• 20Nov

    Today’s post was contributed by Sarah Shanahan MS, RD, LD

    It’s THAT time of year again. Thanksgiving is now in plain sight, and all the parties have started — at the office, at school, and at your friends’ and family’s homes. It’s a wonderful time of year, full of joy and good cheer, and plenty of time for indulgence. How can you possibly get through this time and come out feeling like a champ? Use these tips to navigate the party scene, the big celebratory meals, and everyone dumping all their leftovers in the kitchen at work so you can save them from eating it all.

    Tip #1 (shameless plug alert!): Feel great by giving back with the purchase of a healthy-decadent signature holiday bread platter from Good Measure Meals. 100% net proceeds from the sale of holiday bread trays support the local non-profit, Open Hand Atlanta, providing nutritious meals for our neighbors in need this holiday season. Order your Whole Wheat Apple Quinoa, Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pecan, or Whole Wheat Cherry Walnut bread platter by Friday, Nov. 21, to receive delivery to a convenient location next Wednesday, Nov. 26 – just in time for Thanksgiving!

    bread tray collage

    Tip #2: Chow
    • Statistics vary on the amount of weight people gain in the 6 weeks from Thanksgiving to New Years—anywhere from 1 to 8 pounds. The problem usually isn’t the gain; it’s that people don’t lose the weight after the holidays.
    • Continue to eat your regular meals and snacks through the day so you don’t arrive famished to a party and end up eating every single hors d’oeurves passed around during cocktail hour.
    • Use the Plate Method to build a better balanced buffet plate. Make ½ your plate non-starchy vegetables, ¼ lean protein (light meat poultry or seafood), and ¼ carbohydrate (pasta, rice, breads, and starchy vegetables like root vegetables).
    • Choose Chex Mix (½ cup = 100 calories) instead of mixed nuts (1 ounce = 170 calories) and save 70 calories.
    • Choose baked sweet potato (1 medium = 100 calories) sweet potato casserole (3/4 cup = 650 calories) to save 550 calories.
    • Or, host the party so you can choose the food.

    Tip #3: Booze
    • 150 extra calories per day for 6 weeks can lead to 1.8 pounds weight gain. This is the same number of calories in one 6 oz glass of wine.
    • Save 160 calories by drinking hot apple cinnamon tea instead of spiked apple cider.
    • Have champagne or other bubbles (4 ounces = 80 calories) instead of white wine (6 ounces = 150 calories) to save 70 calories.
    • Have hot chocolate (1 cup = 105 calories) instead of eggnog (1 cup = 360 calories) to save 255 calories.
    • Soda water or seltzer is ZERO calories. So, make a mocktail with a splash of juice and a lime and save yourself 150+ calories per drink and a holiday party hangover.

    Tip #4: Activity
    • Get moving! The average 150 pound person burns 100 calories per mile, no matter the speed. This is a great reason to go for a walk after a meal or to get the family together to go caroling. It’s also a great excuse to window shop.
    • Play active games with kids like tag, basketball, or flag football.
    • Sign up for your neighborhood holiday 5K and walk or run off about 300 calories!

    How do you plan to stay healthy, active, and happy during the holidays? Join the conversation on Facebook!

  • 12Nov

    Like many of us, Hot 107.9 radio personality and producer Tonya Clackum, AKA “Beyonce Alowishus,” repeatedly found her busy schedule standing in the way of her health goals.
    She regularly skipped breakfast, sacrificed nutrition for convenience at lunchtime, and grabbed fast food on the way home from work.

    After years of struggling with her weight, trying every diet under the sun, she was looking for a plan that would allow her to lose weight despite her busy schedule, eat fresh food, and be sustainable long-term. Her doctor suggested Good Measure Meals (GMM).

    Tonya was immediately impressed by the friendly, informative Good Measure Meals staff and wide variety of meals on the menu. The calorie and portion controlled meals made it easy and convenient for her to eat healthfully – and deliciously! And once she found out that GMM proceeds go back into the community by supporting the non-profit Open Hand Atlanta, she was hooked.

    Tonya starting receiving the 1200 calorie meal plan, 7 days per week, and documenting her experience in a series of blog posts. Check out some of her comments below!

    “A lot of times we go on diets and feel as though we have to starve ourselves, but that’s not the case with GMM. The meals are very filling, and now that I’m eating the correct portions, I get fuller much faster and have learned not to over-eat.

    With other diets in the past, the weight would come right back when I got off the program. So I was nervous to be away from Good Measure Meals during one 10-day train trip through Canada. But this time, I didn’t gain weight or fall off my diet. How did I manage? Portion control. Plus, I opted for more of what I had eaten with GMM- more fruits, whole grains, and baked and grilled foods.

    The best parts of the program are the food variety (I never had the same meal twice), easy pick-up locations, being informative and affordable, and the GREAT taste. My favorite meal? Ground Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers. Some other favorites include Tilapia Florentine with Brown Rice and Broccoli, Brunswick Stew with Cornbread, and Turkey Meatloaf with Parsley Potatoes.

    Not only did I lose weight on the program, it taught me portion control. I felt better overall, and even my blood pressure went down. I also felt good about getting involved with the non-profit Open Hand. All the net proceeds from GMM go to support Open Hand, and Open Hand serves more than 6,500 meals a day to people who are home-bound seniors or less fortunate across 17 counties in Georgia (AMAZING)!!!

    My friends and co-workers say I look great, but it’s not just because of the weight loss; it’s also because the meals are so well planned. I am getting all of my daily nutrients that my body needs on a daily basis. Plus the MAIN reason I am a fan is that all of the money raised by GMM goes to Open Hand Atlanta. It’s just AWESOME. Period. 1200 calories a day and I get my breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s FRESH, not processed and frozen. It’s super healthy and it goes to a good cause. I have never felt better.”

     

    Several months into her Good Measure Meals, Tonya is 20 POUNDS DOWN and continues to lose weight, looking and feeling better every day.

    For updates on Tonya’s health and weight loss journey with Good Measure Meals, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @BeyonceATL.

  • 21Oct

    Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.

    healthy snacks to fuel your fitness

    By finding time for fitness this fall, you’re well on your way to improving your health. But don’t forget the other half of the equation: healthy eating! Good nutrition is vital to overall health – Good Measure Meals has your breakfast, lunch, and dinner balanced and portioned for you, and choosing the right snacks will also help fuel your active lifestyle. If you haven’t yet added a Good Measure Meals 200-calorie or 400-calorie snack plan to your meals yet, our snacks are an easy way to keep on track between meals while you’re on-the-go.

    Registered dietitian Alissa Palladino also has some tips for how to best stay healthy while you Fall into Fitness this season.

    For moderate exercise lasting less than an hour, there is no need to refuel while on-the-go. But for hikes, bike rides or other activities lasting longer than two hours, it is smart to pack a snack.

    trail mixSome portable and healthy options snack ideas include:

    Trail mix – the quintessential hiker’s snack! DIY and make your own tasty mix by combining your favorite types of unsalted nuts, seeds, dried fruit and whole grain cereal. This combination will provide a good dose of healthy fat, carbohydrates for energy, and protein to keep you satisfied. (Any of these ingredients on its own works as a snack, too!)
    Energy or granola bars – there are tons of options out there- your best bets will be minimally processed versions (i.e. not too many ingredients and ingredients you recognize). Look for bars that are low in saturated fat and added sugars and high in protein and fiber.
    veggies and hummusFruit – apples, oranges, grapes and bananas (especially if not too ripe) travel well, providing natural sugars for energy, water to keep you hydrated and important nutrients lost in sweat, like potassium.
    Raw veggies - baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and celery sticks are some easy and portable options. Pair with peanut butter or hummus for protein and healthy fat- you can even find these in single-serve containers for added convenience.

    Note that during vigorous aerobic exercise, like running, you’ll want to stick to simple carbohydrates for energy, and avoid high fat, high fiber, and high protein foods, which can cause GI distress. For exercise lasting more than an hour, try dried fruit like raisins, or pretzels (the salt may be helpful if you’re sweating heavily), or sports gels/chews containing a mixture of easily digestible simple sugars. Then, replenish with a balanced meal containing both carbohydrates and protein within an hour of exercise.

    No matter the type or intensity of physical activity, remember to stay hydrated! While you’ll likely sweat less in the cooler weather, it is still important to drink water before and after exercise. Bring along a water bottle if you’ll be out for over an hour. For vigorous bouts of exercise, consider a sports drink that provides electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to replenish sweat losses as well as carbohydrates for sustained energy.

  • 15Oct

    Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.

    fall into fitness header

    With the cooler weather and leaves starting to change color, the fall is a great time to be active outdoors. Walking, biking, jogging and hiking are all great ways to enjoy the outdoors and improve your fitness.

    Here is one important question to ask yourself honestly:
    Are you (a) getting in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week OR (b) getting in 25 minutes of strenuous exercise three days a week?

    Moderate exercise is akin to pushing a stroller, biking 5 miles in 30 minutes, shooting baskets, playing touch football, raking leaves, or vigorous social dancing.
    Heart-pumping strenuous exercise is more along the lines of swimming laps, jogging/running, jumping rope, shoveling snow, or climbing stairs.

    Fitness is a life-long habit to start forming today, and regular aerobic exercise has many health benefits from protecting your heart, boosting your mood, raising your energy levels and even improving cognitive function!

    Whether you’re an early riser or prefer evening workouts, stay safe when exercising in the dark by sticking to well-lit areas and wearing reflective clothing or a headband flashlight.
    Remember to stay hydrated! Even though you’ll sweat less when working out in the cooler weather, it is still important to drink water before and after exercise, and definitely bring along a water bottle on longer bouts of exercise.

    jog with dogFinally, have fun! Working out does not have to be painful – in fact, it shouldn’t be! Take your dog out hiking with you, experiment with new activities, and explore new trails and parks to prevent boredom.

    If motivation is lacking, try signing up for a race  a few weeks/months ahead or making exercise plans with friends. Include your family in your workout routine, whether it’s jogging with a stroller, taking a walk together in the evenings or organizing a family bike ride on the weekends. You won’t have to sacrifice family time or your health, and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids.

    family fall bike ride

    By making exercise a regular and enjoyable part of your life this fall, it will become a healthy (and helpful) habit by the time holiday season strikes.

    So – what’s your favorite way to exercise outdoors?

  • 29Aug

    Today’s post is contributed by Good Measure Meals intern, Claudia Utesch.

    Fall is just around the corner, which means there are a few weeks left to take full advantage of the longer, sunny, warm days that are currently at our fingertips.

    Summer is truly one of the best times of the year to be outside and enjoy what your environment has to offer. It is such a treat living in Atlanta because it is the best combination between city life and the great outdoors. Atlanta has a variety of parks, running routes, and even mountains just a short drive away. This Labor Day weekend, get out and take advantage of the outdoors with a couple of these helpful tips.

    1. Try out a variety of parks. There are so many parks in the metro Atlanta area like Piedmont Park, Grant Park, Candler Park, Inman Park, and of course Centennial Park. Take your loved ones for a day at the park; bring a picnic and some activities (bocce ball, frisbee, a kite to fly, etc.) to do outside while you enjoy being outdoors. Many of these parks like Piedmont Park and Grant Park offer a pool for visitors to cool off from that late-summer Georgia heat.
    piedmont park

    2. Another great way to get out and play is finding running routes or trails near you. The Atlanta Beltline covers a 22 mile radius around the city of Atlanta. The Beltline is commonly used for biking, running, and walking. The Beltline runs through multiple parks like Piedmont, Glenwood, Maddox, and Atlanta Memorial Park. Finding a trail near you, whether it is a neighborhood trail or a public one can be a great way to spend the afternoon exploring the nooks and cranny’s of your community. Check out the Beltline’s and the PATH Foundation’s lists of trails to find one near you!

    tomato3. Gardening – it’s not just a spring-time activity! Whether it’s a fruit, vegetable, or a bed of flowers or plants, gardening can be enjoyable and therapeutic. As I have gotten older, a couple of my friends have started their own small gardens. It is incredibly rewarding to  experience the growing process under your care. Fruit and vegetable gardens can have a lot of benefits, especially because you can add the end product to your dinner table! And now is the time to get your Fall veggies in the ground – plant your kale, carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, and turnips in September, and enjoy the perfect harvest for stews, roasts, and Fall flavors.

    4. Georgia has a wide variety of hiking trails on which to spend a few minutes, hours, or an entire afternoon. The closest “mountain” to the Atlanta area is Stone Mountain. This hike is relatively short, but has QUITE an incline. Kennesaw Mountain and Sweetwater Creek are other nearby trail systems, and these paths are usually quiet and filled with lots of shade. Find a list of top 10 Atlanta hiking trails here!

    waterpark5. Waterfront activities like visiting a pool, a lake, or the beach are a great way to get the kids out of the house while keeping cool. Georgia has several lakes that you and your family can relax on during a late summer day. And if you’d rather have a more exciting day in the water, you can also visit some of the waterparks in the area, like those at Lake Lanier Island. Spending the day in the water is a fun way to maximize the final weeks of summer and relax with your loved ones and friends.

    Take the time out of your busy schedule to explore what our area has to offer outside. You may be surprised at the fun adventures you can find without spending a fortune!

  • 17Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What Are Your Tips for Staying Hydrated?” was contributed by Jess Parsons-White, GMM Senior VP.

    The summer heat is sweltering and without proper hydration you might find yourself feeling lethargic, cramping, or even dizzy. For some, it is an easy solution of drinking more water, but for those on the move or who may not enjoy guzzling a gallon of cool refreshing water, staying hydrated in the heat can be a challenge.

    Luckily, our Open Hand Wellness Committee has put together a quick fact sheet for staying hydrated on go, as well as a few suggestions for how to “rethink your drink” by adding flavorful infusions to your water bottle.

    Tip one: Invest in a good water bottle! Look for a BPA-free container that is easy to fill and to drink out of while driving or exercising. The easier it is to use the more you’ll drink!

    Tip two: Before hitting the road fill your water bottle up with cold water, and when it’s empty, make it a priority to find a water fountain or rest stop where you can safely replenish. Our own Good Measure Meals drivers struggled getting their daily dose of H2O; but recognizing the need, our Wellness Committee partnered with Kaiser to distribute new water bottles to all the drivers. Now there is a line at the filtered water dispenser every morning!

    Joe HydrationDonny Hydration

    Tip three: Don’t be afraid to add unique flavor combinations to your pitcher or glass. Fresh Herbs and fruits can be combined to add an exciting twist to your drink! Just throw a handful of each into a pitcher and them strain out after an hour.
    • Looking for a calming classic? Try Cucumber Mint.
    • For a zesty combo, try Pineapple Parsley.
    • Maybe you’re into a sweeter treat? Strawberry Basil is a personal favorite.
    • Not convinced yet? Start with a few slices of Lemons, Limes, and Oranges for a classic citrus zing!

    **Now check out a quick demonstration for how to infuse water by our Spring Dietetic Intern, Frances Ennis! And for even MORE info, check out Jess’ previous post about the benefits of good hydration.**

  • 09Jul

    Today’s post was contributed by guest blogger Frances Ennis, GMM Spring Dietetic Intern

    It’s not uncommon to start a weight loss plan and feel like you’re doing everything right, and yet the weight doesn’t seem to come off. What gives? Perhaps your answer could lie in one of the following 5 questions. If you’re guilty of one or more of these, we might have found the culprit.

    GMM Greek Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Apricot Compote

    GMM Greek Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Apricot Compote

    1. Are you skipping breakfast?
    While skipping breakfast sounds like a great way to “save calories” for a meal later in the day, it actually can cause you to feel those mid-morning hunger aches which lead to mindless snacking on high calorie junk foods. If you don’t have time to make breakfast yourself, let GMM take care of you with our tasty and balanced breakfast menu options!

    2. Are you drinking your calories?
    So you’re eating a balanced diet and watching the calories you eat, but what about your drinks? If you drink a glass of orange juice at breakfast, a flavored coffee drink for your morning energy boost, a glass of lemonade at lunch, and a glass of wine with dinner you’ve consumed up to 700 calories in beverages alone! Try to sub out those drinks for water with lemon or unsweetened tea. It will make achieving your weight loss goal much easier.

    3. Are you eating too much of the right foods?
    Even though consuming a balanced diet with all of the food groups is the best way to keep your body fueled during weight loss, calorie intake is what drives that scale number down. It’s important to monitor your portion sizes even when you are eating the healthy foods. Try eating your meal on a salad plate instead of an entrée plate, and wait 15 minutes before going back for second helpings. If you’re unsure of what appropriate portion sizes are, GMM can take the guesswork out of the equation and provide you with the right amount of food you need to achieve your goals.

    4. Do you think about exercise a lot?
    It’s easy to see a new exercise routine as license to eat a few extra calories, but that quickly defeats the goal of weight loss. And studies have shown that merely thinking about exercise can cause you to be hungrier and eat more! Avoid the temptation and restrict your pre- or post-gym snack to 150 calories or less.

    sleep5. Are you getting enough sleep?
    Inadequate sleep can send your body into a fat and carb-craving survival mode. Additionally, if you’re awake more hours of the day, it’s easy to make time for another meal or snack which adds to your calorie tally for the day. Most adults need 7-8 of sleep hours each day. If you still find yourself groggy after 8 hours, you might need up to 9. It’s also much easier to muster the energy for exercise after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

    Remember, the best and safest way to lose weight is all about balance. Balance your nutrients. Balance your calorie intake and exercise. Stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. If you’re still unsure of what to do, reach out to our registered dietitians for a consult at customerservice@goodmeasuremeals.com!

  • 03Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What are your Favorite Summer Fruits and Veggies?” was contributed by Philip Niekro, GMM Customer Service Manager.

    Philip_picAs much as I love to cook, I don’t seem to cook much during the summer. Maybe it’s because it’s so hot outside or maybe it’s because I’m a little more tired than usual during my training season for the July 4 Peachtree Road Race (anyone else running tomorrow??). Who knows!

    This summer I’ve been working on losing a few pounds and am being successful on the Good Measure Meals plan. And since I’m on the 5-day a week plan, I do have to make some smart choices on the weekends. Fortunately, for me, this is the time I get to indulge with my favorite summer fruits and vegetables: Strawberries and cucumbers!

    Strawberries are chock full of Vitamin C and, calorie-wise, you get a big bang for your buck. Here is a favorite recipe from my mom. I love making this recipe and have altered it a bit to make it a little more healthy.

    strawberriesStrawberry Spinach Salad

    Ingredients
    1 pint strawberries, sliced
    1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
    ½ red onion, thickly sliced

    Instructions
    Toss in bowl with dressing just before serving

    Dressing:
    3 T sugar
    3 T light mayonnaise
    2 T fat-free milk
    1 T white vinegar
    1 T poppy seeds

     

    As for cucumber recipes, this one is really easy!

    Peel and slice one fresh cucumber.

    cucumberUsing an infusion pitcher, add sliced cucumber and one small bunch of washed basil in the center compartment and add filtered water. If you do not have an infusion pitcher, just put the cucumber and basil into a regular pitcher and then make sure to hold back the cucumber and basil when pouring your glass of water (unless you’d like cucumber and basil in your cup – if so, pour away!).

    Place in fridge for at least 2 hours, then enjoy!!

    I like to make this cucumber/basil infused water because it’s so fresh tasting. During these hot summer months, a different approach to hydration is sometimes all it takes to make drinking more water a little more exciting.

    I hope you give these recipes a try, and that you get creative with them, too. If you put your own spin on them, let us know in the comments section, below. Do you have a favorite infused water combination? Share your great ideas!

    Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy the wonderful produce and herbs that this season has to offer – and most of all, have a great Summer!!

  • 22May

    Today’s Blog Post in the “What is Your Favorite Warm-Weather Form of Exercise” Series was contributed by GMM Business Development Representative, David Rogers.

    My favorite warm-weather exercise is either outdoor walking or bike riding. I grew up doing these activities with my parents and siblings after dinner to help us after our meals to promote good health, family time and better sleep.

    photo 2_2These days, I am very fortunate to live in a great walking and biking neighborhood. The rolling landscape of my route provides not only moderate resistance for raising my heart rate, but also a visually beautiful area to help reduce stress. Plus, it’s always nice to catch the smell of the flowers just before you need a burst of energy to stride up a hill (and build some muscle!).

    It’s also just nice to be able to chat with and catch up with any of the neighbors that might be out along the way, and to even bring my dog along for the walk. Having a community network is proven to be a key to good health and happiness, so taking a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood and speaking with the neighbors checks two health-promoting boxes at once!

    photo 1To mix things up, my town has also created a 5-mile trail system that has pedestrian- and bike-friendly lanes. I often step out of my usual routine and even enlist my friends and family to join me for a 30-45 minute trek along these trails. Most communities offer a similar set-up or have local parks nearby with wellness challenge stations to help improve your strength, flexibility, and stamina, so I usually look for these for an added challenge along the way.

    For me, exercising during the warm summer months is all about having the right shoes, bringing along proper hydration, and most importantly having good company to encourage me to get outside to keep promoting my good health and reduce my stress.

  • 14May

    Today’s Blog Post in the “What is Your Favorite Warm-Weather Form of Exercise” Series was contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Callie O’Steen.

    callieosteenIs it just me, or did we just get hit with summertime here in Atlanta?? Warm weather days are definitely upon us! Bring on the sunshine (no sunscreen, because this pale girl needs a tan!) — alright, alright, maybe I will compromise and put on SPF 15 so my dermatologist doesn’t hate me.

    I don’t know about you, but warm weather motivates me to be healthier. I run more, go on longer bike rides, (eat more ice cream), and I eat fresher, too!

    But one of my favorite warm-weather activities is walking. You get in some good physical activity, and you don’t come away completely drenched in sweat. Walking is also a great way to start exercising if it’s been a while since that gym card’s been swiped - and walking definitely isn’t as intimidating as that hot yoga-pilates-spin-boot camp class they offer at the gym.

    Convinced yet? If not….

    Did you know that walking can help reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and depression?! Whoa now – time to lace up those tennis shoes!!

    If you like to walk (yay!) and talk (yay!) about nutrition (DOUBLE YAY!) come join us for our “Walks and Talks with an RD on the Beltline!” Our registered dietitians (RDs) host weekly walks along the beautiful Atlanta Beltline, and we discuss any questions or topics that may be on your mind. So come out and ask us questions, we love chatting!

    Here are some meeting locations where you can find us on a weekly basis. We hope to see you at a Walk soon!

    Piedmont Park (Park Tavern parking lot), 1014 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30306: Wednesdays at 5:30pm with RD Callie

    Washington Park (Tennis Center), 1125 Lena St., Atlanta, GA, 30314: Thursdays at 7:30am with RD Jamie

    Eastside Trail Extension (H. Haper Station), 904 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA, 30316: Thursdays at 5:30pm with RD Kristi

    Callie O'Steen, left, leads a crew on a Beltline "Walk and Talk with an RD."

    Callie O’Steen, left, leads a crew on a Beltline “Walk and Talk with an RD.”