2014, when they will be able to move to private insurance coverage,
Friday’s announcement means that no new applications will be accepted
after March 2, 2013. 

Fisher, Executive Director of AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, explained
why this is bad news for people with HIV or any other pre-existing
condition that blocks them from getting private insurance.  “IPXP has
been an important source of health care coverage for people with HIV,
including people on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program  whose income
climbs above 300% of the federal poverty level (about $35,000) but do
not have health insurance on the job and cannot afford to pay for their
medications themselves. “  The state has been able to refer those
individuals to IPXP, and to help pay the IPXP premiums, so that they do
not lose access to their medications.     

explained that IPXP was always meant to be a temporary program, set to
expire once pre-existing conditions no longer prevent people from buying
insurance.  “But,” she added “we always assumed that IPXP would
continue to accept new enrollees until very close to January 1st.” 
“It appears,”  she added,” that IPXP is a victim of its own success. 
There was a limited pool of money available for the plans, and in order
to make sure they can continue to pay claims of current enrollees, they
now have to cut off future ones.”     

Legal Council is getting out the word about the closing of enrollment,
and encouraging anyone who has been without insurance for at least six
months to quickly apply for IPXP. NOW!!

  ALCC is available to answer questions or assist with the enrollment process and can be reached at 312-427-8990.


25 years ago, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago works to preserve, promote,
and protect the legal rights of men, women, children, and families in
the metropolitan Chicago area impacted by HIV and AIDS.  The Council
provides free direct legal services to people in need, educates the
public about HIV-related legal issues, and advocates for social policies
that ensure fair treatment for all people affected by HIV and AIDS.


AIDS Foundation Chicago Need2KnowHIV

More than 20,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago – three times the national prevalence rate.

In some Chicago neighborhoods, HIV rates have climbed to a staggering 53 percent in recent years.

That’s why the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is marking this World AIDS Day by announcing a new campaign called
Need2Know HIV, an initiative to educate people about the importance of HIV testing.

partnership with Abbott, a Chicago-headquartered global health care
company, AFC is using social media platforms such as Facebook and
Twitter to increase awareness and encourage conversation
about testing. The campaign began on World AIDS Day, December 1, and
continues through the month.

What sets Need2Know HIV
apart from other HIV testing campaigns? It highlights the importance of
diagnosing HIV in its earliest stages, as well as ongoing viral load
molecular testing
for those living with HIV.

many HIV-positive people are not diagnosed in the early phase of the
disease — when they are most contagious — and unknowingly spread the
virus to others. Testing is critical
to stopping the spread of HIV, though many people are not getting
tested and may not realize significant advances in testing technology
that are now available.

simple: we can’t end AIDS without a stronger commitment to HIV testing,
and that starts with educating people about the importance of testing
to know their status and manage HIV,” said
David Ernesto Munar, AFC president/CEO.

People can show their support and educate others by visiting and “liking” the
Need2Know HIV campaign on Facebook, Munar said.

diagnostic testing allows individuals to know within two weeks of
exposure if they are infected. The newest HIV combo tests can detect
both antigens (the actual HIV virus) and antibodies
to HIV (the body’s response to fight the virus). HIV combo tests allow
people to know their status weeks sooner than they potentially could
with traditional antibody-only HIV tests.

those individuals who live with HIV, monitoring the disease plays a key
role in their overall treatment. Ongoing viral load molecular tests help
patients and their health care providers
monitor the response of the virus to antiretroviral drug treatments,
helping to guide treatment decisions.

detection provides information to help people make decisions that may
reduce risky behavior. It also allows people who are HIV positive to
start on antiretroviral therapy sooner, which
benefits long-term health and may also reduce HIV transmission rates by
96 percent.

nearly 30 years, Abbott has been committed to fighting HIV by developing
important tests and therapies for patients,” said Brian Blaser,
executive vice president, Diagnostics Products,
Abbott. “Our commitment to HIV continues today as we partner together
to launch efforts such as
Need2Know HIV to help educate people about the critical role testing can play in stemming the tide of this virus.”

People can learn more by visiting the AFC’s
website and
Facebook page.


Neck, Back, Shoulder Pain and Holiday Stress? 5 Tips To Help Prevent and Reduce Your Holiday Sufferings

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many. Families and loved ones get together and give thanks. People celebrate and take time to reach out to neighbors, friends and their favorite charitable organizations. It is a time Michael and I  thoroughly look forward to each year.

Entertaining, shopping, decorating, socializing, cleaning, cooking-yikes! The added anxiety and stress of all the holiday hustle and bustle can increase our level of physical activity and mental stressors, beyond our usual day-to-day, and intensify chronic neck, shoulder and/or back pain or aggrivate “bad backs” for those occasional sufferers.

Holiday travel may be a huge factor as well. Long, cramped car rides, horrible airplane seats with almost no padding, and for what seems to be hours on end to reach your final destination…  We’ve all been there.  Then, to be taken away from our normal comforts of home, like our heated ergonomic chairs and fluffy, pillowtop mattresses and instead, find ourselves sleeping on Aunt Barbara’s couch or an inflatable twin mattress on the floor. You get the picture.

So here are 5 tips we hope you may find helpful in minimizing physical pain and mental stress this Holiday Season:

1.)  Set yourself up for success!  Establish realistic goals that you truly can accomplish in one day or over a weekend and strive not to be the ultimate people-pleaser, nicely say “No”. Decide what’s most important, prioritize and seek to not overextend yourself.
2.)  Get enough rest and sleep. Yes, you have to get to the store, wrap those gifts, pick up dry cleaning, bake that cake, etc…but sleep deprivation is a big contributor to aggrivating physical pain, especially in the neck, back and shoulder regions.  Do your best to be disciplined and strive to go to bed and get 6 to 8 hours of sleep! If you have difficulty sleeping due to stress or chronic pain, you might want to check with your primary care doctor regarding possible over-the-counter and/or prescription sleep aids or pain medication options so that you can get the rest your body needs.

3.)  TAKE TIME OUT for yourself.  Treat yourself to whatever it is you consider a treat within your budget so you’re not adding even more stress to yourself. Maybe it’s a massage or some time at a spa to relax and rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. Consider asking one of your besties to join in if that would make it more enjoyable for you.

4.)  Think Small(er)!  Plan a small(er) gathering of friends and loved ones, rather than a huge extravaganza. Hosting a large event has many stressors, consider scaling back or hosting 2 small events perhaps instead of one large one.

5.)  Exercise.  #1 on the list should be exercise, but often, it is the fist activity to be nixed and neglected. Exercise is so important because it helps rid the body of stress and stressful toxins. Do what you can do… Take a walk, run, ride a bike, go to the gym…or workout in your home. Nothing beats exercise during times of stress.

If you are in too much pain to exercise, consider visiting a chiropractor for relief. Chiropractic adjustments help to re-align the spine and remove pressure from the nervous system allowing our bodies to better heal themselves once the nerve interference has been removed.

Michael and I both suffer from chronic back pain and regular problematic neck and shoulder pain from too much time spent sitting and on the computer without proper stretching and enough exercise.  We LOVE the chiropractic work of Dale A. Zuehlke, D.C., at Greater Chicago Chiropractic and recommend him highly (561 W. Diversey Suite 221). We do our best to see him regularly for preventative care and maintenance, but to often it is when we are crippled in pain we show up at Dale’s office pleading with him to fix us… fast!

For a free consultation to discuss how he may help you, or to make an appointment for an adjustment call (773) 871-7766 and please tell Dr. Dale Michael and Derrick sent you his way

Greater Chicago Chiropractic   Dale on YELP

Hope This Helps and Wishing Happy Holidays To All!



CHICAGO HOUSE Selected for National Grant to Support Care and Treatment of Transgender Community

It was announced that local
non-profit leader in AIDS services, Chicago House, was selected as one of eight
national grant sites to study the link between HIV and retention in care of
transgender women of color.  The study, which will be housed in Chicago
House’s all new TransLife Center (TLC), will allow $300,000 per year for
the next five years from the Health Resources and Services Administration
(HRSA) as a Special Program of National Significance.


The TLC programming will serve as a
collaborative comprehensive and multi-strategy approach to identifying HIV-positive
transgender women of color who are out of care, while engaging them
successfully in accessible, quality HIV primary care.  


In leveraging
the resources and expertise of five project partners – AIDS Foundation of
Chicago, Center On Halsted, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Heartland Health
Outreach, and South Side Help Center – Chicago House will identify
transgender women of color living with HIV, create a broad network of
culturally competent healthcare providers, and deliver an array of services that
help marginalized transgender women overcome barriers to care.  


“The TransLife Center Programming will incorporate
three tiers of support to the habitually overlooked “T” in the LGBT
community,” commented Chicago House CEO, Stan
Sloan.  “TransHousing
will provide a safe and understanding home to transgender men and women,
through the rebirth of our original 24-hour-care building in Edgewater and
multiple scattered site units throughout the city.  TransWorks, an offshoot of our highly
successful employment program, will work with trans men and women to identify
their unique employment placement needs and prepare them for the workplace
through resume writing, interview skills, and connections to culturally
competent job opportunities.”  Sloan continued, “The final
element, TransHealth, will
connect trans men and women to non judgmental health care addressing their
unique needs through Dr. Rob Garafolo of Lurie Children’s Hospital.”  


HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care
services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. 


“Chicago House remains committed to providing the best
in services to the homeless and HIV affected, and the integral TransHealth funding from HRSA further validates
the needs that we have identified within the transgender community,”
Sloan said.  “The growth in reaching out to this population
represents the same trailblazing growth our founders had in mind 27 years ago,
and it is a wonderful next incarnation for our former hospice site.  The
transgender community has been so strategic and receptive in helping us develop
the programs, and we are excited to begin this next step of Chicago
House’s history.”


About Chicago

The first organization of it’s kind in the Midwest, since 1985 Chicago
has provided permanent housing and supportive services to men,
women and children living with HIV and AIDS.  Their programs have since
expanded to include community case management, substance abuse counseling, HIV
prevention, medical adherence and the Midwest’s
first employment training and placement program specific to people with
HIV.  Chicago House also
offers free, anonymous rapid HIV testing.
  For more information, visit


AIDS Foundation of Chicago “Change My Story” Campaign Debuts Smartphone-Driven Ads

Smartphone-Driven Ads to Connect People to HIV Prevention and Care Services

mark National HIV Testing Day, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC)
debuted a series of smartphone-driven bus shelter ads on the South and
West Sides of Chicago to
help African Americans connect to HIV testing and care services.

larger-than-life ads, featuring community ambassadors, are part of the agency’s community-level educational campaign, known as
Change My Story, designed to inspire communities of color to connect to life-extending health care services. A

2010 report

from the Pew Research Center on technology trends indicated
African-Americans boast the highest rates of any demographic group when
it comes to interacting with the community via text message
and other non-traditional platforms.

Change My Story
is about empowering people to take control of their life and health,
with respect to HIV/AIDS and all life-changing illnesses,” said David
Ernesto Munar,
AFC President and CEO. “Nowadays it seems people rarely go anywhere
without their cell phone. But it’s actually more than a phone – it’s a
lifeline to testing, care and support.”


smartphone-driven bus shelter ads feature scannable “quick response”
(QR) codes to instantly direct mobile users to videos from community
ambassadors and to the HIV testing
and care website, The videos are
It Gets Better-style testimonials from young Black men, women,
clergy, and members of the “ball community,” a dynamic LBGT subculture
in which individuals compete for prizes and respect by “walking” or

Change My Story asks individuals to “join the movement” in three distinct ways:

 Say yes to the test. It’s about getting tested for HIV/AIDS, but also other diseases that can steal moments from your life (hypertension, high cholesterol, hepatitis, diabetes, and cancer). Make your health a priority and experience more of the moments in life that are important to you.

 Connect to care. will help you connect to care services that are right for you and the experts who can help. Find out what you need to know to take control – whether or not you have health insurance.


Spread the word. Each one, reach one. Spread the word to your friends and family. Encourage them to take control of their own health – like you did.

For more information, visit



Northwestern Memorial Hospital Ranks High with Gay LGBT Healthcare

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of only three hospitals in Illinois named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the 2012 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) report.

The HEI is an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organization. Northwestern Memorial was commended for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families who can face challenges in accessing adequate healthcare.

My partner and I both see  Dr. Eric Christoff, at the NMPG office on Halsted. He has been our doctor for 8 years and we highly recommend him and NMPG  to  EVERYONE WE KNOW!


“We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to serving the LGBT community in Chicago,” said Dennis Murphy, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Northwestern Memorial. “We treat a very vast, diverse patient population and have long recognized the value of tailoring care to an individual’s unique healthcare needs. Our Patients First mission drives us to assure every patient receives the best care—period. And we think this recognition underscores that commitment.”


Northwestern Memorial was named a Leader in Healthcare Equality after demonstrating its ability to meet several key indicators for equitable care, including nondiscrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and training in LGBT patient-centered care for key staff. Only 234 healthcare facilities nationwide were recognized as leaders.


To further meet the needs of the LGBT community, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group (NMPG) employs several physicians who specialize in the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. They strive to educate both patients and other medical providers about the unique healthcare needs of LGBT patients. They are also strong advocates for creating a welcoming environment where their patients can receive quality non-judgmental care. To learn more about NMPG’s program, visit  


Beyond its commitment to serving LGBT patients, Northwestern Memorial also strives to provide an inclusive work environment for its employees with nondiscrimination employment policies and same-sex domestic partner benefits. An affiliate-wide networking group called the Northwestern Chicago Out Network exists for the support and encouragement of LGBT faculty, staff, students, fellows, and residents on the Northwestern Chicago campus.


The Most Delicous Nutritious Snack – from Farrells eXtreme Bodyshaping of Chicago

You all know by now, Derrick and I are enrolled in Farrells eXtreme Bodyshaping, and are evangelists for the program!

I always knew I could not live on pizza and pasta and have the body I wanted! But I also am very unimaginative in the kitchen, and find myself eating a lot of the same things.

I have been a long time fan  of protein and nutrition bars – you just have to pay close attention to whats in them.  Some of them ARE NOT HEALTHY  AT ALL! Loaded with Sugar! And they can get expensive to eat every day.

So I was happy when Farrells owner Jason, gave me this super easy, very healthy, make at home recipe for chocolate protein bars! It literally takes 5 minutes to make a batch.

1 C. Peanut butter (you should be eating natural peanut butter without the trans fat)
a couple teaspoons of honey
1 C. rolled oats
1 TBSP.  baking Cocoa
1 1/2 C. Chocolate Protein Powder
1/4  c  water

All you do is take the peanut butter and the honey and microwave it for about 30-45 seconds.

Then add the oats and cocoa and stir it together a bit. Add the Protein powder and water and just mix and mash it all together. Sometimes a dash more water is needed – if it is not all mixed well and clumping together nicely.

Then I take a sheet of foil, and spray it with PAM or something similar. Dump the mixture onto the foil. Then I wet my hand, and smash it and smooth down and out.  I like mine about  1/2″ thick. Lay it in the fridge for a few hours and when it starts to harden up, you can cut it into pieces, which you can snack on all week.  It’s easy. And TOTALLY healthy.

At night, Derrick takes one small low fat yogurt and dumps it into a bowl.  Takes a bar and crumbles it over the yogurt and sprinkles on  a few almonds. It is the most decadent, healthy desert you have ever eaten!

FYI – Farrells is in the final days of accepting new members for their summer session – and if you mention this article, Jason will offer you a sweet deal on certain time slots!

821 W. Blackhawk
Off Halsted, S. of North Ave.



Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping – Chicago Spring Deals

My partner and I
discovered Farrell’s eXtreme Body Shaping this Winter. We joined the
first 10 week session to officially launch in Chicago, in January. 

When they launched in January they offered  3  class choices – 2 in the AM, and 1 in the evening.

The next session  will run  April 14  thru  June 23. And they will now offer 6 classes a day!

If you mention our site, you can get a big discount for the 7am, 6:30pm, or     7:30pm   classes!

(see classes and pricing online)

We  have both  seen great results, and plan to continue on with the program in April. We have both seen our body fat drop, inches melt off our waistline and our muscle mass

In 45 minutes a day, six days a week, (yes!  6 days  a week!)   Farrell’s can help you make
real changes in your fitness and overall health. Results are typical
with the Farrell’s program. In 10 weeks with Farrell’s, you will see the
eXtreme changes you expect out of your fitness and nutrition

To enroll you must make an appointment to sign
up in person at the facility before Friday April 13th. OR, come in
during their evening hours of 5pm to 8pm.

Farrell’s eXtreme Body Shaping
821 W. Blackhawk        Off Halsted,     S. of North Ave.


*If you do not get through when calling –
leave a message. Sometimes  the staff is tied up leading classes or
helping other clients.


Get Paid! HIV Vaccine Study Needs YOU!

We’re looking for 18-50 year old, HIV-negative men and transwomen who men to volunteer in a vaccine study.

More than 30,000 people around
the world have volunteered
in an HIV vaccine study. BUT MORE ARE STILL NEEDED.

Every 10 minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV. A
preventive vaccine against HIV offers the best long-term hope to end
this worldwide epidemic. Finding a safe and effective HIV vaccine that
will protect people is a huge task. We cannot do it without your help.

Don’t worry…you cannot become infected with HIV
from the vaccine.

You will be compensated for your time.

Call  312-413-5897     Ref. #  0417


Arbonne Health and Wellness Products Come to Chicago

I recently discovered  ARBONNE!  

And  wanted to tell you about it!  Arbonne is a highly
regarded, premium brand with a Swiss heritage. The products are healthy,
botanically based and inspired by nature. The Arbonne experience starts
with changing the appearance of your skin, then it’s about changing
your life.  – And with harsh, dry, cold Chicago winters, we can all use a little Arbonne!

know that when it comes to buying skin care, cosmetics and nutrition
products, the recommendations and advice from people you trust are

pure, safe, beneficial™

I was on a search for better anti-aging products, than the ones I was using. And I found Arbonne. They have a line called  RE9  for Men. 4 easy to use products with ingredients to soften and minimize signs of aging and helping with fine lines!

I also love the beach and sun in the summer – and I found that they offer  before and after sun products. And again, these are made with natural ingredients, which is important to me.

Arbonne products are dermatologist-tested and botanically
based. Arbonne offers premium-quality beauty, health and wellness
products with targeted results. “We employ consumer and clinical testing
to reinforce our research and ensure our proprietary formulas deliver
unparalleled performance
.” –  and in most cities, there are local reps to help you make your purchases and offer advice.

Troy Karnoff is my local Chicago specialist.



2012 – Get The Body You Want with Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping

This year, as I turned 45, I realized my body WAS NOT what it used to be.

When I had to  buy a bigger pant size, THAT WAS IT. ENOUGH. I am getting my body back. I did just quit smoking – now I need to back on a fitness regimen.

A friend told me Farrell’s  Extreme Body Shaping was about to open in Lincoln Park. I looked at the photos, talked to the owner (who is gay) and joined!

Farrell’s located on 821 W. Blackhawk Street in Lincoln Park is the newest of the FXB facilities. (Right near North and Clybourn). 

It is owned and operated by Jason Hedden and Bret Sharp.  Jason is a long-time member, Instructor and Coach in the FXB program.  He began his journey in 2007 having lost 32 pounds in 10 Weeks and 9% body-fat. 

He has a background in Martial Arts and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon.  He has managed and operated two facilities in Iowa.  He moved to Chicago from Iowa with his husband, Danny, in order to open his own FXB facility.

“Our fitness facilities provide a
family atmosphere where everyone, regardless of their beginning fitness level,
feels welcome.  We stand proudly on our track record of helping real
people see real results.  Our graduation rate is very strong.  More
than 80% of people who begin our 10-Week program, finish, and everyone who
completes the 10-Week Challenge will see results.”  says  Jason.

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping®
is a body changing, life-style transforming fitness program designed to help you quickly improve your fitness level.

“In ten weeks, our students make positive, permanent changes to their health, strength, appearance and confidence.”

Farrell’s is different than the traditional health club, gym or fitness center. 

Every class is an instructor led group fitness experience.  Your coach and teammates are always right there to help you stay motivated and to push you to find your level 10.

Farrell’s® 10-Week Challenge combines exercise through fitness kickboxing and strength training, nutrition, a coach, certified instructors, teammates and a $1000 contest to motivate you to transformation. The Farrell’s team will lead you to a healthy lifestyle, weight loss, increased lean muscle mass and complete body transformation.


First session launches in just a couple weeks!

Make it your New Years Resolution, like I did, to live a better, healthier, more fit lifestyle!

Call Jason  for more details

And Mention US!

Farrells  Extreme Body Shaping Chicago


World Aids Day – FREE HIV Testing Today


observed December 1 every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.

has killed more than 26 million people.   and an estimated 35 million
people worldwide live with HIV,  making it one of the most destructive
epidemics in recorded history. It is NOT OVER.

in the U.S. about 50,000 people become infected with HIV annually. New
numbers from the CDC indicate that nearly 1 in 5 people (about 240,000)
don’t know they are infected.

Today from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., staff members from Howard

Brown will offer free HIV testing at the Brown Elephant

(Andersonville), 5404 N. Clark.

Model, actor,
athlete, designer  Jack Mackenroth
has quickly become the most visible,
out HIV+ advocate and educator in the country… if not the world. With the release of his  gorgeous, sexy 2012 calendar,
he is  raising  both money and awareness for AIDS research, and to
show through his photographs that a person living with HIV can be in top
physical form, healthy and sexy.All proceeds  Benefit  AMFAR.

His  AUTOGRAPHED, high-quality, glossy, limited  edition, 15-month calendar has been selling like hotcakes since September.

The calendar begins in January 2012 and continues through May
2013. Each month features a different photographer with a very different
style.  $14.95!!  Buy a couple. One for you and one for friends!  This
is sure to be a sell out!! And every calendar sold helps the fight!



Holiday Stress and Chiropractic Solutions

          Holiday  STRESS!

Why do many people feel so much more stress at this time of year? We tend to
blame worsening traffic, crowded malls, and incessant commercials pushing
holiday consumption, and the biggest one – stress and demands from family.

Stress, whether physical or perceived, triggers a fight or flight
response. This is a systemic physical reaction, affecting almost every
part of the body. It can manifest as headaches, increased heart rate and body and back pain.

Chiropractors work primarily with the spine, the root of the nervous
system through which nerve impulses travel from the brain to the rest of
the body. One effect of  stress is prolonged muscle tension and
contraction. This muscle tension creates uneven pressures on the bony
structures of the body, often leading the misalignment of the spinal

Chiropractors are trained in nutritional and other therapies for
stress. Several nutritional supplements, including B vitamins, help the
body cope with stress. A Doctor of Chiropractic may also recommend
relaxation techniques, and discuss posture and environmental changes to
help recovery from chronic stress.

A chiropractor cannot make a
job less stressful, or create a quieter, calmer world for the holidays!

What chiropractic
treatment can do is help you develop healthy responses to stress,
reducing potential physical damage.

Chiropractic is based on the concept that given the opportunity, the
mind and body can heal itself. In relieving some of the effects of  stress, chiropractic care provides just such an opportunity.

Chiropractic care that will     exceed your expectations!

Greater Chicago Chiropractic  
conveniently located in Lincoln Park,    steps from Clark and Broadway

25 years of experience     Dr. Dale Zuehlke       561 W Diversey Pkwy
P: (773)


Ambra Salon and European Spa Voted Best in Chicago!


40.  There!  

I said it.
 I turned  40, so what?!


Isn’t 40 the new 30?!

Most gay men are vain. Admit it. You know who you are. We are obsessed with body image, good looks  and a youthful appearance. Luckily my mother always preached Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!  And I did. Plus I worked in Skin Care for Neiman Marcus for 2 years, so I know there are many products out there that can in fact slow down the hands of time.


The attitude that skin care is a feminine pursuit has changed. More and more men are becoming concerned with good grooming and health on appearance. Straight men included.

Men need to care for their skin no less than women do. They tend to work under harsher conditions and to get greater exposure to pollution.

 I have one word for you….PREVENTION.   I am not a novice when it comes to facials and skincare. I’ve been diligent in taking care of myself for more than 10 years. I am  glad when people comment on how clear, luminous and smooth my complexion is. When it comes to skincare, I don’t go for a bargain. I go for quality. I learned that in this country, bargain and quality almost never coincide. So, for me, when I pay for quality, I am making an investment that is going to translate into great value later on.

When I go for a facial, I look for precision in removing all of the junk out of my face in a manner that is clean and gentle. What matters is that my skin remains clear of blemishes, luminous, well hydrated and firm.  When I leave my facial, I want to be able to go about my business without being red from inflammation.


 A few months ago I discovered Ambra Salon and European Spa downtown. 8000 sq. ft. facility with  7 spa treatment rooms, 1 couples treatment room, 14 styling stations, 9 manicure stations, 6 pedicure stations and a spray tan room.

Thirteen years ago I had a special plan in mind—to provide clients with a refuge from stresses of everyday life.” says owner Marie Bartkova, who is originally from Prague. “We opened in 1998 on N. Rush St. with 2 manicure stations, 3 facial rooms, 2 massage rooms and 2 portable pedicure stations.

In October 2008, during a tough economy, we were growing and needed to expand to accommodate Ambra’s overwhelming demand. We moved to 1 W. Superior St above Roy’s restaurant. The move allowed us to expand our service menu by incorporating a full hair salon and total spa department.”



-Ambra currently offers a full service menu for salon and spa treatments including specialty treatments such as:Different types of Massages,  Laser Hair Removal, Hair Extensions, Full Salon Services, Waxing, manicures, pedicures,  and Facials.

-Designed to naturally improve the condition of the skin and enhance its appearance. Each skin type is treated individually according to personalized needs and desires.Including  24K Gold and Caviar Facials.

-Medical cosmetics such as Botox and Juvederm are available.

-Ambra carries exclusive product lines such as: Biodroga, Pevonia, Rene Furterer, Prive, Schwarzkopf, Goldwell and Biosculpture.

We provide a full menu of body treatments, hair styling, nail services and basic chiropractic care. Both men and women can opt for single treatments or a daylong pampering session featuring massage, nail care, facial and a catered lunch.”  says  Marie.

My staff and I are dedicated to bringing you back to balance with our expertise in hair care and spa services. So whether you’re looking for a quick “pick me up” over lunch or a full day of self indulgence, I invite you to experience Ambra Salon & European Spa.”

Everyone is SO friendly here. The atmosphere is very pleasant, with a very modern decor  and it has a nice calm vibe. The space is immaculate, ALL OF THE TIME! Tabatha Coffey would be proud!

“There are moments when the mind surrenders to the soul, when time stands still and the body travels into a state of relaxation and well being. In today’s fast-paced world these moments are difficult to discover.”

At Ambra Salon and European Spa, these moments happen every day. Come see why their clients say they are  the best in Chicago!



Powerful New Music Video “I Will” Released: Emotional Story Line Seeks To Stop The Stigma of HIV

This week  the groundbreaking music video “I Will” made its debut at Chicago’s  Jackhammer in front of a large crowd and rave reviews. Singer/songwriter Marshall Titus and Photographer/Director John Gress were on hand for a Q & A session with the night’s host Jay Lacey.

The music video was very well received and immediately went viral, having been sent to over 100 bloggers nationwide. It is hoped that the music video will be watched by tens of thousands of people over the next few weeks and start to spur discussions in gay communities throughout the country. Titus and Gress created “I Will” out of a desire to both move and educate the gay community about the tendency to stigmatize those who are HIV positive.

The music video, with the help of a very moving plot and superb acting, tells the powerful story of an African-American charecter who discovers that he is HIV positive. The video follows his initial struggle with the diagnosis and reveals subsequently the growth that happens to him through a process of self-acceptance with  the love and support of his friends. The lyrics, “on this walk of faith, I will be strong, I will be brave,” mirrors the inner strength that the protagonist summons within himself to overcome his fear both of the disease and of the rejection oftentimes met with the disclosure of one’s status.


It is hoped that “I Will” will spark discussions about the tendency for gay men, out of fear to separate themselves on the basis of HIV status. This fear and division are causing many people to not get tested.

The result is that the HIV transmission rate continues to climb for gay men and shows no signs of abating. “I Will” strives to inspire gay men to stop dividing the community on the basis of HIV status. Titus and Gress hope that if fewer people live in fear, more people get tested and more people will be treated with dignity and tolerance.

Watch  I WILL  now  on YouTube.

SEPTEMBER  21st!   Stop The Stigma: A Day With HIV In America

Positively Aware magazine released a video in order to help publicize the second annual A Day with HIV in America. The national campaign features an online photo essay project focused on destigmatizing and demystifying HIV. Because whether you’re negative or positive, we are all affected by HIV.

On Sept. 21st, grab your digital camera or smartphone. Take a snapshot and capture a moment of your day. Each photo tells a story. So, get in the picture, and tell your story. Photo submissions will be posted on Select pictures will be published in the November+December issue of Positively Aware. Submit your photo by Sept. 26 to



TPAN Positively Aware HIV and AIDS Resource List

In the new issue of Positively Aware Magazine, there was a great 2 page spread, showing all sorts of resources and sites for HIV and AIDS information.

A lot of people don’t know where to start looking, especially if they have just moved here.

So we wanted to be sure to
LINK TO THEIR RESOURCE page – in case anyone on here, would like to access it.


Jack Mackenroth Does Super Sexy Calendar for Charity


New Yorker Jack Mackenroth competed in the fourth season of  Project Runway. Mackenroth was the first openly HIV-positive contestant in the show’s history.

This month he  launches his 2012 Calendar with 100% of

Proceeds Benefiting amfAR —
The American Foundation for AIDS Research

As the first television personality since Pedro Zamora to be vocal about his HIV status, Jack Mackenroth has quickly become the most visible, out HIV+ advocate and educator in the country. . . if not the world. With the release of his 2012 calendar, he hopes to raise both money and awareness for AIDS research, and to show through his photographs that a person living with HIV can be in top physical form, healthy and sexy. All proceeds from the calendar will go to amfAR ( to help find a cure for AIDS. Mackenroth has been living with the disease for 22 years.

Designer, athlete and HIV/AIDS activist and educator Jack Mackenroth has had the priveledge of shooting with some of the best photographers in the business. Each month of the 15 month calendar will feature a different photographer with a very different style. Jack is a role model to many people in the HIV community and a fitness model that many aspire to emulate.

Photographers taking part in the project include Adam Bouska, Rick Day, Carsten Fleck, Frank Louis, James Franklin, Karl Giant, Tommy Synnamon, Mattheus Lian, Richard Gerst, Ray John Pila, Sonny Tong, Thomas Evans, Krys Fox and Preston Cros.

“I have amassed such an amazing collection of images that I wanted to put out a calendar that will help to combat the silence and stigma associated with being HIV-positive,” says Mackenroth. He adds, “If I can raise money for HIV/AIDS research, it’s even better.”

Jack has been a vocal and visible advocate of the HIV community, touring the country through numerous speaking engagements and special appearances at events. He continues to speak around the country and will be planning calendar signing events in the upcoming months. His memoir, “Making Lemonaids” will be released this winter.

The autographed calendar is available for pre-sale   NOW, with shipping starting Sept. 15, 2011. All proceeds benefit amfAR—The American Foundation for AIDS Research. ( The calendar’s dimensions are 8.5 x 11 inches, and are available through (ONLINE NOW) for $14.95 (plus tax and shipping).

For additional information, please visit


Affordable Health Care Insurance and Solutions for Chicago

Post Healthcare Reform ….there maybe more questions and confusion about health insurance than ever before, right?!

Healthcare reform brings several advantages for the consumers and they should consider switching to
the “new” health insurance, rather than staying grandfathered in the old plans.

As a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, individual health insurance is now
enhanced with preventative benefits covered with no waiting periods, not being subject to deductibles
or coinsurance and copays. There is no more lifetime maximum dollar limit that in the past caused people to run out of insurance coverage and few other advantages that benefits the consumers greatly.

However, the cost of health insurance is still on the rise and many people responsible for buying their
own health insurance find that conventional plans with low deductibles are simply too expensive.

Selecting a higher deductible plan provides premium savings and combining it with Health Savings
Account can add tax advantages. Of course, having a little extra protection with Accident Rider gives
more peace in mind, since people usually encounter a huge hospital bill due to an accident. One slip
in the bathroom can be a setback of thousands of dollars that can be easily prevented with having
additional, very affordable accidental coverage.

One of the most important things people should consider, besides getting the new major medical plan,
is getting coverage for critical illness. Sure the great new health insurance will pay the doctors and the
hospital, but who is going to pay you, when you are recovering from a heart attack for three months?
Your health insurance will definitely not cover you mortgage payments, but very inexpensive critical
illness policy can provide you with a check, keeping you afloat, while you recover.

* 50.35% of personal bankruptcies were caused by illness or medical debts

* $13,460 was the average out-of-pocket medical expenses covering co-pays, deductibles and
uncovered health services for bankruptcy filers

Remember, insurance is for catastrophic events that you cannot afford to pay yourself, not to simply
cover your routine costs as generally healthy person. You wouldn’t expect your car insurance to pay for
your oil change, would you?

Let me help you find a plan, that is right for you. 
The internet has made shopping for insurance easier. Instead of driving around town to meet with an agent, you can compare rates, benefits, and apply online. Some insurance companies even let you apply right from their website.

Does it still make sense to have an agent help you choose a plan? You bet.

Agents are insurance experts. It’s their job to help you shop plans from leading carriers so you can be confident you’ve found the best rates and benefits for you.

We have  access to exclusive, proprietary products at prices you can afford.  I  have access to benefits through world class companies such as: Aetna , United Healthcare, Humana , Assurant , Blue Cross and Blue Shield , Mutual of Omaha.  We have “a plan for everyone” and we will help you get the best coverage and rates possible!     CALL Me, LENKA  @   630-748-8434



Preventative Chiropractic Care Can Save You Back and Neck Pains

No matter what causes back pain, the fact is it HURTS! Back aches are the number 2 cause of all doctors’ visits. Headaches are number 1. And sometimes the two go together! 

Back pain affects 80% of Americans at some time in their lives. It comes in many forms, from lower back pain, middle back pain, or upper back pain to low back pain with sciatica. Common back pain causes include nerve and muscular problems, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. Many people find relief from symptoms of back pain with pain medication or pain killers.

Some will see a Chiropractor. Like I did recently!  And Dr. Dale Zuehlke at Greater Chicago Chiropractic gave me an education! After several visits he was able to re-balance  my spine through chiropractic adjustments,  restoring my  movement and proprioception, but I learned that if I keep my body in proper alignment, by way of regular visits, I could avoid pain altogether.  You know the saying, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Now I see him about 4-6 weeks, to keep my body “tuned up”.

From its very beginnings, chiropractic has been concerned with improving people’s quality of life by helping strive towards optimum wellness.

Wellness care or preventative care (also written as preventive care) is designed to promote health based on the whole person’s optimal functioning and thereby minimize the future occurrences of impairment or illness.

Preventative chiropractic care or maintenance care is designed to help an already healthy and problem-free patient maintain an optimally healthy state whilst helping to prevent any acute or chronic problem from appearing at all.

Most people have experienced back pain sometime in their life. The causes of back pain are numerous; some are self-inflicted due to a lifetime of bad habits. Other back pain causes include accidents, muscle strains, and sports injuries. Although the causes may be different, most often they share the same symptoms. – THE SECRET is to prevent it, with Chriropractic Care!

We highly recommend  Greater Chicago Chiropractic

Dr. Dale  Zuehlke    
561 W Diversey Pkwy, Suite 221
Chicago, IL  60614         P: (773) 871-7766


The Right Side of Forty…Increasing Happiness for Gay Men May 26th

New York-based psychotherapist, Bob Bergeron, LCSW, leads a 90-minute workshop on aging for gay men, at the Center on Halsted. May 26th.

 With over two decades of clinical experience working with gay men, Bergeron provides insight into how being gay impacts comfort with aging.  All ages of gay men welcome, and for gay men over forty – even decades over forty – this workshop is for you!

Right now is an unprecedented moment in our gay history.  Today: we are the first large group of openly gay men to deal with the issues of getting older.  How is that possible?  The earlier generation, the Stonewall men: were decimated in numbers by AIDS in the 80’s and early 90’s.

“Think about how monumental that makes what we are going through now.  I turn forty-nine this year and I cannot even imagine the added security and comfort I would possess with getting older if I saw packs of older gay men in their sixties, seventies and eighties.  If they were still around, it does not guarantee I would be inspired by how they were aging.  But because there would be so many examples of older gay men: it would assist my decisions building my own list of the do’s and the don’ts with getting older.  I am painfully aware that I am forced to figure out my version of success and failure being older without this help.”

The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond is the first book on aging for the gay men of the twenty-first century that are struggling through this watershed moment.  With its release in January, my book mobilizes us for taking on our next crucial assignment: helping each other’s aging.  There’s a role for you to make a difference, my book is filled with thirteen chapters of options on how to get involved supporting other gay men while increasing your happiness about your own aging.”

This workshop is presented at Center on Halsted   3656 N Halsted, Chicago
Thursday, May 26, 2011 – 7:00 PM – 8:30PM         $5 suggested  donation
Get a sneak peak online.

Registration required –  call Zach Zimmerman, SAGE Special Projects Coordinator, at 773.472.6469 x 437


Chicago House Residents Say IT GET’S BETTER

Do you ever stop and count your blessings?
Take a moment and think about how lucky you are?
 Have a moment of gratitude?

I think many of us, rush through day to day life and forget there are a lot of people out there worse off.  Just this past weekend, hundreds of men and women came out for a festive gala brunch, thousands of dollars was raised, and we all get so caught up in the moment and the fun of it all, some of us, sometimes forget what it’s all about, if we don’t see it. We know it’s a good cause, but we sometimes may forget the face, the real people, attached.

At the annual Chicago House brunch this past week, I was personally humbled by Stan Sloan’s speech.  And I felt compelled to share it with everyone, in case you missed the event…..

Hi, my name is Stan Sloan, and I’m in my 11th year as the CEO of Chicago House. And I just wanted to start out my talk today by saying, “It gets better.”

It gets better. Hopefully everyone in here is aware of the importance of that phrase from Dan Savage and from the Trevor Project that has done so much great work with for the subject of LGBT youth and LGBT suicide. But last Sunday, Easter Sunday, I promised myself that I was going to work on this talk for today. And without a clue of what I was going to say, I decided to go and spend the day with the residents of our Supportive Living Program.

As many of you know, our Supportive Living Program is one of our five residential facilities for people who have HIV and AIDS and that have no where else to go. The Supportive Living Facility is the first step for our housing. The 16 residents who live there have come to us directly from the streets, from the shelters, from prison or detox centers, or directly from experiences of having been kicked out of the homes of their parents, friends or lovers…most often as a result of revealing that they have HIV.

Spending Easter with the residents of the Supportive Living Program may sound depressing, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If Easter is about springtime and moving from death of winter into the life of summer, then there is no better place to spend Easter than with these 16 men and women who, for perhaps the first time since they were diagnosed with HIV, have hope for moving from the death of their past lives to the life of what’s possible. Hope for moving beyond the perception that their life with HIV meant that there was no new life to follow.

As many of you know, our Supportive Living Program is one of our five residential facilities for people who have HIV and AIDS and that have no where else to go. The Supportive Living Facility is the first step for our housing. The 16 residents who live there have come to us directly from the streets, from the shelters, from prison or detox centers, or directly from experiences of having been kicked out of the homes of their parents, friends or lovers…most often as a result of revealing that they have HIV. Spending Easter with the residents of the Supportive Living Program may sound depressing, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If Easter is about springtime and moving from death of winter into the life of summer, then there is no better place to spend Easter than with these 16 men and women who, for perhaps the first time since they were diagnosed with HIV, have hope for moving from the death of their past lives to the life of what’s possible. Hope for moving beyond the perception that their life with HIV meant that there was no new life to follow.


As many of you know, our Supportive Living Program is one of our five residential facilities for people who have HIV and AIDS and that have no where else to go. The Supportive Living Facility is the first step for our housing. The 16 residents who live there have come to us directly from the streets, from the shelters, from prison or detox centers, or directly from experiences of having been kicked out of the homes of their parents, friends or lovers…most often as a result of revealing that they have HIV. Spending Easter with the residents of the Supportive Living Program may sound depressing, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If Easter is about springtime and moving from death of winter into the life of summer, then there is no better place to spend Easter than with these 16 men and women who, for perhaps the first time since they were diagnosed with HIV, have hope for moving from the death of their past lives to the life of what’s possible. Hope for moving beyond the perception that their life with HIV meant that there was no new life to follow.


So I went to SLP to be with those 16 residents on Easter, only to find out that none of them were there. One of our donors, who shall remain anonymous, had beat me there that day, and had left our staff member with money to take them all out for Easter pizza at Leona’s just down the street on Augusta. So I got back in my car and went to Leona’s to find four tables pushed together with 17 of the most diverse people that you can imagine packed next to each other. The oldest was 72. The youngest was 20. They were black and white and brown. They were men and women. They were gay and straight and transgendered, they were drop outs from Jr. High School and downtown executives who had lost everything to crystal meth and HIV. And they were laughing and eating together like brothers and sisters.

At least until I walked up. Nothing can ruin a party quite like the CEO walking in unannounced. “Listen,” I said as they pulled up a chair for me, “next Sunday I am giving a talk to 400 donors of Chicago House. What do you think I should tell them?” Most of them shrugged their shoulders until one of the women spoke up. “Tell them,” she said, “tell them that it gets better.”

At least until I walked up. Nothing can ruin a party quite like the CEO walking in unannounced. “Listen,” I said as they pulled up a chair for me, “next Sunday I am giving a talk to 400 donors of Chicago House. What do you think I should tell them?” Most of them shrugged their shoulders until one of the women spoke up. “Tell them,” she said, “tell them that it gets better.”


What gets better?

“Living with HIV…” she said. “Tell them that at Chicago House, living with HIV gets better.” “Is that what I should tell them,” I asked the rest of the group, and different people spoke up. A young intern from Sweet Miss Giving’s bakery who is only 21 and who was born with HIV from a crack addicted mother said how she had stopped taking her medication because she thought it was hopeless before arriving at our door. In her short time with us she has gone from a viral load of over 2,000 to being undetectable.

A man spoke up about the death of his partner and of the depression and drug abuse that left him homeless that followed. One of the older men spoke about how he had lived at Chicago House ten years ago and left because he didn’t want to follow the rules. “It took me 10 years,” he said, “but I finally realized that the rules weren’t near as bad as the rest of my life, so I came back and…” “It gets better” the original woman chimed in, and the whole table went up for laughs.

Today Chicago House provides housing and support services to over 1,100 people a year. Over the last 11 years we have worked hard to change the dynamic of that housing and services from a system that helps people get on benefits and supports that will let them live the rest of their lives with HIV in comfort to one that helps them move from those benefits and supports to lives that are fully engaged in the world and independent.

Over 500 people city-wide have been through our Employment Program which is the only program specifically targeting those with HIV and AIDS who are unstably housed in the nation. Our placement rate for the employment program is over 60% even in this economy. Sweet Miss Giving’s Bakery, Unquestionably Kind, Unreasonably Good! has a 100% placement rate for those trained in baking, packaging, customer service, and delivery through its internship.

Our prevention and medication adherence programs are stopping the spread of HIV in the LGBT and other at-risk communities, and they are helping those who are already impacted live long healthy lives. And, of course, our housing programs which serve over 200 adults and 50 kids annually are helping people develop the skills they need to gain stability and eventually independence, so that they can move on to open a space for someone newly infected and in need of hope.

It gets better. For Dan Savage and the Trever project the simple message of “it gets better” only makes sense in the context of encouragement and support. A struggling LGBT kid may not be able to imagine a better life on his or her own, but now he or she doesn’t have to. Now they can simply go to Youtube and find people…from Lady Gaga and Ellen to President Obama…imagining it for the. The clients of Chicago House most often come to us…black and white, men and women, homeless and white collar executives, gay, straight and transgendered…but with one thing in common…they have lost their ability to imagine a hopeful life with HIV, but At Chicago House it gets better. It gets better because Chicago House believe in them, and that is possible because you are here and believe in us.

It gets better. With your help and support it gets better.
Chicago House. We were there at the beginning.

We will be here till the cure.

Chicago House can always use volunteers.
Maybe this is your year to lend a hand?



Eat Right Get Fit with the Trainers from World Gym Chicago

Many gay men are obsessed with their body image.

American men spend over-

•$4 billion a year on exercise equipment and health club memberships
•$3 billion on grooming aids and fragrances
•$800 million on hair transplants

•$1 BILLION on male cosmetic surgery procedures, procedures such as pectoral implants, chin surgery, and penis enlargement and procedures such as liposuction and rhinoplasty (nose jobs).

A Playgirl centerfold model of 1976 would need to shed 12 lbs of fat and gain 27 lbs of muscle to be a centerfold of today!   OK- we get –  many of us are obsessed!

But if you have a desire for a great body –  what are you doing about it? And do you know what you are doing?

Are you eating sensible and healthy??

I can’t tell you how many guys I see at the gym, spending as much as 2 hours a pop working out –  then eating garbage food.

Or my favorite, the guy who is on a treadmill with his coffee in one hand and his cell phone in the other!

You have to eat right. It’s about learning to control caloric intake throughout the year, in addition to working out. It is a lifestyle adaption, and many people don’t follow through or don’t  have the knowledge to make the right decisions.

We could write pages and pages of nutritional tips – and that’s what well do in coming months, so this is just the tip of the iceberg. Some of the trainers at World Gym of Chicago  on Montrose shared their thoughts and expertise and a few tips.

I like World Gym because of its comfortable atmosphere. The owner says, “World Gym is not a “health club”, but a gym dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of our members’ health and fitness.

Our philosophy is not to enroll hundreds of new members, induced to sign up by an endless string of “special offers”…but to build a strong base of loyal members and work hard to earn that loyalty in continuum. We have found that this philosophy has created an environment where men and women of all ages, from the “just getting started” to the “top athlete,” all exercise in a comfortable, non-frantic atmosphere. We are a result producing, not stress producing, gym.”

      So here we go –  5 quick tips and pointers –

BASIC RULE #1: Our body weight is determined by the amount of energy that we take in as food and the amount of energy we expend in the activities of our day.

In basic terms, you can not eat more than you expend.  OR you must burn more than eat.  And you have to make healthy choices when you eat. You can’t consume buckets of sugar and fat and expect to get lean and build muscle.

When it comes to Protein;  Drink whey protein 20 minutes before a meal. The Minnesota Applied Research Center in Minneapolis found that the protein consumption caused a much greater loss in body fat than the placebo. The whey protein maintains blood sugar levels, which decreases appetite. And, the protein provides the building blocks your body needs to recover from your exercise program.

You can have TOO MUCH protein. The next time you urinate, take a gander into the toilet bowl. I’m serious.
Now tell me if your urine is bubbly and has a frothy consistency. Like beer.

If you’ve been supplementing your diet with protein in line with a bodybuilding routine, I’m going to bet you that chances are, you have bubbly urine. Now what does bubbly urine imply? proteinuria.

Proteinuria is a medical condition whereby too much protein is ingested for the body to utilize. The kidneys then work overtime to filter out this excess protein, and out it goes through your urine. Excess protein = bubbly urine.

2. Go nutty for nuts. Nuts are high in calories and fat – so it might seem strange that they’re a great weight release food. But they are. Researchers from Purdue University found that nuts are high in nutrients and antioxidants, that they help prevent degenerative diseases and that they are linked to reduced body fat. Nuts prevent hunger (consume a handful before going out to eat!), and they take a long time – and lots of energy – to digest. This research is providing new support for the caveman diet – which holds that we should eat nuts, berries, vegetables, lean meats, etc. – just like our ancestors.

3. Green tea is a fat loss miracle. Research from Maastricht University in Holland is making me a green tea believer. Green tea promotes weight release, weight maintenance, improved blood sugar regulation and even decreases abdominal fat! Of course, green tea doesn’t do it alone – you need to combine it with a comprehensive exercise and nutrition program.

 4. SUGAR. Eat foods that are low on the gylcemic index. The glycemic index  measures how fast certain foods increase blood sugars. Foods like white bread are very high on the index, and foods like whole grains are ranked much lower. Those foods that are high on the index seem to trigger fat storage – though researchers aren’t quite sure why. Here’s a list of how some of the most common foods rank .

5. SLEEP. Poor sleep = increased abdominal fat. Researchers from Wake Forest embarked on a multi-year study and found that too little – or too much – sleep led to increased risk of obesity and abdominal fat. 6 – 7 hours a night was found to be ideal.

THANKS  to the trainers  at
World Gym of Chicago

With 7 locations!

Some recommended  reads:


World Gym Uptown – Ranked Best Gym in North Chicago

The Number One
New Year’s Resolution….

lose weight and/or
get body in better shape!

Ok, it’s February. 
What have you done about it?

There is no excuse. If you don’t belong to gym or are considering changing gyms, NOW IS THE TIME.

This is the BEST promotion for fitness you will find in Chicago!

Wednesday February 9th.
Fitness Party Promotion  @  World Gym in Uptown
909 W. Montrose    773-348-1212
5am – 11pm (so don’t say you have to work, and can’t make it!)

World Gym is not a health club, but a gym dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of our members’ health and fitness.

“Our philosophy is not to enroll hundreds of new members, induced to sign up by an endless string of “special offers”…but to build a strong base of loyal members and work hard to earn that loyalty in continuum,” says Al, who opened this gym in 1992, but has been in the business a LIFETIME!

“We have found that this philosophy has created an environment where men and women of all ages, from the “just getting started” to the “top athlete,” all exercise in a comfortable, non-frantic atmosphere. We are a result producing, not stress producing, gym.”

World Gym has been voted one of the BEST GYMS IN CHICAGO!  and THE BEST GYM IN NORTH CHICAGO. I have been a member at World Gym for about 8 years now. I can honestly say, it is super clean and constantly updated with the newest equipment and free classes that are always changing and evolving.

On Wednesday February 9th, ALL DAY, World Gym is offering unbeatable promotions!

* 50% OFF on new enrollments, if you mention this article

* 50% OFF memberships, if you mention this article

* Complimentary food, cocktails, and nutritional supplements

So if you have been thinking about a new gym or maybe you just moved here, WORLD GYM has the best facilities, the best prices, and the best perks in Chicago!

Make sure you tell them we sent you!

And watch for   FITNESS TIPS  coming soon from the trainers of World Gym !

Best Gay


Older Adults – Gay and LGBT Seniors and Aging Research Being Done in Chicago


Face it!

Have you thought about it?

While many older adults suffer from health issues stemming from stig­ma, isolation and unequal treatment, aging dilemmas for gay men are even compounded by other than just medical issues.

Citing a 2009 study, a report noted that  lesbian couples’ Social Security benefits are typically 31.5 percent smaller and gay couples’ benefits are 17.8 percent smaller than are those of heterosexual couples.

Family members provide about 80 percent of long-term care in the United States, but that’s not the case with LGBT elders, since they are more likely to be single, childless and estranged from their biological families, said the report.

That’s just the beginning of the cycle of discrimination. The stunning report cited “official policies, laws and institutional regulations” that offer same-sex partners few of the resources afforded to spouses and biological family members.


Center on Halsted  and AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA ) are doing a survey to collect data on the health and psychosocial needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender older adults who live in Chicago.  This is only the 2nd survey of its kind to ever be done and the first in the Midwest.
Participants must be age 50 and over and identify as LGBT.   The survey  takes 45 minutes to complete and the participant will receive a $25.00 debit card as a “Thank you”.  All information is anonymous and confidential.  

THEY NEED PEOPLE NOW! The survey deadline  is  January 28th. PLEASE, if you are over 50, call for an appointment. It would be a HUGE HELP for the COH.
Researchers suggests LGBT older adults are more likely to rely on friends and family of choice than on more traditional caregivers such as family members and children.  As the family of choice network ages, there may be more of a reliance on formal support systems that may not be prepare to meet LGBT needs.
For those interested in taking the survey, please contact Betty at 1(773)472-6469 ext 448 or  to set up an appointment.

Best Gay


Red Dress Brunch at Cocktail Sunday December 12

The Red Dress Party
is a national event dedicated to creating awareness and visibility for the HIV/AIDS movement and raising funds for organizations that provide vital community services. 

will take place April 16th, 2011.

This Sunday, December 12th, join Best Gay as we help kick off a series of mini pre-parties and benefits!   RED  DRESSS BRUNCH takes place this Sunday at Cocktail, 3359 N. Halsted, from 12-3pm.

Come join us for brunch!  Dine out and drink and help a great cause!

 “Raise Your Glass” to end HIV/AIDS.  Enjoy some fantastic brunch and drink specials will be – $1 Cocktails, $2 Mimosas and $3 Raspberry Long Islands.

20% of proceeds will be donated to Chicago Red Dress Party which supports AIDS Foundations of Chicago and Equality Project.

Join us on Facebook

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LIKE Howard Brown on Facebook and They Get $25!

OK, so this is a no-brainer! 

Just to go the Howard Brown 
Facebook page 
and LIKE them.

And they get $25 from
an anonymous donor!
How easy is that?! And it costs you NOTHING!  Tell all your friends!  They need 1000 people to LIKE them and the get  $25,000!

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Chicago LGBT Howard Brown Heath Center in Serious Financial Troubles

Chicago’s Howard Brown Center , which provides health services to the city’s LGBT community, is facing a potential shut down of its services over alleged financial mismanagement by the organization’s top officers.  The Center provides primary health services to over 6000 LGBT Citizens in the Chicago area, many of whom with HIV and AIDS.

The Chicago Tribune reports, that Jamal Edwards, who was appointed president and CEO of the organization in June when two top executives were dismissed after an National Institutes of Health audit found they had mishandled the Centers funds, said Howard Brown will need to raise 
$500,000 over 50 days and an additional $500,000 next year or risk closing its doors!

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ office of inspector general report found more than $3 million in grant funds, part of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, or MACS, which has tracked thousands of men both infected with HIV and not infected with HIV since the mid-1980s, was used between 2006 and March of this year to cover general operating expenses at Howard Brown.

Staff members have agreed to sacrifice paychecks if necessary, and he’s confident the community will rally behind Howard Brown.


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Gay Chicago Casting Call for Dr. Laura Berman’s New Harpo TV Show

Are you struggling with your sex life or relationship? 

Dr. Laura Berman , a world-renowned Sex & Relationship Expert,
has a brand new show on OWN…and she’s here to help you!

Have you lost the spark in your relationship?

Is intimacy – or lack thereof –
a source of conflict between you and your partner?

Are you desperate to reconnect but don’t know where to turn, or don’t have the resources to get the information you need?

Chicago’s Dr. Laura Berman can help!!!

You’ve seen her segments on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Dr. Oz Show” and heard her great advice on “Oprah Radio” but now Dr. Berman has a brand new TV show, In The Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman, fully dedicated to helping couples achieve greater intimacy and connection, not to mention better sex! 

Dr. Berman understands the juggling act you go through every day and the significance of keeping your sex life a top priority. If you’re struggling with your intimacy, want a better relationship and long for  a more fulfilling sex life,  Dr. Berman is here to shed some light. Let Dr. Berman show you how to get exactly what you want and need in the bedroom and beyond! 

If you live in the Chicago area and you want Dr. Berman’s advice, contact us today !   Please be sure to include a description of your family and the issues you’re dealing with, along with a recent photo.  Couples need not be married but must be committed to making a change and be willing to appear and discuss their private lives on Television, if selected. 


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Andersonville Dental – Serving Chicago’s Gay LGBT Community Since 1997


Finding a good dentist
or doctor is like finding a good mechanic or any other service professional.

I read a poll recently with the question: Do you trust your mechanic?” And I was surprised to see that 46% of those who responded said “No”, they don’t. This got me to thinking, if you don’t trust your mechanic, why do you bring your car back to them?

If you didn’t trust your doctor, you would find another doctor. Your mechanic is very much like your/a doctor. They have to diagnose and treat your car. In fact, if you want to take it a step further, your mechanic has to be better than your doctor because your car can’t tell them where it hurts!

When I hire service professional, whether it be a mechanic, a plumber, a doctor or dentist, I want someone I can trust, someone who’s advice I value, and someone who will charge me a fair price for services provided and not rob me or overcharge me for things I don’t need.

When we first moved to the Chicago area from Michigan, we needed to find a new dentist, and new doctor. Some newly made friends gave us referrals for both. I had recently chipped a crown so I went to the dentist, I won’t say his name, and upon examining my mouth he told me I was in need in 5 crowns!  WHAT?  How could that be?  I had seen my previous dentist just 9 months prior and had no big issues! I felt this dentist just wanted  my  $6000  to fund his next vacation! I think there is a difference between a dentist who has an aggressive strategy and those that just seek monetary gain, based on a client’s lack of knowledge. Let’s face it – overtreatment and even unnecessary treatment does exist. The vast majority of dentists probably strive to provide the best treatment possible. But like any profession, dentistry has its bad apples.

I quickly fired him and went to another referral, Andersonville Dental and Dr. Anita Shahin.  She examined my mouth and recommended  one filling and 1  “watch” for a possible crown down the road. Nothing in need of immediate replacement.  WHEW!  What a relief.  An  honest  dentist!  It’s like finding a good  mechanic.  Someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.

That was 7 years ago and my partner and I are still clients of Andersonville Dental and tell everyone we know about Anita Shahin.  I am extremely confident in recommending Anita as one of the Best Dentists in Chicago. She provides affordable, honest & friendly dentistry. She does not try to sell you things you don’t need, she explains ALL options very well and is very conscientious of cost factors, insurance vs. no insurance, and above all, the client’s needs.


“I am an old school dentist most would say. I believe in restoring function to one’s mouth first and foremost, not cosmetic appearance initially. Many dentists look at cosmetic appearance first. There are a lot of dentists who try to persuade clients into getting things to make their smile better. Sure, I offer all of those services, but I am not going to try to sell them to you, if you don’t want them or  need them. If you come in with a toothache, we diagnose and fix that problem.” says Dr. Shahin.

“I take a lot of pride in what I do and it is important to me to be able to do a good job at a fair price. I want to do the job right the first time. This makes me happy and most important it makes my customers happy.”

Remember that it is your mouth and your health.
You are ultimately responsible for making the right choices for you.

Your dentist should act as an expert advisor about the past, present and future health and goals of your mouth to help you make the right choices, not a salesperson.

Your dentist should be willing and happy to explain to you:

•Why they are suggesting the particular treatment
•What the treatment is and how it works
•What alternatives and choices exist (including potential consequences of not having the treatment)
•What the pros and cons of available treatment options are
•What treatment they would choose for themselves if it was their mouth!

Your dentist needs to explain and discuss things with you, in a language you can understand and be very clear on the out-of-pocket expenses. Only then can the two of you reach a joint treatment decision based on an informed win-win consent.


What others say about Dr. Anita Shahin and her Andersonville Dental Practice-

“Dr. Shahin has such a “mom” mentality, she’s great at soothing you through something uncomfortable and gently chides you when you’re doing things wrong.”

The night before my Birthday, I broke part of my tooth off and I went in the first thing to get it fixed and they got me right in.  She saw how panicked I was, made me feel comfortable and then asked me if I ate yet.  I told her no, and actually my BF was making me a Birthday Breakfast. She told me to go eat and come back and enjoy my breakfast.  So I ate, came back an hour later and she fit me into her schedule like I was important or something.. I love it!  She won my heart over with her generosity and her passion to make her patients feel as comfortable as possible.”

“The prices are very reasonable, $75 for a cleaning, and she will do her best to work with you and keep costs down for more elaborate procedures if you need.  I also really appreciate the fact that she does the cleanings herself and does not have a hygienist do it.”

“I have been going to Anita for over 10 years, and she is with out a doubt the most  thorough, kind and  conservative dentist you will find in the city.   You definitely will not find yourself a victim of un-needed xrays and costly procedures. Dr. Shanin keeps your teeth healthy and intact with regular cleanings and exams. Her office and equipment are clean, and her employees are friendly and helpful. She takes most insurance plans. I   highly recommend  her to all my friends, and many have become regular patients.”

Andersonville Dental ~  Anita Shahin, D.D.S.     1700 W. Foster,  (773) 334-4200

Cosmetic and Family Dentistry
Bonding, Veneers, Crowns, Implants, Dentures, Extraction, Root Canals, In-house Laser Bleaching or at home Bleaching

Proudly and Honestly Serving the  LGBT Community since 1997
Most Insurances Accepted

Mention Best  Gay to receive a
15% NEW PATIENT DISCOUNT (For patients with no insurance)
Includes Free Consultation and Initial X-Ray







Consumers Research Council of America  gave Dr. Anita Shahin their America’s Top Dentists Excellence Award. Consumers Research Council of America  compiled an accurate list of Top Dentists throughout the United States by utilizing a point value system. This method uses a point value for criteria that they deemed valuable in determining the Top Dentists.

Dr. Anita Shahin is also a member of the
American Dental Association  and the Illinois State Dental Society .

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