• 08May

    Summer is right around the corner, and the hot weather has already started rolling in! Our town isn’t called “Hotlanta” for nothing, so we asked our staff members: “What is your favorite way to exercise in the heat?”
    harmony

    Over the next few weeks we’ll share their responses. We hope you find some motivation to get out and move around, too!

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Customer Service Representative, Harmony Blackwell.

     

    My favorite way to exercise in the summer is to swim.
    It gives me a chance to move my whole body while having fun and staying cool. The weightlessness that I experience in the water enables me to do various exercises that I cannot do as easily out of the water.

    Consistent swimming tones the body, improves cardiovascular health, and lengthens the muscles, all without breaking down the body. In fact, swimming is often used as a method of therapy and rehabilitation for athletes who have been injured while participating in high-impact sports.

    fun noodle

    Swimming is also good for relaxation and clearing of the mind. I LOVE floating on those fun noodles you see at the pool. First of all there’s a knack to balancing along the length of the noodle with my legs crossed. Once I’ve got the perfect position, I use my arms to snake across the water as I look up in the sky making stories up based on the various cloud formations that flow through the air. There’s something about floating and staring up into the expanse of the sky that makes you feel connected to the Earth.

    Looks like this guy enjoys floating with a fun noodle, too ;)

    My other favorite thing about being in the water is playing volleyball! You get a serious workout between the jumping and diving for the ball. Not to mention the laughter that constantly happens during the game!

    And last, but not least, I LOVE the ocean! Swimming with sea life is one of the most awesome experiences! It taps me into an whole separate world of life, and even teaches me how to “go with the flow.” Not to mention that the salt water and sand are great cleansers and exfoliators for your skin.

    running into ocean

    Since January of this year, I’ve decided to make a “Commit to Lean”-style life change: Eating right with the help of Good Measure Meals, doing a consistent weekly workout, and making sure I’m drinking the proper amount of water.

    And now that it’s already halfway through the year, and I’ve been keeping at my goals, I’m ready for bikini season!

    What about you, what is your favorite hot-weather workout?

  • 24Apr

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM’s beloved Customer Service Manager, Philip Neikro

    336040_10150888354297309_499730162_o Hi Everyone! I’m Philip Niekro, GMM’s Customer Service Manager. I was asked to write a little blog entry about my favorite GMM meal. I haven’t contributed to our blog in a while, and since I’ve just recently resumed my GMM meal plan, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience with Good Measure Meals.

    I’ve been an off and on again GMM customer for over 5 years. I found out about this wonderful service back when I was looking to lose some weight and was at a point where I didn’t know what to do next. I had a friend who had just started working for this cool company that offered a fresh, calorie-controlled meal plan that, also, happened to be a fund raiser for a wonderful local non-profit called Open Hand.

    I gave Good Measure Meals a call and started picking up their 1700 Calorie, Healthy Selection, 7-day plan the very next Monday. I had never used a meal service like this before and was excited to try a new avenue to shed some pounds. I figured I’d at least give them a try. Needless to say, I ended up staying on the plan for almost 4 months and reached my goal of losing 30+ lbs! I was thrilled with my accomplishment and became one of GMM’s biggest fans.

    A couple of years later, I heard through that same friend that they were looking to hire a new customer service representative. I jumped at the chance! I got the job and was thrilled! I was going to be working for this great company that I had been recommending to all of my friends and, at the same time, help this awesome non-profit get medically appropriate meals to a group of people in Atlanta who would otherwise be in need.

    I’m now going on my 4th year here at RagnarGood Measure Meals and, still, to this day, have to pinch myself on occasion to remind myself that, yes, you do work for this amazing company. I get to talk to all of you wonderful customers, help you choose the right plan, find out what is working for you and what isn’t, find out what your favorite dishes are, answer questions about our service to new customers, and be an ear to those of you who might need a little support. Two years ago, I became GMM’s Manager of Customer Service and am excited to be able to help steer my team into an even better customer service department while being a part of the exciting things happening at GMM and Open Hand.

    And finally: What is my favorite GMM Meals? It has to be any kind of breakfast that contains Greek yogurt. I love the build-your-own parfait breakfasts the most. For some reason, interacting with your food that way is fun and feels like a treat.

    Good Measure Meals has helped me lose weight and get healthy. I’ve learned what a correct portion size of healthy prepared food looks like. GMM takes a part of that oh so difficult losing weight equation and does that work for me. I don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store, about what to buy or leave on the shelf, I don’t have to cook for a while, and I get to enjoy really tasty meals. By letting someone else take those duties away from me, I get to use my time and energy on the other part of the equation, ramping up my exercise and working to make other important decisions regarding my diet, i.e., late night snacking, emotional eating, etc.

    Currently, I’m looking to drop a little weight again. I’m back on GMM meals and am totally loving the new menu. I’m looking forward to reaching my goal weight again and enjoy the process at the same time.

    Interested in joining me? Come join the healthy meal plan train with me! Give me a call and I’ll get you started! Let’s do this together!

    Philip and his awesome team can be reached at 404-815-7695

  • 10Apr

    Have you been tuning in to our Atlanta and Company segments the last couple of weeks?

    Rachel Stroud, our GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, has been joining host Rashan Ali to discuss some really important keys to weight-loss success. She will continue this series each week for the next few weeks, so make sure to tune in at 12:30 each Wednesday for some informed discussion (and a special FLASH SALE discount!!).

    photo 1

    Hopefully you’ve already made the pledge to yourself to Commit to Lean in 2014 and are on your way toward meeting your health goals this year. If you are, you know that the process of re-learning portion control and creating those engrained healthy habits takes a while.

    The complicated part is that so many diets out there make weight loss about less, less, less. Less calories, less food equals MORE WEIGHT LOSS.

    But for real weight loss that lasts, we need to replace the idea of “less” with the concept of balance and of sustainability. Repeat that to yourself: balance and sustainability. Balance and sustainability.

    rachel scary childhood meals

    Energy Balance is the simplest equation we have for achieving weight loss or weight maintenance. Our body takes in energy through food and beverages, and we put energy out through basic survival, activities of daily life, and planned exercise. If we want to lose weight, we have to put out more energy than we’re taking in.

    The calories you personally need each day for basic survival is called your Basil Metabolic Rate. It’s the number of calories your body need to function if you simply laid in bed all day. Those calories are the energy necessary for your heart to pump, your lungs to expand, and your lean muscles to be fueled.

    Now, IF, in the name of quick weight loss, you eat LESS than your body’s Basil Metabolic Rate, your body will enter “Starvation Mode.” Starvation mode changes the way the body processes nutrients so it stores our fat (gasp!) and breaks down muscle for the energy it needs instead.

    Now here’s the real kicker: fueling our muscles with oxygen and energy is a significant part of our metabolic rate, so let’s say your body breaks down muscle to fuel itself during your diet regimen of drastic calorie-cutting. In the process, you’ve lessened the amount of calories your body needs in a day. This means that instead of functioning at your normal (for example) 1700 calories necessary per day, your body has dropped and acclamated to functioning on (for example) 1000 calories per day.

    Now let’s say you go back to consuming the amount of calories you used to at your former Basil Metabolic Rate, or what you used to consider “normal” before severely cutting your calories. At that point it is going to be harder to continue to lose weight and to keep the weight you have lost off, because during the “starvation mode” period you have decreased your metabolism by decreasing your muscle mass.

    Make sense?

    The moral of the story is: the only way to increase your metabolism (so that you can actually burn away that FAT) is to build more muscle. This raises your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn in a day, despite your physical activity. Very low calorie diets shoot down your metabolism and cause you to lose muscle.

    Unless you want to continue cutting away calories and restricting your access to food for the rest of your life, losing weight the healthy and sustainable way means keeping your muscle and your metabolism and burning away your fat with a balance of nutrition and calorie intake that works for your exercise level and Basal Metabolic needs.

    Ever heard a weight loss plan tell you that you need to eat to lose weight? We just did.

    Tune in each week at 12:30 p.m. on Atlanta and Company to hear the discussion continue with Rachel and Rashan about healthy weight loss.

    And if you’re curious about how many calories YOU need per day, fill out your info in the Calorie Calculator tool at the bottom of the homepage of our website, or schedule a Med Gem appointment with one of our dietitians to find out your exact Basal Metabolic Rate!

    photo 7

  • 20Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Marketing and Tradeshow Coordinator, Camille Johnson

    Let’s face it. Most of us are creatures of habit.

    I plead the fifth.

    I happen to be one of those people who doesn’t mind eating the same lunch five days in a row. When you find healthy recipes that are affordable to make and don’t take much time, it’s easy to repeat!

    But working at Good Measure Meals has allowed me the opportunity to try different types of food while simultaneously eliminating that “intimidating factor” attached to some health-promoting foods.

    One of those amazing discoveries is Farro, a hearty ancient grain with a nutty flavor.

    After I tried Farro on GMM’s menu, I decided I wanted to try and cook it on my own. I bought some of my favorite chicken stock (I always purchase reduced sodium), a bundle of kale, fresh garlic, & a huge onion.

    After cooking the Farro in the chicken stock and then sautéing the kale, onion, and garlic separately (using Extra Virgin Olive Oil), I thought “why not combine these together?” I’m glad I did! It was delicious, and it has even become one of my meals of habit lately, since it’s easy and satisfying.

    GMM isn’t only a great tool for weight-loss or convenience, but also a great way to inspire people to put on that apron and try something new!

    What new foods have you incorporated into your cooking routine lately? Share in the comments, and let’s inspire each other!

    Kale Farro Salad

    photo via a similar recipe on Bon Apetit Magazine

  • 18Feb

    Hearts, roses, chocolates, candles, red wine, love, pink hearts, red hearts, conversation hearts – blah blah blah, Valentine’s Day is over (amen?).

    Amen. Hallelujah.

    Well actually, February is American Heart Month, so we need to leave our hearts on the table a little longer….or at least our conversations about them.

    Here’s a big fact for you: Did you know that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the Number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S.? This includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

    Happy Tuesday, folks.

    Some people are inherently more at risk than others because of their genetics; and sadly, some people are even more at risk because of their race and ethnicity.

    But the important thing to remember is that so many cardiovascular disease-related deaths can be PREVENTED through better eating and health habits, better living spaces, and proper care and control of chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.

    Prevented, friends.

    It’s the year of Committing to Lean in 2014 with Good Measure Meals, and part of getting lean means getting healthy and preventing unnecessary death from cardiovascular disease (because if we’re being honest, nobody’s trying to die early from poor heart upkeep).

    Obviously, at Good Measure Meals, we’re here to help with getting your diet on track. And we do that pretty darn well, actually.

    But another major part of caring for your heart is exercise, and there’s just no way around that. The recommendation is to get your heart-rate up (to a point that it’s difficult to carry on a conversation) 30 minutes per day every day. Are you doing that? I don’t every day, and that’s on me. That’s my bad.

    But you know what? We can help with that, too.
    harmony and philip race numbersplushashtag

    EVERY MONTH, we participate in one 5K race around Atlanta that benefits a local non-profit. For all you newbies, a 5K is 3.1 miles. If you jog at a good 10-minute clip, you’ll have your 30-minutes of exercise for the day, easy peas-y. But walking during 5K’s is also perfectly acceptable.

    Guess what? We have a 5K coming up this weekend, too, and (if you’re a woman) you should really consider joining our “Race for Good” team. This race happens to be a woman’s-only race, because it is in celebration of this awesome organization, Back on My Feet Atlanta’s new women’s running program.

    Back on My Feet Atlanta helps homeless individuals in our city regain self-worth, self-esteem, and good health with the simple act of regularly meeting up to go for group runs. It’s a part-mentoring, part-health-promoting, part-group-bonding experience that really helps put the feet back under people who maybe haven’t had a purpose for their lives in recent memory.

    Anyway, it’s a great cause – not to mention, it is health-promoting for you, also.

    By the way, Good Measure Meals is also partnered with tons of gyms around Atlanta. Each of these gyms have great classes every day for those of you who may not be the running types. And all experience levels have a place in these classes.

    You may remember that time that a group of GMM folks did a bootcamp with some Atlanta firefighters.DSC01318

    Or that time that I did the boot camp with The SweatBox Decatur. That was new for me, and it was an awesome experience, and some really great exercise accountability.

    It’s American Heart Health Month, friends, so I just want to remind you that simply eating better is not going to transform your health.

    If you really want to Commit to Lean in 2014, you’ve got to get real and start caring for your heart. The upside (other than preventing cardiovascular disease, obviously) is that caring for your heart will also help with your weight-loss goals….and most likely your sanity, too.

    Oh, and come join us on Saturday at the Back on My Feet Mizuno Women’s 5K. It’s a great place to start and amazing cause to support.

  • 21Jan

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud

    new-years-resolution-apple for intern article

    I hope 2014 is kicking off to a great start for each of you.  With the New Year always comes reflections on the year past and resolutions toward the year ahead. We speak with candor about flimsy resolutions that never see their end result come to fruition, but what would it take for you to set a resolution and really take the steps necessary to meet it this year?

    Let’s talk about effective goal setting.  We call it setting “SMART” goals.  The first question is “Are you actually ready to pursue this goal?”  If the answer is yes, the key to achieving it is a well-crafted plan.  Here are the steps to setting SMART goals:

    • Specific – It is important for your goal to be specific as opposed to a more general one.  Your goal should answer the questions Who, What, When, Where.
    • Measureable – Your goal must have indicators that can be measured.  It should answer the questions “How much?”, “How many?”, “How often?”
    • Attainable – Set goals that you are confident you can achieve with some effort.  Do not put time constraints or expectations on yourself that you know are sure to put this year’s goal alongside the unmet resolutions of years gone by.  Break down larger goals into steps that will help you be successful.
    • Relevant – Determine goals that really matter.  Make sure they have a compelling answer to why you are pursuing them that can act as a motivator on the days where sticking to it is harder than usual.
    • Time-Bound – Your goal must have a time component.  Make sure your goal can answer the questions “For how long?”, “Until when?”, “By this time”.
       

    Ineffective Goals:
    In 2014, I want to lose weight.
    In 2014, I will exercise more.

    SMART Goals:
    I
    will lose 5 lbs by March 2, 2014.
    I will exercise 3 days/wk for 30 mins/day for the month of January.

    If you need help crafting goals that are right for you, our dietitians are ever available.

    Call Customer Service to book an appointment and start the year off SMART.

     

  • 14Jan

    Katherine here, finishing up the recap of my SweatBox experience from just before the holidays.

    If you missed the first installment, check it out now: http://goo.gl/VEsIOw

    kd tire2

    I wish I could say that I ended my 3-week stint at the SweatBox in full glory, lifting one of those huge monster truck tires over my head like it was merely a box of Christmas decorations intended for the top closet shelf. All in a day’s work, and such.

    It turns out that in real life, Gray and I were out of town for two of the three Fit in 3 weekends, so we missed two of the awesome combined Saturday classes, plus the Friday classes before them. We couldn’t even go to the SweatBox’s Christmas party because we were out of town that weekend!

    Plus, when you add in company and social holiday parties across town after work, Christmas shopping, etc. … let’s just say that I ended up limping to the SweatBox finish line with large gaps in my bootcamp attendance record.

    I ultimately realized a couple of important things about myself at the end of Fit and 3:

    1. I like running.
    2. If there is a way to make an excuse for something slightly inconvenient, I will find a way to do so.
    3. I’m highly competitive when it comes to exercising. Possibly to a fault.
    4. I really actually enjoyed the SweatBox’s class environment and not having to think up every workout on my own every day. Plus the variety in the workouts each time was awesome.

    I also realized from emailing with a GMM customer this week that everyone has a different way that they fit exercise into their schedule to make it work the best for them. For me, I think this is going to be purchasing either a gym membership, utilizing drop-in rates for classes, or investing in a pack of group workouts like they offer at the SweatBox (8 classes for $96). This will allow me some freedom to go to as many or as few group classes as I want each week without going through the personal guilt trip for missing a class (is anyone else hard on themselves when they choose to skip?). Plus I’ll still be able to get in some good long, mindless runs more often, which I love.

    On the other hand, Gray was chomping at the bit to get back into the SweatBox after the holidays.

    You know what he did? He signed himself up (and convinced his roommate to join him) for another round of bootcamp classes there, and this time it’s Fit in 5, so he’ll get an additional two weeks of hardcore, muscle-toning action.

    gray go hard

    “I learned a lot of new exercises and that I needed to work out in a group to get better results,” he said. “It helped me push myself harder than just going on a run or doing those Insanity DVD’s.”

    “And I decided to go back because I started seeing some results, and it felt great to get my butt kicked every night. Felt like I really deserved a good night’s sleep…or that beer on the weekend,” he said.

    How about you? Have you decided to take the plunge and join an exercise group on a regular basis or make the commitment to start working out on your own for a set amount of time and number of days each week?

    If you need any recommendations for good places to look for classes, contact us! We have fitness partners all over the Metro Atlanta area that would be happy to introduce you to their offerings.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned through Fit in 3 at the Sweatbox, it’s that there’s no such thing as “beginner.” Everyone is moving at their own pace on their own personal workout journey. Whether it’s your first step on the journey, or if you’re well on your way toward your goals, the point is to be moving and keep moving.

    man up

     

     

     

  • 05Nov

    DSC_1273_croppedPerhaps it was her long, sunrise runs along Lake Michigan that inspired Sarah Shanahan to pursue a degree in exercise and nutrition. Well that, and her love of good food.

    Originally from Atlanta, Sarah started baking with her mother when she was practically still a toddler, and the memory of her parents cooking from their backyard garden of fresh corn and tomatoes has certainly stuck with her through the years (even though she apparently did not inherit their green thumb).

    Sarah first started her career pursuing a nursing degree from the Medical College of Georgia. But when she moved up to Chicago to work at a non-profit organization as a nurse case manager, she unexpectedly fell in love with running.

    As she was logging miles upon miles along Lake Michigan while training for her first marathon, Sarah quickly realized that she didn’t actually know how best to fuel and hydrate her body to make it perform at its maximum potential. She started doing some basic nutrition and exercise research until the epiphany struck: exercise and nutrition was her niche.

    The decision to move to New York City to pursue a Master’s degree in Nutrition Education from Teachers College at Columbia University was an easy one for Sarah. She plunged into the field at a medical/fitness hybrid company, where she ultimately became Director of Nutritional Services.

    Sarah_Atlanta AcademyHaving recently moved back to Atlanta, Sarah now works to build and strengthen partnerships with Atlanta’s corporate and medical communities for Good Measure Meals as a Community Wellness Representative. She develops and presents nutrition and wellness programming for GMM’s corporate partners, providing the Atlanta area with a credible and reliable health resource.

    And as in New York City, Sarah also works one-on-one with GMM clients, helping them reach their goals through individual nutrition counseling and support. Her specialties are weight and chronic disease management, sports nutrition, and behavior modification.

    Sarah hopes to give her clients a “new way to look at the basics” of diet and exercise.

    “I am a realist,” she says. “I want everyone to have a good relationship with food, and be able to enjoy fueling their bodies for what they need to do.”

    After all, at the core, she’s a lover of high-quality food who you’ll find active and outdoors more often than not, running, walking, doing random push-ups, or taking a break to relax on the porch.

    Sarah snaps a picture after running a 16K road race from Paris to Versailles

    Sarah snaps a picture after running a 16K road race from Paris to Versailles

    Sarah and her dad at the GA400 cycling race this summer.

    Sarah and her dad at the GA400 cycling race this summer.

  • 01Oct

    Today’s post has been contributed by Registered Dietitian Chef, Catherine Izzo

    I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. I have been blessed with the opportunity to make a living doing what I love: playing with food.

    As a research and development chef, I spend most of my time perfecting and creating recipes for Good Measure Meals. But it doesn’t stop there! I am also a Registered Dietitian, so I make sure that the recipes I create are healthy and made up of the best ingredients possible. So, my days are filled with a combination of creativity and science, which is both challenging and really fun!

    I am so excited to announce our NEW Fall/Winter menu launches this week! Believe it or not, we started working on this new menu all the way back in April!

    The first step with every menu launch is considering the feedback from our customers. Many of our customers fill out a weekly feedback survey, call or write to our customer service team, and speak to us at our events. We take every opinion our customers submit and use it to help shape the new menu. It helps us to decide what favorites to keep, like the Carolina Style BBQ chicken with Chow Chow, Field Peas and Banana Pudding, and what old favorites to bring back, like Brunswick Stew and Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf.

    Turkey Shepherds Pie

    Turkey Shepherds Pie

    Carrot Ginger Soup

    Carrot Ginger Soup

    We also love to incorporate seasonal vegetables including roasted butternut squash and a new breakfast Pumpkin Bread. We often hear from customers that they love being exposed to new ingredients that they have never tried before, so we have incorporated some heritage grains that may be new to some, such as Farro, Quinoa, and Wheat Berries.

    And of course, no fall menu is complete without a few (healthier versions) of comfort foods. Some new concepts to look forward to are Turkey Shepherd’s Pie topped with Mashed Cauliflower, Carrot Ginger Soup with a Greek Yogurt Lemon Basil Garnish, Roasted Turkey with a tart House-made Cranberry Sauce, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

    Now, as exhilarating it is to launch this new menu, it is already time to start planning the Spring/Summer menu for 2014. As I go back to the drawing board, I look forward to hearing more about what you think about the new menu this Fall. Always keep in mind that even if you don’t see the results right away, your opinion really truly matters to us and helps guide the menu planning process. Bon Appétit!

  • 03Sep

    Contributed by GMM Community Dietitian, Sarah Shanahan, MS, RD, LD

    I lived the last 9 years and the entirety of my dietetics career in Manhattan. When I contemplated the move back to Atlanta, after living in New York and Chicago before that, I had a lengthy pro and con list. But there were only a few key things that truly worried me: Losing direct access to water and running along it at sunrise, the ability to commute on foot and use public transportation, and the amazing food scene.

    My move was seamless. DSC_1273_croppedI landed this awesome job with Good Measure Meals right after my arrival; I bought a car and, strangely, don’t mind driving in this mad Atlanta traffic; and I found a nice running route on the Freedom Parkway Path and the Beltline. So I almost don’t miss the water. This is not the same Atlanta that I left 17 years ago. It’s bigger, faster, and there is definitely a thriving food scene in this town.

    OK, Atlanta is still not New York. New York is the birthplace of the celebrity chef and home to Slow Food USA and endless options for foodie-approved dining. Food is a topic on everyone’s tongue (no pun intended); not only do we have to eat to survive, but we are getting very creative with food composition and presentation. When I left Atlanta, I don’t remember having a favorite restaurant. There just weren’t that many options. Now I have a list of places I am eagerly waiting to check out.

    I’m excited to say that there is one thing Atlanta has that New York still doesn’t: Good Measure Meals. In my private nutrition counseling practice in New York, I was asked by clients for healthy meal delivery options. I had a great resource for a few years, but as with many small businesses, they tanked when the economy did. The only options left were national chains that made frozen and shelf stable meals filled with preservatives.

    Sarah with GMMI wish I had access to Good Measure Meals’ fresh, healthy and balanced, gourmet meal plans when I was in New York. It is incredibly difficult to make balanced meals that are delicious and provide a large variety of regional and international flavors. I love that I can recommend healthy versions of southern favorites, like barbeque and fried chicken. GMM’s Carolina style BBQ Pulled Chicken with Chow-Chow Relish, Field Peas and Chilled Banana Pudding is a delicious and healthy take on a meal that, if made elsewhere, could easily throw a week’s worth of calorie counting out the window. I also love our Southern Style Oven-Fried Chicken, BBQ Beans, and Collard Greens, which tastes good enough to satisfy your craving for the traditional high-fat Southern meal.

    My personal favorites are breakfasts. I especially look forward to that Monday morning every four weeks when I can enjoy our Tomato Frittata with Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Juicy Orange Segments. Yes, I also order our Good Measure meal plans — I love the food, and they make meal time super convenient. I am proud to work for Good Measure Meals, and having our meal plans to stand behind makes me feel great about what I do every day.

    Nice work Atlanta! You are changing, growing, offering more, and you are a lovely place to call home.