• 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!

  • 22Oct

    Happy almost-Food Day, everyone! That’s right, Food Day 2012 falls on Wednesday, October 24th this year – a mere three days from now – and we’re gearing up around GMM headquarters for a big party.

     

    But hold up a second. Food Day? Food Day? Like we really need to throw a party for the culprit behind America’s huge obesity crisis?

    Yep, we do, and here’s why:

     

    1. Real food is never the culprit. Think of real food as just that – “real.” Natural ingredients like unprocessed fruits and vegetables, whole grains (instead of processed grains), natural sweeteners (instead of refined or artificial sugars), and locally/humanely raised and slaughtered meats.

    Eating “real food” strips away all chance for encountering the preservatives and additives for prolonged shelf life, all of the hard-to-pronounce ingredients that trail down so many nutrition labels in our supermarkets. “Real food” hearkens back to the kind of food and cooking that our great-great grandparents probably knew. Imagine loaves of bread with just four ingredients! Imagine vegetables plucked and washed right around the corner before you pick them up to purchase! Imagine milk and yogurt made in dairies with your same zip code and not shipped across multiple states or over-sweetened and over-pasteurized to disguise their true, full flavors.

    No, real food isn’t the culprit behind obesity. There are many culprits, and one of them is the quick, mindless consumption of highly processed foods. Eating “real food” forces us to look at our food labels and find out what actual ingredients we’re putting into our bodies. It prompts us to seek out the places in our neighborhoods we can purchase the most freshly made products – breads, cheeses, juices, vegetables, fruits, dairy – and take notice of our seasonal farmers markets. Consuming “real food” implies valuing the quality and source of what we eat.

    GMM's Customer Service Manager loves beets!

    2. Food Day is more than a celebration of just food. As stated on the National Food Day website (yes, there is such a thing!), “Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable and sustainable food….Food Day takes place annually on October 24 to address issues as varied as health and nutrition, hunger, agricultural policy, animal welfare, and farm worker justice. The ultimate goal of Food Day is to strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation’s food policies.”

    Celebrating Food Day helps lift all of our eyes out of the ruts of our daily dietary routines and take a glance at this country’s food systems and their direct effects on our lives.

    Now, to be fair, our prosperous country is uniquely blessed with systems of food production that stock our supermarket shelves with overflowing abundance. Food Day doesn’t necessitate a moral stance on how we receive our food, but perhaps it will urge us to ponder how these systems affect the farmers, animals, products, and people involved. Perhaps it will prompt us to investigate the Slow Food Movement, our area farms, and what it means to eat seasonally, locally, and organically. Hopefully so.

    Harmony shops at the farmers markets for her real foods!

     

    So what are we doing at Good Measure Meals? Something very basic, but also quite Food Day appropriate: We’re throwing a big Food Day potluck lunch for with our staff! Every meal contribution must feature at least one local ingredient, and judging by last year’s potluck, we’re in for some creative and delicious eating!

    The picnic table spread from GMM's Food Day 2011 potluck party.

  • 19Dec

    I’m not a trained exercise coach or a registered dietitian, but I have acquired some helpful suggestions while working here at Good Measure Meals, that I will use to help me get through the next couple of weeks.  My goal is to survive this holiday season unscathed by those pesky extra 5-10 pounds that I always seem to gain this time of year.

    Here are the things I’ve been told will be helpful:

    1)      Buddy up with a friend and keep each other accountable.  Make this person someone who has goals like your own.  Help keep each other on track by being a supportive friend and vice versa.

    2)      Don’t go to a holiday party on an empty stomach.  Make sure to nosh on something healthy before you leave for your night-on–the-town.  The chances are slim-to-none that you are going to find a healthy holiday spread waiting for you when you arrive.  If you show up with a little food in your stomach, you will be less likely to stuff yourself with all of the decadent foods that will be offered.

    3)      Limit your intake of “holiday cheer.”   A 6oz. glass of red wine has 128 calories.  Who pours a 6 oz glass of wine, especially during the holidays?  Here’s a great tip:  Drink a full 8 oz glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.  Not only will you cut down on how much you drink, but you will look great because you are keeping yourself hydrated and better yet, lessen the chance of a nasty hangover. 

    4)      Try to keep to your regular workout schedule.  Even if you shorten the duration or intensity of your workouts during the next couple of weeks, you are still making the effort.  Some exercise is better than none, and if you are usually consistent with your workouts throughout the year, a week or two of lower intensity isn’t going to derail what you’ve accomplished.

    5)      Get 8 hours of sleep a night.  I know, I know…..with all the wonderful, festive parties and all, how can you not stay up until the sun rises?  Sleep is crucial to regulate food cravings.   And having a fresh-mind will help you make healthy choices.

    6)      Wear your seatbelt.  And for goodness sake, call a taxi if you need one. 

    7)      Last, but not least, Don’t Deprive Yourself.  The holiday season only comes around once a year.  If you already have a solid nutrition foundation and fitness routine, a little indulging for a week or two isn’t going to hurt in the short-term.  Just be sure to get back on track with your routine after the new year arrives!

    I’m hoping to put some of these suggestions into practice this holiday season.  I know I won’t be perfect, and will probably eat a little more than I should, stay out a little later than is best for me, and skip a run or two.  But I’m not going to go overboard.  For me, this season, it’s “all things in moderation.”  I’m going to enjoy myself and everything this holiday season has to offer.  I hope you do the same!

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    Philip Niekro, your Good Measure Meals Customer Service Representative