• 26Nov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

    -Your Friends at  GMM

  • 19Nov

    Contributed by GMM Health Promotion Intern, Emily Mooney.

    Meet Callie O’Steen.
    CallieOSteen_3On the surface, she’s just like any young professional: she enjoys taking spin classes, running on the perfect fall day, and indulging at Red Pepper Taqueria. But, take a closer look and you’ll see Callie is making big waves in Atlanta’s health scene.

    Originally from Alabama, Callie grew up with an immense love of food (what else?!). She eventually attended the University of Alabama where she earned her B.S. in Dietetics, and she continued on to earn a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University. Throughout her schooling, Callie knew she wanted to do community-based nutrition work and help as many people gain healthy food access as she could. Thus, Open Hand and its partner, Good Measure Meals, seemed like the perfect place for her to establish her roots as a Registered Dietitian. Callie loves that 100% of Good Measure’s net proceeds go to Open Hand, and enjoys seeing the difference she’s making every day.

    As a Registered Dietitian for Open Hand, Callie gets to exercise her creative juices as she works to launch and sustain nutrition education classes in the community.  In addition to designing and implementing educational programming, Callie regularly visits HIV clinics, senior living centers, and the like to provide medical nutrition therapy. She offers counseling to those with HIV, diabetes, and heart disease in an effort to help them devise ways to stay healthy while keeping in consideration their health conditions. In a similar way, Callie assists with the Senior Market Basket Program. Through this program, she strives to provide fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition educational materials to at-risk clients whose nutritional needs are not being met, yet do not qualify them for direct Open Hand assistance.

    Amidst all of her work as a dietitian, Callie hopes to instill in her clients that she is just like everybody else in terms of health challenges – she’s had to modify her own lifestyle to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in her diet and increase her physical activity. Callie strives to correct the misconception that all registered dietitians only eat celery and lettuce.  RD’s enjoy good food too! She hopes to be relatable and trustworthy above all else, striving to take a personal interest in every client. Most importantly, she strives to be a compassionate health resource for others, and hopes to put the power of better health in the individuals themselves.

    **Tune in to Channel 11 tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. to see Callie appear on Atlanta & Company! She will be giving tips for how to cook with seasonal spices AND giving out a special FLASH SALE discount.**

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    Callie O’Steen, second from right, participates in a special Firefighter Fitness LLC bootcamp with some fellow GMM team members.

    Emily Mooney is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. She attended Elon University in Elon, North Carolina where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Dance. Following her graduation last year, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she now works as a legal assistant at a small firm in Midtown. Emily is currently in the process of preparing to apply to graduate school to study Nutrition and ultimately become a registered dietitian. She has joined forces with Good Measure Meals in the interim to learn as much as she can from this fabulous team of GMM registered dietitians.