• 30Jul

    Contributed by Community Wellness Representative and Registered Dietitian, Sarah Shanahan

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    Here at Good Measure Meals, we like to work hard, play hard, and practice what we preach.  We also believe that team-building is important so that we can effectively work together to make sure that we are providing the best, most credible, and reliable nutrition information to our community.

    This week, we took our team-building to the tree-shaded, secluded church parking lot that houses one of our fitness partners,  Firefighter Fitness LLC.  Nate Bailey, who co-owns Firefighter Fitness with another local fireman Alex Hofstadter, waited calmly for us in front of an obstacle course that looked like something out of a training camp, complete with boxes, fire hoses in various sizes and configurations, kettlebells, sledge hammers, tires, and ropes.  Our initial intimidation may have been hidden behind our smiles — we didn’t know that we were in for more than just the obstacles in front of us.

    In fact, Nate had a workout planned for us before the obstacle course, meant as a “warm up.”  It was called “Legs on Fire,” and, after the 3 rounds of step ups, air squats, lunges and 200 meter sprints, our legs definitely were on fire. After a short break, we moved on to two rounds through the actual obstacle course – with all of us crossing the final obstacle in under 30 minutes.  Our GMM team sure likes to sweat it out, and apparently more than one of us has a competitive streak hidden behind our usual friendly camaraderie….

    There were lots of high fives, cheers, and battle cries of “Feel the Burn,” Firefighter Fitness’s slogan. By the time we finished our recovery and light stretching, our smiles had returned, the competition had faded, and we were all ready to get back to work. We definitely recommend the Firefighter Fitness team for an intense-but-friendly workout as you continue to Commit to Lean in 2013.

    Check out the clip below for a glimpse of our time with Firefighter Fitness!

     

     

  • 23Jul

    100% of the profits from Good Measure Meals go to benefit Open Hand Atlanta, so today we wanted to give you a glimpse of the lifeblood of our organization: our Open Hand volunteers and Operations team. Today’s post was contributed by Lauren Levin, our Open Hand Volunteer Services Intern. Lauren is currently completing a BA degree in Psychology at Georgia State University, and her goal is to be active in the non-profit sector. She graciously offered us her story about experiencing the daily happenings of Open Hand from the inside. 

    I have had such a wonderful experience volunteering with the Open Hand (OH) team – an experience that led me to apply to be an Open Hand intern this summer so that I could become more involved with the organization.

    When I first arrived to volunteer, I did not know what to expect. I knew that Open Hand was a kitchen, but I never realized how much goes into just one day of work here! Your few hours of work really do help feed thousands of people who are living with chronic or terminal illnesses.

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    I volunteered by myself and did not know anyone, but that quickly changed when I was joined on the packing line by a group of students volunteering from a local college. We measured out appropriate food portions to package into trays for the clients, and the time flew by as we talked and laughed while music played in the background. I also enjoyed talking to Brian, an Open Hand employee, who told me all about working at OH and what a great experience it is.

    Really, I couldn’t have imagined a better volunteer experience! I started working on the line with strangers, but by the time I left it felt like they were friends – We were people from all walks of life coming together to help our community.

    Now that I am an Open Hand intern, I can’t even express how much working at this organization has enriched my life. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to go from being a volunteer preparing meals to becoming the person that communicates the history of the organization to other volunteers.

    Lauren Levin photo

    Lauren, left, helped represent Open Hand during a volunteer visit from Deloitte employees.

  • 16Jul

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Laura Delfausse

    You know how they say never talk politics at the dinner table?  Well, in the world of nutrition, the topic of gluten can be just as touchy of a subject. But I am going to throw caution to the wind and breach this controversial topic, because I think it is important for people to hear all sides of an argument before making the important decision to remove gluten from their diet.  After all, eating is more than just sustenance, it is frequently a social experience. Specialized diets can be very difficult in social settings, thus by omitting foods unnecessarily you may be making life more difficult than it needs to be.

    There are really only two reasons that someone should be avoiding gluten: Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.  Gluten intolerance can be a condition in itself or accessary to other conditions, i.e. irritable bowel disease, and can be very difficult to diagnose.  The most obvious symptom is gastrointestinal distress (bloating, cramping, diarrhea), but it may also manifest itself in skin conditions, such as eczema.  For those with intolerances, eating gluten will make your life miserable, so avoiding it is important. However the repercussions of consuming gluten for those with intolerances are not nearly as severe as for those with Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where the body triggers an immune response in the small intestine whenever a person ingests gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For those with Celiac, consuming gluten can cause permanent damage on the intestines, developmental delays in children, and a myriad of other complications.  An intestinal biopsy is the only way to diagnose Celiac disease.  If you suspect either, the best person to speak with about your concerns is a doctor, because they have the resources to diagnose you or refer you to another specialist, like a dietitian, who can help you with your gluten free diet.

    For those of us without either of these two conditions, gluten is not the demon it has been portrayed in the media, and gluten-free alternatives are not necessarily worthy of all their praise. Often, gluten free alternatives are highly processed, and not nearly as healthy of an option as whole grain wheat, for example.  Also, many of the people who claim their gluten-free lifestyles have changed their lives, were also not eating very healthy before they drastically changed their diets. Anytime you drastically improve your diet you will see positive results. So, what should we do with all of this conflicting information? Use common sense.  Too much of anything is not a good idea right?  Eat a variety of grains, but don’t discount the benefits of whole wheat foods that are rich in fiber and B vitamins. In addition to wheat there are a plethora of delicious, healthy grains just waiting for you to discover them! For instance, this week on the Good Measure Meals menu, we have grains like cous cous, oats, quinoa, and brown rice.

    Bottom line, is a gluten free diet healthier? Not necessarily. It is certainly possible to be healthy on a gluten free diet and with so many gluten free options out there, it is getting much easier for those with people who have gluten issues.  But for those of us who don’t have issues, why limit yourself? You can still be healthy with gluten.

  • 09Jul

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Callie O’Steen

    Although many kids sing this as a funny song in the lunch line at summer camp, there are healthy truths in these words. Beans are commonly known as a superfood. But why? Let’s take a look into why beans were voted best all-around in food school, shall we?

    Beans Go Global

    Beans1 As a dietary staple for centuries upon centuries, beans have become a prominent ingredient in many cultural cuisines. With such variety, flavor, and texture, certain geographical areas are known for certain legumes. You’ve got Central America and the Caribbean dishing out delicious meals with Black beans, the White beans featured in French recipes, and of course Garbanzo beans (chick peas) prepared in the Middle East. And who could forget the Jelly Bean of California! Just kidding. Totally not a real bean.

    Through the ages, beans have been a hot commodity because they’re so easy to grow and store. They’re also very cheap and pretty portable. Back in the day, many sailor’s diets were comprised of beans… hence the Navy bean. Clever, right?

    It’s a vegetable! It’s a protein! No, it’s a bean!

    Did you know that beans are both a veggie and a protein? Beans are a great source of fiber and protein, and on top of that, they’re low in calories and fat! Cough, cough, Superfood. Studies have shown that the soluble, heart-healthy fiber found in these little nutra-heros may help reduce the bad cholesterol in your body. And incorporating beans into your daily eats can increase your overall diet quality! They also serve as a great low-fat protein alternative to typical meat sources high in saturated fat.

    Whenever I tell someone that I love beans… their nose instantly turns up and they picture a very stinky Dietitian.  However, there are ways to boot the poot! Beans contain a complex carbohydrate called Oligosaccharides. This is the smelly culprit that scares away potential bean lovers. Our bodies lack enzymes to appropriately digest this nutrient, which leads to its odorous escape as gas. But by soaking dried beans before preparation, some of the oligosaccharides will leach out of the bean and into the water, thus making it easier to digest! Also, research has shown that this doesn’t interfere with the bean’s nutritive content… win, win!

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    Craving those heart-healthy beans now? You’re in luck! This week’s GMM menu is featuring a tasty three bean salad on Thursday at lunch! Also, don’t forget to share the food love… try this week’s lentils and peas too! They are the bean’s favorite cousins!

     

  • 02Jul

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Representative and Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud

    There are few things that thrill me as much as travel.  The unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, and flavors make the world feel fresh and exciting and altogether new.  It releases me from my very southern life into a place that feels rich with history and culture, and tastes much more exotic than my usual BBQ, sweet tea, and Starbucks.Rachel travels to Switzerland

    This summer I had a fantastic opportunity to visit family in Switzerland.  Unlike many European countries that hold fast to their own heritage, Switzerland is a bit of a melting pot, much like our own culture.  It has a few things that are quintessentially Swiss, but most of the country is steeped in the influences of its neighboring cultural powerhouses.  In the Northwest you’ll find German schnitzels and starchy veggies. In the South you’ll find colorful produce, fish, and pasta like its Italian neighbors just over the mountains.  In the West you’ll find the rich, simple, sophisticated flavors of its French heritage.

    It will come as no surprise that when I travel, besides documenting the experience with way too many pictures, my #1 priority is experiencing the food. I love to taste the things that are native to an area, as well as their own interpretations of “international.” WARNING: Don’t order a hamburger in Switzerland expecting it to taste like Wendy’s — you will be deeply disappointed. But if you can free your mind of all your preconceived notions, you will be astounded by the unique texture and flavor of the beef produced by the cattle that graze on the lush green hills of the countryside, traditional bells hung around their necks, and you will be all the luckier for the experience.

    Variety of Swiss Foods from Travels

    Because of my deep appreciation for the food of other cultures and the stories the food tells of its native people and history, one of my great respects for the menu and culinary dietitians at Good Measure Meals is the value placed on the greatest hits of other cultures.  GMM has a wide variety of cultures represented in our meal plans, because true foodies know that each food culture has its treasures.

    Notice some highlights of this week’s menu:

    Chicken Mole with Arroz Verde, made with Spinach, Cilantro, Poblanos and Brown Rice; plus a side of Carrots

    Beef Bolognese over Whole Wheat Spaghetti, and a side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Red Peanut Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice and Spinach

    Shrimp and Grits topped with Stewed Okra and Tomatoes, with a side of Blackberry Cobbler

    Enjoy this week’s world tour, compliments of GMM.

    Scenic Switzerland