• 17Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What Are Your Tips for Staying Hydrated?” was contributed by Jess Parsons-White, GMM Senior VP.

    The summer heat is sweltering and without proper hydration you might find yourself feeling lethargic, cramping, or even dizzy. For some, it is an easy solution of drinking more water, but for those on the move or who may not enjoy guzzling a gallon of cool refreshing water, staying hydrated in the heat can be a challenge.

    Luckily, our Open Hand Wellness Committee has put together a quick fact sheet for staying hydrated on go, as well as a few suggestions for how to “rethink your drink” by adding flavorful infusions to your water bottle.

    Tip one: Invest in a good water bottle! Look for a BPA-free container that is easy to fill and to drink out of while driving or exercising. The easier it is to use the more you’ll drink!

    Tip two: Before hitting the road fill your water bottle up with cold water, and when it’s empty, make it a priority to find a water fountain or rest stop where you can safely replenish. Our own Good Measure Meals drivers struggled getting their daily dose of H2O; but recognizing the need, our Wellness Committee partnered with Kaiser to distribute new water bottles to all the drivers. Now there is a line at the filtered water dispenser every morning!

    Joe HydrationDonny Hydration

    Tip three: Don’t be afraid to add unique flavor combinations to your pitcher or glass. Fresh Herbs and fruits can be combined to add an exciting twist to your drink! Just throw a handful of each into a pitcher and them strain out after an hour.
    • Looking for a calming classic? Try Cucumber Mint.
    • For a zesty combo, try Pineapple Parsley.
    • Maybe you’re into a sweeter treat? Strawberry Basil is a personal favorite.
    • Not convinced yet? Start with a few slices of Lemons, Limes, and Oranges for a classic citrus zing!

    **Now check out a quick demonstration for how to infuse water by our Spring Dietetic Intern, Frances Ennis! And for even MORE info, check out Jess’ previous post about the benefits of good hydration.**

  • 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!

  • 29Dec

    As we head into the new year, many of us strive to make resolutions in an effort to treat our mind and bodies right.  Unfortunately, after the initial push to live the healthy life, many of us fall victim to the mid-January slouch, when we realize that the weather outside is still frightful and our motivation has started to dwindle; until alas, we are back to our old habits.  How do we avoid this seemingly inevitable trend?  I am so glad you asked! J

    The first step is to develop accountability.  It seems so easy and intuitive, yet many people never think to create a system that keeps them in check.  Whether it’s teaming up with someone in the office to discuss your goals or simply writing down your resolutions and revisiting them daily, it is important that you make a conscious effort to keep your resolutions top of mind and .  One tool I have developed for clients is a self-contract for goals.  When coming up with your New Year’s Resolutions (or Goals) you really need to write them down, using the SMART formula.

    Make sure that your goals have the following characteristics:

    S: Are the Specific? While I can easily say that I would like to eat better this new year, it is hard to determine what that really means on a daily basis and if I am really achieving that goal.  Instead, make goals as specific as possible, such as: Eat 3-4 Fruits and Vegetables a day and cut down on sweets to 1 dessert per week.  When our goals are clear and specific it is much easier for our brains to know how to be successful!

    M: Are they Measurable?  Quantify your goals!  You don’t just want to lose weight, you want to lose 10 pounds or fit into a size 8.  By having numbers you can measure progress which helps facilitate motivation and long term success.

    A: Are they Attainable? While goals are a great way to spark change, setting goals that are unattainable are self-sabotaging and often lead to relapses or negative behaviors.  Keep in mind when setting goals that they should be achievable.  Increasing my cardio fitness to the level of Lance Armstrong is highly unlikely, so why set myself up for failure.  Instead set a goal like completing so many minutes of cardio per week in order to increase cardio fitness.  Much easier to track and I’ll still be striving for the same result.

    R: Are they Realistic? Remember that we are human, and the occasional slip is not something to fret about.  When setting goals, avoid using terms like NEVER, EVERY or ALWAYS.  These phrases are not realistic since life is unpredictable, and is it best to remain flexible.  Saying that you will hit the gym every day is great in theory, but what if you get sick, injured or have a social obligation.  The goal is health and you may need to take a day off. Then you skip and the guilt sets in.  Setting realistic goals allows us to maintain flexibility and stay focused on what really matters.

    T: Are they Time-Oriented? Always have an end date.  This allows us to track progress and avoid procrastination.  We all like a healthy dose of competition and it a great kick start to achieve any goal as we see that date approaching.  Remember it takes 4 weeks to make a habit and 8 weeks to see a change, so give yourself enough time to see success, but avoid a long term date that hinders motivation to keep the changes going.

    Once you have your goals set, make the commitment to change by signing a contract to yourself.  Feel free to print off the goal setting worksheet and contract below to help get the results you were looking for.  It’s a New Year, so here’s to the New You!

    Use this tool to help create your goals for the coming year!

  • 19Nov

    Breakfast is an essential component of a balanced diet, and not only provides your body with the energy that you need to function throughout the morning, but also assists with weight management by jump starting your metabolism!  I will admit that I have always been a breakfast eater, but until I started on my Good Measure Meals™- I usually resorted to a grab and go item or a bowl of cereal if I had the time.  I knew that I should be eating a more nutrient dense morning meal, but who has the time to whip up and perfectly balance breakfast?

    I have GMM to thank for my new morning routine, that still manages to keep my mornings quick (I really do enjoy hitting the snooze button in the A.M.!) and provides me with the protein and energy to make it through the day!  In honor of breakfast, I wanted to write a quick blog post about one of my favorite breakfast entrees, the Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bar with Cranberries and Walnuts!  We all love the taste, but in GMM fashion, there is a lot of great nutrition that goes into the recipe, so I thought I would break down some of the ingredients for everyone, to show you why our culinary staff includes certain items in our menu!  Here it goes…

    Pumpkin: A naturally low fat and low calorie food, pumpkin is packed with disease fighting nutrients like alpha and beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins C & E, potassium and magnesium. The carotenes are converted into vitamin A once eaten and promote healthy vision immune response.  There is also evidence that pumpkin helps reverse skin damage caused by the sun and acts as an anti-inflammatory.  The Carotenoid properties of pumpkin also boost immunity and lessen the risk of heart disease!

    Oats: A great source of soluble fiber, oats have been proven to help lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL), boost “good” cholesterol(HDL), maintain a healthy circulatory system, and help prevent heart attacks!  Not only do they provide these heart healthy benefits, they are also jam packed with a wide range of vitamins and minerals including vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron and calcium!  They are also low on the glycemic index, so for folks managing insulin resistance, oats are a great addition to the diet!

    Cranberries: They may be small, but this tiny fruit is a powerhouse for health!  Cranberries are high in soluble fiber and protect against heart disease.  Because of their quinic acid content, they are one of the best treatments for urinary tract infections and help prevent digestive disorders and stomach ulcers

    Walnuts: Nuts are notorious for their high fat content, but walnuts are much richer in polyunsaturated fats than monounsaturated fats, boasting an unusually high content of omega-3 fatty acid.  This makeup proves walnuts to be helpful in the prevention of heart disease, cancers, arthritis, skin problems and disorders of the nervous system.  There’s more too!  Walnuts have been should to lower “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, while increasing the elasticity of the arteries!

    Cinnamon: Did you know that cinnamon has an anticoagulant compound (cinnamaldehyde) that can help protect against strokes?  It is also an anti-inflammatory, shown to relieve symptoms of arthritis and asthma…hard to believe, right?  The benefits don’t stop there though, cinnamon also functions as a digestive aid- relieving bloating and flatulence, and reducing heartburn… maybe that’s why it is so abundant in the holiday feasts!

    Now that you know some of the health benefits of this morning treat, get excited about Monday morning, because your GMM breakfast kicks off the week with our very own Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bar goodness!

    What’s your favorite Good Measure Meal™ Breakfast?

  • 16Nov

    As the Georgia weather becomes more and more tolerable into the autumn days, I find myself wanting to spend every moment I can outdoors. As a wellness professional, I am constantly looking for ways to stay fit and have fun, utilizing the resources we have right here in our community. This last weekend, myself and GMM Culinary Dietitian Ashley Ritchie decided that we were in need of some physical activity and fresh air, so we decided to turn our fitness focus to Stone Mountain Park.

    There are so many ways to be active at the park, from hiking up the mountain(a 1.3 mile trek to the top!), completing the sky ropes course(for the adventurous visitor) to biking, running the 5 mile loop around the mountain, or going on a pedal boat ride through the lake. There are even 15 miles of hiking trails throughout the park! That being said, Ashley and I decided that we’d take a scenic trail to the base of the mountain and then make the hike straight up, which starts out at a pretty gradual slope and manages to become incredibly steep near the top! Check out the pics from the hike up!

    On the way back down, we were discussing how amazing it was to see so many active folks climbing up and running around the park. Being in the wellness industry, we were both impressed and excited to see all the activity around us and decided we should make a habit of hiking around the park with friends and family. No sooner than this fleeting thought left our conversation, did we stumble upon two of our favorite coworkers and their wives, making their trek up the massive hill! Great fun seeing friends out being active!

    Fitness fanatics from GMM and Open Hand!

    At the end of the hike we had taken over 9000 steps (thanks to the trusty pedometer I wore to track our trek!) and thoroughly enjoyed the great outdoors! We even stopped at the Farmer’s Market on the way home to scout out some ideas for the next GMM menu cycle! What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon embracing health and wellness!

    Almost a days worth!

  • 09Nov

     

    More information? Click on the image to see how you can get involved!

    Open Hand, the nonprofit to which all Good Measure Meals™ proceeds go to, seriously has the most creative ways to raise money to support educating and feeding the community.  Currently, we are working on the Empty Bowl Project, which raises awareness about hunger in Atlanta.

     How fun is this….  People interested in participating in this fundraiser get to play or eat!  Seriously! Between Friday, October 1 – Sunday, November 14 those wanting to contribute to the cause simply have to swing by Wired and Fired (994 Virginia Avenue/ 404.885.1024) pick out a bowl ($12) and let their creativity soar!  There are so many glazes to choose from and the purpose is to create a fun and colorful bowl that will then be donated.  All the donated bowls will then be put on display, Wednesday November 17th from 11am to 5 pm at Murphy’s (404.872.0904) in Virginia Highlands. 

    This is where the second round of fun happens.  You can purchase any of the donated bowls and have it filled with a delicious dish from a special bowl menu prepared by Executive chef Tom Harvey for $20!  All proceed benefit Open Hand!

    Can you think of a better way to raise money for a great cause? Get your family or friends together and paint those bowls, or schedule your lunch at Murphy’s on the 17th and enjoy a delicious dish and a new bowl created with love!  So many ways to participate and enjoy philanthropy!

    Check out the pictures below of the GMM/Open Hand Staff painting our very own bowls!  What fun!  You can bet that we’ll be there on the 17th to enjoy Chef Harvey’s soup in the very bowls we decorated!

    We had a blast! What a great way to spend an afternoon!Some of the GMM Staff getting creative for a cause!

    The GMM Staff getting creative for a cause!

  • 02Nov

    Halloween is over and many of you are left with Jack-o-lanterns and a pile of dried pumpkin seeds that you were planning on doing something with, but just haven’t gotten around to yet… am I right?

     As my favorite seasonal food, pumpkin makes its way into many of my holiday recipes and while most people would probably guess that this means pumpkin breads, pies and cookies- there are also many healthy ways to use this amazing food. Today I want to focus on pumpkin seeds. Many of you might have noticed that new GMM menu found a use for pumpkin seeds in one of our new Dinner Selections: Northern Italian Raviolis of Sage Pasta stuffed with Butternut Squash topped with Genoa Style Tomato Sauce. Fresh Spinach Salad with Carrots, Pumpkin Seeds and Multigrain Croutons with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Sound delicious? It is and also a great way to incorporate the nutrient packed pumpkin seed into a balanced meal! Great work Ashley!

    Pumpkin seeds are not edible when raw, but with a little olive oil and 20 minutes in the oven on low heat, you have a tasty and oh so healthy snack. The seeds are extremely high in both zinc and iron, both minerals needed in our daily diets. Zinc is an antioxidant mineral, which not only boosts the immune system, but also protects against prostate enlargement and cancer in the male population. Iron improves energy levels and is vital for healthy blood cells. Foods that contain high amounts of these minerals are particularly important for vegetarians, but also very beneficial to meat eaters, as the seeds also contain sterols, which help remove “bad” cholesterol, lowering LDL. As if these benefits weren’t enough to entice you to add pumpkin seeds into your diet, they also contain some Omega-3 fats (the healthy fat!), vitamin E, folate, and magnesium that can maintain heart health!

     Tips for Using Pumpkin Seeds: Always chew the seeds well to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients and think about adding seeds to salads, yogurt, muesli or cereal. You can also consider grounding the seeds and adding it to veggie, nut or bean burgers to increase your iron!

    How do you use pumpkin seeds?

  • 25Oct

    When analyzing your body composition there are two numbers that we pay most attention to: Body Fat & and Fat Free Mass.  I figured that for you to gain a better understanding of why these numbers are so important, I should take a few moments to explain what each one is and how we can strive to improve them!

    Body Fat Percentage:

    This is the percentage of your body that is comprised of fat.  Because fat plays an important role in daily body functions, you need a certain amount of fat in order to live to your fullest.  Fat is responsible for cushioning joints, protecting organs, regulating body temperature and storing vitamins.  While you need a certain amount of fat, too much fat has adverse effects on the body and is associated with health risks such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, thyroid disorder, arthritis, sleep apnea, and many more.  A healthy/desirable Body Fat % range based on your particular age and gender is located on the scale below:

    Are you in the healthy range?

     

    Fat Free Mass:

    This is your fat free mass, which is basically everything that is not fat: muscle, water, bone, connective tissue, etc.  By increasing this mass you lower your body fat percentage, so look to improve this number by gaining muscle mass or improving bone strength(through impact exercises).

    Ultimately, our goal is to have the optimal amount of body fat for maximal efficiency.  We lower our health risks by staying in the healthy range, so eating healthy foods low in trans fats and saturated fats partnered with regular exercise are an essential part of your health plan.  You can also increase your Fat Free Mass by engaging your muscles in regular resistance training.  The more muscle your body has, the more efficiently it burns calories, so you lower body fat % from two angles!

     How are you working towards the healthy body fat range?  Please share some of the things you do to stay lean and healthy!

    Want to know your numbers?  Email me at jparsons@goodmeasuremeals.com to set up your Body Comp Analysis!

  • 21Oct

    With the spotlight shifting to preventative measures in health and wellness, it is no wonder that we are looking to new technology and resources to help us determine exactly what our health status is and set goals that will direct us to our optimal state of well-being.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to unveil one of Good Measure Meals’™ tools on live TV!  Check out Good Measure’s demo of the Tanita SC-331s Body Composition Analyzer on Atlanta & Company! 

    Check out GMM on Atlanta & Company!

    I had a blast on the show and we had a great response from callers looking to understand their measurements and get help setting wellness goals.  Our Tanita Scale is the latest addition to the Tanita Family and increases the amount of information that we are able to provide clients.  The scale uses Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis to accurately read a client’s body composition within a minute’s time.  Each client receives a printout including:

    • Weight
    • Impedance
    • Fat Percentage
    • Fat Mass
    • Fat Free Mass
    • Total Body Water Percentage
    • Total Body Water Mass
    • Muscle Mass
    • Physique Rating
    • Basal Metabolic rate
    • Metabolic Age
    • Bone Mass
    • Visceral fat Rating
    • Body Mass Index

    Our team reviews all of the measurements and assists in setting healthy goals to attain optimal weight, energy intake and state of health.  This tool can be used for individuals up to 600lbs and is portable and can be reserved for use at health fairs, biometric screenings, or other health and wellness events.

    Pricing:  Individuals          $30

                    Group                   $10/person (minimum 10) or  $100/hour or  $500/Day(8 Hours)

    Feel Free to contact me at jparsons@goodmeasuremeals.com if you are interested in getting tested or want us to come to your company’s health fair!

    Do you know what the above measurements mean and why they are important for wellness professionals to gauge your current state of well-being?  Check back in as I go through some of the most important measurements and how you can improve your numbers!

  • 29Sep

    What on earth is corporate wellness?

    I will go ahead and apologize for my “on-camera” skills, but I thought I would share with you all a little about what I do here at Good Measure Meals™.  Check out the video short below on GMM Corporate Wellness.

    Click on the YouTube link to learn more about Corporate Wellness

    Corporate Wellness is one of those vague terms that are thrown around without much knowledge about what it actually comprises.  I figured I could post this week’s blog about Corporate Wellness and what I actually do to help people understand why so much focus is being placed on employee health.  Good Measure Meals™ hired me this past January to develop a Comprehensive Wellness Program that we could implement in the corporate environment.  The thought is that GMM provides nutrition to our community, but so much can be done to expand on wellness through education and program implementation that will motivate and inspire working populations to invest in their health. 

    Think about the amount of time you spend at work.  We’ll average 8 hours, which is ½ of your day that you spend awake, assuming you are getting the recommended amount of sleep.  That means that half of your time Monday –Friday is spent at work, probably sitting at a computer, or performing tasks that have minimal physical activity requirements.  Partner the sedentary workplace environment with a lunch rush that leaves you foregoing a balanced diet and also increasing stress from deadlines and bosses and we have a the elements of a perfect storm.  So why does your company care?  Well, there are many reasons that the modern company takes a vested interest in their employee’s health.  The biggest reason is insurance costs.  About $2.3 trillion is spent annually treating preventable conditions brought on by unhealthy living.  The corporate community has realized that by investing on the front end of wellness, a great deal of money can be saved by preventing chronic diseases.  While saving on insurance costs is reason enough to invest in employee health, employers also noticed that Corporate Wellness Programs we increasing productivity, employee morale, retention, and decreasing absenteeism.  The benefits of preventative measures paid off big, and now most companies large and small and finding ways to implement wellness programs into their workplace culture.

    At GMM, we are all about educating and assisting our community in adopting a healthy lifestyle, so this partnership is quite intuitive.  In the last 9 months, GMM has worked extensively with the corporate community to offer educational Lunch and Learns about Wellness in the Workplace, Nutrition and Behavior Modification, as well as create programming and initiatives to get people on the right track towards optimal health and wellness.  From city employees and teachers to lawyers and consultants, GMM has worked to develop site specific programs that engage and educate employees about investing in their health and seen great results.  An 8-week Biggest Loser competition allowed one municipality to collectively lose over 250 pounds collectively, and a series of lunch and learns at another Atlanta company sparked a companywide initiative to start accruing steps and counting calories.

    Is your company in the need of some health and wellness programing?  Click on the GMM link below to see what all we have to offer and/or email me, Jess Parsons, at jparsons@goodmeasuremeals.com to discuss how we can get your company on board or to invite GMM to your Health, Wellness, & Benefits Fair!

    http://www.goodmeasuremeals.com/products/corporate

    Does your company currently do any wellness programing for their employees?