• 26Nov

    Today’s post was contributed by Open Hand Community Dietitian, Joy Goetz. 


    Ever curious what Open Hand dietitians do, or how the proceeds from Good Measure Meals help people in your community? I am super excited to tell about a program we implemented at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in October. In just one month we taught 3 nutrition classes to 300 kids, revitalized an unused school garden and helped plan and run the first annual Food Day event.

    It all started because of GMM Senior Vice President, Jess Parsons’ and OH Senior Director of Programs and Policies, Charlotte Hayes’ relationships with the school and its staff, particularly Scott Cain. Coach Cain has always been a healthy lifestyle advocate, and he put in a lot of extra hours to pull this off!

    What exactly did we do? We taught kids about the 5 food groups and how they help us grow strong and be active, the importance of eating a rainbow of colors every day and how to be a nutrition detective to find healthy foods in the grocery store. We coordinated with Fred Conrad, from the Atlanta Community Food Bank to build the garden and teach kids how to plant a garden and supervised as they planted kale, lettuce, collards, chard and garlic in their new planter boxes.

    MVPS3To me, the most memorable part was the Food Day event. Parents were invited for a special lunch and program that included veggie taste-tests, obstacle courses, a Food Day themed photo booth, and (my favorite!) a skit entitled: “Dude, Where’s My Twinkie?”. The MVPS drama department hit the ball out of the park with this one. They wrote and performed a skit that incorporated themes of all of the nutrition classes and the garden. I wish I had a video to share with you, but the basic idea is that a kid forgets his twinkie (a vintage twinkie from 1979) and meets several characters at school: a Nutrition Detective, Rainbow the Food Fairy, and Farmer Fred, who teach him about healthy eating and let him try some farm-fresh veggies. By the end of the skit, the kid is so sold on the veggies that he no longer cares about his twinkie!

    As you know by now, 100% of the  net proceeds from the Good Measure Meals you purchase help fund our efforts to host programs like this in the Atlanta community.

    On behalf of the all the students, teachers and parents whose lives we’ve touched, THANK YOU!

    Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

    -Your Friends at  GMM

  • 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.**


    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.

  • 12Nov

    Contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Jamie Hamblin.

    What new foods have you tried lately?

    Well…we’re starting a new tradition over at Good Measure Meals

    What do you think you get when you cross three hungry dietitians with two food loving public health students? The beginning of a beautiful tradition…drum roll please… “Try Friday!”

    Try Friday is a weekly opportunity to test out new recipes, taste exotic foods you see at the grocery store but never work up the courage to pull off the shelf, and most importantly, EAT.

    The first episode of Try Friday features Joy Goetz, RD at Open Hand, as she shows off her apple crisp (a healthier alternative to apple pie). And Bryant Torres, public health student at Emory, tells us about his special recipe for roasted Brussels Sprouts. If you need some inspiration for healthy cooking, or if you are looking for a few dietitian tricks for cooking traditional holiday foods, this is where it’s at.


    Now on to our second recorded week of “Try Friday.” That’s right, it’s a two-in-one special!

    To me, this episode highlights why many people feel passionately about food and nutrition.

    There is something powerful about good food. Plain and simple. As my favorite chef Rebecca Katz calls it, it’s “the power of yum.”

    This week, Kayla Costello, another all-star public health student, contributes pumpkin gnocchi with an amazing butter sauce. (Isn’t butter divinity? In moderation, of course.) Also, shout-out to Kayla for spending all Sunday afternoon in her kitchen rolling pasta dough with her fingers, so that the rest of us could eat like royalty on Friday.

    Stay tuned to the Good Measure Meals blog for more Try Friday updates as we put our tastebuds to good use and try out new recipes.

    Happy eating!

  • 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.