• 20Nov

    Today’s post was contributed by Sarah Shanahan MS, RD, LD

    It’s THAT time of year again. Thanksgiving is now in plain sight, and all the parties have started — at the office, at school, and at your friends’ and family’s homes. It’s a wonderful time of year, full of joy and good cheer, and plenty of time for indulgence. How can you possibly get through this time and come out feeling like a champ? Use these tips to navigate the party scene, the big celebratory meals, and everyone dumping all their leftovers in the kitchen at work so you can save them from eating it all.

    Tip #1 (shameless plug alert!): Feel great by giving back with the purchase of a healthy-decadent signature holiday bread platter from Good Measure Meals. 100% net proceeds from the sale of holiday bread trays support the local non-profit, Open Hand Atlanta, providing nutritious meals for our neighbors in need this holiday season. Order your Whole Wheat Apple Quinoa, Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pecan, or Whole Wheat Cherry Walnut bread platter by Friday, Nov. 21, to receive delivery to a convenient location next Wednesday, Nov. 26 – just in time for Thanksgiving!

    bread tray collage

    Tip #2: Chow
    • Statistics vary on the amount of weight people gain in the 6 weeks from Thanksgiving to New Years—anywhere from 1 to 8 pounds. The problem usually isn’t the gain; it’s that people don’t lose the weight after the holidays.
    • Continue to eat your regular meals and snacks through the day so you don’t arrive famished to a party and end up eating every single hors d’oeurves passed around during cocktail hour.
    • Use the Plate Method to build a better balanced buffet plate. Make ½ your plate non-starchy vegetables, ¼ lean protein (light meat poultry or seafood), and ¼ carbohydrate (pasta, rice, breads, and starchy vegetables like root vegetables).
    • Choose Chex Mix (½ cup = 100 calories) instead of mixed nuts (1 ounce = 170 calories) and save 70 calories.
    • Choose baked sweet potato (1 medium = 100 calories) sweet potato casserole (3/4 cup = 650 calories) to save 550 calories.
    • Or, host the party so you can choose the food.

    Tip #3: Booze
    • 150 extra calories per day for 6 weeks can lead to 1.8 pounds weight gain. This is the same number of calories in one 6 oz glass of wine.
    • Save 160 calories by drinking hot apple cinnamon tea instead of spiked apple cider.
    • Have champagne or other bubbles (4 ounces = 80 calories) instead of white wine (6 ounces = 150 calories) to save 70 calories.
    • Have hot chocolate (1 cup = 105 calories) instead of eggnog (1 cup = 360 calories) to save 255 calories.
    • Soda water or seltzer is ZERO calories. So, make a mocktail with a splash of juice and a lime and save yourself 150+ calories per drink and a holiday party hangover.

    Tip #4: Activity
    • Get moving! The average 150 pound person burns 100 calories per mile, no matter the speed. This is a great reason to go for a walk after a meal or to get the family together to go caroling. It’s also a great excuse to window shop.
    • Play active games with kids like tag, basketball, or flag football.
    • Sign up for your neighborhood holiday 5K and walk or run off about 300 calories!

    How do you plan to stay healthy, active, and happy during the holidays? Join the conversation on Facebook!

  • 12Mar

    Contributed by GMM’s Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud


    The history of St. Patrick’s Day has been long lost on us. No longer do we spend the day recognizing Saint Patrick’s contribution of Christianity to Ireland, or observing the richness of native Irish culture.  Instead St. Patrick’s Day has become the grand excuse to wear green (and pinch those who failed to check the date), make green cupcakes, and drink “Irish” drink in an attempt to feel connected to a commercialized version of Irish Heritage.

    But whether our celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is authentic to the origin of the day or not, it provides us with a reason to celebrate—a reason to gather with friends, cook new recipes, drink new  drinks, and connect for a day.  In my opinion, no matter what the occasion is, gathering together is always a positive thing.

    As a dietitian and a foodie, I am a strong believer in the fact that every chance to attempt a new recipe should be taken, and that if it’s green – you have a 70% chance that it’s moderately healthy (the other 30% contains a large amount of food coloring).  If you’re at all like me, and are looking for creative ways to fold green into your St. Patrick’s Day recipes and celebration, see my 3 latest Green Food Ideas below to get your creative juices flowing:

    3 Recipes to Get More Green (that do not include food coloring):

    Pesto – Most of us get stuck on the fact that pesto must include basil, olive oil, lemon juice, nuts, and parmesan…I am here to tell you that there ARE other options, and they couldn’t be simpler.  Take out the basil and substitute in ANYTHING green.  Cilantro, Broccoli, Arugula, Peas, Parsley, Mint…feel free to get creative.  Use as dippings for your Irish Soda bread, or drizzle on top of corned beef and cabbage for a little spin on the traditional.
    Grown-Up Grilled Cheese – My life changed the day someone suggested I put pickles on top of Grilled Cheese.  Disclaimer: I’m not even a big pickle fan.  I saw the suggestion as adulterating something simple and delicious and wanted nothing to do with it for the first 5 times it was suggested.  And then…the 6th time came.  They’re glorious. Some dill pickle slices on top of a classic grilled cheese sandwich are the perfect addition to your St Patrick’s Day dinner or appetizer spread.  Consider cutting them into small squares and placing a pickle round on top with a toothpick through the center.
    Roasty Toasty Broccoli – Calling all vegetable haters! Would you eat broccoli if it crunched like a pastry and was as sweet as fruit?  Broccoli has natural sugars in it that come out and caramelize when exposed to high temperatures and a little extra help.  Cut broccoli into spears, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with a dash of salt, and a pinch of sugar.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until the tips are brown and crisp, and then I dare you to refrain from eating them off the pan.

  • 16Nov

    We polled the GMM office staff for their favorite Thanksgiving foods…and we came up with a pretty decent spread! What will be on your table on Thursday?

    Q: What is your all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish/side/piece de resistance?

    A: Judi: Stuffing recipe that is now being prepared by the fourth generation of my family. Still chop the ingredients in a wooden bowl by hand.

    Bethany: Mashed potatoes topped with my grandmother’s homemade egg noodles. It’s a lot of carbs, but delicious comfort food!

    Katherine: I love all the traditional green bean/broccoli casseroles so much, but when my grandma started bringing roasted brussels sprouts, it changed my Thanksgiving world. YUM!

    Ashley: Sweet baked potatoes topped with candied pecans. My mom has been making this at Thanksgiving for years. She is particular about choosing the darkest Red Garnet sweet potatoes.

    Philip: Anything with beets or brussels sprouts!!

    Jess: We have a family recipe for a pumpkin dip with cranberry and orange – delicious! Served with pecan crackers…yum….

    David: I’m Southern – cornbread dressing with gravy! Also sweet potato casserole with pecans.

    GMM staff are fans of good cooking - as exhibited at Food Day 2012 in October.

  • 30Nov

    The holiday season is notorious for temptation…From second helpings of holiday dinners to endless cookie baskets in the office break room, most of us find the pounds packing on from late November through the end of the year.  While I never advise anyone to miss out on the richness of flavor during the holiday months (Pumpkin Pie is a staple in my holiday diet), we do need to find balance. Remember, we can enjoy seasonal treats by burning those calories off in fun and festive ways!

    Calories Consumed Vs. Calories Burned

    Apple Pie (1 slice = 300 calories) –> Putting up/decorating the Christmas Tree (151 cal/hour)

    Egg Nog (1/2 cup = 180 calories) –> 1 hour of cooking (180 calories)

    Candy Cane (45 calories) –> 15 minutes of cleaning up (62 calories)

    Honeybaked Ham (1 slice=209 calories) –> 35 minutes of stacking firewood (206 calories)

    Hot Chocolate with Whip Cream (12 oz = 250 calories) –> 1 hour of shopping for presents (249 calories)

    Sweet Potato Soufflé (121g = 511 calories) –> Shoveling snow off the drive and sidewalks (700 cal/hr)

    Roasted Chestnuts (100g = 220 calories) –> 30 minutes of sledding (242 calories)

    Gingerbread Man (1 cookie = 76 Calories) –> Wrap presents for 1 hour (99 calories)

    *calories estimated for a 145lb. woman.  Increases of weight will increase the calories burned.

    In the end it is all about balance and knowing that you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest if you remember to also get a little activity in there.  So next time you reach for that second slice of pie, follow the sweet treat with a family outing to the skating rink and maximize the holiday fun!

  • 24Nov

    Picture of the Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie. Image from eatingwell.com

    The American Council on Exercise claims the average Thanksgiving meal could contain upwards of 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat. That is the equivalent to consuming 5.5 McDonald’s Big Macs or 15 ‘Supreme’ tacos from Taco Bell! Wow! No matter what your health goals are, there is no benefit to consuming such a large volume of calories and fat. Don’t fall into this food coma. I recommend practicing portion control and contributing healthy options at Thanksgiving.

    In my family it is common for about 15 of us to come together on Thanksgiving and create an amazing meal with traditional and non traditional dishes. Everyone contributes something of their own creation. Most dishes are not very healthy! My family knows that they can always count on me for contributing something nutritious, healthy and flavor packed. This year I’m bringing a non-guilt version of a pumpkin pie called ‘Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie’. I found it in Eating Well Magazine. Check it out! I’m sure it will be a topic of discussion. Reviewers commented that this recipe is:

    “Amazing! Tastes just like pumpkin pie but not as thick or filling! And love love love the ginger snaps as the crust! Will make again indefinitely!!”

    “I also made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. I like it better than regular pumpkin pie because it doesn’t leave me feeling like I ate a brick. I used Bryers fat free vanilla ice cream which is creamy and delicious, although I did have to put a little bit more of the spices in to suite my taste. This is going to be a new tradition in our house!”

    “This is really freaking good!”

    I hope my family likes it just as much as these reviewers.

    The healthy modifications to this recipe give it an impressive difference in nutrients per slice:

    Frozen Pumpkin Mouse Pie        VS   Traditional Pumpkin Pie
    230 calories 480 calories
    5 g fat 33 g fat
    1 g saturated fat 20 g saturated fat
    2 g fiber 3 g fiber
    179 mg sodium 191 mg sodium


    Are you cooking up something healthy for Thanksgiving this year? Tell us about it!  

    Need some inspiration? Check out these links:

    Thanksgiving recipes: Delicious options for healthy eating  from the Mayo Clinic

    10 Tips for a Thinner Thanksgiving from WebMD

    Holiday Meal Planning from The American Diabetes Association

    Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season from mypyramid.gov

    I hope you have a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving!