• 28Jul

    Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten a fig by itself.  I know there are fig trees in my neighborhood, but I don’t know that I could identify a fig tree if my life depended on it.

    Here at Good Measure Meals, figs are on the menu (Dinner this coming Monday is a “Chicken Breast Marinated in a Blend of Figs, Olives, White Wine, Capers, and Herbes de Provence.”) so I thought it would serve me well to know a bit more about this petite tree fruit.

    So where do figs come from?  And why should we eat them?

    According to Wikipedia, figs are native to Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region.   In 2005, Turkey and Egypt were the leading producers of figs, yet figs do grow throughout the United States in the Southeast and in California.

    Photo courtesy of http://recipes.terra-organics.com/2010/10/figs/

    Here are a few fun facts from the California Fig Advisory Board:

    • The fig tree is the symbol of abundance, fertility, and sweetness.
    • Figs made their first commercial product appearance in the 1892 introduction of Fig Newtons® Cookies.
    • Figs provide more fiber [per serving] than any other common fruit or vegetable. The fiber in figs is both soluble and insoluble – both important for good health.
    • Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes or the real fruit.

    According to the USDA, one-quarter cup of dried figs provides about 90 calories, 3.7 grams of fiber, 60 mg of calcium, 0.76 mg of iron, and 250 mg of potassium. They are naturally free of fat, salt and cholesterol and recent research has shown them to be rich in polyphenols (antioxidants like those found in pomegranates).

    Let us know what you think of Monday’s chicken dish.  Link to our survey through our Facebook page on Tuesday to share your thoughts!  If you have a favorite way to eat figs, email us, leave a comment or share on our Facebook wall!

  • 18Jul

    As I’m new to GMM, I have been on the 1200 calorie Healthy Selection plan for the past five weeks posing as a customer myself.  The Pomegranate Chicken entree on this week’s menu  - Chicken Breast Served Over a Bed of Brown Rice with Walnuts, Flavored with Pomegranate and Orange - has won over my taste buds.  In my opinion, this dish is an excellent combo of textures, flavors and pure deliciousness.

    Pomegranates have received quite a bit of attention in the past few years for their health benefits, but how exactly does the Pomegranate affect our health?  And honestly, how in the world do you eat one?

    According to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, one average pomegranate fruit provides 230 calories, about 5 grams of protein and 52 carbs and is full of potassium, fiber, folate and phytochemicals.  Phytochemicals are naturally occuring plant chemicals that give characteristics to plants such as color, flavor and smell.  Phytochemicals in the pomegranate include polyphenols and tannins (punicalagin, anthocyanins (which provides the rich red color) and ellagic acid.)

    Phytochemicals and tannins function as antioxidants.  Everyday our bodies are exposed to free radicals in our enviroment.  Simply put, antioxidants help prevent damage to our healthy cells from free radicals, and free radical damage is believed to be one of the causes of cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.  To read more details on the latest research, the makers of POM juice have created a website boasting the benefits and research of this powerful fruit.

    Surprisingly, pomegranates do contain some fat - 3.3 grams to be exact - which make them unique as a fruit.  The fat comes from the oil inside the seeds, which can be consumed safely and is prodominantly unsaturated fat.

    So now that you have the nutrition scoop, how do you eat one?

    I have always recommended people choose to eat whole fruits over the juice of the fruit as you get more fiber, and often, fewer calories depending on your portion size; however, in the case of the pomegranate, eating the fruit is not as simple as a banana or apple.  If you have never eaten the whole fruit before, I would encourage you to buy one and give it a shot.

    One You Tube search for “how to eat a pomegranate” and 3-5 minutes of your time, and you too will be able to master this fruit!

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 11Jul

    They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but for me, it’s my debit card.  Always by my side next to my driver’s license, my card has traveled as many miles as I have – by foot, car and plane – and I use it for most of my day to day shopping needs (gas, food, toiletries).

    My choice to live this way is two-fold:  convenience (why make a trip to the ATM when I can just use my card?) and avoiding credit card interest; however, my way of living does get me into trouble on a rare occasion.  Parking decks, charity events and even Georgia 400 have all reminded me that my plastic ways may not always be best.

    As it turns out, recent research in the Journal of Consumer Research agrees.

    Researchers wanted to know if the type of payment affects our ability to control impulse purchases, and if we are more likely to purchase unhealthy foods when paying in plastic.  To find their answers, the team randomly selected receipts of 1000 single family households from a Northeastern grocery chain over the course of a six month period.

    They found that shoppers with grocery carts having a higher number of foods rated as unhealthy and impulsive by consumers made their purchases with credit or debit cards.  Although debit cards are equivalent payment to cash purchases, the plastic seems to create the same psychological effects as a credit card – paying in plastic seems to weaken impulse control.

    So is cash the answer? Perhaps.

    According to the CDC, obesity rates have steadily climbed over the past twenty years.  Interestingly, so has the use of credit and debit card payments.   I do realize there are many reasons for the jump in obesity rates, but this research does make you wonder if our reliance on plastic payment methods may be partially to blame as well?

    If you are currently a Good Measure Meals customer who only eats from the meal plan, I’m not sure that how you pay for your meals will make much difference, as little grocery shopping is required.

    However, if you do some grocery shopping in combination with our meal plan or find yourself prone to impulse purchases at the local convenience store or while standing at the checkout line, consider using cash.  This simple change may be difficult at first, but in the long run, may help both your wallet and your health.

    Let us know your thoughts!  Does how you pay influence what you buy?

  • 05Jul

    Today is July 5th and the celebrations of the holiday weekend are winding down.  How did you spend the holiday?  Enjoying time with friends and family?  Splurging at a BBQ?  Running the Peachtree?

    Many of us at Good Measure Meals spent time on Saturday and Sunday at the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo and a few of us conquered the Peachtree Road Race on Monday!   Thanks to all who came out to support us at these events!

    Chris Mayer & Jess Parsons at our Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo Booth

    The 4th of July, just like other holidays, can throw a wrench into our healthy lifestyles. We may eat more, drink more alcohol, sleep later and overindulge in foods we don’t eat often. Parties, celebrations and travel challenge our schedules and routines.

    If you took the weekend off from healthy eating and physical activity, try to jump back into your routine today or tomorrow.  A few days off from your routine shouldn’t create much of a setback; however, more than a week or two will make it more difficult to get back into your healthy habits.  If you are a current Good Measure customer, remember to pick up your meals today as part of this process!

    If you were able to stay on track during the holiday weekend, what led to your success?  From my personal experience, these key tips have helped me to help your stay on track during the holidays, whether it be Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas:

    • Have a Plan.  Set a goal to walk three extra miles each day of the holiday period to compensate for richer foods.  Choose calorie free club soda with lime over cocktails.   Bring a healthy appetizer for the party.
    • Set a Goal.  In the spirit of the Peachtree Road Race, sign up for a race on or around the holidays to keep you on track.  Consider the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon or 5K, the Jingle Jog around Christmas, the Resolution Run 5K on New Year’s Day or next year’s Peachtree.  Keep abreast of upcoming events in Atlanta through the Atlanta Track Club.
    • Be Realistic. No one is perfect.  We all have setbacks and life events that interfere with our plans and test us.   Holidays can be a test, but one that you can pass with the right plan!

    How do you make it through the holidays?  Share your tips for success with us!

     

  • 01Jul

    On Your Mark…

    Are you one of the 55,000 participating in this year’s Peachtree Road Race? If so, come by Booth #524 at the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo at AmericasMart this Saturday or Sunday to learn about a special GMM discount !

    Not only will we be on site at the Expo, but Good Measure Meals and Open Hand employees will also be running in the race on Monday.  Team members Philip Niekro, Casey Camp, Mike Williams, Elyse Krakow and yours truly will all be a part of the celebration!

    This event is particularly exciting for Elyse, Phillip and Casey – all who joined our Couch to 5K team led by Mike earlier this year and successfully reached their goal by running the 2011 Atlanta Pride Run & Walk on June 25, 2011 at Piedmont Park.  Thank you team for living the active healthy livestyle we support here at GMM!

    Pictured L to R:   (Left to right):  Bryan Meng, Tiana Jones, Elyse Krakow, Mike Williams, Leslie Williams, and Philip Niekro.

    Get Set…

    If you are joining us for the race, be sure to start hydrating today or tomorrow through the weekend to be prepared for the warm temps on Monday morning.  As a general rule, you need to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of all fluids each day.  If you are out sweating in the heat , exercising, and/or drinking alcohol, you will need to add even more fluids pre-race day.  Nancy Clark, Registered Dietitian and sports nutrition expert, gives some great tips @ http://www.women-running-together.com/hydration.html.

    Go…

    Although it’s tempting to grab a beer along the course, your best bet is to grab the water or sports drinks with some sugar and electrolytes, particularly if it will take you longer than one hour to finish.   If you are looking for more tips on what to eat and drink before, during and after, check out the AJC’s Peachtree Road Race Blog!

    No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a healthy, happy 4th of July!   We hope to see many of you at the Expo and the Finish Line!