• 05Jun

    Today’s blog post in our series “What are your favorite Summer fruits and Veggies?” was contributed by Rachel Stroud, Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Rep, RD, LD

    Headshot_RStroud_2013I like being that dietitian who breaks the “rules.” The one that tells you things are okay that everyone around you is shouting “DO NOT EAT.”

    Here’s why: I love food. When I have to choose, I love food more than nutrition. But the fact is: I rarely have to choose. Food is wonderful. Calories are glorious little morsels of energy that fuel our bodies to do all the things we love to do. They’re not the enemy, they’re not to be avoided – they’re to be enjoyed, and chosen wisely.

    So here’s the food I want to talk about today: Corn.

    People LOVE to hate on corn.

    “It’s SOOOOOO starchy”
    “You feed your kids WHAT?!”
    “Corn is soooo not a vegetable”

    Let’s all take a step back for a minute. Corn is a vegetable, agriculturally speaking. Nutritionally, a medium ear of corn has ¼ the sugar of an apple and ¾ of the total carbohydrates. Corn is a good source of fiber, and provides us with a solid helping of thiamin, niacin, and folate, all tasty B vitamins.

    Yes folks, it does have a higher carb count than leafy greens, but eat it instead of your roll with dinner and you have a glorious, nutritious side dish. Corn should not take the place of your leafy greens, or other non-starchy veggies, but it certainly deserves a chance in place of a grain or bread, on occasion. Especially this time of year, when the ears are falling heavy off of their stalks and all 800 kernels/ear are puffed full of their sugary, creamy, white juice.

    Summer's fruits, veggies, and herbs make for delicious recipes!

    Summer’s fruits, veggies, and herbs make for delicious recipes!

    You know what else I love about corn? You can eat it raw. Enough of those shallow pans of boiling water that ultimately burn my fingers while I try to spin the corn so that each side gets cooked (but not TOO cooked!!). Enough of that.
    Cold, raw, sweet, fresh corn is one of the greatest parts of summer. Just slice it off the cob, and you’re in business.

    Here is one of my favorite recipes:
    2 cups raw, fresh, sweet Corn (3-4 ears)
    1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
    ½ c Fresh Mozzarella (preferably in ½ in cubes)
    ¼ c chopped basil
    1 T Olive Oil
    2T White Balsamic Vinegar
    salt and pepper to taste

    Get ready to take away the emptiest bowl after your next dinner party.

    P.S. Next time, we’ll talk about potatoes.

  • 10Apr

    Have you been tuning in to our Atlanta and Company segments the last couple of weeks?

    Rachel Stroud, our GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, has been joining host Rashan Ali to discuss some really important keys to weight-loss success. She will continue this series each week for the next few weeks, so make sure to tune in at 12:30 each Wednesday for some informed discussion (and a special FLASH SALE discount!!).

    photo 1

    Hopefully you’ve already made the pledge to yourself to Commit to Lean in 2014 and are on your way toward meeting your health goals this year. If you are, you know that the process of re-learning portion control and creating those engrained healthy habits takes a while.

    The complicated part is that so many diets out there make weight loss about less, less, less. Less calories, less food equals MORE WEIGHT LOSS.

    But for real weight loss that lasts, we need to replace the idea of “less” with the concept of balance and of sustainability. Repeat that to yourself: balance and sustainability. Balance and sustainability.

    rachel scary childhood meals

    Energy Balance is the simplest equation we have for achieving weight loss or weight maintenance. Our body takes in energy through food and beverages, and we put energy out through basic survival, activities of daily life, and planned exercise. If we want to lose weight, we have to put out more energy than we’re taking in.

    The calories you personally need each day for basic survival is called your Basil Metabolic Rate. It’s the number of calories your body need to function if you simply laid in bed all day. Those calories are the energy necessary for your heart to pump, your lungs to expand, and your lean muscles to be fueled.

    Now, IF, in the name of quick weight loss, you eat LESS than your body’s Basil Metabolic Rate, your body will enter “Starvation Mode.” Starvation mode changes the way the body processes nutrients so it stores our fat (gasp!) and breaks down muscle for the energy it needs instead.

    Now here’s the real kicker: fueling our muscles with oxygen and energy is a significant part of our metabolic rate, so let’s say your body breaks down muscle to fuel itself during your diet regimen of drastic calorie-cutting. In the process, you’ve lessened the amount of calories your body needs in a day. This means that instead of functioning at your normal (for example) 1700 calories necessary per day, your body has dropped and acclamated to functioning on (for example) 1000 calories per day.

    Now let’s say you go back to consuming the amount of calories you used to at your former Basil Metabolic Rate, or what you used to consider “normal” before severely cutting your calories. At that point it is going to be harder to continue to lose weight and to keep the weight you have lost off, because during the “starvation mode” period you have decreased your metabolism by decreasing your muscle mass.

    Make sense?

    The moral of the story is: the only way to increase your metabolism (so that you can actually burn away that FAT) is to build more muscle. This raises your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn in a day, despite your physical activity. Very low calorie diets shoot down your metabolism and cause you to lose muscle.

    Unless you want to continue cutting away calories and restricting your access to food for the rest of your life, losing weight the healthy and sustainable way means keeping your muscle and your metabolism and burning away your fat with a balance of nutrition and calorie intake that works for your exercise level and Basal Metabolic needs.

    Ever heard a weight loss plan tell you that you need to eat to lose weight? We just did.

    Tune in each week at 12:30 p.m. on Atlanta and Company to hear the discussion continue with Rachel and Rashan about healthy weight loss.

    And if you’re curious about how many calories YOU need per day, fill out your info in the Calorie Calculator tool at the bottom of the homepage of our website, or schedule a Med Gem appointment with one of our dietitians to find out your exact Basal Metabolic Rate!

    photo 7

  • 10Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Rep, Rachel Stroud

    It is safe to say that cooking is the most therapeutic thing in the world to me. Except for possibly grocery shopping.

    rachel with juiceAfter a long day of working, juggling schedules, clients, and partners – my mind racing every which way at any possible moment – I ache for my kitchen. Everything feels still there. The colors of fresh fruits and veggies. The sound of sizzling oil in a pan. The feeling of running a sharp knife through an onion and tossing it into a hot pan, the accumulating scent of savory flavor filling the kitchen air. It’s like a warm cozy blanket for my senses.

    I’d love to tell you that I spend hours each night standing over the stove, tossing spices and presenting beautiful meals to my fiancée and closest friends. But let’s be honest, I don’t.
    It might happen once every couple weeks. Twice on a good week.

    Most of the time, I’m dashing into the house, whipping open the refrigerator and hoping that some reheatable gourmet meal is magically waiting for me to toss it in the microwave and save me from having to figure out something quick, healthy, and low maintenance to make in 2 minutes.
    (Side note: Good Measure Meals is perfect in those sorts of situations. See what I did there??)

    But on weeks where I don’t have GMM to be my saving-grace-magic-dinner-fairy, my go-to meals are what I call “bowls,” or at least that’s what they have been dubbed by those I most commonly feed.

    These “bowls” are healthy meals I can whip up in about 10-20 minutes, toss in a bowl, and call it a night. Here’s how the Bowl magic happens:

    1) Starch – Pick a starch, any starch. Rice, quinoa, cous cous, faro, and potatoes are my most frequent go-to’s. My ideal situation is when I happen to make a grain earlier in the week and have the forethought to make a double batch so that I have some handy leftovers.

    2) Protein – Chicken, lean beef, ground turkey, or my very favorite: a poached egg with runny yolk. If you’re low on meat/eggs, go for quinoa, our favorite handy-dandy grain-like starch that contains all your essential amino acids. Or, plop a hefty spoonful of your favorite beans on top. The protein options are plentiful. And don’t forget about cheese! Let’s be honest, cheese makes everything better. Just make sure to think about using cheese as a seasoning rather than a main attraction to keep those portion sizes in check.

    3) Veggie – Veggies, galore! Toss them in a pan with oil to sauté, or spread them on parchment in a 400 degree oven for that roasted flavor. Shoot for a couple colors in your bowl. In a pinch, salsa will work for some of those veggie effects, but opt for freshly prepared when you can. Kale, spinach, onions, peppers, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, and avocado are my mainstays.

    4) MISC – sometimes I like toasted nuts or herbs in my bowl as well for a zing. Lest you think I plan these things out with great forethought, typically I just grab whatever I have leftover or is about to spoil: garlic, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and thyme give a little extra flavor and look like the finishing touch on your mound of delicious and nutritious bowl ingredients.

    Voila! Did you know healthy could be that easy? AND tasty?! “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” is the 2014 theme for National Nutrition Month this March (that’s now!). Healthy meals should taste delicious, and the good news is that you don’t have to take hours of slaving over a stove to prepare them (especially when you order GMM!).

    Some of my go-to bowl combinations are:
    • Quinoa (or brown rice), black beans, feta cheese, salsa, avocado
    • Quinoa, onion, sweet potato, kale, pesto, toasted pecans, avocado, goat cheese (compliments of my own rendition of this Real Simple recipe)
    • Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, kale, white cheddar, scrambeled eggs, cherry tomatoes, parsley
    • Faro, brussel sprouts, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, dash of balsamic vinegar & maple syrup, avocado, topped with a poached egg (my spin on this Cookie&Kate recipe)

    Bowl1

    Farro, Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries, Avocado, toasted Pecans, Goat Cheese

    Bowl2

    Quinoa, Turkey Sausage, Kale, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado topped with a Poached Egg

    Bowl3

    Roasted Yukon Gold & Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Avocado, and White Cheddar topped with a Poached Egg

    Bowl4

    Roasted Yukon Gold Potatos, scrambled Eggs, Spinach, Green Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley

  • 28Feb

    Today’s post contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian and Community Wellness Representative, Rachel Stroud

    You know that age-old black and white food label that seems to just blend right into the side of every box in the grocery store? Ever struggled to know what on earth you were supposed to be looking at on it?

    Well there may be some changes on the horizon.

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and the FDA unveiled their proposed edits for those nutrition labels that have looked the same on every packaged food we’ve purchased since the 1990’s.

    The new design will require companies to structure their nutrition facts off of serving sizes based on amounts that are more realistic for what the average buyer consumes.

    For example, most of us know by now that the “serving size” on the back of a pint of ice cream is listed as 1/2 cup per serving.

    Who actually only eats 1/2 cup of ice cream?! Not me!

    Photo via cnn.com

    Photo via cnn.com.

    With the new labeling system, ice cream, for example, will now be based on a 1-cup serving size. Not because this is the amount we should all be eating, but because it more accurately reflects the amount we are already eating, giving a more truthfully picture of the nutrition facts we’re consuming with a “normal-sized” portion.

    Also under the new system, the Daily Value for Sodium will be based on 2300mg/day rather than 2400mg/day. There will also be a new line included for Added Sugars, under the Carbohydrates category. And say goodbye to “Calories From Fat,” since we will now be paying closer attention to the types of fat, rather than simply the amount.

    For 90 days, the public has a chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    So – what do you think about the food labels makeover?

    Would this make label-reading easier or more accessible to you? Or would you like to go back to thinking there are only 270 calories in that heaping “1/2 cup” of ice cream?

    Let’s discuss. Leave your comments on the post on our Facebook Page!

  • 02Jul

    Contributed by Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Representative and Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud

    There are few things that thrill me as much as travel.  The unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, and flavors make the world feel fresh and exciting and altogether new.  It releases me from my very southern life into a place that feels rich with history and culture, and tastes much more exotic than my usual BBQ, sweet tea, and Starbucks.Rachel travels to Switzerland

    This summer I had a fantastic opportunity to visit family in Switzerland.  Unlike many European countries that hold fast to their own heritage, Switzerland is a bit of a melting pot, much like our own culture.  It has a few things that are quintessentially Swiss, but most of the country is steeped in the influences of its neighboring cultural powerhouses.  In the Northwest you’ll find German schnitzels and starchy veggies. In the South you’ll find colorful produce, fish, and pasta like its Italian neighbors just over the mountains.  In the West you’ll find the rich, simple, sophisticated flavors of its French heritage.

    It will come as no surprise that when I travel, besides documenting the experience with way too many pictures, my #1 priority is experiencing the food. I love to taste the things that are native to an area, as well as their own interpretations of “international.” WARNING: Don’t order a hamburger in Switzerland expecting it to taste like Wendy’s — you will be deeply disappointed. But if you can free your mind of all your preconceived notions, you will be astounded by the unique texture and flavor of the beef produced by the cattle that graze on the lush green hills of the countryside, traditional bells hung around their necks, and you will be all the luckier for the experience.

    Variety of Swiss Foods from Travels

    Because of my deep appreciation for the food of other cultures and the stories the food tells of its native people and history, one of my great respects for the menu and culinary dietitians at Good Measure Meals is the value placed on the greatest hits of other cultures.  GMM has a wide variety of cultures represented in our meal plans, because true foodies know that each food culture has its treasures.

    Notice some highlights of this week’s menu:

    Chicken Mole with Arroz Verde, made with Spinach, Cilantro, Poblanos and Brown Rice; plus a side of Carrots

    Beef Bolognese over Whole Wheat Spaghetti, and a side of Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Red Peanut Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice and Spinach

    Shrimp and Grits topped with Stewed Okra and Tomatoes, with a side of Blackberry Cobbler

    Enjoy this week’s world tour, compliments of GMM.

    Scenic Switzerland

  • 29Apr

     Contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Rachel Stroud

     

    Let’s have a conversation about breakfast. This so-called “most important meal of the day”.

    I love it. On weekend mornings one of my favorite splurges is to keep the lights low, French press some coffee, light a candle, play soft music, and make something delicious.  This weekend it was zucchini bread pancakes so chock-full of zucchini you could have practically called the spiced cakes “veggies”.  Or so I told myself. Saturday morning breakfasts are my ultimate “me” time.

    But let’s face it, Saturday mornings are not real life.  I wish.  Most of the time, I don’t have time for breakfast.  *gasp!* What a horrible thing for a dietitian to admit, but it’s true.

    On weekday mornings I get stuck in major food ruts.  I’ll eat loads of different veggies, fruits, proteins, etc for all other meals, but breakfast is as routine as my shower regimen.  I will eat the exact same breakfast for months, easily, until I cannot bear to look at another piece of peanut butter toast.  I want to say that I prioritize a hearty breakfast and that I revel in its metabolic sacredness, but my last 3 months of daily lemon greek yogurt and stove top granola might tell otherwise.  Hey, at least I picked a healthy rut…this time.

    If there is one thing that can truly get me (almost) drooling, it’s the menu for GMM breakfasts. Their deliciousness is compounded by the fact that I don’t have to touch a single pot or kitchen utensil.  All I have to do is poke a few buttons on the microwave. Don’t judge: I’ve been known to eat them for lunch.  I’m sorry, but can you really blame me?  Take a look at this week’s Healthy Selection breakfast list:

    Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
    Whole Wheat Banana Bread and Crustless Garden Quiche   served with Fresh Cantaloupe Tropical Muesli: a mixture of Cinnamon Oats, Banana, Mango and Toasted   Almonds served with Vanilla Greek Yogurt Build Your Own Breakfast Sandwich with an Egg Patty, Chicken Sausage and   Cheddar Cheese on a Honey Wheat English Muffin served with a side of Grits. Whole Grain Cherry Walnut Bread with Cottage Cheese Whole Wheat Waffle with Apple Cinnamon Compote, Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt and   Turkey Sausage Links Whole Wheat Lemon Poppy Seed Bread with Scrambled Eggs and Egg Whites, Served   with Fruit Salad Mixture of Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Pineapple, Oranges and   Grapes Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Peach Sauce and Buttery Spread with a   side of Scrambled Eggs and Egg Whites

     

     

    Be honest.  You’d eat it for lunch, too.  So here’s the thing: if you’re like me and you love fancy, hearty breakfasts, but have no time to make it your reality (outside of Saturday mornings).

     

    Give in.  Just call.  Let us do the work for you.  There is one option where you don’t have to sacrifice time, or health, or enjoyment.  It’s Good Measure Meals.  There’s even a way you can still have your magical breakfast-filled Saturday mornings:  Grab a 5 day plan and enjoy your independent, French-pressed weekends, but embrace the fact that you can start your weekday mornings well, too.  You deserve it.

    Just add coffee.  (For me, anyway.)