• 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!

  • 05Jun

    Today’s blog post in our series “What are your favorite Summer fruits and Veggies?” was contributed by Rachel Stroud, Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Rep, RD, LD

    Headshot_RStroud_2013I like being that dietitian who breaks the “rules.” The one that tells you things are okay that everyone around you is shouting “DO NOT EAT.”

    Here’s why: I love food. When I have to choose, I love food more than nutrition. But the fact is: I rarely have to choose. Food is wonderful. Calories are glorious little morsels of energy that fuel our bodies to do all the things we love to do. They’re not the enemy, they’re not to be avoided – they’re to be enjoyed, and chosen wisely.

    So here’s the food I want to talk about today: Corn.

    People LOVE to hate on corn.

    “It’s SOOOOOO starchy”
    “You feed your kids WHAT?!”
    “Corn is soooo not a vegetable”

    Let’s all take a step back for a minute. Corn is a vegetable, agriculturally speaking. Nutritionally, a medium ear of corn has ¼ the sugar of an apple and ¾ of the total carbohydrates. Corn is a good source of fiber, and provides us with a solid helping of thiamin, niacin, and folate, all tasty B vitamins.

    Yes folks, it does have a higher carb count than leafy greens, but eat it instead of your roll with dinner and you have a glorious, nutritious side dish. Corn should not take the place of your leafy greens, or other non-starchy veggies, but it certainly deserves a chance in place of a grain or bread, on occasion. Especially this time of year, when the ears are falling heavy off of their stalks and all 800 kernels/ear are puffed full of their sugary, creamy, white juice.

    Summer's fruits, veggies, and herbs make for delicious recipes!

    Summer’s fruits, veggies, and herbs make for delicious recipes!

    You know what else I love about corn? You can eat it raw. Enough of those shallow pans of boiling water that ultimately burn my fingers while I try to spin the corn so that each side gets cooked (but not TOO cooked!!). Enough of that.
    Cold, raw, sweet, fresh corn is one of the greatest parts of summer. Just slice it off the cob, and you’re in business.

    Here is one of my favorite recipes:
    2 cups raw, fresh, sweet Corn (3-4 ears)
    1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
    ½ c Fresh Mozzarella (preferably in ½ in cubes)
    ¼ c chopped basil
    1 T Olive Oil
    2T White Balsamic Vinegar
    salt and pepper to taste

    Get ready to take away the emptiest bowl after your next dinner party.

    P.S. Next time, we’ll talk about potatoes.

  • 19Nov

    Contributed by GMM Health Promotion Intern, Emily Mooney.

    Meet Callie O’Steen.
    CallieOSteen_3On the surface, she’s just like any young professional: she enjoys taking spin classes, running on the perfect fall day, and indulging at Red Pepper Taqueria. But, take a closer look and you’ll see Callie is making big waves in Atlanta’s health scene.

    Originally from Alabama, Callie grew up with an immense love of food (what else?!). She eventually attended the University of Alabama where she earned her B.S. in Dietetics, and she continued on to earn a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University. Throughout her schooling, Callie knew she wanted to do community-based nutrition work and help as many people gain healthy food access as she could. Thus, Open Hand and its partner, Good Measure Meals, seemed like the perfect place for her to establish her roots as a Registered Dietitian. Callie loves that 100% of Good Measure’s net proceeds go to Open Hand, and enjoys seeing the difference she’s making every day.

    As a Registered Dietitian for Open Hand, Callie gets to exercise her creative juices as she works to launch and sustain nutrition education classes in the community.  In addition to designing and implementing educational programming, Callie regularly visits HIV clinics, senior living centers, and the like to provide medical nutrition therapy. She offers counseling to those with HIV, diabetes, and heart disease in an effort to help them devise ways to stay healthy while keeping in consideration their health conditions. In a similar way, Callie assists with the Senior Market Basket Program. Through this program, she strives to provide fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition educational materials to at-risk clients whose nutritional needs are not being met, yet do not qualify them for direct Open Hand assistance.

    Amidst all of her work as a dietitian, Callie hopes to instill in her clients that she is just like everybody else in terms of health challenges – she’s had to modify her own lifestyle to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in her diet and increase her physical activity. Callie strives to correct the misconception that all registered dietitians only eat celery and lettuce.  RD’s enjoy good food too! She hopes to be relatable and trustworthy above all else, striving to take a personal interest in every client. Most importantly, she strives to be a compassionate health resource for others, and hopes to put the power of better health in the individuals themselves.

    **Tune in to Channel 11 tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. to see Callie appear on Atlanta & Company! She will be giving tips for how to cook with seasonal spices AND giving out a special FLASH SALE discount.**

    DSC01316

    Callie O’Steen, second from right, participates in a special Firefighter Fitness LLC bootcamp with some fellow GMM team members.

    Emily Mooney is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. She attended Elon University in Elon, North Carolina where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Dance. Following her graduation last year, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she now works as a legal assistant at a small firm in Midtown. Emily is currently in the process of preparing to apply to graduate school to study Nutrition and ultimately become a registered dietitian. She has joined forces with Good Measure Meals in the interim to learn as much as she can from this fabulous team of GMM registered dietitians.

  • 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.

  • 08Oct

    Contributed by GMM Health Promotion Intern, Emily Mooney.

    Meet Rachel Stroud.
    Headshot_RStroud_2013At first glance, she’s your average twenty-something – lives with a great roommate in the heart of Atlanta, loves to get caught up in a good fiction series, and frequently splurges on Atlanta’s unique food scene. Yet, when she reports to work each day, she does much more than sit at a desk and push paper – Rachel changes lives.
    She motivates, empowers, and pushes others to be the best version of themselves, and to realize the strength and power within.

    Originally from Los Angeles, California, Rachel grew up with a love of cooking and mixing unexpected ingredients together to make a meal. In addition to her love for food, medicine was always a frontrunner of her career aspirations. Over time, she came to realize that nutrition combined both of her passions, and so a dietitian was born. Rachel earned her B.S. in Dietetics from Purdue University. She moved to Atlanta to complete her Dietetic Internship at Emory University. Through this internship, she discovered Open Hand, and eventually moved “next door” to Good Measure Meals.

    As a Community Wellness Representative for Good Measure Meals, Rachel assists with creating the programming for Good Measure’s partnering locations. She teaches health education classes to adults and seniors, as well as regularly holds kids workshops in an effort to offer a fun and engaging way to teach little ones the benefits of healthy behaviors. Rachel also helps to manage and maintain Good Measure Meals’ community partners, ensuring they have the resources and support they need. In addition to her community work, she provides personalized nutritional counseling to individuals in need of extra support and information on their way to a healthier lifestyle.

    As a dietitian, Rachel strives to be a compassionate partner in others’ journeys to a healthier lifestyle. She views each person as an individual, and celebrates the fact that not everyone is motivated by the same thing. To borrow her words, she likes to “meet people where they are” in their weight loss or weight management journey, and help them balance their unique lifestyles. Through her work at Good Measure Meals, Rachel hopes to empower others by giving them the knowledge they need to lead the healthiest lives they can.

    See Rachel on Atlanta & Company below talking about “Eating the Rainbow” of Fruits and Veggies.  And don’t forget to tune into Atlanta & Company tomorrow, October 9th to watch Callie O’Steen talk about “Fall Fruits and Veggies” and watch for the unbeatable weekly FLASH SALE!  LIMITED TIME ONLY!

    Emily Mooney is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. She attended Elon University in Elon, North Carolina where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Dance. Following her graduation last year, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she now works as a legal assistant at a small firm in Midtown. Emily is currently in the process of preparing to apply to graduate school to study Nutrition and ultimately become a registered dietitian. She has joined forces with Good Measure Meals in the interim to learn as much as she can from this fabulous team of GMM registered dietitians.

  • 04Jun

    Contributed by Charlotte Hayes, Good Measure Meals’ Senior Director of Program and Policy Development

         Schools are out and the long Memorial Day weekend is over.  This week is the first seemingly ordinary week in a while.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones heading off for a summer vacation, things may seem pretty run of the mill to you too. I came to discover though, that this is not just an ordinary week!

          I live in one of those areas that Atlanta sprawled into during the 50’s and 60’s.  You know – no sidewalks and neighborhood streets that dump into cut-through roads which are treacherous if you are a pedestrian.   You jump into the car to do just about everything – including heading to a fast food drive-through to pick up dinner.  Yep, typical type of development which has encouraged lifestyle patterns that have contributed to our Nation’s growing girth and declining health.

         Yet, extraordinary things have been happening where I live, and in many pockets of Metro-Atlanta. In recent years, paths and parkways have been laid.  I can now walk or bicycle to my community farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. None of this was possible a couple of years ago because neither sidewalks and bike lanes nor a farmer’s market were part of my neighborhood experience. Better yet this year, we have our first neighborhood community garden.  My family had good fortune. We have a plot!  Along with neighbors and friends, old and new, we are growing some amazing bounty.

    My family’s raised bed in our neighborhood community garden.

    My family’s raised bed in our neighborhood community garden.

    Community Health Awareness     This is getting to why this week is not just an ordinary week. It is Community Health Improvement Week, which is all about highlighting activities that protect and improve the health of communities like yours and mine.  All of the enhancements in my community are aimed at improving nutrition, physical activity and health.

         At Good Measure Meals™ we too are committed to improving the health of our GMM community.  Our goals are to:

    • Promote optimal health by making the healthy choice the easy choice,
    • Protect health by ensuring that fresh,  health promoting foods are featured in great tasting, nutrient-rich meals,
    • Provide a broad menu of nutrition and self-management support services to enable success for those who want to prevent or better manage chronic health conditions,
    • Work with our many collaborative partners throughout Atlanta to ensure that extraordinary improvements continue to happen to advance the health and wellness of everyone living in our fantastic city.

         Now you know what we’re doing at GMM to promote health, not just this week, but every week.  You also know the great things that are going on in my local community to positively impact the health of those of us who live there.

        I would like to hear your stories about community health improvements.  What health promoting activities are you involved in? And what else is happening in your local neighborhood or community to make it a healthier place to live and be?

     

     

  • 24May

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Joy Goetz.

    One look at Pinterest, Tumblr, or just about any social networking website, and it’s clear that DIY is all the rage!

    Nothing gets me more excited than a new project, but I know from experience that they usually involve more work than I think, and things often do not go as planned – especially when Mother Nature is involved.

    Maybe that’s why gardening is intimidating for some people. Outcomes are not guaranteed, even when we do everything right! However, there is nothing more satisfying than picking your own fresh herbs from your garden or biting into your first home-grown tomato of the season.

    Garden-fresh cucumbers and tomatoes

    Garden-fresh cucumbers and tomatoes

    If you’ve never had a green thumb before, here are some of the most important things to remember:
    1. Pick a convenient location. This is key! If you see the garden every day, you are much more likely to notice if your plants need attention and it will increase your chances of success…AND your enjoyment of your  garden. Your ideal spot will get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, have easy access to water, and be convenient for you.

    2. Plant the right thing at the right time. If this is your first summer, set yourself up for success by starting small: cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers and herbs are pretty fool-proof and grow really well in containers. For a June garden, I’d recommend buying tomato and pepper plants, but herbs and vegetables that have larger seeds (think cucumbers, beans and squash) grow quickly and you can save some money by buying seeds for those. How many should you buy? The Square Foot Gardening method has excellent instructions for how to space your plants to maximize what you can grow by planting 1, 4, 9 or 16 plants per square foot. Do a little math before you go shopping!

    Potted cherry tomato plant

    Potted cherry tomato plant

    3. Pay attention to your garden. Picking a good location (step #1!) helps with this. Gardens are kind of like babies. They can’t talk to you, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice if they’re looking thirsty or if a pesky bug is bothering them.

    It’s really just that easy! Anyone can do it.

    Potted basil plant

    Potted basil plant

    In fact, as part of the Senior Community Garden Initiative last year, I helped over 100 people (half were first-time gardeners) get started.

    The Senior Community Garden Initiative was a joint project between Open Hand, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Atlanta Community Bank, and resulted in 8 new community gardens in the Atlanta area, most of them in low-income neighborhoods.

    This is one of the ways Open Hand is working to improve the nutrition and quality of life of our neighbors. Remember, 100% of the profits from Good Measure Meals go directly to Atlanta non-profit Open Hand, and help to fund exciting projects like this.

    Let’s get planting!

  • 26Feb

    Contributed by GMM Community Health Dietitian Laura Delfausse MS, RD, LD

     

    It is February, and whether you chose to participate in Valentine’s Day or not, there is no escaping the topic love and romance. Therefore, I thought an appropriate theme to discuss this month is relationships. Not the ones with your spouses or significant others, but the ones with your food.

    A good relationship is measured by an appropriate balance of give and take. What does this have to do with food you may ask? What can I give my food? The answer – respect. Respect your food for what it is and the awesome potential it has to heal and protect not only your body, but also your soul. If you respect your food it will repay you in more ways than you can measure. And much like the
    relationships in our personal lives, a healthy relationship with food takes constant work. Therefore, it is important to lay some groundwork, so that you will always know where the two of you stand. Here are 2 simple questions you can ask your food before digging in:

    1) Where is the love? One of the first things I ask myself before buying food is how much love was put into this item? If I don’t feel like it was appropriately nurtured, then for me that is a deal breaker.

    What do I mean by this? This answer is very personal, based on my own needs and ideals. Therefore, you are the only one who can answer to this question. Some of you may want to
    know if it was made in a factory or by hand. Others need to know the company’s motivation behind producing a particular product. And let’s be honest about his one, everyone needs to make money to survive. However, some go about the process more thoughtfully than others and, thus, put more love into their brand.

    The drive behind what we do at Good Measure Meals is you and it’s our community, which 100% of our proceeds support. We believe in health and wellness, and we’re implementing our beliefs through healthy meal plans and through support systems, because health and wellness extends beyond just the food you eat. Health and wellness is a lifestyle.

    Do your research and make sure the companies you patronize deserve you. Know where your food is coming from; research a company’s charitable pursuits and business model; take the time get to know your food. Don’t waste your time with superficial relationships, because you deserve more!

    2) Is this worth my time? In other words, what does your food bring to the table? Is it loaded with trans fats and empty calories, but “who cares because it tastes really good?” Or is it bland and unsatisfying, but really helping to keep those extra pounds away? Well here at Good Measure Meals, believe there is no justification for either scenario. The only meal worthy of your time includes
    both health and happiness. Without this balance, you are doomed to an unhealthy relationship with food.

    So, force yourself outside of your comfort zone once in a while. Don’t settle. Build your relationship with food on trust and mutual understanding, and you will be reap the rewards for many, many years to come. You will be amazed at what you will discover!

  • 21Nov

    Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends! In the spirit of the holiday, we asked the GMM staff what they’re thankful for this year. We’ll let the answers speak for themselves.

     

    Katherine: Since starting at GMM this spring, I’ve been so thankful for our customers’ honesty through the year about their favorite parts of the menu and their suggestions/ideas for improvement. And more than that, I’m thankful to be part of a team that actually listens to the customer and makes the changes needed to put out the best product possible.

    Sule: I am thankful for being part of a team whose success is directly tied to providing a product that improves the health of our overall community. I am also thankful that our customers are taking an active interest in making healthy lifestyle choices not only for themselves, but also knowingly do so to help people in need they may never meet.  True “Health Care” happens when all of us help each  other, not just an individual feeling better or one entity being profitable.

    Philip: This year, I am thankful for family.  Not only does this include my immediate household, but my family here at Open Hand/Good Measure Meals.  Coming to work every day is such a  pleasure.  I thoroughly enjoy working with like-minded people who are committed to helping others achieve their fitness and health goals.   I am thankful that I get to help others.

    David: I am thankful for customers that give us great feedback about our meal plans. I am also thankful for our OH/GMM staff that listens and works together to accommodate needed changes.

    Jess: I am thankful for our amazing team of passionate health nuts!  Everyone has their own unique reason for driving our mission and it makes my job so enjoyable and rewarding!  I am also thankful to have a job that allows me to positively impact the health of our community through helping each and every one of our customers pursue their health and wellness goals.

    Judi: I am thankful for the incredible opportunity I have to affect so many lives in a positive way just by working for Open Hand and Good Measure Meals.  It is a way to connect to people in our  community who were invisible to me before I started working here.

    Harmony: I am very thankful that we have customers who not only care about themselves, but care about others. Our customers are aware that we give back to Open Hand, and they still give extra donations when ordering. I am thankful to work with a group of people whose commitment to health and wellness is outstanding! And I am thankful to work with such a great team in customer service!  We, as a team, take pride in what we do, and we have so much fun in the process!  From teamwork to problem solving, it’s always a good day at Good Measure Meals!

  • 13Jun
    Feeling antsy in the office? Want to be in better shape after you leave your 9-to-5 than when you started your workday?
    Last week, VP Jess Parsons introduced the GMM staff to a series she titled “Desk-ercise.” Her 30-minute lunch session detailed many simple moves geared toward toning your upper body, lower body, core, and even increasing your cardio capacity.
    And all in a day’s work!

    Part 1: Upper Body Exercises

    What you’ll need: Swivel Desk Chair, Desk, Water Bottle, Resistance Band
    Bicep Curls: biceps
    Sitting in your chair, hold a water bottle in your right hand, and, with abs in and spine straight, curl bottle towards shoulder for 16 reps. Repeat with your left hand. Do 2-3 sets.

    Harmony deskercises with bicep curls.

    Chair Dips: triceps, chest and deltoids
    Make sure chair is stable and place hands next to hips or on arm rests. Move hips in front of chair and bend the elbows, lowering the body until the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat for 16 reps. Complete 2 sets.

    A tip (in hindsight): Secure rolling chairs against a wall before trying this exercise.

    Front Raise to Triceps Press: triceps & shoulders
    Sit tall with the abs in and hold a full water bottle in the left hand. Lift the bottle up to shoulder level, pause, and then continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow, taking the water bottle behind you and contracting the triceps. Straighten the arm and lower down, repeating for 12 reps on each arm for 2 sets.

    Water: not just for drinking.

    Desk/Wall Press: chest, shoulders, arms & back
    Stand about three feet from a wall, and place your hands flush against the wall, about shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your body toward the wall by flexing your elbows. When your elbows are aligned with your torso, push back up. Do 10 repetitions.

    Philip and Harmony team up for some Wall Presses

    Single Arm Row with Band: biceps, shoulders, & back
    Have a seat in your chair. Tie one end of the resistance band on a door knob, or handle of a locked drawer. Make sure that the secure end is level or lower than chest level. Take the other end of the band and wrap once around your right hand. Without Moving your torso, pull the band towards your abs so that your fist is touching your side with elbow bent. Pause, then slowly extend arm back to starting position. Do 2 sets of 16 reps with each arm.

    Philip was not harmed in the shooting of this Seated Arm Row.

    Stay tuned in the next few days/weeks for more installments of the Desk-ercise series!