3 Places to Buy Groceries Online Instead of Fresh Direct

Yesterday was the ribbon-cutting for the new Fresh Direct facility down in Port Morris despite protests from community members regarding environmental and health in an area already plagued by high asthma rates. Never mind the fact that Fresh Direct only delivered to Riverdale prior to this deal, despite having to drive through out borough to deliver to Westchester from their location in Queens. South Bronx Unite, who has been fighting against this since Day 1, has all of the details of why the opening of this facility is bad for the borough. Welcome2theBronx also wrote up an excellent article about the opening yesterday.

But Lisa, isn’t the Bronx a food desert? What about #Not62? Don’t we deserve access to fresh groceries?

100% We absolutely do. But we can’t allow businesses and the politicians who support them to ignore the legitimate concerns of the community by using outdated environmental reports and disregarding the health risks that will be exacerbated by the additional traffic.

But Lisa, I hate grocery shopping. I just want to order online and have it be done with. 

Word. Me too. Have you lugged a grandma cart and reusable bag filled to the brim with groceries a half hour on the bus because the supermarkets closest to you are absolute garbage? (Here’s looking at you, Met) I have and it’s awful, so allow me to show you some other places you can order from.

  1. Peapod

Run by Stop & Shop, you have access to their Nature’s Promise brand which offers an array of organic goods. True story: once, I was throwing a party at my place and didn’t have time to go shopping beforehand (because of my poor time management skills) and I just plugged everything in online and schedule my delivery for that morning at 7 am and my grocery shopping was done and I wasn’t even out of my pajamas yet.

2.  Shoprite 

 

A new Shoprite opened up recently in Bruckner Plaza. Bronx Mama did a write up on it and it looks absolutely amazing. (Adulthood is being excited about how cool a supermarket is, right?)  If like me, it’s too far to get to in person, you’re in luck. You can order from them online. Shoprite stays having sales, so you’re bound to save some coins while you’re at it.

3. Jet

The best mango I ever had was sent to me by Jet. It was amazing. I still think about it to this day. The cool thing about Jet is that they deliver your groceries in these insulated cooler type things so your groceries are just as cold as if you had gotten them yourself (unless you’re taking that half hour bus ride). I’ll be honest that I don’t like being stuck with the insulating material, so it’s the least environmentally friendly of these options (but you know, probably still better than diesel trucks driving through your neighborhood). You can also buy an abundance of other things like clothing and household items from them.

Honorable mentions: 

For groceries that aren’t produce.

Boxed – like Costco or BJ’s except without the membership fees.

Thrive Market – Like WholeFoods except with a membership fee.

It’s worth noting that it’s farmers’ market season, so stop by one and support some local farmers. Or you can check out a CSA, which I am a member of and the quality is unparalleled.

Also worth noting is that this is not a sponsored post. I just want us to make informed decisions that are in our best interest. We should be holding our elected officials accountable when they rally for these companies, while choosing to ignore or disregard serious issues raised by our communities.

 

Take a Hike

I always used to say that I respect nature so much, which is why I stay far far away from it. While I was away, I got the opportunity to explore nature and go on a couple of (easy) hikes. I can’t say I’m absolved of my fears of trees falling on me or a wild animal attacking me, but I can say that I’ve come to appreciate it a little more and besides, it’s a free workout.

Sunday, the Husband and I decided we’d head to Van Cortlandt Park to try out one of the hiking trails. We figured we’d start off easy, and chose the John Kieran trail, which takes you over a short, wooden bridge and past the lake. Of course we’re in this weird winter-spring limbo, so while it was peaceful, I bet it’s even more gorgeous once the trees are in full bloom.

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At the end of the trail (it was actually really easy, almost too easy…), we spotted a sign with a tortoise and a hare and I remembered that there was a tortoise and hare statue somewhere in the park, so we decided to follow it. The trail took us through the Northwest forest, where an occasional runner would pass us by. This was the sort of hike I was hoping for. It turns out we were on the Cross Country Trail, on the three mile path.

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Turns out, we could’ve just walked across the sport field to the tortoise and hare statue, but I guess that’d be cheating, right?

Then, of course, after all of that work, we had to reward ourselves with a slice of carrot cake from Lloyd’s across the street.

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Not a bad way to spend a Sunday at all. And if you’re participating in the #Not62 movement, hiking is something that can easily be modified and like, I said, is totally free.

Have you hiked in any of our Bronx parks? Which trails should I check out next?

Be Easy with Gentle Yoga at Finer Studio

I have a really difficult time just sitting still and being “present” in the moment. It seems like I’m always involved in at least three different projects, leaving me tired and sometimes stretched so thin I feel like I have no time for myself. It’s like if I’m not doing something, I start to think I’m being lazy and wasting my life away.

Enter: yoga.

I’ve taken yoga on and off for the past few years, so I am by no means a skilled yogini. But, I love being able to just take a moment, even if it’s just an hour a week to be still, forget about the craziness going on in the world, and just breathe.

So, when I was recently invited to take a Gentle Yoga class at Finer Studio on Bronxdale, I was excited to check it out. Most recently, I’ve been taking yoga at Crunch, which is focused a bit more on strength training and building muscle, so I knew I’d really appreciate a bit of a calmer pace. And of course I loved that it was a local studio, because while we’ve recently seen an increase in yoga classes being offered in the Bronx, there are still many neighborhoods where it isn’t offered and with the Bronx coming in last place  in New York State’s health ranking, more Bronxites could definitely take advantage of this healing form of exercise.

It just so happens that there was a torrential downpour the day I headed to the studio, which only added to my stress level, coming from work that day, but the studio was so inviting, peaceful, and calm. I chatted briefly with the instructor, Racheal, about my experience with yoga and was provided with everything I needed for the class (no need to lug my mat around with me!)

Racheal was awesome in helping me adjust to the positions correctly and creating a meditative environment. After the class, my body felt great and my mind felt even better.

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Photograph provided by Finer Studio

I also had a chance to interview Finer Studio’s owner, Geydi Moreno to learn a bit more about the studio and her views on yoga in the Bronx:

 How has the community responded to Finer Studios? 

The essence of Yoga is based on the saying that We are All One. Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable attending a yoga studio. The media keeps showing us images of yoga that are skinny, flexible, female, and, for the most of the time—white. We rarely see images of plus-sized people, or minorities doing yoga. It is hard to feel included when you don’t see yourself in the picture.

FinerStudio offers a safe place on the mat for people of color, for Plus-Sized people, and for people with physical challenges. People in this community are noticing that our instructors are influencers who represent them. Our crowd is very diverse and that is a great response right there; everybody bending together, it’s amazing! We are all challenged in our lives in some way—the yoga mat can be the great equalizer.

What sets Finer Studio apart from some of the other yoga studios/ gyms in the Bronx? 

-Diversity: We consider ourselves an Inclusive community, we want to be the change we want to see in other studios. It is important to embrace change in all areas of your world. A great place to practice inclusion is a Yoga Class in which Whites, Blacks and Latinos are one on the mat.
-Quality of Instructors: Almost anyone can teach an advanced level classes, but beginners are truly challenging to teach.
Our instructors teach progressively, they pick poses that can be easily modified and encouraging to people. They help students complement their practice. They breakdown the good and positive in each pose for them to tap into their power.

Most of our instructors are very well known influencers in the world of Yoga, and at the same time, they are kind and humble people, with a passion for spreading the word of Yoga in the communities with less access to Yoga.

-Prices: We really want people to be able to benefit from this practice; not too many can afford paying $20 to $30 per class. We are providing better quality of instruction at an affordable price.

What are some of the benefits of yoga for Bronxites who have never tried it before?

Yoga can change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for longevity health.
Yoga is not only an exercise, it’s about a healthy lifestyle. The practice of yoga allows students to find calm in a world of chaos, mental clarity and body awareness. Yoga helps relieve stress (Which can destroy the body and mind) and declutters the mind, helping you to become more focused.
Yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, Increased muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, maintaining a balanced metabolism, weight reduction, cardio and circulatory health, improved athletic performance, protection from injury, etc…
Yoga is great to help with coping skills and finding the positive about life. Yoga incorporates meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being

Intrigued? In addition to yoga, Finer Studio also offers Zumba classes and paint and sip events! Check out their website to learn more.

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Full Disclosure: I was financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Rejuvenate Yourself at Freckles Juice

I’m back at work again, which means happy hours on happy hours on Fridays. Unfortunately, ever since I crossed the threshold of 25 two years ago, my body seems to no longer agree with this philosophy. (I’m still not wise enough to listen, though.)

Needless to say, I was faced with a mild hangover and intended to trade all of my Saturday plans for hours on my couch watching Netflix. (How were hangovers dealt with before the internet?!) That is until my friend Karen called and asked if I wanted to finally check out Freckles Juice. We’ve been saying we should go for weeks and just hadn’t gotten around to it.

The shop is bright and airy with walls adorned with art of all sorts. (I particularly loved “Dear Pretty Brown Girl” by Ronald A. Draper.) A massive chalkboard menu displays a wide array of smoothies and juices. Karen went with the Air Drizzy and I of course forgot the name of mine, but it was a delicious blend of mango and other tropical fruits.

The woman working even offered us a sample of butternut squash soup, which was so good we both ordered some to go.

So, if you find yourself uptown, be sure to treat yourself to something healthy at Freckles Juice.