• 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!

  • 12Nov

    Like many of us, Hot 107.9 radio personality and producer Tonya Clackum, AKA “Beyonce Alowishus,” repeatedly found her busy schedule standing in the way of her health goals.
    She regularly skipped breakfast, sacrificed nutrition for convenience at lunchtime, and grabbed fast food on the way home from work.

    After years of struggling with her weight, trying every diet under the sun, she was looking for a plan that would allow her to lose weight despite her busy schedule, eat fresh food, and be sustainable long-term. Her doctor suggested Good Measure Meals (GMM).

    Tonya was immediately impressed by the friendly, informative Good Measure Meals staff and wide variety of meals on the menu. The calorie and portion controlled meals made it easy and convenient for her to eat healthfully – and deliciously! And once she found out that GMM proceeds go back into the community by supporting the non-profit Open Hand Atlanta, she was hooked.

    Tonya starting receiving the 1200 calorie meal plan, 7 days per week, and documenting her experience in a series of blog posts. Check out some of her comments below!

    “A lot of times we go on diets and feel as though we have to starve ourselves, but that’s not the case with GMM. The meals are very filling, and now that I’m eating the correct portions, I get fuller much faster and have learned not to over-eat.

    With other diets in the past, the weight would come right back when I got off the program. So I was nervous to be away from Good Measure Meals during one 10-day train trip through Canada. But this time, I didn’t gain weight or fall off my diet. How did I manage? Portion control. Plus, I opted for more of what I had eaten with GMM- more fruits, whole grains, and baked and grilled foods.

    The best parts of the program are the food variety (I never had the same meal twice), easy pick-up locations, being informative and affordable, and the GREAT taste. My favorite meal? Ground Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers. Some other favorites include Tilapia Florentine with Brown Rice and Broccoli, Brunswick Stew with Cornbread, and Turkey Meatloaf with Parsley Potatoes.

    Not only did I lose weight on the program, it taught me portion control. I felt better overall, and even my blood pressure went down. I also felt good about getting involved with the non-profit Open Hand. All the net proceeds from GMM go to support Open Hand, and Open Hand serves more than 6,500 meals a day to people who are home-bound seniors or less fortunate across 17 counties in Georgia (AMAZING)!!!

    My friends and co-workers say I look great, but it’s not just because of the weight loss; it’s also because the meals are so well planned. I am getting all of my daily nutrients that my body needs on a daily basis. Plus the MAIN reason I am a fan is that all of the money raised by GMM goes to Open Hand Atlanta. It’s just AWESOME. Period. 1200 calories a day and I get my breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s FRESH, not processed and frozen. It’s super healthy and it goes to a good cause. I have never felt better.”

     

    Several months into her Good Measure Meals, Tonya is 20 POUNDS DOWN and continues to lose weight, looking and feeling better every day.

    For updates on Tonya’s health and weight loss journey with Good Measure Meals, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @BeyonceATL.

  • 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.**

  • 02Apr

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Senior Vice President, Jess White.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a writer. I can talk all day long, but when it comes to putting pen to paper, or rather fingers to the keyboard, I can’t ever seem to think of the right way to kick start the conversation!

    That being said, give me the opportunity to write about food, and I could pen a short novella in a matter of minutes.

    I should start off by dedicating this blog entry to the launch of our 2014 Spring/Summer Good Measure Meals Menu. In all honesty, it inspired me to write, to share, and to introduce you all to the things I love about our food. Yes, I may be a bit biased… after all, I live for this organization, our food and most of all, our mission to serve.

    If you’ve ever been to the Open Hand website, you’ll see our tagline front and center…“It’s About More.” Everything we do here has a deeper meaning, and so I thought I would share some of the new menu items and provide you with the insight behind why we’re excited to bring them to your table!

    Jess’ Top Three New GMM Dishes:

    1. Turkey Barley Stuffed Pepper- If you’ve ever been on our vegetarian meal plan, you might have had our lentil stuffed pepper, an old favorite of mine. This season, we’re introducing a new Healthy Selection version combining a lean ground turkey with barley, a grain that when consumed whole can help regulate blood sugar for up to 10 hours. As a bonus, barley contains 8 of the 13 essential amino acids! Not only is this is tastiest stuffed pepper that I have ever tasted, it will do your body good!

    peppers barley turkey stuffed pepp

    2. I didn’t think that I could possibly enjoy our Crab Cake lunch any more, but then our amazing menu development team decided to add in a fresh summertime salad to add some seasonal flare. Instead of your normal greens, we’re using Kale as our base, which is high in Vitamin A, C and K, and shown to be essential (along with other leafy greens) for preventing age-related macular degeneration. Tossed in a light vinaigrette and sprinkled with almonds and dried apricots, you have a tasty treat that is also easy on the eyes!

    almonds kale apricots

    3. Speaking of salads, our RD/Chefs put together another spring sensation, our New GMM Asian Chicken Salad with baby spinach, mandarin oranges, carrots, toasted almonds and a sesame vinaigrette. This salad is already a crowd pleaser. Not only is it packed full of taste and color, but it also contains Folate, vitamin C, K, and A. Add a little lean protein from the chicken and nuts, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly balanced meal that is simply scrum-diddily-YUMcious!

    chick salad up close

    Well, there you have it folks, a little behind-the-scenes tour of what to expect from the new Spring/Summer menu from Good Measure Meals. There are many more healthy and delectable entrees, so be sure to check out our menus online at www.goodmeasuremeals.com. Remember, you are the reason that we do what we do, so let us know what you like, what you want to see more of, and how we can continue to impress you!

    Bon appetit!

  • 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.

  • 08Oct

    Contributed by GMM Health Promotion Intern, Emily Mooney.

    Meet Rachel Stroud.
    Headshot_RStroud_2013At first glance, she’s your average twenty-something – lives with a great roommate in the heart of Atlanta, loves to get caught up in a good fiction series, and frequently splurges on Atlanta’s unique food scene. Yet, when she reports to work each day, she does much more than sit at a desk and push paper – Rachel changes lives.
    She motivates, empowers, and pushes others to be the best version of themselves, and to realize the strength and power within.

    Originally from Los Angeles, California, Rachel grew up with a love of cooking and mixing unexpected ingredients together to make a meal. In addition to her love for food, medicine was always a frontrunner of her career aspirations. Over time, she came to realize that nutrition combined both of her passions, and so a dietitian was born. Rachel earned her B.S. in Dietetics from Purdue University. She moved to Atlanta to complete her Dietetic Internship at Emory University. Through this internship, she discovered Open Hand, and eventually moved “next door” to Good Measure Meals.

    As a Community Wellness Representative for Good Measure Meals, Rachel assists with creating the programming for Good Measure’s partnering locations. She teaches health education classes to adults and seniors, as well as regularly holds kids workshops in an effort to offer a fun and engaging way to teach little ones the benefits of healthy behaviors. Rachel also helps to manage and maintain Good Measure Meals’ community partners, ensuring they have the resources and support they need. In addition to her community work, she provides personalized nutritional counseling to individuals in need of extra support and information on their way to a healthier lifestyle.

    As a dietitian, Rachel strives to be a compassionate partner in others’ journeys to a healthier lifestyle. She views each person as an individual, and celebrates the fact that not everyone is motivated by the same thing. To borrow her words, she likes to “meet people where they are” in their weight loss or weight management journey, and help them balance their unique lifestyles. Through her work at Good Measure Meals, Rachel hopes to empower others by giving them the knowledge they need to lead the healthiest lives they can.

    See Rachel on Atlanta & Company below talking about “Eating the Rainbow” of Fruits and Veggies.  And don’t forget to tune into Atlanta & Company tomorrow, October 9th to watch Callie O’Steen talk about “Fall Fruits and Veggies” and watch for the unbeatable weekly FLASH SALE!  LIMITED TIME ONLY!

    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.

  • 24May

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Joy Goetz.

    One look at Pinterest, Tumblr, or just about any social networking website, and it’s clear that DIY is all the rage!

    Nothing gets me more excited than a new project, but I know from experience that they usually involve more work than I think, and things often do not go as planned – especially when Mother Nature is involved.

    Maybe that’s why gardening is intimidating for some people. Outcomes are not guaranteed, even when we do everything right! However, there is nothing more satisfying than picking your own fresh herbs from your garden or biting into your first home-grown tomato of the season.

    Garden-fresh cucumbers and tomatoes

    Garden-fresh cucumbers and tomatoes

    If you’ve never had a green thumb before, here are some of the most important things to remember:
    1. Pick a convenient location. This is key! If you see the garden every day, you are much more likely to notice if your plants need attention and it will increase your chances of success…AND your enjoyment of your  garden. Your ideal spot will get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, have easy access to water, and be convenient for you.

    2. Plant the right thing at the right time. If this is your first summer, set yourself up for success by starting small: cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers and herbs are pretty fool-proof and grow really well in containers. For a June garden, I’d recommend buying tomato and pepper plants, but herbs and vegetables that have larger seeds (think cucumbers, beans and squash) grow quickly and you can save some money by buying seeds for those. How many should you buy? The Square Foot Gardening method has excellent instructions for how to space your plants to maximize what you can grow by planting 1, 4, 9 or 16 plants per square foot. Do a little math before you go shopping!

    Potted cherry tomato plant

    Potted cherry tomato plant

    3. Pay attention to your garden. Picking a good location (step #1!) helps with this. Gardens are kind of like babies. They can’t talk to you, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice if they’re looking thirsty or if a pesky bug is bothering them.

    It’s really just that easy! Anyone can do it.

    Potted basil plant

    Potted basil plant

    In fact, as part of the Senior Community Garden Initiative last year, I helped over 100 people (half were first-time gardeners) get started.

    The Senior Community Garden Initiative was a joint project between Open Hand, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Atlanta Community Bank, and resulted in 8 new community gardens in the Atlanta area, most of them in low-income neighborhoods.

    This is one of the ways Open Hand is working to improve the nutrition and quality of life of our neighbors. Remember, 100% of the profits from Good Measure Meals go directly to Atlanta non-profit Open Hand, and help to fund exciting projects like this.

    Let’s get planting!

  • 20May

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian, Laura Delfausse

    Next Monday marks Memorial Day, a holiday when we all take time out of our lives to remember those who have fallen defending our country.  I think it is only appropriate to also take a break from the usual nutrition conversation, and instead focus on our nation’s heroes.

    It is not in me to put my life in danger in such a courageous way, so I have the utmost respect for all the men and women who are willing to sacrifice and serve on my behalf.

    Happy Veterans Day

    Good Measure Meals supports Open Hand to serve our community by empowering people to live healthier, more productive lives.

    Open Hand family volunteering

    A family volunteers with Open Hand by delivering meals together to individuals in the community.

    To all military, their families and loved ones, I say thank you, though it doesn’t seem quite enough.  But that is why I consider myself lucky to work for Open Hand Atlanta, an organization that works to provide meals and nutritional support to a very special and underserved population, many of whom are veterans.  I have personally met many of these veterans in their homes and in various community centers around the city.  They are your parents, your grandparents, your sisters or brothers.  Some advertise their service proudly, while others prefer to blend into the background.  They come from all walks of life and all regions of the country, but they all deserve our highest respect.

    As you may or may not know, Good Measure Meals is the social enterprise for Atlanta non-profit Open Hand, and 100% of the profits of this company support the Open Hand mission.  So, if you are currently a Good Measure client or have been one in the past, you can rest assured that you, too, are helping to supply nutritionally balanced meals to deserving veterans and many, many others.  And the support does not end with just the meals.  We also provide community education and nutritional counseling as well, because we believe a comprehensive approach to nutrition is best.

    If you would like to become more involved with Open Hand please visit our website at: www.projectopenhand.org

    For information on how to further help our soldiers and veterans, here are just a few options:

    The USO: http://www.uso.org/

    Soldier’s Angels: http://soldiersangels.org/donating-items.html

    Rivers of Recovery: http://www.riversofrecovery.org

    Horse Rhythm Foundation: http://www.horserhythm.org/

    American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/ca/los-angeles/ways-to-donate/individual-gifts/support-military-families

    National Military Family Association: http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/operation-purple

    open hand couple volunteer

    A couple volunteers in the Open Hand Atlanta kitchen, packing meals for delivery across the city.

     

     

     

  • 23Jun

    When you’re a social enterprise like Good Measure Meals™ — one which donates 100% of your proceeds to our nonprofit parent organization — you understandably keep your marketing expenses to a minimum. Instead, you focus even more intently on enagaging customers in a conversation — whether real or virtual — so that you can provide them with a better, more personalized level of service and support.

    That works to our advantage, since no other gourmet meal provider is fortunate enough to be powered by individuals who are passionately dedicated to promoting health and wellness for everyone in our community. And no other gourmet meal provider makes such a concerted effort to listen to our customers so that we can support you and constantly adapt to your evolving needs.

    While Philip, Harmony and Katherine in Customer Service are only a phone call or an email away, many times our customers prefer to communicate with us in other ways. Whether it’s simply by posting on our Facebook page, taking one of our weekly online menu surveys, or commenting on an article in our online newsletter — EVERY customer interraction is invaluable to us. So it’s important that we continue to search for new ways to get your feedback and provide you with the most relevant information possible to help you to live a healthier life.

    And what better way to do that than to ask you to consider taking a very brief survey about your use (or non-use) of social media?

    We understand that it’s not for everyone, but it’s become an increasingly convenient and cost-effective way for GMM to provide our customers a higher level of support. Even if Facebook isn’t your thing, there may be a great blog about exercise or nutrition that you follow. Or if you don’t give a tweet about Twitter, but love watching cooking demos on YouTube, you know more about social media than you may think.

    We sincerely hope you’re take a few minutes to complete our survey. We’re not necessarily interested in what is cheap or cool, but we are definitely interested in being relevant to you and finding out more about how you’d like to interact with us. After all, your satisfaction is our number one priority!

     

     

  • 30Jan
    Thanks to BCBS of Georgia for the pedometers!

    Is your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get fit losing momentum?  Why not join us in our Wellness @ Work Get Fit Challenge?

    Launching today, each participating employee (including yours truly) will track how many steps we walk daily and report them to our assigned health coach on campus each Friday.  Prizes will be given throughout the challenge to motivate us to keep moving.

    Why participate?  For me personally, I’m taking an unplanned running hiatus, so I’m actually trying to compensate by boosting my low impact activity!  Aside from my personal goals, I already love the competitive spirit and creativity that our challenge has started around campus (as in Excel spreadsheets with graphs and a proposal to bring dogs to work to promote walking).

    No matter what your fitness level, walking is something everyone can participate in doing.    We hope to see more walk & talk meetings, walking groups at lunch time and walking to and from each others’ work spaces.

    How many steps should you take per day?  For good health, 10,000 steps per day is recommended, or the equivalent of walking 5 miles.   Even if you don’t have time to schedule a five mile walk, anyone can make time for short walking breaks throughout the day that total 10,000 steps!

    Want to join us?   Here are the steps to get started!

    Buy a pedometer. Pedometers come in all sizes and pricetags.  If you have a smartphone, you can download a pedometer app as well.  Find one that works for you, attach it to your waist every day, and write down your results each night.

    Know your baseline.  If you haven’t been active lately, 10,000 steps per day may not be a realistic goal just yet.  Wear the pedometer for a day or two while doing your usual actitivites to get an idea of your baseline activity level.

    Set small goals. If you normally walk between 2000-3000 steps per day, set a goal to walk 3500-4000 steps per day for the first week.  For week 2, step it up a notch and aim for 4000-5000 steps per day.  Adjust as you are able to without overdoing it or injuring yourself until you reach 10,000 steps per day!

    Reward yourself. For each day you achieve your steps goal, put 50 cents or $1.00 in a jar.  At the end of the eight week challenge, go buy yourself a “prize” with the money you saved.   Choose something fitness related – maybe upgrade your pedometer, buy a meditation CD to listen to after your walks, or a new pair of walking shoes!