• 19Jun

    Today’s blog post in the series, “What are your favorite summer fruits and veggies?” was contributed by Harmony Blackwell, Good Measure Meals Customer Service Representative.

    harmonyHailing from Pittsburgh, Penn., I have a love for all the different seasons of the year. However, summer might just be my favorite.

    I don’t know about you, but I find that when it gets really hot, I don’t think about cooked food as often, especially in the morning. Personally, I love juicing fruits and veggies into tasty drinks, and also making smoothies and fruit salads. I love the light and fresh tastes of fruit during the hot months, and I even have a few recipes I’d like to share that I’ve developed over the years that are particularly yummy. Hope you enjoy them (and enjoy the process of making them) as much as I do!

    Tropical Apple-Ginger-Beet-Cilantro Fruit Juice/Smoothie Recipe:
    The colors and the aromatic scents of certain fruits and vegetables are what inspire me in the kitchen.

    For instance, one of my juice recipes calls for a carrot, a piece of ginger, a Fuji apple, a bunch of cilantro and a small beet. First of all, I love ginger, the spicier the better – can’t you just taste it now? The scent of the apple juices and ginger combined are divine, and when I add the fragrant cilantro at the end, I feel like I’m in a tropical land! (Side note – It’s kind-of like how I feel when I’m eating the Good Measure Meals Cilantro Lime Shrimp – oh my goodness, so good! But let’s re-focus…)

    Anyway, the end result is a wonderful (very colorful) combination of nutritious fruits and vegetables high in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and a rich supply of antioxidants.

    Apple, Ginger, Beet, Cilantro juice! Spicy, sweet, flavorful and delicious.

    Apple, Ginger, Beet, Cilantro juice! Spicy, sweet, flavorful and delicious.

    By the way, here’s a little beet trivia for you: Beets are an ancient, pre-historic food that grew naturally along the coastlines of North Africa, Asia, and Europe. Originally, since the beet itself is a root, people ate only beet greens. It’s been reported that by the 19th century the natural sweetness of beets came to be appreciated and beets began to be used as a source of sugar.

    Avocado Fruit Salad Recipe:
    Fruit salads are just the best to eat while chilling out by the pool on a sunny afternoon, am I right??

    My sister, Vision, recently turned me on to her Avocado Fruit Salad (yes, you read that right), and it is AWESOME! When I first heard about it, I skeptically thought, “Avocado — hmmm, I would never think that would work in a fruit salad.” But it turns out that avocado actually works beautifully alongside the other fruits!

    Salad Ingredients

    The original recipe calls for: Avocado, Fuji apples, raisins, and fresh-squeezed orange juice (or a little lime juice to help keep the fruit fresh/bright); however you can add any fruits you like. When I made the recipe, I decided to venture out and add blueberries to the recipe, which I really enjoyed. Cherries, sliced plums, or chopped up peaches would be tasty in this salad, too. And I recently read that some antioxidants are often better absorbed when paired with a healthy fat, which avocados have in abundance!

    Cutting Board N Fruit_edit

    Avocado Fruit Salad

    Avocado Fruit Salad

    So here’s to some tasty poolside snacking this season!

    What sorts of fresh foods or snacks do you pack to help beat the heat during the summertime in Hotlanta?

  • 08May

    Summer is right around the corner, and the hot weather has already started rolling in! Our town isn’t called “Hotlanta” for nothing, so we asked our staff members: “What is your favorite way to exercise in the heat?”
    harmony

    Over the next few weeks we’ll share their responses. We hope you find some motivation to get out and move around, too!

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Customer Service Representative, Harmony Blackwell.

     

    My favorite way to exercise in the summer is to swim.
    It gives me a chance to move my whole body while having fun and staying cool. The weightlessness that I experience in the water enables me to do various exercises that I cannot do as easily out of the water.

    Consistent swimming tones the body, improves cardiovascular health, and lengthens the muscles, all without breaking down the body. In fact, swimming is often used as a method of therapy and rehabilitation for athletes who have been injured while participating in high-impact sports.

    fun noodle

    Swimming is also good for relaxation and clearing of the mind. I LOVE floating on those fun noodles you see at the pool. First of all there’s a knack to balancing along the length of the noodle with my legs crossed. Once I’ve got the perfect position, I use my arms to snake across the water as I look up in the sky making stories up based on the various cloud formations that flow through the air. There’s something about floating and staring up into the expanse of the sky that makes you feel connected to the Earth.

    Looks like this guy enjoys floating with a fun noodle, too ;)

    My other favorite thing about being in the water is playing volleyball! You get a serious workout between the jumping and diving for the ball. Not to mention the laughter that constantly happens during the game!

    And last, but not least, I LOVE the ocean! Swimming with sea life is one of the most awesome experiences! It taps me into an whole separate world of life, and even teaches me how to “go with the flow.” Not to mention that the salt water and sand are great cleansers and exfoliators for your skin.

    running into ocean

    Since January of this year, I’ve decided to make a “Commit to Lean”-style life change: Eating right with the help of Good Measure Meals, doing a consistent weekly workout, and making sure I’m drinking the proper amount of water.

    And now that it’s already halfway through the year, and I’ve been keeping at my goals, I’m ready for bikini season!

    What about you, what is your favorite hot-weather workout?

  • 25Feb

    Today’s post is contributed by Harmony Blackwell, Good Measure Meals Customer Service Representative

    HarmonyGAAquarium2Recently my family went to the Georgia Aquarium and had an exceptional experience! And besides the fascinating animals, I learned a thing or two about the “fun” side of eating out on special occasions.

    One of things I always anticipate when I go to an entertainment venue is that the food will be costly and not necessarily healthy.  Sure, it’s fun to eat out, but sometimes those sort of “special occasion meals” end up de-railing my diet, or at least getting me off-track from the healthy habits I’ve set up for myself.

    But this time, I made up my mind before we arrived that no matter what, I would choose the healthier options when we decided to eat.

    I was pleasantly surprised when we entered the Café Aquaria, which boasts about their “Best in Class” concepts featuring local and national favorites.

    The Café appeals to a broad range of tastes, featuring dining options to suit the entire family including: The Grill, Pizza and Pasta, Buckhead Bread and Desserts.

    When my family walked in, we all split off and went in different directions.  I went to the grill and decided on the Roasted Chicken Sandwich, served with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, feta and an excellent seasoned mayo.  My next stop was the drink cooler.  My goal was to find a drink without high-fructose corn syrup (HFC).

    On the way, I noticed the circular dessert table which had a host of delicious cupcakes, brownies, pies, etc.  As hard as it was, I kept my focus and kept walking.  I also noticed a Fresh Fruit Station as well as a Candy, Nuts and Granola Station. It was nice that there were so many options there that you could choose to eat healthy if you tried – although it’s not always easy to make that decision when tempting desserts are in your path.

    Ultimately, I found a drink and sat down to eat my meal. Now, here’s a little insight about me: I have a habit of tasting my meats by themselves before eating them on my sandwiches.  (My thinking is:  if it’s good by itself, the sandwich is going to be awesome!) Turns out that the chicken was tender and the flavor was amazing.  The rosemary/herb combination of seasonings complemented the whole sandwich.  I enjoyed every bite, even though it wasn’t pizza, or a brownie or cupcake!

    As we ate, I noticed that my sister also chose a healthy lunch consisting of a Pulled Pork Sandwich, Blue Berry Naked Juice, an Orange, and Granola.  (She even ate the contents of her sandwich without the bread.)

    I asked her what made her decide to eat healthier, and she responded, “I usually use family outings as an excuse to eat poorly.  I decided today that I’m stronger than that and I have the choice to eat healthy and feel good about myself.”

    Two years ago when I ate at this same restaurant, I did not have as good of an eating experience. Honestly, I think the reason for this is because making the choice to eat healthier made me focus on the amazing options available as opposed to just choosing the normal “fun choices,” like pizza, hamburgers and fries.

    It also made me wonder…what makes an eating choice “fun” after all? Items that are more like “junk food” are marketed to us as the fun options, but the flavors and quality of healthy foods (not to mention the energized way we feel after eating them) are really the best/most fun part about good eating.

    My trip to the Georgia Aquarium also made me realize that every small decision counts when I’m trying to Commit to Lean. Making a conscious effort to look for healthier options in all situations really does set the stage for a lifetime of better eating.

    The more times we say “yes” to the healthy options, the more engrained the habit will become.

    Have you made any  healthier choices lately?  Share your success with us at https://www.facebook.com/GoodMeasureMeals

    HarmonyGAAquarium