• 12Nov

    Like many of us, Hot 107.9 radio personality and producer Tonya Clackum, AKA “Beyonce Alowishus,” repeatedly found her busy schedule standing in the way of her health goals.
    She regularly skipped breakfast, sacrificed nutrition for convenience at lunchtime, and grabbed fast food on the way home from work.

    After years of struggling with her weight, trying every diet under the sun, she was looking for a plan that would allow her to lose weight despite her busy schedule, eat fresh food, and be sustainable long-term. Her doctor suggested Good Measure Meals (GMM).

    Tonya was immediately impressed by the friendly, informative Good Measure Meals staff and wide variety of meals on the menu. The calorie and portion controlled meals made it easy and convenient for her to eat healthfully – and deliciously! And once she found out that GMM proceeds go back into the community by supporting the non-profit Open Hand Atlanta, she was hooked.

    Tonya starting receiving the 1200 calorie meal plan, 7 days per week, and documenting her experience in a series of blog posts. Check out some of her comments below!

    “A lot of times we go on diets and feel as though we have to starve ourselves, but that’s not the case with GMM. The meals are very filling, and now that I’m eating the correct portions, I get fuller much faster and have learned not to over-eat.

    With other diets in the past, the weight would come right back when I got off the program. So I was nervous to be away from Good Measure Meals during one 10-day train trip through Canada. But this time, I didn’t gain weight or fall off my diet. How did I manage? Portion control. Plus, I opted for more of what I had eaten with GMM- more fruits, whole grains, and baked and grilled foods.

    The best parts of the program are the food variety (I never had the same meal twice), easy pick-up locations, being informative and affordable, and the GREAT taste. My favorite meal? Ground Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers. Some other favorites include Tilapia Florentine with Brown Rice and Broccoli, Brunswick Stew with Cornbread, and Turkey Meatloaf with Parsley Potatoes.

    Not only did I lose weight on the program, it taught me portion control. I felt better overall, and even my blood pressure went down. I also felt good about getting involved with the non-profit Open Hand. All the net proceeds from GMM go to support Open Hand, and Open Hand serves more than 6,500 meals a day to people who are home-bound seniors or less fortunate across 17 counties in Georgia (AMAZING)!!!

    My friends and co-workers say I look great, but it’s not just because of the weight loss; it’s also because the meals are so well planned. I am getting all of my daily nutrients that my body needs on a daily basis. Plus the MAIN reason I am a fan is that all of the money raised by GMM goes to Open Hand Atlanta. It’s just AWESOME. Period. 1200 calories a day and I get my breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s FRESH, not processed and frozen. It’s super healthy and it goes to a good cause. I have never felt better.”

     

    Several months into her Good Measure Meals, Tonya is 20 POUNDS DOWN and continues to lose weight, looking and feeling better every day.

    For updates on Tonya’s health and weight loss journey with Good Measure Meals, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @BeyonceATL.

  • 31Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What Are Your Tips for Staying Hydrated?” was contributed by Sarah Shanahan MS, RD, LD; Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Representative

    Sarah_ShanahanFueling and hydrating are two of my favorite nutrition topics. I could easily write on and on about the best ways to stay hydrated, especially during the hot and humid summer we struggle through in the south. But, since Jess covered them so well in a previous post, I can write about something more fun. Cocktails. And their more hydrating better half, mocktails.

    I love a good cocktail. However, since there are a bunch of reasons why I shouldn’t sit down and drink a bunch of cocktails, I like to switch it up with mocktails.

    What’s a mocktail? It’s a faux cocktail. Basically, it’s all the parts of the cocktail that taste good, minus the alcohol. And unlike cocktails, mocktails can be great way to stay hydrated!

    Alcohol itself is dehydrating, and a whole lot of those nasty side effects to a really fun night out are just symptoms of dehydration and low blood glucose. Additionally, anything over “moderate” alcohol intake (in general, one drink daily for women and two daily for men) can at best cause an increase in triglycerides and blood pressure. And at worst, can lead to liver damage, certain cancers, decreased immune system, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Yuck. And I didn’t even mention the excess calories you consume and the subsequent drop in blood glucose that make you feel hungrier than normal, which in turn makes you want to eat more than you need. No thanks.

    cocktail 2In an effort to enjoy my night, and the bright life I have ahead of me, I like to sip on lower calorie, alcohol-free mocktails. Don’t get me wrong, you can still make yourself a high calorie mocktail, but there are so many fun things you can do to keep the calories to a minimum. My basic mocktail recipe follows, with some ideas to dress it up. And I highly suggest you serve them in your special occasion glassware to make them stand out.

    Basic Mocktail
    8oz Plain seltzer or soda water
    2oz Juice
    Citrus or Herb garnish
    Stir and serve over ice

    cocktail 1Examples
    Cape Cran
    8oz Plain seltzer or soda water
    2oz Cranberry juice
    Juice of ¼ lime
    Stir and serve over ice with a lime garnish

    Minted Mini Greyhound
    8oz Seltzer or soda water
    2oz grapefruit juice
    Fresh mint leaves
    Stir together and serve over ice

  • 22Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What Are Your Tips for Staying Hydrated?” was collaborated by Jamie Hamblin, Good Measure Meals Community Dietitian, and Katherine Clevenger, GMM Communications Coordinator

    JamieHamblin_5Lately I’ve been excited to incorporate a water carbonator into my regular personal use. One of my dear co-workers just recently moved to Minnesota, and she gave me a free water carbonator in her absence.

    Now, carbonated water (or sparkling water…or soda water) definitely is a unique experience for first-timers. When we think of water, we think of simple hydration with a nearly complete lack of flavor associated. When we think of sodas, we think of sweet, bubbly drinks. Soda/carbonated water has the same hydrating, non-sweet experience like water, but it has the bubbly/fizzy feel that sodas do.

    I’ve really enjoyed drinking carbonated water (it’s pretty mainstream in Europe, as you travelers will know), and I’ve realized that it is a great alternative to regular water for those of you looking for creative ways to drink more H20. It’s just got that little extra “something” to keep you interested and wanting another glass.

    san pellierObviously you don’t have to go all-in and buy a water carbonator to get some carbonated water for yourself. There are many carbonated/sparkling waters on the market that are delicious. As far as some good brands to look out for, the key is to check out the label to avoid added sugar. Also, there are quite a few brands that boast flavor, but use artificial sweeteners. Be wary of words like aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, saccharin.
    Perrier and San Pellegrino are examples of two well-known sparkling water producers; and LaCroix, for example, is a brand that is known for it’s completely naturally flavored (sugar free) sparkling water options.lacroix

    Now if you find that you’re drinking a 6-pack of LaCroix a day, a personal water carbonator might just be a good investment. Plus you can add your own flavor – lemon, lime, orange, whatever you like. If you do go the water carbonator direction, just make sure to watch out for the flavor packets that come with the machine – often they include artificial colors, flavors, and added sugar – NOT something you want hidden in your water-of-choice.

    Carbonated water can also be a great base for some tasty, nutritious beverages – especially if you don’t feel like you have developed a taste for straight carbonated water yet. One of my favorites is Agua Fresca from Leanne Brown’s A Snap Cookbook – Good and Cheap. I use carbonated water instead of regular water to add some extra pop!

    Check it out:

    agua fresca recipe

  • 09Jul

    Today’s post was contributed by guest blogger Frances Ennis, GMM Spring Dietetic Intern

    It’s not uncommon to start a weight loss plan and feel like you’re doing everything right, and yet the weight doesn’t seem to come off. What gives? Perhaps your answer could lie in one of the following 5 questions. If you’re guilty of one or more of these, we might have found the culprit.

    GMM Greek Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Apricot Compote

    GMM Greek Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Apricot Compote

    1. Are you skipping breakfast?
    While skipping breakfast sounds like a great way to “save calories” for a meal later in the day, it actually can cause you to feel those mid-morning hunger aches which lead to mindless snacking on high calorie junk foods. If you don’t have time to make breakfast yourself, let GMM take care of you with our tasty and balanced breakfast menu options!

    2. Are you drinking your calories?
    So you’re eating a balanced diet and watching the calories you eat, but what about your drinks? If you drink a glass of orange juice at breakfast, a flavored coffee drink for your morning energy boost, a glass of lemonade at lunch, and a glass of wine with dinner you’ve consumed up to 700 calories in beverages alone! Try to sub out those drinks for water with lemon or unsweetened tea. It will make achieving your weight loss goal much easier.

    3. Are you eating too much of the right foods?
    Even though consuming a balanced diet with all of the food groups is the best way to keep your body fueled during weight loss, calorie intake is what drives that scale number down. It’s important to monitor your portion sizes even when you are eating the healthy foods. Try eating your meal on a salad plate instead of an entrée plate, and wait 15 minutes before going back for second helpings. If you’re unsure of what appropriate portion sizes are, GMM can take the guesswork out of the equation and provide you with the right amount of food you need to achieve your goals.

    4. Do you think about exercise a lot?
    It’s easy to see a new exercise routine as license to eat a few extra calories, but that quickly defeats the goal of weight loss. And studies have shown that merely thinking about exercise can cause you to be hungrier and eat more! Avoid the temptation and restrict your pre- or post-gym snack to 150 calories or less.

    sleep5. Are you getting enough sleep?
    Inadequate sleep can send your body into a fat and carb-craving survival mode. Additionally, if you’re awake more hours of the day, it’s easy to make time for another meal or snack which adds to your calorie tally for the day. Most adults need 7-8 of sleep hours each day. If you still find yourself groggy after 8 hours, you might need up to 9. It’s also much easier to muster the energy for exercise after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

    Remember, the best and safest way to lose weight is all about balance. Balance your nutrients. Balance your calorie intake and exercise. Stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. If you’re still unsure of what to do, reach out to our registered dietitians for a consult at customerservice@goodmeasuremeals.com!

  • 03Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What are your Favorite Summer Fruits and Veggies?” was contributed by Philip Niekro, GMM Customer Service Manager.

    Philip_picAs much as I love to cook, I don’t seem to cook much during the summer. Maybe it’s because it’s so hot outside or maybe it’s because I’m a little more tired than usual during my training season for the July 4 Peachtree Road Race (anyone else running tomorrow??). Who knows!

    This summer I’ve been working on losing a few pounds and am being successful on the Good Measure Meals plan. And since I’m on the 5-day a week plan, I do have to make some smart choices on the weekends. Fortunately, for me, this is the time I get to indulge with my favorite summer fruits and vegetables: Strawberries and cucumbers!

    Strawberries are chock full of Vitamin C and, calorie-wise, you get a big bang for your buck. Here is a favorite recipe from my mom. I love making this recipe and have altered it a bit to make it a little more healthy.

    strawberriesStrawberry Spinach Salad

    Ingredients
    1 pint strawberries, sliced
    1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
    ½ red onion, thickly sliced

    Instructions
    Toss in bowl with dressing just before serving

    Dressing:
    3 T sugar
    3 T light mayonnaise
    2 T fat-free milk
    1 T white vinegar
    1 T poppy seeds

     

    As for cucumber recipes, this one is really easy!

    Peel and slice one fresh cucumber.

    cucumberUsing an infusion pitcher, add sliced cucumber and one small bunch of washed basil in the center compartment and add filtered water. If you do not have an infusion pitcher, just put the cucumber and basil into a regular pitcher and then make sure to hold back the cucumber and basil when pouring your glass of water (unless you’d like cucumber and basil in your cup – if so, pour away!).

    Place in fridge for at least 2 hours, then enjoy!!

    I like to make this cucumber/basil infused water because it’s so fresh tasting. During these hot summer months, a different approach to hydration is sometimes all it takes to make drinking more water a little more exciting.

    I hope you give these recipes a try, and that you get creative with them, too. If you put your own spin on them, let us know in the comments section, below. Do you have a favorite infused water combination? Share your great ideas!

    Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy the wonderful produce and herbs that this season has to offer – and most of all, have a great Summer!!

  • 10Apr

    Have you been tuning in to our Atlanta and Company segments the last couple of weeks?

    Rachel Stroud, our GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, has been joining host Rashan Ali to discuss some really important keys to weight-loss success. She will continue this series each week for the next few weeks, so make sure to tune in at 12:30 each Wednesday for some informed discussion (and a special FLASH SALE discount!!).

    photo 1

    Hopefully you’ve already made the pledge to yourself to Commit to Lean in 2014 and are on your way toward meeting your health goals this year. If you are, you know that the process of re-learning portion control and creating those engrained healthy habits takes a while.

    The complicated part is that so many diets out there make weight loss about less, less, less. Less calories, less food equals MORE WEIGHT LOSS.

    But for real weight loss that lasts, we need to replace the idea of “less” with the concept of balance and of sustainability. Repeat that to yourself: balance and sustainability. Balance and sustainability.

    rachel scary childhood meals

    Energy Balance is the simplest equation we have for achieving weight loss or weight maintenance. Our body takes in energy through food and beverages, and we put energy out through basic survival, activities of daily life, and planned exercise. If we want to lose weight, we have to put out more energy than we’re taking in.

    The calories you personally need each day for basic survival is called your Basil Metabolic Rate. It’s the number of calories your body need to function if you simply laid in bed all day. Those calories are the energy necessary for your heart to pump, your lungs to expand, and your lean muscles to be fueled.

    Now, IF, in the name of quick weight loss, you eat LESS than your body’s Basil Metabolic Rate, your body will enter “Starvation Mode.” Starvation mode changes the way the body processes nutrients so it stores our fat (gasp!) and breaks down muscle for the energy it needs instead.

    Now here’s the real kicker: fueling our muscles with oxygen and energy is a significant part of our metabolic rate, so let’s say your body breaks down muscle to fuel itself during your diet regimen of drastic calorie-cutting. In the process, you’ve lessened the amount of calories your body needs in a day. This means that instead of functioning at your normal (for example) 1700 calories necessary per day, your body has dropped and acclamated to functioning on (for example) 1000 calories per day.

    Now let’s say you go back to consuming the amount of calories you used to at your former Basil Metabolic Rate, or what you used to consider “normal” before severely cutting your calories. At that point it is going to be harder to continue to lose weight and to keep the weight you have lost off, because during the “starvation mode” period you have decreased your metabolism by decreasing your muscle mass.

    Make sense?

    The moral of the story is: the only way to increase your metabolism (so that you can actually burn away that FAT) is to build more muscle. This raises your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn in a day, despite your physical activity. Very low calorie diets shoot down your metabolism and cause you to lose muscle.

    Unless you want to continue cutting away calories and restricting your access to food for the rest of your life, losing weight the healthy and sustainable way means keeping your muscle and your metabolism and burning away your fat with a balance of nutrition and calorie intake that works for your exercise level and Basal Metabolic needs.

    Ever heard a weight loss plan tell you that you need to eat to lose weight? We just did.

    Tune in each week at 12:30 p.m. on Atlanta and Company to hear the discussion continue with Rachel and Rashan about healthy weight loss.

    And if you’re curious about how many calories YOU need per day, fill out your info in the Calorie Calculator tool at the bottom of the homepage of our website, or schedule a Med Gem appointment with one of our dietitians to find out your exact Basal Metabolic Rate!

    photo 7

  • 03Sep

    Contributed by GMM Community Dietitian, Sarah Shanahan, MS, RD, LD

    I lived the last 9 years and the entirety of my dietetics career in Manhattan. When I contemplated the move back to Atlanta, after living in New York and Chicago before that, I had a lengthy pro and con list. But there were only a few key things that truly worried me: Losing direct access to water and running along it at sunrise, the ability to commute on foot and use public transportation, and the amazing food scene.

    My move was seamless. DSC_1273_croppedI landed this awesome job with Good Measure Meals right after my arrival; I bought a car and, strangely, don’t mind driving in this mad Atlanta traffic; and I found a nice running route on the Freedom Parkway Path and the Beltline. So I almost don’t miss the water. This is not the same Atlanta that I left 17 years ago. It’s bigger, faster, and there is definitely a thriving food scene in this town.

    OK, Atlanta is still not New York. New York is the birthplace of the celebrity chef and home to Slow Food USA and endless options for foodie-approved dining. Food is a topic on everyone’s tongue (no pun intended); not only do we have to eat to survive, but we are getting very creative with food composition and presentation. When I left Atlanta, I don’t remember having a favorite restaurant. There just weren’t that many options. Now I have a list of places I am eagerly waiting to check out.

    I’m excited to say that there is one thing Atlanta has that New York still doesn’t: Good Measure Meals. In my private nutrition counseling practice in New York, I was asked by clients for healthy meal delivery options. I had a great resource for a few years, but as with many small businesses, they tanked when the economy did. The only options left were national chains that made frozen and shelf stable meals filled with preservatives.

    Sarah with GMMI wish I had access to Good Measure Meals’ fresh, healthy and balanced, gourmet meal plans when I was in New York. It is incredibly difficult to make balanced meals that are delicious and provide a large variety of regional and international flavors. I love that I can recommend healthy versions of southern favorites, like barbeque and fried chicken. GMM’s Carolina style BBQ Pulled Chicken with Chow-Chow Relish, Field Peas and Chilled Banana Pudding is a delicious and healthy take on a meal that, if made elsewhere, could easily throw a week’s worth of calorie counting out the window. I also love our Southern Style Oven-Fried Chicken, BBQ Beans, and Collard Greens, which tastes good enough to satisfy your craving for the traditional high-fat Southern meal.

    My personal favorites are breakfasts. I especially look forward to that Monday morning every four weeks when I can enjoy our Tomato Frittata with Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Juicy Orange Segments. Yes, I also order our Good Measure meal plans — I love the food, and they make meal time super convenient. I am proud to work for Good Measure Meals, and having our meal plans to stand behind makes me feel great about what I do every day.

    Nice work Atlanta! You are changing, growing, offering more, and you are a lovely place to call home.

  • 30Nov

    The holiday season is notorious for temptation…From second helpings of holiday dinners to endless cookie baskets in the office break room, most of us find the pounds packing on from late November through the end of the year.  While I never advise anyone to miss out on the richness of flavor during the holiday months (Pumpkin Pie is a staple in my holiday diet), we do need to find balance. Remember, we can enjoy seasonal treats by burning those calories off in fun and festive ways!

    Calories Consumed Vs. Calories Burned

    Apple Pie (1 slice = 300 calories) –> Putting up/decorating the Christmas Tree (151 cal/hour)

    Egg Nog (1/2 cup = 180 calories) –> 1 hour of cooking (180 calories)

    Candy Cane (45 calories) –> 15 minutes of cleaning up (62 calories)

    Honeybaked Ham (1 slice=209 calories) –> 35 minutes of stacking firewood (206 calories)

    Hot Chocolate with Whip Cream (12 oz = 250 calories) –> 1 hour of shopping for presents (249 calories)

    Sweet Potato Soufflé (121g = 511 calories) –> Shoveling snow off the drive and sidewalks (700 cal/hr)

    Roasted Chestnuts (100g = 220 calories) –> 30 minutes of sledding (242 calories)

    Gingerbread Man (1 cookie = 76 Calories) –> Wrap presents for 1 hour (99 calories)

    *calories estimated for a 145lb. woman.  Increases of weight will increase the calories burned.

    In the end it is all about balance and knowing that you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest if you remember to also get a little activity in there.  So next time you reach for that second slice of pie, follow the sweet treat with a family outing to the skating rink and maximize the holiday fun!

  • 19Nov

    Breakfast is an essential component of a balanced diet, and not only provides your body with the energy that you need to function throughout the morning, but also assists with weight management by jump starting your metabolism!  I will admit that I have always been a breakfast eater, but until I started on my Good Measure Meals™- I usually resorted to a grab and go item or a bowl of cereal if I had the time.  I knew that I should be eating a more nutrient dense morning meal, but who has the time to whip up and perfectly balance breakfast?

    I have GMM to thank for my new morning routine, that still manages to keep my mornings quick (I really do enjoy hitting the snooze button in the A.M.!) and provides me with the protein and energy to make it through the day!  In honor of breakfast, I wanted to write a quick blog post about one of my favorite breakfast entrees, the Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bar with Cranberries and Walnuts!  We all love the taste, but in GMM fashion, there is a lot of great nutrition that goes into the recipe, so I thought I would break down some of the ingredients for everyone, to show you why our culinary staff includes certain items in our menu!  Here it goes…

    Pumpkin: A naturally low fat and low calorie food, pumpkin is packed with disease fighting nutrients like alpha and beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins C & E, potassium and magnesium. The carotenes are converted into vitamin A once eaten and promote healthy vision immune response.  There is also evidence that pumpkin helps reverse skin damage caused by the sun and acts as an anti-inflammatory.  The Carotenoid properties of pumpkin also boost immunity and lessen the risk of heart disease!

    Oats: A great source of soluble fiber, oats have been proven to help lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL), boost “good” cholesterol(HDL), maintain a healthy circulatory system, and help prevent heart attacks!  Not only do they provide these heart healthy benefits, they are also jam packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals including vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron and calcium!  They are also low on the glycemic index, so for folks managing insulin resistance, oats are a great addition to the diet!

    Cranberries: They may be small, but this tiny fruit is a powerhouse for health!  Cranberries are high in soluble fiber and protect against heart disease.  Because of their quinic acid content, they are one of the best treatments for urinary tract infections and help prevent digestive disorders and stomach ulcers

    Walnuts: Nuts are notorious for their high fat content, but walnuts are much richer in polyunsaturated fats than monounsaturated fats, boasting an unusually high content of omega-3 fatty acid.  This makeup proves walnuts to be helpful in the prevention of heart disease, cancers, arthritis, skin problems and disorders of the nervous system.  There’s more too!  Walnuts have been should to lower “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, while increasing the elasticity of the arteries!

    Cinnamon: Did you know that cinnamon has an anticoagulant compound (cinnamaldehyde) that can help protect against strokes?  It is also an anti-inflammatory, shown to relieve symptoms of arthritis and asthma…hard to believe, right?  The benefits don’t stop there though, cinnamon also functions as a digestive aid- relieving bloating and flatulence, and reducing heartburn… maybe that’s why it is so abundant in the holiday feasts!

    Now that you know some of the health benefits of this morning treat, get excited about Monday morning, because your GMM breakfast kicks off the week with our very own Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bar goodness!

    What’s your favorite Good Measure Meal™ Breakfast?

  • 21Jun

    So the Triathlon that my best friend researched and decided on was an All Women’s Sprint up in Acworth, GA.  This race benefits Ovarian Cycles, Inc., a charity that promotes ovarian cancer research.  I tend to gravitate towards activities that support the health of our community, as this is my passion(Just like Good Measure Meals Supports Open Hand!)!  The Acworth Triathlon is good start for beginners.  The distances are shorter and limiting the gender makes the race a little less intimidating to me.  It starts off with a ¼ mile swim, which is equivalent to 8 laps (there and back) in a Junior Olympic Pool.  Sounds doable, but after my first few swim sessions, I am realizing that this challenge is going to give me a run for my money and I have a new found respect for Olympic Swimmers!  After the swim, we have a 13 mile bike ride.  Although I haven’t really ridden a bike in years, I am confident that this will come back to me fairly easily.  I live near the Silver Comet Trail, so I have a built in training route in my backyard-so no excuses for me!  Once the bike ride is completed, we have to run a 5K.  Now on any normal day, I would think a 5K would be the extent of my exercise, and while challenging, I know I can complete it without too much problem.  The trick here is having the energy left after a tough swim and long bike ride to get my legs moving.  I hear that it can be a difficult transition from the bike to the run because your legs still want to move in a cyclical motion… that will be a funny sight!  I have to make sure that I am consuming enough calories and water before and during the race to supply the energy that will get me through the day.  For training, I have opted to increase my daily intake to the 1700 calorie plan, due to all the training I am doing.  This still gives me a calorie deficit to lose weight, but ensures that I am not starving my body while participating in intense training!  It is always a good idea to meet with a dietitian when wanting to change your eating behaviors to understand what your optimal intake is to reach your goals.  Luckily for me, I share an office with 5 Registered Dietitians that help answer my questions about staying healthy while taking my fitness to the next level.  If you are looking for a consultation, check out the Dietitian Consultation page on the Good Measure Meals site.

    The Triathlon is August 8th, so I am really starting to ramp up the training with the help of my friends, but would love advice from anyone out there that has completed one before, especially tips on the swimming! 

    If you are interested in participating in a triathlon, check out:  http://www.trifind.com/ga.html They have all the triathlons in GA posted so that you can find one that fits your experience level.

    If you are a true beginner like myself, there is a site specifically for us: http://www.trinewbies.com/ that gives tips on starting your training!

    Click on this image to find more great Triathlon Training Tips!

    My advice?  Find something that motivates you to become physically active over a set duration of time.  By registering for a race, exercise class or sports league- you commit yourself to continual training and possibly an end goal.  This is a great way to build a habit!