10 Places to Shop & Eat Healthy in Jersey City

The gyms and yoga studios are packed, the veggie aisles in the grocery stores are filled with people holding avocados yet looking at the gummy bear stand right next to it…. I see you guys! It’s January and everyone is starting fresh, looking to get fit in time for spring season.

Nutrition and Fitness has always been a hobby of mine; many of you may not know this but in my early 20s I was a personal trainer and aerobics instructor! Throughout the last few years I’ve become even more interested in the nutritional aspects, aiming to eat a more holistic diet that consist of whole foods, grains and beans.

Many people have said to me that Jersey City does not have that many healthy food options like in New York City so I set out to prove them wrong by teaming up with local nutritionist and author Rachel Warren. We sat down for tea at Brewshot and came up with a top 10 list of healthy places to shop and eat!! Rachel also gave us a few good tips on how to eat better. Get your bikinis and speedos ready people. #operationsixpack

10 Places to Shop & Eat Healthy in Jersey City

Whats your name? My name is Rachel Meltzer Warren

What do you do? I am a registered dietitian and nutritionist. I consider myself a nutrition educator, writer, and counselor.

So someone comes up to you, and says they want to lose 10 lbs. What do you say to that? So yea… in a nutshell… if I had that answer really quickly id be rich. Haha. Every individual is different, you have to look at what their story, what could be keeping them from them being at their happy weight, and how to get to that places. One thing I always say is eat more vegetables. It’s not sexy. People want to hear stuff like coconut oil or they want to hear about supplements from doctor oz. Eat more vegetables and you’ll see.

Eating healthy in Jersey City

People want a magic pill, my thing is eat healthy, keep your calories in track, work out, and get sleep. The research that I look at really does say exercise can be apart of weight loss but food is the thing. It’s all about what’s happening in the kitchen. Everything works together, when you don’t get a lot of sleep you’re body is creating energy, and you turn to food for the energy from being tired. Our environment is set up for us to over eat, if you’re waking up over-tired, you will over-eat.

So let’s compile our top 10 of favorite JC Healthy eats? Let’s do it!

Top 10 Places

1. Busy Bee Organics

(Lynn) I love Busy Bee, she makes an incredible Beet Hummus and her Nut butters really hit the spot! In fact, I am interviewing her next week!! #staytuned.

(Rachel) Michelle is a friend of mine for a long time, she does delivery, she takes a whole foods approach and her type of business is great for those people who work full-time and wants to come home to a healthy dinner. She’s great because she makes healthy indulgences, which is great, like high protein muffins….She delivers and she is also at the Farmers market when it’s in season. web

2. Bone In

(Lynn) When I interviewed Ron and Virginia for the Bone In post it was my first time eating meat after a while, but I felt great after, the food is so clean and they use quality ingredients, perfect for those seeking a paleo style diet…. and they deliver!!

(Rachel) Using whole and natural ingredients is a wonderful model and they’re also great for those people who want to come home and not cook. I love their approach too, I always tell people look for things at the grocery store or somewhere else that you could make yourself in your own kitchen.

My motto is if I can’t pronounce it I can’t eat it!

3.  CSA’s Community Supported Agriculture/JC’s Farmers Market

(Rachel) If you want to cook yourself, the CSA’s Community Supported Agriculture, right now its not in season its off season, but basically the way it works is, its like investing in a farm for a season, you pay upfront fee to a farmer and in exchange you get a weekly share of their produce… its whatever the farmer is growing that week and it might range from garlic and lettuce, as the season progresses theres tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes… theres also a CSA in Journal Square which a friend of mine started.

How do people sing up for it?

I know downtown harvest is downtownharvest.org and usually the sign up starts late winter early spring.
Of course I’m a huge fan of the JC Farmers Markets (especially the Grove Street and Hamilton Park ones), and can’t wait for the weather to warm up and for them to come back. I love the organic produce from Poplar Wood Farm, and their eggs are some of the freshest and best tasting I’ve ever had.

(Lynn) When the HDSID Farmers market is in seasons I always try to get fresh goods there. Something I do is I get whatever looks good, and I go home and search the ingredient on food gawker or pinterest and try a new healthy recipe. It’s fun! I am counting the days till it starts up again in just a few short months!

(Rachel)  There is also the JC Food COOP….They don’t have a retail store yet, but you can order locally grown/sourced food and eco-conscious cleaning supplies and other items online through them for delivery near Journal Square (you have to go to the site to pick it up) once per week. https://jcfoodcoop.coop/

4. Subias Organic

Subias is a great shop, they sell organic and vegetarian friendly foods as well as have prepared foods…They have the most filling soups!

“Great for prepared food, quick meals. They have wonderful smoothies for the summer time…”

506 Jersey Ave.

5. Rumi

(Rachel) Rumi on Sussex is Turkish food, its great. With middle eastern cuisine there is a focus on vegetables which is wonderful and the meat isn’t the center of the meal.

This pic was taken outside of Rumi’s does that count?

https://www.rumiturkishgrill.com

6. Tea NJ

One of my favorite places is Tea NJ, they have really healthy options, mostly vegetarian/vegan friendly. Also William the owner is so sweet. Just stay away from any of the intense bubble teas if you want to keep your calories in check….

(Rachel) They’re so nice and delicious and great options for Vegan food.

7. WhealthJC Pop ups

(Lynn) WhealthJC partners with different local business’s and hosts pop up dinner events twice a month! Whealth uses only fresh ingredients… Chef David (post coming soon) literally goes the same day to farmers markets to pick all the produce for the dinners! WhealthJC is teaming up with Busy Been and Bone In this Saturday night (Jan 17th ) here at Brewshot for an exquisite dinner party! I already got my tickets!!
Speaking of which, we just might be cooking (not cooking) something up for January 31rst, so mark your calendars and stay tuned!!

Follow WhealthJC on Instagram for updates!

8. The Kitchen on Grove

(Lynn) Their portions are small which I love, and I feel like I can eat anything there and its controlled. They have great salads, sandwiches, and soups. Last time I was there on date night and we ordered a bunch of stuff and shared, it hit the spot without over eating.
(Rachel) They have some gluten free pastries which is great for gluten free people, however a big misconception is that gluten free is healthier for you but there’s not much of a difference. If you’re gluten sensitive its nice to be able to get a pastry.

9. 942 Summit Ave (Do You Tea? Who’s Gluten Free)

(Lynn) I haven’t been to this spot in the heights yet but I am a huge fan from trying their stuff at the various markets! Drinking tea has so many health benefits and the peeps at Who’s Gluten Free make all sorts of healthy goodies! Grab a cup of Yerba Mate (known for it’s calorie burning effects) and some roasted chickpeas (!!?) and check out the bath and body goods from Bloomsbury Sq also sharing the space with these two! #winning

Facebook

10. Torico’s Ice Cream

(Lynn) Yup!! Honestly, you need to indulge a bit. Grab a kid size scoop of gelato or any of their italian ices! It will hit the spot and you will feel like you treated yourself. Part of having a healthy lifestyle is knowing HOW to indulge and when. Depriving yourself of things you like will only set you up for failure. So if you had a good gym session and want a treat that won’t ruin your day, going for the kid size is the way to go! and enjoy every.single.bite.

Rachel, what kind of services do you provide? I wear a lot of hats in my work, but I do a lot of nutrition counseling which is one on one with clients, working with them on anything from weight loss, managing diabetes, maybe they just realized they have some food sensitivities or allergies and they need help figuring out their diet. I also do some nutrition education work to develop curriculums for families and kids, and I’m also a nutrition writer, I write for magazines, websites, and I also came out with a book last year!

Whats the book? It’s called a Smart Girls Guide to going vegetarian.

So is that your main focus eating vegetarian? I am but I don’t think it’s for everyone, I always say just because I wrote a book about vegetarianism I’m not a vegetarian pusher. I think it works well for many people but I wrote the book mainly for teenagers who are thinking about becoming vegetarian, My goal in writing the book was to help anybody who’s thinking about going down that road, to do it in a healthy and nutritious way. I also think there’s a big spectrum of being vegetarian, you could have a vegan on the one side and that’s more extreme. There’s more grey areas these days, I just learned the term “reducetarian” a person who is just trying to cut back on the meat they eat.

My question for you is, people who are trying to become vegetarian they don’t know where to get their protein… I think it’s a misconception that it’s so hard to get protein on a vegetarian diet. Vegetables do have some protein in them such as broccoli, but I always say going in that direction it’s as much about what you’re adding to your diet as what you’re taking out of it.

Well I’m vegetarian I don’t eat meat, but its good to focus on what you do eat to round it out. Beans are a great option, but there are so many different varieties and you can do many different things with them. Some other options people are sometimes turned off by tofu, and I say to people you don’t have to eat tofu if you’re vegetarian. Even if you don’t like tofu, I do urge someone to keep trying it in different ways, prepared well tofu can be absolutely delicious, when not prepared well its gross. It’s a chameleon food. Nuts are a great protein source.

When I do the vegan/vegetarian style, im eating a lot of fats… is that ok? I think especially when you’re doing the raw vegan thing, you need those satiating nutrients of fats and protein, olives, walnuts, and avocado, that’s going to help you feel satisfied over a plate of greens. All of those healthy fats, help absorb all of the vitamins that you’re getting from all of those vegetables. Its funny, there was that whole fat-free craze, it means nothing.

Whats your opinion on dairy? I think that people tend to overeat dairy when they become vegetarian, and they come to me with higher cholesterol – often it’s because they stopped eating turkey sandwiches but they replaced that with cheese sandwiches. Cheese is where they’re going for their protein replacement, whereas I think nuts and beans like we talked about are the better choices.

I feel like dairy is good with yogurt and cottage cheese. Yea – just you have to be conscious. Greek yogurt is fantastic, its high in protein and probiotics even regular yogurt, its just when people are eating tons of dairy and not enough plant-based proteins.

So someone comes up to you, and says they want to lose 10 lbs. What do you say to that? So yea… in a nutshell… if I had that answer really quickly id be rich. Haha. Every individual is different, you have to look at what their story, what could be keeping them from them being at their happy weight, and how to get to that places. One thing I always say is eat more vegetables. It’s not sexy. People want to hear stuff like coconut oil or they want to hear about supplements from doctor oz. Eat more vegetables and you’ll see.

People want a magic pill, my thing is eat healthy, keep your calories in track, work out, and get sleep. The research that I look at really does say exercise can be apart of weight loss but food is the thing. It’s all about what’s happening in the kitchen. Everything works together, when you don’t get a lot of sleep you’re body is creating energy, and you turn to food for the energy from being tired. Our environment is set up for us to over eat, if you’re waking up over-tired, you will over-eat.

What about you Lynn?
If I want to stick to a healthy meal, at a restaurant… I’m the same as you i’ll go anywhere and be able to get something healthy like at white star bar…I would get the brussel sprouts and a salad. I wont eat a burger necessarily, if I order a veggie burger I wont order fries, i’ll get a side of veggies and not eat the bun. I like that theres a lesson here, just because youre trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you cant go to places, it’s a matter of making the decision at the restaurant of a healthier choice.

When in doubt stick to veggies! Exactly, because no matter how they’re cooked they’re almost always healthier than that burger or fries…

www.rmwnutrition.com
www.smartgirlveg.com
Twitter @RMWnutrition
@smartgirlveg

-CHICpea

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