• 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.

  • 13Aug

    Today’s post is contributed by Good Measure Meals’ Senior Director of Programs and Policy Development, Charlotte Hayes

    Couple at gymThis weekend, I was fortunate to hear a presentation by BJ Fogg PhD, an innovator in the area of health behavior change and founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University.  I am so enthused about what he had to say that I want to share it with you.

    I guess I’m typical of most people – I have the best intentions of doing things that matter for my health, but when it comes to accomplishing those things, I don’t always succeed.    Let me use stretching as an example.  Stretching is something that I really should do.  I know it’s good for me, I know how much I should stretch, and I know the exercises I should do.  But, despite all of these “shoulds,” I don’t manage to routinely stretch.

    So, what would BJ Fogg advise?  He would encourage me to employ the Fogg Behavior Model:

    Behavior = motivation∙ability∙trigger

    Here’s how it works:  Success with doing something takes three things: 1) being motivated, 2) being confident in your ability to do what you set out to do, and 3) being reminded to do that thing (having a trigger) on a regular basis.  Fogg encourages taking a “tiny habits” approach toward building healthier practices into your daily routine. If repeated, “tiny habits” eventually become automatic – or what he calls “health reflexes.”

    So back to stretching — let’s compare two fictional characters, Frog and Monkey (random, differing characters Fogg uses to get his point across) and me, and look at our plans for stretching. Then let’s see who is likely to be successful and why. Here are our plans:

    Frog: “I will do two stretches each time I hear the bull frog croak.”

    Monkey:  “I will stretch for 5 minutes, six mornings this week after I swing from the trees.”

    Me: “I will do my stretching routine for 30 minutes, four evenings this week.”

    What do you think?  As it turns out, Frog and Monkey are much more likely to be successful than I am, and these are the reasons why:

    • When I stop and compare myself to Frog and Monkey, I lose confidence in my ability, because Frog and Monkey are naturally flexible creatures and better at stretching than I am. And, for all I know, they likely don’t have time pressures either, making it easier for them to fit stretching into their weekly schedules. My lack of confidence in myself is not a successful way to form a habit.
    • Both Frog and Monkey have simple plans, and they have identified triggers to stretch.   For Frog, this is the bull frog croaking; and for Monkey, this is the daily activity of swinging from trees.  These routine sounds and daily activities are their reminders to do a bit of stretching. My open-ended promise to myself to stretch on “any four evenings” of the week (no start time specified) gives me the ability to procrastinate in a way that does not allow for the completion of my goal for the week.
    • Finally, motivation.  I really can’t speak to Frog’s and Monkey’s levels of motivation, but stretching is definitely a little bit uncomfortable for me. Plus, my plan for stretching requires a dedicated block of precious evening time, which I’m reluctant to give up on a regular basis.  Given these two possible hindrances, I’m likely to push stretching off, since deep down, I’m more motivated to enjoy my evening than work toward my vague health goal. I will need small goals to work toward to motivate myself so I can celebrate my successes and continue toward forming a habit.

    So, lessons I’ve learned?  Identify a regular trigger in my life to be a reminder to do what I plan to do; have a simple plan that I can achieve at my ability level; build momentum for change through routine practice and gradual (motivating) improvement, and celebrate success (the biggest motivator of all)!iStock_000012393263Large[1]

    I’m now thinking about my daily routine, triggers I can use, and simple ways to fit stretching in to make it enjoyable and to set myself up for motivating accomplishments, no matter how small!  I’ll let you know how this works as I set out to make stretching a “health reflex.”  I’d like to know if there are health habits you’re working on, and how principles of the Fogg Behavior Model is helpful to you!

    One health habit we’re all working on is proper nutrition and maintaing a healthful daily diet. At Good Measure Meals, we simplify healthy eating so that you can learn how to have “healthy reflexes” with your food choices. We are dedicated to supporting your success with reaching your nutrition–related health goals!

     

  • 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!

     

     

  • 25Jun

    What’s the first thing a person thinks about when he or she thinks about summer?

    Vacation. True.

    And you know what’s right up there on the summertime “must do” list? Good Measure Meals. Surprised? Well here’s a little logic to help with the word-association whenever someone mentions summertime again.

    1) When’s the one time in the entire year that you really want to look good? Hint: Skirts, dresses, tank tops…bathing suits… Exactly. Summer. Get that arm flab outta here.

    2) Looking good is not magic. It takes a lot of focus and planning. But what is actually magical is that Good Measure Meals does a lot of the focus and planning work for you. GMM can’t make you exercise, but it can take ALL of the guesswork out of what you should be eating each day to help you reach your best Summertime shape.Time to Get Fit for the Summer!

    - We have well-balanced and portion-controlled meals that are designed to meet specific nutritional guidelines from meal to meal and from day to day.

    - Since we organize by calorie count, you can keep better track of your progress toward weight loss (or weight gain, if you’re trying to build muscle like our summer fitness expert, Thomas Murphy) than you could by yourself.

    3) The summer variety on our menus keeps your taste buds interested with all your favorite dishes of the season. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich; Carolina Style BBQ Pulled Chicken with Chow Chow relish, Field Peas, and Banana Pudding; Crab Cake Sandwich with Jalapeno Aioli Spread; Cilantro Lime Shrimp over Quinoa and Black Bean Salad; Vegetarian and Beef Fajitas with Onions, Portobello Mushrooms and Peppers; Southern Style Oven “Fried” Chicken with BBQ Beans and Collard Greens, fresh green salads and so so so much more!

    PGMM Spring/Summer 2013 Mealslus, our meals are easily portable for all your summer travels to the pool, beach, mountains, lake (OK maybe that’s us projecting OUR ideal summer vacation schedule).

    4) Speaking of traveling, Good Measure Meals is super flexible for your summer schedule. If you can’t pack your meals in a cooler and take them with you (ideal scenario, obviously), just give us a call before 4 p.m. on Thursdays to put your deliveries on hold for the next week while you scurry over to Europe or to Cancun or to the Hamptons, or wherever else all you awesome world-traveling jet-setters choose to summer. We’ll just set you a restart date so that directly upon your return home, you can expect to resume picking up your meals and extend the mental vacation by not worrying about meal planning for the next long while.

    Summer is upon us, and we can’t wait…especially since Good Measure Meals is here to help make this the best season yet!

  • 14May

    Good Measure Meals

    This summer Good Measure Meals is partnering with a local fitness expert.  His name is Thomas Murphy, and not only is he the Athletic Director at Colony Square athletic Club, but he is also a NPC Physique and Power Lifting Competitor.  Thomas is working with Good Measure Meals to prepare for his upcoming competitions and control his weight through healthy nutrition.

    We asked Thomas to tell us about his fitness expertise and how Good Measure Meals are helping him achieve his goals.

    Thomas Murphy“My fitness experience is pretty much a little bit of everything. Growing up, my brothers and I were all involved in judo and soccer. I went on to try out ice hockey, basketball, and boxing. I began lifting weights in a high school class and continued on through college and haven’t missed more than 2 week in the gym ever since. My father worked as a physical therapist and I‘ve learned quite a bit from him as well. Recently, I competed in and won the Kennesaw State Iron Owl 3 Weight Lifting Competition for my weight and for overall. This past weekend I placed 9th out of 15th in the NPC Eastern Seaboard Physique Competition. I look forward to placing higher next time in July!small Chicken edamame risotto SS2013 meal

    I am a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and have worked as a personal trainer for over 10 years now. My expertise is in improving a person’s body composition and/or improving athletic performance. However, I have become comfortable working with all different types of goals with various limitations. I have enjoyed my new role as Athletic Director of Colony Square Athletic Club as it allows more of an overall coaching role as opposed to just the physical training aspect of fitness.

    Living a healthy lifestyle is something I feel is universally appreciated. I enjoy working in this industry because I am able to help people and in some cases actually save lives. I understand my job allows me to change people in so many ways, and I enjoy being a leader for them to follow. The rewards are endless.

    I am so glad to able to have Good Measure Meals at my place of work. It is such a stress relief to know that I don’t have to worry about getting my meals ready the night before work or to get them prepared in the morning. Good Measure provides healthy, balanced meal plans that taste amazing and very much so gourmet! I look forward to seeing what I get to eat for the day and love the fact that I don’t have to calculate a thing. I know exactly how many calories are being provided and that makes the rest of my meal planning a cinch.”

     

    Thomas MurphyThomas Murphy, CSCS

    NPC Physique Competitor

    Stimrx fitness model

    Power Lifting Competitor – Bench 405 / Deadlift 565

  • 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!

  • 19Dec

    I’m not a trained exercise coach or a registered dietitian, but I have acquired some helpful suggestions while working here at Good Measure Meals, that I will use to help me get through the next couple of weeks.  My goal is to survive this holiday season unscathed by those pesky extra 5-10 pounds that I always seem to gain this time of year.

    Here are the things I’ve been told will be helpful:

    1)      Buddy up with a friend and keep each other accountable.  Make this person someone who has goals like your own.  Help keep each other on track by being a supportive friend and vice versa.

    2)      Don’t go to a holiday party on an empty stomach.  Make sure to nosh on something healthy before you leave for your night-on–the-town.  The chances are slim-to-none that you are going to find a healthy holiday spread waiting for you when you arrive.  If you show up with a little food in your stomach, you will be less likely to stuff yourself with all of the decadent foods that will be offered.

    3)      Limit your intake of “holiday cheer.”   A 6oz. glass of red wine has 128 calories.  Who pours a 6 oz glass of wine, especially during the holidays?  Here’s a great tip:  Drink a full 8 oz glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.  Not only will you cut down on how much you drink, but you will look great because you are keeping yourself hydrated and better yet, lessen the chance of a nasty hangover. 

    4)      Try to keep to your regular workout schedule.  Even if you shorten the duration or intensity of your workouts during the next couple of weeks, you are still making the effort.  Some exercise is better than none, and if you are usually consistent with your workouts throughout the year, a week or two of lower intensity isn’t going to derail what you’ve accomplished.

    5)      Get 8 hours of sleep a night.  I know, I know…..with all the wonderful, festive parties and all, how can you not stay up until the sun rises?  Sleep is crucial to regulate food cravings.   And having a fresh-mind will help you make healthy choices.

    6)      Wear your seatbelt.  And for goodness sake, call a taxi if you need one. 

    7)      Last, but not least, Don’t Deprive Yourself.  The holiday season only comes around once a year.  If you already have a solid nutrition foundation and fitness routine, a little indulging for a week or two isn’t going to hurt in the short-term.  Just be sure to get back on track with your routine after the new year arrives!

    I’m hoping to put some of these suggestions into practice this holiday season.  I know I won’t be perfect, and will probably eat a little more than I should, stay out a little later than is best for me, and skip a run or two.  But I’m not going to go overboard.  For me, this season, it’s “all things in moderation.”  I’m going to enjoy myself and everything this holiday season has to offer.  I hope you do the same!

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    Philip Niekro, your Good Measure Meals Customer Service Representative