• 26Sep

    Fall officially arrived this past Friday.  If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you’ve probably spied the gourds and squash making their way into the produce section.  For me, this is always a sign that school has started, football is here, and crisp, cooler mornings have arrived.

    To celebrate the season, Ashley and I are planning to highlight fall produce – particularly orange vegetables – at our cooking demo extravaganza at the Cancer Support Community Atlanta next week.Why eat more orange veggies?

    To put it simply, orange vegetables are rich in carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene) that work as antioxidants in our bodies to fight or prevent cancer.

    In the course of developing the menu for our cooking demo this week, I browsed through two of my favorite recipes sites - Food52 and Epicurious.  Simply reading some recipes online had my mouth watering…

    Pumpkin Cranberry Crepes, Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup, Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks and Basil and Roasted Spiced Chicken with Cinnamon & Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes… and the list goes on …

    After much review, we’ve chosen to highlight butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes.  And we may even roast some pumpkin seeds just for fun… But you’ll have to wait for the post party pictures for the final results!

    Do you have a favorite way to serve orange vegetables?  Send us your favorite recipes with a photo to share with our community!

     

     

     

  • 21Sep

    Over the years, as much as I wanted it, running never really clicked with me.  I would get sore, injure myself, rest for one day too long, and before I knew it, another attempt at fitness – out the window.  But then I discovered the smartphone app, Couch-to-5K (C25K, for IPhone/Android,) by Cool Running. This amazing app guides you from doing no/little exercise, to being able to run a complete 5K run, all within a 9-week period.

    Now, I call myself an avid runner.

    On your first day, the app instructs you to walk for 2 minutes, jog for one minute, walk for another 2 minutes, etc.  You repeat this pattern until you have completed 20 minutes of exercise.   Over the course of the next  9 weeks, the walking-to-jogging ratio slowly shifts each day until you are, eventually, jogging for 30 minutes, nonstop.  These small changes in the walking/jogging ratios are barely noticeable as your body, slowly, becomes stronger and your endurance becomes longer.  You exercise 3 times a week, alternating rest days with exercise days.  You even get 2 days off to rest on the weekends!  And, if you like running to music, you can use your own library and play it through the C25K app.

    Since I completed the C25K program and running my first 5K, I have run over six more, have competed in two 10K’s, and am currently training for my first half marathon.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that running was something I would enjoy as much as I do.   When I tell people how I started, I tell them that the Couch-to-5K phone app was the best $3 I ever spent and I encourage them to purchase the app for themselves.

    For those of you, who have yet to embrace smart phone technology, don’t despair.   Cool Running has an informative website that contains a free, written, running plan you can print and use without a smartphone.  The site also contains a ton of helpful material, from podcasts to inspirational stories to community support.  Just go to www.c25k.com for more information.

    If you are thinking about running as a way to improve your health or if you are just looking for something new, pickup your phone and purchase C25K.  It’s an easy to use program that has proven results.  Who knows, you might become the avid runner you always dreamt of becoming.  But first, you’ve got to get up off that couch!

     

  • 19Sep

    Are you or someone you know one of the 25 million Americans with diabetes?  If you live here in Georgia, the answer is probably “yes.”

    Georgia makes up one of the 15 mostly Southern states labled the “Diabetes Belt.”   Why Georgia?

    Diabetes rates are often high in areas where obesity is high (Georgia ranked a stellar #14 out of the 50 US states in 2009.)   Obesity causes insulin resistance that can eventually lead to diabetes.

    There are also a higher proportion of Afiican Americans living in the Southeast, who are more prone to develop diabetes, for reasons researchers still don’t fully understand.   And…   the traditional Southern diet of biscuits, cornbread and fried chicken doesn’t help either.

    This Saturday, the American Diabetes Association hosts the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes – a 5K fundraising walk in Grant Park.  With strong support from local businesses in cities across the country, this event raises over $20 million nationwide to find a cure for diabetes and to support ADA’s mission.

    Good Measure Meals will be attending this Saturday’s event to support our local partner and provide education to our local community.  Stop by our booth if you plan to attend!

    Want to join the fun but not yet registered?  You can still register for free!  If you can’t make this week’s walk but want to support the cause, you can also be a virtual walker or sign up for the next Step Out Walk in Atlanta in Alpharetta or Saturday, October 8th.

    To learn more, follow this event on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/StepOutAtlanta or like this event on Facebook @  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Step-Out-Walk-Atlanta/185301648179376

     

  • 16Sep

    Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of providing education for a group of amazing women who are training for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. The talk took place at the New Balance store in East Cobb. Did you know that this event includes walking a total of 60 miles over 3 days? That’s like walking the distance between Atlanta and Athens! Knowing how to eat for the duration of this event is very important for the participants to understand. We talked about how eating properly for exercise (especially prolonged exercise) helps to enhance stamina, endurance, strength and most importantly enjoyment.

    The 3 topics that we focused on were (click on each hyperlink below to learn more):

    1) What to eat BEFORE exercise – Eating before training and before walking on each day of the event will help to give the participants the energy they need to perform at their best and ensure that they enjoy themselves! The pre-exercise snack/mini meal works by preventing low blood sugar, settling your stomach by absorbing gastric juices, decreasing hunger and fueling muscles.

    2) What to eat DURING exercise- Eating while walking 20 miles each day will be very important for many reasons. Participants should focus on balancing enough fluid and enough carbohydrate during the walk to keep well hydrated and provide energy to maintain a normal blood sugar level.

    3) What to eat AFTER exercise- At the end of each day of walking participants will need to eat properly to help their bodies refuel for the next day of walking. The recovery meal will help to minimize stiffness, muscle soreness and fatigue. Hydrating properly after walking will help participants to restore the fluids and electrolytes lost in their sweat.

    I feel confident that these women are now well on their way to a successful and fun walking experience!

    Have you walked the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure before? Share your stories with us!

    Would you like one of our registered dietitians to provide group education? We are available to speak on a wide variety of health and wellness topics. Let us know!

  • 14Sep
    To Our Amazing FedEx Volunteers!

     On September 13, 2011 something amazing transpired on the Open Hand/Good Measure Meals campus.  Over 120 volunteers from FedEx flooded our midtown home and worked relentlessly to help us meet our mission and at the same time spruce up the place a bit.  From prepping and packing Open Hand meals, to helping with maintenance needs, Open Hand welcomed the amazing work that these individuals put forth.  For Good Measure, we were lucky to secure a small group of highly motivation and might I add skilled volunteers, who- in a minimal amount of time- beautified our building!

    If you have the opportunity to visit the Good Measure Offices, you will now find new flower beds alongside some Kale and trimmed foliage that has our entire staff delighted! It is amazing what a committed group of individuals can do when given a cause!  What a fine display of selfless philanthropy!

    From our family to yours, we thank you FedEx!

  • 07Sep

    Tomorrow night is the 8th Annual Party in the Kitchen – A Benefit for Open Hand!

    Co-chairs Mary Williams, Sally Hawn and Chef Kevin Rathbun along with our Host Committee invite you to enjoy an evening of music, cocktails and exquisite cuisine prepared by the best chefs from some of Atlanta’s finest restaurants. Our 8th annual event promises to be an evening you will never forget.

    A silent auction offering a fabulous array of items and a live auction featuring a fabulous dinner for eight prepared in-home by Chef Kevin Rathbun and friends will highlight the evening.

    Individual tickets and Patron packages are available, and can be purchased online or by calling Kristin Conover at 404-419-3333. We look forward to seeing you there!

    To view pictures from last year’s event, visit Open Hand’s Facebook Page.

     

  • 06Sep

    Produced by running expert Jeff Galloway through Phidippides Runners RRCA, the Kaiser Permanante Corporate Run/Walk is a corporate fitness program created to promote health, wellness and fitness among metro Atlanta companies and their employees.

    The event kicks off with an eight week Get Active Atlanta Training Program and ends in a downtown Atlanta 5K run/walk and company picnic.  This September 8th event attracts about 15,000 walkers, joggers and competitive runners from more than 400 Atlanta companies.

    Over the past few months, GMM Vice President Jess Parsons and myself have been joining Phidippides to visit many of the participating companies to educate the KP teams on eating and training well for the 3.1 mile run / walk.   Through this partnership, all KP participants receive discounts on GMM and at Phidippides.

    Are you participating in the event?  If you plan to run or walk the 5K this Thursday, consider these nutrition and hydration tips for a successful race!

    • Start hydrating today! Yes, that means today!  You have less than 72 hours at this point, and you want to be well hydrated so you feel your best on race day.  Aim for drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of fluids for the next two days.  For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of fluids daily.  If you can’t make this 100% water, aim for at least 1/2 of this amount in water.
    • Avoid alcohol this week until after the race. Alcohol is dehydrating and will counteract your hydration efforts!
    • On race day, eat your “main meal” at lunch time. Since the race starts at 7pm, make lunch your main meal, and make dinner a lighter meal post-race!
    • Avoid fried, spicy, or greasy foods on race day. These foods may not sit well on your stomach during the race.   Instead, try a baked potato with soup, a sandwich with fresh fruit or grilled chicken with a baked sweet potato.
    • Have a protein-carb snack two hours before the race. Around 5pm, eat 6-8 ounces of Greek yogurt, a granola bar with protein (My personal fave is the Clif Mojo bar), 1/2 sandwich or some cheese with a few crackers.
    • Eat a light dinner within 45 minutes of finishing the race. Again, you want protein AND carbs for refueling and muscle recovery!  A sandwich with a sports drink or fruit is quick and easy.

    I will be on site at the Expo with our team members Chris Mayer and Phillip Niekro.  Come by and visit us anytime between 4:30pm and the start of the race at 7pm for GMM goodies.  But most importantly, ENJOY THE RACE!

  • 02Sep

    Bethany and I are gearing up for this month’s Cancer Support Community cooking demo topic: Flavoring your World with Homemade Vinaigrettes. I get really excited about this topic, but I have gotten the same question from several people - “Why make your own?” My response is…

    Have you ever looked at the ingredient statement on the bottle of your favorite salad dressing? How many ingredients are listed that you can’t pronounce? Bottled dressings tend to contain low quality cheap ingredients, lots of preservatives, are high in sodium and have unhealthy fats. This means that there are not a lot of health benefits in that bottle. Making your own dressing will allow you to control the types of ingredients and you’ll end up with something that is healthier and tastes fresher. Plus, vinaigrettes are very easy and quick to make!

    How easy and quick? Well, you only need oil and vinegar for the simplest vinaigrette. That’s all! If you’re the type of person that likes to know the measurements – a basic guideline is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or acid (the acid is usually from lemons, limes or other citrus). This guideline is not a hard rule that always has to be followed. Experiment with it! If you want more vinegar flavor and want to reduce the fat in the recipe you can certainly increase the amount of vinegar used – try equal parts vinegar and oil. Make sure that you choose oils with healthy fats, like olive oil or walnut oil. You can enhance this basic ratio with different flavors. Try aromatics such as shallots, garlic, herbs, spices, citrus zest or ginger. Or add sweetness with honey, maple syrup, apple juice, frozen orange juice concentrate or even fruit preserves. The options are endless and once you get comfortable with it, the world of possibilities will really open up!

    Vinaigrettes can be used to flavor raw vegetable salads, cooked vegetables, legumes (like lentils), bean salads, and grain salads. They can also be used as a marinade – try them with fish, chicken or lean cuts of beef.  Just shake the ingredients in a jar with a lid and use it immediately or save some in the refrigerator to use later. They will keep for several days.

    Try the Mustard Vinaigrette listed below this Labor Day weekend. It has a very robust flavor and is awesome tossed with steamed potatoes, cooked lentils, or steamed green beans topped with walnuts.

    Mustard Vinaigrette

    Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup

    Ingredients: 2 tbsp good quality red wine vinegar; 1/4 cup shallots or onions, minced; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard; 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil; freshly ground black pepper; 1/8 tsp kosher salt; 2 Tbsp chives, minced; 1 Tbsp parsley, minced

    Instructions: Combine vinegar, shallots, garlic and salt. Vigorously whisk in the mustard, and oil until thick and smooth. Grind in a little pepper and stir in the herbs.

    Want to learn more?

    Check out this basic guide to vinaigrettes from Cooking Light Magazine.

    Want to hire Good Measure Meals to do a cooking demo? Let us know!