• 18Feb

    Hearts, roses, chocolates, candles, red wine, love, pink hearts, red hearts, conversation hearts – blah blah blah, Valentine’s Day is over (amen?).

    Amen. Hallelujah.

    Well actually, February is American Heart Month, so we need to leave our hearts on the table a little longer….or at least our conversations about them.

    Here’s a big fact for you: Did you know that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the Number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S.? This includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

    Happy Tuesday, folks.

    Some people are inherently more at risk than others because of their genetics; and sadly, some people are even more at risk because of their race and ethnicity.

    But the important thing to remember is that so many cardiovascular disease-related deaths can be PREVENTED through better eating and health habits, better living spaces, and proper care and control of chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.

    Prevented, friends.

    It’s the year of Committing to Lean in 2014 with Good Measure Meals, and part of getting lean means getting healthy and preventing unnecessary death from cardiovascular disease (because if we’re being honest, nobody’s trying to die early from poor heart upkeep).

    Obviously, at Good Measure Meals, we’re here to help with getting your diet on track. And we do that pretty darn well, actually.

    But another major part of caring for your heart is exercise, and there’s just no way around that. The recommendation is to get your heart-rate up (to a point that it’s difficult to carry on a conversation) 30 minutes per day every day. Are you doing that? I don’t every day, and that’s on me. That’s my bad.

    But you know what? We can help with that, too.
    harmony and philip race numbersplushashtag

    EVERY MONTH, we participate in one 5K race around Atlanta that benefits a local non-profit. For all you newbies, a 5K is 3.1 miles. If you jog at a good 10-minute clip, you’ll have your 30-minutes of exercise for the day, easy peas-y. But walking during 5K’s is also perfectly acceptable.

    Guess what? We have a 5K coming up this weekend, too, and (if you’re a woman) you should really consider joining our “Race for Good” team. This race happens to be a woman’s-only race, because it is in celebration of this awesome organization, Back on My Feet Atlanta’s new women’s running program.

    Back on My Feet Atlanta helps homeless individuals in our city regain self-worth, self-esteem, and good health with the simple act of regularly meeting up to go for group runs. It’s a part-mentoring, part-health-promoting, part-group-bonding experience that really helps put the feet back under people who maybe haven’t had a purpose for their lives in recent memory.

    Anyway, it’s a great cause – not to mention, it is health-promoting for you, also.

    By the way, Good Measure Meals is also partnered with tons of gyms around Atlanta. Each of these gyms have great classes every day for those of you who may not be the running types. And all experience levels have a place in these classes.

    You may remember that time that a group of GMM folks did a bootcamp with some Atlanta firefighters.DSC01318

    Or that time that I did the boot camp with The SweatBox Decatur. That was new for me, and it was an awesome experience, and some really great exercise accountability.

    It’s American Heart Health Month, friends, so I just want to remind you that simply eating better is not going to transform your health.

    If you really want to Commit to Lean in 2014, you’ve got to get real and start caring for your heart. The upside (other than preventing cardiovascular disease, obviously) is that caring for your heart will also help with your weight-loss goals….and most likely your sanity, too.

    Oh, and come join us on Saturday at the Back on My Feet Mizuno Women’s 5K. It’s a great place to start and amazing cause to support.

  • 14Jan

    Katherine here, finishing up the recap of my SweatBox experience from just before the holidays.

    If you missed the first installment, check it out now: http://goo.gl/VEsIOw

    kd tire2

    I wish I could say that I ended my 3-week stint at the SweatBox in full glory, lifting one of those huge monster truck tires over my head like it was merely a box of Christmas decorations intended for the top closet shelf. All in a day’s work, and such.

    It turns out that in real life, Gray and I were out of town for two of the three Fit in 3 weekends, so we missed two of the awesome combined Saturday classes, plus the Friday classes before them. We couldn’t even go to the SweatBox’s Christmas party because we were out of town that weekend!

    Plus, when you add in company and social holiday parties across town after work, Christmas shopping, etc. … let’s just say that I ended up limping to the SweatBox finish line with large gaps in my bootcamp attendance record.

    I ultimately realized a couple of important things about myself at the end of Fit and 3:

    1. I like running.
    2. If there is a way to make an excuse for something slightly inconvenient, I will find a way to do so.
    3. I’m highly competitive when it comes to exercising. Possibly to a fault.
    4. I really actually enjoyed the SweatBox’s class environment and not having to think up every workout on my own every day. Plus the variety in the workouts each time was awesome.

    I also realized from emailing with a GMM customer this week that everyone has a different way that they fit exercise into their schedule to make it work the best for them. For me, I think this is going to be purchasing either a gym membership, utilizing drop-in rates for classes, or investing in a pack of group workouts like they offer at the SweatBox (8 classes for $96). This will allow me some freedom to go to as many or as few group classes as I want each week without going through the personal guilt trip for missing a class (is anyone else hard on themselves when they choose to skip?). Plus I’ll still be able to get in some good long, mindless runs more often, which I love.

    On the other hand, Gray was chomping at the bit to get back into the SweatBox after the holidays.

    You know what he did? He signed himself up (and convinced his roommate to join him) for another round of bootcamp classes there, and this time it’s Fit in 5, so he’ll get an additional two weeks of hardcore, muscle-toning action.

    gray go hard

    “I learned a lot of new exercises and that I needed to work out in a group to get better results,” he said. “It helped me push myself harder than just going on a run or doing those Insanity DVD’s.”

    “And I decided to go back because I started seeing some results, and it felt great to get my butt kicked every night. Felt like I really deserved a good night’s sleep…or that beer on the weekend,” he said.

    How about you? Have you decided to take the plunge and join an exercise group on a regular basis or make the commitment to start working out on your own for a set amount of time and number of days each week?

    If you need any recommendations for good places to look for classes, contact us! We have fitness partners all over the Metro Atlanta area that would be happy to introduce you to their offerings.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned through Fit in 3 at the Sweatbox, it’s that there’s no such thing as “beginner.” Everyone is moving at their own pace on their own personal workout journey. Whether it’s your first step on the journey, or if you’re well on your way toward your goals, the point is to be moving and keep moving.

    man up

     

     

     

  • 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.

  • 30Jul

    Contributed by Community Wellness Representative and Registered Dietitian, Sarah Shanahan

    DSC01318

    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!

     

     

  • 06May

    From Our Partners and Fitness Experts at Snap Fitness

    If you have opened a fitness magazine in the last year, chances are there was at least one article dealing solely with the topic of “functional training.”

    CrunchesThere is a huge buzz surrounding functional training, but what does that even mean?  In basic terms, functional training requires an individual to perform exercises that mimic or aid in daily activity.

    So here’s the question, why is this important? As we age, daily activities become more challenging to effectively execute without injuries. The fact that functional training focuses on movements that we perform on a regular basis is essential to its necessity in your weekly rotation of work-outs.  This type of training will improve core strength, flexibility, joint mobility, and has also been shown to be more effective in weight loss and muscle gain in comparison to single joint exercises (traditional machines).

    Snap fitness trainerNow, you are probably wondering which exercises fit into the realm of functional training. For starters, think less “weight-bearing exercises from machines” and more “natural bodyweight exercises.” Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and lunges are great examples. Adding props like stability balls, suspension training systems, dumbbells, and medicine balls will help increase the intensity of any move as you progress from three times each week. Proper form and alignment will ultimately be the keys to your success and overall improvement. Pair these exercises with moderate-to-intense cardio training for about an hour-long total session each time.

    At Snap Fitness Lavista Walk, you can work directly with a trainer to find your correct form in each functional training move.  With Snap Fitness and Good Measure Meals, it’s easy to maximize your results in strength and weight loss by picking up your Good Measure Meals each time you visit your trainer or when you work out at Snap Fitness Lavista Walk.

    Alex Stubbs M.S. Ed.

    AFAA PT

    AFAA Group Training

    TRX Suspension Training

    Snap Fitness – Lavista Walk

    1167 Lavista Rd

    Atlanta, Georgia 30324

    (404) 793-7398

    Website

    Facebook

  • 19Feb

    Article contributed by Charlotte Hayes MMSc, MS, RD, CDE

     

    It is February, the month of passion, love and heart health.  Reminders of love and passion are everywhere – red and pink roses, balloons and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.  I enjoy this month.  The hubbub of the holidays is over, days begin to grow longer, and yes, love is in the air.  But most of all, this month never fails to renew my passion for heart health.  February, not January, is when I evaluate my lifestyle and resolve to take action to keep my heart beating strong.

    February is National Heart Health Month, so messages and advice about heart health abound along with reminders that heart disease is serious and deadly. I realize these reminders are important, but I prefer to focus on the positive things I get to do to boost my heart health and overall well-being.   Here are things I commit to doing – all are fairly simple, enjoyable and proven to improve heart health.

    • Healthy Eating and Drinking: I make my calories count by including lots of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies in my meals and snacks. High-salt foods are out and healthy oils, such as olive oil are in. When I have a treat, good chocolate is something I enjoy – especially since it has beneficial antioxidants. When it comes to beverages, there is nothing better than fresh, cool water. I enjoy sipping an occasional glass of wine which, in moderation, may lower heart attack risk.
    • Being Active: I love being active, but as life has gotten busier with work and family, fitting activity in is not as easy as it once was. My tricks?  I build small, frequent amounts of activity in on busy week days and do more on weekends.  I use a pedometer to track my daily step counts and aim to do at least 150 minutes of activity each week.  Weights and stretching are part of my routine too – two or three sessions per week is my goal.
    • Reducing Stress: This is something that I really have to work on. I tend to maintain a non-stop pace and can easily become over-committed.  I have learned, however, to “just say no” and to focus my energy on doing more of the things I find personally meaningful and important.  I also make time for enjoyment, relaxation and fun – high on my list is being active outdoors.   Even so, I can get to a point of feeling pressure, tension and a racing heart. When I feel these obvious signs of stress, I take a 10 minute break – either heading outside for a quick walk or listening to a calming relaxation CD.   The mind is a powerful tool, and doing what it takes to maintain a positive outlook makes all the difference when it comes to lowering stress and strain on the heart and cardiovascular system.  
    • Enjoying clean air: I stay clear of tobacco smoke.  Fortunately, as more places are becoming smoke free, this has gotten easier.

    That’s my short “to do” list for my heart health.  I hope you are thinking about things you can do to keep your heart healthy too.  To get started, visit some of the informative Websites from the agencies and associations that support National Heart Health Month.

    American Heart Association: www.heart.org and http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/2012-Go-Red-For-WomenHeart-Month-Kickoff_UCM_320383_Event.jsp

    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/materials/wear-red-toolkit.htm

    US Department of Health and Human Services & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention     Million Hearts™:  http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/index.html

    Remember, Good Measure Meals™ is here to help. We build healthy ingredients into each meal to make it easier for you reach your heart healthy goals.  With Good Measure as a solid nutrition foundation, you can get out of the kitchen which leaves you more time to take a total approach to your heart health.

     

     

  • 17Dec

    Mindless eating often implies “emotional eating” or “stress eating,” and GMM’s sales rep, David Rogers, looks at the link between managing your diet and managing your stress in his thoughts on mindful eating for the average working parent.

     

    Mindful eating to me, as a man over 40, means a simpler approach. With a very scheduled work and personal life my challenge involves a few components: a balance of good nutrition, exercise and stress management.

    My job mobility sometimes limits me in having the luxury of prep time. So, mindful eating means packing the correct nutrition for a long day behind the wheel or making smart consistent choices when eating fast food. I try to make time for exercise by parking further away at appointments, taking the stairs whenever possible etc., and I promote these habits with my family by walking or taking bike rides with them at least bi-weekly in our neighborhood. Mindful eating means turning to other outlets like listening to calming music or taking a brisk walk to relieve frustration or anxious feelings instead of snacking, grazing, or binge-eating when times are stressful.

    I am a firm believer that you can limit stress-eating if you can count to 10, breathe, and then get your heart rate up.

    -David Rogers, GMM Senior Business Development Associate

    The Rogers Family

     

  • 13Jun
    Feeling antsy in the office? Want to be in better shape after you leave your 9-to-5 than when you started your workday?
    Last week, VP Jess Parsons introduced the GMM staff to a series she titled “Desk-ercise.” Her 30-minute lunch session detailed many simple moves geared toward toning your upper body, lower body, core, and even increasing your cardio capacity.
    And all in a day’s work!

    Part 1: Upper Body Exercises

    What you’ll need: Swivel Desk Chair, Desk, Water Bottle, Resistance Band
    Bicep Curls: biceps
    Sitting in your chair, hold a water bottle in your right hand, and, with abs in and spine straight, curl bottle towards shoulder for 16 reps. Repeat with your left hand. Do 2-3 sets.

    Harmony deskercises with bicep curls.

    Chair Dips: triceps, chest and deltoids
    Make sure chair is stable and place hands next to hips or on arm rests. Move hips in front of chair and bend the elbows, lowering the body until the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat for 16 reps. Complete 2 sets.

    A tip (in hindsight): Secure rolling chairs against a wall before trying this exercise.

    Front Raise to Triceps Press: triceps & shoulders
    Sit tall with the abs in and hold a full water bottle in the left hand. Lift the bottle up to shoulder level, pause, and then continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow, taking the water bottle behind you and contracting the triceps. Straighten the arm and lower down, repeating for 12 reps on each arm for 2 sets.

    Water: not just for drinking.

    Desk/Wall Press: chest, shoulders, arms & back
    Stand about three feet from a wall, and place your hands flush against the wall, about shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your body toward the wall by flexing your elbows. When your elbows are aligned with your torso, push back up. Do 10 repetitions.

    Philip and Harmony team up for some Wall Presses

    Single Arm Row with Band: biceps, shoulders, & back
    Have a seat in your chair. Tie one end of the resistance band on a door knob, or handle of a locked drawer. Make sure that the secure end is level or lower than chest level. Take the other end of the band and wrap once around your right hand. Without Moving your torso, pull the band towards your abs so that your fist is touching your side with elbow bent. Pause, then slowly extend arm back to starting position. Do 2 sets of 16 reps with each arm.

    Philip was not harmed in the shooting of this Seated Arm Row.

    Stay tuned in the next few days/weeks for more installments of the Desk-ercise series!

  • 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!

     

  • 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!