• 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.

  • 15Oct

    Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.

    fall into fitness header

    With the cooler weather and leaves starting to change color, the fall is a great time to be active outdoors. Walking, biking, jogging and hiking are all great ways to enjoy the outdoors and improve your fitness.

    Here is one important question to ask yourself honestly:
    Are you (a) getting in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week OR (b) getting in 25 minutes of strenuous exercise three days a week?

    Moderate exercise is akin to pushing a stroller, biking 5 miles in 30 minutes, shooting baskets, playing touch football, raking leaves, or vigorous social dancing.
    Heart-pumping strenuous exercise is more along the lines of swimming laps, jogging/running, jumping rope, shoveling snow, or climbing stairs.

    Fitness is a life-long habit to start forming today, and regular aerobic exercise has many health benefits from protecting your heart, boosting your mood, raising your energy levels and even improving cognitive function!

    Whether you’re an early riser or prefer evening workouts, stay safe when exercising in the dark by sticking to well-lit areas and wearing reflective clothing or a headband flashlight.
    Remember to stay hydrated! Even though you’ll sweat less when working out in the cooler weather, it is still important to drink water before and after exercise, and definitely bring along a water bottle on longer bouts of exercise.

    jog with dogFinally, have fun! Working out does not have to be painful – in fact, it shouldn’t be! Take your dog out hiking with you, experiment with new activities, and explore new trails and parks to prevent boredom.

    If motivation is lacking, try signing up for a race  a few weeks/months ahead or making exercise plans with friends. Include your family in your workout routine, whether it’s jogging with a stroller, taking a walk together in the evenings or organizing a family bike ride on the weekends. You won’t have to sacrifice family time or your health, and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids.

    family fall bike ride

    By making exercise a regular and enjoyable part of your life this fall, it will become a healthy (and helpful) habit by the time holiday season strikes.

    So – what’s your favorite way to exercise outdoors?

  • 18Sep

    notes from the kitchen

    When it comes to food, sometimes it feels like a choice between what tastes good and what we know is good for us. With Good Measure Meals, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor OR your health goals. Check out these healthy, fresh and still-delicious takes on classic comfort-food favorites, featured in next week’s menu!

    Asian-Inspired Turkey and Chicken Meatloaf, with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Edamame Succotash

    Asian Meatloaf_crop_editYour mom’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes, only better! Made with turkey and chicken instead of beef, this meatloaf is lower in fat but still high in protein, moist, and full of flavor! The kick from the wasabi means you won’t miss all the butter and whole milk that typically make mashed potatoes loaded with artery-clogging saturated fat. Even traditional succotash gets a healthy makeover thanks to the addition of edamame, or soybeans, which are full of fiber and a great plant source of complete protein. Eat up!

    Cheese Lasagna with Marinara Sauce served with a side of Zucchini and an Oat Bran Roll with Smart Balance Spread

    Zucchini on the wooden tablePortion control is key to creating a lighter and leaner version of this Italian favorite. Marinara sauce is an excellent source of the carotenoid lycopene, a potent antioxidant that offers protection against many cancers and is actually better absorbed when cooked and consumed with some fat (thanks, cheese!).
    The dinner rolls gets a boost of healthful soluble fiber from oat bran, which can help lower “bad” cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and promote regular bowel movements. Rounding out the meal is zucchini—a good source of potassium and vitamin C. High in water and low in calories, it will fill you up without weighing you down.

    Buon appetito!

     

     

    Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.

  • 31Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What Are Your Tips for Staying Hydrated?” was contributed by Sarah Shanahan MS, RD, LD; Good Measure Meals Community Wellness Representative

    Sarah_ShanahanFueling and hydrating are two of my favorite nutrition topics. I could easily write on and on about the best ways to stay hydrated, especially during the hot and humid summer we struggle through in the south. But, since Jess covered them so well in a previous post, I can write about something more fun. Cocktails. And their more hydrating better half, mocktails.

    I love a good cocktail. However, since there are a bunch of reasons why I shouldn’t sit down and drink a bunch of cocktails, I like to switch it up with mocktails.

    What’s a mocktail? It’s a faux cocktail. Basically, it’s all the parts of the cocktail that taste good, minus the alcohol. And unlike cocktails, mocktails can be great way to stay hydrated!

    Alcohol itself is dehydrating, and a whole lot of those nasty side effects to a really fun night out are just symptoms of dehydration and low blood glucose. Additionally, anything over “moderate” alcohol intake (in general, one drink daily for women and two daily for men) can at best cause an increase in triglycerides and blood pressure. And at worst, can lead to liver damage, certain cancers, decreased immune system, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Yuck. And I didn’t even mention the excess calories you consume and the subsequent drop in blood glucose that make you feel hungrier than normal, which in turn makes you want to eat more than you need. No thanks.

    cocktail 2In an effort to enjoy my night, and the bright life I have ahead of me, I like to sip on lower calorie, alcohol-free mocktails. Don’t get me wrong, you can still make yourself a high calorie mocktail, but there are so many fun things you can do to keep the calories to a minimum. My basic mocktail recipe follows, with some ideas to dress it up. And I highly suggest you serve them in your special occasion glassware to make them stand out.

    Basic Mocktail
    8oz Plain seltzer or soda water
    2oz Juice
    Citrus or Herb garnish
    Stir and serve over ice

    cocktail 1Examples
    Cape Cran
    8oz Plain seltzer or soda water
    2oz Cranberry juice
    Juice of ¼ lime
    Stir and serve over ice with a lime garnish

    Minted Mini Greyhound
    8oz Seltzer or soda water
    2oz grapefruit juice
    Fresh mint leaves
    Stir together and serve over ice

  • 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.**

  • 09Jul

    Today’s post was contributed by guest blogger Frances Ennis, GMM Spring Dietetic Intern

    It’s not uncommon to start a weight loss plan and feel like you’re doing everything right, and yet the weight doesn’t seem to come off. What gives? Perhaps your answer could lie in one of the following 5 questions. If you’re guilty of one or more of these, we might have found the culprit.

    GMM Greek Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Apricot Compote

    GMM Greek Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Apricot Compote

    1. Are you skipping breakfast?
    While skipping breakfast sounds like a great way to “save calories” for a meal later in the day, it actually can cause you to feel those mid-morning hunger aches which lead to mindless snacking on high calorie junk foods. If you don’t have time to make breakfast yourself, let GMM take care of you with our tasty and balanced breakfast menu options!

    2. Are you drinking your calories?
    So you’re eating a balanced diet and watching the calories you eat, but what about your drinks? If you drink a glass of orange juice at breakfast, a flavored coffee drink for your morning energy boost, a glass of lemonade at lunch, and a glass of wine with dinner you’ve consumed up to 700 calories in beverages alone! Try to sub out those drinks for water with lemon or unsweetened tea. It will make achieving your weight loss goal much easier.

    3. Are you eating too much of the right foods?
    Even though consuming a balanced diet with all of the food groups is the best way to keep your body fueled during weight loss, calorie intake is what drives that scale number down. It’s important to monitor your portion sizes even when you are eating the healthy foods. Try eating your meal on a salad plate instead of an entrée plate, and wait 15 minutes before going back for second helpings. If you’re unsure of what appropriate portion sizes are, GMM can take the guesswork out of the equation and provide you with the right amount of food you need to achieve your goals.

    4. Do you think about exercise a lot?
    It’s easy to see a new exercise routine as license to eat a few extra calories, but that quickly defeats the goal of weight loss. And studies have shown that merely thinking about exercise can cause you to be hungrier and eat more! Avoid the temptation and restrict your pre- or post-gym snack to 150 calories or less.

    sleep5. Are you getting enough sleep?
    Inadequate sleep can send your body into a fat and carb-craving survival mode. Additionally, if you’re awake more hours of the day, it’s easy to make time for another meal or snack which adds to your calorie tally for the day. Most adults need 7-8 of sleep hours each day. If you still find yourself groggy after 8 hours, you might need up to 9. It’s also much easier to muster the energy for exercise after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

    Remember, the best and safest way to lose weight is all about balance. Balance your nutrients. Balance your calorie intake and exercise. Stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. If you’re still unsure of what to do, reach out to our registered dietitians for a consult at customerservice@goodmeasuremeals.com!

  • 03Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What are your Favorite Summer Fruits and Veggies?” was contributed by Philip Niekro, GMM Customer Service Manager.

    Philip_picAs much as I love to cook, I don’t seem to cook much during the summer. Maybe it’s because it’s so hot outside or maybe it’s because I’m a little more tired than usual during my training season for the July 4 Peachtree Road Race (anyone else running tomorrow??). Who knows!

    This summer I’ve been working on losing a few pounds and am being successful on the Good Measure Meals plan. And since I’m on the 5-day a week plan, I do have to make some smart choices on the weekends. Fortunately, for me, this is the time I get to indulge with my favorite summer fruits and vegetables: Strawberries and cucumbers!

    Strawberries are chock full of Vitamin C and, calorie-wise, you get a big bang for your buck. Here is a favorite recipe from my mom. I love making this recipe and have altered it a bit to make it a little more healthy.

    strawberriesStrawberry Spinach Salad

    Ingredients
    1 pint strawberries, sliced
    1 bunch fresh spinach, torn
    ½ red onion, thickly sliced

    Instructions
    Toss in bowl with dressing just before serving

    Dressing:
    3 T sugar
    3 T light mayonnaise
    2 T fat-free milk
    1 T white vinegar
    1 T poppy seeds

     

    As for cucumber recipes, this one is really easy!

    Peel and slice one fresh cucumber.

    cucumberUsing an infusion pitcher, add sliced cucumber and one small bunch of washed basil in the center compartment and add filtered water. If you do not have an infusion pitcher, just put the cucumber and basil into a regular pitcher and then make sure to hold back the cucumber and basil when pouring your glass of water (unless you’d like cucumber and basil in your cup – if so, pour away!).

    Place in fridge for at least 2 hours, then enjoy!!

    I like to make this cucumber/basil infused water because it’s so fresh tasting. During these hot summer months, a different approach to hydration is sometimes all it takes to make drinking more water a little more exciting.

    I hope you give these recipes a try, and that you get creative with them, too. If you put your own spin on them, let us know in the comments section, below. Do you have a favorite infused water combination? Share your great ideas!

    Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy the wonderful produce and herbs that this season has to offer – and most of all, have a great Summer!!

  • 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.

  • 27Mar

    Today’s post is contributed by GMM Community Nutrition Educator/Culinary Specialist, Ashley Van Cise.

    Adding a variety of color to my plate is one way that I keep myself on a healthy eating track. By choosing color, I know I’m eating an assortment of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

    Pictured here are foods that I’ve made at home, highlighting some of my attempts to add color to my own plate. I’ve called out the phytochemicals that correlate to the color and the potential health benefits of each one.

    cherry tomato and basil pasta salad
    Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad – check out the bright red and yellow tomatoes. These tomatoes have concentrated amounts of lycopene which have been studied for their ability to protect against heart disease and cancer.

    blueberry oat
    Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins – focus your eye on the blueberries in these muffins. Their blue/purple color comes from a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins, which can act like antioxidants, reduce inflammation and combat against cancer cells.

    Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
    Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard – Notice the orange going on here. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene which is a type of carotenoid that may protect against heart disease. The beans also contain flavonoids that can decrease inflammation and protect against heart disease, stroke and cancer.

    Roasted BBQ Chicken, Quinoa Pilaf and Arugula Salad with Radish and Carrots
    Roasted BBQ Chicken, Quinoa Pilaf and Arugula Salad with Radish and Carrots – There are a several healthy things going on in this picture. First, let me highlight the arugula which contains lutein, a type of carotenoid that can work to maintain healthy vision and protect eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Also notice the red radish, these contain anthocyanins, which I mentioned when discussing the blueberries found in the Oat Bran Muffins.

    Grilled Vegetables topped with Fresh Basil
    Grilled Vegetables topped with Fresh Basil – Check out those onions. Even though onions are white, they are high in a flavonoid called quercetin which works as an antioxidant to decrease inflammation and protect the body against heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

    The way phytochemicals work and the optimum amounts for consuming are still being researched. Your goals should be to incorporate 5-9 servings of colorful fruits and veggies daily.

    What is the most colorful food on your plate today?