• 18Feb

    Hearts, roses, chocolates, candles, red wine, love, pink hearts, red hearts, conversation hearts – blah blah blah, Valentine’s Day is over (amen?).

    Amen. Hallelujah.

    Well actually, February is American Heart Month, so we need to leave our hearts on the table a little longer….or at least our conversations about them.

    Here’s a big fact for you: Did you know that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the Number 1 killer of men and women in the U.S.? This includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

    Happy Tuesday, folks.

    Some people are inherently more at risk than others because of their genetics; and sadly, some people are even more at risk because of their race and ethnicity.

    But the important thing to remember is that so many cardiovascular disease-related deaths can be PREVENTED through better eating and health habits, better living spaces, and proper care and control of chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.

    Prevented, friends.

    It’s the year of Committing to Lean in 2014 with Good Measure Meals, and part of getting lean means getting healthy and preventing unnecessary death from cardiovascular disease (because if we’re being honest, nobody’s trying to die early from poor heart upkeep).

    Obviously, at Good Measure Meals, we’re here to help with getting your diet on track. And we do that pretty darn well, actually.

    But another major part of caring for your heart is exercise, and there’s just no way around that. The recommendation is to get your heart-rate up (to a point that it’s difficult to carry on a conversation) 30 minutes per day every day. Are you doing that? I don’t every day, and that’s on me. That’s my bad.

    But you know what? We can help with that, too.
    harmony and philip race numbersplushashtag

    EVERY MONTH, we participate in one 5K race around Atlanta that benefits a local non-profit. For all you newbies, a 5K is 3.1 miles. If you jog at a good 10-minute clip, you’ll have your 30-minutes of exercise for the day, easy peas-y. But walking during 5K’s is also perfectly acceptable.

    Guess what? We have a 5K coming up this weekend, too, and (if you’re a woman) you should really consider joining our “Race for Good” team. This race happens to be a woman’s-only race, because it is in celebration of this awesome organization, Back on My Feet Atlanta’s new women’s running program.

    Back on My Feet Atlanta helps homeless individuals in our city regain self-worth, self-esteem, and good health with the simple act of regularly meeting up to go for group runs. It’s a part-mentoring, part-health-promoting, part-group-bonding experience that really helps put the feet back under people who maybe haven’t had a purpose for their lives in recent memory.

    Anyway, it’s a great cause – not to mention, it is health-promoting for you, also.

    By the way, Good Measure Meals is also partnered with tons of gyms around Atlanta. Each of these gyms have great classes every day for those of you who may not be the running types. And all experience levels have a place in these classes.

    You may remember that time that a group of GMM folks did a bootcamp with some Atlanta firefighters.DSC01318

    Or that time that I did the boot camp with The SweatBox Decatur. That was new for me, and it was an awesome experience, and some really great exercise accountability.

    It’s American Heart Health Month, friends, so I just want to remind you that simply eating better is not going to transform your health.

    If you really want to Commit to Lean in 2014, you’ve got to get real and start caring for your heart. The upside (other than preventing cardiovascular disease, obviously) is that caring for your heart will also help with your weight-loss goals….and most likely your sanity, too.

    Oh, and come join us on Saturday at the Back on My Feet Mizuno Women’s 5K. It’s a great place to start and amazing cause to support.

  • 19Nov

    Contributed by GMM Health Promotion Intern, Emily Mooney.

    Meet Callie O’Steen.
    CallieOSteen_3On the surface, she’s just like any young professional: she enjoys taking spin classes, running on the perfect fall day, and indulging at Red Pepper Taqueria. But, take a closer look and you’ll see Callie is making big waves in Atlanta’s health scene.

    Originally from Alabama, Callie grew up with an immense love of food (what else?!). She eventually attended the University of Alabama where she earned her B.S. in Dietetics, and she continued on to earn a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University. Throughout her schooling, Callie knew she wanted to do community-based nutrition work and help as many people gain healthy food access as she could. Thus, Open Hand and its partner, Good Measure Meals, seemed like the perfect place for her to establish her roots as a Registered Dietitian. Callie loves that 100% of Good Measure’s net proceeds go to Open Hand, and enjoys seeing the difference she’s making every day.

    As a Registered Dietitian for Open Hand, Callie gets to exercise her creative juices as she works to launch and sustain nutrition education classes in the community.  In addition to designing and implementing educational programming, Callie regularly visits HIV clinics, senior living centers, and the like to provide medical nutrition therapy. She offers counseling to those with HIV, diabetes, and heart disease in an effort to help them devise ways to stay healthy while keeping in consideration their health conditions. In a similar way, Callie assists with the Senior Market Basket Program. Through this program, she strives to provide fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition educational materials to at-risk clients whose nutritional needs are not being met, yet do not qualify them for direct Open Hand assistance.

    Amidst all of her work as a dietitian, Callie hopes to instill in her clients that she is just like everybody else in terms of health challenges – she’s had to modify her own lifestyle to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in her diet and increase her physical activity. Callie strives to correct the misconception that all registered dietitians only eat celery and lettuce.  RD’s enjoy good food too! She hopes to be relatable and trustworthy above all else, striving to take a personal interest in every client. Most importantly, she strives to be a compassionate health resource for others, and hopes to put the power of better health in the individuals themselves.

    **Tune in to Channel 11 tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. to see Callie appear on Atlanta & Company! She will be giving tips for how to cook with seasonal spices AND giving out a special FLASH SALE discount.**

    DSC01316

    Callie O’Steen, second from right, participates in a special Firefighter Fitness LLC bootcamp with some fellow GMM team members.

    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.

  • 05Nov

    DSC_1273_croppedPerhaps it was her long, sunrise runs along Lake Michigan that inspired Sarah Shanahan to pursue a degree in exercise and nutrition. Well that, and her love of good food.

    Originally from Atlanta, Sarah started baking with her mother when she was practically still a toddler, and the memory of her parents cooking from their backyard garden of fresh corn and tomatoes has certainly stuck with her through the years (even though she apparently did not inherit their green thumb).

    Sarah first started her career pursuing a nursing degree from the Medical College of Georgia. But when she moved up to Chicago to work at a non-profit organization as a nurse case manager, she unexpectedly fell in love with running.

    As she was logging miles upon miles along Lake Michigan while training for her first marathon, Sarah quickly realized that she didn’t actually know how best to fuel and hydrate her body to make it perform at its maximum potential. She started doing some basic nutrition and exercise research until the epiphany struck: exercise and nutrition was her niche.

    The decision to move to New York City to pursue a Master’s degree in Nutrition Education from Teachers College at Columbia University was an easy one for Sarah. She plunged into the field at a medical/fitness hybrid company, where she ultimately became Director of Nutritional Services.

    Sarah_Atlanta AcademyHaving recently moved back to Atlanta, Sarah now works to build and strengthen partnerships with Atlanta’s corporate and medical communities for Good Measure Meals as a Community Wellness Representative. She develops and presents nutrition and wellness programming for GMM’s corporate partners, providing the Atlanta area with a credible and reliable health resource.

    And as in New York City, Sarah also works one-on-one with GMM clients, helping them reach their goals through individual nutrition counseling and support. Her specialties are weight and chronic disease management, sports nutrition, and behavior modification.

    Sarah hopes to give her clients a “new way to look at the basics” of diet and exercise.

    “I am a realist,” she says. “I want everyone to have a good relationship with food, and be able to enjoy fueling their bodies for what they need to do.”

    After all, at the core, she’s a lover of high-quality food who you’ll find active and outdoors more often than not, running, walking, doing random push-ups, or taking a break to relax on the porch.

    Sarah snaps a picture after running a 16K road race from Paris to Versailles

    Sarah snaps a picture after running a 16K road race from Paris to Versailles

    Sarah and her dad at the GA400 cycling race this summer.

    Sarah and her dad at the GA400 cycling race this summer.

  • 19Feb

    Article contributed by Charlotte Hayes MMSc, MS, RD, CDE

     

    It is February, the month of passion, love and heart health.  Reminders of love and passion are everywhere – red and pink roses, balloons and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.  I enjoy this month.  The hubbub of the holidays is over, days begin to grow longer, and yes, love is in the air.  But most of all, this month never fails to renew my passion for heart health.  February, not January, is when I evaluate my lifestyle and resolve to take action to keep my heart beating strong.

    February is National Heart Health Month, so messages and advice about heart health abound along with reminders that heart disease is serious and deadly. I realize these reminders are important, but I prefer to focus on the positive things I get to do to boost my heart health and overall well-being.   Here are things I commit to doing – all are fairly simple, enjoyable and proven to improve heart health.

    • Healthy Eating and Drinking: I make my calories count by including lots of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies in my meals and snacks. High-salt foods are out and healthy oils, such as olive oil are in. When I have a treat, good chocolate is something I enjoy – especially since it has beneficial antioxidants. When it comes to beverages, there is nothing better than fresh, cool water. I enjoy sipping an occasional glass of wine which, in moderation, may lower heart attack risk.
    • Being Active: I love being active, but as life has gotten busier with work and family, fitting activity in is not as easy as it once was. My tricks?  I build small, frequent amounts of activity in on busy week days and do more on weekends.  I use a pedometer to track my daily step counts and aim to do at least 150 minutes of activity each week.  Weights and stretching are part of my routine too – two or three sessions per week is my goal.
    • Reducing Stress: This is something that I really have to work on. I tend to maintain a non-stop pace and can easily become over-committed.  I have learned, however, to “just say no” and to focus my energy on doing more of the things I find personally meaningful and important.  I also make time for enjoyment, relaxation and fun – high on my list is being active outdoors.   Even so, I can get to a point of feeling pressure, tension and a racing heart. When I feel these obvious signs of stress, I take a 10 minute break – either heading outside for a quick walk or listening to a calming relaxation CD.   The mind is a powerful tool, and doing what it takes to maintain a positive outlook makes all the difference when it comes to lowering stress and strain on the heart and cardiovascular system.  
    • Enjoying clean air: I stay clear of tobacco smoke.  Fortunately, as more places are becoming smoke free, this has gotten easier.

    That’s my short “to do” list for my heart health.  I hope you are thinking about things you can do to keep your heart healthy too.  To get started, visit some of the informative Websites from the agencies and associations that support National Heart Health Month.

    American Heart Association: www.heart.org and http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/2012-Go-Red-For-WomenHeart-Month-Kickoff_UCM_320383_Event.jsp

    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/materials/wear-red-toolkit.htm

    US Department of Health and Human Services & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention     Million Hearts™:  http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/index.html

    Remember, Good Measure Meals™ is here to help. We build healthy ingredients into each meal to make it easier for you reach your heart healthy goals.  With Good Measure as a solid nutrition foundation, you can get out of the kitchen which leaves you more time to take a total approach to your heart health.

     

     

  • 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!

  • 24Feb

    What are you doing on March 13th at 9am?

    I invite you to join both Good Measure Meals and Open Hand/Atlanta at the Junior League’s 7th annual ShamRock ‘N Roll Road Race at Atlantic Station. There will be a family friendly 5K, 10K and Kilt run/walk followed by a Healthy Lifestyle Festival with food, beverages, activates and entertainment.

    We will have a booth at The ShamRock Healthy Lifestyle Festival and we will also have several folks actually participating in the race, including myself!

    The Junior League graciously donates money and volunteers their time throughout the year at Open Hand/Atlanta. The organization of women is committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

    To register, click here

    For more information, click here

    To see the course map, click here

    Let me know if you are planning to participate and I’ll make sure we connect at the race. aritchie@goodmeasuremeals.com

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!