• 10Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, Rachel Stroud

    It is safe to say that cooking is the most therapeutic thing in the world to me. Except for possibly grocery shopping.

    rachel with juiceAfter a long day of working, juggling schedules, clients, and partners – my mind racing every which way at any possible moment – I ache for my kitchen. Everything feels still there. The colors of fresh fruits and veggies. The sound of sizzling oil in a pan. The feeling of running a sharp knife through an onion and tossing it into a hot pan, the accumulating scent of savory flavor filling the kitchen air. It’s like a warm cozy blanket for my senses.

    I’d love to tell you that I spend hours each night standing over the stove, tossing spices and presenting beautiful meals to my fiancée and closest friends. But let’s be honest, I don’t.
    It might happen once every couple weeks. Twice on a good week.

    Most of the time, I’m dashing into the house, whipping open the refrigerator and hoping that some reheatable gourmet meal is magically waiting for me to toss it in the microwave and save me from having to figure out something quick, healthy, and low maintenance to make in 2 minutes.
    (Side note: Good Measure Meals is perfect in those sorts of situations. See what I did there??)

    But on weeks where I don’t have GMM to be my saving-grace-magic-dinner-fairy, my go-to meals are what I call “bowls,” or at least that’s what they have been dubbed by those I most commonly feed.

    These “bowls” are healthy meals I can whip up in about 10-20 minutes, toss in a bowl, and call it a night. Here’s how the Bowl magic happens:

    1) Starch – Pick a starch, any starch. Rice, quinoa, cous cous, faro, and potatoes are my most frequent go-to’s. My ideal situation is when I happen to make a grain earlier in the week and have the forethought to make a double batch so that I have some handy leftovers.

    2) Protein – Chicken, lean beef, ground turkey, or my very favorite: a poached egg with runny yolk. If you’re low on meat/eggs, go for quinoa, our favorite handy-dandy grain-like starch that contains all your essential amino acids. Or, plop a hefty spoonful of your favorite beans on top. The protein options are plentiful. And don’t forget about cheese! Let’s be honest, cheese makes everything better. Just make sure to think about using cheese as a seasoning rather than a main attraction to keep those portion sizes in check.

    3) Veggie – Veggies, galore! Toss them in a pan with oil to sauté, or spread them on parchment in a 400 degree oven for that roasted flavor. Shoot for a couple colors in your bowl. In a pinch, salsa will work for some of those veggie effects, but opt for freshly prepared when you can. Kale, spinach, onions, peppers, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, and avocado are my mainstays.

    4) MISC – sometimes I like toasted nuts or herbs in my bowl as well for a zing. Lest you think I plan these things out with great forethought, typically I just grab whatever I have leftover or is about to spoil: garlic, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and thyme give a little extra flavor and look like the finishing touch on your mound of delicious and nutritious bowl ingredients.

    Voila! Did you know healthy could be that easy? AND tasty?! “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the 2014 theme for National Nutrition Month this March (that’s now!). Healthy meals should taste delicious, and the good news is that you don’t have to take hours of slaving over a stove to prepare them (especially when you order GMM!).

    Some of my go-to bowl combinations are:
    • Quinoa (or brown rice), black beans, feta cheese, salsa, avocado
    • Quinoa, onion, sweet potato, kale, pesto, toasted pecans, avocado, goat cheese (compliments of my own rendition of this Real Simple recipe)
    • Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, kale, white cheddar, scrambeled eggs, cherry tomatoes, parsley
    • Faro, brussel sprouts, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, dash of balsamic vinegar & maple syrup, avocado, topped with a poached egg (my spin on this Cookie&Kate recipe)

    Bowl1

    Farro, Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries, Avocado, toasted Pecans, Goat Cheese

    Bowl2

    Quinoa, Turkey Sausage, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado topped with a Poached Egg

    Bowl3

    Roasted Yukon Gold & Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Avocado, and White Cheddar topped with a Poached Egg

    Bowl4

    Roasted Yukon Gold Potatos, scrambled Eggs, Spinach, Green Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley

  • 04Mar

    It’s National Nutrition Month, so naturally, our dietitians are all in a tizzy with ideas and cooking demonstrations and classes and new recipes to share.

    Spoiler alert: I’m not actually a dietitian (although I certainly appreciate the hard work they all do – AND their genius recipe ideas). But I do like to cook, and I love experimenting with healthy recipes.

    To be fair, some of these experiments haven’t been the best ideas. For example, even though avocado is a healthy fat, it does not quite translate to a fat-replacement in a brownie recipe (sorry Gray!).

    kat cook collage

    Memory lane montage from some culinary escapades through the years…

    But then again, some of my experiments have turned out to be real winners. My shining example is my favorite, easiest-to-make, Katherine-Original-Recipe for Garlicky Raw Kale Salad.

    “Oh my gosh, another kale recipe.” – I can hear all those silent judgey voices in your heads right now.

    You’ve had the sautéed kale with raisins and nuts and balsamic; the sautéed kale with soy and garlic. Fair enough. You’ve tried some kale recipes.

    But have you tried this one? Because this one literally only requires 5 minutes of your time and ingredients you probably already have in the house. (And it can be winged without measuring utensils – see below – and tweaked to your tastes.)

    And in case you’re on the fence about another kale recipe (“it’s so bitter” “it’s too tough” “it’s too fad-ish” “just…no” – I still hear your head-voices), let me just tell you that Katherine’s Garlicky Raw Kale Salad has kind of become a “thing” around Atlanta, and it’s converted some pretty tough critics, too.

    Basically, this whole thing started from a rip-off of Whole Foods’ Raw Garlicky Kale Salad, which I love so much.

    “Surely this can’t be too hard to make,” I thought to myself one day, after realizing I’d purchased the salad three days in a row for dinner and needed to have an intervention with myself and my wallet.

    So I tooled around in the kitchen one afternoon, and below is the result. And I must say…I think mine’s better than Whole Foods’. Less dressing-y and way tastier.

    I’ve taken this recipe to multiple potlucks over the course of the last two years (because it is SO easy, but it still sounds gourmet). After each party, at least one person asks for the recipe and then tells me later that they’ve remade the recipe for another party of their own (and had someone from their party ask them for the recipe)! Basically, this salad has started its own pyramid scheme of nutritious delight.

    Here’s how it works…(and keep in mind this is all approximations – Play it loose! Play it by ear!)

    You’ll need:
    Kale: I used one bag of pre-chopped kale, but I’ve also used the leaves off of 1-2 bunches before
    Garlic: I used about 1 Tbs of the pre-minced garlic here, but I’ve also used 2-4 cloves of fresh minced garlic, too.
    Hummus: ¾ of a container of Garlic, Plain, or another flavor of your favorite hummus brand.
    Lemon Juice: I used about 1 Tbs. of the kind in the plastic lemon. But I highly recommend using the equivalent (or more if you like) of fresh-squeezed juice from a real lemon. (If you have the time, that is.)
    Parmesan Cheese: Start with ¼ cup and work up to 1/3 cup if you feel you need a little more.
    Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a hidden surprise kick! Sprinkle to taste. 1 Tsp added a good amount of spice to this mix below.
    Salt/Pepper: to taste. I don’t often add, because the lemon juice takes care of the “zip” I’m looking for.

    photo

    photo_1

    Kale

    photo_2

    Add the hummus in, and stir-stir-stir-stir. Then stir some more. Don’t give up – it takes a good while to incorporate. This is the longest step of the recipe!

    photo_3

    Voila!

    photo_5

    Minced Garlic

    photo_9

    Lemon Juice

    photo_11

    Red Pepper Flakes and Parmesan Cheese

    photo_12

    *This ended up being a spicy batch! Add Red Pepper Flakes to your specific tastes.*

    photo_13

    Parmesan Cheese

    photo_14

    (Added a little extra hummus at the end!)

    photo_2_polaroid

    photo_1_polaroid

  • 28Feb

    Today’s post contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Representative, Rachel Stroud

    You know that age-old black and white food label that seems to just blend right into the side of every box in the grocery store? Ever struggled to know what on earth you were supposed to be looking at on it?

    Well there may be some changes on the horizon.

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and the FDA unveiled their proposed edits for those nutrition labels that have looked the same on every packaged food we’ve purchased since the 1990’s.

    The new design will require companies to structure their nutrition facts off of serving sizes based on amounts that are more realistic for what the average buyer consumes.

    For example, most of us know by now that the “serving size” on the back of a pint of ice cream is listed as 1/2 cup per serving.

    Who actually only eats 1/2 cup of ice cream?! Not me!

    Photo via cnn.com

    Photo via cnn.com.

    With the new labeling system, ice cream, for example, will now be based on a 1-cup serving size. Not because this is the amount we should all be eating, but because it more accurately reflects the amount we are already eating, giving a more truthfully picture of the nutrition facts we’re consuming with a “normal-sized” portion.

    Also under the new system, the Daily Value for Sodium will be based on 2300mg/day rather than 2400mg/day. There will also be a new line included for Added Sugars, under the Carbohydrates category. And say goodbye to “Calories From Fat,” since we will now be paying closer attention to the types of fat, rather than simply the amount.

    For 90 days, the public has a chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    So – what do you think about the food labels makeover?

    Would this make label-reading easier or more accessible to you? Or would you like to go back to thinking there are only 270 calories in that heaping “1/2 cup” of ice cream?

    Let’s discuss. Leave your comments on the post on our Facebook Page!

  • 22Oct

    Contributed by GMM Health Promotion Intern, Emily Mooney.

    Joy GoetzLet me introduce Joy Goetz, a garden guru, and one of Open Hand’s and Good Measure Meals’ Community Health Dietitians.

    Born in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Joy grew up as a racial minority in a predominantly Latin American culture. She attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion. She continued her education at the University of Georgia where she earned a Master’s degree in Nutrition.

    At Open Hand, Joy serves as a link between Open Hand and the community it serves. She regularly implements and assists with communal nutrition programs and provides routine nutrition education to Atlantans of lower economic status. Pulling from her experiences as a minority growing up, Joy can relate to the families and community members with whom she works on a daily basis. She tries to do her best to meet people where they are on their respective health journeys. As a Community Health Dietitian, she strives to assist people with challenge of making quick, healthy meals on a budget.

    Joy_GoetzAdditionally, Joy acts as a representative for the local food system, regularly working alongside the Atlanta Local Food Initiative and Georgia Organics to spread awareness about local economies and bridge the gap between Georgia’s rural and urban communities. Joy is also Open Hand’s Resident Garden Expert, offering advice and consultation services in gardening to the greater Atlanta community. She uses gardening to teach people from where food comes; a visual representation of food’s journey from land to table.

    In general, Joy immensely enjoys being out in the community as part of her job, and loves interacting with people from all walks of life. She strives to be the best teacher possible, working to establish health literacy in Atlanta. Most importantly, Joy enjoys helping those with whom she works to reach their “ahha” moments, and meet their respective health goals.

    When she’s not working for Open Hand, Joy enjoys practicing acroyoga and aerial dance, spending time with friends and family, experimenting in the kitchen, playing with her dog, and, of course, gardening in her front yard.

    ***TOMORROW, Joy will be live on air on Atlanta & Company, promoting Good Measure Meals as part of the Northside Hospital New Start Weight Smart Challenge. Tune in to hear her talk about Eating Real and to catch our weekly FLASH SALE!***

    joy i eat real salad

    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.

  • 15Apr

    Have you evaluated your grocery shopping routine lately? I recently relocated to a new city which forced me to evaluate mine.

    While living in Atlanta, I used to shop for food at the grocery store and farmers market once weekly. Transportation and storage was carefree. I had a car and plenty of space in the refrigerator and pantry for food.

    Sure the old routine had benefits, but it also had some downfalls:

    • Fresh produce has a short shelf life and because I only purchased it once per week, I would either run out of it by the end of the week or it would spoil before I could enjoy it.
    • I often bought items that I didn’t have a plan to use or I would use a small portion for a particular recipe and not use the food again. Sometimes these foods were left forgotten in the back of the pantry or freezer – sauces, cereals, grains, frozen vegetables and frozen berries.
    • The trip to both farmers market and grocery store took almost 2 hours which is a large chunk of my weekend time.

    I’ve had to totally rethink things since moving to New York City for culinary school. I don’t have a car, so I must carry everything I buy. That means I can only fill a few bags, which I have to carry several blocks, sometimes on the subway, AND up 3 flights of stairs. The storage space is very limited which also greatly reduces the quantity that I can buy. This means that I end up going on very short trips to the grocery store and farmers market about 3-4 times/week.

    This shift in mind-set is not necessarily a negative thing. The benefits of the new routine include:

    • Purchasing small quantities – this means all around fresher ingredients. I found that very small quantities are easy to access at stores that have self-service bulk food bins! This section is great for items like rice, nuts, cereal, dry beans, and dried fruit. This allows me to fill a bag with a small amount of product that weighs less then pre-packed foods and is easier to transport and store.
    • AND foods from the self-service bulk food bins tend to be less expensive! They are cheaper to package and market which saves the grocery and manufacturer money. This savings translates to the consumer.
    • I’m eating more variety and quantity of fresh produce all week long – which is healthier and much more satisfying!
    • I’m wasting much less food.
    • I look forward to the short trips to the store – it only takes about 30 minutes to grab what I need for a few days and go.

    I’m happy to have had this new found perspective on my food routine. We shouldn’t have to be forced to evaluate our grocery routine. I challenge you to evaluate yours now. Are you purchasing foods that you don’t really need? Does food often spoil before you can eat it? What behaviors can you shift to save money and reduce waste? Let us know!

  • 31Mar

    photo source: http://www.all-about-psychology.com/left-brain-right-brain.html

    Many people approach meals and food differently.  Is your idea of a meal based in reasoning and calculation or flavor and feeling? We discussed this idea in the chef’s training program at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts.

    The left side of the brain is associated with reasoning, analysis, linear thoughts, numbers, science and details. If your approach to food is more left brained, you’ll be more likely to think of these ideas when choosing foods:

    • Calorie content
    • Nutrients
    • Vitamins and minerals
    • Weight and volume of food
    • Nutritional science & theory

    The right side of the brain is associated with creativity, intuition, synthesis (interaction between parts), feelings, form and arts. If your approach to food is more right brained, you’ll be more likely to think of these ideas when choosing foods:

    • Taste
    • Color
    • Texture
    • How the food makes you feel
    • Smell

    This class discussion really intrigued me.

    Dietitians are trained to approach food from the left side of the brain. Diet and food recommendations are based in science, macro and micronutrient values, portion sizes and calories. Chefs are trained from the right side of the brain, learning to prepare food that is flavorful, visually appealing and artful.

    Where do these two styles meet? In the middle!  As with many things, balance is best. I can see great advantages in approaching food from both sides of the brain. My favorite meals are ones that bring pleasure and joy (from the right side of my brain) and are filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients (from the left side of my brain) that will nourish my body.

    Does your approach to food lean more to the right of left side of your brain? How can we bring balance?

  • 05Apr

    If you are currently on a 5-day Good Measure meal plan, Dinner Only plan, transitioning off of Good Measure Meals or even if you’ve never tried the meals, you may find major benefits in learning how to select better products at the grocery store. I find that when I’m familiar with my grocery store and trust the products that I’m buying, I actually feel better about the foods that I’m eating and serving to my friends and family. I also feel good knowing that what I’m preparing is fresh and contains quality ingredients that will help keep us happy and healthy. This makes eating healthy an easier choice.

    If you’re interested in becoming a savvy grocery store shopper and would like to receive a personalized grocery shopping plan – I am available to help. Your appointment will include a live visit to the grocery store of your choice, led by myself or one of our other dietitians. The store visit will be personalized for you and your needs! We will cover a wide variety of topics including Food Label and Ingredient Analysis, Specific Food Selection Tips for Weight Loss, Planning Ahead, and Preparing a Productive Shopping List. You can contact me or our customer service department to schedule an appointment at (404)815-7695.

    Here are some tips to help get you started:

    1)      Make a strategy - It is important to stay focused and learn how to navigate the aisles with a strategy. I find that the best strategy starts at home. It should include three things: planning a menu, making a shopping list, and assessing the foods that you already have on hand that you would like to incorporate into your menu.

    2)      Plan ahead - Go to your grocery store at the least busy times. I’ve actually had stressful experiences shopping for food when the store was packed and the lines for checkout where long. If you have ever visited the Dekalb Farmers Market on a Saturday afternoon then you know exactly what I’m talking about! They actually had security guards directing cart traffic and I witnessed folks yelling at each other over a pineapple. Try to pick a time and day that will aid in your success and help you remain calm.

    3)      Don’t go hungry - Make sure that you aren’t hungry when you arrive. You’ll be less likely to let your stomach make impulse buys and more likely to stay tuned in to what you need.

    4)      Know the layout – Most stores are set up similarly – the packaged foods are in the middle aisle and produce, dairy, meat and fish along the perimeter. For the interior of the store focus on whole grain cereals, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, brown or wild rice, dried or canned beans and lentils, whole wheat crackers, air-popped popcorn, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. For the perimeter of the store focus on a variety of fresh and colorful fruit and vegetables, low fat diary, lean meats, and fish.

    What are your favorite smart shopping tips? Let us know!

  • 03Mar
    Organized pantry

    lorimarsha on flickr

    Have you ever wondered if your pantry needs a healthy makeover? Would you like to be able to identify the healthiest products in the grocery store? I can help! I will be speaking at One to One Health Centers in Marietta on Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm. During this interactive one hour seminar I will talk about how to makeover your pantry so that you are confident that you are buying the products containing the most nutritious ingredients. 

    Unfortunately, food product companies sometimes mislead the public with the information they put on the front of their labels.  What you see on the front of the label is advertising and may not be truly indicative of the healthy content of the product itself.

    This Pantry Makeover seminar will help you see beyond the advertising and hype on the front of the labels so that you can make the best choices when grocery shopping.

    I’ll also talk about easy ways you can makeover your favorite not so healthy recipes. I’ll help you identify ingredients that can be substituted to save on sodium, fat, calories and increase vitamins, minerals, and fiber content within your favorite recipes. I’ll also demonstrate one of these recipe makeovers so that you can taste how delicious these substitutions really can be!

    One to One Health Centers is located at 700 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, GA.  30066.  770-795-0091.  We are requesting a voluntary $10 per person donation for our parent organization, Open Hand.

    I hope you will join us! Please let me know if you have questions.

    If you would like to host one of our many nutrition seminars, let me know: aritchie@goodmeasuremeals.com

  • 01Mar

    Food safety is at the top of our list here at Good Measure Meals. When it comes to transporting the food, it is very important to keep the meal plans at a safe temperature throughout the delivery route. This is why Good Measure Meals transports and delivers all food in our fleet of refrigerated trucks. It is too risky for food to be delivered in room temperature vehicles. It doesn’t take long for harmful bacteria to multiply and make the food unsafe and risky for consumption.

    Once the food reaches our customers it is important for them to follow these food safety steps:

    1. Minimize the amount of time that the meals are kept at room temperature. Put them into the refrigerator as soon as possible. Don’t leave them out on the counter or in your car for long periods of time.
    2. Eat the meals on the day marked on the label. If the meals can’t be eaten that day, you can freeze them for consumption at a later date.
    3. Reheat food to a safe temperature of 165 °F or until steaming hot.

    Come along on a route with us by clicking on the video below and see just how important these trucks are to food safety.

  • 26Jan

    Have you been wondering how Good Measure Meals are developed? Who comes up with the ideas? And how does GMM make sure that the menus meet those high nutrition standards? Here’s your chance to meet our executive chef and learn more about his extensive culinary background and how he partners with GMM’s dietitians to create healthy, delicious menus. Please watch the video to find out more!