Green City Growers & Whole Foods Market

Last week, I had the really neat opportunity to visit Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield (conveniently located a short 5 minute drive from my office!) and tour their rooftop garden, as well as speak with Green City Growers regarding how the garden came to life.

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First off, if you’ve never been to this Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield, I suggest trying to get there because it’s a beautiful store! Plus, you can use it as an excuse for shopping and lunch at the MarketStreet Lynnfield shops since they are all in the same spot. It’s one of my favorite WF stores around (that, and the new one in the South End because that’s also gorgeous, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have a rooftop garden!) because not only does it have a huge produce section, but they also sell beer and wine in store 😉

I had heard that there was a rooftop garden at the store, but until getting a chance to actually see it, I had no idea how big it was and how much produce it produced! Here are some stats that we learned from the Green City Growers contact during our visit:

  • Green City Growers is an organic farming company and they work with, businesses, schools and at people’s homes all over New England. Whole Foods in Lynnfield is the largest rootop farm in New England and requires 16-20 hours a week in maintenance
  • The space is 17K square feet, which is huge!
  • A lot of work was done years in advance of the build out of the store in order to create a building structurally sound enough to hold the weight of the garden on it.
  • It’s a green roofing system which has insulation and storm water run off benefits.
  • 324 TONS of soil was crained in to get the rooftop garden started.
  • 4000 pounds of fresh produce is being produced this season, and they are finally (after a few years) figuring out what people want grown and want to buy. There are 20 produce varietals growing right now, making sure to keep their supply unique, but still things people want to buy.
  • 2 tons of produce a year is sold right in the store (SO COOL!)
  • Virtually zero goes to waste- all of the “grade B” produce (things that drop off the plant, stems, etc.) are brought to the prepared foods area or smoothie bar to be used there.
  • There are bees up there, too, which are used to pollinate

Isn’t that so cool?! It’s just one of the many reasons why I love shopping at Whole Foods – there are thousands of organic options right at your fingertips, and locally grown organics is just icing on the cake (or organic veggie 😉 ). While it may cost a little more to buy and eat organically, the benefits of eating this way far outway the costs for us in our home. Granted, we don’t buy everything organic, but for fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, etc. we try to stick to organic, grass fed and local if we can.

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IMG_0547Big thank you to Whole Foods for inviting me in!! Also, a big thanks to the other vendors who participated in the event and provided goodies for us to take home:

Questions for you: What is your favorite grocery store? Do you try to buy organic? If so, what are your primary organic buys? Do you try to buy locally? 

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Weekending: Girls Night, Day Dates & Home To Maine

Good morning! Blogging here from Maine, which is a nice treat- and a lovely perk of getting to work from home 😉 The weather over the past weekend was so perfect- I couldn’t help but be in a great mood the whole time!

After work on Friday, my friend Stephanie (from work) and I grabbed a quickie drink at the new Gaslight in Lynnfield at the M Street Shops. It was such a great way to end the work week!

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From there, I made my way to Somerville for a girls night with my SMC girls. Per usual, we had a great time laughing, snacking on delicious food and drinking my new favorite rose bubbly.

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I started Saturday off by teaching another super sweaty cardio kickboxing class- the best way to start my day! IMG_4317

After class, RM and I went into the city for some shopping and lunching- two of my favorite SaturDAY activities. We shared a burger and salad at Abe & Louie’s and everything was fantastic!

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From the Back Bay, we headed to Faneuil Hall to hit up a few stores and finished with ice creams… the weather was too good NOT to have an ice cream 😉 (ok, I’m kidding. I never need an excuse to get an ice cream- duh.)

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Once we got home, we lounged and binge-watched Breaking Bad until bedtime.

After breakfast on Sunday, I packed up and headed up to Maine. Mom and I met at the Publick House in Springvale for lunch which is always delicious (again, no picture of the food- just the booze. oops).

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Since it was so gorgeous, I laced up and went for a 3 miler. Thank God it was beautiful out because the run was hard- so.many.hills!!

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After my run, we got to work on centerpieces with a few of my mom’s friends. I wanted a simple look and I think we achieved that! The gold charger is going to be replaced with birch wood for the actual wedding.

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I keep looking at it and just love the white flowers! And, my dad had loads of mason jars for me to use so that was easy.

Dinner was a delicious pork chop, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots and green beans. I love being home and having my parents cook for me 🙂

And that about wraps it up! I hope all of you had a great weekend and are kicking off this week with a positive mindset.

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Did you get outside to soak up the warm weather? Did you have any good meals? What’s on the agenda for this week? Any workouts you’re looking forward to?

Weekending: Taking time to relax

 

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, this holiday season I promised myself that I would slow down, try to stress less and learn how to say “no”. So far, I’ve actually been much better at it than I thought I would be. As I was looking through my calendar earlier this season, I realized that this past weekend was seemingly clear. I had already decided not to run the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K I always run, and no other parties had been planned yet. As I was chatting with Athena, she suggested I mark the weekend as a “no plans weekend”. Sadly, as soon as I did that, two parties came up (sorry Mary and Steph!!)… obviously this would happen!

I have to say, I fully enjoyed this past weekend where I had no real plans. Sure, we had lots of things we ended up doing or wanted to do, but the beauty of it was we were able to do it on our own schedule and if we decided to change plans or stay in or do dinner, it was our choice. I highly suggest taking weekends like this if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just that you don’t have enough time for yourself. I went into this week feeling so refreshed and ready for a much busier week.

Here are some highlights from the weekend- enjoy!

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  • Treating myself to a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks thanks to a gift card that a sweet member gave me

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  • A pleasant car shopping experience at Acura. My lease is up in February so I’m in the market for something new!
  • A late lunch at Legal C Bar in Lynnfield

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  • Shopping around the M Street shops, getting some gifts and food shopping at Whole Foods.
  • A quiet night in, consisting of Christmas movies, wine & this delicious baked stuffed acorn squash.

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  • A lazy Sunday morning- breakfast, blogging & cleaning
  • More car shopping, another pleasant experience!
  • Sunday dinner at RM’s mother’s house. I was totally craving an authentic Italian meal (aka, I really wanted meatballs), so it worked out perfectly! I’m so lucky that I love his family and enjoy spending time with them.
  • Sunday night at my place. It was nice to meal prep and watch tv and be surrounded by my Christmas decorations!

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Questions for you: When’s the last time you said “no” in favor of relaxing and doing nothing? Do you often over-book yourself? What was the best part of your weekend?

Weekending: Granary Tavern, Birthday Lunching, Jingle Bell Running

I’m pretty sure the weather this past weekend did nothing for getting people in the holiday spirit, right? Nothing like 60 degree weather in December! Oh well, by the end of the weekend, I was able to ignore the weather and fully get into the Christmas/holiday spirit!

Friday Night

Friday night, my sister came over and we headed into the city to meet up with my former yoga instructor and current friend, Alyson. We decided on Granary Tavern, which I love. Alyson was running late so Danielle and I grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. I splurged on the La Crema because, well, why not?

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We shared a few things like the Fondue, Ahi Tuna and Pizza. So good!

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After dinner, we bounced around to a few places before going our separate ways. Such a fun night and we definitely need to do it again, Alyson!

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Saturday

For the first time in a month, I didn’t have to teach last Saturday! But, to be honest, I missed it 😦 I really love starting my Saturdays teaching at the Oak Square Y because the energy is so good in that class and it gets me pumped for the whole day! Last Saturday, I decided to head to the Wellington BSC for some cardio, core and BodyPump. It was great!

After lunch, I met up with some of my college girlfriends (I love when I get to see them more than once in a week!) at the Yard House for our friend Lauren’s birthday. Have you guys ever been to the M Street Shops? They have so many stores (including a Lulu!), coffee shops and restaurants. I’m seriously obsessed with it and cannot wait to go back. Lunch was delicious, but what made it even more special was the fact that our friend, Kelly, who lives in San Francisco now, joined us. It was perfect!

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I hope you had a good birthday lunch, Lauren!

Saturday night was amazing- I did absolutely nothing! I feel like I’ve been on the go a lot on week and weekend nights so the fact that I had the chance to be home, alone, with no plans was awesome. I was in bed at 10pm and slept until 8am. Boy was that necessary!

Sunday

I woke up feeling like a new woman after 10 solid hours of sleep! After breakfast, I headed to Somerville to meet up with my sister and our parents for the Jingle Bell 5K. I will recap on that later, but it was such a fun race and day! We are so lucky that our parents are so supportive and love coming down to do things with us. They braved the ice storm and everything. Thanks mom and dad!

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After the race and lunch, I was SO happy to have a chance to hang out on my couch and shamelessly watch cheesy romantic holiday movies. I’ve been seriously obsessed with these movies this year!

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I don’t have many Sundays where I have no meal prep to do, no lunches to make, no grocery shopping to do, etc. I had a little blogging to do, but besides that, I was faced with an afternoon with no plans and it was lovely 🙂

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Granary Tavern? Did you or do you know anyone who ran the Jingle Bell 5K? What’s your favorite Christmas movie?