• 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!

  • 26Nov

    Today’s post was contributed by Open Hand Community Dietitian, Joy Goetz. 


    Ever curious what Open Hand dietitians do, or how the proceeds from Good Measure Meals help people in your community? I am super excited to tell about a program we implemented at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in October. In just one month we taught 3 nutrition classes to 300 kids, revitalized an unused school garden and helped plan and run the first annual Food Day event.

    It all started because of GMM Senior Vice President, Jess Parsons’ and OH Senior Director of Programs and Policies, Charlotte Hayes’ relationships with the school and its staff, particularly Scott Cain. Coach Cain has always been a healthy lifestyle advocate, and he put in a lot of extra hours to pull this off!

    What exactly did we do? We taught kids about the 5 food groups and how they help us grow strong and be active, the importance of eating a rainbow of colors every day and how to be a nutrition detective to find healthy foods in the grocery store. We coordinated with Fred Conrad, from the Atlanta Community Food Bank to build the garden and teach kids how to plant a garden and supervised as they planted kale, lettuce, collards, chard and garlic in their new planter boxes.

    MVPS3To me, the most memorable part was the Food Day event. Parents were invited for a special lunch and program that included veggie taste-tests, obstacle courses, a Food Day themed photo booth, and (my favorite!) a skit entitled: “Dude, Where’s My Twinkie?”. The MVPS drama department hit the ball out of the park with this one. They wrote and performed a skit that incorporated themes of all of the nutrition classes and the garden. I wish I had a video to share with you, but the basic idea is that a kid forgets his twinkie (a vintage twinkie from 1979) and meets several characters at school: a Nutrition Detective, Rainbow the Food Fairy, and Farmer Fred, who teach him about healthy eating and let him try some farm-fresh veggies. By the end of the skit, the kid is so sold on the veggies that he no longer cares about his twinkie!

    As you know by now, 100% of the  net proceeds from the Good Measure Meals you purchase help fund our efforts to host programs like this in the Atlanta community.

    On behalf of the all the students, teachers and parents whose lives we’ve touched, THANK YOU!

    Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

    -Your Friends at  GMM

  • 21Nov

    Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends! In the spirit of the holiday, we asked the GMM staff what they’re thankful for this year. We’ll let the answers speak for themselves.


    Katherine: Since starting at GMM this spring, I’ve been so thankful for our customers’ honesty through the year about their favorite parts of the menu and their suggestions/ideas for improvement. And more than that, I’m thankful to be part of a team that actually listens to the customer and makes the changes needed to put out the best product possible.

    Sule: I am thankful for being part of a team whose success is directly tied to providing a product that improves the health of our overall community. I am also thankful that our customers are taking an active interest in making healthy lifestyle choices not only for themselves, but also knowingly do so to help people in need they may never meet.  True “Health Care” happens when all of us help each  other, not just an individual feeling better or one entity being profitable.

    Philip: This year, I am thankful for family.  Not only does this include my immediate household, but my family here at Open Hand/Good Measure Meals.  Coming to work every day is such a  pleasure.  I thoroughly enjoy working with like-minded people who are committed to helping others achieve their fitness and health goals.   I am thankful that I get to help others.

    David: I am thankful for customers that give us great feedback about our meal plans. I am also thankful for our OH/GMM staff that listens and works together to accommodate needed changes.

    Jess: I am thankful for our amazing team of passionate health nuts!  Everyone has their own unique reason for driving our mission and it makes my job so enjoyable and rewarding!  I am also thankful to have a job that allows me to positively impact the health of our community through helping each and every one of our customers pursue their health and wellness goals.

    Judi: I am thankful for the incredible opportunity I have to affect so many lives in a positive way just by working for Open Hand and Good Measure Meals.  It is a way to connect to people in our  community who were invisible to me before I started working here.

    Harmony: I am very thankful that we have customers who not only care about themselves, but care about others. Our customers are aware that we give back to Open Hand, and they still give extra donations when ordering. I am thankful to work with a group of people whose commitment to health and wellness is outstanding! And I am thankful to work with such a great team in customer service!  We, as a team, take pride in what we do, and we have so much fun in the process!  From teamwork to problem solving, it’s always a good day at Good Measure Meals!

  • 20Nov

    Thanksgiving leftovers. We all have them (if we’re lucky), but we don’t always want to eat the same meal ten times in succession.

    Leftovers at work! Leftovers at home! Leftovers coming out of our ears!


    Fortunately our resident chefs and dietitians have put together some winning recipes for how to retool your leftovers into completely different and altogether delicious dishes. Happy cooking and bon appetit!


    Turkey Omelet

    Organic canola oil

    ½ small onion, chopped

    ½ small red bell pepper, chopped

    ½ cup leftover cooked turkey breast, shredded

    ¼ cup shredded cheese

    2 eggs + 1 egg white, beaten

    2 Tbsp skim milk

    1/2 avocado, sliced

    Salt & pepper, to taste

    Saute onion and bell pepper in 1-2 tsp oil over medium heat until tender.  Add in leftover turkey until warm.  Remove vegetables and turkey from pan.  Beat eggs and milk together and season with salt and pepper.  Pour into pan and cook until no longer runny. Place turkey, vegetables and cheese on ½ of omelet.  Fold in half, top with avocado and serve.

    Sweet Potato Pancakes

    1 ¾ cup leftover mashed sweet potatoes

    ½ cup whole wheat flour (add more if needed until you reach desired thickness)

    1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten

    Organic canola oil

    Mix all ingredients well.  Heat a small amount of oil over low-medium heat in a nonstick skillet.  Pour 1/3 cup batter into pan and spread slightly to make pancake. Cook until lightly brown on one side about 2-3 minutes, then flip and brown on other side.  Top with crushed pecans and a drizzle of 100% maple syrup. Makes 6 small pancakes.


    Turkey Salad

    2 cups cooked turkey breast, shredded

    ¼ cup dried cranberries

    ¼ cup pecans

    ¼ cup celery, diced

    ¼ cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt

    2 Tbsp light mayo

    ½ Tbsp honey

    ¼ tsp salt

    1/8 tsp pepper

    ¾ tsp dried tarragon (or 1 ½ tsp fresh)

    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve on a bed of lettuce with whole grain crackers and fruit.


    Turkey Brunswick Stew

    1-28oz can peeled stewed tomatoes

    1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed

    1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed

    1 ½ cups leftover diced new potatoes

    1 ½ cups leftover shredded turkey breast

    ½ cup BBQ sauce

    1 cup water

    1 small onion, chopped

    ½ bell pepper, chopped

    Place tomatoes, corn, lima beans, turkey, potatoes, BBQ sauce and water in pot and heat over medium-low heat.  Saute bell pepper and onion in nonstick skillet.  Add pepper and onion to soup.  Simmer on low 30 minutes and serve.

  • 16Nov

    We polled the GMM office staff for their favorite Thanksgiving foods…and we came up with a pretty decent spread! What will be on your table on Thursday?

    Q: What is your all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish/side/piece de resistance?

    A: Judi: Stuffing recipe that is now being prepared by the fourth generation of my family. Still chop the ingredients in a wooden bowl by hand.

    Bethany: Mashed potatoes topped with my grandmother’s homemade egg noodles. It’s a lot of carbs, but delicious comfort food!

    Katherine: I love all the traditional green bean/broccoli casseroles so much, but when my grandma started bringing roasted brussels sprouts, it changed my Thanksgiving world. YUM!

    Ashley: Sweet baked potatoes topped with candied pecans. My mom has been making this at Thanksgiving for years. She is particular about choosing the darkest Red Garnet sweet potatoes.

    Philip: Anything with beets or brussels sprouts!!

    Jess: We have a family recipe for a pumpkin dip with cranberry and orange – delicious! Served with pecan crackers…yum….

    David: I’m Southern – cornbread dressing with gravy! Also sweet potato casserole with pecans.

    GMM staff are fans of good cooking - as exhibited at Food Day 2012 in October.

  • 24Nov

    Picture of the Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie. Image from eatingwell.com

    The American Council on Exercise claims the average Thanksgiving meal could contain upwards of 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat. That is the equivalent to consuming 5.5 McDonald’s Big Macs or 15 ‘Supreme’ tacos from Taco Bell! Wow! No matter what your health goals are, there is no benefit to consuming such a large volume of calories and fat. Don’t fall into this food coma. I recommend practicing portion control and contributing healthy options at Thanksgiving.

    In my family it is common for about 15 of us to come together on Thanksgiving and create an amazing meal with traditional and non traditional dishes. Everyone contributes something of their own creation. Most dishes are not very healthy! My family knows that they can always count on me for contributing something nutritious, healthy and flavor packed. This year I’m bringing a non-guilt version of a pumpkin pie called ‘Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie’. I found it in Eating Well Magazine. Check it out! I’m sure it will be a topic of discussion. Reviewers commented that this recipe is:

    “Amazing! Tastes just like pumpkin pie but not as thick or filling! And love love love the ginger snaps as the crust! Will make again indefinitely!!”

    “I also made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. I like it better than regular pumpkin pie because it doesn’t leave me feeling like I ate a brick. I used Bryers fat free vanilla ice cream which is creamy and delicious, although I did have to put a little bit more of the spices in to suite my taste. This is going to be a new tradition in our house!”

    “This is really freaking good!”

    I hope my family likes it just as much as these reviewers.

    The healthy modifications to this recipe give it an impressive difference in nutrients per slice:

    Frozen Pumpkin Mouse Pie        VS   Traditional Pumpkin Pie
    230 calories 480 calories
    5 g fat 33 g fat
    1 g saturated fat 20 g saturated fat
    2 g fiber 3 g fiber
    179 mg sodium 191 mg sodium


    Are you cooking up something healthy for Thanksgiving this year? Tell us about it!  

    Need some inspiration? Check out these links:

    Thanksgiving recipes: Delicious options for healthy eating  from the Mayo Clinic

    10 Tips for a Thinner Thanksgiving from WebMD

    Holiday Meal Planning from The American Diabetes Association

    Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season from mypyramid.gov

    I hope you have a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving!